Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Compact Disc Review

Available from Ellouise Schoettler or www.cdbaby.com/Artist/EllouiseSchoettler
Email: ellouise9112@ellouisestory.com. Phone: 301-951-1213; $15.00
Recommended for teens and adults.

Reviewed By Linda Goodman

She may appear to be a mild mannered grandmother, but, make no mistake, Ellouise Schoettler is the Vigilante so proudly extolled in this CD’s title. In the personal stories on this CD, she polices airplanes, draws stories from men with tattoos, bids at auctions on a whim, “walks the plank,” and writes in books! Watch out for this one. She’s a maverick.

Air Vigilante, the CD’s first track, begins with Schoettler’s discourse about her discomfort with air travel practices that don’t seem quite legal, and then segues into a touching tale of an overheard conversation between a man and his higher power.

When Schoettler meets The Tattooed Man at an orthopedist’s office, she is not shy. She asks about his tattoos and, with his answer, is given a tale about conquering tragedy, overcoming obstacles, and sharing compassion.

In the story Dalmatian Blurt, which she shared at the Exchange Place at the 2009 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, we learn that Schoettler has a weakness for auctions. When she wins a bid for an ill-advised purchase, her forty-one year marriage hangs in the balance. Fortunately, a most unusual solution is found.

The crown jewel of this CD is its fourth track, Swimming, a funny yet poignant reminiscence about teaching her youngest daughter, Robin, to swim. Schoettler, we are informed, is a “bather,” married to a “swimmer” who expects everyone in the family to learn to swim well. When Robin balks at the idea, Schoettler puts her faith in a peripheral lifeguard with a long hook and “walks the plank” to encourage her. Her daughter not only learns to swim, but “pays it forward” in a way that supplies an unexpected extension and ending to the story. This story will delight those of us who have more in common with anchors than with buoys.

Writing in My Book is a short, humorous tale about defying convention and facing the consequences of such actions. Librarians will love this story.

This is a good CD to wind down to at the end of the day. It is heavy on heart, with just enough humor and poignancy to balance the scales. It offers further proof that no life is ordinary.

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