DATE: February 13, 2000

PUBLICATION: The Roanoke Times.

This essay ran with a series, part of a team project to acknowledge the last of the Peanuts strips.



You're a complicated piece of work, Lucy Van Pelt.

Bossy and Arrogant. Confident and apathetic. Smart girl, smart aleck, smart mouth.

Charlie Brown, you blockhead.

We forgive you, little Miss Know-It-All, with the pretty poofed dress and the premature PMS. You're just a kid, and have been since the day Charlie Brown first saw you 48 years ago, skiping rope like you'd never stop. There must be something to your advice, or he wouldn't keep asking for it.

Five cents, please. Thanks for not succumbing to inflation.

Girls are smarter than boys, you say.

My beauty is very thick.

Arrrggh, you say. I've been kissed by a dog.

Each fall, you yank away that football, sure as trees eat kites for after-school snacks.

Maybe your bravado's a cover-up for a wounded ego, for years of hopeless longing. Honestly, doesn't Schroeder care about anyone but Beethoven?

Still, you saw Linus' need for security before he was able to find the words to tell you himself.

And didn't you say that sorry excuse for a Christmas tree was a fine little tree, in the end?

So you're a little cynical, a hard sell - that's why Snoopy trusts you as an editor.

Hard sells still have hearts. And right now, as you watch your creator retire, as you watch him fight things he can feel but cannot see, we know your heart is breaking, same as Charlie Brown's. Same as ours.

Take care, Lucy.

The doctor is out.


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