On this date in 1950, the first “Peanuts” comic appeared. And around this date a year ago, I made my first road trip to Santa Rosa, California. The two facts are very much intertwined. Santa Rosa, the seat of Sonoma County, about an hour north of San Francisco, is where you can find the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
There are a handful of examples of historical pop culture that make me feel like all is okay on our troubled planet. They offer such a snippet of innocence or optimism that all the worries of the world melt away. I feel this warm glow when I come across old episodes of “The Honeymooners,” for instance. Or an afternoon baseball game narrated by ageless Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully. Or when I hear Bob Marley sing, “Every little thing’s gonna be alright.”
Most of all, I get this from “Peanuts.” They’re not always all that funny, those four-panel comic strips. But as Schulz himself once said, “A cartoonist is someone who draws the same thing day after day without repeating himself.” In other words, it’s not easy. Always, though, “Peanuts” comic strips evoke an indescribable feeling of purity, of incorruptible childhood. When you come across a drawing of Snoopy and Charlie Brown holding hands, their necks craned toward the heavens and their smiles wide, as they dance like nobody’s watching, well, how can you not grin?Read More›