In November 1997, I wrote a column about a swell invitation to be included in the next edition of “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.”
It was from a company called Marquis, which has been publishing “Who’s Who” biographies since 1899.
I immediately wrote a column about that swell invitation, basically a letter to my mom, who has since passed on. I reminded her of some of the agonies I put her through during my rebellious James Dean period, then — surprise, surprise — told her the wonderful things Marquis had said about her son.
My accomplishments, the company said, were “of significant reference value” and said I was “part of a core group of highly qualified individuals who are prominent because of their leadership positions, educational attainments, significant publishing or public speaking experience or contributions to the communities in which they live.”
Wow. Who knew this little dog-and-pony show called “On the Loose” could grab that kind of high esteem.
Well, that was then. This is now.
Now, after all these years, Marquis wants me to update my biography for “Who’s Who in America.” Yes, Mom, not just the South, but whole dang country.
Trouble is, I’m having trouble listing any accomplishments since being put out to pasture in McClellanville 12 years ago.
Okay, I mow the lawn every two weeks.
I walk the dog twice a day, rain or shine.
I take my bride to Costco most every week.
I’ve been driving 100 miles on Tuesdays to play golf with a bunch of misguided Republicans.
And, at 79, I’m still writing an ego-boosting column for The Sun News. Hey, guys like Mike Royko and Lewis Grizzard never made it to 79.
But after those few dubious achievements, nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Out of business.
A brief Google search suggested that some people think the Marquis thing is a scam to get people to buy a “Who’s Who” so they can prove to family and friends their awesomeness.
I had such an offer in 1997, but I ignored it. Mom knew I was awesome.
I don’t know if it’s a scam, but I’m sending my update anyway, if only to remind me and Marquis of my awesome self. It costs nothing, not even the price of a stamp.
In my research, I read that cartographers find “Who’s Who” a useful reference. So who knows: Maybe some lonely mapmaker from Slovenia will need to find McClellanville. As long as he doesn’t have GPS, I’m his man.
Contact Bob Bestler at firstname.lastname@example.org.