Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
Some of us have had near-death experiences: accidents and mishaps where we might not have survived. A few of us might have had more than one.
None of us would hope to have the legendary nine lives of a cat.
But here, among us, is a man who has had three times those nine lives. He has experienced 27 life-threatening, deadly encounters, during his brief 55 years on Earth, and lived to tell the tale.
After his most recent brush with death, a motorcycle/deer collision last year, his sons convinced him to write a book about it. Some months later, Nine Lives to Eternity was in print.
From infancy forward, Scott Gottschalk has documented his many potentially life-threatening accidents and mishaps in great detail. Poisoning, farm accidents, motorcycle and auto accidents, dangerous interactions with large wild animals, overseas war and riots, and more. Twenty-six broken bones. And harried parents, wife, and sons.
And yet, he goes on. Boldly and seemingly unstoppable.
Gottschalk grew up on a farm near Byron, Minn. He and his wife Astrid (Sammeli) live near Kingston, just south of Kimball. Their adult sons Trevor and Travis attended Kimball schools and now are both married.
He is a consultant and educator with Land O'Lakes International Division. He has been at the forefront of developing and teaching dairy farming practices for emerging countries such as Poland and Estonia in the former Soviet bloc, Afghanistan, and Uganda.
Gottschalk writes with such detail that you feel you are there, as a witness to his adventures; you want to pull him out of harms way. And yet each chapter, each story of survival, reads quickly and makes you hungry for more. Just as you finish one, and you're thinking "what else could happen to this guy?" along comes yet another tale of miraculous survival.
It could be sheer luck, if you choose to believe that. But Gottschalk credits God's divine intervention and a small army of guardian angels for his return from the veil, time after time.
Indeed, his deep and unfading faith is a strong theme throughout his life and this book.
If you're a believer in a power greater than us, this book will affirm your belief in a loving and caring God, in guardian angels, and in the power of prayer.
If you're a thrill-seeker, like Gottschalk, you'll appreciate the wild and crazy adventures he takes you on in each chapter.
If you are nostalgic about the good old days back on the farm, you'll love his tales of farm life.
If you're a fan of great story-telling, this is one book you'll have a hard time putting down.
Nine Lives to Eternity is written in 28 chapters, each one a fast read and an adventure of its own.
As it turns out, writing a book was Gottschalk's dream since he was in high school. His first book, published nearly 30 years ago, is The Folk and Their Fauna, a delightful story about people and their animals. Along with the recent release of Nine Lives, his publisher has re-published The Folk and Their Fauna. Both are available online at www.
gottschalkbooks.com and at the Tri-County News office on Main Street in Kimball.
Gottschalk will be available for book sales and signings at the Tri-County News booth in the Kimball Area Business and Community Expo from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Kimball high school, and from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Triple R Grill & Bar on Hwy. 15 in Kimball.