In 1955, Otto Schmalz had been a single German immigrant in Canada for four years. It was time for him to go back to Europe and find a wife.
In this, Schmalz’s fourth book of memoir, he takes us on an adventure that takes us from his return to Canada with his German fiancée through their early years together, which were abundantly propelled by an appetite for taking chances. Otto took on jobs away from home to earn more money, leaving his new-to-Canada bride to figure the country out on her own (she did). He postponed an urgent operation so he could finish his first year at university—at age thirty-three (he did). They went with nearly no income for five years, while Otto took engineering courses in the hope of becoming an engineer (he did).
Otto and Gertrud’s bold approach to their lives, which featured no little sacrifice and financial hardship, has proved a spectacular success. Taking Chances Paid off, and the rollicking tales it unspools, is proof of that.