JOPLIN, MO.--- Book sales are providing funny stories and local scholarships for college students. It started out as humorous articles to a local newspaper called the "Lamar Democrat."
"My son, Brad, he used to say, 'dad, you need to put those in the paper,' or 'you need to get a book started on that.' So I did what I do best. 'Yea, yea.' I'd lie. 'Yea I'm going to do that," said Ben Reed, Author of "Truth With Stretch Marks."
Ben Reed is the author of "Truth With Stretch Marks." He says that even after his son, Brad, moved to Georgia, their phone conversations always ended the same way. "He would call me every Saturday afternoon and get me caught up on the grandkid things, and he'd always end the conversation with, 'how's that book of funny stories coming a long?"
Reed would always blow it off until he was given news he never thought he would hear.
"I think the worst words a parent could hear is terminal cancer. So for a long time, there really wasn't anything very funny going on," said Reed.
Reed says after Brad passed away in 2010, his daughter, Olivia, also Reeds granddaughter, called her grandfather to make a Girl Scout cookie sale. "After she clinched the deal, she kind of ended the conversation with saying, 'hey grandpa, how's that book of funny stories coming along?"
It was then he knew it was time to throw out the book of excuses and write the book of funny stories his son always hoped for. Reed says Brad didn't have a college education and when he tried returning to school, there wasn't any scholarships available, so he paid for his college degree on his own. Now, Reed has decided to help other students through book sales.
"It's a scholarship to help people who's wanting to go back to school, that's what it's for. I think it would help somebody in the same situation Brad was in, and I think he'd like that a lot," said Reed.
The book has 42 different stories and about 700 copies have already sold.
"The legacy that he's leaving in memory of his son is wonderful, because it helps other students achieve their dreams as his son did," said Joann Graffam, Executive Director, Missouri Southern State University Foundation.
Reed says even though he couldn't help his son defeat cancer, he can help others in honor of of him. You can find the book "Truth With Stretch Marks" at Tractors Bar-B-Q and Grill, the Lamar Democrat, the Barton County Chamber of Commerce, Home Grown Books, and at the MSSU Book Store.