Reflections on Another “Find” in our Archives
Periodically, some of our strips come into a different focus when I see them again. Recently this strip came back to me from its “showing” in our “Classic Strips” section of the Museum. This strip is stored with a copy of a letter that came with the strip. The letter, which is dated November 10, 1966, is from Sparky to his fourth grade teacher.
In the letter Sparky thanks Miss Lyons for HER letter and mentions memories of Gordon School, including the girl “leaning out of the upper story window clanging the bell for everyone to come in.” Sparky also wrote that “the school yard was our baseball diamond, our football field, and even the Sahara Desert when we pretended we were part of the British Lost Patrol.”
At the end of the letter, he says, “please accept the enclosed cartoon as a token of my sincere friendship and gratitude.”
For us at the Museum, this is valuable information that helps us get a glimpse of Sparky in 1966: his willingness to reach out personally to those who wrote to him; his generosity; and his ability to draw upon the memories of his childhood.
Two weeks before and two weeks after the July 10th strip – on June 26 and July 24th, 1966 – Sparky drew two other Sunday pages of Snoopy’s imaginings of the World War I pilot down behind enemy lines. Since he worked on the Sunday pages at a different time from working on the dailies, he must have had this theme on his mind for several weeks.
It is my pleasure to share some of my thoughts with visitors to this blog. I will be reporting from the Reuben Award meeting in Pittsburgh next week.
— Jean Schulz