Schirmer pens 'Never a Dull Moment'
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 29, 2014 | 1433 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville author Ralph Schirmer is pictured with his book, “Never a Dull Moment: From Fukuoka 1936 and thereabouts to Cartersville 2014 and thereabouts ...” SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Cartersville author Ralph Schirmer is pictured with his book, “Never a Dull Moment: From Fukuoka 1936 and thereabouts to Cartersville 2014 and thereabouts ...” SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
For Cartersville resident Ralph Schirmer, life is an adventure, full of experiences to treasure and remember. Born in Japan in 1936, he experienced a plethora of cultures and countries before settling down in Bartow County in 2005.

Feeling led to record his exploits, Schirmer, with the encouragement of his wife, penned “Never a Dull Moment: From Fukuoka 1936 and thereabouts to Cartersville 2014 and thereabouts ...”

“The book covers history, travel, happenings, anecdotes, countries, places, comments, cultures, customs, humor, people and family life,” Schirmer said. “A maxim of my father’s was that I should always remember that there are good and bad people, those that are right and those that are mistaken, everywhere in the world, no matter where they came from, live [or what] their nationality, race or religion happens to be. I also learned from others to never give up and in time to accept the help and advice from many types of characters, learning from friends, colleagues, comrades, superiors, and also from servants, gardeners, factory workers, drivers and my own children and many more. What I learned above all in time is to be humble, to trust God when things seem lost, to accept people for what they are, to laugh about myself, not taking myself too seriously and to see opportunities even in the worst of situations.

“When living in Dallas in 1994, out of a major job, I took on minimum wage jobs anywhere I could. Since minimum wage hardly covers everything, we often had no money to buy milk for breakfast. It seems though, that the Lord never lets one down. Suddenly there was unexpected surprising help, such as finding $50 bills in the streets, or a $100 bill coming out of an ATM machine instead of $20, which the bank refused to receive back, or [an] old relative suddenly mailing $400 by mail.”

While his book is not intended to be an autobiography, Schirmer encourages readers to view life with an optimistic perspective.

“I hope that readers gain three insights from the book: The first is to look around, to be aware that there is truly never a dull moment in one’s life, so there is no need for drugs and other types of addictions,” he said. “Life has always something exciting, even in small things, when one looks for it. Second, to never give up, no matter what life throws at us because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Third, to appreciate everything as an opportunity, especially changes forced upon us by circumstances not in our control.”

With many of his stories hailing from overseas in countries such as Japan, Denmark, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico and Pakistan, “Never a Dull Moment” has gained a broad reader base. In addition to the U.S., the book also has been purchased abroad in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Estonia, Finland and the United Kingdom.

“Often I am asked what it was that I enjoyed most,” Schirmer wrote in his book. “Really everything, therefore the [book’s] title, but yes, there are some episodes of my life I enjoyed a bit more than others. There was rowing in a crew of eight oars with coxswain. There were the three years I worked for Firestone in Oriente the eastern half of Venezuela. There was our brick home in El Placer, Caracas, on the southern mountain range, where our children finally got healthy after escaping the ... city’s heavy pollution down in the valley.

“There were the weekly Saturday outings to the beach near Caracas with the family, visiting the Tanaguarena Beach Club where we were members and the wonderful service we encountered there. There were the many trips and travels throughout Venezuela and then to Europe with Astrid and the children. Then there were the market studies with the extensive trips around South- Central- and North-America I had the opportunity to do and deliver, their results were always a surprise. There was the teaching of new personnel and colleagues wherever I worked, to see them absorb new information and putting it successfully into practice. Later in Miami there were the 5 years in the Masters Swimming Program at the Jewish Community Center as well as the fascinating job I held at Delta.”

He continued, “And now in late life there are the joys of gardening, to see plants grow and flowers bloom and last not least there are the every day conversations with my wife Astrid, good friends and companions. Last but not least, there is the joy to now and then meet ... our grown up children and their families and our 7 grandchildren, just in time before GDS (grandchildren deprivation syndrome) sets in.”

“Never a Dull Moment” is available in paperback and e-book edition at and other book stores, such as Barnes & Noble.