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Jack Ohman remembers Rex Babin

It’s been a year since Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Rex Babin passed. His friend and successor Jack Ohman penned a poignant piece on the anniversary of his death and following his footsteps in Sacramento:

I don?t know what I believe in, honestly, in terms of heaven, or hell, or afterlife, or anything. I describe myself as a faith seeker. But I can tell you that every single day I think about Rex. I am sitting in his chair. It is worn from his use. I sit at his drawing table. I turn on the same lamp. I look at his books. I have his phone number. I use his paper. I see his pens. I have a drawing from him, inscribed to me, hanging over my desk so that I can read it: ?For Jack Ohman, who accepts only the finest craftsmanship.? When I read that, every day, I take it as a challenge from him to me: do your best, do what we talked about all the time ( craftsmanship, and more), and enjoy your life.

I cried a few times when I started here, privately. Not loud. Not long. But I felt him around. Sometimes, I can hear his voice telling me something or using a nickname that I can’t share. I dine with his wife. I play with his son. I am friends with his friends. I talk with his colleagues. I live blocks from his house. I live my own life not as his, but certainly in rough conjunction with it.

Community Comments

#1 Drew Litton
April/2/2013
@ 9:30 am

Beautifully written, Jack. I know Rex is proud of you sitting in that chair. You are THE guy for that job. And Thanks, Alan, for sharing this.

#2 Steve Artley
April/4/2013
@ 5:55 pm

Nicely done. Jack gave a moving tribute to Rex at the AAEC convention last fall.

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