So what makes us think that a tiny little independent operation like Christ the Lightgiver could possibly get people like Wendell Berry and Eugene Peterson to show up for a speaking engagement?
Because we believe in the Norman Wilson principle. Norman was one of my father’s high school buddies. This was back in the late 1940’s in Farmersville, Texas, so there were only, like, 25 people in my father’s graduating class, and Norman was, by far, the shortest. But one day this new girl moved to town; she was really tall and really good-looking, and the first day she showed up at school, my father and Norman and a few of their other friends just happened to be standing out on the front steps of the building. The young lady walked by; the young men stood there, admiring her, but, then, Norman suddenly walked away. My father asked him where he was going. Norman turned, and, with a big grin on his face, said, “I’m gonna find me a step ladder and ask her for a date.”
I actually don’t know if Norman ever went on that date, but we approach our potential speakers the very same way: we just get out our step ladder and crawl up there and ask them if they’ll join us at the best bookstore in Central Texas. So the next time you’re in the store, ask to go back in the office and check out the Letters from Famous People. You’ll be amazed at the folks who’ve been corresponding with us—and, who knows? They may still end up speaking at one of our events.