There was the brochure entitled "The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center" among the "Santa Rosa Attractions" group of brochures. We passed over it, looking for something a bit less serious than a museum.
Then it hit us--Oh, that Charles Schulz!
On the corner of West Steele Lane and Hardies Lane in the Sonoma County city where Schulz spent the last 30 years of his life, stood the exhibits and displays paying tribute to the cartoonist and his work. We were greeted by this statue of Charlie Brown at the entrance to the museum. I feel a bit sad every time I see Charlie--even when he is smiling. I just sense something is going to go wrong.
The museum itself seemed, to us, to be two museums in one.
One museum was located in the courtyard and Great Hall of the main building. Here we could take photographs and wander among the statues of the Peanuts gang, providing our own account of a favorite theme relating to each character.
Snoopy's classic restful pose seemed a bit more whimsical on this colorful doghouse.
The other museum, as we would describe it, is located in the exhibit area. Here the 7,000 original comic strips that are contained in the museum's collection rotate through the exhibit areas.
In this area, it is not possible to take photographs.
Woodstock (left) became a full-fleged character in 1996. Here in the museum lobby he is shown engaged in his morning routine.
He can also be found in the courtyard engaged in conversa-tion with his best friend Snoopy (left), the only non-avian character who can understand Woodstock's speech.
Near the Museum's entrance, Woodstock and some of his friends appeared in this mural with Snoopy.
Linus first appeared in 1952, and in 1954 was shown with his "security blanket," a term he coined.
Above Linus is one of the dreaded kite-eating trees. A red and blue kite along with many feet of string is located near the top of the tree.
In an unexpected location, Peanuts comic strip panels were found in the rest rooms.
On the south wall of the Great Hall, we found another display of Peanuts strips printed on two x eight-inch ceramic tiles. The sequence starts with a close-up to show the panels.
This 17 x 22-foot mural, designed by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani, is made of 3,588 black-and-white tiles.
As I moved further away, you can see the classic Chalie Brown, Lucy and The Football.
Schulz had been asked if, for his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick that football after so many decades. His response: "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century."
Yet, in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, he recounted the moment when he signed the panel of his final strip, saying, “All of a sudden I thought, 'You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick — he never had a chance to kick the football."
That poor kid indeed. Just one moment of satisfaction would have been exhilirating for that poor kid.