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Niece book-signing is part of U of O Alumni Weekend

March 31, 2009
By cnp
Posted in About

Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks President Dr. Rick D. Niece will hold a book-signing for his book, The Side-Yard Superhero, at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 18, at the President's Home on campus.

The event, which is open to the public, is part of the University’s Alumni Weekend 2009.

A life-long educator and president of Ozarks since 1997, Niece described The Side-Yard Superhero as an “automythography,” a work of non-fiction that looks reflectively at what we think we remember and how we think we remember it. The book centers on Niece’s childhood, growing up in the small town of DeGraff, Ohio.

According to the author’s Web site,, The Side-Yard Superhero is a remembrance in the style of Jean Shepherd, Garrison Keillor, and Tim Russert, taking the reader back to small town life in the 1950s and 1960s. Stories of humor, nostalgia, and drama are told in a strong narrative voice. Baby boomers, adolescents, former and current small town inhabitants, and all others who seek to return to an age of innocent, simpler times will enjoy reading about Rickie’s adventures and hometown characters.

A first cousin to Tuesdays with Morrie, The Side-Yard Superhero drifts back softly in time to mythically real DeGraff to preserve a unique friendship. Bernie is a daydreaming fantasizer and want-to-be wanderlust adventurer whose fanciful plans are usually impractical strokes of unimaginable invention. In time, Bernie’s vicarious adventures through his friend, Rickie, grow into real adventures with Rickie. The book’s emotional payoff builds from the first chapter and culminates when the adult Rick returns to Ohio to visit Bernie in a nursing home, the two of them having not seen one another for over 40 years.

Published by Synergy Books, The Side-Yard Superhero is the first in a planned trilogy: Life in DeGraff: An Automythography Trilogy, all of which will include flashbacks to his boyhood.

There will be copies of The Side-Yard Superhero available for purchase at the book-signing. Niece will also hold book-signings at Teeter’s Drug Store & Gretchen’s Fine Gifts in downtown Clarksville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, May 1; and at Hastings in Russellville from noon to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. For more information on the book-signing or any Alumni Weekend event, please call the Alumni Office at 479-979-1234.