THAT MYTHIC UNSEEN CHARACTER: Reams have been written about those characters who've only been seen off-screen, or away from the page, and yet... And yet. The main characters in a story speak of them with fondness and/or feeling, and the myth grows and grows and grows. For many years The Little Red-Haired Girl of Peanuts fame was just this sort of complicated-but-unknown-to-us figure. She wasn't unknown to Charlie Brown, however; the zig-zagged-shirted can't-get-aheader worried and fussed over his ginger-haired crush and whether he'd see her that day and if she'd seen him and the stomach knots would ensue (oftentimes for the reader of Charles Schulz's legendary comic strip as well as Charlie Brown). And while The Little Red-Haired Girl was eventually seen -- look for her in the "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" TV special from 1977 -- her mythic status as a comic strip favorite remains strong, as does her cachet around a certain institution in Santa Rosa. For while Lucy and Linus and Sally and a certain beagle hold sway over the Charles M. Schulz Museum, The Little Red-Haired Girl does make cameos throughout the exhibits. And she'll be much on the minds of comic strip fans come Valentine's Day, when any visitor with red hair shall receive free entry into the museum.
A CONVENTION OF GINGERS: Will the institution, which considers both themes within the long-running, oh-so-philosophical strips as well as Mr. Schulz's life and work, be people solely by visitors sporting auburn locks on Saturday, Feb. 14? Well, maybe not, but if you've been wanting to see the exhibition celebrating "Alice in Wonderland" and juxtapositions in Peanuts, Valentine's Day will certainly be a lively day to do so. We're pondering if any of the red-haired visitors -- be they boys or girls or women or men -- shall dress in their Peanuts best that day. You know Peanuts style -- those shoes, the low-belted dresses, that iconic zig-zaggy shirt. It's a holiday, where a lot of people will get in free, so celebratory dress should be the order of the day. (But arriving with a football to pull away at the last second from other museum goers is probably not advisable, accurate to the subject matter though it is.)