Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Book Excerpt, Book Extract, Guest Post, Literature, Non Fiction

Blog Tour: Guest Post – The Little Gate Crasher by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Blog Tourthumbnail_TLGTheLittleGateCrasher

Today on my blog I have something a little different. I have a non-fiction guest post by Gabrielle Kaplan- Mayer, author of The Little Gate-Crasher 

The Blurb! 170804_d4e9ffc2e0044b3faab755c408c6d66c~mv2

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, I remember my 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 others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see. 

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. 

Purchase Links

Amazon US –  

Amazon UK – 

thumbnail_TheBlogConnectHeadshots-150Author Bio – Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.  

 Social Media Links – 


Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (Open to US & Canada only) 

*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Mace Bugen: Gate Crasher Extraordinaire 

By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer   

When my Great-Uncle Mace Bugen was a boy, he was crazy for sports, just like his two older brothers and all the boys in his school in Phillipsburg, NJ. And while the other boys got to spend hours on the field or on the court, Mace was excluded from playing. He grew to be only 43 inches tall and had a hump on his back as a result of achondroplastic dwarfism. 

School teams didn’t have accommodations for students with physical disabilities in those days and so Mace had to find his own way into the game. He was a team mascot when his older brother played basketball but by high school, had become the team’s manager. Still, he yearned to be part of the action in a more visible way. 

“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.” 

Mace found that special something when he 19 years old and took a bus to Chicago from NJ by himself to see Joe Louis box in his first professional fight. Mace jumped in the ring and kissed Louis’ gloves while the crowd went crazy cheering. Later, he followed Louis back to the locker room after the fight and photographers started snapping pictures. Mace and Louis ended up on the RKO newsreels. 

That started a lifelong hobby of using his small stature to his advantage and getting photos with the greatest athletes of his time including Muhammad Ali, Mario Andretti, Joe Dimaggio, Wilt Chamberlain and many more. 

 I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know more about Mace’s life story and his incredible photo collection while working on his memoir, The Little Gate-Crasher . 

 What I discovered in my Great-Uncle was an unstoppable spirit who overcame both the challenges of his limited mobility and also society’s prejudices towards people with dwarfism to live an incredible life on his terms. 

 Since the book’s release, I’ve had a great time talking about Mace’s life with book clubs, for conferences and community groups. One of my favorite experiences has been sharing Mace’s story about meeting the greatest athletes of his time on NPR’s “Only A Game Show”—take a listen. The amazing sound engineers were able to take old recordings of Mace that we’d saved on cassette tapes and digitize them. You’ll get a sense of Mace’s incredible personality when you hear him talking! 

 You can read more about Mace’s antics in The Little Gate Crasher—enjoy! I’d love to hear your reactions and comments. 

 Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is a writer and educator based in Philadelphia. The Little Gate Crasher is available on 

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