April 2022 - Man on a Mission

Page 1

Lombardi Legend Started Here

We Need to Talk About Mental Health

Area Restaurants Beefing Up

Man on a Mission Ivan Thomas hopes you see what he sees when you tune in to DETV APRIL 2022 COMPLIMENTARY

We figured Aston was a little far for some of youse, for the brewery. So we put on our nice hoodies and headed to SW Delco for our first Tap House. Chadds Ford to be exact. Lotta horses, ya know? Come by and check out the place. Run by some real good guys @ The 2SP Group.


1-484-840-8736 | 2SPtaphouse.com NOW HIRING — Apply @ 2SPtaphouse.com/careers


–– A not-for-profit arts organization ––

TICKETS LIMITED! THUR | APR 21 | 8PM | $43-$51 The current cast brings their new improv tour LIVE on stage! Audience participation is likely!

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas FRI | APR 22 | 8PM | $29 Cutting-edge fiddle and cello explorations of Scottish and global music

TICKETS LIMITED! Gary Mullen & The Works present One Night of Queen SUN | APR 24 | 7PM | $33-$42 A stunning live two hour concert recreating and celebrating the music of Queen

Charles Walden

Kathleen Madigan

Trey Kennedy

FRI | APR 29 | 8PM | $23 Philadelphia comic that doesn’t allow his cerebral palsy from making his audiences laugh.

SAT | APR 30 | 8PM | $35-$55 Audience favorite with specials on Comedy Central, HBO, and Netflix.

FRI | MAY 6 | 8PM | $39-$150 Social media influencer with 10+ million followers brings his comedy LIVE on stage.

The Rock Orchestra performs Genesis SAT | MAY 7 | 8PM | $28 An 80s double album show - performing “Duke” and “Abacab” note for note, cut for cut.

Tammy Pescatelli

The Seldom Scene

SAT | MAY 14 | 8PM | $26 Arguably one of the hardest working women in comedy today.

SUN | MAY 22 | 7PM | $39 Popular bluegrass band for over four decades. A guaranteed sell-out!

Whose Live Anyway?

Jim Witter’s:

SAT, JUNE 4, 2022 8PM | $31-$37 THE PLAYHOUSE

Time In A Bottle

TheGrandWilmington.org | 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 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 www.DelawareScene.com.

All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change.



MLOAD only_Out and About (proof).pdf MLOAD only_Out and About (proof).pdf


3/24/22 2


10:09 AM 10:09 AM

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APRIL 6–17, 6–17, 2022 2022 302.594.1100 302.594.1100

For health andsafety safetypolicies, policies,please pleasevisit visit our our website website or or call 6 DTC’s APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM For DTC’s health and call the the box box office. office.


Out & About Magazine Vol. 35 | No. 2

START 9 War on Words


11 FYI 13 Learn 17 Lombardi Legend Started Here 20 The Art Loop 21 The Art Space 23 Fast Fashion

FOCUS 30 DETV’s Ivan Thomas 36 We Need to Talk About Mental Health


EAT Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact@TSNPub.com Wilmington, DE 19801

44 City Restaurant Week 2022 45 Beefing Up

DRINK 51 Devils Backbone Finds a Sweet Spot

Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com Director of Publications Jim Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian

Contributing Writers Jill Althouse-Wood, Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Adriana Camacho-Church, JulieAnne Cross, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Scott Pruden, Leeann Wallett

LISTEN 55 Shine A Light 2022



57 Fill in the Blanks

WILMINGTON 58 In the City 64 On the Riverfront

On the cover: DETV founder Ivan Thomas Photo by Jim Coarse, Moonloop Photography


All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.

All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.

Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects John Holton, Cullen Robinson, Bev Zimmermann

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Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • contact@tsnpub.com APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM







THE PLAYHOUSE ON RODNEY SQUARE BUY NOW: 302.888.0200 | BroadwayInWilmington.org Season Support 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 www.DelawareScene.com.



A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications

Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine

THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

PRONUNCIATIONS Two European cities currently in the news no doubt will continue to be prominent in the near future, so it behooves us to learn how to spell and pronounce them. There is no debate about the spelling of the Russian capital: Moscow. But some of us pronounce it Mos-cow. That’s wrong. The proper pronunciation is Mos-co, as in Costco. The capital of Ukraine is a bit more complicated. In that country, the capital is “Kyiv” (pronounced KEE-yiv), while the Russian version is “Kiev” (KEE-yev). The British daily newspaper The Guardian explains that the latter “became the internationally accepted name through the Soviet period and into the first years of this century, its recognizability enhanced perhaps by the eponymous chicken dish that became popular in the west in the 1970s. But it is now associated with the Russification of Ukraine, and in recent years more and more publications, governments, airports and geographical dictionaries have switched the spelling to the Ukrainian variant. . . Many Ukrainians see this as a sign of respect for their language and identity.” So, let us recognize a courageous nation and go with Kyiv (KEE-yiv). MEDIA WATCH As usual, USA TODAY leads our parade with the first three items: •Brian Truitt, writing about Catwoman and Batman in The Batman: “. . . their cat-and-mouse dynamic finds them growing closer while each are on a mission seeking justice for the past.” Each is singular, thus the verb should be is. And (quibbling here) how does one seek justice “for the past”? •Paul Myerberg: “Offered the opportunity to explain his side of why he instigated a brawl after Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin, Howard trotted out pathetic excuses . . “. Why, oh why, Paul, did you need “his side of”? •And there were a couple of problems with this sentence in the paper’s Delaware section: “A limited amount of pre-sale tickets will go on sale Friday at fireflyfestival.com.” First, amount should be number since it refers to a plural — tickets. Second, there’s no need for “pre-sale.” •Willie Geist on Sunday Today with Willie Geist, speaking of Ariana DeBose, the breakout co-star of West Side Story: “She was raised by a single mother, who took her prodigious daughter to ballet, tap and jazz lessons.” Perhaps Willie meant that the

Word of the Month

cacoethes Pronounced kak-oh/uh-WEE-theez, it’s a noun meaning an irresistible urge to do something, especially something inadvisable.

By Bob Yearick

young DeBose had prodigious (great in extent, size or degree) talents. Or perhaps he was thinking of prodigy (a person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities), but the word prodigious by itself does not describe the svelte DeBose. A usually reliable wordsmith, Willie missed the mark here. •Tom Moore, in the Bucks County Courier Times: “James Harden’s resume and the 15 days between being traded to the 76ers and playing in his first game created extremely high expectations for Harden’s debut.” Tom meant résumé — a document listing a person’s background, skills, and accomplishments. Without the accent marks, it means recommence, or restart. •News-Journal subscriber Debbie Layton received a letter from Executive Editor Mike Feeley informing her that the Saturday paper will now be online only. The letter began this way: “As a loyal subscriber, we understand this change will impact you.” Bad news, delivered with a dangling modifier. •According to reader Janet Strobert, another dangler was uttered by host Mayim Bialik when she said this to a Jeopardy contestant: “As a nursing student, I'm glad you're correct.” (The nursing student was the contestant, not Mayim). •A reader spotted this in the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette: “Insinger has oversaw plenty of incredible teams, including a team in 1993 which reached the Class A final . . .” Oversaw should be overseen, of course, and that would be a better choice than which in the restrictive clause here. KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS Reader Karen Jessee, a former teacher, recalls this conversation with a student: Student: I hate Ms. ___. She's so incontinent. Me: You mean incompetent. Student: Same thing. When you think about it, the kid kind of had a point. LITERALLY OF THE MONTH Continuing our contributions from GOATs (last month we featured Tom Brady), we have LeBron James, commenting on fellow NBA-er Steph Curry: ”He literally has an automatic sniper connected to his arm . . ."

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: ryearick@comcast.net.

Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf (hockessinbookshelf.com) or on Amazon, or email me.

"WILMINGTON is Open for Business" STILL WORKING REMOTELY? MANY SMALL BUSINESSES DO NOT HAVE THAT OPTION Wilmington small businesses are facing a great challenge and they need your support. As we continue the long road to rebuilding our economy, it is important to know how to use your time, money, or even your influence to help! Support from the local community is more important than ever to help our Wilmington businesses stay open, recover and thrive. HOW CAN YOU HELP? Buy gift cards to help businesses now Order a meal for take-out or delivery Make an appointment for local services Choose local vendors for your goods and services

Are You A Small Business Owner? As a member of WilmingtonMADE, your business can receive free advertising, access to resources, and referrals to programs to help you grow your business. Signing up is free, just visit our website: WilmingtonMADE.COM


START Things worth knowing





elaware College of Art and Design in downtown Wilmington is celebrating 25 years and will hold a reception on Thur., April 14 from 5:30-9pm. The evening will bring together alumni, students, faculty and the greater Wilmington community, highlighted by an Alumni and Friends Exhibition with works available for purchase. Proceeds from the evening benefit DCAD’s scholarship fund. Visit DCAD25.eventbrite.com

he YMCA of Delaware will hold a groundbreaking event on Wed. April 27 at the Silver Lake YMCA pool site, and home of the new YMCA, to commemorate the start of construction for the Y’s state-of-the-art community center serving the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend (MOT) region. Upon completion, the brand-new YMCA will boast a full-sized gymnasium, indoor pool, universal fitness options for individuals with diverse abilities, multiple fitness studios, a STEM room for youth, children’s adventure zone, a community education room, universal locker room, and a spacious lobby. Additionally, the Middletown YMCA will feature an outdoor wellness space providing a full-court public basketball court, two flexible public cross courts used for pickleball, a splash park adjacent to the Silver Lake Pool, an outdoor playground, functional mobile wellness space for outdoor fitness classes, and cross beneficial parking serving the New Castle County Library Middletown Branch, Silver Lake Elementary School, Silver Lake Pool, recreation and sports fields, and the YMCA. With Middletown being one of the fastest-growing communities in Delaware, the Y anticipates serving 15,000 individuals annually through membership, community-based programs, before and after school enrichment, youth sports and summer camp. This $26 million dollar expansion is being funded by community support. The YMCA has launched a fundraising campaign to raise the last $2 million dollars needed to complete the project. Visit donate.ymcade.org/middletowncampaign



fter a two-year interruption because of COVID, the Wilmington Grand Prix returns May 1315 and will feature a new component open to cyclists of all abilities — the Major Taylor Community Ride set for Sat., May 14 (11:15am start). The ride will celebrate Wilmington as well as the spirit of cyclist Major Taylor, America’s first U.S.born Black international sports champion. Despite facing racial prejudice in and out of competition, Taylor set more than a half-dozen world records and in 1899 achieved the level of cycling world champion. His story is brilliantly told in the book The World’s Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero written by Washington Post reporter Michael Kranish. Kranish will be in Wilmington for the Major Taylor Community Ride. In addition, the Capital City Cyclists and Major Taylor cycling clubs from throughout the region will be in attendance to lead the ride and interact with the community. Individuals, families and In 2008, the Grand Prix's bike parade drew more than 450 organizations are encouraged to participate. The ride is one-half hour and will use the same course riders. Organizers hope to break that mark with this year's Major Taylor Communty Ride. Photo by Les Kipp that professional racers from around the world will be competing on later that day. Participants must have their own bike and helmet, but registration is free. For details on all components of the three-day Wilmington Grand Prix as well as to register for the Major Taylor Community Ride, visit WilmGrandPrix.com APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 11

Things worth knowing



n the last weekend of March, El Toro Cantina launched its new brunch menu. Now, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, guests can enjoy familiar brunch dishes like omelets and potatoes prepared in the Mexican tradition as well as items that A first look at El toro's brunch offerings. may be completely unfamiliar — such as the Michelada, which is essentially a Mexican Bloody Mary, or nopales, which is a salad composed of cooked cactus leaves and has a consistency of cooked broccoli. “I wanted to give people a taste of a traditional Mexican family breakfast,” says the menu’s creator, Rene Ayala, who has been with the El Toro family restaurants for more than 16 years. “If you lived in Mexico and woke up, this is what your mother would have fixed and put on the breakfast table.” For lovers of salsa verde, the brunch offers a special treat: a roasted, chunkier, and more flavorful version of the condiment called “salsa de molcajete.” El Toro Cantina is located on 1934 West 6th Street. Visit ElToroCantinaDe.com



ith 2021 the worst year for traffic deaths (139 people killed) since 2006 and with 2022 traffic fatalities up nearly 100% from 2021, Bike Delaware is focusing its annual summit on a discussion of strategies to reverse this trend. Titled Everyone Gets Home, the summit will bring together government and nonprofit stakeholders as well as guest speakers to figure out ways to meet the Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan of reducing traffic deaths by at least 50% by 2035. The event is free and will be held in a tent at 410 Legislative Ave., Dover from 8:30am-4pm. Advance registration is required. Visit BikeDe.org/summit

Gateway Garden Experts

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are ready to help you create beautiful gardens that are better for nature and better for your family. From flowers to fruits, we have the knowledge and selection for your success!

Gateway Garden Center | gatewaygardens.com (302) 239-2727 • 7277 Lancaster Pike Hockessin, DE



Save Time and Tuition Cost with WilmU's



ho doesn't love a two-for-one deal? Also, isn't it great when multitasking actually works? That's what Wilmington University's Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE is all about: saving you money and optimizing your time as you achieve your educational goals. Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE offers you the opportunity to accelerate your studies while you earn multiple academic credentials, and it's only available at Wilmington University. Here's how it works. More than 130 of WilmU's career-focused degree and certificate programs, in a wide range of subjects, enable students to apply the credits they earn from selected courses toward more than one academic program. For example:

• Build on a bachelor's. Some of the courses you complete to fulfill your bachelor's degree requirements may also count toward a certificate in a related field. Thanks to Dual-Credits, you'll earn two credentials at one time, at no additional tuition cost, while setting yourself apart in the job market with a degree and a specialized certificate. "The idea is like the whole two birds with one stone thing," said a WilmU student in a recent survey. "I like dual-purpose." • Accelerate an advanced degree. Why wait until you've finished your bachelor's degree to begin your master's or graduate certificate? Dual-Credits can offer a head start on your next degree when you replace elective requirements in your current program with advanced-

level courses – at the lower-level tuition rate. "I intend to pursue a master's degree after graduation, so the ability to earn credits toward it now makes this program very interesting," said a surveyed student. Another noted, "Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE would help me to get out into the job I’m working so hard to get, sooner."

• Stepping stone to studies. Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE can even provide an entry point to a degree. Credits earned through the completion of one of WilmU's many undergraduate and graduate certificate programs can be used as the foundation of a degree, and high school students attending WilmU classes through pre-college dual-enrollment programs have already started their bachelor's degrees. "I think this concept is great for people struggling to balance work, school, and family, and is convenient for people who may be hoping to complete their degrees faster," notes another surveyed student. Here's how it can work for you. In addition to accelerating your education, allowing you to earn more academic credentials in less time, Dual-Credits also offer significant tuition savings. Depending on your program of study and your personal academic path, it's possible to save up to $7,500 and one whole semester through these double-duty courses. Wilmington University's Dual-Credit ADVANTAGE can help you to make the most of your educational investment. For more information, visit wilmu.edu/DualCredit.

WilmU works for you. Find out why at an event that fits your schedule! XX APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


Details at wilmu.edu/Events WilmU is a registered trademark of Wilmington University. All rights reserved. © Wilmington University 2022





National Event

A Wilmington Celebration! Fri-Sun, May 13-15

Produced by:

Pro Races • Monkey Hill Time Trial • Major Taylor Community Ride Street Festival • Kids Attractions • Live Music • Craft Beer • Gran Fondo #DigIN to Great Deals!

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Play The Numbers! Win Cool Stuff! How well do you know baseball? Which Major League team have the Wilmington Blue Rocks not been a Minor League affiliate for? Kansas City Royals New York Mets Boston Red Sox

Whose statue greets visitors as they enter Frawley Stadium? Robin Roberts Judy Johnson Johnny Damon

Who broke up at least 81 no-hitters with a home run?

How many World Series championships have the Philadelphia Phillies won?

Ty Cobb Willie Mays Rickie Henderson

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Which Major League player is not from Delaware?

Hobbies deserve more time. Free up your day with a big win.


Curt Schilling Kevin Mench Chris Short

Of the sluggers with more than 600 home runs, who never won an MVP award? Barry Bonds Albert Pujols Jim Thome 1. Select your answers 2. Take photo of this page 3. Upload at: OutAndAboutNow.com/Numbers 4. Or complete online: OutAndAboutNow.com/Numbers

It’s the Law: You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase Delaware Lottery tickets. Play Responsibly: If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems Helpline: 1-888-850-8888 or visit deproblemgambling.org.

Five winners randomly selected from correct answers win a 4-pack of Ilstant Games tickets. APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



LOMBARDI LEGEND STARTED HERE While playing one season for the Wilmington Clippers, he got his first taste of coaching at Salesianum By Bob Yearick


ince Lombardi was an assistant coach for the Salesianum football team during the 1937 season. Yes, that Vince Lombardi — the one whose name is on the trophy awarded to the Super Bowl winner. You say you’ve never before heard that bit of history? Not surprising. Over the years, two Wilmington journalists — Matt Zabitka and Bill Frank — mentioned the Lombardi-Sallies connection in passing, but it seems that no one in the media has ever done a deep dive into the story. Zabitka specialized in doing local sports features during a Wilmington News Journal career that spanned four decades (1962 to 2002). In the early ‘60s, he wrote a 200-word piece about Lombardi having played for the Wilmington Clippers, the local semi-pro team. At the end of the story, Zabitka quoted Dim Montero, a legendary Sallies graduate who was a lineman on the 1937 team: “Lombardi stopped out at the [Sallies practice] field every chance he got.” Frank, a News Journal columnist and Delaware media fixture for more than 60 years until his death in 1989, made a brief reference to the Lombardi connection once, characterizing it as “a legend.” Then again, Frank, who focused on politics and societal problems in his column, admitted in the same piece that he didn’t “know a fullback from a quarterback." So here’s the story, pieced together from various sources, sans any actual eyewitness accounts, since anyone who might have recalled seeing Lombardi on the Sallies bench is no longer alive. ► APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



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LOMBARDI LEGEND STARTED HERE continued from previous page

First, understand that in 1937 Lombardi was not yet LOMBARDI. He was just a tough kid from Brooklyn who had been an undersized guard on Fordham University’s famed “Seven Blocks of Granite” — the offensive line that led the Rams to a 5-1-2 record in 1936 under the tutelage of Jim Crowley. (Crowley himself had been immortalized as one of Grantland Rice’s “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.”) When Lombardi graduated from the New York City school the following spring, he was merely another young man facing an uncertain future. He had considered — and soon rejected — the idea of becoming a priest, and now his demanding father was encouraging him to enter law school. But Lombardi loved football, and he wasn’t ready to stop playing the game quite yet. That desire brought him to Wilmington, where Lammot du Pont Jr., a sports enthusiast, had just founded the Clippers. (The team played from 1937 to 1942, took a war-time break, and came back from 1946 to 1949.) Lombardi managed to get a tryout, and was signed as a back-up guard. At Fordham, he appeared in programs as 5-8 and 180 pounds, but on the (unvetted) Clippers roster he’s listed at a generous 5-11, 198. Wearing number 18, he played eight games, starting four, while the Clippers completed an inaugural 5-4 season, losing to two NFL teams — the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-6, and the New York Giants, 19-0. The Clippers’ top players reportedly were paid $100 a game. Lombardi’s paycheck, without a doubt, was much less. So, even in the midst of the Great Depression, he needed to live frugally while securing another means of income. Ed Hynes, class of 1960, is something of a Sallies historian, and his research shows that Lombardi and Clippers teammate Bill Christopher, a quarterback out of Villanova, probably roomed together, perhaps in the St. Anthony’s neighborhood. Hynes believes Christopher and Lombardi met when they played with the Eastern All-Stars against the Eagles in Shibe Park after the 1936 season.

Finding Work

Hynes says the Clippers practiced at UD’s Frazier Field in the evening, leaving afternoons free for players to work other jobs. Sources vary as to where Lombardi found employment. Wikipedia claims he was a debt collector for a local collection agency (Husky, short-tempered football player with Brooklyn accent demands payment — now! adds a colorful touch to the narrative.) Another story has him working at Pusey and Jones Corp., a major shipbuilder and industrial-equipment manufacturer based in Wilmington from 1848 to 1959. The company built more than 500 ships, from large cargo vessels to small warships and yachts, including Volunteer, the winner of the 1887 America’s Cup. In the Lombardi biography When Pride Still Mattered, author David Maraniss mentions DuPont as a possible employer while dismissing his subject’s time in Wilmington in less than two sentences: “. . . he made one brief and futile effort to get away [from his parents’ home] by venturing down to Delaware to play for the Wilmington Clippers . . He apparently worked temporarily in a research lab for DuPont during his time in

Wilmington, though the company has no personnel records establishing employment there.” Maraniss does not mention Salesianum. Lombardi working at DuPont seems plausible, since a du Pont family member owned the Clippers, and Mike McCall worked at DuPont. Ah, yes, Mike McCall — the Salesianum connection. Francis J. “Mike” McCall played football and basketball at Sallies from 1921-24, and went on to star in those sports while earning a degree in chemistry at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md. In 1932, he returned to Sallies as head football coach. The first nonteacher to hold that job, McCall worked the midnight-to-eight shift at the DuPont Experimental Station during football seasons.

This photo shows Lombardi on the Salesianum bench, with Head Coach Mike McCall in profile at right. McCall was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Top photo courtesy of Maribeth Di Pinto Moss (granddaughter of Mike McCall) via John Morabito. McCall photo courtesy Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.



Winning with 13 Players

McCall enjoyed a stellar 40-year career at DuPont, retiring in 1971. He died in 1975, and was elected to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. He coached Sallies for seven years, compiling a record of 41 wins, 18 losses and 4 ties against the much larger schools in the Philadelphia Catholic league. During the 1935 season, his team of 13 players was co-champion of the league. Hynes says Sallies practiced at Rockford Park and played most of their home games at Pennsy Field, which was located roughly where I-95 it crosses Concord Pike. Wilmington High also played there, and CYO track meets were held there. It seems natural for Lombardi, a devout Roman Catholic, to gravitate to the local Catholic school that was also a football juggernaut. And one can only imagine that McCall would readily accept coaching assistance from the young, bespectacled former member of the Seven Blocks of Granite. Oddly, the 1938 yearbook, which would have chronicled the ’37 football season, is missing from Salesianum archives. Director of Alumni Affairs Joe Rapposelli says he has all the other yearbooks dating back to 1923. It would have been interesting to see if the Clippers back-up guard was mentioned as a member of the coaching staff. Lombardi lasted just one season with the Clippers, and with Sallies. In Zabitka’s story, a Clippers teammate, Ted Godwin, said: “Lombardi was a fierce competitor but nothing really outstanding. He couldn’t beat out his competition, a couple of ex-Giants — Pottsville Jones and Bernie Kaplan.” Lombardi left Wilmington, and the next year, acceding to his father’s wishes, enrolled in Fordham law school. But he dropped out after one semester, got married, and answered the siren call of the gridiron, becoming an assistant football coach and teacher of Latin, chemistry and physics at St. Cecilia’s High School in Englewood, N. J. In 1942, he became head coach at the school. The following year, St. Cecilia’s beat Brooklyn Prep, a highly touted program that happened to be quarterbacked by Joe Paterno. In six years as head coach, Lombardi won 32 straight games and six private school championships. His career of course took off from there, eventually landing him in the NFL, first as an assistant with the Giants, then as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, where he won five league championships, including the first two Super Bowls, in seven years. He succumbed to intestinal cancer in 1970, at 57. The Lombardi legend may have blossomed in Green Bay, but the seeds were planted in Wilmington, on the Salesianum bench. Culinary Craving Comfort

— Special thanks to John Morabito for his assistance in researching this story.



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Next Art Loop:

Friday, April 1 5pm Start RIVERFRONT The Delaware Contemporary 200 South Madison Street 656-6466 • decontemporary.org Artists: GALLERY TAKEOVER: 2021 Creatives-inResidence Shakira Hunt and 7God from 5-9pm DOWNTOWN 2nd & LOMA Leasing Office 211 N. Market Street 655-0124 • 2ndandloma.com Artist: James “Y.It” Wyatt, Bud and Butta Pop-Up Show The Church of the Holy City 1118 N. Broom Street 215-840-1757 Artist: Reflections from a Blue Planet by Harold Howell Chris White Gallery 701 N. Shipley Street 475-0998 • chriswhitegallery.com Artist: Visions XII: The Twelfth Members Exhibit by the Brandywine Photo Collective Christina Cultural Arts Center 705 N. Market Street 652-0101 • ccacde.org Artist: Eye Shadow City of Wilmington’s Redding Gallery 800 N. French Street 576-2100 • cityfestwilm. com/redding-gallery Artist: Erica Jones Delaware College of Art & Design 600 N. Market Street 622-8000 • dcad.edu Artist: Alumni & Friends Small Art Show & Fundraiser

Friday, May 6, 2022 Complimentary Shuttle A program of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Gallery at Grace Church 900 N. Washington Street 331-0719 • gracechurchwilmington.org Artist: Whispers by Sue DePietropaolo The Grand Opera House 818 N. Market Street 658-7897 thegrandwilmington.org Grand Gallery: Sherry Brilliant “Parts Unknown” baby grand Gallery: “Todd Breitling Presents Pandemic Paintings” Kalmar Nyckel Foundation 1124 E 7th Street 429-7447 • kalmarnyckel.org Artist: Creative Crew of the Kalmar Nyckel by various Kalmar Nyckel Volunteers Mezzanine Gallery at the Carvel State Building 820 N. French Street 577-8278 arts.delaware.gov Artist: PAINTING in the PRESENCE of CHANGE by Mia Muratori Music School of Delaware 4101 N. Washington Street 762-1132 musicschoolofdelaware.org Artist: “Souls” by Flavia Loreta

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Old Swedes Historic Site 606 Church Street 354-0855 • oldswedes.org Artists: America’s Anchors - Book Signing and Art Exhibition WEST END & WEST SIDE Blue Streak Gallery 1721 Delaware Avenue 429-0506 Artist: “Close to Spring” by Wendy Hatch FIT Personal Fitness Studios 62 Rockford Rd 777-4348 • fitdelaware.com Artist: Clay and Metal by Colleen Zufelt BEYOND THE CITY Arden Buzz Ware Village Center 2119 The Highway, Arden 981-4811 • ardenbuzz.com Artists: “Life Forms” with Cory Gladfelter Bellefonte Arts 803-C Brandywine Blvd 547-2573 • bellefontearts.com Artist: April Animal Art Show COCA Pop-Up Gallery 3829 Kennett Pike, Greenville 218-4411 Artists: Group Show The Station Gallery 3922 Kennett Pike 654-8638 • stationgallery.net Artist: Spring Group Show




Creative Partnership The Art Space launches ambitious arts education program Artist James Wyatt is determined to enhance the lives of area youth through visual arts.

By Jill Althouse-Wood

Photo courtesy James Wyatt


ack in December, during a panel discussion with artists at the Wilmington Library, the moderator asked the panelists what they wanted their artistic legacy to be. Local painter, sculptor, and muralist James Wyatt responded that, as his legacy, he wanted to pass the knowledge and importance of art down to the next generation. His latest project is doing just that. Wyatt, under the umbrella of The Sold Firm which represents his work, is partnering with The Art Studio and The Route 9 Library and Innovation Center for a new program offering the fundamentals of visual arts to creative middle and high school students living in neighborhoods surrounding the Route 9 corridor. Wyatt will be teaching the free 12-week course for 12 teens, ages 13-18, selected through applications and art samples. The project, dubbed The Art Space, is the brainchild of Nataki Oliver of the Sold Firm, an agency dedicated to servicing the visual artist, and Nicole Sexton, coordinator for the Art Studio, the art education facility of New Castle County’s Department of Community Services. The two women had joined forces in 2019 and had lined up youth mural projects for the beginning of 2020, but those projects were canceled due to COVID. The connection remained solid through the pandemic, and the pair brainstormed new opportunities for youth in the arts.

“Originally, it was supposed to just be like art classes [for teens], but I wanted it to be course-related, almost like they would get in college,” says Oliver, explaining the genesis of program. “Initially, I wanted to give them four weeks of drawing, four weeks of painting, and then I added four weeks of digital art because right now... [college] programs are integrated with CAD and Procreate [and] those types of programs.” Wyatt agreed with the proposed curriculum. As a professional artist, he is transitioning into doing more digital art and finding a healthy marketplace for it. And he is quick to squash misconceptions. “People hear computer and think it is all automated. And it’s not,” Wyatt says. “It’s a tool like a paintbrush or a pencil that you must learn how to use. You have to have your fundamentals and basics — drawing, color theory and all of that — which then translates over to digital.” "The Art Studio is always looking for new ways to reach and serve our community's youth,” adds Sexton. “This program is a first of its kind in our area and our goal is to empower participating teens to express how their lives matter by providing a physically and emotionally safe space for them to learn, create and socialize." Wyatt acknowledges the classes go beyond technical skills. “There is a lot going on in the world and being able ►



CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP to come and be able to express continued from previous page that through art becomes very therapeutic for people,” he says. “It is important to be able to express it, so you aren’t bottling it up and having it come out in other negative ways. Having a voice is important.” In addition to free tuition for the lessons, the program provides students with all their art supplies, use of iPads and paid apps, snacks at Readers Café, and the topper — the participants will be paid a stipend upon completion of the program. “For kids, especially creative kids, it is important to get that feeling of making money from their art,” says Wyatt. “They need to understand that art has value, and we need to foster that feeling that your talent is a gift and should be rewarded as well.” In this way, the program’s creators believe it will transcend foundational art lessons to include the muchneeded building blocks of professional development, life skills, and entrepreneurship.

— The Art Space classes will occur Tuesdays from 6-8pm from April 5-June 28 at the Innovation Center at The Route 9 Library and Innovation Center in New Castle. The culmination of the program will be a student-curated gallery exhibit at the library on Tuesday, July 5, from 6-8pm. Student work will be available for purchase. All of proceeds will go to the artists who created the work, reinforcing the theme that our community values its artists.



The Impact of

FAST FASHION Shopping for clothes has become the equivalent of ordering takeout

By Lauren Golt


merican shoppers buy five times more clothing now than they did in 1980 and, according to the Wall Street Journal, each piece will be worn just seven times before it’s thrown away. Why? Because the fast fashion industry provides a never-ending number of options priced so low you don’t feel guilty spending $20 to replicate the latest TikTok trend. What is fast fashion? Alden Wicker, journalist and founder of Ecocult.com, told NPR that fast fashion is “not created in seasonal collections ahead of time, but is just created on the fly according to what trends are coming up or what celebrities are seen wearing out and about.” So what’s fast about it? Everything: the styles, production rate, delivery, decision to purchase, and the lifespan. These mass-produced, trend-focused garments aren’t built to last; in fact, many don’t survive a few wash cycles. Consumers are being trained to accept poor quality in exchange for low prices, and, with such great deals, they can immediately buy something new. ► APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




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A Big Shift

Fast fashion can be traced to the 1960s, when designers like Mary Quant mass-produced their best-selling styles, and disposable paper dresses were all the rage. By the early 1990s, stores like Zara and H&M had abandoned seasonal fashion collections for constant novelty, offering consumers hundreds of products each week. Now, one of the largest fast fashion retailers, Shein, launches up to 6,000 new items each day and their prices are 30-50% less than Zara and H&M. Clothing designer David Ferron worked for fashion houses in New York before moving to Unionville, Pa., and opening his own shop, Unionville Saddle. During his tenure in Manhattan he saw how fast fashion was impacting the industry. “Fast fashion has changed the landscape of the fashion industry and of the world,” Ferron says. “It was not too long ago when dressmakers were in every town making quality garments for the local clientele. Now fast fashion and online retailers have put those craftspeople out of business and trained the consumer to look for low prices rather than quality garments.” Wilmington-based fashion illustrator and visual director Dallas Shaw isn’t a huge fan of fast fashion. Having built a career working with industry powerhouses like Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren, she has an appreciation for the time and energy that goes into making and designing clothes. But when a fast fashion brand approached her to design a small collection, she decided to do it because she loves learning new things. However, she says, “it was not a good experience for me. There were so many limitations in quality and design, because of the fast turnaround, that not a single piece was how I designed it. In the end, I decided not to put my name on the collection.” For local retailer Sissy Aerenson, owner of Wilmington boutique Peter Kate, Amazon was a game-changer when it came to the way consumers thought about the availability of goods. “In the beginning, Amazon was so new and then, as it took hold, I felt it was harmful because of the speed at which they delivered and the way in which they incentivized the sales,” says Aerenson. “The competition with the big department stores and the brands themselves were crazy for small businesses like mine because our depth of inventory could not compare.” This creates a challenging environment for smaller brands and designers. “Fast fashion has cultivated unrealistic expectations from the consumer,” Ferron says. “Now customers expect designs faster and cheaper. This then incentivizes the corporations to move at lightning speed when creating new collections. Companies with large budgets invest in technology to knock off garments from independent designers, leading to cheap imitations on the market before the original designer has even produced the line for Clothing designer David Ferron outside his themselves.” studio/shop Unionville Saddle.


THE IMPACT OF FAST FASHION continued from previous page

A Lesson For Retailers


How has this affected small, Negative Impact independent boutiques? Aerenson says The fashion industry is the fast fashion model has completely not environmentally-friendly. transformed the way she buys for her store. In fact, it’s one of the biggest polluters and plays a key “When we opened Peter Kate 20 role in accelerating global years ago, the pre-fall and pre-spring warming. According to the buys were filled with fashion that were World Resources Institute, to be bought ‘early’ but not worn for at manufacturing one t-shirt least a month or two,” she says. “Today requires 2,700 liters of water, that world is gone. The consumer buys and making one pair of jeans for something they need that day, week, results in greenhouse gas or for a trip. It’s rare for someone to emissions equivalent to driving purchase something thinking they will a car 80 miles. not wear it for a couple months.” Now, factor in the fast Ferron, on the other hand, says that Designer David Ferron says as the public becomes more aware of the impact of fast fashion, many customers are willing to spend more on clothing that has a fashion business model. It while fast fashion doesn’t affect his more neutral impact. Photo courtesy David Ferron produces inexpensive clothing business directly, he has seen a shift in made largely from synthetic fibers that won’t break down in customer behavior. “I have noticed that, as stories come out about how fast fashion is landfills, and much of that clothing is quickly discarded. This impacting the people that work in it and the environment, customers is a major contributor to the fashion industry’s ever-increasing are more willing to spend a little more on clothing with a more emissions, which, according to a report by the Global Fashion neutral impact,” he says. “When I meet with clients for the first time Agenda, are set to rise to around 2.7 billion tons a year by 2030. Despite this environmental impact, Shein hit $10 billion in sales they are often surprised by all of the work that goes into making a single garment. I try to show them that garment-making is a craft in 2020. That’s because people simply love a deal. A study from the that takes an enormous amount of skill. Starting with sketching, Journal of Consumer Research showed that while sustainability draping, and pattern making all the way through fabric sourcing, is important, the majority of shoppers prioritize price over other selling points. ► cutting, and sewing, each step is complicated and time-consuming.”


TIFFANY Treasures from the Driehaus Collection

March 12 – June 5, 2022 BRUNCH AT TIFFANY’S Saturday, May 14 Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection was organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Sewell C. Biggs and foundations including the Choptank Foundation. This exhibition is sponsored by M&T Bank and made possible in Delaware by the Hallie Tybout Exhibition Fund for American Art and the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund. This exhibition 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 www.DelawareScene.com. | Image: Tiffany Studios, Jack-in-the-Pulpit Vase, 1907–1910. Blown glass. Photograph by John Faier. © 2013 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

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OF FAST FASHION “We have gotten so used to low continued from previous page prices and racks on racks of clothing that we forget that every garment is made by hand, even the cheap ones,” says Ferron. And, unfortunately, those hands aren’t being fairly compensated. A 2019 New York Times investigation revealed that workers creating Fashion Nova clothing in Los Angeles were being paid as little as $2.77 an hour. Children are the ones who suffer the most. Fashion supply chains require low-skilled workers, and some employers prefer to hire children because of their small hands, especially in cotton picking. According to UNICEF, one study in India showed 60% of workers in spinning mills were less than 18 years old. Further, the International Labour Organisation reports that “170 million children are engaged in child labour, defined by the UN as ‘work for which the child is either too young — ­ work done below the required minimum age — or work which, because of its detrimental nature or conditions, is altogether considered unacceptable for children and is prohibited.’” Child labor is illegal in most countries but that does not stop companies from enticing families and children. Global campaign coordinator of Stop Child Labour Sofie Ovaa says, “There are many girls in countries like India and Bangladesh who are willing to work for very low prices and are easily brought into these industries under false promises of earning decent wages.” In reality, these girls “are working under appalling conditions that amount to modern day slavery and the worst forms of child labour,” according to recent report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and the India Committee of the Netherlands. If you’re wondering how companies can get away with this, it’s because the fashion industry and supply chain is multifaceted and complex, meaning companies are not in control of each production stage. But there are ways to combat this problem, both from a consumer standpoint and from a business perspective.

How To Shop Better

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“Everything in moderation” goes the old saying. If three out of every five garments produced are thrown away annually, according to a McKinsey study, then why are we buying so much? Molly Giordano, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum, says she started shopping eco-friendly five years ago, but went to fast fashion brands when she was pregnant with her son. “It was hard to forgo fast fashion brands when I was pregnant and my size fluctuated,” she says. “I couldn’t justify spending more on pieces that wouldn’t fit postpartum. Now, I focus on buying quality staples and supporting sustainable brands.” Consumers can also buy ethically responsible brands. As more research is conducted on the impacts of fast fashion, more information becomes available for brands to responsibly source their materials. Many brands are taking the steps to ensure that their workers are paid fairly and their textiles are sourced responsibly. These brands are transparent about their efforts. Check their websites to see how their mission and values align with yours and decide if they are a company you would like to support. Try the 30 Wears Test. Marielle Terhart, a writer, photographer and sustainable and inclusive clothing activist, told Vogue, “One of the easiest ways I’ve curbed excessive shopping—and the equally tragic, beautiful garments that I never wear—is asking the simple question, ‘can I see myself wearing this 30 times?’ Yes there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part anything I'm adding

According to the World Resources Institute, manufacturing one t-shirt requires 2,700 liters of water. to my wardrobe needs to pass that test. Can I envision them both with other pieces I already own, and equally important, will they actually fit the life I currently lead? Being honest with myself about how practical a garment is for my life has helped curb impulse purchases significantly and ensures the resources that go into making a pair of jeans or a cute blouse don't end up wasted.” Buy — and sell — used. This can go beyond shopping at your local thrift store or yard sale. You can actually sell items on websites such as Poshmark and Mercari. Upload quality photos of gently used or brand new clothing along with detailed descriptions, list your price, and once your garment sells, ship it to its new home. Think of it as a virtual garage sale. Host or attend a clothing swap. If you don’t want to sell your clothing, this is a free way to change out pieces in your wardrobe without contributing to further environmental impact. Attendees bring the garments they’re looking to discard, and everyone picks from that selection. At the end of the event, the clothing items that are left are donated to a local thrift store, women's shelter, or other donation center. Repair and repurpose what you already have. It’s understandable that not every piece of clothing you own is in its original condition, so making repairs is a way to prolong the life of the garment. Using easy-to-learn sewing techniques allows you to do anything from mending a small hole to transforming an item into something new. As we learn more about fast fashion and its impact, we are able to make small changes that help to counteract its effects. Educating ourselves is the key to knowing how to make better choices that will benefit us, our families, global communities, and the environment. APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM





Awards Concert

join us for an evening of celebration featuring Dave SCHIFF, Tenor Saxophone and the Clifford Brown Festival Orchestra. we'll honor the legacy of Hal Schiff and the 2022 award winners with a night of jazz!

Friday, April 29 @ 7:00 PM | $25, in person, $10 Virtual Music School of Delaware 4101 Washington St, Wilmington, DE 19802 Purchase Tickets at www.cityfestwilm.com This organization 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 www.DelawareScene.com. 56 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


Jennifer Koh

w/ Delaware Symphony Photo by Joe del Tufo




Ivan Thomas has discovered how powerful storytelling can be.


| InWilmDE.com


200 Positive, % 100 of the Time %

Ivan Thomas lost a business, then found his calling in an upstart TV station By JulieAnne Cross Photos by Jim Course


hen the stock market crashed in 2008, many businesses and personal fortunes did not survive. Ivan Thomas had owned 302 Automotive, selling wheel rims and detailing cars, for a decade, and it struggled in the subsequent recession. By the time his daughter Madison was born prematurely at 1.3 pounds (a “micro-preemie”) in May 2013, his business had slipped away. But Thomas — known as “Big Ive” to many — is a survivor, and he was determined to get back on his feet. At a time when his career and spirits were at their lowest, he sought enlightenment, and found it in the practices and beliefs of Buddhism. When his baby was born with significant obstacles to her survival, he picked up a camera and started a video blog to connect with parents of other micro-preemies. He says of those years, “I started questioning my purpose. I was trying to find me. It was like Eat, Pray, Love, but the Black version.” ►



200% POSITIVE, During a spiritual gathering in 100% OF THE TIME continued from previous page Philadelphia, Thomas encountered a woman who told him to take as many pictures as he could, and he would have the power to heal millions. It was his Road to Damascus moment. “I immediately started taking pictures with my cell phone,” he says. “A cinematographer [Tim Fontaine, formerly of Philadelphia, now Atlanta] showed me how the camera works. Not just taking pictures and making movies, but how it can influence human thought or human behavior.” Then Thomas made his new skill a career by putting his camera to work and launching a digital news network that would become something much bigger.





DETV was born in 2012, with not much more, says Thomas, than a basement studio, a camera, a DETV t-shirt, and a van. “I had no money,” he says. “When I say I drove around in a raggedy van…I mean it had no heat. All the jeans I had, the driver’s seat of the van would rip my back pocket. I still have those jeans.” But he persevered, and soon things started happening for the fledgling news website.


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Ivan Thomas at DETV's new studio in downtown Wilimington. It's a far cry from his basement studio and a "raggedy van with no heat."

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer — who facilitated CARES act funding for Thomas to create DETV KIDS, and who co-hosted a 2021 virtual New Year’s Eve celebration with him — remembers DETV’s early days. “I met Ivan when he was a young man with a broken-down van and not a lot of cash,” Meyer says. “But he had a camera and big dreams and a vision to turn it into one of our state's leading news and information sources. It is truly one of the best entrepreneurial stories of the last decade. And DETV now plays a critical community role in early learning, in news, in emergency services and in sports.” Dr. Tony Allen is another fan. The president of Delaware State University, the HBCU from which numerous DETV on-air personalities and interns have originated, says of Thomas, “He is one of the few people I know who matched his vocation — film and television production — with his avocation, giving real people power through authentic story telling. He is a man on a mission and that mission benefits us all.”

DETV’s motto, “200% positive news, 100% of the time,” might defy the laws of mathematics but it got him the kind of attention he was looking for. Community leaders began seeking him out for coverage, and people began watching. “I wanted people to see what I saw,” Thomas says. “I knew if I kept promoting positivity in my city, it would catch on.” Then, in 2014, Wilmington took a reputational hit when Newsweek dubbed it “Murdertown, USA.” The local daily news seemed to reinforce the moniker with if-itbleeds-it-leads stories instead of the good news the community was generating. Thomas resolved to counter the negativity by accentuating the positive. “I decided to run around and tell stories and highlight the people that I saw,” he says. “I wanted people that lived here to be proud of the city.”

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Thomas’ path to being a force for positive news in Wilmington hasn’t been without it bumps and detours. Take 2016, for instance. In June, Thomas struck a positive note when he produced a video, set to “My Boo,” by the Ghost Town DJs, a song that was suddenly trending (two decades after its 1996 peak) thanks to a dance challenge. People all over the world were recording themselves doing “the running man” dance while the song played. Thomas chronicled local police officers showing off their moves, and added Wilmington to the list of cities hoping to go viral from filming the frolicking fuzz. The resulting clip was an entertaining show of unity, featuring elementary school students, downtown workers, and top brass bopping alongside uniformed officers. The video has nearly 32,000 views to date. But in August, that sense of unity was shattered when Thomas was confronted in Rockford Park by individuals launching tennis balls at him and his son, threatening to call the police, and telling him that he and Ivan Jr. were unwelcome in the city park. As a Black man, he sensed that these people were racially profiling him, and he knew he had done nothing wrong. In typical fashion, Thomas turned to what he does best — finding the positive and telling it to the people. He shared his story on social media and organized a #WeAreLove rally in the park 10 days later. ►

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200% POSITIVE, Hundreds of people came together 100% OF THE TIME “to celebrate love beyond color, continued from previous page have a conversation, and find some inspiration while being photographed through a different lens,” to quote the #WeAreLove event invitation. Tommy Abel is the president of the DETV Foundation, the nonprofit arm of DETV. He attended the rally in the neighborhood where he once lived. “A lot of people from the Highlands neighborhood [which surrounds Rockford Park] were there because of what Ivan and his son had experienced — being asked ‘why are you here?’” Abel says. “The people who live there wanted to communicate that that wasn’t how they felt. At the end, there was a sense of elation, of positive energy, of coming together to create something bigger and better than before. “That’s Ivan’s superpower: being able to bring people together, from diverse backgrounds, and having the outcome be positive energy and inspiration.” And the rally was more than just a soapbox photo opportunity: DETV asked attendees to bring items for donation to organizations that support homeless families. Following the rally, Thomas embarked on a mini-tour with his colleague, Shoshana Kohn, and Reverend Shanika Perry to places such as Congregation Beth Emeth to create dialogue among people that look and believed differently.

A NEW GIG As the end of the year approached, Wilmington City Council tapped him to take on the role of station manager for WITN22, the council’s government access channel. “I got appointed and I went in there with no TV [transmission] experience,” he says. “At that time, DETV was getting legs. I’m a guy in a basement with a raggedy van, trying to make my city look good. Now’s the new stage of my career.” Although he only stayed in the job for seven months, Thomas says he learned a lot. “The team that stayed there after the new administration, they taught me so much,” he says. “How to slow down, enunciate, come up with ideas, how production really works.” Having sharpened his skills, Thomas was ready to elevate DETV when he rejoined the station in 2017. He was more motivated than ever to uplift his community, and he refocused on building his digital platform. He partnered with others who were interested in positive news about Wilmington, joining Zach Phillips of Short Order Productions as co-anchor of The Wilmington Show, which ran from February to July of 2019 on DETV. It was during this time Thomas began thinking about serious growth. THE MOVE TO LANCASTER AVENUE A new opportunity arose when the group managing Comcast Channel 28, a public leased-access station separately held by the City, was approaching the end of a three-year contract. The contract was put up for bid, and Thomas — and DETV — jumped in. In February 2019, DETV was awarded the contract, and Thomas moved his operation from his basement to the studio at 2801 Lancaster Ave. on April 1, 2019. At that time, DETV consisted of Thomas and Dennis Pritchett, his chief engineer and good friend. 34 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com

“He believed in me before this TV station existed,” says Thomas. The Delaware Blue Coats and weather reports have dominated the social media archives from that first year on Lancaster Avenue, along with a sprinkling of clips about the arts and other social events. The remainder of airtime was filled with classic television reruns. And then hard news became de rigueur for DETV, starting with one fateful week in 2020. On Sunday, March 22, DETV broadcast Gov. John Carney’s announcement of the COVID-related shutdown of the State of Delaware. “We found a way to broadcast throughout the state and simultaneously stream up to 30 social media channels at the same time,” Thomas says. “After that, it was [protests arising from the Minnesota death of] George Floyd. We found a way to hit 700,000 homes and 50,000 viewers online because we knew everyone was going to be in front of a tablet or on their cell.” “It’s crazy where we are now,” he adds. “COVID was what catapulted us to this place.” GROWING AND EVOLVING DETV began to grow rapidly. It broadcast a live show with the Department of Labor, with topics like workers compensation. It offered “edutainment” programming for kids who were suddenly home 24 hours a day. The station continues to evolve with new and expanded programming. DETV News features multiple reporters and news veteran Lauren Wilson as anchor. Good Morning Wilmington regularly has Thomas, along with co-host Vincenza Carrieri-Russo, interviewing arts figures and nonprofit leaders. Dana Herbert, Reuben Dhanawade and Ashley Thayer present cooking shows, with the latter focused on healthy living. Community Crossfire, with Norman Oliver, and The Agenda, with Kerwin Gaines, enable the hosts to talk with government officials. Children’s programming is nearly as broad as adult programming, with DETV KIDS Storytellers, KIDS News, and Storybook Corner. Thomas believes DETV is changing the broadcasting landscape. He sees it becoming “Delaware’s own PBS . . . its own WHYY.” Viewers — who can watch DETV on Comcast Channel 28, or find free videos on social media and YouTube — are getting information about the law, health and wellness, and more. And Thomas believes viewers are using that information to better their lives. “It’s got a huge impact on the community,” he says. The station expanded to a second site last year, opening a studio in the I.M. Pei building at 11th and Market streets. And recently, DETV contracted to broadcast 10 games from last month’s 2022 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Chase Fieldhouse, which was picked up by ESPN2. The programming schedule is growing, and Thomas is aiming to add 10 new shows, including one focused on financial literacy. He is opening the DETV platform to content creators, influencers, and subject matter experts who have show ideas. No matter what direction DETV’s programming takes, count on Thomas to find a common thread with which to unite people. “I’m a creative and a visionary and I see things way before they can happen,” he says. “One of my biggest takeaways is that DETV is here to bring people together, regardless of race, sexuality, color, religion. Our content is built to unite us all.”



S H O W T I M E S + T I C K E T S AT


We need to t MENTAL H

Grieving parents like Wendy Eastb are determined that their childre remove the stigma associated wi

By Bob Yearick


ne day after New Year’s Day — Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 — Nolan Eugene Witman, 18, took his own life. His legion of friends were stunned. Nolan Witman was the happiest, most popular kid they knew — a 5-2 dynamo who embraced life. Smiling, laughing, he seemed to be constantly in motion, a diminutive, unlikely alpha male who over-achieved almost everywhere — on the football field, on the track, in the weight room, in the kitchen baking awardwinning cakes, and in the halls of The Charter School of Wilmington, where he knew everyone — administrators, teachers and students — and was unanimously voted senior class clown, a title he wore proudly. Trying to make sense of it, his mother, Wendy Eastburn-Teal, says: “Nolan loved himself. There wasn’t a mirror that wasn’t his friend. He went to the gym twice a day. He even recorded some of his workouts. He ate healthy. He would not put poison in his body. He researched his foods and cooked them himself.” He had already laid out the blueprint for his future. He was going to become an Army officer, hopefully through the ROTC program at UD, then serve 20 years in the military, get a pension, serve 20 years with the State Police, and retire at 58 with two pensions.


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to talk about AL HEALTH


endy Eastburn-Teal and Chris Locke heir children's legacies will help sociated with thoughts of suicide

By Bob Yearick

Like many teens, Nolan was not without problems. He suffered from some pandemic-induced anxiety, his mother says, and he was in counseling. “But he was doing well,” she says, and was scheduled to end the counseling in January. She says his therapist told her that, among all his patients, Nolan was the “least likely” to take his own life. And yet, she found him — lifeless — in his bedroom that Sunday morning. “He had a good life that a mere moment of darkness stole from him,” she says, preferring not to go into details publicly about his death. Since that day, while she and her older son, Henry, continue to grieve, she is striving to make sure that Nolan’s story helps to heal other young people who are coping with the challenges of an increasingly challenging world. A glance at Eastburn-Teal’s schedule makes it obvious as to where Nolan got his energy. Since Jan. 2 there have been times when she has been unable to get out of bed, or has cried uncontrollably, but on most days she is on the phone or online, or speaking to groups, or in meetings, or talking to other heartbroken parents, all in an effort to make her son’s legacy one of healing. ► APRIL 2022



WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH continued from previous page


She is in frequent contact with Delaware House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear), who in February introduced three bills aimed at expanding access to mental health resources in schools and across the state.


Last year, Longhurst pushed through a bill that established mental health services in Delaware elementary schools. Two of her new bills will bolster those services by bringing more mental health professionals into schools and establishing statewide mental health education curriculum standards. Longhurst’s other bill would mandate that insurance cover an annual, deductible wellness check with a mental health clinician holding a master’s degree. Commenting on her bills, Longhurst said: “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 14, and I don’t think we can wait another year with this crisis.” She added that one in four children nationally reported having mental health struggles since the beginning of the pandemic.

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| InWilmDE.com

Holding a picture of Nolan, Wendy Eastburn-Teal stands next to her older son, Henry Witman, at their home in Hockessin. Photo by Butch Comegys

Eastburn-Teal also has been in touch with Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, who has been a state-wide leader in suicide-prevention efforts. News of Nolan’s death spread quickly, and several organizations reached out to Eastburn-Teal. Among the first was Sean’s House, in Newark. Located at 136 W. Main St., it is “a safe haven” for anyone age 14 to 24 who’s dealing with mental health challenges. Chris Locke established the house in memory of his son, Sean, who committed suicide in 2018. Sean was another who, like Nolan Witman, was “the least likely person to take his own life.” Like Nolan, he had hundreds of friends. According to the Wilmington News-Journal, the St. Mark’s High School graduate “was admired and looked up to for his easy-going manner, humor, and leadership traits. When he played basketball at the University of Delaware, Locke had his own cheering section.” “There’s not a day that I don’t think about Sean,” says Chris Locke. “The journey of losing a loved one to suicide, let alone a

child, is horrific. It goes to the core of who you are as a parent and person. You go through a range of emotions: You feel responsible, you feel anger at that person — why was my love not enough? Did you not know I would have done anything to get you the help you need? “And you go through those emotions for rest of your life.”

may still be felt, says Scott Day, executive director of Sean’s House. “I think the repercussions of the pandemic are definitely a factor because many of these kids were isolated in their homes and now they are thrust back into school settings, but with new guidelines,” Day says. “And during the period of isolation, many of them went through physical changes, such as puberty. And many have anxiety NO BLAME now about how to build relationships Locke, who in the last four years and how to retain friendships because has made a deep dive into mental for over two years now, they've health issues, says, “It’s not the parents’ been confined to their phones or fault, and it’s not the child’s fault. There computers.” is no blame. Just like a heart attack is a Eastburn-Teal believes parents and byproduct of heart disease, suicide is a society in general create unrealistic byproduct of a brain disease.” standards for today’s youth. “There’s But, he says, the stigma that society pressure on them to be perfect,” she attaches to anyone who admits to says. “They have to make the travel struggling with mental illness has to baseball team, and the travel basketball change. team, and score high in their SATs, and “It should be as natural to talk even get into the right kindergarten.” — House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst about mental health as any other kind Day agrees. “Many of these kids, of illness,” he says. “The minute we see both high school and college, have a it as a disease, we can remove the stigmatization.” level of expectations on themselves that are unprecedented,” he The pandemic, with its attendant school closings, cancellation says. “Whether it be the social media effect of seeing what their of sports and proms, along with social distancing, no doubt was a friends or others are doing, or whether it’s how they were raised. factor in many suicides among young people. Its residual effects There's an internal level of expectations that many of these kids ►

Suicide is the

second leading

cause of death for

ages 10 to 14, and I

don't think we can wait another year with this crisis.



WE NEED TO TALK are feeling to be absolutely perfect ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH continued from previous page and that if they don't succeed on just one test, it's going to affect their future job choice. So the anxiety on every little thing is extreme, which has a ripple effect on every aspect of their lives.”


Jennifer Smolowitz, project director for Suicide Prevention at the Mental Health Association in Delaware, has encountered ample evidence of this search for perfection. “We’re seeing younger and younger kids start working on their résumés,” she says. “They’re thinking, how is every decision I make going to impact my future?” Smolowitz says social media can exact a heavy toll on teens seeking the perfect image. “Everybody wants something to put on their highlight reel, even while they’re going through struggles that they may not be posting about.“ In fact, she says, “there are some organizations that, if a person’s posts or pictures don’t generate enough likes, they will take it down.” Appearing as attractive as possible creates false personas on social media, she says. “People use Touch Up My Appearance on Zoom and other filters to enhance the way they look. Other generations simply didn’t have to face that kind of pressure.” Surrounded by this virtual world, young people find it difficult to discover their “true, authentic selves,” Smolowitz says. She suggests “finding a few people you can connect with and be your authentic self.” She emphasizes that quality, not quantity, is critical when it comes to friends. “When we’re younger, we get this false idea that the more friends we have the better off we are, and as we get older we seem to have less and less friends, but the friends we have are more genuine. If people can discover that earlier on in life they’d be a lot better off.”


Jennifer Seo, deputy director of the Mental Health Association in Delaware, says kids who are feeling anxious or suicidal should seek out a trusted adult and confide in them. Most times, that person won’t be a parent, but more likely a coach, a clergyman, a teacher, a school counselor or nurse, even the parent of a friend. Says Smolowitz: “Parents need to be comfortable with their child talking to a friend or another adult. The child may not want to talk to the parent because they would feel like they’re letting them down or disappointing them.” Seo concedes that kids confide in other kids, but there are limitations on what they can do to help peers because they generally don’t have the resources or the experience that adults have. She also cautions: “The first person young people go to may not be the most supportive, so they should keep trying.” With teenagers, Seo says, it’s often hard to pinpoint factors affecting mental health. “Everyone’s so different, so what may 40 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com

be a trigger for one person may not affect another. For youth, you want to look at school pressures. Are there incidents of bullying, any type of relationship loss — not just romantic but even a friendship loss? Are there home life struggles, including financial issues, safety inside the home? There’s just a whole slew of factors.” She advises parents to keep in mind the acronym FACTS: Feelings, Actions, Changes, Threats, and Situations. A child may express anxiety through her expressed feelings or actions, she may make significant changes in her routine or behavior, she may threaten to harm herself or others, and she may be thrust into challenging situations. “These are sometimes apparent in their art or their writing,” Seo adds.


She says parents should trust their gut instincts. “If you think you see a problem, initiate a conversation. Ask the suicide question. You are not going to put the idea in their head just by asking the question. And that way, they know you won’t avoid it if they have those feelings in the future.” Smolowitz agrees. “Parents should try to identify any changes and have an open, continuous dialogue with their child,” she says. “Make it an ongoing conversation. And keep in mind that what a child is going through may not seem that major, but to them it may be the most important thing that’s ever happened to them.”

Helping youth maintain a healthy mental attitude was the subject of a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory subtitled “What Young People Can Do.” Among the suggestions in the report: • Find ways to serve. . . Helping others when you are the one struggling can seem counterintuitive. But service is a powerful antidote to isolation, and it reminds us that we have value to add to the world. • Learn and practice techniques to manage stress. Try to recognize situations that may be emotionally challenging . . . For example, if you find it stressful to look at COVID-related news, check the news less often, and avoid looking at negative stories before bed. • Take care of your body and mind. Stick to a schedule, eat well, stay physically active, get quality sleep, . . . spend time outside. • Be intentional about your use of social media and other technologies. Is your time online taking away from healthy offline activities? Are you online because you want to be, or Locke established Sean's House, in Newark, because you feel like you Chris in memory of his son, a popular UD student and basketball player who took his own life in 2018. have to be? ►



WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH continued from previous page


The pandemic wasn’t all negative, Smolowitz says. One positive: People became more aware of mental health problems as well as resources to combat those problems. As a result, Sean’s House and other mental health contact points have experienced an uptick in activity. What’s more, Smolowitz says, those resources have increased. (For a listing of resources, go to the end of this article.) Eastburn-Teal has become a spearpoint in spreading the word about mental health problems and ways to combat them. She is working closely not only with Rep. Longhurst, but with Sean’s House, Supporting Kidds in Hockessin (a bereavement resource center), and Charter School and Red Clay School District. She has helped to establish and is a member of the Wellness Team at Charter, which includes two students, the school nurse, an administrative-community relations representative, the president, a teacher, a guidance counselor, and one board member. She is working with Red Clay School District to create a student center, which she describes as “a place where students can decompress and meet privately or collectively with school counselors.” Her interactions with Charter have at times been strained. Currently, she says, “As far as I’m concerned, my relationship with Charter is in good standing and with an optimistic outlook. Because that’s how I roll.”


Like Locke, Seo, and Smolowitz, Eastburn-Teal rejects the perception in parts of society that talking about suicide can increase suicidal tendencies among those exposed to that discussion. “Talking about suicide increases suicides the same way talking about cancer causes an increase in cancer cases,” she says. She is continuing the conversation, on podcasts, at school board meetings, at Sean’s House, at community events like mental health resource fairs, with her therapist, online, and with Nolan’s friends, who, she says, have been “amazing.” Groups of them gather at her Hockessin home often to talk about Nolan and to comfort her and Henry. Soon after Nolan's death, they did more than console her emotionally. Converting their grief into practical action, they raised $36,000 through GoFundMe in just two weeks for the single parent, who has been on disability from her job as senior manager in finance at PayPal since last May. Eastburn-Teal says that at first she was “mortified” when she learned of the fundraiser. “But they did it because kids have to do something, they have to take action,” she says. “They 42 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com

came and sat on my couch, and told me that Nolan said he loved me more than anything and that it was his main job to take care of me. So, now that he has passed, they will be taking care of me. “ She says the 847 donations came mostly from students and their parents. “They donated because they loved Nolan and wanted to honor his life,” she says. She has discussed with Charter several ways to honor her son’s memory, including a bench on the football field, a page in the yearbook, a scholarship. Tireless and relentless, Eastburn-Teal most certainly will follow through on all of those, but her primary focus — indeed, it has become her mission in life — is to remove the stigma attached to mental health problems, to bring that message to youth who may be hurting, and to assist them in managing their problems. “Our children are crying for help, literally dying in darkness,” she says. “I'm ready to make changes.”

WHERE TO GET HELP If you or someone you know is dealing with mental health issues or thoughts of suicide, resources are available. Here is a partial list: • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255) (This will change to three digits – 988 – by July 16.) • Child Priority Response, which is operated under the Division of Prevention & Behavioral Health Services: (800) 969-HELP (4357) • Crisis Text Line: Text DE to the number 741-741 This is aimed at teens, who often prefer to text. • Crisis Line for LGBTQ Youth: (866) 488-7386 • Delaware Hope Line: (833) 9-HOPEDE or (833) 946-7333 • Sean’s House, 136 W. Main St., Newark • Supporting Kidds (for grieving children and their families): (302) 235-5544 • Delaware Division of Substance Abuse & Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services • Mobile Crisis (for those age 18 or older): — Statewide: (800) 652-2929 — New Castle County: (302) 577-2484 — Kent/Sussex County: (800) 345-6785


A Week of Prix-Fixe Dining at Wilmington’s Premier Restaurants

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EAT Prime rib is a signature dish at Harry's Savoy Grill in Wilmington. Photo by Butch Comegys

Beefing Up New restaurants, old favorites specialize in steak By Pam George


hen Harry’s Savoy Grill opened in 1989, The News Journal praised the “meaty menu.” However, the Brandywine Hundred restaurant did not promote itself strictly as a steakhouse. But over the years, red meat has become the primary appeal of this popular neighborhood spot. “Several years ago, we made a more conscious effort to market ourselves as a steakhouse,” says owner Xavier Teixido. “When we looked around, we said, ‘I don’t know many places that have steaks of quality and can prepare them the way we do.’” Beef sales have been “really, really strong,” he notes. That is undoubtedly why Harry’s Savoy has more company. The Marshallton Steakhouse & Seafood slipped into the Hunters Den Restaurant location on Old Capitol Trail, and Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery & Wine Bar opened in 2021 in Independence Mall. Bardea Steak should be open sometime this month in downtown Wilmington, and Big Fish Restaurant Group has plans for a steakhouse on the Wilmington Riverfront. The tasty trend isn’t limited to northern Delaware. At the beach, Harvest Tide in Lewes has expanded to Bethany Beach. Theo’s Steakhouse occupies the former a(MUSE.) in Rehoboth Beach near Houston-White Co., another steakhouse. However, producing a stellar steak is no easy feat — even for the pros. It’s all about timing, temperature, technique and seasoning. Not all who focus on this great American classic are destined to succeed. Remember The Vault and Conley Ward’s? If you don’t, it’s because they didn’t last long. ► APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



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BEEFING UP continued from previous page

The modern steakhouse has its roots in late 17th-century London chophouses. These establishments served individual meat portions — or chops — and patrons were all male. Perhaps that is why so many steakhouses adopt a clubby atmosphere. In America, the growth of steakhouses accelerated in the mid-19th century with the advent of Black Angus, a cross between Longhorn cattle brought by the Spanish and Scottish Angus.

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A good steak isn't necessarily Angus, as proven by the bison filet at Ted's Montana Grill in Christiana's Fashion Center near Newark.

In New York, home to the Meatpacking District, elegant steakhouses were a step far above chophouses, and ladies were welcome. Delmonico’s, arguably the nation’s first fine-dining restaurant, was famous for the Delmonico steak. (The “wedge” salad, lobster Newburg and baked Alaska were the restaurant’s other reported creations.) Steakhouses continued to be popular in the 20th century. Longtime Wilmington residents remember Constantinou’s House of Beef, founded by John H. Constantinou, who came to the U.S. from Turkey when he was 15. He and his wife, Sophia, started with a sub shop and later purchased The B&O Restaurant in Trolley Square. The couple and their son, George, turned that business into a steakhouse in 1959. After being sold in 1986, the iconic establishment closed in 1997. By that time, George’s son, John Walter Constantinou, had opened Walter’s Steakhouse, which is still going strong at nearly 30 years old. Indeed, steak remains a culinary indulgence. For one, it’s approachable. There are few fancy terms or preparations. For another, it’s comforting — the savory equivalent of a warm slice of apple pie. “It’s still ingrained in so many mindsets that if ‘I’m going to celebrate something, I’m going to have a nice steak dinner,’” says Jeff Matyger, the corporate chef with Platinum Dining Group, which owns RedFire Grill & Steakhouse in Hockessin.


Admittedly, the definition of a “nice steak” may depend on your wallet. Beef is a commodity that can be mass-produced, 46 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com

which means the cattle are raised on at Ted’s Montana Grill in Christiana’s large factory farms and may receive Fashion Center, which has an on-site hormones to make them grow faster. butcher shop. Many customers are This meat will be less expensive than now familiar with bison, says general that found in a high-end steakhouse. manager Brian Parkinson. But a few And it’s not good enough for Bill still wonder if it’s gamey. (It is not.) Irvin, an owner of Snuff Mill. “If you’re Regardless of the breed, tender really going to do the steak thing and cuts make up less than 10% of the cow, you don’t go out of your way to source which is why tenderloin and ribeye it, you’re not taking it seriously enough,” cost more than shank. Aging also he maintains. influences tenderness. Harry’s Savoy Snuff Mill purchases products from offers 45-day aged beef. small operations where the animals “A few years ago, I said: ‘What do are humanely treated and slaughtered. we have that no one else has?’” Teixido When an animal is stressed, it affects says. “We age our prime rib 45 to 60 the meat, he explains. And you can days. Now one of our biggest sellers is taste the difference. Animals treated a 45-day-aged ribeye.” well have a superior flavor. “It’s pretty The steaks are wet-aged versus An appetizing cowboy steak from the popular Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops in Chadds Ford, Pa. phenomenal,” he says dry-aged, which is a slower process. Breed and the animal’s diet also play Snuff Mill features a 14-ounce drya part in the pricing. Wagyu is any of four fattened Japanese aged New York strip. Size also affects the price. For example, breeds known for a superior taste. Then there are the USDA Snuff Mill’s 36-ounce bone-in tomahawk steak tops $130. beef grades, with the highest being “prime.” Choice is more With these prices, it stands to reason that customers affordable, while select refers to primarily lean meat with want the meat cooked to their liking. Establishments slight marbling. (Bring out the marinade for the latter.) that can’t consistently deliver the goods won’t survive, But a good steak isn’t necessarily Angus. Bison is the star Matyger notes. ►

y b n o p o h



BEEFING UP continued from previous page

Easter Brunch Buffet APRIL 17, 2022 | 11AM—4PM



An elevated steakhouse needs more than tender, juicy cuts to stand out. “It’s everything around it,” Teixido says. “Do you have fresh vegetables? Are they seasonal? Do you have sauces?” At Harry’s Savoy, sauces include peppercorn, bearnaise, bordelaise, Bercy butter (made with shallots, wine and parsley) and baconbourbon butter. Sauces allow guests to customize their steak, Teixido says. Toppings also let the guest get creative. For instance, they can garnish their steak with lump crabmeat and hollandaise. Toppings, available at an additional price, also include a crab cake, grilled shrimp, scallops or lobster.

A rendering of the exterior of Bardea Steak, downtown Wilmington's newest dining addition.

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In an upscale steakhouse, you’re also paying for the atmosphere and service. At Bardea Steak (opens this month), a beef expert will come to your table to go over the lengthy list of cuts that move from the animal’s head to tail. Like its sibling Bardea, Bardea Steak offers an interactive menu that encourages sharing. The approach is a staple steakhouse characteristic. Traditionally, steaks come alone, and sides — large enough for two or more — are a la carte. But not every steak-centric restaurant follows the norm. At RedFire, steaks come with a potato — baked, mashed or cut into French fries. Customers can also substitute a vegetable. Patrons at Ted’s Montana

Grill get a choice of two side dishes, or they can upgrade to premium sides, such as Brussels sprouts with bacon, lemon and butter. All are made from scratch in the kitchen, Parkinson emphasizes. Many restaurants known for their steaks have broader offerings to appeal to various diets and they state it in the name. Tonic Seafood & Steak and Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops at Chadds Ford Inn are two examples.

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So, is the local market beefy enough for the newcomers? Scott Stein and Antimo DiMeo think so. The Bardea owners decided to focus on steak because it complements their highenergy Italian restaurant and does not detract from it. (The restaurants are next to each other.) The steakhouse also provides balance. “We want to bring it down a notch,” says Stein of the ambiance. “People want a longer dining experience.” Eric Sugrue, the managing partner of the Big Fish Restaurant Group, is also confident. He will put two restaurants in the project across from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant and Taco Grande. Sugrue, who calls himself a “big steakhouse sort of guy,” is inspired by Halls Chophouse in Charleston and Prime 112, a boutique steakhouse in South Beach. “We’re going to get creative with things and obviously have to accommodate the price point in Wilmington, which might be a challenge,” he says. The beef market had stabilized in March, although prices for everything have gone up compared to prepandemic costs. Nevertheless, the recent success of several restaurants with high-priced steaks proves that there is a market for quality beef. But will it last? “It seems like with the sales we’ve seen, the demand for steak is still there,” says Matyger of RedFire, “and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.”


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SMASHING SUCCESS After making its name with beer, Devils Backbone finds another sweet spot with canned cocktails By Kevin Noonan


t first glance, it seems like an odd name for a craft brewery — Devils Backbone. But take a closer look and it makes perfect sense, since mountains have always played a big part in the lives and careers of Steve and Heidi Crandall. The couple got the inspiration to start the brewery while on a ski trip in the Italian Alps and savored, for the first time, a quality craft beer, a German Weisse. And when they finally decided to take the plunge and open their own brewery, they did so in the Blue Ridge mountains of Southern Virginia. As for the name Devils Backbone — that’s what the jagged section of the Blue Ridge was called by the men who surveyed that part of Virginia almost 300 years ago, a group that included Thomas Jefferson’s father, Peter. The Crandalls began their operation in Nelson County, Va. in 2008 and it was an immediate success, especially their flagship Vienna Lager, which has won several national and international awards. Other big sellers were Eight Point IPA and Schwartz Bier, a black lager. Then, in 2016, Devils Backbone was acquired by industry goliath Anheuser-Busch and lost its Brewers Association designation as a craft brewery. Last May, the Devils Backbone family suffered a devastating loss when Steve Crandall died at the age of 64 after a three-year

battle with cancer. Heidi Crandall is still involved with the company, which started small and grew quickly. Part of that growth was their leap in 2019 into the canned cocktail business, which includes their top-selling Smash series — orange, grapefruit and lemonade, all of which can be found in the Delaware market. (For more information on Devils Backbone and its products, go to DBBrewingCompany.com) Kim Oakley, the marketing director of Devils Backbone, recently sat down for a telephone interview with Out & About Magazine from her office in Southern Virginia to discuss her company’s amazing growth, the many changes it's undergone in a short amount of time, and what lies ahead. ►

Above: Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen in Lexington, Virgnia. APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


SMASHING SUCCESS continued from previous page

Devils Backbone found "lightning in a can" when it introduced the Orange Smash.

O&A: Devils Backbone brewery became very successful very quickly in a very competitive industry. What was your secret? Kim Oakley: “Many things had to go right in such a short period of time. It started with an amazing vision from our founders, the Crandalls, who visited all those amazing breweries in Europe and said ‘We want to bring something like that to our home town in Nelson County.’ And then they brought in incredible people early and often. Our Vienna Lager quickly became one of the top lagers in the world and won many awards, and it’s still the gold standard for Vienna lagers throughout the world.” O&A: You’re in marketing, so what does your company do to stand out among the zillions of craft breweries that have opened in the last decade? Kim Oakley: “First of all, the number of craft breweries and distilleries out there is great. More competition means better products for the consumer and, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. In terms of us standing out, I think we have a little bit of magic to us. We’re here in the hills of Virginia in an area with a relatively low population that’s fairly rural, and we had to build something that was going to succeed in a place where maybe success wasn’t guaranteed. And I think that dedication to true quality in making the best possible product we can really works in everything we do.” O&A: Devils Backbone was acquired by Anheuser-Busch in 2016, which obviously helped your company in areas such as marketing and distribution. But was it a challenge to keep that rural, small-town vibe after being acquired by such an industrial giant? Kim Oakley: “Not at all. Anheuser-Busch knows we have a good thing going and they’ve let us continue to be that good thing. And they’ve given us the support when we’ve needed it, so it’s been really great. It’s always great to have more resources and the kinds of doors Anheuser-Busch has been able to open for us. From the training and learning and developmental perspective, it’s been great for all of our employees.” 52 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com

O&A: Devils Backbone got into the canned cocktail business in 2019-2020. What motivated that decision? Kim Oakley: “We launched our Smash lineup and Orange Smash in particular — that’s our take on that Orange crush cocktail that is wildly popular in the beach towns of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. We had a distillery and we knew we were making some spirits that were really incredible and we said ‘OK, how can we get this into the hands of more people?’ So, we started creating some different flavors, and when we made the Orange Smash for the first time and we all tasted it, there was so much positivity in the room. And when we gave it do wholesalers and let consumers try it and there was so much positivity around the flavor profile, we knew we had a winner. It was a little bit of lightning in a bottle with the Orange Smash.” O&A: Canned cocktails are the fastest growing segment of the alcohol industry and it’s getting more and more competitive. Why is that? Kim Oakley: “There are a couple of things at play. One, folks want a delicious craft cocktail, but maybe they don’t want to spend all the time and money and effort to purchase all the different ingredients that go into it. So, we’re giving them a simple solution and a very portable solution. The second piece is that we’ve learned that folks are drinking different things based on the occasion they are in. Sometimes they want a really light and refreshing beer, sometimes they want to drink something like Vienna lager, which has a little bit more of a caramel, sweet note that’s amazing with food. And then sometimes they’re hanging out with friends on a boat or at the beach and they want to drink something that’s fruity and refreshing and has a little bit of that life-of-the-party in it. And I think that’s why the Orange Smash has really taken off.” O&A: What has been the secret to your quick success and, more importantly, your sustained success? Kim Oakley: “Our brewers and distillers are masters of their craft and they truly understand how to make the most delicious version of something. We’re obviously inspired by our location, given that we have all spent time on the coast, either in Maryland, Delaware or Virginia. We’ve all tried Orange Crush cocktails on vacation before, we know that flavor profile is really relevant." O&A: Do you think canned cocktails in general, and your Orange Smash in particular, as just fads among consumers or are they here to stay? Kim Oakley: "You have to go back to what tastes really good and we have a canned cocktail that tastes really good. And stuff that tastes really good doesn’t tend to just be a fad and go away — it sticks around. Vienna lager has been around for hundreds of years and we’re still drinking it. Orange Smash is a really delicious orange and premium vodka cocktail and it tastes really good, and I don’t see it going anywhere.” APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 53




he 10th Anniversary of the Shine A Light concert series brought more than 800 local music lovers together to raise spirits as well as much-needed funds for music programs in Wilmington’s underserved communities.

Top row (l-r): Franciene Hatcher; Sug Daniels; and Jill Knapp. Other photos clockwise from top left: John Faye and Rosann Mattei; (l-r) Hatcher, Kerry Kristine McElrone, and Amelia Moss; Ben LeRoy; (l-r) Nick Bucci and Nihkee Bleu; Nicholas Pontrelli; Phil Matarese; Brian Bruce; and Bonnie von Duyke.


PTP_2022 Out & About.qxp_2022 3/25/22 3:51 PM Page 1

Photo by Suchat Pederson

SUNDAY, MAY 8 racing I tailgating I picnicking I antique carriages

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Fill in the You know the drill: (1) Ask your friends to help “fill in the blanks” for the missing words needed below. (2) Once completed, read aloud and watch hilarity ensue. (3) Got a funny one? Take a photo and send it to us at Contact@OutAndAboutNow.com. Best one wins a $50 Gift Card to Pizza By Elizabeths (One entry per person; must be 21 or older to enter). Have fun!

THE LEGEND OF THE UNKNOWN BEAST Right around this time of the year, in the (


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drifting aimlessly downstream. Whatever the case may be, the legend of The Unknown Beast has cast its spell over the area. Maybe, if you are really (


) this year, you too will get a chance to see the mysterious creature for yourself!





ilmington’s Neighborhood Redevelopment and Stabilization Program, the most ambitious housing and neighborhood plan in City history and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), is moving forward. The first eastside rehabilitated property is finished and on the market. Woodlawn Trustees, a City partner in this effort, has completed the first of 20 planned rental property rehabs in eastside Wilmington and will renovate 19 more vacant homes and offer them to individuals and families at 80% of the area medium income. The inaugural property, at 1323 N. Walnut St., was renovated by Woodlawn Trustees

staff and by minority-owned James Furlough Construction to include the removal of any traces of lead paint, new windows and flooring, a new roof, an updated bathroom with laundry facilities on the second floor, and a fully renovated kitchen. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and one bath and a backyard deck and is situated just blocks from Downtown Wilmington. Mayor Purzycki thanked Woodlawn Trustees President and CEO Rich Przywara and the Woodlawn Board of Trustees for their historic commitment to improved housing and stronger neighborhoods in Wilmington.



he 101st Police Academy is now underway with 16 recruits selected from among the 102 men and women who applied to join the WPD. This class is the most diverse since 2013, with 75% of the academy comprised of minority recruits. “Over the past few years, we’ve worked diligently to recruit future officers, and to continue to increase the diversity of our department,” said Chief Tracy. “I’m proud of the efforts of our recruitment team, which have resulted in this historically diverse academy class. Our agency continues to become more reflective of the community we serve, and I look forward to these recruits joining the WPD.” The Mayor and Chief congratulated the recruits on their selection following a challenging application process. “Law enforcement is an important and honorable profession that serves and protects our people and our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Purzycki. “We’re moving rapidly to ensure our department reflects the community it serves. This new class of recruits will be taught that their success depends on how well they interact with and are supported by the residents and businesses of our City. They are about to enter into an important community partnership with benefits that are innumerable.”




O Mayor Mike Purzycki and Woodlawn Trustees CEO Rich Przywara cut the ribbon on 1323 N. Walnut St. on Wilmington’s East Side.


n March 4, Mayor Mike Purzycki helped welcome U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Wilmington. The Biden cabinet official participated in a flag-raising ceremony in Freedom Plaza to show support for the people of Ukraine before heading to a news conference at the DART facility on Beech St. Mr. Buttigieg came to the City to announce that $186 M is coming to improve public transportation here as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will be used to change nearly 250 DART buses to low- and no-emission models, and train employees how to operate and maintain them. The law is part of the Biden administration’s ongoing fight against climate change.



ayor Purzycki issued a 2021 year-end report for the City’s 311 Customer Service Call Center in late February. Wilmington 311, launched in Aug. 2020, enables the City to provide more effective and efficient services to the public while collecting data to better understand the public’s needs and concerns. Wilmington 311 holds City government to a high standard of accountability for serving customers, resolving concerns, and providing info.—all at an improved pace. In 2021, there were more than 104,000 requests for City services or City info. “Excellence in customer service is a priority in my Administration and we have created a central report system that’s more responsive to constituent needs than ever before,” said Mayor Purzycki. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but as with any new system, we continue to examine our results and make changes as needed so the system is as effective as possible. The improvements we’ve made since Wilmington 311 was launched are largely because of customer feedback, which we need and appreciate.” Among the highlights found in the 2021 annual report are reduced call wait times; an expansion of service request options for constituents to choose from when submitting a request or inquiry; and adding a new search bar to allow for easier navigation of online request options. Mayor Purzycki urges the public to call Wilmington 311 or visit the web portal (www.wilmingtonde.gov/residents/311) to request a service or info. and to share ideas on how the system can be improved.





Get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEEC’s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!

DCM is open on the Riverfront Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm Admission: $12

Membership for the entire family is just $119 for the year

More Info:


(302) 654-2340 60 APRIL 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




Opening May 21st!




MON-FRI: 9AM-6PM SAT: 9AM-4PM Stop in and enjoy fresh produce, salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, sushi, Mexican,Thai cuisine and much more!

The Riverfront Market


for in-house indoor and outdoor dining

Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill

Riverfront Bakery

Ciro Food & Drink

River Rock Kitchen



Del Pez

Taco Grande - NEW!

at the Riverfront Market!


The Juice Joint

Pachamama Peruvian Rotisserie Serena’s Soulfood

Drop Squad Kitchen

Timothy’s on the Riverfront

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Ubon Thai

Dine-in or carry out NOW OPEN



Now Open!

Visit our website for New Hours, pricing, and safety protocols!

DelawareChildrensMuseum.org /Delawarechildrensmuseum






su n day Apri l 24, 2 022 11:30 am to 2:00 pm dupont country club wilmington, delaware Outstanding brunch plates prepared by award-winning national and local chefs with delicious cocktails, live entertainment and more!

A meals on wheels Delaware event

TicketS At M e al sO nWh e e l s D E .o rg PARTICIPATING CHEFS (as of 3/14/22):


Lead Sponsor

Marquee communications Sponsors