‘This is the way I like to see social history presented’

Here are some excerpts from a pair of emails I received today from Nancy Cavanaugh, a resident of Wauwatosa, a reader of “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher” (she is also the author of a book on boomers and social media and has two degrees in history):Nancy Cavanaugh

   “Just finished reading your book for the third time. The 89th anniversary of the murder has just occurred, and what happened is even more realistic to me because I live within walking distance of most of the locations described in your book.

   “Great research! You not only explain events, but put them into the context of the crime/investigation. I have two degrees in history from UW-Milwaukee, and this is the way I like to see social history presented.

   “It’s interesting to see how a horrible event like a local murder forces change. Today, the village area is full of beautiful parks and the area around the Hoyt Park swimming pool has been maintained very well. No one could possibly know what happened when the area was once more rural.  

   “The Little Read Book down in the village had your book in the front window for months. That’s what attracted me to it in the first place and it was worth every penny!  

    “As you can tell, I love to read books related to history and yours is one of the top ten best I’ve ever read.”

 — Nancy Cavanaugh

Author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Social Media Success: Harnessing Your Inner Expert to Promote Your Business” Buy at The Little Red Book or online at: http://www.boomersocialmediabook.com

Thanks, Bay View Book Club!

I’d like to to thank the Bay View Library Book Club for choosing “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher” as its book of choice to discuss at its Feb. 19, 2014 meeting at Bay View Library.

The Bay View branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.

The Bay View branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.

The Bay View Library Book Club meets the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Frequently, the members choose stories that are historical and appeal to local interest. Books are held in advance for participants at the circulation desk at Bay View Library. New members are welcome! The library is a branch of the Milwaukee Public Library, the downtown branch of which I used for hours and hours of research.

Bay View is a section of Milwaukee south of downtown along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Let’s make this book into a movie!


Since “Murder in Wauwatosa” was published, I’ve debated what direction to go. While still promoting that book with various speaking engagements and book signings, I started on another book … a fiction book aimed at kids ages 10-14 or so … Continue reading

I have a Bacon number! But no Erdős number.


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My brother, Doug Hoffman, informs me that, like every actor, I am now within Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Actually, he informs me that my Bacon number is a mere TWO! “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is a parlor game based on the “six … Continue reading

An evening with the Central Indiana Writers Association


Thanks to all the great folks at the Central Indiana Writers Association for inviting me to serve as a guest speaker Monday night, June 16. I’d especially like to thank Robin Waldron for suggesting to the group that I was … Continue reading

My motion picture acting debut


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Twenty-four hours after performing in what promises to be first appearance in a real motion picture – unlike the Super 8 movies that Dad made of us during Christmas and birthdays in my youth – the headache has finally subsided, … Continue reading

Wauwatosa memories from a reader

Below are excerpts from an email I received from a reader of “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher.” Many of you native Wauwatosans may recall the Pig Farm.
Hi Paul,
I very much enjoyed reading your book, in part because it lent perspective to some of my childhood activities in Tosa. In the mid ’70s (a friend) and I used to go junking and exploring back in the Pig Farm area and along the river. We made a couple trips, then one day he came back and said we better be armed if we go again, and cited some incident his family had told him about. Next trip we made with knives in our pockets, and whatever they had told him seemed to have him half expecting we were gonna use them. I’ll bet it was the Schumacher incident. Something like that would leave an impression that would resonate in longtime villagers’ memories for years.
My “turf” was typically north of that area, on the north side of Capitol Drive, Webster School neighborhood. But I remember encountering active yunkles and hobos in the parkway near us back in the 1960s and 1970s. 
I look forward to anything else you might produce with a relevant local history.
Bill Laste

Sterling North official announcement


Here is the announcement on the Sterling North Book and Film Festival website announcing my appearance there on Sept. 27.

For more information on the festival, which will be conducted in Edgerton, Wisconsin, click here.