I dedicate this and all future Grizzard related work to Kevin and Ben, my two hilarious sons who have only begun to experience Lewis Grizzard's ingenious work.
(Please pardon if this "courier" font does not look quite right. It is as close as I can come to what Lewis Grizzard’s trusty Remington would have cranked out.)
Lewis Grizzard has been my writing hero since I first began reading newspaper content beyond the comics. For hundreds of thousands of readers, he brought a daily smile with their AM coffee or PM beverage of choice.
In 2011 one noted columnist said this to fellow members of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists:
Why papers are dying: Lewis Grizzard died first
I wholeheartedly concur with Dave Lieber. I disagree with Mr. Lieber on the minor issue of Erma Bombeck, who I also read daily. Lewis gets my vote as "the most popular American columnist of the last half of the 20th century."
Since Lewis died I have found no compelling reason to read any major metropolitan newspaper.
Some described Lewis as "The Mark Twain of the South". Lewis was not the anything of anywhere. He was a pure original.
Even northerners he disparaged as "Yankees" confess that Lewis introduced them to the southern way of life. This was the case if they moved south or never even lived below the Mason-Dixon line.
Despite some detractors, Lewis appealed to readers across North America. At his peak his column was syndicated in 450+ newspapers. He went on to greater fame as a talk show guest, stand up comedian, actor and recording artist. He even enjoyed success as a somewhat half-baked songwriter and vocalist.
Weeks ago I began to wonder what happened to Lewis Grizzard stuff. I did rapid and extensive research and am still doing it. Most of that stuff is in storage where no one but archivists can see it.
I asked myself if this would be true of Mark Twain. I asked the same to others who knew Lewis casually or intimately. All agreed it is time to resurrect Lewis's legacy and honor him as the man who entertained so many for so long.
Lewis Grizzard left us far too early. This book will be for readers who miss him and others who perhaps have never seen his work.
This will be the most fun challenge I have ever undertaken. I hope you enjoy the ride.