Vaughn Hardacker here: This past week I attended Caribou’s summer event called Thursday on Sweden (I blogged about this last year) a bi-weekly event held on Sweden Street in Caribou. I set up my canopy, attached the banner that proudly proclaimed my name with pictures of my book covers, and arranged the display of my books on the table.
The live music for that evening was a band called The Ghost of Paul Revere, a popular C&W group, so I expected a large turnout. I attracted a fair amount of attention as my expectations of a large crowd turned out to be true. I made a special effort to actually talk to people (Those of you who know me personally know how out of character that is!) I was actually starting to get in the swing of things when a little old lady (seeing as I’m pushing against 69 you can only guess her age–but suffice it to say she made me feel young) stopped by the table. She studied the three titles and then asked that question that every Mainer or visitor to Maine will eventually hear: “Are you local or from away?” I replied that I grew up in Caribou and graduated from Caribou High School in 1965. She looked at me with a look that I can only describe as that one your old maid grammar school teacher gave you when you messed up–that look that makes you feel stupid–well brain-dead at least. She said in a matter of fact way, “Then you need to tell us that. You need something that tells us who you are.” For a second I felt chastised then I recalled James Stockdale, Ross Perot’s running mate, who opened the vice-presidential debate with the immortal statement “Who am I? Why am I here?”. It struck me that as small a town as Caribou is, I lived away for most of my adult life and to many of the current residents I may as well be from away. She concluded by saying: “You need to do something that tells who you are.” To compound the situation, she smiled, patted me on the back of my hand and walked away without buying a book.
Jane, my partner for life (she says nobody would marry her but a fool and she isn’t marrying a fool), was busting a rib to keep from laughing. I once again felt like a scolded second grader. Jane said, “She sure told you.” I felt my face flush and then answered: “You know what sucks? She’s right. Ninety-eight percent of these people have no idea who I am–and the other two percent are related to me.”
The next morning I got busy and came up with a small poster (shown below):
VAUGHN C. HARDACKER
The author of five crime-thrillers, Vaughn spent his formative years in Caribou, ME and graduated from Caribou High School in 1965. He has degrees from Northern Maine Community College (NMVTI), University of Maine at Presque Isle, and Southern NH University and served in the U. S. Marine Corps and is a Vietnam veteran (1968-1969). He has lived in the Boston area and in Chicago. He has traveled to Asia, Australia, Mexico, South America, England, and Europe. His first two published crime-thrillers, SNIPER (2014) and THE FISHERMAN (2015) were selected as finalists in the Maine Literary Awards Crime Friction Category. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. has placed his next two thrillers, WENDIGO (July 2017) and MY BROTHER’S KEEPER (publication date To Be Announced) under contract.
He currently resides in Stockholm, ME. He can be followed on twitter at @VCHardacker and his webpage is http://www.vaughnhardacker.com
This will be prominently displayed on my table going forward. That way there will be no question about “Who am I? Why am I here?”