I left my house on the New Hampshire ridge for a quick overnight trip to New York. Object: drive to Bunny Hoest's home on the Long Island North Shore, arriving by noon for the annual Bunny Bash. Thanks to a wee hours start and the Bridgeport/Port Jefferson ferry, I made it.
The Bunny Bash is held every June at the home of Bunny Hoest. The Bash began because almost three decades ago, Bill Hoest wanted to show some some of his cartoonist colleagues the house he was building. About a dozen cartoonists from the local Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society (the "Berndt Toast Gang") were invited over for sandwiches and a tour of the then-unfinished home
Today, the house on the Long Island sound is finished, and the event has grown. About 150 cartoonists, spouses, kids and friends got together for what turned out to be a partly cloudy afternoon of shop talk.
Mike Lynch, Mad Magazine's Sam Viviano and THE LOCKHORNS Bunny Hoest
Heidi Silver and THE LOCKHORN's John Reiner
New Yorker cartoonists Robert Leighton and Felipe "Feggo" Galindo, with illustrator Martin Kozlowski. Thanks to Felipe for this photo!
NCS Chapter Chair Adrian Sinnott and National Rep Mike Lynch surprised Bunny Hoest with a National Cartoonists Society Tim Rosenthal Award for Volunteerism. Above is the award, gorgeously drawn by Guy Gilchrist.
Tim Rosenthal was Head of Syndicate Services at American Color. American Color is the place where many newspaper comics are colored and then sent to papers around the world. His impact, developed with Wiley Miller, on the way color is used in newspaper comics, set a new industry standard. He was also a big NCS supporter, and a good friend to many cartoonists.
I gave a short announcement to the people about Bunny and why she deserves the Award:
Everyone knows that Bunny works for King Features. Everyone knows that Bunny works for Parade Magazine. What everyone may now know is that she also works very hard for the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society, helping with the award voting, as well as hosting the annual Bash. She is, as Creig Flessel described her, the "Den Mother" of the Berndt Toast Gang. This was a small token of appreciation from her NCS family.
If anyone has a photo of Bunny with her Award, please share it with me. Thanks.
Mike Lynch, with my friend, The New Yorker's Robert Leighton.
Gerry Mooney, Bill Crouch and Elena Steier
Bunny Hoest, Suzan Haeni of the Art League of Long Island and graphic artist Julie Haring
A framed gag cartoon of Bill Hoest's. One of many decorating the "Hoest Castle" interior.
Dotti Sinnott, daughter of Berndt Toast Gang Chairman Adrian Sinnott, and the one and only Sam Gross.
I wound up staying very late, as did a few others. Bunny ordered pizza. I shared long conversations under an orange sliver of a moon with Adrian Sinnott and his family, Bunny, John Reiner, Mort & Barbara Drucker and Stan & Pauline Goldberg.
I had a memorable time. Exhausting, but memorable.