On Wednesday, May 22 , my heart was full as I was surrounded by family, friends, my publisher, representatives of West Bloomfield Township, and members of the community who came out to celebrate the release of my debut book I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM with me. For those who were unable to attend, grab your favorite ice cream (perhaps a tissue) and enjoy Josh and my speeches!
Speech – Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw
“Today marks the intersection of the aspiration of two children. Nine-year-old Josh’s quest to get ice cream trucks in West Bloomfield and my lifelong desire to write a children’s book. Both dreams took persistence and perseverance and today they connect with the release of I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM.
As many of you know, in 2001, Josh wondered why ice cream trucks never came down the streets of our neighborhood. Seeing this as a learning opportunity, I suggested he call the township to find out. Josh discovered that ice cream trucks were banned in West Bloomfield due to a 1954 law banning peddler’s from selling anything on city streets including ice cream. Feeling this was unfair, Josh decided to petition the township board asking them to change the antiquated law. Over the course of five months, Josh gathered friends to get petition signatures, rounded up community support for meetings, wrote letters and speeches, spoke at three township board meetings, and created an unexpected media blitz.
I, way back in 1970, was that kid who when my elementary school teachers asked for a two-page creative writing story, wrote twelve. I was that kid who in middle school hung out with Shari Rogers and read books and wrote stories. I was that kid, who with Sharon Stein co-edited our high school newspaper. Then, I became that adult who started several manuscripts and put them in a drawer to hibernate—for years. Until, New Year’s Eve 2017 when I decided that if I didn’t make a concerted effort to carve out time to write, my dream of creating a children’s book would never become reality. Fortunately, that was the first new year’s resolution I’ve ever kept.
It is the union of Josh and I, each pursuing and reaching for our goals that has brought us all together today. I am grateful to my publisher Mindy Kuhn who saw value in the connection of Josh’s story and my writing and to the members of my critique group who helped bring this story to fruition. A huge thank you to Steve Kaplan, Kris D’Arcy, Tyler Kieft, Bruce Eck and Laura Hartman who not only offered to host this party but have spent many hours planning and promoting this event. Thank you to the 2001 trustees who kept an open mind, listened conscientiously to a nine-year-old and his friends and voted in November 200l to allow ice cream trucks to roll down the streets of West Bloomfield. Thank you to my amazing family and friends—old and new, from near and far–who are here today to celebrating this incredible day with me. I am blessed to have my parents Joan and Mort Jacobs and my mother-in-law Jackie Lipshaw sharing this moment with me. And of course, to Josh and Jeremy, not only do they brighten the cover of this book, but they brighten all my days and fill them with the sweetest moments. And finally, to Marc for always being there for me and supporting my dreams.
“Wow! First of all, let’s give another round of applause to my amazing mother.
I can’t believe it’s been almost 18 years. Last time I was here I was facing the other way; talking to some adults that I never met before in a room that seemed a lot bigger than it does now.
But as Steve pointed out, a lot of people thought I was going to be a politician, but I went in a slightly different direction and became an engineer. I live in Denver, Colorado now, but one thing has been constant the whole time and that’s the love and support of my mom. I don’t think I’d have ever been able to get this law changed or become what I am without her. I’m so happy all you guys are here and I want to thank you so much for supporting her in the same way she’s always supported me.”