These two delightful drawings which have ‘come home” to the Museum have a wonderful story behind them- going back to Sparky’s army days. Sparky spoke frequently about his army buddies, particularly after a conversation with the historian of the group, Art Lynch, or with his fellow squad leader and good friend, Elmer Hagemeyer. Sparky spoke of Jon Hopkins in a teasing way as “the professor.” Sgt Jon Hopkins is listed in Art Lynch’s publication, Parade Rest, as Sparky’s assistant squad leader, so I assume they worked closely together and rode in the same half-track.
After the war Jon went back to his profession as a speech and debate professor in the Mid-west. In 1963 or 64 the Hopkins family was living in California while John was on sabbatical from Eastern Illinois University. He was at UCLA doing research for a book. During that period the family, including teenaged son Bill, visited Sparky in Sebastopol. Bill feels that is when the drawings were made.
I like to think that because the Museum is here, the family has a place to donate the drawings that have brought them pleasure over the years. I hope visitors to the Hopkins home over the years laughed at the images of Charlie Brown pontificating while Linus and Snoopy snooze, for I am sure that was Sparky”s intention. These drawings will undoubtedly be shown the next time we have an exhibition of Sparky”s “other drawings.”
— Jean Schulz