When I was a kid, I had a thing for Linus van Pelt. Maybe I was drawn to his intelligent and serious nature. Or maybe it was because I, an insecure child, found comfort in the fact that I wasn’t alone in my obsession with my security blanket. Mostly, I admired his disregard for what others thought of his trademark security blanket – a rather ironic trait for someone needing a security blanket. Clearly, the fact that I carried a security blanket for much too long – we won’t discuss how long exactly – made us soul mates. Both of us were lost in a never-ending battle against our family members who were eager to relieve us of those beloved tattered pieces of cloth. Naturally, because Linus and I were kindred spirits, I became connected to his friends and family – particularly Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
|I found my boyfriend at the Clinton Center!|
How excited I was a few weeks ago when some of us area bloggers were invited to attend the Clinton Center’s new Peanuts exhibits as VIP guests. In honor of the 65th anniversary of Peanuts, the Clinton Center has partnered with the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center (Santa Rosa, California) and is hosting two temporary Peanuts exhibits along with programs and activities for the public. We were invited to bring our families to a presentation by Corry Kanzenberg of the Schulz Museum, receive a tour of the exhibits, and enjoy lunch at the museum’s restaurant, Cafe 42.
Ms. Kanzenberg gave an entertaining presentation on the life of Schulz, detailing the elements from his personal life which later influenced his popular cartoon strip. I was most interested in learning the history behind the names of the cartoon strip and the names of the cast members. According to Kanzenberg, Schulz had an idea to use the name Sniffy for the dog but then realized another comic strip at the time already featured a Sniffy. (Funny enough, my aforementioned security blanket was named Sniffy, named by my mother who thought it was strange that I sniffed it all the time. Pshhh…what’s so strange about sniffing a blanket over-and-over again…for years…and years…even when it becomes tattered and threadbare?) He eventually chose the name Snoopy based on a family member’s suggestion. As you may have deduced, Peppermint Patty’s full name came to Schulz from the peppermint patty candy.
After the presentation, the bloggers were given a tour of the two Peanuts exhibits in which Kanzenberg filled us in on other tidbits of information. Of course, I had to ask her about my boyfriend Linus. She said Linus had been named after Linus Maurer, a friend of Schulz from art instruction school. However, Schulz always maintained that while he borrowed names from actual people, he did not use their true personalities, she said. She explained that Schulz had observed his own children’s obsession with their blankets which led to the widely used “security blanket.”
I really enjoyed the tour of “Pigskin Peanuts” and “Heartbreak in Peanuts,” both of which explore the themes behind the story lines and the cast of Peanuts. We had so much fun checking out the five-foot sculptures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. And we even ran into a real Snoopy! SB wasn’t too sure about him.
After the tour, we enjoyed our meal at Cafe 42. We had never eaten there before and it was a nice treat. Of course, in our current stage of parenting, eating anywhere with cloth napkins is a treat! But I was determined not to let the grumpy and tired two-year-old and the unusually cranky two-month-old ruin my lunch. And my tenacity paid off – the blackberry cheesecake was out of this world!
If you didn’t make it to see Snoopy and the gang last weekend, you haven’t missed your opportunity! The two exhibits of Peanuts will run through April 5, and the Clinton Center is offering several more Peanuts-related programs for families over the next few weekends. A Charlie Brown Super Bowl Party is scheduled for Saturday, January 31. (Here’s another little interesting tidbit: you know those scenes where Charlie Brown tries to play football but Lucy somehow takes control of the football? Well, apparently that happened 36 different times!) Also, attendees can help make Valentine’s Day cards for children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital during A Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day Party on February 7 and February 14. And don’t forget to catch the new animated 3D comedy – The Peanuts Movie – when it premiers on November 6th! Eeek…can’t wait!
Which is your favorite Peanuts character?