I started this blog in October of 2005.
I didn’t know what I was doing, and that was actually quite refreshing. Ignorance was bliss.
At some early stage in the blog’s history, Andy Pels stopped by and left a comment.
He was funny.
Not my typical reader in a corporate suit, Andy was a self-proclaimed “fastener freak.” That is right, he sells screws for a living.
I kept writing my posts, and slowly but surely growing my audience.
Andy was always there to leave a lighthearted comment, or occasionally admit that I had broken through his tough guy exterior and made him shed a brief tear.
OK, maybe he never admitted that, but I am sure that he cried at least once while reading one of my posts.
If I ever made a spelling error, he would send me an email immediately.
“psst — it is nonexistent, not nonexistant“
And if I flogged myself publicly for making a stupid mistake, he would tell me to get over myself and get back to work:
Maybe look at it this way:
What if you screwed up and nobody noticed because nobody cared what you had to say in the first place?
Get back to glowing about the NYT.
The only way I’ll be disappointed is if I hear one more reference to this little oops.
Do you hear me young lady? Not one more!
Whatever the season, whatever the topic, Andy was always there to weigh in and lend encouragement.
When I held my book workshop in San Francisco, I got to meet Andy in person for the first time. He crossed over the digital divide with ease — same laid back person, same warm, personable and funny style. We learned that he is two weeks my elder (born in 1966), a fact he does not let me forget.
The next time I visited the Bay Area, Andy brought his family over to my Dad and Dee’s house, since they live just down the road. I saw new dimensions to Andy — the connected father, the loving spouse, the interested and supportive neighbor.
He brought over handmade biscotti. That he had stayed up making late the night before.
So in case I haven’t ever told you this Andy:
Thank you for reading my blog so religiously.
Thank you for taking time to comment.
Thank you for caring about me as a person.
Thank you for challenging my ideas.
Thank you for correcting my spelling errors.
Thank you for defending me from trolls.
Thank you for calling my BS.
Thank you for commenting on my kids’ Facebook pictures.
Thank you for really caring about everyone in the Escape blog community, and taking time to give feedback on business ideas.
Thank you for making me feel motivated to get up and write another post.
Whatever I did in a past life to deserve such a dedicated, supportive and ethical friend, I am thankful.
May you all be so lucky as to find your own Andy Pels.