Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

A monkey that climbs towers?

by Jade Bolack

May 23, 2013

WALWORTH — Many of the names in Trudy Schubert’s new book, “Monkey See Monkey Do,” sound familiar.

She likes to honor people in her life by memorializing them in her books.

Her son, Curt Otto, a communications tower climber, didn’t like that idea, though.

“Curt made me change his name in the book,” Schubert said. “Duh, his picture is in there. He said just put in a different name. I always use names that I know. Stevens, Rauland and a couple of the workers in Fontana are in there, but my son doesn’t want his name in it.”

Schubert has written eight books and donated the money raised to charities and organizations.

Her newest book revolves around Chris Stevens, a communications tower climber who trains a monkey to assist him on the climbs.

The monkey, Kiekie, is named in honor of Keith Kroll, managing partner at the Egg Harbor Cafe in Lake Geneva.

Based on her son’s life, Schubert said Curt always joked about training a monkey to carry his tool bag.

“He climbs the towers, and he always said he wanted to train a monkey to carry up his tools,” she said. “I thought (to myself), keep talking, this (her son’s idea to train a monkey) will make a great story.”

Curt never trained a monkey, but Schubert said Capuchin monkeys can be trained to assist humans similar to dogs.

“The Capuchin monkeys can be trained as assistant animals,” she said. “They can hand you things. I looked it up, and I asked a veterinarian.”

In her book, Schubert said she adds excitement by having the monkey kidnapped.

“It was based on some stories from my son,” Schubert said. “He’s run into people stealing copper off the towers. In the book, they take the monkey as ransom.”

Curt has run into other unexpected adventures too, and Schubert said they sound fictional.

“He fought with a goose the other day,” she said. “The goose had her eggs there. He had to fight the goose off nicely so he could get up the tower.”

Her son has also been confronted by snakes and cougars since he moved to California.

“A fish hit him one time in the head when he was climbing,” Schubert said. “A bird was carrying it to its nest, and he dropped it right on Curt’s head. The other climbers didn’t believe him.”

Swimming and writing

Schubert said she gets good ideas for her stories when she’s swimming.

“While I’m swimming, all these ideas come to me,” she said. “I hope when I get home I’ll still remember them. Sometimes, I’ll call home and leave a message on the answering machine.”

She writes a lot, she said, and she loves it.

“I self publish so I can give more to the cause,” Schubert said. “My first two books were published, and I was not happy. They change what you want to say, so they might as well write the book. It’s just so expensive. That money could go elsewhere.”

Instead of a professional editorial team, Schubert asks friends and family to help her out.

“I had people volunteer,” she said. “They just do it from the goodness of their hearts. There are still mistakes in there because we are not professionals.”

Her next book, which she swears is her last, is about mice.

“It’s church mice play together but seldom pray together,” she said. “It’s about religion and respect of others.”

Schubert expects the book, and especially the ending, “to be cute.”

She also plans to use her friends’ likenesses in that book as well.

“My sons hate that (being written about),” Schubert said. “But I can’t help that they have such interesting stories.”

Schubert has four sons, Keith, Brian, Curt and Freddie and “a handsome husband” Fred.

Funds raised from the sale of “Monkey See Monkey Do” will go to Walworth police and fire departments and the rescue squad.

Books are available at Walworth State Bank.