December 30, 2002- Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center- Santa Rosa, CA

It was fun to watch Megan as she walked among the racks of merchandise in Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop located just yards away from the newly opened Charles M. Schulz Museum. T-shirts, plush, keychains, coffee mugs - all with images of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. Megan loves Snoopy. Even along side of Yu-Gi-Oh, Spongebob Squarepants, Stitch, Aladdin, Jasmine or Ariel, she still likes Snoopy. 'Snoopy Rules,' she says.

I understand. As a kid, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the rest of the Peanuts gang ruled my world too.

Not just the funny papers either. As kids we collected a lot of Peanuts merchandise. Paperback books of the comic strips, felt wall pennants, a Snoopy wrist watch, Dad bought me an official Astronaut Snoopy in 1969 commemorating the Apollo space program, my brother and I would read 'Peanuts Treasury' from cover to cover, and every year we would tune in with great anticipation for 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.' A budding artist in my early days, Charles Schulz was second only to Walt Disney in terms of icons I looked up to.

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The Peanuts gang continued with me into adulthood, they're still my first stop on the comics pages, and a bit more of the vast amount of Peanuts merchandise made its way into my collection. I even appeared as Schroeder in a production of 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' during my college days.

When the last Peanuts strip hit the papers on February 12, 2000, and that same morning we learned Charles Schulz had passed away, it surprised me to find how emotional and sad I became. Although, having just written these last few paragraphs, maybe it isn't all that surprising. I'm a lifelong fan.

So when this lifelong fan of Charles Schulz and the Peanuts gang drags his family along for a special trip to visit the newly opened Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, is it wrong to have certain expectations?

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Is it crazy to look forward to visiting a new destination purported to be the new gathering place for Peanuts fans from around the world?

I mean, is this yet another instance of an adult having to check his excitement and anticipation at the door in order not to be disappointed?

Oh Great Pumpkin hear my frustration! AAAUUUGH!

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