Letter to the Editor: The ‘Minute-And-A-Half Man’

Following is a copy of a letter included in a gift for our great grandson’s first birthday:

The Minute-And-A-Half Man is a book long out of print; however there is a story behind the story.

My husband Bob was in college from 1963-1967 at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Bob read to our son each evening before putting him down to sleep. No matter the day, our son wanted his daddy to read The Minute-And-A-Half Man.

When it came time for his final speech in his college speech class, Bob chose to read The Minute-And-A-Half Man. He told his class the history behind the reading. He got an A in the course.

As I mentioned this book is long out of print, so I went looking for it. I asked the owner of the new bookstore on 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay if he could find the book. A friend of his who owns a store in New York found the book and sent it to him. It might well have been stored in someone’s attic or basement. I put dryer sheets between the pages to take out the basement smell. Not only did the owner of the bookstore find the book for me, he refused to take any money for it. The original charge listed on the book cover was 29 cents. 

We have a custom in our family. On birthdays, the grandchildren always get a dollar a year for their birthdays. They also get a book. We sent our great-grandchild a birthday card for his first birthday (and a dollar) and this special book. We included the history behind the book and the following message: 

Dear Andrew, 

We hope you enjoy this book as much as your grandpa Mark did.

I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I was with the owner of Novel Bay Booksellers in Sturgeon Bay for the great service he gave me. 

Jocelyn Swanbeck Winkel

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin