Peanuts On Ice #PPAC

In 1962, I could be often found at a nearby ice skating arena in Santa Rosa, California, because  mom was always willing to assemble our friends and haul the bunch of us off to ice skate the afternoon away.  I later learned that she loved doing this because:
  1. When done, we’d come home exhausted and were likely to go to bed early and stay asleep. Her motives for wanting this remain unclear to this day.
  2. We were much less unlikely to kill ourselves or each other while on ice skates than devising our own amusements around the neighborhood. Cross Ref. The Giant Inner Tube Adventure and/or The Rock Quarry Adventure. On this point, I have to admit that I might be guilty as charged.

On one particular day, I was maybe slightly exceeding the recommended speed limit around the ice, having the time of my life when some really young little tyke cut me off as we approached the back turn.  At this age, I was barely old enough to control my speed on ice let along managing emergency evasive maneuvers and you can likely see the next scene in your own mind as I tried to miss this pint-size, human speed bump by digging both serrated toe jaws into the ice, thus stopping my feet, but everything higher than my knees, just kept on going which turn into an odd head-over-heals roll about 18 inches off the ice, making a nearly full flip in mid-air before crash landing about 4 feet into the trajectory of a full grown adult male who adroitly skidded to a controlled halt and spraying me with a cloud of ice shavings.

I was angry at that kid for causing this crash and felt like an idiot for almost causing this adult to crash. I wondered if I’d broken anything as my landing was certainly less-than-graceful and wanted to know where that little kid was because he needed a good chewing-out.

But what happened instead, was the adult who obviously did not blame me for the accident that almost tumbled him, instead of misunderstanding how I manged to crash right in front of him, with all the comfort of someone who may well have been born on ice skates, reached down to take my hand and lift me back onto my feet and made a mild fuss making sure I was okay.  That little kid had disappeared so I had the full attention of this man who seemed really nice about the whole incident.

Finally I calmed down enough to engage his questions about my well being and looked him in the face.

Charles Schulz BnWThose of you who grew up near by about the same time as I did, already know the rest of my story. I had just almost crashed into and instead was picked up by Charles Schulz, the owner of the arena and creator of the famous Peanuts comic strip.

Those of you who did not grow up near Santa Rosa can be excused for not knowing the Mr. Schulz did, in fact love ice skating and so build this arena, I’m assuming with money earned by his popular comics starring Charley Brown, his dog, Snoopy and a herd of friends. You could also be forgiven for not knowing that Mr. Schulz was about the nicest guy you could ever meet and that picking up stray flight-challenged kids like me, was just part of his joy in owning the area.

That was my memory for this post, but I wanted also to share some of the memorial public art that has come to denote how all of Santa Rosa loves being the home of Mr. Schulz’s legacy, his area and his memory.  Scattered about the town are multiple statues of the Peanuts characters that you can walk right up to then stand nearby as some one snaps your photo of your head shrunk by Lucy or just looking cool with Cool Joe.

I did a quick tour about the town today to capture some photos of the statues for those of you who are not nearby any more or for those who may have never seen how Santa Rosa recalls Charles Schulz.

You may still live nearby and have seen these statues yourself, but can you say that Mr. Schulz ever picked you up off the ice and patted you down to simultaneously dust the ice off of you while checking for broken bones sufficient enough to haul you off the ice for medical attention?

There – beat that for a Cool Joe memory.

Up first, some shots from the Kaiser Medical Office complex north of town. For scaling, note that I’m almost 6’4″ tall.

Next stop, Snoop’s Arena front pavilion.



From the Historic Railroad Square



Last stop for today is the local Charles Schwab office.

This post was prepared for publication on Marsha’s Photographing Public Art Challenge (#PPAC)

Thanks for visiting.

GW bio card 4

19 thoughts on “Peanuts On Ice #PPAC

  1. This was a fun memory post and I liked seeing all of the figurines around the town – In 2002, my Aunt took my boys and. I to knots berry farm in southern cal and it was really special – way better than Disney (IMHO)
    and love to see you in the pics – great post Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW!! That’s sooo very cool that Charles Schulz picked you up off of the ice! I had no idea he built an ice rink and how TOTALLY COOL all the tributes to Charlie Brown all over town! My favorite stuffed animal of all time is the stuffed Snoopy when I was a kid!! I’m no where near Santa Rosa but someday I’d love to visit and even check out the ice rink!! FUN post! Thanks for sharing!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a cool post, Gary! I sat on the edge of my seat through the entire story. I can’t top your story, but I have one to match it. As a roller skater, I’ve had my share of falls. My last one was dancing in a pair of online skates with my friend’s husband where he wanted to show off for his granddaughter. I told him I couldn’t dance skate wearing inline skates, and sure enough, we nearly did what you did minus Charles Schultz. No one was hurt too much – maybe Bob was, I don’t remember now, but that was my last time on skates. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gary, thanks, that story brings back great memories. The mid sixties is when I first laced up ice skates. That’s when I found my love for the ice! The rink was beautifully designed and I was able to take my kids there for a visit as skate about 10 years ago, the rink had maintained its beautiful interior architectural designs.
    You and I probably skated many of the same sessions. Hot chocolate and the fireplace always seemed to make the hurts from the falls go away.
    Charles Shultz also sat at the corner entrance table at every Ice show he produced. I thought it made it that more special.
    In Petaluma, on the corner of the Blvd. and Washington streets, there was once a wood painted figurine of a Snoopy wrist wrestling proudly displaying its bragging rights of the town of Petaluma’s wrist wresting championship. That was a cool sign. I’m sure someone has a photo of it somewhere.
    Thanks for including photos with your story. The Shultz museum is a great place to visit if you haven’t already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Evelyn. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. When I chose to create stories as a hobby, I knew that gaining any audience would be tough because there is a huge over-supply of writers as compared to the number of willing readers at any price, free or expensive.

      It would have been fun to have gotten to know you back then. I was young and dumb, but liked to have fun. It took me quite some time to figure girls out (and am still working on that) but with those I knew, we did okay. If you lived in Santa Rosa, – it felt far away as I grew up in Petaluma. If you’ve seen any of my DOT stories, you know that many of those essays come from my memories of growing. But if you lived in Petaluma, you really should check them out because we may well have explored the same storm drains, had the same Vice-Principal in Jr. High and had milk shakes at the same diner in downtown.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing such fun feedback. Your account of spending some time on the same ice at the same time made my day.


  5. I remember you mentioning this ‘meeting’ with Mr. Charles Schulz in one of your weekend coffee share posts. And it feels good to see Santa Rosa giving such a wonderful tribute to Mr. Schulz through his own creation. This way the next generation too can get to know about Charlie Brown and his pet Snoopy (my favorite character). That’s because kids these days relate mostly to Doraemon or Pikachu.

    P.S – The snapshots also make for superb Instagrramable pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m getting old Maumita. I did not even recognize ‘Doramon’ but have heard of ‘Pikachu” even if I could not describe or recognize the character.

      My daughter does instagram, but I don’t see the point. I want to deal with words and am happy mostly using publicly available photos where I want one to support my stories..
      I’m just as much of a photographer as I once was back in the hard film days.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, I was kinda afraid of him after that. In my mind I was that kid who almost tripped him at his own arena. Ridiculous, because he was such a gracious man.


  6. Fun story! I spent a lot of time in Santa Rosa in my early career days and have very fond memories of the lovely town. I knew that Charles Schultz lived there but didn’t know about the ice rink and I don’t recall the statues (when were they placed on the streets?). He sounds like he was just as kind as one would guess from his comics (not always the case with famous people).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janis. I did not know the answer to your question so tried to do a quick web search and found that some of them, the bronze ones, arrived starting in 2005 and following years. I could not find (in the time I had) when the larger, white with painted on decorations, ones began to arrive. Some look like they were commissioned by private companies, like the 3 I visited at Kaiser, while others like those in Railroad Square are clearly on public grounds and would have been commissioned by the city.

      Thanks for stopping by to read this essay. I have a growing collection of both factual and fictional, clean and entertaining stories, set up for easy reading and all free. I’d welcome your visit anytime.
      Kind regards

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What cool photos of Snoopy and the gang. I loved your story too. I’m so glad that you played along and shared your story and photos for our first week of this challenge. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of the best places to visit on anyone’s itinerary. Still keeps its small town feel. The museum folks are as friendly as can be. Great little restaurant, too. For the literati reading this (Gary?) George R. Stewart’s granddaughter is an area resident. So is my good old Cousin Joe. A home away from home, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Don.
      You never fa to surprise me with all the stuff you know. Wish I knew you when GRS was still with us. I want a do-over on my weak visit to his home…….


      1. As Ishi said, Gary, I know many things and much that is false. By the way, there’s a rumored GRS film in the works that will focus on U.S. 40. Stay tuned. Also I checked about the Statute in Needles, and it’s there – Spike in Subway!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. PS. Thanks to the kind efforts of the Schultz/Peanuts skating rink, there’s now supposed to be another statue, created by the same sculptor, in Needles, California. Sparky spent a critical year of his childhood in the desert town – and now Spike lives in Needles.

    Liked by 1 person

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