See “Cardinal Rule” (a final version of this image) in 40×41: Midlife Crisis Postponed.

Like virtually every other child on this wondrous orb I grew up drawing, doodling, playing and creating without limits. Well, no walls. And no permanent marker.

This doodle was inspired by a red cardinal school mascot in my earliest years of school. There was a school-wide contest to design a t-shirt logo with the school mascot. I was in second grade, I think. My angular cardinal didn’t make the cut, and so it didn’t get emblazoned across the cool t-shirts that middle school (or high school) students silkscreened and sold to all of us.

I loved my t-shirt and don’t recall any regrets that my doodle had not been chosen. But I do remember being perfectly thrilled on Christmas morning when I unwrapped a pack of notecards emblazoned with my cardinal doodle. My mother, my favorite doodler, illustrator and cartoonist had found my drawing and secretly had the cards made. Recently she located a stash of remaining cards and passed them along to me.

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