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BOOK REVIEW: I'M CHET, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHET KRAUSE
Howard A. Daniel III submitted this review of I'm Chet, The Autobiography of Chet Krause as told to Arlyn G. Sieber. -EditorThe E-Sylum recently had a notice about a book - I'm Chet, The Autobiography of Chet Krause as told to Arlyn G. Sieber. Since the 1970s, Chet and I have been introduced and met many times but only for a handshake. Then somehow I was sitting at the same table with him at a ANA Convention and thought I could have a conversation with him, but so did about twenty other people. I have always wanted to know more about him, so I quickly decided to order the book.
About ten days later, an 8 1/2 x 11 inches size hardbound book arrived with 208 pages and a nice color dust cover. I was nicely surprised to see Chet had autographed the title page to me. I am very sure he did not do it because I am special to him, but that he is autographing all of them.
The first 40 pages are about his pre-WWII life growing up on a farm in a close knit family and community. I remember my Grandfather Daniel calling them "The Good Ole Days." There were many little things that he was taught and experienced that became important things in his later life. Hard work and being an honest and good man were the most important.
Two of his brothers went off to war before him. Learning to be a mechanic and welder in his young life guided him during his wartime service into doing the same work in an Army Anti-Aircraft unit. His traveling on troop ships reminded me of my one trip from Germany back to the USA. Ugh! His family was very lucky to have all three sons return from WWII without a scratch. Besides mechanic and welder training as a young man, Chet also learned carpentry. He created a construction business and built many houses and other buildings. While this business kept him busy during the day, he started a numismatic publishing business with Numismatic News at night. He kept both going until it was too much and he decided numismatics was his future and dropped the construction business.
His personal collecting also advanced after WWII into more US coins and Wisconsin notes, but he also has collections of WWI Liberty Bonds and WWII War Bonds. Then he attended his first ANA Convention in 1956 and has been attending them ever since.
There are many employees and (business and personal) friends mentioned along in his numismatic business life, but the most prominent is Cliff Mishler. They made excellent business partners and Cliff was someone he gladly handed the business down to when he retired the first of several times. It does not seem that any of his many friendships were one-sided. They were all good for Chet and his friends.
I have met people all over the world ask me if I know him. Since I used to write a lot for his numismatic and philatelic periodicals and still update his world catalogs, I surely must be very close to him in their minds. I do wish I was closer to him but I have had the privilege of working with many of the good people he hired to work at Krause Publications. After reading this book, I know he surrounded himself with only good people like himself, so I do feel like I do know him very well.
You can order the book for $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping by sending a check payable to the Iola Historical Society. Their address is P.O. Box 252, Iola, WI 54945-0252.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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