Through intelligence and knowledge man comes to resemble the character of the angels.
- Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Hebrew poet and philosopher
I just learned that Bil Keane, the creator of the widely distributed Family Circus comic strip, has died of congestive lung failure at the age of 89.
Surely he’s up there with the heavenly angels, after a lifetime of drawing his feel-good, family-values cartoons. Keane said that everything he drew for the strip had happened to him, and it’s no wonder he could churn out endless material after raising a houseful of kids.
In one of Keane’s cartoons, Dolly and PJ watch out the window as their brother Billy attempts to climb from the top of the backyard fence onto a tree. Billy reaches for a limb from tippy toes, and you just know this is not a smart move. Dolly suggests, wisely, “Billy better hope his guardian angel didn’t get laid off.”
My favorites, though, showed the kids when they weren’t exactly being little angels. Like when Dolly, kneeling for her nightly prayers, asks her weary mom, “After I do my ‘please blesses,’ can I throw in a few ‘don’t blesses’?”
Keane made us all feel like one of the family.
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.