When I delved into Bill’s story, one of things I brought to the effort was the vision that this should be more than an Ohio State book. Could we tell Bill’s story in a way that appealed to an audience broader than Ohio Staters? Could we pull in the American history, the sports history, the civil rights and social issues? Could I make it a sports book, a history book, and weave in a smidgeon of social commentary? I had not one, but two, very good published authors – one a former editor, and the other a High School Composition Teacher – tell me I could probably do one of those things, but likely not two, and certainly not three. But they didn’t know Bill, and his unique life story.
Not saying we did all that, it’s really Bill’s amazing life that did it, but if this week is any indication, it’s clear this book isn’t just for Buckeyes.
Jim, a Purdue Grad, was given the book for Christmas by a MSU grad. He told me last Wednesday, “I finished the book and I really enjoyed it. It’s an amazing story. I am giving it to my neighbor who is a big OSU fan.” (Jim…see Mark below…)
Mark, another Purdue Grad, mailed me he had just bought the book, and was looking forward to reading it. “I have a couple of Ohio State alumni working with me that can’t wait for me to finish so they can borrow it,” he wrote. “I told them to buy their own and support starving authors.” (Attaboy Mark!)
And then there is Chris – Nice guy but a poor diehard Alabama Crimson Tide fan surrounded by Buckeye grads in one of our field offices. (That was a real painful January!) Chris had heard of the book and bought one too. I took the high road and wrote “Go SEC” in the front for him when I signed it. (Course I had to put “Go Bucks” above that…)
One week, three other Universities, three non-Buckeyes. Not bad.