The Kite-Eating Tree


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I’m a little late to Sparky’s wake, 2016. There’s been a lot online the past couple of weeks as Charles Schulz was memorialized again on the 16th anniversary of his death. I drew this cartoon 10 years ago, at this same time of year. I don’t have a lot of Schulz stories, but I have a few. The National Cartoonist Society held its 1988 annual convention, highlighted by the Reuben Awards, in San Francisco. One evening, United Media hosted a private dinner for its talent, great and small. That included Schulz and me, respectively. Of course, he attracted a knot of youngsters such as myself, basking in his aura. He was praising one of his favorite cartoonists, James Thurber.
“Why,” he asked in a Socratic manner, “were Thurber’s cartoons good?” There were several eager guesses from others. Because they were simple. Because they were different. I thought to myself, “Because they were funny.” No sooner had the thought died than the old master explained, “Because they were funny.” Honest! I did think that! I just wish I’d said it out loud.

46 thoughts on “The Kite-Eating Tree”

  1. Growing up our afternoon paper did not carry Peanuts, so while I enjoyed the cartoons on TV, I just did not quite get the hubbub. Later I started reading the daily strips and learned more about Sparky, I realized that it was a strip that young and old could enjoy.

    I remember in the mid-nineties, Charlie Brown got a hit and that same day, my son drove in the winning run in Little League. That was the first time that I thought a cartoonist was “looking in my windows”.

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  2. If I remember correctly, Charley Brown stood next to the tree holding the kite string for several weeks and there was a big to-do about whether a comic strip could do such a thing without violating some sort of cartoonist’s code. Finally it was decided that if the story represnted the artist’s philosophy that it was OK.
    The resolution was: it started to rain and when Charley brown was assured that the kite was getting as wet as he was he turned loose of the string.

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  3. Funny cartoons…what a concept! Now if some of the cartoonists featured on gocomics would just get on board with that…

    Ironically, I’ve occasionally gotten into trouble for saying out loud some of the things I’ve thought.

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  4. Here I am in Monroe, LA and I have driven through rain so heavy I thought I was demented for being on road. I am off in search of a restaurant called Cotton that features creative Southern cuisine. Pricey but it comes highly recommended
    I need to take off tennis shoes and find my flats. To compliment the very expensive purse
    It’s that kind of place. Even in pouring rain.

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  5. So, I have ordered pan seared oysters or something like for an appetizer and salmon with kale as a entre. I know it isn’t Louisiana style food exactly but common sense overtook me and I passed on duckworks wraps, shrimp and grits, gumbo and the grilled triple pimento and cheese sandwich.

    Decor is great but food counts.

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  6. Debbe, his name is Tippy and he now outweighs Spunky. He still acts like a kitten and is always wanting the others to play with him, often to their displeasure. Tonight there is a target placed on us by mother nature. We will see what happens.

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  7. Jackie, kale is good weight-loss food for me…I burn extra calories when I try to eat it and my gag reflex kicks in. On the other hand, the pan-seared oysters sound great. And on the other hand, I love salmon. And you probably thought I was a nothing-but-bone-in-rib-eye kind of guy.

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  8. I think you’re good traveling companion if you could wear a mask like Zorro and never reveal who you really are. But that is a problem. We might or might not get better serbice?

    The restaurant was really good. Chef is locavoire and I had trouble finding restaurant, no billboards. Worth it.

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  9. The heavy weather is here. Dish going in and out due to the rain. Good thing I have weather alert app on the phone and cable internet doesn’t care if it rains. Here’s praying for a safe night for all in the weather zones.

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  10. Worried about doumaican and Ghost in areas I hear have been hit today. I am still in Monroe, LA tucked away in my favorite motel on ground floor. If you hear Willie’s Duck Diner or Duck Commanders factory was hit, worry about Dickens and me.

    My deputy called to check on us. It is snowing heavily in McAlester, OK just 25 miles south of the house and he says they are now saying 8 inches possible. I have been humid and often hot. Who ordered this crazy weather?

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  11. Anonymous:

    Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate it.

    I hope that things go well for you in your own efforts.

    What have you found to be the most effective?

    (And I hope that you stay safe down there.)

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  12. Doctor Forbes needs to have his crayon taken away?

    Rick, do you men exercising or eating? I am ashamed to admit how little I actually exercise. I think water aerobics, water walking and doing water resistance xercises like with weights but in water is most effective. I Ned to get back doing that.

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  13. A rough afternoon/evening/night in parts of the Deep South, still ongoing in some. So far, I’ve only heard of one fatality related to the outbreak of severe storms. I believe that trees and some power lines were the only casualties in my immediate area.

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  14. Severe damage in Pensacola. Minor in Santa Rosa, Walton. Don’t really know about points east due to halfa** media coverage. A tornado was spotted in Panama City or was that an early spring breaker demonstrating his skill at autodefenestration?

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  15. Good morning Villagers….

    Love the above retro…I still have the Sunday Peanut comic paper that carried the last strip. Maybe someday I’ll have it framed.

    It is soggy, wet, windy, and cold here, but no snow….yet. Since we live in the farthest SE corner of the county, we are lucky to get any gravel put on these muddy county roads…I feel like a stepchild.

    Rick, job well done on your visit from the doctor…keep up the good job you’re doing.

    Jean, that chicken video was the first link I clicked on when getting here…..just wasn’t quite awake enough for that, but I was by the time it ended 🙂 Love the chicks, though

    Jerry, thanks, my mind just couldn’t remember Tippy’s name and I remember why he is called Tippy…..the tips of his ears are black or they white…..drawing another blank here. (the mind, it’s a terrible thing to waste)

    Pray all is well with our southern Villagers from last night’s storms.

    ya’ll have a blessed day

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  16. Thanks for the picture Mark. The worst damage is, I think, a short walk from my ex’s house where I used to live. From what I’ve seen on tv there are apartment buildings that are not just destroyed but gone. Somehow there are no known fatalities in Pensacola. Our power never went out and I’m not aware of any problems around here but I am approx. 40 miles east of Pensacola.

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  17. Those are not the apartments that I thought it was and they are a bit further north. The thing about a tornado is that a house can be destroyed and the house next door is undamaged.

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  18. Just visited Baltimore: http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/peregrine-falcon-webcam

    When I first got there, totally socked in, no peregrine at the site. Only thing you could tell through the fog was it was darker looking down than straight ahead. Now, that flatiron-like bldg. shows through. Falcons are not necessarily flying; there are 30 or so ledges below this one, and other bldgs. and water tanks around. Wonder if they can hunt in fog, or whether it may even be an advantage. Anyway, interesting site. Peace,

    [Will repost if JJ changes site soon.]

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  19. Have not looked to see what weather lies out in Duck Dynasty parking lot outside my window. It seemed to have rained periodically off and on during night. Dickens doesn’t seem anxious to get up. I have been lying here dozing and listening to piano music on Pandora. Love that, it has become my white noise.

    Ran my bath water last night and suddenly remembered why this was considered the “wrong side” of the river to live on. My bath water was only slightly less brown than my iced tea I drink and no amount of Calgon milk bath would raise a bubble. You can’t drink it either. Of course the second reason, the paper mill smell, wafts across the river too if wind direction is wrong.

    So why did this side end up the “right side” and eclipse the old money on opposite bank?

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  20. Jackie and All Villagers,

    Thanks for the concern. We had a good bit of rain and some wind here in Big BR, LA, but I haven’t heard of any big damage or injuries. There were some tornadoes reported East and South of us but none here. Today it’s damp and cool. Warm weather is coming.

    God bless us every one.

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  21. Rick, water exercise is great, the resistance against the action seems to double the effort. I use water weights too which of course are floats that increase that.

    Ghost, until I get discharged by my cardiologist I was supposed to not get my heart rate at rapid rate or breathing hard. They said mild walking and stretching exercises. I think staying out of pool had to do with possible infections?

    The hospital discharge papers said my surgeon would tell me when I could have sex again. He hasn’t said a word?

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