Snoopy and Woodstock share cookies and conversation.
Today I met my Low-Fat Fiction writing group on a field trip to the Charles M. Schultz Museum. We gathered first at The Warm Puppy, the little cafe attached to the skating rink that Schultz (nicknamed "Sparky") built in the city of Santa Rosa. I'm told he came to The Warm Puppy every day for lunch. It was a bustling spot today, that's for sure. We sat at our table and watched all these folks skating through the big plate glass windows. My daughter Krissy told me I needed to go to "my happy place" since I've been a bit of a grump the past few days. The Warm Puppy was a good place to start.
I loved the awning in the shape of a hat. (We could have used this in the rain today!)
Next we trooped across the street through the rain and toured the museum. Photos were only allowed outside in the courtyard. I discovered by watching a video in a recreation of Schultz's office that when he gave Linus his blanket he coined the term "security blanket"—something he was most proud of.
This is the "Crossword Linus"
Constucting (or deconstructing—I'm not sure) Charlie Brown
We were looking at the cartoon strips as an economic way to tell a story—a perfect example of Low-Fat fiction. Schultz was a master at this. I was in awe of his confident lines. I got to see him speak once when I was in high school. We took a bus from Mill Valley, where I grew up, to Santa Rosa. Schultz stood in the front of a classroom and spoke about his creative process while drawing large Peanuts characters in chalk on the board. Without hesitating once he drew Charlie Brown upside down. No erasing. No going over the lines several times to get it right. He just drew it. I was in awe then and I still am now.
Even the restrooms get into the spirit of the place with their comic tiles!
On the grounds of the museum is a labyrinth. I'll have to come back and walk it sometime when it's not quite so soggy.
The museum trip, and hanging out with my writing buddies, did a lot to get me back into my happy place.