Reprinted from The Democrat
By Rick Epstein
Tired of telling customers at their Book Garden book store that there is no Frenchtown history book still in print, Caroline Scutt and Robert Rando wrote one.
The publication of “Frenchtown, New Jersey; History Along the River” (The History Press) was celebrated Friday evening with readings of poetry and other works and a book-signing at their Bridge Street book shop.
The book starts and ends with words of Frenchtown adoration — a foreword by Mayor Warren Cooper and an afterword by best-selling author Liz Gilbert. And in between is the history of Frenchtown starting with the Leni-Lenapes and proceeding right up to now.
On Friday evening, a few dozen people stood on the sidewalk while Frenchtown poetry was read by three Frenchtown poets — the mayor, Skye Van Saun and John Smith. Cooper also read his introduction to the book. Three fourth-grade essays on historical parts of the town were read. Scutt’s daughter Julia read her own essay about the river bridge and she read Heidi Haver’s essay about the Barn Theater. Ava Musolino read her piece about the railroad.
Refreshments were served, including a cake made by Stephanie Markert Haver, which included a replica of the book. That meant rendering in frosting John Schmidtberger’s painting of the old Hummer building. The feat was widely admired and consumed with enthusiasm.
Rando has managed pharmaceutical discovery and development programs and has written for scientific journals. He later turned to writing fiction. He produces River Town Radio Theatre, a program that airs on WDVR-FM in Sergeantsville.
Scutt volunteers with the United Way, and has been a reporter for Travel Weekly. She has also written for a variety of print and online outlets. Her novel “Some Girls” was published in 2013.
“Frenchtown, New Jersey” is for sale at the Book Garden, retailing for $21.99. You could buy it online, too, but the authors are booksellers, after all.