In new exhibit, Chance shares impact of Peanuts on her life – The Stanly News & Press
As far as Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts comic book goes, there’s probably no greater authority on the subject in Stanly County than Jeff Chance.
Since first learning about comics as a child, the former Stanly County School Board chairman has developed a long-standing passion for the Peanuts gang, amassing hundreds of articles, including figurines, lunch boxes, ornaments and books. He also took to heart many of the franchise’s core lessons, such as persistence in the face of adversity, as he went through his own difficult times.
He believes he laminated hundreds of comics he keeps in his home, each with significant meaning. Chance said he always enjoys wrestling with the theme of each cartoon, especially when Schulz is writing them.
“I think everything that Schulz did was probably very meaningful and if you really take the time to dig in there is a particular point he tries to make in each of his comics,” he said. declared.
To help celebrate the holiday season, his many trinkets will be on display as part of the “Charlie Brown and All the Gang” exhibit at the Oakboro Regional History Museum starting Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. of its reopening to the public for the first time. time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibit will be on display until at least January, Chance said, although people will need to make an appointment after the event on Thursday.
See yourself in Charlie Brown
Chance’s first exhibition at Peanuts was in 1967 when his parents first gifted him with the book “You Are Too Much, Charlie Brown,” which featured some of the most notable comics in the series.
Ever since her father worked as an electrician for the Charlotte Observer, the family received the newspaper every day and Chance always turned to the comic book section.
âI read the comics before I read anything else in the newspaper, if I read anything else,â Chance said.
To this day, he’s still a huge fan of the comics.
While reading other comics, nothing had marked him so much as Peanuts, which began publishing in 1950. As a child, he quickly identified with Charlie Brown, arguably one of the most popular characters. most ubiquitous in all of American culture, and has seen many parallels. between the many struggles Charlie Brown went through and Chance’s own upbringing.
The main character of the comics, Charlie Brown is often gentle and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or hit a soccer ball held by his nemesis Lucy, who always snatches it at the last second.
Growing up in Albemarle, Chance described himself as a nervous kid who struggled to make friends and deal with anxiety issues. As a young child, he didn’t feel like he was necessarily liked or connected with many of his peers.
But even during tough times, there was always one constant he could lean on.
âI’ve always had a connection to Charlie Brown,â Chance said, calling the character an outsider, whom he also considered to be younger himself. âHe’s one of those kids he wants everyone to love, but nobody really does initially. But in the end, he tends to do something that appeals to everyone.
Much like Charlie Brown, whose best friend was his pet beagle Snoopy, Chance’s best friend growing up was his dachshund Dusty.
He also seems a bit of himself in Snoopy, who is inclined to imagine fantastic lives, most notably as a college student and British flying ace during WWI.
âHe’s a unique individual,â Chance said. âHe sort of does his own thing. “
Help her get through the hard times
Some of Chance’s favorite comics are about Charlie Brown’s failed attempts to fly a kite. Despite his best efforts, even seeking advice from others like Lucy, he never manages to keep the kite in the air.
One of the lasting lessons Chance has learned from Charlie Brown’s many struggles – whether it be the kite or the many failed attempts to hit football – has been to continue to persevere, despite the many obstacles that might stand in the way. the path.
A key theme of the comic book as a whole that Chance appreciates is the idea that whatever life throws at you, “in the end, you can always come out on top. Maybe you didn’t get what you wanted, but you still got to the end of the road and everything turned out fine.
Much like his hero, Chance has had his fair share of struggles in life, especially in 2018, when he was hospitalized with double pneumonia. Her kidneys and lungs stopped, and doctors had to perform a tracheostomy so Chance could breathe.
Aside from his family, which was his main motivation for wanting to get better, another key inspiration was his beloved Peanuts.
âThe whole Charlie Brown mindset was that he never gave up and neither was I,â he said, noting that he often thought about Peanuts during his time at the hospital.
On his 59th birthday, while he was still recovering and preparing for rehab, his wife Sandra surprised him with a custom Charlie Brown cake from the Albemarle Sweet Shop, complete with figurines on the above.
âIt was awesome, it really brightened up my day,â he said.
Peanuts as a unifying force
When it comes to Peanuts, Chance has always loved the 1965 classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. He has it on VHS, DVD and watches it on television every year.
Although he’s been seen many times, he’s still moved by Linus’ speech regarding the true meaning of Christmas and Charlie Brown’s friends helping to decorate his tree. Although simple messages, they are still very powerful.
“It is without a doubt the greatest cartoon of all time,” he said.
And while many comics these days often portray a certain bent or a certain political point of view, he said, the magic of the Peanuts is that it is a property enjoyed by so many people, no matter what. political party or any other affiliation. Chance refers to it as an apolitical caricature.
This holiday season, Chance is hoping people will come together to watch the Christmas special and understand the important messages that come with it.
“I think if you go back to the lessons of the characters in Peanuts and what Schulz is trying to convey, if we were all to go back to this mindset of getting along and helping each other, whatever your political thoughts. , I think we would be better, he said.