Peppermint Patty – a “rare gem”

I wanted to talk about a question which was left for us at the Museum. It said simply, “I want to know more about Peppermint Patty.” It made me smile because Sparky recognized that she was a rather enigmatic character. I remember him saying that HE thought that some of Peppermint Patty’s problem was that she didn’t have a mother, and I think he thought her falling asleep in school was because he father worked late and she stayed up waiting for him.

This Peanuts strip was originally published on June 16, 1968.

In the first strip above, Patty is telling her friend Roy about the card she is sending to her father (the expression ‘a rare gem’ is what Sparky used to call his daughter, Jill).

This Peanuts strip was originally published on June 24, 1968.

Eight days later, the daily strip has Peppermint Patty writing a letter home from camp, where she is a counselor to a cabin of girls. After her signature, she adds “your rare gem.”

This Peanuts strip was originally published on May 9, 1982.

In this strip from 1982, Peppermint Patty is choosing a Mother’s day card for her dad because he has been both a dad AND a mother to her.

Sparky obviously thought a lot about Peppermint P‎atty. In this strip it feels as though she has gained a great deal of self-awareness, and it is interesting that this is the last strip that Sparky drew about Peppermint Patty and her father.

Although Peppermint Patty often struggles in class and with her homework, she shows a wisdom beyond her years when it comes to her father.

–Jean Schulz

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