This past week held two days on my calendar of significance. October 2 and 3. I am somewhat amazed at the calendar dates now. It seems every day is now a national day of whatever… I believe it is a conspiracy theory for Hallmark to make more money for cards that someone in your family will eventually throw away.
Anyway, October 2, 1950, and October 3, 1960. Both dates are significant for the value they not only bring me but also to our family and many others, I would hope.
October 2, 1950, the Peanuts (Charlie Brown) comic strip ran for the first time.
So, here are a few tidbits you might not know about Peanuts, created by Charles Schulz…
- Peanuts started out as Li’l Folks by Schulz, but that name was sold even though it featured the forerunners of the Peanuts characters. The United Feature Syndicate decided on Peanuts, although Schulz did not like it. He wanted the name to be Good Old Charlie Brown.
- Snoopy is named after a black and white dog Schulz had growing up named Spike (who became Snoopy’s brother). Snoopy became Snoopy after Schulz’s mom said they should name their next dog Snoopy.
- Charlie Brown’s crush on the Little Red-Haired Girl is based on a lady Schulz had a crush on who worked in the accounting department of the school where Schulz taught drawing lessons. The relationship did not work out, leaving both Schulz and the future Charlie Brown crushed. The Little Red-Haired Girl never appears in the comic strip. Also, while working at the school, Schulz befriended a gentleman named… Charlie Brown.
- In 1968, Schulz introduced his comic strip’s first black character, Franklin, whose father was a soldier in the Vietnam War. Another character, a yellow bird called Woodstock, was named for the 1969 landmark music festival.
October 3, 1960, a day that will live in television history, The Andy Griffith Show first aired.
When all else fails, and you have to just watch TV, and there is nothing on, you can always watch Andy. Our family loves Andy. Outside of Heather and Breana, my parents, my brother, I have three friends (Allen, Mark, and Norm) on speed dial for Andy Griffith trivia.
So, here are a few tidbits you might not know about The Andy Griffith Show…
- Barney, Don Knotts, only had a contract for one episode. He was not supposed to be a regular. I sure am glad he worked out.
- Aunt Bee and Andy did not like each other nor get along while filming the show. Not until very late in life did Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) apologize.
- Andy was supposed to be the funny one on the show, not Barney.
- Andy’s real-life wife, Barbara, had a small role in the episode “Barney and the Choir.”
- The barber, Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear), suffered a severe stroke after the first season. That’s why we see Floyd sitting most of the time in all the other episodes.
- The maps behind Andy’s desk are upside-down maps of Idaho and Nevada.
- Ron Howard’s (Opie) dad was the governor’s chauffeur in the episode “Barney and the Governor.”
- Two of Andy’s girlfriends, Helen Crump and Peggy McMillan, lived in the same little house with the white picket fence marked “323” on the show.
Anyway… Peanuts and The Andy Griffith Show, October 2 and 3, back-to-back write-ins on my calendar. Peanuts and The Andy Griffith Show have brought everything from a balance of humor and melancholy of life to leadership lessons. Both give stories of characters offering lessons about happiness, friendship, setbacks, perseverance, and life itself. In some ways, a moral compass. It’s amazing how we can identify with so many characters of both or know of people who definitely can. I see a lot of Lucys and way too many Barneys in the world. I wish more people in leadership positions led like Charlie Brown and Andy, by just doing what is right by people. We need more friends like Linus, and the slow-down of Mayberry would be a nice feeling to experience.
We spend much of our time quoting the greats of history, the philosophers, the theologians, the poets, etc. Well, I do as well. But the funny thing is, I find myself quoting the characters of Peanuts and The Andy Griffith Show a lot of the time as well. Especially when I or someone around me unintentionally find ourselves living out a memory moment from a frame of the comic strip or a scene from the show. I have written enough for you to read today, so I will Nip it in the bud…
Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…
Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…
©2022 J Clay Norton
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