After success of ‘Everybody Was Happy,’ Hap Roberts looks to give back – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY Hap Roberts hasnt strayed removed from the place the place he grew up on Merritt Avenue in Salisbury.

Roberts attended and graduated from faculty simply down the highway at Catawba and runs his Statewide Title enterprise from the home the place his Aunt Mabel used to dwell, inside smelling distance of the Krispy Kreme subsequent door.

I’m going all the way down to Garys barbecue and get barbecue at any time when I can, mentioned Roberts, earlier than bursting out in laughter. Thats about as distant as I get.

Roberts has traveled greater than he may let on, however theres little doubt that Salisbury is and has all the time been his dwelling. At 70 years outdated, hes seen the group change, and has been part of that change himself.

After graduating from Catawba with a level in enterprise, Roberts labored for a decade at Meals City, which might grow to be Meals Lion, serving as the corporates monetary officer because it grew from a group grocer to a regional powerhouse. Over the course of his life and profession, Roberts collected tales concerning the place and other people round him. Years after his mother-in-law prompt to him that he write a guide about his life and tales, Roberts took her recommendation.

With the assistance of household and pals, Roberts wrote and revealed Everyone Was Comfortable in November 2019. The guide was obtained properly, changing into a success with readers close to and much and was printed for a second time in August.

The beginnings of Everyone Was Comfortable could be traced again to notes that Roberts wrote out on scraps of paper after he left Meals City when he was in his early 30s.

I began fascinated about it after Id retired from Meals City and I’d make notes right here, there and yonder after which Id stick them someplace, Roberts.

The issue, Roberts mentioned, was that over time hed lose observe of the place hed put the notes. He tried talking his tales right into a dictaphone, however that didnt work both. The guide was stalled till he met author Susan Shinn Turner when she was reporting on the dying of Ralph Ketner, the legendary co-founder of Meals Lion and Roberts former boss. The 2 immediately struck a bond and started to work to place Roberts ideas to paper.

She would come over as soon as a month and wed have lunch after which I’d begin speaking and she or he would begin typing on her laptop computer, Roberts mentioned.

Over the course of many months, a manuscript was produced. The guide, which reads as if Roberts is sitting close by, recanting the tales to readers himself, begins with tales of his childhood adventures and ends by exploring the connection between famed actress Marilyn Monroe and Roberts uncle, who was her masseuse and confidant.

Its a enjoyable learn, Roberts mentioned. Its not heavy by any means and it covers a number of subjects.

Alissa Redmond, the proprietor of South Principal E book Firm, mentioned that Roberts memoir has been the shops bestseller this 12 months. Everyone Was Comfortable has constantly appeared on the record of the shops prime 10 sellers that Redmond writes on a queue exterior.

Whereas Everyone Was Comfortable is widespread amongst locals who flip by way of its pages to study what it was prefer to develop up in Salisbury within the 1950s and 1960s, the guide has additionally been sought out by readers who might not even be capable to discover Salisbury on a map.

I obtained a message yesterday from somebody in Wilson who needed a duplicate of the guide, Redmond mentioned. Ive shipped copies of his all around the United States. He actually captured what it was prefer to develop up in Salisbury at a specific time. He has a big community of people that know and respect him and thats how phrase was unfold, however now there are people who perhaps by no means lived in Salisbury and by no means met him who’re studying his guide.

Shocked by the success of his guide, Roberts needed to offer again. He determined a number of months in the past to donate the long run proceeds of his guide to the Little Free Libraries of Rowan County. The libraries, that are scattered all through the realm, present free studying supplies to members of the group and youngsters particularly.

Hes such an incredible consultant of Salisbury, Redmond mentioned. With him giving again to the little free libraries and never taking a revenue from the guide at this level, that speaks lots to the city of Salisbury and its individuals that everyone feels prefer its vital to offer again to the group.

The proceeds raised by Everyone Was Comfortable will assist Redmond fill the Little Free Libraries with math and science books.

Roberts has already given again to the group by way of his guide, however he mentioned that he hopes it can proceed to encourage and inform readers for years to return.

Susan and I attempted to make the guide such that it might be one which might be learn by my grandchildren, Roberts mentioned. It reveals life again within the 1950s and it reveals how a younger firm known as Meals City Inc. that virtually went bankrupt changed into the darling on Wall Road.

Everyone Was Comfortable could be discovered at South Principal Books or on-line at It can be ordered by way of Amazon.

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