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I could've used two other symbols for Charles Kaman's great contributions to his fellow human beings, a helicopter or a guitar, but the seeing eye dog has a special connection to me. 

I met him at a Fidelco Guide Dog function. The organization had asked me to draw the cover of a program for a fundraiser that was to be held at the Hartford Club. That's where I met Charlie (that's what everybody called him) and he was the nicest, most genuine person you could imagine. We talked about jazz and he invited me to visit his home studio. I accepted, but typical me, I never got around to it.

A few years ago, I mounted a one-man campaign to change the name of Bradley International Airport to the Charles Kaman International Airport. It never got anywhere because of politics, custom, tradition and blah, blah, blah. I still think it makes more sense to name an airport after an important aviation pioneer than a pilot who crashed his plane on a training mission, and I don't mean any disrespect to the Bradley family. But Charlie Kaman changed the world.

                               Tonight!

Boy, do we need some laughs right now. Here's the cure for cabin fever tomorrow! "Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart's 30 years at The Courant" at the Mark Twain House and Museum. It's a fundraiser for the Mark Twain House. Tickets are $15 per person. Reception from 5:30PM to 6:30 PM and the illustrated talk, suitable for all ages, is in the lecture hall at 6:45PM. For more information or to order tickets, call the Mark Twain House and Museum at 860-247-0998. 

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