A Man of Many Talents

Oct 4, 2012 | 1 comment

Yesterday I stopped and chatted a bit with my sometimes-across-the-street-neighbor, Dennis Driscoll.  He has been working on the old Wachsmuth garage for the last few days – scraping off old paint and applying Kilz primer.  He appears to be doing a fine job and we did chat about that for a few minutes.  But mainly we talked about a book called Joe and Elliott the Crow.

“Look in today’s paper,” Dennis said.  “There’s an article about the book.  It’s coming out on Amazon in the next few days.”

He was quick to point out that he didn’t write the book – “only” illustrated it.  Only!  From the little peek at the artwork shown in the paper it looks wonderful – professional, flawless, and, to me at least, a total surprise.

I know that Dennis is a musician and that he has travelled in Europe and Asia singing and playing.  I know he is a songwriter, as well.  I know that he “makes things” – comic strips, egg dolls, recordings – that he has a website, writes a blog, and loves to draw. But I hadn’t known until yesterday that he had ventured into the realm of book illustrations.  He is definitely a man of many talents.

The story, itself, is the creation of Michelle Scaman who has been a friend of Dennis’s since their days at Ilwaco High School.  As I read her description of its real-life inspiration, I was struck by her reference to a “gardener” snake.  That misnomer took me back to my days in primary classrooms when it was a common phenomenon for kids (especially boys) to bring toads and bullfrogs and “gardener” snakes for sharing.

We would talk about each critter and give each child an opportunity to touch and hold.  And, I would explain that the name of the snake was “garter” not “gardener.”  That bit of information was often met with some skepticism.  After all, gardens and snakes seem to make sense, but what’s a garter, anyway?  And then we were off onto a bit of sartorial history.

I’m looking forward to seeing this book.  It’s not everyone who lives across the way from a real, live illustrator!  And, as one who has no talent whatsoever in the drawing department, I am full of admiration!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Wow! Good to know that a talented author has a talented illustrator living across the street…sometimes.


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