A Portrait of the Artist Caleb Waldron — as a Young Cartoonist

(CLICK on this cartoon to see it enlarged.)

y name is Caleb Waldron. I was raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and attended the local Community Day Charter School — a middle school with half of its classrooms housed in the former mansion of the first mayor of Lawrence and the other half in a former convent.
    You couldn’t make this stuff up.
    The combination of stained glass, mahogany circular staircases, and marble fireplaces created a learning environment whose beauty was rivaled only by the enthusiasm of our teachers. The school was occupied by 100 students at a time. Small classrooms and class sizes were a norm in my education.   
    For high school, I attended the 300-student Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. There I met Mr. Richard Erickson, or “Mr. E.” He’s a cryptic, good-natured, dry-humored art teacher who encouraged me to carry a sketchbook at all times. “Quirky” would be the best single word to describe Mr. E, if any one word can truly do him justice — and I write this with sincere admiration. Because of him, I write and sketch in a notebook constantly. It is now something that I have to do; I feel most comfortable when I observe the funny and meaningful situations around me this way.
    There are moments that I have to record, because I want to have a better understanding of their significance. I learn not only through my sketching and writing -– but in the feedback I get from people who view these reflections. I welcome feedback positive to negative –- and anywhere in between.
    I first started publishing cartoons in the school newspaper during my sophomore year of high school and continued up through my sophomore year at Kalamazoo College. I currently have high hopes for the “Kosmopolitan” art and literary magazine as a venue for displaying my work. I’m also interested in comedy writing. Overall, my goal is to get as much feedback as I can as I keep trying to capture the general craziness that surrounds my person.
    I am an only child. My parents are Denise Vanvooren, a native of Massachusetts, and Craig Waldron, a native of the Buckeye State.
    As an only child, I’ve developed a knack for entertaining myself with items and actions that wouldn’t otherwise be considered entertaining. I can marvel at the wonders of a throwing dart, or a night-light, or a washing machine for hours on end. Whether this is a trait common among only children or just something that is a particular gift tossed in my direction, I’m not sure. Either way, I am satisfied with the results.
    Although my grandparents on both sides were extraordinarily Catholic, I was not raised according with any particular religious affiliation. I’m a sort of “mixed bag” when it comes to the ethereal and its beliefs. The half-dozen of my closest friends are fundamentalist Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Jewish, and Unitarian.
    I’m Agnostic. I honestly don’t know what will happen after I stop breathing, and I’ve grown comfortable with that notion. But I do think that everyone’s got a piece of the puzzle, so to speak, and the bigger picture is best viewed through the lens of multiple spiritual perspectives.
    Anyways, thanks for reading, and I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback.
    Caleb L. Waldron

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