They call him 'Sketch'
Dr. Carlton Eddy, who studies infertility and assisted reproductive technology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, recently was featured on the television program "Texas Country Reporter with Bob Phillips." No, he was not featured for his studies of oocytes or antral follicles. The cameras instead focused on his other pastime - naval aviation art.
The TV program opened with Dr. Eddy painting at an easel on the deck of the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi. Because of poor eyesight he was never in the U.S. Navy, but he grew up in a Navy family and never lost interest in flying and naval aviation, he said.
"If you're in the presence of what you're painting, that's far superior," he said on the Lexington. "This is edifying. Everything has to have the absolute ring of authenticity; every little widget and vein and detail has to be correct."
Phillips noted that Dr. Eddy is called "Sketch" by some sailors, including his son, Ethan, who served aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. While Ethan was in the Navy, Dr. Eddy sent him letters in sketched envelopes. The intricately designed envelopes livened up mail call on the aircraft carrier. "They became full-blown, signed pieces of art. It was a good way to keep in touch and to celebrate what Ethan was doing," Dr. Eddy said.
As his reputation has grown, sailors have come to see Sketch as an advocate and the Navy has begun displaying his paintings in its district headquarters.
The program concluded: "He may never have flown jets or sailed the high seas, but Carlton Eddy is serving his country with every brushstroke of paint. And somewhere in the mind of this artist, there is a plane launching off a carrier into battle, and stenciled on the side of that plane in block letters is the call sign 'Sketch.'"
Dr. Eddy said his wife cried when she saw it, and that he could not have been more pleased with the end result.
The program aired March 3 and 4 in Texas cities, and he began receiving calls after the first airing. People called to say how much they enjoyed it, to affirm their patriotism and even to commission artwork.
Just as he has for years in the laboratory, Sketch Eddy continues to make his mark on the canvas and in Navy hearts.