Famous Author Responds
Famous Author Charles M. Schultz Responds
Today would have marked Charles M. Schultz’s 94th birthday. As I’m sure everyone knows (or at least should know) he was the creator of The Peanuts,
a comic strip featuring the humble, hard-luck character Charlie Brown and his dog, a beagle named Snoopy. The comic strip was a hit with children and adults when it first appeared in 1950, and still is today.
When I was in the second grade we actually had library class, where we would go to the school library and learn the Dewy Decimal System and how to care for books. No bending the corner of the pages for use as a bookmark, no writing in the books, don’t get the book you’re reading wet, and certainly don’t lose the book. One afternoon while at library class, the librarian said we were all to write a letter to our favorite author. For me that was Charles M. Schultz.
I grew up not only reading The Peanuts in our evening paper and of course the Sunday comics, but at my grandparents’ house where they had books of the Peanuts. To me, this was a gold mine; page after page of Charlie Brown, Pig-Pen, Woodstock, and the rest of the gang. I would sit for hours in a large brown leather chair in the TV room downstairs at their house and read until my eyes were tired. Snoopy, a.k.a. The Red Baron was my favorite as he sat on top of his doghouse writing, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
Not sure exactly what I wrote to Schultz at the young age of seven, but in all likelihood, I probably mentioned how much I loved Snoopy and found Charlie Brown to be very funny. I also remember he wrote me back and can recall going to school the day after I got his response and sharing it with our librarian. I carried his letter with me for a long time, sharing it with whomever would listen or take a moment to read it. For me, it was a treasure.
Unfortunately, his letter and the two drawings of Snoopy he enclosed with his response have long since disappeared from my belongings. Every time I happened to see The Peanuts in a newspaper, or a magazine, or they show up somewhere on social media, I’m reminded of how Schultz took the time to write back to a seven-year-old boy just to says thanks for reading Charlie Brown. Little did he probably ever know, he made a lifetime impression simply by sharing a few words in a letter to a young boy.
What famous author have you written to you?