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The Riehl World: My Time in the Twentieth Century

By Richard Riehl

My wife and I met Ron Bouchard in the spring of 2018, a few months before his 102nd birthday party at Chateau Lake San Marcos, a resort/style, 55+ senior living community in San Marcos, California. He’s our next-door neighbor, a common wall separates our condos.

From the day we moved here a few months ago, we heard stories about this remarkably active elderly gentleman. He was two years old when Calvin Coolidge, a lawyer living in Ron’s Northampton, Massachusetts neighborhood, was elected President. Only recently has the centenarian begun using a walker, after he took a tumble one day on his way to the dining hall.
A self-taught piano player, Ron entertains Chateau residents and their guests with old-time favorites during Sunday champagne brunches, where Karen and I share a table with him and Bonnie, his 87-year-old sweetheart. He was impressed with Karen’s writing achievements, thirteen published books, including her 2015 San Diego Book Awards winner, Helga: Growing up in Hitler’s Germany.
He told us of his unpublished memoir, My Time in the Twentieth Century, which he wrote 20 years ago. He made 25 copies to give to his family and friends. He kindly loaned us his own copy, making it clear he wanted it back.
After telling Ron how impressed we were with his page-turning life story, spanning a century, he asked if we thought he should publish it. I volunteered to do that, drawing on my experience as editor/publisher of Karen’s books by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It was also a natural for me in retirement, as a former writer/editor for the Huffington Post and an opinion columnist for San Diego’s North County Times, The Free Press and Oside News.
Ron’s book is now available on Amazon. Here’s the link to it: My Time in theTwentieth Century.