“Truth With Stretch Marks” a collection of humorous stories is finally a reality. The author, Ben Reed, says the book is an assortment of humorous stories that has only gotten better with age. Some may wonder if they are even true. According to Ben, if allowances are made for just a tad bit of truth stretchin’, the answer will always be “Well of course they are….for the most part anyway.”
So what about this book? Well over the course of several years Ben had written a few short humorous stories that on occasion were published in the Lamar Democrat. Ben’s youngest son, Brad, kept urging him to put them into a book. Even after Brad and his family had moved to Georgia, at the conclusion of the usual Saturday afternoon phone call Brad would always ask, “Hey Dad! How’s that book of funny stories coming along?” Naturally, Ben says that he would do what only a Dad knows how to do best…he would lie. “Comin’ right along,” I would tell him. “The truth of the matter was I didn’t have the slightest idea on how to go about making a book and didn’t have any real intentions on figuring out how to do so. But sometimes we have our ideas changed for us.”
The world seemed to stop when Brad was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle in 2010. Fast forward a couple of years and on a Saturday afternoon Ben received a phone call from a Georgia granddaughter selling Girl Scout cookies. Towards the end of the call she asked, “Hey Grandpa, are you about done with that book of funny stories?” That simple question brought back a flood of memories. Right then and there Grandpa decided…“figuring out how to make a book of funny stories seemed like the least I could do to honor my son’s memory.”
So here is the business arrangement that Ben struck up with his two Georgia granddaughter business partners. Grandpa would write the book. Grandpa would illustrate the book. Grandpa would even pay for the book to be printed. Olivia and Chloe’s job was going to be selling the book. All the proceeds from “Truth With Stretch Marks” will be going to their Daddy’s, Brad Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund. The granddaughters are going to be spending a couple of weeks of their summer vacation back in Missouri. “I almost feel sorry for my friends and neighbors when the Georgia sales force hits Missouri,” says Ben. “Those two girls come equipped with some extremely persuasive built in sales weapons. I have first-hand knowledge of how they can surgically remove dollars from a Grandpa’s billfold using nothing more than their big big eyes.”
“We certainly all miss Brad a lot. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about him. He had such a great sense of humor and really enjoyed having a good laugh. We can’t think of a better way to honor Brad’s memory than by using the proceeds from “that book of funny stories” to fund a perpetual scholarship in his name. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of “Truth With Stretch Marks” can do so by visiting the Olivia and Chloe Reed Book Review Stand at Tractors BBQ and Grill from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14. Cost of the book is $10. Books will also be available at the Lamar Democrat.