About this book
The Soul of a Shoemaker is a fascinating story, an homage and a retelling of my father’s journey to this country with absolutely nothing in his pockets and how he built something spectacular.
For many years I wanted to write my father’s story. When an opportunity came to put his story on paper, I thought it may have been too late due to extraneous circumstances. However, this did not stop me from gathering all his stories from my mother, my brother, and various family members from Croatia to finally publish his story.
Why I Published This Book
I had initially planned
to write my dad’s memoir to share how he escaped Communist Yugoslavia and his journey to Canada with just our family and friends.
Then I realized that his story was more relevant today than at any other time in our history. We’ve been in this pandemic for two years now, and there seems to be no end in sight.
Our current federal and provincial governments have imposed draconian restrictions on how we are to live and work in our beautiful country. My father left everything behind to escape from a brutal regime. He believed he would have a better life for himself and his family if he could have the opportunity to thrive in a free country.
Many of the current measures taken by our governmments
resemble in both form and function the same authoritarian policies that my father risked his life to escape from in Yugoslavia.
Today I see how vital it is to tell his story as our government continues to find ways to control our lives by enforcing a plethora of mandates unlike ever seen before in our lifetime in Canada.
As he grew up, he struggled to survive and worked hard in a country of oppressive restrictions under the guise of prosperity and equality for all comrades. He never gave up and took risks that could have put him in prison or executed, all because he wanted freedom. His journey to freedom is the story I wanted to tell. His origin story is unlike any other I had ever heard of, and I felt it was important to share.
My father loved helping people,
especially his family in Croatia and his many friends over the years whom he had trusted and loved.
He never went out of his way to seek awards and accolades for all the goodness he bestowed on many individuals and organizations. He just wasn’t that type of a guy. If someone ever asked my father, “What do you do for a living?” His response was always, “I’m just a shoemaker,” says the guy who came to this country penniless and built a multi-million dollar shoe business.
When comparing what my father experienced back in Yugoslavia to some of the horrible events that have transpired today, significant parallels emerge to his story. Today’s younger generation is unaware of what life can be like under an oppressive regime. I hope to make people aware of these important issues by writing this book.
This story is a glimpse into my father’s life on the farm, the challenges he faced living under the communist dictatorship in Yugoslavia, and finally, his dramatic escape to freedom in Canada. The history is real, and the events that my father lived through are factual dramatizations. The experiences of my father’s life portrayed in this compelling and exciting narrative will both educate and entertain you.