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Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's…

Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore (edition 2004)

by Ken McAlpine

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582319,321 (3.77)1
No Longer the Forgotten Season Just after Labor Day, Ken McAlpine said good-bye to his family and began a drive up the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, on a one-man quest to capture the elusive “forgotten season” of beach towns shuttered until the return of warm weather. Off-Season is a moving portrait that brings to life the magic of the sea and shore in winter, the charm of beach towns emptied of summer crowds, and the warmth and eccentricities of year-round coastal residents who revel in small-town spirit. McAlpine skipped the more popular destinations like Nags Head, Virginia Beach, Cape May, and the Hamptons, opting to visit lesser known locales like Sharpes, Florida; Tangier Island, Virginia; and Montauk, New York. There he found people who celebrated the departure of the tourists with the cautious hope they’d return next summer. He encountered fishermen struggling to make a living, a former playboy lifeguard now ministering to the elderly and ill, a marine policeman both reviled and respected, a lone kayaker paddling away his grief, a couple fighting to save the world’s coral reefs, divers searching for everything from false teeth to dead bodies in dark waters, and deserted snow-covered beaches more beautiful than anyone could describe. More than a travelogue—and a whole new breed of beach read—Off-Season is a stroll off the beaten path and a look at the people and places in our country that keep the spirit of community alive.… (more)
Title:Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore
Authors:Ken McAlpine
Info:Three Rivers Press (2004), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Found it at the LA Times Festival of Books, Signed

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Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore by Ken McAlpine



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Ken McAlpine takes us along on his coastal road trip as he drives north from the October warmth of the Florida Keys to the frigid March shores of Maine. Traveling along the eastern seaboard to small towns and backwaters, he visits with lifeguards, fishermen, environmentalists, Gullah root doctors, marine police, and others who chose to live their lives on or near the water. McAlpine obviously loves his subject. I enjoyed his writing, his self-deprecating humor and his ability to show reverence when called for and irreverence when not.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of those spent down the shore on quiet September and October weekends. So for me, I only wish I could have been along for the ride. It was a treat to read about the areas I am familiar with and the many others which were new to me. ( )
7 vote Copperskye | Jul 18, 2010 |
I really wanted to like this more than I did. It had its moments, but then became a grim trek up the coast. I ended up skipping chunks and honing in on places I'd lived in/visited. ( )
1 vote suedonym | Jan 26, 2006 |
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