For over 40 years gerwin kellermann and his wife hoarded attentively. "We have lived here since 1968. It was our ambition to get involved in the village," emphasizes, the couple explains how they came to study the history of the village in depth. They put the results of their research into a book that will be published on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the oberbach branch of the rhonklub.
The little book with the expressive title "all too human from the upper sinn valley and beyond", the book that the kellermanns have now completed cannot be compared with a chronicle, however. "It’s a completely different approach, emphasizes johanna kellermann. It is about village stories, about authentic and funny stories, but also about jokes. Hilarious anecdotes are juxtaposed with serious events.
"This is not a book about joke stories. It was too cheap", she explains the approach, and her husband adds: "it’s about the human, the shrewd, the mischievous – everything that life in a village has to offer." The stories describe "true events that fit into the rhon".
Stories like the one about the sunder josef – gerwin kellermann changed the names to protect his person – make the book so appealing: the said josef went to confession in the church and saw the snuff box of the priest lying on the cornice of the confessional, whereupon he promptly pocketed it. After he had made his confession, the priest asked if he was finished: "no, I stole another snuff box!", known josef. "Well, they have to give it back, of course!" When josef then offered the pastor his own tobacco tin, the pastor unsuspectingly declined.
There were plenty of opportunities for gerwin kellermann to tell new stories. Whether at chance meetings at festivals or on hikes, or when he was indulging his passion for collecting historical photos and visiting people at home, or simply in everyday life. "Some of the people told me very personal things", he describes. He emphasizes that this was only possible because people respected him as a teacher and took him into their confidence. Especially this applies to serious, ratselhafte and inexplicable episodes.
His wife, johanna kellermann, contributed some 20 drawings to the book, illustrating the stories and bringing them to life. "I have thought about how and what from this story I can set in scene?", she explains her approach. This presented them with real challenges at times. "For example, how do you paint the face of a drowning man??", have they asked themselves. The creative realization was a bit difficult for her, especially at the beginning, because she had not drawn for a long time. In the course of the project, however, it got better momentum. "Towards the end I had several ideas for pictures that I would like to paint", she means. But then the book would not have been finished in time for the anniversary. "By the end, the deadline pressure was already rough", she says.