Although Sid was king when it came to surprising folks, Castine got the better of him one time — arranging for him to toss out the first pitch at a Montreal Expos game when Cleveland was in town.
Typically, Castine said, the person given that honor just goes out and throws the ball.
"Not Sid," he said.
That first pitch became a production, as Sid cleaned his cleats, checked the catcher's signs with binoculars ...
"He spent three or four minutes at it," Castine laughed at the memory. "He was always looking to get as much fun out of everything that he could."
The spin-off from that adventure was the First Pitch Hall of Fame that Sid established — and the baseball cards he created for himself and gave to friends as souvenirs.
A GENTLE MAN
No one talks about Sid's artistic skill, his infectious sense of humor without mentioning the purity of his spirit.
"He loved life and everything in it," said Bob Grady, former editor at the Press-Republican. "A hundred years from now, people will see his drawings of Richie Rich, Little Lotta and Champy and say, 'There was a nice man, a gentle man — somebody I'd like to have known.'
"And they'll be right."
"He was a very giving person," Klink said.
Sid was not just a world-class illustrator, but a man beloved by everyone who knew him, Essex Town Supervisor Sharon Boisen said.
"Sid was a wonderful person. This is a loss not just to the community of Essex, but to the North Country itself. Our hearts go out to his family and friends," she said.
"Sid should have been a lot more renowned. Looking at his work, you can realize that."