Rockford columnist gratified, humbled


At Kimberly’s Boutique last Friday, Rockford residents Craig Erickson and Kelly Hoffman, exhibit great glee, as Tom Rademacher personally inscribes and autographs a copy of his latest book “Knocking At Your Door.” The book was a Christmas gift for Craig’s mom Linda and included a story about a family members wedding. Photo by CLIFF HILL

For Rockford’s Tom Rademacher, last week was a whirlwind week of selling and signing copies of his newest book, “Knocking At Your Door.” The book is an encore of his debut book “Splitting Wood” that was released in 2010.

The award-winning columnist’s newest book contains 80+ new columns gleaned from the more than 3,000 columns penned by the author over a thirty-year career.

The book-signing tour wrapped up during the late afternoon and early evening of the day before Christmas Eve day, last Friday. Scheduled to make two appearances, one each at two of downtown Rockford’s anchor businesses – Kimberly’s Boutique and Great Northern Trading Company, we caught up with Tom at Kimberly’s.

“I’m gratified and very humbled by the traffic here and the response to my latest book,” said Tom, adding, “It’s also a plus for Kimberly’s that many people seeking my book found themselves in the boutique for the very first time and ended up leaving the store, not only with copies of the book, but laden with Christmas gifts from the boutique’s eclectic offerings. It’s a win-win for both.”

Your reporters chuckled when Tom, exhibiting the wry sense of humor oftentimes found in his writings told us he had, not so subtly, been instructed by wife Holly that he’d better be looking for her Christmas gift when he was not signing books!

Book sales had been brisk at every stop along the way in West Michigan, during the book-signing tour and Tom, again, used the word, “humbled” when describing the large turnouts at every venue. One buyer purchased 40 copies, because the book contained a story about her sister who had been in a coma for 52 years, and she wanted to give a book to everyone in her life who had mattered. “How can you not be humbled,” said Tom.

“Knocking At Your Door” buyers were seeking the second anthology of the collected works of a storyteller who is, first and foremost, a listener who oftentimes is moved to tears by capturing the lives and times of the subjects in his stories. Tom has an innate and genuine ability to listen. It’s a quality that one would hope to find in their own doctor and that’s just what Tom is, a “Doctor of Letters and Words.”

In hinting about yet another book to be released early in the new year, Tom reminded us that, “People never tire of good storytelling. They want to hear good stories about the guy around the corner and people in their very midst.”

The new book, Toms third, will not be compiled of previous Grand Rapids Press newspaper columns but rather, dozens of inspiring stories of everyday heroes who support the mission of a local non-for-profit agency. We can’t wait for its release.

Partial proceeds from the Rockford signings will go toward the North Kent Service Center and the Rockford Area Museum fund-raising campaign.

Tom Rademacher’s book would make great belated Christmas gifts, or for that matter any occasion. Or simply treat yourself to a good read!

“Knocking At Your Door” is also available my mail. Remit a check for $20 to “Lake Michigan Books” at PO Box 226, Rockford, MI 49341. Include your return address with ZIP. The author can also be contacted via e-mail at:

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