The first Peanuts
television special, A Charlie Brown
Christmas, had been on TV the previous Christmas and that made me even more
of a fan of the strip. I couldn’t get enough of Charlie Brown and company.
My phone rang fairly late one evening
during the summer of 2000. I was in bed, but my son was still up. On the
phone was a nurse from the nursing home in Vevay, Indiana. My mother
was staying there recuperating from knee surgery — her left knee. She
had her right one replaced a year earlier.
September 22, 2013, around seven o’clock in the morning, I smoked my last Pall
Mall cigarette. It was the last one in my pack and the last one I ever intended
to inhale and exhale. I was going to give up tobacco for good.