It was truly a homecoming for DeGraff native Rick Niece when he met family, friends and readers last week for a book signing at the Peach Tree Boutique in Bellefontaine. Niece and his wife, Sheree, arrived in the area to promote the third book in his series about growing up in rural Ohio. The book, “Perfect in Memory, A Son’s Tribute to His Mother,” was released Sept. 1 by Five Star Publications Inc.
Amid designer purses and clothing, Niece sat at a small round table and joked with people as he wrote messages in the books they purchased. Between Peach Tree and the DeGraff Public Library where he met DeGraff residents the previous day, he autographed more than 140 books and left several signed copies at Peach Tree for those who missed the book signing.
Niece and his wife, Sheree, are collaborating on several children’s books they plan to publish in coming months. “We really enjoy coming back to a small town and try to do so every year, Niece said. On this trip he visited the DeGraff cemetery and found the log cabin stone monument he climbed on as a boy. “Funny thing, it doesn’t look as big as it did years ago,” he said.
Students at Greenon Middle School talked with and asked questions of the author. “What started out as a visit to one class became an all-school affair,” he smiled. Niece, a retired college professor, said he is always happy to encourage student writers. The Nieces will stop in several other northern Ohio communities before going back to their home in Arkansas.
Judy Wherry is a regular contributor to this newspaper.