|About the Book|
Islands are mythic places. Crossing water to reach them, it is easy to feel that we are leaving the complexities of everyday life for an elemental world governed by the natural rhythms of sun and wind and tide. Albums, in contrast, root us in ourMoreIslands are mythic places. Crossing water to reach them, it is easy to feel that we are leaving the complexities of everyday life for an elemental world governed by the natural rhythms of sun and wind and tide. Albums, in contrast, root us in our past, preserving the everyday life of childhood, of animals, people and places we have loved.Island Album presents us with both the idea and the reality of one NewJersey barrier island. Here is Long Beach Island in the days of poundfishing and great hotels, but here, too, are individual fishermen showing off their catches and a gaggle of summer waitresses posing for a group picture in their brief spare time. Children of every decade personify summer as they romp on beaches and mess about in boats. Teenagers are teenagers, recognizable at work and play, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Houses evolve from simple shanties into Victorian cottages and finally modern structures with walls of glass. But all are home to the families gathered for the camera on porch and dock.The text, drawn from interviews taped over a ten-year period, combinesdescriptions of life on the Island with what the Island represents to those who have known it well. Here are stories of sailing and fishing, of treks by car, train and foot, of beach camping, lifeguarding and coastal rescue, of violent storms and the endless struggle to resist a hungry sea. There is, of course, some regret for the loss of wilderness and the slower pace of much of the last century. Yet something quintessential about Long Beach Island remains. This fragile strip of land between bay and ocean captures the imagination today as much as ever, and this loving evocation of its past can only enhance its present.This fascinating story, told in nearly 340 photographs and the reminiscences of generations of people who have called Long Beach Island home, will delight those who know, and those who have just discovered, this place apart.