A letter from a happy reader

A letter I received via email the other day regarding the book:
December 13, 3012
Dear Paul Hoffman,
     Thank you for writing your book about Buddy Schuhmacher.  I found it at Sam’s Club about 10 days ago and bought one for myself and my family and one for a book club book exchange.  It caught my eye because I was born and raised in Tosa and moved back there after my first child was born.  It’s a great place to live.  I always thought of it as very safe,  I had never heard of Buddy’s murder.
      My parents bought a brand new house on 88th Street in the early 1940’s and I was born in 1946.  It really was the edge of town.  Empty lots still dotted the landscape as I grew up.  Hoyt Park was new and I went there from early on.  I probably was allowed to go there alone with friends by the time I was 10 years old.  We scurried down Ludington to where the street turned cutting through vacant lots and past what we thought of as a scary, vacant-looking, haunted house.  We’d then run over the narrow bridge to the pool house. Sometimes we’d go farther north to where we could cross the river by jumping from one moss-covered rock to another.  I was never very good at that.
      My best friend, Margie Nickel, lived on Kenyon Ave. and sometimes we’d use an old rickety stair case that led us down to the parkway and go into the woods there. I loved to wander down the pathways that led to the river and look to see if I could find any ducks, turtles, crabs or other wild life.  Sometimes I’d explore the paths north of North Avenue too. We usually were with friends, but I sometimes explored the underbrush by myself. I stopped doing that when once, taking the paths south of the pool area, I noticed that a man was following me and I RAN out of the woods.  That had scared me.  Sometimes I’d go near the tracks, but seldom.  I later spent two years working as a pool attendant there.  Had a great time.
       I later lived on 95th and Harding until our 4th child was born and when she was two moved to our present address on Menomonee and North.  (My parents had moved to Menomonee near Congress when I was in graduate school in Madison.)  The river always drew me in.  Our new house had its own pool and diving board, so we seldom went to Hoyt.  Based on my earlier experience, I did not encourage my kids to wander by the river.
       Your book really held my interest because of all the names listed.  Having grown up in a German Lutheran household, I knew Mount Olive and people with names of Schumacher, Wolf, Egloff and others.  I knew the streets and places mentioned.  Thanks for evoking old memories along with pursuing this story.  I will now share my copy with family and a few friends.  Thank you for writing it.
                                                                                    Suzanne Kessler Frost

One thought on “A letter from a happy reader

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  1. Hello! My parents came across your book while recently doing a little family research online. It turns out that Buddy’s father worked for my great grandfather, E.H. Karrer as mentioned on page19. We just got our hands on a copy of the book and have yet to read the whole story. I was born in the 70’s and grew on 51st street, just a few blocks from Mt. Olive. I believe at the time of the books events my great great grandfather was a pastor at the church. We would love to know any other details relating to our ancestors. One other interesting coincidence is that the last person who commented, Suzanne Frost Kessler, is the mother and aunt of two of my former grade school classmates! I look forward to reading the book and would love to be in touch about all of these connections! Thank you!

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