OCEAN CITY — Robert M. Craig has published two new books in his growing collection of histories and recollections of old Ocean City, and meet the author events have been planned for next week to celebrate their release.
In 2019 Craig published “Maryland’s Ocean City Beach Patrol” and “Saving Lives: A History of the Ocean City Beach Patrol,” two illustrated books about the beach patrol organization that is a family tradition for Craig. The author served between 1960 to 1965 on the beach patrol. Craig’s son served between 1999-2001, and the author’s father, serving 1935 to 1987, was captain from 1946 until his retirement in 1987.
Now Craig has released two new books and will be featured at two “Meet the Author” events in which Craig will present a short talk about his recent years writing about the town in which he grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, the various summer jobs, music, and experiences of yesteryear.
“Oyster Shell Alleys: Remembrances of Times Past” is a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories which opens with a moving account of the author’s boyhood engagement with the service personnel of the Lankford Hotel in the back alleys (the metaphoric oyster shell alley) and undercroft of the 1924 landmark hotel. He follows with humorous accounts of a Christmas pageant at a local church, accounts of childhood pastimes and mischievous tricks on the boardwalk, and reminiscences of Boardwalk Elvis, of the author’s lifeguard test, and of rescuing “Big Bake” (the town’s most famous cop) from a rip current.
“Irma’s Seed, Beach Poems and Life Poems” includes laments regarding the passing of the historic cottages of the town, poems about the Alaska Stand, feeding seagulls on the beach, and Trimper’s Merry-go-Round and much more.
Although the two library “meet and greet” events are celebrations of Craig’s latest books on Ocean City, the author will also have available for sale the two beach patrol books, and his 2018 book of first-hand memoirs of 34 Vietnam vets (including the author). Craig is the author of 13 books, the latest published this month on Atlanta’s Public Art.
The local book release events will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 19 at the Ocean Pines Library at 11107 Cathell Road off Route 589 and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the Ocean City Library on 100th Street bayside. Both events are free. Guests will be able to purchase books by cash or check (no credit card availability). Author is happy to sign books and/or write a dedicatory inscription.
Craig is Professor Emeritus of the College of Design, Georgia Tech (where he taught in the architecture school from 1973-2011). His books on architecture have won regional book awards from the Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, the Southeastern College Art Conference and the Georgia State Archives.