Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 33, No. 10

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Thanks + Giving Transgender DOR World AIDS Day






November 17, 2023 Volume 33, Number 10 camprehoboth.com



VOLUME 33, NUMBER 10 � NOVEMBER 17, 2023

4 In Brief

30 Making a Difference

90 CAMP Arts

6 From the Executive Director

36 It’s My Life

92 Booked Solid


8 President’s View WES COMBS

10 Vice President’s View LESLIE LEDOGAR

12 CAMP News 14 OUTlook


The End



102 View Point

38 CAMP Stories

Cocktails You’ll Be Thankful For

A Religious Bully, Two Heartbeats Away



40 Words Matter

104 Celebrity Profile Profile of a “Royal”

Reflecting on Rustin



Debbie Woods, Murray Archibald, Claire Ippiloti, and Leslie Sinclair attend the Steve Elkins Room dedication at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBTQ Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. See page 18.

42 Dining Out

The Last Quit

Café Azafrán




18 Community News

44 Cazuela de Calabaza STEPHEN RASKAUSKAS

46 Volunteer Spotlight

20 In This Season of Gratitude PATTIE CINELLI

22 A Short History of Cookies TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

24 Out & About Trope on a Rope

Landscaping with Edibles ERIC WAHL


16 Chasten Buttigieg’s Great Reveal

108 The Real Dirt

52 A Horse Is a Horse… MARY JO TARALLO

56 Buy-Ways

The Ultimate Guide to Gay Gift Giving MIKEY ROX

62 Hear, Hear! MATTY BROWN

64 CAMPshots A Fabulous Fall in Rehoboth Beach!

68 Celebrity Interview MICHAEL COOK


72 Deep Inside Hollywood


110 Visiting View

My Super-Sunny New City ROBERT DOMINIC

74 National Cookie Day TARA LYNN JOHNSON

78 Eat The Rainbow for Thanksgiving NANCY SAKADUSKI

80 Sea Salt Table Let Me Entertain You


House of Many Colors Artwork by Murray Archibald


84 Where There’s Smoke STEPHANIE BELINSKE

88 Historical Headliners

26 Health & Wellness

Art’s Bad Boy: Caravaggio

In an Either/Or World, Choose Other



See ee page 22

Letters from CAMP Rehoboth welcomes submissions. Email editor@camprehoboth.com. Photographs must be high resolution (300 dpi). Documents should be sent as attachments in Microsoft Word®. Deadline for submissions is two weeks prior to the issue release date.

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EDITOR Marj Shannon EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE Matty Brown DESIGN AND LAYOUT Mary Beth Ramsey ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Tricia Massella DISTRIBUTION Mark Wolf CONTRIBUTORS: Ann Aptaker, Chris Azzopardi, Rich Barnett, Stephanie Belinske, Matty Brown, Ed Castelli, Pattie Cinelli, Wes Combs, Michael Cook, Robert Dominic, Clarence Fluker, Michael Thomas Ford, David Garrett, Tara Lynn Johnson, Leslie Ledogar, Kim Leisey, Tricia Massella, Sharon Morgan, Eric Peterson, Mary Beth Ramsey, Stephen Raskauskas, Richard Rosendall, Mikey Rox, Nancy Sakaduski, Terri Schlichenmeyer, Marj Shannon, Beth Shockley, Leslie Sinclair, Mary Jo Tarallo, , Romeo San Vicente, Eric Wahl, Debbie Woods, Doug Yetter

Letters from CAMP Rehoboth is published 11 times per year, between February and December, as a program of CAMP Rehoboth Inc., a non-profit community service organization. CAMP Rehoboth seeks to create a more positive environment of cooperation and understanding among all people. Revenue generated by advertisements supports CAMP Rehoboth’s purpose as outlined in our mission statement.

The inclusion or mention of any person, group, or business in Letters from CAMP Rehoboth does not, nor is it intended in any way, to imply sexual orientation or gender identity. The content of the columns are the views and opinions of the writers and may not indicate the position of CAMP Rehoboth, Inc. © 2023 by CAMP Rehoboth, Inc. All rights reserved by CAMP Rehoboth. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the editor.

From the Editor





CAMP Rehoboth, which stands for (Creating A More Positive) Rehoboth, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit LGBTQ+ community service organization. It is the largest and only organization of its type serving the needs of LGBTQ+ people in Rehoboth, greater Sussex County, and throughout the state of Delaware. CAMP Rehoboth is dedicated to creating a positive environment inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities in Rehoboth Beach and its related communities. It seeks to promote cooperation and understanding among all people as they work to build a safer community with room for all.


We create proud and safe communities where gender identity and sexual orientation are respected.


Promoting the health and wellness of our community through a variety of programs including HIV testing and counseling, mental health support, fitness classes, mindfulness classes, support for LGBTQ youth, and building community and support. Promoting artistic expressions and creative thinking, and giving aid to artists and craftspeople with an emphasis on the works of LGBTQ people. Advocating for our community to build a safe and inclusive community through voter information, education, and registration; and analysis of issues and candidates. Education and outreach to the larger community, including sensitivity training seminars, and printed materials to promote positive images of LGBTQ people and our allies. Networking resources and information by publishing a newsletter, and functioning as an alternative tourist bureau and information center.

PRESIDENT Wesley Combs VICE PRESIDENT Leslie Ledogar SECRETARY Mike DeFlavia TREASURER Polly Donaldson AT-LARGE DIRECTORS Amanda Mahony Albanese, Pat Catanzariti, Lewis Dawley, David Garrett, Jenn Harpel, Kim Leisey (non-voting), Teri Seaton, and Jason D. White


n November, I spend a little more time being grateful; that turkey-centric holiday supplies plentiful reminders. I’m grateful other months too, of course, but this month I’m more mindful, more reflective, more intentional. I try to share the results, too, rather than just sit in a silent, contemplative state of gratitude. To that point: I’m very grateful for each of you, our readers. Communicating with you is the whole point—you’re why we write, design, print, and publish. Thank you for paging through this—and every—issue. I’m also grateful for our editorial staff, and for my place among them. It’s a great team to work with, and CAMP Rehoboth is a terrific organization to be a part of as we do that work. (Speaking of which—fresh from a Board retreat, this issue includes CAMP Rehoboth Board Vice President Leslie Ledogar’s update on the organization’s new strategic plan.) A hearty “thank you” also to our writers—an ever-growing cadre of eclectic folks with lots to say. Some of them share their own thoughts on gratitude this month; take a look at Pattie Cinelli’s column or read Wes Combs’ mention of gratitude jars. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to fill one of your own? Personally, as the Transgender Day of Remembrance falls just a few days after this issue is published, I’m especially grateful for one of our features this issue: Nancy Sakaduski’s interview with photographer B. Proud. Proud’s work honors transgender individuals and families, and Nancy’s piece—“Making a Difference”— includes three of Proud’s photos and the stories she wrote to accompany them. We have other trans-related coverage, too—Sharon Morgan writes about transgenderism across time and cultures, and Terri Schlichemeyer reviews Letter to My Transgender Daughter. November 16 was the Great American Smoke-out, which inspired epidemiologist Stephanie Belinske to write about the rise of vaping, even as smoking rates decline. And Beth Shockley invites us in as she pries herself loose from nicotine— in any form—at last. About that turkey-day I mentioned earlier: a few of our writers had suggestions that may help us all enjoy it a bit more. Ed Castelli has hints for entertaining—it’s not your grandma’s party, anymore. We have a menu suggestion from Stephen Raskauskas, and Rich Barnett offers the perfect cocktail. Maybe you’d like some grow-your-own at the table? Eric Wahl offers some ideas for edible landscaping. National Cookie Day follows shortly after Thanksgiving; Tara Lynn Johnson reflects on one of her favorites, which comes with a message as well as a crunch. All this—and so much more. Thanks again for reading. Questions or comments—you can reach me at editor@camprehoboth.com. ▼


CAMP REHOBOTH 37 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 tel 302-227-5620 | email editor@camprehoboth.com www.camprehoboth.com

CAMP Rehoboth, Inc. is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to CAMP Rehoboth are considered charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes and may be deducted to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of our exemption document is available for public inspection.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

3 Letters

World AIDS Day—December 1


oin CAMP Rehoboth for a World AIDS Day service on Friday, December 1. This event will begin at CAMP Rehoboth at 5:30 p.m., and attendees will walk over to All Saints’ Church on Olive Avenue for the service. The service will begin at 6:00 p.m., and a reception will be held immediately following in the parish hall. Once again, CAMP Rehoboth will host a portion of the AIDS Quilt for viewing at All Saints’ Church, where it will serve as a powerful visual backdrop for the service as we remember the many lives lost to AIDS and reflect on its continued impact today. Viewing opportunities not only include the service on Friday, but also: → Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for private prayer and meditation → Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a service with special prayers and music for World AIDS Day at 5:00 p.m. → Sunday between 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The Friday service will feature names of those lost to the AIDS epidemic. These names are submitted by community members; submit names to remember by visiting camprehoboth.com/ worldaidsday. The program will showcase performances by a select number of the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus and musician Alicia Mickenberg on viola. The service will be nondenominational. This year, CAMP Rehoboth’s World AIDS Day commemoration will also include an interpretive art activity. On days leading up to December 1, and on World AIDS Day itself, participants will have an opportunity to create a painted rock that expresses their feelings about HIV/AIDS, love, loss, and hope. Materials will be provided. Participants can take a seat, meditate for a moment, then select and create your painted rock. Then creations can be taken to a special location of one’s choice. Alternatively, the rocks can be left at CAMP Rehoboth. Later, these special rocks will be transferred to a place of quiet reflection—a temporary meditative garden on the property. Create a painted rock at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center on the following dates and times: November 30 and December 1, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium. ▼

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Community Toy & Clothing Drive


uring the holiday season, CAMP Rehoboth is partnering with the Rehoboth Beach Bears to host a community toy and clothing drive. Community member Paul Christensen kickstarted the drive in 2008, and it’s grown to bring cheer to hundreds of local families and organizations in need. The CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program (CROP) will once again help to distribute donations to this year’s beneficiaries. CAMP Rehoboth will be a drop-off point for donations through Friday, December 8. There will be several opportunities to donate at the Rehoboth Beach Bears’ upcoming events at Aqua (November 18 and December 17) and at the Holiday Bar Crawl at The Pines/Above The Dunes (December 1), among others. For additional information on other drop-off locations and this year’s beneficiaries, visit camprehoboth.com. ▼

CAMP Rehoboth Advocacy at Work


AMP Rehoboth Community Center has expressed support for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed guidance on harassment in the workplace by signing onto a comment letter prepared by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). This guidance affirms the right of transgender people to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment and strengthens the protections transgender people need at work. The letter prepared by NCTE also encourages the EEOC to consider improvements including addressing harassment faced by intersex workers; protecting pregnant workers of all genders; and defining the limits of religiously motivated harassment. In addition, in August, CAMP Rehoboth provided separate comments to the Department of Health and Human Services in support of proposed regulations expanding services for LGBTQI+ seniors under the Older Americans Act. CAMP requested an improvement to the Final Rule that would specifically notify State and Area Agencies on Aging to include training on LGBTQI+ older persons, and older persons living with HIV and their needs, and to conduct targeted outreach to these communities. Please visit camprehoboth.com/advocacy to learn more about these initiatives. ▼

Transgender Day of Remembrance


elebrated on November 20 each year, Transgender Day of Remembrance was created in 1999 to commemorate transgender woman Rita Hester, who was murdered. This day honors the lives of transgender people lost to acts of transphobic violence. Transphobia runs rampant in the US, and this year featured a record-breaking amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, much of which took aim at trans rights. CAMP Rehoboth encourages all to take time to reflect on this and all types of violence against trans siblings in the community not only on TDOR, but every day.

Walking in the Sea Witch Parade


n Saturday, October 28, CAMP Rehoboth Community Center walked the Sea Witch Parade for a second consecutive year. CAMP Rehoboth invited community members, friends, and family to dress in costume or wear one of the orange CAMP Rehoboth shirts. Rainbow pride feather boas and Pride capes were also provided. Creative costumes included Morticia Addams, Ken and Barbie, and Flo from Progressive. Thanks to the 20+ marchers who joined CAMP Rehoboth and helped to spread the community's love and joy to parade attendees! Marchers waved custom CAMP Rehoboth signs that shared empowering messages like “Love Is Love,” “Room for All,” and “U = U (Undetectable = Untransmittable),” among others. “It was great to see the community coming together and so positively respond to CAMP Rehoboth’s presence at the parade,” said Ken Currier, one of the marchers. Early estimates place this year’s festival attendees at exceeding the 200,000 count set last year, according to Carol Everhart, President/CEO of the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce. ▼ SAVE THE DATE

Women’s FEST 2024 Mark your calendars! Women’s FEST 2024 dates are April 25-28, 2024.


ince its inception as a Women’s Conference and Weekend back in 2001, the CAMP Rehoboth Women’s FEST (Fun, Entertainment, Spring, Tradition) has become a bona fide, beloved annual event in Rehoboth Beach. It offers a whole lot of fun, some sensational entertainment, awesome workshops, and lots of sports— it’s one of the best women’s events on the East Coast. Be sure to stay tuned to camprehoboth.com—more information soon! ▼

Send CAMP Rehoboth Soaring into 2024 This year, CAMP Rehoboth’s theme for giving is “Pride in Progress: Embrace, Empower, Evolve.” Stay tuned to ways to give during these final months of the year, starting with Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, November 28. Directly following Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. Visit camprehoboth.com for more details. ▼

Block Party—A Major Success!


n Sunday, October 15, CAMP Rehoboth hosted over 100 vendors, sponsors, and performers on the second block of Baltimore Avenue. As CAMP Rehoboth’s largest outreach event of the year, Block Party brought in an estimated 3,000 attendees to shop art and merchandise from local craftspeople and small businesses, learn more about featured nonprofits, and enjoy the performances from musicians, actors, and drag queens. “This event has grown tremendously since its first year in 2015,” said Chris Beagle, Block Party co-chair. “We couldn’t have done it without the great support from our volunteers, sponsors, and such a fantastic variety of vendors.” “Thank you to all who attended this year,” said Michelle Manfredi, Block Party co-chair. “The great turnout showed how impactful bringing the community together can be, and we’re already looking forward to next year!” ▼ NOVEMBER 17, 2023

5 Letters

From the Executive Director


CAMP Rehoboth’s Peace Pole


n 1955 Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller wrote the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Each morning I watch the town of Rehoboth Beach awaken. Whether it is the Beach Patrol fetching breakfast from Lori’s, couples riding bikes together, or dads pushing a little one in their stroller, the mornings are peaceful. The office phones are not yet ringing and as each staff person enters CAMP Rehoboth, we greet each other with a simple, “good morning.” As part of my new morning ritual, I read the Peace Pole on the corner of CAMP Rehoboth. It simply states, in four languages, “May Peace Be in Our Communities.” The Peace Pole at CAMP Rehoboth became more significant on October 7 this year as the carnage of the Hamas terrorist attack streamed across our televisions, phones, and computer screens. Curious, I googled “list of ongoing wars in the world” and my heart sank. There are 32 countries in the world where conflict is currently taking place. The amount of trauma and suffering is immense. The CAMP Rehoboth Peace Pole was beckoning me, “do something!” CAMP Rehoboth Board Vice President Leslie Ledogar connected me with Don Peterson, who serves on the Peace Week Delaware statewide board. Don provided me with the following insights and information, “The first Peace Pole Dedication ceremony in Sussex County took place on September 21, 2016 (International Peace Day) at CAMP Rehoboth. This was the centerpiece of our Peace Week Delaware celebration in Sussex County. Peace Week Delaware is an independent organization that was a spin off from Pacem in Terris in Wilmington. Peace Week Delaware was primarily a New Castle County event until 2016, when, for the first time, all three counties had events. “The dedication ceremony at CAMP Rehoboth was an interfaith effort that

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included speakers from the Seaside Jewish Community, the Islamic Society of Central Delaware, Epworth UMC, Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, Metropolitan Community Church, Trinity Faith Christian Center, and Insight Meditation Community of

By inviting people into CAMP Rehoboth spaces…we create opportunities where connection and learning can take place. Lewes. Doug Yetter provided music (Epworth) along with students from Christy Taylor Music. Since then, Peace Poles are now in Lewes, Georgetown, and Seaford. Peace Week Delaware is still ongoing, but like so many things it is slowly recovering from COVID.” CAMP Rehoboth became the site for a peace pole because a few in the city felt it was too political for a government building in Rehoboth Beach to host a peace pole. Steve Elkins said, “Yes, put it here.” This was a yes to “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with us,” the LGBTQ+ community and those who love, support, and respect us. The founders of CAMP Rehoboth understood and still understand that you build peace in our community and the world by doing things that are now a part of CAMP’s life and culture. We start with ourselves; we strive to be patient and present with each other. Doing so helps to moderate feelings of anger and other strong emotions that may arise. Understanding anger can help to gain more insight into complex issues associated with conflict and inequality.

Instead of calling people out we call them in. We seek to understand. We encourage quiet time, spending time in nature and with the arts, and finding contemplative practices like meditation, tai chi, or prayer. CAMP Rehoboth has transformed community spaces for learning and gathering: our courtyard, the porch, the gallery space, and the Elkins-Archibald Atrium. By inviting people into CAMP Rehoboth spaces through the arts, health and wellness events, workshops, and social gatherings we create opportunities where connection and learning can take place. We support others through service, as volunteers with and around CAMP Rehoboth or as volunteers through our outreach program. We act with compassion towards others and understand that when someone is hurting, we do not turn our heads—we reach out and provide help. We do not hide from life; we work to transform fear, hesitancy, and lack of understanding into inclusion and respect. We celebrate joy, friends, community, and each other. We, together, become an extension of the Peace Pole that sits quietly at CAMP Rehoboth. Let us continue to be the light that illuminates the pole and our community. ▼ Kim Leisey, PhD, is Executive Director of CAMP Rehoboth.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

7 Letters

President’s View


What’s in Your Gratitude Jar?


f you are a consumer of news like me then I imagine your anxiety levels are higher than normal given all the chaos and strife in the US and around world these days. Unfortunately, we all have learned to operate in this new normal state of uncertainty, much of which is beyond our control. However, my being a Jewish gay man further fuels my already-heightened angst because my very existence is under attack from lawmakers as well as ideological extremists everywhere. Before you stop reading further because by now your heart rate has increased, I want to share some tools that help me lower my blood pressure and maintain sanity in what I call life’s constant roller coaster. One technique I learned during the pandemic, to help control my stress, was to only listen to the news on my favorite NPR station versus watching it, because the images of death and despair were overwhelming. Another way is taking long walks with our dog Bailey on the beach each morning because the peace and serenity of seeing the sun rising over the ocean calms the nerves and clears my head. I also box with a personal trainer because hitting something (punching boxing mitts, not his head) lets me safely blow off steam. As an executive coach, a commonly used technique with clients struggling to make progress towards a goal is shifting their perspective away from what they cannot control by focusing on what they can control. Even the smallest step forward shows a person all is not lost and provides hope towards a brighter, more fulfilling day, week, and hopefully life. Perhaps the simplest (and no-cost) action everyone can take is slowing down enough to “stop and smell the roses” more often, to remind ourselves there are things all around us we are grateful for. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to give it a try and see how it makes you feel. Not only does this exercise help you focus on what’s important and make the

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holiday less stressful, but it is scientifically proven to lead to a healthier life. Robert A. Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, and author of the book Gratitude Works! A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity, says “gratitude is a kind of ‘Velcro.’” In other words, embrace it and better mental and physical health will stick.

Some do this as a family, with co-workers, or even just by themselves, as a way to be reminded of what’s good in their lives. According to a 2003 study coauthored by Emmons, “…participants who wrote down things they were grateful for each day exercised more, had more energy, and reported less pain.” They also slept an average of 30 minutes more each night. He’s also found gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. A few weeks ago, the Board of Directors threw a little party for former Interim Director Lisa Evans to thank her for the time, energy, and expertise provided to CAMP Rehoboth during the leadership transition. Lisa loathes being in the spotlight so the typical laudatory speech-after-speech approach would not do the trick. As we brainstormed, board

member Amanda Albanese suggested we present Lisa with a Gratitude Jar. For those who are not familiar with the idea behind a gratitude jar, you write down something you’re grateful for on a piece of paper and place it in the jar. Some write down everything they can think of at the time; others continually add “gratitudes” throughout the year, and then draw one out at any time, especially when you are feeling down. Some do this as a family, with co-workers, or even just by themselves, as a way to be reminded of what’s good in their lives. It serves as a way to recharge the proverbial battery needed to tackle daily challenges. The exercise was truly cathartic for the board and staff who contributed because it required those who worked closest with Lisa to reflect back and write down something she did that had a positive impact on each person. For me, Lisa’s nonprofit management expertise provided much-needed structure, process improvement, and employee development at a critical time in the organization’s history. Her compassion and oversight stabilized day-to-day operations, which allowed all of us to focus on the future—such as the strategic plan. (For more information about the Strategic Plan, check out Vice President Leslie Ledogar’s column on page 10.) I will end by expressing my gratitude to: the board for their collaborative dedication to this great organization; the staff for their unwavering commitment to serve others; the volunteers who make it possible to deliver the breadth of services; those in the community whose financial support sustain our work; my friends who make me laugh when it is most needed; and my husband for being my cheerleader and partner along the way. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. ▼ Wesley Combs is CAMP Rehoboth Board President.








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37 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

9 Letters

Vice President’s View


Strategic Planning Update

Intentionally charting the future for CAMP Rehoboth


uccessful retreats start with successful staging, including a fivestar meeting room and five-star refreshments. That’s why this column starts with heartfelt gratitude for our two Strategic Planning Retreat sponsors, the Bellmoor Inn and Spa and Downtown Blues. Thanks to the Bellmoor Inn and Spa on Christian Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach, we had an airy and well-appointed room in which to meet as a group, with plenty of space for breakout sessions. And thanks to Jody with Downtown Blues on N 1st Street (the newest in the Bethany Blues restaurant group), we were well nourished with a bountiful array of signature wraps, a delicious salad, and a tray of assorted cookies and desserts. We owe a huge thank you to both the Bellmoor Inn and Spa and Downtown Blues for providing the underpinnings for a successful Retreat and encourage our readers to patronize both establishments often! My biggest takeaway from the Retreat was gaining a new appreciation for the level of sincere support, enthusiasm, and dedication that CAMP Rehoboth Community Center enjoys. Our Board is engaged. Our staff and volunteers are dedicated. Our donors and members are generous and supportive. Such passion is not something that can be manufactured; it’s organic. Most nonprofits can only hope for such passion and commitment; without it, there is no “why” behind an organization’s existence. My next takeaway from the Retreat is that we have a need for greater and more intentional focus. Joan Garry of the Nonprofit Leadership Lab compares nonprofit leaders to jugglers who are constantly being tossed balls from all different directions with the expectation that all of those balls, including the incoming ones, be juggled all at once! Given that that is a setup for failure and

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burnout, Garry suggests that a better approach is to first intentionally select which balls to juggle and which to set aside, and only then, start juggling. Selecting the balls to juggle should be guided by the mission, vision, and priorities of the organization. Being intentional about which balls to juggle leads to focus, and focus leads to a thriving, well guided, and therefore successful organization.

Being intentional about which balls to juggle leads to focus, and focus leads to a thriving, well guided, and therefore successful organization. With focus in mind, the Board and staff used the Retreat to engage in intense strategic thinking around four priorities identified by the Board’s Strategic Planning Task Force: Programs; Community Outreach; Long-Term Financial Strength; and Leadership and Governance. The Task Force selected these four areas based on an Organizational Scan conducted by the Task Force from November 2022 through August 2023. The Organizational Scan included: • Six focus group discussions with: CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors’ former and current members; CAMP Rehoboth staff; CAMP Rehoboth volunteers; CAMP Rehoboth arts and health program leaders; CAMP Rehoboth youth program leaders; and CAMP Rehoboth wellness program leaders; • One-on-one interviews with: past leaders at CAMP Rehoboth; donors; and community influencers; • A Community Feedback Survey of

community members and others familiar with the organization about CAMP Rehoboth's current operations; • Online research on relevant demographic data and trends; and • A landscape analysis of other organizations which have similar missions, provide outreach to a similar community, and/or provide similar services as CAMP Rehoboth, to better understand potential partners and collaborators. To continue the juggling analogy, the Board is now in the process of choosing a select number of goals to juggle within the next five years, and identifying select strategies for achieving those goals. Together, the goals and accompanying strategies will form the basis of the Strategic Plan, which the Board aims to adopt at its November Board meeting. Our Executive Director and staff will then map out the “hows” and “by whens” those goals will be achieved over the months following adoption. My final takeaway from the Retreat is that it is abundantly clear that CAMP Rehoboth has a well-established, 33-year track record built on love and community nurturing, and it continues to enjoy a reputable brand within the community. Because of that legacy, we continue to be the “heart” of our community. That said, we need to ensure that our organization offers programs and services that best meet the community’s ever-changing needs. With strong leadership and governance, and the continued engagement and commitment of our staff, volunteers, and community, we will be able to implement a Strategic Plan that ensures we will continue to be able to Create a More Positive Rehoboth, where there is room for all, for years to come. ▼ Leslie Ledogar is CAMP Rehoboth Board Vice-President.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

11 Letters

CAMPNews Queen of the (Pickleball) Court


he first of what will be an ongoing series of pickleball play days was held at Sandhill Fields on October 26. Twenty-one intermediate-level women signed up for a “queen of the courts’’ format tournament. Players were randomly partnered for the first game. For succeeding games, those who won moved up, those who did not win moved down until, after nine games, one player remained on the top court for three games. Several women held the crown for one game but were then dethroned. Only one player remained to the end: Judy Kolb was crowned the Queen of the Court. The pickleball tournament during Women’s FEST sells out very quickly, making it clear that women want more opportunities to challenge themselves in pickleball. So, pickleball play days are being planned throughout the year and will begin again in March. They will be designated by levels so many more women can play similar competition. Different tournament formats will be used, and partners will be randomly assigned. ▼

HOLIDAY HANDMADE MARKET ‘TIS THE SEASON! Join CAMP Rehoboth on Friday, December 8, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. for the Holiday Handmade Market in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium. Come stroll through the atrium, shop local, and support LGBTQ+/ally artists. Entry is free and open to the public! A variety of vendors and artists will be showcasing their works and merchandise from a variety of mediums, including: reverse painting on glass, CBD products, t-shirts, sea glass/shell art, crochet, and pearl/gemstone jewelry. Shop to the sounds of Robb the Uke Guy, who will bring his signature Hawaiian flare to cherished holiday classics. ▼

LGBTQ+ Bereavement Group Sets Monthly Meetings


rief can present special challenges for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In partnership with Delaware Hospice, CAMP Rehoboth will be hosting an LGBTQ+ bereavement group monthly on third Wednesdays, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., in-person at the Elkins-Archibald Atrium. After kicking off with a meeting on Wednesday, October 18, monthly meetings are set through April 2024. This space will be for anyone who has lost someone and would like to have the safety and security of a bereavement group within their own community. This gathering will be facilitated by Meredith English, MSHS, a Bereavement Counselor at Delaware Hospice. Refreshments will be served. Please register in advance by contacting Ann DeLazaro, Provider Service Executive of Delaware Hospice, at adelazaro@delawarehospice. org or 302-893-9456. ▼

Going Solar! In early November, CAMP Rehoboth Community Center installed solar panels on its roof. This eco-friendly measure will see CAMP Rehoboth practice more energy efficiency, with cost savings used to support vital programs. Energy reduction is estimated at 75 percent of electric costs. This fall will see more renovations at CAMP Rehoboth: a new lighting and sound system in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium, new gutters at both 37 and 39 Baltimore Avenue, and a new HVAC system in the second floor offices at 37 Baltimore Avenue. These renovations were made possible by the Delaware Community Reinvestment Fund, also known as the Bond Bill, from which CAMP Rehoboth was awarded a $300,000 grant. ▼

Kicking Off the Strategic Plan CAMP Rehoboth kicked off its strategic plan with a retreat on Saturday, October 21. “The strategic plan allows us to move thoughtfully forward,” explained CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director Kim Leisey, PhD. “We also must remember the power of ‘and.’ We must operate today and plan for tomorrow,” she said. ▼ Letters 12

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CROP Returns to Delaware Botanic Gardens Tuesday, October 24, was a splendid day, and perfect for a small but mighty CROP team of five gardeners to travel to the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro. This time they planted in a new area called the Hedgerow, which is a hedge or row of shrubs bordering a field or road. At DBG, this hedgerow will border a turnaround area for buses. Once the team finished planting, they did some weeding. Many thanks to the CROP volunteers—they really made a difference and as always, won the appreciation of the staff. ▼


ANNUAL TOY DRIVE (plus Winter Hats, Gloves and Coats)

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

13 Letters



The Last Quit


t’s now Day Three—the day when whatever nicotine remains in my cells will disperse for good. Into the ether, just like that, without me doing anything more than no longer ingesting it. This is the day things will turn around and the cravings will become less. It hasn’t been constant craving since Tuesday morning. No, it’s more often agonizing periods of intense cravings following meals, the desire for increasing numbers of Altoids, Tootsie Pops, and Twizzlers, which my wonderful wife made sure I had in abundance. Bless her and keep her (away from me). I’m not reasonable right now. I’m no fun at all. I’m not very nice. I’m not at all approachable, complete with a scowl etched on my face. Life is harder right now without nicotine. This craving will pass. Nicotine is so terribly addictive and I was first addicted in the womb by my mother, who didn’t know her smoking would affect her children and end her life. This cold-turkey cessation of regular infusions of nicotine is familiar, since I’ve done it many times. It makes me incredibly grumpy to not have it. But it’s a ridiculously stupid addiction, even among other addictions, like gambling. There is no real payoff in any addiction, but it’s a double loss with nicotine. It only seems to relax you because it eases withdraw symptoms, and it does not make my brain move more quickly. That’s a lie. I think. I was not most recently a cigarette smoker, although I smoked cigarettes for

40-some years, I’d pick up a year or two when I would quit that nasty habit. But I’d inevitably go back, sooner or later. I picked up vaping and did that for about a decade. That was a really stupid, albeit

I’m saying goodbye to this last iteration of nicotine, a toxic substance that has always been present in my system in one way or another. less smelly, alternative to smoking. And there was no nasty butt to dispose of. But I got really tired of dealing with buying the components for vaping online, the batteries, the “juice” in ridiculous kid-friendly flavors like bubblegum or donut. Yuck. Seeking an alternative to all that, I discovered what I called my Squirts. These were breath spray canisters containing nicotine, made by Nicorette. Not produced in this country, I would have to order them through eBay. They were more expensive than cigarettes or vaping. But there was virtually no smell (except mint), they were portable, and could be taken or used anywhere. I had to always have enough on hand to forestall a glitch in the supply chain, and this was tricky, but I mastered it. Not once did I go without, even during the pandemic. Until I decided that when my current ones ran out, I would not order more.

Why now? Very simply, I’ve well and truly had enough of this stupid addiction. It is time to move forward and away from it. It belongs to earlier versions of me. But first, I’ve got to go through nicotine withdrawal—a sad, infuriating, and unreasonable three-day hellscape, and get on the other side of that. Outlast the cravings. I promised my wife that I would be fit to be around after Day Three. However, I don’t feel too differently than I did yesterday on Day Two. I also woke up today at 5:00 a.m., something that only happens when I have an early morning flight— which is exceedingly rare. Lovely, it’s 5:00 a.m.—more hours to fill without nicotine. Well, who’s got the last laugh? I picked a weekend with numerous activities—a boat ride with friends on Saturday, followed by a concert on Sunday, and lots of social interaction in between. Yoga and the gym as usual. All I’m doing is showing up and living through the cravings. Those cravings are lessening in intensity. I can do this. Yes, I’ve done it numerous times already. But this time, I intend for this to be the last quit. I’m saying goodbye to this last iteration of nicotine, a toxic substance that has always been present in my system in one way or another. It has finally seemed to outstay its welcome, and for that I’m entirely grateful to usher it out the door. ▼ Beth Shockley is a retired senior writer/editor living in Dover with her wife and furbabies.


For information on how to become a CAMP Rehoboth Annual Sponsor, email development@camprehoboth.com or call 302-227-5620. Letters 14

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

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15 Letters

Chasten Buttigieg’s Great Reveal


“Chasten...Just Come Home”


hasten Buttigieg has something to tell us. In his recent book, I Have Something to Tell You, he speaks about his childhood, his adolescence, his college years, and beyond. The Lewes/Rehoboth area was treated recently to an appearance by Chasten at the Lewes Public Library, in collaboration with CAMP Rehoboth and Browseabout Books. The book is not only a compilation of stories of his growing-up years, it is a revelation of how this gay young man in upstate Michigan came to terms with his sexual identity. Along the way, his family and friends would sooner or later support him in various ways—some sooner, some much later. “If I wasn’t in class or at work, I’d often drive aimlessly around town just to feel like I was headed somewhere. This inner battle of guilt, shame and sleepless nights went on for a couple of months, until one day my mom called and asked me to come home. ‘Just come home and we’ll figure it out.’ I drove straight to my parents’ house. Mom met me at the top of the stairs and hugged me as close as she could.” Chasten’s parents still did not understand their son being gay, but they knew they loved him unconditionally. One of the more touching stories involves Chasten coming out to his maternal grandmother. She was the only living grandparent he had at the time. The moment had arrived for him to pass the news up one generation. A deeply religious Catholic woman, she held her rosary beads not only close to her chest, but close to her heart. The two went for a walk as Chasten drew up the courage to share what could be devastating news to this elderly woman. Chasten tells it best: “We sat in silence...the tears began to well as I thought about breaking her heart. I looked over at her confused expression—she could tell I was hurting. ‘Grandma, I...’ But I choked. She immediately reached her hand over and rested it on my forearm. ‘I know, Chassers, and I love you just the same.’ I laughed and Letters 16

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fell apart in her arms. How long had she known and waited for me to tell her? Grandma was my staunchest ally.” During the Q & A session at the Lewes Library, skillfully led by Fay Jacobs, Chasten shared insights into the life he and Pete lead being in politics, and as fathers to twins. Speaking to a packed room, Chasten shared some profound statements and insights.

Chasten’s parents still did not understand their son being gay, but they knew they loved him unconditionally. One person in attendance said, “Despite the progress that has been made over the years toward acceptance for those in the LGBTQ community, Chasten’s journey continues to resonate for young people coming of age and coming out. He is performing an incredible service by courageously sharing his journey. His personal story offers hope and encouragement to others who feel alone, misunderstood and rejected.” Another attendee stated that she appreciated Chasten’s praise of edu-

cators. (Teachers, he said, have a very difficult job, and even more so when politics are involved.) The other note this friend made is that she could identify with Chasten as he spoke of his childhood struggle with his sexual identity, thinking that he was the only one who felt that way. “Boy, could I relate to THAT feeling,” she shared. Finally, one man’s takeaway from the evening is summarized thus: “I admired Chasten’s understanding of how important it was that he took his book tour to places in the country that need his inspirational message of hope and love the most. He indicated that engaging with [people in] these parts of the US is how we can win folks over and heal divisions.” Chasten Buttigieg and his husband Pete have been married for five years and are proud parents of twins. There are many gems of wisdom and insight within the pages of Chasten’s book, both self-revealing and aspirational in outlook. A few of these bits include: “Mom loves to love, a trait that has trickled down to me.” Giving of one’s self to another person is a sacrifice. He has given his life and purpose to Pete and any political advancement that may come. Chasten easily admits his doubts and misgivings about who he was. “I was constantly trying to fit in with conflicting groups...I knew there had to be something else for me...I was still jealous that [other] kids HAD a group. I was still trying to find mine.” It is vital that all young persons come to terms with their true selves. Chasten has made it his personal mission to help them to know that they are not alone. A host of people identify somewhere in the LGBTQ spectrum. It is his hope that many other young people will hear the words, “Just come home.” ▼ David Garrett, a CAMP Rehoboth Board member, is a straight advocate for equality and inclusion. He is also the proud father of an adult trans daughter. Email David Garrett at davidg@camprehoboth.com.

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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

17 Letters

Community News AIDS Delaware Welcomes Christopher Moore


hristopher Moore has become the Interim Executive Director for AIDS Delaware as John Gardner retires after 10+ years at the helm. Christopher will guide the agency as it prepares to celebrate 40 years as Delaware’s first and largest HIV Service Organization. He will also partner with the AIDS Delaware team and Board of Directors to find the next Executive Director. The goal is to fill the position by the end of 2024. Christopher’s commitment to AIDS Delaware was formed when he was a teenager. “It’s the first safe space I found as a queer person to ask questions to and receive answers from people who not only understood what I was saying but also were intent on ensuring I was supported,” he says. “The privilege to lead this agency and find the next great leader is one I take seriously.” Before joining AIDS Delaware, Christopher worked for ChristianaCare, most recently as the Director of Community Health. In his 17 years with the state’s largest health system, he worked first as a reproductive health educator, and then as an advocate for education and access to resources, with a particular focus on creating equitable care for LGBTQIA+ individuals. “My career started in education and prevention, and I am thrilled to join a team where both are highly valued,” he says. “In a way, I feel like I have come full circle.” Christopher is a Sussex County native, a graduate of the University of Delaware, a two-time Ameri-Corps alum, a Jefferson National Service Award winner, and adjunct faculty at Delaware Technical Community College. He splits his time between Wilmington and Toronto, where his partner, Harman, and dog, Bingo, live. ▼

SAVE THE DATE! Rehoboth Beach Main Street’s Community

Unity Dinner returns on Sunday, December 3, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Tickets—$20 per person; children ages eight and under free—are available at the door, starting at 4:30. Unlimited beer and wine will be available for a $5 donation at the door. The pasta dinner is donated by Big Fish Group and many other downtown restaurants. Join the Cape Jazz Band, some Nutcracker ballerinas, and Santa and Mrs. Claus for a wonderful evening! ▼

Santa Bar Crawl


he Second Annual Rehoboth Beach Santa Bar Crawl will take place on Saturday, December 2, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The goal: a fun and festive afternoon, featuring the collection of new, unwrapped toys to be donated to those in need. Every participating location (see rbsantabarcrawl.com for a current list) will have a donation box; toys will be donated to the Toys for Tots Foundation of Sussex County. ▼ Letters 18

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Steve Elkins—A Room of His Own in Allentown


t was an intimate gathering to celebrate and dedicate a room to Steve Elkins at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBTQ Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The original vision and need for CAMP Rehoboth was shared, as well as Steve’s passion for collaborating with others. Attendees learned about programs offered at the Bradbury Sullivan Center and discussed ways both centers could help one another. It was a beautiful night for the room dedication—a way to memorialize and share Steve’s legacy. ▼

Pictured below: Claire Ippoliti and Murray Archibald.

VegRehoboth Holds Plant-based Feast


fter a long COVID-related hiatus, VegRehoboth’s ThanksLiving returns this year on Sunday, November 19, at the Cultured Pearl in Rehoboth Beach. The feast begins at 1:30 p.m. with appetizers and happy hour prices on beverages. The buffet dinner begins at 2:30, with dessert to follow. Local musician Alex Razze will provide acoustic accompaniment to the festivities. ThanksLiving began in 2013 in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium at CAMP Rehoboth. The feast changed venues each subsequent year. “I like to offer different venues each year to support different restaurants in our area,” said co-founder Tara Sheldon. “Our community loves ThanksLiving; twice, we’ve had to add a second seating!” ThanksLiving is an event of VegRehoboth, an organization founded in 2010 by Sheldon and Patricia Haddock to promote plant-based living. Tickets for this year’s feast are available at VegRehoboth.org for $55. ▼


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19 Letters

In This Season of Gratitude


Being Thankful for Yourself


elf-love has never been my strong suit. The nuns taught me a lot about sacrifice, suffering, and suppression. I learned to sacrifice for others, that suffering is inevitable, and my feelings were not important. For many, those self-deprecating emotions were balanced at home by parents and relatives who highlighted strengths and praised accomplishments which gave a young person a sense of value and worth. However, my parents and relatives were not the kind that told me I was smart, that my report cards—mostly ‘As’—were terrific, that I looked nice, or that I did well at anything. “What’s wrong with you?’ or, “Why did you do that?” was more the mantra. There was a lot of criticizing, yelling (my father was Italian), and finding something wrong with just about everything. Loving myself and learning to be thankful has been a journey I’ve been on most of my life. It’s been fraught with self-doubt, lingering shadows of past experiences, and critical self-talk. A National Science Foundation study found that most of us have between 60 and 80 thousand individual thoughts per day. Up to 80 percent of those thoughts are negative. Believing something was wrong with the essential me created missed opportunities and flawed thinking. I was unable to recognize the beauty, love, and joy that surrounded me. Self-love is about diving deep into the core of who we are and treating ourselves with the same compassion and kindness that we offer others. It’s recognizing our worth in the worst of times. It’s about knowing our value is not determined by external validation or accomplishments. Self-love is a lifelong journey, and it begins with the commitment to be our own biggest supporter, and a pledge to honor our needs and desires. It was hard for me to be my own biggest supporter. I thought every criticism or askance look validated my unworthiness. I never thought of myself as a bad person, but recognizing aspects of me Letters 20

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that were positive, unique, and worth being proud of often eluded my reality. Thanksgiving has always been a time for appreciating the people in your life.

Self-love is a lifelong journey, and it begins with the commitment to be our own biggest supporter, and a pledge to honor our needs and desires. For years, I found it difficult to feel thankful for much because I didn’t see what there was to be thankful about in myself. If I’m grateful for the many little qualities that make me who I am then it’s easier to see those qualities and appreciate them in others. I got tired of battling self-doubt and wanted to embrace every facet of my being. I’ve noticed a big change in myself. Navigating the turbulent waters of self-discovery—accepting who I am, including celebrating my flaws that make

me human—and seeking to deepen my connection with my inner self is a transformation. When that negative self-talk creeps into my brain, I now meet it head on and fight it. I find it scary being myself, but I do it anyway. I try to think of the light within me that is connected to the light in everyone else. “There’s an exquisite feeling in knowing and loving yourself,” said Penache Desai, author of You Are Enough. “Then you can be thankful. There is nothing missing in you.” He said the more you deepen the love of yourself and settle into authenticity, the more you attract people and the life you want. The way we see ourselves influences the way we see others. When I criticize myself, I’m not happy. If I’m not happy then I can’t be thankful. Through selfdiscovery and self-love, I can now look at the negative stuff and see it differently. “Be thankful for the bad things in life,” said Penache. “They open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.” It’s still not easy for me to recognize my gifts, my talents, or my good qualities. But I’m getting better every day. When we appreciate ourselves, we form a healthier and closer relationship with our own selves. I practice positive self-talk by speaking to myself in the same kind way I would talk with someone I love. I practice appreciation most days. “I am grateful that I can rely on myself, I’m grateful for how I’ve grown through the years, I’m grateful for my great health,” are just a few things I say regularly. Some are easier to believe than others. As I get to know myself better, I can see joy in so many different ways. I am thankful. ▼ Pattie Cinelli is a writer and fitness professional who loves feeling thankful. She focuses on ways to stay healthy, get fit, and be well. You can email her with questions or column suggestions at: fitmiss44@aol.com. Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

21 Letters

A Short History of Cookies


Cookies, Biscuits, Biscotti, and More!


t’s a really tough choice. Do you stick with the middle-ground and take a chocolate chip one? Do you go wild and pick a raspberry-something with sugar? Choose one with icing, or grab a Snickerdoodle and get all nostalgic? When it comes to cookies, maybe you want to learn a few things first.... While we may never know for certain, it’s thought that the first cookies as we know them were made in the seventh century in Persia. The people in that general area were among the first to grow and harvest sugar cane after warriors first noticed it growing wild. The next step, in a way, was to start experimenting with the plant’s yield in baked goods. It’s believed that the earliest cookies may have been intended not as an actual product by themselves, but resulted from experiments with oven temperature. Even then, bakers were allowed to eat their mistakes. Exploration and warfare moved sugar cane northward into Europe and sweet treats made in an oven came along, too. By the Renaissance, cookies were a popular item in cookbooks, tables, and pantries, and home bakers had already gotten creative with spices and other ingredients. Still, the basic cookie was made of flour, sugar, oil, and butter.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the perception of baking changed, becoming a well-regarded profession requiring years of apprenticeship and serious schooling. The benefit: knowing how to bake on a large-scale was not a crummy (crumby?) thing at all during the Industrial Revolution, when technology allowed major bakeries to open to everyday consumers.

Animal Crackers were sold in a box with a carrying handle. As humans spread across the globe, immigrants and explorers traveled everywhere with simple “biscuits” because they were highly portable, handy, yummy, and often the only nutrition available. When the Dutch, English, Scotch, and Spanish explorers came to the shores of the New World, they brought their favorites with them. That included the metal tools for making cut-out cookies and the idea of decorating cookies for holidays. Although some kinds of cookies have endured for hundreds of years, there’s never been an end to innovation. Ruth

Ware, proprietress of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, famously dumped broken chocolate pieces into a sugar cookie batch she was making and created chocolate chip cookies (formally known as Toll House Cookies, after her inn). Animal Crackers were sold in a box with a carrying handle. Peanut Butter cookies were created in the 1930s and have always been criss-crossed with the back of a fork. And Oreo Double-Stuff cookies became America’s Number-One favorite packaged cookie. The Dutch gave us the word koekje, from which “cookie” derives. In England, Australia, and New Zealand, the treat we know as a cookie is still a “biscuit.” They’re gallettas in Spain and keks in Germany (although fancy Christmas German cookies are known as Plzchen). Cookies are generally biscotto in Italy and koulouri in Greece. You, however, can feel free to just call them yummy. ▼ Terri Schlichenmeyer’s second book, The Book of American Facts and Trivia, comes out this winter. Her first (Big Book of Facts) is available now.

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Letters 22

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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

23 Letters

Out & About


Trope on a Rope


few years back, Billy Eichner rather pointedly noted that his gay rom-com, Bros, featured an entirely LGBT cast. Before that, Hulu’s Fire Island and Ryan Murphy’s remake of The Boys in the Band on Netflix did the same on streaming services. But lest we think this is a relatively new idea, Alfred Hitchcock tried (and nearly succeeded) to do the same thing three-quarters of a century ago. Hitchcock’s Rope, based on the play by Patrick Hamilton, centered on a pair of cold-blooded killers patterned after real-life cold-blooded (and gay) killers, Leopold and Loeb. In both the play and the movie, the killers strangle a former classmate, store his body in an antique chest, then host a dinner party for the corpse’s family and friends, who have no idea that their friend/lover/son/nephew’s dead body is in the room with them. The play, which premiered on Broadway in 1929, was very obviously about gay people. In addition to the killers, their former teacher is a guest at the party. Rupert is described as foppish, effeminate, and reminiscent of Oscar Wilde. When Hitchcock decided to make the film in 1948 (with a script by gay playwright Arthur Laurents), he initially wanted three gay actors to play the three gay leads. His original choices included Montgomery Clift and Cary Grant, both of whom turned the project down, probably to protect their careers. The actors who were eventually cast as the killers were gay actor John Dall and bisexual actor Farley Granger. In a concession, Jimmy Stewart was cast as Rupert. Sadly, not a trace of Oscar Wilde can be detected in his straight-as-anarrow performance. But if you listen closely, some of Oscar’s wit can be heard in his dialogue. When explaining his theory of moral relativism, a party guest asks if murder might be an excusable offense. Rupert responds affirmatively, saying, Letters 24

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

“Think of the problems it would solve. Unemployment, poverty, standing in line for theatre tickets.” Of course, the film was made while Hollywood was still in the grip of the Hays Production Code, so nobody could come right out and say that the couple of killers at the center of the action were, indeed, a couple. Everything had to be hinted at. But if you know the history of the source material and know what to look for, the signs are unmistakable.

So, the only question to be answered is how we feel about a couple of gay men who just happen to be sociopaths who kill in cold blood. The film opens with a tight shot of the killers and their victim just as he’s dying (strangled by, what else, a rope). As soon as the death is confirmed and the body is deposited in the trunk, a series of traditionally post-coital activities take place. One of the men collapses, out of breath, while the other lights a cigarette and opens the drapes, allowing the light to pour in. A little later, when discussing the murder, one of the killers describes the climactic moment as “tremendously exhilarating!” while his voice and body act out the orgasm he’s clearly hinting at. Later still, when one of his party guests asks if there’s a phone in the penthouse the killers share, he says, “In the bedroom.” The single bedroom, in a ritzy penthouse where both men live. Together. “How cozy,” she responds. So not only are they gay, but everyone knows it. These hints might not seem definitive, but at a time when any depiction

of sexuality outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage was absolutely forbidden, these little clues—combined with knowledge of the source material and Hitchcock’s insistence on gay leading men—are practically a peerreviewed scientific study. These boys were queer. So, the only question to be answered is how we feel about a couple of gay men who just happen to be sociopaths who kill in cold blood. The “queer killer” storyline, where a murderer’s amorality is validated or proven by their refusal to abide by traditional sex/gender roles, is one of Hollywood’s oldest tropes. A list of films that have received criticism for using it include Dressed to Kill, Pulp Fiction, Silence of the Lambs, Basic Instinct, and the more recent Bond flick Skyfall. I can’t help but wonder if a more obviously fey Rupert, who assumes the boys are up to no good and eventually becomes their chief antagonist, might have softened the problematic conflation of “gay” and “morally depraved” that exists in Rope. It helps a little that the plot is based on a true story of gay killers, so one could argue that at least that part of their identity wasn’t erased. But to be honest, the connotations aren’t great. But to anyone who’s interested in pop culture or LGBT history and it happens to be a rainy afternoon perfect for an old movie, I recommend getting tangled up in Rope. ▼ Eric Peterson is Interim Managing Editor of Amble Press, a novelist (Loyalty, Love & Vermouth), and a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner. In his spare time, he hosts a podcast, The Rewind Project.



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25 Letters



In an Either/Or World, Choose Other “The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.” - MICHAEL PALIN


love Baskin Robbins. It’s not so much the ice cream, per se, it’s the thrill of 32 choices, plus seasonal specialties. Not everyone likes too many choices; many suffer from the paradox of choice. Life is easy when it’s binary: front/back, black/white, good/ bad. Too many choices and people tend to feel confused and overwhelmed. Perhaps to some extent that explains the range of responses one experiences just by saying, “I am transgender.” Most tend to use sex and gender interchangeably, and to think of sex as binary: male or female. But science demonstrates that anomalies in the typical XX (female) and XY (male) genotypes can lead to outward expressions of that which is not quite either, as in XO (Turner’s syndrome) or XXY (Klinefelter’s syndrome). Moreover, sex and gender expression are different concepts. Sex is a clinical categorization that helps define body parts and systems, particularly those involved with procreation. Gender is a subjective perception, that can be influenced to some degree by societal norms. Much of the recent critical dialogue surrounding transgenderism focuses on transgender identity as a fad and part of a current movement to change that which has historically been “good,” “proper,” and “right.” But transgenderism has existed throughout history as a normal expression for certain individuals within a society. In ancient Mesopotamia (c. 2334–c. 2154 BC.), the Sumerian gala priests and priestesses who served the goddess Inanna were known for their androgyny and the blurring of gender binary. Many cultures have always believed in a third gender or other spirit. In pre-colonial Polynesian cultures, the mahu were those assigned male at birth, who embraced a gender role encompassing both the masculine and feminine. Despite colonial efforts to eradicate mahu,

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the practice continues and the mahu are revered as the sacred bearers of tradition and rituals. In Australia, Indigenous third gender sistergirls (male to female) and brotherboys (female to male) lived quite peacefully as the other gender within society until colonial rule. Following, many faced and still face a double stigma as both Indigenous and gender-nonconforming. In Madascar, the sekrata are assigned male at birth, but their feminine qualities promote them as being raised female. Like many cultures, the third gender sekrata are acknowledged as spiritual workers.

[T]ransgenderism has existed throughout history as a normal expression for certain individuals within a society. The Indigenous populations within the Americas have several examples of women taking on more masculine roles— hunting, fighting—due to their warrior spirit. Conversely, men may assume the more traditional female functions—keeping the abode, tending the children—and are viewed as women. Some American Indigenous cultures identify a person as living both genders simultaneously; for example, the Zuni ihamana. They play a key role in society as spiritual leaders and artists and perform both traditional women’s and men’s work. In some cultures, the third gender represents a genetic anomaly within society. For example, in the Dominican Republic, approximately one percent of the population possesses an intersex genetic trait. The guevedoce are born with ambiguous genitals and recognized as a third gender.

Like the guevedoces, the kwolu-aatmwol of Papua New Guinea possess an intersex genetic trait. Because their ambiguous genitals carry through life, the kwolu-aatmwol cannot complete the ceremonial rituals required to become recognized as male and remain third gender. Historically, assuming the opposite gender was not just a matter of gender preference, but potential social mobility. An 18th Century example of gender fluidity is the Chevalier D’Eon, who worked for Louis XV as a spy in London before later claiming political exile. The Chevalier presented as a man and a woman at various points in life, until aged about 50, they began to live permanently as a woman. Another example is Albert Cashier, whose military exploits as a Union soldier are well documented, and who represents one of over 250 women who posed as men during the Civil War. Though his military comrades defended him after he was revealed decades later and he kept his military pension, Cashier was eventually confined to a mental institution and forced to wear women’s clothes. More recently, Rena Kanokogi was a renowned Jewish-American judo expert, who in 1959 disguised herself as a man so she could participate in a YMCA judo tournament. She won, defeating all her male competitors. Although initially stripped of her medal, she became the first female to train with men at Japan’s Kodokan Institute. The YMCA later reinstated her gold medal. Gender expression always has been and remains a fluid, complex state. So, the next time someone cannot understand a transgender identity, take them to Baskin Robbins with their 32 flavors of ice cream and holiday specials. If they suffer the paradox of choice, at least make it over ice cream. ▼ Sharon A. Morgan is a retired advanced practice nurse with over 30 years of clinical and healthcare policy background.



Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Connect


AMP Rehoboth’s health and wellness programming is intended to provide information, activities, and skill building. Our hope is that those who engage with our programs will integrate what is learned to improve their overall well-being. The eight dimensions of well-being are: emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, environmental, physical, occupational, and financial. As we develop programs and services to address these eight dimensions it is important to understand that there are intersections within, between, and among our four pillars of CAMP Rehoboth. For example, the arts and culture programs also provide opportunities to support our emotional well-being. Supporting the health and wellness of CAMP Rehoboth’s community is an essential part of our mission. All of our programs, services, and events are listed on the CAMP Rehoboth website: camprehoboth.com/community-calendar. We encourage everyone to visit this site to ensure they have up-to-date information on what is being offered—and when. This November, December, and January we are offering Wellness Wednesday workshops to include: Nutrition Series: The upcoming workshops in this series—“Food Labels: What’s in Your Pantry,” on December 6, with Steuart Martens, and “Kicking the Sugar Habit,” on January 3, with Tom Chaplin—will help participants understand how to be better consumers as they read food labels and consider the impact of sugar on health.

Sleep and Stress Series: “How to Promote Sleep,” the second in this twopart series led by Steuart Martens, speaks to the importance of rest. Boardwalk and Talk: We’re offering an outdoor opportunity for movement + conversation, with a group that walks together at noon each Wednesday.

Supporting the health and wellness of CAMP Rehoboth’s community is an essential part of our mission. Additionally, we are currently offering free mindfulness and movement programs, including yoga and tai chi. Our men’s yoga class meets in-person and offers an opportunity for personal connection after class. Tai Chi is also an in-person class at CAMP Rehoboth. Our current Zoom classes are Mindfulness and both Chair Yoga and Over 50 Yoga. Social well-being cannot be overlooked. Being socially connected is crucial to our emotional and physical health; CAMP Rehoboth’s programs offer many opportunities to meet and connect with others. These include: • CAMP Rehoboth Book Club—November selection: The Bell in the Fog, an historical mystery by Lev AC Rosen, recently featured in the Lewes History Book Festival

• Flaming Knitters • Women in Circle • Bereavement Group—a new program, offered in partnership with Delaware Hospice Additionally, many of our volunteers report that simply volunteering with CAMP Rehoboth is a great way to meet new friends. We continue to develop our programs to meet the health and well-being needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Our partnerships with other agencies and professionals continue to expand. And, we are always open for suggestions and feedback. You can register here for our upcoming classes and opportunities: camprehoboth.com/health. If you are not registered for our weekly emails to receive information about what’s happening at CAMP Rehoboth, please email info@camprehoboth.com or call 302-227-5620. ▼ Youth Crisis Support: Crisis intervention services for children under 18. Parents and caregivers are connected to a crisis clinician. Available 24/7. Call 800-9694357 or text DE to 741-741. 988: Free, confidential support and resources for anyone in distress. Available 24/7. Call 988. Delaware Hope Line: Free coaching and support. Links to mental health, addiction, and crisis services. Available 24/7. Call 833-9-HOPEDE (833-946-7333).

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

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CAMPsafe Serves Our Community

It’s All About Prevention! FREE Condoms—Protect Yourself!

FREE condoms (internal, external, and non-latex) and dental dams are ALWAYS available at CAMP Rehoboth and many other locations, including: Diego’s, Northbeach, Lighthouse, Freddie’s, and Aqua.

Mpox: YOU can stop the spread!

Mpox can spread through skin-to-skin contact with a person with mpox, or contact with their saliva, upper respiratory secretions, and areas around the genitals. Find the latest information on mpox and where to get your vaccines at cdc.gov/ poxvirus/mpox.

PrEP, HIV PEP, and mpox PEP

What is the difference among these? PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication taken on a daily basis that can reduce your chance of getting HIV. HIV PEP (postexposure prophylaxis) is a medication that must be taken within 72 hours after possible exposure to prevent HIV. Mpox PEP reduces your chances of getting mpox after possible exposure to the mpox virus. To find out more, visit cdc.gov/hiv.


Free, rapid, walk-in HIV testing and counseling is available at CAMP Rehoboth and in western Sussex County. To request a home HIV test kit, contact tara@ camprehoboth.com. CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE Tel: 302-227-5620

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29 Letters




Photographer B. Proud


Above, Deejay and Jona. Opposite page, Owen and Blue.

Letters 30 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

magine you’re a queer artist. Perhaps even one who is working on a project designed to help LGBTQ/gendernonconforming couples be seen as themselves. You want to choose a name for yourself that telegraphs all this. I’ve got it! “B. Proud.” But then suppose your last name actually is “Proud” and your first name is…Barbara. You’d think I could stop there, but to this you must add extraordinary artistic talent and an unusual superpower: empathy. Meet the award-winning commercial and fine art photographer B. Proud. The people Barbara photographs must sense that empathy. One look at their faces and you can see the trust, confidence, and empowerment she has enabled in them. These strikingly intimate portraits capture each couple’s spirit. “It’s the conversation and the energy we create together that makes it happen,” Barbara says. “Spending the time with them to collaborate on a portrait that embodies what their relationships mean is very important to me, so it’s not just a snapshot…it’s something that’s going to resonate with them, that they’re going to be very proud of and really illustrates their beauty.” Barbara’s work has been featured in solo and group shows nationally and internationally, and her photographs are in museum and private collections. She has photographed food, wine, and famous people ranging from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and civil rights activist John Lewis to Elton John and the cast of Law & Order SVU. A career highlight was photographing President Barack Obama and Lady Gaga on the same day. Barbara is also an adjunct professor in the Photography Department at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and

“I try to live up to my name…I’m trying to make a difference.” on the faculty of the International Center of Photography in New York. She lives in Wilmington with her wife, Allison, and two dogs, Soleil and Cosette, and owns a home in Rehoboth Beach. In 2009, Proposition 8, outlawing LGBTQ marriages in California, had been passed and The Defense of Marriage Act was the law of the land. That March, Barbara was inspired to begin a project focusing on LGBTQ couples in longterm relationships: First Comes Love. It became a traveling exhibition of photographs, stories, and videos. She later published a book of the photographs and accompanying stories. The success of First Comes Love led Barbara to the idea of focusing on transgender and gender-nonconforming couples for her next project. Now a traveling exhibition, Transcending Love was recently displayed at the Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery in Wilmington. Pieces from this project are also on display at the Biggs Museum of American Art and the state office building in Dover. Barbara is particularly pleased that her work is in a government building. “People are going to see it who would never make the effort to go to an LGBTQ center or a gallery. They’re going to walk past it and say, ‘what’s this?’” Barbara wanted to create portraits that would make observers really look at who the people are, which is why many of the subjects are gazing directly at the viewer. As with First Comes Love, she provided biographical stories to accompany the photos. The stories provide a sense of what it has taken for the couple to get where they are and take the viewer deeper into a level of understanding and compassion. Barbara says that, although each story is unique, “the most common thread is that people just want to be able to live their best life as their true, authentic selves.” While traveling to 25 states for the project, Barbara also visited and photographed sites where transgender people have been murdered. She calls this project Say Their Names. While she feels it’s essential to show the positivity of the families she photographs, she doesn’t want

to ignore the ever-present danger those families face. “I don’t just walk over and take a picture,” she says of her experiences documenting these locations. “I reflect and think about who that person was and ask the universe for more protection, and I have a moment there before I take a

photograph. I also try to speak to people who knew these victims to make it even more personal…to have somebody talk about them as a human being.” B. Proud isn’t sure what she wants her legacy to be, but she says, “I try to live up to my name…I’m trying to make a difference. I want to be seen as someone who has really tried to document our culture at this time in history in a way that touches people’s lives.”

EXCERPTS FROM THE STORIES BY B. PROUD ADRIANA & MARLI ♦ Making a portrait along the banks of the Choptank River in Maryland held special significance to Adriana and Marli. This area is Native American land and close to one of the stops on the Underground Railroad near the actual home of Harriet Tubman’s parents. For Marli, whose family is Ecuadorian and Black, and Adriana, whose family

is Mexican and Black, this land speaks to their core. The couple met at a gym at a time when Marli was struggling with his gender identity and considered himself non-binary. As they got to know each other, Adriana noticed that there was something a little different about Marli but never felt the need to ask him to explain his gender identity. As their relationship grew and they started to date, she was comfortable being on the journey as he let his true self evolve and begin his transition. “With Marli, it was really natural for me to enjoy his company and feel like my absolute self around him. So, who wouldn’t want to be with someone that they can be themselves around?” Marli confides that in his search for his true self, he struggled with substance abuse and Adriana was there to support him. He admits, “When we weren’t together, I wasn’t making the best decisions, and being with her helped me realize that I could transition and be accepted.” Adriana believes there is something very special about each of them as individuals but even more special as a couple. She says, “The relationship strength will always be there no matter what gender someone is. Things don’t have to end because things change. They can actually evolve.” JONAH & DEEJAY ♦ Jonah and Deejay met in a nightclub in Las Vegas. As a not-so-tall transgender man, Deejay is used to drag queens towering over him. But when Jonah, aka Alei’Aloha Savage, walked by, Deejay was struck by his beauty, small stature, and the fact that he had a turtle tattoo on his shoulder, indicating that he was Hawaiian. As Deejay describes him, “Jonah happens to be small and very pretty. He looks like a woman. I happen to like female energy, but I still favor another man.” They had not intended to start a family, but fate had other plans. Many transgender men and women sometimes struggle to afford health insurance and/ or hormone treatments. Not only could Continued on page 32 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

31 Letters


Continued from page 31

Adriana and Marli.

Deejay not afford any gender-affirming surgeries, but life circumstances also forced him to be off his hormones for five years. During that time, he and Jonah began their relationship. After a shared celebration of their birthdays, which were only eight days apart, they found themselves pregnant with a daughter, Anuhea. As a transgender man, Deejay described how carrying a baby was psychologically and physically challenging. He did not even want to be referred to as being pregnant. He preferred to say that “he was the incubator for the baby.” Deejay claims that he just didn’t know how to be a female. “I’ve always dressed as a male. I know what it’s like to be a male with different genitalia than a bio male.” And he certainly knows how to be a loving father. Jonah and Deejay have a daughter that they adore. Jonah and Deejay hope to represent Letters 32 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

their entire community by showing what a diverse and loving family looks like. “We have white in our family, Black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, everything.” They want to be out and proud and visible role models for the entire community. Jonah says, “I feel like people should know that we’re no different than anybody else…We might not be what you picture with the white picket fence, but this is my white picket fence. You have a dream to be a police officer. I have a dream to be the next drag superstar. But who am I to judge you, so who are you to judge me?” OWEN & BLUE ♦ The excitement and anticipation of the birth of their child just days away made this portrait session with Owen and Blue an unforgettable experience. For two transgender men, the decision to go through a pregnancy is a very

personal one, one that many, including other trans men, question. “Why transition to a man if you want to carry a baby?” Owen and Blue knew they wanted a family. They discussed adoption, but with a willing donor, for them, “self-carry” seemed the best course. Any discomfort from the feminine changes in Owen’s body was their logical means to an end. It was thoughtfully planned that it would be a spring birth, thereby giving Owen the convenience of being able to wear large hoodies and shirts through the colder months in an attempt to camouflage his baby bump, primarily for safety reasons. Baby Finley arrived to fathers whose parenting philosophy is “gender-neutral,” empowering Fin to make choices for themself. Their birth certificate has an “X” for gender, the first in Nevada. The fathers adhere to the concept that it is their job to expose Finley to as many different things as possible and they choose what they like and dislike. Blue explained, “for us to be trans and be able to have any sort of a family, period, no matter how we got it, is a miracle in itself.” He considers his most important role in life is being a father and a husband. Pointing at his child, he continued, “That is the biggest joy in my life, this little one right here.” They both encourage other couples in the transgender community who wish to have families to do whatever is necessary to bring that to fruition. There are so many options, and they should choose what is best for them and not let anyone tell them it’s wrong. Owen says, “Every family is valid. Whether it’s chosen or blood, there’s one thing involved. Love.” B. Proud’s work can be seen at bproudphoto.com and transcendinglove. org. To make a tax-deductible donation or be photographed by B. Proud, visit firstcomeslove.org. ▼ Nancy Sakaduski is an award-winning writer and editor who owns Cat & Mouse Press in Lewes, Delaware. Credit photos and story excerpts: B. Proud for Transcending Love.

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33 Letters

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35 Letters

It’s My Life


The End


esterday a chipmunk died. I was driving down the narrow, twisty road into town and the chipmunk was deciding whether or not to dash from one side of the road to the other. I saw it and slowed down as much as I could (there were cars behind me), hoping it would either stay put or turn around and scamper to safety. Instead, it ran into the road, then back to the edge. And then its little brain told it to try again. I felt a slight bump under my front tire, and when I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw a tiny body on the road behind me. At the time, I was driving Smallest Dog to her weekly appointment for laser therapy on her arthritis. Lillie is bigger than a chipmunk, but not by a huge amount, and as we continued down the road I thought about the differences between her life and that of the many wild animals with whom we share our world. The chipmunk was just trying to survive. Probably it had spent its night in a nest, waking at dawn to begin the daily search for food. I wondered did it dream? Did it, like Lillie does, snuggle into a warm nest of whatever passes for blankets in a chipmunk’s world? Did it have any concept of love, and safety, and contentment? Were there kits somewhere, waiting for their parent to return? The road on which the chipmunk died is littered with corpses. Possums. Skunks. Raccoons. Squirrels. Snakes. Occasionally a deer. Once, a hawk. It is not alone in failing to survive a crossing from one side to the other. And like those other deaths, its death is a small one, possibly unacknowledged by any but the buzzards and other scavengers who clean up the remains. On the return trip home, the chipmunk was gone. Had I not been the one to hit it, its life would likely have passed without notice. But I did notice it, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. First, I’m interested in the seeming randomness of the encounter. Had I left my house even half a minute earlier or later, I would not Letters 36 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

have crossed paths with the chipmunk. Had it woken up half a minute earlier or later, it would not have been trying to cross the road as I passed by. Had no cars been behind me, I likely would have stopped, as I often have before, to make sure the chipmunk was safely away. A few small decisions made differently, and we would never have encountered one another.

…every life is a story, even when all we know of that story is its ending It’s easy to expand from those thoughts to larger ones: the recent shooting deaths of 18 people in Maine, the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Israel. The tragedy of a chipmunk’s death magnified a millionfold. The tragedy of people just trying to survive encountering forces more powerful than themselves. The photos of the dead show their faces, perhaps their damaged bodies. Sometimes we’re given a little information—this one was a popular teacher, that one just wanted to attend a concert, another leaves behind three children. Always, each one was special and treasured and will be missed. Almost always, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They went out for pizza and encountered a gunman. They were mistaken for someone else. They had something someone else wanted. There’s a woman I follow on Instagram named Dr. Amanda Stronza (@ amandastronza). Dr. Stronza is an environmental anthropologist who studies the relationships between animals and humans. She is also a wonderful photographer who creates beautiful death portraits of animals she finds that have been killed, usually by accidental interaction with humans. Her portraits are lovely, sometimes brutal, and always

thought-provoking. Her intent is to ensure these animals and their passings are not forgotten. What she achieves in a larger sense is reminding us that every life is a story, even when all we know of that story is its ending. Twenty-nine years ago, my closest cousin took the lives of his two children before taking his own. If that’s all you know of the story, you know only the ending. There’s so much more to it than the horror of the final sentence. I try to remember this when I hear about yet another killing, yet another war, yet another tragedy. Whenever possible, I want to know about what happened before. What brought the people involved into contact with one another? What decisions led to this result? What forces came into conflict to create this ending? Yesterday a chipmunk died. Or perhaps I killed it. It depends on the story I tell, or that you hear. It depends on perspective. In other parts of the world thousands of people’s stories have ended—are ending—because they intersected with stories bigger and more powerful than their own. In most cases, the full stories will never be known to us. We’ll hear only what others know or want us to know. We’ll know only what we see (or think we see) in a few photos, read in brief articles, hear in soundbites. In most cases we will never know the whole stories. Stories are funny things. Often, the endings seem to be all that matters. Are they happy or are they sad? But it’s important that we ask what came before. It’s important that we ask what might have been changed, what might still be changed. It’s important that we don’t look away. That’s the only way to get a different ending the next time around. ▼ Michael Thomas Ford is a much-published Lambda Literary award-winning author. Visit Michael at michaelthomasford.com.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

37 Letters

CAMP Stories


Thanksgiving Cocktails You’ll Be Thankful For


hanksgiving always feels to me like the longest day of the year. While most folks choose to binge on food, the savviest among us know strong drink is the better option. How else do you survive a full day cooped up with family? If you’re like most people, you’ve thought a lot about your Thanksgiving dinner menu, but have you considered your drinks menu? If not, I’ve got you covered with a selection of creative and coordinated seasonal cocktails curated by an experienced team of tipplers committed to helping you survive Turkey Day. MORNING: CLEMENTINE BOURBON SMASH. You know what they say: you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. This eye-opener showcases those little orange clementines that suddenly show up in supermarkets this time of year. The recipe is simple. Juice three clementines then add a teaspoon of sugar. Pour a shot of bourbon into a rocks glass of ice and top off with the juice. Add a cinnamon stick as a festive autumnal swizzle. Or not if you prefer to keep things on the down low. The gentlemen sitting around my fireplace enjoyed this cocktail. They did, however, suggest rimming the glass with cinnamon sugar. Personally, I think morning is too early for rimming anything, but to each his own…. MID-DAY: ROSEMARY MAPLE BOURBON SOUR. I don’t know about you, but by noon on Thanksgiving I’m usually starting to feel a bit anxious. There’s bickering in the kitchen, family and friends have started to arrive, and a cheese ball mysteriously appears. This is the time when one must fortify himself for what’s to come, so I turned to my tasting companions for an appropriate cocktail. Their recipe makes two drinks and calls for three shots of bourbon— Letters 38 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

preferably Makers Mark—1 ½ shots of fresh lemon juice, and ¾ of a shot of dark amber maple syrup. Add the ingredients to a cocktail and then crush some fresh rosemary and add it to the shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass with ice and add the pièce de resistance—a large sprig of rosemary. It adds a kind of St. Regis Hotel flair to the cocktail. Plus, rosemary has been used for centuries to treat stomach distress and relieve stress. Take a strong sniff and drink your juice, Shelby. AFTERNOON: THE NEW YORK SOUR AKA THE RUDY G. Thanksgiving afternoons are for football games that are usually so boring you have two choices: nap or drink. IMHO, this is the time to step things up and stir the pot. Bring out a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of red wine, preferably a Shiraz or a Malbec, and ask everyone to gather ‘round. Combine 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 1 ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover, and shake until the outside of shaker is frosty. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Gently pour ½ ounce of the red wine

over the back of a spoon held just above the drink’s surface so the wine floats on top. Pick up the glass and give it just the

It sounds horrendous, but is it any worse than a Jell-o salad? teeniest jiggle. As the red wine slowly drips into the lighter-colored base of the cocktail it will begin to resemble the hair dye dripping down the face of disgraced former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani at that infamous press conference. Folks will either howl or scowl, but either way you will have awakened them. This was one of the drinks my guests were somewhat dubious about. Bourbon and red wine? I swear it’s quite tasty and everyone agreed it is an appropriate segue into dinner, during which a red wine ought to be served. And yes, my drinking chums and I coined the name “Rudy G,” thank you very much. EVENING: PUMPKIN BOURBON SMASH After dinner and before the tryptophan from the turkey begins to roofie you is the right time to try a pumpkin-flavored cocktail. It sounds horrendous, but is it

Thanksgiving Day is indeed a marathon, not a sprint, and setting forth a full day’s drinks strategy will certainly help you make it to the finish line.

Bourbon and red wine? I swear it’s quite tasty and everyone agreed it is an appropriate segue into dinner... any worse than a Jell-o salad? The secret to this cocktail is the pumpkin spice syrup made with a cup of water, a cup of sugar, 8 ounces of canned pumpkin purée, and a teaspoon of pumpkin spice. Bring the mix to a boil and set it aside. When it cools, add 1 ounce to a cocktail shaker with ice, then 2 ounces of bourbon, and a quarter ounce of fresh lemon juice. Shake well and pour into a stemmed glass and top with a splash of chilled club soda. At the count of three, my merry band of cocktail enthusiasts took a sip. Silence ensued. The fireplace crackled. Then, almost in unison we spoke the same words: “it’s not that bad.” It was actually kind of good and we could all imagine it served with a

slice of pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie. One gentleman suggested it would pair nicely with a Parliament cigarette…. In closing, I want to remind everyone that Thanksgiving Day is indeed a marathon, not a sprint, and setting forth a full day’s drinks strategy will certainly help you make it to the finish line. It’s my hope that the drinks featured in this column might inspire you to sip something out of the ordinary this holiday. Or at least remind you to stock up on the booze because you’re gonna need it. Cheers! ▼ Rich Barnett is the author of The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town, and Fun with Dick and James.

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39 Letters

Words Matter


Reflecting on Rustin


placed my hand over my heart several times. I got angry. I had flashbacks of experiences in my professional and civic life when I was asked to make myself smaller or invisible. I laughed a little. I smiled. At one point I almost cried. I felt all the emotions. I was engaged from beginning to end. It is ironic that I was sitting in a dark movie theater, but in so many ways, it was full of light. Finally on the big screen there was movie illuminating the life of Bayard Rustin and his impact as chief architect of what was one of the most important moments of the 20th century in American history: the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Netflix has released the film Rustin on its streaming platform, starring the incomparable Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin, and it is not to be missed. The film does a beautiful job of telling the history and Rustin’s story. The history of it being, the circumstances, politics, and planning that lead to the March. His story being, the personal tale of a great and nuanced man who was committed to being his full self in a world that shunned him sometimes because he was Black, sometimes because he was gay, and sometimes because he was both. I didn’t learn about Rustin until I was in college. I often wonder how I would have seen myself and shown up in the world differently if I had known about him long before and knew whose proud shoulders I stood upon. Nevertheless, through this new film everyone has the opportunity to learn more about him, not just as an icon of the human rights movement, but as a human himself. Pop some popcorn, invite your friends and family over, and watch this film. Let it be a reflection and a call to action. What follows is the text of the speech I prepared for delivery at a ceremony honoring the life of Bayard Rustin preceding an anniversary event for the 1963 March on Washington in August 2003. Twenty years later along with the film, I hope they’ll resonate with you too. Letters 40 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

What Do You Believe?

“Peace and blessings! “I am honored and humbled to speak to you today against the backdrop of our Nation’s Capital and most recognized symbols. We have gathered here near the Reflecting Pool to commemorate a man and a March, as well as to recommit ourselves to a movement for social, racial and economic justice, all of which fall under a much broader movement we should all be working toward, a free, healthy and just world for all that share it.

The proof that one truly believes is in his or her actions. Believe today. Act today. Believe tomorrow. Act tomorrow. “So, near the Reflecting Pool, I pray that each of you will not leave today without taking time to reflect. “Reflect on the life of a man whose work to end oppression in all its ugly faces stretched to every corner of the world. A man who worked diligently and tirelessly, when nights were long, and days were longer. A man who many sought to see his work die but believed in his vision and faith and kept his work alive. “Today, let us reflect on Rustin and leave here with the intent to be more like him, so dedicated to a cause, so involved in social change, such a believer. “For Rustin once said, “the proof that one truly believes is in action.” Take time today, and every day, and reflect on what it is that you truly believe. “Do you believe that the battle to end oppression does not stop when you are no longer the one being oppressed?

“Do you believe that your oppression is not independent from those faced by other people? “That heterosexism, racism, sexism, ageism and classism intersect, and must all be destroyed? “Do you believe that as I stand here today a Black man that identifies as gay that my desire to slow the process of incarcerating black men is equally as important as the desire to speed up the process of gaining the right to marry the same sex? “That investments must be made in empowering our youth so that they can continue to fight the good fight? This is no short war! “Do you believe that in the movement for equality everyone should have an equal voice? “Do you believe that though the Forum will close its doors this weekend that a need still exists, and a new window must open? “What do you believe? “The proof that one truly believes is in his or her actions. Believe today. Act today. Believe tomorrow. Act tomorrow. Believe for the rest of your life. Act for the rest of your life. “I pray that we will all leave here today and reflect and be revolutionary, asking ourselves and responding in a way everyone around us can see, hear and feel—what do we truly believe.” ▼ Clarence J. Fluker is a public affairs and social impact strategist. Since 2008, he’s also been a contributing writer for Swerv, a lifestyle periodical celebrating African American LGBTQ+ culture and community. Follow him on Instagram: @Mr_CJFluker

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Dining Out


A Culinary Legacy Thrives at Café Azafrán


estled on vibrant Baltimore Avenue, Café Azafrán continues to enchant diners with its rich culinary heritage and exquisite food. Café Azafrán is our go-to for Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to review this family-run establishment. A fascinating backstory enhances this eatery. Azafrán shares its roots with the iconic Lamp Post restaurant, now the location for Crabby Dick’s. In 1979, Ruth Steele and her family opened the Lamp Post, which eventually paved the way for her grandsons, Rich and Mark, to establish Café Azafrán in Lewes in 2002. In 2010 they opened a second Café Azafrán at 18 Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth. The Lewes location has since closed. However, Azafrán’s sister restaurant, Olive & Oats, is going strong in Lewes as a breakfast and lunch haven. Owner Rich Steele’s son, Ryan, is the executive chef at Azafrán and works with his cousin, Sean. Donna, a long-time employee going back to the Lamp Post days, prepares salads and other dishes. At the heart of Azafrán’s menu lies its tapas. Our favorites include Shrimp a la Plancha with a unique and delicious flavor served with a green herb sauce; Seared Sea Scallops in marinated butternut squash and cauliflower puree; and their famous to-die-for Azafrán Green Beans with toasted hazelnuts and gorgeously melted Gorgonzola cheese. You can even order an Imported Cheese Board with dried fruit chutney and baguette, or the La Mancha Plate consisting of Manchego cheese, chorizo, serrano ham, and romesco. You can easily make a meal out of tapas, and we have! Our server, Lana, was full of great recommendations for tapas that we hadn’t yet tried. We selected the Beef Short Rib Birria Tacos. They are fried with jalapeño jack cheese, cilantro, onion, and consommé lime. (We had to look that ingredient up! It is sauce made with beef stock, softened dried chiles, adobo sauce, and other ingredients and cooked

Letters 42 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

down and pureed into a smooth, velvety sauce.) Azafrán’s has a wonderful smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the justright spice of the tacos. The tacos were substantial, but we didn’t stop there!

Salads offered include a Café Salad with a Mediterranean influence of pesto and black olive tapenade and a saffron vinaigrette, Beet Salad, Grilled Caesar, and Shrimp Panzanella Salad. We selected the Autumn Chopped Salad made with romaine and kale, shredded Brussels sprouts, apple, squash, Manchego, cauliflower, red onion, and pumpkin seed crumble, mixed with a maple tahini dressing. Maple here does not mean too sweet; this dressing was just right. And those little chunks of Manchego added a nice touch. For the main course, we ventured into uncharted territory and ordered two large plates. Debbie selected the Phyllo Crusted Halibut (her favorite fish) bordered by goat cheese mashed potatoes, a silky and delicate cauliflower purée, and balsamic glazed carrots and Brussels. Leslie tried the Duck Confit Pot Pie, which was adorned with an herbal biscuit on top. This comforting dish delighted the taste buds with its flavors. (Lana also shared with us a sample of the cherry compote,

a highlight of the Grilled Pork Tenderloin that the diners in the restaurant were raving about.) By dessert, we were so full we just couldn’t. However, Lana told us about the Carrot Cake, and we succumbed to temptation and took home a slice. It was a decision we didn’t regret as we tried it later and declared it two yums up! The menu also boasted enticing options like Affogato Mocha brownie squares and Mississippi Mud Cake, ensuring a sweet ending to any meal. Keeping our vegetarian friends in mind, we can report that none of the salads contain meat (but do have cheese— which can easily be omitted). There is always a vegetarian large plate on the menu, and several tapas are vegetarian as well. Of course, we can’t forget the cocktails in the full bar. Our favorite is Holly’s Cosmo, made by local crooner and bartender Holly Lane or by David Leonard. We also noticed a Caramel Apple Martini—perfect for the fall season. Café Azafrán offers a number of specials: Monday is Shrimp Night, where all shrimp dishes are discounted. Tuesday is Tapas Night, offered at $12 each, and Thursday is their popular Steak Night for $30 (which includes entertainment by Holly, with John Flynn on keyboards). In the summer, the restaurant is famous for their pop-up paella nights. Reservations are a must in the back dining area to see Rich mix up the paella in a huge four-foot diameter skillet. So be on the lookout for paella next year. Café Azafrán stands true to its legacy of leaving patrons satisfied and eagerly anticipating their next visit. We can only echo the sentiment from Azafrán’s website: Each dish, from tapas to large plates, is a testament to the culinary artistry that defines this remarkable restaurant. ▼ Leslie Sinclair and her wife Debbie Woods are longtime fans of the Rehoboth Beach dining and entertainment scene and have been fulltime residents since 2009.

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A Fine Addition to the Feast


cross between pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie— but without the crust—cazuela de calabaza may be your new favorite fall dessert. This sweet, spiced custard is wrapped in banana leaves, which impart their subtle earthiness, and then baked in a cazuela, or casserole dish. This Puerto Rican dish, like its cousins pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, tells a fascinating story about globalization. All three of these sister desserts contain starchy vegetables, sugar, spices, cream, and eggs. The vegetables themselves are native to the Americas. Some estimates place the earliest cultivation of pumpkins and potatoes at 10,000 years ago! But almost all the other ingredients required for these treats, including spices, sugarcane, eggs, and dairy products, did not reach the Americas until the late 15th and early 16th centuries during the first wave of European colonization. And most of them are originally from Asia. Who was the first one to combine all of these ingredients, all coming from

very different parts of the world, into one tasty treat? The first recorded recipe for cazuela de calabaza dates from the 19th century, but its history likely traces back further. The first written recipes for both pumpkin custard and pumpkin pie are dated 1570, less than 100 years after pumpkins and potatoes first traveled from the Americas to Europe. Though some histories of pumpkin pie cite English or French sources for the earliest recipes, an Italian chef, Bartolomeo Scappi, published the first recipes. His impressive, multi-volume collection of recipes includes instructions for pumpkin torte, pumpkin torte without a shell, and pumpkin-onion torte. Cazuela de calabaza is not too different from Scappi’s original recipe for a crustless pumpkin torte. The essential elements are the same, including the primary spices—ginger and cinnamon. But when did these dessert recipes cross back over to the Americas, where pumpkins and potatoes are native? Some of the earliest records are from written accounts of the first Thanksgiving

celebrations of English colonizers in the early 1600s. These settlers cooked their custards inside whole pumpkins directly in hot coals since they didn’t have wheat to make a crust. Like the first Thanksgiving pumpkin “pies,” cazuela can also be cooked directly on hot coals in just a plant-based casing with no need for a cazuela, or casserole, at all. But for most of us today, cooking cazuela in a shallow, oven-safe dish is more convenient. Another fun way to bake and serve cazuela is to wrap individual portions like Oaxacan tamales, encased in banana leaves instead of corn husks. This recipe is dairy-free and gluten free.


6 whole star anise 3, 4-inch cinnamon sticks 8 oz ginger, in ½” slices 6 whole cloves 4 lbs. of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1” cubes 4 lbs. of pumpkin, peeled and cut in 1” cubes 2 cups of piloncillo or brown sugar ½ cup of spiced water, reserved 1 tsp salt ½ to ¾ cup rice flour 3 eggs, beaten 1 cup coconut milk (full fat) 1 lb banana leaves, washed and dried


1. Make purées. Fill a large pot with water and add ⅔ of the spices. Boil on high for 10 minutes, then add sweet potato, and boil until a fork goes through each piece with almost no resistance. Remove sweet potato from water, and mash with a spoon in a large bowl. Strain purée in a sieve to remove excess moisture. Using the same pot and water, add remaining spices, and repeat the process with pumpkin. Combine both purées into a single large bowl, allow them to fully cool, and reserve ½ cup of the water. Continued on page 46 Letters 44 NOVEMBER 17, 2023


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spotlight VOLUNTEER

Continued from page 44

2. Make syrup. Add piloncillo and ⅓ cup of reserved water to a small saucepan, and heat gently to soften the sugar, stirring continuously to break up sugar and avoid burning. As water evaporates, add additional reserved water 1 tbs. at a time so that the mixture does not burn. When sugar has fully dissolved, remove from heat and add salt and ½ to ¾ cup of rice flour to achieve your desired consistency. Allow syrup to fully cool before proceeding to next step. 3. Combine everything. Add syrup, beaten eggs, and coconut cream to bowl of purées, and stir until completely homogenous. 4. Bake. Pour the mixture into a shallow casserole dish lined with banana leaves, covering with additional leaves to help trap moisture, and bake for 60 minutes at 350°. Alternatively, wrap individual portions like tamales, place them on a tray, and bake for the same time and at the same temperature. 5. Serve. This dessert is good hot, cold, or at room temperature. Optionally, add a spoon full of coconut cream—if you have extra—on top of each serving.


Banana leaves are more commonly available in the United States than you might think. They’re most often found in the frozen food section of specialty markets, though even some big box retailers carry them now, too. Whether you’re using thawed from frozen or fresh leaves, make sure you wash them very well and dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture and any remaining dirt. Piloncillo, also called panela, is a kind of unrefined cane sugar usually sold in hard cones that must be grated or softened with moisture before it is added to most recipes. Other unrefined cane sugar products like jaggery are good substitutes. Brown sugar will do in a pinch. Since brown sugar contains so much moisture already, you don’t need to add water to create your syrup. Just heat it gently. Rice flour helps thicken and stabilize the custard, and provides a smoother, less gritty mouth feel than wheat flour. However, you can use wheat flour, almond flour, desiccated coconut, or other thickeners you have on hand. ▼ Stephen Raskauskas is a Sussex County native who has produced content for radio, TV, digital, and print. Letters 46 NOVEMBER 17, 2023



AMP Rehoboth Community Center relies on volunteers to deliver on its mission of creating a more positive environment. Barbara Breault is one such volunteer. Barbara first got involved at CAMP Rehoboth as a CAMPcierge—a front-desk volunteer who helps CAMP Rehoboth answer phones and perform other administrative tasks. CR: What ways have you volunteered with CAMP Rehoboth? BB: I am mainly a CAMPcierge on Friday mornings, but I have volunteered for many things over two-and-a-half years with CAMP. I have done work with the food bank, ushered at events, done some bartending, and helped with registration, breakdown, and clean-up at different events. CR: Tell us about your background as a caterer and your experience in the food industry. BB: I have always worked in the food industry. I graduated from culinary school and worked as a pastry chef in Atlantic City casinos, a company chef for a bank, then back to pastries at Wegmans. I was a personal chef for a family of 10, staff chef for an urgent care clinic, and did lots of waitressing in between. I’ve even done private catering on my own and for other caterers. CR: During your Friday morning shift each week as CAMPcierge, you’ve experienced many different situations. What are some moments that have stuck with you? BB: Certainly, being at CAMP Rehoboth to celebrate the passing of the Respect for Marriage Act was very meaningful. Senator Carper has been a great friend to CAMP. But I really love when someone comes in for the first time and I can introduce them to all the great things that CAMP has to offer. CR: How has volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth created a sense of community or belonging? BB: Volunteering at CAMP has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people and get involved with our community and beyond. CR: What would you tell folks who are interested in volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth? BB: I would tell someone to try it! Once a month. Once every six months or once a week. You’ll find something to fit your schedule and your life and have some fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and possibly get out of a rut. Check out the latest ways to volunteer at camprehoboth. com/volunteers. ▼

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southerndelawarechorale.org This event is sponsored, in part, by the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware Arts at: www.DelawareScene.com NOVEMBER 17, 2023

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PIPER HUMAN COMPANIONS: Chris Beagle and Eric Engelhart BREED: Boston Terrier FUN FACT: Piper’s float at the pet parade was decorated around the theme “All You Need Is LOVE!” Photo captured at the Sea Witch Pet Parade! Interested in having your critter(s) featured in Letters from CAMP Rehoboth? Send a high resolution picture (300 dpi) along with their name(s) and one fun fact to editor@camprehoboth.com. Our roaming photographer will also take photos in the courtyard all year long.

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…and Sometimes, A Whole Lot More


ho has heard of Equine Therapy? It is a treatment involving equine activities or an equine environment to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in children and adults who have various mental and physical afflictions. There are equine therapy facilities throughout the US and Canada, and one is located on Harbeson Road just south of downtown Milton. The mission of Southern Delaware Therapeutic Riding (SDTR) is “to improve the physical and emotional well-being of children and adults living with disabilities through equine assisted therapy.” That description aligns with CAMP Rehoboth’s purpose of creating a positive environment and promoting community wellness on all levels. SDTR is an impressive example of how equine therapy works and the CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program (CROP) is an excellent example of how volunteers can help. SDTR participants range in age from four to 75. The organization provides services for people with intellectual disabilities, as well as people with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, head trauma, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Physical benefits include, but are not limited to, improved balance, muscle strength, and coordination. Psychological benefits include improved self-confidence, independence, and freedom of movement without walkers or wheelchairs, plus the opportunity to exercise in fresh air on a farm, far away from a clinical environment. Horses are trained to work with new riders with special needs. They learn to remain calm during lessons yet retain their own unique personality. SDTR employs a horse training technique known as Natural Horsemanship. It is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication, and with the understanding that horses do not learn through fear or pain. It takes approximately three months of training for horses to be ready to safely work with riders. Letters 52 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

“We have offered equine-assisted therapy sessions since 1988,” said new Executive Director Jo Allegro-Smith “We relocated to our current therapeutic riding

“It is an extremely heartwarming experience watching participants grow their confidence and selfesteem as they learn to work with the horse and accomplish their goals.” center in Milton in 2015.” According to Allegro-Smith, SDTR currently has over 125 volunteers to assist with the horses and during lessons. Comprehensive training is provided to all volunteers and differs depending on their volunteer role. Those roles include Horse Leader, Side Walker, Horse Care, and Barn Care, as well as volunteers who assist with facility maintenance and special events. Volunteers are invaluable to the program considering there are only two fulltime staff. The volunteers from the CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program (CROP) are a key ingredient in SDTR’s ability to

service its participants and facility. Former CAMP board member Leslie Sinclair and her wife Deborah Woods are instrumental in coordinating CROP involvement. According to Sinclair, CROP’s first community service project with SDTR was in 2016. Except for a brief hiatus during the pandemic, volunteers have been back each year since, in the April timeframe. “Our visit to SDTR has become our annual Women’s FEST community service event. It is very popular, and we usually have a team of 12 or so volunteers,” she said. “The timing works well for SDTR, as it comes at a time when they are getting ready for their new season, and they always have a list of items for us to complete.” Volunteering starts with attending an orientation which provides an overview of the program including a tour of the facility and a chance to observe a lesson. Interested individuals then submit a volunteer application and proceed with a background check. Once these steps are completed, the volunteer coordinator calls each person for an in-depth discussion to determine in what area they would like to volunteer. All lesson volunteers go through a detailed training program to learn their position. There are other volunteer opportunities that can get right to work such as the Barn Sparkler team, special events team, and facility team. “CROP volunteers have painted inside their barn area, mucked stalls, pasture picked, power washed, and much more,” Sinclair said. “Last spring, when the weather was not good, we were able to help them prepare for their Kentucky Derby fundraiser and build training aids to enhance riders’ experiences with props for them to use in their riding. Several CROP volunteers enjoy the rewarding contributions so much, they have gone on to become regular SDTR volunteers.” Program Director Kelly Boyer started off as a volunteer for SDTR and now oversees all aspects of the therapeutic riding program. She provides guidance and support to participants, instructors, and volunteers to ensure the safe and

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Estate & Trust Administration successful implementation of the program and she also manages the day-to-day operations of the barn. Boyer has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Business Management from the University of Delaware. She previously worked for a nonprofit organization training service dogs for individuals with disabilities and has been involved with horse care, lessons, and showing for over 30 years. “I started taking riding lessons in fifth grade after begging for lessons for as long as I can remember!” she said. She leased a horse at 13 years old, bought her own horse at 15, and has owned a horse(s) ever since. Boyer says the most gratifying part of her job is observing the amazing bond that develops between the participant and the horse. “It is an extremely heart-warming experience watching participants grow their confidence and self-esteem as they learn to work with the horse and accomplish their goals,” she said. A prime example of that is Joey Peet, who has mobility issues resulting from cerebral palsy. His father, Tom, is a VP on the SDTR Board of Directors and facility

committee chair. His main role is overseeing construction improvements and ongoing maintenance of SDTR. Peet is retired from a career in industry facility management and maintenance. Tom is CROP’s main contact person. He and Sinclair maintain an on-going relationship for organizing CROP’s work at the farm. Tom and his wife Sue take Joey to SDTR once a week. “He is almost peaceful the night after his lessons and sleeps longer periods without waking up through the night,” Tom said. “He literally gets pumped up when we pull into the farm. It’s his Disney World here in Milton. SDTR is a very

comfortable and accepting farm for all of our riders. It’s truly a labor of love for our volunteers and staff. The riders feel that love.” Sinclair and Woods know the feeling. They have participated in SDTR events like their annual barn dance fundraiser that featured a mechanical bull, dancing, bourbon tasting, and a silent auction. “That event was really fun,” said Woods. “Also memorable—one fall, CROP volunteered at their Barn Festival. Our role was to staff the petting zoo, with goats, mini horses, and more. The CROP volunteers loved seeing the kids (and seniors too!) have special moments with the animals.” SDTR recently received the status of “Premier Accredited Center” from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. ▼ Mary Jo Tarallo is a former journalist and public relations professional for various non-profits including a ski industry trade association. She won a Gold Award for a United Way TV program starring Oprah Winfrey. Image opposite page: SDTR program director Kelly Boyer This page:Tom Peet, Joey Peet, Sue Peet.

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Giving back is my way of saying “Thank you.” George Bunting Jr, Agent 19716 Sea Air Ave #1 Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 Bus: 302-227-3891 george@gbunting.com


We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That’s one reason why I’m proud to support Camp Rehoboth. Get to a better State®.

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The Ultimate Guide to Gay Gift Giving Searching for special deliveries for that special someone? Holiday gifts that slap? Consider these elfapproved, consciously curated presents perfect for everyone from roommates to soulmates. Barbie Perfume Fight the patriarchy doused in Barbie’s sweet-and-fresh fragrance that, from top to bottom, feature notes of strawberry nectar and red cherry, peony and pink magnolia, and sandalwood and soft musk for an extra-ordinary scent that‘s more than Kenough. DefineMeCreativeStudio.com, $65 Star Wars Home Collection Movie nights in bed get a comfort upgrade from the Force—for those who uphold Jedi code in the streets but embrace the Dark Side in the sheets—with Sobel Westex’s Star Wars Home Collection. Cop a bootleg of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (legal copies don’t exist, nor has it been rebroadcast since its one-and-only airing in 1978) and settle in for a snacky screening with premade Johnson’s Popcorn (a Jersey Shore staple) or Pop ’N Dulge’s DIY gourmet kits. SobelAtHome. com, $350-$390; JohnsonsPopcorn.com, $27+; PopNDulge.com, $23 Polaris General 1000 Sport Resort-ish communities across the country have adopted golf carts as a preferred mode of transportation, and you can establish yourself as a local baddie in Polaris’ General 1000 Sport—in ethereal colorways like ghost gray— Letters 56 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

equipped with a four-stroke DOHC twin-cylinder engine, 100 horsepower, 1,500-pound hitch-towing capacity, and enough street cred for Boomers to shake their fists at. Polaris.com, $17,500+ Link x Lou Permanent Jewelry Pop-Ups Jewelry—but make it an experience. That’s the premise behind Link x Lou, a quick-fitting accessory service providing recipients with in-person appointments for custom-linked, clasp-less 14-karat white- and yellow-gold necklaces, bracelets, anklets and rings that wear until they’re worn out. Money’s on ’em lasting longer than the situationship you’ve got goin’, but may the odds be ever in your favor. LinkxLou.com, $55-$500

Lexington Glassworks Decanter Set Pour one out for the homies from Lexington Glassworks’ handblown whiskey decanter, each one individually crafted in the company’s Asheville, NC, studio and detailed with

an elegant crackle finish that lends an air of sophistication to any home bar cart. LexingtonGlassworks.com, $280 Bird Buddy Smart Feeder Avian enthusiasts get up close and semi-personal with feathered friends thanks to the Bird Buddy smart feeder that allows safe viewing via a solar-powered, app-enabled camera, along with adorable add-ons like a suet ball holder and three-in-one nutrition set to keep the ’hood’s population happy and healthy. MyBirdBuddy.com, $299-$415 Arquivistas Crystal Book Brazilian crystal devotee Tatiana Dorow has curated an impressive collection of more than 1,000 rare and exquisite minerals—ranging from one ounce to over 5,000 pounds—the comprehensive record of which is now compiled in the sizable coffee-table tome Arquivistas (Portuguese for archivist) that’s sure to satisfy, delight, and provide endless holiday-party talking points to the New Agers in your life. (You know they will.) ArtAndAnthropologyPress.com, $350 Winter Discovery Mini Scented Candle Set Apotheke takes the guesswork out of choosing just the right ambiance-inducing aroma with its Winter Discovery Mini Scented Candle Set, featuring six fragrant twoounce tins in seasonal smells that include birchwood apple,

black cypress, blackberry honey, cardamon chestnut, charred fig, and firewood (with a combined 90-hour burn time), and packaged in a nostalgically illustrated gift box accentuated by festive gold detailing. ApothekeCo. com, $64

AiRROBO Pet Grooming Vacuum Posh pets enjoy salon-style luxury in the comfort of their homes when treated to a grooming session by the AiRROBO vacuum (think Flowbee for cats and dogs), a five-tool, one-stop solution for keeping furbabies’ hair, dander, allergens. and mites to a minimum. The portable pamperer includes an electric clipper, crevice and de-shedding tools, and grooming and cleaning brushes housed in a space-saving, HEPA-filtered capsule. US.Air-Robo.com, $110 ▼ Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.

Happy Thanksgiving, neighbors.

We are thankful to be part of such a wonderful community. We wish all our neighbors a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®

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State Farm Bloomington, IL 2006043

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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

59 Letters

CAMP REHOBOTH BEACH GUIDE BEACH AREA LODGING Atlantic Sands Hotel, Boardwalk & Baltimore Ave.........................302-227-2511 Atlantic View Hotel, Ocean Front 6 Wilmington Ave......................302-227-2999 Atlantis Inn, 154 Rehoboth Ave.....................................................302-227-9446 Breakers Hotel, 105 2nd St & Baltimore Ave.................................302-227-6688 Canalside Inn, 34 6th St.................................................................866-412-2625 Rehoboth Guest House, 40 Maryland Ave.....................................302-227-4117 Sea ‘n Stars Guest Suites, 44 Delaware Ave.................................302-226-2742 Summer Place Hotel, 1st St & Olive Ave........................................302-226-0766 The Avenue Inn & Spa, 33 Wilmington Ave....................................302-226-2900


Visit the Beach Guide Directory on the CAMP Rehoboth website to find links to these area businesses in BOLD. The Guide includes: Food and Wine, Shopping, Lodging, and Services—all at camprehoboth.com. REHOBOTH RETAIL SHOPS Atlantic Jewelry, 313 South Boardwalk.........................................302-226-0675 New Wave Spas, 20660 Coastal Hwy............................................302-227-8484 Stuart Kingston Gallery, 19470 Coastal Hwy.................................302-227-2524 Unfinished Business, Rt. 1 behind Panera Bread..........................302-645-8700

REHOBOTH ART | GALLERIES | MUSEUMS Caroline Huff, Fine Artist ...................................................www.carolinehuff.com Gallery 50, 50 Wilmington Ave......................................................302-227-2050 Philip Morton Gallery, 47 Baltimore Ave........................................302-727-0905 Rehoboth Art League, 12 Dodds Ln...............................................302-227-8408 Rehoboth Beach Museum, 511 Rehoboth Ave..............................302-227-7310

REHOBOTH FOOD & DRINK 1776 Steakhouse, Midway Shopping Center................................302-645-9355 Aqua, 57 Baltimore Ave................................................................ 302-226-9001 Back Porch Café, 59 Rehoboth Ave...............................................302-227-3674 Blue Moon, 35 Baltimore Ave........................................................302-227-6515 Café Azafrán, 18 Baltimore Ave.....................................................302-227-8100 Café Papillon, Penny Lane Mall......................................................302-227-7568 Chesapeake & Maine, 316 Rehoboth Ave.....................................302-226-3600 Coho’s Market & Grill, 305 Rehoboth Ave......................................302-227-2646 Diego’s Bar Nightclub, 37298 Rehoboth Ave................................302-227-1023 Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats 320 Rehoboth Ave.......................302-226-2739 Dos Locos, 208 Rehoboth Ave.......................................................302-227-3353 Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, 3 South First St.......................302-527-1400 Go Fish, 24 Rehoboth Ave..............................................................302-226-1044 Goolee’s Grille, 11 South 1st St.....................................................302-227-7653 Just In Thyme, 38163 Robinsons Dr..............................................302-227-3100 Lori’s Café, 39 Baltimore Ave.........................................................302-226-3066 Loves Liquors, LLC, 305c Rehoboth Ave........................................302-227-6966 Lupo Italian Kitchen, 247 Rehoboth Ave.......................................302-226-2240 Purple Parrot Grill, 134 Rehoboth Ave...........................................302-226-1139 Rigby’s, 404 Rehoboth Ave............................................................302-227-6080 Shorebreak Lodge, 10 Wilmington Ave.........................................302-227-1007 The Pines, 56 Baltimore Avenue....................................................302-567-2726

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Go Brit, 18388 Coastal Hwy...........................................................302-644-2250 Harbour Waterfront Dining, 134 West Market St...........................302-200-9522 Matt’s Fish Camp, 34401 Tenley Ct...............................................302-644-2267

OTHER AREA FOOD & DRINK Bluecoast Seafood, 1111 Hwy One, Bethany................................302-539-7111 Catch 54, 54 Madison Ave, Fenwick..............................................302-436-8600 Matt’s Fish Camp, 28635 Coastal Hwy, Bethany...........................302-539-2267


A.G. Renovations ...........................................................................302-947-4096 bsd, 18412 The Narrow Rd, Lewes...................................... 302-684-8588


All Saints’ Episcopal, 18 Olive Ave.................................................302-227-7202 Epworth UMC, 19285 Holland Glade Rd.......................................302-227-7743 Grace of God Lutheran, ELCA, 20689 Shoppes at Long Neck.......302-947-1044 M.C.C. of Rehoboth, 19369 Plantation Rd.....................................302-645-4945 Seaside Jewish Community, 18970 Holland Glade Rd..................302-226-8977 St. George’s Episcopal, 20271 Beaver Dam Rd, Harbeson..............302-227-7202 St. Peter’s Episcopal, 2nd & Market Sts, Lewes.............................302-645-8479 Unitarian Universalist, 30486 Lewes-G’Town Hwy........................302-313-5838 Unity of Rehoboth, 98 Rudder Rd, Millsboro.................................717-579-2612 Westminster Presbyterian, 301 King Charles Ave.........................302-227-2109


AARP of Delaware (age 50+)..........................................................866-227-7441 ACLU of DE—Lesbian & Gay Civil Rights Project............................302-654-3966 CAMP Rehoboth Chorus—Program of CAMP Rehoboth................302-227-5620 CAMP Rehoboth—LGBTQ Community Service Org........................302-227-5620 CAMP Rehoboth Families—LGBTQ parents connect......................302-227-5620 CAMP Rehoboth Parents of Transgender & Gender Non-conforming Children............................................302-227-5620 Cape Henlopen Senior Center—Rehoboth (age 50+)....................302-227-2055 CHEER Centers of Sussex County (age 50+)..................................302-515-3040 Delaware Aging & Disability Resource Center...............................800-223-9074 Delaware Human Relations Commission Housing & public accommodation............................................877-544-8626 Delaware Information Line............................................................................2-1-1 Delaware Pride—Community events, annual Pride Festival..........302-265-3020 Delaware Transgender Resources—transdelaware.net, delawarelgbtq@gmail.com Delaware Transgender Support.....................................................302-402-3033 Gay/Lesbian Alcoholics Anonymous—add’l schedules..................302-856-6452

Saturdays 6 pm: Epworth UMC, 19285 Holland Glade Rd (step meeting) Saturdays 7:30 pm: All Saints’ Church, 18 Olive Ave (step meeting) Tuesdays noon: St. Peter’s Church, 211 Mulberry St, Lewes (step meeting) Lewes Senior Activity Center (age 50+).........................................302-645-9293 LGBTQ Student Union—University of DE, Newark.........................302-831-8066 Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth................................................302-645-7449 PFLAG-Rehoboth—3rd Tuesdays, Public Library, 111 Adams Ave, Lewes SLAA and SAA—Thursdays, 7:30 pm, All Saints’ Church 18 Olive Ave ............................................................................302-745-7929 Social Security Administration—Lewes office................................800-772-1213 TransLiance of DE—Rehoboth—4th Tuesdays at 7 pm, MCC of Rehoboth; contact: TransLiance@gmail.com


Jewish Family Services........................................................ 302-478-9411 Karen Abato, LPC - Licensed Professional Counselor........... 302-500-3691 Kevin J. Bliss, Personal/Professional Coaching.............................302-754-1954 Nancy Commisso, LCSW, Therapeutic Services.............................703-598-2938 Time to Heal Counseling & Consulting, Lewes ............................302-574-6954


Lawson Firm, 402 Rehoboth Ave...................................................302-226-3700 PWW Law LLC, 1519 Savannah Rd, Lewes................................... 302-703-6993 Steven Falcone CPA, Taxes & Planning..........................................302-644-8634


Midway Fitness & Racquetball, Midway Center.............................302-645-0407 One Spirit Massage, 169 Rehoboth Ave........................................302-226-3552 Reiki CENTRAL, thecentralfirm.com...............................................302-408-0878


Activ Pest Solutions, 16803 New Rd, Lewes................................ 302-645-1502


Critter Beach, 156 Rehoboth Ave..................................................302-226-2690 Pet Portraits by Monique................................................................717-650-4626


Silver Electric..................................................................................302-227-1107

Brandywine Valley SPCA, 22918 Dupont Blvd, G’twn.......... 302-856-6361 Humane Animal Partners (formerly Delaware Humane Association & Delaware SPCA).......................................................... 302-200-7159 Little Landmines Pet Waste Removal. littlelandmines.com.......... 302-521-3983 Parsell Pet Crematorium, 16961 Kings Hwy, Lewes............ 302-645-7445




Plate Catering.................................................................................302-644-1200


County Bank, 19927 Shuttle Rd.......................................... 302-226-9800 Jenn Harpel, Morgan Stanley.........................................................302-644-6620


Bayberry Florist..............................................................................302-227-5725 Windsor’s Florist, 20326 Coastal Hwy...........................................302-227-9481


Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium................................ 302-645-9520


Beach Cuts, 214 Rehoboth Ave...........................................302-226-ROBB Gregory Meyers Hair Studio, 20245 Bay Vista Rd & Rt 1..............302-727-5331 Stephan & Co Salon & Spa, 19266 Coastal Hwy................... 302-260-9478


AIDS Delaware – Kent & Sussex Counties.....................................302-226-3519 AIDS Delaware – New Castle County............................................302-652-6776 AIDS Hotline – Delaware statewide...............................................800-422-0429 Brandywine Urology Consultants...................................................302-824-7039 Beebe Healthcare, 26744 J.J. Williams Hwy.................................302-645-3300 CAMPsafe AIDS education & prevention program of CAMP Rehoboth........................................................................302-227-5620 Christiana Care HIV Wellness Clinic ..............................................302-933-3420 Christiana Care LGBTQ Health Initiatives.......................................302-733-1227 Delaware HIV Consortium - Statewide..........................................302-654-5471 Delaware Hospice..........................................................................800-838-9800 Delaware Total Foot & Ankle Center.................................... 302-297-8431 National Alliance on Mental Illness of DE (NAMI)...........................302-427-0787 Rehoboth Beach Dental, 19643 Blue Bird Ln....................... 302-226-0300 Steven B. Wright, D.M.D., 18912 J.J. Williams Hwy............. 302-645-6671

Allen Jarmon, NextHome Tomorrow Realty...................................302-745-5122 Bill Peiffer, Patterson Schwartz, 18958 Coastal Hwy....................302-703-6987 Chris Beagle, Compass..................................................................302-273-4998 Donna Whiteside, Berkshire Hathaway, 16712 Kings Hwy...........302-381-4871 Hugh Fuller, Realtor........................................................................302-745-1866 John Black, Patterson Schwartz, 18958 Coastal Hwy...................302-703-6987 Lana Warfield, Berkshire Hathaway, 37230 Rehoboth Ave...........302-227-6101 Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, 16698 Kings Hwy....................... 302-645-6664 Lingo Realty, 246 Rehoboth Ave....................................................302-227-3883 McWilliams Ballard, Kevin McDuffie.................................. kmcduffie@mcwb.com McWilliams Ballard, Justin Orr.....................................................jorr@mcwb.com Randy Mason/Shirley Kalvinsky, Lingo Realty................................302-227-3883 Sea Bova Associates, 20250 Coastal Hwy........................... 302-227-1222 The Joe Maggio Group, 37169 Rehoboth Ave Ext., #11....... 302-226-3770 Troy Roberts, Mann & Sons, 414 Rehoboth Ave............................302-228-7422


Springpoint Choice, 17028 Cadbury Cir, Lewes............................302-313-6658 The Lodge at Truitt Homestead, 36233 Farm Ln.................. 302-232-6372


Accent On Travel, 37156 Rehoboth Ave.............................. 302-278-6100 CHEER Transportation (age 50+)....................................................302-856-4909 Jolly Trolley Shuttle from Rehoboth Ave & Boardwalk...................302-644-0400 Olivia Travel...........................................................800-631-6277 ext. 696


Poodle Beach, south end of the Rehoboth Boardwalk Cape Henlopen State Park, Ocean Dr north to Cape Henlopen State Park. Daily parking rate in effect March-November.


Eric Blondin, State Farm...................................................... 302-644-3276 George Bunting, State Farm................................................ 302-227-3891 Jeanine O’Donnell, State Farm............................................ 302-645-7283

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

61 Letters



I Know a Place


hen Maggie Rogers headlined night one of DC’s All Things Go Music Festival this fall, she marveled at the crowd and said simply, “I feel so safe right now.” To say the feeling was mutual would be an understatement. Hosted at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on September 30 and October 1, the festival boasted acts that included Rogers, Boygenius, Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen, MUNA, Tegan & Sara, and more. It wasn’t lost on folks how special it was to have femme and queer artists leading as headliners and top-line performers. The expedition channeled Lilith Fair, but for a new generation and even more queer. The independent festival started in 2014 as DC’s “fall classic,” and has upgraded venues from Union Market to Yards Park at the Capital Waterfront in 2016 (15,000 capacity) to Merriweather in 2021 (20,000 capacity). The 2023 iteration, the first to span multiple days, sold-out in a matter of minutes back in April. Organizers reported this year was its “biggest yet,” and that its “ethos is rooted in inclusivity—and built around a vibrant community of music fans.” This year, that vibrant community translated to quite noticeably queer. Several performers informally surveyed the audience, such as queer sister duo Tegan & Sara, who, before playing a love song, asked if anyone was there with their partner to a muted response. They followed with “scream if you’re gay!” to a thunderous roar. Later, the pair, best known for the 2013 hit single “Closer,” talked about being openly queer in the industry for over 20 years, and only now experiencing the joyful culmination in one of the most inclusively queer lineups of any major festival of the past several years. That context led fans to note how inclusivity is such an intentional effort. The presence of Amplify Her Voice, which advocates for gender equality in the music industry through events and programs, provided one such intentional Letters 62 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

impact this year. The organization offered an opportunity for women and nonmen to take part in its All Access program and get a behind-the-scenes tour of the festival, venue, and network with other like-minded individuals.

It wasn’t a competition, but MUNA…likely showcased the queerest show of the weekend. Similarly, new artists like Ethel Cain, whose debut album Preacher’s Daughter came out just last year, ushered in a new crop of femme/queer performers. Her identity as a transgender woman (from Florida, no less) was not lost on the audience, but fans celebrated her arresting artistry above all else. Last year, Cain’s Southern Gothic conceptual and cathartic storytelling earned critical praise and an opening slot on Florence + the Machine’s Dance Fever tour. Here, her music translated to soaring anthems perfect for the amphitheater setting, like the Springsteen-adjacent “American Teenager” and the epic odyssey, “Thoroughfare.” Elsewhere, LGBTQ+ allies like Carly Rae Jepsen and Lana Del Rey, well known for their dedicated queer fanbases, performed electric sets. Jepsen, who turned the success of 2012 superhit “Call Me Maybe” into the leading discography of poptimism (the critical reappraisal of pop music as something worth regarding with the same critical praise as rock music), leaned into campy sensibilities for a joyous romp of a performance. Later, fans of Lana Del Rey proved the loudest, screaming in piercing decibels at a surprise performance with Jack Antonoff for “Margaret” and “Venice Bitch.” Meanwhile, the supergroup Boygenius, consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, delivered a masterful show. The trio’s ethos matched the festival’s quite well: their namesake is a

play on the gender imbalance for naming geniuses, they covered Rolling Stone in a staged nod to Nirvana’s 1993 covershoot, and they’ve earned critical praise from alternative rock spaces usually reserved for men. Demonstrating the band’s range, acoustic highlights “Cool About It” and “We’re In Love” drew an attentive hush from the crowd, while anthemic rockers “$20” and “Salt In the Wound” required sing-shouting the lyrics with fervor. It wasn’t a competition, but MUNA, another queer trio who recently enjoyed a headlining tour and opening slots for Boygenius and Taylor Swift, likely showcased the queerest show of the weekend. The band, whose style defines as synth-laden emotional pop, kicked things off with a tribute to going out to gay bars (“What I Want”), dedicated their country-tinged ballad (“Kind of Girl”) to any trans attendees, and closed with an ode to sapphic love (“Silk Chiffon”). Even still, their debut single, “I Know a Place,” summarized the weekend’s mission best. Released shortly after the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, the song celebrates safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community: “But if you want to go out dancing / I know a place / I know a place we can go / Where everyone’s gonna lay down their weapons,” so it goes. By imagining this sort of radical and utopic vision from MUNA, and overall, from All Things Go, this testament translates to cherishing safety and uplifting a sense of community in daily practice. Women, LGBTQ+ folks, and femme-presenting individuals are far from safe in every space; it’s our work ahead to intentionally forge a better, more positive environment so that we all may one day say, “I know a place.” ▼ Matty Brown is the Communications Manager at CAMP Rehoboth.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

63 Letters



A Fabulous Fall in Rehoboth Beach!

CAMP Rehoboth Block Party, Sea Witch Parade, Halloween, RB Jazz Festival and More! THIS PAGE (left to right) 1 ) at CAMP Rehoboth Block

Party: Lisa Evans, Derrick Johnson, Kim Leisey, Sam Gerbino, Brian Helsdon, Reiss King, Domenic Mannello, Judy Goldstein, Elva Weininger, Michael Fetchko, Keith Petrack, Jay Chalmers, Bob Dobbs, Barb Ralph, John Potthast, Joe Filipek, Larry Richardson, Marcia Maldeis, RB Mayor Stan Mills.

OPPOSITE PAGE R1 ) at CAMP Rehoboth Block Party:

Bonnie Quesenberry, Fay Jacobs, Tony Zacchei, Jacob Anthony, Max Manerchia, Daniel Slagle, Sandra Skidmore, Susan Jimenez, Cathy Benson, Debbie Woods, Luahan Herrington, Tom Herrington, Marie Haag, Ken Haag, Nick Parash, Steve Hayes, Chris Rinuncini, Dick Byrne, Jeff Balk, Luna Franco, David Cardel, Nathan Franco, David Franco.


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More CAMPshots page 66


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65 Letters



(Continued from page 65) THIS PAGE (left to right) 1 ) at CAMP Rehoboth Block Party: Lori Waldee-Warden, Kip Kunsman, Linda Wolfe, Carl Schloegel, Tony Burns, Lisa Schlosser, John Marino, Chris Beagle, Brian Davila, Pat Nicholos, Tom Negran, Helene Guilfoy, Sherri McGee, Kris Aulenbach, Kathy Solano, Kim Leisey, Joanie Peglep, Teri Seaton; 2) at Lupo: Gary Seiden, Jamie Kotchek, Ah Bashir, Charles Bounds, Jeremy Bernstein, Matt Rice.

2 Letters 66 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

OPPOSITE PAGE: 3) at Sea Witch Parade: Brian Fisher, Jeff Enck, Mark Lenard, Chris Maloney, Cheryl Crowe, Jack Vassolotti, Dr. David Tam, Rebecca Tam, Kip Kunsman, Roxy Overbrooke, Michelle Manfredi, Alizee LaDiamond, Tamia Mykles, Kasey Gonzalez-Cruz, Terri Raynes, Jeffrey Davis, Celeste Beaupre, Jean Chlastawa, Matty Brown, Jason Mathis, Tara Sheldon, Phil Duckett, Anne Scott, Kim Douglas, Katie Handy, Gwen Osborne, Joanie Murphy, Teri Seaton. (More CAMPshots page 112)

Out on the town! Block Party and Seawitch!


NOVEMBER 17, 2023

67 Letters

Celebrity Interview


Seamus Kirst Celebrates Diversity & Family Ties


s draconian laws are passed and beloved books are banned, the LGBTQ community needs strong literary representation more than ever. Thankfully, acclaimed New York Times and Washington Post writer and author Seamus Kirst has released a new book, Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family. I sat down to chat with Seamus on what inspired the release of his latest book, his passion for children’s books, and why book banning seems to be the latest culture war our community is fighting. Michael Cook: Your book, Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family, is needed now more than ever. What inspired you to write and release this one? Seamus Kirst: My inspiration for writing this book was to add to the amazing wave of LGBTQ representation in children’s books. After writing Papa, Daddy, and Riley a few years ago—which is a book that is focuses on the fact that Riley has two dads—I wanted to move into the space of writing children’s books that have matter-of-fact representation. I deeply believe in, and am trying to write, parenting and family books on almost any topic imaginable with gay parents. These books are meant to be read by all families. Just like same sex parents have used books featuring a mom and a dad for years, I believe any and all families can use books like Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family to teach their kids about important family-related topics. MC: Tell me about Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family….. SK: It’s a book that teaches kids about extended family through the eyes of Harper, a younger child who is going to her first family reunion. At the reunion, Harper meets and spends the day with her second cousin, Noah, who is her age. They believe that family “are the people you live with,” so after having a silly moment trying to figure out how they are going to fit all of these people into one of their houses, Dad and Daddy explain to Letters 68 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

them how though every family is different and can be made up of people you are related to or people you choose, the one constant in every family is that it is connected by love. MC: You’ve taken the plunge into writing children’s books before; what initially inspired you to write a children’s book?

I deeply believe in, and am trying to write, parenting and family books on almost any topic imaginable with gay parents. SK: I was a huge reader as a kid, and as I became older and started personal writing and journalism, I always dreamed about moving into the children’s book world. I received incredible advice from a friend to “…write a book that you wish existed when you were a child, or a book that you would love to one day read to your children.” I always think of that when I go to the drawing board for book ideas and am always glad to see how many books can check both of those boxes. MC: As a freelance writer and journalist, you’ve written about so many varied topics. What topic do you derive the most passion from when you write? SK: The two topics I am the most pas-

sionate writing about are mental health and LGBTQ rights. MC: How do you explain the nationwide hysteria from the far right that is causing people to ban important book titles and important books for children? SK: I think the hysteria is built upon calculated callous cruelty. It is incredibly disturbing to watch politicians weaponize homophobia and transphobia to try to score political points. LGBTQ people exist and “Don’t Say Gay”-esque laws that try to erase us will never work, though that doesn’t mean they do not cause pain and great harm. LGBTQ teachers should be able to talk about their families. LGBTQ students should be able to talk about themselves. Children of LGBTQ people should be able to talk about their parents. We have to continue to speak out and fight against these morally reprehensible laws and vote out the people who champion them. We need all our allies to join in this movement because, without a doubt, there are more people who are against these laws than there are those who are for them. MC: After Dad and Daddy’s Big Big Family, what’s next? SK: I have three more books with twodad families being published by Magination Press in the next year and a half. I am continuing to work on new books, and would also love to write LGBTQ YA and middle-grade. I am moving into the TV writing space as well, and am excited to help contribute to the wave of powerful queer TV representation while writing and creating shows for kids, teens, and adults. ▼ Follow Seamus Kirst on Instagram: https:// www.instagram.com/seamuskirst/?hl=en Michael Cook has been a part-time resident of Rehoboth Beach for over a decade. He is currently a contributor to Instinct Magazine, World of Wonder’s WOW Report, and South Florida Gay News.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

69 Letters

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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

71 Letters

Deep Inside Hollywood The Crime is Mine for Christmas


he films of acclaimed queer French filmmaker François Ozon have become international arthouse staples over the past three decades, and he’s not stopping now. His latest, The Crime is Mine, is a period screwball comedy/show-business caper set in 1930s Paris. Rising French actresses Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Rebecca Marder play a pair of struggling Parisians who turn a random death into art when one of them goes on trial for murder and the other exploits it for tabloid fame and fortune (see: John Waters’ Female Trouble for reference). Co-starring French legend Isabelle Huppert as a silent film actress, it follows in Ozon’s tradition of farces like the hit 8 Women and hits US theaters on December 25. Sounds like a Joyeux Noel to us. ▼

Zachary Quinto and Jacob Elordi Go That Way


n 1964, Dave Pitts, a chimpanzee trainer for the traveling entertainment show The Ice Capades, picked up the wrong hitchhiker, young serial killer Larry Lee Ranes, and it began a strange, frightening, three-day ordeal. Happy ending: Pitts survived, as did the chimp in his custody, and his story forms the basis for the new film He Went That Way, starring Zachary Quinto, Euphoria cast member Jacob Elordi—who also stars in two prestige films this fall, Saltburn and Priscilla—and a performing chimp. Based in part on Conrad Hilberry’s book, Luke Karamazov, the film is the final project from Australian director Jeffrey Darling, who died in a surfing accident in 2022. Currently set for theatrical release in early 2024, it’s probably the first and only time a serial killer thriller will also feature lovable animal stunts for comic relief. For the record, we’re fully sold on that.▼

Romeo San Vicente speaks fluent croissant. Letters 72 NOVEMBER 17, 2023


Queer Eye Star Antoni Teams Up with National Geographic


ant to go globe-trotting with Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski? You’ll be able to when his latest series with National Geographic, No Taste Like Home with Antoni Porowski, is cooked up for TV. Executive produced by King of the Yelling Chefs Gordon Ramsay, the show will follow Porowski and a collection of global celebrities as they embark on journeys of taste, celebrating their various ancestries, food traditions, and family stories. Locations planned for the first season include Germany, Senegal, Italy, South Korea, Malaysian Borneo, and the United States. Expect uplifting and heartwarming vibes—this is from a Queer Eye cast member, remember—and a lot of delicious meals you’ll want to Postmates as soon as possible. As for the celebrities, they’re currently unannounced. But if we’re allowed to vote we’d like to request the two hot dudes from RRR, thanks.▼

Devery Jacobs, from Reservation Dogs to This Place


f you watched all three amazing seasons of the wonderful FX comedy-drama series Reservation Dogs, then you’re well acquainted with star Devery Jacobs (and if you haven’t seen it, then get busy; you’ll thank us). And now that that show has wrapped up and sent its young stars off to other projects, Jacobs has a new Canadian indie feature she co-wrote called This Place. From director V.T. Nayani, it’s the story of two young women in Toronto on the road to adulthood: Kawenniióhstha (Jacobs) a Mohawk/ Iranian poet searching for her father, and Malai (up-and-coming actor Priya Guns), a Tamil graduate student dealing with alcoholism in her family. Together they work through their backgrounds and fall in love. Jacobs also wrote for Reservation Dogs, so we can’t wait to see what this one holds. Currently making the film festival rounds, look for it near you sooner or later.▼

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

73 Letters

National Cookie Day


Celebrate, Celebrate!


think every day is a good one for cookies, but, like almost anything you can think of, they have their own celebratory day. December 4 is National Cookie Day, a silly holiday, but a downright holy day, if you ask me. The national celebration falls during a time of year overstuffed with holidays, and so cookies are everywhere. In my view, that’s the true gift and #ReasonForTheSeason. The fact that sugar, flour, and other simple ingredients can be turned into so many varieties, textures, colors, and tastes is a miracle of the greatest proportion. Warmed, chilled, by themselves, with milk or ice cream—the only way you can go wrong is to not bake or buy enough. I almost don’t care what kind of cookie is available to me at any given time, whether it’s homemade or not. If it has peanut butter, though, I’ll more than happily share with others. I have some standards, including never counting cookies eaten or calories—am I right? My hips and doctor say, “No.” My taste buds and inner three-year-old, however, say, “yes,” and “more please.” One of my all-time favorite cookies is not only tasty but talks to me. More accurately, a written note inside imparts wisdom or predicts the future, and always makes me smile. Of course, it’s the fortune cookie. There’s nothing better than a hidden message inside an edible envelope. While I crunch away, I read wisdom of the ages (or the cookie company’s copywriters). They always give me something to think about, even if only for the time it takes for the cookie to become history. The last fortune cookie I enjoyed reminded me: “A kind word will keep someone warm for years.” That’s not a prediction as much as it is a truth, but that’s OK. Maybe it means that more kind words are coming my way soon. Maybe it means I should remember kind words said to me. That’s good advice always, but especially during trying times, unsettled eras, and world instability. Letters 74 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

The cookie reminded me that, for years, I visited a local lunch spot to pick up a sandwich, and every day I saw a man sitting at the same table near a large square window by the door. He

There’s nothing better than a hidden message inside an edible envelope. was a regular, who engaged with many customers. After he and I noticed each other for a time, we started smiling at one another—me on the outside on my way in and him gazing out through the window. Over time, the smiles turned into waves between us. Eventually, during a long wait inside for pick-up one afternoon, he waved me over to his table. When I got there, we smiled and waved face-to-face, even though we’d already done that through the window, as usual. He started to write something on a napkin while I waited patiently to see what it said. I knew he was deaf—

one of the workers knew I was a regular and told me, long after The Window Man and I had become smiling/waving friends. He handed me the napkin on which he wrote a hello, his name, and also, “You’re so kind.” I smiled, wrote my name, and brought my hand to my chin to sign “thank you.” I wrote that I looked forward to seeing him every day I stopped in. My sandwich that day came with a hefty side of sweet. About a year later, the restaurant was closed during the pandemic. I didn’t visit for a long time after it reopened for takeout. When I finally started to visit again, I heard that The Window Man had died. I had already gotten used to not seeing him—or anyone—during the stay-at-home orders and even after, when I hesitated to return to outside life. He was older and not well and I was sad to hear he had passed. I was thankful that I had interacted with him as I had, especially that I told him how much I enjoyed seeing him. I still can see his face smiling when I motioned the few bits of sign language that I knew. And I still have the napkin. You know, the cookie was right. Thinking about that experience and his words gives me a warm feeling. I’m smiling, too. His name was Joe. He said I was kind. Takes one to know one. Thanks, cookie, for that sweet remembrance. ▼ Tara Lynn Johnson is a freelance writer. Connect with her at taralynnjohnson.com. Photo credit: Kasia Derenda on Unsplash.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

75 Letters

Q Puzzle Promiscuous President

Solution on Page 116 ACROSS 1 Jewelle Gomez’s ___ Stories 6 Takei’s Star Trek role 10 Frozen queen 14 ___ Ten (LGBT support group) 15 Ted Casablanca bit 16 Blowhole 17 Blow-out 18 With 20-Across, nickname for the 16th president? 20 See 18-Across 22 Afternoon snack in Britten’s land 23 Chant 24 Freddie of Queen 25 Keanu’s role in The Matrix 26 End of a Beatles song title 28 Supporter of SpencerDevlin 29 With 52-Across, how long ago the president came out? 34 Gomer ___, U.S.M.C. 37 Leaning erection site 38 S&M souvenir 39 Go down on a hill 41 “The evil that ___” (Shakespeare) 44 “Scram!,” once 45 Top partner 47 “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” source

Letters 76 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

49 Makes hot 51 Govt. broadcaster 52 See 29-Across 59 Verdi work adapted by John 60 Em and Mame 61 Was active in B&D 62 Icy pellets 63 You get pricks from them 64 River of Wilde’s land 65 “My Cup Runneth Over” singer Ed 66 The Wizard of Oz dropout Buddy 67 Colors hair DOWN 1 Spider-Man’s green nemesis 2 Behaving properly 3 Rough house 4 Music of the Village People 5 Banderas of Evita 6 Use hands instead of mouth 7 Hagen of The Boys from Brazil 8 Philippines island 9 The Name of the Rose novelist Eco 10 Those removed to safety 11 Operetta composer Franz ___ 12 Like a hisser shaped like a pisser

13 Melissa Etheridge’s “Don’t Look ___” 19 Soapbox derby entrant 21 Stop working so hard 24 Where soldiers eat together 27 Fedora feature 29 Atlanta Pride and others 30 Peppermint sweet you can lick 31 Dull discomfort 32 Polished surface, for a drag queen 33 Lincoln-Douglas debates subject Scott 34 Chem. pollutant 35 “___-hoo! Fellas!” 36 Caesar’s lang. 40 Went lickety-split 42 Forges ahead, like Louganis? 43 ___ about (roughly) 46 One getting ready to shoot off a gun, e.g. 48 Had nothing 50 Young pigeon 52 The King and I’s setting 53 Nurse Jackie portrayer 54 Dad’s bros 55 Cigar butt? 56 Open to the breeze 57 Drag queen ___ Pool 58 Sapphic poems 59 You might say it when you get it

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

77 Letters



Eat, Drink, & Be…Healthy?


ainbow flags, hats, t-shirts, and stickers feed the pride spirit, but what about the pride body? Turns out, the rainbow is good for that as well. The idea of “eating the rainbow”—consuming vegetables and fruits from across the color spectrum—has been around for a while. It makes sense that the color of a food might indicate its nutritional content and that eating a variety of colors might offer a range of health benefits.* But now, science is providing proof. I first learned the significance of color in vegetables at a pediatrician’s visit following concern over my infant son’s decidedly orange complexion. Jaundice? Trump’s makeup regimen? Nope. Just a strong preference for carrots, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and…did I mention carrots? Orange vegetables are rich in beta-carotene and too much of it can actually turn your skin orange. Fortunately, the tangerine tint was temporary. Mom told you to eat your vegetables and she was right. Inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables is a leading modifiable dietary risk factor for death and contributes to the rise in both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Turns out, some of the most potent health benefits of foods come from the phytochemicals that are also responsible for their color. And the more vibrant, the better. In June 2022, a team of scientists reviewed 86 studies that contained data from over 37 million participants. They found that the health outcomes associated with eating varied color vegetables and fruits included body weight, lipid profile (cholesterol and such), inflammation, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and mortality (death). Here are some of the benefits provided by the colorful phytochemicals in vegetables and fruits: Red (Lycopene): improves heart health, decreases prostate and breast cancer risk, contributes to stroke prevention, and increases brain function; prevents and even fights cancer, especially prostate and breast; is good for urinary tract health and for memory. Sources: tomatoes, beets, radishes, cherries, strawberries, red onions, and red peppers Orange/Yellow (Carotenoids): reduces the risk of heart disease and inflammation; strengthens the immune system; keeps skin healthy; improves vision. Sources: carrots, squash, apricots, yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, bananas, pineapple, mangoes, pumpkins, peaches, and oranges Green (Lutein and other): prevents cataracts and slows age-related macular degeneration; keeps bones, teeth, and nails strong; helps prevent blood clots. Sources: spinach, arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocadoes, kiwis, asparagus, kale, and artichokes Letters 78 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

…some of the most potent health benefits of foods come from the phytochemicals that are also responsible for their color.

Blue/Purple (Anthocyanins): improves brain health and memory; reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease; helps fight cancers, especially those in the GI tract (mouth, esophagus, colon). Sources: blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, figs, cabbage, concord grapes, and plums White/Tan (Allicin): lowers cholesterol and blood pressure; improves bone strength; decreases risk of stomach cancer. Sources: onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic, and leeks

This Thanksgiving: Deliciously Easy Ways to Eat the Rainbow RAINBOW CRUDITÉ Fill a bowl with multi-colored mini sweet peppers (with or without herb cheese filling) or slices of red, purple, orange, green, and yellow bell pepper and serve with your favorite dip. RAINBOW GROANING BOARD On a large food-safe board, arrange a combination of colorful fruits and vegetables. Some possibilities include red or purple grapes, red or yellow cherry tomatoes, broccoli or cauliflower florets, pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, sliced mango or kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, figs, sliced bell peppers, quartered mushrooms, asparagus spears, radishes, pea pods, artichoke hearts, nuts, and olives. Serve with small bowls of guacamole, pimento cheese, onion dip, dipping oil, or seasoned salt. (Check out “rainbow groaning boards” on Pinterest for design ideas.)

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Contact Us Today to Learn More! RAINBOW KABOBS Instead of (or in addition to) loading your skewers with hunks of meat, try square pieces of colorful bell peppers and red onion, slices of zucchini and yellow squash, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Broil or put on a grill, basting periodically with a marinade. GRILLED RAINBOW Pour ½ cup olive oil in a small pan and heat on low. Add 1 minced garlic clove and ½ teaspoon dried herbs (e.g., marjoram, oregano, thyme, basil). Cook until garlic is soft but not brown. Turn off heat. Slice a selection of yellow squash and zucchini, eggplant, large mushrooms, onion, and colorful peppers. Cook on a grill or in a grill pan in batches, using a brush to baste with the seasoned oil. Cook until done, turning periodically. (It’s easier to cook one type of vegetable at a time.) Salt to taste and serve hot or cold. They keep well and are great in sandwiches (try warm with goat cheese). *Sorry. M&Ms and Skittles don’t count. This applies only to natural colors found in plants. ▼ Nancy Sakaduski is an award-winning writer and editor who owns Cat & Mouse Press in Lewes, Delaware. NOVEMBER 17, 2023

79 Letters

The Sea Salt Table


Let Me Entertain You


he holidays are a great time to entertain. But hosting has morphed. COVID took its toll. But the cost of food, opposing politics, and even global warming have also changed the way we gather. Here are some new “rules.” Plan. There will always be punting as your gathering unfolds. But you’ll roll with it if you thought ahead as much as possible. The menu, shopping list, and timeline certainly. But good planning goes further. Be proactive to avoid decisions on the fly. Our sweet spot is 10 people for dinner or 20 for an intimate party. But we’ve also thrown huge bashes. We commonly plan for enough seating, close parking for guests who need it, and trash containers in strategic places. Who you don’t invite matters. Joan Crawford is quoted as saying “Take some corporation presidents, add a few lovely young actresses, a bearded painter, your visiting friends from Brussels, a politician, a hairdresser, and then toss them all together.” Some of the best parties are people soup. But a likely failure is mixing those who don’t get along. For instance, I’d be hard-pressed to invite anyone who’s ever donned a MAGA hat. Don’t be dependent on pivotal guests. Certain people make a party very special. But life happens, and invariably that all-too-important person gets sick. Think even broader. Do you have activities for children? Do you want furry friends? Football party? Yes. Sit-down dinner? Fido stays home. Keep your invites in the high regard they deserve. Stop inviting people who never RSVP. Or those who don’t show and never explain why. Never repeat. Just because a party rocked one year, doesn’t guarantee it will be epic the next. Change up the theme, menu, and entertainment. One year have a fire pit with s’mores. Next year pumpkin carving with corn hole. Use icebreakers! We label wineglasses with Christmas characters. Picking Letters 80 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

“Grinch” or “Vixen” ensures total strangers start throwing shade. We’ve had folks wear name tags including a single word describing themselves. Let’s just say people get very creative. Avoid “you’re at our house, eat what we eat.” More people are now gluten free or vegetarian. Ask guests to be specific about what they don’t eat.

Your house is not a museum. Did you and your guests laugh? Smile? That’s all that matters. Think environment. Waste and excess have become off-putting. Consider compostable plates, cups, and flatware—just make sure they’re sturdy. Nobody likes bendy forks. Borrow chafing dishes, coffee urns, and table linens. Buy cheap catering glasses and pass them to friends for their parties. Buy neutral servingware that can be festooned by what surrounds them. Place recycling containers next to the trash bins. Serve water with lemons instead of plastic bottles. And give extra food away. Say yes to more than the dress. When someone offers, say yes. Come early for setup? For sure! Stay late for cleanup? Hard yes! Wallflowers like having something to do. Let them pick music, take coats, butler snacks, and refill wine. Or help you replenish garbage, fireplaces, ice, and punch bowls. I remember a quiet friend who insisted on washing dishes. People lingered at the sink and laughed with him all night. They grabbed dishtowels and yelled over the din for where stuff goes. It was great fun. Don’t overreach. If you’re a gourmet chef, have at it. I’d rather cook within my

wheelhouse. And pocketbook. Like Ina Garten, buy a few items, cook a few staples, and experiment with a dish or two. Or go potluck. Everyone loves them and it’s some of the best food you’ll ever eat. Casual, homey fare is always a hit. Even throwbacks like meatballs in chili sauce and grape jelly. Everyone says “ick” as they go back for seconds. If you can only afford beer and wine, boom you’re done. Or consider “well drinks” like winter sangria. One of my most sought-after recipes is my champagne punch. Email ed@seasalttable.com and I’ll share it with you. Teaser: don’t skip the almond flavoring! Exhale often. Nobody likes an uptight host. Setting the tone starts with you. The greatest compliment we hear is people feeling at home in our house. Because we work to stay chill. The food isn’t magazine worthy. Drinks get spilled. And grandma’s tchotchke invariably breaks. Your house is not a museum. Did you and your guests laugh? Smile? That’s all that matters. Gracious hosting never ends. When people choose to leave does not reflect the time they had. Resist “you’re leaving already?” We once invited an elderly couple who stayed less than two hours. For years, they talked about it being the best party they ever went to. Allow people a gracious exit. Tell them you’re glad they came. Lastly, send thank yous! Do this for people who traveled far, helped in even the smallest ways, or left special gifts. Your event is over when your last thank you is in the mail. ▼ Ed and his husband Jerry split their time between homes near Harrisburg Pennsylvania and Bethany Beach. Ed builds websites to pay the bills but loves to cook, garden, hike, and dote on their dog Atticus. Recipe requests and feedback welcome: ed@seasalttable.com.

Any way you SLICE it...

Happy Thanksgiving!

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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

83 Letters



Smoking and Vaping and Screening—Oh My!


ne of my earliest memories is sitting on my dad’s lap at the kitchen table while he smoked a cigarette. I was about three years old, but I knew cigarette smoking was bad for your health. I looked up and asked, “why do you smoke, Daddy?” I don’t remember his answer, but he continued to smoke that cigarette. My dad quit cold turkey within about a year of that memory. He still occasionally talks about how hard withdrawal was. Once he quit, he couldn’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke despite having cravings he had to battle. There were many restaurants we stopped going to because the “non-smoking section” still was filled with smoke. A lot of progress has been made to prevent smoking initiation and promote smoking cessation. It is estimated that approximately one-quarter of American adults smoked in the mid-90s. Now, only approximately 14 percent of American adults smoke. In many ways, this drop in cigarette smoking is a major public health win. However, the tobacco industry has been clever, developing new products and making these products desirable to youth and other vulnerable communities. Such products include e-cigarettes, hookah, snuff, and snus. When these products are included to create a comprehensive tobacco use estimate, approximately 2224 percent of Delaware adults use some form of tobacco. These products still carry many of the same health risks as cigarettes but are sometimes marketed as a healthier alternative. Of all the tobacco products, the use of e-cigarettes has increased the most drastically in the past decade. The tobacco industry has marketed e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative and even as a possible cessation product. Among Delaware adults, only 4 percent were current e-cigarette users and 15 percent were former e-cigarette users in 2016. In contrast, in 2022 6.1 percent of Delaware adults reported being current e-cigarette users and 23.2 percent of Letters 84 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Delaware adults reported being former e-cigarette users. E-cigarette use is even more common among high school students. In 2021, one-third of Delaware high school students reported using e-cigarettes at least once. Almost 18 percent of Delaware high school students reported using e-cigarettes within the past month, and 5.5 percent were frequent users.

The tobacco industry has marketed e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative and even as a possible cessation product. National studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals have a high health burden from tobacco use. According to the Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 65.3 percent of Delaware high school students who reported having sex with the same sex or both sexes also have used e-cigarettes, compared 54.1 percent of Delaware high school students who reported having sex with only the opposite sex. Only 19 percent of high school students who reported no sexual activity had ever used e-cigarettes. The most notorious health outcome linked to tobacco is lung cancer. The current screening recommendations for lung cancer require the calculation of pack-years. Pack-years are the combination of how many cigarettes smoked over the course of someone’s smoking history. To qualify for lung cancer screening, a person must be 50-80 years of age and have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history. However, the calculation for packyears only includes cigarettes; other tobacco products are excluded from the calculations. This restriction could be systematically excluding people from important screenings, with cancer detected only at a later stage. Current research is ongoing to deter-

mine the exact risk between e-cigarettes and lung cancer, though many peered-reviewed articles point to a plausible link between vaping fluids and the disease processes resulting in cancer. If recommendations do not expand the eligibility criteria, those choosing to use e-cigarettes are potentially putting themselves at risk for later-stage lung cancer detection. Delaware’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) continues to promote policies and legislation that combats tobacco use. Delaware has enjoyed smoke-free indoor air since 2002, and the Clean Indoor Air Act was amended in 2015 to include e-cigarettes. In addition, the Delaware Youth Access law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. TPCP also supports the Delaware QuitLine, a free cessation counseling service. If you or someone you love is thinking about quitting, it’s important to support them in their journey. It’s never too late to quit and there are immediate benefits (beyond financial ones) to quitting tobacco: • Within an hour, heart rate and blood pressure drop. • Within 12 hours, carbon monoxide has left the body. • Within a day, the risk of a heart attack decreases. • Within nine months, lung function increases by 10 percent. • Within five years, the risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, and bladder cancer is reduced by half. • The risk of lung cancer is reduced by about half after 10 years. I am so glad that my dad chose to quit. He’s going to be 80 in February and is in good health. I’m proud of so many things he’s done over the years, but quitting cigarettes may be the one of which I’m most proud. ▼ Stephanie Belinske is an epidemiologist and a public health doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University.

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 1PM - 7:30PM spread holiday cheer at 16 participating locations

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rbsantabarcrawl Rehoboth Beach Santa Bar Crawl

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www.ymcade.org NOVEMBER 17, 2023

87 Letters

Historical Headliners


Art’s Bad Boy: Caravaggio


h, the lure of the bad boy. The temptation of excitement, of danger, of…artistic talent? In all of Western art history, there may be no bad boy as tantalizing as Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Recognized even in his own day (born 1571; died 1610) as a brilliant artist, an innovator who fused the nobility of Baroque painting with the passion and drama of theater, Caravaggio was also famous for his scandalous personal life: a brothel habitué, a street brawler, even a murderer. But was he gay? A number of his paintings would indicate that Caravaggio did indeed pursue the flesh of young men. Take, for example, the painting Boy with a Basket of Fruit. The young model, Mario Minniti, at the time just 16 years old, is a beautiful youth whose shirt is provocatively falling from his shoulder, exposing smooth, muscular flesh. In his arms he carries a basket containing a variety of voluptuously ripe fruits. His full lips are sensuously parted. Are they parted in anticipation of the sweetness of the fruit, or the sweetness of Caravaggio? Mario Minniti was a favorite model of Caravaggio’s, who would depict him in several paintings. Perhaps even stronger evidence of Caravaggio’s sexual tastes is found in 1602’s Amor Vincit Omnia. Here we have a naked youth seated half on/half off what may be a table or bench draped in white cloth or a bed swaddled in bedsheets. The boy is depicted as Cupid, his wings fully unfurled. He smiles a “come hither” smile. But after we’ve acknowledged the wings and noticed the smile, Caravaggio, by means of carefully constructed light and shadow, slides our gaze down Cupid’s tenderly muscled body to the young man’s penis. It is dead center of the painting, the star of the show. Even Caravaggio’s religious paintings bear strong homoeroticism as they bare the flesh of biblical figures. Among the artist’s many depictions of Saint John the Baptist, several of them tempting nudes, one in the Capitoline Museum in Rome is perhaps the most outright erotic. Listed in Letters 88 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

the museum’s catalogue as San Giovanni Battista, once again Caravaggio guides our gaze down to the youthful John’s penis, though in this case somewhat discreetly. It is, however, again placed dead center of the painting. Moreover, the painting hints—well, more than hints—at

He was arrested and tried in court at least 11 times for assorted crimes against society. eroticism and sexual adventure gone wild: the naked saint, a grinning, streetwise boy, is embracing a goat, horns and all. Make of that what you will. Not all of Caravaggio’s paintings depict male nudes or homoerotic themes. Many are masterpieces of biblical drama, free of any hint of sex. But several of the paintings do indeed put sexuality front and center—so many they constitute their own body of work. Is this conclusive evidence that Caravaggio was gay? Current scholarly and art historical opinion is generally in favor of the interpretation that Caravaggio was gay, though not every scholar has bought in. Without the discovery of, say, a diary or letters recounting

Caravaggio’s sexual affairs, we may never know for sure. Still, if one accepts that art does not lie, that art is based on truth, then the idea that Caravaggio was gay or at least bisexual holds weight. But oh—I mentioned murder early in this essay. It was among Caravaggio’s long list of transgressions. He was arrested and tried in court at least 11 times for assorted crimes against society. Among the more amusing was when he hurled a platter of artichokes at a waiter. In 1606, though, Caravaggio’s aggressive behavior finally reached its apex: a brawl over a game of tennis resulted in Caravaggio killing his opponent, Ranuccio Tommasoni. He escaped the clutches of the law, and the likely death sentence demanded by Tommasoni’s influential family, by fleeing Rome. He found refuge in various Italian cities, shielded by wealthy patrons who championed his art and continued to commission paintings by him for their palazzos, villas, and churches. Indeed, before Caravaggio was forced to escape Rome, he was admired as the most famous and talented painter in that city. In 1610, however, Caravaggio now age 39, tired of the provinces and yearned for the cultural excitement of the Italian capital. He arranged to travel back to Rome in the hopes of seeking a pardon for his crimes from none other than the pope. He never made it. He died along the way. The circumstances of Caravaggio’s death have not been settled. There is evidence that he died of a fever in Porto Ecole, but there is also evidence that he was killed by Tommasini’s family while on the riverboat taking him back to Rome. Documents in the Vatican support the latter theory. Oh, Signor Caravaggio, you were such a bad boy, but oh, the art you made! ▼ Ann Aptaker is the author of short stories and the Lambda & Goldie award winning Cantor Gold series. Her latest book, A Crime of Secrets, was released July 4, 2023.


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89 Letters





CAMP Rehoboth Puts Art at the Heart of Our Community

Ephemeral Expressions Through November 30


successful art reception was hosted on October 22, where artists and patrons socialized, enjoyed the art, and exchanged ideas. The art on display is Ephemeral Expressions: Capturing Transience through Fine Art Crafts. If you have not seen this exhibit, be sure to do so before the end of November. The artists shared their visions for creating fine art that celebrates the fragility and fleeting nature of existence while showcasing the skill and artistry of fine art craft techniques. Robert Bruce Weston attempts to display the incredible generosity of his medium, wood veneer. The generosity is in its uniqueness, which some may view as flaws, but “in my studio there are no flaws. Each is a signal of opportunity to find new form as stimulated by the naturalness of wood grain.” For Susan Frey’s art, daily life experiences, health issues, good and unfortunate circumstances, and gatherings with family and friends all intermingle day in and day out. Found objects are used in exploring her need to tell a story. Polymer clay is Joseph Barbaccia’s medium. It is a “versatile and forgiving medium that allows me to create intricate details and textures in my sculptures. I enjoy the tactile nature of working with polymer clay, which allows me to shape and mold my ideas into physical form.” This exhibition also incorporates an interactive element. Those who stop by will have an opportunity to create their own ephemeral art piece using the tabletop Zen Garden.

Images. L-R: Abstract #67 — Lover’s Blue Stardust by Robert Bruce Weston; Mitosis by Joseph Barbaccia; At the Table by Susan Frey.

This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com. Letters 90

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arts+entertainment Pacem in Terris’ Visionary Peace Youth Art Exhibition December 1 through 31, 2023


hat is your vision of a peaceful world? What does peace mean to you? Over 500 students from more than 30 Delaware schools and community organizations answered those questions by submitting inspiring artwork and descriptions. The young artists are between five and 18 years old, from public, private, and charter schools along with community groups. The top 100 messages of peace were selected to travel to different locations statewide for a rotating exhibition. CAMP Rehoboth is fortunate to have 15 of these selected works, along with their messages of peace, showcased in the CAMP Rehoboth Gallery in December. This event provides a

meaningful opportunity to celebrate the talent and creativity of young artists while providing an opportunity to reflect on the messages of peace and unity. Pacem in Terris, the nonprofit that organizes this program, is a grassroots organization committed to building relationships that transform minds to foster healing and peace. ▼

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


he holiday season is upon us, whether you’re ready or not. Santa is preparing for his appearance at our Hometown Christmas Parade, followed by an extended stay in his tiny house on the boardwalk, and elves are on their shelves, all set to spy on the naughty and the nice. Though many of you will be tempted to sit and watch everything the Hallmark channel has to offer (107 movies—1 plot), I shall follow Jacob Marley’s wise advice to Scrooge and get my butt off the couch. Join the entire county (or so it will feel!) as we start the season off right with the Rehoboth Beach Christmas Tree Lighting. One of the longest-standing holiday traditions here at the beach, this year’s pre-lighting sing-along will be led by the Clear Space Theatre Company and the cast of Estella Scrooge. November 24, the music starts at 6:30 p.m. with the official lighting at 7:00 p.m. The 91st Annual Lewes Christmas Parade steps out Saturday, December 2, starting at 5:00 p.m. and the Rehoboth Beach Hometown Christmas Parade is the following Monday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. For fans of English handbells—and who isn’t at this festive time of year?— the Capital Ringers (capitalringers. org) are touring from Lewes to Dover to Salisbury with their holiday concert, 12

Days of Christmas, November 25-December 10. Check their website for details on dates and locations. Combine your love of music and theatre with an evening at the Clear Space Theatre Company (ClearSpaceTheatre. org) with composer Paul Gordon’s new musical version of A Christmas Carol with a gender-bending twist—Estella Scrooge. A Wall Street tycoon, Estella is the great-great-granddaughter of Ebenezer. The musical retains the visits from three spirits, and throws in one from Scrooge himself, as well as characters from a few other Dickens’ classics! November 24-December 10. For the traditionalists among you, the Second Street Players (secondstreetplayers.com) produces the Lynn Ahrens & Alan Menken/Madison Square Garden version of A Christmas Carol. On stage November 24-December 3. Note: Epworth UMC will be sharing its parking lot with Schellville, so allow a bit of extra time for any of the below events hosted at Epworth. Southern Delaware Chorale (southerndelawarechorale.org) presents Candlelight Concerts: Midnight Mass—Friday, December 1 (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday, December 2 (3:00 p.m.). Tickets: SouthernDelawareChorale.org/tickets. Yule Love It! A Holiday Extravaganza featuring the Epworth Chan-

cel Choir performing Joseph Martin’s spectacular A Celebration of Carols, the ALLIANCE Singers of the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus sharing their vocal talents, a holiday sing-along for the audience, and maybe a few surprises. Sunday, December 10 (3:00 p.m.). Tickets: Epworth. Faith and at the door. Encore Chorale of Sussex County (encorecreativity.org/group/encore-chorale-of-sussex-county) makes their debut under the direction of Louise Foster with their FREE Holiday Concert—Monday, December 18 (7:00-8:00 p.m.). The new local Southern Delaware Orchestra (sodelomusic.org) presents their Holiday Concert featuring the FULL orchestra (strings/woodwinds/brass/percussion)—Saturday, December 16 (3:00 p.m.). Tickets: sodelomusic.org/tickets. The Mid-Atlantic Symphony (midatlanticsymphony.org) brings us Holiday Joy at the Ocean City Convention Center—Sunday, December 3 (2:30 p.m.)— under the baton of their spectacular new Music Director, Michael Repper. ▼ Leslie Sinclair is a member of the Delaware State Arts Council and passionate leader of CAMP Rehoboth’s visual arts programs. Doug Yetter is the Artistic Director for CAMP Rehoboth Chorus and Minister of Music at Epworth UMC.

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

91 Letters


by Terri Schlichenmeyer

BOOKED SOLID Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays c.2023, Blair Publisher, $17.95, 282 pages

The piece of cake you cut into did not have a pastel center. There were no pretty balloons in a box, no colorful confetti, no “Team Pink” or “Team Blue” t-shirts or bracelets. You didn’t have a genderreveal party for your baby because you didn’t want to know. As in the memoir Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays, you’ll let your child tell you in person. She never expected another baby. After seven years, Carolyn Hays thought she was done with diapers and late-night feedings but the pregnancy test didn’t lie. This was good news. The whole family was excited to welcome another member into the household! The baby was a boy—but as soon as he could talk, he told everyone he was a girl. No problem; Hays’ other children rolled with it; they “saw” their sibling for who she was. Teachers were also nonchalant; they gave the girl a nickname, and extended family members quickly learned to use it. Hays and her husband balked sometimes, though. They hoped it was a “phase.” They gave their daughter “girly” things and allowed her to wear girl’s clothing, but they tried “boy on the outside/girl on the inside” wordage. Their daughter patiently corrected them each time until eventually, they, too, saw the truth. Their youngest child was a girl.

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They were, at that time, “a big, loud East Coast family, new to the Bible Belt” but they’d found community in the south, and a support group so Hays could parent her trans daughter better. Everything seemed to work out—until the knock on the door. The representative of the Department of Children and Families couldn’t tell Hays who’d made a complaint about them, or when. They could only guess who was offended by their personal family matter, or their total acceptance of their daughter. All they knew, she said, was “We could lose custody. We could lose you.” If you are someone who loves a child—any child, even a cis child—be prepared to have your heart fall out of your chest. Letter to My Transgender Daughter is a nightmare, not because of the book itself but because of what very nearly happened to its author and her family. Indeed, this “letter” in book form goes from mildly confessional to outright terrified, and author Carolyn Hays susses out all your emotions and turns them raw. Hers is an honest story, not only of a trans girl but of parents who walk through the steps of acceptance. Cue the ominous music, though: you know what’s coming but foresight doesn’t diminish the outrage and fear you’ll feel, once you get there—although Hays doesn’t completely let you roll in misery. Readers will be delighted by the precociousness and determination in her daughter’s patient steadfastness, and by Hays’ family memories. Now out in paperback, Letter to My Transgender Daughter is an absolute must read for parents and for trans adults. Read it—then check the headlines and see if it doesn’t cut your heart to pieces. ▼


DRAGSGIVING Drag Show November 22 - 8PM



11 SHOWS: MAY 2 - 12


FOR 10 SHOWS: NOV 30 - DEC 10 THE BOY BAND PROJECT MERRY MANILOW CHRISTMAS Holiday Edition Music of Barry Manilow November 26 - 7:30PM Dec 21 - 2PM & 7:30PM

Relive the magic this holiday season!





DEC 17 - A NOT-SO-SILENT CHRISTMAS: Christine Havrilla & Mama’s Black Sheep DEC 18 - IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Film Screening DEC 20 - THE NUTCRACKER SUITE: Delmarva Big Band DEC 22 - CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAT PACK DEC 23 - MERRY MILTON HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Cabaret Show DEC 28 - THE GATHERING GLOOM: The Cure Tribute DEC 29 - A CAROLE KING CHRISTMAS: with Michelle Foster DEC 30 - LOVE’S A JOKE: Comedy Show DEC 31 - FLYING IVORIES: NYE Dueling Piano

For more information on tickets, show details, and full events calendar go to:


302.684.3038 | 110 Union St. Milton, DE

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

93 Letters

OUR SUPPORTERS MAKE IT HAPPEN PURPLE LEVEL Greg Albright & Wes Combs X Sondra N. Arkin X Aaron, Heather, Gia & Joe Book* Catherine & Katie Brennan Carol Bresler & Carolyn Billinghurst X Pat Catanzariti & Carole Ramos* Lee Chrostowski & Anne Tinen* Edward Joseph Chrzanowski * Jim D’Orta & Jed Ross & AJ, Cubby & Maryrose Skip Dye & Steven King* David Grossman & Jeremy Graboyes William Himelright & David Carter Deborah Hrab Judy & Carole Jesiolowski James W. Johnson & Matthew H. Shepard* Kim Leisey & Kathy Solano Chris Rinaldi & Brian Powers X Jennifer Rubenstein & Diane Scobey X Danny Sebright Gary Seiden & Ah Bashir X Leslie Sinclair & Debbie Woods X Diane Sweeney* William E. Cross Foundation, Arthur Brisker, Director Karen Zajick & Jennifer Weeks

INDIGO LEVEL Terry Albarella Murray Archibald & In Memory of Steve Elkins X Alex Benjamin & Pete Grover* Jane Blue & Louisa Watrel X Deborah Bosick Joe Brannen & John Klomp X Tom Brown X Deb Chase & Terry Barrera Richard Coss & Mike Hull* Elbert Leroy Dage Lou Fiore & Jim Burke* Richard Gamble & Paul Lindsey* Perry Gottlieb & Tim White* James Graham & David Dusek Nannette Grimes & Marian McKennan Wendy Grooms & Barbara Fishel X Fred Harke - In Memory of Robert Rougeau X Holly Horn & Kathleen Garrity X Bernadette & Michele Humphrey-Nicol Melissa & Amanda Kaufman X Maureen Keenan & Teri Dunbar X Jerry Kennedy & Robert Quinones X Russell Koerwer & Stephen Schreiber X Roger Kramer* Susan Kutliroff & Barbara Snyder* Julie Landrio Christine Lay X Curtis J. Leciejewski, DDS, PA X Thom Morris & Jim Slusher* Rick Mowery & Joe Conn X

Letters 94

Tom Negran & Marc Anthony Worosilo X David Nelson & William McManus X John Newton & Mowry Spencer X Mark Niehaus & Brooks Honeycutt X Jennifer Noel Jeanine O’Donnell - State Farm* Gwen Osborne & Katie Handy X Porter-Gordon Family* Deborah Qualey & Karen Gustafson X Lori & Renee Rocheleau Mark Roush & Dave Banick* Mark Schweizer & Robert Voelker Frank Surprenant, DDS & Chris Wisner X Susan Tobin & Cathy Martinson* Terry Vick* Mel W. & Linda Lee M. Weller

BLUE LEVEL Ronald Bass & George Robbins X Tim & Meredith Birrittella Chris Bowers* Karen Brause & Kim Sheaffer* Tony Burns X Coleen Collins & Berdi Price X Donna Davis & Gail Jackson X Rebecca & Natalia Evans Connie Fox & Donna Adair* Irene & Lou Katz* Nancy & Tora Kennedy* Paul & Anne Michele Kuhns* Kim Parks & Sharon Denny Chris Rouchard X Michael Shaffer & Benjamin Wilson X Mary Spencer & Kathy Lingo* Lucinda Treat

GREEN LEVEL Marge Amodei* Sharon Bembry & Lois Powell* Andrew Benson & Santookh Singh Teresa Bolduc & Kim McGeown* David Bower* Jacqueline Bowman & Jill Snyder David W. Briggs & John F. Benton X Charlie Browne & Rod Cook X Barry Bugg* Cheryl Buxton* Jay Campbell & Sam Cipoletti Jay Chalmers & John Potthast X Paul Christensen & Dennis Morgan* Stephen Corona* Lewis & Greg Dawley-Becker* Mike DeFlavia & Tony Sowers* Marianne DeLorenzo & Linda Van de Wiele* Max Dick* Diane Dragositz Peggy & Evie Englebert Kathy & Corky Fitzpatrick X Cynthia Flynn & Deirdre Boyle X Roland Forster & David McDonald* Bill Fuchs & Gerry Beaulieu*

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Lisa Gilley Richard Green & Asi Ohana X Bob Gurwin & John Rourke Wesley Hacker & David Block* John Hackett & Tom Newton* David Hagelin & Andy Brangenberg* Jo Hamilton & Donna Voigt* Jenn Harpel & Katie Rickards* Steve Hoult & Rick Bane X Anthony Incalcatera & James Buswold Alex Ix & Dave Gailbraith Jocelyn Kaplan & Idalie Adams - In Memory of Adeline Kaplan X Deborah Kennedy & Beth Yocum* Eric Korpon & Steven Haber* Leslie Ledogar & Marilyn Hewitt* John J. MacDonald & Douglas James Bob Mancuso & Doug Murray Katherine Martin James Mease & Philip Vehslage* Milan Mladjan & Michael Lakford Susan Morrison* Dennis Neason & Steve Bendyna* Kim Nelson & Lori Simmons X Fran O’Brien & David Gifford* Keith Petrack & Michael Fetchko* Anne Pikolas & Jean Charles X Gail Purcell & Sandy Kraft* Bill Rayman & Frank King* Marty Rendon & John Cianciosi* Kim Rutherford & Dalit Eyal Douglas Sellers & Mark Eubanks* Sheila Sferrella & Cindy Wedel Scott Shaughnessy * Joseph Steele & Chris Leady* David Streit & Scott Button* Laurie Thompson Anne Tracy & Mary Gilligan* Kathy Wiz & Muriel Hogan X Jon Worthington & Bryan Houlette X

YELLOW LEVEL Keith Anderson & Peter Bish X Dale Aultman & Paul Gibbs X Shannon & Sarah Avery* Pamela Baker & Diane Dixson* Linda Balatti & Shirley Gilmer X Mike Ballinger & in Memory of Martin Thomas* Miriam Barton* Chris Beagle & Eric Engelhart* Tom Beall Barbara Beavers & Kathy Carrell Michael Beigay Sherry Berman & Deb Hamilton X Abby Bernstein & Karen Frank X Michael Boyle & Greg Murphy X Mary Ann Brewer Daniel Bruner & Tim Beymer David Carder* Kate Cauley & Pat Newcomb* Bob Chambers* Jim Chupella & Jim Wigand* Dottie Cirelli & Myrna Kelley X Steve Clayton & Brad Lentz*

CAMP REHOBOTH MEMBERSHIP 2023 Betsy Cohen Gary Colangelo & Gerald Duvall X Nancy Commisso* Thomas Conway & Thoth Weeda* Billy Cox & John Carr* Drexel Davison - Bad Hair Day?* Fred DiBartolo & Steve Wood X Maureen Dolan & Karen McGavin* Polly Donaldson Albert Drulis & Scott Silber* Sandy Duncan & Maddy Ewald* Ann Evans* Karen Faber & Lisa Balestrini Faber* Alice Fagans & Ruth Ann Mattingly* Lisa Fernandez & Allison Lindon Cecily Fisher & Loretta Higgins Keven Fitzsimmons & Jeff Stroud X Monica Fleischmann & Lona Crist X John Flournoy & Jim Chrobot Gary Gajewski - In Memory of Dr. John A. Boscia* Susan Goudy* Ken Green & Joe Kearney* Robert Henthorne & Roger Bolduc Theodore Hickman Carol Holland - Holland Jewelers X Caroline Huff & Brenda Robertson* Nan Hunter & Chai Feldblum Philip Johnson* Dee Dee Jones & Julie Blake Frank Jump & Vincenzo Aiosa* Marilyn Kates & Laura Glenn* Leigh Ann Kidd Andy Kite & Karl Martin Jay Kottoff & Mark Matey* Myra Kramer & John Hammett* Greg Kubiak* Edmund LeFevre & Keith Wiggs X Greg Lehne Judy Lettes & Sandra Sue Monica Lewis & Ann Zimmerman* David Lindeman & Andrew Phipps Frank Liptak & Joe Schnetzka* John Mackerey & Donald Filicetti* Patricia Magee & Anita Pettitt X Jill Masterman & Tammy Jackson* Tony Mazzarella* Howard Menaker & Patrick Gossett X Ray Michener & Tom Carlson* Bob Morris & James Weygandt Sandy Neverett & Pam Cranston X Pat Nickols* Paul Nye & Jerry Hofer Donna Ohle & Susan Gaggiotti X Maggie Ottato X Dotti Outland & Diane Mead X Joanne Picone & Kathy Bostedo* Frank Pirhalla Stephen Pleskach X Jim Pressler X Gene Roe X Thomas Rose & Thomas Sechowicz X Lucien Rossignol & Tom Harris* Terri Ryan & Kerry Muldoon Mark Saunders & Bob Thoman* Sheryl Schulte & Jeanne LaVigne*

Teri Seaton Troy Senter & Stacey Chan* Polly Smale & In Memory of Charlotte Reid* David Smith & Kenn Williams Susan Soderberg & Terri King X John Michael Sophos & Miss Dot Sophos* Diane Sozio & Patricia Hutchinson* Matthew Stensrud & Michael Cohen* Michael Strait & Tim O’Bar Lenny Stumpf & John B. Pitchford* Kaye Sullivan Brett Svensson & Bill Quinn - Dust Doctors LLC* Thrasher’s French Fries* Lana Warfield & Pamela Notarangelo X Michael Weinert X Walter Welsh & Martin Thomas William Wheatley* Steven Wunder & Rod Hastie Jean Sutliff Young* Joanne Yurik* Larry Zeigler X John Zingo & Rick Johnson*

ORANGE LEVEL Ria Allman James Apistolas & Christopher Galanty* Gwen Atwell & Marla Hoon* Romulus Barba & Dean Yanchulis* Paul Barbera & Joseph Nolan James Beal & In Memory of David Van Patter Peter Beck Susan Becker & Mary Ellen Wivel Joel Berelson & Charles Maples* Beatrice Birman & Mary Malgorie Janet Blaustein & Dona Garofano Kathy Board & Jackie Maddalena Boland Family - In Memory of Michael J. Kelly* Richard Bost & Thomas Moore* Linda Bova & Bridget Bauer - The Sea Bova Associates* Theo Braver William Briganti & Gary Moore* Anita Broccolino - In Memory of Cathy Fisher Wendy Bromfeld* Ronald Butt & Steve Cannon* Community Bank Delaware* Mark Conheady* Lois Cortese & Jill Stokes X Kay Creech & Sharon Still* Theresa-Ann Crivelli & Angela Murray* Lydia Croce Kenneth Currier & Mike Tyler X John D’Amico* Kathy Davison & Ruth Dickerson X Linda DeFeo X Anthony Delacruz & Ronald Mangano Continued on page 96

Please Support CAMP Rehoboth with a Year-End Gift. Pride in Progress: Embrace, Empower, Evolve Your gift will help keep CAMP (Creating a More Positive) Rehoboth as a vital resource that continues to serve the LGBTQ+ community. Your generosity will enable us to further our mission to seek and promote cooperation and understanding among all people, as we work to build a safer community with room for all. This year we have an exciting opportunity thanks to long-standing supporters who have stepped forward with a Year-End Matching Gift. Any gift made between now and December 31st, will be matched dollar for dollar.

☐ Yes I want to support the LGBTQ+ community with a Year-End tax deductible gift to CAMP Rehoboth! ☐ $35 ☐ $50 ☐ $100 ☐ $250 ☐ $500 ☐ $1,000 ☐ Other Make this gift: ☐ In memory of ☐ In honor of

YOUR GIFT OF: ▶ $35 will double to $70 ▶ A contribution of $100 will grow to $200


▶ A most generous gift of $500 will be matched dollar for dollar and become $1000



Our heartfelt thanks to all who are able to contribute to our Year-End campaign!




NAME(S) FOR LISTINGS* *Contributors may be acknowledged in our publications unless otherwise requested

☐ Check here to remain anonymous IF YOU PREFER TO DONATE ONLINE, please visit camprehoboth.com and click on the Donate Now button. If you are interested in learning about our Planned Giving and Legacy Giving options, please contact Laurie Thompson at laurie@camprehoboth or call 302.227.5620.

☐ Enclosed is my check payable to CAMP Rehoboth ☐ Please charge my: ☐ American Express ☐ MasterCard ☐ Visa CREDIT CARD NUMBER




BILLING ZIP CODE (if different than above)

MAIL TO: CAMP Rehoboth/EOY, 37 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

37 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302.227.5620 | camprehoboth.com

CAMP Rehoboth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. EIN: 51-0331962

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

95 Letters

Continued from page 94

J. Lynne Dement & Lisa J. Snyder* Donna Dolce* Kevin Doss & Arie Venema* Arlyce Dubbin & Kathleen Heintz* Lissa Dulany Brenda Dunn & Karen Anderson* Susan Eig & Ellen Schiff X Jeanne Embich* Robin Esham Maureen Ewadinger* Ellen Feinberg & Lesley Rogan X Paul Finn & Joseph Porporino* Barbara Fitzpatrick & Denise Centinaro Deb Fox & Deb Bonneau Charlie Gable Ron Glick & Tien Pham* William Gluth & Channing Daniel* Ed Gmoch* Gail Gormley* Deborah Grant & Carol Loewen* Robert Grant & Chris Cossette Renee Guillory & Melissa Vila-Guillory Siobhan Halmos & Beth McLean* Tracey & Erica Hellman Sharon Hoffer Cindy & Wilma Holt Vance Hudgins & Denny Marcotte* John Hulse X Janet Idema & Patricia Higgins* Anne Kazak & Chris Coburn X Kathleen Kelly & Jeff Van Siclen Maryl Kerley X Ned Kesmodel & Matt Gaffney X Bonnie Kirkland & Wanda Bair X Rob & Jean Krapf X Robin Kroft & Elina Toole Barbara Lang & Diane Grillo* James Lawrence & Bob Paladrani Mary Jo & Rachel Lauer Jim Lesko* Robert & Yen Ling Chip Logan Duncan MacLellan & Glenn Reighart* Susan Macy Amanda Mahony & Alex Albanese Robb Mapou & Mike Zufall* Marsha Mark & Judy Raynor* James Mastoris & Edward Chamberlain X Michael & Stephan Maybroda* Marcia McCollum Kathy & Steve McGuiness* Michael McNease Sherril Moon & Louise Montgomery* Margaret Moore & Sheree Mixell X Carol Morris & Ann Abel Lisa Mosley Judy Olsen & Joanne Kempton X Sandra Oropel & Linda Frese* Carolyn Ortwein & Ann Barry* Rutland Paal & Robert Mittleman* Sandra Pace & Barbara Passikoff X Stephen Pape & Jerry Clark* Steve Parker* Ellen Passman X Patricia Pawling & Jennifer Butz* Rina Pellegrini Deena Pers X Grace Pesikey & Janet Urdahl* Russ Phipps & Stephen Jacobs*

Letters 96

Peter Pizzolongo & Carlos Prugue* Jay Raksin* Susan Reinagel & Dawn Henderson* Pat Renninger & Tammy Plumley X Judy Rosenstein & Elva Weininger X Deborah & Charles Ross X Michael Safina & Tim Bean Katherine Sams* Richard Sargent* Richard Scalenghe & Thomas Panetta* Gary Schell & Jim DiRago Laurie Schneider & Margie Ripalda* Carol Scileppi & Valerie McNickol* Craig Sencindiver & Gary Alexander* Marj Shannon & Carla Burton* Tara Sheldon* Frank Shockley & Arthur Henry* Cathy Sieber & Brenda Kriegel* Anita Smulyan Tina Snapp & Susan Leathery* Christine Stanley & Joyce Rocko* Robert Stoltzfus & Gerald Warhola* Sandy Sullivan Terrence Sullivan Trudie Thompson James Vernicek & Jeff Dailey* Joseph Vescio Tama Viola* Don Wainwright & Tom Jamison* Patricia Walker Bryan Warner & Mike Nonemaker Troy Watson & Dennis Wolfgang* Don Wessel Ralph Wiest & Anthony Peraine* Daryle Williams & Steven Fretwell* Lynne Wilmer & Jeannie Marsh Melanie Wolfe & Monica Niccolai Robert T. Wright & Jack Lim* Sherri Wright & Dick Byrne* Niki Zaldivar & Cecil McNeil X Helaine Zinaman & Roselyn Abitbol X

RED LEVEL Guy Abernathey X Dale Adams Debra Adrian Jim Affonco X Mark Aguirre & Wayne Gleason X Nancy Ahluwalla Bill Alldredge X Chris Allison Stephani Allison & Judith Gorra X Katherine Alteneder Alan Anderson X Daniel Anderson & Greg Melanson Andrea Andrus & Maggie Shaw X Peter Antolini X Patricia Antonisse X Wanda Armwood & Illona Williams* Cynthia Arno Diane Athanas Josh Bach & Edward Ginley Kathleen Bailey X Christine A. Baker John Baker & Richard Latham X Ruth Ball & Mary Ellen Jankowski* Sarah Barnett Curtiss Barrows X Barbara Bastow & Margaret McHale John Batchelor X Karen Beck*

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Beebe Medical Foundation* Mike Behringer & Nelson Correa* Alex Belano George Benes & Michael Mallee X Suzanne Bennethum & Deborah Smith* Jeri Berc X John Berdini X Lisa Beske - In Loving Memory of Steve Elkins* Christine Bielenda & Karen Feuchtenberger* Thomas Biesiadny X Deb Bievenour & Susan Shollenberger* Beatrice Birman & Mary Malgoire Lorraine Biros* Cathin Bishop & Laura Simon X Ann Black & Kaye Wachsmuth X Carol Blair* Eric Blondin - State Farm Insurance Rehoboth Beach X Jacquelyn Blue X Rev. Dr. Tom Bohache & Tom Laughingwolf Simmons X Annabelle Boire* Carl Bomberger & Mike Rhoads Robin Bond & Leanna Johannes* Bob Bonitati X Joy Boone & Marina Simmers X Randall Borgerson X Pete Borsari X Laura Borsdorf X Nancy Bouse & Norma Morrison X David & Donna Bowman X Deni Boyer & Loretta Imbrogono* Brian Boyle & Larry Gee X Beth Bozman* Jim Brady & Mike Hays X Kelly Brennan & Susan McVey* Susan Brinsfield & Barbara Devenport Kevin Brown X Lyn Brown & Winsome Boyd* Matthew Brown Al Bulliner X Belinda Buras & Linda Simeone* Geoffrey Burkhart & Bruce Williams* Carol L. Burnett X Timothy B. Bush X Richard Buske & Shawn McHugh Sherry Butler Ronald Butt & Emerson Bramble James Byrnes X Chris & Richard Cahill X Robertine Cale* Debbie Cali & Maddie Cunningham* Ingrid Callmann & Karen Askins* Leslie Calman & Jane Gruenebaum* Pat Campagna & Debra Sansoucie Terri Campbell & Victoria Smith Michele Campisi & Julie A. Slick X Joe Canter Matt Carey X Jim Carlo X Justine Carpenter X Shirley Carpenter & Mary Coldren X Deborah Carroll & Jill Steiner Jo Cason & Peggy Neidlinger Teresa Cason & Lynda Schepler X Sara Cavendish & Wendy Bunce X Denis Chandler & Sebastion DiMauro Linda Chaney & Irene Lawlor*

Helen Chang & Pat Avery* Dr. Harvey J. Chasser X Mike Chateauneuf X Dan Childers & Ted Hernandez* Tom Childers & John Hall X Sandra Chinchilla & Michelle Holmes X Curt Christensen & Ellen Heald* Billy J. Christian X Dennis Chupella & Rob White X Norma K. Clark X Rob Cline Amy Clouse & Betty Long X Julie Cockley Beth Cohen & Fran Sneider X Anne Cole & Sandy Freeman Carolyn Cole & Sandy McDevitt X Stuart Comstock-Gay X Inez Conover X Bill Cooley & Ken Watkins DVM X Josh Cooper & Steve Rathburn Jeffery A. Coover X Michael Cornell X Lois Corson X Mary Costa & Kris Nygaard* Renate Costner Becky & Tom Craft X Robert Crocetti X Bill Cross & David McCall X Madeline Cunningham & Linda Matulaitis Mark Cunningham & Ken Tattersall X Rich Custer Howard Cyr & Lynn Ashley* Ellen Dahl* William T. Darley X Carol Davidson Denise Davis & Jeanne Bilanin Jeremiah Davis Marsha Davis & Bev Lesher X Patricia Davis Frederick Dean & Steven Swierzy X Scott Dechen & James Maino* Michael Decker & Arley Jaimes X Michael DeGraffenreid Susie Ball & Susan Delaney X Ann DeLazaro & Annette Potemski Bernie Delia X Frank Dell’Aquila X Tracy Denton & Brenda Welsh Karen DeSantis & Carol Brice* David DeVargas & Steven Champion X Henry & Marcia DeWitt X Romy Diaz & Dennis Bann Geri Dibiase Photography* Julie Dickson X Phyllis Dillinger Tony DiMichele & Jeff Smith* Mary Dipietro & Wendy Schadt* Deb Dobransky & Ketty Bennett* Arthur Dochterman X David & Lizann Dockety X Peg Dolan & Mary McDevitt X Millie Donnell Frances Doyle X Paul Dradransky X Michael Driscoll & Ben McOmber X Susan Dube & Diana Patterson* Barry Dunkin* Deborah Duran Gene Dvornick X John Eckardt

Eden Restaurant X Richard Egler Susan Eig & Ellen Schiff Gail Elliott & Bea Hickey* Pamela Elliott* W. Kay Ellis* LeAnn Erickson & Julie Rasmussen Lisa Evans & Joann Gusdanovic John Farley & Dennis Wilson X Dent Farr & Erick Lowe* Susan Farr & Joanne Pozzo* Jane Farrell Rene Fechter Larry & Ro Fedorka* Karen Ferguson* Mark Fernstrom Virginia Fessler * Jayne Fetterman* Irene & Edward Fick* Louise Fickel & Robin Mullican Ben Ficks & Bob Angell Allen Fred Fielding X Jerry Filbin* Mark Finkelstein & Michael Zeik X Rick Fischer X Barbara Fischetti & Janet Thoden Gary Fisher & Josh Bushey* Chuck Flanagan X Paul Florentino & Chris Pedersen X Sandra Fluck & Bev Pasquarella* Bill Ford Mary Ford & Judy Hedrick X Beebe Frazer X Jon Frazier Phil Fretz X Neil Frock & Bob Harrison* Susan Furman Cathy Gaiser Lynn Gaites & Faye Koslow X Nina Galerstein* Marcia Gallo & Ann Cammett Jerry Gallucci & Conrad Welch* Karen Gantz & Jeanie Geist* Kathryn Gantz & Kathryn Gehret Don Gardiner X Alexis Gardner Annette Gardner Peter Garneau & Dennis Rodriguez Ed Gasper Mindy Gasthalter* Wilson Gates X Charles George & Dennis Rivard X Tracey Gersh & Amy Johnson Gary Gillard X Edward Ginley Joan Glass X Angela & Cheryl Glodowske Karen Glooch X Jane Godfrey* Randall Godwin X Jackie Goff & Mary Vogt X Dave Gold & In Memory of James Yiaski X Robert Gold X Suzanne Goldstein & Dana Greenwald X Milton Gordon & Bill Hromnak X Teresa Gordy & Barb Ford X Dan Goren & Peter Robinson X Anita Gossett & Ronnie Smith* Robert Gotwalt & Norman Jones Shelley Grabel Bill Graff & Jeff Schuck* Continued on page 98



The fastest, most convenient way to make a gift to CAMP Rehoboth is to donate online at www.camprehoboth.com/donate.

To donate by check, please make your check payable to: CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Ave Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

GIFTS OF STOCK OR SECURITIES It is easy to make your gift of stock or other longterm appreciated securities such as bonds or mutual funds to CAMP Rehoboth. To transfer stock, either you or your broker should simply fill out a transfer authorization form, and that's all there is to it.

OR REAL ESTATE Donating property that has appreciated in value allows you to maximize your gift while receiving a tax deduction for the full market value and avoid capital gains taxes.

ESTATE AND LIFE INCOME GIFTS A charitable gift from your estate is a favored method of giving that enables you to achieve your financial goals and benefit CAMP Rehoboth.

MATCHING GIFT Matching gifts are a great way to enhance your gift to CAMP Rehoboth. Please check with your company’s human resources department to determine if your company offers matching gifts.

DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS A donor-advised fund offers donor favorable tax benefits and maximum flexibility to support CAMP Rehoboth.

TRANSFER FROM AN IRA If you are 70 ½ years of age or older, a transfer from an IRA may be a beneficial way to support CAMP Rehoboth.

PLANNED GIFTS There are a number of ways you can use planned giving to build charitable giving into your life plans, even after death. Some can even help you lower your taxable income now! Consider planning ahead now and explore some of these ways for giving after life: Bequest Planned Gift Life Insurance Qualified Retirement Plan

Contact our Development Manager, Laurie Thompson, at laurie@camprehoboth.com to learn more about these ways to give.

Give Today at camprehoboth.org NOVEMBER 17, 2023

97 Letters

Continued from page 96

Lisa & Raymond Graff* Joe Greenhall & Tom Klingler Harvey Grider Richard Grifasi X John Grillone & Paul Schlear Jr. X Joseph Gritz X Carol Gross X James Gross X Richard & Frances Grote* Paula Grubbs X Helene Guilfoy X Bill Gunning & Joe Greoski X Mary Gunning* Jay Haddock & Hector Torres* Gerard M. Haley & George D. Zahner X Cynthia Hall X Roberta Hamer Mark Hare & Mike Newman X Kelley Harp X Sue Claire Harper David Harrer & Floyd Kanagy* Thomas F. Harris II Mary Hartman & Laurie Nelson Jeff Haslow X Janece Hausch* John & Mary Havrilla* Christine & Brooke Havrilla-Downes Nancy Hawpe Daniel F.C. Hayes* Ceil Hearn & Liv Ault Gail Hecky* Barb & Len Hedges-Goetti Leslie Hegamaster* Linda Heisner X Herbert Russell David Herchik & Richard Looman X Fred Hertrich X Howard Hicks & Stephen Carey X Helen Hilderbrandt Bill Hillegeist X Barbara Hines & Nancy Froome X Howard C. Hines, MD X Karen & Mickey Hinman Janel Hino & Patricia Ann Scully X Mary Hoban Derrick Hodge Harold Hogue Harris Holden X Connie Holdridge* Christine Holloran Robert Holloran & Ed Davis* James & Edna Holsinger Chris Holt & Emory Bevill X Mollyne Honor & Shelley Garfield* Larry Hooker X Mary Anne Hoopes & Dianna Johnston* James T. Hopkins X Elaine Horan & Debbie Sciallo X Frank Hornstein & Mark Henckel X James Hospital & Jack Fraker* Robert Hotes X Corey Houlihan & Karen Abato Ellan Hylton Batya Hyman & Belinda Cross* Thomas Ingold X Claire Ippoliti X Chris Israel & John Stassi X Debbie Isser & Fran Leibowitz* Geoffrey Jackson & Will Delany X

Letters 98

Fay Jacobs & Bonnie Quesenberry X Sharon Janis X Steve Janosik X Kathy Jantzen & Debi Cunn Allen Jarmon & Ward Ellinger X Robert Jasinski* Mary Jenkins & Laura Reitman Susan Jimenez & Cathy Benson X Donna A. Johnson* Ken Johnson X Jim Johnston* Richard Jolly & Charles Ingersoll X D. J. Jones* Gay Jones & Barb Bartels Glenn Jones X Sandra Jones* Tom Jones X Beth Joselow Wayne Juneau X Mick Kaczorowski X Darleen Kahl & Susan Poteet* Bob Kaplan & Jeff Davis X Daphne Kaplan & Steve Scheffer* Sharon Kaplan & Pamela Everett* Kevin P. Kaporch X Amylynn Karnbach - One Day At A Time Gifts, LLC* Dawn Kasow Jennifer & Michaele Kayes Peter Keeble & Tom Best* Mark Kehoe X Donald Kelly* Michael J. Kelly X John Kennedy* Hunter Kesmodel X Laurie Kessler & Jennifer Ierardi Tom Ketterman Marge Keyes & Julie Arenstein X Charlotte King Jim King Spencer Kingswell X Jane Knaus & Cindy Myers* Lisa Koenigsberg & Christa Marks Karen Konkel Stephen Kopp* John Kort & Hung Lai* Robert Kovalcik & Bob Howard X Marcia Kratz* Karen Kreiser & Beth Nevill* Kevin W. LaBarge X Beth Lake Cheryl Landry & Lisa Corrado Peter Lanzaro & Frank Bodsford X Gail Larabee Dr. Mathilda Laschenski & Dr. Kathleen Heacock X Ruth Lauver & Judy Wetzel* Kate Lavelle X Carol Lazzara & Sheila Maden* Charlie Lee X Tara Leek Jon Leeking & Dieulifete Jean* Monica Lehman & Cathy Amberman Lisa Lekawa Charles & Matthew Lentz Jen Leonard & Claire McCracken* Cecilia & Robert Leto Marsha Levine & Susan Hamadock X Arlene & Ginny Levy-Balmforth Barbara Lewis Barbara Lilien* Michael Linardi & Dean Tyson

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

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101 Letters

View Point


A Religious Bully, Two Heartbeats Away


on’t you hate it when people with more certitude than understanding try to boss everyone else around? That is what happens when religious fundamentalists gain political power. In an interview with Sean Hannity, new House Speaker Mike Johnson said, regarding questions about his positions on the issues, “Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.” Some of Johnson’s defenders claim that his critics are attacking him for expressing his Christian faith. They misrepresent the criticism. It is not his faith but his fanaticism that we are faulting. MAGA Mike is for individual freedom—but not my freedom to marry whom I choose, and not my nieces’ reproductive freedom. He’s for limited government—except when he wants to police bedrooms. He’s for the rule of law—except when he wants to overturn an election. Johnson wrote in 2004, “Experts project that homosexual marriage is the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.” Now he assures Hannity regarding marriage equality, “This has been settled by the Supreme Court.” That is just what several far-right members of the current Court said regarding Roe v. Wade at their confirmation hearings. Johnson is pushing a nationwide abortion ban. He supports Trump’s Muslim ban. He is part of the proRussia caucus. He used to work for the notoriously homophobic far-right group Alliance Defending Freedom. He thinks that anyone who does not share his particular religious beliefs is without morals. And he was a leader in trying to help Donald Trump steal the 2020 election. This extremist is second in line for the presidency. Letters 102

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People like Johnson talk as if the reference to a Creator in the Declaration of Independence brings in their entire theocratic program. Pardon me, but according to that document, the inalienable rights with which the Creator endowed us include the pursuit of happiness. When you insist on dictating other people’s happiness, you rob them of it. Christian nationalists, whose fanaticism dishonors both Christ and our nation, never explain how queer people are a threat. The bullies simply take it for granted that any difference from their

When you insist on dictating other people’s happiness, you rob them of it. own preference is a threat. They are as quick to judge others as they are to gloss over their own failings. Yet recent news stories about sexual abuse of young people have featured ministers and youth pastors, not LGBTQ rights advocates and drag queens. In Scripture, where some Christians find compassion and humility, religious bullies find cruelty and obscurantism. Happily, God gave us the brains to resist the bullies. People like Johnson are wrong on both the Constitution and the Gospel. But it is crucial for us to recognize that not all fanatics foam at the mouth. Some are mild-mannered and polite. The United States is not a Christian nation. The Founders made this clear in the Establishment Clause. Religious bullies simply do not care, any more than they care about Christ’s admonition against making a public show of religion (Matthew 6:5-8). They use the Bible

as a weapon rather than a source of reflection. Johnson’s claim to be divinely anointed is a reminder that he does not care what voters want. Then there is the Black boy he took in a couple of decades ago when the boy was 14, though Johnson never filed adoption papers. The son, Michael, never appeared in Johnson family photos. Johnson talks of Michael: “He says to people—he shares his testimony—that were it not for our intervention in his life, he would certainly have joined a gang, gotten on drugs, wound up in prison or dead on the streets somewhere.” Shares with whom? Does Johnson think this is the inevitable fate of Black boys? Something smells fishy here. What is Johnson hiding? And shouldn’t someone who has been so free with attacks against gay people expect journalists to check out his story? At a recent hearing, Rep. Maxwell Frost, himself a devout Christian, distinguished between Christianity and Christian nationalism. That distinction is vital. Bullies have no monopoly on religion. As for patriotism, you would think that public officials sworn to protect the Constitution would not be so quick to support insurrections and fake electors; but these zealots’ overweening sense of entitlement makes them think they can rewrite it to suit themselves. Speaker Johnson has expressed extreme views on a range of topics for years. Let us do him the honor of taking him seriously, and do all we can as voters to make his tenure and the Republican House majority brief. ▼ Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist at rrosendall@me.com.

Cold Hands, Warm Meals It’s that time of the year again…when winter’s chill descends upon Delaware, and we crave warm, satisfying meals. All too often, homebound seniors are unable to afford or prepare the foods that nourish and comfort them. These are the Delawareans that reach out to Meals On Wheels programs for help. Meals On Wheels not only provides a freshly prepared, hot meal, the familiar volunteers bring a smiling face through the shorter winter days and during the Holidays. Your Generous Gift will Help Provide Warmth & Compassion to Delaware’s Most Vulnerable Seniors.


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Together we can end senior hunger. www.MealsOnWheelsDE.org NOVEMBER 17, 2023

103 Letters



Midwest Princess In Her Element


n Detroit recently, the pop singer celebrated her own queerness and everyone else’s, too… Ahead of bringing easily one of the queerest pop shows to a sold-out crowd in Detroit, rising performer Chappell Roan made a request to Michigan fans on her Instagram—wear something rainbow. At the October St. Andrews Hall show, Roan explained that she wanted to give everyone a chance to go full-on gay. Openly queer herself, she acknowledged an understanding that things aren’t great for LGBTQ+ people right now, and so to her queer fans, she conveyed a heartfilled message: “You are safe here.” That night, there were so many rainbows that you would be spotted for not sporting one. Pride colors were bedazzled on shirts, printed on socks, and painted on glitter-speckled faces. October felt like June as Roan turned the Detroit venue into an average day on the streets of West Hollywood. (She’ll hit the road next year too, playing to arena crowds when she opens for pop megastar Olivia Rodrigo.) Both through her defiant music and her less assured stage banter, which emphasized her completely uncaged pop persona, Roan made affirming statements that a mostly Gen Z crowd ate up. Some of it was about her own journey to self-discovery, some about kissing whoever you want to kiss. The song “Kaleidoscope” was dedicated directly to the queer community. “This is your song,” she said about the achingly beautiful slow piece, on which she describes love as multidimensional—“never just a shape alone.” Watching Roan perform for the first time in a small club, I was reminded of Lady Gaga’s debut show in Michigan at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in 2009 during The Fame Ball tour. Gaga, at the time, was just a couple more singles away from meat-dress-wearing pop stardom, and her show then was also a love letter to the queer community. Roan and Gaga share space in a paralLetters 104

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lel pop universe, and based on how Roan perfectly covered “Bad Romance” at her recent show, Gaga’s sandbox is one Roan is happy to play in. But the Gaga-ness of Roan’s own pop music—the theatrics, the camp, the unserious messiness of it all—can be heard throughout her promising debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. Like so many queer pop artists who set their eyes on shinier sights, Roan, whose real name is Kayleigh Rose, outgrew her Midwest roots. Her own smalltown queer experience will resonate with anyone who grew up without the kind of

visibility that makes it easier to be who you are. But Roan, who has known she was queer since seventh grade and is now being called the “queer pop moment” by Vogue, didn’t know any queer girls in Willard, Missouri, where “gay boys in my school who were out got terrorized, slurred, threatened.” “It was horrible,” she tells me during a Zoom call before her Detroit stop. “I saw what would happen if you came out, and I knew that it was a sin at the time, and I think that to grow into the queer girl that I am today, I obviously had to stop dating men who were not it. I had to stop

“I have a girlfriend now, and I just struggle with it still, but it’s taken baby steps to get to the confident drag queen version of myself.” settling for losers and start dating women and getting rid of that shame. I have a girlfriend now, and I just struggle with it still, but it’s taken baby steps to get to the confident drag queen version of myself.” At 18, she left the Midwest and moved to West Hollywood, where she turned the volume up on all things queer. It was there she experienced drag queens, the outwardly queer kind, for the first time, even though the Disney princesses she met as a kid at Disney World were her first “drag” inspiration. It’s her earliest memory of being in “such awe of the makeup, the hair, the outfits, the dancing, the songs.” With drag performance as an entry-point into queerdom, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, then, was destined to be proudly rooted in the art form. Roan describes the album as “super obnoxious and very tongue in cheek, and I think that’s exactly what drag queens do.” One song, “Casual,” features a “mermaid drag girly” in the video; in another, for “My Kink Is Karma,” Roan appears as “literally a drag clown devil situation.” For the video, she learned how to do drag brows by watching makeup tutorials on YouTube by beauty expert Patrick Starrr, who appeared as a guest judge on Drag Race Philippines. “I think the songs themselves have drag elements,” she says, “but more so in the visual aspects of how I do my makeup. All the songs are very camp, and I think if you’re taking it seriously, you see it as tasteless, but the reality is that’s just drag; it’s supposed to be tacky.” Go back even earlier to her biggest single to date, “Pink Pony Club,” released in 2020 but still finding new audiences even now, and you’ll hear Roan envisioning how her mother might react to seeing her dress entirely different. Roan can picture what her mom—melodramatically shocked—would say while she’s dancing at a strip club: “God, what have you done?” The song, which references a club just outside of Willard, was inspired by Roan’s obviously transformative visit to the gay bar The Abbey in West Hollywood. “I can’t ignore the crazy visions of

me in LA,” she sings, “and I heard there’s a special place where boys and girls can be queens every single day.” In the video, she prances around on stage in a rhinestone encrusted cowboy hat at a biker bar—you can imagine some of those grizzled guys batting an eyelash at what’s about to come—and then, suddenly, Roan lets loose with drag queens Porkchop and Meatball and a posse of harness-clad leather daddies. Midwest princess reborn! “I think what this project is honoring is that inner child of mine and proving to her that she deserves to be that version and that she does exist,” Roan says. Outside of immersing herself in the freewheeling LA life, it was opening up for UK pop-rock artist Declan McKenna, whose spectrum of queer sexuality is ever-changing, in 2018 that proved inspirational. “I was so jealous of them, because they had glitter on their faces every night, and they threw balloons in the audiences and they were jumping off amps and speakers and everyone was screaming,” she says. “There’s no reason to be doing this job if it doesn’t feel like that.” “I love seeing other queer artists, of

course, and I love talking to them,” she adds. “I feel like there’s a little alliance with all the queer girlies. I was literally talking to Reneé Rapp this morning, and then Hayley Kiyoko and I are friends.” With regard to her own musical journey, Roan attributes attending summer camp at Interlochen in Michigan, a place that “literally changed my life,” to a pivotal professional breakthrough. “I’d never met creative kids before that camp, and it changed my trajectory forever,” she says. “I’d never been with other songwriters before in my life that were my age. Everyone was a f***ing hippie, and I’m from Trump country. I’m from a heavily church background, and this is not that. There were kids from all over the world there. It was just so inspiring.” The song she wrote at Interlochen, “Die Young,” ended up being the most significant in her professional career as a recording artist, when “a few months later, I was sought out by record labels and six months later got signed for five years.” She was only 17 and already picked up by a major label (after Atlantic Records dropped her in 2020, she released her full-length debut on Island Records). Continued on page 106

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Continued from page 105

“Die Young” was released as the first single from her 2018 EP, School Nights, an era in her career that she describes as “dark alt-pop girl vibe.” “That was really just not fun. Gay clubs are much more fun than straight clubs,” she says. The stage isn’t just her playground, though. Even now at 25, just a few years into her career, Roan knows the power of her platform, and she knows how to use it as a queer artist. “I know for my project, I am very adamant about giving back to the queer community,” she says, “and I think that is what I encourage to other artists, whether they’re queer or not, just giving back to the community that supports them so much, whether that be by lowering ticket prices to what they can, or lowering merch prices to what they can, or donating a portion of every ticket or doing charity events. I think that’s the most important part, because no one’s

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going to stand up for queer people. It’s got to be us. We have to support each other. We have to do mutual aid funding and mutual safe spaces.” Proceeds from every ticket sold on her tour are going to For The Gworls, a Black- and trans-led charity based in New York. As for her openers, she’s sharing the stage with those who have inspired her—drag queens. Three Detroit queens, ANTI, Perry Dox, and Aphrodite, opened for her at St. Andrews. At the show, Roan pointed people to their Venmos so they could tip them. Whether it’s the drag queens onstage or queer pop peers like Kiyoko and Fletcher, Roan is one with the “little pop girlies” now—a phrase it’s hard to imagine her even thinking about using when “Die Young” came out. But in Detroit, freer to be herself in all her aspirational queer glory, a different artist emerged. It was clear that night Roan hadn’t just accomplished what she was inspired by McKenna to do—“I feel

like I was put on this earth to throw fun parties”—but she made that party seem like a homecoming for anyone who also knows the feeling of wanting to break free. “I feel really at peace, which is something that I didn’t really know I would feel,” Roan says. “But I just feel gratitude and peace. I’m proud that I kept going through all of the part-time jobs, through being dropped by a label, through all the breakups, through all the times my bank account was nearly empty. I think as long as I’m literally putting on shows that make people happy, or playing music that makes people feel seen and heard, I can’t ask for anything else.” ▼ Chris Azzopardi is the Editorial Director of Pride Source Media Group and Q Syndicate, the national LGBTQ+ wire service. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi. Photo credit: Ryan Clemens

Advisor to philanthropists. Trusted partner and resource to professional advisors. “The cost of education has gotten to the point that people with means really ought to look at how they can support people. I really do hope my scholarship fund at the DCF encourages others to think about doing the same.” Bob Martz, Wilmington, Bob Martz Scholarship Fund

At the Delaware Community Foundation, we help donors and their professional advisors make savvy decisions about charitable giving to maximize tax advantages and community impact.

DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay with donor Bob Martz

To learn more, contact Mike DiPaolo, vice president for Southern Delaware, at mdipaolo@delcf.org or 302.335.6933.

delcf.org/daf NOVEMBER 17, 2023

107 Letters



Landscaping with Edibles


rnamental gardening, often characterized by lush flowerbeds and carefully arranged shrubs and trees, has been a beloved pastime and hobby for generations. However, a trend has emerged in recent years, as gardeners are increasingly blending the aesthetics of ornamental plants with the practicality of fruits and vegetables. This innovative approach to gardening combines beauty with utility, creating vibrant, edible landscapes that not only delight the eye but also nourish the body. One of the primary reasons for the growing popularity of ornamental gardening with edibles is the aesthetic appeal of these plants. For instance, imagine a garden where tomatoes, with their vibrant red and yellow hues, are grown alongside sunflowers, creating a cheerful and visually stimulating display. This juxtaposition of colors and texture is a testament to the remarkable potential of combining beauty with utility. Another aspect to consider is the diverse foliage that many edible plants offer. The lush, deep color of Swiss chard, for example, provides a striking contrast when planted next to the fine-textured foliage of ornamental grasses. Or plant big-leaf hosta next to carrots with their lush green lacey tops. This harmonious blend of textures and colors enhances the garden’s overall appeal and demonstrates that edible plants can be just as visually striking as their ornamental counterparts. The integration of fruits and vegetables into ornamental gardening goes beyond aesthetics, offering a range of practical benefits. The practice promotes sustainability, self-sufficiency, and a deeper connection to the food we consume. This can also be considered as a form of permaculture. Sustainability is a critical concern in our modern world. By growing our own food in our ornamental gardens, we can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting produce from distant farms. This shift toward local, homegrown Letters 108

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food is not only environmentally responsible but also contributes to the reduction of food waste and packaging. Self-sufficiency is another key advantage of ornamental gardening with

The lush, deep color of Swiss chard, for example, provides a striking contrast when planted next to the fine-textured foliage of ornamental grasses. edibles. As we cultivate our gardens, we gain greater control over the quality and safety of the produce we consume. This empowerment allows us to reduce our reliance on industrial agriculture, which often employs harmful chemicals and unsustainable farming practices. Furthermore, by growing our own fruits and vegetables, we can reduce our grocery bills while enjoying organic, pesticide-free produce. Consider planting a food forest patch as well. It is designed to mimic a natural forest with various layers, from trees to shrubs in the upper sections, to peren-

nials, groundcovers, and vines on the ground plane. Fruits trees, nut trees, vegetables, and herbs can all be grown harmoniously in a food forest patch. Freshly picked produce from your ornamental garden is at the peak of its nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables that are allowed to ripen on the vine are more nutrient-dense than those transported over long distances. This translates to more flavorful and healthier meals, and with careful planning the garden can produce edibles during three seasons of the year, providing the gardener with a diverse and rich menu. The act of growing your own food also fosters a deeper appreciation for what you eat. When you witness the entire growth cycle, from seed to harvest, you develop a greater understanding of the effort and care required to produce food. This awareness often results in more mindful and sustainable dietary choices. Ornamental gardening with fruits and vegetables represents a harmonious fusion of aesthetics and functionality, where beauty meets utility. This innovative approach not only enhances the visual appeal of gardens but also promotes sustainability, self-sufficiency, and healthier lifestyles. As more gardeners embrace the idea of combining ornamental and edible plants, we can look forward to a future where our gardens are not only pleasing to the eye but also nurturing to the body and soul. By sowing the seeds of this practice, we can cultivate a more sustainable and mindful way of living, where the garden becomes a source of inspiration, nourishment, and connection with nature. Have fun planning your next edible landscape, and let’s garden together. ▼ Eric W. Wahl is Landscape Architect at Pennoni Associates, and President of the Delaware Native Plant Society. Photo credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

* November 19th: Bear Beer Bust 2-6 PM @ Aqua * November 25th: Santa Saturday 5-8 PM @ Top of the Pines * December 1st: Holiday Bar Crawl 5-7 PM @ Top of the Pines 7-9 PM @ Above the Dunes * December 17th: Bear Beer Bust 2-6 PM @ Aqua


NOVEMBER 17, 2023

109 Letters

Visiting View


My Super-Sunny New City


reetings Letters Readers— Robby from Fort Lauderdale here, saying “hi!” I know it’s been a hot minute since my last reports from the sunshine state, after my big move from Brooklyn a few months ago, so—time for an update. I would love to tell you all that my self-imposed writing hiatus has been due to me living my best life here in Fort Lauderdale—meeting people, making friends, and all around crushing it here in my new home. However, sadly, it’s actually quite the opposite. Suffice it to say, it has been a rough beginning to my next chapter. Just to list a few examples: a start-up organization I was spearheading down here fell apart within the first weeks—the Board in NYC was not on-board with the changes (pun very much intended). Also, making friends in your late-ish 40s is not easy; there were some housing issues; and then—there’s the heat. Everyone tells you making friends gets harder as you get older. It’s even harder when you are trying in a new city. People say Fort Lauderdale is different— and you say to yourself, “how different can it be?” Trust them and me—it’s different. It’s hard to put it into words—even for a writer—but it’s just different. My good friend, Chad, spelled it out for me pretty succinctly: “It’s very clique-y. You have to know someone to get invited anywhere, and people are reluctant about introducing a stranger to their crew because there are a lot of shady people around these days. They don’t call it ‘a sunny place for shady people’ for nothing.” As a non-shady person, I sort of understand. As a transplant from NYC looking to make friends, it sucks. Moving here in the middle of July, in the hottest summer on record, just might have been a huge misstep. My inspired thought was that I would get here and be all settled before snowbird season started. However, it turns out that a large (very large) portion of queers in Fort LauderLetters 110

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dale pick up and leave for the summer and are hence reverse snowbirds themselves. Two of my very good friends did this migration. Luckily, they are both headed back as I write this.

I would love to say in the time I have been here I have tackled DIY projects, taken a cooking class, and gotten into peak physical shape. But I can’t. One positive step forward! Because, let’s face it, having even one person to go out with makes a huge difference. People here seem to be very wary of other people in a bar or club all by themselves. Like, “why don’t you have friends to go out with?” I get it, to a degree. And even the times I did go out alone and found people to talk to and have a drink and a laugh with, following up with, “this was fun why don’t we hang out again?” usually landed as flat as the Florida topography. Another misstep of mine was thinking that moving here in July, I could find cheaper housing. That whole wantingto-get-settled took a nosedive when two housing situations fell apart at the last minute. First, I was in a friend’s spare room for a month (thank you, Adam) before finding a temporary situation, which was really nice but…it ends this month. BUT another positive step forward: one of those two snowbird friends who is moving back set me up with another transplant friend of his from California who is also looking for housing. Looking for a two-bedroom apartment instead of looking to move into an already established situation makes a world of

difference. We have seven places to look at—all within my budget—this week alone. #halleloo I would love to say in the time I have been here I have tackled DIY projects, taken a cooking class, and gotten into peak physical shape. But I can’t. Instead, to be honest with you, I fell back into old habits: Sleeping late, taking edibles, eating too much candy, watching YouTube videos, reading, and Zooming with friends in other cities. I burrowed instead of metamorphosing. But—the season is starting here. The winds of change are here. Or, a hurricane is barreling down on us. It’s one or the other. My burrowing period is over. Sure, I missed the cornhole league registration by one week when I moved here. But kickball starts here tomorrow, and I am ready to go. I have also signed up to volunteer at a food bank and am awaiting clearance for my first shift. I joined a new gym—and have been there daily for a week! I feel like my social calendar was busier the first weeks of October than it had been the entire prior three months. Onward and upward! I have heard numerous times that here in Fort Lauderdale, it takes at least a year to get settled and find your groove—maybe longer. So, as I start another trip around the sun (birthday was October 12), that means I have only nine months to go. Wish me luck! ▼ Robert Dominic is a freelance writer/blogger who recently moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is proud to be one small blue dot in a very red state. He writes for numerous publications including Instinct magazine and his own blog, “The Gays of our Lives” (gaysofourlives.net).

CAMP Rehoboth Chorus presents


British Are Coming! Featuring the Music of g

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The Beatles George Michael Foreigner The Rolling Stones Queen Manfred Mann Spice Girls Herman’s Hermits Adele Elton John Petula Clark The Bee Gees

r tte e Y

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Epworth United Methodist Church 19285 Holland Glade Rd • Rehoboth Beach, DE

D av i d

February 16-17 • 7 pm February 18 • 3 pm





s Ba n d

CAMP Rehoboth Chorus is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

111 Letters




3 (Continued from page 67) THIS PAGE (left to right) at RB Jazz Festival: 1) at Purple Parrot: Patrick Lawler, Debra Dean, Patrick Hegaty, Christopher Rounds, Tom Protack, Catherine DeVeloata, Cathy Picard; 2) at Café Azafrán: Bob Diener, Holly Lane, Scott Wistner, Mark O’Conner, Channing Daniels, Bill Gluth, Stephen McMahon, Jack Papiernik; 3) at Boardwalk Plaza: Jerry Weldon, Tim Brey, Mike Boone, Peggy Raley, Vince Ector, Eddie Sherman, Terell Stafford, 4) at Aqua: Richard Budesi, Michal Beckham, Keith Hollisa, Robert Budea, Joshua Machiz, Dale Melton, Jonathan Whitney. OPPOSITE PAGE: at RB Jazz Festival: 5) at Dos Locos: Wes Crawford, Mitt Patel, Bob Abbott, Vann Williamson; 6) at Eden: Mark Hunker, Sam Hunker, David Meer, Mike Perich, Richard Walton, Mitch Shavit, Barry Caudill; 7) at Mr. Rehoboth Leather at Aqua: Jeff Printz, Dan Spivey, Darrin Sellers, Brittney McCunny, Jeffrey Morales, Sal Leone, J.D. Beam, Paul Frene, Jack Kofoed, Chris Hughes, Kent Swartz, George Stakias, Danny Sebright, Andy Staton, Steve Falchek, John Offidani; 8) at Aqua: Gary Seiden, Ah Bashir, Chris Beagle, Eric Engelhart, David McAuley, Carlos Garcia, John Hackett, Tom Newton, Clarence Pineda, Jon Dauphine, David Park.

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4 (Continued from page 113) THIS PAGE (left to right) 1) at Aqua: Kyle Ream, Paul Henderson, Angelo Tabbita; 2) at Coastal Concerts: Richard Scalenge, Michele Cann, Carol Dennis, Marcia Maxer, Marie Mayor; 3) at Freddie’s Beach Bar: Cindy Carey, Richard Looman, Pamala Stanley, Dale Carey, Marc Chase, George Toma, Mikki Snyder-Hall, Claire Snyder-Hall; 4) at Ephemeral Expressions Art Reception at CAMP Rehoboth: Esther Naranjo Cortez, Gabby Ocora, Adriana Ochora, Duane Reed, Dan Bartasavich; 5) at Theo’s: Dan Kyle, John Cainey, Tony Burns, Marvin Miller. OPPOSITE PAGE: 6) at Eden Restaurant: Glenn Pipeet, Matt Hamlet, Chris Rinaldi, Brian Power, Dan Dewey, Peter Lugar, Brian Small, Mark Previti; 7) at Purple Parrot: Rick Cronan, Jon Worthington, Rick James, Barbara Brown, John Walden; 8) at Blue Moon: Eli Lynn, Casey Miiller, Doug Lynn, Pam Lynn, Randy Haney, Roxy Overbrooke, Tim Ragan, Mike Brenner, Scott Weland, Jessine Johnson, Charles Esham; 9) at Aqua: Sam Cooper, Lorraine Zellers, Tony DiMichele, Jeff Smith, Ira Hersh. Kevin Dunne.▼

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“WHERE FLOWERS SPEAK A BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE” FLORIST SHOP • GREENHOUSES 20326 Coastal Highway • Rehoboth Beach, DE (Next to Arena’s Café)


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CROP: CAMP REHOBOTH OUTREACH PROGRAM The CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program (CROP) is constantly working to cultivate community and strengthen relationships and the connections between us all. Check the site for monthly volunteer opportunities. Upcoming: the community toy and clothing holiday drive! Sign up at camprehoboth.com/volunteers.


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Send your check for $50 to CAMP Rehoboth, 37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. If you prefer to use your Visa, MasterCard or American Express call 302-227-5620.

camprehoboth.com/volunteers to register as a volunteer and to sign up for available opportunities.

thank you ADVOCACY TEAM Daniel Bruner Leslie Ledogar Sherri McGee ARTS TEAM Logan Farro Jane Knaus Lois Powell Leslie Sinclair Patricia Stiles Debbie Woods BARK ON THE BOARDS Marc Epstein Hannah Simone BEEBE FLU VACCINE CLINIC Mark Eubanks Doug Sellers CAMP ADMIN Sherri McGee

CAMP FALL CLEANING Karen Anderson Pat Catanzariti Brenda Dunn Glenn Lash Jim Mease

CAMP LIBRARY Glenn Lash CAMP MAINTENANCE Carol Brice Eric Korpon CAMPCIERGES Barbara Breault Ken Currier Bob Grant Jim Mease Kim Nelson Patricia Stiles Russell Stiles Joe Vescio

CAMPSAFE HIV TESTING AND COUNSELING Tom Chaplin E.J. Kenyon Mike Merena Alan Spiegelman Joe Vescio


CHORUS LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE Bill Fuchs Dianna Johnston Carolyn Laurenzo Judy Olsen Gloria Richards Dave Scuccimarra Travis Stevens CROP AT DE BOTANIC GARDENS Rodney Lau Colleen Malloy Leslie Sinclair Paula Sydenstricker Debbie Woods GRANTS COMMITTEE Leslie Calman Kate Cauley David Garrett John Roane Leslie Sinclair

to all the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center Volunteers for the period: October 6 - November 3, 2023

LETTERS DISTRIBUTION TEAM Todd Hacker Glenn Lash Jim Mease LETTERS MAILING TEAM Nancy Hewish Grant Kingswell Vicki Martina Stephen Palmer Linda Yingst LETTERS PROOFING Barb Ralph MEMBERSHIP TEAM Jane Blue Ann Evans

SEA WITCH PARADE Celeste Beaupre G. Michael Beigay Pat Catanzariti Wes Combs Ken Currier Kasey Gonzalez-Cruz Pam Jusino Stacey Kay Alizee LaDiamond Michelle Manfredi Jason Mathis Sherri McGee TJ Sheldon Patricia Stiles Russell Stiles Laurie Thompson Dean Yanchulis

VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Jim Mease Kim Nelson Rina Pellegrini Leslie Sinclair John Michael Sophos Debbie Woods


CAMP DATABASE Sondra Arkin NOVEMBER 17, 2023

117 Letters

AD INDEX AG Renovations......................................................79 Atlantic Jewelry......................................................29 Atlantic View Hotel.................................................33 Beach View Hotel...................................................39 Beebe Healthcare..................................................45 Beebe Medical Foundation....................................48 Brandywine Urology Consultants...........................11 Brandywine Valley SPCA........................................51 bsd..........................................................................23 Café Azafrán...........................................................43 CAMP Rehoboth & Rehoboth Beach Bears Toy Drive.................................................................13 CAMP Rehoboth Annual Sponsors.........................14 CAMP Rehoboth Block Party Thank you..................7 CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, The British Are Coming................................................................ 111 CAMP Rehoboth Development..............................97 CAMP Rehoboth End of Year Giving.......................95 CAMP Rehoboth Giving Tuesday..............................9 CAMP Rehoboth Letters Subscription................. 117 CAMP Rehoboth Membership............................. 100 CAMP Rehoboth Save The Dates...........................99 CAMPsafe...............................................................28 Caroline Huff, Artist................................................17 Children’s Beach House.........................................77 Chris Beagle Group, Realtors.................................17 Clear Space Theatre...............................................86

Letters 118 NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Coho’s Market & Grill..............................................76 Common Cause Delaware.....................................35 Country Lawn Care.............................................. 118 County Bank...........................................................35 Delaware Community Foundation...................... 107 Delaware Hospice..................................................54 Diego’s Bar Nightclub.................. 69, 70, 71, 73, 75 Dogfish Head.........................................................37 Donna Whiteside, Realtor......................................22 Fifth Avenue Jewelers............................................43 Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant..........82, 83, 119 go fish go brit.........................................................21 Groome Church......................................................15 Hugh Fuller, Realtor................................................58 Humane Animal Partners Delaware.......................50 Jack Lingo, Real Estate..........................................89 Jenn Harpel, Morgan Stanley.................................21 Jolly Trolley............................................................33 Just In Thyme Restaurant.......................................33 Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, Realtors........................81 Lori’s Café..............................................................49 Loves Liquors.........................................................49 Maplewood Dental Associates...............................79 Meals On Wheels................................................ 103 MERR Institute........................................................57 Milton Theatre........................................................93 New Wave Spas................................................... 106

Olivia Travel............................................................25 Purple Parrot..........................................................59 PWW Law................................................................53 Randall Malick, In Memorium.................................55 Randy Mason/Shirley Kalvinsky, Realtors..............85 Rehoboth Beach Bears........................................ 109 Rehoboth Beach Dental.........................................43 Rehoboth Beach Santa Bar Crawl..........................87 Rehoboth Guest House....................................... 116 Rigby’s Bar & Grill...................................................41 Saved Souls Animal Rescue...................................57 Sea Bova Associates, Realtors............................ 120 Southern Delaware Chorale...................................47 Springpoint Choice.................................................34 State Farm - George Bunting.................................54 State Farm - Jeanine O’Donnell/Eric Blondin.........57 Stuart Kingston Gallery..........................................19 Sussex Family YMCA..............................................87 The Flats ................................................................63 The Joe Maggio Group, Realtors...........................33 The Lodge at Truitt Homestead..............................79 Time to Heal Counseling & Consulting..................92 Troy Roberts, Realtor..............................................21 Volunteer Opportunities...................................... 117 Volunteer Thank You........................................... 117 Windsor’s Flowers............................................... 116

NOVEMBER 17, 2023

119 Letters










CAMELOT MEADOWS Rehoboth. 2001 Commodore 3BR/2BA home has formal LV & family room. Big kitchen. Community pools & just 3.5 miles to beach. $149,000

CONCH CAYE - Milford. 1952 renovated 3BR/1BA 980sf “cottage” on 0.45 ac lot. East of Hwy 1 w/easy access to Dover & beaches. $239,000 (DEKT2021492)

SEA AIR - Rehoboth. 2BR/1BA 2015 Forest River 36’ RV w/3 slide-outs. Nice kitchen. Sleeps 6-9 people. Community pool & 3 miles to beach. $42,500 (2050802)

(2046172) Lot Rent $927/mt.

Pam Schaefer 302-388-8299 cell

Seasonal 4/15-11/15

CAP’T GRANT - Millsboro. 2002 4BR/2BA 1,404sf Class C home on 0.37 ac. Oversized 12’x20’ shed. Nearby marinas & 15 miles to the Rehoboth boardwalk. $314,500 (2045944)

BAY CITY - Millsboro. Waterfront! 2003 3BR/2BA doublewide w/an addition for 1,456sf. Right next to the boat ramp or rent a slip. $179,900 ( 2050320 ) Lot

VILL. OF COOL BRANCH - Seaford. 2002 3BR/2BA home is +1,500sf. Corner lot. Metal roof. Deck. Shed. Community pool & catchn-release pond. $125,000

Rent $1,275/mt.

(2050320) Lot Rent $416/mt.

LOCHWOOD - Lewes. WATERFRONT on Burton’s Pond. New Construction - Immediate Delivery. 3BR/2BA home is a 1,640 sq. ft. one-level rancher w/2-car garage. Open concept floor plan. Great room opens to the kitchen & dining area. Sliding glass door out to the big 12’x16’ deck. Main bedroom suite has a walk-in closet & elegant bath with a 5’x4’ tiled “curbless” shower. Split bedroom plan. Luxury vinyl plank floors throughout w/tile in the baths. Quartz & stainless steel kitchen appliances. $429,900

SUSSEX WEST - Lewes. 2002 3BR/2BA. 1,454sf home w/1-car oversize garage on corner lot. Large deck. Indoor community pool & 6 miles to beach. $159,000 (2041516) Lot Rent $937/mt.

VILL. OF COOL BRANCH - Seaford. 2000 1,064sf 2BR/2BA home w/den/office. Covered porch. Shed. 4 parking spaces. Pool & catch-nrelease pond. $75,000 (2044252) Lot Rent $417/mt.

ANGOLA BEACH - Lewes. Remodeled 1973 3BR/2BA home is 970sf. Large Shed. Community pools, marina. 10 miles to beach. 169,000

(2049518) Lot Rent $665/mt. includes water & sewer




ANGOLA BEACH - Lewes. Remodeled 1984 3BR/2BA home is 980sf. Big porch. Community pools, marina. 10 miles to beach. 165,000

(2049520) Lot Rent $665/mt. includes water & sewer

S A ND Y B RA E - L ewe s . Remodeled 1995 5BR/3BA. High end finishes throughout! 1/3-acre lot. Just 6 miles to the boardwalk. $554,900 (2048035) Theresa Cappuccino cell 609-515-5820

COLONIAL EAST - Rehoboth Beach. Updated 1976 3BR/1BA with screened porch Shed. Community pool. Just 4 miles to the Rehoboth or Lewes beaches. $79,900 (2048249) Lot Rent $619/mt.

WHISPERING PINES - Lewes. 1985 2BR/1BA 14’x70’ w/3-season sunroom. Vaulted ceilings. “As Is.” Handicap ramp. Rear deck. Shed. Pool. 4 miles to beach. $65,000 (2050546) Lot Rent $575/mt.

20250 Coastal Highway - Suite 3, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971  302-227-1222 office www.SEABOVA.com 

EMAIL – RealEstate@SEABOVA.com

Office Independently Owned & Operated by SBA, Inc. Prices, promotions & availability subject to change without notice. *A/C Active/Under Contract -- Accepting Back-Up Offers

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