SMITH: The Schulzes won't buy those letters
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
In a word, no.
The family of the late Charles Schulz has no interest in bidding for the playfully doodled letters the late “Peanuts” cartoonist wrote to his lover 40 years ago, nor does his museum.
The question arose with news that Sotheby's in New York will auction 44 letters that Schulz penned to Tracey Claudius, who lived in Mountain View in the ‘70s and now is ailing in Pennsylvania.
The love affair ended Schulz's marriage with the former Joyce Halverson and crept into “Peanuts.”
In the strip of July 16, 1970, a swooning Snoopy relives meeting a girl-beagle. He remembers, “We laughed a lot, and we teased each other ... and then there were those soft paws ... Wow!”
Karen Johnson, director of the Schulz Museum, said the museum possesses copies of the letters, so they don't constitute a missing portion of Schulz's life.
“We have all the history,” Johnson said. “We're not losing anything in the telling of the story of Charles Schulz.”
And both Johnson and the Schulz family attorney, Barbara Gallagher of Santa Rosa, said the family holds a copyright to Schulz's letters to Claudius. Gallagher said the letters can be sold, but cannot be republished without the consent of the Schulz family.
“I think it is a very unique collection that a serious ‘Peanuts' collector could enjoy,” the attorney said. “But the commercial possibilities are very limited.”
Estimates of the price the letters my bring range up to about $350,000. The auction is set for next Friday.
THE JAPANESE who came to California as early as the 1880s to build better lives faced fierce resistance even before the U.S. forced them into camps following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941.
This evening in Ukiah, longtime Mendocino College dean Mark Rawitsch will read from his new book, “The House on Lemon Street: Japanese Pioneers and the American Dream.” It starts at 7 p.m. in Room 4210 in the new library on the Ukiah campus.
BORN TO DANCE: Seventeen years ago, a pre-teen named Alyssa Carnahan landed a couple of kiddie roles in the first Nutcracker produced by Ballet Calafia in Cotati by esteemed dancers David McNaughton and Shelley Scott.
Every year, Carnahan, now 26, has assumed more demanding parts. And at this weekend's four productions at the Spreckels Center she takes the lead as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
A TREE, FOR FREE: Once again the baseball teams at Santa Rosa High are raising money for next season by selling Christmas trees, and once again they're setting some aside for families that can't afford to buy one.
Coach Paige Dumont and the boys will give trees to about 25 families in need between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday at the school ballfields on Ridgway Avenue.
Dumont is open to having folks request one by email — email@example.com. And imagine this, if transportation is problematic, the coach and players will deliver free trees in his bright, red Suburban.
Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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