2006-10-12 / Editorial

From the Publisher

Saying goodbye to one of our own

It is with sadness this week that we note the passing of Frank Caswell.

For many years Frank was the cartoonist for the Jamestown Press. I first met Frank when he appeared at the Press office one day with samples of his cartoons in hand. Every good newspaper needs a good cartoonist, he said.

I agreed and the Opinion page in the Jamestown Press took on new depth.

Frank's weekly depictions of islanders and Jamestown politics brought more than a few chuckles to all of us. As with any good cartoonist, Frank had a different perspective on life. His wit and good-natured humor ranged from local topics to the national scene. Sometimes his efforts would strike a nerve and generate a flurry of letters.

I remember one cartoon in particular that spoofed a new village festival called Ferry Days. The festival was organized to celebrate Jamestown's prebridge heritage when ferryboats provided transportation to and from Conanicut Island. It was 1995 and political correctness was still rampant. Frank's simple but funny Tinkerbell lampoon played on the homonyms "ferry" and "fairy." The cartoon, published again on this page, brought a howl from those who thought we were gay bashing.

Frank was shocked by the reaction and so were we. Frank later remarked that he was sometimes surprised when people read more into his cartoons than he had intended.

Frank rarely missed an issue of the Press. If his cartoon for the week did not meet with my approval, Frank, a veteran newspaperman himself, would say, don't worry ... he'd have another one done by deadline. And he always did.

Frank's cartooning continued for a number of years until his illness overtook him and he could no longer work. I didn't have the heart to remove his name from the staff roster in the Press masthead until this week.

We are proud to have worked with Frank. We will miss him.

- Jeff McDonough

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