Treasures from the Garage (Part 1)
A few years back, my parents decided to move into assisted living, and my brother Russ, my sister Carol, and I gathered at their California home to help them clean out the garage. What started as a sad occasion turned out to be uplifting, bordering on miraculous.
During the first few hours, with our parents looking on, we reminisced about each item, then labored to decide what to do with it. We were progressing, we soon we realized, at roughly the rate of global warming.
Finally we hit our stride, and the job went well. On the second day, we opened one of the last boxes, which turned out to be stuffed with art and music projects by my very creative dad—sketches, paintings, vocal arrangements, trumpet trios, a Christmas cantata.
In the box, we came across framed art that for years had hung over the family fireplace—drawn not by my dad but by Charles Schultz. It was original art for a “Peanuts” Sunday comic strip, shown here.
Dad reminded us that he had won it at a convention, when Schultz had given a speech and then presented the art to the person who could draw the best Charlie Brown, which was my dad.
“You know,” I said, “that might be worth something.”
I took the art home to Nashville and checked with an art dealer, who said it was indeed worth something, and he’d be glad to find a buyer. A few weeks later, he reported back. An animation collector was willing to buy it for about the price of a new car. My parents asked the dealer to sell the art, figuring the excited collector would enjoy it more than they could.
When the money came in, I sent it to my parents. Typically, they sent it back to the three of us, divided evenly.
The “Peanuts” strip was a remarkable find. What was beneath it, at the bottom of the box, was even more amazing.