As many of you know, I was at Fred Meyer on Saturday for a special book-signing fundraiser for Siuslaw Outreach Services, a local organization that provides assistance to abused woman and children, and families in need.
Yes, I realize this is a humor blog and I am a humor columnist, and so far you haven’t laughed once. Keep in mind I’m a professional, so you can trust me when I say it gets funnier.
But not before it gets a little mushy.
On Thursday last week, our office manager Misty handed me letters from Katherine in Minnesota, Michelle in Kansas and Matt in Ohio.
“Look at Mr. Popular,” she said. “Looks like your parole officers finally found you.”
Thursday, Misty was back with more letters: Susan in Washington and Melanie in Atlanta. Friday morning, I received emails from Paul in Canada, Ann in Europe, and Tez and Jennifer in Australia. That same day, my publisher called and said she needed me to sign books for Courtney in Texas (which is almost its own country) and Karen in Kentucky.
What did all of these people have in common? I mean, aside from their obvious good taste in humor writers? Each of them wanted to participate in the fundraising effort for SOS. Because of them, and people like you helping spread the word, I already had $125 in donations even before I walked past this crowd waiting for me on Saturday morning…
Before I talk about how the actual book signing went, I need to tell you how appreciative I am of everyone’s support, whether it be in spirit, financial or both. As I mentioned in my initial post about this fundraiser, and my uneasy decision to include it within the blog-o-sphere, just having the opportunity to present the idea to all of you was a privilege I didn’t take lightly. Having so many of you respond in kind words and deeds has been truly humbling. I thank each of you you for your support, generosity and trust with this endeavor to help some folks in my small town have a brighter Christmas. Thanks to you and those who came to Saturday’s book signing, I headed over to Siuslaw Outreach Services early this morning with a check for $400.
It’s a truly wonderful thing that wouldn’t have been possible without all of you: those who wrote in, those who ordered books and those in the communities of Florence and Mapleton who braved Saturday’s storm and flooding to show your support of SOS AND that amazing buy-one-get-one offer on Lucerne cheddar cheese at Fred Meyer.
This brings us to the actual book signing, which the folks at Freddy’s were gracious enough to host in their furniture section across from the book aisle. Once my wife and I arrived, we quickly set things up. With 10 minutes to go before the doors opened, my wife, who was tying off the last balloon, turned and asked, “So, are you nervous?”
Precisely at 10 a.m., the announcement was made over the loudspeaker, sending dozens of people scrambling toward us, then past us to fight over a special on Lucerne cheese. The next announcement was about the book signing, and soon we had our first visitor, Jane Yecni…
Denise from Dublin, Ga., also bought a book. Naturally, I thanked her for coming such a long way to get a copy of my book! She smiled and, in her sweet Southern drawl, told me she had actually traveled here for the sale on cheese (apparently cheddar is really expensive in Georgia) and thought my book would make a festive cheese tray.
Once the dairy section had run out of cheese, people headed back our way and, by 11:50 a.m., we had officially sold our last copy of 50 Ways Cheddar Makes Things Better, which was actually Humor at the Speed of Life once they peeled away the fake cover.
All cheese aside, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to all of you. Sincerely — Thank You so much.
Happy holidays, Everyone 😉