Ricardo Cate, a budding New Mexican cartoonist, was in Iola last week for two purposes. First, to visit old friends from his days as a student at Allen County Community College. Second, to promote his career as a cartoonist.
Cate ran track for ACCC under the recruitment of Roger Campbell. Cate graduated in 1984.
“Iola hasn’t changed that much, except that you now have a Walmart,” Cate said. “I didn’t think Iola would ever have a Walmart. And what is this I hear about that being your only grocery? When I was in school I remember several, including a little neighborhood grocery we went to.”
Cate planned to attend the University of Nebraska after ACCC, but his family’s finances altered those plans. Instead he attended school in New Mexico, and after a year joined the Marines. After his discharge, Cate earned an education degree to teach social science in secondary schools.
His interest in cartooning was piqued after a visit to an art show in California.
That led to a portfolio of several hundred “Without Reservations” cartoons, focusing on Native Americans, Cate’s heritage, and general Western themes. His cartoons are featured in the Santa Fe New Mexican and the online Native American newspaper Reznet.
On his trip he has visited several newspapers in Oklahoma and left Iola Wednesday en route to Illinois. He also will hawk his cartoons in the Dakotas and Colorado before returning home to Santo Domingo Pueblo late this month.
A book of his cartoons has been published and his greatest wish is to have “Without Reservations” syndicated nationally.
“It is my hope that my cartoons, which appeal to all ages and races alike, will someday bridge the gap between Native Americans and other cultures by offering an inside look into a people who are not as stoic as depicted by Hollywood,” said Cate.
Cate also dabbles in filmmaking.
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