Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 34, No. 3

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April Showers Bring May Flowers & Women’s FEST!

April 19, 2024 Volume 34, Number 3 camprehoboth.com

Letters 2 APRIL 19, 2024 inside 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. Letters to the Editor (up to 300 words) are published at the discretion of the Editor on a space-available basis. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. EDITOR Marj Shannon EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE Matty Brown DESIGN AND LAYOUT Mary Beth Ramsey ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Tricia Massella DISTRIBUTION Mark Wolf CONTRIBUTORS: Matty Brown, Pattie Cinelli, Wes Combs, Michael Cook, Jeffrey Dannis, Clarence Fluker, Michael Thomas Ford, David Garrett, Joe Gfaller, Fay Jacobs, Tara Lynn Johnson, Glenn Lash, Kim Leisey, Robb Mapou, Tricia Massella, Marce McCollum-Martin, Christopher Moore, Sharon Morgan, Eric Peterson, Mary Beth Ramsey, Stephen Raskauskas, Richard Rosendall, Nancy Sakaduski, Terri Schlichenmeyer, Marj Shannon, Beth Shockley, Leslie Sinclair, Mary Jo Tarallo, Eric Wahl 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. © 2024 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. 4 In Brief 6 From the Executive Director 8 President’s View 10 CAMP News 12 They Come, They See, They Savor NANCY SAKADUSKI 14 To See and Be Seen MARY JO TARALLO 16 Go Plant-based for the Planet Earth Day is April 22 STEPHEN RASKAUSKAS 18 The Writing Life PATTIE CINELLI 20 Community News THIS ISSUE VOLUME 34, NUMBER 3 • APRIL 19, 2024 ON THE COVER Women’s FEST 2024! Cover by Murray Archibald 72 Celebrity Interview Anne Steele and Kelli Carpenter MICHAEL COOK 76 OUTlook A Kiss Is–NOT—Just a Kiss BETH SHOCKLEY 78 CAMP Arts LESLIE SINCLAIR & JOE GFALLER 80 Booked Solid TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER 90 Annie Get Your—Bicycle?! TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER 94 Talking Trash (and Recycling) JEFF DANNIS 98 We Remember 22 The One That Got Away TARA LYNN JOHNSON 24 Broadwalk on the Boardwalk FAY JACOBS 26 Health & Wellness The (Vagina) Chip on My Shoulder SHARON MORGAN 32 View Point Last Train to Washington RICHARD ROSENDALL 34 CAMP Library Chronicles Hidden History Revealed GLENN LASH 58 Celebrity Profile Suzanne Westenhoefer NANCY SAKADUSKI 60 Kiss Me Once and Kiss Me Twice CHRISTOPHER MOORE 64 The Real Dirt Harbingers of Spring ERIC WAHL 66 Autism Acceptance Month ROBB MAPOU, PHD, ABPP 68 CAMPshots In Your Easter Bonnet! 36 Out & About Silver Anniversary Celluloid ERIC PETERSON 40 It’s My Life Al in the Sky MICHAEL THOMAS FORD 43 Volunteer Spotlight Deb Quinton MARCE MCCOLLUM-MARTIN 44 Six-Word Memoirs 46 Straight Talk Still Shaking the Gates of Hell DAVID GARRETT 48 Words Matter I Loved My Friend CLARENCE FLUKER 54 Between the Lines SHARON MORGAN
See page 64
Suzanne Westenhoefer chats with Nancy Sakaduski. See page 58.



CAMP Rehoboth is an LGBTQ+ community center which aims to Create A M ore Positive (CAMP) environment that is inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities in Southern Delaware and beyond. CAMP Rehoboth seeks to promote cooperation, well-being, and understanding among all people, as it continues working to build a safer community with room for all.


CAMP Rehoboth envisions communities in Southern Delaware and beyond where all LGBTQ+ people thrive.


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.


irst up: Welcome to all who are here for Women’s FEST! We’re so glad you’ve come, be this your first FEST or just the latest in a long line of fabulous FESTs. There’s fun, entertainment, spring, and tradition galore—as well as new options. Bingo, anyone? The Speaker Series returns, there’s a Pop-Up Bookstore (complete with authors), and—of course—the fabulous FEST ART 2024! exhibit. It’s a chock-full four days; revel, refresh, renew—maybe even relax?!

Beyond that—a big welcome to all our other Letters’ readers, too! We’re equally glad you’re here, browsing our pages and engaging with us in-print or online. As always, there’s lots to browse.

For openers—remember the Six-word Memoirs some of our regular contributors shared in our March issue? Well, many of you accepted our invitation to submit one of your own—thank you! Read this month’s very (very) short stories, starting on page 44. And—head’s up—we’re working on more ways for you to engage with Letters. It’ll be fun!

We have (of course) FEST-related columns—see page 12 for a menu of what’s in store. And pages 22 and 24 for some FEST history—in one case, history of what didn’t happen. Remember FEST 2020? No; me either.

Also, some other timely pieces: April 22 is Earth Day; Jeff Dannis gives us the skinny on recycling (page 94). Stephen Raskauskas enumerates some of the ways the Earth benefits when people adopt diets that lean plant-based, even just intermittently. April is Autism Acceptance Month; Robb Mapou offers a primer on autism and autism spectrum disorder. We’re well into spring here in coastal Delaware; Eric Wahl has been reveling in his daffodils (as have I, in mine).

Lesbian Visibility Day (and Week) are this month; Mary Jo Tarallo tells us all about them on page 14. And Sharon Morgan’s “Between the Lines” (page 54) reminds us just how long it can take—and how convoluted the path may be—to gain visibility.

Once visible—well, there’s that first kiss! We remember that day on April 27; both Christopher Moore and Beth Shockley have tales to tell. And both seem to have enjoyed (well, more or less) a number of first kisses. It’s all in how (and what) you count….

PRESIDENT Wesley Combs


SECRETARY Pat Catanzariti

TREASURER Polly Donaldson


Amanda Mahony Albanese, Lewis Dawley, Mike DeFlavia, David Garrett, Jenn Harpel, Kim Leisey (non-voting), Michelle Manfredi, and Teri Seaton


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.

Bike to Work Week arrives in early May, and Terri Schlichenmeyer is ready. You will be too once you take a look at her homage to the kickstand (page 90).

Comments and topic suggestions are welcome—you can reach me at editor@ camprehoboth.com. Thanks for reading Letters.▼

APRIL 19, 2024 3 Letters
From the Editor

Women’s FEST is here!

Women’s FEST weekend is here! Kicking off Thursday, April 25, over 25 events will take over Rehoboth Beach full of fun, entertainment, spring, and tradition. CAMP Rehoboth invites readers to welcome the hundreds of women attending this year’s festivities.

Available at all Women’s FEST venues this weekend is a chance to win an incredible riverboat cruise, “A Taste of France.” This Provence & Burgundy riverboat cruise will sail August 27-September 3, 2024; the winner will enjoy a deluxe stateroom for two. This trip is a first-of-its-kind donation from Women’s FEST Diamond Sponsor Olivia Travel.

Gracing the cover of this issue is Women’s FEST headliner Lea DeLaria, and opener Crys Matthews; both will deliver an unforgettable night of entertainment at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on Friday, April 26. For a sampling of other FEST events, see page 12. ▼


Pride Film Festival Sets the Dates

In partnership with CAMP Rehoboth, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society presents the Pride Film Festival, set for June 14 through 16 at the Cinema Art Theater in Lewes.

The second annual festival will be headlined by Jim Fall, with a 25th anniversary retrospective screening of his 1999 feature, Trick, starring Tori Spelling, Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Brad Beyer, and Miss Coco Peru. Jim Fall’s film credits include multiple shorts, made-for-TV movies, and The Lizzie Maguire Movie (2003).

The 2024 Pride Film Festival Planning Committee is actively reviewing potential film titles ranging from documentaries, features, shorts, and foreign titles. The final slate of Festival titles will be published in late-April.

Find out more about this year’s festivities and sponsorship opportunities at camprehoboth.com. ▼

Joe Dombrowski Set to Headline SUNFESTIVAL

CAMP Rehoboth’s annual Labor Day weekend fundraiser, SUNFESTIVAL, is excited to announce comedian Joe Dombrowski as its headline entertainment. Joe will bring his hilarious set to the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center stage on Saturday, August 31.

Joe Dombrowski took the world by storm in 2017 with a viral April Fools’ Day spelling test prank that landed him multiple appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Don't get it twisted though! It takes at least 20 years to be an overnight sensation. Joe has been doing stand-up comedy since his third-grade talent show.

Since Joe's rise to fame, he has been traveling the globe with his stand-up comedy, which often highlights his outrageous family dynamics and his time as an elementary school teacher. Joe has been featured as a headlining act at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal and the New York comedy festival and will also be headlining two shows in the 2024 Netflix Is a Joke Fest at The Hollywood Improv.

When he’s not getting creative on stages and screens, Joe spends his time in Seattle, Washington, producing his podcast, Social Studies, where he recaps outlandish stories from fans all over the country.

More SUNFESTIVAL news: World-renowned DJs Robbie Leslie and Joe Gauthreaux are returning for six hours of dancing and celebrating on Sunday, September 1.

Stay tuned for more announcements about this year’s SUNFESTIVAL and ticket sales at camprehoboth.com/sunfestival. ▼

Welcome, Kraig!

Kraig Turner has joined the CAMP Rehoboth team as a Data Management Consultant. In this position, Kraig will be helping to manage CAMP Rehoboth’s data platform on DonorPerfect. Having made the full transition to DonorPerfect last fall, CAMP Rehoboth is excited to have Kraig’s expertise in asset management to enhance the giving experience for members, sponsors, and all who support CAMP Rehoboth.

“What gives me the most joy about this position is that I am able to give back to a community in a way that comes naturally,” said Kraig. “My excitement working with data brings a new challenge each day as I continue to grow my skills.”

Kraig moved to Rehoboth Beach just last fall, accompanying his husband, Joe Gfaller, when Joe became Managing Director at Clear Space Theatre Company. Welcome, Kraig! ▼

Letters 4 APRIL 19, 2024

Join the Brotherly Love

Tickets are still available for the upcoming shows by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) at CAMP Rehoboth’s Elkins-Archibald Atrium on May 4 at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The select ensemble of the PGMC is called BROLO, short for Brotherly Love. Featured songs include selections from the PGMC’s

Queering Rehoboth Beach

On June 1, CAMP Rehoboth will host a book launch event for James Sears’s Queering Rehoboth Beach Sears’s book chronicles the rise of the LGBTQ+ community in Rehoboth Beach, and its history through the early 2000s.

“It’s important to understand our past so that we can know how to chart our future,” said CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director Kim Leisey about the book and its launch. The event on June 1 will kick off at CAMP Rehoboth at 7:00 p.m. After a discussion of the history of LGBTQ+ life in Rehoboth Beach, conversation will open up to the community to talk about what’s transpired since the early 2000s, and what lies ahead. ▼

recent Sing-A-Long Concert, SING OUT LOUISE!, featuring songs from Broadway shows such as Tick, Tick, Boom, Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, In The Heights, and Wicked. The show runs 75 minutes with no intermission.

Tickets are on sale now at camprehoboth.com. ▼

Thank you, Rehoboth Beach Bears!

CAMP Rehoboth extends its gratitude to the Rehoboth Beach Bears for their generous donation to our Do More 24 campaign. With a gift of $2,500, the Rehoboth Beach Bears contributed the largest donation during the 24hour online fundraising day. The Bears’ donations will help CAMP Rehoboth continue to Create A More Positive Rehoboth and beyond! ▼


PRISM’s Next Happy Hour

PRISM, CAMP Rehoboth’s young professionals group, offers opportunities for young professionals (and those young at heart) to meet other like-minded professionals, network, and support each other. Join us for our May happy hour at the Aqua Bar & Grill on Friday, May 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. ▼

Giving Blood and Giving Life

On Saturday, May 11, CAMP Rehoboth is partnering with the Blood Bank of Delmarva for a blood drive. This partnership follows last year’s lifting of the FDA’s ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSMs). Appointments are available to register for “WB—Whole Blood” or “AR—Double Red” slots at camprehoboth.com. ▼


APRIL 19, 2024 5 Letters
HAWAII Rob Mapou

From the Executive Director

Silence Is Not an Option

We humans are always employing strategy. Whether it is a route to the grocery store, weekly menus, weekend plans or money management, we practice the art of strategizing. We typically think of strategy as it relates to games like chess, baseball, or golf. Strategy at CAMP Rehoboth is not a game (although we love to have fun). Rather, it is a thoughtful process that requires us to reflect on the vision of CAMP Rehoboth, map our programs, consider data, review funding sources, and determine a path forward.

CAMP Rehoboth envisions communities in southern Delaware and beyond where all LGBTQ+ people thrive. That’s the vision. It’s lofty and it must be. We deserve to thrive! We are going for it, all of us—the Board of Directors, staff, members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and our allies! Our business, nonprofit, healthcare, educational, political, and community partners are on board and ready to “make it happen.”

We are developing strategies to:

• Maximize the impact of our programs and serve our community, its

ever-changing needs, and the sociopolitical landscape;

• Build a diversified and sustainable funding plan that is transparent and feeds our ability to program, advocate, and build community;

We are currently in a challenging time; it’s now more than ever that we must engage and support.

• Increase and broaden community engagement to ensure we are inclusive, actively involved, and serving our community across southern Delaware and beyond; and

• Strengthen our Board governance and staff leadership to ensure we have the infrastructure to realize the vision we see for CAMP Rehoboth.

The context in which CAMP Rehoboth was founded has changed over the past 34 years. There absolutely have been high moments, and also challeng-

es that require resolve, resilience, and collective activism.

We are currently in a challenging time; it’s now more than ever that we must engage and support. Silence is not an option. We will continue to advocate for and with the LGBTQ+ community. Advocacy issues include access to and equity of healthcare, including our trans and BIPOC siblings; youth and schools; and aging services.

Over the next two months you will see and hear more about our strategic plan and how it will be operationalized over the next four years. I know that when calls for help and support go out, our community answers. Be ready to answer. We are CAMP Rehoboth, collectively. Together, we are a force. A force that has transformed a region’s culture from hate to acceptance and love. Love always wins!

In the meantime, be kind, be curious, be fun, and stay informed. ▼


Letters 6 APRIL 19, 2024
For information on how to become a CAMP Rehoboth Annual Sponsor, email development@camprehoboth.com or call 302-227-5620.
Kim Leisey, PhD, is Executive Director of CAMP Rehoboth.
APRIL 19, 2024 7 Letters

The Freedom Fighter

Fighting for equality is hard work. As someone who has dedicated their career and volunteer time towards causes that enable equity and opportunity, it seems like a constant battle, always trying to achieve parity in the world for people who are marginalized. For example, having equal access to basic services such as healthcare or the same rights and protections as majority communities receive.

For LGBTQ+ people, the stakes have never been greater. Despite many advancements made over the past 15 years, especially during the Obama administration (i.e., securing marriage equality, overturning of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), there is an organized assault underway, working to strip LGBTQ+ people of their basic human and civil rights.

Speaking from experience, it can be emotionally exhausting when you are on the front lines of this effort, whether as an activist, volunteer, donor, consultant, or board member of an organization like CAMP Rehoboth. Managing your mental health at times like these can make the difference between life and death— literally.

When I begin to lose hope and staying-in-bed-and-pulling-the-coversover-my-head is my coping strategy, shifting my perspective towards what I can control not only lowers my blood pressure but focuses my energy on making impact through purpose.

Another way I recharge my social justice battery is watching a news story that features others in the world who are doing what they can to make the world a better place. One of my favorite sources is CBS Sunday Morning and correspondent Steve Hartman’s “On the Road” segment, featuring everyday people doing ordinary things to help others in need. It truly warms my heart each time.

YouTube provides endless opportunities to find inspiration—Brené

Brown’s TED talks and Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride are two that come to mind. Hearing people’s personal stories helps each of us better understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. Attending panel discussions or listening to a keynote speaker at a conference or on Zoom was my go-to place to find positive encouragement for many years.

“I walked through fear to fight for the freedom of others.”

Having said that, there are moments in life when events or situations remind us of the importance of this work. One of those arrived recently when Executive Director Kim Leisey and I attended the memorial service for LGBTQ+ rights champion and political strategist David Mixner, who passed away at his home on March 11 at the age of 77.

I first became aware of David in the early 90s while serving on the Human Rights Campaign’s Board of Governors. This was the same time Bill Clinton was running for president, and he called on his long-time friend, Mixner, to help drum up support from the LGBTQ+ community. With David’s guidance, Clinton made a personal appeal in September 1992 before a gathering of LGBTQ+ people in Los Angeles, pledging to allocate federal funds to HIV/AIDS research and to also end the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Hearing a presidential candidate openly say LGBTQ+ people are important to his vision of a better tomorrow— following the devastating inaction from Ronald Reagan on gay issues—gave me hope that our lives would improve under his presidency. To say his election was a highlight of my life is an understatement, but being asked to serve as a co-chair of the first Gay and Lesbian Inaugural Gala was an honor and privilege.

Less than a year later, when Clinton signed “don’t ask don’t tell,” barring LGBTQ+ people from serving openly in the military, David risked ending his close relationship with the president through a public act of defiance: he got arrested for chaining himself to the White House fence.

At the memorial service, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy summed it up, saying that David never compromised his values when speaking up for injustice. That was who he was and one of the ways he will most be remembered.

When community member Danny Sebright told me David was going to be in Rehoboth over the 2023 Labor Day weekend, he said David wanted to do what he could to raise money for CAMP Rehoboth. The result was a fundraiser at Danny’s house with proceeds benefitting the David Mixner LGBTQ+ Scholarship Fund, an annual endowed fund offering paid internships for LGBTQ+ youth at CAMP Rehoboth.

Looking back on the service, the creation of this scholarship fund is a living legacy and one way CAMP Rehoboth can continue David’s work in the years to come. I had the honor of speaking with David a few weeks before he passed away and asked this question: What would you like the CAMP Rehoboth community to best remember you by? His reply: “I walked through fear to fight for the freedom of others.”

Being surrounded by so many others who were impacted by David’s life recharged my battery and then some. ▼

Letters 8 APRIL 19, 2024 President’s View
Wesley Combs is CAMP Rehoboth Board


April 25–28, 2024

Olivia is donating a trip for two on our 2024 A TASTE OF FRANCE: BURGUNDY & PROVENCE RIVERBOAT!

Raffle tickets available at CAMP Rehoboth

Visit olivia.com to learn more about this exciting cruise.

New 2025 Trips Just Announced

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa | May 24–31, 2025

Italy & Croatia Luxury Cruise | Jul 2–10, 2025

Wild Alaska Adventure | Aug 16–21, 2025

Iceland Luxury Cruise | Aug 18–25, 2025

Machu Picchu Adventure* | Sep 13–21, 2025

Greek Isles Luxury Cruise | Oct 18–25, 2025

Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong River Cruise | Oct 21–Nov 4, 2025

Galápagos Adventure Cruise | Nov 29–Dec 6, 2025

APRIL 19, 2024 9 Letters
Visit Olivia.com for a full calendar of Olivia vacations OLIVIA IS A PROUD PREMIER SPONSOR OF CAMP REHOBOTH

Welcome, Mark McDaniels!

CAMP Rehoboth is excited to introduce Letters’ readers to Mark McDaniels, who assumed his role as Deputy Director on April 1, 2024. Mark is a graduate of New School University and has held various administrative and management positions over the past 20 years. His finance and management experience includes private, theatre, and hospitality industries.

Along with his husband, Donald Gaverick, Mark wrote and licensed the musical Show Choir, which telegraphed exuberant student singers (think: Glee) as if through the lens of VH1’s Behind the Music. A self-proclaimed Trekkie and scifi fanatic, Mark loves modern funk and is a foodie who names Japanese curry as his go-to comfort food. (He once lived in Japan for seven months.) He’s a pianist, composer, and is hitting the ground running at CAMP Rehoboth.

CAMP REHOBOTH: What brought you to Rehoboth Beach?

MARK MCDANIELS: The pandemic! When I was living in New York City, and the pandemic hit, everyone in my house lost their jobs, except for me. I was working from home for Music Theatre International. The lease was up on the apartment, and nobody could find a new apartment, and no one could stay. So my partner and I moved down to Rehoboth Beach, first staying with my parents when I thought the move was temporary. We then found a house along the canal by Diego’s, and that was our incentive to stay. We really liked the town and had been visiting my parents here for several years.

CR: Have you gotten used to the “lower slower” pace of Sussex County versus New York City?

MM: Yes—living down here was quite a change. There are times when I really appreciate it. And there are other times when I miss the connectivity of New York and how everything is really accessible, whereas here everything shuts down at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. I’ve gotten used to it, but it was initially a culture shock, espe-

cially since our lives were very busy in New York. I always had two to four jobs at the same time since that’s how you live in New York. Coming here and not having to do that was a huge relief.

CR: Did you know about Rehoboth Beach’s status as a sanctuary for the queer community?

MM: Yes; that was one of the main reasons we chose to come here. Living as a queer man in New York was very safe; it was a nice bubble to be in. We knew if we left New York City, we had to be in another safe bubble. It was fortuitous that my parents had a place in Rehoboth—we knew about the town and had been visiting for years. We were thrilled to have that bubble and safety net.

CR: What excites you about the Deputy Director role at CAMP Rehoboth?

MM: What excites me most is engaging and getting to know the community. Having moved here during the pandemic, no one was going out and seeing each other. Then, I worked as a manager of a restaurant—that assured I had no social life whatsoever since I worked every night and weekend! So, it’s been only in the past year, when I changed to office jobs, that I started to peek into the community and make friends. I was really looking for a job that meant some -

thing to me, and that offered a way to meet and engage with the community. This job is perfect!

CR: There’s a parallel in CAMP Rehoboth’s mission and theatre in bringing the community together.

MM: I think that’s a good point. Theatre is very team-oriented and community-based; you cannot put on a show by yourself. Everything in the show takes an entire crew—front stage, backstage—to put it up. Theatre is inherently collaborative.

That’s what CAMP Rehoboth is good at as well. It’s about working with diverse voices and trying to work together to build something.

CR: What do you see as some of the most pressing challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community?

MM: Right now, we’re in a really strange time. A lot of states are making a lot of anti-trans, anti-drag, and antigay laws. I came out in the early 90s as a gay man, and it was a very different time to come out. I feel like we made all these leaps ahead in the early 21st century, and now the clock is rolling back again in a weird way. I’m hoping it’s temporary, and it’s a lashing-out from a previous administration.

The thing that really annoys me is that being gay is considered “political.” It’s ridiculous that it’s a political topic because people’s rights to live have nothing to do with politics. And yet the politicians are making our life into this political theater; it annoys me that we’re being used in a way. It makes my heart hurt for a lot of the LGBTQ+ community who are not in protected areas like we are. I’m hopeful that there’s a pendulum swing back in our direction over the next few years.

You’re always told, “each generation has to fight for their rights. They’re not given; they’re something you have to speak up for.” I faced this in the 90s as a gay man, and I feel like things got good, and we were accepted. But, now we have to fight this again. ▼

Letters 10 APRIL 19, 2024


Lea DeLaria at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center!


Golf, pickleball, bike ride, cornhole, bowling, and more!


Thursday Georgette Krenkel’s Kick Off Party, and Saturday night danceboth at the RB Convention Center!


The beloved speaker series returns.


Popular craft expo, bingo, singles mixer, art show, and more!


Honor loved ones and fight cancer: Bayhealth Broadwalk on the Boardwalk.


Check out CAMPrehoboth.com for exclusive rates for your Women’s FEST stay.

For tickets or more information, please visit the Women’s FEST Facebook page or camprehoboth.com .


For information related to accessibility needs, please contact Hope@phoenixaccessibilityteam.com

APRIL 19, 2024 11 Letters April 25 - 28, 2024 37 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-227-5620 camprehoboth.com Photo by Tina Turnbow Lea DeLaria Crys Matthews
FEATURING DIAMOND SPONSOR ANNUAL SPONSORS MEDIA SPONSOR SAPPHIRE SPONSORS RUBY SPONSORS LEGACY SPONSOR Wes Combs & Greg Albright Susan Kurliroff & Barbara Snyder EMERALD SPONSORS EVENT VENUE SPONSORS Evelyn Maurmeyer in Memory of Natalie Moss Lisa Evans & Joan Gusdanovic Jennifer Rubenstein & Diane Scobey Connie Fox & Donna Adair Judy & Carole Jesiolowski Nancy & Tora Kennedy Lewis LeBrun & Michael Poniatowski Teri Seaton RICHARDSON JOE FILIPEK & LARRY RICHARDSON Summer ogo THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS* *As of March 29 TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE


They Come, They See, They Savor

A Tasty Sampling of Women’s FEST 2024

Soon, the hills will be alive with the sound of…women! This year’s Women’s FEST (April 2528) will be the largest yet, with events all around the area and plenty of choices, no matter what your taste. And FEST has something for every part of your palate. Here are some samples:


It doesn’t get much sweeter than the Georgette Krenkel Welcome Dance, a treasured tradition and the perfect place to start making new friends and wonderful memories.

On Friday, check out one of the new FEST events, Singer Songwriters in the Round, at the convention center at 3:00 p.m. Christine Havrilla, Sarah Peacock, and Regina Sayles will take turns sharing songs and stories on stage. Experience the spontaneity, laughs, emotions, and honesty of these talented women, who tour individually at venues, festivals, listening rooms, and house concerts across the country. But here’s a unique opportunity to experience them together in Rehoboth. Sweet!

If you aren’t already matched, find a sweetheart at the Singles Tea Dance, Friday, 4:00 p.m., at Aqua. Make a date to meet her back at Aqua for the FEST Late Night After Party, starting at 10:00 p.m.

And what’s sweeter than a good book? New this year is the Pop-Up Bookstore, brought to FEST by a col -

laboration between Bywater Books, an award-winning publisher of lesbian books, and the Sapphic Literary Pop-Up Bookstore.

The Sapphic women are authors from a variety of publishers who have collaborated to sell their own books directly to readers. Sweetening the deal—all the authors will be on site to do readings, sign books, and chat with readers. The Pop-Up Bookstore will be open 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday and 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday at the convention center.


Sip a whiskey sour or a margarita and have lunch while playing bingo at Dos Locos, noon to 2:00 p.m., both Friday and Saturday of FEST weekend. Friday’s event, hosted by Scarlet Masters, will offer both fun and a chance to win fabulous prizes. In between regular games there will be a chance to play a “minute to win it” game for a special prize. And if you don’t win on Friday, don’t be a sourpuss—come back on Saturday for Ultimate Bingo with Roxy Overbrooke.

If old-school sports strike you as fun and you can spare the time, head over to the Bowling Tournament at Lefty’s Alley and Eats Friday, April 26 at 11:00 a.m. Just don’t get into a pickle if your team doesn’t win—it’s all in good fun, FEST style.


While at FEST, be sure to enjoy Rehoboth’s favorite salty treat. No, it’s not the boardwalk fries—it’s author and comedian Fay Jacobs, signing her new book, Big Girls Don’t Fry, at the convention center on Friday at 11:00 a.m.

There are bound to be salty and sweet treats at this year’s EXPO, a free event on Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at the convention center. Vendors will be offering a tempting selection of jewelry, photography, t-shirts, scarves, chocolate, books, and artwork. Nonprofit organizations will also be on hand with

information and resources of particular interest to women.

On Sunday, enjoy the salty breezes while participating in the Broadwalk on the Boardwalk, a fundraising event that benefits Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC). DBCC’s programs improve breast cancer awareness, promote the importance of early detection, provide access to mammograms, and offer support and resources to men and women in the local community who are newly diagnosed or facing recurrence of breast cancer.


On Friday, 2:00-4:00 p.m., the Elkins-Archibald Atrium will host a reception for FEST Art 2024!, a juried show featuring 38 works by 33 individuals. Stop by and savor the works of these talented artists.

And if you’ve got an appetite to dance, head over to the convention center for the premier dance, Friday, 7:0011:00 p.m. This event features two tasty treats: DJ Peggy Castle and GirlsRoom, the hugely popular local all-female rock and roll band.

On Saturday, this year’s scrumptious headliners, Crys Matthews and Lea DeLaria, will offer a buffet of entertainment, with music from bluegrass to Broadway, and poke-your-partner comedy. Prepare to laugh, groove, and be inspired. When asked, Crys Matthews promised, “They will laugh; they will cry; they will

Letters 12 APRIL 19, 2024
The Speakers Series is back with three terrific speakers; these events are free and open to the public.

sing, and their wells will hopefully be filled up pretty heartily by the time we’re done.” Lea DeLaria added, “I’m loud, I’m vulgar, I’m funny, I’m in your face, rapid fire, I talk about what’s going on in the world—it’s very improvisational.” One promise: “You guys are going to get a fantastic show. I’m gonna kick some butt for y’all.”


There’s no more bitter rivalry in women’s sports than FEST golf. (OK, I suppose there was Chris vs. Martina, and I guess women’s soccer can get pretty rough, but the competition and controversy over golf attire at the FEST tournaments is nothing to sneeze at.) For some serious (and not so serious) fun, sign up for the new 18hole Par 3 Golf Tournament at Midway, on Saturday, April 27, at 9:00 a.m.

Sometimes it’s a bitter pill, but taking care of your health really does pay off. Why not take a moment to get yourself checked out? During the FEST EXPO, Beebe nurses will conduct free health screenings in the mobile health van in the convention center parking lot. The screenings will include testing for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), bone density, and memory issues. Those interested in tests for BMI or bone density are asked to wear shoes that are easy to remove, as you must be barefoot to complete the tests. Those interested in the blood tests should

fast for six hours prior to the screening for the most accurate results. A Beebe women’s health physician will be on site to answer questions and provide information on test results.

Additionally, the Bayhealth Cancer Institute will be at CAMP Rehoboth on Friday, 12:00-4:30 p.m., offering clinical breast exams performed by a medical oncology nurse practitioner. Clinical breast exams help find abnormalities in breast tissue and play a role in lifelong breast health.


The Speakers Series is back with three terrific speakers, all speaking in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium at CAMP Rehoboth on Friday and Saturday. All Speaker Series events are free and open to the public.

Comic, artist, and art historian Liz Bradbury returns with a hilarious, all new, “More Queer Women Who Changed the World” comedy history show. The first Black woman pilot, the woman who won us marriage equality, the inventor who keeps us safe, the author of the YA book you loved—you’ll laugh and learn with Liz’s special brand of engaging and empowering presentation. Liz Bradbury is a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ activist, a prize-winning artist and author, and a long-time queer art and history expert. Friday, 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Professional actor Mary Goggin will present Runaway Princess, A Hopeful Tale of Heroin, Hooking and Happiness, a profound exploration of human trafficking, drug addiction, alcoholism, and the journey to self-discovery. Through her captivating performance, Mary unravels the harsh realities of human trafficking and delves into the complexities of addiction. This event aims to educate, foster empathy, and empower the community with valuable insights, resources, and support networks, encouraging active participation in resolving these societal challenges. Saturday, 10:00 a.m.

Lynn Ames will discuss Out at the Plate: The Dot Wilkinson Story, her biography of the greatest catcher ever to play women’s softball. For more than a decade, through countless conversations and interviews, Dot shared her stories with her dear friend, author Lynn Ames. Out at the Plate, told through the lens of Dot and Lynn’s friendship, is the story of a forgotten era in women’s history and sports, and one extraordinary woman’s place at the center of it all. Saturday, 1:00 p.m.

Bring it All Together


You could be one raffle ticket away from an epicurean extravaganza aboard Olivia’s Burgundy and Provence Taste of France Riverboat Cruise. Each destination will bring you unique sensory experiences and opportunities to develop your palate. You’ll have unforgettable gastronomic encounters with fine winemaking, “true” chocolate, and regional specialties—culinary adventures in every port! All this, and evenings of Olivia entertainment with new friends, paired with your favorite regional wines. A delicious dream come true.

Note: Some events may be sold out by the time you read this. Go to camprehoboth.com/womensfest for current information. ▼

Nancy Sakaduski is an award-winning writer and editor who owns Cat & Mouse Press in Lewes, Delaware.

Photos, opposite page L-R: Lea DeLaria, Broadwalk on the Boardwalk 2019. This page, Lynn Ames.

Lea DeLaria photo credit: Tina Turnbow

CAMP Rehoboth’s Women’s FEST strives to create and maintain an inclusive and accessible environment that empowers all persons, including persons with disabilities. If you or your companion have any needs related to accessibility, please contact Hope at Hope@ phoenixaccessibilityteam.com.

APRIL 19, 2024 13 Letters


It’s Lesbian Visibility Day (and Week)!

The last week in April is a busy one for celebrations. For one, there’s National Lesbian Visibility Day on April 26—right smack in the middle of Lesbian Visibility Week, April 22-28.

Lesbian Visibility Day was first celebrated in 2008; it was founded by American activist Amy Ellis. Simply put, the purpose of “the day” is to showcase women-loving-women, providing a platform for lesbian role models to speak out on the issues facing female sexual minorities. The day serves as a reminder of how far LGBTQ+ rights and equality have come while also recognizing the importance of continuing to fight for progress.

Since then, it has grown into an international event celebrated around the world. The “week” recognizes “the power of sisterhood by uplifting incredible LGBTQIA women and nonbinary people from every generation, in every field, and in every country around the world,” according to the official web site.

The publisher of Diva magazine, Linda Riley, founded Lesbian Visibility Week in 2020. Its parent company, DIVA Media Group, is Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ media entity and is based in the UK.

“Until 2020, there had been an annual Lesbian Visibility Day, but this was simply not enough,” Riley told The Advocate last year. “I came to the conclusion that a single day for lesbian visibility was insufficient. We needed, and deserved, more time to shine a light on some of the amazing women in our community, and to celebrate who we are without fear of prejudice, harassment or vilification.

“I wanted to help create a narrative that shows once and for all that the majority of lesbians are inclusive.” She added, “We want to remove any negative connotations associated with that word. This is why, during Lesbian Visibility Week, we celebrate and center all lesbians, both cis and trans, while also showing solidarity with all LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary people in an effort to expand upon the goals and objectives of the “Day.”

The theme of this year’s Visibility week is “United—Not Uniform.”

That slogan fits CAMP Rehoboth’s popular Women’s FEST weekend to a T. Although it is not officially a part of Lesbian Visibility Week, organizers have planned a program that addresses diverse interests and personalities. It takes place April 25-28. The weekend

…there is an official lesbian flag—an off-shoot of the Pride flag but with different colors.

is filled with sporting events, music, comedy, social gatherings, speakers, dances, and even bingo. Women’s FEST Weekend draws women of many ages and from many parts of the east coast (and beyond).

“It is wonderful that Women’s FEST is taking place during this week,” said CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director Kim Leisey. “We will certainly share information about Lesbian Visibility Week/Day at Women’s FEST, specifically at our headliner event. CAMP Rehoboth invites all to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week with us on our social media pages.”

CAMP Rehoboth board member Pat Catanzariti agreed. “Considering these events fall during Women’s FEST week, I think we are honoring our lesbians quite well,” she added.

In the past, Lesbian Visibility Week has meant many things to many people, organizations, and governments. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the first out lesbian to hold the position, announced the launch of Lesbian Visibility Week 2023 by highlighting the Biden Administration’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and celebrating the diverse voices of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the White House web site.

This year, DIVA is working with a number of national and international organizations such as the EL*C (EuroCentralAsian Lesbian Community), ILGA World, GLAAD, Curve, and the LGBT Foundation to bring Lesbian Visibility Week to an international stage.

There are many ways to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day and Week. Show your support by sharing positive messages about lesbians on social media. Participate in events or activities celebrating lesbian identities and experiences, such as film screenings, panel discussions, or art exhibitions. Make a donation to organizations that support LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Use hashtags to help spread communication such as #lesbianvisibilityday, #lesbianvisibilityweek, #loveislove, #pride, #lesbianvisibility and #lgbtq. Fly a flag.

Wait—there’s a flag?! One pet peeve of Diva’s Linda Riley is that many do not know that there is an official lesbian flag— an off-shoot of the Pride flag but with different colors. In its current iteration, shades of red and orange represent gender nonconformity, independence, and community; the white stripe represents a unique relationship to womanhood; and the shades of pink represent serenity and peace, love and sex, and femininity. So yes—fly a flag. ▼

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.

Letters 14 APRIL 19, 2024
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Earth Day Is April 22

Plant-based food options have exploded in recent years, both in restaurants and in grocery stores. Being vegan or vegetarian—eating no animal products or no animal meat—was far less common in past decades; as a result, there was little demand for meatless alternatives. But, as people look to make better decisions about their health and the environment, many are looking to reduce or even eliminate animal products from their diets.

What we eat and why are highly personal choices dependent upon many factors, including health needs, cultural background, and, of course, personal preferences. You might be someone who always has and always will love a nice juicy steak, with no intention of ever becoming vegetarian or vegan. That’s okay!

But, after learning about how production of animal products impacts the planet, you might decide to reduce your overall consumption. A study from the University of Reading concluded that plant-based diets create 75 percent less emissions, pollution, and land use compared to diets that contain at least 100 grams of meat per day. Most folks in the United States eat an average of almost 350 grams—around 12 ounces—a day.

Here are five specific ways reducing meat consumption can benefit the planet.

Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane and nitrous oxide. Methane, emitted by livestock during digestion, is about 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. Of all global greenhouse gas emissions from food production, 57 percent are caused by animal-based foods compared to only 29 percent for plant-based foods, and 14 percent from other sources. By reducing meat consumption, we can lower greenhouse gas emissions. To produce one kilo (just over two pounds) of beef creates about 20 times more carbon emissions than producing one kilo of beans.

The demand for meat has led to extensive deforestation, particularly in regions

like the Amazon rainforest where land is cleared for cattle grazing and growing feed crops. Deforestation not only destroys valuable habitat and biodiversity but also releases carbon stored in trees into the atmosphere. Beef production alone accounts for 41 percent of all global deforestation.

Incorporating more plantbased meals into our diets encourages us to experiment with new ingredients, recipes, or entire cuisines.

Decreasing meat consumption can also decrease water waste. Animal agriculture consumes 20-33 percent of all the world’s fresh water. And, overall, animal-based products require much more water per kilo of food produced than plant-based counterparts. Producing one kilo of cheese, for example, requires 5,605 liters of water—cheese is the biggest culprit when it comes to water consumption in the food industry. Most plant-based food sources require less than 10 percent that same amount of water to produce one kilo of food. There are exceptions, however. Nuts, rice, and other grains also require a lot of water.

Livestock farming can create water pollution, particularly if manure is not properly managed. Runoff from animal farms can contain harmful pathogens, antibiotics, and hormones, which can con-

taminate rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Reducing meat consumption can alleviate the pressure on water resources and mitigate water pollution.

Reducing consumption of animal products can also increase global food supply. The majority of some staple crops like soy, corn, and barley are grown for livestock. But, if the same land was used to grow food for humans instead, the global food supply could increase by 49 percent without increasing available cropland.

Take the Earth Day Challenge

Reducing consumption of animal products can have such a huge impact on the planet that EarthDay.org suggests that you “make your next meal plant-based” as one of the easiest ways to take action to improve the environment.

If you aren’t currently on a completely plant-based diet, this Earth Day, April 22, challenge yourself to eat at least one meal that’s plant based. If you’re someone who already eats plant-based meals or alternatives from time to time, see if you can go the whole day.

Who knows, you may even find that eventually, meat becomes an occasional treat rather than a part of your regular diet, or something you never miss again!

Eating more plant-based foods and reducing meat and dairy consumption encourages us to focus more on whole foods and plan meals with more diverse micronutrients. Incorporating more plantbased meals into our diets also encourages us to experiment with new ingredients, recipes, or entire cuisines.

Luckily, these days, choosing completely plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy options is easier than ever. So as we prepare for Earth Day, consider going plant-based for a meal, the day, or beyond in order to help improve the planet. After all, it’s the only home we’ve got! ▼

Letters 16 APRIL 19, 2024
Stephen Raskauskas is a Sussex County native who has produced content for radio, TV, digital, and print.

Do you tinkle when you laugh, sneeze, cough, or exercise?

Do you constantly wake up at night to go to the bathroom?

Do you feel like you need to pee, but can’t go once you try?

Do you sometimes just can’t get to the bathroom quick enough?

Do you carry around extra underwear, just in case?

Do you notice blood in your urine?

Do you feel pain when you start to go to the bathroom?

Is your worry starting to take over your daily life?

Brandywine Urology Consultant’s Dr. Alice Y. Wang, MD, is Fellowship trained in Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery who, depending on your symptoms, can provide a variety of treatment options ranging from lifestyle changes, minimally invasive treatments or surgical operations. Dr. Wang is accepting male and female patients in all three offices. Please contact the office today to schedule your conversation with Dr. Wang.

Brandywine Urology Consultants, Delaware’s leading urological practice, delivers comprehensive urological solutions for men and women enabling them to remain in Delaware throughout the duration of their treatment. Brandywine Urology Consultants team of Surgeons and Advanced Practice Providers specializes in urinary cancer care, reproductive and sexual health, bladder and kidney dysfunction, chronic urinary tract infections and prostate health.

APRIL 19, 2024 17 Letters LEAK? DO YOU Phone (302) 652-8990 • Fax (302) 652-8646 • www.BrandywineUC.com
Dr. Alice Y. Wang, MD

The Writing Life

Digging Deep

About three years ago I decided to write a book. I was isolated in my new home, my fitness business was dead in the water because of COVID, and I was looking for something to do. I always longed to write a book. There is an air of mystery, awe, and respect that surrounds an author. I envied the life of Jessica Fletcher, the author of mystery books and solver of crimes on the TV show Murder She Wrote

I assumed my first book would be a collection of my more than 250 columns in the Hill Rag, a DC newspaper I’ve written for over a 25-year period. Those columns explored the leading edge of fitness and wellness thought.

But soon after I moved to Delaware (almost four years ago), my 15.5-yearold mini-golden-doodle, Marcello, transitioned. He was the first dog I ever had.

It was the shutdown. I was living in a strange place and knew no one, not even a veterinarian.

The loss broke open my heart so wide I could barely speak without gasping for air. Friends from DC rallied around me, yet day-to-day living was unbearable without my boy. I thought I might find relief by writing the sweet story of our life together. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The popularity of the best seller Marley & Me by John Grogan and the obsession Americans have with dogs gave me confidence that my story was appealing. I joined the Hay House writers’ community and started writing. The program in which I enrolled was thorough and enlightening.

The first blow to my naïve notion about writing a book was when I learned that publishing a book is not about just writing a terrific story. I needed a book proposal with many different components that would attract an agent and/or a publisher.

The next shock occurred when I realized my decades of writing did not prepare me for authoring a book and

definitely not for writing a proposal. I dug in, knuckled down, and tackled the book proposal. My goal: submit to the Hay House contest to win a publishing contract. Savings be damned—I scrounged around for the funds to hire a pro. I was confident that my final product was the one Hay House would choose.

Eventually I realized my story was not about a woman and her cute dog, but rather, about what I learned from him.

When I didn’t even earn an honorable mention, I broke down. I felt raw, rejected, and devastated, with no idea what to do and without anyone to discuss possibilities. My book progress screeched to a halt for a year. The rejection crushed my fragile ego and self-confidence. Alone on my journey I searched for ways to feel better. Staying away from the thoughts of Marcello and my book kept me protected—or so I thought.

The real story was in my heart, nudging to get out. Eventually, I realized my story was not about a woman and her cute dog, but rather, about what I learned from him. It was about inspiring other women like me—women wanting to feel

the completeness of love, yet not finding it in the traditional cultural avenues of marriage and children. I picked up the project again. My book, Found—How a Single, Middle-Aged Woman Discovered How to Love and Be Loved from Her First Dog, was reborn.

With a book proposal in my pocket but feeling overwhelmed by thoughts of what to do with it, I switched direction and took a course on self-publishing. I started writing again. The pain swelled and spilled over me like the ocean breaching the dunes onto the highway. I cried daily and realized I was grieving about a lot more than Marcello’s death—years of deaths, unrequited loves, and unrealized dreams. It was through this cleansing that my purpose and direction became clear.

Midway through the publishing course I became overwhelmed with the amount of technical expertise and financial commitment needed to publish solo. The project was halted again—but not for long.

This time, I jumped into a course on writing a query letter: a 300word, flawless, dynamic, and alluring communication sent to at least 50 agents (probably more), trusting that one would be sufficiently smitten with my story to successfully pitch my book to publishers. I actually found my tribe—a group of writers from around the globe who, like me, are working toward their dream of publishing.

The journey of writing a book has not been at all what I expected it would be. It’s a long way from over but now hope has found its way back into my heart. I don’t mind the tears anymore. Even in death my Marcello has helped me become confident, grounded, and emotionally healthier. ▼

Pattie Cinelli is a journalist who focuses on non-traditional ways to stay healthy and get well. You can email her with questions or column suggestions at: fitmiss44@aol.com

Letters 18 APRIL 19, 2024
Photo: Dave Koster, Portraits in the Sand
APRIL 19, 2024 19 Letters Chris Beagle chrisbeaglegroup.com @chrisbeaglegroup M 215.262.6209 | O 302.273.4998 The Chris Beagle Group is a team of real estate licensees affiliated with Compass RE. Compass RE is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. 131 2nd Street, Lewes DE 19958 Love where you live. Live where you love! LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE A h y h g p g * g h me o n es n a ne home and s ar ea n ng eq ty W th econom t p d g h t t t 6% by h d th y ** buyer a e en e ng he marke mak ng ava ab e homes a ho commod y n h s compet t ve andscape o fe so u on o he p you find your p ace n h d F d y p f h th C p t C O L L E C T O N S E y h gh b p p t fi d y d h C O M N G S O O N Prev ew new t ngs befo e they h the ma ke p - g p P R VAT E E XC L U S V E S Ga n acce s to o f-ma ke homes shared on y w th Compa s agent and buye s “ A n h o n e s t , a f f e c t i n g r e m e m b r a n c e o f a b e l o v e d s i s t e r ’ s d e s c e n t i n t o s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . ” — K i r k u s R e v i e w s a v a i l a b l e a t B r o w s e a b o u t B o o k s a n d w h e r e v e r b o o k s a r e s o l d The Requirement of Grief recounts
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Wings of Hope Butterfly Sales Are Open

Cancer Support


ty Delaware announces that butterfly sales are now open for their 14th annual Wings of Hope: A Butterfly Release. This celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 22, at Milton Memorial Park, Milton, Dela ware, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Illuminate Lewes Festival Returns May 5

The event is highlighted by the release of butterflies in recognition of family, friends, and neighbors throughout Delaware whose lives have been impacted by cancer. The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m.

Butterflies are available to purchase now—visit cancersupportdelaware.org and click on 2024 Wings of Hope. Information on becoming a sponsor or vendor for the event is also available at the site. ▼

Illuminate Lewes will be held at the University of Delaware’s Virden Retreat Center on Sunday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This marks the festival’s sixth year in Lewes.

Founded by Judy Bazis, Illuminate Festivals are a series of one-day events along the East Coast that feature local businesses that support the mind, body, spirit, and arts. Illuminate Lewes offers free admission, free workshops, aura photography, sound healing, Reiki, bodywork, handmade jewelry and gift items, spa products, and more.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be back

in Lewes,” says Bazis. “We are honored to ‘hold space’ for local healing practitioners as they share their gifts and abilities with attendees. It’s a great place to try mini-sessions of alternative healing modalities. It’s all about finding what feels right for the individual in a positive and peaceful environment.”

On Sunday, October 20, Illuminate Festivals will return to the area with Illuminate Rehoboth Beach.

For details visit: illuminatefestivals. com. For more information: connect@ illuminatefestivals.com. ▼

The British Are Coming—Again!

But this time, they’re driving. And, they are headed for the 2024 Lewes British Motorcar Show, scheduled for Saturday, May 4, from 11:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. (Rain date: May 5.) Co-sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and the British Car Club of Delaware, the show will be held at the Lewes Ferry Terminal.

There will be 11 classes of cars, with judges selecting winners in each class, as well as a Best in Show award. The show will conclude at 3:00 p.m. with a Winners’ Circle Parade that departs the ferry terminal and proceeds across the drawbridge and down Second Street. More information: leweschamber.com. ▼

More Community News on page 100

Letters 20 APRIL 19, 2024 Donna Whiteside 16712 Kings Highway, Lewes 302.645.6661 Things to Know About My Mom: 1. Retired attorney, FT Real Estate Agent 2. Customer Service comes first! A member of the franch se system of BHH Affi iates, LLC 302.381.4871 donna.whiteside@penfedrealty.com
APRIL 19, 2024 21 Letters


Closer I Am to Fine

Four years ago, I was counting down the days to see my all-time favorite duo in the smallest venue I’d ever see them in, in a frenzied crowd of longtime followers in town to celebrate love, music, joy, and all good things as a community.

The wait to find out if the concert was canceled because of COVID-19 was interminable. No one knew what to do, about most things. The news. The government. The world. Everyone was alert and aware. Everyone was scared. No one knew what was coming, really—the fear, the long-lasting effects to people and economies, the overwhelming grief from human lives extinguished and losses of all kinds (mostly time). No one knew what the pandemic experience would be. It took a while for it all to sink in.

Finally, the sad email arrived: the pandemic forced the cancellation of the Women’s FEST show with the Indigo Girls. No show. No fun.

Fast forward four years (though it feels like much longer sometimes), the Girls are still on my YouTube and Spotify, on repeat. They’re still my favorite. At this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again. They’re touring but never seem to be near me. And I don’t go as many places as I used to. For them, though, I’d risk a crowd.

Yes, it’s a risk still for me and people I know. I still wear a mask indoors and in crowds, protection for people whose immune systems can’t fully protect themselves. I’d risk it for one last dance with the Girls, who probably are going to hang it up one day. Soon? Maybe not? Who knows?

That’s the thing we definitely learned through these four years—no one knows, ever. It’s all up in the air. We just think we have a handle on things.

You know, I’ve been singing “Closer to Fine” for 35 years (and so have the Girls!). And I’ve known what the song meant forever. But with every

year that passes, especially those that were curtailed by a hopefully oncein-a-lifetime pandemic, I understand it more and more. The less I seek my source for some definitive, closer I am to fine. I don’t have to look out there for anything, as long as I know what’s going on inside me.

No one tells you when your dad bakes you a cake shaped like a bunny ... that one day that particular memory will make you cry while you smile.

What’s going on inside this month is: it’s my birthday month and I’m happy and I’m sad. See, my birthday was also my father’s birthday. And my father died 25 years ago. No one tells you when your dad bakes you a cake shaped like a bunny because your 11th birthday falls on Easter that one day that particular memory will make you cry while you smile. Forever. Even still, every piece of cake tastes bittersweet.

It’s a curse and gift to see the endings in beginnings, to know the full circle of something before it starts. I may not know the ins and outs but I know the way things go, because that’s the

way things go. Like having tickets in your hand that you can never use that now remind you of that time you could have gotten oh, so close, and yet it’s so far, and they may never come this way again.

Oh, sweet melancholy. Give it a rest. Remember this gem of a line, written by Emily Saliers: darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear. Ain’t that the truth? Well, sometimes, anyway (you know, like right now).

Guess it’s all just part of walking the crooked line Emily and Amy Ray sing about in that now classic song. Brief aside: when did everybody get old? And it’s all part of life, the crying while smiling thing, which I suppose is better than just crying alone.

I know the Girls say I’ll be closer to fine if I don’t look outside myself, that what I need is within me. I know that’s true. But I also know a piece of cake wouldn’t hurt. It is my birthday month after all. (Yes, month. All month. Thirty Days of Celebrating Me.)

Perhaps I’ll bake a cake shaped like a bunny, enhanced by special ingredients—a smile and a few tears. A cake for me and dad, the man who heard “Closer to Fine” thousands of times, a little muffled, through the ceiling, shaking the hanging dining room light as the music thumped for hours.

He never did tell me to turn it down. The best thing [he] ever did for me is to help me take my life less seriously—it’s only life after all.

Happy birthday to us. ▼

Freelance writer Tara Lynn Johnson doesn’t look her age (and no, she won’t tell you). Visit her at taralynnjohnson.com.

Letters 22 APRIL 19, 2024
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Kathy Wiz’s Excellent Idea

The inspiration behind the Sunday morning Broadwalk on the Boardwalk, an integral part of Women’s FEST, and the person responsible for naming the event, is former CAMP Rehoboth Board Member Kathy Wiz. She’s also responsible for helping to steer the event to spectacular success for its first dozen years.

“So how did this all come together?” I asked Kathy one afternoon as we talked about the 2024 FEST and its Broadwalk.

“It was back in 2005, and my sister had had breast cancer. I thought about the AIDS walk and how mostly men came together to honor people lost to the disease.” Kathy said, telling me how she originally wanted to organize a walk in October for recognition of Breast Cancer month.

She was referred to CAMP Rehoboth as a potential partner and someone suggested holding the walk in concert with the 2011 Women’s FEST. But what should the event be called? Kathy formed a committee with volunteers Kathy Davison, Joanne Kempton, Jenn Harpel, Muriel Hogan (Kathy’s wife), and others. They settled on Sunday morning for the walk, but a name? Elusive.

“After playing around with the word boardwalk, I joked it should be a broadwalk and a tradition was born,” says Kathy.

Kathy credits Joanne Kempton with being especially influential in the planning because even though the walk would happen during the CAMP Rehoboth Women’s FEST, Joanne insisted that any proceeds should go to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC).

All agreed, and invited Connie Holdridge, a director at DBCC, to the next meeting. The volunteers also agreed that they wanted the event to be more than just a walk, so Joanne invited DJ Sharon Messina to provide music in the CAMP courtyard as participants gathered. Sharon immediately

volunteered, as did Lori Kline of Lori’s Café, offering complimentary coffee on Broadwalk morning.

The group also suggested that walkers wear pink feather boas, for blending a serious message with a fun time.

For that first Broadwalk morning gathering, 40 or 50 people showed up, wearing breast cancer signature pink, including a sprinkling of charmingly costumed men. There were a number of dogs wearing pink boas and adorable costumes as well.

The group walked to honor those lost to breast cancer and also to honor survivors, with the broads and boyfriends receiving certificates for participation.

By 2012, the walk started with some guys holding a placard reading “Boys for Broads” amid a crowd of women, men,

and pets that was much larger than the inaugural year.

In its second year the Broadwalk added a solemn ceremony on the beach, with the crowd forming a circle on the sand at the end of the walk. Kathy spoke, reading a spiritual message; it was an emotional ending to the event.

Smiling at the memory, Kathy recalls, “We wanted to release doves, but we found out it was hawk mating season— making that a really bad idea.”

Over the next decade, the circle morphed into a heart and the event evolved from strictly breast cancer support to remembering victims of all cancers and supporting all survivors.

Through the years, photographers Geri DeBiase and Susan Fortier documented the growing crowds and photos by individuals captured both

Letters 24 APRIL 19, 2024

the solemnity and the celebration of the now traditional event. DJ Sharon and Lori Kline remained loyal sponsors and realtor Karen Gustafson became a presenting sponsor. The Broadwalk attracted hundreds of people and their pets each year, walking to illustrate the Broadwalk’s slogan: Remember the Victims, Support the Survivors.

In 2015, a note on the Boardwalk Facebook page saw Connie Holdridge, of DBCC commenting, “Kathy Wiz had a vision. She wanted to do something special for breast cancer survivors to make a difference. Her vision was a walk to benefit Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition without any fees so that everyone could share, walk, and enjoy.”

And they certainly did.

In 2017, just after CAMP Rehoboth Co-Founder Steve Elkins passed away from lymphoma, a large contingent of people marched honoring Steve along with the hundreds of other honorees. It was a very emotional time for many.

As Kathy recalls, over the years there were weather challenges, but only 2018 had to be held indoors in the CAMP Rehoboth atrium. And they canceled the official walk in 2020 during lockdown for the

COVID pandemic, suggesting instead that people take the walk individually. Kathy and Muriel did hold forth, masked up, in the CAMP Courtyard, to take donations.

Kathy loves to call the Broadwalk a fun event for a serious cause. “We had the boas because you can’t take yourself too seriously if you are wearing a pink feather boa.”

Realizing that they wanted to attract a more diverse crowd, Kathy and the committee had flyers and posters made in Spanish as well as English and encouraged a wider distribution throughout Sussex County.

Kathy’s last Broadwalk as a leader was 2021, with the event continuing on as Kathy’s enduring legacy to CAMP Rehoboth and DBCC. By 2021 the event had raised over $80,000 in donations for DBCC.

“I’m really thrilled that it’s become such an important part of Women’s FEST,” Kathy says, “and there are too many people to thank for their efforts over the years, but it’s been amazing.”

Kathy loves to call the Broadwalk a fun event for a serious cause. “We had the boas because you can’t take yourself too seriously if you are wearing a pink feather boa.”

For 2024, The Broardwalk will take place on Sunday, April 28.

Kathy and her wife Muriel will be walking in the Broadwalk this year as they always do. Find them and say hello—and thanks. ▼

Fay Jacobs is the author most recently of Big Girls Don’t Fry, to be released April 23. She tours with her one-woman sit-down comedy show, Aging Gracelessly.

APRIL 19, 2024 25 Letters
Photos L-R (top row): Kathy Wiz, Muriel Hogan, Eric Engelhart, Bob Hoffer, David Wade, Chris Beagle, Max Dick. Second row: Muriel Hogan, Kathy Wiz, Connie Holdridge, Kathy Davison, Steve Elkins.


The (Vagina) Chip on My Shoulder

I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.

Afemale MD recently posted that her male PhD engineer friend couldn’t understand how a woman could pee if she had a tampon in. Hers was a cautionary tale on why men, perhaps, should not be passing laws about women’s bodies. She certainly raises a good point.

I possess two early 20th century medical dictionaries. In both, a page and a half are devoted to vaccines and vaccinations. The vagina, however, is described only as a canal from the inner portion of the female body to the outer, with subsequent, paltry information on the various sexual and other diseases one could find in this passageway. Neither dictionary outlines why we have this wondrous route between cervix and vulva or highlights the fact that the vaginal walls can stretch to such a capacity, a bowling bowl could be passed.

Several studies highlight that this bias toward women in medical textbooks exists to this day. The pictures on the female reproductive anatomy prove to be simplistic, geared toward socially constructed norms, and lack diversity. As a result, female anatomy is unfavorably visualized as necessary for reproduction and childbearing only. Moreover, the pictures on anatomical differentiation aside, only about 30 percent of the 4,000 gendered images in the medical books reviewed were presented as female.

Sex and gender biases in anatomy can result in key misconceptions about clinically relevant issues. For example, the vagina’s elasticity and recoil are so immediate, that soon after childbirth (OK, I said passing a bowling ball), said tampon can be inserted and remain secure in the body until manually removed.

Besides childbirth, the vagina plays a key role in sexual pleasure, menstruation, and pregnancy. The

vaginal walls are multilayered, which provides that structure and elasticity. Fluids are secreted, providing a moist and lubricated environment. The vagina can also absorb substances and is used as a gateway in medical treatment.

Organs-on-a-chip like these mimic bodily functions and are already in use to study other hard to research areas, such as the gut biome and lung tissue.

The vagina is host to a variety of bacteria and fungi that keep it healthy. In addition, it is subject to hormonal changes which changes the anatomy and blood supply to the structure, as well as potentially disrupts the delicate microbiome within the vagina. This disruption can lead to a variety of bacterial and fungal infections. In addition, as a corridor used during sexual stimulation, the vagina is vulnerable to developing sexually transmitted infections and cancer.

The reproductive health of women is strongly linked to the vagina’s delicate microbiome. However, researching this microbiome has historically

proven problematic. First, women historically have been significantly underrepresented in research studies. This is particularly true for reproductive health research. Even without this bias, however, studying the vaginal microbiome is not easy. These human flora and fauna are not reproducible in animal subjects; hence, cannot be readily researched in laboratory settings.

Recently, however, researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed the Vagina Chip, a pre-clinical model of the human vaginal mucosa. The chip is an inch-long, rectangular case containing live donor human vaginal tissue and a flow of estrogen-carrying material to simulate vaginal mucus.

Organs-on-a-chip like these mimic bodily functions and are already in use to study other hard to research areas, such as the gut biome and lung tissue. Using the chip, scientists can manipulate the environment and have already shown that certain bacterial growth favors a healthier vaginal microbiome. The researchers hope as well to evaluate the safety and efficacy of biotherapeutic products in a safer, more controlled environment.

The initial medical community response to the chip’s announcement has been positive, touting the breakthrough as bringing women’s reproductive health into modern times using cutting edge technology. Critics note, however, that like all organs-ona-chip, not all biological and hormonal interactions can be replicated. And the chip is a stand-alone product, meaning other bodily functions that may contribute to vaginal health cannot be studied. That said, even if the vagina chip requires more development, its creators are confident its use will normalize reproductive research.

While the poor male PhD engineer may have been ignorant of the female anatomy, his plight is not relegated to his sex. Historically, a woman’s body

Letters 26 APRIL 19, 2024

was her best survival tool in patriarchal societies. A woman’s appearance and health are still heavily influenced by social and cultural values. In turn, these influences restrict notions of selfhood and women make decisions based on social and cultural demands.

Multiple studies reinforce this constant dissatisfaction with body image. Research has shown that around 50 percent of 13-year-old American girls reported being unhappy with their body, with the percentage increasing to nearly 80 percent by the time young women reached 17. Nearly 70 percent

of adult women report withdrawing from activities due to their body image. A 2020 survey of 2,000 women found that 46 percent could not identify the cervix, one in four could not identify the vagina, and close to 60 percent thought the uterus was an organ outside the female reproductive apparatus. While 63 percent could correctly identify why females menstruate, over half expressed confusion on why females go through menopause.

For these perceptions to change, women must first become comfortable with the mortal coil within which they

Women’s FEST: To Your Health!

Sure, there are the front-and-center health aspects to FEST: Beebe nurses offering a myriad of screenings; Bayhealth Cancer Institute offering clinical breast exams. (You can read more about those on page 12.) And there’s the Broadwalk on the Boardwalk, a festive—and also poignant—nod to all those impacted by cancer.

But some aspects are perhaps less obviously “all about health”—yet are definitely healthy. For example, how about all those sports? Talk about getting in some exercise—everything from golf to pickleball to cornhole to bowling to—bingo? Well, sure, some are more physically demanding than others. But still—even the spectators can work up a sweat, and the cheering surely promotes taking nice, deep breaths.

The dances? More activity! And the shows? More cheering! More deep breathing! Even applauding burns calories, and a few leaps to your feet as you rise to demand an encore gets the muscles moving. Work in a stretch, maybe?


Even if you’re not one of the sporty folks, are up-to-date on all your health screenings, and tend toward the lessraucous joys of FEST—Speaker Series, anyone? Pop-up Bookstore and Sapphic Author Readings? FEST ART 2024! exhibit?—there are health benefits to be found at these, too. There’s brain health, as you listen-and-learn, perhaps entertaining a new idea or two. The arts can improve self-esteem and reduce stress. You can meet-and-greet other art enthusiasts, bonding over your shared love of the arts.

Speaking of bonding—how about the sense of community, connection, and camaraderie you can find at FEST? The opportunity to be fully, openly yourself— something you may not (yet) feel you’re able to be everywhere? How about the happiness you feel?

Great news, here: those feelings are all good for you! A sense of community and feeling of safety—social connectedness—can bring benefits like a longer life, better health, and a sense

inhabit. To this day, I remember the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes where the group is asked to take charge of themselves by sitting down with a mirror and visually inspecting their vulva and anus. Perhaps as a less stark introduction, however, may I suggest walking through a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. You’ll get the picture. ▼

Sharon A. Morgan is a retired advanced practice nurse with over 30 years of clinical and healthcare policy background.

of well-being. And feelings of happiness and joy have been shown to reduce stress hormones, lessen pain, and relieve depression.

We’re glad you’re here for FEST. (We’re glad you’re here even when it’s not FEST!) Enjoy, engage, have fun, build community, celebrate. It’s all good for you!  ▼

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).

All of CAMP Rehoboth’s programs, services, and events are listed here: camprehoboth.com/community-calendar.

Please visit the site often to ensure you have up-to-date information on what is being offered—and when. ▼

APRIL 19, 2024 27 Letters health+wellness

CAMPsafe Serves Our Community PREVENT HIV & Mpox

FREE Condoms—Protect Yourself!

FREE condoms (internal, external, non-latex) and dental dams are ALWAYS available at CAMP Rehoboth and other locations, including Diego’s, Freddie’s, Aqua, and all free walk-in HIV testing sites.


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 vaccines at cdc.gov/poxvirus/ mpox/

PrEP, HIV PEP, and Mpox PEP

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication taken daily that can reduce your chance of getting HIV. HIV PEP (postexposure prophylaxis) is a medication that must be taken within 72 hours after a 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/default.html


Free, rapid, walk-in HIV testing and counseling is available at CAMP Rehoboth and in western Sussex County. Testing days/times are subject to change; please call ahead to verify the current testing schedule.

CAMP Rehoboth

37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE

Tel: 302-227-5620

Mondays 10 AM-1 PM Tuesdays 2:30-4:30 PM

Wednesdays 1-4 PM Thursdays 1-3 PM Fridays .......................................... 9 AM-12 PM

ACE Peer Resource Center - Georgetown 20707 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, DE

Tel: 302-585-4963

ACE Peer Resource Center - Seaford 547 N. Bradford St., Seaford, DE

Tel: 302-628-3016

Addiction Medical Facility - Seaford 1309 Bridgeville Hwy., Seaford, DE

Tel: 302-629-2300


Higher Ground Outreach

12 E. Pine St., Georgetown, DE

Tel: 302-470-7497

Laurel State Service Center

31039 N. Poplar St., Laurel, DE

Tel: 302-227-5620*

*Call CAMP Rehoboth to schedule an HIV test at the Laurel State Service Center.

Springboard Village

411 Kimmey St., Georgetown, DE

Tel: 302-253-8246

Scan the QR Code for the most up-todate testing hours and locations.

Letters 28 APRIL 19, 2024 GET TESTED with Joe Vescio, HIV testing volunteer, on Wednesdays, 1-4 p.m. at CAMP Rehoboth
Results in only 15 minutes! No Hassle!
APRIL 19, 2024 29 Letters SUMMER 2024 CAMP Rehoboth 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
14-15 @ 7pm ■ June 16 @ 3pm Epworth United Methodist Church • Rehoboth Beach, Delaware $25 • Get tickets at camprehoboth.com
Yetter • Artistic Director David Zipse and the CAMP Chorus Band CAMP Rehoboth Chorus presents a musical journey On the

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Letters 30 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 31 Letters
Playing a Spring Bouquet of Beautiful Music by Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, John Williams, and other composers

View Point

Last Train to Washington

During Holy Week, Fundraising for Democracy

Let them go,” President Biden said of the pro-Palestinian protesters who heckled him during a campaign fundraiser with former presidents Clinton and Obama on March 28 at Radio City Music Hall. This contrasted with Donald Trump’s comment about protesters in 2016, “Knock the crap out of ’em.”

I had the good fortune to attend the Radio City event thanks to a friend who was inspired by a commentary I wrote in February to make a large donation to the Biden campaign. He was out of the country, so he invited me and another fellow to represent him.

The event was packed with donors and surrounded by security. The controversies swirling on social media seemed light-years away as I was greeted by Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison and met the three presidents at the pre-event VIP reception. I was amazed by the number of staff required to pull off such an event. All were gracious and helpful.

The musical guests onstage included Lizzo, Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, Lea Michele, and Cynthia Erivo. Then Stephen Colbert interviewed the presidents.

President Biden’s main message was simple: “Our democracy is at stake.”

I don’t know how the hecklers got into the place, but they were unable to dent the upbeat mood of the crowd. Their role felt similar to that of the backup singers earlier. The presidents’ statesmanlike responses showed their skill and grace in handling disruption.

“You can’t just talk and not listen,” Obama said to the protesters. “That’s what the other side does.” Clinton emphasized Biden’s support for Palestinian self-determination and a twostate solution. Contrariwise, as James Risen writes in The Intercept, “Donald Trump and his MAGA cult of Christian

nationalists would never force Israel to accept a ceasefire—or a Palestinian state.”

The protesters refused to confront the tangled reality of a long-running war, not to mention the terrorist attack by Hamas that started the latest violence. As I walked down Sixth Avenue after the

President Biden’s main message was simple: “Our democracy is at stake.”

event, screaming protesters accused me of supporting genocide. I told them they were wrong and were not helping their cause.

Truth be told, however, their cause is not actually to help Palestinians, but to gain the satisfaction of screaming at Democrats. This is the Left’s politics of subtraction, in which they denounce anyone who doesn’t completely agree with them. The idea is that when the Republicans win, things will be so bad that it will set off the Revolution the leftists dream about. In fact, what we actually got after Trump’s 2016 win was a right-wing supermajority on the Supreme Court.

Even after leaving the massive police turnout behind, I felt entirely safe walking to Penn Station to take the last train to Washington. Despite a light rain, the city was bustling at 11:00 p.m.

One guy stood across from Madison Square Garden pointing up at a photo of singer Billy Joel on the side of the building with a caption that it was the 100th concert of his residency there. I said to the guy, “A hundred? You don’t look older than 40.” He said, “You wanna fight me?” I said, “No, I’m just a

smartass.” He said, “I bet I could beat you.” I said, “I’m sure.” Then I turned and followed the sign, “To Trains.”

New York felt like a big, friendly welter of barely-controlled chaos. It’s all a bit much, but it works if you just go with it.

Back in DC on Holy Saturday afternoon, emerging from the Metro on my way home from a family Easter gathering, I saw a few hundred people demonstrating around the Dupont Circle fountain. A woman led chants with a megaphone; several people waved Palestinian flags. I was able to make out “End the occupation now!” and “Revolution!” repeated several times. I did not hear “from the river to the sea,” widely understood to mean abolishing Israel. Then I headed down P Street toward home.

With the sounds of chanting and drumming receding behind me, I encountered an older man standing outside his house smoking and looking in the direction of the Circle. “They’re calling for revolution,” I said to him, “so stand back.” He replied with a laugh, “I will indeed.”

Six thousand miles away in Gaza, children starve while Hamas leaders refer to “the Zionist entity” and Netanyahu responds to war crimes with more war crimes. Closer to home, the Republican presidential candidate says migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country.”

As humans, we have more work to do. ▼

Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist at rrosendall@me.com.

Letters 32 APRIL 19, 2024

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APRIL 19, 2024 33 Letters

CAMP Library Chronicles

Hidden History Revealed

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

Walking through the streets of downtown Rehoboth during the off-season, I ponder over the ghosts of summer revelers of yore. What were their parties like? What were their watering holes of choice? What swimsuits were in fashion? Well, muse no more for CAMP has a Photos Archive: 99 photo albums dating from the summer of 1980 to the present day. All 29,700+ snapshots (except those in which he appears) were taken by our very own Tony Burns.

For the purposes of writing this, I looked at all the images. From the very

first photo I was hooked. Captured for all time on celluloid is a young man wearing white overalls—my own summer-of-1980 uniform.

Check out the fabulously themed house parties—“Dirty in Pink,” “Squirt Gun Party”—hosted by such groups as The Park Avenue Boys and Boys of 1 6th Street. Marc Anthony’s “Red, White and Blue Bashes” were not to be missed.

You have not seen camp until you’ve paged through the photos from the annual Labor Day drag volleyball games, CAMP’s uber-outrageous Annual Follies, and Jim D’Orta’s annual Memorial Day “Hilda Mae Snoops” croquet tournament.

Back in the day, luminaries were commonplace: Bruce Vilanch, Congressman Barney Frank, Tim Gunn, and Joan Riv-

ers. Love Grove’s Retro Balls provided real divas: Bonnie Pointer, Martha Wash, and Evelyn “Champagne” King.

Who could forget these hot spots: The Double L, Salero, Celsius, Cloud 9, SOB Deli, Venus-on-the-Half-Shell, Our Place, Café Zeus, and Rouge at 59 Lake?

Amidst the newspaper clippings and umpteen party invitations is a copy of the Beach Book 1993 —a directory of Summer ’93 residents of the Rehoboth area and their frequent guests. For years this publication served to keep our small community in touch with one another.

So come take a look at our history in glorious color. Or take a long overdue stroll down memory lane. Public availability will resume after the library renovations. Call ahead for an appointment to view the photo archives: 302-227-5620. ▼

Letters 34 APRIL 19, 2024

labor day weekend

august 31 - September 1, 2024

rehoboth convention center a benefit to support CAMP Rehoboth

Saturday, august 31

A night of comedy


Joe Dombrowski

Since Joe’s rise to fame, he has been traveling the globe with his stand-up comedy which often highlights his outrageous, g-g-g-g-GAY family dynamics and of course his time as a former school teacher.”

Plus! Live auction

Sunday, September 1

One ticket , two dances.

Disco tea kicks off first ...big club beats takeover the night! with DJ Robbie Leslie and DJ Joe Gauthreaux

For more information about volunteering or event sponsorships visit


APRIL 19, 2024 35 Letters
Save the Date!

Out & About

Silver Anniversary Celluloid

The film industry cranked out so many amazing films a quarter-century ago that many film scholars would like to challenge the notion that 1939 (Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Love Affair, Frankenstein, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Women, Ninotchka, and more) was the best year in American film history. Instead, they say, the honor should go to 1999. With films as diverse and superb as Fight Club, The Matrix, Office Space, Election, The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense, Being John Malkovich, and The Virgin Suicides (and more!), the idea certainly has legs.

For queer movie buffs, looking back on these silver anniversary films can be enlightening, instructive, and perhaps a little enraging to see how we were seen and talked about in the waning days of the 20th century. Filmed entertainment, like no other art form, offers a visceral experience of history, as it allows us to see and hear stories from the past, exactly as they were seen and heard before.

Flawless was a “crime comedydrama” released in 1999. And if that sounds like a lot, you’re not far off. Robert de Niro played Walt, a security guard recovering from a stroke, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman as Rusty, a pre-operative trans woman who gives Walt singing lessons to help him regain his speech. There could have been some lovely commentary there about finding one’s authentic voice and how music, so evocative of feeling, is often a better conduit than the more logical and unadorned spoken word.

But sadly, that level of nuance can’t exist alongside a wild storyline about a mob boss that Rusty had stolen from to pay for her gender transition, and the whole thing is a bit of a mess. I feel fairly confident that Flawless is not one of the films that scholars are using to argue the case for 1999 as the best year in film. But while the movie hasn’t aged all that well, Hoffman’s performance (he, of course,

would later win an Oscar for playing gay writer Truman Capote) is captivating. He chews the scenery while avoiding any offensive clichés. In a film that bears almost no resemblance to reality, he creates something real, and that’s pretty flawless.

Cruel Intentions was a teenage adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons (let that just sink in; take all the time you need) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon. While most don’t think of it as a queer film, per se, its most iconic moment takes place when Kathryn (Gellar) takes time to teach Cecile (Selma Blair) how to kiss, with lots of tongue.

While the main character does many awful things, the film wants you to like him, and even root for him.

More important to the plot is another moment when closeted football player Greg (Eric Mabius) is blackmailed by Sebastian (Phillippe) with pictures of Greg in bed with another boy. So…girlon-girl is hot, but only if neither of the girls are actually into other girls, while boy-on-boy is decidedly not. If you want a night of campy fun, this might fit the bill, but the 1988 grown-up adaptation is better in every way, and also less insulting.

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a much better film than these other two. It’s a prestige drama featuring lush Italian landscapes, an Oscar-nominated performance by Jude Law, and a gay protagonist who just happens to be a serial killer and pathological liar. And yet…it’s absolutely worth revisiting, honest. While the main character does many awful things, the film wants you to like him, and even root for him. Even as you watch him seethe with jealousy, deceive his so-called friends, and kill the ones he loves, you might not condone

his terrible choices, but you understand why he’s doing what he’s doing, and you empathize with him.

Twenty-five years later, I’m still not sure how this movie pulls this off and given more recent productions like Saltburn (with an eerily similar plot) and Netflix’s Ripley (based on the same characters, created by lesbian author Patricia Highsmith), it’s a trick that still works.

The Best Actress winner of the maybe-best-year-ever-in-movies was an unknown before she made her film debut, playing a trans man in 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry. I recently learned that out director Kimberly Peirce wanted to cast a trans man as Brandon Teena, a real person who was raped and murdered in rural Nebraska in 1993, but after years of auditions, she opened the casting process to cisgender men and women.

It’s easy to see why she went with her eventual choice. As Brandon, Hilary Swank’s performance contains pathos, swagger, vulnerability, grit, and naïveté, often in the same scene. She earned every inch of that Oscar. And while the film is both literally and emotionally dark, Brandon lives on in the viewer’s memory as a puckish, optimistic Romeo.

These days, we’re happily more likely to see trans actors cast in trans roles, characterizations of gay people that are flawed and nuanced without entering serial killer territory, and queer love being celebrated rather than existing simply to titillate or scandalize. We’ve made a bit of progress, thankfully. Still, it’s fascinating to see just how much we were getting right a quarter-century ago. Pass the popcorn. ▼

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.

Letters 36 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 37 Letters


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Letters 38 APRIL 19, 2024
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Funds raised at this event will support Beebe’s South Coastal Health Campus in Millville – its 24/7 Emergency Department and state-of-the-art Cancer Center.


APRIL 19, 2024 39 Letters
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It’s My Life

AI in the Sky

Ah, laundry. The great equalizer of adulthood. A task as old as time, yet somehow always managing to surprise us with its endless capacity for chaos and comedy. Let us embark on a whimsical journey through the fantastical world of laundry, where the mundane meets the absurd and socks hold the secrets of the universe.

I did not write the above paragraph. AI did. I was thinking about writing this column about laundry, which for some reason has been a huge issue around here this month and feels, somehow, like a Harbinger of Doom.

But I’ve been having a lot of discussions about AI this week, particularly as it applies to writing and the visual arts, so I decided to see what happened if I asked a popular AI writing program to write my column for me. “Write an 800-word essay about laundry in the style of Michael Thomas Ford” was the prompt.

The result was not great. But it was also not completely terrible. With some reworking, I could have used it. I predict that within a year, AI will be able to write more-than-passable short pieces. Already, one journalist friend has lost her job writing articles for a popular website after the owners decided it was easier to have AI do it and then have an editor clean it up. And trust me, the book publishing world is in a panic about AI too. Editors, agents, and publishers see what’s on the horizon and are scrambling to figure out what to do about it.

But no one is panicking—or arguing— about AI more than authors and artists. AI-generated art is everywhere now, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s getting close. What used to take months or weeks to do by hand can now be done in minutes, and by people with no artistic ability beyond knowing the right prompts to give. Similarly, stories that once took writers many hours to get on the page now take an artificial intelligence a couple of minutes.

The whole point of machines is to make our lives easier. Automation has replaced humans in a multitude of areas,

mostly for the better. But when it comes to the creation of art, it hits differently, at least for those of us whose lives are centered around being those creators. The idea that a machine might be able to do in minutes (or seconds) what it takes us far longer to do makes us question whether what we can do is all that special.

I don’t like thinking that something that makes us inherently human—the creation of art—can be so easily done by something with no ability to feel…

Artists who create handmade items have felt this struggle for a long time. Ask anyone who knits or makes pottery. They regularly hear things like, “But I can buy one just like it for $15! Why is yours so expensive?” While many of us value the fact that something handmade has inherent value that something machine-made does not, that distinction is not shared by everyone. More and more, the making of art—already a shaky way to earn a living— is becoming something sustainable only as a hobby. And that’s a problem.

When it comes to the writing of words, the irony is that it has never been easier to get your work out into the world. Self-publishing is a simple matter of learning how to use readily available tools. Anyone can create a book. Anyone can be a published author. The upside of this is that voices that might never have been heard due to the gatekeeping of traditional publishing can now be heard.

The downside is that there are so many voices clamoring for attention that virtually none of them will succeed, at least not at a level of making a living. There are simply too many books and not enough readers willing to pay money for them. (The fact that people want their art to be cheap, if not outright free, is a whole other issue.)

The introduction of AI into the equation adds even more uncertainty. Already, stories are successful mostly because they entertain, not for their greater artistic value. (There are, obviously, exceptions to this, and the world of literary publishing, like the world of art films, is another thing altogether.) If AI can be trained to write in the style of today’s most successful commercial authors, what further need do we have for those authors?

The argument I hear most frequently is that we still need people to feed ideas into the machines. But for how long? Eventually, will we all just become the machines’ caretakers, ensuring their ongoing functionality while simultaneously being replaced by them?

Again, I know this is how technology works. Tailors were mostly replaced by rows of machines that cut and sew garments. Cobblers were mostly replaced by machines that churn out thousands of shoes a day. Many of us long for the day when we can ask a replicator to whip up dinner instead of having to do it ourselves or head to a restaurant that may not be affordable or even exist where we live. And if it tastes exactly like the fare Thomas Keller serves up at his French Laundry, does it matter that it wasn’t touched by human hands?

Progress is inevitable. But right now, it’s disheartening. I don’t like thinking that something that makes us inherently human—the creation of art—can be so easily done by something with no ability to feel, only to mimic feeling. I already know that we’re small and insignificant. I don’t need further evidence of it. And yet, here it is, staring me in the face.

I also have no answers, which is unhelpful. All I can do is continue to value the handmade, with all its imperfections that make it valuable to me. I just hope others will do the same. ▼

Michael Thomas Ford is a much-published Lambda Literary award-winning author. Visit Michael at michaelthomasford.com.

Letters 40 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 41 Letters NOW ACCEPTING PATIENTS 18947 John J. Williams Hwy Rehoboth Beach, DE 302-643-2900 pellegrinoplasticsurgery.com LEARN MORE Christopher Pellegrino, MD

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Letters 42 APRIL 19, 2024 Call now! Seating is limited. 17028 Cadbury Circle, Lewes, DE 19958 • springpointchoice.org
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Tuesday, May 14, at 2:00 PM RSVP by May 10 to 866-616-3084 or springpointchoice.org/rsvp-delaware at CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, DE


MM: When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?

DQ: Last year for Women’s FEST. Not sure if I volunteered or if my wife volunteered me; we still debate that. But I’m here now and loving it!

MM: Favorite season here at the beach and why?

DQ: Definitely fall. When the crowds are gone, the leaves are turning, and the air is crisp.

MM: Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.

DQ: I think I get my creativity from my father; he was a great influence on me growing up and we did a lot of projects together. I’m a self-taught graphic artist…I learned everything I know on the job after leaving dental hygiene (sorry Dad) at the age of 40. And this was BEFORE computers were a business staple.

MM: Night owl or early riser and why?

DQ: Night owl. No one should see me before my morning coffee—it’s not pretty.

MM: Favorite holiday and why?

DQ: Hanukkah. Because I get to teach my shiksa wife all the Hebrew prayers. Took her three years but she does them better than I do, now.

MM: How long have you been coming to Rehoboth?

DQ: I probably first came to Rehoboth in 1988; never dreamed I’d be living here full-time. I’ll never forget that first time because I got locked out of my hotel room.

MM: What are you most thankful for?

DQ: My loving wife, Kelly, who also volunteers and acts with CAMP Rehoboth Theatre. She’s a hoot to watch on stage. ▼

Marce McCollum-Martin is a member of the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Development Committee (VDC).

APRIL 19, 2024 43 Letters As local small business owners, we understand what it takes to protect your small business. Stop in or give us a call to get insurance for your business at a great value. It takes a local business owner to protect one. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, Florida State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX 1706445 statefarm.com® Eric Blondin Ins Agency Inc Eric Blondin, Agent 18958 Coastal Highway Bus: 302-645-7283 www.surfsidecoverage.com Jeanine O’Donnell, Agent 16583 Coastal Hwy Lewes, DE 19958 Bus: 302-644-3276 www.lewesinsurance.com
VOLUNTEER spotlight


Last month, we published six-word memoirs submitted by some of our regular contributors. (If you missed that column—you can read about six-word memoirs at SixWordMemoirs.com. Or in the March issue of Letters.)

We also invited folks in the community to submit their six-word memoirs. And, you did! Thanks to all who sent along your six words—it is wonderful reading your (albeit brief!) stories. ▼

Seeing more than meets the eye.

Filled with wonder always asking why.

Letters 44 APRIL 19, 2024
... [ ...
[ ...
JERI BERC Invisible, I shadowed myself solid. ...
[  TC
... [ ...
Regrets. Mind agony. Daily wonder. Relief.
ANONYMOUS Secrets hidden finally out and safe
Committed to justice. Living it daily.
We ride waves everyday we’re alive.
WILLIE SCHATZ Works hard. Plays hard. Lives Softly.





I rode in, rode out again. [


Only wind heard her scream no. [


My blessed beginnings guide me forward.


Cold? Bitch, please, I’m from Michigan.


Construction under progress—change is inevitable!


Succubus survivor here. Still scraping by. ... [ ...




Was an underachiever. No do overs.



ANONYMOUS Breathe. Breathe. Repeat. Silence. The End. [


So much life— too few words! ...


Quick wit, sharp tongue, watch out!


Sing, sing a song with me!


After ALL, everything is just fine




Avid adventure hunter bags remarkable elation.


Today, I live because I thrive.


APRIL 19, 2024 45 Letters
Six-word Memoirs
... [
... [ ...
[ ...

Straight Talk

Still Shaking the Gates of Hell

He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. In fact, he has two Pulitzer Prizes on his mantle, one of which he shares with his son. He lives in Alabama and writes investigative articles on the injustices that take place around him. He shines a light on the darkness that is so near. He attempts to right the wrongs that are inflicted upon the disenfranchised. He is the author of the book, Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution. His name is John Archibald, and he is the brother of CAMP Rehoboth’s co-founder, Murray Archibald.

Epworth Church in Rehoboth Beach recently hosted John as a guest speaker, along with a panel of others who shared their perspectives on the injustices occurring around us. On the panel were Murray, Pastor Vicki Gordy-Stith, and Pastor Marjorie Belmont-Burns, with Todd Popham as the moderator for the discussion that ensued.

As John shared his memories of growing up a child of a long line of Methodist preachers, he said, “In many ways we were on the right side of things. But in many ways, we weren’t. Coming from the heart of the South, based on my world view, thinking about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the rewriting of constitutions across the South for the express purpose of codifying white supremacy.... Jim Crow, beatings, bombings, all of this taking place around me. And I thought, how could this be happening if we are surrounded by people of good will?

“I set out to write about silence, in particular white silence. I was born in 1963 outside Birmingham, when Martin Luther King, Jr. was jailed nearby, where he wrote ‘Letter from the Birmingham Jail.’ It [criticized] the white church for its failure to stand up and speak in the name of justice.”

Pastor Marjorie recalled her childhood memories of being the only

African-American student in her class. The boy who sat behind her continually called her the “n” word, while the teacher said nothing. White silence. In its recurrence, this white silence can be deafening. Just in the past month, Pastor Marjorie’s grown daughter also

“It is not just the hatred that kills…. It is the silence. None of the demagogues or racists could thrive without the silence.”

suffered the disgrace—and abuse—of being called the “n” word. This is not something that is of days gone by. This is now. This is real.

Another perspective on the discrimination that is rampant right in front of our eyes came from Pastor Vicki. She recalled how in 2020, her church, which was (and is) predominantly white, put up a sign that read “Black Lives Matter.” The sign was torn down by some unknown person. It was replaced with a sign saying, “Hate has no place here.” Several members of the church left and began attending elsewhere. It quickly became evident that using one’s voice for justice comes with consequences.

Murray had his own story of people remaining silent. “The same things keep happening over and over again, in our churches and in our communities. That’s the reason we must come out and be vocal about injustice of all kinds. Silence—the silence of the closet, the silence of anything hidden—is destructive.”

So the challenge remains—for all of us—to use our voices for justice and equality. Whether we are focusing on racial division, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, reproductive rights, or other

issues that affect our daily lives, we must transcend the biases and prejudices that divide us.

John Archibald wrote in his book, “It is not just the hatred that kills. Not just leaders who capitalize on fear and incite the mobs to violence. It is the silence. None of the demagogues or racists could thrive without the silence.”

We look around us today and see this played out in politics, in religion, in so many parts of our lives. Silence is complicity. We are being called out to come out, to speak out, to act out on our convictions. We no longer have the luxury of complicity or complacency.

John shared how he walked a different path than his brother, Murray, in his efforts to wake the Methodist Church from its slumber on LGBTQ issues. John cashed it in; said goodbye; left before they threw him out. Murray stayed, because that is his way.

Murray and his husband Steve worked from the inside to make Epworth the welcoming and accepting church it is today. Their whole concept for CAMP Rehoboth was about being visible in the community—about breaking the silence.

As John Archibald continues to shake the gates of hell, he writes, “There are moments when you can say more in silence than you can ever say in words. There are other moments, however, when the world requires a voice.” So, let’s put our voices to good use. ▼

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.

Letters 46 APRIL 19, 2024
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Words Matter

I Loved My Friend

We didn’t have the words, so we could not save our friendship. At times I still miss him.

One year for my birthday he gave me the most thoughtful gift. Months before I recalled to him the story of the toy I wanted as a kid, but my mom never bought it for me. At the time, she had good reason but late into my twenties I still thought about it.

That September, when he showed up to my apartment with a group of friends to celebrate with me, I was so surprised to open the beautifully wrapped box that he’d brought with him and see the very gift that my childhood heart had longed for. He was always that kind of guy.

Our relationship started as work colleagues. We didn’t work in the same department, but meetings and programs often brought us together in the same spaces. Eventually, we started hanging out after work and on weekends. His friends became my friends. My friends became his friends. Our families would ask about the other. Lots of times, we’d be together, and people would mistake us for brothers. On a few occasions, people would assume we were lovers. We thought both assumptions were funny. I really appreciated that as a straight man he could find the humor in it too. In fact, he and I joked about it.

We would finish each other’s sentences. We could look at each other and just laugh. Without me saying anything, he could often tell not just what I was thinking, but also what I was feeling. It would be impossible to count or even estimate the number of hours we’d spend talking to each other about our problems, solutions, hopes for the future, and sometimes nothing at all. It was a rich friendship. Sadly, for all the talks we had, we couldn’t find the words when we needed them the most to wrap up that era of our friendship more neatly.

He’d had a hometown sweetheart that he’d been dating for years but the

distance began to wear on them. After they broke up, he slowly started dating again. He reunited with a woman from his past and their love began to blossom. I was so happy for him. I knew that when he imagined his future, the vision was of a loving wife, children, and the home he didn’t always have as a kid. This woman could provide him with that.

He reunited with a woman from his past and their love began to blossom.

Sadly, what she couldn’t offer was an understanding of the friendship that he and I shared without being intimidated by it or misinterpreting it.

In the beginning, I thought it was all in my head. It is not uncommon that when a friend starts dating someone, you don’t see them as much, but it felt like the distance between us was growing wider and wider. When we connected one-onone, it felt normal. When we were in a group setting that included his fiancée, it did not.

At first, I thought it was just me; later, one of his other friends pulled me to the side to ask about what he’d observed. I didn’t express my discomfort. I was silent because I didn’t know what to say and was afraid that if I said the wrong thing nothing good would come from it and it would make matters worse. I wanted to be a supportive friend.

Eventually, my dear friend announced his engagement. He’d come one step closer to living the life he’d envisioned. I saw that coming. However, what took me by surprise was a few of our mutual friends started asking me if I’d booked my flight for the wedding. I couldn’t book a flight because I didn’t know when it was. I had not been invited. I played it off and told folks that I had another event that weekend and couldn’t make it.

Weeks before the wedding was set to take place, I got an unexpected text message from the groom-to-be. He invited me to happy hour. Reluctantly, I agreed to meet him for a drink. I hadn’t seen him in months. It was great catching up and laughing as we used to do. Neither of us mentioned his fiancée or the wedding. We asked the waiter for the check. I thought for a split second about saying something but didn’t know if my words should be gentle or harsh. Instead, I chose to say nothing.

When the waiter came back to us, suddenly my buddy wanted one more drink. When he got it, he gulped the glass of wine down quickly, sat it on the table and looked at me like he never had, and said, “I wish the two of you could have been friends too.”

A few more words were spoken between us. Not enough words. Not words that were deep or mature enough. In that moment, and in that time, we didn’t have them. We hugged and went our separate ways. That was a decade ago, and that was the last time he and I intentionally saw each other.

I trust that he’s doing well. ▼

“I loved my friend.

He went away from me.

There’s nothing more to say.

The poem ends, Soft as it began,—

I loved my friend.”


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

Letters 48 APRIL 19, 2024
Letters 50 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 51 Letters





Aqua, 57 Baltimore Ave

Back Porch Café, 59 Rehoboth Ave

Blue Moon, 35 Baltimore Ave

Café Azafrán, 18 Baltimore Ave

Chesapeake & Maine, 316 Rehoboth Ave

Coho’s Market & Grill, 305 Rehoboth Ave

Diego’s Bar Nightclub, 37298 Rehoboth Ave




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

Go Fish, 24 Rehoboth Ave



Letters 52 APRIL 19, 2024 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.
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,
Olde Coach Rd. 302-645-8700
Ave 302-227-2050
Ave 302-227-7310
Gallery 50, 50 Wilmington
Rehoboth Art League, 12 Dodds Ln
Rehoboth Beach Museum, 511 Rehoboth
FOOD & DRINK 1776 Steakhouse, Midway Shopping Center 302-645-9355
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
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 BEACH AREA LODGING Atlantic Sands Hotel, Boardwalk & Baltimore Ave 302-227-2511 Atlantic View Hotel, Ocean Front 2 Clayton St, Dewey 302-227-3878 Atlantis Inn, 154 Rehoboth Ave 302-227-9446 Beach View Hotel, 6 Wilmington Ave 302-227-2999 Breakers Hotel, 105 2nd St & Baltimore Ave 302-227-6688 Canalside Inn, 34 6th St 302-226-2006 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 LEWES FOOD & DRINK 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, 30904 Coastal Hwy, Bethany 302-539-7111 Catch 54, 38931 Madison Ave, Selbyville 302-436-8600 Matt’s Fish Camp, 28635 Coastal Hwy, Bethany 302-539-2267 SERVICES AT THE BEACH BUILDING/CLEANING/REMODELING/LANDSCAPING A.G. Renovations 302-947-4096 bsd, 35603 South St 302-684-8588 CHURCHES/SYNAGOGUES All Saints’ Episcopal, 18 Olive Ave 302-227-7202 Epworth UMC, 19285 Holland Glade Rd 302-227-7743 Grace of God Lutheran, ELCA, 26089 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 302-945-5253 Westminster Presbyterian, 301 King Charles Ave 302-227-2109 COMMUNITY RESOURCES AARP of Delaware (age 50+) 866-227-7441 ACLU of DE—Lesbian & Gay Civil Rights Project 302-654-5326 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

Gay/Lesbian Alcoholics Anonymous—add’l schedules


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+)

Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth


Activ Pest Solutions, 16803 New Rd, Lewes


Critter Beach, 156 Rehoboth Ave



PFLAG-Rehoboth—3rd Tuesdays, Public Library, 111 Adams Ave, Lewes

Social Security Administration—Georgetown office


TransLiance of DE—Rehoboth TransLiance@gmail.com


Jewish Family Services

Kevin J. Bliss, Personal/Professional Coaching

Nancy Commisso, LCSW, Therapeutic Services

Time to Heal Counseling & Consulting, Lewes


Silver Electric


County Bank, 19927 Shuttle Rd

Jenn Harpel, Morgan Stanley


Windsor’s Florist, 20326 Coastal Hwy


Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium ...............................


Beach Cuts, 214 Rehoboth Ave

Gregory Meyers Hair Studio, 20245 Bay Vista Rd & Rt 1

Stephan & Co Salon & Spa, 19266 Coastal Hwy ..................


AIDS Delaware – Kent & Sussex Counties













One Spirit Massage, 169 Rehoboth Ave

Reiki CENTRAL, thecentralfirm.com






Pet Portraits by Monique 717-650-4626


Brandywine Valley SPCA, 22918 Dupont Blvd, G’twn


Humane Animal Partners (formerly Delaware Humane Association & Delaware SPCA)


Little Landmines Pet Waste Removal. littlelandmines.com 302-521-3983

Parsell Pet Crematorium, 16961 Kings Hwy, Lewes 302-645-7445


Allen Jarmon, NextHome Tomorrow Realty

Chris Beagle, Compass

Donna Whiteside, Berkshire Hathaway, 16712 Kings Hwy

Hugh Fuller, Realtor

John Black, Patterson Schwartz, 18958 Coastal Hwy

Lana Warfield, Berkshire Hathaway, 37230 Rehoboth Ave

Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, 16698 Kings Hwy

Lingo Realty, 246 Rehoboth Ave









McWilliams Ballard, Kevin McDuffie kmcduffie@mcwb.com

McWilliams Ballard, Justin Orr jorr@mcwb.com

Randy Mason/Shirley Kalvinsky, Lingo Realty


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


Springpoint Choice, 17028 Cadbury Cir, Lewes

The Lodge at Truitt Homestead, 36233 Farm Ln


Accent On Travel, 37156 Rehoboth Ave

CHEER Transportation (age 50+)

Jolly Trolley Shuttle from Rehoboth Ave & Boardwalk







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.

APRIL 19, 2024 53 Letters
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 302-733-3113 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 ...................... 302-226-7960 Maplewood Dental Associates, 18912 J.J. Williams Hwy .... 302-645-6671
Blondin, State Farm
O’Donnell, State Farm ........................................... 302-644-3276
SERVICES PWW Law LLC, 1519 Savannah Rd, Lewes 302-628-4140
Falcone CPA, Taxes & Planning
Fitness & Racquetball, Midway
302-645-7283 Jeanine
302-644-8634 MASSAGE


Between the Lines

An homage to the literary lesbians who dared to speak.

Iam alone, lost. I wander restlessly through these dusty tomes, not sure of what I seek. Sappho intercedes for me. Deathless Aphrodite…Daughter of Zeus, O terrible enchantress/With this sorrow, with this anguish, break my spirit….

Of course, Aphrodite! Speak to your son Eros and remove this arrow which pierces me. It is rather inconvenient, engaged as I am. And she is like me. If I speak true of my feelings, I will lose her. Yet, when I look in her eyes, I see…something. So, like Laudomia Forteguerri, I beseech you. Nor do I want anything else but that you keep me close to my goddess.

I understand now Toklas’s fond reference to Stein as “Mr Cudwuddle.” Like she and she, we say How do you do? And will you pleas [sic] accept more of the same every day in every way more and more and more. Can you suspect how much I love you....

We had a few short months before life separated us. In that time of youthful abandon, we squandered passion and named it friendship. Not that in our own way we did not know; we just…couldn’t. Radclyffe Hall said it well: The world hid its head in the sands of convention, so that by seeing nothing it might avoid Truth.

I began the next phase with a road trip. The hours, they pass in mindless abandon.… All the while, I think of you/ Another line on the road/ Another line on the table/ And still the distance cannot shake you…I capitulate to you/ Next town, Truth or Consequences…I hate that game. (Even the author can be a poet.)

Days became months, months became years. As we played in our soccer-mom worlds, we excelled at avoiding the truth. Husbands and children, where are you now? Oh, we’ve moved to NOLA. You? Tucson. Like an Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore…we

can go shopping, or play at a game of constantly being wrong with a priceless set of vocabularies....

There were intimate moments, drawbridges lowered in the heat of desire, masked as platonic affection. Emboldened, I stole the idea from H.D… what is a kiss between friends?/ friends take and forget/ but I will/ and you will not/ how can I cope.… In the morning’s harsh light, I could see the drawbridge sealed, the gulf between us reinforced.

She always said it might take her forever to make up her mind, but once she did, there was no turning back.

With the physical distance between us, I thought I could bury those feelings. I flirted with others, followed the dance steps to the uncivil rules of attraction. I mapped out alternate futures, visualized different lives. Yet, all I would need was a fleeting glimpse of an old photo and the insatiable longing would flood me. You were so right, Iris Murdoch, I wanted, with a desire greater than any desire which I had ever conceived could exist without instantly killing its owner by spontaneous combustion, something which I simply could not have.

Then life interceded. The events of 9/11 hit each of us in unique, visceral ways. For me, I was no longer keeping my future on hold. I would reach for the brass ring. I had Audre Lorde by my side. The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us…. And there are so many silences to be broken.

I would love to say that in articulating how I felt, immediate reciprocity occurred. But the Midwest normalization of what is right had permeated her world. She said she could feel it, but

she certainly couldn’t see it. I had such optimism, however, having just been schooled with dear Emily. Wild nights— Wild nights!/ Were I with thee/ Wild nights should be/ Our luxury!...Rowing in Eden-/ Ah - the Sea!/ Might I but moor— tonight—/ In thee!

Yet the rough seas between us only grew darker. All the ease with which we had moved disappeared. Every attempt written or voiced ended with frustration. I was losing her. After decades of always us, I feared our story would be reduced to annual Christmas cards. Lady Gaga played in my head: I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away/ But, baby, I just need one good one to stay.

She always said it might take her forever to make up her mind, but once she did, there was no turning back. I’ll say this, it was painful watching her sit on the fence for as long as she did. I still can’t say when the language went from denial to “we’ll see.” Finally, the moment arrived For the Goddess Too Well Known…. I have brought her, laughing, to my quietly dreaming garden. For what will be done there, I ask no man pardon....

We always joke how we would like to thank all the men who made ‘us’ possible. To be quite fair, in the demise of any relationship, there is plenty of blame to share. Certainly, there are men who truly did champion us and protected the newly growing garden. But perhaps my cousin Paulie said it best: Everyone needs a little wifey. ▼

Sharon A. Morgan is a retired advanced practice nurse with over 30 years of clinical and healthcare policy background.

Letters 54 APRIL 19, 2024


Tribute To ABBA June 8 - 2PM & 8PM


M A Y 1 8 - M A Y H E M I N M A Y : S t a n d - U p C o m e d y S p e c i a l

M A Y 1 9 - S I R E N S O F S P R I N G T O U R 2 0 2 4 : W i t h M a m a ’ s

B l a c k S h e e p / C h r i s t i n e H a v r i l l a & G y p s y F u z z

M A Y 2 3 - H O T S A U C E B A N D : Q u a y s i d e @ N i t e

M A Y 2 3 - T H E

APRIL 19, 2024 55 Letters ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE For more information on tickets, show details, and full events calendar go to: www.MILTONTHEATRE.com 302.684.3038 | 110 Union St. Milton, DE M O R E E V E N T S M O R E E V E N T S FLYING IVORIES Dueling Pianos April 27 - 7:30PM KUF KNOTZ & CHRISTINE ELISE May 22 - 7:30PM ALL THAT JAZZ Drag Show April 26 - 8PM A P R 2 0 - G R E A T A M E R I C A N S O N G B O O K C A B A R E T A P R 2 1 - D E A N N A F I T Z P A T R I C K : P s y c h i c M e d i u m M A Y 1 5 & 1 7 - J O U R N E Y T H R O U G H T I M E : M T E S p r i n g S h o w c a s e M A Y 1 6 - L O W E R C A S E B L U E S : Q u a y s i d e @ N i t e M A Y 1 6 - T H E A M E
M I D N I G H T R O C K S H O W : 7 0 ' s F M H i t s M A Y 2 4 - A W A K E N : Y E S T r i b u t e M A Y 2 5 - S I N A T R A ’ S “ T H A T ’ S L I F E ” : W i t h T o n y S a n d s M A Y 2 6 - B E S T S H O T : P a t B e n a t a r T r i b u t e M A Y 2 9 - Z A C H N U G E N T M A Y 3 0 - J U D Y S I N G S T H E B L U E S : Q u a y s i d e @ N i t e M A Y 3 0 - A B A C A B : G e n e s i s T r i b u t e M A Y 3 1 - A T O M I C L I G H T O R C H E S T R A : E L O T r i b u t e A MUSICAL COMEDY Heavenly Hilarity Like Never Before! 11 SHOWS MAY 2 - 12 T H E M I L T O N T H E A T R E P R E S E N T S Milton Theatre Mainstage Production MILTON PRIDE FEST 2024 @ Quayside JUNE 8 SAT - STARTS 4PM Live music, vendors, food trucks, and more!
Letters 56 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 57 Letters

Celebrity Profile

Suzanne Westenhoefer

Breaking Stereotypes and Talking Back

When Suzanne Westenhoefer did her first standup in July 1990, she was a novelty— not only as a lesbian comic at a mainstream club, but also as a lesbian who didn’t “look like a lesbian.” Instead of the expected short hair, flannel shirt, and Birkenstocks, Suzanne had long blond hair, blue eyes, and a shapely figure. It was the 1990s, stereotypes were rife, and the idea of a “lesbian Barbie” made good press.

Suzanne grew up in conservative Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When she was two, her parents divorced. “My dad kicked us off the farm,” she explains, “and so my mom and my two older sisters and I lived in town.”

It was lesson one in surviving being different. “We were already being judged and mocked,” she says, “because we were from a [spoken in a dire tone] broken home. So, I was always standing up for myself.” And part of that was learning the power of the funny comeback. “I wasn’t the class clown; I was the class smartass.”

When Suzanne finished high school, her mother made her go to college because she didn’t want Suzanne to go to New York City alone at 18. Suzanne’s goal was to become a famous Broadway actor. “I never wanted to be anything else.”

But after college, Suzanne found herself living in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. And because she had to eat, she became a bartender. “In order to make money [at bartending], you’ve got to be a little badass,” she says. “You have to be quick with the throwbacks and be ready for everything.”

Then the AIDS epidemic arrived. “I was already marching,” she says. “I came out at 19, and I started a gay group on campus. I was already that kind of person.” It was a formative time for Suzanne. “I’ve always been an activist, a fighter. That comes deep. And so, once I understood I was gay, that became…

women’s rights, lesbian rights, abortion rights; it just went hand in hand.”

Her life changed in July 1990, when she decided to enter an open mic contest in the West Village. There were 25

Suzanne thought [open mics]…would be a great way to get the message out that gay is OK.

comics. Each one got three minutes, and the person who got the most applause won. She took a chance and delivered lesbian jokes to the mainstream audience. They loved her and made her the winner. Suzanne realized she could do it again.

The other comics told her about more venues with open mics. Suzanne thought it would be a good thing to do while she was waiting to become a famous Broadway actor…and a great way to get the message out that gay is OK. “All of a sudden, it was my career,” she

says. “I never thought I was going to be a comic.”

It shouldn’t have been a surprise. In her family, having a quick comeback was a good thing. “I got it from my grandfather—Pop Pop—he was funny,” she recalls. “People in my family were funny and it was OK to be funny.”

These days, people describe Suzanne with words like “groundbreaker,” “pioneer,” and “icon.” “When I started standup in July of 1990,” she says, “I didn’t do it because I thought I was going to be a comic. I never even considered that. I was going to be an actress and I did standup because it was a way to talk about being gay. And how we were just like you, and we deserve the same rights as you, and I knew how to make it funny.”

Suzanne will be performing in Rehoboth on June 1 at the convention center at an event hosted by Delaware’s 20th RD Democratic Committee. Will her material be political? “My getting up and saying I was a lesbian was considered political [in the early days],” she recalls. “I never thought of myself as a political comic, per se, and I don’t think I am. But what I do is political, and I make my politics known…I’m a storyteller.”

But she is quick to say it’s not about her. “It’s 100 percent about the audience. Did they have a great time? That’s all I care about. Did they love it? Did they laugh? Did they do that thing where they bang against each other and go ‘oh my god, that’s so you’?”

Mainly, Suzanne just wants people to have fun. “People are going through so much and I want them to laugh. I want them to let all that go and have a great time.” So, what does she do to relax? “[Big sigh] clean. I love it. Cleaning, laundry, oh my god, I’m brilliant at laundry.” ▼

To purchase tickets, go to: http:// tinyurl.com/RD20-Westenhoefer.

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APRIL 19, 2024 59 Letters

Kiss Me Once and Kiss Me Twice…

Read My Lips

This human experience is rich with firsts: steps, words, dances, parking tickets, splinters, loves, heartbreaks, and jobs. Each one can serve as a marker of place and time. Each may also be a snapshot of age, growth, and learning.

There’s one first, though, which is a beautiful anomaly. It is both unique and universal; and when stripped of its folklore and a certain Disney sheen, it exists as a moment where logic is suspended and reason no longer matters. It’s the first kiss, and whether it causes one to swoon—or vomit—it can be a necessary key to making sense of life.

I’ve had many first kisses. In fact, most of my adult life has been spent kissing someone, or something. I would argue these experiences have been more about learning than lusting, and I think it’s time to reframe what the first kiss means in the context of one’s life.

A first kiss can even the playing field and can define what one wants. For many, the first intimate, non-familial kiss can set the stage for romantic pursuits in life. These are the innocent childhood kisses spurred by curiosity and the innate desire to explore.

My first kiss was with a girl, in the fourth grade. It would be easy to argue that at nine years old I didn’t have the tools to know what I wanted from life. I would argue I had an inkling. I knew she wasn’t my type, and I kissed her anyway. This would, oddly enough, be a reoccurring theme for years to come. But I digress.

I remember it vividly. We were in the middle of some jungle gym-esque structure on a middle school playground. There wasn’t a lot of excitement. It just happened, and in that moment I was overwhelmed. I knew it was fun, and it felt good. But I also knew I’d rather be kissing a boy.

A first kiss can help with discovery. That level of intimacy can be revelatory and affirming. I know this firsthand. I came out when I was 15 because I was certain

of my identity. However, I needed some validation. My first crush worked at the music school where I took private music lessons. He was two years older and was really good at making eye contact. He was the first person I ever clocked as being like me, and I was right about it.

A first kiss can also be life-altering.

We had an instant connection, a kinship based on being outliers in a small town. We ended up going on a teenage version of a date, which ended with a kiss outside of the original Nicola Pizza on First Street in Rehoboth Beach. The song “Stockton Gala Days” by 10,000 Maniacs blared from the speakers in his red Del Sol. It was weird and lacked any electricity or passion. I knew in that moment, while I never wanted him to kiss me again, I was on to something.

As I leapt from teenager to young adult, the language of a kiss helped me through a lot of uncomfortable moments. While it often led to confusion and heartache, it also helped me understand my own needs and desires. This aspect of a first kiss is quite personal, as it can help refine one’s own self-image and soothe insecurities. Abandoning these feelings— in the moment when lips touch—I believe can be liberating.

A first kiss can also be life-altering. While I was hip to the lack of the aforementioned Disney sheen in all of my past experiences, I was shocked the first time I kissed my partner. You see, in that moment, the whole world stopped. It was as if we entered some technicolor dream sequence complete with an orchestra playing and birds chirping as they fluttered over our heads. It was as if all the years of evened playing fields, discovery, and awkwardness lead me to this very moment outside a beer garden in Wilmington. It was bookended by flirting, storytelling, and jokes. In that moment, I knew I had met my match.

Like many firsts, the initial kiss is complicated. It can make or break a moment. It can lead to many firsts, or nothing at all. But all of this analysis is moot. All of this unpacking and overthinking ultimately doesn’t matter; because in the moment, when it’s right, it simply feels so damn good. ▼

Christopher Moore is Interim Executive Director of AIDS Delaware. He loves NPR, naughty jokes, and a man who lives in Toronto. Email him at moore.cc@gmail.com.


Stockton Gala Days (live from MTV Unplugged): 10,000 Maniacs

Joshua Tree: Carly Rae Jepsen

My Side of the Bed: Susanna Hoffs

Swept Away: Diana Ross

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real): Sylvester

Save a Kiss: Jesse Ware

Do Not Disturb: Bananarama

‘Til There’s Nothing Left: Will Young

Oh My God: Adele

Slow Ready: Goose

Fastlove, Pt. 1: George Michael

The Shop Shoop Song: Betty Everett

I Was Made for Lovin’ You: KISS

Papillion (aka Hot Butterfly): Chaka Khan

In My Arms: Erasure

Bodyguard: Beyoncé

Rain: Madonna

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APRIL 19, 2024 63 Letters


Harbingers of Spring

Narcissus are among the most enchanting flowers nature has bestowed upon us and are the most recognizable of our early spring blooming flowers. Their vibrant hues of yellows, golds, and oranges along with their delicate petals have captured the imagination of poets, artists, and nature enthusiasts for centuries. More commonly known as daffodils, they have multiple facets to their importance, from their cultural significance to their ecological role.

First and foremost, daffodils symbolize renewal and resilience. As heralds of spring, they emerge from the cold earth, signaling the end of winter’s grasp and the arrival of warmer, brighter days. Their cheerful blooms bring a sense of hope and optimism, reminding us that even in the dark, dreary winter, there is always the promise of new beginnings. This symbolism is perhaps best captured in William Wordsworth’s poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” where he describes encountering a “host of golden daffodils” that fill him with joy and inspiration.

Daffodils hold a special place in various cultures and traditions around the world. In ancient Greek mythology, the story of Narcissus—from whom the flower derives its botanical name— serves as a cautionary tale of vanity and selfishness. According to the myth, Narcissus was so enamored with his own reflection in a pool of water that he wasted away and was transformed into a flower bearing his name. This mythological connection adds an intriguing layer of depth to the daffodil’s symbolism, reminding us of the dangers of excessive egotism and narcissism.

In addition to their cultural significance, daffodils play a crucial role in the ecosystem. As early bloomers, they provide essential nectar and pollen for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, helping to sustain them as they emerge from winter hibernation. This mutualistic relationship between

daffodils and pollinators highlights the ecological interconnectedness of all living beings and underscores the importance of biodiversity in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Narcissus are much more than just beautiful flowers; they are symbols of resilience, renewal, and interconnectedness.

Moreover, daffodils possess several unique characteristics that set them apart from other flowers. One such trait is their resilience in adverse conditions. Daffodils are remarkably hardy plants, capable of thriving in a wide range of environments, from meadows and woodlands to urban gardens and even rocky cliffs. Their ability to endure harsh weather conditions and poor soil quality makes them a popular choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance,

beautiful, blooms. Because of their high tolerance to adverse conditions, they can become naturalized in large areas so plan appropriately.

Another distinctive feature of daffodils is their variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. While the classic yellow daffodil is perhaps the most wellknown, there are countless cultivars and hybrids available, ranging from pure white to vibrant orange and everything in between. This diversity allows for endless possibilities in garden design and provides garden enthusiasts with ample opportunities for experimentation and creativity.

Daffodils also have practical uses beyond their ornamental value. In traditional medicine, various parts of the daffodil plant—including the bulbs, flowers, and leaves—have been used to treat a variety of ailments, from respiratory problems to joint pain. However, it is important to note that some parts of the daffodil plant contain toxic alkaloids and should not be ingested without proper preparation and guidance from a qualified healthcare professional or horticulturists familiar with them.

Narcissus are much more than just beautiful flowers; they are symbols of resilience, renewal, and interconnectedness. From their cultural significance to their ecological importance, daffodils continue to captivate us with their timeless appeal and inspire awe and wonder in those who encounter them. As we marvel at their delicate blooms each spring, let us not only appreciate their beauty but also reflect on the profound lessons they impart about the cyclical nature of life and the enduring power of hope.

Be safe, and let’s garden together! ▼


Letters 64 APRIL 19, 2024
W. Wahl is Landscape Architect at Pennoni Associates, and President of the Delaware Native Plant Society. Photo credit: Micheile Henderson on Unsplash.
APRIL 19, 2024 65 Letters


What Is Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder?

April is National Autism Acceptance Month, so it seems like a good time to write a column about autism. I am sure many of you know one or more people who have identified themselves as being “on the spectrum.” Some have self-identified based on social media posts (more on that later). Others are likely to have been diagnosed formally.

But what, exactly, does being on the spectrum mean? Although there are spectrums for many mental health diagnoses, because their impact can range from mild to severe, being “on the spectrum” typically refers to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

ASD is characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction (SCI; i.e., difficulty with nonverbal communication, maintaining a back-andforth conversation, expressing emotion, developing relationships), and a pattern of restricted/unusual interests and repetitive behaviors (RRB; i.e., unusual and circumscribed interests; extreme sensitivity to noise, light, or texture; a need for routine or “sameness”; repetitive motor mannerisms and object use).

Based on the DSM-5, the manual for psychiatric diagnoses, an individual must have all three SCI deficits and two of the four RRB deficits. For adults, the most common RRBs are intense interests that take time from tasks that need to be done, inflexibility, and sensory sensitivities.

Previously thought to be rare, in 2021, ASD was found to occur in one out of 44 people in the US (2.21 percent in adults), with a higher frequency in males (3.62 percent) than in females (0.86 percent). However, the gender difference may reflect the fact that girls and women are often more social than men, are better able to mask and camouflage autistic behaviors, and may have intense interests that are more socially acceptable.

Although some autistic individuals (Note: there is a preference for identity-

first language) have intellectual and language disabilities, many do not and may be intellectually gifted. However, for all autistic individuals, problems with executive functioning (planning, organization, flexibility) and attention are common. Some may also be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is treated separately (see my October 2023 Letters column). Anxiety, especially in adults, may be as common as ADHD, with a high prevalence of social anxiety.

ASD can be reliably diagnosed

[A]n ASD diagnosis should not be made cavalierly.

by age two or three, often because a child is slow to develop language and/ or has significant behavioral problems. However, the average age of diagnosis is closer to four and is often later in disadvantaged groups.

Early, intensive, evidence-based behavioral intervention is crucial and can sometimes lead to a very good outcome or even full symptom remission. However, those with milder deficits may not be diagnosed until they are older and in middle- or high school when their social deficits and difficulty sustaining peer relationships become obvious. Despite extensive public education campaigns and improved diagnostic methods, many people are not diagnosed until adulthood. For them, an ASD diagnosis often can explain multiple earlier diagnoses (e.g., ADHD, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder) that never captured their problems fully.

For adolescents and adults with normal language, participation in therapy groups that work on social and executive functioning skills can be very effective. At older ages, strength-based rather than deficit-based treatment is preferable.

Autistic adults are also part of a growing neurodiversity movement, with support groups found on college campuses and in many communities.

Finally, an ASD diagnosis should not be made cavalierly. Unfortunately, while there is good and accurate information about ASD on social media, there is also a lot of misinformation, which has caused many adults to conclude they are autistic when there is likely another cause of their problems.

Proper diagnosis requires a detailed history review dating to infancy and the toddler years, preferably with a parent or older sibling; an interview with and observation of the client; an interview with a spouse, partner, close friend, or sibling for current information; completion of rating scales by the client and informants; testing of social/ emotional perception, understanding of emotions and relationships, personality/ coping skills, and, if needed, limited neuropsychological testing. This should always be completed by a licensed professional who has experience working with autistic adults.

You can find more information about ASD on the Autism Delaware website (autismdelaware.org/). Autism Delaware also provides services to children and adults who have a formal autism diagnosis. Services for those who are more severely affected are available through the Delaware Division of Developmental Disability Services (https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/ddds/) for qualifying individuals. ▼

Dr. Robb Mapou is one of only three boardcertified clinical neuropsychologists in Delaware. In addition to evaluating older adults who have concerns about cognitive changes, he specializes in evaluating teenagers and adults for autism spectrum disorder, specific learning disorders, and ADHD. His website is drrobbmapou.com. Email: drrobbmapou@proton.me.

Letters 66 APRIL 19, 2024
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In Your Easter Bonnet!

St. Patrick's Day, Easter Bonnet Bar Crawl, Naughty Bingo, Art 4 Change, and More!

THIS PAGE (left to right) 1 ) at Easter Bonnet Crawl: Michael White, Jeff Enck, Mark Lenard, Chris Beagle, Steve Fisher, Max Dick (Zoggs), Ron Butt, Steve Cannon (Above the Dunes), Rick Cronan, Jon Worthington (Freddie’s Beach Bar), Michael Clay, Dennis Morgan, Paul Christensen, Kraig Turner, Joe Gfaller, Nick Fetterick, (Rigby's), Denny Martz, Vicki Venanzi (Blue Moon), Toni Romano (Diego's); 2) at Look Who’s Cooking, Habitat for Humanity Benefit: Terry Isner, Adam Linder.

OPPOSITE PAGE 3)at Look Who’s Cooking, Habitat for Humanity Benefit: Brandon Quinones, Jose Quinones, Sam Shelton, DE State Sen. Russ Huxtable, Jeff Fabian, Chris Holt, Grace Riddle, Jamie Riddle, Lee Ann Wilkinson, Billie Wilkinson, Erin Stasi; 4) at Naughty Bingo, Diego’s: Tamia Mykles, Jason Fluke, Alonza Parker, Carrisa Beugelsdyk, Harry Taylor, Audrey Parra, Jose Amador, Daniel Spivey, Bianca Kamranpour, Cody White, Ricky Davis, Jason Thomas, Raeven Carlson, Jess Brenchick, Magnolia Applebottom.

(More CAMPshots page 70)

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APRIL 19, 2024 69 Letters 3 4


(Continued from page 69)

THIS PAGE (left to right) 1 ) at St. Patrick's Day: Liza Hodskins, John Black, Jeff Cover, Herold Hannah, Valentina Azmat, Tommy Paoletti, Terri Raynes (Rigby's), Jim Betz, Gabriella Ligotti, John Sizemra, Rick Cronan (Above the Dunes), Tim Langan, Bianca Kamranpour, Tim Cantley, Paul Frene, Joe Roy, Steve Pufky (Purple Parrot), Dave McDonald, Ron Bowman, John Swift (The Pines), Frank DelCampo, Kevin Comerford, David Herchik, Richard Looman (Diego's).

OPPOSITE PAGE: 2) at St. Patrick's Day: Pamala Stanley, Manny Tejada, Eddie Adams, Sandra Skidmore, Tony Romano (Diego's). 3) at The Pines: Ali Myers, Zoe Cunningham, Lilly Fetterman, Susan Baxter, Kristy DeGuisto, Des Jones, Hali Confer-Jones, Morgan Purdy, Alexandra Shinko, B Pine, Di Pine; 4) SDARJ Book Club, Lewes Public Library: Elizabeth Campbell, Elaine Russo, Lois Powell, Janis Freeman, Wanda Baskerville. 5) at Diego's: Michael Clay, Andy Dorosky, Chuck McSweeney, Joe Petrone, Cody White, Tim Lankan, Gene Parker, Jason Abela, Ed Credle, Steve Wood, Fred DiBartolo, Jeff Davis, Joe Zuber, Darryl Ciarlante.

(More CAMPshots page 92)

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APRIL 19, 2024 71 Letters
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Lucky Charms!

Celebrity Interview

I Love My Wife: More than a Podcast

Anne Steele and Kelli Carpenter are the definition of “goals,” both as individuals and as a collective. Whether reviving their beloved I Love My Wife podcast, traveling globally with Kelli’s travel company, or touring for Anne’s music, both Kelli and Anne do it all with humor, love, and a hearty dose of following their passions together.

MICHAEL COOK: So, let’s start with the big news: the I Love My Wife podcast is back! What made you return after your hiatus?

ANNE STEELE/KELLI CARPENTER: As you know, we started this show in 2018 and spent four years doing a weekly show at DNR Studios. Then during lockdown, we moved the whole studio into our house and podcasted from there. That was great because it helped keep us occupied and we got to access so many more guests from all over the world since we were doing it through Zoom.

Then the world opened up again and our work started picking up. We got so busy between my concerts and Kelli’s travel business booking like crazy—suddenly we realized we just couldn’t do it all and decided to take a break.

A few months ago, we started thinking about it again and realized that we missed connecting with listeners and sharing our stories with them. So we asked if we could come back in a new way. So far, we have a few episodes released for the brand-new Season 5!

MC: Anne, you are heading out on a 2024 tour as of April. What can fans expect this time around?

AS: This tour is called “Where the Boys Are,” and it’s all songs written and recorded by men. I always wondered— when I was growing up—why I was drawn to songs sung by men. Then as I got older, it became clear that I was a lesbian and that I wanted to sing about loving a woman, or longing for a woman, or the beauty of a woman. Those songs all gave me that.

So I tell stories about the songs I chose and why they mean something to

me and some are funny and some are deep and sometimes sad. But that is all the journey this show takes and we all experience it together.

MC: Kelli, you just announced cruises to everywhere from Bimini to the Greek Isles to Colombia! What is your secret to crafting such amazing vacation experiences?

We realized that we missed connecting with listeners and sharing our stories with them…

KC: After over 20 years of creating vacations, we have learned that listening to what our clients are looking for is the best way to create a dream vacation each time. I have also found that you need to grow along with your clients. We began as a vacation company for LGBTQ+ families and now with a significant number of empty-nesters, we have a strong adults-only business. I am incredibly proud of what we have created and am excited for what comes next!

MC: Broadway is such a pivotal part of so much of what you both do; what do you think it is about the Great White Way that provides so much inspiration to both of you?

AS: There is nothing better than Broadway. I remember being a little girl and listening to cast recordings in Indiana and dreaming of seeing the full spectacle in person. When it finally happened, it made me realize that New York was going to be the place I would call my home.

KC: Growing up, my parents were huge Broadway fans. We spent many family trips coming to New York City to see live theater and Broadway had me hooked from the first show. I knew from a very early age that Broadway would be an integral part of my life.

MC: What do you each think is the secret to your own relationship success?

AS: I think it all starts with the fact that I really like her. Of course I love her madly, but sometimes liking your partner can be even more important. I also trust her implicitly. We travel VERY well together— and I can tell you, given both of our lines of work, that trait is invaluable!

KC: I am lucky to be married to my best friend. Anne makes me laugh every single day. We truly enjoy each other’s company and there is no one I would rather have by my side. I am still mesmerized by her talent and her beauty, but it is her heart that makes me melt. I am one lucky lady! ▼

Follow Anne Steele & Kelli Carpenter on their websites below: annesteele.com; kelligreggtravel.com; ilovemywifepodcast.com

Follow Anne Steele on Instagram: instagram.com/theannesteele/?hl=en

Follow Kelli Carpenter on Instagram instagram.com/kcarpenter123/?hl=en

Follow I Love My Wife on Instagram instagram.com/ilovemywifepodcast/?hl=en

Follow Kelli & Gregg Travel on Instagram instagram.com/kelligreggtravel/?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.

Letters 72 APRIL 19, 2024
Photo courtesy Christopher Boudewyns.

APR 21

MAY 30

MAY 19
Letters 74 APRIL 19, 2024
ACROSS 1 Greeting from Leonard Bernstein 7 K. McKinnon worked here 10 Porgy's lady 14 Langston Hughes' ___ Dreams 15 Began a sexual thing 17 Top dogs 18 Before-dinner drink 19 Start of a Margaret Cho quote 21 Golfer Sam 22 Take care of 26 Treat for Rizzo at the Frosty Palace 29 Stick it in your bunghole 32 Pet physician 33 Preposition for Byron 34 More of the quote 38 Come to mind 40 What's left 41 Highly opinionated 44 Britten's balls? 45 More of the quote 47 Hotties get it in gay bars 48 Avoids family cooking, with "out" 49 Beginning of Rent 52 Neighbor of Kan. 54 More of the quote 58 End of the quote 64 Hybrid citrus fruits 65 Role for Anthony or Freddie 66 '69 and others 67 Sales people 68 Like the top of the world DOWN 1 Silverstein of kiddie lit 2 Mary topper 3 Word on a map of Israel 4 Ted Casablanca bit, with "the" 5 ___ Ten (LGBT support group) 6 Billiard stroke 7 Iran, formerly 8 Terse oral refusal 9 Leopold's partner 10 Drag queen's hosiery hue, perhaps 11 D.C. summer clock setting 12 Word before generis 13 Lotion letters at Sitges 16 Charlie's Angels role 20 Meaty Mexican dish 23 Become more balanced 24 Oolong holders 25 Playful swimmer 26 Samoan investigator Margaret 27 Shaft in a straight simile 28 Vivien of Gone With the Wind 30 Cukor's Adam's ___ 31 He stole the tarts of the Queen of Hearts 34 Expat Sylvia 35 Waterfront 36 "Daggers" look 37 Light, woody material 39 Hitting hard, like King James 42 Rudy Galindo milieu 43 Flirt's quality 46 Urvashi has one 49 Firm member (abbr.) 50 Burn a bit 51 Perfect scores for Mitch Gaylord 53 ___ fide 55 On top of, in poetry 56 Suffix with project 57 Pacifier 59 Tit-tat connection 60 Chelsea's mom, initially 61 Invoice fig. 62 Rink star Babilonia 63 SASE, for one
Q Puzzle Choice Words from Cho Solution on Page 100
APRIL 19, 2024 75 Letters

A Kiss Is—NOT—Just a Kiss

Remember your first kiss? Was it dazzling? Swoon-worthy? Life-changing? For me: Nope, definitely not and not hardly. That is, if we’re being technical with the definition of first kiss. But then, a first kiss is a first kiss, no mistaking it, right? Hmmm—maybe, maybe not.

Technically, my first kiss came in the fall of eighth grade, at a dance in the school cafeteria at Wi-Hi junior high school in Salisbury, Maryland. Even in 1973, eighth grade was a little late for a 13-year-old girl’s first kiss. I was hoping to end that streak that night and frankly, any boy would do. It had to be a boy because I was having confusing feelings about girls, and I didn’t want anybody else to know that I’d rather kiss girls than boys. To me then, kissing a girl was, sadly, almost unthinkable.

So when a cute-ish boy I didn’t know all that well asked me to dance, I said OK. When the song ended—boom— braces-on-braces, full-on sloppy French kiss. It was surprising, unpleasant, and overall kinda weird. I didn’t feel a spark of any kind. At least our braces didn’t lock together, which had been a fear. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I know he and I didn’t kiss again that night. Or ever.

It was surprising, unpleasant, and overall kinda weird. I didn’t feel a spark of any kind.

But was that really my first kiss? Yes, technically. However, many years before that, a different story was developing. Second grade was the year a new family moved in next door to us. One of their daughters, Cheryl, was a year older than me but we became fast friends.

We played records, Barbies, and house. Our games of house were epic, lasting hours sometimes. Cheryl and

I were a married couple who lived in our cozy home located in our parents’ shared garage. Sometimes we had children, other times not. Not hard to guess who played the husband. It was a role that felt natural to me. I didn’t feel male inside, exactly, I just enjoyed the freedom inherent in the role and the ability to be in love with another girl. I knew even then that I would never marry a man or have children; that’s not what I wanted. But what I did want was unclear. I was, after all, only seven.

In the meantime, I could pretend to be a good husband, and that meant sometimes kissing my wife. When those times came, Cheryl and I would face each other, stand about two feet apart, hands at our sides, and move our heads from side to side simultaneously with our eyes closed, and “kiss” each other silly.

But we never actually locked lips. I think Cheryl was more interested in doing that with my older brother, unfortunately. But the point is, I don’t know if it counts or not. There were a lot of feels on my part involved in pretend kissing Cheryl even at the age of seven. Certainly more than were involved in kissing a boy at the age of 13.

I kissed numerous boys in high

school and young men in college. Some were good kissers. But when I finally and properly kissed another young lesbian at 19, all became right in my world at last. Nothing up until then even came close. I had found my home. And I’ve been an out-of-the-closet (mostly) lesbian ever since. And there have been, fortunately, many memorable first kisses in my life.

Thinking about first kisses brings to mind several from significant relationships I’ve had over the years. Some were romantic (on a windswept beach!), some were way too urgent or ill-advised in the end. But all were passionate and wonderful. After all, what’s not to love about a first kiss? I’ll never forget the first time I kissed my wife. That one tops all first kisses, ever.

My hope for you is that on April 27—“Remember Your First Kiss Day”— the memory of your favorite first kiss brings back joyful and juicy memories. If it wasn’t technically your first kiss that brought it all home for you, count the one that felt like it did. That’s what I’m doing. ▼

Letters 76 APRIL 19, 2024
Beth Shockley is a retired senior writer/editor living in Dover with her wife and furbabies.
“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
APRIL 19, 2024 77 Letters To learn more, contact Mike DiPaolo , vice president for Southern Delaware , at mdipaolo@delcf.org or 302.335.6933 . Advisor
philanthropists. Trusted partner
to professional advisors
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


CAMP Rehoboth Puts Art at the Heart of Our Community

FEST ART 2024! Opens at CAMP Rehoboth

CAMP Rehoboth is thrilled to announce that FEST ART 2024! is on display in the gallery from April 26 to May 31, 2024. Held in conjunction with CAMP Rehoboth’s Women’s FEST, this juried exhibition celebrates women in the arts; it is one of CAMP Rehoboth’s largest community arts exhibitions of the year.

The juror for FEST ART 2024! is Washington, DC artist Joey P. Mánlapaz. She is an accomplished contemporary realist painter recognized for her multifaceted roles as painter, educator, curator and juror of art exhibitions, and advocate for the elderly through art. “It was a pleasure to jury the entries,” says Mánlapaz. “I was impressed by the variety of media and imagery and tried to represent that for the exhibition.”

Thirty-eight artworks by 33 artists were selected to highlight the diversity of artistic styles and themes. Mánlapaz was also inclusive of multiple mediums and art forms. The talented artists are from throughout Delaware, as well as Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Washington, DC, and include: Karen Abato, Nancy Allen, Sondra N. Arkin, Michelle Bailey, Dan Bartasavich, Carol Bell, Pat Catanzariti, Richard Collins, Dierra Cooper, Sharon Denny, Lorraine Dey, Geri Dibiase, Sheila Exum, Logan Farro, Kiara Florez, Missy Gentile, Theresa Kehrer, Jane Knaus, Misty L. Letts, Amanda Lind, Michelle Mallon, Sharon Marquart, Carissa Beth Meiklejohn, Amy B.

Nestor, Fran Panzo, Bev Pasquarella, Deb Payette, Lorraine Quinn, Samantha Scullen, Coca Silveira, R Stiles, Sabina Troncone, and Holly Wynn.

An opening reception, on April 26, from 2:00 to 4:00, is free, and no RSVP is required. The reception provides an opportunity to engage directly with the artists and their work. Or stop by the gallery Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., to view the exhibition. ▼

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 78 APRIL 19, 2024 arts+entertainment
IMAGES Left, Women’s Intuition by Dierra Cooper Above, Reformation by Sondra N. Arkin

Why the Arts Matter

Iam delighted to follow in Doug Yetter’s footsteps as a contributor to CAMP Arts in Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. Starting this, my first column, I couldn’t help but come back to one central question:

Why do the arts matter?

Sure, arts and culture constitute one of CAMP Rehoboth’s four primary pillars; from its outset, the arts have mattered at CAMP. And they matter to me personally, as both my passion and my livelihood. But why should they matter to you —or to all of us?

I believe that a connection to the arts doesn’t just strengthen us as individuals. It strengthens our communities and hence, strengthens our society as a whole. There are intrinsic and communal benefits to the arts, and when the two collide, we are collectively enriched by that impact.

First, the intrinsic. The arts are, by their very nature, a creative endeavor. Whether on a canvas, on a page, or on a stage, the arts ask their creators to imagine, to interpret, and to discern. Artists translate a lived or imagined experience into something they can share. Is it color and light? Is it a sense of movement? Is it an idea? A sound? A feeling?

Now, artists are not a special class of people. We are all capable of this kind of creativity. Some scientists say that it’s literally in our species’ DNA. Is it a coincidence that the first examples of “representational art”—the cave paintings in Lascaux France 30,000 years ago—coincide with the rise of communal homo sapien society? Did being human make us create art? Or did creating art make us human?

Part of being human is cultivating a shared hope for the future. We can’t prove the arts did that for those ancient ancestors, but we can see their impact today and perhaps extrapolate.

A recent study of inner-city middle school students given access to live theater revealed one startling

difference between those randomly assigned to see four live plays and their non-theatergoing peers: theater attendees were consistently able to envision a future unconstrained by their current circumstances. Researchers acknowledged this capacity was the closest thing they could measure to the idea of “hope.”

There are intrinsic and communal benefits to the arts, and when the two collide, we are collectively enriched by that impact.

Did going to the theater really help change how young people thought about their future? There is a theory that says repeated exposure to theater helped them attempt to guess the future of the characters on stage, based on their actions during each play. As young people learned that many pathways can unfold based on decisions for a character in a play, perhaps they learned, in turn, that their own futures were not predetermined by their present circumstances. Hope

for a better future wasn’t a dream; it was something they could impact through their choices.

This takes me from the intrinsic benefit of the arts to the communal. For those students, the changes observed were collective as well as individual. That’s true for us adults as well. The performing arts are one of the few places left in our society where people from completely different lived experiences can sit shoulder to shoulder, gasp together, laugh together, and (this is scientifically proven) even have their hearts come to beat in sync together.

It is my belief that those shared experiences help us to recognize our common humanity. Strangers sitting next to us who seemed different from us when the show began are no longer as different once we have shared that one thing in common. Now, we have something to talk about together. Soon, the things that make us alike begin to loom larger than the things that made us perceive we were different. And the things that are different about us can become things we value and appreciate.

If it can start that way in a single performance at the theater, imagine the ripple effect of that for our whole society. Imagine a society whose people see hope and potential in the future and who see the strangers around them as potential friends and neighbors.

That’s the kind of society I’d like to live in. And it’s the kind of community that CAMP Rehoboth has envisioned since its founding. ▼



APRIL 19, 2024 79 Letters arts+entertainment
Sinclair is a member of the Delaware State Arts Council and a passionate leader of CAMP Rehoboth’s visual arts programs. Gfaller is Managing Director of Clear Space Theatre. Photo: Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash.


Unswerving: A Novel by Barbara

©2024, University of Wisconsin Press

$19.95, 227 pages

It happened in a heartbeat.

A split-second, a half a breath, that’s all it took. It was so quick, so sharpedged that you can almost draw a line between before and after, between then and now. Will anything ever be the same again? Perhaps, but maybe not. As in the new book Unswerving by Barbara Ridley, things change, and so might you.

She could remember lines, hypnotizing yellow ones spaced on a road, and her partner, Les, asleep in the seat beside her. It was all so hazy. Everything Tave Greenwich could recall before she woke up in a hospital bed felt like a dream.

It was as though she’d lost a month of her life.

“Life,” if you even wanted to call it that—which she didn’t. Tave’s hands resembled claws bent at the wrist. Before the accident, she was a talented softball catcher but now she could barely raise her arms above her shoulders. She could hear her stomach gurgle, but she couldn’t feel it. Paralyzed from the chest down, Tave had to have help with even the most basic care.

She was told that she could learn some skills again if she worked hard. She was told that she’d leave rehab someday

soon. What nobody told her was how Les, Leslie, her partner, girlfriend, love, was doing after the accident.

Physical therapist Beth Farringdon was reminded time and again not to get overinvolved with her patients, but she saw something in Tave that she couldn’t ignore. Beth was on the board of directors of a group that sponsored sporting events for disabled athletes. She knew people who could serve as role models for Tave, and she knew that all this could ease Tave’s adjustment into her new life. It was probably not entirely in her job description, but Beth couldn’t stop thinking of ways to help Tave who, at 23, was practically a baby.

She could, for instance, take Tave on outings or help find Les—even though it made Beth’s own girlfriend, Katy, jealous....

So, here’s a little something to know before you start reading Unswerving : author Barbara Ridley is a former nurse-practitioner who used to care for patients with spinal cord injuries. That should give readers a comfortable sense of satisfaction, knowing that her experiences give this novel an authenticity that feels right and rings true, no faking.

But that’s not the only appeal of this book: while there are a few minor things that might have readers shaking their heads (HIPAA, anyone?), Ridley’s characters are mostly lifelike and mostly likable. Even the nasties are well-done and the mysterious character that’s there-not-there boosts the appeal. Put everyone together, twist a little bit to the left, give them some plotlines that can’t be ruined by early guessing, and you’ve got a quick-read novel that you can enjoy and feel good about sharing.

And share you will because this is a book that may also open a few eyes and make readers think. Start Unswerving and you’ll (heart) it.  ▼

Letters 80 APRIL 19, 2024 CREATING MORE POSITIVE REHOBOTH July 26, 2019 Volume Number 10 camprehoboth.com Local Heroes Candidate Forum (We Could Be) Heroes June 28, 2019 Volume 29, Number camprehoboth.com That’sEntertainment APassionforPlay TakingDanceTradition foraTwirl CREATING MORE POSITIVE REHOBOTH August 9, Volume Number Cool It! Welcome to the Dog Days Seasons in The Sun Advertising in Letters from CAMP Rehoboth pays off. CALL TRICIA MASSELLA AT 302-227-5620 or email tricia@camprehoboth.com for more information!
APRIL 19, 2024 81 Letters



Greg Albright & Wesley Combs*

Sondra Arkin X

Carol Bresler & Carolyn Billinghurst X

Pat Catanzariti*

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*

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

William E. Cross Foundation, Arthur Brisker, Director*


Murray Archibald & In Memory of Steve Elkins X

Alex Benjamin & Pete Grover*

Jane Blue & Louisa Watrel X

Joe Brannen & John Klomp X

Tom Brown & James Lemly X

Deb Chase & Terry Barrera*

Beth Cohen & Fran Sneider*

Richard Coss & Mike Hull*

Elbert Leroy Dage*

Lou Fiore & Jim Burke*

Richard Gamble & Paul Lindsey*

Miguel Gomez & Donald Griner*

Nannette Grimes & Marian McKennan*

Wendy Grooms & Barbara Fishel X

Mary Gunning*

Holly Horn & Kathleen Garrity X

Bernadette & Michele Humphrey-Nicol*

Peter Karsner X

Melissa & Amanda Kaufman X

Jerry Kennedy & Robert Quinones X

Russell Koerwer & Stephen Schreiber X

Roger Kramer*

Susan Kutliroff & Barbara Snyder*

Christine Lay X

Curtis J. Leciejewski, DDS, PA X

Marie Martinucci*

Lynette Matson & Laure Larkin*

Sherri McGee & Kris Aulenbach*

Rick Mowery & Joe Conn X

Tom Negran & Marc Anthony Worosilo X

John Newton & Mowry Spencer X

Mark Niehaus & Brooks Honeycutt X

Kathleen Nilles & Camille Nichols*

Jennifer Noel*

Terry O’Bryan & Jack Musser*

Jeanine O’Donnell - State Farm*

Porter-Gordon Family*

Lori & Renee Rocheleau*

Mark Roush & Dave Banick*

Mark Schweizer & Robert Voelker*

George Shevlin & Jack Suwanlert*

Marty Smith*

Tammy Smith & Tracey Hepner*

Frank Surprenant, DDS X

John Swift & Ron Bowman X

Susan Tobin & Cathy Martinson*

Terry Vick & Billy Pat Clamp*

Michael & Angel Welborn*


Ronald Bass & George Robbins X

Tim & Meredith Birrittella*

Teresa Bolduc & Kim McGeown*

Chris Bowers*

Karen Brause & Kim Sheaffer*

Tony Burns X

Coleen Collins & Berdi Price X

Donna Davis & Gail Jackson X

Connie Fox & Donna Adair*

Perry Gottlieb & Tim White*

Irene & Lou Katz*

Nancy & Tora Kennedy*

Paul Kuhns*

Kim Parks & Sharon Denny*

Deborah Qualey & Karen Gustafson X

Chris Rouchard X

Donna Voigt*


Marge Amodei*

Bernice Bell & Susan Marney*

Sharon Bembry & Lois Powell*

Andrew Benson & Santookh Singh*

Wesley Blickenstaff*

David Bower*

David W. Briggs X

Charlie Browne & Rod Cook X

Barry Bugg*

Cheryl Buxton*

Teresa Cason X

Jay Chalmers & John Potthast*

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*

Ann Evans*

Kathy & Corky Fitzpatrick X

Cynthia Flynn & Deirdre Boyle X

Roland Forster & David McDonald*

Bill Fuchs & Gerry Beaulieu*

Kathy Giles & Theresa Leonard*

Richard Green & Asi Ohana X

Wesley Hacker & David Block*

John Hackett & Tom Newton*

David Hagelin & Andy Brangenberg*

Jenn Harpel & Katie Rickards X

Steve Hoult & Rick Bane X

Anthony Incalcatera & James Buswold*

Alex IX & Gare Galbraith*

Jocelyn Kaplan & Idalie Adams & In Memory of Adeline Kaplan X

Jon Kaplan X

Deborah Kennedy & Beth Yocum*

Leslie Ledogar & Marilyn Hewitt*

John J. MacDonald & Douglas James*

John Mackerey & Donald Filicetti*

Susan Morrison*

Doug Murray*

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*

Lucien Rossignol & Tom Harris*

Kim Rutherford & Dalit Eyal*

Douglas Sellers & Mark Eubanks*

Sheila Sferrella & Cindy Wedel*

Scott Shaughnessy & John Hassell*

Carol Sink*

Joseph Steele & Chris Leady*

David Streit & Scott Button*

Laurie & Matthew Thompson*

Anne Tracy & Mary Gilligan*

Kathy Wiz & Muriel Hogan X


Ann Abel*

Keith Anderson & Peter Bish X

Dale Aultman & Paul Gibbs X

Shannon & Sarah Avery*

Pamela Baker & Diane Dixson*

Susie Ball & Susan Delaney X

Mike Ballenger, 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

Linda Bova & Bridget Bauer - The Sea Bova Associates*

Michael Boyle & Greg Murphy X

Mary Ann Brewer*

Daniel Bruner & Tim Beymer*

Cabrina Campbell & Kimberly Olson

David Carder*

Kate Cauley & Pat Newcomb*

Bob Chambers*

Jim Chupella & Jim Wigand*

Dottie Cirelli & Myrna Kelley*

Gary Colangelo & Gerald Duvall X

Thomas Conway & Thoth Weeda*

Billy Cox & John Carr*

Kenneth Currier & Mike Tyler X

Ann DeLazaro & Annette Potemski*

Fred DiBartolo & Steve Wood X

Maureen Dolan & Karen McGavin*

Donna Dolce*

Polly Donaldson*

Gail Donohue & Tiny Varner*

Joan Doyle*

Albert Drulis & Scott Silber*

Sandy Duncan & Maddy Ewald*

Karen Faber & Lisa Balestrini Faber*

Alice Fagans & Ruth Ann Mattingly X

Dee Farris*

Lisa Fernandez & Allison Lindon*

Cecily Fisher & Loretta Higgins*

Keven Fitzsimmons & Jeff Stroud X

Monica Fleischmann & Lona Crist X

Gary Gajewski & In Memory of Dr. John A. Boscia*

Ricki Geiger*

Susan Goudy*

Ken Green & Joe Kearney*

Siobhan Halmos & Beth McLean*

Daniel F.C. Hayes*

Robert Henthorne & Roger Bolduc*

Philip Johnson*

Elaine Kakareka*

Leigh Ann Kidd*

Jay Kottoff & Mark Matey*

Myra Kramer & John Hammett*

Greg Kubiak*

Patricia Layton*

Greg Lehne*

Judy Lettes & Sandra Sue*

Monica Lewis & Ann Zimmerman*

David Lindeman & Andrew Phipps*

Frank Liptak & Joe Schnetzka*

Teresa Madonna & Stacey Mazzacco*

Patricia Magee & Anita Pettitt X

Jill Masterman & Tammy Jackson*

Tony Mazzarella*

Howard Menaker & Patrick Gossett X

Bob Morris & James Weygandt*

Barbara Moulton*

Sandy Neverett & Pam Cranston*

Pat Nickols*

Paul Nye & Jerry Hofer*

Donna Ohle & Susan Gaggiotti X

Dotti Outland & Diane Mead X

Ilene Palena*

Peninsula Gallery - Tony & Carol Boyd-Heron*

Joanne Picone & Kathy Bostedo*

Frank Pirhalla*

Stephen Pleskach*

Barb Ralph X

Charlotte Reid*

Gene Roe X

Thomas Rose & Thomas Sechowicz X

Kate Sapio*

Mark Saunders & Bob Thoman*

Sheryl Schulte & Jeanne LaVigne*

Troy Senter & Stacey Chan*

David Smith*

Susan Soderberg & Terri King X

John Michael Sophos & Miss Dot Sophos*

Diane Sozio & Patricia Hutchinson*

Matthew Stensrud & Michael Cohen*

Greig Stewart & Jake Hudson*

Tj Stone*

Michael Strait & Tim O’Bar*

Lenny Stumpf & John B. Pitchford*

Kaye Sullivan*

Thrasher’s French Fries*

Lana Warfield & Pamela Notarangelo X

Michael Weinert X

Walter Welsh & Martin Thomas*

Steven Wunder & Rod Hastie*

Joanne Yurik*

John Zingo & Rick Johnson*


Ria Allman*

James Apistolas & Christopher Galanty*

Gwen Atwell & Marla Hoon*

Romulus Barba & Dean Yanchulis*

James Beal & In Memory of David Van Patter*

Susan Becker & Mary Ellen Wivel*

Joel Berelson & Charles Maples*

Beatrice Birman & Mary Malgoire*

Kathy Board & Jackie Maddalena*

Boland Family, In Memory of Michael J. Kelly*

Richard Bost & Thomas Moore*

Bill Briganti & Gary Moore*

Wendy Bromfeld*

Ronald Butt & Steve Cannon*

Debbie Cali & Maddie Cunningham*

Chris Coburn & Anne Kazak X

Community Bank Delaware*

Mark Conheady*

Lois Cortese*

Carl Alan Cox*

Kay Creech & Sharon Still*

Lydia Croce*

John D’Amico*

Kathy Davison & Ruth Dickerson*

Continued on page 84

Letters 82 APRIL 19, 2024
countybankdel.com NMLSR ID 410450
Bank With The Best! Bank With The

Continued from page 82

Ann De Blasi*

Linda DeFeo X

J. Lynne Dement & Lisa J. Snyder*

Romy Diaz & Dennis Bann*

Kevin Doss & Arie Venema*

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*

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*

Tracey & Erica Hellman*

Bill Hillegeist X

Vance Hudgins & Denny Marcotte*

John Hulse X

Janet Idema & Patricia Higgins*

Madelyn Jablon*

Marilyn Kates & Laura Glenn*

Bonnie Kirkland & Wanda Bair X

Rob & Jean Krapf X

Robin Kroft & Elina Toole*

Barbara Lang & Diane Grillo*

Jeanette Laszczynski & Marianne Perry*

James Lawrence & Bob Palandrani*

Jim Lesko*

Chip Logan*

Duncan MacLellan & Glenn Reighart*

Susan Macy*

Robb Mapou & Mike Zufall*

Marsha Mark & Judy Raynor*

Vicki Martina*

James Mastoris & Edward Chamberlain X

Michael & Stephan Maybroda*

Sherril Moon & Louise Montgomery*

Margaret Moore & Sheree Mixell X

Lisa Mosley*

Judy Olsen & Joanne Kempton X

Sandra Oropel & Linda Frese*

Carolyn Ortwein & Ann Barry*

Sharon Owens & Doreen Halbruner*

Stephen Pape & Jerry Clark*

Steve Parker*

Patricia Pawling & Jennifer Butz*

Rina Pellegrini*

Peter Pizzolongo & Carlos Prugue*

Jay Raksin*

Susan Reinagel & Dawn Henderson*

Judy Rosenstein & Elva Weininger X

Deborah & Charles Ross X

Michael Safina & Tim Bean*

Gary Schell & Jim DiRago*

Teri Seaton*

Craig Sencindiver & Gary Alexander*

Marj Shannon & Carla Burton*

Tara Sheldon*

Frank Shockley & Arthur Henry*

Sam Smulyan*

Peter E. Stoeher*

Jill Stokes*

Robert Stoltzfus & Gerald Warhola*

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Niki Zaldivar & Cecil McNeil X

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Brenda Abell X

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Eric Blondin - State Farm Insurance

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E Corbin*

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Theresa-Ann Crivelli & Angela


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Dave Gold & In Memory of

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Continued on page 86

Letters 84 APRIL 19, 2024
Letters LeeAnnGroup.com | 302.645.6664 (Office) 16698 Kings Highway, Suite A, Lewes, DE 19958 A member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC Have your peeps Call our peeps ! It's SPRING! #1 IN DE HOME SALES #1 TEAM IN COASTAL DE #1 BHHS NATIONWIDE Looking for a new home?

Continued from page 84

Robert Gotwalt & Norman Jones*

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Continued on page 89

Letters 86 APRIL 19, 2024
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Continued from page 86

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Annie Get Your—Bicycle?!

Have Bicycle, Will Revolt

Why does a bicycle have a kickstand?

Because it’s “two-tired” to stand by itself.

Okay, that’s an ancient joke, the relevance of which is complicated and reaches back more than a century....

In the summer of 1817, impatient travelers had reason to celebrate: there was a new option for getting around that didn’t involve horses or wagons. German inventor Karl Drais had created what was called by various names—a hobbyhorse, a velocipede, a Draisine—or, sometimes, a Laufsmachine, which is German for “running machine.” This name stuck because, literally, that’s how the running machine worked: a man (more on that later) literally straddled a wooden beam attached to two wheels and, keeping his feet on the ground, he propelled himself as if he were running.

Good idea, iffy execution, since the running machine still lacked finesse: while it could be steered, its rudimentary seats were almost begging for injuries where injuries shouldn’t ever happen, and there were no brakes. If that sounds dangerous, well, it probably was. Despite that Europeans were crazy in love with the running machine, in 1827 New York City banned the use of them on public sidewalks.

How could such a fun device go untinkered-with?

It couldn’t, and within a generation or two, a number of French inventors began adding pedals to the front wheels of what were then called “boneshakers.” Again, the name fit because seats were not very comfortable, tires were made of iron or wood, and a rider felt every single pothole and stone.

It boggles the mind, then, that other inventors in the mid-1870s made things even more uncomfortable with the invention of “penny farthings,” as bicycles with gigantic front wheels were called. This goes double when you consider that the seats of penny farthings were four feet off the ground and rubber bicycle tires hadn’t been invented yet, nor had brakes.

Ah, but kickstands? Yep, Alfred Berruyer added them to bicycles in 1869, although his was attached near the handlebars and not down by the pedals.

You might imagine the sigh of relief when the “safety bicycle” was invented in 1885 by English inventor John Kemp Starley. He made the wheels of equal size, and he added brakes and a chain

The safety bicycle meant that daring women could take up bicycling with impunity.

attached to the rear wheel to propel the bike via pedals. Pneumatic tires followed, as did lighter materials.

Looks like a bike, rides like a bike.

This was all well and good—for men.

And, increasingly, for women, who’d previously had to make do with threewheeled machines that kept them closer to the ground with skirts modestly lowered and knees together. The safety bicycle meant that daring women could take

up bicycling with impunity. Sharp-shooter Annie Oakley became a big proponent of the bicycle. So did suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, who believed that suffrage and the establishment of women’s rights would have taken much, much longer without the bicycle. Truly, the bicycle was revolutionary.

Riding allowed Victorian women, who were formerly mostly homebodies, to explore their worlds, to get involved socially and politically, and to secure some independence. New fashions were created to enable them to straddle a bicycle and retain their modesty, though some women didn’t give a whit about that. In response, male doctors often claimed that bicycles would harm a woman’s health and sexuality. Gasp, clutch pearls.

Throughout the late 1800s and into the new century, riding clubs sprang up— mostly for men, but some forward-thinkers allowed female members. In 1926, the kickstand was moved down by the pedals. The bicycle played a big part in American society, in mail delivery, sports, and war. Bicycles then were adults-only but that changed in the 1940s, when automobiles started clogging American roads and younger riders were targeted, and embraced the bike.

If you want sustainable, “green” transportation today, you have good options. A brand-new racing bike can start at around $2,000; a high-end road bike can weigh less than 15 pounds. Compare that to a new bike in 1957: it would’ve set you back about $30 but it would’ve weighed a little more than 50 pounds.

A hundred years ago, the average bike weighed around 80 pounds.

Just thinking of pedaling that should make you two-tired. ▼

Terri Schlichenmeyer’s second book, The Book of Facts and Trivia: American History, came out in January 2024.

Letters 90 APRIL 19, 2024
APRIL 19, 2024 91 Letters REHOBOTH BEACH 246 Rehoboth Avenue Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 office: 302-227-3883 LEWES 1240 Kings Highway Lewes, DE 19958 office: 302-645-2207 MILLSBORO 28442 Dupont Boulevard Millsboro, DE 19966 office: 302-934-3970 Discover Your Wonder with Jack Lingo, REALTOR® Coastal Delaware Sales & Rentals jacklingo.com

(Continued from page 71)

THIS PAGE (left to right) 1) at Women’s Fest Drag Fundraiser at Dos Locos: Xion DuBoyz, Christa Marks, Lisa Koenigsberg, Deb Quinton, Kelly Sheridan, Brianna Adams, Brandon Albro, Danielle Albro, Michelle Allen, Denise Page, Chris Durr, Anne Cole, Sandy Freeman; 2) at Coastal Concerts “Trio Zimbalist”: Timotheos Gavriilidis-Petrin, Richard Scalenghe, Carol Dennis, George Xiaoyuan Fu, Josef Špaček; 3) at Purple Parrot: Mark Mayer, Mark Clark, Marc Charon, Tom Protack, Bernie James, Charles Bounds; 4) at Eden: Jamie Romano, Danny Hallowell, Debra Hollowell, Katie Lyell, A.J. Hemphill.

OPPOSITE PAGE: 5) at Author John Archibald Event at Epworth UMC: Alecia Archibald, Bob Ramsey, John Archibald, Murray Archibald, Mary Beth Ramsey, Drew Archibald, Rev. Marjorie Belmont-Burns, Rev. Vicki Gordy-Stith, Todd Popham, Anita Brocolino, Barb Ralph, Keith Petrack, Kim Leisey, Michael Fetchko; 6) at Clear Space Theatre: Carl Schloegel, David Lloyd, Nancy Kaiser, Mary McElhone; 7) at Will Freshwater Book

Signing at The Pines: John Cianiosi, Antonio Dias, David Sharp, Marty Rendon, Kevin Naff, Will Freshwater, Andy Johnson, Judy Turner, Philip Livingston, Carl Grim, 8) at Art 4 Change Reception, CAMP Rehoboth: Braydon Donovan, Audrey Lane, Krista Silon, Amiera Celian, Giovanna Coco, Giuliana Coco. ▼

Letters 92 APRIL 19, 2024
2 3 4
APRIL 19, 2024 93 Letters 5 6 7 8

TALKING TRASH (and Recycling)

Recycling—One Way to Honor Earth Day

We all know the three green Rs are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduction and Reuse save us money and don’t consume new resources. The discussion around these three Rs often seems to focus on Recycling. Maybe because it seems the easiest one. However, it can be complicated.

In 2010, the Delaware Legislature set recycling goals for 50 percent of municipal solid waste by 2015 and 60 percent of municipal solid waste by 2020. Delaware has repeatedly missed these goals. The calendar year 2022 recycling rate was 37.3 percent according to the DNREC Recycling Public Advisory Council report dated November 2023. The best year since these numbers have been tracked was 2016 when we reached 44.5 percent.

Public outreach is key to meeting these goals. But we all can do our part. One of the most common questions I get from friends and acquaintances is “How come they don’t recycle that here?”

What is or is not recycled in a community is not what people can set out, but what there is a market for, from the processor’s point of view. Delaware has one program, run by the Delaware Solid

Waste Authority. Regardless of which trash hauling service you use, that trash hauler must provide recycling to you. And because it all goes to one location for processing, what is collected for recycling by the blue truck is the same as the green or white truck.

If you used to live in another community that had different rules, you shouldn’t follow those old rules here. Recycling is what is called “sticky learning.” The rules you learned when you were growing up seem to be what you want to follow, regardless of where you live now. That is not necessarily good.

The best information on what is and is not recycled in your bin today is at the Delaware Solid Waste Authority website (dswa.com/programs/single-stream-recycling/#) or the DNREC website (dnrec.delaware.gov/waste-hazardous/recycling/).

It used to be that recycling was simple: paper, cardboard, and glass; we all knew what to do. But packagers today have become very creative with their packaging, using multiple layers of paperboard and plastic, even multilayers of plastic.

When I grew up in the 60s and 70s, at school we had milk in little cartons.

Does recycling really make a difference? Yes. It creates green jobs, saves resources, and conserves landfill space.

These were wax covered to keep the milk from soaking through. Today, our milk cartons and juice cartons feel the same, but they are not—they are coated with plastic. Here in Delaware this is not a problem, because we recycle those here (don’t ask me the details but it’s something about how the paperboard floats and the other paper fibers sink). The plastic caps for these can be screwed on to recycled cartons but shouldn’t be thrown in the bin loosely.

We know metal cans recycle, that includes steel, “tin,” and aluminum. In Delaware, aluminum tins like pie tins are fine if rinsed, but aluminum foil should be placed in the trash. Bottle caps are metal but go in the trash. They are too small and end up as part of the recycling center’s waste stream.

Plastic is something that varies from region to region. In Delaware, the number in the triangle matters: 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s and 7s are good to recycle if they are not plastic film. But 4s and 6s do not recycle here. And clamshells, in which you get Cosco apples or maybe muffins? If the recycling number is not a 4 or 6, feel free to put that in your bin.

Does recycling really make a difference? Yes. It creates green jobs, saves resources, and conserves landfill space. Once shuttered papermills are now making cardboard out of recycled paper fiber. Shredded plastic chips are being used for all kinds of things. Sixty-five percent of America’s aluminum is recycled. Sixty-nine percent of steel in North America is recycled.

That does not, however, remove the burden of the first two Rs—Reduce and Reuse—from those of us trying to live with less impact on our world. Those habits can be sticky, too. We should form them and take them with us, regardless where we live. ▼


Letters 94 APRIL 19, 2024
Dannis is a Delaware professional engineer, nutrient consultant, and certified composter. He can be reached at FitnessEngineering.net or at Jeff.Dannis.FE@outlook.com. Photo Nick Fewings on Unsplash
APRIL 19, 2024 95 Letters SPRING INTO FUN AT THE YMCA FIND YOUR Y AT WWW.YMCADE.ORG. Financial assistance is available. *Offer valid at YMCA of Delaware locations March 1 - 31, 2024. $0 JOINER FEE IN MARCH! www.ymcade.org
Letters 96 APRIL 19, 2024 Learn about women’s activities, dances , discussion groups and singles events in the area. Join Us At www.meetup.com/Gay-Women-Rehoboth gay Women of Rehoboth ®

With your generous gifts, CAMP Rehoboth will purchase chairs for the newly renovated ElkinsArchibald Atrium. New chairs will enhance the space and improve seating for events like theatre shows, choral performances,

APRIL 19, 2024 97 Letters
CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors Sherri McGee & Kris AulenbachRehoboth Beach Bears MORE THAN
DELAWARE’S DAY OF GIVING 3 7 B a l t i m o r e A v e n u e , R e h o b o t h B e a c h , D E 1 9 9 7 1 3 0 2 . 2 2 7 . 5 6 2 0 | c a m p r e h o b o t h . c o m TSPECIALHANKSTO: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT ON DOMORE24 DOMORE24
RAISE $11,075!


David B. Mixner

David B. Mixner, an accomplished political strategist who played prominent roles in the anti-Vietnam War movement and in the fight for gay rights, died March 11, 2024, at his home in Manhattan. He was 77. The cause was complications of long-term COVID.

David Benjamin Mixner was born on August 16, 1946, in Salem County, New Jersey, the youngest of three children. A brother, Melvin, survives him.

Mixner’s political activism started at a local level shortly after he entered Arizona State University in 1964 and soon expanded to the national level when he transferred to the University of Maryland to be closer to the Washington, DC, hub of the anti-war movement. There, he volunteered as an organizer of the 1967 March on the Pentagon. He dropped out of college shortly thereafter to devote himself to work as a political organizer.

He was part of Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign in 1968 and was a presence at the Democratic convention in Chicago that year. He was one of four national co-chairs of the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, a series of major protests in the fall of 1969. He was already a Democratic insider in the 1960s and early ‘70s, when almost all gay people in politics were closeted. Mixner wrote in a 1996 memoir, Stranger Among Friends, that he dreamed of a public-service career but was convinced that his “terrible secret” of homosexuality would not permit it.

In 1976, Mixner helped found the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles, the first gay and lesbian political action committee in the country, and became a leading advocate for gay rights. In 1977 he came out, at age 30, while serving as campaign manager for Tom Bradley’s successful bid for re-election as mayor of Los Angeles.

A skilled strategist—and very successful fundraiser—Mixner soon became a leading advocate for gay rights. In 1978, he was able to persuade California’s foremost conservative, Ronald Reagan, to oppose a state initiative to ban gay schoolteachers. The defeat of the measure was at that point the most significant win for gay rights in the country.

Mixner, a contemporary of Bill Clinton’s, met the future president when they were in their early 20s. “When I met him when he was young,” Clinton said of Mixner in 1999, “I thought I’d never met a person whose heart burned with the fire of social justice so strong.” The two formed a close friendship, based partly on their respective humble beginnings.

During the 1980s and early ’90s, AIDS claimed many leaders of the gay rights movement. After years of inaction on AIDS by the White Houses of Ronald Reagan and his successor, George H.W. Bush, LGBTQ activists were hoping the 1992 presidential election would turn that around. Mixner’s friend, now-candidate Clinton, asked him to raise money and build support in the gay community on his behalf.

Mixner asked where Clinton stood on HIV/AIDS and gay rights, before agreeing to help. In May 1992, Mixner introduced Clinton to 500 gay donors at a fundraiser in Los Angeles. To

raucous applause, Clinton said, “What I came here today to tell you in simple terms is, I have a vision and you are part of it.”

His promises included devoting federal dollars to HIV/AIDS research and ending the long-standing ban on gays serving openly in the military. Mixner was credited with raising $3.4 million dollars for the Clinton campaign.

When Clinton compromised on his pledge to end the ban, instead implementing a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Mixner felt betrayed. In July 1993, Mixner helped lead a protest over “don’t ask, don’t tell” outside the White House, famously being led away in handcuffs. He also spoke out against Clinton’s decision to sign the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Eventually, the two reconciled their political differences before Clinton completed his terms of office.

In 2008, when Mixner received an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, he recalled his life’s trajectory. He expressed pride in his political activism, but mourned the toll AIDS took on his generation of gay men. “All of my peers died of AIDS, and I have no one to celebrate my past or my journey, or to help me pass down stories to the next generation,” he said. “We lost an entire generation of storytellers.”

Funeral services were held on March 25 at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City. Memorial donations may be made to the David Mixner Memorial Fund at the Ali Forney Center (aliforneycenter.org). The Center is dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ homeless youth, with a 24/7 drop-in center and 17 housing sites across New York City.

More about David Mixner may be found on page 8 and in the September 22, 2023 issue of Letters. ▼

Letters 98 APRIL 19, 2024
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes - DavidMixner.NEM.Rally.USC.WDC.11October2009

William “Bill” Kelly

William Daniel “Bill” Kelly, 95, of Milton, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 24, having for three years battled complications from two strokes suffered in January 2021.

He was born September 25, 1928, to Clarence Allen Kelly and Emily Lucille Edwards in Toccoa, Georgia.

A veteran of both the US Army, which he joined in 1946, where he was stationed in post-war Germany, and the US Air Force, which he joined in 1953, where he was stationed in post-war Japan, and was discharged in 1957, Bill loved to tell stories of his time served in both Germany and Japan.

After training to be an electrician in the Air Force, Bill secured a job as

an electronics technician for RCA and later GE. Bill spent most of his career working in the field across the US and Alaska, often for months at a time. He loved talking about the time he worked at the top of the Sears Tower building in Chicago, and at the Today Show studio in New York City. Bill loved his job.

In July of 1964, Bill met the love of his life, Ronald “Ron” Tipton, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During their long life together, Bill and Ron lived in Pennsauken, New Jersey, and Philadelphia and Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and eventually moved to Delaware for their retirement years. To their friends and neighbors, the lives of Bill and Ron were a love story.

Bill is survived by his loving partner


It’s never too late, but it’s better done early.

Many Delaware families overspend on longterm care because they delay planning. Some wait with false confidence, believing they’ll never need long-term care. Others hesitate in fear that they aren’t a good fit for planning. Most just aren’t aware that legal strategies exist to shelter their savings.

and husband of 59 years, and his devoted caregiver for the last three years of his life, Ron Tipton. Bill is also survived by his niece, Joyce Brown MacFarlin, of Cornelia, Georgia.

Funeral services will be private. ▼

APRIL 19, 2024 99 Letters
Elder Law We help families shelter their savings from being depleted on the cost of long-term care. Estate Planning We help families create Wills, Powers of Attorney, and use Trusts to avoid probate. Estate & Trust Administration We help families settle the matters of their loved ones. Don’t wait, we can help: 3 0 2 - 6 2 8 - 4 1 4 0 w w w . p w w l a w . c o m WE REMEMBER

Naloxone Access Training (Free)

National Honor Our LGBTQ+ Elders Day

May 16 serves as a reminder to do what could well be done every other day, too: recognize and pay tribute to earlier generations of LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s a day to honor those whose activism and courage laid the groundwork for today’s communities.

May 16

Our elders’ efforts required persistence, passion, and authenticity; they also often exacted a cost. Those costs can be even steeper as they age, and face the loss of chosen families or supportive networks, the prospect of residing in unwelcoming assisted living or other communal living spaces, and the invisibility—in a youth-oriented culture—of those who are no longer young.

On May 16: engage an elder. Listen and learn. Share a story of an impactful elder at: lgbteldersday.com/share-your-story. Help—if help is needed—where you can. And commit to doing the same on May 17 and every day that follows. ▼

To be held at the Lewes Public Library on Saturday, May 11, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the Delaware Room, this training is offered by Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. The training is open to all members of the community.

Naloxone, known commonly by the brand-name Narcan, is a medication that is effective in reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. Participants will learn how to recognize and appropriately respond to an opioid overdose and are eligible to receive an Opioid Rescue Kit at the conclusion of their training.

Each training has two sessions. The first session is a 3045 minute classroom-style training in small groups with an informative presentation and time for practice and questions. The second session is a Point-of-Distribution (POD) training best for returning trainees or those who have used a naloxone kit previously. The POD session is open for one hour, but participants should plan only for a 15-minute window to complete the training during this hour. Participants do NOT need to attend for the full hour of the POD session.

Registration is available; walk-ins are welcome. Call 302255-2777 for more information. ▼

Letters 100 APRIL 19, 2024
(puzzle on page 74) “ WHERE FLOWERS SPEAK A BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE” FLORIST SHOP • GREENHOUSES 20326 Coastal Highway • Rehoboth Beach, DE (Next to Arena’s Café) 302-227-9481 rehoboth guest 28-02_Layout 1 3/30/2018 2:13 PM Page 1 CommunityNews
ELDERS DAY For Creating the Path and Leading the Way

Don’t miss a thing. 11 issues of LETTERS from CAMP Rehoboth by first class mail.

— PLEASE VISIT — camprehoboth.com/volunteers to register as a volunteer and to sign up for available opportunities. Subscribe today.

CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Opportunities

to all the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center Volunteers for the period: 3/1/24 - 4/5/24


Join in the fun, entertainment, sports, and tradition by volunteering at the CAMP Rehoboth Women’s FEST! With over 25 events over four days, many people are needed to make this a success.


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. Sign up at camprehoboth.com/volunteers.

Your volunteer efforts benefit you and others.

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.



Hope Vella


Daniel Bruner

David Garrett

Leslie Ledogar

Sherri McGee


Logan Farro

Jane Knaus

Lois Powell

Leslie Sinclair

Patricia Stiles

Debbie Woods


Sherri McGee


Bill Fuchs

Dianna Johnston

Carolyn Laurenzo

Judy Olsen

Gloria Richards

Dave Scuccimarra

Travis Stevens


Sondra Arkin


Glenn Lash


Carol Brice

Eric Korpon


Teri Seaton

Russell Stiles


Barbara Breault

Ken Currier

Bob Grant

Jim Mease

Kim Nelson

Patricia Stiles

Russell Stiles

Joe Vescio


Mark Eubanks

Richard Gamble

Paul Lindsey

Marce McCollum-


Doug Sellers


Dick Hospital

E.J. Kenyon

Mike Merena

Sharon Morgan

Joe Vescio


G Michael Beigay

Tony Burns

Vincent DeLissio

David Garrett


Kris Aulenbach

Mark Eubanks

Daphne Kaplan

Chip Logan

Jill Masterman

Sherri McGee

Jim Mease

Beverly Miller

Doug Sellers


Jane Blue

Pat Catanzariti

Wes Combs

Mike DeFlavia

Amanda Mahony




Glenn Lash

Jim Mease


Nancy Hewish

Grant Kingswell

Vicki Martina

Stephen Palmer

Linda Yingst


Barb Ralph


Madelyn Jablon

Marce McCollumMartin

Jim Mease

Kim Nelson

Rina Pellegrini

John Michael Sophos

Joe Vescio

APRIL 19, 2024 101 Letters
Letters 102 APRIL 19, 2024
1776 Steakhouse ..................................................47 Accent On Travel 15 Activ Pest Solutions 47 AG Renovations 95 Atlantic Jewelry 33 Beebe Healthcare .................................................38 Beebe Medical Foundation 39 Brandywine Urology Consultants..........................17 bsd 37 Café Azafrán 57 CAMP Rehoboth Annual Sponsors 6 CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, On the Road Again 29 CAMP Rehoboth Letters Subscription ................ 101 CAMP Rehoboth Membership 88 CAMP Rehoboth SUNFESTIVAL .............................35 CAMP Rehoboth Women’s FEST 11 CAMPsafe 28 Caroline Huff, Artist 23 Children’s Beach House 56 Chris Beagle Group, Realtors ................................19 Clear Space Theatre 49 Coho’s Market & Grill 34 County Bank 83 Danielle Ariano 19 Delaware Community Foundation 77 Diego’s Bar Nightclub......................... 61, 62 ,63, 65 Do More 24 97 Dogfish Head 67 Donna Whiteside, Realtor 20 Envision Style & Health 25 Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant ..................... 103 Gay Women of Rehoboth 96 go fish go brit ........................................................19 Groome Church 31 Hugh Fuller, Realtor 50 Humane Animal Partners Delaware 96 Illuminate Festivals 95 Jack Lingo, Real Estate .........................................91 Jenn Harpel, Morgan Stanley 7 John Black, Realtor ...............................................83 Jolly Trolley 96 Lana Warfield 67 Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, Realtors 85 Lori’s Café 74 Maplewood Dental Associates ..............................67 McWillams Ballard Real Estate 87 Milton Theatre 55 New Wave Spas 30 Olivia Travel 9 Pellegrino Plastic Surgery 41 Purple Parrot .........................................................51 PWW Law 99 Randy Mason/Shirley Kalvinsky, Realtors 102 Rehoboth Art League 67 Rehoboth Beach Bears 73 Rehoboth Beach Dental ........................................57 Rehoboth Guest House 100 Rigby’s Bar & Grill ..................................................59 Sea Bova Associates, Realtors 104 Seaboard Hospitality 23 Springpoint Choice 42 State Farm - Jeanine O’Donnell/Eric Blondin 43 Stuart Kingston Gallery .........................................21 Sussex Family YMCA 95 The Flats ................................................................81 The Joe Maggio Group, Realtors 95 The Lodge at Truitt Homestead 30 Troy Roberts, Realtor 47 True Blue Jazz 75 Unfinished Business ..............................................96 Village Volunteers 57 Volunteer Opportunities 101 Volunteer Thank You 101 Windsor’s Flowers 100 Seaside Court New Construction, 2 Floor plans w/ large BRs Separate Family Room Fireplace Bosch Appliances Quartz Counters LVP Tile baths Full Basement w/8’ Ceiling Extensive landscape plan 5 Single Family Homes On the Bike Path 5BR 4BA from $1,400,000 Summer Occupancy Great Rental Potential Shirley Kalvinsky Cell: (302) 236-4254 Shirley@jacklingo.com 246 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 302-227-3883 (office) Randy Mason Cell: (302) 236 -1142 Randy@jacklingo.com Zane Jones Cell: (302) 470-7669 ZaneJones@jacklingo.com


ANGOLA BEACH -Lewes. 1978 3BR/1.5BA home has 10’x30’ sunroom. Fenced yard. Furnished. Community pools, marina. 10 miles to bch. $109,900 (2056560) Lot Rent $715/mt. includes water & sewer.

COLONIAL EAST - Rehoboth Beach. 1979 3BR/1BA. 10’x20’ screened porch. Extra parking. Shed. Community pool. 4 miles to Rehoboth & Lewes beaches. $135,000 (2057862) Lot Rent $600/mt.

ANGOLA BEACH -Lewes. 2019 3BR/2BA. Screened porch & open deck. Fenced yard. Community pools, marina. 10 miles to bch. $215,000 (2056218) Lot Rent $784/mt. includes water & sewer.

SEA AIR -Rehoboth. 1982 3BR/2BA. Parking for 3 vehicles. Porch, patio & shed. Community pool & 3 miles to beach. $160,000 (2050802) Lot Rent $644/mt includes water.

ANGOLA BEACH -Lewes. Remodeled 1984 2BR/2BA. Fireplace. New deck. Shed. Community pools, marina. 10 miles to bch. $115,000 (2057312) Lot Rent $699/mt. includes water & sewer.

ANGOLA ESTATES -Lewes. 1988 3BR/2BA is 1,344sf. Nicely remodeled kitchen & baths. Vinyl plank flooring. Marina/pool community. 10 miles to bch. $175,000 (2056634) Lot Rent $722/mt.

A SPEN MEADOWSRehoboth. 1986 2BR/2BA. 1,350sf. Updated kitchen. Screened porch. Privacy

POT-NETS BAYSIDELong Neck. 2006 3BR/2BA. 1,344 sq. ft. with wrap-around porch & fenced yard. 0.20 acres. Furnished w/2 golf carts. Marina community. $270,000 (2056236) Lot Rent $1,041/mt.

LINDA BOVA BROKER-ABR® 302-542-4197 CELL BRIDGET BAUER ASSOC BROKER-REALTOR® 302-245-0577 CELL 20250 Coastal Highway - Suite 3, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971  302-227-1222 office www.SEABOVA.com  EMAIL – RealEstate@SEABOVA.com OfficeIndependentlyOwned&OperatedbySBA,Inc. Prices,promotions&availabilitysubjecttochangewithoutnotice. *A/C Active/UnderContract--AcceptingBack-UpOffers SEA AIR -Rehoboth. 2BR/1BA 2017 Forest River 28’ RV w/2 slides. Indoor & outdoor kitchens. Community pool & 3 miles to bch. $42,500 (2050802) Seasonal 4/15-11/15 $6,160 Rent for corner lot COLONIAL EAST - Rehoboth Beach. Remodeled 2005 3BR/2BA doublewide. Shed w/elec. Community pool. 4 miles to Rehoboth & Lewes beaches. $159,000 (2052192) Lot Rent $853/mt. POT-NETS BAYSIDELong Neck. 1970 3BR/1BA is approx. 1,300 sq. ft. Water views. Nice kitchen. Family room. Screened porch. So many amenities! $129,900 (2052248) Lot Rent $1,019/mt. IRON HORSE RANCHLewes. +/- 2-acre lot on a private lane just off of Beaver Dam Rd. Public water & sewer avail (sewer impact fee already paid).
& bath. Window AC. Pool & 3 miles to beach.
(2059452) Lot Rent
ANGOLA BEACH -Lewes. Remodeled 1973 4BR/2BA. Water views from front deck. Shed.
community is 10 miles to bch.
$205,900 (2055630)
Lot Rent $734/mt. includes water & sewer SILVER VIEW FARMRehoboth. 1979 2BR/1BA is 980sf + 11’x20’ enclosed porch. Updated kitchen
AVALON & LAWSON RDGeorgetown. 6.18-acre lot. 2-story barn-style garage. Chicken coop. Well, septic,
electric + DelDOT entrance permit. No HOA, but Deed restrictions. $325,000 (2059888) ANGOLA BEACH -Lewes. 2022 3BR/2BA. 1,680 sf. Oversized driveway. Deck. Shed w/elec. Community marina, pool. 10 miles to bch. $223,500 Lot Rent $787/mt. includes water & sewer.
fencing. Community pool. 4 miles to beach. $140,000 (2059222) Lot Rent $752/mt.
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