Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Long Journey from B. to C.

My life story is now available in book form and one third of the second print is already sold. A book launch in Cairns is my plan, but at the moment I have a health problem to overcome and a date cannot be set till this is resolved. I’m self-publisher and the book is not available in bookshops, but only from me direct. The price is $25.00 plus postage. Postage within Australia for one book is $8.50 and for two books $13.80. Only a limited number of copies are now available and if you want this unique book, be quick to contact me.
For obvious reasons I can’t give my contact details here. Please circulate this widely to your family and friends and give them my e-mail address or my residential address or phone number. Most of you receiving this mail will know all this. However, you can also give me your contact detail through comment’s at the bottom. This is save to do and nobody will see your details except me.

Some of you might wonder what is the book about, and what the B and the C stands for. So here is the blurb that will explain it to you. - Werner
This book is an account of the life of Werner Schmidlin, and his long journey from the picturesque village of Bischoffingen on the Kaiserstuhl, in the southwest corner of Germany, to Cairns in tropical North Queensland, Australia. The thrust of the book lies in the journey - mental and physical - between the two salient points of Bischoffingen and Cairns. It is a migrant's story.

Werner describes growing up under the Nazi regime, and experiencing the ravages of WW2. He explains what young people did in their spare time, without any of the mod cons young people have today. He describes in detail why he, his wife and their young daughter migrated to Australia, and why Werner and Karola had to wait 50 years to get their wedding photo. And he recounts the steep learning curve confronting him and his wife as they faced language barriers, and adapted to new customs in their adopted country.

Cr Tom Pyne,( dec'd) AM, former Mayor of Cairns wrote:
This book is full of humor, pathos, disappointment, perseverance, determination and triumph. It also is a remarkable journey of discovery, spanning continents and many years. It is truly a migrant's story, and one from which we all can learn and perhaps better understand how important the individual's role is in helping create the whole. (This is only part of the foreword, the original foreword is found in the book.)

Mario Calanna, a well-known Cairns pharmacist said:.
Werner I have admired your tenacity, your intellect, your willingness to debate and learn from more than one aspect of a topic or issue. The most important value is that you have found your passion and purpose in life. You have continued on your journey through writing, listening, challenging and acting on it - day after day. Year after year. Passion + Purpose + Perseverance = Legacy and a Life of Significance. I enjoyed reading your story, you write so well. - Mario

Front cover: Me in 1964. Photo, courtesy of John Carnemolla who gave the picture free of charge. Originally from the front cover of “Queensland in Colour” published in the 1970s. The picture was taken at Fosters Road White Rock in 1964, now Mt. Sheridan. I was 34 years old then. The leaves in the sugar cane had to be burned off in these days to make cutting easier for the manual cane cutters. After 1964 mechanical sugar cane harvesting machines were progressively introduced, and today all sugar cane is cut without being burned.

This book will make an excellent present for any gift occasion. Following are comments from readers of this book.

Michelle, the graphic designer from Joshua Books who designed the book cover, and formatted the book text, wrote:

Werner, my congratulations on this fabulous family history. You have done a great job of it, and I can’t believe the things I HAVE LEARNT along the way. A truly husband and wife team who have done themselves and Australia very proud. My favourite part (For numerous reasons) would have to be the ‘Baby crocodiles in the kitchen’ – I’m still snickering about it now! A job well done, Werner – this book is a credit to you (and your family.) Thank you, Michelle.
While I was waiting at the hospital a lady sat next to me and put the book she was reading on the empty chair separating us.
I asked her if it was an interesting book and if it was fiction. She confirmed that it was a good book and fiction. I asked her then if she only reads fiction or also other books like biographies etc. “Oh I read all sorts of books including biographies," adding, "I love reading." So I introduced her to my Life Story. I explained the picture on the front page and gave her the comment from Michelle to read. She said that this was a powerful endorsement of my book, and asked “Where can I buy it?” I told her and she handed me the money. After reading a few pages, she picked up her other book from the chair and put it into her handbag, and continued reading my book.
Ilse - Adelaide, who lived in Bischoffingen prior to migrating with her husband and children to Australia, wanted to ring me after her three books had arrived. However, Ilse started to read and couldn’t stop reading till she came to page 60 – then she remembered to phone me and did.
Angelika - Adelaide wrote: Angelika is the daughter of Ilse.
Hullo Werner, I was very happy when Mum gave me a copy of your book.  What a read!!  Both Franz and I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a few things in common with you;   I was born in Freiburg and lived in Bischoffingen as a child, having returned many times.

I have been very fortunate to have had my father tell me of the happenings in Bischoffingen over the war years. I read with much interest your book speaks of things he also spoke of. On page 93, I believe that is my Uncle Fritz with the wooden leg, as Dad’s brother was Fritz (with a wooden leg) and a great lover of a glass of wine, to over indulgence.
A fascinating read of your early years in Australia, it is unbelievable what you and Karola endured.  Ah but you both, along with my parents, came from a tough upbringing and you took on a new country with the underlying desire to make it your forever home. Franz and I hung onto each word and paragraph, not wanting the book to end, Great stuff Werner!!! May you be in good health, to the extent that is possible, and with a happy heart. - Kind regards, Angelika
Dymity from the Gold Coast, wrote:
Dear Werner, this is just to tell you how I am enjoying your book. You have written it so well that it is very easy to read and so interesting. The recall of your childhood is excellent and I can see you were a not only mischievous, but also a very inquisitive young lad, which I am sure, accounts for you being a very clever man today. I look forward to reading some pages each night as I want to take my time enjoying it all.

Even the paper is very special in comparison to some other books I have read. Thank you so much for sharing your childhood with us and it gives me a greater understanding of what life was like in Germany, in particular Bischoffingen, both before and after the war. Many thanks, take care, Dymity
Here is the second e-mail from Dymity after she had read the book.
Dear Werner, I have now completed your book, although initially I decided to start reading it slowly, towards the end, especially when you had all your health issues, I just could not put it down. I was saddened to read, when after numerous tests, it was revealed to you that you had a rare kind of leukaemia. What a terrible shock that would have been for you.

However through it all you maintained a positive attitude, preparing yourself for the worst case scenario, whilst consistently working hard when your health allowed it.  I of course thoroughly enjoyed it and maintain it is by far the best non-fiction book that I have ever read.

It is truly a remarkable story. You worked so very hard, especially after your arrival in Australia. I really cannot imagine any other migrant working that hard. Also the hardships you and Karola had to endure. Karola was certainly an incredible woman, the way she had to adapt to living in so many archaic dwellings with so few facilities available to her.

I am sure she would very rarely have complained, just taking everything in her stride and of course meanwhile working hard also. You both overcame every obstacle placed in your path. Nothing was impossible for you to overcome.

My daughter is now looking forward to reading your story. I must congratulate you on writing this incredible book which I feel should be compulsory for every school child and immigrant to read. I do hope your health improves and you are able now to have some very well deserved rest. With very Best Wishes, Dymity
Zachary - Melbourne writes:
Thanks Werner, a great review from Dymity, I totally agree. I have got to page 222 in the book, so I am now on the "home stretch". It is really well written, a great read and many thanks for taking the time and effort to write it all. It was also great meeting you in person in Cairns that was very pleasant for us. -With kind regards,   Zachary
Jill - Trinity Beach Qld. wrote:
Hi Werner, re your book, I am enjoying it so much, I’m rationing it to a few pages each day, as I don’t want it to finish!!!  You have done an amazing job Werner, it is beautifully and interestingly written, and more so because you’ve written it in your second language....... well done!!!! Love, Jill
Jamie- Edmonton Qld. wrote:
Dear Werner, I started reading your book yesterday (Sunday, I needed a rest from my chores) and could not put it down! Brilliant writing and so funny, as we know you are!  Interesting learning about the history of the war from a "local" point of view, having been to Berlin myself, and seen a lot of the photos and stories there. My family heritage (great, great, great; great grandfather), was from Prussia, not sure which village, will have to check it out. I am up to page 138, had to stop to make some dinner! Look after yourself my friend, and I will see you soon.  Jamie.

PS: Jamie bought a second book and showed it to the cancer patients at oncology at the Cairns Base Hospital. One cancer patient from Yorkeys Knob started to read in it and couldn’t let go of it and then asked if he could take it home to finish reading it, to which they said, “Yes.” So on Wednesday he and his wife called in and bought three books. (Thank you Jamie - this was a nice gesture. - Werner)

Paul, a man from Yorkeys Knob, who bought a book on Wednesday, rang me telling me that my book was soooo interesting and so well written that he would call in and buy two more books as a present for friends.
Roslyn – Warregah Island NSW. She is the daughter-in-law of Tom Lewis who is mentioned in the book.
Dear Werner, I finally finished your book and found it a very good read.  It also was a great first hand narrative of just how difficult life was for our “new Australians” after the war.  I really admire what you & Karola endured in your life together – you made a great team!  The book should be compulsory reading for all teenagers & newly-weds, just to show them that their life is really a breeze by comparison.  Milton hasn’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I have retold so much of it to him that he will feel déjà-vu when he does find time to peruse it. I have loaned my copy to a friend who is recovering after surgery for prostate cancer. He was the fellow whose farm we were planting cane on Chatsworth when you appeared to us after all those years.

I personally handed the second copy of the book to the acquisition officer for the Maclean Historical Society last Saturday.  Carol was delighted & said that she was going to read it herself while she had the chance.  I have no doubt that she will contact you as I gave her your details.
Julian - Cairns Qld.
Werner, I've already started reading the book and am up to the part where you buried your mother's watch in the garden and told her about it many years later. Hilarious! From what I've seen, this is a very special book written as though the reader was sitting under a tree somewhere listening to you speak. I'm very impressed mate.
Silvia – Germany. Silvia speaks five languages and writes to me in English.
Dear Werner, I am half through with your book - and could write a thousand comments about it .... What a very, very impressive life-story!!! And how brave, "zäh" and fleissig you two have been ... incredible. I am deeply moved.

. It's deeply moving and makes me laugh out loud at some passages and cry at others (and sometimes both emotions at the same time). It's one of those books that you can hardly put down once you have started reading ... Silvia
Bob, Smithfield Qld.
Hi Werner, I have just finished reading your book and enjoyed your life story, I did not realize you were so multi-skilled; it brought so many memories of old Yorkeys and Cairns. - Cheers Bob

Marg Ferrier, NSW.
Werner, I have loaned your book to a lot of my friends who, like me, just love it.  You have done a wonderful job since arriving here and you are to be commended, particularly on your language. I would hate to think how my German would be if I had to go to Germany, and face everything you did.  You are a fabulous person. I do hope you are feeling well after your heart operation – you are sounding very positive and well. Cheers Marg

Donna Waldman. Werner, I am reading your book. I had to laugh about Karola driving between the two cars. I'm often laughing as I read. I will be sad when the book comes to an end.  This should be a best seller! Your book is a priceless gem of history. No money can account for that.

Grant Phillips.
Werner, my wife, Margaret, bought your book a few months ago and I have just finished reading it. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. A great read, very entertaining and well written. I found the early days in Germany particularly interesting and your description of the "Bruised Highway" brought back memories of my family's many trips from Sydney to Rockhampton in the 1950's - the dust, potholes and mechanical dramas were something's I will never forget.

Megan Jeffery
Thank you for writing this book. It is heartening to read back on the experiences which lead you and Oma here to Australia. I felt as if I was there with you both as you journeyed from Germany to Australia. It was very moving to read some of the difficult times you went through. I will treasure owning this story which I can pass on to my own children, so that they can gain an understanding of what life was like for their great-grandparents.

This will give you a fair indication that this is not an ordinary book.  If you are interested in this book, be quick. The first print of 100 books was presold within two months without being in the public domain. From the second print one third is already sold – no third print run is contemplated. - Werner
Blog comments, how to do it.