On the final day of our time at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey, we had two big drawing sessions. The base had a Facebook page on which photos were being posted of our activities, and word-of-mouth buzz was building. Our first session was at the Youth Center where kids as young as 4 came up to us for drawings.
My favorite remembrance at the Youth Center was when a little 4-year-old girl looked at the paper I was about to draw on and said, “That paper is too big.” I said, “Don’t you want a nice big drawing?” She said, “No, I want the drawing on THAT paper,” as she pointed to the pad that Rick Kirkman was using next to me. Then she didn’t want it in pencil as I had been doing, so I had to break out the pens. To top it off, she insisted it be of Doc McStuffins, a character from the Disney Channel I had never drawn before. So after someone printed me a picture from the internet, that little girl got herself the one and only small inked drawing of Doc McStuffins that I have ever done! She probably still wasn’t pleased with it and took it home where she colored it herself.
Our second drawing session later that night required returning to the scene of my attempted flight the night before – the bowling alley (see yesterday’s post for an explanation). I kept my back to the lanes so as to not suffer any flashbacks.
I do wish to mention one thing we saw in Turkey of which I unfortunately do not have a photo. During one of our afternoons on Incirlik Air Base, several of us entered a store run by Turks. As we were looking at the various local tchotchkes, we came across a bin of framable pictures printed on canvas. One image was a sepia photograph of New York City with the Twin Towers still intact in it. Photoshopped in from all angles were about twenty airliners diving into the city. The image sent chills up and down our spines. The feelings folks in that part of the world have towards America were VERY clear in that one image meant to be hung on someone’s wall as art. It was no wonder that we were restricted to base while in Adana. If local shopkeepers were brazen enough to stock merchandise like that in their store on a military base largely populated by Americans, the hostility we could have faced in town could have been amplified.
Well, all good things must come to an end, and early on our final morning we were driven to the airport to wing our way home to the States. It also was our one chance to see the town. As with the other countries, we had arrived at night. So, our early morning drive provided us with the chance to take a few snapshots of the area as we zipped through it.
Thanks for following along with my latest adventure. Thank you to the National Cartoonists Society for putting together a great group of guys to make the journey, and thank you to the USO for sending us. I welcome the opportunity to do it again sometime!
If you would like to see more about what the USO does for our troops, and if you might like to donate to their efforts, please visit their website by CLICKING HERE!