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AP Photo/Ben Margot,
Charles Schulz
OH GOOD GRIEF

California wildfires destroy the family home of “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz

Anne Quito
By Anne Quito

Design and architecture reporter

Charlie Brown once opined, “I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.” Unfortunately, some days are worse than others.

Another important landmark was lost in the raging wildfire tearing through northern California, the home of Charles M. Schulz, creator of the beloved Peanuts. The cartoonist lived in Santa Rosa for nearly 40 years until his death in 2000.

Schulz’s 78-year old widow Jean escaped the fire and is now staying with her son.

“It’s the house he died in,” Schulz’s stepson Monte explained to Associated Press. “All of their memorabilia and everything is all gone.” Schulz’s oldest son Craig, who lives nearby, lost his home as well.

Fortunately, most of Schulz’s original drawings and cartoon strips have been preserved in the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa. The museum is currently closed due to the fires but has so far not been affected.

Considered the deadliest wildfire disaster in California history, 36 people have lost their lives since the fires started last Sunday. Fifteen separate fires have scorched an estimated 19,000 acres across three counties razing vineyards, wineries and homes. More than 20,000 residents have had to evacuate the area.

As to dreading what the wildfires might bring today, we are turning to Snoopy for sage advice: “Keep looking up. That’s the secret of life.”