Saturday, July 08, 2006

Limerick Book Is Fun For Entire Family

By Lynndi Lockenour

What started as an ode to his father,
Was for Bob not much a bother.
Now he has a limericks book,
To which everyone can take a look
And find much laughter.

Local funny man, now turned author, Bob Schneider recently published a book of limericks and poems titled 79 Reasons to Smile. The book is a compiled mixture of humor stemming from limericks Bob’s father, Jerry Schneider, wrote throughout his life, as well as some of Bob’s own original work.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Bob decided to publish a book after his father passed away in July 2005 from surgery complications. “Dad spent a lot of time writing these limericks,” he said. But until Bob was 40, he never knew about his father’s hidden talent. “Dad was very modest and didn’t tell anyone about it.”

Bob said he had always encouraged his father to assemble his material into a book, but Jerry was always too modest to do so. After his father’s death Bob decided Jerry’s work would get published, with a little help from him, of course. With both his wife and mother telling him there weren’t enough hours in the day to put something like this together, Bob set to work. “There’s no greater motivation to do something than when someone tells you that you can’t,” he said.

Of all the poems and limericks throughout the book, Bob said his personal favorite is “Dad’s Shoes” because it strikes a more serious tone about the relationship he had with his father. “There wasn’t a day the two of use spent together that wasn’t filled with laughter,” he said.
Bob said he has been amazed at how “easy” it was to get the book ready and published. “I’m not saying there weren’t difficult times,” he said. “But somehow I think Dad was helping things out a little, making it go more smoothly.”

With all the negative messages out there today, Bob said he hopes this book brings something positive to the table. “I want 79 Reasons to Smile to give kids and their parents a chance to be happier and do something together for a change,” he said. Bob said he intends the book for all ages. “From six to 60, I want people to get something out of this that they didn’t have before, even if it’s only a slight chuckle.

During the publishing process Bob has encountered several happy moments, but he said his favorite was finishing it. “Handing that first copy to my mother and saying ‘I finished Dad’s book’ was the best,” he said. “Seeing that smile on her face made it all worth it.”

The book features illustrations by Phil Cappello and Don Humphrey, with graphic production design by Florence Bommarito.

Bob published the book himself and it is therefore only available at the following selected locations: Borders and Heart Food and Drug in O’Fallon, Illinois, The book costs $19.95, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Valley Industries, a sheltered workshop in St. Louis County that provides employment for over 200 adults with disabilities. For more information on the book or how you can find a copy for yourself, visit