Take that Leap of Faith and Reach for ‘The Far Side’

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April 10, 2019

By Pam Harlin, Meemic Foundation Director

I was talking to Eric, a coworker, a while ago about a long-forgotten but still deeply treasured set of books I own. Cartoon books (no shame … love to laugh!). Autographed cartoon books to be exact. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Larson of “The Far Side” cartoons many years ago. Many, many years ago … like in the last century.  Like around 19-- ... well, does it really matter the year? Let's just say he was a highly regarded cartoonist at that time. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the story.  So, I had a chance to meet Gary Larson. I remember excitedly standing in line, first by my “lucky me” inherited green AMC Hornet (as the line extended outside of the bookstore and into the parking lot and yes, another hint into what year this may have been), and finally, after a few hours of what felt like micro movements (aka at a snail pace), I finally was at the “promise land” – within the privileged red-velvet rope area and just minutes away from meeting Gary Larson, with his unique perspective on life, inked through his demands for you to explore his cartoons through his highly engaged imagination. 

This was the first “famous” person that I was going to meet … face to face! I had purchased three of his books (a splurge for this income-strapped college kid) and would now not only get to meet him (Would I be able to shake his drawing hand? Oh, gee…), but also wanted to work up the nerve to ask him to sign three books, even though the signs (oh, so many signs and warnings along my travel route to the red-velvet promise land) clearly stated that there will only be one autograph per person. 

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

When we really want something it seems easier to challenge ourselves to take risks. Granted, the risk with asking him to autograph three books versus just one was fairly minor (he could say no and only sign one book, he could say no and sign no books – oh, gee!!), but in my world at that time, it was huge. And it really was what I wanted.

I remember this time not just from the experience of meeting this world famous cartoonist, but also because I wanted something more and was willing to go for it! I hope you always have opportunities to take risks so you can experience the exhilaration from the moment. Because knowing what I wanted, I think I stood a little taller in that line, and walked with a bit more confidence to that table, and with a smile on my face (and probably sweaty hands), I took the leap and asked. 

I hope you take the challenge to apply for one of The Meemic Foundation’s many grant opportunities.  Low risk for sure. But the exhilaration if you earn an award can’t be beat. And if you miss out, no worries. Just try again! 

Oh, and by the way, he not only signed all three books, but he smiled when I asked him to autograph (I thought in classic “Far Side” style) one of the books to my dog, Opi! Definitely worth the risk!