Reading “Peanuts” always helped me remember to look at the lighter side of life and not take things so seriously.
Doug Echols, Rock Hill mayor
“Peanuts” takes me back to a simpler, more carefree time in my life when I was growing up as a kid. My father, who was principal of a high school in Colleton County, was also the pastor of a church in Charleston, some 50 miles away. I would grab the comics section, or “the funnies,” as we called it, from the Sunday paper and take it with me to read in the backseat of the car on the way to church with my family. I found that particular comic strip to be funny – although I always would become frustrated that Charlie Brown continually fell for Lucy’s “pull the ball away trick!” Even today, decades later, although I typically read the more serious sections of the paper first, I find the time to read portions of the Sunday comics at some point during the week, especially “Peanuts.” All these years later, it still brings a smile to my face.
Al Leonard, South Pointe High School principal
The holiday television specials are my most vivid and impactful “Peanuts” memories. The ABC “television special” intro to the shows invoked excitement and anticipation for the upcoming holiday season. “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was always my favorite. I am now sharing these special seasonal treasures with my little Ruthie and Caroline.
Pat Kelsey, Winthrop University
men’s basketball coach
For me, “Peanuts” has a simple, but important, message – no matter how things turn out, never quit dreaming or trying or caring!
There is a little Charlie Brown in all of us. We all want to be accepted and successful. I am sure that in our lives we have all had “Charlie Brown” moments. He reminds us that those moments are not the end of the world. They are just part of life and can help make us better. He is not a loser. He is the anchor that holds the rest of the group together.
On a side note, when we built our house in 1995, I dug up a little oak tree in the pasture and planted it in my front yard. It was not in the best shape, to say the least. My brother Eric came by and made fun of it, calling it a “Charlie Brown” tree. I decided that I had to remove it; however, I did not have the heart to just throw it away. I decided to place the tree in a planter at the side of our front yard and give it a chance. I am glad I did, as Charlie is now 25 feet tall and one proud oak. We still call him Charlie. Smile. Never give up!
Jerry Helms, Carowinds’
vice president of operations
My most vivid recollection about “Peanuts” was a McClatchy Co. editors’ and publishers’ conference at which Schulz was the speaker. His “speech” consisted mostly of him displaying slides of his strips and providing commentary. He would be a step ahead of the visual display, commenting on the strip as he clicked the next PowerPoint slide. He would chuckle at each strip, almost like he was seeing it for the first time. He clearly loved his work, and those characters were like his own children. A very sweet man, I thought. Later, reading his obit, I realized his life, like everyone’s, was marked by a lot of problems and disappointments. I imagine that he found inspiration and refuge in “Peanuts.” It was his own way of therapy and that may be one reason why so many people have turned to his creations as part of their own therapy.
Terry Plumb, former editor
of The Herald
Charlie Brown could not fly a kite, win a baseball game or kick a football, but everybody wanted to be his friend because of how good of a person he was. It’s not always about being a great athlete, it is about being a good person.
Tom Riginos, Winthrop