Archive for the ‘Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula’ Category

Me! Warts and All! – for whatever it’s worth!

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

The Parsonage c. 1900 — where Mrs. Crouch lived

Yesterday a link arrived to the podcast I did a few weeks ago with Jim Harold on his program “Ghost Insights.”  I listened to it with fear and trepidation — hearing myself being interviewed is a true horror to me.  Second only to seeing myself on TV.  And yet I keep saying “yes” when asked.  Go figure.

It wasn’t as bad as I had thought… perhaps they edited out the worst parts.  Still, there was one really bad error (by me) on it.  I’ll let listeners see if they can find it.  Hint:  it has to do with a question Mr, Harold asked me toward the end of the interview.

As is always the case with these things, at least for me, there are other things I wish I had said or pointed out about the ghosts of the Peninsula — especially those who have manifested themselves to people I know well.  In at least one case, I’ve known the woman who shared her story for more than seventy years.  She was a great informant and I have great faith in the accuracy of her “report.”

Where Mrs. C. hangs out?

And I wish I had said a bit more about the not-so-righteous Reverend Crouch.  I guess I expected Mr. Harold to ask me some leading questions about him, but that didn’t happen.  Of course, from my viewpoint, the purpose of the podcast is to encourage book sales.  I wonder if it will.

Here is what the “Ghost Insights” team sent to me with the suggestion that I put the link on social media:

Listen to my recent interview on Ghost Insight with @THEJimHarold https://media.blubrry.com/paranormalplus/content.blubrry.com/paranormalplus/Historic_Haunts_of_the_Long_Beach_Peninsula-Ghost_Insight_170.mp3  

If you listen, let me know what you think  (Be kind, please.)  I think it’s about 30 minutes long…

October: Not Exactly As Planned

Friday, October 8th, 2021

Scavenger Hunt

I wonder when we’ll be able to plan ahead with surety — as in arranging to attend something or help sponsor something or…  Not for a while longer, would be my guess.

A few months back, when events for October were being scheduled, it looked like it might be a busy month for me.  Two offers to do book-signings at the Cranberrian Fair — one at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and one at the Cranberry Museum.  Both for this weekend and, of course, both cancelled when the Fair was cancelled.

I was also scheduled to do a book talk and signing at the Ocean Park Timberland Library on October 16th.  It was to be in connection with a proposed annual month-long celebration of literacy called Peninsula Loves to Read.  Sponsored by both the Ilwaco and Ocean Park Libraries, they were planning to hold special events throughout October around the theme: “The Peninsula Loves to Read MYSTERIES!”  I was SO looking forward to talking about both of my ghost books, but…  CANCELLED!  Damn!

Now Available in Hardcover

Fingers crossed for next year on all counts!  And, of course, my disappointments are small potatoes in comparison to some of the really big and important celebrations and ceremonies that have been called off in the interest of health and safety.

Meanwhile, under the heading of “Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons,”  I spent the morning distributing “Free Scavenger Hunts” to the vendors who sell my books.  It’s the second or third rendition by History Press — the first tries having had some serious flaws from my point of view.  The new ones definitely meet with my approval, though I’m not sure how they will be received by readers.

Cover: Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

The 8×11 sheets of paper display seven buildings, each located somewhere on the Peninsula with a bit of information about the ghost connections of each.  The idea (according to History Press, anyway) is that readers of Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula and Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula can find additional clues as to the where and the who of particular ghosts.  I’m not sure why they are billed as “Scavenger Hunts” — I guess what you find at each location is a photo op if not an actual ghost!

No purchase is necessary to pick one up, so if you already have the books or think you can locate the specific sites and already “know” who haunts them, go for it!  You will find the Scavenger Hunts at BOLD, the Cranberry Museum, Time Enough Books, Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, and Oysterville Sea Farms.   And let me know what you think — a fun activity?  Or not?

 

Not My Dish of Tea

Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Sydney:
Muzzy-Minded and Fuzzy-Headed at 7:00 a.m.

At seven this morning I was talking on the telephone to Jim Harold, host of  the “Ghost Insight” podcast (among many others).  He was interviewing me about Mrs. Crouch — a very one-sided conversation and weird in the extreme.  In Mr. Harold’s defense, his preference was for a zoom meeting which, I think, would have been easier all the way around.  However, with our intermittent internet connection, it was determined we should to do a telephone “interview” instead.

Cover: Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

As it turned out, it was mostly me talking with few questions or guidance from Mr. Harold.  I very much wanted to make the point that I’m interested in the history surrounding the ghosts I write about — who the people were, what buildings were involved and what they were used for historically,  what events were happening at the time the “ghost” was living — events that might provide logical explanations.  I don’t think I expressed any of those thoughts at all.

Mostly I rambled.  Mr. Harold wasn’t much help.  Maybe he had zoned out as I droned on.  Before I knew it, he had cut me off with  “thanks for being here” and a promise to send me a link to the podcast.  I wish there were “do-overs.”  A zoom interview might have been much better.  Talking into a telephone mouthpiece — definitely not my dish of tea!

 

 

 

Wow! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Screenshot from Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula Trailer

A month or so ago, one of my former editors at History Press sent me a “book trailer” for Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula and asked me for feedback.  I had never seen a book trailer before — perhaps I lead a sheltered life — so I looked at it with interest.  It was short, slick, and had one or two mistakes in it, all of which I told about in my reply.

Within forty-eight hours — maybe less — I received a re-make correcting the errors and using some suggestions I had supplied.  It was perfect!  I loved it!  But I had NO idea why they had sent it to me or what use was to be made of it.  I asked, of course, but never received an answer.

Mrs. C’s Husband — Screenshot from Book Trailer for Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

Yesterday another book trailer came from History Press.  But not really “another.”  It was the first, erroneous one again.  So, once more I replied, reviewing our correspondence on the matter.  Again, I asked what use was to be made of the book trailer.  Again, no response.

I consulted Bonus Daughter Marta who is visiting and who is of a more techie generation than I.  “Use it!” she said.  Put it up on your blog.”  She explained how but… I am getting an error message which says it exceeds the size limit for this site.  So…  here is the link to paste in your browser.  I hope it works and, if it does,  tell me what you think!  More importantly, be sure to get the book!

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=252c12e34c&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-f:1704167036741626514&th=17a66ae40eea2a92&view=att&disp=safe

I keep waiting for Mrs. Crouch to join me…

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Cover: Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

Every time I give a book talk, I halfway expect to “hear” from Mrs. Crouch.  Not that she appears on demand, mind you.  In fact, as far as I know, she has never appeared at all.  But she does, occasionally, make herself known.  Years ago — in the mid-seventies — when my mom was talking to  friends  Patty and Noel Thomas about her, Mrs. C. knocked some heirloom incense burners off the bookcase here at our house.  I wasn’t among the witnesses, but there were several.  In fact it was before I had moved here and before I had met P&N, but I’ve heard the story many times.

So, though I’m always hopeful she’ll give me a sign that she’s attending one of my book talks, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be in any way what we might expect. She is anything but predictable.  But I do believe she likes the attention she is getting from the stories I’ve written about her.  On the other hand, I’ve never known her to manifest herself in any place other than right here at the erstwhile parsonage.  One of the few things we know for sure about her is that she was shy.  Tommy Nelson who lived down the street when the Crouches were here said years later: She could sing like a mockingbird.  But when a stranger was around, she had nothing to say.  

Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula

Still, it would be fun if she or one of the other “spirited” characters in my ghost books would make themselves manifest in some way at one of my book talks.  The last one I’m giving — probably until the month of October — will be tomorrow at the Senior Center from 1:00 until 3:00.  After the question and answer period, I’ll be selling books — both the new one,  Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula  and the first one, Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula.  Bring your check books or cash — I can’t take credit cards.

Oh… and in case I haven’t mentioned it before — this new book does include some honest-to-goodness photographs of Mrs. Crouch’s husband, the unrighteous preacher!  Mug shots from his stay in the California State Prison at San Quentin! (But you’ll be surprised at the circumstances of his arrest — it wasn’t for the reason you might expect!)  In my opinion, seeing him “up close and personal” is worth the price of the book!

 

 

See you Saturday-the-17th in Klipsan Beach!

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Yesterday at BOLD

I do believe I was born to party and that’s what my book signing at BOLD felt like yesterday!  So many friends came to hear me talk and to buy books!  Friends from long ago.  Friends from afar.  Friends from the neighborhood.  Friends from FaceBook. Even “friends” who only know me through my books!  So so so fun!

And when I got home I saw a few laments on FaceBook — people who couldn’t get there yesterday or who hadn’t made it to Adelaide’s the week before.  If you were among those who missed the “party” I just want you to know you’ll soon have another opportunity.  I’ll be talking and signing at the Senior Center in Klipsan Beach from 1:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, July 17th.  And, no, you don’t need to be a “senior” to come!  It’s open to all and they have plenty of chairs and I’m told I’ll be provided with a mic… just in case my old “teacher’s voice” isn’t up to the challenge.

H

So mark your calendar and come on over!  It will probably be the last signing I do until the ghostly month of October.  Meanwhile, of course, the book will remain on sale at these local outlets:  the gift shops at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and at the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse; Time Enough Books, Ilwaco; Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco; The Cranberry Museum, Long Beach; BOLD, Long Beach; and Adelaide’s in Ocean Park.

If you live elsewhere and can’t get to the beach, I urge you to check with your local bookstores. (If you tell them it’s a hot item and that they can order from History Press, they may begin stocking it themselves. They probably should also stock my first ghost book, too — Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula.  Several stories in the first are continued in the second and it helps to know the backstory!) Amazon also carries them and has plenty in stock I am told, although I’ve seen several of their websites that say they are “temporarily out” of Historic Haunts — which apparently is not true.  Go figure!

On the Patio at Bold tomorrow 2:00-4:00!

Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Cover: Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

If you’ve not yet been into BOLD Art Framing and Espresso at 711 Pacific Ave N in Long Beach, by all means drop by tomorrow at 2 p.m. when I’ll be chatting a bit about my new book, Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula.  After all, it’s not every Art Gallery that hosts a book-talk and book-signing!  But then, it’s not every gallery that calls itself BOLD and ventures into the literary arts as well as the visual arts.  I couldn’t be more pleased to be a little part of it!

For BOLD owners  Greg Holmes and Daneka Ewert, this book-signing venture is a first!  I hope that it is a fun and successful experience for them and that it won’t be the last of such events. And I’m counting on you readers who are old hands at attending book-talks and author-signings to show up to clap and cheer and (of course) to buy a book or two!

From the very first day that they opened their doors, Daneka and Greg have included a display of books by local authors and, though I cannot speak for others, they have done very well by me.  Indeed, I’ve wished more than once that my friend Bob Meadows was still living so I could tell him all about it.  “Old Bob” was an Oysterville handyman who could fix or jerry-rig just about anything — probably would have done well in the arts, himself.  He had a fine sense of humor and one of the things that amused him greatly was seeing “all them arty fellas” setting up their easels around the Oysterville Church on summer afternoons.

I don’t know if Old Bob had ever been in an Art Gallery, but how I would love to have taken him into BOLD so he could see the marvelous creations of some of them arty folks — me included!  I don’t know how he felt about ghosts but he was interested in the history of this area and I think he enjoyed reading.  Maybe my ghost stories would have been just right for him.  And maybe they’ll be just right for you.  Come on over tomorrow afternoon and find out!

No matter how you slice it…

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Label on the Carton of Books

The labels on the packages said, “Historic Haunts of the Long Island Beach Peninsula.”  SAY WHAT??  The Long Island Beach Peninsula???  I don’t think so.

The books were a rush order from Arcadia Publishing. We (meaning most every bookseller of these books on the Peninsula) were O-U-T of the books.  I had plenty on order but… there was a three day weekend AND a holiday Monday.  No books would be here until next week.

AAAAUUUUGGHH!  With an upcoming book talk and book-signing at BOLD in Long Beach (Sunday, July 11th, 2:00-4:00), I was distraught.  I emailed my BSG (Book Supplier Guru) Elysia at History Press with yet another order and she made magic happen.  I’m not sure what she did but, somehow, she got the books out of that North Carolina warehouse and onto my front porch in nothing flat!  Order placed July 6th and on my porch July 8th!  Wow!

Cover: Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

“Are you sure they are your books?” Nyel asked.  OMG!  Quick as a wink, I opened the boxes and, yes, they were my ghost story books!  I did have a moment of panic remembering some of my Uncle Willard’s stories about editors and reporters on the East Coast who insisted that our Peninsula was a part of the Olympic Peninsula (and that we still live side-by-side with “Red” Indians.)  Long anything must, of course, be Long Island, I guess, as in Long Island Beach.

But, here they are — 50 of the first book of ghost stories: Ghost Stories of the Long Beach Peninsula and 100 of Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula!  Yay!  Tomorrow I’ll double-check with the booksellers in the area and fill in the blank spots as needed!  PLUS, I will be able to supply plenty of books for the book-signing at Bold on Sunday!  So… come on over!  Let’s talk g-h-o-s-t-s!  See you there at two o’clock!

“Me? At an art gallery?” I asked BOLDly!

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Mrs. Crouch and I will see you here — Sunday, July 11, 2:00-4:00

I don’t think I’m a groupie exactly.  Certainly not in the musical sense.  Not really.  I cheer and clap for musician friends and, of course, we host House Concerts.  I used to hang out at the Purple Onion and the hungry i  in the City and the Blind Lemon in Berkeley — but only when friends or friends of friends were playing.  And, would you believe I’ve never been to a “concert”  — not a real one with thousands of people in attendance.  Not ever.

On the other hand, maybe I am a groupie when it comes to the visual arts.   Not only have I always had friends among “those arty fellas” as old Bob Meadows called the artists who occasionally set up their easels in front of the church or up near the Monterey Cypress trees here in town.   I usually remember cities I’ve visited by their art museums or galleries or special exhibitions.  I’m not sure why.

Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula

So, when I was contacted by BOLD in July of 2020 and asked if I’d be willing to have them sell my books, I was thrilled.  Not that my books are “art,” mind you, but there they are, rubbing elbows with the best of the best visual art on the Peninsula!  Wow!  And, they seem to be holding their own.

So when my second ghost book came out — Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula — and we decided on a Book Talk and Signing for Sunday, July 11th, from 2:00 to 4:00 — I knew for sure that I had arrived!  I felt exactly like I was having a one-woman show at a gallery (and, in a way, I am.)

I hope you come!  It’s not every day that an art gallery hosts a book writer!!!  Come and enjoy this stellar occasion with me.  Have a cup of coffee.  Ooooh and aaaah over the artwork.  And hold hands with a ghost or two!

The Tip of The Iceberg

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

I don’t know about you, but when I receive just a little bit of information about something — especially if it’s not in the Good News Department — I wonder.  Sometimes I even stew about it.  Today was one of those days because of one of those things.

Actually, it began yesterday when my friend Marion wrote from Olympia that she had ordered Historic Haunts of the Long Beach Peninsula from Amazon and: there was some kind of glitch so they refunded my money. I decided to go through Time Enough Books in Ilwaco as they could ship it out right away. 

My first thought:  Bless you, Marion.  My second:  What went wrong at Amazon?

Then, today, I received a Facebook message from my friend Isabelle in France:  I’m looking forward to get my copy. The delivery is being delayed. Have a great date, Sydney. Wish I were in the area and could attend the presentation and signing of your New Book.  I wrote:  Amazon?  Yes, she told me, but she is choosing to give it a few days before ordering anew from a local bookstore.

For me, those bits of information were the tip of an iceberg.  Where was the problem — with Amazon or with History Press?  Would the books I’ve ordered for my book signings arrive in time?  What’s the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say?  I got in touch with marvelous Elysia who handles all my book orders. She was wonderfully reassuring:  It must be an Amazon problem. Did they specify what the issue was? We have plenty of inventory and are shipping without issue.  

Whew!  The iceberg seems much less ominous — in fact, melting as we speak.  Take note, dear readers.  Buy locally!!!