EDITORIAL: Final farewell

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DON RATZLAFF
How fitting it was that Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, died only hours before his final installment appeared in print in this Sunday?s newspaper. From the accounts of those who knew Schulz well, the popular strip all but consumed him over the years; more than once he expressed the notion that when the strip would be laid to rest after a half-century of love and laughter, he might be, too. And he was right.

Through the voices and antics of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and the rest of the gang, Schulz struck a deep nerve in our nation?s soul. They became members of our families and part of our lives growing up. Numerous times, Schulz, though his characters, plucked the heart strings of our human condition with profound insight. Some even found great theological depth in his work, as evidenced by one popular 1970s book titled The Gospel According to Peanuts.

In more recent years, the strip lost some of that edge. It still entertained us, but the humor no longer probed our psyche as deeply or as frequently as it once did. But our memories of Schulz and his friends will be fond, indeed. The gift he gave Peanuts followers will keep on giving for generations to come. You?ve done your part, Mr. Schulz. Rest in peace.

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