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Sylvester author releases 'Company's Coming' book

Sylvester resident Sarah Senkbeil promotes new her book "Company's Coming" during a book signing at Margaret Jones Public Library in Sylvester Thursday. Senkbeil's book recounts her life growing up in Worth County.

Sylvester resident Sarah Senkbeil promotes new her book "Company's Coming" during a book signing at Margaret Jones Public Library in Sylvester Thursday. Senkbeil's book recounts her life growing up in Worth County.

SYLVESTER -- Sarah Senkbeil has worked in a number of arenas during her life, from child care to cosmetics to swimming teacher.

Now she's an author.

Senkbeil, 82, is currently in the process of promoting her first book, "Company's Coming."

The book, which was in the working stages for several years, tells about what it was like for her growing up on her family's farm in Worth County with her three siblings -- two brothers and a sister -- in the 1930s and 1940s.

"It's about what we did on the farm," she said. "I wrote it to share with people. When people read it, it brings back memories."

The book discusses the planting of tobacco, cotton and melons as well as the care of the family's mules, cows, chickens and hogs.

Senkbeil said her family even made their own soap out of leftover grease.

"Everything that needed to be done, we did it," she said. "We had to make what we used, as a rule. We rarely bought our own soap."

Senkbeil said her primary duty was to carry around water as needed, but she did a little of everything.

"My duty was to do what was told of me to do," she said.

Her childhood was one that started off with no radio or even electricity in the home. Eventually, the family did acquire a radio -- but it was only listened to on Saturdays.

"Any time we had company, no matter who it was, our mother cooked a big dinner," Senkbeil recalled, explaining her book's title.

The book has been selling since June. It was initially written in pen and pencil before Senkbeil took it to a typewriter. It was completed on several devices since she had to use whatever typewriter was available at the time.

Eventually, she received help from some people working at a local public library on how to use a computer so that it would be on a format that was publishable. When a neighbor was getting rid of her computer for a later model, Senkbeil managed to get ahold of the hardware she was replacing -- and got the manuscript typed up on that device as well.

So far, "Company's Coming" has received positive response from those who have read it.

"Most people have told me that they don't have the money to buy it, but they will when they've saved up," Senkbeil said. "It stirs people's memories.

"Everyone who reads it tells me they enjoy it. Most people are saying they enjoy it."

The author said her ultimate goal in writing the book was to educate younger generations on what life was like back then, and what lessons can be learned from it.

"I wanted my children to know what to do," Senkbeil said. "That was one of the reasons I wrote it.

"It's about history, but it's about survival. Use whatever you have to, and use your mind. Make do with what you have, but stay busy."

The author has done at least one book signing in Sylvester, and another is scheduled for today at the Lee County Public Library in Leesburg from 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

The book is currently available at Adams Drug Store in Cordele, Warwick Drugs in Warwick, The Medicine Shoppe in Sylvester and Jenny's Dress Shop in Sylvester.

In her spare time, Senkbeil runs a custom I.D. service and makes laminated obituary bookmarks.

"I'm never without something to do," she said.

In her days as a child care provider, she even designed what she called a "Safety Trike Stand," which was used to mount a tricycle in order for it to remain stationary while the child was riding it.

"With a lot of children in the room, you have to entertain them," Senkbeil said. "I would have five or six running in the room all the time."

Senkbeil said she has just started writing another book entitled "Waiting for the Call," which focuses on the need for a person to fill in the time they have while they can.

"We didn't ask to be born or be a man or a woman, but one day, He will take us home for a purpose," Senkbeil said. "All we are doing is waiting for the call."

"Company's Coming" is also available through its publisher, Father & Son, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Senkbeil currently lives in Sylvester. She has four children, 13 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.