February 16, 2006

Really Good Grief

After I put up that little tribute to Franklin from Peanuts, Randee sent me this outstanding email:

What a nice little tribute!

I always will think of Franklin as the reason I got Charles Schulz pissed off at me.

There was a four-panel strip in a Peanuts Treasury I read when I was about 15, and in it Franklin expresses a desire to play for the NHL. Peppermint Patty immediately squashes that dream with a final panel comment along the lines of "come on, Franklin, how many black players are there in the NHL?" Which I didn't actually get the point of. I mean, true: Yep. Trenchant to point out? Not in this case.

But, at 15 I thought I might have missed what Schulz was trying to say, and I wrote ol' Chuck. I got a letter back on Snoopy stationery, from One Snoopy Place, hand typed, in which he berated me for calling him a "racist" (I'd actually said the strip could be perceived that way, but maybe he could explain it to me better) and said I'd rushed to judgment, and there wasn't anything racist at all in pointing out that there were no black players in the NHL.

The thing is, there wasn't anything funny about pointing it out either.

So, while Charles Schulz delighted generations with his Peanuts, I appear to have been a sour grape. Ah, well, I still love some of the early years.

Want photographic proof? Lemme know. It's a gem of a letter. Hand-signed and everything.


PEANUTS 1971, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

Thanks, Randee! (Just for fun, go piss off the Marmaduke guy now.)

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