Thirsty

It took Mort Walker, who created Hi and Lois in 1954, almost seven years to find a permanent next-door neighbor for Hiram Flagston.  An early attempt was a cigar smoking lay-about named George who first appeared in 1958, but he didn’t stick around for long.

Hi and Lois daily strip, 1958.

Hi and Lois daily strip, July 19, 1958.

Then, on June 9, 1961, a rotund, fun-loving, co-worker named “Thirsty” – short for Thurston – was introduced.  He started as a golfing partner for Hi but soon took on a more important role in the strip.

Hi and Lois daily strip, June 9, 1961.

Hi and Lois daily strip, June 9, 1961.

Thirsty is lazy and irresponsible.  He drinks and smokes.  He takes advantage of his wife.  He is everything that Hi is not.  Thirsty makes Hi look good by comparison.  He’s the perfect friend.

Hi and Lois daily strip, July 28, 1961.

Hi and Lois daily strip, July 28, 1961.

In the beginning, Thirsty was a heavy drinker and a chain smoker, but has cleaned up his act in recent years.  His bulbous nose was shaded to indicate his over-indulgence, but in the 1990s the lines were removed to show that he had reformed.  Although he smokes a cigar on occasion, he no longer has a cigarette perpetually hanging out of his mouth.

Thirsty/Thurston redesign drawings by Chance Browne, 1996.

Thirsty/Thurston redesign drawings by Chance Browne, 1996.

Although his appearance has been slightly altered, Thirsty will never change. Even with his stubborn, out-moded ways, it’s still impossible to dislike the guy. Hi feels good about himself when his pal is around.  Thirsty is the kind of man women love to hate and men hate to love.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, November 16, 2003.

Hi and Lois Sunday page, November 16, 2003.

– Brian Walker

Family Suites – Part Two

On February 23, 2000, Chance Browne and I, with our wives and children, attended the opening celebration of the Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida.  Each of our families stayed in a Hi and Lois themed Kidsuite with episodes of the 1999 road trip reproduced on the walls.

This facility was owned and operated by Terry Whaples and Jim Olson.   One of their partners was the former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn, who was at the dedication ceremony.  Here is a photo of us with this great American hero.

Brian Walker, John Glenn and Chance Browne at the opening.

Brian Walker, John Glenn and Chance Browne at the opening with owners Terry, John and Henri.

Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort is located on twenty-four acres, one mile from the entrance to Disney World.  In addition to the Kidsuites, there are other specialized accommodations. Classic Suites feature two full-size bedrooms and Residential Suites are for long-term guests.  Cinema Suites offer large screen TVs and theater-style recliners.  The Honeymoon Suite has a heart-shaped whirlpool tub.  Business Suites incorporate a private office with a computer terminal, internet access and a printer.

The Walkers and Brownes also went on a VIP tour of Universal Studios Theme Park and took a safari through Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.  Cartoonists don’t get perks like this very often, so we really took advantage of our all-expenses paid family vacation.

After we returned home, the owners asked us if we could create a few special strips to promote the various types of suites at their resort.  We gladly came up with some ideas and submitted them for approval.  Here are the four completed strips that we sent in gratitude for the hospitality of our gracious hosts.HolidayInn8

HolidayInn9

The Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort was renamed Nickelodeon Suites Resort and is currently in operation.  I don’t know if they still have Hi and Lois Kidsuites with our strips on the walls. If we ever get some grandkids, maybe we’ll go back and see.

– Brian Walker

Family Suites – Part One

A few months after the 1999 road trip story appeared in newspapers we received a call from the Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort in Orlando Florida.  An acquaintance of one of the owners had seen the third daily strip in our series (reprinted below) and they thought we had summed up the exact experience that was the initial inspiration for the design of their new facility.

Hi and Lois daily strip, August 11, 1999.

Hi and Lois daily strip, August 11, 1999.

The concept of the Family Suites Resort is to provide a multi-room space for families on vacation.  The kids get their own room with bunk beds, video games and a TV, while the parents have a separate master bedroom with more privacy.  The resort also offers complimentary breakfast, a convenience store, a fitness center, a game room, karaoke, multiple playgrounds and close proximity to the theme parks.

The kids bedrooms are colorfully decorated with a variety of themes including endangered species and astronauts or characters like Tony the Tiger and the Coca Cola Polar Bear.

The Flagston family was also featured in some of the Kidsuites with reproductions of strips from the 1999 road trip.  This is what the art on the walls looked like:HolidayInn1HolidayInn2HolidayInn3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In February 2000, Chance and I and our families went to Orlando as guests at the opening celebration.  Tune in next week for more about this exciting event.

Here’s a link to an article about the Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort:

http://www.familytravelnetwork.com/articles/rubin_holidayinn.asp

– Brian Walker