COMMENTARY: There are times when we look around at the beauty that surrounds us here in Yates County and say to ourselves, “How did we get so lucky to have such a beautiful community?”

But look beyond the natural beauty, and see the deeper allure that lies in the people who live, work and play here.

We at The Chronicle-Express are so proud to be able to showcase one of these beautiful people every week, and now to see that he is marking his 1,000th cartoon for his hometown community is stunning to say the least.

Gary Pinneo’s cartoons never fail to bring a nod of recognition and a smile when leafing through the pile of police reports, bowling scores, letters to the editor, dean’s list announcements, and other news items piled in the inbox on the front counter in The Chronicle-Express office. It’s a welcome beginning to two days of deadlines.

Gary’s “Positively Penn Yan” take on local, and sometimes national events helps us put news into perspective, and reminds us of the better things in life here in Yates County. He cheers us up with reminders of community events, recollections of our local history, and observations of what makes this community a great place to live. He comments on bigger trends that are sometimes troubling.

“Gary is a thoughtful, talented, and passionate local artist who has contributed much color and commentary to The Chronicle-Express’s editorial page, sports section, and community,” says Chronicle-Express Publisher Karen Morris.

Coming up with a unique idea each week has to be a challenge enough, but then finding a way to communicate that idea through a simple line drawing is a talent that our readers are so lucky to see each week.

While political cartoonists whose work comments on national and world events can seriously poke at public officials, they aren’t likely to run into their subjects in the local restaurant or grocery store. Gary has avoided confrontations over his work over the years because he’s found ways to take a positive spin. That’s an approach we think more of us should adopt in his honor.

Thank you Gary for 23 years of a positive look at Penn Yan and the world. Your talent is a gift we will always cherish.

— G.S. Chamberlain