Video: A brief history of cartooning at The State

Robert Ariail delivered a lecture last Thursday night, as part of the prestigious Calhoun Lecture Series at the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson U. It was about the history of cartooning in general, and at The State in particular.

Today, he dropped by my office to share an anecdote that he told up in Clemson, one which seems particularly apropos to share today, the day the news came out that his career at The State is coming to an end.

It's about the only other cartoonist The State ever actually employed full-time, back in the days of the Gonzales brothers, and why it took 74 years for the paper to hire one
after its first experience.

14 thoughts on “Video: A brief history of cartooning at The State

  1. Brad Warthen

    Yeah, I think Robert got carried away with his story. I was aware of that discrepancy while he was telling it, but didn’t want to stop him while he was on a roll. What I understood him to mean is that it happened back in that generation. The fact that we had moved on to Cole Blease suggests it’s a little after N.G.’s time. (And he’s right that the THEMES reflected in the 1910 cartoon WERE ones that the paper had sounded since its founding.) It’s still a good story, and I’m sure Robert told it more accurately in his lecture. He was talking off the top of his head to me, and he did get interrupted when his mother called me (she was very gracious as always, expressing her regret at my leaving). For that matter, we’re both a bit distracted right now.

  2. Brad Warthen

    … and it still works for me. I just played it again, to check — both here and on YouTube.
    Anyway, you should also consider that Robert was just batting the breeze (he didn’t intend for it to be on video). As a veteran of thousands of interviews, I can tell you that most people make such errors in telling their stories. What you have to do is try to nail down all the consistencies before you write what they said.
    Greg would make a good editor.

  3. Greg Flowers

    I wasn’t trying to be snarky (I have all the respect in the world for Robert) I just wanted to make certain I had not missed out on “Clovis- The Quiet Gonzales” or somthing of the sort.

  4. Greg Flowers

    But actually it seems (and I loaned my copy of Pierce’s biography of the paper to a friend who is writing a book on the assassination so I can’t check it) that perhaps there was a third brother who got involved with the paper after Ambrose and N.G.; but old age does terrible things to the memory and I’m not certin.

  5. Dianne Chinnes

    According to PALMETTOS AND OAKS by Robert A. Pierce there were three Gonzales brothers: Ambrose E., N. G. and William E.

  6. Brad Warthen

    Thanks, Dianne. And yes, I see that there were three.
    So Robert was right all along. Of course.
    William Elliot Gonzales joined the paper in 1891, its first year. The other was Ambrose, a name that continues in the family to the latest generation.


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