There's much more to southern New Jersey than the Pine Barrens and the Jersey Devil, and this collection by journalists Jim Waltzer and Tom Wilk tells readers all about it. Oceanside and bayside towns offer a box seat from which to observe the region's rich history and the summery lore of the wonders of nature. And the land-locked towns boast their own homespun and hellraising traditions and idiosyncrasies. Waltzer and Wilk have compiled almost fifty stories about the state's southernmost counties. While the focus is on Atlantic City and its remarkable people, outsize structures, and quirky events, the storytelling ranges across the wider region to provide an insider's look at history as it was being made. You'll encounter gangsters and gamblers, baseball hitters and hurricanes, famous piers and hotels, landmark theaters and eateries, splashy events and unheralded oddities - in sum, a cross-section of the region's character and characters. The authors divide their book into six sections - entertainment (recalling the 1969 Atlantic City Pop Festival); famous and infamous events (describing the 1944 hurricane that nearly destroyed Atlantic City); innovations and innovators (introducing readers to Sara Spencer Washington, an African American entrepreneur who founded a million-dollar business in the 1940s); leisure and recreation (taking us to the weekly Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove Township); room and board (recounting the fascinating history the Seaview Country Club, now the Seaview Marriott Resort, home to a worldclass golf course since 1912); and sports legends, like baseball player John Henry Lloyd, known as the black Honus Wagner. This is just a sampling of the rich and varied stories Waltzer and Wilk have collected for New Jerseyans' reading pleasure.
Jim Waltzer is a journalist who has written for Atlantic City magazine, Delaware Today, the SandPaper, and New Jersey Monthly. Tom Wilk is a copy editor for the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill and author of New Jersey Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the Garden State. He has also written for Atlantic City magazine and New Jersey Monthly, and is a contributing writer for No Depression magazine.