WYCKOFF, N.J. — A father-son duo who've published a historical-fiction novel about Oakland's Van Allen House are now selling T-shirts to raise money for renovations to the site.
“Patriots, Redcoats and Spies” is a historical-fiction novel that ends with Robert J. Skead's take on what happened at the Van Allen House when former President George Washington visited in 1777.
“I wanted to incorporate that into the book since it’s how I got the idea." Skead said. “It’s neat to learn about the role that New Jersey played in the American Revolution.”
Skead first visited the house July 2013, coincidentally the date that Washington visited centuries ago.
Years later, his father, Robert A. Skead, of Wyckoff, made a fascinating discovery.
“My dad did our genealogy and found out we have an ancestor who served in the Continental Army and the Connecticut Militia during the American Revolution,” Skead said.
Robert J. Skead told his father in "30-second elevator speak" about his story idea. They collaborated on the writings for two years and published their book in 2013.
The two then had original T-shirts made for book talks and signings.
"I realized I had nothing to wear," Robert J. Skead explained.
“That was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a book,” he said. “And I got to do it with my dad.”
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