CHICO — Chico author and educator Robb Lightfoot prides himself on being able to find humor in everything.
Lightfoot was recently honored in an Erma Bombeck anthology published last month for his essay in a book called “Sisters! Bonded by Love and Laughter” that highlights humorous and heartwarming stories about sisters and soul sisters, according to a press release from Flyer Public Relations. With contributions from eight New York Times bestselling authors, such as Jenny Lawson and Kelly Corrigan, and Saturday Night Live favorites like Alan Zweibel and Laraine Newman, this book brings together dozens of powerful and hilarious stories of the special bond that sisters create in a lifetime. It’s the ultimate humorous guide on sisterhood.
Lightfoot has been writing since he was a child. He received a typewriter when he was 10 years old.
“I kept a diary but my father confiscated it because I wrote something not so nice,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot now teaches human communications at Shasta College. His wife works as a nurse in Chico. He grew up in the Bakersfield and Oildale areas of California. Much of his writing inspiration comes from his family. He also wrote stories for his college newspaper. During his twenties he worked as a breaking news reporter with the Bakersfield Californian.
“It was a fun time,” he said. “Breaking news was a thrill.”
Lightfoot has two master’s degrees, one in speech from Cal State Northridge and one from Chico State in Recreation Management/Events which he obtained in 2019. He and his wife have lived in Chico for four years.
Lightfoot says that he often got sent to the principal’s office when he was growing up for talking in class and not being able to sit still, now “I get paid for it,” Lightfoot said. He said his humorous stories are based in truth, but are ultimately tall tales.
Lightfoot was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“I was an active kid,” he said. Lightfoot said his growing up years came before the now-common diagnosis of ADHD.
“I had a history of driving people crazy,” Lightfoot said.
He was asked to write a piece about sisters for the anthology. Lightfoot has a younger sister. “She’s 60 now, so she’s not really a little sister anymore,” he said. “It’s about my relationship with her. As a big brother I wasn’t always interested in her as a person.”
He was told by his parents that it was his job to help her with her roller skates. He also taught her to tie her shoes.
“She was very adventurous and wanted to see the world on roller skates,” he said. He now thinks his sister is “wonderful.”
Lightfoot always has his next writing ambition in the forefront of his mind.
“I think of myself as someone who is a storyteller,” he said.
Lightfoot’s next project is learning how to write music. He said he has several friends who write folk songs. He took music classes at Butte College.
Lightfoot also likes to edit other people’s writing. One of his his heroes is comedy writer Bill Bryson, an American-British author who writes travel books.
Lightfoot said he wrote a book called “There’s Always Room At Our Table,” because when he was growing up, people would show up uninvited to his mother’s house. She would invite them in and feed them.
“She asked me, do you want to live in a world where you invite people in or turn them away at the door?” he said.
Lightfoot performed a stand-up comedy routine at an Erma Bombeck workshop in 2020 highlighting “There’s Always Room At Our Table.”
Lightfoot loves the process of writing.
“I love writing and typography,” Lightfoot said. “There’s a joy in putting books together. I did layout for the newspaper. Working on a publication is incredibly satisfying.”
He has also dabbled in photography.
Lightfoot is proud to be featured in the anthology.
“It was an honor to be recognized by Erma Bombeck,” Lightfoot said. “It was very gratifying. I hope it lifts people’s spirits.”
Lightfoot said he has plenty of writing still ahead in his life. “I have more books in me, I’m not done yet,” he said.
Lightfoot always hopes his writing resonates with his readers.
“I think that, when I’m on top of my game, that my writing celebrates the joy and fun of life even amid problems and setbacks. I also hope to honor the people whom I care about and poke a little fun at myself, but show, in so doing, that even imperfect people have something to offer,” he said in an email.