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Offerman's signing stops include visit to Minooka on Oct. 24

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
(Kris Stadalsky for Shaw Media)
Michelle “Micki” Houchens (left), Nick Offerman’s aunt, and his sister, Lauren Offerman, hold books that author and comedian Nick Offerman would have read as a child in Minooka. His book signing tour includes a stop in Minooka on Oct. 24.

MINOOKA – While Minooka native Nick Offerman has made a name for himself in the world of comedy, his hometown was one place he wasn’t going to skip during his book signing tour.

“It just made sense, when this came to pass, a stop would have to be in Minooka,” said Offerman, who is know for his role as Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and for his “American Ham” comedy tour).

Offerman will be at Minooka Elementary School at 7 p.m. Oct. 24, reading selections from his book “Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living,” and signing copies of the book for fans.

Offerman’s first book starts out about his life growing up among the corn and soybean fields of Minooka

In a family that loved to read, Offerman credits his Aunt Michelle “Micki” (Roberts) Houchens with getting him interested in fiction.

“My Aunt Micki was very influential, always the librarian,” he said. “She was the first to give me really good fantasy fiction. I owe her a great debt of gratitude.”

Houchens has been the local historian at Three Rivers Public Library for 21 years. While her library career started after Offerman was on his own, she’s always had a penchant for reading.

“I have been a book nut my whole life,” Houchens said. “I always got all these kids to read.”

“All these kids” includes Houchens’ nieces and nephews, including Three Rivers Public Library Assistant Director Laurie Offerman, Nick’s sister, and their siblings, Matt and Carrie Offerman.

“Mom would always yell at me for having my nose in a book,” Laurie Offerman said.

Laurie Offerman’s love of literature was much different than her brother. He devoured fantasy such as Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia and that was the last thing Laurie Offerman was interested in.

Years later, Laurie Offerman finds it ironic her brother became the first published author in the family.

“I am so proud of him; I am super excited,” she said. “He’s very funny, obviously. He’s my brother, and I find it funny people want life advice from him.”

Because of the overwhelming popularity of the signing event, a ticket system has been devised.

Those who want to buy a book at the event or just come to hear Nick Offerman read can contact the Minooka branch of Three Rivers Public Library in advance to reserve a ticket. Contact Laurie Offerman at 815-467-1600, ext. 5, or email laureno@trpld.org.

Nick Offerman said he is a product of the town he grew up in and his family. 

“If I accomplished anything good, it’s largely because I come from such good people in a good community,” he said. “I certainly never dreamed I would sit in Minooka and read from a book I have written.”

He is also sure he’ll get an opportunity to see some of his friends from his younger days in Minooka at the event.

“I just ask my old, late night reconnaissance buddies to let me finish my performance in the auditorium before they cause the door to hit,” he said.

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