Well, we just got home from a weekend at the Jersey Shore. Seeing how different the beach is since Hurricane Irene blew in, I have decided to honor one of my favorite places, highlighting a book that makes going to the beach, going “down the shore”.
Laura Scarpa Toombs has written a great little book called “Beach Rules”. After spending 48 summers at the Jersey shore; summers filled with conversations, observations and proclamations, she is an expert on beach behavior. Not to mention, royalty in my eyes as her family owned and operated Playland, located on the corners of Haddonfield and Brynmawr Aves in Lavallette ( but we are saving that great story for another post). Having witnessed everything from people in alcoholic stupors, locals fighting with folks “not from here”, to being chased down the beach at plastic- knife point, she was asked by good friend Lisa Visconti “Why don’t you write a book ?” So, she did.
Beach Rules is a quick run down of the do’s and don’t of beach etiquette, laced with humor, a touch of sarcasm and a healthy dose of truth. I am of a “certain age” as she describes in the book and can totally relate to just about everything she says, including the empty ride home, from exit 98 back up north to exit 145 ( sadly until I was 15 I usually cried most of the way).
Aside from advice not to feed the seagulls or the reality of personal grooming in the surf, Laura really hits home with the unspoken connections of shore friends and the freedom of an outside shower ( have to use one to experience this, there are no words). She makes it clear that real Jersey shore folks are nothing like what is portrayed in reality TV, but mistake not the “vibe” that is only given off in this community. Along with Playland, Laura’s family also made famous, the Sugar Shack in Ortley Beach and Fred’s Peds, a moped rental; absolute Jersey shore gold standard.
Please don’t be put off if you have never visited this part of the shore, or if coastal living is not your idea of paradise. This book is really about people. People who make up a community, the bonds of friendship and the activities and events that make up a life time of memories, some so vivid and real that when one brings up the juke box at Playland, with out missing a beat, Laura can tell you that B6 was the song “Good Lovin Gone Bad” by Bad Company.
I really enjoyed reminiscing summers that have gone by, laughing about things and realizing just how small the world is, when you spend your summers “down the shore”.
Please take a minute and visit Laura’s Facebook page and most importantly, read the book. It is a quick uplifting read guaranteed to please.