October 2021 - An All New Playhouse

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The Best & Worst of James Bond

Artists Turned Teachers Inspire City Youth



PLAYHOUSE Complete makeover for historic city theater


Betting on Bachetti Bros.

Join the team at Two Stones Pub!






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Out & About Magazine Vol. 34 | No. 8



7 From the Publisher 9 War on Words 13 FYI 16 Learn 17 Worth Trying

FOCUS 19 Major Makeover at The Playhouse 25 Musical Notes of Change

EAT 33 Betting on Bachetti Bros.


WATCH Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact@TSNPub.com Wilmington, DE 19801 Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com Director of Publications Jim Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designer Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC, Contributing Writers Jill Althouse-Wood, Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Adriana Camacho-Church, JulieAnne Cross, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett

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

37 Everlasting Bond

DRINK 43 Downeast Cider on the Grow

LISTEN 47 Tuned In

PLAY 49 Fill in the Blanks


WILMINGTON 50 In the City 52 On the Riverfront On the cover: The Playhouse on Rodney Square is spruced up and ready for the new season. Photos provided by Matt Urban and The Playhouse on Rodney Square


All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.

All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.

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

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Lewis Black: It Gets Better Every Day Tour SAT | OCT 9 | 8PM | $56-$80

The king of rant with his trademark style of comedic yelling & pointing

An Evening with David Sedaris FRI | OCT 15 | 8PM | $39-$47

David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers.

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes THUR | OCT 21 | 8PM | $34-$41

Postmodern Jukebox: The Grand Reopening Tour SAT | OCT 23 | 8PM | $31-$43

The Temptations

The Rock Orchestra performs Elton John SAT | NOV 6 | 8PM | $30

Today’s hits played in yesterday’s styles.

WED | OCT 27 | 8PM | $46-$54 Often referred to as “American Music Royalty”

The ultimate Jersey Shore rock band! We’re having a party!

Returning with their long-awaited tribute to the Rocketman himself.


2021/2022 SEASON

Photo: Francesco Scavullo

DECEMBER 4 & 5, 2021

NOVEMBER 18-21, 2021

JUNE 9-12, 2022

SUBSCRIBE NOW! NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS STARTING AS LOW AS $125! BroadwayInWilmington.org | 302.888.0200

TheGrandWilmington.org 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200

818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

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


APRIL 22-24, 2022




Masks Required Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status


From The Publisher



very year I look forward to Outside Magazine’s Best Towns edition. It’s been a feature of the magazine for two decades now and I’ve probably read every one — discovering bucketlist destinations or receiving affirmation for places I’ve experienced before they “made the list.” This year, the editors at Outside modified their criteria, focusing on four major categories in making their selections: diversity, sustainability, affordability, and outdoor equity. Thirteen towns/ cities were named. “We chose 13 of the country’s most diverse places according to the factors that matter today,” states the article’s introduction. Makes sense to me. Who hasn’t had their diversity-and-equity awareness raised during the past year? And courtesy of COVID, who hasn’t gained a deeper appreciation for the indispensability of outdoor activity? Which led me to wonder: Based on the new criteria, what would it take for Wilmington to make this list? It would sure be a selling point, for residents and prospective residents alike. Perhaps not as strong a selling point as quality jobs, education, affordability, safety or even arts equity (See my August column), but we have organizations working on those. Who is working on cool? And being named a Best Town by Outside would be cool. I know what you’re thinking: Wilmington is far cry from Bozeman (Mo.). And we’re no Bend (Ore.) or Austin (Texas). Agreed, but neither is Philadelphia. And our northern neighbor made this year’s list. “Those who see only the grit are missing all the green,” says Outside’s Kate Morgan. Morgan classifies the 2,050-acre Fairmount Park as a “conservation triumph.” She applauds the fact that more than 40 community organizations are working together to complete the Circuit Trails — a 350-mile-long trail system connecting the city to surrounding counties. And Morgan points out that 95% of Philly residents live within a 10-minute walk of a public park. Outside’s source for the park access statistic? A 2021 Trust for Public Land report. So, I looked up that report to see where Wilmington rated in park access. Our score: 99%, four points higher than Philly. In the diversity measure, Outside used a complex Wallet Hub study that listed Philly at No. 95 out of the top 500. Wilmington was 228, which at a minimum puts us in the top half. Affordability? Well, I don’t know of a person who would say Philly is more affordable than Wilmington. Sustainability? As recently as December 2019, our city released a comprehensive master plan titled “Wilmington 2028.” Sustainability is one of the plan’s five principal goals. In other words, I don’t see the numbers as our biggest challenge.

I believe it’s part reputation and part inventory. Wilmington is not known for being a cool town for outdoor activity. And we need to create more cool and inclusive outdoor public spaces. In other words, we need more things like the Markell Trail. Anyone who has experienced this trail, which takes you from the Wilmington Riverfront to Historic New Castle (including an elevated boardwalk over marshland), would concede it is cool. However, the magic of the Markell isn’t just the wow factor, it’s the diversity of users. Everyone feels welcome on that trail, so everyone uses it. And the Markell isn’t our only inclusive outdoor asset. There’s the Riverwalk, the Rock Lot, Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, Brandywine Park, and the Peterson Wildlife Refuge, to name a few. However, the timing is right to expand our roster. In fact, as a recent Knight Foundation study (Adaptive Public Space: Places for People in the Pandemic and Beyond) suggested, it would be a missed opportunity not to do so. “With the availability of more federal dollars for infrastructure, the leadership of our communities — advocates, city administrators, public and private sector leaders — have a historic opportunity to put the funding to good use by supporting equitable, accessible and engaging spaces that support more resilient cities,” states the Knight study. “Now is the time to invest in community-led and empowering public spaces…” I’m in. And may I offer a few suggestions: • Large public sculpture you can climb — other smaller ones you can sit in or on • Reimagined city playgrounds with state-of-the-art activities • Dedicated bike lane (with protective barrier) connecting the Markell Trail and Northern Delaware Greenway Trail • Dynamic public space as well as bike lanes and walking trail throughout the footprint of the proposed Riverfront East • Repurposed vacant alleys as basketball, volleyball, or bocce courts • Expanding the Open Streets Wilmington program and consider making a portion of Market Street car-free And, for the more adventurous: • Zip line over the Christina River near the DuPont Environment Education Center • Adventure/obstacle course or climbing tower on Seventh Street Peninsula tied into the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Have a cool outdoor idea of your own? Send to jduphily@ tsnpub.com and I’ll forward to the Wilmington Office of Cool Idea Development. That office doesn’t currently exist, but launching one would be a cool idea, too. — Jerry duPhily OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


CELEBRATING 25 YEARS Being Part of Your Community!

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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

MEDIA WATCH • Gabe Lacques, in USA TODAY: “There’s intangibles, for certain.” This contraction is misused constantly by old reliable Gabe and others. Intangibles, a plural, means the verb should be are. • USA TODAY subhead: “Saints face potential crisis if neither Winston nor Hill can’t elevate their games.” Changing can’t to can would have corrected this double negative. • Matt Breen, in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The Phillies hit four homers, which equaled the amount they hit in the previous four games.” Yo, Matt, when dealing with countable nouns, like, for instance, homers, use number. • Also in the Inky, we had this from Eagles reporter Jeff McLane: “Kelly, like Pederson, wasn’t adverse to analytics.” That should be averse — opposed, having a strong dislike. Jeff gets kudos, however, for his gracious response when notified of his miscue: “Ah thanks! Will fix.” • A reader submits this from the Blue Delaware blog: “Tim Murphy resigned in disgrace in the face of duel sex and bullying scandals.” The blogger really meant dual, referring to two distinct types of scandals. A duel is a combat between two persons, things, or ideas. • National Public Radio, the medium of choice among progressives and intellectuals (allegedly), is not without fault. Two recent examples: 1. “The main reason were the benefits that they would receive” – NPR announcer discussing why people change jobs. The subject is reason, so the verb should be was. 2. Another NPR commentator scored this double comparative: “They felt more safer at the airport in Kabul.” • Nick Federoff, purveyor of a syndicated radio show on gardening, commits a couple of gaffes on his website. First, there is this: “A little introduction as to whom I am” (should be who). Further on: “Sporting a foot-long beard and an equally outrageous personality, Federoff’s national award-winning weekly radio show has been on the air since May 1986.” That long modifier is meant to describe Federoff, but as constructed the sentence refers to his radio show.

DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCIES DEPT. • A reader caught Chrissy Evert, covering the U.S. Open, say that a player “is currently without a coach right now.” • Reporting on a Novak Djokovic match at the Open, an Associated Press correspondent wrote this: “. . . the ultimate outcome seemed fairly

Word of the Month

Janus-faced Pronounced janus-fayst, it means having two sharply contrasting aspects or characteristics; insincere or deceitful – after Janus, the Roman god of doors, gates, and transitions.

By Bob Yearick

obvious after all of about 15 minutes.” Ultimate is superfluous here. • And good ol’ Gabe Lacques, still at USA TODAY, came through for us again: “He led the American League in homes runs in 2013 and 2015 but also led the league in strikeouts as well.” Gotta cut back on those qualifiers, Gabe. • A reader heard Sharrie Williams, on Philadelphia’s Channel 6 Action News, inexplicably refer to “victims coming off a ship vessel.” Choose one or the other, but not both. • And finally, Josh Tolentino, writing in The Inquirer’s sports pages: “Traditionally, starters typically don’t play in the preseason finale.” See previous item.

HOW LONG, OH LORD, HOW LONG? (In which we call out misuse of that most maligned punctuation mark, the apostrophe) Isabel Hughes, writing in the Wilmington News Journal: “While the devices are not fix-all’s, studies have shown cameras and light can reduce crime.” Why, we ask, is an apostrophe needed there?

QUASHING THIS TREND Reader Mimi Gregor laments the mistaken use of squash where quash should be the choice. She cites two recent examples from TNJ: • “The best way to squash this [the Delta variant] and to prevent future mutations and more serious variants is everybody gets vaccinated now,” Rattay said. • And in an op-ed piece by Scott Jennings there was this: “But let’s be honest — liberals have long desired the power to squash conservative speech, even before today’s concerns about vaccine hesitancy.” The careful writer uses squash only when referring to physically flattening something by crushing or squeezing. Quash should be used in the figurative sense, meaning to cancel, put an end to, suppress.

LITERALLY OF THE MONTH With the advent of another football season, we will be treated, again and again, to that old referee’s refrain: “The previous play is under further review,” which implies that it has already been reviewed.

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

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

Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf (hockessinbookshelf.com) or call me at 302-482-3737.

CREATING COMMON GROUND The SECOND CHANCE EMPLOYMENT COLLABORATIVE, an initiative launched with anchor funding from JPMorgan Chase, connects justice-involved citizens with stable career pathways in high-growth sectors such as banking, IT, and healthcare. Wilmington Alliance, along with their community and employer partners, work together to eliminate barriers to employment for justice involved citizens to create pathways for success through legal services, skills training, employment, and wraparound services. Current partners include Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, Wilmington HOPE Commission, the Delaware Center for Justice, NERDiT NOW, Peace by Piece, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County and Project New Start, with hopes to add more. The HOPE Commission's first digital literacy trainees have completed, and have received Microsoft certifications. Participants also have access to mentors and coaches which affords them the opportunity to build professional resumes, sharpen interviewing skills, and mitigate barriers through wraparound services and support. To further the impact the SECOND CHANCE EMPLOYMENT COLLABORATIVE will host Expungement and Employment Expos throughout the city:

The first Expungement and Employment Expo will be hosted by the Hope Commission, on October 16, 2021 from 11:00am – 3:00 pm.

Are You A Small Business Owner? As a member of WilmingtonMADE, your business can receive free paid advertising. Signing up a business is free, just visit our website: WilmingtonMADE.COM

Business Directory

To learn more about Wilmington Alliance and our work visit WilmingtonAlliance.org follow @WilmingtonAlliance






MARKEE Delaware-based business innovates all-in-one collaboration platform


raig Doig has no qualms about going up against the Goliaths in the virtual communication and collaboration industry. Doig is the CEO of Yorklynbased Markee, which offers an appealing alternative for small businesses. For one, the web-based app resides at the customer’s domain. “With products like Slack or Discord or Zoom, you have to become a customer,” Doig explains. “Markee takes that barrier away: Businesses can have a direct relationship with users.” Because the business can put its brand on the platform, it resembles a proprietary product. Compare it to store-branded makeup or medical supplies produced by a third party but marketed as that store’s items. The all-in-one Markee also accommodates internal and external meetings. “You can create virtual text rooms, virtual meeting rooms, forums and notetaking spaces, then share them externally and internally,” Doig says. But the sweet spot? Privacy. “We’re one of the most privacy-based communication tools available,” Doig maintains. “Our video chats are HIPAAcompliant — all of our files are encrypted. We have no ‘vision’ into the product you’re using.” That’s a sharp departure from most Cloud-based companies, which use customer data for marketing purposes. “We don’t leverage any data,” Doig says. Other Markee perks include file-sharing, widget capability, individual rooms, polls, chats and Q&A features. Like many cutting-edge products and services, Markee was born out of necessity. At the time, Doig was COO of Short Order Production House in Wilmington, which risked losing a significant client because its content-management system wasn’t robust enough to reach 100-plus global sites. Fortunately, software developers like Zach Phillips were already on Short Order’s staff. It took only three weeks to design Markee’s initial version, which synced digital content on multiple screens from a central location. Doig and Phillips were onto something. In June 2020, they spun Markee off from Short Order – right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the platform could handle the virtual events that replaced in-person workshops and conferences. Suddenly, the workforce was also using collaboration software. Markee had the virtual framework to enter that space. “We really let our customers lead the development,” Doig says. “What do people actually need? We went from a digital signage company to a digital events company to a 12 OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

The Markee all-in-one virtual communication and collaboration platform allows businesses to have a direct relationship with users.

digital collaboration platform — all based on feedback from customers.” Markee currently has 13 employees, including four software developers. As the company expands, there are no plans to leave Delaware. “When people think of Markee, I want them to associate it with Delaware,” says Doig, a native Texan who moved here from Los Angeles. Seeking to build the state into a recognized tech hub with a deep talent pool, Markee is partnering with Code Differently, which provides programming classes. “We want to lift people up and provide jobs, particularly to those who are changing career paths or are from underserved neighborhoods,” Doig says. In turn, he hopes local businesses will support a homegrown customizable meeting-and-collaboration platform. “Markee,” says Doig, “wants to play a critical role in bringing jobs to Wilmington.”

Have a suggestion for our spotlight? Email us at innovate@choosedelaware.com





he Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League Affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, will open their season on Sat., Nov. 6 against the Long Island Nets. All home games will be played at the Chase Fieldhouse (401 Garasches Lane, Wilm.). This year’s G League will feature an innovative format, which includes a 14game regional Showcase Cup, 36 regularseason games, and postseason. The Blue Coats open the regular season Dec. 28 against the Capital City Go-Go. Season tickets are on sale now and start at $10. An exclusive line of team merchandise is available at longtime Wilmington retailer Al’s Sporting Goods (210 Market St.). Visit Sixers.com/BlueCoats.



he Twin Poets, Al Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha, have released their first children’s book, Homework For Breakfast. The book humorously provides methods for encouraging youngsters to do their homework. It was illustrated by Robyn PhillipsPendleton and is available in a limited-edition cloth book set (only 500 available) for $80 or a standard print edition for $25. Book proceeds benefit Art For Life-Delaware, the Twin Poets’ art-centered youth and community development organization founded in 2012. “The goal of the Homework For Breakfast is to inspire children to do their best, at all times,” says Chukwuocha. “This book is really what the Twin Poets -- our work and our words -- are all about: to put smiles in the hearts and on the faces of our deserving children.” Copies are available at Meja Books (2083 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont) or you can visit twinpoets.org



odor’s Travel, a respected resource in travel and tourism information, listed The Riverfront Wilmington as one of the nation’s top river walks in its recent DuPont Environmental Education Center. feature The 15 Best River Walks in the U.S. The article mentions Constitution Yards, Taco Grande, Iron Hill Brewery, Riverwalk Mini Golf and The Westin as highlights, but stunningly fails to mention the distinctive DuPont Environmental Education Center. Other top river walks recognized in the article included Breckenridge’s Riverwalk (Co), The Chicago Riverwalk, The San Antonio River Walk, The Vancouver Waterfront and The Napa Riverfront. Visit Fodors.com





peraDelaware, The Grand, and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra will collectively present New Year’s Eve at The Grand featuring Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell. Performing alongside Mitchell will be the Delaware Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro David Amado and four popular OperaDelaware soloists (Vanessa Becerra, Chrystal E. Williams, William Davenport, Erin McKeever). “By scheduling this event at 7:30 pm, we hope that our audiences will share in the communal joy of this moment, and be able to get home safely to their families to ring in the New Year from the comfort of their own homes,” says The Grand Executive Director Mark Fields. Tickets to the concerts are $150 with proceeds benefiting each organization equally. Visit TheGrandWilmington.org/NYE. OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 13

Photo by Matthew Loeb

Things worth knowing

Things worth knowing



ow that it has its own brewery, Delaware Park can celebrate the German tradition of Oktoberfest properly. So, from Oct. 6-31, Delaware Park’s 1937 Brewery will be offering special beer releases, German food and special pricing on to-go growlers. With each growler, guests receive an entry into 1937’s Flyers Ticket Giveaway. For hours and beer release updates, visit DelawarePark. 1937 Brewery's to-go growlers. Photo by Butch Comegys com/1937-Brewing-Company.





elaware native Greer Firestone, playwright of JUDY GARLAND, World's Greatest Entertainer, and founder of HeartInTheGame.org, has published ALEXEI and RASPUTIN: A novel about a boy who changed the course of history. The 245-page historical novel contains 137 mainly colorized photos of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The book touches on one of the great secrets of the royal family: the hemophilia of Nicholas’ son, Alexei. It also examines the impact on the family of enigmatic and magnetic Grigori Rasputin, peasant and holy man. Priced at $35, the book is available at GreeFirestone.com.


| InWilmDE.com

he Delaware Art Museum will present a series of works by Charles Edward Williams that celebrate Wilmington’s own Alice Dunbar-Nelson. I Sit and Sew: Tracing Alice Dunbar-Nelson is a 12-piece exhibition that opens Oct. 2 and runs through Feb. 6, 2022. The exhibition, which will be installed in the Picturing America gallery focusing on early American art, is included with museum admission. Dunbar-Nelson (1875–1935) was an important American literary figure with a Delaware story. The poet and political activist spent most of her career writing and lecturing in Wilmington and taught at Wilmington’s Howard High School from the early 1900s to 1920. Williams, born in 1984 in Georgetown, S.C., draws on historical photography of the Civil Rights Movement to inspire his work. Pairing vibrant colors with distinct portraits, Williams establishes an emotional connection between the image and the viewer. “This commission presented a beautiful opportunity to engage Williams and align his work with a significant Wilmington story,” said Margaret Winslow, DAM’s Curator of Contemporary Art. Visit DelArt.org.



Halloween-themed 5k walk/run to benefit Community Collaboration of Delaware (CCD) will be held Fri., Oct. 22 at St. Peter the Apostle School in New Castle. Prizes for best costumes will be awarded in each age group. Proceeds benefit two CCD programs: Community Advocacy, Recovery Empowerment (CARE) and Healthy Options for Prevention Education (HOPE). Registration information at RunSignup. com/CCD Race for Recovery.


This exhibition was organized by the Delaware Art Museum and Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. Afro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks and its related programming is made possible by a grant from PNC Arts Alive. This exhibition is made possible through support from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund. This exhibition is made possible by Corteva Agriscience. This exhibition is made possible by the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund and the Emily DuPont Exhibition Fund. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. Image, left to right: Bonfire, 1962. Norman Lewis (1909–1979). Oil on canvas, 64 × 49 7/8 inches. The Studio Museum in Harlem, gift of the Estate of Norman Lewis, 1981.1.2. Photo: Marc Bernier. © The Estate of Norman W. Lewis; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY. Guardian of the Image Makers, c. 1975. Percy Eugene Ricks (1923–2008). Screen print, composition: 23 3/8 × 17 3/8 inches, sheet: 35 × 23 inches. Courtesy of JENN and Associates. © Estate of Percy Eugene Ricks.


2301 Kentmere Pkwy | Wilmington, DE | 302.571.9590 | delart.org





Rise to Recognition With Wilmington University’s

New National Board Certification Prep Programs


xperienced, dedicated educators are committed to their students and the success of their school communities. They master the subjects they teach as well as the most effective ways to teach them. They actively improve their practices and share expertise with colleagues. These educators can earn the recognition they deserve by attaining National Board Certification. Two new courses of study at Wilmington University’s College of Education can help teachers succeed on this path to excellence. Available for enrollment this fall, WilmU’s Master of Education in Instruction with a National Board Certified Teacher concentration and its National Board Certified Teacher graduate certificate offer support and guidance to eligible candidates as they prepare their formal applications. What is National Board Certification? A voluntary professional credential and a major step beyond state licensure, it recognizes excellence in the classroom to promote higher-quality learning experiences among K-12 students. Certification may open doors to advancement into teaching leadership and peer mentoring roles, and teachers who have achieved certification may see an increase in their base salaries. In addition, their students are likely to benefit.

“The most important reason for this program is the impact that board certified teachers have on student achievement,” says Dr. Jennifer Palmer, program coordinator for WilmU’s National Board Certified Teacher program. “Studies have shown that students who are taught by a National Board certified teacher generally learn more,” says Dr. Palmer.

Ready to make a move in education? WilmU works. XX OCTOBER OC TOBER2021 2021| |OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 16

Awarded by the independent, nonprofit National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (nbpts.org) National Board certification is an elite honor: currently only three percent of teachers nationwide and five percent of Delaware’s teachers have earned it. It’s also a challenging process. It requires educators to examine, describe, and demonstrate their individual accomplishments in instructional practice through the submission of professional performance portfolios and the completion of a content knowledge exam. WilmU’s National Board Certified Teacher graduate certificate is a five-course overview of the board’s peer-reviewed certification process for educators aiming to meet the necessary criteria. Its courses are integrated as a concentration option in the Master of Education in Instruction degree, a 30-credit program designed for teachers seeking certification while earning their master’s. WilmU is one of the few schools nationwide to offer National Board Certification preparation programs. Both academic programs, created in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the National Academy Foundation (naf.org), assist experienced teachers in evaluating their instructional strategies, demonstrating their effectiveness on student learning, assembling portfolios for submission to the board, and preparing for its computer-based content knowledge assessment. Both programs are available 100% online and are instructed entirely by National Board Certified Teachers, whose firsthand experience with the certification process provides invaluable guidance to applicants. Plus, educators seeking to be considered for certification don’t have to endure the demanding process on their own. “Interacting with a mentor, collaborating and studying with like-minded individuals, and receiving feedback on your self-evaluation efforts can certainly help you undertake the challenge,” says Dr. Palmer. For more information, please visit wilmu.edu/Education.

Next classes start October 25!

Apply today at wilmu.edu/WilmUWorks WilmU is a registered trademark of Wilmington University. All rights reserved. © Wilmington University 2021


Worth Trying

Suggestions from our staff and contributors

TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH Take a deep breath and do the Monkey Drop at Go Ape! in Bear. Climb to a 40-foot high platform, get strapped in, and step off. I did it last summer, and take my word for it — it’s a thrill. While you’re there, try the Treetop Adventure, Treetop Journey, or even axe-throwing. Details: goape.com. — Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor

PRIME RIB NIGHT AT WALTER’S Let’s be honest: There simply are not a lot of places in the area where one can get a solid prime-rib dinner. And there’s certainly not many where you can get a superb 14-ounce cut for less than $40 — that also includes salad or soup; a side of mashed potatoes or broccoli; and choice of three desserts. However, for the very reasonable price of $38.95, this is exactly what you get at Walter’s Steakhouse on Friday nights. If you’ve never been, Walter’s is a gem of a place at 802 N. Union St. (Wilm.) that strikes a nice balance between traditional ambience and modern comforts and appeal. If you haven’t been in a while, this offer poses a great reason to go back and see some of the recent updates. Walters-Steakhouse.com — Jim Miller, Director of Publications


TAKE A SWIGG Located at 1601 Concord Pike in North Wilmington, Swigg is a destination for wine lovers seeking personal service, and owner David Govatos knows his grapes. He also understands customer preferences, including shopping online. The revamped Swigg website lets you do just that. Order and pay online at Swiggwine.com; pick up at the store. — Pam George, Contributing Writer

Caffeine has its benefits, but with so many downsides (sleep issues, dependence, dehydration, among others), it’s worth trying to give it up. Replace a favorite coffee or tea with its decaf version, or venture into herbal teas or fruit waters. Toss a brand name in your grocery cart (Celestial Seasonings’ Zinger line layers flavors like Sangria and Watermelon Lime over calming hibiscus) or buy local: check out Levitea. com (Raspberry Beret, Blueberry Buckle herbal teas), or Drip Café (Siane Chimbu, a decaf java from Papua New Guinea). — JulieAnne Cross, Contributing Writer





PLAYHOUSE After a 20-month shutdown, the venerable theater has a new look, thanks to a generous donation that helped ‘make lemonade out of pandemic lemons’

By Bob Yearick Photos by Matt Urban



he irony that the last pre-pandemic production scheduled at The Playhouse on Rodney Square was The Play that Goes Wrong was not lost on anyone associated with that legendary venue. On the day the farcical murder-mystery was to open — March 12, 2020 — Delaware Gov. John Carney announced a state of emergency, effective the next morning, due to the growing threat of COVID-19. The declaration recommended cancellation of all non-essential public gatherings of more than 100 people, per CDC guidelines. “The decision came down at 4 p.m.,” says Mark Fields, executive director of The Grand Opera House, which operates The Playhouse as well as Copeland Hall and the Baby Grand in downtown Wilmington. “The play was scheduled to open that night.” The curtain never went up on that production, and The Playhouse stage has remained dark ever since. “We, and I think most everybody, thought it would be weeks or months of being closed,” says Fields. “Nobody guessed it would be a year-and-a-half before we opened again.” But now, thanks to a just-completed remodeling project financed by an unexpected and generous donation, the venerable Market Street eminence has taken on a new and brighter appearance. In Fields’ words, the ninemonth project, which started in January, “took the lemons of the pandemic and made lemonade.” ►

Workmen installed new seats, carpeting, draperies and curtains, and freshened up the ceiling cloud mural. Lighting also was enhanced.



FRIDAYS Bringing you fresh, local, seasonal produce, honey, artisanal foods and handicraft. Live music most weeks.








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MAJOR MAKEOVER Until last year, the 108-yearcontinued from previous page old theater had been the oldest continuously operating Broadway theater in America. The DuPont Company, which owned it until 2015, when The Grand took over operation, kept it going through two world wars and the Great Depression. But it had been showing its age for some time. The last major refurbishing was done decades ago, and the entire interior had become “dated and tired,” Fields admits. The seats, installed in the ‘90s, were especially troublesome, prompting some patrons to complain. “After 30 years of being sat in, they had become less and less comfortable,” he says. “They were also more narrow than the current standard.” Financing a remodeling project in the midst of COVID-19, however, would be a huge challenge. The pandemic had delivered a body blow to the entire Delaware economy, especially to restaurants and bars, followed closely by the arts. It created some difficult financial decisions for management of The Grand and The Playhouse. “We cancelled between 50 and 60 performances, and we had over $1 million in unfunded ticket liability,” Fields says. Thanks to the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, the staff was retained until August of 2020, then 19 of the 34 full-timers were laid off. Fields and Managing Director of Programming Stephen Bailey took a 35 percent reduction in pay, and everyone else absorbed a 20 percent hit. (The salary cuts were restored in January and most of the furloughed staff is scheduled to be back this month.) While the financial situation was anything but ideal for initiating a remodeling project, the timing seemed propitious. The Playhouse sat idle, all performances cancelled. What better time to freshen up the old girl?


Among the patrons who found the seats uncomfortable were well-known Wilmington philanthropists Gerret and Tatiana Copeland. The Copelands, who own Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., are long-time supporters of the arts and the Delaware community in general. Most recently, their largesse took the form of a $15 million pledge to the Delaware Art Museum in 2018. Last year they received the Josiah Marvel Cup Award, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor. Mrs. Copeland says she and her husband, a member of the du Pont family, have been attending performances at The Playhouse “since, I think, the age of the dinosaurs – forever, decades.” “On the du Pont family side,” she explains, “you inherited your tickets. The Playhouse is in my husband’s blood; he looks at its history as being connected with his family history. And we both are tremendous fans of Broadway shows, and not having the time necessarily to go to Broadway, it’s wonderful to have great Broadway shows at The Playhouse.” But in recent years, she says, their Wilmington theater-going experience had been less than perfect. “Every time we came to a show the whole point was to have a lovely dinner and see a wonderful show, but we were noticing how tired and faded The Playhouse was looking. In the back of our minds, we thought we really should be doing something about this, but it didn’t come into fruition until now.”

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The largesse of Gerret and Tatiana Copeland, long-time supporters of the arts and the Delaware community in general, made the remodeling possible.

The Copelands learned of the discussions around replacing the seats and the carpeting in the orchestra level. But that’s all they were — discussions. Says Fields: “These were needs we knew we had, but we had no way of addressing them.” Mrs. Copeland contacted him, and also spoke to Brian DiSabatino, chairman of the Board of the Grand Opera House. “I said, ‘what will it cost to redo?’” says Mrs. Copeland. “They thought it was just a question of interest and they mentioned a number, knowing they were never going to be able to raise it. I said thank you and then I went to my husband, and we talked about it.”


As a result of that discussion and some further negotiations, the Copelands made a donation that would pay for most of the project, with The Grand covering the remainder. As for the amount of the donation, Mrs. Copeland says, “Let’s just say it was a large sum — a large sum that was necessary to do [the remodeling] properly.” Work started in January, when The Playhouse house crew was brought back to do the demo work. They pulled out the old seats and carpeting, and over the next eight months, new, comfortable seating was installed, walls were repainted, draperies and curtains replaced, the cloud mural on the ceiling freshened up, and lighting was enhanced.

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MAJOR MAKEOVER continued from previous page

The project began in January and continued at a brisk pace for nine months. Here, workmen install carpeting.

In April, Linda Boyden, owner of Boyden Design in Wilmington, came on board to coordinate the project. She had worked for the Copelands in the past and had designed the Ninth Muse Donor Space at The Grand. “I was thrilled when the Copelands invited me to participate in The Playhouse renovations,” Boyden said in an email. “It has been a pleasure to work with them, and with the Grand and Playhouse management, to bring their vision for a renewed theater to life. Tired, dark interiors have been transformed into a sparkling, dramatic space appropriate for this historic theater. The fresh patterned carpet, detail trim painting, refined lighting, elegant cornices and draperies, and new seating are a few of the upgrades that will enhance the experience of theater goers for years to come.” Says Fields: “Bringing in Linda allowed us to address some of the ‘temporary’ changes that were made over the years and were not necessarily in keeping with the original design. It allowed us to take a comprehensive approach, and everything was picked to go together since we’re doing it all at one time.”


He also credits The Buccini/Pollin Group, owners of the building, for their work on the spaces outside the theater, which will enhance patrons’ experience. “Thanks to that work, the sense of occasion actually starts before people even get to the playhouse doors,” Fields says. “One of the things they did, in cooperation with us, was to create a lobby lounge space with a permanent bar. It’s their space in a common area of the building, but it’s designed so we can use it on nights of the show.” The Playhouse, he says, “is reminiscent of old Broadway theaters in both positive and negative ways. One of the negative ways was there is just not a lot of space, including backstage and ancillary space. So on nights of shows we had to wheel out portable bars into the lobby in the same space where the box office is. So you had people showing up to buy or pick up tickets, and you had people trying to buy drinks, and people trying to get into the theater.” The new lounge/bar eliminates the need for a portable bar, and greatly reduces congestion around the box office and theater entrance. Regarding the remodeling, Buccini/Pollin Group Co-President Chris Buccini released this statement: “The Grand’s renovation of the historic Playhouse on Rodney Square coincides with BPG’s ongoing renovation of the Dupont Building. It is another visual 22 OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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representation of our partnership with The Grand and both organizations’ commitment to Wilmington’s ongoing renaissance. The Playhouse’s re-opening times perfectly with the ground floor renovations of the Hotel Du Pont lobby, Le Cavalier at the Green Room, the office lobby for the Chemours headquarters and the M&T Bank Branch, as well as the opening of Currie Salon and Spa, the apartments at 101 dupont place, and DE.CO food hall. In all, we did nearly 50,000 square feet and $15 million of renovations during COVID alone to welcome back the community to the heart of downtown Wilmington.”


Patrons will get a look at the renewed Playhouse on Nov. 18, when the darkened stage will once again come alive with the four-day run of Waitress, a hit Broadway musical comedy. Per a Sept. 1 announcement, those attending will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event. Masks also will be required except when consuming food or drink. The policy, which also applies to performances at The Grand, will be reviewed monthly. Bob Weir, technical director for the Playhouse, says this is part of “the new norm” that the pandemic created. “I think everybody’s going to understand this is what’s needed in order to move forward,” he says, adding, “we don’t know how it will affect attendance until we open.” Fields is hopeful. “I think the pandemic showed us how important the arts are, and not just the arts, but a lot of things we took for granted before, like going to dinner, having a conversation at a table, going to a concert.” As for Tatiana Copeland, she feels the theater is ready once again to deliver what she calls “wow moments.” “We are absolutely ecstatic [with the remodeling] and were so proud to be able to help restore The Playhouse to its former glory,” she says. “We tried to retain some of the art deco look that was still remaining from 1913 while bringing it up to the same energy and sophistication as the shows, and make the entire experience very enjoyable from the time you step into the theater. You’re going to come in, see a great show, and be surrounded by a totally rejuvenated and beautiful theater.”

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Darnell Miller is an accomplished singer and musician who has performed internationally. Today, he teaches and inspires kids through music. Photo by Alisha Jones

Musical Notes of Change Accomplished artists turned teachers are inspiring Wilmington youth By JulieAnne Cross


t’s one thing for an adolescent or teen to listen to music — an activity that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, impacts children behaviorally, socially, and academically. But to play music can be life-changing. Research by the NAMM Foundation — which supports scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs surrounding music making — shows that two years of musical training improves auditory brain function. The Harmony Project, a NAMM Foundation grantee, found that in thousands of children living in gang-reduction zones of Los Angeles, participation in community music programs “can literally ‘remodel’ children’s brains in a way that improves sound processing, which could lead to better learning and language skills.” Scores of music teachers in Delaware can attest to the impact of music. Here are a few who are making a difference in the lives of kids in their communities: ►



MUSICAL NOTES OF CHANGE Frederick Reed is an artist, continued from previous page singer/songwriter, production engineer and cofounder (with wife Cora) of Reeds’ Refuge Center, an outreach organization “committed to the holistic development and well-being of the children and financially afflicted families of the inner city.” Its motto: “Seek Refuge in the Arts."

Singer/songwriter Frederick Reed founded Reed's Refuge Center with his wife Cora. Photo courtesy Frederick Reed

Reed, who has opened for R&B acts internationally, is now sharing his talents with his community. “Coming from the Riverside projects, me and my wife came up with Reeds’ Refuge Center,” he says. “We use music as a way to reach kids, as a platform for them to use their talents to combat [the influence of] guns, violence, teen pregnancy and [to promote] social justice.” The nonprofit’s music program is geared around audio engineering and vocal, guitar, piano and drum instruction. Guest artists may volunteer to teach violin. A child may learn to mix and master a track and copyright it, building a song from the writing stage to finishing and recording it. The center, at 16th and Pine Streets in Wilmington, also offers opportunities for poetry and dance and “cooking without a stove,” which focuses on skills and safety, flavors, and how to take raw ingredients to make tasty, balanced meals using a microwave. Homework help is also available.

200 Youth Daily

And it’s all free for the children of the community. The center has grown from serving 200 children annually in 2012 to serving that same number daily. It serves youth as young as six and as old as 18, and has seen a number of teen participants return to the center to work as adults. During the school year, doors open at 2:30 p.m. and close at 7. It hosts an all-day camp in the summer. The center purchased its facility in 2020. The building was once an office where people reported for probation and parole, a fate Reed wants never to see for the center’s kids. He says it is important to pay attention to kids’ influence over their peers, and try to give them a voice for themselves and other youth. “You want strong leaders because they like to listen to each other,” he says. 26 OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Organizationally, Reeds’ Refuge has been supported in the past by a number of donors. They once were engaged in a long-term partnership with the Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC), but Reed is now working to replace the CJC partnership with an expanded fundraising campaign. Meanwhile, self-funding is helping to keep the doors open. “Me and my wife own two childcare facilities, and we put a lot of money into our nonprofit,” Reed says.

Darnell Miller is an accomplished singer and musician who has performed around the world, Even though he was hesitant at first, Darnell Miller from Africa to Spain, touring internationally says he was meant to teach kids music. with artists like Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, Toby Photo by Alisha Jones Mac and Eric Roberson, and appearing on the “NAACP Image Awards.” He records, produces, and performs regularly, most recently as a solo act and with his band, The Souldaires. Miller once had intentions of moving to Nashville, but fate intervened to keep him in Delaware. “I was approached about becoming a teaching artist,” Miller says. “I wasn’t really sold on the idea at first, but something said give it a try. It’s been about 10 years, and I’m hooked.” He has taught music to students at the Delaware College Prep Academy and the Prestige Academy, as well as children at the West End Neighborhood House. He has experience in early childhood education and teaching music to kids ages 4 and younger, but has settled on a slightly older age group. ‘Meant to Do This’ “I ended up where I always wanted to be, at Kuumba,” Miller says. “All of this happened through Christina Cultural Arts Center [where he is chair of the music department] and Raye Jones-Avery, who brought [the idea to be a teaching artist] to my attention. Raye told me, ‘You can do this.’ Even though I was so hesitant to work with kids, within my second year, it was like I was meant to do this.” At Kuumba Academy Charter School in Wilmington, where Miller is a music instructor, fifth graders declare majors. He leads small instrumental and vocal ensembles of these musically-committed middle schoolers and teaches general music to grades kindergarten through fourth. Classes run approximately 50 minutes, and ensembles meet for up to 90. After school, he coaches students in voice and offers guitar instruction. Sometimes he writes the music he wants the students to learn, but other lessons are based on a curriculum called Quaver Music. Many of the lessons focus on the whole child, and highlight the students’ strengths. “A song that I’ve taught, ‘Unique,’ basically talks about ‘there’s only one you. You’re strong,’” Miller says. “I’ve taught ‘Flashlight’ by Jessie J and a traditional African song, ‘Fanga Alafia.’ I teach in other languages and ASL [American Sign Language].” He says that the ages of the students dictate different approaches. While older students may learn how to write, or learn the elements of recording, younger students are learning instruments and how to play as a band. “We may do something…to get the wiggles out and calm down,” Miller says. “But a typical day is me joking with them, trying to inspire them. But when it’s serious, it’s serious. They understand that. At the end of class, as well as throughout class, I try to reflect. “Sometimes I’m called the grumpy uncle. I want them to understand that music is serious. Art is serious. You can bet your life on it, and it’s connected to everything.” Regardless of the demeanor he assumes, he says he’s positive at all times. Sometimes that means developing a rapport and sense of trust with a child who seems withdrawn. Miller says that he can see students’ potential and that he “can’t help but go out of my way to invest in them and to let them know that this is something they can do.”


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MUSICAL NOTES OF CHANGE Using Personal Experiences continued from previous page When that potential is dulled by circumstances in the child’s home or neighborhood, he talks about his personal experiences as a way to connect and inspire. “I tell them, ‘I know your situation at home is rough. You can be the light in your home. There were times I had to be the light in my home.’” Although he says his upbringing was “not super rough,” he says it was a music teacher who inspired him. “That’s really what I try to do. If I see a kid who really has that light, that potential, that drive, that hunger, I try to inspire them.” It seems to be working. Two of his summer students sing and play guitar, and are releasing a song this fall.

TAHIRA TAHIRA — yes, that is her full, legal name — works with young people as a singing, songwriting storyteller. “I ventured out as an artist back in 1994 when my daughter was a baby,” she says. “She used to enjoy me reading and I was animated; I used to put melodies to different parts of the book, and it always engaged her more.” TAHIRA honed her natural abilities and also pursued a degree in communication theater. “Culturally,” she says, “I’m a member of the global majority — I’m a Black woman — and music was a part of our everyday life. It’s infused in my everyday existence. And I went to school for it.” Her storytelling comes out of the African experience and diaspora, in which she says there is no difference between storytelling and music and dance. Although one of her daughter Imani’s first favorite books was by Ella Jenkins, a world-renowned Black artist many call “the First Lady of children’s music,” the family’s influences were diverse. “[My daughter’s] first words were actually a song. She sang the ‘Barney’ song'.” Many of TAHIRA’s clients are schools, and her visits typically work like hour-long assemblies. Unsurprisingly, 2020 ushered in a new format for her: virtual assemblies. They are typically live TAHIRA TAHIRA says the affirming content found in her music is inspiring for young people. and interactive, although Photo by I Creatively Understand Photography sometimes schools will elect to have a recording of a program, allowing them to play it on demand. When classes were in person, students would join TAHIRA on stage with instruments. Now, as then, the music and storytelling format allows for reciprocal activity. Students may be assigned parts, and they may be asked to make predictions in the midst of a story. “Call and response is rooted in the African American experience” she says. She notes that she usually doesn’t have to “give kids instructions or permission to jump in,” whereas adults (although she excludes elders from the generalization), whom she performs for at festivals around the world “always need permission.”

Connections at Every Level She performs for children in pre-k, elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as for college and senior centers, and says that there’s a way to make connections at every level. For middle schoolers, she will perform the same content that she performs for younger kids, but in a different way. High energy performing “feels too juvenile for them,” and she reminds them of what they can contribute by saying, “You all know this.” “I may ask them to do movements. If we can get it in a few minutes, maybe we can do our own TikTok video,” she says. “Talking about a character dancing, I’ll say, ‘He tried to do…’ and name a popular dance…and try to do it. They’re laughing at me, but they’re laughing with me. “I’ll say, ‘Am I doing it right? Somebody show me how to do it.’” She believes it’s the affirming content of her music and stories that helps young people realize their full potential. A sample of her lyrics: “I’m ready to learn, my heart is open, my mind is sharp. I’m ready. I’m ready to learn.” Students perform a physical movement for each part of the lyric, and the experience is intended to create social-emotional learning, awareness of self and connectedness with others. “A story can change your heart and make miles seem blocks apart,” says TAHIRA. “We learn through stories; we connect.” She says that connectedness creates a state of active listening. And active listening is important for a child’s academics. “Music is the only thing that uses the full brain, the right and left simultaneously,” she says. “The way I perform, I have something for every type of learning: visual, kinetic, listening. It’s a space of learning and fun for kids of all abilities.” TAHIRA’s herself has benefitted from mentors, one of whom is internationallyacclaimed storyteller and musician Charlotte Blake-Alston, who is still her mentor today. In turn, TAHIRA has mentored others. A Thriving, Not a Starving Artist “I’ve had artists come to me because I’ve made a career from my art, and they ask to be mentored. Maybe not in the making of art, but in the business of being an artist. I do free tips on YouTube on how to be a thriving artist and stop being a starving artist.” She is the co-director of the National Association of Black Storytellers. Many of the organization’s 14 affiliates, including the Philadelphia organization, called Keepers of the Culture, include youth groups. TAHIRA has led workshops for the Philadelphia affiliate where young people learn the art, history and social applications of storytelling and demonstrate their learning by performing at the end of the series. “Watching our youth embody a story to make it their own is the most rewarding part of mentoring young people,” she says.


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Bernard Parker helps kids make the songs they

Bernard Parker, who is artistically known want to make, then posts them on Spotify. contact@tsnpub.com as B Smithsonian, has been composing music Photo by Jascelyn Parson since 2003 and has produced, directed, and edited video and music for more than 40 projects, ranging from corporations to athletics to other artists. He produced the theme music for the Villanova Wildcats sports program, a song that’s been played to introduce the team at the Wells Fargo Center. He also created a song for the Philadelphia 76ers warm up period. In 2019, he formed his business, known as The Institution, focusing on audio and video productions, weddings, deejaying and composition. BEGIN TRYING SHOWS Today, he inspires young people as the music program director at the Boys and GirlsLClub. ET THE e Why Th “I want kids to make the songs that they want to make,” Parker says. “They make songs, t r A ts they make beats, and we post them on Spotify.” er Groups taurant Some Res bling Down Are Dou

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MUSICAL NOTES OF CHANGE Parker’s music setup includes continued from previous page six mobile studio workstations, with a build that is based on a guitar pedal board. There is an interface for plugging in a microphone, a keyboard, and a drum machine, all powered by portable chargers. “Their finished beat is the same as what they’d get from a professional with a mobile workstation,” Parker says Parker’s Maverick Music Program targets kids ages 13 to 18. Most recently, it was for participants in the club’s Wilmington summer camp, but the program will expand to William Penn High School this fall, as well as continuing after school at two Boys and Girls Club sites, the Greater Newark location and H. Fletcher Brown at 16th and Spruce in Wilmington. All for free. “For summer camp, the program could only accommodate up to nine kids,” Parker says. “When school starts, we will be able to accommodate nine to 12 kids. One person can write lyrics and you can plug up to five headphones into one mobile workstation.” At the end of a seven-week program, students will be able to perform their songs in an open mic or talent show format. At the time of the interview, the summer camp students were preparing their songs for uploading to Spotify and Apple. Parker believes he stands out from other music teachers because of his professional background. “I am actually in the industry that I’m teaching,” Parker says. “I’ve worked with celebrities, Citibank, Villanova. When I tell them, ‘This is what you need to do,’ they know to listen to me because I am practicing what I am teaching." He seems to have the heart of a teacher. “Before I worked with the Boys and Girls Club, the only thing I got back from any gig was money, and that goes away every month,” Parker says. “Here, the kids give something back to me.”

Richard A. Watson Jr. is the program director for the Culture Restoration Project and lead facilitator of the organization’s Beyond Those Bars music program. Many people know him as Richard Raw, thanks to his regular top billing on regional hip-hop events. “Music has always been in my family,” Watson says. “When we moved from the west side to the north side, the way that we acclimated into the community was through music.” Watson says that around the time hip-hop became a worldwide phenomenon, he started his musical journey. He says he fell in love with music around age 6 or 7, and immediately started writing. Teaching came later. “I was working some dead end jobs,” he says. “I was just trying to figure out what is my passion and what is my talent. I’ve always had a way of sharing with others. I take what I’m passionate about and what I’m talented at and merge those two. And that gave me the ability to become a teaching artist.” Watson started by getting involved with after-school programs, where he found the children were heavily engaged. These days, he’s juggling his successful programming while pursuing more formal education training. Through the Culture Restoration Project, which operates out of various sites in Wilmington, Watson conducts a one-on-one

teen artist development program as well as group programming. “A day with me would be sitting down and creating a production; they would actually make a beat,” he says. “They would sit with one of our producers and talk about the creation of music and show them how to make the beats with the Richard Watson Jr. (Richard Raw) says music has helped some of his students walk away from a risky life. Photo by Joe del Tufo technology. “From there, we’ll move them into the writing process. So then they’ll actually sit down and come up with ideas about song creation. Then we’ll move to lyrics…then we’ll go into the rhythm. How are we going to say this? Voice inflection. From there we’ll probably do some vocal recording.” He sometimes works with a student for five to six hours straight. His program — which does have a structured curriculum — can work with up to 15 kids at a time, but for larger groups he works with the students for 60-90 minutes. Some schools and centers call for 12-week programs, and some can go the duration of a school year. Typically, he works with kids ages 12 to 18. Watson prefers to deliver a program for free, which means his organization needs school contracts or public or private grants to cover the costs.

Deep Dives While the kids he teaches may have stardom in their minds, Watson is influencing them in ways they may not realize. He guides them toward deep dives into subject matter. “The children have agency,” he says. “They’ll come up with ideas in terms of what a song will be about. Then they’ll move into doing research. “Let’s say poverty, for instance. We’ll actually start to look at statistics for their neighborhood. If they’re writing a verse, we’ll suggest that they use that research in their verse.” He says his program often includes children who are gang members, and kids actively involved in other risky situations, and it offers them an opportunity to express themselves through music. “Some of them have walked away from that life,” Watson says. “Those kids need an outlet, and they need an investment. If you make it, they’re so passionate, they’ll leave that alone and get focused.” Not every turnaround is a gang redemption story. Some of Watson’s students bring ordinary teen challenges to the table. “We work on confidence, communication and character development,” he says. “We’ve had students whose parents come back to us saying their child benefited so much from this.” A few students have stood out. “We have three of our interns who came to us when they were 14 or 15,” he says. “All three of the interns we had are in college at this point. They were having challenges and pursued careers in music and college. We offer them employment for the summer.” Watson isn’t afraid to share the spotlight with young talent. Of a recent performance for the Curbside Wilmington outdoor happy hour initiative, he says, “Last night, it was packed. I had a show and I let the young people take over the show and perform. “We’ve got so many young people getting ready to release albums under our tutelage.”


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EAT Bachetti Bros father-and-son team Kevin Varrasse II (left) and Kevin Varrasse Sr.. Photo by Butch Comegys

Betting on Bachetti Bros. Kevin Varrasse Sr. took a risk when he purchased the well-known family market. It paid off. By Pam George


ike many of us when we were children, Kevin Varrasse II liked to push buttons and hear bells. So, on Sundays, his father took him to Bachetti Bros. to “work” the cash register. In those days, the high-energy 8-year-old spent most of the time running down the aisles of the meat market, which his father managed and later owned. “I probably did more harm than good, and it was more of entertainment than actual work,” Varrasse says. Things have changed. Today, Varrasse oversees the market and catering company in the Midway Plaza Shopping Center. Some of the employees who watched him race around the store still work there. Since its founding, Bachetti Bros. has remained a family affair. It has withstood a change in ownership and survived the advance of supermarkets, online ordering and a global pandemic. If you ask Kevin P. Varrasse Sr. the secret behind the company’s success, he might cite his mission to uphold tradition — and his quest for excellence. “If we seek perfection, beauty will follow,” he told The News Journal in 2010. But Bachetti Bros. also has a knack for giving customers what they want when they need it. ►eed OCTOBER 2021 = | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 33





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Filippo Bachetti started F. Bachetti & Sons at 49th and Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia. (Some ads put the founding year as 1934, but Bachetti’s obituary puts it as 1932.) The shop later became Bachetti’s Food Market and moved to Broomall. Bachetti, known as Phillip, retired in 1978 and died in 1984. Meanwhile, sons Albert, Louis, Alfred and Vincent opened Bachetti Brothers Meat Market in Delaware County, Pa., and the founder’s grandsons eventually entered the business. By 1980, there were four locations, including a site in the Beaver Valley Plaza shopping center on Route 202. Meanwhile, Kevin Varrasse Sr.’s sister-in-law, Rose Mary, married into the Bachetti family. When Varrasse, an electrical engineer, realized he was getting paid less than the subordinates he’d trained, he took a job in the meat market in 1972. Not surprisingly, there was a learning curve, and he worked his way up. It took him nearly three years before he felt comfortable cutting meat to order, but he mastered the art. By 1979, Varrasse — then the meat manager at the Concord Pike store — could debone a whole chicken breast in 55 seconds, leaving only “enough meat on the ribs to feed a hungry mosquito,” wrote Henry F. Davidson, who covered a butchering demonstration for The News Journal. Varrasse became the voice of the business. He was interviewed about easy holiday staples (baked ziti and lasagna) and grilling alternatives (turkey). He became a partner and, eventually, the owner. (In 2012, Vincent was the last of the original brothers to pass away.) Why did Varrasse want to own Bachetti Bros.? “I liked what I was doing and enjoyed working with people,” he recalls. “I felt I could be successful.” He opened the Mill Creek store on Kirkwood Highway, which moved to Midway Plaza in 2000. When it became too challenging to oversee multiple sites, all but the Kirkwood Highway location closed. Founded in Philly, Bachetti Bros. became a distinctly Delaware icon.

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BETTING ON BACHETTI BROS. continued from previous page

Varrasse and his wife, Joyce, had four children, but it was the youngest, Kevin Varrasse II, who entered the family business. The couple’s only son earned a degree in operations management from the University of Delaware and, in 2006, began working full time at Bachetti Bros. He was unsure if he would stay. “I wanted to be an entrepreneur and do my own thing,” he recalls. “A friend said, ‘You can still be an entrepreneur but within the business.’” The younger Varrasse knew how much time his father spent at the store — eight hours a day, seven days a week. In early 2010, Varrasse decided to go for it. Father and son signed a buy-and-sell agreement. Unlike his pop, Varrasse is not a skilled butcher. “It takes a lot of time to learn the different cuts,” he explains. It’s not like he needs to know how to wield a knife. Gone are the days when butcher’s cutting rooms had cow carcasses on rails and sawdustcovered floors. In those days, a 1976 ad for the Brandywine Hundred store promoted “the finest selected USDA prime and choice beef,” including a quarter “hind,” cut to order.

“It was fascinating and fun,” says Varrasse, who darted in and grilled rye with melted Swiss) and the Sicily (a panini with tomato, out of his father’s coolers as a child. “But nowadays, everything mushroom, zucchini, basil oil and muenster). The Springfield (porketta and mozzarella and comes in sub-primal cuts that are roasted red pepper on a garlic vacuum-packed.” Kaiser roll) was so tempting that “we Moreover, meat is now only can already hear Homer Simpson a portion of the company’s salivating” over it, Kalesse wrote. revenue. When caterers began buying an increasing number of products from Bachetti Bros., the Moving Forward market saw a niche and opened a While new offerings attracted catering division. new customers, Bachetti Bros. faced its share of challenges. In 2011, for “I realized early on — even in instance, weather and political college — that catering needed to be unease boosted food and fuel prices. more of a focus,” Varrasse says. Too But nothing prepared father and son many of his peers waxed nostalgic for the pandemic. about trips to Bachetti Bros. with Alethia Brown of Bear says she shops at Bachetti Bros. almost every Friday. “It was chaotic,” Varrasse says of parents or grandparents, but they Photo by Butch Comegys March 2020. “We needed to supply were not current customers. Credit the supermarkets along Limestone Road, which had affected groceries, and suppliers didn’t have anything, and we didn’t have a diverse line of food.” shopping habits. When items became available, Bachetti Bros. quickly Bachetti Bros.’ catering became a substantial income source. Workers, meanwhile, stopped in for creative to-go sandwiches increased its grocery offerings fivefold. The shop has always sold from the deli counter. The concoctions — up to 100 — garnered prepared foods that require reheating. During the early days of the pandemic, the demand increased. press attention. “We gained a lot of new customers,’” Varrasse says. “We saw a In 2009, Spark reporter Rob Kalesse was delighted with the menu. He wrote about the Sardinia (corned beef and coleslaw on lot of support from our community.” Many newcomers heard ►



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BETTING ON BACHETTI BROS. continued from previous page

about Bachetti Bros. on Facebook pages, such as “Delaware Restaurants That Offer Takeout & Delivery.” Baked ziti and macaroni and cheese remain top sellers, but the cooks in the commercial kitchen upped the variety. As a result, Bachetti’s sales of prepared foods went from a 6-10% annual increase to 40-50%. “It let me stay open, and I didn’t have to lay anybody off, which was awesome,” says Varrasse of the offering. After a lull in 2020, catering orders are picking up again. “People are itching

Deli manager Joyce Cornell has worked at Bachetti Bros. for 34 years. Photo by Butch Comegys

to celebrate,” he notes. Corporate business, however, has yet to bounce back. Regardless, most customers request instore pickup or delivery and setup. Varrasse Sr. is now semi-retired, which means he works from 8 a.m. to between noon and 4 p.m. — seven days a week. “That’s a significant reduction in time,” his son says. The men share more than a strong work ethic. The younger Varrasse enjoys learning about plumbing and electric; contractors are often surprised at his knowledge. If he needed to ply a trade other than retail shop owner, he’d get licensed, he says. But Bachetti Bros. is not going anywhere anytime soon. It might be around when Varrasse’s 4-year-old son comes of age. “He’s going to need to get a job eventually,” Varrasse says. “And if he wants to come work for me, I’m OK with that.” 36 OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


Everlasting Bond With Agent 007’s milestone return in No Time to Die, we look at how the character and the series have survived By Jim Miller & Mark Fields


ollywood recon reports indicate that No Time to Die will feature the final performance of Daniel Craig as our favorite movie spy. But as they say…never say never. Six actors have played the role of Bond — all doing so in their own way, for better or worse. Some have relied on physicality and fists; others more on finesse and wit. Each reflecting different eras, different attitudes. In honor of the 25th Bond film of the blockbuster franchise that launched in 1962 with Dr. No, two lifelong fans share their shaken-not-stirred obsession. BEST VILLAIN

JIM: In the film that bears his surname, Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) not only starts the trend of attempting to filet 007 with a laser beam, he also utters the best line of any villain in the series. “Do you expect me to talk?” a shackled Bond asks as the laser creeps between his legs, closing in on his crotch. “No, Mr. Bond,” Goldfinger replies with a surprised laugh, “I expect you to die!” MARK: Yes, Goldfinger has his fans, Jim. But, Silva (Javier Bardem) in Skyfall is great because he isn’t trying to end the world in some preposterous scheme like so many Bond villains, just get revenge on Bond’s boss, M (Judi Dench). His grounded motive makes him more genuinely threatening. Even though he appears over and over, I was never a Blofeld fan. ►




EVERLASTING BOND continued from previous page

MARK: Jaws (Richard Kiel) in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Without saying a word, he was just menacing. It certainly didn’t hurt that the actor Kiel was seven feet tall. Despite all the pain that Bond inflicts on him, Jaws took a licking and kept on ticking. JIM: I’m thinking more along the lines of the film Jaws — more specifically Robert Shaw, who dove headfirst into role of shark-hunter Quint in that film. Twelve years earlier in From Russia with Love, Shaw brought a similarly focused killer-intensity to the role of assassin Red Grant.


MARK: For years, it was BEST HENCHMAN: Jaws “The Spy Who Loved Me” by Carly Simon, but now it’s Adele’s “Skyfall,” the perfect combination of smoky vocals and a sweeping instrumental theme. I’m still a sucker for Shirley Bassey’s voice, too, especially on “Diamonds are Forever.” JIM: With “We Have All the Time in The World,” Louis Armstrong and composer John Barry capture the romantic allure, intrigue and bittersweetness of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s a different kind of song for a different kind of Bond.



JIM: In Thunderball, Bond and bikini-clad Domino lie on the beach, while he fills her in on her boyfriend’s evil plan. When a creepy henchman approaches from behind, 007 rolls over, fires his shark-gun, and impales the goon to a nearby tree. Bond then turns to Domino and says, “I think he got the point.” MARK: Jim, that’s a great example of the nonchalant throwoff line that Connery did so well. Too many of Bond’s quips focus on his virility, especially with Moore and Brosnan, and I found that gets tiresome after a while. I like the line from Casino Royale, after Bond is nearly fatally poisoned at the gaming table, he comes back fresh as a daisy and wryly says “that last hand nearly killed me.”


MARK: Halle Berry as Jinx in Die Another Day. Intelligent, attractive, skilled, and fierce. She was Bond’s equal. R E S E R V E Y O U R S E AT S AT


JIM: Diana Rigg as Tracy Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Many women may have won over James Bond. But, for brief time, Tracy actually became his one true majesty.


They are wonderful, exotic locations that are beautifully photographed.

JIM: In Thunderball, Luciana Paluzzi hits the femme-fatal trifecta as Fiona Volupe: cunning, seductive and deadly dangerous. She sets the standard. On a rocket-launching motorcycle, she takes out a loose-end operative quickly and efficiently. Of all the baddies in the film, she seems to be the only one who can truly turn the tables on Bond.

JIM: I agree, Mark, Skyfall is a beautiful film to simply look at. The limestone tower-like islands of Khao Phing Kan are also pretty spectacular in The Man with the Golden Gun. Definitely the Far East for the win.


MARK: Another old-school choice, Jim, I hear you. I got to love Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) from Goldeneye, but if we’re going old school, how do you beat Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in From Russia with Love with that killer knife in her shoe? Lenya was 65 when she played the part, and she was the widow of composer Kurt Weill…what an amazing pedigree for a Bond girl.


MARK: I’m partial to the back-to-back scenes in Shanghai and Macau in Skyfall.

Jinx, Fiona Volupe, and Skyfall

JIM: In Live and Let Die, Bond escapes being eaten alive by crocodiles, burns down a heroin lab, then takes off on a speedboat along the Louisiana Irish Bayou. He’s then pursued over the next 12 minutes during a relentless chase that sees multiple boats speeding across water, over land, and through the air. It’s ridiculous. Doing the shoots, filmmakers ended up wrecking 17 boats out of the 26 total used. No CGI, no green screen. Just real stunt people doing really crazy stunts. ►

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MARK: There are several that could go on this list. The implausible and racist You Only Live Twice. Boring Quantum of Solace. But my least favorite is A View to Kill. Roger Moore was showing his age, and Christopher Walken was too eccentric and only moderately menacing as the villain.


JIM: I actually loved Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill. He, Grace Jones, and the Duran Duran theme song are the best parts of what I agree is bonkers and a generally weaker movie. However, Die Another Day is even more bonkers while being only half as enjoyable. It’s one ridiculous premise to the next. Save for Goldeneye, the Pierce Brosnan films feel painfully forced.


MARK: Skyfall, hands down. A compelling villain with a personal motivation. Terrific score and theme song. Exquisite photography and interesting locales. And a wonderful sendoff for Judi Dench as M. JIM: I agree with you, Mark, on this one for all the reasons you stated. Skyfall is a film made for Bond fans. It’s a homecoming in more than one way, and a film that focuses largely on the idea of family.


MARK: The movies are the cinematic equivalent of the perfect burger, wonderful comfort food that you know you shouldn’t eat every meal, but when they are good, they are oh so good! At its best, the James Bond franchise is the perfect distillation of the actionadventure movie genre: innovative and well-choreographed action sequences, exotic global locations that I will likely never see in person, beautiful women (and men), tightly scripted and directed stories, a little bit of nonsense here and there, and a likable, enviable hero who can take a punch or two or three but ultimately prevail. Pure escapism, yes, but when do we not need that as a part of our movie-going diet? JIM: While the series’ ingredients have changed over the years, its formula has remained a constant: fast cars, attractive women, clever gadgets, dreaded heavies, perilous cliffhangers and, of course, some sort of end-of-it-all countdown scenario. Over nearly six decades, audiences have remained faithful to the Bond formula because, for the most part, Bond has remained faithful to us. All of the formula’s appealing accoutrements aside, the films offer a noble ideal. In this “everchanging world in which we’re living,” we need to know there’s someone fighting for us. Someone incorruptible. In this way, Bond is like a darker, sexier Superman. Throughout all the films, the guy has seen plenty of opportunities to accept a tempting bribe, be lured astray by a silvertongued sex goddess, or simply take the suitcase full of money and run. Instead, he’s stayed ruthlessly loyal to his country, his friends and the concept of a free world — and that code is the secret to his success.





The Downeast cider house in Boston has become quite a draw for locals and tourists alike. Photos courtesy Downeast Cider



Downeast Cider founders grow basement experiment into a thriving regional business

By Kevin Noonan


he creators of Downeast Cider can point to their years in college as the key to their success, but that didn’t come from what they learned in a classroom — it came from what they learned in the basement of their dormitory. That college, Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is where Ross Brockman, Tyler Mosher and Ben Manter became friends and, eventually, entrepreneurs. Like many people who become professional craft brewers, they didn’t intend to get into that field and that’s certainly not why they went to college. But once they got there, they discovered they didn’t have a passion for their selected majors. So, in 2012, they started making a hard cider and, to their surprise and relief, their brand became big in the New England market. Initially, they were going to call their new enterprise “Three Idiots Cider” and even went so far as to contact a trademark lawyer to make it legal, only to discover that less than a week earlier a winery in California had filed for that same name. So, they went back to the drawing board and came up with Downeast Cider Co. — downeast is a nautical term for sailing downwind on the way to home port and that seemed to fit their Maine roots. Now, 11 years later, that sea-inspired name has become one of the biggest in the hard cider market, even though Manter and Mosher are no longer with the company, which is now run by Ross Brockman and his brother, Matt, from their distillery in East Boston. ► OCTOBER 2021



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Their brand manager, Pete McCoubrey, also discovered that his initial chosen field — he was a criminal justice major at Endicott College in Massachusetts, with an eye toward becoming a lawyer — wasn’t what he really wanted to do. In a telephone interview with Out & About, McCoubrey, 34, discussed the rapid growth of Downeast Cider, which has recently entered the Delaware market. He also disclosed that he visited the Delaware beaches this summer and loved it here. For more information on Downeast Cider and its brands, go to DowneastCider.com. O&A: First of all, how did you go from being a criminal justice major to brand manager for Downeast Cider? McCoubrey: I think that’s a cautionary tale about not letting an 18-year-old kid choose his major right away. [After discovering he didn’t want to be a lawyer] I went back to Endicott and got my MBA and started working in the banking industry. I did that for about eight years, and I also did some freelance writing on the side. A friend of mine worked for Downeast in marketing and he brought me on as a copywriter, which got me out of the bank, which I was happy about. About two months later, he left the company and Ross [Brockman] asked me to hold down the fort until he could figure out what to do with the marketing. Then he asked me if I wanted the job permanently. So, I went from throwing a dart at the wall, college major-wise, to ending up here. O&A: There are a million craft beers and you guys are different. Does that help in marketing? McCoubrey: It definitely helps. There was a craft beer boom that’s fading away now — and we’re craft beer drinkers and there are a lot of great ones, but there are so many options. I can think of two examples of that. I was in bar in Newport [R.I.] recently and they had four different IPAs on the draft line, which had eight handles. Those four IPAs are all great individually, but people are saying ‘What difference does it make?’ And I was down at the Delaware beaches, in June, in Rehoboth Beach. It was the first time I was in a place called The Starboard and I fell in love with that place — we were there for a week and I had lunch there every day. And we were on their menu with maybe just one other cider, and there were maybe 10-12 craft beers. So, we stood out just because of that.

O&A: Actually, The Starboard is in Dewey Beach. How did you end up there and what did you think of it? McCoubrey: I had a great time. My girlfriend grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and she’s been going to the Delaware beaches every summer since she was a kid. I really don’t even know what the equivalent of that would be up here, I don’t even know if we have one. But I loved it. The beaches are a lot different than the ones up here and the bar scene, that stretch of bars, is really something. Even in the afternoon, the places were packed. That doesn’t happen in a lot of places, even in Boston. O&A: Back to Boston — Downeast got started by three young guys with no brewing experience. How did that happen? McCoubrey: A friend of theirs in college had a family orchard in Maine and he would bring back fresh apple cider whenever he came from home and, being college guys, they would mix alcohol with it in the basement of their dorm. And that’s when they thought, If we could figure out how to make cider like this with alcohol, that could be big. They had no experience at all, but they bought whatever equipment they could afford and gave themselves the summer to say, Either we’re going to figure this out and make something good, or get real jobs. And they came up on the other side of that with Original Blend, which is our flagship, and they’ve grown steadily ever since then.



O&A: What makes your hard cider different? McCoubrey: When they started, cider was either a real sweet cider with the consistency of apple juice, and on the other side of the spectrum were these dry, very fancy, almost wine-like ciders that came in a bottle with a cork. And they wanted to make a hard cider that tasted like the unfiltered cider they had from the farm. That means not taking out those little bits of apple that gives it a hazy-like texture, almost like an IPA. It’s not overly dry and it’s not overly sweet, and they found a new space to plant the flag. O&A: The Brockman brothers also had no business experience. How did they go from making the cider to marketing it? McCoubrey: They make a great team — Rob is really into marketing and his older brother, Matt, takes care of the operations. And they worked like crazy, just knocking on doors and going into bars and getting their name out there and finding their audience. O&A: Was there a particular moment when they knew they were going to be successful? McCoubrey: Yeah, and we have it framed in our office — a crushed Cranberry Blend can, which they made after the Original Blend. Ross was walking down the street one day and somebody had just thrown a can out the window and a car had driven over it. And seeing that Cranberry Blend can — which was just trash on the side of the road — he was like, Oh, people are drinking our products and it’s not just our friends or family that we’re giving it to. To see that can as trash on the road meant that it’s out there and people are drinking it, and that was a symbol to just keep going. And now we have that crushed can hanging in our office. . OCTOBER 2021




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he Ponderosa Barn doesn’t sound like a place you would expect to hear smooth jazz, but the privately funded West Grove, Pa. venue does a few things that sets it apart from the crowd. For one, all proceeds from the Andrew Neu & Robb Zinn Smooth Jazz Concert on Sat., Oct. 9 go directly to the players on stage — the venue takes no percentage of sales. “It’s kind of like Daryl’s House,” Zinn says, comparing the Ponderosa to setting of the popular show Live From Daryl’s House, featuring Daryl Hall. Zinn, who recently moved to Florida, played trumpet in a variety of Delaware bands over the decades including Whale, Group Therapy, Rocket 88, The Jimmy Pritchard Band and Special Delivery. Both Zinn and acclaimed saxophonist, Neu, have had recent releases make the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts and are just coming off their Summer Jazz Festival Tour. Their Ponderosa show starts at 7pm. Visit Ponderosa-Barn-LLC.Ticketleap.com.



aising funds for the Christian Salcedo Music Scholarship, Xtianstock unites local bands and music fans mid-month at Dew Point Brewery. The scholarship offers expanded music lessons and musical equipment to selected students from Wilmington’s Christina Cultural Arts Center. The scholarship is one of the programs offered by the Light Up The Queen Foundation. Returning to Dew Point’s outdoor performance area after a successful show last October, this year’s show features The Sin City Band, Stackabones, Earl Anem, Younger Than Charlie and Friends of the Ninth Eye. This is the fifth show of the series. Shows prior to 2020 were held at The Farm, owned and managed by musician Butch Zito of Stackabones. This year’s show runs at the Yorklyn brewery from The Sin City Band make their first appearance at the 2-8pm on Saturday, October 16. Visit Xtianstock concert fundraiser series on Sat., Oct. 16 at Dew Point Brewery. LightUpThequeen.org.



ilmington’s Makers Alley celebrates its second anniversary on Sat., Oct. 2 with Makers Micro Music Fest (aka M3 Fest) presented be Rainbow Records. The collaborative event features musical performances by Grace Vonderkuhn, Heavy Temple, Eyebawl, Nathan Gray, Grave Bathers, Bummer Camp, Carrier, Sarah Koon plus area DJs. The free event starts at noon. Visit MakersAlleyDE.com.



he Irish Culture Club of Delaware hosts Hooley Go Braugh on Sat., Oct. 2 featuring Murray Men, The Benny & Bill Duo and Irish dancers. The celebration at The American Murray Men play the Hooley Go Braugh on Oct. 2. Wilmington Turners follows a procession from St. Elizabeth’s Church starting at noon. A cash bar and food sales are provided by Dead Presidents Pub & Restaurant. Visit Facebook.com/DelawareIrish. Andrew Neu and Rob Zinn play the Ponderosa on Oct. 9. OCTOBER 2021 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 47


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ever a band to shy away from spooky subjects — or a good time — The Collingwood will be playing their first live show in nearly two years on Sat., Oct. 30 at the Kennett Flash. The band is taking full opportunity out of the fact that their show is the night before Halloween, aka Mischief Night. “The idea is to bring the cosmic, witchy darkness of [our music and videos] into the Kennett Flash that night,” says lead singer, guitarist and film auteur Chris Malinowski. So expect Halloween themed costumes in line with the band’s music videos for “Confetti” and “Jouissance,” which they released this year. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance and $20 night of show. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm with New Shields opening. Visit KennettFlash.org.

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

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plot of criminal mastermind Dr. (

), the dashing but (


Meanwhile, another secret agent named ( exotic part of (


) ,” and it stars ( adjective

) a pit of (


first name of female friend



first name of male friend

) spy who is out to foil the sinister



) is also on the case. She’s stationed in an

). Sure enough, she falls head over (

foreign country

is, after the two of them (





plural animal

) for our hero. That

plural body parts


Yes, the stunts were thrilling! Did I mention, they are being pursued by the evil doctor’s henchman ( a mechanical ( (


body part

first name of other male friend

)? Yes, well, our heroes end up outwitting him and escape in a super futuristic

) that travels (


) miles per hour. It was pretty cool!

After a big battle sequence, the two them end up discovering the villain’s secret base in a/the ( somewhere in (

foreign country



geographic area


In the end, the two spies win by tricking the evil doctor and launching him into space in a ( (

) who has




Our hero then turns to his new-found lover and says, “Let him find another ( And she replies, (



) planet to bother.”

), you silly spy, just kiss me!”





he remnants of Hurricane Ida caused extensive damage and historic flooding across the City early last month. Some 200 people were rescued by the Wilm. Fire Dept. and partner agencies in the immediate aftermath of the storm, and Dept. of Public Works personnel cleared mud, muck, and more than 125 tons of trash and debris from City streets in the days that followed. An estimated 275 property owners — commercial and residential — in certain areas of the City have been affected. No deaths or traumatic injuries were reported. “Obviously this terrible storm caused extensive flooding damage throughout the City,” said Mayor Purzycki, who declared a State of Emergency on Sept. 3. “The Brandywine River rose to levels not seen in a hundred years, and our first responders did a marvelous job of ensuring that everybody was safe and protected. Our Police, Fire, and Emergency Management personnel, working alongside County and State partners and with teams from Public Works, Licenses and Inspections, and Parks and Recreation, all responded heroically to assist those in need, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude. The same is true of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Delmarva, DEVOAD, the WRK Group, Team Rubicon, and neighbors who rolled up their sleeves to help other neighbors.” As the City continues to recover, Mayor Purzycki and Emergency Management Director Willie Patrick remind homeowners affected by the floods to call 3-1-1 for help in getting funding with things like: • Plumbing/mechanical work for the restoration of gas service • Electrical inspections • Damage to HVAC systems, hot water heaters, and electrical panels





he Wilmington Jaycees’ 57th Annual Christmas Parade returns to Market St. downtown at 11 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 27 after having to cancel last year due to the pandemic. The Jaycees are again holding the Parade in conjunction with Small Business Saturday to help kick off the holiday shopping season. The parade will feature floats, antique cars, local celebrities, community groups, marching and string bands, among other performers. The ‘star of the show’ will be Santa Claus, and children at the parade are encouraged to write a letter to Santa and drop it off as he passes by. Mayor Purzycki thanked the Wilmington Jaycees for organizing this special event for so many years. “Without the Wilmington Jaycees there would be no Christmas Parade, which has become an enjoyable holiday tradition in our City that people look forward to every year.

And. Of course, we all look forward to Santa’s return visit to Wilmington next month.” Groups who want to participate in the parade should visit www.wilmingtonjaycees.org no later than Oct. 31, 2021. For more info., contact Parade Director Mark A. Oller at 302-388-5223.



he Wilm. Police Dept. continues its tradition of celebrating National Night Out with a community celebration on Tues., Oct. 5, from 6 — 8 p.m. in Rodney Square. National Night Out is an annual event that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie across the country. Attendees will be able to meet and interact with police officers from various divisions and units, and members of the Canine Unit will conduct demonstrations with their K9 partners. The WPD will be joined by partners in law enforcement, public safety and public service, and COVID-19 vaccines will be available. There will also be public safety-related giveaways for children and adults alike. Contact David Karas (david.karas@cj.state.de.us) or Sgt. Andrew Conine (andrew.conine@cj.state.de.us) for more info.





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!

Water Attractions on the Riverfront! Delaware Cruises:

Offering Public & Private Boat Cruises on the Christina River! Paradise Tiki Tours provides a tropical atmosphere with an authentic palm thatched canopy, tiki lighting, music, and an island-inspired cocktail menu. Info and booking can be found at Delawarecruises.com

• Weekly Tours • Happy Hour Cruises • Private Charters Schedules & Info: DelawareCruises.com • 302-414-819 TikiTourBoat.com • 855-720-TIKI


25th Anniversary In 1995, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware was created to oversee the growth and restoration of the public and private land surrounding the Christina River. Formally home to shipbuilding and industrial centers, the land had become deserted and largely unusable. Thus, RDC began the process of rehabbing the landscape and working with local and regional developers to revitalize the area. Now, celebrating our 25th anniversary, Riverfront Wilmington has become one of the area’s most vibrant and exciting destinations to live, play, and work. Once a largely abandoned shipyard, the riverfront is now teeming with residences, hotels, restaurants and indoor and outdoor attractions. As we enter our 26th year — and look beyond — the Riverfront Development Corporation is thrilled to continue the expansion of the Riverfront area as we move to the east side of the river. We can’t wait to celebrate everything Riverfront Wilmington has to offer with you all year long!


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

The Riverfront Market


for in-house indoor and outdoor dining

Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill

Riverfront Bakery

Ciro Food & Drink

River Rock Kitchen



Del Pez

Taco Grande - NEW!

at the Riverfront Market!


The Juice Joint

Pachamama Peruvian Rotisserie Serena’s Soulfood

Drop Squad Kitchen

Timothy’s on the Riverfront

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Ubon Thai

Dine-in or carry out NOW OPEN



Enjoy Beautiful Fall Weather on the Riverfront ! Walk, run, or bike the 7.9 mile JAM Trail from Historic New Castle. Experience Nature and enjoy the outdoors along our beautiful Riverwalk.





Trombone Shorty The Queen

Photo by Joe del Tufo




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