Lynn's Comments: When I was about 10, I watched as a family moved into one of the houses where we lived on 5th Street. My friend Evelyn's father was watching too and when he saw the big assortment of tools the new guy had, he said "I don't know this guy, but I like him already!" Both men were mechanics--who looked after their stuff.
Lynn's Comments: This strip received some nice mail. Folks expected to read a sarcastic punch line. Growing up in North Vancouver, we were always playing with and studying next to kids from China, Japan, and other Asian countries. In fact, it was hard to learn French as a second language when we were more familiar with Mandarin and Japanese. I wanted to draw an Asian family, and the Enjos stepped in.
Lynn's Comments: The name "Enjo" was for my grade six home economics teacher. Miss Enjo was a sweet and lovely lady and must have been in her twenties at the time. My dad guessed that her last name had been longer and had been shortened when her family immigrated to Canada. The family I made up was based on the Masuda family--who had known my in-laws in Lynn Lake, Manitoba. They had also moved to North Bay, which was a nice coincidence: We had friends here to make us feel at home.
Lynn's Comments: The Enjos provided both Elizabeth and Michael with friends to play with--I wanted the whole family to integrate with the Pattersons. This is always the hope when new folks move into the neighbourhood, and I could make it happen in the strip!
Lynn's Comments: These ornate dolls were based on a collection in Louise Masuda's house. Children in Japan often receive these lovely figures as gifts. They form a large retinue of characters with different levels of importance, so after many years, you can have a sizeable number--arranged in order of their station. They are heirlooms not toys, and eventually a showcase is needed to display them in. I thought this was a wonderful idea and so I included them here.
Lynn's Comments: After this strip ran, I had all kinds of letters from folks with similar backgrounds wondering where our family had originated and if there was any connection. I wished at the time we could have met some long-lost cousins, but sadly, that didn't happen.