Suggested Interview Questions
Pig rubbing and other odd encounters
Humorous and heartwarming new book examines the migratory life of snowbirds seeking winter warmth in America's sunbelt
"I swear this story is true," insists Len Schritter, author of the soon-to-be-released book titled The Secret Life of a Snowbird. "I was just sitting there in the bingo hall minding my own business when this strange woman asked if she could rub me with her pig."
To find out why he said yes, you'll have to read his new book. This incident and others, including one he calls "soused of the border" and another in which he battles his resort community's weed police, reveal much of what it's really like to be a snowbird.
Schritter is a potato farmer from Idaho. He loves it up there, but says he's had his fill of winters. "My wife Diana and I always hope to be heading south before the first big snow of the season," he says. Schritter and his brother run a 3,500-acre farm and, in addition to Idaho potatoes, grow sugar beets and wheat. As much as he loves Arizona, he's always back in Idaho in time to help with the spring planting.
With an observant eye, a wry sense of humor, and a gift for storytelling, Schritter weaves together a series of stories that are alternately humorous and heartwarming.
The Secret Life of a Snowbird is Schritter's first book. Scheduled for release in 2007, The Secret Life of a Snowbird: An Inside Look at Retirement in America's Sunbelt (ISBN 1-58985-074-2 / ISBN: 978-1-58985-074-3), nonfiction, paperback, is published by Five Star Publications, P.O. Box 6698, Chandler AZ 85246-6698. The book is available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. To request a review copy and/or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact the publisher.
WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?
The Secret Life of a Snowbird provides a window into the life of snowbirds, those refugees from the frozen north who escape winter at home by migrating southward each year. With a keen eye for the absurd as well as the meaningful, author Len Schritter (a potato farmer from Idaho) shares his observations of his annual trek to Mesa, Arizona.
Momentarily taken aback by a strange woman's offer to rub him with her pig, Len eventually embraces the idiosyncrasies of Wednesday night bingo. Another time, he challenges himself to discover and destroy the green culprit that brought down upon him the wrath of the resort community's weed police. Then there is the story of the insidious allure of tequila, and the one about the old woman in the parking lot.
WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK UNIQUE?
The author is a gifted storyteller who weaves his tales (he proclaims them all to be true, of course) about the not-so-mundane life of a snowbird.
Anyone who lives in or who has visited the south in the wintertime has probably encountered snowbirds. But this may be the first time we've had the opportunity to learn what their lives are really like.
Suggested Interview Questions
- So you're really a potato farmer from Idaho. Do you ever hear any unusual comments about that?
- Tell us a bit about your farm. How big is it? What else do you raise there besides potatoes?
- When did you first become a snowbird? Was it your idea or your wife's?
- Are you full-time retired, or just during the winter?
- Just how guilty do you feel when you're sitting in the Arizona sun in the wintertime and you call your family back home during a blizzard in Idaho?
- I'm afraid to ask this, but are all the stories in your book true? Did that strange woman really ask if she could rub you with her pig?
- Do you think unending optimistic faith is the connection between being a Cubbies fan and being a farmer facing the vagaries of weather and market fluctuations?
- I understand that your wife encouraged you to write this book. What was her reaction when she first read it? Did she try to talk you into deleting or changing anything?
- You say in here that you've begun writing a second book. What will that one be about?
- Where can people purchase a copy of The Secret Life of a Snowbird?