So long, Vincent Davis-1944-2009


Hi again, Readers. Here is the post I promised to publish. It has now been approved, and I’ve posted my favorite photo of Vincent and me.  He was a very dear friend of mine, and will be sadly missed, read on:

How do I say good-bye to a person who was practically a second father to me, who made me take down endless lists of my faults over the telephone and made me laugh about them, consoled and counseled me through many hard times and bleak patches, got Cathy and I to visit him and his wife-to-be Hiroko in Tokyo, took us up with him in a Cessna (he had a pilot’s license) many times over the Los Angeles basin and over Catalina, scattering the native bison as we came in for a landing. He sheltered my film collection in his house from the FBI back in the paranoid-1970s, took me horseback riding along the roads of Shadow Hills, got together with Cathy and me every year on my birthday for at least the last 15 years and was generally “there” for me in a friendship that lasted for 38 years!

Vincent Davis is little-known outside of the animation industry. He had many nick-names, “Vincent”, “Vince”, “V.D.”(he almost always called himself V.D. when he called me on the phone), “Been-Sent” was what his wife Hiroko often called him, “Red” was one of the last nicknames he went by, used by only a select group of friends from his neighborhood. He was a really good cartoonist, who really aspired to do a comic strip, but never sold one. He and his friend of the time, Bob Foster, did several issues of MYRON MOOSE FUNNIES in the early 1970s. Vince did a great critique of fandom in his two page masterpiece; “Comic Book Fans” published in GRAPHIC STORY MAGAZINE, edited by his friend Bill Spicer, comics afficiando and great lettering man. He also did a two page comic story about his adventures with becoming legally self-employed and his close encounter with the State Board of Equalization (they collect sales tax in California). He found a representative of the State Board literally waiting for him on his doorstep when he came home one night. Vince had not been charging his customers sales tax on his free lance animation jobs, and the Board wanted their cut and a fine! Vince looked at the whole episode through a jaundiced eye, and turned it into a comic book story. It was also printed as a poster, back in the “big poster” days of the 1970s. Vince could draw anything and make it funny, his sketch books were a delight to look upon. He showed me a book years ago with one page after another of funny birds, that just flowed from his pen. In the late 1960s and though the early 1980s, Vincent was a top free-lancer in the animation business, picking up many commercials and bits and pieces of TV shows and the occasional animated feature. We worked together on one, THE MOUSE AND HIS CHILD (1974). Vince had picked up a long sequence on the picture in which the wind-up toys, the Mouse and his Child, tried to become self-winding. There was some dialog with an owl character, which I helped Vince to write. He gave me a few scenes of his sequence to animate with the Mouse tossing his little kid up in the air and down, he liked what I did with it. Alas, we worked together very little, I received no credit on the picture, as this was Vince’s sequence. Vince was highly respected by his peers, the cartoonist Bob Zamboni once told a friend of mine; “You’ll Never Touch Vince.”

In the 1990s, Vince made a transition from free-lance animator to a producer. He worked on GARFIELD AND FRIENDS for Film Roman, directed C. BEAR AND JAMAL in 1998 for Film Roman, was a producer on COW AND CHICKEN for Hanna-Barbera in 1998, and produced THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY for Cartoon Network in 2005. Vince animated on the Emmy Award winning children’s special “Free to Be, You and Me” which Marlo Thomas produced for Murakami-Wolf films. He worked on the DUCK TALES program for Disney TV, which Vince was highly critical of, being a charter member of the Carl Barks fan club. One of the last shows he worked on was the BATMAN show for Warner Bros. TV in 2006-2007. Vince would kill me if he knew that I was writing about his credits, he hated almost everything he ever worked on. He used to tell me, “Name the worst thing you’ve ever done, I’ll BOTTOM it!” He did win the Annie Award for producing, however. He made fun of the award, sarcastically stating, “I’ve had SO MANY offers and my prices have gone up since I won this award.”

Vince was a cartoonist to the core, taking no one and no body seriously. He almost always avoided personal questions, preferring to keep his friends on the defensive. Those on the receiving end of his wit almost always laughed, through their blushes. He could get intensely personal, asking questions that an ordained minister or a psychologist might ask. This was ironic, as Vince was neither a preacher (very non-religious) nor a trained psychologist. Vince was a wonder at communicating with strangers. He could get very intense with a new acquaintance very fast. Vince looked very funny to begin with (he often dressed in a green polka-dot clown suit on Halloween), and his looks plus a penetrating wit made a lot of instant friends for him. Yet, Vincent didn’t seem to like it when friends tried to find out too much personal information about HIM. Vince preferred to be the revealer, NOT the revealed. He was a voracious reader and student of everything, especially his fellow humans. When I first met Vincent, I was going to Chouinard Art Institute in downtown L.A. One of my teachers was Ruben Apodoca, a great Disney assistant animator, who taught us basic animation. Vince and his pal Bob Zamboni, came down to the school many evenings to visit Ruben and hang out with us neophytes and talk pro animation. Us kids were always so flattered and happy to be visited by real working cartoonists. Vince could be quite cutting and withering in his criticism of our drawings, he often told me, “You’ll never make it.” I think around the time I completed my senior film at Chouinard, “Mike Mouse in ‘City Life’”, Vince started to revise his opinion of me and we got to know each other better. When I got started on staff at Spungbuggy Works and then went free-lance, I saw Vince more as we often bid on the same jobs. He invited me over to his ramshackle apartment near Normandie street in Hollywood, where he showed me his wonderful collection of old cartooning books, comic strips he had saved, his old time radio tapes and his old records of bands like the Coon-Sanders Night Hawks and the early records of the R. Crumb Cheap Suit Serenaders. Vince introduced me to the first old time radio I ever heard, sparking a life-long love of the sounds. I learned little tidbits of information about Vince’s life, he was born in Brisbane, Australia. He had gone to school there and had to wear a school uniform with a little straw hat every day. He still had that straw hat, it meant a lot to him. Vince was a great collector and saver of things. Vince loved old books and introduced me to many old book and antique stores in the Los Angeles Area. We made many trips to Long Beach to visit Richard Kyle’s Graphic Story Bookshop, and sometimes stayed for 5 hours in the Acres of Books store, the biggest book store in Long Beach!

Vince had a great affection for the culture of the early twentieth century in the United States. He loved old cartoons, two-reel comedies, serials, comic strips, Carl Barks, old time radio, old time country music, jazz, many things. His love of serials emerged in his student film: “Dr. Octopus”, or as he called it, “Doc Oc”. The 20 minute picture parodied the silent and sound serial chapters of the 1920s and 30s; filmed in live action on 16mm film, but edited on a video system, then transferred back onto 16mm film, which gave it a primitive kinescope look. The dialog was over the top, and a lot of the scenes were “undercranked” to give a slightly sped up look to the action. The lovely Sylvia Dees, who was an instructor in camera techniques at Chouinard, played the heroine, who was abducted by Doctor Octopus on board the Angel’s Flight trolley ride in downtown Los Angeles. Vince filmed this sequence while Angels’s Flight was still in it’s original location below Bunker Hill. The trolley was torn down shortly after Doc Oc was made. We often ran 16mm film shows at Vince’s house in the 1970s and 80s, and Vincent delighted in “torturing” his guests with Doc Oc.

I got to know his first wife, Pot (Theresa) Davis. Her nick-name was Pot because she was a talented ceramicist and master of the potter’s wheel. She made wonderful cartoony clay sculptures like “Mickey Duck”, a hybird of Donald and the Mouse with a rubber tail planted into his clay behind. Pot, Vince and I usually went to the San Diego Comic-Con together every year at the El Cortez hotel. I usually had no money for hotel rooms, so Vince and Pot let me sleep on the floor in their hotel coat room.Vince knew so many people through his love of comic books, especially Bob Sidebottom and Bud Plant, who Vince used to call “Pud Blant”. He liked to reverse letters on famous people’s names, such as “Cob Blampett” and “Juck Chones”. It was just another way that Vince had of taking the pomposity out of fannish worship of big-time cartoonists. Vince never took anything too seriously, especially cartoonists, yet, he secretly was an avid fan. He really loved Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson. I think he was secretly thrilled to meet Carl Barks at the Comic-Con; he might have gone to visit Carl on his own, I don’t remember now. Vince’s irreverence often offended the devout, and probably lost him some friends.

Vince was quite physically active in the early years that I knew him. He loved to play handball, and was quite good at it, until he fell and injured his knee. He owned and loved to ride horses, I went riding with him a few times through Shadow Hills, which is horse country. He lived right across the street from a big feed and tack store and knew many of the horse owners in his neighborhood. He even dated a female jockey for awhile. In the early 1980s, Vince went to Tokyo Japan to work with the Toei company. They were sub-contracting animation production on “The Gallavants” TV series for Murakami-Wolf, and Vince was the animation director. He went over to Japan and back many times, and that’s where he met Hiroko. Hiroko came along to Los Angeles with him and that’s where Cathy and I met her. “Hiro-ki-o from Toki-yo” was how Vince first introduced her to us. She was (and still is) very tiny, cute, with very long dark hair, actually shorter than Vince (did I mention that Vince was barely over 5 feet?). In 1985, Vince con”vince”d us to visit Hiroko and himself in Tokyo. We stayed in Vince’s small apartment in Tokyo and were amazed at the ambiance of the city. You could buy whisky out of vending machines! You could buy futuristic watches and radios! You could buy steamed squid and octopus from sidewalk vendors! You could see Vincent grab Hiroko and turn her upside down! One thing that was hard to find in Tokyo was thrift stores, the Japanese don’t like to wear used clothing. We found one, and I bought a red jacket from them which I still have. Vince and Hiroko seemed to like each other a lot and loved to laugh at the same things. Okonomiaki was one of their favorite dishes in Tokyo restaurants. They even taught us a few Japanese words, such as “Domo Arigato”. We had such a good time with them, taking showers in the apartment’s very small tub, seeing great piles of manga stacked like cord wood in the apartment building’s hallways and seeing the actual miniature Tokyo buildings that Godzilla smashed underfoot next door to the Toei Doga studios.

As the years went by, Vince put on a bit of weight, due to his bad knee. At a long-ago picnic, he confided in me that he feared he hadn’t long to live, he was starting to lose kidney function. His kidney deteriorated to the point that he had to go on dialysis for a short time every night. Hiroko and Vince liked to travel to a little mountain town named Julian every winter and Vince used to play cards with us there while hooked up to the dialysis machine. Luckily, the machine wasn’t much bigger than a Sony Betamax VCR, so he could take it with him. At last, Vince received a new kidney from a donor, and was able to free himself from the machine for several years. His outlook brightened a bit, and he regained some of his old acerbic wit. He used to invite Cathy and I over to his house (a wonderful old place made of big stones) each year on my birthday, with dinner provided by the charming Hiroko who could make a really delicious Shabu-Shabu. How sad it was when Vince’s other kidney started to fail, and he got weaker again. We were returning from a birthday dinner a few years ago at a Shadow Hills restaurant. When we got to Vince and Hiroko’s house, he was so weak that I had to lift him out of the car. I was amazed how light and small he was compared with the rather portly clown of not so many years ago. The last few years of his life saw Vince in and out of the Cedars/Sinai hospital in West L.A., dealing with his continuing renal failure. His longest stay was about 6 weeks. I went to visit him at Cedars and found great changes in my friend, he was no longer able to talk very well or breathe very well. He didn’t laugh much and was pretty down. About all we could do was watch old Andy Williams shows on the hospital TV, but I still enjoyed his company. Then in May of 2009, Vince and Hiroko decided that he wasn’t well enough to accept another kidney donation, even if one became available, so Vince removed himself from dialysis and died at home under Hiroko’s care on May 6th, 2009. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, and often reflect on things he said to us. Vince could get very reflective and wise as well as be the clown. He always used to say, “Who Cares? Nobody Cares”, when it came down to permission to do something. It was his way of making us feel better about trying new things, about encountering the unknown, and dealing with impossible or unfair situations. “Nobody Cares” means that it’s OK to go to Tokyo, to pilot a plane, play handball, ride a horse, be a cartoonist and make endless fun of the gullible and the witless. “Who Cares?” Vincent, we do. We miss you, old friend.

I’m going to conclude the post by continuing the comics reprints from last time. Vince really loved Krazy Kat, so I’m doing this in honor of him. See you next time.


24 Responses to “So long, Vincent Davis-1944-2009”

  1. Dave Brain says:

    This is a very nice essay. It reflects your personal experiences as mine reflects mine. It seems to me a very specific portrait of a very particular person. Those days when we were at Spungbuggy and running around town as freelancers seem very much of another time.

  2. Mike Fontanelli says:

    Wow, what an astounding, touching tribute – the best I think I’ve ever read. I never knew Vince, cuss the luck, but I almost feel like I did after this. Thanks, Mark.

  3. Mike Caracappa says:

    Hi Mark,

    I actually teared up a little reading this. It reminds me of my relationship with my own best friend. Your post was beautiful. I’m very sorry you lost your friend.

  4. A wonderful tribute. Thanks for sharing this.

    I remember watching some of those shows he worked on. I wonder how many of them he actually liked 😉

  5. Vince was one of the finest people I have ever known. I’m very sad to hear that he is gone.

  6. After first seeing Mouse and His Child, way back when, I did as much research as I could until I found out who animated the sequence that turned out to be Vince Davis’ and yours (though I didn’t know that till reading this). Ever after I searched for his name looking for more of the fun and love of animation that was in that sequence. I’m sorry I didn’t meet the man, but I was a distant fan.

  7. Gary Katona says:

    I can only imagine Vince and “Ranger Bob” Zamboni sitting in the clouds cracking wise about the foibles and frailties of those below. Two of the sweetest and funniest human being I’ve ever known. It was a privilege, as is reading these very heartfelt and intimate recollections – so many memories come back. Thank you, Mark. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend.

  8. Robert Alvarez says:

    I along with you have some really great memories of Vince. I guess like so many of his friends I think of him each day. I can recall so many funny things that he said while working together. The one conversation that comes back to me often was not funny but oh so telling. Vince was telling me how much he looked forward to getting his transplant. When he did, one of the first things he intended to do was to take a long hot bath. He had been unable to do so for all the time he was on dialysis. He was also looking forward to having a beer. That was another pleasure denied to him while going through the daily routine of dialysis. Well I will think of as not gone but merely waiting. While he is waiting he is taking that long hot bath and drinking a beer. Good bye my friend and God bless you. Thank you Mark for sharing the warm memories of truly a good, gentle, and very funny man.

  9. Mark says:

    Thanks Robert, Gary, Michael, Norman, Charles, Mike, Mike and Dave,
    So nice of you to respond to my post and remember Vincent. I forgot about two other things that Vince loved to do, ride his old motorcycle with the streamlined sidecar on it, and sail a little boat which he kept at a nearby lake. I never got to go on a boatride, but I rode in the sidecar a few times. Vince wore a big helmet when he rode the motorcycle and looked quite comical doing it, another way of getting noticed and making friends!
    Love yez, Mark

  10. David Knott says:

    I was so sorry to hear about Vincent’s passing. I didn’t know he was ill. I worked with Vincent on Cow and Chicken, doing animatics. I had been trying to transition to storyboards and had been taking lots of storyboard tests. Vincent was willing to not only let me try out for Cow and Chicken, but, when he ended up liking my test, suggested to the line producer that they consider me. Of course they didn’t want to lose an animatic person, so that idea was quickly shelved. But I’ll never forget Vincent for giving me my first glimmer of hope that I could cut it as a storyboard artist. Soon after that, with a newly focused resolve, I moved to Disney to begin a 10 year stint as a board artist. I will truly miss Vincent and his twinkling, mischievous eyes; a man whose influence helped shape my formative years as a storyboard artist.

  11. Mark,
    I have a photo I took of Vince in 1993 when I was working with him on Garfield and Friends at Film Roman that I would love to send to you. It’s worth 1,000 words (at least).

  12. Scott Morse says:

    Man, it hit me like a punch in the gut when I heard that Vincent had passed, and reading this made me tear up, which I think would make Vincent laugh his ass off and call me an old softy, among other things. Vincent is really one of a very small handful of people I can rightfully call a mentor. I met Vincent when I started art directing COW AND CHICKEN and loved every day I spent with him. And keep in mind, an average day of COW AND CHICKEN went like this: Get to work around 10, sit in Vincent’s office until noon making fun of co-workers in their very presence and discussing what we’d have for lunch, go to lunch, come back and work for a bit, meet in Vincent’s office for cream puffs courtesy of Hiroko, and then head home. Now, lunch with Vincent varied, and yes, be yearned for an ice cold glass of beer while on dialysis, describing it in every detail, but my favorite lunch involved a “research” trip to East L.A. and being tricked into eating the world’s largest burrito. Vincent laughed and laughed as it was nonchalantly placed in front of me. I had to bring the left-overs home in a Coke crate. Wait, that was my second favorite lunch…the first was at Dr. Hoggly Woggly’s BBQ on Sepulveda, where Vincent and I heard the meowing of a stray kitten in a flower bed as soon as we exited my truck. V.D. just looked at me with big puppy dog eyes and gently told me how I was going to bring that poor kitten home. He basically forced a stray cat on me, and she’s sitting watching me type this now, 11 years later.

    Now, I write and draw comics as well as animation work, and V.D. loved this. He’d bring me stacks of undergrounds, and ALWAYS rag on me for not hand-lettering my work. He hated computer fonts. He wanted the organic quality of the lettering to match the art on the page and no matter how bad it was, he felt it was stronger in that it belonged to the artist and the aesthetic. I always laughed him off, but a couple of years ago his haunting words finally sunk in and I started to hand letter. I’m nominated for an Eisner Award for lettering this year, really thanks to V.D.

    I could go on and on, about the BB gun Vincent brought me at work for my birthday, about V.D.’s flannel shirts and baggy sweats, about his tendency to dub people as pig fornicators, about how he put some of today’s brightest animation young punks on the map through his kind words and risk taking. At my wedding we had a big picture where everyone in attendance signed the boarder. We’re fortunate enough to have had Vincent and Hiroko sign. While Hiroko’s is in untranslated Japanese, I can’t understand a character of it, but Vincent’s is simple, elegant, and powerful: STAMP OUT V.D.

    Never out of my memory or heart will I stamp out V.D.

  13. John Cawley says:

    Great tribute, Mark. But such sad news. Vince was one of the free spirits in animation and made any project he was on fun. I think anyone who worked with Vince has stories. Mine would include goofing on network execs, deflating artistic egos and surprising birthday lunches. He was one of animation’s “originals”. And like you Mark, one of the bohemian spirits of the modern world.

  14. Floyd Norman says:

    I can’t remember all the times we worked together, but they were many. Vince grumbled through so many shows, but I always enjoyed seeing him.

    And, one of my fondest memories was watching “Doc Oc” so many years ago.

    Sleep well, Vince. I’ll miss you.

  15. jill stirdivant says:

    We just learned of VD’s passing. We are so sorry to hear this news. The love Hiroko and VD shared together was brilliantly apparent.
    Immediately saw him and Zamboni together…again at last. Though it may be little comfort at the moment…he’s free, and in no more pain.
    He will be missed.

    Jill Stirdivant and Dean Stanley

  16. I will miss Vince. He will forever be a character in my memory. Stories… yes a few that, when re-told illicit chuckles. He was the guy who took a bite out of the chocolates and put them back in the box. The guy who made sure that everyone was equally picked on so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. He’d make a bet with you that he knew he would lose, buy you flowers anonymously every day of your last week at work. That’s the Vince I knew.. know (an artist is eternal, never past tense).
    Thank you Mark for your lovely blog… it offers another perspective on dear Vince. I’m sorry for our loss, but grateful to have known him.

  17. I’m sorry you lost a good friend of so many years. Sounds like he would have been a great guy to watch Hal Roach Studio two-reelers with.

  18. Jim Wyatt says:

    This was a great blog. Vincent pushed to get me a job on the last season of Garfield as a Production Manager. He changed my life by doing so. I used to go into his office decorated with 1940’s cowboy serial posters and talk about life. When I told him I thought he was lucky because he could be creative in his job, he started chuckling in that Vincent laugh and said “James, how creative do you think I can be. Do you think I can start putting human ears on Garfield tomorrow.” I moved on to other shows, but had to drop in a couple of times a month just to laugh. When he was laid off at Film Roman, I helped him carry his stuff to his car. When I told him I was going to miss him, he informed me of this new invention called a “phone”. I did get to visit him a few times at HB and Cartoon Network. He and Hiroko came down to Hermosa Beach for a lunch with my wife before we moved to the bay area in 2002 and they came again when I moved back to Burbank in 2005. I wish I would have stayed in touch much more over the last few years. His laugh will stay with me for the rest of my life.

  19. Richard Pursel says:

    Wow, Vee Dee gone. He always seemed to celebrate and denigrate everyone he encountered, which was great fun to witness; a true one of a kind. He called me, “The Weasel Man” every time I entered his office at Hanna Barbera, since I was the guy who developed the Cow and Chicken middle cartoon I Am Weasel with David Feiss. Was he calling me a weasel or showering me with respect (yeah, right!) He was an imp. Any excuse to ditch work and we were off. “What, you’ve never heard of Cassell’s? Best hamburgers in L.A.!” I rode to work on the Chandler bike path just this morning and passed where Phill’s Diner used to be, which got me wondering about V.D. since he took Dave and I there a handful of times before it was torn down. Vince animated the famous, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsy Roll” commercial; I didn’t see that listed for him. I think I respected him most for that, as far as work’s concerned. We also shared an enthusiasm for motorcycles; he had a couple Vincent’s, one with a side car if I recall. He relished in mischief making, but I guess he had to do something/anything to counter the day in/day out of sheet timing! So long V.D.

  20. Sylvia Edwards says:

    Mark, thank you for sharing your memories and for writing this unsentimental, but clearly heart-felt verbal portrait. It brought back memories for me, too. He could be such a curmudgeon you’d be ready to smack him and then he’d invite you to lunch at one of his favorite haunts. He also had a mission, I think to get people to take chances that he thought would be good for them, open their horizons. I still have my official “steered a cessna” wings, that Vincent presented to me a few days after our flight during a long lunch break on “Cow and Chicken.” His regular question of, “What is your most precious dream?” His adoration of Hiroko and his appreciation of her when he first became ill and went on dialysis. All things that I will focus on in remembering him. A story from me to add to your collection. We were just starting pre-production on “Cow and Chicken” and Larry Huber, the executive producer sent me to find out what Vincent wanted on his business cards. First, Vincent was stunned that he was even getting business cards, then after hearing the list of possible titles on the card (producer, supervising producer, etc.) he shook his head and spoke with great seriousness. “I want them to say, ‘Just Producer’.” I started to write down ‘P-r-o-d-u-c-e-r.’ “No, they should say, “JUST Producer.” I went back to Larry and told him Vincent’s request. Larry laughed and said, “Let’s send it in and see what happens.” Vincent, for a while, had Hanna-Barbera business cards that said: Vincent Davis, Just Producer, Cow and Chicken.

  21. Theresa (Pot) Stevens says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tribute to V.D., Mark. You did a great job. I was always glad that Vince and Hiroko got together. She’s a wonderful woman and they made a great pair. The memories you brought up about Vincent’s life makes one who knew him reminisce. I still have a picture of him in that clown suit with the big yellow shoes. Truly he will be missed. You were right about how he didn’t like his private life revealed. Were you aware that he had two children? His oldest died at the age of 27. She was well known on the radios in the LA area. His second, a son is a well respected teacher in Saudi Arabia.

  22. John and Ramona Apodaca says:

    We are the children of Ruben Apodaca. We were just reminicing about the relationship between our father and Vince. Such fun times. Vince once took our father for a ride in his motorcycle with sidecar through the LA streets, our Dad riding in the sidecar scarred along side city buses, holding his breath to avoid the exhaust fumes!! Or the time our Dad helped Vince with a Hallmark Cards animated commercial that aired on TV during a 70’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. John recalls a trip to Burbank when he and our Dad picked up Vince and went to a toy store. Vince nagged our Dad to buy a $2 little Bozo the Clown pinball game. The rest of the day Vince drove our Dad nuts by relentlessly singing “Bozo game, Bozo game, Bozo Bozo Bozo game!!!” We decided to look up Vince on the web, hoping we could reconnect with him. Sadly we found his obituary and web tributes. Our father was Vince’s animation teacher and mentor and they kept in touch until our father passed away in July, 2005. Though we are sad, we are happy to know they are keeping each other company along with all the other late animators of the great cartoon era and we are looking earnestly for the show in the sky on some clear, stary night.

  23. Jeff Kahan says:

    Vince and I worked together at Murakami-Wolf, and we became good friends over the years. When I moved to San Francisco in 1972 to become production manager of Imagination, Inc., I had the extreme pleasure of continuing our relationship as he animated commercials for us. On one of his trips up north I took him flying in my little Cessna. In 1977 we took a two week flying trip through Arizona and New Mexico, visiting Tombstone and the Carlsbad Caverns among other stops. What a trip. He was so enamored he went home and immediately earned his pilot’s license. He took me flying until he voluntarily removed himself from the air as he was afraid he would endanger others in the oft chance he had a kidney related problem while flying. Of course the fun and laughs we had were epic. Riding in his sidecar was death defying. He would head for a parked car and quickly turn away at the last second. I have many wonderful photos of him during our friendship which I would gladly share if anyone is interested. Vince called me Banana Nose. I have an exquisitely made statue of myself (with a banana where my nose should be) made by “Pot” dated July 1975. I will always treasure this along with my wonderful memories of Vince, one of life’s truly beautiful people.

  24. Geraldine Clarkw says:

    I can’t believe that I just discovered this wonderful tribute almost 10 years to the day we lost Vince.
    I first met him when I was inking and painting and running the art department at Imagination, Inc. in San Francisco. We did mostly segments for Sesame Street which he would animate for. He would always include a dirty drawing or two in each piece to amuse the “girls” in the I&P department. I must credit him for my learning to in-between because I had to clean up those drawings enough to pass PBS standards.
    Many years later we lived a few blocks apart in Shadow Hills where we both had horses and shared our love for all things equine.
    I miss you, Vince, You made me laugh a whole lot.

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