You wouldn’t think it from reading his editorial cartoons in the News Sentinel, but Charlie Daniel is really a sweet, quiet and unassuming guy. With a wicked sense of humor, of course.
I have known Charlie for more than 30 years — we both worked at the defunct Knoxville Journal — and he still cracks me up, in print and in person.
Charlie and his sweet wife, Patsy, were guests of honor this past weekend at this year’s final installment of the Knoxville Symphony League’s “Elegant Dining” series of fundraisers.
“Cartoonists rarely say anything nice about anybody,” Daniel acknowledged during his after-lunch talk in the lovely Rarity Bay home of Steve and Lin Oglesby. “We mostly ridicule. But we ridicule in hopes that we will improve the quality of people’s lives.”
Daniel, a North Carolina native, got his start at the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. Since then, he’s drawn 11 U.S. presidents. “The only thing they had in common was they all said Fidel Castro wouldn’t last!” Daniel deadpanned.
“Cartooning is probably the world’s second oldest profession,” he allowed. “The earliest cartoon was drawn in 1300 BC. It ridiculed King Tut. They found it in King Tut’s tomb — along with the cartoonist!”
Whereas Daniel often tackles serious subjects in his work for the News Sentinel, he certainly doesn’t take himself very seriously. He quoted one of his heroes, legendary cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, who once asked his editor, “Is a cartoonist a newspaper man?” The editor’s retort: “Is a barnacle a ship?”
It was a lovely afternoon.
Now that the Elegant Dining events are over, the good folks at Knox Heritage have kicked off their spin-off series of events called “Summer Suppers.” Check them out. They are fun, as well.
Click here for a WBIR “Your Stories” feature on Charlie Daniel.
Charlie and Patsy are two of the Earth’s greatest people. And go Tar Heels!
What can you say? Charlie is a Knoxville treasure.
Thank you Cynthia for such excellent documentation of this wonderful event we had the honor to host. The weather was perfect and the guests magnificent.
Charlie never fails to amaze us every time we are together during our friendship of 40+ years. We are so appreciative of his cartoon donations and the additional funds we were able to raise for the Symphony League.
Thank you to all of you who made the last Elegant Dining of 2016 season such a wonderful experience!!!
Maria and Alan: Absolutely agree.
Lin and Steve: Thanks so much for hosting this fun event! And for being a part of the KSO family.
Oh my, you captured the essence of the afternoon in pictures and it is my introduction to BLUE STREAK. Thanks to Charlie for telling me about it and to all of the ELEGANT DINING hostesses for making it happen.
Lucinda: It was great seeing you and Harold! Charlie is just the best, isn’t he? Welcome aboard the Blue Streak train!
John and I were so happy to be at the Swan Song of this year’s Elegant Dining events. We had so much fun getting to know new friends and catching up with those we have known for some time. We are still dreaming about Steve’s wonderful mint juleps! I was so thrilled to be the recipient of a Rosie sketch! Thanks, Lin and Steve for hosting such a fun-filled event! You’re the best! Fran Dunn
Fran: I’m with you on those Mint Juleps! Thanks for posting a comment. I hope to see you at some of the Elegant Dining events next year.
Charlie is the greatest! Cynthia, give him my best wishes when you see him.
Courtney: I sure will.
We must also give a big thank you to Litton’s for such wonderful desserts they contributed!
Barry and Erik Litton provided an excellent finish to a fine afternoon of “Eligent” Dining (to quote Charlie Daniel)…
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