Gov. Christine Gregoire five days back declared this "Bob McCausland Week" and almost everyone, including the P-I where McCausland worked for 33 years, missed it. A story finally ran today, noting the late newspaper cartoonist was being honored by the governor for, among other things, his memorable "Hairbreadth Husky" sports cartoons - a tradition renewed in a different form for the Seahawks by P-I Pulitzer winning cartoonist David Horsey. McCausland, who died this summer at age 90, will be remembered, the P-I said, for his drawing-board versatility, "from illustrating food stories to sketching defendants in courtrooms." To others, he'll be remembered as the guy who painted the balls off German Shepherds.
I was a P-I copy boy in those days when the art department airbrushed such unsightly appendages - including, no kidding, cow udders - from photos before they were shown to readers of the "family newspaper." The half-dozen artists brushed the fat off society matron's ankles, too, and touched up the awkward smiles of beauty queens. In their free time, they signed footballs for then-UW coach Jim Owens (a newspaper promo contest promised readers autographed footballs but Owens got tired of inking them). Most memorable was a gag photo - a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new highway, as I recall, with one of Gregoire's predecessors, Big Al Rosellini, doing the honors with an oversized pair of scissors. For a joke, one of the artists redrew Rosellini's tie and threaded it through the scissors, making it look like Big Al was absently snipping off his own cravat. Somehow, the gag photo got in the paper. It ran one edition. I don't know if McCausland was the culprit. And I don't know if he wasn't. But here's to him.