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Here I am at the Jennings County Public Library Indiana Authors Book Signing Event in North Vernon, Indiana, on March 29, 2014. Had fun mingling with the locals as well as the other authors.
I heard some very interesting stories from some very interesting people. A lady talked about a lot of illness she’d been though as well as some unique ways she was healed. A man talked with me about a case in which he feels he’s been wronged due to corruption in the legal system where he lives.
It’s always interesting talking to fellow authors abut their interests, as well as how their journeys to getting published went.
I just received the first T-shirt featuring the cover of my book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher.” I’ve got the cover on the front and back of the shirt. I also got a QR code put on the front, in case people who have that sort of reader on their smartphones and want to purchase a book immediately, can do so. I got premium, super soft shirt from Vistaprint, which I’ve also used to print business cards, a mouse pad and a coffee cup. If anybody wants something like this, let me know and I’ll check into pricing. Vistaprint offers specials now and then, so we might be able to do it pretty inexpensively.
Eight-year-old Buddy Schumacher left home with two or three older neighborhood boys on the morning of July 24, 1925. He was never seen alive again.
One of the boys he was with that day was Arnold Yunk, a 10-year-old boy who lived next door. I wasn’t able to find much information about Arno (the name by which he went) before I was able to have Buddy’s story published in the book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher.”
Since the book published a little less than two years ago, I’ve been piecing together more information on the story. People who have read the book will send me an email to tell me they had relatives who knew somebody connected to the story or that they recall hearing people talk about what they think might have happened to little Buddy and who might have committed the heinous act.
It was such an email that cam in recently that got me looking into Arno Yunk and his family. A relative emailed me asking if I knew anything else about the boy. With his help, and with more information available to me now than I had when the book was written, I have been able to get a slightly better picture of who Arno was and what became of him. Here is some of what I’ve gathered:
According to this relative, his grandmother said the Yunk family of that time was a rather “rambunctious” bunch. Frank X. Yunk and his wife, Theresa, had six children: Erwin, Florella, Clarence, Roman, Arno and Arlene, from oldest to youngest, all born between 1903 and 1916. In 1931, at the age of 22, Roman Yunk robbed the Brookfield State Bank in Waukesha with two other young men and was sentenced to 20-30 years in prison. Roman was living on North Main Street (Harwood Avenue today) a few blocks from his family. He served time at the penitentiary at Waupun. But his sentenced was commuted in 1937 by Gov. Philip La Follette, and he was freed. Roman was living at the old Hotel Irvington/Harwood Manor Rooming House at 7335 Harwood Ave., in 1940.
At the time of Buddy’s murder, the Yunks lived at 197 Alice Street, one house north of the Schumacher family. Later on, that address became 1323 Alice Street, when Wauwatosa’s house numbering system changed. The Yunks and Schumachers were next-door neighbors for years and years, although Buddy’s parents moved out of the house soon after he died. Buddy’s two uncles, Edwin and Robert, and Edwin’s wife, Ann, continued to reside next to the Yunks for at least the next 15 years as the 1940 Census says. The 1940 Census had not been released to the public when I wrote the book.
A lady who knew Buddy, grew up around the corner from the Yunks and Schumachers, and eventually moved into the house one property north of the Yunks, told me she thought that Arno had gone to prison at some point. His relative said he didn’t think that was the case and thought this lady might have had Arno confused with Roman.
Arno only stayed in school through ninth grade. By 1940, he was a 24-year-old man, who lived in Milwaukee at 1722A 35th Street, between Lisbon to the north and Walnut to the south. The couple had a 2-year-old daughter, Carolyn. The 1940 Census listed Arno’s occupation as a truck driver for the Works Progress Administration, the couple spent $15 per moth on rent and Arno made $684 in 1939.
Arnold F. Yunk died on January 23, 1975 in Milwaukee at the age of 60.
The follow-up to “Murder in Wauwatosa” will be something much different. My first effort was a true story that involved tons of research, interviews and days spent in front of a microfilm machine reading gobs and gobs of newspaper articles.
The book I’m writing now is a fiction kids’ book focusing on a sixth-grade boy who moves to a new town, tries to fit in and encounters a haunted house. Tentatively called “The Hillcrest Heights Kids,” the manuscript is about halfway done … at least the first draft of it anyway.
The main character, Donnie Hart, moves to a middle class suburb from a big city and finds some things about his new town aren’t quite like what he left behind. He tries to adjust to his new school, new kids and new neighborhood, with varying success.
Donnie gets befriended by a boy named Robert Underwood, who is known by most everyone as Woody. Donnie’s new friend isn’t very athletic nor really all that intelligent, two traits Donnie sees himself having an abundance of. But Woody seems to have Donnie’s back pretty much from the start at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, which endears him to Donnie.
He also makes friends with a girl in his class, Annie, a bright, level-headed compassionate soul.
In addition to his own sometimes misguided thoughts about himself and the world around him, Donnie’s main adversary is the school bully, Lloyd Goldberg III, who pretty much doesn’t seem to like hardly anyone.
Here’s the part I haven’t written yet. But I think it’ll go something like this: Donnie and his friends somehow end up going to the creepy old Howard Mansion, the old house owned by and old man and his old wife. Strange things have been going on at the Howard Mansion for years, and our heroes investigate.
Donnie will probably live happily ever after, or at least with a clearer view of himself and the people around him.
Much of this book is inspired by real events that happened in my hometown of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, when I was young. But I stretch the truth, inserting events, places and characters for my own amusement and/or your entertainment.
Most of the characters are based on people I’ve known, sometimes quite loosely. Some characters are even a conglomeration of several people, and some of those folks aren’t even people I knew when I was a kid.
It’s been a fun trip so far as I’m up to about 24,000 words. I’m aiming for close to 40,000, at which point the story better have concluded. Then, I’ll go into editing and rewriting mode. I reserve the right to change the names of characters, streets, schools, towns, as well as change story lines and pretty much everything I’ve done thus far … all in the name of entertainment, of course.
When I feel pretty good about the manuscript, I’ll start looking for a publisher and perhaps an illustrator. I think this book needs some drawings.
I’ll try to update everyone as developments occur.
Thanks for your interest and support!
I’ll be there, with copies of my book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher,” from 3-6 p.m. Friday, March 28 and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 29. The event itself runs from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
I haven’t heard who else might be there yet, but I’m sure there will be several talented Indiana authors in attendance.
I’m looking forward to meeting everybody!
There’s a new event planned for west central Wisconsin this spring at which folks will be able to purchase autographed copies of “Murder in Wauwatosa.”
The first Tomah Rotary Beer and Sausage Fest is scheduled for 2-6 p.m., Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Tomah Recreation Park.
I was invited to attend and sell autographed copies of my book. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend due to a previous engagement. But the host said he’d be willing to promote and sell autographed books at the fest as long as I supply him with said books. So, that’s what we’re going to do.
Tomah is southeast of Eau Claire, east of La Crosse and northwest of Portage and Wisconsin Dells.
If they run out of books, just send $20 to me at PO Box 2611, Columbus, IN 47203 and I’ll get you an autographed copy.
It’s been a while, but “Murder in Wauwatosa” has jumped back into the top 1% of books ranked by Amazon’s author website. Of more than 8 million paperbacks listed on the site, “Murder in Wauwatosa” hit spot No. 62,660 on Feb. 12, 2014.
We’ve only finished a day ranked that high three other times since the book came out in July 2012:
38,028 on Sept. 23, 2012
40,637 on May 8, 2013
46,660 on Dec. 1, 2012
Thanks for all your support!
For Christmas 2013, my wife spent endless hours making a scrapbook of my journey of getting a book published, then going around to all sorts of presentations, book signings, and whatnot. She sprinkled in inspirational quotes, author-type artwork and more. thought it was kind of cool, so I’ll share some of what’s in it.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.