Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Funday: Sixty Years... and Still Smiling

A week ago, we mentioned the birthday of an animated cartoon legend - but we also could have mentioned the sixtieth birthday of another cartoon legend, one that's been in newspapers across America for sixty years this month. A somewhat snarky but lovable beagle, with his small, yellow-feathered best friend, and his owner, a round-headed, good hearted young kid, and his friends.

Of course, we're talking about the gang from Peanuts.

We're not exaggerating when we say that Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown, and their friends have been a daily part of our lives in one way or another for much of those sixty years. When our webmaster was a child, he received a yellow-covered, thick, hardcover copy of a Peanuts collection called "The Snoopy Festival." When he and his wife lost their home in a fire more than two years ago, he thought his favorite childhood book had been destroyed - until his treasured copy was happily discovered intact in the unattached and undamaged garage.

We've each had all kinds of Peanuts "gear" from stuffed Snoopy dolls to Peanuts lunchboxes. Over the years, we've referenced Lucy and Charlie Brown's "football practice" gag more times than we can count. Don't even ask us who had a security blanket like Linus.

And what would October be without "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

Without giving away our readership list, we have to say "thank you" to certain people involved with Charles Schulz' work when he was alive, and with his foundation now. The work of Mr. Schulz - Sparky, to those who've earned the right to call him that - has more than earned the right to be considered "art" and put in some of the finest museums in world.

Conveniently, if you're near our Washington, DC offices, one of the best museums in the world, the Smithsonian, is currently featuring a small exhibit of Peanuts cartoons and other pieces of Schulz' work. A brand new portrait of Schulz is also now hanging in the National Portrait gallery at the Smithsonian, not far from portraits of other great American heroes, like Washington and Lincoln.

With all of the topics we read, hear about, see online and on television, and deal with in our own daily lives, we could easily become jaded, depressed, angry, or disappointed. So it's comforting when we can open a daily newspaper, or make a short click online, and still see Charlie, Linus, Lucy, Sally, and of course, Snoopy, ready to help us take ourselves just a little bit less seriously.

After all, if a round-headed kid and his crazy dog can look that good at sixty, after all they've been through, there's no reason we can't take on another day.
Especially if that day is Friday.

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