Jack Kerouac is a good man, Charlie Schulz. Besides having written the true story of his football career (page 44), the original high priest of the beat generation has this friend who howls and is a rather shaggy poetic-romantic type who is always getting shot down on account of living in a kind of literary doghouse. Does this sound like a friend of yours, Mr. Schulz?
Of course. And on page 28 Snoopy takes time off from hounding the Hun to go golfing at the Crosby.
Since it is seldom that Snoopy and Kerouac get together, it seemed only right to set up a little dialogue between the two. This was more difficult than one might expect. Between books, Kerouac hides out in home town Lowell, Mass., and even his agent claims he does not know his phone number. Snoopy, meanwhile, was last seen sipping root beer in a small café on the coast of France. Finally reached through diligent legwork by a Government operative (his mailman), Kerouac wrote back that—as a longtime reader of this "humanistic cartoon of events"—he was glad he had been asked for an opinion of it. He said that he "loved Snoopy best in his meditative moments on the roof" but admitted that "I identify most with Schroeder bending over his little piano, because he minds his own business and is (therefore surely) not of this contemporary world."
As for Lucy, he says feelingly, "The pestiferous girl will probably grow up to extend her dissent to Schroeder's home doorstep, with placards and all, protesting peace of mind."
In a beautifully Kerouacian paragraph, he took offense at a suggested comparison: "Charlie Brown's All-Stars bear no similarities between baseball or the Dracut Tigers, baseball as such, which my Dracut Tigers really played (we were older, your question was irrelevant). But the Schulz team does try via psychodrama."
After parenthesizing that "I'd better shudder at what Mr. Schulz might say about my books," Kerouac added that, unlike Snoopy and Schulz, "I don't play golf but I do play short-distance golf, i.e., pool."
Schulz, standing in for the vacationing Snoopy, barked, "I'm a good pool player, too. I've had my own table ever since my wife bought me one for Christmas and her father taught me how to handle a cue."
As for football, Kerouac's strong, point, Schulz readily conceded, "I never played much tackle. In fact, that's why I took up golf. [Schulz, a regular competitor at the Crosby, is a truly excellent amateur golfer.] I discovered there was no coach to sit me on the bench. My fondest football memory is playing touch on the streets of St. Paul."
Schulz was intrigued by Kerouac's identification with Schroeder. "I often find a similar solution necessary myself," he said. "I crouch over a drawing board, shut out the world and draw silly little funny pictures."
Which, if any, of the Peanuts ball club did Schulz think might grow up beat, hippie or some later equivalent? "By the time they grow up, I think all this will be past," he prophesied. "Of course, Charlie Brown would never be anything like that. He's much too sincere and concerned. Lucy is too confident. But Snoopy, well, Snoopy could go in any direction. If anybody could, Snoopy could grow up a hippie."
JACK KEROUAC AND SNOOPY
[See caption above.]