In Branch County, Michigan, which includes the fabled community of Coldwater, there is a weekly tradition known as the Shoppers Guide. It is delivered free to the doorstep of every home of every resident in Branch County.
The Shoppers Guide contains classified and display ads, notices of garage sales, coupons for grocery store products, movie theatre schedules, an occasional thank you note, proclamations announcing newborn babies, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, deaths, and other notable events occurring in the daily life of a community.
From November, 2008, through midsummer 2012, the Shopper’s Guide also contained a weekly message prepared and submitted for the pleasure of its readers by a local author whose name is Patrick K. Rocchio. Rather than arranging for his Messages to be published in a renowned literary journal or newspaper of general circulation, the author’s preference was to avoid the temptation of harboring the delusional thought that his writings contain the quality of content required to qualify for publication in a legitimate literary journal or metropolitan newspaper.
Also, three times in the morning each Wednesday, coinciding with the distribution of the weekly Shopper’s Guide, the popular local radio station, WTVB 1590, aired broadcasts of a recording of Rocchio reading his Message for that week.
This modest book, published in November, 2011, is a collection of an assortment of the Messages which were written by Patrick K. Rocchio, read by him on the local radio station every Wednesday morning, and published at his request in the weekly Shopper’s Guide. (An expanded edition is planned for publication in midyear 2017.)
This book, which contains a selection of the author’s favorite Messages, hopefully will entertain, inspire, and challenge its readers to appreciate the unique but common experiences which flavor our lives in the various villages, towns, cities, rural and urban settings, we inhabit and label affectionately as our home, not unlike the cherished, fabled and beloved community of Coldwater, Michigan.
Finally, the author has elected to omit the inclusion of page numbers in this book to remain consistent with his belief that human life is only a present tense experience, the concept of past and future being only an illusion of reality. Numbering pages of a book in a linear or sequential manner would seem inconsistent with and in violation of that view of the human condition. This day is your life forever more.