Thirteen-year-old Nicole Hicks could hardly contain her excitement. She knew the speaker’s description of a German plane being shot down during the D-Day invasion could only mean one thing — her beloved godfather, Charles Schnieder, would be recognized next.
Hicks and her mother, Lili, were part of the audience that gathered at The Palace Suites on Jan. 26 to celebrate the release of Voices From Beyond Autumn, a book which chronicles the fascinating lives of 24 Palace Suites residents including Schnieder, 90.
The residents at the senior living community captured the attention of author Dominic Perenzin more than a year and half ago and he, along with residents’ families and Palace employees, marked the completion of his “labor of love” with a meet and greet and book signing.
During the event, residents and their families were invited to read book excerpts or provide an overview of a poignant moment detailed in the book.
Schnieder chose to recap his unconventional interrogation approach to dealing with the German pilot, who “had obviously taken the Nazi propaganda hook-lineand- sinker and made it his personal creed.”
Nicole Hicks seemed to know his story word for word, eagerly awaiting the laughter from the audience. Before he could return to his seat, she gave him her biggest smile and proudly embraced him. It was a moving experience for both Hicks and Schnieder.
“I’m so happy he is included in the book,” she said. “His stories are always so interesting.”
Schneider’s life is just one of the many extraordinary profiles featured in Voices From Beyond Autumn. From the story of the City of Miami’s first Jewish police officer who has been haunted by an infamous unsolved crime to the fascinating fashion/art collector whose apartment features a Warhol, Katz and Murakami, the book recounts the most defining time in the seniors’ lives.
“We’re honored to have Dominic capture the incredible lives of our residents,” said Palace Suites’ executive director Gabriel Garrido. “Although their lives ultimately led them to The Palace Suites, they have each taken different paths and journeys to arrive here.”
Voices From Beyond Autumn can be purchased by contacting the author directly by email at SurfsidePublications@gmail.com. The cost of the book is $16.95.
The Palace Suites, located at 11377 SW 84 St. in Kendall, is a luxury independent living community. Owned and operated by The Palace Group, one of South Florida’s leading companies specializing in senior housing and care, The Palace Suites is part of the company’s continuum of care campus.
For more information about the community, call 305-270-7010 or visit online at www.ThePalace.org.