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The Little Gate Crasher

August 5, 2016

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is a freelance writer and educator based in Philadelphia.  Her recent books include “The Creative Jewish Wedding Book” and “The Kitchen Classroom.” She is a featured blogger for Newsworks Philly Parenting and writes for and edits The New Normal: Blogging Disability.

Here is the official press release for her latest book:

Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team?

Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”

“Then at some point ,I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In “The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, author Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer remembers her amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ, to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, “The Little Gate Crasher” captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents.

“The Little Gate Crasher” features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

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