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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • 321

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
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BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE APRIL 13, 1986 B99 Antiques B100 Confidential Chat B102 1 Weddings B19 AMECAN MARIAN CUR STY Meet the swee Dy iNainarnoDD 56 years and 40 billion cakes later, the mystical Twinkie marches on Conversatmm It was no laughing matter 'Mother Goose' cartoonist Mike Peters fought a long battle to gain confidence in himself aaddVHM ATWflGIAIGNI 01 03JdWM A1TVB0IAIQNI ggggN XfeSigS1 pi frJPSI COIOCN SPONGE CAKE-CREAMED FILLING JWlj Cm 5 'Sir 'itl -ivrmm. I 10 INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED i Handsome cartoonist Mike Peters is dressed in the uniform of an Establishment collegian: jeans, sneakers, slip-on sweater. But the outfit is contradicted by a splendid shirt and a businessman's tie. Peters, 42, who won a 1981 Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons (Dayton Daily News), lives in a small Ohio town, Beaverbrook. But his highly successful comic strip, "Mother Goose and Grimm," appears in 300 metropolitan newspapers across America, including the Globe.

During this conversation over lunch at the Ritz-Carlton, he talks about his lingering vulnerabilities, but, at the i same time, you sense he's unstoppable. A 1965 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Peters launched his career at the Chicago Daily News and then joined the Army (1966), drawing cartoons for Second-Psyops (psychological operations). Peters became the political cartoonist of the Dayton Daily News in 1969 and was first syndicated in 1971. His best strips have recently been published in paperback Goose and Grimm by Mike He is married to the former Mar'an Connole, and they have three children ages 15, 13 and 9.

"It took me 12 years as a cartoonist to build confidence. One day I thought: 'Man, oh man, start believing in yourself, have faith in "Before that, I was always worried. I worried that I wasn't funny enough or good enough. The fear was constant. It was always rooted in a reaction.

If just one person said, 'I like your strip I was in seventh heaven the entire day. But if just one person said, 'I don't like your I'd spend the day In agony. 'i 'A. or creative people sutler, iney always doubt themselves. If my own cartoons don't make me laugh, I feel they are a failure.

I can't begin to tell you how many failures I've had In one day. I'm my own worse critic. I'm always saying 'no' to myself. Arthur Miller the playwright once said he knew 'J eight fine playwrights but only two were famous. The other six reacted badly to negative reviews.

PETERS, Page B101 Consider, first, the name. Twinkie. It's perfect, that name. A part of the American language. And it has come to mean more than merely a spongy, 1 cake injected with "creamed filling," yours for 49 cents a polypropylene-wrapped pair.

In the 1970 movie, "Five Easy Pieces," actress Sally Struthers played a disposable and airy character known as "Twinkie." A year later, the television show "All in the Family" began presenting the Twinkie as Archie Bunker's favorite lunch food. "I think the name has played a big part in its success," proclaims Harry Pierce, vice president of cake sales for Continental Baking which is responsible for giving us the Twinkie. "People get a kick out of that name." Pierce reckons that Continental, now headquartered in St. Louis, has baked somewhere close to 40 billion ultrasweet Hostess Twinkles in the past 56 years. (He won't say, however, how many the firm produces annually.) That's nearly 1 .9 million tons of the narrow little yellow cakes, making them the best sellers in a Continental line that includes Wonder bread and that grossed approximately $1.6 billion in sales during fiscal 1985.

When Twinkies were first concocted in 1930, they were literally the company's best idea since sliced bread. That it invented shortly before. So aren't we talking America's very first junk food here? Nutritionists, after all, seldom have kind words for the historic Twinkie. (See accompanying story.) "I don't really get into that," Pierce responds politely. "My position is that we make these cakes out of the same ingredients that you'd find in a typical kitchen.

It's a fun food. That's our position." In any case, it is difficult to imagine Twinkies being peddled in patisseries along the Champs-Ely-sees in Paris. This is strictly American low cuisine, patriotic through and through. Twinkies are sold sparingly in only five countries outside the United States, unless you count assorted American embassies and military Installations. They are produced in Continental's 49 bakeries, where, the firm says, they are returned to be discounted in company-run "thrift shops" if they have not been sold in four to six days.

In this, the year of the 100th birthday of Coca-Cola and the TWINKIES, Page B102 jr. at, mfirt Jut 1 James Dewar, the creator and ardent defender of Twinkies, lived to the age of 88. "Creative people suffer. They always doubt themselves," says cartoonist Mike Peters. From despair to a new life Alone on a failing farm, Sue Hubbell turned to work and to writing about nature and her self-reliance LU 1 LU I to I rCi- sv jrn-' 1 'f -f? 7 By Carol Stocker Globe Staff One day in 1981, Sue Hubbell found herself in a nightmarish situation: She was approaching 50.

Her husband had left after 27 years of marriage. She was living alone in a crumbling farmhouse at the end of 2 miles of gravel road. She was poor. She was deeply in debt. Sh was unsure of whether she could support herself.

That was five difficult but wonderful years ago. Recently, in Boston to deliver honey from her farm tc specialty stores and to visit her son Brian, who riT -j a all construction business out of a South 'iaf jn loft. She also brought a copy of her first book of essays, "A Country Year." Her clothes a sweater and long tropical print skirt from Neiman-Marcus were, she later admitted, a costume, a comic swipe at the image of the stalwart lady farmer in dirty dungarees that emerges from her popular HUBBELL, Page 100 a. LU CO -as a. LU u.

2 Sue Hubbell: 18 million bees and a first book CO LU CO Miillii wr I.

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