I bought Sunday’s paper, first time in years. As in an actual paper paper. Saw it on the rack while checking out groceries, a giant headline about the state’s plans for moving forward with education in light of pandemic setbacks. As educators themselves (particularly those in the trenches in actual schools) are often the last to know, I thought perhaps I should read it…
Opened it up in the car only to have my attention captured by the comics.
How could I have forgotten?
All those childhood Sundays of sifting through the heftiness of sections and fliers to pull them out, that colorful layer beckoning amid the grayness of the world’s ponderous deeds and opinions.
The poring over every one, the laughter, the ink-smell… a preschool recollection of my grandmother showing me how to flatten Silly Putty over a panel to peel it up and find the image lifted, then stretching poor Charlie Brown’s round head every which way…understanding later, in school, what “newsprint” paper really was when blank sheets were distributed for drawing… often sketching pretty good replications of Snoopy and especially Woodstock in margins of random notebook pages… a fleeting recollection of two strips I cut out and taped to my bedroom door (one, I think, was Shoe and the other eludes me now; I can only remember loving it for its hilarious rhyme).
All this in one nostalgic flash, just finding the funnies in my hands again after so long.
For just that moment, I am child again, and everything is all right.
*Update: Finally remembered the other strip taped to my bedroom door: The Briny Deep.