A must-see presentation on some of the most fondly remembered attractions of our local Shore — and not one but two encore appearances by a best-selling beach-read favorite — are booked in this Thursday, May 11 for galloping gourmets and nostalgia buffs alike.
It begins tomorrow afternoon at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn, during the Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon for the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) — an affair at which members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews.
A yearly visitor to the greater Red Bank Green, the Georgia-based creator of numerous popular mysteries and other novels set in beach and coastal communities (Savannah Blues, Summer Rental, Beach Town) will share stories about how she came to be a writer — and how the author of some two dozen works of fiction changed the pace for her latest published work, The Beach House Cookbook.
Signing copies of that just-released collection of more than 90 recipes will be available at the luncheon, from which proceeds are used to support scholarships for women pursuing higher education, and to fund special projects for local girls in middle school and high school. For information about the luncheon or AAUW, go here or call (732)933-4855 ext. 5 (and don’t forget the AAUW chapter’s big weekly Booksale, continuing Saturday mornings through June at Middletown’s Old First Church).
• Later on Thursday evening, Mary Kay Andrews visits Ama Ristorante at Sea Bright’s Driftwood Cabana Club, for a 7 p.m. event presented by the first-time cookbook creator’s frequent local host, River Road Books of Fair Haven. It’s a fundraiser from which a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Bridge of Books Foundation — and a $50 ticket includes a signed first edition of The Beach House Cookbook, a discussion with the author, swag bags for first 50 guests,a drink ticket (cash bar also available), and a sampling of “specially prepared items from the cookbook.” Call the bookstore at (732)747-9455 to reserve.
• Red Bank regulars know George Severini as one half of the team (with wife Kathy Dorn Severini) behind Dorn’s Classic Images, that indispensable repository of historic images keyed to Monmouth County people/ places/ events, and curated by the family who operated the borough’s landmark Dorn’s Photo business for decades. The Classic Images archive is the star of the newly published Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore — and the profusely illustrated book is the focus for a Thursday evening lecture and signing event at the Borough of Shrewsbury Historical Museum.
Severini teamed with Farmingdale-based history writer Rick Geffken for the book, just out in paperback from Arcadia Publishing/History Press (the folks who’ve brought us dozens of titles on Red Bank and surrounding communities), and featuring a foreword by prolific author and Monmouth County historian Randall Gabrielan. Taking a tour along the county’s Atlantic shoreline, the volume offers vintage scenes and personal recollections of the long-gone rides, arcades and diversions that once drew throngs of visitors to places like Long Branch, Asbury Park and Bradley Beach — a journey that captures “a simpler way of life in our country, when families took their children to boardwalks to savor candy apples, salt water taffy, hot dogs and hamburgers, popcorn, and, of course, the rides.”
Light refreshments will be served at the free 7:30 p.m. event inside the Shrewsbury Historical Society’s museum, and attendees are “encouraged to participate with your memories and photographs of the local lost amusements.” Can’t make it in person on Thursday evening? Email rickgØ817@yahoo.com for info on ordering a signed copy of the book from the authors.