J.R. Roseberry is an award-winning journalist who was a reporter and editor for two newspapers and the Associated Press in Japan as well as half a dozen newspapers along the East Coast from 1955 until the early 2000s. "Those were the glory days of journalism when you could take what you read in your daily newspaper or heard from Murrow or Cronkite on TV to the bank," he says. "That was before the words 'fake and news' had ever been used in proximity, let alone purveyed shamelessly by so called news media."
J.R. received a degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, then pursued postgraduate studies in philosophy at Sophia University in Tokyo and Old Dominion College in Virginia. His newspaper employment included Pacific Stars & Stripes and the Okinawa Morning Star in Japan, The State in Columbia, SC, the Atlanta Journal, Savannah Morning News, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, and the Washington Post. After serving 20 years as a reporter, editor and manager for The Post, he retired and moved to Tybee Island, Ga., where he edited and published the Tybee News, a tabloid newspaper covering Tybee and nearby islands. He also wrote a weekly column for the Savannah Morning News entitled J.R.'s Island View, and took up fiction, music and lyric writing.
His initial venture into fiction won a contest for writers throughout the Southeast. Entitled Helen, it was published as the lead story in the 2015 Savannah Anthology. His music has been recorded by a popular area musician and is played regularly at an island church. J.R. says he expects to continue writing as long as his fingers and mind remain functional.
Tybee Island lured an eclectic assortment of visitors even before Gen. James Oglethorpe passed its shore on his way to nearby river bluffs to establish what has become the tourists' mecca of Savannah, Ga.
Native Indians, drawn to the island to gather sea salt, were succeeded by Spanish conquistadores who crossed the Atlantic in search of treasure and eternal youth only to be driven away by Englishmen seeking freedom from debt and religious persecution.
More recent arrivals, including doctors and lawyers, seamen and scallywags, musicians, writers, artists and fishermen, among other heroes and hooligans, came to escape life's tribulations, seek solace at the continent's edge, or simply bask on the beach after partying all night.
Many remained on what was known for years as the "Redneck Riviera" or "Mayberry by the Sea" because of its informal lifestyle, free-wheeling ways and the absence of casinos, golf courses, and high-rise hotels.
This book's author escaped the stress of big city pollution, crime, and corruption by hunkering down on the laid-back island when he retired from a career in journalism more than a quarter century ago.
His book is a compilation of newspaper columns based on conversations with some of the island's most colorful and influential characters, the people who helped create what many consider an island paradise.
In a typically Tybee, casual beach-reading manner, it introduces newcomers to Tybee's colorful history while triggering fond memories for those who have been around for a lifetime.