On Long Beach Island, the beach my family has been going to as far back as I–and even my mom—can remember, there’s a free newspaper called the Sand Paper. (Ha. Yes. I get it.) This publication has a ton of coupons for awesome beachy places like the ice cream parlor one block from the beach house, Bay Village Pizza (the best pizza I’ve ever had), and the Chowda Hut, where my favorite New England Clam Chowda is made.
So when I got a call from someone who introduced himself as a reporter from the Sand Paper, I knew what he meant. He asked me some questions about my writing and my book and my upcoming visit at the LBI library. This was about a week before we left for the beach, and in the days leading up to it, I couldn’t find any article on the Sand Paper’s site that mentioned me, so I didn’t know if it had run. In fact, by the time we arrived on the island, I’d forgotten there was even the possibility of a story.
The second night we were in LBI, after the library talk Monday and a good day shopping Tuesday, my family was walking back from the beach (which is about one and a half blocks from the beach house. Love). My sister and I decided to go and get ice cream, like always, and my mom told us to get a Sand paper from the free bin beside us and see if they had a coupon.
I sat next to my mom on the nearby bench. She was flipping through it, and I was watching over her shoulder. All of a sudden I put out a hand to stop her from turning the page.
“You found it?” she asked.
“Um, no, but, was that me?” I pointed to the top square of the page. It was me. It was my READ poster from Bookfest PA, so I was staring back at myself from behind pink sunglasses. The pink sunglasses I happened to be wearing at that moment, which was, admittedly, very weird.
The picture was part of a short, really awesome article about me and my visit at the library, which hadn’t happened at the time of the publication. Needless to say, my mom got extra copies and kept them (but not after my sister and I tore out the ice cream coupons). That has to be one of the most bizarre, but also one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had as an author.
How to help to save public libraries – David Thorpe
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