KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Some people retire - but they don't really retire. They keep finding ways to share their talents. Charlie Daniel is one of those guys.
For more than six decades, Charlie shared his talents in newsprint. First at the Knoxville Journal and then at the Knoxville News-Sentinel. His cartoons appeared on the editorial page and the sports page.
The characters in Rosy's Diner became part of East Tennessee. Now some of his cartoons that kept us in stitches are stitched together in his custom cartoon quilt.
"Most of them are for charity. This is the Baptist Health System Labor of Love Tennis. I did that for years and I did the Volunteer Ministry Race," Daniel said.
These cartoons didn't make the paper.
Daniel created t-shirts for local charities that sold them at their events.
For years, he and his wife, Patsy, stored them in boxes.
"Patsy wanted to make a quilt out of it and I said sure, sure, sure and so we kept putting it off and putting it off. And then she told our friend Lucinda about it and Lucinda knows Laura and they got together," he said.
Laura is Laura Metz, an award-winning quilter and quilting instructor.
"It's been really fun working with him. He and Patsy are both just really sweet people," Metz said.
Making this quilt took 75-hours. She carefully cut out each cartoon, stitched them into squares, added batting and a bottom layer -- a real quilt - not just t-shirts sewn together.
There will be a second quilt -- this one made of folded t-shirts.
"They started pulling out t-shirts and realized they had a lot more and they have two children so they decided to do two," Metz said.
He will give one to his daughter and one to his son.
"We had to pick 25 more because she's doing another quilt. And there is still, there's enough for another quilt after that. It's a lot of t-shirts," Daniel said.
And each shirt has a story to it.
"This is when the Journal went from the morning paper to the afternoon paper and we did the t-shirt of Dracula saying good evening."
Daniel drew his last cartoon for the newspaper almost 6 months ago. But this 89-year-old hasn't slowed down.
"This is the year following when Tennessee won the National Championship and I had Smokey saying encore, encore," he recounted.
He's put together a fundraising project for the Volunteer Ministry Center. The Big Orange Coloring Book. It should come out by the end of this month, in time for football season
"I think I started in '59 doing Vol Football cartoons. This is a collection of those," he said. "I kind of re-did them in black and white. And then we'll sell the book and people will furnish their own orange crayons and color, and so, hopefully, better inside the lines than I could ever do."
Daniel turns 90 this December. He said he's not planning a big party...He'll save that for birthday number 100.