Snoopy the Bear

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This season, the Mercantile is offering many Smokey Bear items for our customers’ souvenir pleasure. We have 1,000 piece Smokey Bear jigsaw puzzles. We have decks of Smokey Bear playing cards. We have Smokey Bear magnets, Smokey Bear wooden postcards, and Smokey Bear wooden gift tags. We have Smokey Bear metal signs and some made out of wood. We have Smokey Bear sanctioned survival kits, whistles, binoculars, and compasses. We have Smokey Bear t-shirts, Smokey Bear coasters, and Smokey Bear plush toys. We have representations of Smokey Bear all over the store, but most are concentrated on the top shelf of a unit directly across from the beverage cooler.

One Sunday morning a large group of people came into the Mercantile. They seemed to be a family group, and English did not seem to be their first language. One little boy was immediately drawn to the main display of Smokey Bear items, but he was a bit confused.

Snoopy the Bear! Snoopy the Bear! he shouted with glee.

His mother was right behind him. I thought she’d explain to him that Snoopy is a dog, and Smokey is a bear, but no. That’s not what happened. Instead of correcting him, the mother agreed with him. Snoopy the Bear! she said in a voice of excitement similar to her son’s. Snoopy the Bear!

Marketing fail—for both the estate of Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, of which Snoopy is a character, and for the USDA Forest Service, which owns the rights to the image of Smokey Bear.

Unfortunately for the Mercantile’s bottom line, the woman did not buy her son a souvenir by any name.

I took the photos in this post.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

2 Responses »

  1. I thought Smokey the Bear was in disrepute, since his total fire ban has exacerbated the out of control fires of today. Love to all, Auntie M

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