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From the Bookshelf | July/August 2013

Camping and Life Relived
By Marcella Gauthier #12371
From the Bookshelf | July/August 2013 1

Casino Camping, Sixth Edition Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos
Jane Kenny #66929
Roundabout Publications 2013
ISBN: 978-1885464460 • $15.95

Why do so many RVers take advantage of the overnight parking at casinos? Because it’s safe and free. So, why is it that even more RVers don’t take advantage of this? Because they aren’t aware of this wonderful feature. Now in its sixth edition, Casino Camping is a great addition to your dashboard library. Listing over 400 casinos in 35 states, this book provides all the information you might need to find free, safe, overnight accommodations. These casinos have all been personally inspected by the Kennys, and any casinos with unsafe conditions, bad parking environments or that are generally unfriendly to RVers have not been included.

The best areas for casino hopping (the most casinos in a small area) are Las Vegas, Atlantic City and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The chart for each state lists all of the casinos, first by city in which the casino is located, the name of the casino, the availability of an RV park or spaces and the number of sites, availability of free overnight parking, lodging inside the casino, a golf course or driving range, whether the casino is within 10 miles of an interstate and, finally, the page number for detailed information about each casino. This helpful guide is invaluable when on the road. It doesn’t get any better or easier to find a nice casino with great parking, entertainment opportunities galore and those often inexpensive, bountiful buffets and restaurants when you get tired of your own cooking. Jane Kenny provides all the information you need to casino camp through most of America. (See additional casino camping tips on page 65.)

From the Bookshelf | July/August 2013 2

Life After Life: A Novel Jill McCorkle
A Shannon Ravenel Book 2013
ISBN: 978-1565122550 • $24.95

Be careful, there are two books currently out there with the same title, so be sure to look for the novel with Jill McCorkle as the author.

This is not a book about reincarnation, but about how within each lifetime we can have many different lives. That we can have a life after our “real” life has been lived. We all have the ability to have second chances no matter how old we are.

Taking place in Pine Haven Retirement Center in Fulton, North Carolina, we meet fascinating characters, each with their own stories to tell, and we can witness their self discovery as they interact with the current world and with each other. We are introduced to each person through the notes of Joanna, a hospice volunteer, who chronicles the details.

There is Sadie Randolph, 85, a retired third grade teacher who insists we are all eight years old at heart. She was a wonderful teacher, carefully nurturing her students. But now, as she slips into dementia, she creates new memories for her fellow residents, using her Polaroid camera to snap their photos. She then cuts their figures, or faces, out and places them in montages in places they wish they had been in their lives. Whether it be standing in front of the Taj Mahal or climbing Mt. Everest, the resident appears in the photos as though their dreams really happened. The residents line up to get Sadie’s popular photos showing them to have had very exciting lives. Even though the whole idea is silly, the residents cherish these photos enabling them to reshape their pasts and add excitement to their futures.

Then there is Stanley Stone, a previously prominent lawyer in town, now pretending to have dementia so he will not have to live with his son. This invented dementia allows Stanley to behave in ways that he previously could not do being constrained by his position and rules of proper behavior in the small community. He’s having a great time.

Rachel Silverman came from New England after being recently widowed to Pine Haven. It was here where she had an affair many years ago. She came to relive those idyllic days. The memories of that affair had sustained her for all of her dull, married life in Massachusetts.

These and other residents and their caregivers, friends, neighbors and volunteers share their lives together and learn from each other. There’s humor, sadness and loveliness at Pine Haven. And yes, there is selfishness, fear and anger, too; after all, these are real people, but for the most part these people embody the wisdom that often can come with age.

This charming, heartwarming novel takes us deep into the lives of these people as they experience hope, kindness and an abiding need to connect and relate to one’s fellow man.

Marcella has a lifelong love of reading. She says she can’t remember anything before she could read, and writing is her second love. Her first long story, about a girl and her hero horse, was written when she was only 12 years old. She has worked as a technical writer for over 40 years, and, when she can, she escapes on a road trip in her 1978 classic Airstream trailer.

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