It is a pious paradise wrested from the dunes; a salty carnival of dreamers, drifters, and just plain folks; a city made legendary by Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Crane but grounded in generations of turbulent American reality. Even those who never lived there feel proprietary about Asbury Parka place of shared experiences and strong passions, where grand sandcastle plans wash up against changing times and tides. Legendary Locals of Asbury Park captures a parade of personalities, from the visionaries who challenged nature to the true believers who sought, against tremendous odds, to make a year-round life in this city of summers. The shopkeepers and show people, the advocates on the front lines of social change, and the chroniclers who witnessed history are all among those who helped a small town cast a giant profile, here and on the big boardwalk beyond.
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About the Author
A culture correspondent and critic for the Gannett newspapers (plus numerous other websites and periodicals), Tom Chesek has interviewed and profiled hundreds of national and local figures in the fields of entertainment, arts, and media. The lifelong Jerseyan could not live anywhere else but Asbury Park, where he serves as writer in residence at the historic Stephen Crane House.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Baby Parade: 1870-1903 9
Chapter 2 Wear a Boardwalk Smile: 1904-1929 27
Chapter 3 At Long Last Love: 1930s-1940s 37
Chapter 4 Ebb Tide: 1950s-1960s 51
Chapter 5 Memorial Drive: 1970s-1990s 69
Chapter 6 Asbury Rising: Asbury Park in the 21st Century 93