I once had to write a letter of apology to a girl whose finger I broke. We’d had a bad fight. She pulled a chunk of hair out of my head and I twisted her finger. It was a difficult few words to write. About 6 months ago, she and I met at the funeral of a mutual friend. It had been over 65 years since the incident…but it was the first thing we both had to talk about! Isn’t it amazing how situations like this carve themselves into our memories. The apology, though hard to make, allowed us to maintain a friendship. We are both now in our 70s.
I was one to take a dare! I was dared to tell a classmate that she needed to wash more often. I wrote a note and stuck it on her locker. It said, "Veronica, you smell bad". She was devastated. The kids who dared me took her side and I was sent to the principal’s office. It was a mean thing to do, but I wasn’t thinking about her, I was thinking about me. Here’s another lesson that has stayed with me since elementary school! The best lessons are often learned the hard way.
This was another story that ignited some controversy. These kids should never have been left to fend for themselves. I was writing about my own childhood. When I was old enough to babysit and put on the dinner, I was responsible for the house and my brother after school. Times have changed!
A fun story: One year, my husband and I flew out to Santa Rosa, California to visit Charles and Jeannie Schulz. "Sparky" was proud of his home and he asked us to come and walk about his property with him. I just had flats to wear, so he said I could borrow a pair of his sneakers. To make them fit, he stuffed the toes with Kleenex and off we went. There was a thick wooded area, a pond and a scenic ridge to walk along and we were gone for over an hour. When we got back to the house, I said to my hero, the creator of Peanuts, “Guess what, Sparky. I’ve walked a mile in your shoes!”
You can’t do strips about a dog if you’ve never had a dog. It’s just not possible. Farley was a load of work, but he provided me with a load of laughs!
The hormone attack story was memorable. Not for me, but for all kinds of people who read it. For years after this series ran, folks would stop me and tell me how they were attacked themselves and when! I was privileged to some personal and sometimes too personal stories. When you write something folks can relate to, they let you know!
I once bit the coil off my scribbler. It was exhilarating…but hard on the teeth.
More angry letters…about drawing something “suggestive”. Well, of COURSE it’s suggestive! The person who “gets it” is the guilty one!
Stuff that really happened was fun to write about and comforting to share. When this strip appeared, I got mail from folks who said that what happened in our bedroom, happened in theirs, too.
Why is this true? Can anyone tell me?