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Pine Barrens focus of ‘Lines on the Pines’ celebration

No one is prouder to be a Piney than Linda Stanton.

She started the “Lines on the Pines” seven years ago, a celebration of writing on the Pine Barrens.

A table featuring Lillian Arnold Lopez’s book “Piney Girl” at last year’s “Lines on the Pines.”

This year’s will be held Sunday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Frog Rock Golf & Country Club in Hammonton.

It was Stanton’s curiosity about the area she lives in that started the annual event.

While there are artists and musicians at the event, the main attraction is the authors.

This year, there will be more than 50 participants, whom Stanton calls “celebrities of the Pine Barrens.”

The first event was at Sweetwater Casino, and Stanton said the owner asked, “Who’s ever going to come to a book signing?”

She said the lines of patrons were six people deep and 80 people stayed for a sit-down dinner.

This year, the participants will take over the banquet room, library room and first dining room at the country club.

Authors will be selling their books as well as signing them.

Stanton, who has lived in the area for eight years, fell in love with the Pine Barrens while kayaking in the Mullica River. She later bought a house along the river.

“The area that we’re in is just filled with history and lore and tales of the Pine Barrens,” Stanton said. “I’ve met some of the most incredibly talented people I could have hoped to meet.”

She said the area lost a true Pine Barrens enthusiast in Howard Boyd, who died recently.

“He loved this event,” Stanton said. “Some of the letters that I’m going to cherish the most are ones that he wrote to me. He was just a charming gentleman.”

Now that the event has grown, Stanton is applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

“It’s our way of giving back to authors and artists who have given so much to so many of us,” she said.

Stanton said she is trying to increase awareness of the Pine Barrens, appreciation for the area, and an increase in reading.

Now that “Lines on the Pines” is so large, she has the regrettable task of turning some people away.

“I want to be careful to keep this event about the Pine Barrens and not overstretch what that includes,” Stanton said. “The most rewarding part definitely is see so many come and support this event.”

Among others, the Pineland Preservation Alliance is supporting “Lines on the Pines.”

The featured authors and their works include:

Donna Lee Sharp Albertson: “Ask Any Piney”

Louise Ann Barton: “Vacationing in the Pine Barrens,” “Scary Stories of the Pine Barrens”

John Calu & Dave Hart: “Trenton: A Novel,” “Mystery of the Jersey Devil” Ellen V. & Stan Fayer: “Chatsworth: Capital of the Pine Barrens”

Gail Hunt & Roni Strain: “The Bat’s Toe”

Lee Ireland: “Place Names of the Jersey Shore”

Kristin (Colasurdo) Keating: “Hammonton Post Card History Series”

Carleton Montgomery: “Planning for a Sustainable America”

Gloria Repp: “Tales of Friendship Bog”

Karen Riley and Andrew Gioulis: “Voices in the Pines”

Pat Robinson: “New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail,” “Wonderwalks: Trails of the NJ Audubon”

Barbara Solem: “Ghost Towns and Other Quirky Places in the NJ Pine Barrens,” “The Forks”

Francine Still-Hicks: “Early Recollections & the Life of Dr. James Still”

Roy Carl Weiler Sr.: “White Ivory from the Museum,” “Secrets of the Museum”

David Wheeler: “Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State”

Jo Ann Wright: “White Horse Black Horse”