Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Sparky

In our family, Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon strip is highly revered as genius.  I think I can safely say we are mildly obsessed with all things "Peanuts."  Don't believe me?  Go to our "Meet the Innkeepers" profile page and check out the photo taken in an art gallery just after our impulse purchase.  Our family dog, Snoopy, (of a child's stuffed nature) has been our family dog for over twenty-five years.  He is a little gray and isn't quite as frisky as he used to be, but he is well-loved. Over the years we have collected enough Peanuts ornaments that I can literally decorate our entire Christmas tree with them. Lunch boxes, drinking glasses, mugs, books, dolls, we have them all. And if you haven't already noticed it, there is a link on this very blog (actually two) to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California; a must see stop if you're ever in Santa Rosa. And although we are not related, my maiden name is Schulz (same spelling) and I'm pretty sure there is some karma goin' on somewhere!

I've lost count of  how many Peanuts DVD's we actually own, but it doesn't matter because even though we could pull out a DVD at anytime, we never miss watching a Peanuts television special. And true to tradition last night we once again watched Peanuts: Be My Valentine Charlie Brown, and sympathized with Charlie Brown not receiving a single Valentine's Day card.  Which, considering the way my mind works, led me to once again do some reading about our favorite cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. I smiled when I found the following excerpt from Wikipedia. 

"Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was born in Germany, and Dena Halverson, who was Norwegian. His uncle called him "Sparky" after the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck's comic strip, Barney Google.

Schulz loved drawing and sometimes drew his family dog, Spike, who ate unusual things, such as pins and tacks. Schulz drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley's Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley's syndicated panel, captioned, "A hunting dog that eats pins, tacks and razor blades is owned by C. F. Schulz, St. Paul, Minn." and "Drawn by 'Sparky' (C.F. was his father, Carl Fred Schulz.)

Schulz attended St. Paul's Richard Gordon Elementary School, where he skipped two half-grades. When he was in first grade, his mother helped him get valentines for everybody in his class, so that nobody would be offended by not getting one; but he felt too shy to put them in the box at the front of the classroom, so he took them all home again to his mother."

For those not in the know, Spike, (as mentioned in the excerpt) is the name of Snoopy's brother who lives in the desert.  Can you name all of Snoopy's siblings? Just in case you didn't get a chance to sit back and watch this year, click on the link below and spend less than a minute watching Linus express his frustration for the unrequited love of his teacher.  It doesn't get any better.

Happy Valentine's Day Sparky!

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