Peanuts creator Schulz’s widow flees Santa Rosa fire, home destroyed

I’ve been a fan of Peanuts and its creator Charles Schulz since childhood — reading the comic strip in the Los Angeles Times when I was growing up.

Dad was born in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, and Schulz built his first studio there. As it turns out both are buried in the town — a few hundred feet from each other.

When we’d visit with our son, I’d show him this bench, which included all the Peanuts characters. He’d sometimes sit on the bench and we’d talk.

Schulz’ son Monte used to live in Nevada City, and he’s now in Santa Barbara.

I was saddened to learn that Charles Schulz’s home in Santa Rosa burned in the fire:

“The widow of the late Charles Schulz, creator of the iconic Peanuts comic strip, escaped the fire racing through Santa Rosa this week, but the hillside home the couple shared since the mid-1970s was destroyed, according to family members,” the San Jose Mercury News is reporting.

“Jean Schulz fled her home at about 2 a.m. Monday and is now staying with family, her stepson, Monte Schulz of Santa Barbara, said Wednesday.

“’She is very resilient,’ he said. ‘She is energetic and pragmatic and very tough.’

“Jean Schulz is president of the board of directors for the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center built in Santa Rosa two years after the cartoonist’s death in 2000. Most of his collection of original comic strips, artwork and memorabilia featuring characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, is housed at the museum, which was untouched by the fire.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

9 thoughts on “Peanuts creator Schulz’s widow flees Santa Rosa fire, home destroyed”

  1. Our niece and her husband and their three young children were awakened by a policeman at about 1:30 Monday morning and told they needed to leave within about seven minutes. Up until that moment they never had any reason to worry about fire in their quiet neighborhood near Coffey Park in Santa Rosa.

    They ran to their car amid a shower of cinders, losing one of their two cats in the scramble. After trying a succession of motels going south (even being turned away by one motel because of their policy of not taking guests after 3am!) they finally ended up in a motel in Richmond. Before the day was over they learned from a friend that their home had burned to the ground, and their missing cat was nowhere to be found.

    My brother and his wife — in their mid-eighties — voluntarily evacuated their home at the end of a mile-long gravel road (their only way in and out) deep in a heavily-wooded forest near Healdsburg. Since there is no conceivable way they could respond in time to an emergency mandatory evacuation such as the one their daughter and her family got on Monday morning, they finally yielded to our arguments and their children’s arguments to leave now, before it’s too late. They’re staying with another of their children and his family in Santa Rosa, which so far has not received an order to evacuate.

    In addition to the ordinary news sources, we’ve subscribed to the Sonoma County Sheriff Department alerts via Nixle.com. The succession of alerts over the last couple of days makes it appear that as the fire grows, it is moving closer to downtown Healdsburg as well as its outskirts to the north, east and south.

  2. My niece lives in Healdsburg and knows (in her words) “MANY” friends, co-workers, and students (she is a high school teacher) who have lost homes in the area. The problem, as she sees it (and the Sac. Bee online front page), is the lack of affordable housing. The rents are already high and scarce. She attributes that problem to the vast number of vacation/vacation rental homes that sit empty all week. The problem will now be acute at best as now homeless people scramble to put their lives back together. YET, seldom are the words “climate change” mentioned in relation to the disasters that have occurred in numerous forms across the country and around the globe. Our country is in the hands of idiots who can’t see beyond their own misguided political agenda dictated by the wealthiest Americans who control the government and the economy for their own personal gain. And, of course, the even bigger idiots who blindly support that agenda without really knowing they are supporting their own demise.

  3. Joe,
    Not sure it’s about a housing shortage exactly.
    There are too many people on the planet.
    At some level I believe folks do understand that we are facing the same fate as every other species and civilization that outgrew and outstripped its resources.
    No matter what side of the climate destabilization argument we are on, pulling out if this crisis will take nothing short of a human miracle and failing that, our progeny will all share the same miserable destiny.

    1. Yes, population is the elephant in the room, but not just yet. Without getting climate change and environmental destruction under control, managing world population is a moot point. Currently there is enough food to feed the world if it is properly distributed. A recent statistic reveals that the 5 richest people on Earth have more wealth than the poorest HALF of the planet. That is the real problem; the needless pointless accumulation of wealth and the accompanying power that goes with that which seems to be used more to maintain and acquire yet more wealth rather than help humanity survive. The problem of greed needs to be solved before any of the rest can be adequately addressed. Didn’t someone once say that money is the root of all evil?

      1. Actually Joe, that saying has its roots in Biblical scripture.
        The qualifying word is “love”, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil . . . “.
        Timothy 6:10.
        (I would have said the “lust” for money, but I wasn’t around when the good book was written.)

  4. (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has asked federal regulators to attempt to keep the nation’s struggling coal and nuclear power plants open by rewarding them for contributing to the resilience of the electric grid, the Department of Energy said on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday issued an order overturning an Obama administration ban on the controversial use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle used on federal lands and waters, in a nod to hunters and fishermen on his first day on the job.

    Ten days before Hurricane Harvey descended upon Texas on Friday, wreaking havoc and causing widespread flooding, President Moron Trump signed an executive order revoking a set of regulations that would have made federally funded infrastructure less vulnerable to flooding. But because of Trump’s rollback of President Barack Obama’s Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, experts across the political spectrum say much of the federal money sent to Texas is likely to be wasted on construction that will insufficiently protect against the next storm.
    President Moron —Idiot Wind- Blowing every time you move your teeth-

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