Tag Archives: lost laurel book

Lost Laurel… in Hyattsville

You could say that the Prince George’s County Library System is in my DNA. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved libraries; it’s no wonder that my very first job was at the Stanley Memorial Library, where I ended up working as a clerical aide from 1987 to 1997. Not only that, but just before I was born, my mom worked at the Hyattsville Branch. (We actually lived in Hyattsville just before moving to Laurel in 1976). That was the first library I’d ever visited—and I literally thought it was out of this world:

(Photo:  © Prince George's County Memorial Library System)

The Hyattsville Branch’s iconic “flying saucer” entrance. (Photo: © Prince George’s County Memorial Library System)

I made the trek to the Hyattsville Branch today for a very special reason. My book, Lost Laurel, was recently added to the PGCMLS collection—and a reference copy is now on the shelf in the historic Maryland Room! It sounds cheesy, but I wanted to visit it.

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Sure enough, tucked between larger, older volumes, there it was—bearing Dewey Decimal System label MDR 975.251 FRI.

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I spent a few quality minutes browsing the other shelves, too. The fact that I had the Maryland Room all to myself today made the visit all the more special. (And yes, the clerical aide in me couldn’t resist re-shelving a few books I spotted that were out of place. Old habits die hard…)

I’m still sad that the old Stanley Memorial Library where I worked is completely gone now, although Laurel certainly did need an upgrade. And significant progress is finally being made on the new Laurel Branch. PGCMLS has an official Flickr album with frequent updates.

(Photo: © Prince George's County Memorial Library System)

(Photo: © Prince George’s County Memorial Library System)

Admittedly, I’m much more excited to see it completed now than I was a few months ago. I’m even more excited to see some Lost Laurel books on those brand new shelves.

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Big News!

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Lost Laurel reached an amazing milestone this weekend—5,000 Facebook fans! To celebrate, I’ve designed over 50 t-shirts inspired by long-gone Laurel landmarks with even more to come. They’re available on-demand exclusively at Spreadshirt.com, and a portion of each purchase helps support the Lost Laurel project—including the sneak preview below…

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Since the Lost Laurel book came out, several people have asked if there’ll be a sequel. Not exactly; but my next book project promises to be even more fun. It’s a collaboration with Laurel Leader “History Matters” columnist Kevin Leonard, and highlights an absolute treasure trove of rare photos and artifacts from the Berman family—the visionaries who built Laurel Shopping Center in 1956 and have made so many other contributions to our town in the years since. Stay tuned, as this one is just starting to take shape!

In other book news, I was thrilled to learn that Lost Laurel was officially added to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System‘s collection, and a reference copy is now housed at the prestigious Maryland Room in the Hyattsville Branch. As a former clerical aide who re-shelved books for nearly 10 years at the Laurel Library, it’s such an honor to have a book of my own in the collection.

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Thanks to everyone for continuing to spread the word and share the nostalgia!

https://shop.spreadshirt.com/lostlaurel/

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Lost Laurel Photo Contest!

1952 LAUREL NEWS AGENCY-LLBOOK

Want to win a free copy of Lost Laurel, the book?
Between now and November 30th, post a photo on the Lost Laurel Facebook page that creatively incorporates the Lost Laurel book. How you do that is entirely up to you, but have fun with it!
  • Perhaps it’s a selfie with your book somewhere in Laurel…
  • Or pose the book on its own in a legendary Laurel location…
  • Or surround it with vintage Laurel artifacts from your collection…
  • Or you can even use a little Photoshop magic like I did to send the book back in time. (See? it would’ve been right at home at Keller’s Laurel News Agency on Main Street in 1952!)

Enter as many as you like, just remember to use the hashtag #LostLaurelBook so your photos will be searchable on Facebook. (Or if you don’t have Facebook, you can email them to richard_friend@mac.com). I’ll select a winner on December 1st, and will mail you a free, signed copy of Lost Laurel, the book. It’ll make an awesome Christmas gift. 🙂

What’s that? You don’t already have the book? You can still get one at the Laurel Museum, or through their website—then get creative with your photo skills before 11/30 and win an extra copy!

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
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Meeting Bob Windsor… Again!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune of learning something new on my own Lost Laurel Facebook page. Reader John Mewshaw posted a link to a sports memorabilia event being held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Listed there, at the very bottom of the page (by Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods—he of the famous “Ickey Shuffle”) was none other than Bob Windsor—the former NFL tight end who owned the wonderful Bob Windsor’s All-Pro Sports at Laurel Plaza Shopping Center throughout the 1970s and 80s. Bob was going to be there signing autographs the very next morning!

CSA Chantilly Show, Bob Windsor

It just so happens that today, I live only a few miles from the Dulles Expo Center; and I hadn’t seen Bob Windsor since I was a kid in his store nearly 30 years ago—when I would look forward to getting an autographed 8″ x 10″ with every purchase.

Bob Windsor 1980s autographed photo

A well-worn memento from the past, circa 1983

I made the short drive to Chantilly on Saturday morning, April 5th, and found the place packed just as it opened. Even though I knew where Bob’s table would be located, he was easy to spot, chatting with an old-timer from the area. I waited patiently behind the older gentleman, and when it was my turn, I said, (with a straight face) “Hi Bob. I’ve had this coupon for like 30 years, and there doesn’t seem to be an expiration date on it…”

I watched the confusion on his face turn to laughter when I revealed the “coupon” to be an enlarged print of one of his 1980s sneaker trade-in ads. “HOLY COW,” he exclaimed. “I haven’t seen one of those since… I don’t know when!”

Bob Windsor & Richard Friend, 4/5/14

I then revealed what I’d really come to do. I introduced myself, explaining that I’d grown up at Steward Manor Apartments just across the street from his store, and that my friends and I used to practically live there. Now a graphic designer, I’d actually created a book about Laurel’s past businesses—Lost Laurel. I leafed through the book to the 1980s section, and watched Bob’s face light up even more when he spotted pages 158–159:

Lost Laurel book: Bob Windsor

I told him that I wanted to give him the book (and some extra copies for his family) and finally say thank you for the countless good memories he and his store provided, and for all he’s done for Laurel, Maryland through the years. I had the chance to chat with him for a few moments, and he explained the history behind that memorable photo of him:

“We were playing the Giants—that was actually in Yankee Stadium. I had just caught that pass, (from quarterback Jim Plunkett) and was only on my feet for about a second and a half… and then got hit and flipped upside down by a linebacker and a defensive back!”

When I asked if he could remember who the linebacker and defensive back were, Bob laughed and said, “Oh, I don’t want to remember!”

We shook hands again, and Bob asked if I was a Redskins fan. Without getting into my long-winded NFL fan history, (which included a brutal 27 years, rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles throughout some of their lowliest seasons) I simply said yes—I’m finally trying to cheer for my own home team these days. With that, Bob reached into a folder and handed me a signed Sonny Jurgensen photo. (!!!) He then pointed to the sneaker trade-in ad I’d brought, and in a moment that transported me straight back to 1983, he asked, “Want me to sign that for you?”

Yes, indeed I did. 🙂

Bob Windsor's ad, 1986

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Lost Laurel Books… Thank You!

After nearly 20 lengthy trips to my local post office, I’m happy to report that all* of the Lost Laurel books have finally been mailed! (Cue applause!)

Most of you should have already received your books and Kickstarter rewards by now, but the final batch went out today—so everyone who pre-ordered should have their books in hand before the end of this week.

If you’ve ever wondered what the collective receipts for nearly 500 packages looks like, here’s a glimpse:

post office receipts

I greatly appreciate everyone’s patience, as I know this has been a long time coming. As I’ve mentioned, I had to package and mail each book myself, and did so in the order in which I received payment. So, there was a lengthy list of Kickstarter supporters who came first—many of which required boxes, with things like fragile Little Tavern coffee mugs carefully packed inside along with the book itself. I then moved on to the later pre-orders placed via PayPal.

The unexpected snafus from the printer really threw more than just a wrench in the works, as I’ve detailed before. Aside from their shipping delays, the limited-edition hardcover books inadvertently became even more limited when they mistakenly only printed 100 rather than the 200 I’d ordered. I ended up receiving a total of 143, which unfortunately still wasn’t enough. A few customers who pre-ordered hardcovers via PayPal late in the game will have to settle for a signed softcover instead—along with a Lost Laurel postcard pack and a portion of your payment refunded to the softcover price. (This has already been done, so if you didn’t receive a PayPal partial refund, your order wasn’t affected).

That drama aside, I’m glad to hear that the books are arriving and people are pleased with them! I even received an actual thank you card from someone recently! That wasn’t necessary, but it made my day, and I certainly appreciate it.

Going back to the very start of this project, I want to reiterate my appreciation of the generous contributions from so many of you–contributions that ultimately were the difference in this book getting made. As you’ll see in the book itself, there are two spreads of acknowledgments thanking everyone who pitched in during the Kickstarter campaign, and I’d like to publish those names here, as well. A very big thank you to you all, indeed!

 

Thank you spread 1

Thank you spread 2

 

*There are still a couple of you who ordered books, but haven’t sent me your mailing addresses: Anita M. Mueller and Geoff Childs! If you’d like to pick them up in person, I’ll be at the Laurel Municipal Pool Room (9th & Main Street) this Thursday night (April 10th) at 7PM for Kevin Leonard’s “History Matters Expanded” presentation.

The Laurel Museum will also be open that night from 6–7, and their gift shop has the remaining supply of Lost Laurel books for anyone wishing to buy extra copies. They also have exhibit posters available in two sizes, and designed by yours truly! I’ll be on hand Thursday night, signing copies. Stop by and say hello!

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“(Re)Collecting Laurel” presentation this Thursday!

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The Lost Laurel books are almost here; unfortunately, it sounds like they’re not going to make it in time for my Laurel Historical Society presentation this Thursday night after all. (I was planning to do both a talk and book signing). Four Colour Print Group has confirmed that the long-delayed freight is FINALLY cleared and being readied for dispatch, but the odds of it arriving by Thursday just aren’t good. 😦

However, my “(Re)Collecting Laurel” presentation WILL go on as planned—so please come out to the Laurel Museum between 6-7 PM and tour the Lost & Found Laurel exhibit, and then head over to the Municipal Pool meeting room next door for the talk at 7!

When the books do finally arrive, (and for the printer’s sake, let’s hope that’s in the next few days) I’ll immediately begin mailing out signed copies to everyone who pre-ordered, along with a full set of Lost Laurel postcards (and the perks those of you bought exclusively on Kickstarter). Books will also soon be available in the Laurel Museum gift shop, for those who’ve yet to order.

Thanks for your patience, everyone—and I hope to see you Thursday night in Laurel!

~ Richard

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March 13th Lecture & Book Signing (…fingers crossed!)

If you haven’t heard, I’m giving a presentation next Thursday, March 13th at the Laurel Municipal Pool meeting room at 7PM. It’s a fun, interactive talk called (Re)Collecting Laurel, that discusses how Lost Laurel began, collecting Laurel memorabilia, and more. It’s totally free, and is presented by the Laurel Historical Society.

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The plan is to also do a book signing that night… provided the books actually get here in time. (!!!)

As I’ve mentioned, I had been told to expect the books around the middle of February, at which point I had planned to mail them out, so everyone would have them in time for this event—which the Laurel Historical Society and I have been planning for months. However, I found out on February 19th that the cargo container the books arrived in (along with countless other imports) was being held for random inspection by U.S. Customs at the NY/NJ port.

Nancy Heinonen, the production manager I’ve been dealing with at Four Colour Print Group, has been providing me with updates that range from optimistic to maddeningly frustrating. Her emails have literally gone from “…that would put delivery at the first week of March”, to “I’m certain you’ll have books for your March 13th event,” to “Since this is such a rare, extreme situation, I no longer feel comfortable giving you any educated guesses as to what will happen, or when books will arrive.”

The latest delay, of course, is the extreme weather that’s compounding things at ports all over the east coast. This isn’t just affecting their company—even the likes of Walmart and Target aren’t getting their goods any faster, despite their large influence.

She’s assured me that their freight broker has flagged my delivery as top priority, and is well aware of my March 13th deadline; but apparently that’s the extent of what they can do. Fortunately, she hasn’t given up hope—especially with the considerably warmer weather coming over the next week, which can only be a good thing. But that’s the fun situation I’m in: sitting, waiting, and hoping the books make it here in time.

She mentioned the possibility of “grabbing some cartons and shipping them by air”, and wanted to know a minimum quantity—but I made it clear that I need to have enough books on hand for those who’ve pre-ordered them as well as extras for sale.

I’ll keep everyone posted over these next few days via Kickstarter, Facebook, and this blog. And if the books do indeed arrive in time, I’ll ask that you kindly let me know if you plan to attend the event and pick up your copy in person. Otherwise, I’ll still plan on mailing the pre-ordered books out as soon as possible.

Also, after I’ve delivered all of the pre-ordered books, the remaining paperback supply will ultimately be for sale at the Laurel Museum gift shop—so you’ll be able to buy extra copies when you check out the new Lost & Found Laurel exhibit—which opened on February 9th to a fantastic crowd! While the Museum isn’t usually open on Thursdays, they will be open for visitors next Thursday night from 6–7, before the lecture.

I greatly appreciate everyone’s patience, and look forward to finally getting these books in-hand very soon. Hope to see many of you at next Thursday’s event!

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Lost Laurel for Christmas

After a whirlwind couple of months, the Lost Laurel book is heading to the printer!

I’ve completed the design, which included a few key last-minute additions, as well as a full index! Now comes the waiting game—waiting to find out the printing schedule, waiting for proofs to review, and last but certainly not least, waiting for the finished printed books to arrive!

The good news is that we’re well ahead of the May 2014 deadline I’d set for the project. But the bad news is that the slim chances of a delivery in time for Christmas are probably even slimmer. That being said, I’ve come up with what will hopefully be a nifty solution that will still allow you to give the Lost Laurel book as a Christmas gift this year—even if the book does arrive later.

Click on the gift tag image below and save the file to your computer. It’s an 8.5″ x 11″ printable card that you can use as a stocking stuffer—so your loved ones will know that their very cool gift is on its way… and will be worth the wait!

Click for full-size version, then save to your computer.

If you weren’t able to reserve a copy of the book through the Kickstarter campaign—or for extra copies—you can still pre-order them right here for the same price as they were on Kickstarter.

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Kickstarter.com’s PROJECT OF THE DAY!

If you happen to visit Kickstarter.com’s home page today, you’ll notice something pretty amazing… The Lost Laurel book has been named their Project of the Day, and is being featured over thousands of other active projects in 13 different genres! Less than three days into the campaign, this is a tremendously happy surprise!

As of this post, funding for the book has now topped 95%, and is less than $100 away from reaching its goal! The campaign runs for 28 more days, and can use every last bit of funding it can get. So please keep spreading the word, and if you haven’t already made your $40 level pledge to reserve your book, (or score one of the limited-edition signed copies for $55—they’re going fast!) please lock those orders in now!

 

Kickstarter project of the day

 

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Lost Laurel Book: HERE IT IS!

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I’ve just gotten the green light to launch the Kickstarter campaign for my Lost Laurel book, and it is officially live!

The campaign has 30 days (29 and counting, as we speak…) to meet its funding goal, so please reserve your copy today and help make the book a reality!

The link includes a complete overview of the project, including a cool little video that was produced for this purpose by my friends Eric Espejo and Aaron Goodmiller of 19th + Wilson.

The book itself is at the $40 level, but you’ll also find plenty of contributor reward levels available, and there will be more to come (including some original artifacts from the Lost Laurel collection, and some that are actually featured in the book)!

The Kickstarter campaign is an all-or-nothing venture, meaning that unless the project goal of $3,000 is met or exceeded, it won’t be funded; and it only lasts for 30 days. So please contribute what you can now, and spread the word! No pledges will be collected (you won’t be charged anything at all) until the campaign ends, and then only if the project is successfully funded.

So, please consider this your chance to reserve a copy of the Lost Laurel book by pledging the $40 level minimum today!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/richardfriend/lost-laurel-the-book

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