Joseph Baptist

December 2, 2001

Post #1398 – 20011202

I am a 33yo USAF Security Policeman (probably not your typical demographic) currently on convalescent leave suffering from Ramsay Hunt syndrome. My illness makes it difficult to concentrate on reading, tv, or work for prolonged periods of time, and has kept me trapped inside the house. Your recent work “Uncle Boris in the Yukon” has provided me with many wonderful (and pain free) moments. I have been able to digest it, a chapter or two at a time, between naps and fits of confusion. My dog (a precious Jack Russell well suited to her role as lap dog and nurse) has also enjoyed the book with me.

I have long been a fan, since Alan Mendelson, the Snarkout Boys, and the Wild Dada Ducks helped me through my own “weird” adolescence. I have had great joy in sharing books like “Tooth Gnasher Superflash” and “The Blue Moose” with classrooms where I have volunteered.

I think of you often when I experience a hole in the wall eatery of the proper style to match those your characters frequent, and have always enjoyed you when I hear you on NPR (with Click and Clack, you will keep that network alive!).

Although we’ve never met in person, I hope that you don’t mind that I consider you a friend, as well as a role model (without putting any pressure on you). I think you are a literary treasure, and hope to be able to meet you if you ever get out this way (Berkeley, CA). Cody’s is a large independent bookseller here that has always done a good job of keeping you (and other quality authors) in stock (and they’re book people, not just businessmen). Once again, thanks for some belly laughs and happy tears, and I wish you and Jill (and the dogs) the season’s best.

Your loyal reader, and friend,

Joe Baptist

Daniel replies:

I am pleased to say that there's never been a typical demographic, but if one peruses the posts on this website a variegated picture will emerge--in my view the most admirable readers any author can claim. This fine example is just another proof. Best wishes, and good health to you.