- 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.
- 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.
Those 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.