When I was four years old, barefoot and shirtless, I clenched the sides of my radio flyer wagon not knowing what lay ahead of me. Summer’s midday sun baked the asphalt beneath my wagon and Momma’s bare feet. She patiently tugged the noisy wagon up Highway 109 toward an odd truck parked outside Trotter’s Country Store. Momma propped me on her hip, then carried me into the boxy vehicle she called a bookmobile. Standing inside, a librarian joyfully greeted me asking, “What’s your favorite book little man?”
My favorite book would have started like a Disney movie—magical. At four, I couldn’t conceive how words and drawings would eventually impact my rural community of 2,500 people. Since that memorable day, I’ve illustrated over sixty picture books, meet over one million students as a public speaker, and inspired all ages to chase their publishing dream. In 2015, I relocated my company’s book warehouse to the 1898 Day Bros. building, one of the last historic structures from Dawson Springs, Kentucky’s establishment.
The building is perfect for storage, but it could be much more with your help. The renovation of the 1898 Day Bros. building can be achieved through 1,898 sponsorships. Each illustration sponsorship receives one of 1,898 signed original children’s book illustrations from my private collection of sixty published children’s books.
For six years I’ve traveled as a public speaker in schools and professional events. Approximately four months of my time is spent in Kentucky each year. The reason for Dream Built’s purchase of the 1898 Day Bros. building in Dawson Springs, Kentucky is the quick commute to I-69 (Interstate 69) for travel to major cities like Nashville, TN; Evansville, IN; Bowling Green, Louisville, Lexington, KY; and St. Louis, MO. The building serves as a warehouse for our children’s books, however the space could be much more: a studio space, a center for learning, and a residence for visitors to the area.
Numerous professionals from former Governor Steve Beshear to myself call Dawson Springs our hometown. Its beauty is found in its simplicity of lifestyle and transparency from major metropolises. My hope with the 1898 Day Bros. renovation is that it will inspire contributions from not only former peers, but also by the relocation of enthusiastic, energetic, and dynamic entrepreneurs to revive homes and businesses, changing this very special place into “A Very Very Special Place.”
I have released 1,898 illustrations from my collection of more than 2,500 children’s book illustrations to fund the 1898 Day Bros. renovation. The goal is to raise $189,800.00 for the renovation and new business startup. Renovations will start from the ground upward and take approximately twelve months after the goal is achieved to complete repairs. Help us meet a January 2019 deadline by sponsoring the 1898 Day Bros. Renovation. Visit our progress on the 1898 Day Bros. Renovation!
“Words and drawings affect a reader’s world!”