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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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07 July 2009

Famous Colorado Springs residents: Charles Schulz

Many people don't know that the beloved creator of the Peanuts comic strip lived right here in Colorado Springs at the beginning of his long and illustrious career. Charles Schulz moved here with his young family in the early 1950's, and stayed a couple of years. He lived in a small house in the general vicinity of the Patty Jewett golf course and the Old North End, about four blocks dead east of my studio. Fair readers, I can't tell you how many hours of research and agony (and eventually, a few dollars) went into finding this house so I could surreptitiously snap a picture of it for the blog today! I am 99% certain that the above adorable bungalow is the former Charles Schulz residence. We'll leave the 1% of uncertainty to the wind.

In 1951 Mr. Schulz painted a wall in one of the bedrooms with Peanuts characters and other cute critters for his young daughter Meredith. The wall survived for a while, until some numbskull (name unknown) bought the house and painted over it! Can you believe that? By then, Mr. Schulz was very well known, and you would think the homeowners would want to preserve the wall -- but I guess not! Over the years, various people painted over the wall many times, until in 1979 the house was purchased by a family that realized what a treasure they had. After consulting with Mr. Schulz, they undertook the daunting task of uncovering his mural from several layers of paint. The process took two months! Years later, when Mr. Schulz became terminally ill with cancer, they literally removed the wall from their home and donated it to the Charles Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, California. Talk about generous! You can see a photo of the wall here: http://www.schulzmuseum.org/exhibits/permanent/nurserywall/nurserywall.html If you click on the image you can see it a little larger -- there's Snoopy, Charlie Brown and even Sally!

A few other factoids about Mr. Schulz and Peanuts that you might not have known:
  • By some accounts Charles Schultz was of a rather morose character -- some would describe him as a "glass half empty" type. Maybe just a little like Charlie Brown.
  • His first wife Joyce, on the other hand, was bossy and outgoing, much like a certain Lucy we are all familiar with!
  • Speaking of Lucy -- his neighbors in Colorado Springs, the Van Pelts, had a couple of small children named Linus and Lucy.
  • Mr. Schultz was a hockey fanatic and played almost every day.
  • He never liked the name Peanuts -- it was foisted upon him by his first editor, and it stuck.
  • He was a World War II veteran and did see combat.
I personally am proud that our city was once Mr. Schulz's home. There is not a single thing here commemorating him -- not a street name, a plaque, a statue, a park, nothing. I wonder why?

ETA: Please see my July 13th post for updated information about Mr. Schulz.


Susan Lechuga said...

I did not know he was from here. You would think we would at least have something to memorize him and make our city that much prouder of who has came from here too. I think we should try to find some way to honor him.

Tamera said...

My3Ro's he wasn't actually from here, he only lived here briefly. But I agree, it would be nice if we had something here to commemorate him!

Lois said...

He really does need some sort of remembrance. That is a very interesting blog post Tamera! Thanks for doing all that research.

Susan Lechuga said...

Thanks for clarifying. It is still interesting that he called Colo Springs his home. I love your blog. I learn and get to see lots of pretty pictures.


Jennerator said...

Awesome post, Tamera! You are right - the city should recognize Mr. Schulz. Peanuts was great!

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

It would be nice to have something to commemorate him here.

My BIL's dad served in the military with him for a time.