To all the readers who shared some laughs with me and "Claude and Ernie" for the past 28 years:

You are the reason it caught on and remained for so long. I thought it would be around for a while because when I went to Keith and Martha Anderson (owners of the Lake Country Echo at the time); their son, Pete (the publisher at the time); and Lou Hoglund (the editor at the time) in the fall of 1992, I had enough material for the next two years.

I had no idea that 10 years later, I would still have some of that material left. That was because of the reader participation in the early years. Lots and lots of readers sent in funny stuff to help me out, and the "bob of the bobber" idea came from a cartoonist named Jimmy Hatlo, who published in the 1950s and '60s. He gave people credit by giving them a tip of the "Hatlo Hat."

So the last "bob of the bobber" goes to my wife, Barbara, for taking over during my hospital stays, my faithful readers, the staff at the Echo Journal, Claude Schmidt and the late Ernie Musolf, and a very special thank you for the written tribute by Sheila Holley that she posted on Facebook. That was really special, Sheila.

Now I will turn it all over to Frank Haggerty and his cartoon, "Up North w/Leroy," published on the Echo Journal Opinion page each week. Anyone who can come up with a funny lookin' dog and refer to it as a "coyotepoo" has my kinda humor. Keep it goin', Frank.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Signing off: Dan Gola

Dan Gola is the cartoonist behind Claude & Ernie, which was published weekly in the Echo Journal for the past 28 years. Gola recently announced he would no longer publish the cartoon because of ill health. The Echo Journal thanks him for his years of providing this great cartoon.