I always love to hear from TI Life readers and certainly smiled when I saw Joel Charles’ name in my email this month – but even better, Joel gave me a heads up that he has published a new book: Drawn to Clayton, Memories and Thoughts in Ink.
We met Joel in February 2020, when we interviewed him for Meet Joel Charles River Artist. He had already shared some of this talent and River drawings with us in three articles. Now he is sharing even more.
The book is a treasure of drawings of all things Clayton NY. There are not a dozen or so but hundreds. No matter if a long-time resident or a summer visitor, there will be scenes that you will recognize immediately.
The back cover explains:
Joel was born in Plattsburgh, NY and grew up in Clayton, NY. He graduated from Clayton Central School, where his father was Principal for 17 years. He has been a 10th Grade English teacher, an insurance adjuster and agent. He was honorably discharged from the U. S Army after six years of reserve service. While he was an agent with Perry and Swartwood, Inc., in Elmira, NY., he was active in Boy Scouting for 25 years, and Rotary for 20 years. Joel holds the BSA Silver Beaver award, and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow award. He has been married to Carol Ticknor for 57 years, and he and Carol have two children and five grandchildren. They now reside in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Joel took up acting, directing, painting and building sets for several theater companies in his eighteen years in Tucson, Arizona. He has continued painting and has sold his work, mostly depicting 1000 Islands scenes. A published author, he has ghost written four novellas, a novel, an autobiographical series of essays about growing up on the river and many articles for the "Thousand Islands Sun."
Excerpts from Drawn to Clayton
Next door, and I mean right next door, is one of the most popular places in Clayton, the Koffee Kove. “Meet me at the Kove” has been a catch phrase for locals, summer people, and tourists alike for decades. Serving breakfast and lunch, the Kove is a place where you can get traditional diner food, or just coffee-and-, cheerfully served in a beadboard walled, nautically themed, cozy atmosphere with lots of tables and windows to let in the sun. Since the street improvements and overhead power line and pole removal, the Kove has installed tables and high stools for additional seating outside in good weather. You can even buy a mug that says you stole it from there!
The Kove has a history, too. It was once Cantwell’s Creamery, a small grocery and milk processing and delivery business run by the late Frank Cantwell. The business ran from 1921 to 1961.
Next, head down James Street to the intersection with Hugunin Street. On the right, you will see a small, two story building directly at the tee made by Hugunin and James Sts. This building used to be the Lyric Theater; later in my youth, it was the Bertrand Theatre. After the theatre closed in the 70’s, it became a liquor store. Kathy Danielson bought it in the early 2000s and in 2006, created a new space called the Lyric Café. You can have coffee, teas, lattes, gourmet pastries, lunch, and dinner.
Inside the café, there is a gallery space on one wall, for local artists. Kathy let me show a few of my own paintings there one year. No one bought anything, but it was fun sitting in the front window, talking to people . . .
So welcome back to TI Life Joel, and thanks for checking in!
You can contact Joel at email@example.com
In May 2019, Joel published his first book on Amazon. Growing up Tame: Thousand Islands Memories.
So, two more Thousand Islands books for your 2023 summer reading! The books are available on Amazon at:
And be sure to see Fine Art America which has Joel Charles drawings and paintings which are available for purchase.
By Susan W. Smith, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
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