On Saturday, Sept. 15, from 3 to 5 p.m., Wildflowers Too Gallery in Barnegat Light will host a book signing for Down The Shore Publishing’s new book, Long Beach Island Chronicles, a varied collection of more than 70 writings from The SandPaper, The Beachcomber and other publications, capturing the shared Long Beach Island experience through tales of timeless Island pleasures, history, nature, storms, landmarks and recollections.
The book was edited by famed local historian, author and editor Margaret Thomas Buchholz, whose family roots go back to the mid-19th century in Harvey Cedars, although, she commented, “my roots don’t go back quite that far.”
Buchholz will also offer a presentation at the Barnegat Light Museum on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.
The stories in the book mostly reference the 1970s to ’90s, although Buchholz said she “couldn’t resist a few really old ones; plus some newly washed-up hurricane and northeaster stories.”
Earlier this summer, reviewer Pat Johnson likened the Chronicles to dark chocolate – best savored. “It might be best to skip at will through the six chock-full-of-stories sections, taking a sample of days gone by and friends missed, and then a bite of a historical essay, then maybe a dash of storm drama.
“All the entries are short enough. Some were newspaper articles first published in The SandPaper and The Beachcomber, most within the 1980s-’90s timetable. Some are historical documents; some come from diaries, and one from a journal kept by schoolchildren in Barnegat Light’s one-room schoolhouse.” Some are mischievous, touching, exaggerated, funny, gripping, thrilling, poetic and enlightening.
Buchholz’s readings and book signings draw crowds of those with an appetite for nostalgia and the familiar. “Pooch,” as she is known to most in the crowded High Point Firehouse in Harvey Cedars, knows what makes a good read and what stories will ring true to her audience. She published The Beachcomber for 32 years and later worked as its editor at The SandPaper. She is the author of or has edited a number of books, including Great Storms of the Jersey Shore (coauthored with Larry Savadove), New Jersey Shipwrecks, Shore Chronicles, Island Album, The Long Beach Island Reader and Josephine, all published by Down The Shore Publishing.
Wildflowers Too, now in its eighth season, calls itself a “gallery of art and other wonderful things,” featuring original art, fine crafts, glass pottery, sculptures and gifts by local and international artists and fine crafters. Wildflowers Too is located at 506 Broadway. For more information, call 609-361-1101.
Chronicles is available in local book and gift stores or online at down-the-shore.com.