Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stands Snoopy where he did?

He does. An outing northward provided a chance to re-visit the Charles M. Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, which I'd been to before some years ago. The gift shop next door may be full of awful kitsch, but the museum is quite dignified. The current rotating exhibit is on the topic of women's (or I guess I should say girls') sports as depicted in Peanuts, which they were frequently. On display were the originals of the rarely-seen sequence from 1954 in which Lucy enters and nearly wins a golf tournament: rarely seen because it's the only occasion in Peanuts history in which adults are shown. Schulz decided that was a mistake and never allowed the sequence to be reprinted in his lifetime. (It is in the Fantagraphics complete Peanuts.)

I might not have noticed this before, but in the re-creation of Schulz' office upstairs, the record on the turntable is the Brahms Op. 25 Piano Quartet. Excellent choice, but unsurprising as I knew that Brahms was Schulz' favorite composer. (He assigned Beethoven to Schroeder because he thought "Beethoven" was a funnier-sounding name. Actually, Beethoven was himself quite aware of how funny his Dutch peasant name sounded in Vienna, and this was part of his class resentment. He took no opportunity to correct anyone who mistook his ordinary Dutch "van" for a German "von" which would mean he was of the nobility.)

Also visited the ice-skating rink next door (built at Schulz' initiative, and with his money) long enough to have some refreshment at its small cafe, regrettably named the Warm Puppy - supposedly as in "Happiness is ..." but suggesting to less star-crossed eyes something gruesome left on the grill or in the oven.

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