- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
‘Peanuts’ creator Schulz’s love notes to go up for auction
NEW YORK — The late “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz was once so infatuated with a young woman 23 years his junior he sent her dozens of romantic letters and drawings of his beloved cartoon characters. Many of the themes of that correspondence made it into his daily comic strips at the time.
Now those love notes from 1970-1971 are being offered for sale at Sotheby's in New York by the family of Tracey Claudius, who the auction house says is ill at her home near Philadelphia. It’s estimated the notes will fetch between $250,000 and $350,000 at the Dec. 14 auction.
Ms. Claudius met the cartoonist on March 16, 1970, while accompanying a friend on an interview assignment. She ostensibly came along as a photographer, but afterward admitted in a letter to Schulz that it was a chance for her to meet her idol and thank him “for all the enjoyment Charlie Brown and that ‘stupid beagle’ provide me.”
“He was quite a private and reserved person,” said Selby Kiffer, Sotheby's head of fine books and manuscripts. “I don’t think he carried on long correspondence with friends and acquaintances. There’s no record in the commercial world and auction records of that.”
Schulz often lovingly writes Ms. Claudius‘ name in triplicate: “Tracey Tracey Tracey.” One letter comments on Ms. Claudius‘ “good points,” including being “beepable,” “huggable” and “buggable” — language he applied to Lucy and Snoopy in later comic strips, such as “Lucy playfully beeped Snoopy’s nose” and Snoopy calling himself “buggable and huggable.”
In two letters from 1970, Schulz writes that he must cease calling Ms. Claudius because his long-distance phone calls to her had been discovered by his wife. Soon after, he created a strip in which Charlie Brown berated Snoopy for his obnoxious behavior when he’s not allowed to go out “to see that girl beagle.” In subsequent panels, Charlie warns Snoopy “you’d better start behaving yourself,” and when Snoopy picks up the telephone, Charlie Brown yells: “And stop making those long-distance phone calls.”
He also sent her a dictionary dust jacket filled with comments, including “I’m going to return my new dictionary … there are no words to tell you how much I love you.”
In his 2007 book, “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography,” David Michaelis said Schulz was almost between two marriages when he embarked on the romance with Ms. Claudius. The first marriage ended in 1972; he remarried in 1973.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow