Snoopy’s path behind German lines – World War One Flying Ace

snoopy-going-down

For my Halloween post this year I thought I’d try to figure out where Snoopy – World War One Flying Ace – crash landed in “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

When I studied France I was always fascinated by all the small towns that quickly passed by when I was riding the TGV somewhere between Lyon or Besançon and Paris.  I remember stopping at one small town when taking the night train; I do not remember the name of it but that it was around 10:00 PM, only one passenger got off; I remember thinking how quiet it was and how small the town was.  In fact, it might not have been a town at all but a village, although I don’t think the TGV would stop at a village but who knows.

Since then I’ve always wanted to travel in the French countryside going nowhere in particular.  Just stroll into a small town like the one I just mentioned, have a café, read the newspaper, visit the small churches and perhaps even strike up a conversation with a few of the locals.  I’d love to visit small memorials and forgotten places of the world wars that are now known only to the villagers.

A trip like this might seem boring to many in the fast place, ADD world we live in.  But for me, this would be a dream trip which would only be topped if somehow I could know everything and everyone in the town from its founding and know each and every story that ever took place there.

It is from this fascination that I noticed the signs of real places as Snoopy made his way behind enemy lines after being shot down.  I’ve found most of it but am still a little confused by the last sign which I’ll explain.

Interactive Google Map

Now I’ll use pictures from the movie to explain what these points mean:

chalons-sur-marne

The first sign we come to is Châlons-sur-Marne.  This city is now called Châlons-en-Champagne and is shown by the pin on the above map at the far left.  Snoopy is 70 kilometers from there so that puts him crash landing near the middle pin close to Verdun.

He then travels south east and we know he is still behind enemy lines because he must sneak across by night.  He also comes across trenches which puts us right on the front lines.

The best guess is that he is very close to the Armstice line of 11 November 1918.  Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_of_11_November_1918

Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.
Original map drawn by Joanna Legg on CorelDraw 1999/2000. Modified in 2003, 2010, 2014.

point-a-mousson-sign

Next we come to our second sign which is Pont-a-Mousson.  On the map above there are two pins close together on the far right.  One is Pont-a-Mousson and the other is three km away showing Snoopy’s approximate location.

la-moselle-sign

Then in the next frame there is another sign simply saying La Moselle is 4 km away.  There isn’t a town called La Moselle close-by but there is the Moselle river.  One detail that is very hard to see is the letters in red – N57.  This is for Route national 57 which tells us Snoopy is on this road.

Route national 57

Route Nationale 57 – https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_nationale_57_(France)

And we then see Snoopy come to a river that he swims across which must be the Moselle.

Finally, he sneaks inside the farmhouse and joins the Halloween Party.  While at the party Schroeder plays some famous songs from World War One that makes Snoopy pretty emotional.

Schroeder’s World War One Music:

  1. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary
  2. There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding
  3. Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile.  (Snoopy smiling on the smile lines)
  4. Roses of Picardy


Notes:

  1. Link to the only website I could find that also had information about Snoopy’s path which helped me a little bit.  Thank you!  https://outermosthouse.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/charles-schulzs-war/
  2. N57 on Google Maps:   Click Here

Journal Entry – 10.20.2016

It is 5:16 AM.

Today I have an all day travel industry event and must leave very early so my morning ‘me time’ is cut very short.  These things can be a bit draining but also great opportunities to do a lot of networking.  Needless to say I’m looking forward to tomorrow which is Friday.  Work has been much busier than usual because yet again I have to fill in for another territory.  I’ll be glad when we get someone permanently in place there.

Halloween is also almost here and I’m trying very hard to get into the mood and appreciate the beginning of the holiday season.  One of my son’s favorite movies is The Nightmare Before Christmas so we’ve watched that and have been listening to two of the best songs which are: “This is Halloween,” and “What’s This?”  The song ‘This is Halloween,” also has a version sung by Marilyn Manson which I appreciate:

The decorations are up and we’ll be carving the pumpkins soon.  But, due to work being so busy I’m still not completely in the holiday spirit just yet.

As for karate my body continues to be sore as it is being twisted, punched, kicked and going through workouts which it just isn’t used to.  It is used to the gym and lifting weights from which there is always a speedy recovery but karate is a whole different matter.  My body doesn’t recover as quickly and it makes me feel a bit old here at only 39.  I plan on continuing karate for the rest of my life so I’m banking on my body adjusting because things could be worse at 50 if it hasn’t.

It is great to be able to do karate with my son.  I can see it already gives great confidence and confidence is critical during the school years.  Without confidence kids get picked on, never get a girlfriend, get worse grades and generally just have a bad to mediocre time.  With confidence however, school can be a lot of fun, especially high school.

Last night we watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I hadn’t seen in a long time and it is remains a great movie 30 years later.  The best line is “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”  There is a lot of wisdom in that quote!  For so many people life is work, whether that be going to an office everyday or completing a series of tasks.  Everyone has a series of tasks to be completed everyday but how many stop and just be?  How many stop and appreciate the special moments that appear throughout each and every day but often go by unnoticed?

In the movie Ferris’ father works in a high rise, has a nice office with a view and drives an Audi.  But these things are paid for with the greater part of the week.  He spends each and every day in that office except for weekends.  Money is necessary to live but it is sad to think that the world demands people still spend the majority of their lives working, in order to get money, in order to pay for shelter, food and now thousands of unnecessary things as well such as bigger, fancier shelter, a number of vehicles, more stuff!

With technology life was supposed to get easier, it was supposed to give us more free time.  But greed takes over and ‘more’ is never enough so here we are working as much as ever.  It is sad to think that most of humanity must look back on their lives and think 90% of my time was spent working, doing something I really didn’t enjoy.  I hope that future humans would at least be able to spend 50% of the time they are alive not working but be completely free to do whatever they wish.

Decision time.  The sunrise today is at 7:24 AM and I would have to leave even earlier to catch it.  That means I should go get dressed now and out the door soon.

Decision made – it has been a long while since I’ve seen a sunrise, I’m going.


Got the sunrise and sunset!

Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Oyster Point sunrise on 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick's - Rockaway Beach - 10.20.2016
Sunset at Nick’s – Rockaway Beach – 10.20.2016

Halloween 2015

It is 4:55 AM – I get an extra hour of “my time” this morning thanks to the daylight savings change on Saturday.  This is no guarantee that my youngest will actually sleep an extra hour as I don’t believe he yet honors daylight savings.

I always like to get a journal entry in at the start of the holiday season.  I wasn’t motivated enough this past week and was feeling pretty sluggish due to lack of exercise.  I found an opportunity yesterday and went for a short run which made me feel great.  Unfortunately Halloween happened while I had a lack of exercise endorphins so I wasn’t as in to it as I should have been.  But that has now been corrected.

"Spooky" - 2015 TB145
“Spooky” – 2015 TB145

This Halloween we had an earth destroying asteroid named “Spooky” fly pretty close by the earth.  Scientists only caught it 20 days before and if we properly reflect on this event it should have made us all turn white.  We are just one rock hit away from being almost completely wiped out from a catastrophic impact.  We inhabit a flying orb that would take only one direct impact to change life as we know it in a neighborhood full of enormous asteroids.  We are lulled into a false sense of security as these events seem rare due to an amount of time – one of hundreds of lifetimes – to actually occur.  When it does – unless we find a reliable way to deflect asteroids – it will not be a good day.

Enchanted Forest

Humanity however just read it as another news story and the majority most likely paid no attention.  I did pay attention but at the assurance of scientists was not worried and we went about our Halloween festivities.  On October 31st, we went down to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve but it was high tide so we couldn’t see any of the pools.  This was OK because what I refer to as the “Enchanted Forest” gave us a spectacular Halloween appropriate display.  The sun was in the perfect position for the light to be dimmed and scattered through the dead and seemingly petrified trees which made it seem enchanted indeed!  We got more than a few pictures which made the trip more than worthwhile.

Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin Graveyard
Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin Graveyard

As I’m writing this post on November 2nd, I thought I should include a picture of Pumpkin Jack in the Pumpkin graveyard where the passage of time will ensure he slowly rots away.  I like this tradition because it does remind us how quickly time goes and nothing stops its relentless forward motion.  We’ll all return to our daily routines and soon Jack will have disappeared completely.  This is a fitting reminder for Samhain (aka Halloween) – a day in Gaelic lore when the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead is more easily crossed – as we too will age and disappear from the earth as well.

My recent visits to my ancestors graves also serves as a stark reminder that our lives are brief and we should appreciate the gift of life and try to live it as fully and happily as possible.  It is all too often we become focused on the trivial, on work and the accumulation of money, on things that really do not matter in the end.  When one reflects back on their life who can really say they would have liked to spend more time at the office?  Life is best spent with family and friends, in appreciating sunrises and sunsets, enjoying good bottles of wine and taking joy in watching our kids grow and learn.  None of these will last, and to me, are activities which promote a life well spent.

This really is a special time of year as the end of one holiday just signals the beginning of another.  Halloween is now over for the year 2015 never to return again but we still have Thanksgiving and then the king of all holidays, Christmas.  So, I’ll be sure to get my exercise to ensure I enjoy the next two holidays to the fullest.

Holiday Post – Halloween

I wanted to write this post right at the beginning of the holiday season which I consider to be right before Halloween!  But with two kids now I find that my free time has evaporated to approximately zero.  The only time I have to myself is very early in the morning, around 5:00 am or when the wife and boys are at preschool/shopping.  It just happens I have a moment now and am determined to get this post finished.  

So I’ve turned on “This is Halloween” by The Vitamin String Quartet to try and transport my mind back a month or so.  

I have always loved the holidays.  I think the main reason is that my mom was and still is so enthusiastic and gets excited herself.  She decorates the house to the brim and we would do fun things like watch the TV specials, make popcorn and all the other activities associated with holidays.  Every holiday was a wonderful time and full of magic.  

I can still remember the most magical moments.  Let’s begin with Halloween since it is first in line.  I was in 7th or 8th grade and it was one of the last times I would feel young enough to go trick-or-treating.  I lived in a wonderful neighborhood called Golfview Woods that was like a labyrinth.  There were only two ways in/out which were right next to each other.  If you didn’t know where you were going getting lost was almost a certainty.  In this neighborhood there were no businesses, just middle class housing right next to an 18 hole public golf course called Raymond Memorial and a smaller 9 hole golf course known as Wilson Road GC, hence the name Golfview.  

There were only a smattering of schools for the neighborhood kids to attend, all of which required a commute/bus.  With such a limited selection we all pretty much knew, or at least knew of, all the other kids.  As there were a number of kids and the neighborhood was family friendly, most people would decorate their houses.  It was rare to not make any effort at all.  

These things made the neighborhood magical in itself, just a really great place to grow up before one got a driver’s license and had a wider world to explore.  

Anyway, this particular night was warm, trick-or-treat was winding down with only the die-hard teenagers still soliciting for candy.  I was with my friends on En-Joie Dr near Pamona Ct when looked up in the sky and saw a shooting star.  It was at this moment where all the magic that is Halloween, comes together and through a simple spectacle of nature plants the memory of this night firmly in my brain.  These are the golden nuggets of holidays past which being very rare are things one will never forget.  

To add to this there was also a women in a house across the street who did not close her bedroom blinds and took off her shirt.  For the first time in my life (not counting being a baby) I saw a real and quite voluptuous pair of boobs.  I have to say they were almost as beautiful as the shooting star.  Instead of enchanting me with the magic of Halloween night however, I was overcome with a feeling quite different from deep appreciation of the holidays.  

I have seen quite a number of boobs since then and thus they don’t elicit the same type of excitement; first times are simply often the most spellbinding.  

Time goes on and I’ve never experienced a Halloween moment as magical as that.  I find that as we get older the magic almost disappears completely.  I try to re-conjure it with all my might for my son and he gets mightily excited but for me adulthood has muted the experience which used to occur on its own.  

I can still get a quick flash of the magic but it is quick and usually involves me alone, outside looking at the stars or out over the ocean or at a fireplace and in a sort of trance trying to bring back all my wonderful holiday memories as though I’m casting a spell which will bring back the wonder and joy of childhood into my adult existence.  In order to do this I must consciously stop and make it happen at certain moments during the holidays.  Today for instance I had just finished sweeping the leaves when I paused, appreciated the chill in temperature, picked up a dead leaf and said hello to Autumn.  

I then glanced outside the gate to where I had put the pumpkins so we could see what happens when pumpkins decompose and was reminded that although time is supposedly an illusion, it leaves very convincing evidence by the fact that the pumpkins are now mush and I am 37 years old and no longer gets (as) excited by boobs!  

JackPumpkinKing

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, the once feared Pumpkin King is no more. 

It is at this point that I realize I can write no more.  The wife has returned and I am forcefully returned from the enchantment of past Halloweens to current domestic duties.  I must confirm that we have everything needed for the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  Seems a reasonable enough request!  

I hope to write something on Thanksgiving but stay tuned for my next post on Christmas.  The most magical moment of my entire life happened on Christmas morning at about 4:00 AM when I was 6 years old, sitting on the heater vent staring at the shining and glorious Christmas tree.