Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Anyway, that's the way I heard it...

...and if that ain't the truth let me be struck by lightning.

Here's a story I must have heard a half-dozen times in my life when I was much less than half as old as I am now. The tale never wavered. It goes something like this:

My dad, when he was young(er), used to draw single-panel gag cartoons and send them off to celebrities that he was fond of. Now, some of you might know that his industry sobriquet was "Spec", yet few of you know that in those early days he would often sign his artwork with a pair of spectacles (I myself have yet to see this phenomenon, but I take his word for it). Well, one piece he sent to Gary Cooper...the actor, not the astronaut. Cooper did a goodly number of western cowboy flicks and so my dad drew a gag about a cowpuncher, something about a bull with a black eye, if I recollect correctly. Decades go by, and Cooper eventually passed in 1961. My dad is flipping through some Cooper magazine retrospective and comes across a caption something to the effect of, Most people don't know it but Gary Cooper was a very good artist. So, my dad looks at the drawing, it seems vaguely familiar, and then notices a pair of spectacles in place of Cooper's signature.

By the way, I've yet to come across this drawing. If any Spectorphile does find a copy of where it appeared, I guarantee you a nice original authentic artistic piece of work in trade for your trouble.

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