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Katy England Katy England
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What a character!

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What a character! photo courtesy of Katy England

Caricature artist at the Filibuster Lounge

BANGOR Do you ever wonder what people see in you? An easy way to find out is to see the caricature artist who will sketch you out (in a good way) at the Filibuster Lounge at the Best Western's White House Inn, 155 Littlefield Ave, in Bangor (right behind Dysart's).

If you haven't been to the lounge in the basement of the Whitehouse Inn, this is a perfect chance to start a tradition. Kate Tuck, who recently took over management of the lounge, is friendly and engaging with new customers and regular guests. She greets many people by name, and makes you feel at home quickly. She has plans to bring back some fun pub games. And the free caricatures are part of her plans for infusing fun back into the Filibuster.

Chuck Carter is the caricature artist. He draws portraits of customers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or however long his talents are required). He got the bug when he saw some of the caricature artists at Disney and asked how they got into the business. They told him to bring in some of his art, and when he did, they hired him on the spot. After that he has worked in several fields, including designing parts of the iconic video game 'Myst' and doing science illustrations for 'National Geographic.' He is currently participating in the Big Gig, hoping to raise enough money for another video game project.

When working on drawing a patron, he tries to find a feature that really defines him or her.

'You need to pick out the character,' he said. 'I can get into a groove. If I have some beer in me, I can go nuts.'

The pictures are wonderful. A caricature artist walks a fine line that borders humor, insight and absurdity. Carter does a wonderful job finding a person's character and reflecting it boldly, with warmth and a spark of humor that makes you happy. Well worth checking out.

Tuck is clearly a people person, and she makes everyone feel welcome. One of the more personal touches is the food she cooks and shares with pub-goers (we had homemade baked beans and kielbasa with a side of buttered cornbread). She will take requests from her patrons for items like the beans or chili, and also brings in fare that's a little out of the ordinary, like goat stew.

'They even tried squid once, but I didn't tell them it was squid until after. They liked it,' she said.

Prior to becoming the manager of the Filibuster, Tuck worked there once a week, while spending the rest of her time caring for Dennis Stubbs, a man who was stricken with polio when he was 7-years-old and made use of an iron lung until he passed away of cancer last year (for more information about Stubbs and his touching life, read the wonderful story written by Meg Haskell for the Bangor Daily News).

For more information about the Filibuster Lounge, find them on Facebook. Pop in for a caricature every Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m.

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