Charlie Daniel was the longtime editorial cartoonist for both the Knoxville Journal and the Knoxville News Sentinel. At 89, he was doing some of this best work — but then was laid off. After a 60-year-career in Knoxville, change took his legs out from under him. The layoff knocked him down. But Charlie isn’t lying around. He isn’t quitting. He’s currently learning to draw on the iPad Pro and now can animate his cartoons. Whatever Charlie chooses do next is up to him, but it’s on his own terms. And that is inspiring.
I met Charlie my sophomore year in college. He took the time to meet with me when I had an assignment for a speech class I was taking. I had to give a speech about what I wanted to do when I grew up. He helped me launch my career and has been a valuable mentor and friend ever since. He and his wife Patsy are like second parents. I will forever be grateful to them for all they have done for me and my family.
Charlie helped me figure out what I want to be when I grow up — and that’s to be like Charlie. I’m working on it. Hopefully someday I will come close.