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Books: Virginia Beach author looks at Back Bay’s gifts to generations

Al Henley is the author of Back Bay, Virginia: The Great Provider, published earlier this year by Safe Harbor Press. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Al Henley is the author of Back Bay, Virginia: The Great Provider, published earlier this year by Safe Harbor Press. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

BACK BAY — Al Henley, 69, whose family has been here since the late 1600s, comes from generations of people who benefitted from fertile lands and the bounty of the bay. 

This year, he published a book that marries local history and family stories. 

It is called Back Bay, Virginia: The Great Provider. In addition to discussing what the bay and land gave local watermen and farmers, Henley has a unique view of the historic Horn Point Club, where his parents worked as manager and caretaker.

Henley had a unique experience in his childhood due to the connection to the lodge. His family also hunted, fished and guided guests seeking duck, and the text includes images of the club, duck blinds and guides. 

“You made a living off the water and the land,” Henley said in an interview recently at his home. “Generations of my family and people who lived here lived that way. … If it wasn’t for this body of water called Back Bay, a lot of those families would never have survived.”

Henley is selling the book for $20. He can be reached via (757) 426-6991 or al.henley@cox.net.

“Hopefully, this book will be shared and enjoyed by individuals who love history of an era and place where generations of a hard working class of people made an honest living on the land and waters of Back Bay and Knotts Island,” he wrote in the preface.

The Independent News

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