Out & About Magazine - January 2021 - The Joe We Know

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First State Firsts

Not Our First Rodeo

Worth Trying in Delaware

The Joe We Know Delawareans have always had h a special bond wit President-elect Joe Biden






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Featuring AMPLIFY, an exhibition of murals by local Black artists on boarded storefronts throughout the year.


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Out & About Magazine Vol. 33 | No. 11

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

22 18


Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com Director of Publications Jim Hunter 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 Designers Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC, Contributing Writers Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Adriana Camacho-Church, Cindy Cavett, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dillon McLaughlin, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett



7 War on Words

37 Iron Hill’s Next Chapter

9 What Readers Are Saying 11 FYI 15 Sew Stylish


15 Sew Stylish

40 In Defense of...

18 From the Publisher


Robert Palmer


22 The Joe We Know

42 In The City

29 First State Firsts

44 On The Riverfront

After being featured in Vogue.com, Wilmington designer Asata Beeks is on a roll By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman

18 Not Our First Rodeo Contrary to some commentary, the national spotlight is not new to us

33 Year of Firsts for Delaware Prosperity Partnership

By Jerry duPhily

34 Worth Trying: Distinctly Delaware

22 The Joe We Know Joe Biden has unique connections with many of us. Here are a few little-told stories.

On the cover: During his career, President-elect Joe Biden has visited every corner of Delaware.—and appeared to enjoy every minute of it. Here, Biden greets an overjoyed Bridget Sullivan at the annual Hockessin Fourth of July Celebration. Photo courtesy of Ryan Alexander

By Jim Miller

29 First State Firsts They began with a nickname-triggering event in 1787 and continue today

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


By Bob Yearick

34 Worth Trying


A selection of things distinctly Delaware that you owe it to yourself to experience By O&A Staff & Contributors

Printed on recycled paper.

Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • contact@tsnpub.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

NEW YEAR, NEW WAR Let’s start the New Year with a contest.

Below are quotes from famous and not-so-famous people, plus one (the last one) that is made up. At least one is correct, but the rest are wrong in some way (grammar, spelling, punctuation, redundancy, etc.). Your challenge: correct the incorrect quotes, and/or explain why they are wrong. Send your entry to ryearick@comcast.net by Jan. 20. The first reader with the correct answers will receive a gift certificate for $50. Two $25 gift certificates will be awarded to the second and third correct entries.

1. From a letter in The Wilmington News Journal to Delawareans from President (we can call him that beginning this month) Joe Biden: “We believe in respecting one another—because we know we’ll run into each other at the grocery store or church or little league game . . . although I am a proud Democrat, I promise you, I will be an American President, and work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me, as those who did. 2. An NFL official: “The previous play is under further review.” 3. WDEL anchor Peter MacArthur: “Police are looking for whomever pulled the trigger.” 4. Jim Gray, writing about Muhammed Ali in Sports Illustrated: “He would never again do another television interview.” 5. Savannah Behrmann in USA TODAY: “Neither Gore nor Republican nominee George W. Bush were considered the president-elect.” 6. NBC Today co-host Hoda Kotb: “Al [Roker] was in rare form—as usual.” 7. A commentator on ESPN: “Patrick Mahomes is a singularly unique talent.” 8. Post on McDaniel/Concord Manor Civic Association Facebook page: “The amount of deer running out onto Naamans Road is out of control.” 9. Online ad for a gadget: “This Multi Opener has a durable and comfortable grip and opens six different types of seals and lids with ease.” 10. Spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Health: “We all know how important wearing masks are.” 11. Ad for Corropolese Bakery: “It takes us back to a kindler, gentler time.” 12.Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, about wide receiver Antonio Brown: “The NFL launched an investigation, which remains ongoing, to look into the matter.”

By Bob Yearick

13. Host on WIP-FM: “That was the overprevailing theme of the game.”

14. From the Brandywine Zoo newsletter: “Mark

is an avid tennis enthusiast.” 15. CNN personality Chris Cuomo: “He was hoisted on his own petard.” 16. Dan Patrick on his eponymous radio show: “He text me last night.” 17. Mayor of McAdoo, Pa., speaking of Joe Biden: “My constituents here along with me fear that him and his administration will be quick to strip that freedom away from the American people (Second Amendment rights).” 18. Associated Press story about Trump supporters: “In Phoenix, some have showed up at the State Capitol with guns.” 19. BBC weatherman: “Within hours a storm with maximum wind velocities in excess of a hundred miles an hour swept across southern England and Wales.” 20. A Republican strategist: “In fact, there's a track record of him being able to do that with McConnell.” 21.Mark Medina, USA TODAY: “Davis has become so dominant as of late . . .” 22. Radio commentator about the injury to defensive lineman Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns: “His loss cannot be overstated enough.” 23. MSNBC reporter: “Together, this research team is collaborating on parsing out the data.” 24. CBS 3 Philly online headline: “Pet Project: Is Your Dog Trying To Prove Its More Dominate Than You?” 25. “You cannot flout the law like that.”

Department of Redundancies Dept. “And there’s going to be other surprises you won’t be expecting”—Paul McGuigan, executive producer of the ABC series Big Sky. He also used the wrong verb—“there’s.”

Literally of the Month: Hallie Jackson, MSNBC anchor and correspondent: “The other story that is quite literally brewing . . .” Hallie wasn’t satisfied with literally; she went quite literally.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Word of the Month

acedious Pronounced uh-SEE-dee-uhs, it’s an adjective meaning characterized by apathy, boredom, or sloth.

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 call me at 302-482-3737.

Addressing the need for healthcare & healthy food Here in Delaware, people of color are being disproportionately impacted by this health and humanitarian crisis, requiring improved access to healthcare services and food assistance. At Bank of America, our commitment is unwavering. Building on work we’ve had underway for many years, we’re investing $1 billion over the next four years to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and the well-being of our neighbors — including right here in Delaware. We’re partnering with local healthcare systems and nonprofits that are increasing medical testing and treatment capacity and are providing enhanced access to nutritious food. Together, my teammates and I are working for healthy, sustainable change here in Delaware. We’re committed to doing more, and doing more now.

Chip Rossi Delaware Market President

Healthier together Here in Delaware, we’re working with local organizations that are providing vital access to healthcare and nutritious food. They include: Bayhealth Foundation Food Bank of Delaware

To learn more, please visit bankofamerica.com/community 8 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. © 2020 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.




About Grand Design Blitzen could be just the first example of Dallas Shaw’s creative imprint on Wilmington by Lauren Golt, December 2020 "As a lifelong Wilmingtonian, I’ve been hoping for such creative talent for a long time. Visited Blitzen two weeks ago. Terrific!” — Philip Leach About Game Over, Man by Matt Morrissette, November 2020 “Beautifully expressed Matt. 1984 reigns in our memories always.” — Kerry Kristine “I’ve been fortunate to have played 1,000’s of gigs and shows all over the country in the last three decades, but I can count my favorites on one hand. Two were at @1984wilmo...” — @drummerob, Instagram




About Fifty Years of Public Service Scores of Wilmington youth learned much more than pick-androll from Larry Morris By Bob Yearick, October 2020


“We don't so much look for or to our leaders as they demand our gaze. I see you, Larry Morris.” — Blair C. Dickerson


“Larry has always been a humble man concerned about the future of our community. His persona as the "village chief" has been an inspiration and I wish we could clone him for every generation to come. North, East, South and West Wilmington all become better places for our youth only if we had more Larry Morrises. Congratulations my friend and former WSFS customer.” — Vicki Williams Holden


About A Centennial Solute Negro Baseball League celebrate 100 years and Wilmington’s Judy Johnson is a big part of that history, October 2020 "My son and I were friends with Judy Johnson. We often visited him at his home. He was a gifted baseball player and an absolutely wonderful person. He is greatly missed by all of us who knew him. Thank you for the [story].” — Cara McPeake

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? SEND US A MESSAGE! contact@tsnpub.com • OutAndAboutNow.com


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Delaware is where business gets personal Centrally located along the I-95 corridor, with easy access to major airports and commuter rail, our prime location means you get face-to-face business done faster. Have a breakfast meeting in New York and a luncheon in D.C. and still make it home in time for dinner. But it’s not just where you have access. It’s who you have access to. We’re home to a diverse and top-level talent pool from around the world. If you’re looking to connect with influencers and business-friendly elected officials, you can do it in Delaware. But at what cost? Cheaper, actually. Combine our competitive labor costs with no sales or inventory tax, and you’ve got the second-lowest cost of doing business in the U.S., according to Forbes. Competitive costs. The access you need. That’s what you can expect from a state our size.




F.Y.I. Things worth knowing



he Wilmington Blue Rocks will become the Washington Nationals High Class A affiliate beginning with the 2021 season. The Blue Rocks have been a Kansas City Royals affiliate for much of their 28-year history, excluding two seasons (2005, 2006) when they were a Boston Red Sox minor league team. The announcement makes Wilmington a survivor of Major League Baseball’s paring down of its Minor Leagues. The total number of affiliate teams has been reduced from 164 to 120. Each of MLB’s 30 teams now has four Minor League affiliates (AAA, AA, High A, Low A). The Nationals breakdown is as follows: AAA—Rochester (NY) Red Wings; AA—Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators; High A—Wilmington Blue Rocks; Low A—Fredericksburg (Va.) Nationals. The new structure should also put the Rocks in a league that will include Minor League teams for the Phillies, Yankees, and Orioles, which will be great for regional rivalries. “Clark Minker and I can’t wait to welcome the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals to Wilmington,” said Blue Rocks owner Dave Heller. “They are a team of great integrity which prides itself on doing the right things the right way. A championship community deserves a championship team, and from our first communications with Mark Lerner, Mike Rizzo and Mark Scialabba, we knew the Nationals were a first-class organization and a perfect fit for Wilmington.”





ilmington-based Urban Bike Project placed more than 1,100 donated bikes into the hands of city families in 2020. It was a new milestone for the organization as its previous high for bike distribution was 574 in 2019. UBP gives bikes new life and keeps them out of landfills by refurbishing donated bikes and either selling them at affordable prices or donating them through one of its annual programs. Of the more than 1,100 bikes distributed, 915 were purchased through the UBP bike shop. The average price for a kid’s bike was $13. Adult bikes ranged from $20$79, depending on the quality of the bike. All proceeds go directly toward UBP programs, operations and community outreach. As part of its bike distribution, UBP donated 80 bikes and helmets to kids age 5-7 through its Fifth Annual Holiday Bike Giveaway. Another 150 bikes were given away to Wilmington youth and adults for recreation, fitness, and transportation. Adults who receive free bikes use them to overcome significant transportation challenges, often to reach jobs and appointments that are not serviced by buses. Since 2006, Urban Bike Project has supported Wilmington communities by providing access to bicycling as a healthy, affordable and practical means of recreation. UBP services include free and affordable used bikes, free and affordable repair services, mechanics education, group rides, youth programs, and summer camps. The organization is always looking for bike donations. For more, visit UrbanBikeProject.com

ighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is awarding 17 Delaware organizations with much-needed grants through its BluePrints for the Community program. The program was originally targeted to distribute $1 million, but because of the growing needs exacerbated by the pandemic, Highmark boosted the total awarded to more than $1.9 million. “We are not at all surprised by the excellent grant proposals we have seen through this grant cycle and we are proud to support 17 grant recipients in the tremendous work they are doing,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. Key areas for social determinants of health considered included economic and financial stability, access to education, transportation, health and health care, and neighborhood and environment factors. Recipients are: Catholic CharitiesDiocese of Wilmington, Children and Families First DE, Culture Restoration Project, Delaware Breast Cancer, Delaware Center for Horticulture, Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, First State Community Action Agency, Great Oaks Charter School (Wilm.), Jewish Family Services of Delaware, NCALL Research, Neighborhood House, Sojourners' Place, Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Tidal Health, United Way of Delaware, and Westside Family Healthcare.



eep Delaware Beautiful (KDB) was one of 47 organizations nationwide to receive a merit-based grant from Keep America Beautiful to fight cigarette litter. KDB received more than $20,000 from the national organization and will use it to fight cigarette litter through public messaging and infrastructure placement. Over the past decade, participating communities have consistently cut cigarette butt litter by 50 percent based on local measurements taken in the first four to six months after program implementation. Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering." Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others. Delaware restaurants, bars, retailers, and municipalities are welcome to apply for an ash receptacle from Keep Delaware Beautiful to help curb cigarette litter on their property. To apply or for more information on Keep Delaware Beautiful initiatives, visit KeepDelawareBeautiful.com. JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




he Warehouse, in collaboration with The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), is providing an opportunity for teens to pursue a career in hospitality. Each quarter, the Teens In Motion program will allow 25 teenagers the opportunity to work in the hospitality industry for a 90-day stint. The program includes an eight-week paid internship available across BPG’s restaurant establishments and their tenant partners, currently including Le Cavalier, Bardea and Stitch House. Tyler Akin, Chef-Partner of Le Cavalier in the Hotel du Pont, will be the coordinator of the hospitality internship tract of Teens In Motion. Akin conceptualized the program alongside his partners at BPG upon realizing career advancement opportunities in hospitality would be fewer and further between in the wake of the global pandemic. “While restaurants are facing historic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel strongly that American dining culture will bounce back—along with the vibrant job market it creates,” said Akin. “With Teens in Motion, we aim to share the tools for Delaware’s next generation of culinary leaders to find success and meaning in their work.” This workforce development initiative is funded by JPMorgan Chase. To learn more about the program, contact The Warehouse at 232-6610. Teens interested in registering for the program can do so at TheWarehouse. RecDesk.com.



arshall Steam Museum’s monthly speaker series continues through February with virtual presentations of special items in their collection followed by a discussion with experts. “Behind the Steam: Cretors Popcorn Poppers” is set for Jan. 21 at 7pm and will explore the history of popcorn poppers. “Behind the Steam: Golden Age of Radio” is set for Feb. 18 at 7pm and will take a look at Westinghouse Radio and its role in bringing radio into mainstream. Participation is free for members and $5 for non-members. Visit AuburnHeights.org.


Wilmington Alliance is excited to

announce that our annual Yes, Wilmington! fundraiser will be virtual for the first time in 2021! Our city is in great need of transformative change. With your help, that is just what we at the Alliance will continue to do!

National Speakers Include: SAMIRA COOK GAINES

National Partnership Lead for Rising Tide Capital

During the 2020 pandemic, we shifted our work on community and inclusive economic development. So in 2021, Yes, Wilmington! will focus on —

Equitable Economic Mobility: Charting Wilmington’s Path

LYNEIR RICHARDSON Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Our commitment to community growth and revitalization, income security and wealth accumulation for all.

Three dynamic national speakers will join us. Get ready to become energized and excited for the work being done to make our City a more equitable place!


Fellow at the Brookings Institution, regular contributor to MSNBC and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities

Wilmington, our commitment is to you. - Wilmington Alliance



GET YOUR TICKET NOW! www.wilmingtonalliance.org




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START Asata Beeks in her Wilmington-based studio. Photo courtesy Asata Beeks


Stylish After being featured on Vogue.com in 2020, Wilmington-based designer Asata Beeks finally hits it big By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman


020 is a year that many people would like to forget. But not 27-year-old Asata Beeks, the one-woman design firm behind the funky fashion line Asata Maisé. 2020 was the year she felt like all her hard work and determination had finally paid off. In June she was featured on Vogue.com after the magazine’s associate market editor Naomi Elizee purchased one of her colorful patchwork purses. Two weeks after that, she received a grant from pop music artist Halsey, who had just launched the Black Creators Funding Initiative (BCFI), a special initiative that aims to give funds, resources and a platform to black creators. The unexpected and instantaneous publicity led to her selling out of everything on her website. “With the grant and Vogue both happening two weeks apart, it’s been kind of like a wildfire. And ever since then, I’ve been super busy,” says Beeks. She credits learning how to sew to Judi Townsend, one of her teachers at A.I. du Pont High School. “She led this unparalleled program called 'textiles and clothing' where she taught me pretty much everything I know as far as my foundation for garment construction,” she says. She went to

Albright College in Reading, Penn., but didn’t really care for the experience or the education. “Instead, I moved to Los Angeles in 2013 with a dollar and a dream,” laughs Beeks. She started interning for a small public relations company, and by the third day, her boss introduced her to Michael Costello, a future Project-Runway winner. “My boss told him that I actually knew how to sew so he asked me to come intern and eventually work for him. I always end up putting myself out there, and luckily came across these really great experiences that have been so valuable to my career and the direction it has been able to go in.” Beeks spent some time in London working for famed designed Diane Von Furstenberg, but came back to Wilmington in 2016 with a strong sense of who she was as a designer. She says living in L.A. was the first time she was exposed to a culture where people were all about secondhand, thrifting, reusing and being sustainable. “My niche is being able to have a modern take on nostalgia, which involves using a lot of vintage textiles,” Beeks says. “85 percent of the textiles I use are vintage or secondhand, and I buy them on Etsy, eBay and at Hayes Sewing Machine Company on Route 202 in Wilmington.” ►





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SEW STYLISH She also gets donations, like continued from previous page the time a woman who lived in her building gifted her with old buttons, zippers and fabrics that were at least 50 to 60 years old. Beeks says COVID had made it harder to get her hands on certain materials. She also can’t travel as much, which was a big source of inspiration for her designs. But with the majority of people staying home and shopping online, her online-only shop continues to remain profitable. Her patchwork shoulder bag, which drove her to stardom, actually came about by accident. She never intended to be an accessories designer, but she had leftover material that was not large enough to make a garment, so she started making bags. “And now I can’t make them fast enough for people,” she says. Each piece is carefully conceptualized, handcrafted and packaged by Beeks in her small studio in downtown Wilmington. She constructs all the garments from start to finish, which involves cutting all the fabrics and creating all the patches. Each purse takes her three to four days to complete, and she packages all items herself in sustainable packaging. She recently made a pair of patchwork trousers that were completely lined, which sold before she even listed them on her website. She recently added facemasks to her repertoire, which sell at a reasonable $30 each. Her patchwork bags start at $170 and her oversized bucket hats that are made vintage terry cloth fabric start at $150. She handcrafted a patchwork boned corset, made with vintage fabric remnants and lined in white fabric, that sold for $500. But if you have your heart set on one of her items, you must have patience. “I was overwhelmed with all the emails I was receiving over the summer about people wanting bags, so I just told myself I can’t do this right now. Until I find a way where I can produce these ethically and quickly, I am not going to put myself in a high-stress situation.” Although there were many times when she thought fashion wasn’t in her future, she is grateful that she stayed true to herself and her aesthetic. “Before 2020, people would often suggest I sell my designs or manufacture them,” she says. “But handmaking things is a way of preserving tradition for me. I also find it is very meditative, calming and intimate and I never want to give that away. I am grateful that I was able to have the success that I've had by staying true to myself.”

— For more information, visit AsataMaise.com

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Each patchwork purses take Beeks three to four days to complete. Photo by Asata Beeks





From The Publisher



e headline in The New York Times read: “After Centuries of Obscurity, Wilmington is Having a Moment.” It was written by Neil MacFarquhar, who certainly has strong credentials. He was formerly The New York Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief and in 2017 was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Impressive bona fides. The essence of the piece: Now that Wilmington’s Joe Biden has been elected president, this smalltime, famous-for-nothing city is on the map. Our Dark Ages are over. Enough of us stumbling around in the abyss. While many locals gushed on social media about the publicity—Hey, The New York Times knows who we are!—I found the piece condescending. Don’t get me

wrong, I love that our city got a feature piece in one of the world’s most-respected newspapers. And it is exciting seeing media representatives from Japan to Jacksonville flood into our town. Great stuff…on so many fronts. However, I’m annoyed by another myopic take on our city that insinuates we’re little more than “a convenient pit stop along the Northeast Corridor.” That we have no claims to fame. “Ask residents to name a unique feature and the universal response is a long pause,” MacFarquhar stated. Just how many residents did you ask, Mr. MacFarquhar? Here’s a quick one off the top of my head: “Corporate Capital of the World.” Ring a bell? I get it—the Biden election brought you to a city that wasn’t on your personal radar. That does

George H. W. Bush in Rodney Square during the 1988 Presidential Campaign. O&A file photo/Butch Comegys 18 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Former Mayor James Sills with the Clintons during the 1994 campaign. O&A file photo/Lindsay duPhily. At right, Jesse Jackson campaigning in Wilmington (1993). O&A file photo/Tim Hawk

not mean, however, that we’ve been toiling away in obscurity. And by the way, we’re a little used to Secret Service and the national political spotlight. Biden was the vice president for eight years. Not to mention, virtually every presidential candidate since I’ve been publishing this magazine (32 years) has paid a visit to this “backwater” (note accompanying photos). But enough about presidential candidates. Here are 10 other “unique features” about Wilmington. And I didn’t even use Google. Since your article mentioned Chancery Court, the DuPont Co., and the Swedes landing (though you missed the date by half a century), I’ll refrain from noting them. • Wilmington was the home to Thomas Garrett, who teamed with Harriet Tubman to help hundreds escape slavery. Stops of the Underground Railroad are easily found in our city and our TubmanGarrett Park was built on a key crossing point of the Railroad into Wilmington. Our critical role in the

Underground Railroad has been widely recognized, most recently in the hit movie Harriet. • Judge Collins Seitz and attorney Louis Redding were both from Wilmington. Each played pivotal roles in the desegregation of U.S. schools as well as the Supreme Court decision many studied in history class: Brown v. Board of Education • The Hotel du Pont enjoys a worldwide reputation. By playing host to the annual Commonwealth Awards—not to mention sharing a building with The Playhouse on Rodney Square—it has hosted hundreds of internationally known celebrities as disparate as Morgan Freeman to Mr. Rogers (photos next page). • Judy Johnson, one of the greatest players of Negro Leagues Baseball, is from here. He’s also in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and his statue greets visitors entering our own Frawley Stadium. His Wilmington home is on the National Register of Historic Places. ►

Bishop Desmond Tutu with Joe Biden at the Hotel DuPont (2000). O&A file photo/Don Blake. At right, the Bidens and Obamas at Wilm. Train Station (2009). O&A file photo/Les Kipp JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 19

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Morgan Freeman (2001) and Fred Rogers (2002) in Wilmington to receive their Commonwealth Award. O&A file photos/Don Blake

• Though he was just 25 at the time of his death in a car accident, Wilmington’s Clifford Brown is a jazz legend and considered one of the greatest trumpeters of all time. Brown is in the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame and each year Wilmington keeps his name alive by hosting the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, one of the country’s largest free jazz events. • Five-time Tony Award-winner Susan Strohman is from here. She actually attended the University of Delaware, just like Joe Biden. • One of the biggest names in professional women’s basketball, Elena Delle Donne, is from Wilmington. She starred at our Ursuline Academy, then University of Delaware, and is the only player in WNBA history to win its MVP award twice. • George “Bad to the Bone” Thorogood was born in Wilmington. He spent much of his early years here, played all our clubs, then formed the Delaware Destroyers in the mid-1970s and became an international bluesrock sensation. He regularly returns to perform at our community treasure, The Grand Opera House.

• Actors Aubrey Plaza, Elisabeth Shue, Judge Reinhold, Valerie Bertinelli, John Gallagher, Jr., Keith Powell, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Teri Polo as well as Academy Award-winning actor/director Luke Matheny are from Wilmington. (And I’m sure I missed a few.) • Finally, another unique feature to Wilmington, and Delaware, for that matter: Our political leaders are personally accessible. It’s commonplace to see President-elect Biden at Janssen’s Market; U.S. Sen. Chris Coons strolling our Riverfront; U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester walking along Market Street; U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and Delaware Gov. John Carney working out at the Central YMCA. The reason so many Wilmingtonians have selfies with Biden? He’s that accessible. It’s how we roll. And that’s a good thing. It’s also a good thing to be in the national spotlight, so thank you for that. But our first time on the big stage after “centuries of obscurity”? Please.

George Thorogood during a return performance (2000). O&A file photo/Tim Hawk. At right, Colin Powell at YMCA's Black Achievers Awards (1994). O&A file photo/Lindsay duPhily JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 21


The Joe We Know Many Delawareans have stories of President-elect Joe Biden. Here are a few you likely haven't heard. By Jim Miller

On January 20 in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony that will be broadcast around the world, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of United States. But before Biden officially tackles the monumental duties of the most important job on the planet, a variety of Delawareans shared with us roles they’ve seen him play here in the First State: U.S. senator, father figure, grandfather, customer, boss and—as many see it—the accessible and often modest man who treats people he meets with patience and equitable dignity. Following is what some of our neighbors had to say about the Joe they know.

Soon after Logan Herring and son, L.J., ran into on Market Street with Biden and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, this photo went viral. Photo courtesy Logan Herring 22 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

A Father (and Grandfather) Figure

“Joe was always like a father figure to me, especially when my Ed White grew up with Beau and Hunter Biden in the commu- parents were going through their divorce.” nity of Montchanin, where both families lived. He fondly recounts Biden gave White a sepia-toned photo from 1981. In it, a childhood adventures rich with enough rascally mischief and charm 12-year-old White poses, sitting in the senator's leather office to make even Mark Twain chuckle. chair with Joe and young Hunter standing close-by. In the signa“Outside of our schooling, we were always together,” White says. ture on the photo, Joe refers to White as “his third son.” “Whether it be jumping off a 20-foot limb over the Brandywine River, Another longtime family friend, Cindy Wilkinson, says Joe going to church on Sundays, playing sports every day, or just getting has a knack of putting people first and connecting with them. into trouble as normal kids do. A few years back, Wilkinson attended a fundraising event “All I can say is snowballs, eggs, and crab apples.” for the Biden Breast Health Initiative, a charity Jill Biden created. White remembers one afternoon when he, Beau, Hunter and a Serving as Vice-President at the time, Joe walked unexpectedly few other kids donned ski goggles and shot at each other with BB into the crowded room, passed Wilkinson, then double-backed guns in the front yard. It was one of the best times playing with the shortly after. Biden boys—that is, until Mr. Biden “Cindy!” he exclaimed. “I didn’t got a phone call from the new neighrecognize you in bangs! How are bors a week later. you?” “Joe was told $850 worth of winWilkinson was caught off dows were shot out by a group of kids guard, then flattered. She had not shooting at each other with BB guns,” seen him in years. White says. “It did not go over well.” “Inside I was like, ‘Oh my God! As the boys got older and proMy Dad didn’t even realize I just gressed from “walking to skateboards got bangs!’” she says. “I didn’t expect to bikes to three-wheelers to an occahim to come back over to me. It sional joyride in a classic convertible,” wasn’t something he had to do, but White says there was one constant: he did. That’s who he is.” Joe and Jill Biden’s love for their famWilkinson also recounts times ily and friends. when the Bidens would attend their “There is no doubt they were grandchildren’s events at The Tattortured [by their kids] from time to nall School, where her children also time,” White says, “but they were great attended. From her observations, parents, always looking out for their Joe never requested exclusive seatchildren with the best intentions.” ing or asked for special arrangeThe sentiment is echoed by John ments. Rollins III, who attended Archmere “He always went out of his Academy with the Biden brothers; way to be a grandparent—a normal although, the friendship started years grandparent—for his grandkids,” A 1981 photo Biden gave Ed White, referring to him as his "third son." before then. Wilkinson says. Photo courtesy Ed White “[Joe] just always had this really special bond with the boys,” Rollins says. “And it showed in the way he interacted not only with them, but also with their friends. We all ‘Just Joe’ Paula Janssen has also seen Joe function as the doting grandbecame kind of family.” Often, in the Biden’s backyard, friends of Beau and Hunter father on many occasions. After attending church at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine would gather for a game of football. If Joe were home, inevitably he’d when he was in town, Biden, then Vice-President, would often come out from the house to play steady quarterback. bring his grandchildren for lunch at J’s Café at Janssen’s Market, “He would get out there, throw the ball around and joke around with everybody,” Rollins says. “He was a good athlete. It was a real which Janssen’s family has owned and operated in Greenville thrill for us to play with him. He was a senator at the time and was since 1952. Janssen remembers one visit in particular: kind of a famous guy.” “My niece, Brianna, had turned 16 and started working at the In 1994, when he was in his mid-20s living in San Francisco, White wrote a letter to the senator thanking him for the guidance he store,” Janssen says. “On her very first day, her very first customer was Joe Biden [laughs]. She just thought of it as ‘Okay.’ And I’m had given him throughout his youth. thinking, ‘This is huge to have [the Vice President be] your very “It was a letter I had to get off my chest,” White says. “Not first customer. It was her first time using the register, and he was expecting anything in return, I received the most beautiful letter so patient with her. ► from him that meant so much. I will forever be so appreciative for [his] guidance. JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


THE JOE WE KNOW “It was a really special moment for me. I don’t have chil- teacher gave us an assignment to continued from previous page dren. My brother does. And my husband’s family has children identify what was our most prized at that age. It was just kind of fun to have the next generation possession, and then write a paper about why,” LeRoy recalls. “I chose that little dog and at the end have that experience.” Also in Greenville Center, at Pizza By Elizabeths, owner of my paper I said, ‘because I know that one day, I will own the Betsy LeRoy recalls one of her younger employees reacting in signature of the President of the United States.’ “ After college that stuffed dog disappeared, though the similar fashion as Janssen’s niece, but with a twist. It was the memory remained. first year Biden served as Vice President. “It was my 60th birthday a few months ago, and I got so “It was Christmas time, and one of our hostesses, Nikki, was working,” LeRoy says. “A man walked up to her and asked, many cool, meaningful notes and presents,” says LeRoy. “But at ‘How long for a table?’ She said, “About 40 minutes.’ He said, the very end of the night, I opened this small box and on the ‘That’s fine.’ She asked his name, and he replied ‘Joe.’ She asked, inside was this....” (LeRoy shows a picture of the gift: a brandnew stuffed dog signed by then Presidential nominee Joe Biden.) ‘Just Joe?’ and he said ‘Yep!’ “Two of my oldest friends remembered how much I loved “A little while later, she was looking around the restaurant to see if any tables were emptying, and she saw the man stand- that dog, and that I didn’t have it anymore,” she continues. “They ing talking with the secret service all around him. She looked at went to work behind the scenes, and I believe—through Jill—got this done for me: The most fun thing I’ve ever received.” the other hostess and said, ‘I did not just do that, did I?’ Historically, dogs have been a welcomed part of the Biden “The next day I had a picture of Joe Biden laminated and left it at the hostess stand with a note that read: ‘Hostess cheat sheet: family. In 2018, to much media fanfare, it was announced that Joe and Jill would be adopting your Vice President!’” a German Shepherd pup Down the street at (they would name Major). The Men’s Room Barber Major will become Shop, owner Joe Pacello the first shelter dog to live has been cutting hair for in the White House, ac46 years. cording to Patrick Carroll, “I’ve done pretty executive director at Delamuch every CEO, every ware Humane Association, head of every corporate where the Bidens chose to guy that’s been in Wilmmake their adoption arington,” Pacello says. “I’ve rangements. done governors, and I have Carroll added that the had a lot of politicians media attention brought come in over the years. in some donations and one “The barber chair gave me an education For Betsy LeRoy's 60th Birthday, Biden signed a white stuffed dog—a substitute for her "most significant grant, from a pet company, in honor of Major. that no school could ever valued possession" she lost decades ago. Photo courtesy Betsy LeRoy “It just sort of highgive me.” One of those politicians with whom Pacello shared lighted the work that we do every day,” Carroll says. “And you knowledge—and laughs—was Joe Biden, who was a client can’t beat that. That’s been fantastic.” Carroll also recalls the day in November that Biden came of The Men’s Room from 1974 to 2018. “We had some good times,” Pacello says, adding with a in, with Major, to officially sign the adoption paperwork. Due chuckle. “He told me if he became President, he was going to to the former vice president’s schedule, it had to be done a few make me Ambassador to Italy. That’s Little Italy—Union Street, months after Major had moved in with the Bidens. “On one hand, we wanted to make it just like any other Scott, Lincoln. So, we have a good rapport with each other. “He’s a great guy. I can’t say enough about him… He’s a adoption experience that we have,” Carroll says, “and on the other hand, it was [ Joe]. scholar and a gentleman.” “The one big thing that I remember is that he was clear with us that he didn’t have a lot of time. He said, ‘I’m going to need to A Giving Nature LeRoy remembers Biden taking time for her, when in 1973 get in do the adoption paperwork, sign the contract, do the photo, as a young 12-year-old girl, she shyly approached the newly- and then I need to go.’ “But in true Biden fashion, he stayed much longer. He was there elected senator at a fair and asked him to sign a small stuffed toy for well over an hour. As he sat there and talked with staff, they kind dog of hers. He did, of course. “A few years later when I was in eighth grade, my English of gathered around him. He was talking about dogs and life. 24 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

“And as I was leaving, I could hear sirens blaring; the “People felt like it was very meaningful and special.” In December of 2017, Paul Calistro got a chance to meet sound coming towards us,” Calistro continues. “I was walking Major’s older brother, Champ, during another meaningful out the door with him, and here came a fire truck up the occasion. The large German Shepherd greeted him at the driveway with all the lights off and the sirens. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ doorstep of the Biden abode. “Joe said, ‘Don’t worry. That’s the local fire company. Just 30 minutes earlier, Calistro had received a call on his personal phone at West End Neighborhood House, They’re coming in. I’m making a donation to them as well. a community revitalization organization that has been They showed up one day when I had a kitchen fire, and I operating in Wilmington since 1883. As executive director, never forget people who helped me.’” Another organization that Joe Biden literally helped Calistro has been working there for nearly three decades. “I rarely answer my personal phone at work, but for provide “the roof over their heads” that year was Kingwood some reason I picked up,” Calistro recalls. “On the other end Community Center, which works to empower Wilmington’s was Vice President Biden, who said, ‘Hey, Paul, this is Joe Northeast and Riverside communities. “Our donation came by way of Ashley Biden,” says Logan Biden.’ And I was like, in shock. First of all, how the heck did Herring, who since 2018 has served as CEO for Kingswood he get my phone number? “So, he said, ‘Paul, you know, I have never had the ability Community Center, REACH Riverside, and The Warehouse– to give away a lot of money. But I’ve just written a book, and three socially active nonprofits that compose the WRK I have money, and I want to give it away. I really like what Group in Wilmington. “Ashley and I had [previously] partnered on a project at your organization is doing, especially your track team. We Kingswood, and she know it’s putting kids reached out to me into college and giving and said, ‘Hey, I have them all kinds of a question for you: experience. I wonder What could you do if you could come up at Kingswood with to my house?’ $100,000? I know you “And I said, ‘Sure.’ guys are in need.’ He said, ‘Can you “And I said, ‘Your come in 30 minutes?’ timing is perfect. We And I said, ‘Sure,’ and could do amazing then I had to ask him things with $100,000, for the address.” but I could really do Calistro was what I need to do with greeted at the door by $160,000.’” Biden and Champ, who When Biden went to Delaware Humane Association to adopt Major it was supposed to be a quick visit— A day before he describes as “giant.” instead he spent more than an hour engaging with the staff. Photo courtesy DHA/Stephanie Gomez Carter the call, Herring had Biden invited received a budget to fix Calistro into his house and into a room with a table that had around 20 envelopes a major issue—their roof was leaking. The repairs estimate atop it. Calistro says Biden asked him to keep what happened came in at $160,000. “Long story short, a couple weeks later, we had a check next a secret, but since it’s now part of public record thanks to Biden releasing his tax returns (while running for President), for $160,000,” Herring says. Perhaps it’s fitting that Ashley Biden was working with Calistro feels it’s safe to share the story. Calistro continues, “He says, ‘Paul, if you look, when Herring. The families have a history of working together. “Joe had an excellent relationship with my grandfather, I was a U.S. senator, I was the poorest U.S. senator. And I probably was the poorest Vice President in the past 20 years. [Rev. Otis Herring], who was a community leader back in the But I just sold the book. And I’m going to give away a million day,” Herring says. “And my grandfather was one of the first African American community leaders to endorse Joe.” dollars today.’” Those family ties extended another generation further (Ed Note: Biden’s 2017 tax returns shows $1,013,762 in charitable contributions made that year, dispersed in various amounts to 25 when Herring and his infant son, L.J., ran into Biden and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester on Market Street. It was the day organizations.) Biden handed Calistro one of the envelopes, which included after civil unrest and looters left Wilmington’s downtown in sad disarray and uncertain territory in June of this year. ► a check for $50,000 to be applied to West End’s track team. “I was overwhelmed,” Calistro says. JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


THE JOE WE KNOW “My son is three, we were walking down the street, I was a lot in the last year. It’s not a new continued from previous page trying to explain to him the reason why things were boarded idea of his and it’s not a gimmick. up, why there was glass was on the ground,” Herring says. “As “I think of every everything he is a Black boy growing up in America, I want to give him— I know about Joe, that’s the one thing that sticks with me and I as best as I possibly can—an understanding of the world. think it’s kind of emblematic of the best of Delaware politics. It “Joe and the congresswoman crossed the street and the used to be called ‘The Delaware Way.’ I know that’s considered a caution line to come to speak with me and my son. We have a bad term now, but I think it has merit to this day—listening to one picture of Joe bending down on his knee to speak to L.J., who another and trying to reason with one another and find solutions.” was standing between my legs.” Wilmington’s first woman to be elected citywide, That photo ended up taking on a life of its own on social Councilwoman At-Large Loretta Walsh, was entering her media, being tweeted by celebrities, and eventually used on a third year on council when Biden first ran for president. As a couple of Biden’s national campaign ads. longtime friend, she appreciated his loyalty. As a politician, she “Every time we drive by that corner where we interacted admired his sense of egalitarianism. with Joe Biden, L.J. says, ‘Hey, that’s where we saw Joe Biden.’ “I noticed over the years, the way he treated people,” Walsh “So it’s even more impactful to me having my son interact says. “He gave the CEO as much time as he gave the homeless with him and know who he is,” Herring says. “That he is our person. And he didn’t differentiate between the haves and the President-elect a huge deal. And I don’t take it lightly.” have-nots, that I ever saw. Yvonne Nass knows a thing or two of Biden’s looking “I think the lesson that I really learned from him was—as out for Wilmington’s youth. Back in 1979, her daughter, Paula, you hear them say—politics is local. That was something he graduated from Conrad never forgot. High School and enrolled “You get to know in some photography the people that surround classes in Baltimore, you all the time. And they which required her to take become the people that the train every weekday. have your back during “As a concerned mom,” elections.” Nass says, recounting Katy Woo was one of sending her daughter those people. off at the Wilmington In fact, Woo, was the train station, “I told the fourth person hired in conductor to keep her safe Biden’s Delaware office and watch out for her. And after he was elected U.S. obviously, he agreed. Senator in 1972. She “Then on her return remembers starting at trip, Joe Biden got off the Joe Pacello of The Men's Room was Biden's barber from 1974 to 2018. Photo courtesy Joe Pacello the end of February. It train with her. And at was just two months after that point, he said to me, ‘Don’t worry, Mama, I will watch Joe’s first wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, over her.’ Naomi, were tragically killed in a car accident in Hockessin. “And it just made us both feel more comfortable. We “It was a very fragile time for him,” Woo says, adding that had not met him before, but he reached out to us.” she and her fellow employees quickly circled the wagons that “She never had an incident on that train. And, when first term. they saw each other, he’d ask her how the classes were “We were a very tight knit group,” Woos says, “a small group going.” that really had the best interest of the senator. “A lot of times, besides working nine to five, we were The Trademarks of Leadership volunteering on weekends and doing whatever was needed. It Bill Montgomery remembers being at the Wilmington was more like an extended family. We were trying to protect Train Station in 1987 when Joe Biden announced his first him.” run at the presidency. There was an air of excitement even When asked to describe her former employee in three words, back then, says Montgomery, who at the time was working Woo offers the following: compassionate, honorable and frank. as chief-of-staff for Council President Jim Baker. “I haven’t seen or talked to him since his vice-presidential “Joe always put forth the idea that you had to respect the days,” Woo says. “But it seems like he is the same person where other person’s opinion or the other side’s opinion, and not he is very frank about what he thinks and…will express his question the motives,” Montgomery says “He’s repeated that opinions, whether you agree with them or not. 26 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

“I think the media, in later years, would say he puts his foot in his mouth. But I think, generally, he is so well-spoken and very credible. And we all believed that he was extremely capable and would rise someday.” Woo no longer lives in Delaware. She and her husband, S.B. Woo, the former Lt. Governor of Delaware, have migrated to warmer latitudes in Florida. Still, their ties to the First State—both with politics and friendships—remain intact. “I am one of the originals,” Woo says of her time working for Biden. “And I feel very fortunate and flattered to have been associated with Joe.”

different gangs in the pool how to act on the diving board.” A disagreement with William L. Morris (aka Corn Pop), in particular, devolved into an exchange of verbal insults regarding family, which Smith calls “playing the Dozens.” Biden played along, then kicked Corn Pop out of the pool. The Romans left, angry. “Joe kind of stepped out of bounds,” Smith admits. “Those guys came back and told Joe they were going to kick his ass… they said they would cut him.” Biden was concerned about what would happen after work and spoke to the pool manager. They discussed possibly calling the park police. That’s when Biden took the first piece of advice from The Lion and the Mouse Richard “Mouse” Smith was an original, too, in Smith (aka Mouse), who was a member of the 13th Street Stompers, a younger gang that were rivals to the Romans. another sense. Recently retired after 42 years working various jobs at Smith told Biden not to call park police. “I said, ‘Joe, you done stood up to them’,” Smith says. “‘Just the Port of Wilmington, Smith was elected president of the Delaware branch of the NAACP last year. His involvement in go home and come back tomorrow.’” Biden took Smith’s advice and didn’t call the park police. civil rights goes back five decades. But Biden did In 1962, Smith was eventually run into a high school freshman Corn Pop and other when he met Biden. A Romans after work college student, Biden on the way to his car. was working part-time Three Romans were as a lifeguard at what carrying straight was then known as razors. According to Prices Run Pool. Biden, he had prepared Biden was the for the possibility of an only White lifeguard altercation by bringing working that year at a six feet of metal pool that predominantly chain from the pool’s attracted local Black maintenance room. residents. Biden recounted “He went to the pool to learn about Joe Biden with (l-r) Mike Harkins, Norman Oliver and Richard "Mouse" Smith. Photo courtesy Mike Harkins. the showdown during a ceremony during the the culture of the Black community,” Smith says. “That was the beginning of his summer of 2019, in which Prices Run was renamed the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Aquatic Center. Biden said he told Corn Pop he relationship with the Black community.” would kick him out of the pool again if he broke the rules. But “He was also there because he needed a job,” Smith adds. But the job didn’t start swimmingly, Smith says, and one Biden also apologized for the insults. “I didn’t know if that apology was going to work,” Biden afternoon Joe found himself in hot water with the Romans, one of the biggest gangs in Northeast Wilmington at the time—and said to the crowd of residents and dignitaries at the pool. “[Corn Pop] said, ‘You apologize to me?’ one of several gangs that regularly attended the pool. “I said, “I apologize—not for throwing you out—but I Smith explained that though the gangs then weren’t nearly as violent as today’s gangs, fist fights were common. And apologize for what I said.’ “[Corn Pop] said, ‘Okay,’ and closed the straight razor, and although the Romans had names that sounded more comicbook characters—Corn Pop, Smiley and Murt Wiggins—he my heart began to beat again.” The showdown between Corn Pop and Joe would end up says they were known to carry knives and razors. Another Roman, Sonny Strong, was named for his height becoming part of local Black community folklore. “This incident gave him clout. By them putting a threat and muscular physique, says Smith, “and if you looked at him, on him and him not backing off that threat, that made him a he was… scary.” “Joe was having a confrontation [with the Romans] over special type of White guy,” Smith adds. “He didn’t back down… rules,” Smith says. “And the rules would basically tell the He earned their respect. ► JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


“Joe came back to work the next day, and that’s when the relationship became strong with the Black community who went to that pool.” Smith says that, between 1962 and 1969, he and Biden would regularly see each other on or around Market Street, outside the movie theater, burger joints, or outside Wilmington Dry Goods. Biden was in law school at the time, on the journey to becoming a public defender. “On Sundays, Market Street belonged to the Black community,” Smith says. “Joe would drive down Market Street with his family and, if he saw somebody he knew, he’d stop and introduce them to his family. Then he’d ask if they were okay, were they having problems, and stuff like that. “He always tried to look out for the Black community after he left that swimming pool.” Smith would end up working on Biden’s campaign for U.S. Senator in 1972, building on the relationships the politician had begun as a lifeguard. “I would take him to the Black houses in the projects,” Smith says. “I told him, ‘If you sit down and see a cockroach

THE JOE WE KNOW on the armrest or something, continued from previous page don’t move, just knock the roach off. If they give you a jar to drink out of with Kool Aid, then drink that juice. If a spring pop up out of the chair you’re sitting in, and it hurts, just move over. Just don’t jump out of the chair. Just be normal, and Black folks will like you.’ “If you look at some of the numbers he got running as a senator [in terms of support from Black voters], he got some of the best numbers of any other senator in those years. “Joe knows how to tell jokes. He knows how to get up in your face. He knows how to make you comfortable… And he got the opinion of the Black community before he decided to make a go for Washington.” The Black community responded to his efforts. In 1972, Joe Biden beat out incumbent J. Caleb Boggs to win his first U.S. senatorial election by just 3,162 votes (1% of the total count). He would go on to win the Senate in six more elections, all of them by 40,000 or more votes.

KeepDelawareBeautiful.com 28 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


Historic New Castle celebrates Separation Day each June with two days of festivities. Photo by Lindsay duPhily

First State Firsts They began before the nickname-triggering event in 1787, and continued through the 2020 election By Bob Yearick


ast November, Delaware elected the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history. When Democrat Sarah McBride won the race for the First Senate District with 73 percent of the vote, she also became the highest-ranking transgender official in the country. McBride’s election is just the latest in a long list of achievements in which The First State has scored, well, firsts. The state’s nickname, of course, is derived from the fact that, on Dec. 7, 1787, Delaware became the first of the 13 colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution, doing so with a unanimous vote of the 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention in Dover. (Interestingly, “The First State” did not become the official state nickname until May 23, 2002, following a request by Mrs. Anabelle O’Malley's first grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.) But several “firsts” occurred in Delaware even before the nickname-triggering event in 1787. Perhaps the most significant of these took place on June 15, 1776. In an action that reenforces its claim to being the true “First State,” Delaware declared independence from both Great Britain and Pennsylvania. Says James R. Hanby Sr., a justice of the peace and unofficial historian of the Brandywine Hundred area: “Since 1704 the three lower counties on the Delaware River were permitted to have their own Assembly, while the other counties of Pennsylvania had

theirs, and both reported to the same governor. Delaware drafted a new constitution and became the ‘Delaware State,’ thus becoming the first of the colonies to call itself a state.”


This event became the annual “Separation Day”—a unique-toDelaware celebration held in New Castle on the second Saturday in June. It has become a Friday-Saturday affair, with food and craft beer vendors on Friday night and a Saturday parade that includes reenactors, bands, dance teams, classic cars, sports teams, and mascots. The judged parade proceeds along Delaware Street into Courthouse Square. Last year, the pandemic cancelled the celebration. While we’re listing uniquely Delaware events, we must include Return Day and Big August Quarterly, both of which COVID KO’d in 2020. Return Day, celebrated each year in Georgetown two days after the November general election, is an example of “the Delaware way.” Politicians from all over the state as well as U.S. Senators and Representatives get together for a ceremonial burying of the hatchet. Featuring a parade and food vendors, the celebration is somewhat similar to Separation Day. A regular event since 1828, it was suspended during World War II, and last year the pandemic cancelled the parade and food. ► JANUARY 2021



FIRST STATE FIRSTS Big August Quarterly, now continued from previous page held in Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, is an annual celebration to commemorate the founding of the Union Church of Africans, the first African American Church in the United States. As the August Quarterly website states: It “began in 1814 [and] has remained a time of reunion, religious revival and celebration of freedom for the people in and around Wilmington.” It is the oldest such celebration in the U.S. Here are some other pre-1787 events, compiled with James Hanby’s help: • On March 29, 1638, Dr. Tymen Stiddem (Stidham) arrived on the Kalmar Nyckel, becoming the first physician in Delaware, and likely the first actual trained doctor in the New World (“Also,” Hanby says, “my 10th grandfather.”) • In 1763, Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason started the MasonDixon line survey just outside Newark. The line along the southern Pennsylvania border later became informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and the slave (Southern) states. • In 1778, Barrett’s Chapel in Frederica became “the cradle of Methodism” as a result of a meeting there between Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, who were instructed by John Wesley to create a separate Methodist denomination in America following the Revolution. Says Hanby: “Wesley understood that as we were now a free country, it would be difficult to continue controlling the faithful from England. The plans laid out at that meeting at Barrett's Chapel led to the Christmas meeting in Baltimore at which Coke and Asbury formally created the first bishops and church leadership structure for the American Methodist Church.” One alleged event that has been branded as myth by both Hanby and Wade Catts, president of South River Heritage Consulting in Newark, is the flying of the “Betsy Ross” flag above Cooch’s Bridge during the battle of the same name on Sept. 3, 1777. “It’s a nice story,” says Catts, “but it appears to have been created in the late 19th century. No reputable flag scholar or researcher will support that claim.”


In the 19th century, the parade of Delaware firsts throttled back a bit. In 1806, native Delawarean (He was born near Newport) Oliver Evans created the first automobile in the form of the “Oruktor Amphibolos,” or Amphibious Digger. It was built for the Philadelphia Board of Health

August Quarterly, held in Wilmington’s Tubman-Garrett Park, is the oldest religious festival of its kind in the U.S. Photo courtesy August Quarterly 30 JANUARY 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


A parade float pokes fun at those unfamiliar with Delaware during the state’s annual Return Day celebration in Georgetown O&A file photo

to dredge the Schuylkill River and remove sandbars to open the port of Philadelphia. The 51-year-old inventor placed wheels on his steam engine and drove it over the streets of Philadelphia from his workshop to the river. “Kind of a pioneering Duck Boat,” jokes Hanby. At the age of 29, Evans also was said to have built the first automated production line. In a factory outside Philadelphia he adapted five machines, including conveyors, elevators, and weighing scales, to produce a production line for grinding grain in which all movement throughout the mill was automatic. During the 20th century, Delaware was the site of several original achievements: • In 1923, a major First State industry got its start through a mistake. Delawarean Cecile Steele ordered 50 baby chickens, but somebody added a zero to the order and she received 500. She raised them, later sold 387 for meat, and thus was born the broiler industry. By 1936, the Delmarva Peninsula accounted for two-thirds of the broilers raised in America. • Also in 1923, the University of Delaware became the first college to offer a study abroad program. • In late 1939, the DuPont Co. began the first production of nylon at its plant in Seaford. After an initial application in toothbrushes, the miracle material found a home in women’s hosiery, prompting “nylon riots” across the country. “Nylons” became scarce during World War II, when the fabric was used in manufacturing parachutes (some of which became post-war wedding gowns), tire cords, ropes, aircraft fuel tanks, shoelaces, mosquito netting and hammocks. • The first spacesuits for NASA astronauts were built in the ILC Dover plant in Frederica, in the late 1960s, and ILC Dover has continued to be the primary supplier of spacesuits for NASA in the 50-plus years since the first Apollo flight. ►

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FIRST STATE FIRSTS continued from previous page

The ceremonial burying of the hatchet is a Return Day tradition. O&A file photo


• In 1968, Wilmington was the scene of a less-than-proud achievement for the state. Two days of rioting in the city followed the April 4 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., prompting Gov. Charles L. Terry Jr. to send in the National Guard to restore order. He then refused to remove them even after order was restored, and the situation continued for more than nine months, with Guardsmen patrolling the streets in Jeeps. “Only after Gov. Russell Peterson was elected and sworn in, in January of 1969, did the occupation end,” says Hanby. “It was one of Peterson’s first acts as governor. It gives Wilmington the dubious distinction of having been occupied by the army for longer than any city in America since the end of Reconstruction in 1877.” • A happier note was struck in 1984 at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina), where the state scored one of its few athletic firsts. Delawarean Francis Joseph “Frank” Masley became the first American luger to carry the U.S. flag in opening ceremonies. Masley, who held 10 national records, also competed in the 1980 and the 1988 games. Equipped with a degree in civil engineering from Drexel University, Masley went on to a successful business career. Along with his wife, Donna, he founded Masley Enterprises in 2000 in the basement of their home in Wilmington. The company eventually moved to Jessup Street and became a leading supplier of technical hand-wear solutions for industry and the U.S. military. Sadly, Masley died of melanoma in 2016, at the age of 56. Donna continues as president and CEO of the business. In closing, a disclaimer: This is by no means a complete list of Delaware firsts. Indeed, a couple of additional achievements are mentioned in Jerry duPhily’s “From the Publisher” at the front of the magazine. But we hope you’ll agree that for a state that is diminutive (2,491 square miles, population of 985,741), pound-for-pound we stack up pretty well against the other 49.


Ariel Gruswitz

Creating More Firsts Delaware Prosperity Partnership has been busy attracting more future innovators Last January, we spoke with Ariel Gruswitz about the topic of innovation as it applies to Delaware’s economic future. Since Gruswitz serves as director of innovation at Delaware Prosperity Partnership, the lead economic development resource for the First State, we felt it was time for an update. “We have a rich 200+ year history of science and technology,” Gruswitz said last January. “In many ways, this is a unique place.” In the past year, DPP has been busy building on that tradition of science and technology. Last month, DPP presented to the Council on Development Finance (CDF) and requested up to $3 million from the state's Strategic Fund for a pilot program. “The lack of ready-to-go lab space has been an ongoing issue,” Gruswitz says. “It’s an issue everywhere, and it’s been an issue in Delaware since DPP got started. “We’ve looked at some ways we can help provide support from the public sector and get the private sector more engaged and more aware of the issue. “This particular type of program, to my knowledge, has not been done before in Delaware.” Before securing the $3 million, Gruswitz and the DPP team spent a year and half doing research on the subject: looking at what other states have done while also getting input from the local real estate community on ideas they felt would work. “These funds will be used to grants going [toward] industrial or warehouse facilities that could be turned into lab space,” Gruswitz said. Another accomplishment for DPP in 2020 was identifying 25 key people from state government, the private sector, and key highereducation institutions to serve on what is essentially a reinvigorated model of the Science & Technology Council. Gruswitz said the Council had “fallen by the wayside over the past 20 years.” Governor John Carney serves as Co-Chair of the DPP Board, and the Science & Tech Advisors group will offer recommendations. “[We recently discussed] what a tech-based economy in a state really means and what are the key pieces of that,” Gruswitz said. “And [what are] the roles the private sector plays and the higher- education institutions play. “It’s exciting because it’s an opportunity to influence the economic development strategy for the state in terms of the science and technology sectors, and that includes entrepreneurship and high-techbased startup companies.” — Out & About




To Everyone Who Voted for Me This Year. I Value Your Support. To Those Who Did Not: I Hope to Earn Your Trust. To Us All: May We Work Together for a Better 2021! Sincerely, Loretta Walsh JANUARY 2021




Worth TRYING Distinctly Delaware

Take our word for it, whether you’re a resident or new to the area, you owe it to yourself to experience these staff suggestions

SIGNATURE SUBS If you’ve lived in Northern Delaware and have not experienced the trinity of sub shops-Casapulla’s, Capriotti’s, Yatz’s—then you should politely be asked to leave. A trip to one of these sandwich icons is a first request from my visiting out-of-town friends and relatives and for good reason: Nobody does it better. While all three have long-established Wilmington locations, Casapulla’s and Capriotti’s can be found elsewhere in the state. (Capriotti’s does have out-of-state locations, but the ones I’ve visited don’t match up to their founding shops in New Castle and Wilm.). My personal favorite: the store-cooked turkey sub at Casapulla’s. — Jerry duPhily, Publisher


NO PLACE LIKE HAGLEY Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1802. This example of early American industry features indoor and outdoor exhibitions, including restored mills, a workers community, and the ancestral home and garden of the du Pont family. Unfortunately, many of the indoor exhibits are closed, but that may change as the COVID vaccine becomes more widely available. For up-to-date info, go to Hagley.org. — Bob Yearick, Associate Editor


It started as a small shop on Rehoboth Avenue in 1960 and now, 60 years later, it seems like there’s a Grotto Pizza on every street corner in Delaware. The franchise began when Dominic Pulieri and his sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Joseph Paglianite, realized there was a market for pizza in an era before nationwide chains such as Dominos, Little Caesars and Pizza Hut. When Grotto first started, Pulieri himself would flip the dough at their Rehoboth Avenue store. A slice of pizza cost 20 cents and an entire pie cost $1.60. Today, there are 16 Grotto Pizza stores in Delaware--including three in Rehoboth Beach--and three each in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and the only-pizza menu has expanded to include other Italian dishes as well as hamburgers, cheesesteaks, hot wings and more. — Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer


A FERRY GOOD TIME So much changed during 2020, but the 85-minute cruise on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is a reminder of the beauty and the history that will never waiver in the First State. Along the way, riders can view multiple lighthouses, including the Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse— established in 1885—which is one of Delaware’s oldest. Hitch a ride in the summer, and keep your eyes peeled for migratory birds and shorebirds. Dolphins make their presence known year-round, and whales are usually spotted from November through April. And nothing is more serene or more enchanting than watching the sun go down as you sail along the Delaware Bay.

How many states can claim host to a Civil War and World War I fort that has been featured on Ghost Hunters? After Pea Patch Island was deeded to Delaware in 1813 and Fort Delaware completed in 1859, its purpose to protect changed to prison during the Civil War as it housed almost 33,000 Confederate prisoners. Today, the land and fort are a Delaware State Park, accessed by an entertaining half-mile ferry ride from historic Delaware City. Fort Delaware is open to the public offering info tours, costumed interpreters, cannon blasts and, yes, October ghost tours for history buffs. The surrounding Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve plays host to a 0.8-mile perimeter Prison Camp Trail and Heronry Overlook for bird and nature enthusiasts. Plan a picnic and stay the day to relive Delaware's rich and pivotal history. Fort Delaware is open Wednesday through Sunday April 2021 through Labor Day, then weekends into lateOctober. Visit DEStateParks.com — Mike O'Brian, Digital Services Director

— Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Contributing Writer

FIRST STATE HIGHS & LOWS You can enjoy the view from Delaware’s highest elevation—without getting out of your car. It’s a 447.85-foot bump on Ebright Road, just south of the Pennsylvania line and just north of Concord High School. And if you have a surf fishing license, you can park and fish at Delaware’s lowest elevation– sea level—at specified sites at state parks in Sussex County. — Ken Mammarella, Contributing Writer

EVERYTHING BUT THE OINK Delaware’s mystery meat, scrapple, is like a hot dog—better not to ask if you don’t already know what’s in it. Most Delawareans have the rectangular slice (deep-fried or grilled) for breakfast. Bridgeville hosts the Apple Scrapple Festival in the fall and really makes a celebration out of it with long lines at the booth for scrapple and grape jelly sandwiches on Wonder bread. — Bev Zimmermann, Special Projects

MIGRATION MAGNET Few places attract the variety of birds that can be found at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. This nationally recognized birding spot protects one of the largest remaining expanses of tidal salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic region. I find the spring to be the most appealing, but a variety of birds are constantly passing through regardless of the season. Located in Smyrna, the walking trails and coastal landscapes will not disappoint any time of year. Plan your visit at Fws.gov/Refuge/BombayHook. — Matthew Loeb, Creative Director




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Mark Edelson, Founding Partner and Director of Brewery Operations for Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Photo by Smith Brothers Agency

The Next Chapter Iron Hill story continues with retail sales, new production facility and fresh dining concept By Matt Morrissette


he Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant story begins longer ago than one might think, September 3, 1777 to be exact, when the Continental Army clashes with British forces during a Revolutionary War battle that takes place on Iron Hill, just outside of Newark, Del. The story picks up in 1990 when Kevin Finn (founding partner) receives a home brewing kit as a birthday present from his wife and shares his new-found passion with his friend Mark Edelson (founding partner #2). Together, they experience unexpected success in beer competitions, winning numerous awards. They begin to wonder if their hobby can be a business.

In 1994, the two friends are introduced to Kevin Davies (founding partner #3), an experienced and proven restaurant professional. The three men hit it off and with the team complete, they decide to move the operation out of Finn’s basement. Inspired by the spirit of that Revolutionary War battle, the trio decide to call their endeavor Iron Hill and open the first location on Main Street in Newark in November of 1996. Less than a year later, their Lodestone Lager wins a gold medal at the American Brewer’s Association’s Great American Brew Festival, the brewing industry’s most prestigious competition. ►




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THE NEXT CHAPTER The story picks up steam in 1998 continued from previous page as Iron Hill expands into West Chester, Pa., putting its business model of an on-site brewery in each location into effect. Both locations thrive. Over the next two decades, the Iron Hill reputation and universe continues to grow with numerous new locations in the tri-state area and a steady stream of medals, including the title of “Best Brewpub” at the global World Beer Cup in 2010. The largest spurt of growth begins in 2018 with the company taking on equity partners, adding seven new locations, and expanding beyond the mid-Atlantic region before their 25th birthday. 2020 finds Iron Hill, miraculously, with all three founders still actively involved in the business, and embarking on a surprising new journey, making its beer available for retail sale for the first time and opening a huge production facility in Pennsylvania. Edelson, now Director of Brewery Operations, elaborates on the timing and details of the expansion. “In 1998, when we opened our second location, we determined that it and every future location would have an on-site brewery to guarantee the same quality, freshness, and innovation that made the first location successful. These smaller breweries were perfect to provide the beer needed for the individual restaurants, but they did not give us the capacity to produce and sustain the quantities needed for distribution. Now, 25 years later, we are weeks away from the opening of a 20,000-barrel packaging brewery—which we affectionately call ‘the big brewery’—in Exton (Pa.). That will allow us to produce enough

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of our tried-and-true beers for South Eastern Pa. We have our retail sales, while the individual sights set on Central Pa. and locations continue to focus Southern Jersey next!” on brewing new, fun, and The brewery’s beer finder experimental recipes for our is available to help consumers in-house guests to enjoy.” locate their most convenient When a local business outlets at www.ironhillbrewery. grows and changes, particularly com/beerfinder. in the small town that is the In addition to retail sales state of Delaware, there’s becoming part of the Iron Hill inevitably some apprehension repertoire, the opening of their new among diehard fans. In the beer production facility has led to case of Iron Hill, the reasoning another new element, the Taphouse. for this broadening of their Edelson explains that Iron Hill's popular New England-style IPA, now known as Philly Phavorite, can now be operation is simple. purchased in retail stores throughout Delaware and Southeastern Pa. Photo by Ali Stewart The Taphouse will be an “The goal is to make our beers upbeat, polished, fast-casual dining more convenient for our current customer “Our year-round line-up includes Philly experience with an innovative kitchen, and base to purchase, as well as reach some new Phavorite IPA (formerly known as Philly more than 20 beers on tap. The Taphouse beer drinkers,” says Edelson. “We love what we Special but changed due to a trademark held is scheduled to open in January 2021 at 260 do, which is brewing great beer that people by the Philadelphia Eagles), Hipster IPA, and Eagleview Boulevard in Exton, Pa. can enjoy with food and friends—and we want Sweet Leaf IPA,” says Edelson. “In addition And despite the considerable challenges to share that with as many people as possible.” to those, we will have rotating IPAs and of 2020, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant The most important issue, as always, seasonals available. continues to expand and innovate while is beer. In other words, what favorite Iron “Our next seasonal to hit the market never forgetting the spirit of its namesake Hill craft beers will be available to drink in will be our most decorated beer—Russian battle or the joyful vision that started with the comfort of one’s own living room or Imperial Stout. So far, we’re available in three friends in a basement a quarter of a backyard…and when? hundreds of retail outlets in Delaware and century ago.





In Defense of…Robert Palmer By Jim Miller


ver the course of a nearly 30-year solo career, Robert Palmer explored musical genres as a painter would approach colors, characterizing albums with a variety of styles that could alternate track-to-track from rock to reggae, from soul to samba, blues to big band. It’s just too bad that’s not how he’s remembered... In an ITV News interview held a few days after Palmer’s death in September 2003, Seal (another genre-blending British musician) said he was “completely amazed” by Palmer’s “diversity and unique approach to songwriting.” Today, the majority of music fans are more likely to recall Palmer as the sharp-dressed singer backed by a bevy of expressionless fashion models in his iconic video for “Addicted to Love,” a numberone hit in 1986. During a time where MTV still showcased music, the video’s cosmopolitan serving of “sex-sells” fed the appetites of new audiences worldwide. The recipe worked so well that Palmer and company would replicate the ingredients in other videos, helping to propel album sales to double-platinum status. The irony is that the idea for the “Addicted” video was never his. Nevertheless, the invention came to define him. The excessive debonair playboy persona cultivated in those videos would nearly eclipse the legacy of a knowledgeable and skilled artist.

In his memoir Remain in Love, Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz fondly recalls his wife (and co-member), Tina Weymouth, and him spending time with Palmer while living and recording in the Bahamas in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. “Robert was a true scholar of music history and… was also very well informed about the latest musical happenings in the UK, Europe, and around the world and introduced us to many artists that we did not know about. “He had spent a good part of his youth living on the island of Malta, where he listened to North African radio, so he had a strong love of African music, too.” Frantz played drums on “Looking for Clues,” the bouncy opening cut of Clues, Palmer’s most financially successful solo record before the days of “Addicted.” Curious listeners looking for evidence of Palmer jumping deftly from one genre to the next, can find it on Clues. The album’s songs swing effortlessly from synth-pop (“Looking for Clues” and “What Do You Care”) to gritty rock (“Sulky Girl” and “Not A Second Time”) to new wave (“Johnny and Mary” and “I Dream of Wires”). Then there’s the riskier bits of color blending, like the Arabic-influenced synth-funk on “Found You Now” and the poly-rhythmic island lullaby, “Woke Up Laughing.”

The excessive debonair playboy persona cultivated in those

videos would nearly eclipse

the legacy of a knowledgeable and skilled artist.


IN DEFENSE OF... continued from previous page

Palmer performed this kind of stylehopping on many of his records. His early albums cooked up Southern-fried funk, then added Caribbean flavors when he began recording at Compass Point Studios in Nassau (where he met Frantz and Weymouth). He’d go on to explore elements of African highlife, juju and Afrobeat, then venture deeply into Latin American styles of bossa nova, salsa, choro, and carioca. After lukewarm success with a few British bands, Palmer's solo career in 1974 in New Orleans, a town that, of course, is also well-known for offering a rich gumbo of spicy and sophisticated musical styles. It was there, at Allen Toussiant’s SeaSaint Studios, that Palmer, backed by The Meters and Little Feat’s Lowell George, recorded the title track for his now-classic debut album, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley. Although Lee Dorsey originally released the Toussaint ditty three year earlier, it was Palmer’s ‘70s-funk rendition that would become more closely followed in the years to come by the likes of Sister Sledge, Ringo Star, Phish and a countless number of jam bands across the country. Palmer was a complete unknown in the U.S. when he came here to record Sneakin’ Sally. In 1996, he recounted to the L.A. Daily News his first encounter with legendary drummer Bernard Purdie during an album session. “Here was this white English kid coming to New Orleans and New York to work with bands I had only heard on vinyl,” Palmer said. “They didn't know me from Adam—and, at first, they wouldn't even say hello. “But eight bars into the first tune, Purdie turned around and said, ‘Sir, excuse me, what did you say your name was?’” The name, obviously, is Robert Palmer. But the question revolving around his identity still lingers. In our collective memories, something vital remains obscured behind the fine Italian-tailored suit and silk tie. Somewhere, lost amid the vacant faces of the female models hired to perform almost as props, was an adventurous musician focused on new ways to approach traditional sounds from half the globe over. Thankfully, for those who want to search, his efforts can still be heard today. — Have an element of pop culture you would like to defend in writing? Submit your In Defense Of…to Contact@TSNPub.com



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n December, Mayor Purzycki joined April Pagliassotti of West Side Grows Together; Elder Wayne DeShields, President of Be Ready CDC; 3rd District Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker; City Councilmembers Chris Johnson, James Spadola, and Bud Freel; and Pastor Margaret Moon-Taylor of Be Ready Church to pay homage to the late Pastor Lottie Mae Lee-Davis, who was tragically killed in a car accident in September, by dedicating a beautiful new mural to her memory at 4th and Rodney streets. Done by the talented artists of Smash Label, Crae Washington and JaQuanne LeRoy, this colorful work of art graces the space across the street from Be Ready Jesus is Coming Church on Wilmington’s West Side. “Pastor Lottie was a pillar of our community,” said the Mayor, “and she was such a supporter of our City’s parks, so in particular, I look forward to seeing a City park named in her honor very soon.”

Mayor Purzycki is joined by City Council members James Spadola, Bud Freel, and Chris Johnson at the dedication of the Pastor Davis mural in December.

Pastor Lottie Davis mural at 4th & Rodney streets.



ike all of you, I am happy to have 2020 in our rear-view mirror and am looking forward to a much better year ahead. A year full of promise that will see the dreaded coronavirus in full retreat thanks to the introduction of new vaccines, as well as a gradual return to something approaching normal for our government functions, our businesses large and small, our schools and gathering places, and—most importantly—our friends and family members who have spent much of the past nine months in various stages of isolation. This past year has surely taken its toll on all of us, but I am optimistic that our City will come out of this trying time better and stronger than before. In January, a new City Council will be installed—the 108th Session of Council—and I am confident that we can put our old divisions behind us and forge a productive working relationship that moves this City forward in such a way that all of our residents benefit. I expect, for example, that we will debate, and I hope agree on, Housing Code reform legislation that will hold negligent



Photo credit Saquan Stimpson Par



HSS Division of Public Health is continuing Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Delaware in early 2021 for those who work in high-risk and critical infrastructure industries such as food processing, utilities, education, police and fire; for those who work and live in congregate settings such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters; as well as for those with certain underlying health conditions, and are aged 65 and older. Phase 2 should begin in March, with Phase 3 scheduled to follow in Spring/ Summer 2021. Individuals can email questions about the vaccine to Vaccine@Delaware.gov, and visit de.gov/covidvaccine for up-to-date info. Myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/ will also have data on the vaccine available.

and vacant property owners accountable for the damage they have done—and continue to do—to our most vulnerable neighborhoods and residents. This month will also see our very own Joe Biden inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, a proud moment for the entire state of Delaware that will keep Wilmington in the national spotlight for the foreseeable future. We have much work to do to create a more just City where everyone can achieve and succeed. We must become a safer City by removing guns from our streets and redirecting lives for the better. We need to make more progress toward creating strong neighborhoods and an even cleaner City. And we will continue to focus on the important issue of racial justice. Difficult challenges lie ahead, but I remain very positive about our City’s future because I am exceedingly positive about the people of Wilmington.


NEWS YOU CAN USE! WILMINGTON 311 Wilmington 311 is the new phone and online service that residents and businesses can call to get connected with a customer service rep for assistance with reaching a City Dept., filing a service request, lodging a complaint, paying a bill, or requesting info. The 311 phone service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon.-Fri. During off hours, you can access the City’s 311 online page—www.WilmingtonDE.gov/311— on the City website home page 24-7. No matter how you access the service, you’ll get a case number to track your issue to completion.

REMINDER! Fri., January 1: News Year’s Day (City Offices Closed; collection schedule modified) Mon., January 18: MLK Jr. Day (City Offices Closed; collection schedule modified) Weds., January 20: Joseph R. Biden Jr. Inaugurated the 46th President of the U.S. (Noon)

For more important January dates, visit https://www.wilmingtonde.gov



SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY! During this difficult time, there are numerous options on the Riverfront to 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!


The Riverfront Market



Stop in and enjoy fresh produce, salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, sushi, Mexican,Thai cuisine and much more!

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for in-house indoor and outdoor dining Banks Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill Ciro Food & Drink Cosi Del Pez Docklands Drop Squad Kitchen Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Riverfront Bakery River Rock Kitchen Starbucks The Juice Joint Timothy’s on the Riverfront Ubon Thai



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