‘Beach buddies’ pen book together

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Cheryl Tapp of Somers Point Linda Todd of Egg Harbor Township Cheryl Tapp of Somers Point Linda Todd of Egg Harbor Township

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – While other children were playing make believe games like school or store growing up, local sisters Cheryl Tapp of Somers Point and Linda Todd of Egg Harbor Township played beach.

“We have always been beach buddies,” said Todd, who is six years older than Tapp. “We would pretend I was sitting in a chair and she was playing beside me. Of course, as the older sister, I would always pretend to ignore her.”
The sisters grew up in the Chelsea section of Atlantic City after their parents moved from Philadelphia shortly after Tapp was born in 1958.
“We grew up with sand between our toes,” said Todd, an English teacher at Fernwood Avenue Middle School.
Now grown up with families of their own, the pair have channeled that lifelong love of the beach into a book that took them 10 years to complete.
The sisters are the authors of a new beach etiquette and trivia book, “If Beaches Could Talk” that they self-published this year through Margate-based publisher Comteq Publishing. They held a book signing at the Old Navy store in Mays Landing on Saturday, May 26.
Tapp, who works at the store, said they first had the idea a decade ago and started sending query letters to publishers.
“We got rejection after rejection. It was really disappointing so we pushed the idea to the side,” she said. “Then last year my sister brought up the idea again and said ‘we really need to try again.’”
Tapp’s son Ryan is the illustrator and Brian Needles, a nephew, did the design work.
The book is divided into 12 short chapters, each centering on a specific type of beachgoer or beach activity. A short poem introduces the topic.
For Chapter 1, titled “Less is More,” the authors wrote, “Pack Rat: Going to the beach; Pack it light; Just remember; You’re not staying all night.”
The chapter contains tips on how to pack for children such as not bringing tents, play yards, pools or other large equipment.
“Leave the U-Hauls at home,” they wrote. “If baby is not crawling, walking or climbing trees yet, a towel and an umbrella are fine.”
The book contains trivia such as this one on seagulls:
“Seagulls stand on one leg to warm up a little bit. Seagulls are model parents where both the male and female take turns at incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks. They lay two or three eggs and if one parent is killed, the other takes over and raises the chicks alone.”
Despite all of the unofficial beach rules they list in the book, the sisters were quick to point out they are not “the beach police.”
“This is just a fun read, a coffee table book or gift book,” said Todd. “It lists fun things to do and interesting facts, too.”
Some proceeds from the book, which costs $14.95, will be donated to Seashore Gardens Living Center in Galloway.
To purchase a book, see www.ifbeachescouldtalk.com.

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