TICONDEROGA - Stan Burdick routinely gives tours of the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum.
Recent visitors, though, proved special.
A bus full of Burdick's elementary school classmates and friends made the trip from the Utica area to Ti this summer.
"It's been more than 75 years since I saw some of you," a smiling Burdick said as former classmates arrived. "This is wonderful. It's a grand reunion."
Burdick, who admits to being "something over 80" years old, attended elementary school in Leonardsville. His family moved when he was a child.
The visit came about when one of Burdick's classmates, Dick Allen, discovered a Times of Ti article about the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum a few years ago. He recognized Burdick's name and mentioned it to friends in their senior citizens club. Soon there was a plan to visit their old classmate.
"I got a call, unexpectedly, from Dick Allen," Burdick said. "He asked if I knew who he was; I did. He told me an entire group wanted to come up.
"I never expected this," he continued. "It just came out of the blue. I was just flabbergasted."
Allen said the Leonardsville senior club is always looking for new adventures, so a trip to Ticonderoga seemed like a good idea.
"It was a small school and Stan was one of us," Allen said. "His family moved, but we always kinda followed Stan. Ruth (senior club member Ruth McNamara Johnson) even had a square dance magazine with an article on Stan."
Before giving a tour of the Ti Cartoon Museum, Burdick told his classmates about his career and posed for photos.
Burdick is a long-time editorial cartoonist who has amassed a large collection of political, comic, Disney, fantasy and other art that is now displayed in the museum. "There are stories to every cartoon," said Burdick, who began his collection in 1960. "Eventually my wife (Cathie) told me something had to go. I had had stuff in the attic, the basement, the barn. It was either the cartoons or me."
Burdick stayed at home and created the cartoon museum.
A cartoonist, Burdick also had a career in square dancing. He and his wife published a square dance magazine for 22 years and he became a well-known square dance caller, calling dances in all 50 states, every Canadian province and 20 foreign countries.
"I'm so pleased you took the time to find me and visit," Burdick said to his guests. "This is great fun."
After the tour Burdick invited the entire bus tour to his home for refreshments.