Remembering Ed Anderson
In early January, family and friends joined in a small ceremony for dedicating this bench in the Great Hall of the Museum.
Ed Anderson was both a longtime friend and attorney to me and to Sparky. His role in the creation of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center cannot be understated, as he was one of the two people who would nudge and encourage the creation of said Museum, now in its 20th year. He served as Board Member Emeritus for the first nineteen years of the Museum.
Why Ed Anderson, you may wonder?
As I said in my opening remarks, Ed was not only Sparky’s attorney, but one of his longest friendships in Sonoma County—going back 40 years.
Their admiration was mutual and Sparky, in addition to appreciating Ed’s legal mind, loved to hear about his latest research into the early days of the founding of this country and its leaders.
A bench with a plaque in tribute to Ed Anderson now sits in the Great Hall of the Museum, just to the right of Sparky’s photo.
Sparky was particularly attracted to Ed’s leather briefcase, and he immediately purloined it into the comic strip.
Ed was also the source of legal terms that appeared in the strip (as was my lawyer-son, Brooke).
Here is the briefcase again in a strip reflecting the “blame game” that seemed to have been prevalent in this period. As always, the strip is making light of things people may have been saying.
You will notice that the last two strips differ from the four-panel format we so often associate with Peanuts. That is because the distributing syndicate (United Features) itself opened up the format for the daily strip to an open panel that could be divided in any manner the artist chose.
Barbara Gallagher, an associate of Ed Anderson’s for 40 years, said of him, “he always had the best strategies, best arguments [and] was most skilled at seeing the forest and having the big ideas and leaving the care of the trees in the hands of his trusted colleagues.”
The Museum was one of Ed’s “big ideas.” He began talking about it in the early to mid-1990s, along with our cartoon aficionado friend, Mark Cohen. When we began exploring it seriously, Ed was with us all the way, weighing in on the choice of professional guidance, and on trips to study other single-purpose museums. His advice and wisdom were always appreciated.
The ceremony was complete when Tim Anderson, the oldest son of Ed and his wife, Jeanne, read the speech that Ed gave when Sparky was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 and articulated Sparky’s unique place in history. I want to share the original speech with you all: watch speech or read speech.
The bench sits in the Great Hall next to Sparky’s photo. I like to think Sparky is keeping an eye on Ed.