you’re my hero, Charlie Brown
In my life, Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the gang never, ever went away. I’ve literally been a fan my entire life. My mom tells me my favorite toy when I was six months old was a Lucy doll. That vain and loud-mouthed girl rarely failed to make me laugh, and still gets me through the blues today.
Throughout my growing up years, I frequently spent my precious few dollars on the latest Peanuts book. Early on I giggled at Lucy, sitting on Schroeder’s front steps, saying, “It’s amazing how stupid you can be when you’re in love.”
Today, I have a t-shirt with that very picture. More than once I’ve worn it while shopping at Walmart and some poor young checkout girl sighs and says, “that’s so true.” Some things will never change.
Hence the beauty of Charles Schulz’ wonderful characters. They are universal and timeless. So many of the comic strips aren’t laugh-out-loud funny, and yet, they are, because they hit at the heart of who we are, our dreams and vulnerabilities, our best and worst selves, all wrapped up in the innocence of a group of kids from a past era.
A friend of mine can’t bear to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” because of the rejection, but I love it for Linus’ simple reading from the Gospel of Luke and the children joining together in the end to celebrate Charlie Brown’s poor little tree.
Somehow Charlie Brown never was a truly sad character to me. He had Linus, Sally and Peppermint Patty, among others, and Snoopy needed him, not just for the food, but for the love.
I was wearing one of my favorite Peanuts’ t-shirts while shopping not long ago, and the store manager told me he’d been a fan all of his life, too. In fact, when he was a child, he watched the Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day special and felt so sorry for Charlie Brown, he sent him a valentine. In return, Charles Schulz sent him an original hand-drawn picture of Snoopy.
Wow. He still has it, and I told to keep it, it’s worth something. You couldn’t pay me enough for something like that, I’d treasure it all my days.
I treasure everything Peanuts I own, as small as my collection has become. I cherish that band of earnest characters plowing their way through the world and making it all work.
I’m glad I live in a world where the Peanuts gang just keeps hanging out.
And for those of you wondering about the new movie, here’s a review by a trusted fellow blogger & Peanuts fan: