Tony A. Smith

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Keep On Keepin On


“Come on Sparky, it’s time for school.”  Said his dad, a barber in local Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Sparky was always running late for school where he attends Richards Gordon Elementary.

“Come on Sparky, get the lead out, put your pencil down and that silly pad, and get your butt going.”  “You are going to be late for school again.”

Sparky was kind of a loser at school if you want to know the truth.  He got an F in Algebra, English, and Physics, but he did make the golf team. He lost of course!  He was a very shy kid in school and rarely talked unless spoken to.  He especially never talked to girls.

There was one thing Sparky thought he was good at though and that was drawing.  Even if no one else thought he was good at it, he did.  When he attended Central High School he submitted a drawing for a scene in the High School Yearbook which he thought might get published.  It didn’t!

After finishing high school Sparky sent drawing samples to Walt Disney Studios.  Once again he was rejected. Sparky could have quit there but he was persistent, and kept going, knowing all along that his artwork was good and soon someone would appreciate what he did.

Then he submitted some of his work to the “Saturday Evening Post”, and from there everything changed in Sparky’s life.  Better known as Charles Schulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.  Just like the character he created – Charlie Brown – could not do a lot of things. But one thing he could do was to draw.

Sixty years later, the high school that once rejected Charles Schulz and his drawings, now has a 5 foot tall statue of “Snoopy”, one of the characters made famous in the “Peanuts” comic strip he created.

The “Peanuts” comic strip ran for some 50 years, and was published in more than 2600 newspapers in more than 75 countries, in 21 different languages. There have been movies and an assortment of books associated with what Mr. Schulz did with his artwork.  At one time, Charles Schulz had income of more than 40 million dollars per year from his simple artwork that no one wanted or thought was any good.

Charles Schulz once said, “I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.”  I think we can all learn a lesson from Sparky.  Never give up on your dreams, never give up on your hopes, even if everyone else says you can’t do it, or you are no good at it.  Keep going and “Keep On Keepin On”.


  1. lynn__ says:

    I’m a Peanuts fan and never knew this story…good stuff, Tony!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. tabitha59reachingout says:

    I loved this! I am a huge Peanuts fan. I have a few collectors books in fact. I wish my grandchildren appreciated what a wonderful set of characters C.S. created. Thanks so much for sharing his story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jjspina says:

    I didn’t know about this story. Thank God Charlie was persistent or we would never have had the Peanut gang. Thanks for sharing, Tony. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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