Skeezicks, by Foster Morse Follett (1911)

Foster Morse Follett was born on 11 April 1878 in Sandusky, Ohio. His father, Foster Valentine Follett, died when he was 10 years old. His younger sister and brother had succumbed previously to diphtheria, leaving him an only child to be raised by his widowed mother, Portia Follett. His formal education never went beyond high school. At 19, Follett went to Cleveland to work as a stenographer and studied art at night. Ten years later he married Nettie Bell who was 4 years his senior. In 1898, shortly after the wedding, Foster and Nettie went to Europe for a year's study in Paris and Munich. On their return they settled in New York City where his career began and they had their first child, Helen.

Follett's work was published regularly in early 1900s N.Y. papers. It ran in The New York Herald, The World, Life, Judge and The Saturday Evening Post. He made political cartoons and the comic strips 'Tidy Teddy', 'Skeezicks', 'The Kid' and 'Private Conscience' and was an active part of the newspaper world at that time. Famed columnist Don Marquis was a close and congenial friend. As a member of the Salmagundi Club, his associates were people who were well known in the artistic life of New York.

As an early animator, Foster was offered a job with the new Disney Studios in California, but was unwilling to uproot his young family and move West. One of his protégés became head animator for all of Disney's First films.

Foster M. Follett was a heavy smoker and developed a cough that resulted in an enlarged heart. In 1938 his children urged he and his wife to go to Florida for the winter. Neither of them were good drivers. Netti was at the wheel in Virginia when the car went off the road and hit a tree. A woman walking along the road found them and went to a nearby farmhouse to get help. At that time there were no ambulances in rural areas. Netti had two broken legs and Foster had no outward signs of injury. A week later, he suddenly died in a Richmond hospital, to the surprise of everyone. Netti died seven years later, a frail and guilt-driven widow.

Tidy Teddy, by Foster Morse Follett
'Tidy Teddy'.

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