Renee Servello: “I’m always busy with books now”

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This week we had the pleasure of catching up once again with Renee Servello, this time on her 28th time visiting our island with her husband Anthony and her son Ty. After bringing her humor and laughter with her two first books, ‘You’re Kidding, I’m a Senior” and “Humor All The Way,” Renee now has expanded to children’s book with two touching stories: “Petey the Pug Escapes for 24 Hours” and “Freckles Finds a Forever Home.” Renee shared with us some stories of the wonderful characters that inspired her books.

When we spoke with Renee last year, she told us that what makes Aruba so special for her is her special relationships with the people. “You can go to other islands, but the people are not that friendly. You hear everybody say that Aruba is a friendly island, but it really is. We travel a lot, and it’s really friendly! This is like home for us.” This time she is back together with her son Ty, who is one of the main characters in her new book, “Petey the Pug Escapes for 24 Hours.”

“Last year I saw you with two humor books,” she said, “and this year I’m seeing you with two children’s books.” Both books are based on true stories. Renee told us it was her consultant who suggested she try writing a children’s book, but she had already written one! She had written the story of Freckles, their pet rabbit. “If you’ve never had a rabbit… they’re very clean animals and it’s never dull with a rabbit in the house, they’re always into things, and a lot of fun. I had one growing up, and then we got one a few years ago.” Renee says she wrote the book about freckles because she was just so entertaining. “She was a ‘people bunny.’ Every time the door bell rang, she’d knock us out of the way – she was only four pounds – to get to the front door to see who it was. She’d stand on her hind legs and watch people as they came in. She loved people, and people loved her! She was famous in the neighborhood and with all of the family because she was just so cute and so much fun.”

The Servellos had Freckles loose at home and she was always exploring. Renee says once she disappeared and for eight hours they were looking for this rabbit trying to find her. “My son in law said, try opening a closet, maybe she jumped into a closet? And that’s where she would be, just waiting for us to open the door!”

Aside from the fact that she loved Freckles so much, Renee says she wanted to write the book for her grandchildren, to leave something for them. However, in a lovely twist, people who are adoptees can relate to the character of Freckles, who finds her forever home. She’s had people write to say that Freckles related to their adopted children. She tells the story of her cousin that actually adopted four children, and she called and said her 10 year old had been keeping his light on. When asked why his light was still on as he should be sleeping, he said “mom, I’m reading about Freckles!” When the mom mentioned that he has read the book many times, he said “mom, you don’t understand. Freckles is me! I found a family that loves me, and Freckles found a family that loves her.”
“That makes me feel just fabulous, that the adopted children can relate to Freckles, as she was so special to us,” Renee says. “And apparently she is very special to children that have been adopted.”

About “Petey the Pug Escapes for 24 Hours”, Renee says this is also a true story. “My son brought me the story, he worked as a manager at a golfing facility. Little Petey dug out of his yard which was near by the golfing facility, and he made it inside.” All these golf balls were flying around him, and the truck that comes around to collect these balls realized they had to get him out of there because he could be hit by a ball. So he was picked up and brought in, and everybody took charge and they wanted to play with Petey and all day long the guests were fighting over Petey. “This went on and on and on. He had a lot of things going on that day. And finally, my son was closing and they said, ‘what are we gonna do with this dog?’ and he said, ‘well, I’m gonna take him home.’ And he made a bed, and they had a slumber party!”

She has been writing two books a year, “I’m always writing books now!” she said. However, that doesn’t get in the way of her visiting her second home, Aruba.

About her latest visit to Aruba, Renee says she is enjoying it “as always!”
Last year we asked her, since she is so humorous, if she had any funny stories about Aruba. “And I said oh, yes, of course!” she said this week. “Well, I need to clarify that, they’re in the new book coming out!”

However, she did give us a funny story for now. “Our first year, we stayed at La Cabana, and we were happy to see that you had the big Dutch cheese balls here. So we decided that everybody we knew here – no, I decided, my husband wasn’t in on this – so I decided everybody needed a cheese ball from Holland. So when Anthony was in the shower, I had already gone out and bought the cheese balls, which are quite big. So when he was in the shower, I packed five in his suit case and five in my suitcase, and we were in a hurry to get to the airport that day. And he said, ‘Renee, why is my suitcase so heavy?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know. We don’t have time to discuss this, let’s just get to the airport.’ So everything went well, and we landed in Miami, and that was the year when, when you get off the plane, you had to x-ray your luggage. Well, they saw our bags, and had everybody evacuate the room. All the passengers that we had been on the plane with, they evacuated, they said, ‘get out of here’ and most people went, but they kept us! So they called my husband and they asked, ‘sir, what are you carrying in your suitcase?’ He says, ‘I don’t know! Renee did the packing, you talk to her.’ And [the security agent] said, ‘they look like bombs.’ And I said, ‘no, no, no. Dutch cheeses! There are ten of them. My husband didn’t speak to me for ten days after that!”

Visit our website to read our past interview with Renee, and also visit our Facebook page, to see our video interview for this article.