Let me introduce you to the Patterson family: the parent's John and Elly, and their children Mike, Elizabeth, and April. During the passing of the years, Mike married childhood friend Deanna, and they had a daughter and son of their own, Meredith and Robin. Just this last week, daughter Elizabeth married high school sweetheart Anthony. I have followed this strip for 28 years. I feel like my children grew up with the Patterson children, and I feel like I have known them personally.
As of September 1, the strip as we have known it comes to an end and starts in a new direction. The strip will no longer progress the characters and they won't continue the story. Creator Lynn Johnston is going into semi retirement and is taking the comic strip back to the beginning, redrawing her strip from the very start, and adding new things every now and then.
Even though the comic strip won't completely go away, it will never be the same, and I am mourning the passing of the story as I've known it.
I'll never forget this strip below which I saw in the Sunday paper when I was pregnant with my daughter. I even clipped it out and probably have it in a box somewhere. I thought it was so funny, and could imagine my daughter's father doing something like this! They showed a repeat of it a few months ago and I squealed with delight! Please click to enlarge the comics.
Over the years I saw the Patterson children grow. For many years it was just Michael and Elizabeth, then by surprise, along came April. April was born at home during an April snowstorm. It was a pretty dramatic story line!
Perhaps my favorite storyline was about the family dog Farley and his dramatic rescue of little April when she fell into a creek.
There's Farley above, happy and full of life. The week that this series unfolded, I couldn't think of anything else and would wait by the door for the paper and rip it open to see if April was okay.
I breathed such a sigh of relief when dear old Farley rescued her from the water, and with the help of John and Elly, were both pulled safely from the creek.
Once on land though, Farley didn't fare so well and he died. I bawled and bawled. To follow the series, you can check it out here.
There were other memorable series such as when Michael's friend Lawrence came out of the closet. She was dropped from several papers during this time, but I applauded her for bringing this issue out into the open. I hope it opened the eyes of people. She also had series on how Mike and Deanna got together. Some of my favorites were when Elizabeth went to teach in an Ojibway village in northern Ontario called Mtigwaki. This was a village that Lynn Johnston went to great detail to portray. Another memorable subject from the series was April's friendship with a special needs girl at her school named Shannon. Whatever she portrayed in her comic strip, Ms. Johnston made you feel great empathy and like these were people you could know personally. You can read some of her most popular series on the website under the Explore More section.
This past week, Elizabeth married her high school sweetheart Anthony. After many years apart, they maintained their friendship through Elizabeth's boyfriends, and Antony's unfortunate marriage and divorce, and finally found love again with each other.
However, Elizabeth's grandfather had a heart attack shortly before the wedding, and immediately after leaving the church, the newly married couple went to visit Grandpa Jim and his wife Iris at the hospital. It was a very touching end to the story. I bawled like a baby.
There is one more post that will be in today's paper that will wrap up the storyline and tell a little bit about the future, although sadly, we won't get to see it play out. I would really have liked that. You can see it today here. After I read it, I had to cry a little more.
Although the series isn't really ending, it won't progress, and that makes me a little bit sad. I feel like I am losing some old friends. I just want to thank Lynn Johnson for sharing them with me for the last 28 years! Well done, Lynn!