homepage logo

Former BE man gives Gov. Scott Walker a gift

By Staff | Aug 23, 2015

Former Blue Earth resident Joe Engesser is pictured, presenting a cartoon he created as a gift to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during a Walker for President campaign stop at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul last week.

Not everyone gets to meet a presidential candidate. And, if you do, generally you just get a quick handshake and a politician’s smile.

For former Blue Earth resident (and member of the Blue Earth High School class of 1983) Joe Engesser, it was much more than that.

Last week Tuesday, Engesser met up with Republican presidential candidate hopeful and current Wisconsin governor Scott Walker at a pub in St. Paul.

Gov. Walker was speaking at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul at a gathering for the Minnesota Jobs Coalition.

Engesser, a part-time cartoonist whose work has appeared in the Faribault County Register in the past, decided to surprise Walker with a gift.

A closeup of the cartoon that Engesser created just for the occasion is pictured.

“Since O’Gara’s is the one-time home of my idol, legendary cartoonist Charles M. Schultz, creator of Peanuts, I decided to draw Snoopy and Gov. Walker outside the O’Gara’s building,” Engesser explains. “It shows Walker wearing a ‘Scott Cool’ T-shirt (a take-off on Snoopy’s persona of Joe Cool) and Snoopy donning a ‘Walker 2016’ T-shirt.”

Engesser says Walker genuinely seemed to like it, chuckling and saying, “This is really cool!”

Engesser has been working at his cartooning hobby almost his entire life.

His parents, Dick and Dolly Engesser, Blue Earth, were always supportive of his cartooning aspirations when he was growing.

“My dad was a postal worker and my mother was a homeworker,” Engesser says. “My mom passed away a few years ago, but dad still lives in our house on Holland Street where they raised us nine children.”

After graduation from high school, Engesser obtained an AS degree in graphic arts from Iowa Lakes Community College in 1986. He has been a professional free-lance cartoonist ever since.

But, his full-time job is as a corrections deputy for the Dakota County Sheriff’s Department for the past 23 years.

Engesser, however, has managed to combine both of his vocations into one.

“My latest cartoon panel, ‘Good Time Served,’ is published monthly in American Jails magazine,” Engesser says. “It also appears in other magazines and in many other sheriff department newsletters throughout the country. I also give talks on humor found in corrections, as well.”

Engesser currently resides in Red Wing where he works on his cartoons at a studio in his home there.

One of the things Engesser is most proud of involves his hero, Charles Schultz.

“I have had one of my cartoons on display at the Charles M. Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California,” Engesser says. “And yes, that was really cool.”