Oyster Shell Alleys: And Other Remembrances of Times Past
Robert M. Craig is a historian and author of several books in the field of architectural history. In recent years, however, his publications have reflected interests beyond his more academic writings on architecture.
In Oyster Shell Alleys and other Remembrances of Times Past, Craig offers semi-autobiographical stories of summer life in Ocean City, Maryland, during the 1950s and 1960s. He references the music of the era and his various summer jobs from being a “newsie,” to running a “beach boy” stand (renting umbrellas and surf mats), to serving as an ocean lifeguard and member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, what he calls the “ideal” summer job.
In these pages, you’ll witness the coming of age of a home-town boy, hear the romantic music of Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, and The Drifters, and revisit familiar adolescent experiences on the boardwalk, in the local movie house, or on the beach— activities you may have experienced and now remember with nostalgic joy.
In the title story, Craig’s early 1950’s childhood encounters with the African-American service personnel in a back alley behind a boardwalk hotel are both moving and poignant, especially in today’s culture of racial tension. His short stories are full of humor and are universal in recognition and appeal. While some are reminiscences of times now lost, each takes the reader to another place where memory again makes real our experiences of a now distant past.
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