Between February 1 and April 17 the volunteer counselors of the AARP Tax Aide program will prepare and electronically file your federal and New Jersey income tax returns at no cost. While special attention is paid to those over the age of 60 with low to moderate incomes, all tax payers are welcome. Appointments are available on Mondays at Good Shepherd Church, 708 Ocean Rd (RT 88), Point Pleasant; on Tuesdays at St. Martha’s Church, 3800 Herbertsville Road, Point Pleasant. and on Wednesdays at the Point Pleasant Beach Library, 710 Mc Lean Ave, Point Pleasant. To schedule an appointment at Good Shepherd Church call 201-741-2158, at St. Martha’s Church call 732-810-5890 and at the library call 732-892-4575.
Online registration is open for new and returning football players and cheerleaders. Flag football is open for ages 5 and 6; tackle football for U7-U14 Divisions and U7 & U8 non-competitive; flag cheer for ages 5 and 6; and competitive cheer for U7-U14. Multiple athlete discounts are available. Register at wallnightsayf.com.
During the entire month of March, Meemom’s will be creating French toast in honor of the Allaire Women’s Club. For every French toast sold, Meemom’s will be donating $2 to the woman’s club to support its local charities. Stop by and sample this new French toast item at Meemom’s in Wall, 1825 Route 35 or in Middletown, 1383 Route 35 in Middletown Plaza.
This is an open forum where Mayor Ken Farrell will be answering questions on the Sea Girt budget, along with anything else.
Benefit for the Marine and Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine to help celebrate 40 years of marine life.
Murder Mystery Night at BookTowne with Helene Stapinski, author of MURDER IN MATERA
Event Date: Saturday March 24th, 2018
Cost: Free to Attend
Location: BookTowne Independent Book Store 171 Main Street Manasquan, NJ 08736
Since the age of four, Helene Stapinski heard lurid yet inspiring tales about her great-great-grandmother Vita, a loose woman back in Southern Italy who fled to America in 1892 with her three children after committing murder. In her new memoir, MURDER IN MATERA, Stapinski journies into the heart of Italy to research this family mystery and along the way makes dazzling discoveries, revealing the truth about her own secret ancestry.
Gripped by her family’s tale, Helene embarked on a decade-long fact-finding mission, making numerous trips to Basilicata, the rural “instep” of Italy’s boot—a mountainous land rife with superstitions, criminals, and desperate poverty. Helene’s investigation soon becomes a journey of self-discovery. As her research progressed she comes to a stunning realization that shakes her own sense of identity, producing new branches on an undiscovered family tree.
MURDER IN MATERA captures the rugged beauty and unusual traditions of an underexplored part of Italy. There is a juxtaposition between Vita, who grew up in a one room house, people around her making bread from sawdust, and Helene in her Jersey City kitchen with her mother dipping crusty Italian bread into Sunday sauce. While on her trips, Helene ate the same fruits her ancestors were hired to harvest for the wealthy land owners. It was through many meals with those who adopted Helene along the way that helped her understand her family fable.
Helene sheds light on nine million who left the South of Italy only to be faced with prejudice and discrimination. Often branded as rapists and criminals, Italians sought a better life in America. With traditions like prima notte which allowed landowners to sleep with the virgin wife of their workers on the couple’s wedding night, or the practice of keeping these women as mistresses, women like Vita were branded as puttane.
Along the way Helene creates friendships and finds long lost family members, all in the name of one passed down family legend. But she also finds sadness and sympathy for Vita, the woman whose life was used to teach her how not to behave.. As Helene began to discover the truth about what happened to Vita, the truth would change how Helene looked at her family and Vita. And the woman that was once the family villain becomes a hero.
Deeply researched and reported, MURDER IN MATERA is a remarkable true story about one family’s hidden secrets. It is also a powerful story of immigration and motherhood—a profound testament to how far one woman would go to preserve her family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helene Stapinski is the author of Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History, which recounts her family’s criminal history, and Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair with Music, which chronicles her years playing drums in a rock band in Manhattan. She has written extensively for The New York Times as well as for New York magazine, Salon, Travel & Leisure and dozens of other publications and essay collections. On the recently released documentary based on Five-Finger Discount, she has worked as a producer and writer. Stapinski has been a radio newscaster in Alaska, has appeared on National Public Radio, was a featured performer with The Moth, has lectured at her alma mater, Columbia University, and teaches writing at Fordham University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Helene conducted extensive research into her family history through trips to Italy. During her travels, she documented her findings and the incomparable beauty of the country.