To the Editor:

Words cannot express how much I enjoyed my time in Madison over the weekend. My overall intent was to host a book signing Benjamin-Hayes memoir, “Gone Off with the Angels: Christmas Stories of Golden Love,” on Saturday, but like most trips to your amazing city, it was a wonderful homecoming and celebration of my son’s life.

The signing was a great success, and when my girlfriend, Becky, and I attended the Episcopal Church of the Advent on Sunday, we were welcomed with open arms and enjoyed the amazing lunch for the young ladies and gentlemen who recently completed their confirmation classes with Father Dan Brown.

Many thanks to Bobby and Nancy Crawford and the folks at Madison Drug Store for their warm welcome and love… it was great to sit in Benjamin-Hayes’ booth and take a photo of his plaque with a copy of his memoir beside it. I am also overwhelmed by the love and support from Faye Craft and the staff at the Madison ChopHouse, who generously let us set up shop to meet and greet friends, share stories of Benjamin-Hayes life and struggle with leukemia. And to Patrick Yost and the folks at the Morgan County Citizen, I couldn’t have asked for more support in coordinating and publicizing the book signing.

The book signing was successful beyond my wildest dreams! Lastly, to the Madison and Morgan County community. What a truly remarkable place to live and work. As I state in the memoir, it is the real-life version of Mayberry, North Carolina. Thank you all so very much. And in the words of Benjamin-Hayes: “I pretty lotta like you and I love you too.”   Mark Kelly Jasper, Tenn. Via e-mail