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Special Event

Friends and Fans Honor Memory of Cartoonist Charles Schulz

Aired February 21, 2000 - 2:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A man who had a talent for making the morning brighter is being remembered by fans in California. If you start your day with the comics, then chances are you miss the man who brought us "Peanuts." Charles Schulz died last week as his final strip was going to print.

And CNN's Don Knapp joins us from Santa Rosa, California where the late cartoonist is being honored today -- Don.

DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Natalie. Charles Schulz was always very much a prominent member of the Santa Rosa community, and a huge contributor to it. And so, after private services last week, the family felt they wanted the public to get involved, and so they organized here at the Luther Burbank Center this huge public ceremony to involve the public in the memory of Charles Schulz.

The Luther Burbank Center is -- it holds about 2,000 people: I think 1,800 in the main auditorium; there's an overflow crowd in the lobby, and even outside in the parking lot there are people standing around watching television sets of what's going on inside.

Let's ourselves go inside right now and listen as we listen to the daughter of Charles Schulz, Jill Schulz-Transki.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JILL SCHULZ-TRANSKI, DAUGHTER: Thank you, dad. I love you.

(APPLAUSE)

KNAPP: Just a little bit -- a little while ago before the services, we had an opportunity to speak with Jill Schulz-Transki and we asked her what her father might think of all the fuss that's being made.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULZ-TRANSKI: He'd, first of all, tells us we were going to way too much trouble and we shouldn't bother and we probably got better things to do with our day. And the last afternoon I spent with my father prior to bringing him over to my house for dinner that evening, when I went up to pick him up at his house, he was siting at a table with his -- with a friend of his, and a newspaper with some of the articles for the last strip appearing on the Sunday were spread across the table. And I pulled one towards me and began to read it and my dad says, I just don't understood it, all of this. I don't get it. I'm just a cartoonist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KNAPP: A cartoonist known as Sparky. Anybody who knew him personally never referred to him as Charles, they called him Sparky. And just a few moments ago at the memorial service, his wife Jeannie spoke of her beloved Sparky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEAN SCHULZ, WIFE: A sister of the Order of Notre Dame sent a poem she had written about the characters in which she ended with these words: "I think you knew our love from them was love for you, then and now and always."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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