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I-Reporters share memories of Schulz, 'Peanuts' gang

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(CNN) -- David Michaelis' new biography of Charles M. Schulz explores the man behind "Peanuts," the comic strip that has delighted readers for decades. CNN.com appealed to fans out there to say what Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown meant to them.

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Joy Hernandez has collected stuffed Snoopys since she was young; her dog, Dottie, is a Snoopy doppelganger.

Readers responded with tales of bonding with family members while reading "Peanuts," even meeting Schulz and finding inspiration and companionship in the strip's characters.

Below is a selection of responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:

Elise Marrion of Midland, Texas
My grandmother always loved "Peanuts," and across the generations, that was one of the things we shared. When I was 7 years old, I spent a summer with her in Denver and every morning, I raced to find "Peanuts" in the comics section. A retired teacher, Grandma always made me read at least one front-page news story before I was allowed to read the comics. That task turned into a great love of newspapers, and it inspired me to pursue a career in journalism. Sadly she passed away before I received my degree, but I still keep her Peppermint Patty doll to remind me of her and our times reading "Peanuts" together.

Kimberly Mercier of Santa Rosa, California
The "Peanuts" characters were more like friends, when I was growing up. Woodstock and Snoopy were always my favorites, even today. I spent many years ice skating in Santa Rosa as a child and would often see Charles Schulz there at his favorite table in the Warm Puppy Cafe in front of the fireplace. Sometimes, we got to watch him and his "senior" team play broomball on the ice. They enjoyed themselves so much.

Mr. Schulz was always kind and friendly to me, and when I became an adult with sons of my own, he treated them with equal kindness, a warm smile and hello. We have the loveliest memories of the "Peanuts" characters and their creator, a beloved man in our town.

Susan Clifton of Chalfont, Pennsylvania
This is more a comment on Mr. Schulz than the "Peanuts" characters. I was in my early teens and a huge hockey fan. I loved the "Peanuts" programs and coloring books and my parents told me that Charles Schulz was a big hockey fan, too. I wrote him a letter telling him of our shared interest, and before I knew it, I received a personalized letter, along with two cartoons with the "Peanuts" gang playing hockey -- each signed with a little note. I treasured that letter and personalized cartoons so much and always loved him for the fact that he would take the time to send them to me.

It pains me beyond words that those pieces got lost along the way and are gone forever.

Zac Davis of Blue Springs, Missouri
My favorite "Peanuts" strip shows Snoopy typing on his typewriter a statement that details a struggle in many men's lives (apparently even Schulz's own): "Girls and root beer are not the answer."

Brian Heraty of Chicago, Illinois
I remember snippets of the "Peanuts" gang throughout my childhood. ... From "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and Christmas specials to "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron," memories of Charlie Brown and the gang abound.

In all that time, there were always two answers that eluded me: Why are all the boys bald or balding, and what's the deal with Peppermint Patty?

Pedro Valle of San Juan, Puerto Rico
My favorite "Peanuts" character has always been Linus Van Pelt. His view on humanity is unique, like an outsider looking in. In fact, my favorite "Peanuts" moment ever is when Charlie Brown challenges Linus' dream to become a little country doctor. He asks Linus how he could become a doctor if he can't deal with humanity. The very wise Linus responds: "I love humanity; it's people I can't stand." That sums up my own feelings to the letter.

Vicki Boston of Tucson, Arizona
I always love watching Charlie Brown and his "Peanuts" gang on the holiday specials.

I see myself as a Marcie or Peppermint Patty type. I even played Peppermint Patty in grade school when we did two Charlie Brown skits, and I loved it.

Melanie Taylor of Manchester, England
I am 33 years of age and still enjoy watching the "Peanuts" cartoon shows. The Charlie Brown Christmas special would be, to this day, my ultimate favorite. As a kid, I hated being bullied, put down, let down, always had very few true friends who never passed judgment on me. In that, Charlie was "me."

Linus would be my best friend Tammy, and no matter what, through thick and thin, Tammy was by my side, no matter how cruel the world was around us. We both had a true friendship bond back then. She is someone I wish I knew where she was. I would call her this instant if I knew how or where to find her. I would be calling her up and telling her that "our show is on."

Shannon Brady of Austin, Texas
I remember having "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when I was very little. I used to watch that thing about 50 times a day till it finally died. Charlie Brown was the greatest.

Kat Smith of Fort Washington, Maryland
I have been a fan of "Peanuts" since I was a young girl. My aunt was a fan, and through her I too became a fan. There are so many quips and strips to choose from, but my all-time favorite quotes come from Linus.

One came about during breakfast with his sister, Lucy, and some dialogue about snicker-snacks (the cereal they were eating). I don't remember all of it, but Linus told Lucy, "My heart bleeds for the snicker-snacks company."

And of course there is the strip where Snoopy sent a sincere letter to the IRS asking it to please remove him from its mailing list. ... I've often wondered if I could do the same. Classic.

Mark Eustace of Burlington, Ontario
The greatest moment was in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when Linus walks on stage with a single spotlight and explains the true meaning of Christmas. At my house you could hear a pin drop during that scene.

Cassey Pelkey of Birmingham, England
The most touching strip was the one printed just after Charles Schulz's death. I have been a "Peanuts" since I was 2 years old, and absolutely love them all. I think we can all see a little bit of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Pigpen, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus ... in ourselves if we reflect on it. That's what makes it endearing. ... It's about Everyman.

Kelly Cromwell of New York
I have been a "Peanuts" fan since a young child. Drawing Snoopy and collecting comic books were an obsession when growing up. So when I decided to get a tattoo at age 28, I could think of nothing better than a dancing Snoopy. Ten years later, it still makes me smile.

Joe Keilholz of Apex, North Carolina
I have loved Charlie Brown since I was a kid. There isn't a single holiday that doesn't feel complete without watching any of the animated series, and not a day goes by without reading the classic strip. I've even gone so far as to try and get a tattoo with my face caricatured on Charlie Brown's body.

The ring tone on my cell phone is Linus and Lucy, the e-mail address I send to everyone is Charlie Brown and my login names on almost every site are Charlie Brown-related. I can actually go on a bit more than this, but feel I should stop here. Needless to say, I feel very much like I'm a real life Charlie Brown. As to a catchphrase, of course the classic "Good Grief" is among the leaders.

Grace Cavanaugh of Novato, California
I have loved Snoopy and the gang for as long as I can remember. My first boyfriend gave me his Snoopy collection when he found out how much I loved the beagle. I still have it all.

I think that Peppermint Patty would be the "Peanuts" character that I most identify with. She is bold but sometimes just so unsure of herself that it hits the right cord.

Jacquelyn Bradley-Petersen of Ontario, California
You can never get enough of the "Peanuts" gang. I always try and read the comic strip, but constantly watch the show, old videos and every special on every occasion. I will always love Charlie Brown. Watching it makes me smile and get into a zone where I forget about the day and everything else around me. Complete fun and goodness, serenity.

Everyone can relate to one of the characters, especially Charlie Brown. At least I can. Thank you for talking about this and letting me relive some memories and have a nice moment. Long live the "Peanuts" gang, Charles Schulz and good old Charlie Brown. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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