Philip M. Read was born in Durham, N.C, the second son of Duke University alums. As a child, he relocated to his father's native New Jersey. He went on to graduate from Boston University and is a longtime New Jersey journalist whose portraits of life are often filled with nostalgia. He is the author of five pictorial histories, filled with lively antidotes, as well as rich collections of his feature stories, once published in the state's largest newspaper and now gathered for the first time in two volumes of "Montclair & Environs: 21st Century Chronicles." His latest book -- "Memories from the Meadowbrook, From big bands to dinner-theater to rock n' roll" -- is debuting this year.