December 10, 2007

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

We arrived in Santa Rosa, located in the vast wine country of Sonoma County on Saturday and will be spending the week here. It is kind of a coming home for the Snoopy Blimp as Santa Rosa was the home of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. From my understanding, this is the first time Snoopy 2 has made its way up here. On my day off today, I made my way to the Charles M. Schulz Museum to get a better appreciation for the man who created Charlie Brown and friends.

It was a short walk to the museum which is located right next to the ice arena he owned and had breakfast at every morning. Sparky, as he was nicknamed, was an avid hockey player who played every Tuesday night with friends and hosted a yearly tournament of NHL retirees. In the museum, there were a limited amount of areas where they allowed photography, but I still got quite a few pictures. The highlights include the giant mosaic of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that is made of different Peanuts comic strip tiles and the various statues on the grounds. The studio areas had numerous original comic strips with information about Sparky and how he related his life to his work. In an interview I watched with him in the theater, he said that he is the only person that drew or came up with story ideas for the comic strip in all of its 50 years. According to him, all anyone has to do is read his comics to get to know him. After watching a Charlie Brown special that happened to be on TV tonight, I was really surprised how much I could relate to what I saw today at the museum.

Needless to say, reading comic strips all day is one of the best museum visit experiences I've ever had. Seeing the different strips through all of the years, you can see how truly timeless the Peanuts characters are.