7 Years and Still Living On…

Seven years ago today, my grandfather passed away.  It was definitely a difficult transition for me, for my family, and truly for the world (as I have heard from literally thousands of people over the past seven years).

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However, he lived, contributed, experienced, and learned for nearly 90 years.  At 89 he once told me that he was still amazed that he got to do what he loved to do all of his life, even make a living at it along the way. 

During his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Academy Award 13 years ago he quoted Robert Frost in conveying how he felt about his life:

My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.

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I know that he achieved that in his life.  Truly a remarkable achievement for anyone and perhaps a goal that more of us (or even all of us) could bring into focus. 

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him.  Whether it was with a single person in hallway on one of our trips, at a dinner with friends or family, or in front a group of 500 or 10,000, he mesmerized by giving his full attention to being with that person or those people right then and there.  I still meet people consistently who convey the memories of the one time they met Chuck and their special connection with him.

I think what I felt seven years ago was that there was a gaping hole left by him not being in our lives.  But as I heard so many wonderful memories from so many people over the following weeks, months, and years, that I truly feel that he continues to live on through our memories, through his films, through his art, and through all that continue to be insprired by his genius.

Just this morning my daughter, Samantha, came into the room and asked, "What ya doin', Doc?"  Yes, he lives on.

Now or sometime in the future I would enjoy hearing any of your favorite memories of Chuck, his films, or inspirations you may have attained from him or his work.

Happy memories to all of you!

Craig

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5 thoughts on “7 Years and Still Living On…

  1. Larry Levine

    When I met Chuck on the Great Lawn in Central Park, he projected a presence like no one I’ve met before or since. This particular section of park is a very BIG place, but that day it seemed very small beside the great Charles M. Jones.
    Chuck’s work continues to entertain & inspire, not many people leave behind such a lasting legacy.

    Reply
  2. Leigh Yetsko

    The first thing that greets me when I enter my house is a cel with those 2 chubby, curly-haired, sticky-faced German tots, happily slurping ice cream from the stew pot they’re sitting in and joyously proclaiming “Is gud, ya? YAH, is gud!” . . . I still giggle at it. Who couldn’t?
    Last year I learned the date of my birth is the same as the date of Chuck’s passing; obviously not my first choice of things to have in common with someone I’m so fond of, and it made me sad to think about it. Until this past weekend. On Sunday we found ourselves in the gallery in Orange and it turned out to be a fitting place to be. The sadness of the remembrance gave way to giggles at the furry and feathered faces in various stages of slapstick along the walls. I realized that I will always remember Chuck on my birthday, not because of the sad coincidence of the date but because of what he gave me. The giggles.
    Craig, your grandfather was a treasure. Thank you for continuing to share your memories with us. Is gud!

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  3. Silvia Lisart

    Greetings Mr. Kausen,
    I’ve just discovered today this blog, and the only thing I can say is that you’re doing a fantastic work, and I’m sure that Chuck Himself would be very proud of you!
    As 22-years old college student, I admire the work of your Grandfather since I was just a baby, and -thanks to timeless cartoons that I loved like the Road Runner and the Coyote- I learnt the real Joy that Drawing can give and being more creative in my life!
    I’d like so much to meet him one day, unfortunately I couldn’t… but still today when -for example- I’m admiring a series of lithographies, like the “Tosca” or maybe some limited edition glicèe or old model sheets of the Coyote, I still can feel as he never left us actually.
    Silvia

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  4. Juan Manuel

    Hi Craig, great memories you have!
    I have always admired the work of your grandfather: line, style, awesome ideas and characters, totally inspired for me and many artists in the world. Although I didn’t know him personally I want to share with you that I was surprised few years ago when I saw an animated series in internet called Timberwolf. I remember that I search about it and I read that Mr.Jones was involved to the project. I was very impressed that he was upgraded to new media and that he learned day by day. Cheers from South America

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  5. Greg Gonzales

    1983-1993 I worked for the NBC affiliate in New Orleans. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jones when he came to New Orleans to donate his time to the annual Children’s Hospital Telethon. At the time I was a studio camera operator. One day in the studio Mr. Jones and I were speaking of family and I told him I had two young children and mentioned their names. He seemed to be truly interested in what I had to say. I was a young man at the time and impressed with his genuine sense of care. About two weeks after the telethon I received a package at the station. Inside that package was a sketch of Bugs Bunny standing behind a studio camera that had the call signs WDSU on it’s side. Bugs was wearing a head set with his hands on the controls. There was a short message next to Bugs that read ” To Tara and Hutch, love Bugs Bunny and Chuck Jones”. That sketch has been hanging in my daughter Tara’s room since the day I brought it home. Thank you Chuck Jones. I will never forget.

    Reply

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