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 😉
(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)
41 thoughts on “We did something special together (Don’t worry, it’s ok to tell)”
Aww…… that’s awesome Ned!!! So glad to be a part of it! And congrats on a successful book signing! 😉
Thanks, Courtney! It was like “Miracle on Maple Street.” 😉
Fantastic news….I’m happy for you. And if I’d known about the sale on cheese, I may have had to revive my passport!!
Thank you, Susan! I’ll send you a log (of cheese…)
You the man! A great (almost) end to a pretty excellent year.
It really has been a great year, Ross. Thanks for being a part of it 😉
But don’t ask me to be specific on which part…
So, when can we expect to see the complete list of the 50 ways cheddar makes everything better?
I’m actually renaming it “50 Shades of Cheddar” and hoping for an endorsement from E.L. James.
Really great to read, Ned. You’re awesome for showing us what happened next. Thank you so much for that.
Thank YOU, Matt. Your letter and support really meant a lot.
That is so cool Ned that thanks to you Christmas will be happier for many people. Especially in Zimbabwewe (sp?). they are very poor. Ha! It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to participate. Did your wife manage to get some cheese before they ran out?
Thanks so much for the support, Paul. And my wife tried her best to get some cheese but all they had was Velveeta. Yick!
I’ve thrown on the short skirt, pulled out the pom poms, even added the high socks while I dance out in the front yard cheering – “Ned rules”! And, “Dammit, it’s cold out here, but still, Ned rules, so buy a damn book before I freeze”!
I don’t think I have to tell you how much it means to me to know you took on this particular cause for your event, but in case I do, good on you, Ned. Good.On.You.
That really mens a lot, Robyn. Not just that you’d brave the cold in a short skirt for the cause, but because I know you understand the importance of it. The cause I mean, not the short skirt.
Many thanks, my dear 😉
Dang girl, I bet you look hot, too!!
Oh yeah, so hot. LOL. You are too funny! Happy Christmas, Michelle.
Well done.At my first signing, I asked the person if it would be okay to say “thanks for not stealing this book.” She loved it.
Haha! I’ll have to remember that if I ever sign a book with your name, John.
Great work Ned! In a drunken stupor, I posted on Facebook about going to shop as a cop with underprivileged kids and told people they were welcome to help out if they wanted to. Goddam if people didnt send me money and we made Christmas better for a while bunch of kids. People can still be pretty great. Hope the book is selling loke gangbusters (is that a real phrase?) and that you and your kin have a great Christmas. Gosh, i really want some cheese now.
Lol! Next year, we’ll have to join forces and try the good cop/bad fireman approach. At any rate, you’re right; people can be pretty great. Either that, or we just know a lot of really great people 😉
My best and merriest wishes to you and your family as well, Don!
wonderful event for a wonderful cause and it looks like there was a run on the cheese. all good for everyone )
You did a good thing Ned. Glad I could help you help others.
It wouldn’t have happened without thoughtful peope like you, Melanie. Thank you for being a part of it 😉
It was my pleasure. I’m glad it arrived in time. 🙂
YAY! I love that you wrote about this, Ned!
What a fantastic cause and a selfless effort to make a difference.
As for the cheese…eat some, man! It looks like you are losing weight 🙂
Merry Christmas to you and yours. xoxo
Thanks, Michelle 😉
And I actually have lost a little weight, only because I know I will gain it back over the next two weeks! Mostly in cheese products…
Okay…as long as you’re feeling good and healthy. The old dietitian in me is ever present when I see my post-surgical friends. You don’t need to get worried unless I show up on your doorstep with clear liquid broth and Ensure.
As long as you don’t show up with fruitcake… 😉
Outstanding job on raising funds for such an important cause! Thanks so much for doing what you did. By the way, a book signing was held for me at a beer garden, under the theory that no one should read my book sober. Oblivious to the sheer magnetism of cheese, I never even considered the dairy aisle. Rookie mistake.
And don’t beat yourself up about overlooking the cheese. It’s an easy mistake. Besides, the line tends to get backed up.
Congrats, by the way, on the book signing! I am thoroughly enjoying the copy you sent. Usually with a beer 😉
Cheers and Happy Holidays, Karen!
It’s really the only way! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it. Thanks for the good wishes, and all the very best to you and your family, too!
Hooray for our donation! I’d think of some clever quip about not being able to eat cheese anymore, but my brain isn’t functioning at not even 5am. So I’ll just say, job well done. Looking forward to reading your book and laughing the day away.
Thanks for being a part of it, Sue! And thanks, also, for saving me some cheese 😉
Cheers and Merry Christmas!
I keep saying this, but.. you’re a good man, Ned Hickson.
Being called that by a man such as yourself is the highest compliment, Robert — so Thank You 😉
That’s amazing Ned! Did you autograph any cheese?
Only the sliced cheddar 😉
I’m sure those who got the autographed cheddar will cherish it and put it behind glass like Elvis’ peanut butter sandwich 😉
Maybe even WITH Elvis’ sandwich 😉