Out & About Magazine - August 2020

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An Election For the Ages

History Proves Your Vote Counts

Part II: The Gift of Artistic Inspiration






DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON DE Expanded outdoor dining Free valet parking from 5-10 pm: Thursday-Saturday on 7th & 9th Streets at Market Street Friday-Saturday on 5th Street at Market Street

Designated parking spots for curbside delivery Live entertainment on Fridays from 5-9 pm on the 800 block of Market Street Curbside Wilmington runs through the end of summer, so make reservations now! Check out the Curbside Wilmington Happy Hour Facebook Event for more details.



Art is our Center, Community is our Heart

We are here for you! DelArt is open and we are delighted to welcome you back to the Museum. WILMINGTON, DE | DELART.ORG

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. Left to right: Untitled (detail), 2000s. Mitch Lyons (1938-2018). Clay monoprint, composition: 40 x 30 inches. Delaware Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2012. © Estate of Mitch Lyons. | Ophelia’s Light, 2019. Photo by Joe McFetridge.

Beach please.


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17 37

Out & About Magazine Vol. 33 | No. 6

Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com


Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net


(See page 9 for list of this month’s Guest Editors)

Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Designers Allanna Peck, Catalyst Visuals, LLC, Anthony Nardo Contributing Writers Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Adriana Camacho-Church, Cindy Cavett, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Jordan Howell, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Dillon McLaughlin, Ken Mammarella, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Leeann Wallett



6 Truth & Reconciliation Hearings

36 Hey Slow

7 From The Publisher 8 What Readers Are Saying 9 A Word From Gen Z


10 Learn

37 Grotto Turns 60

11 War on Words 12 FYI 13 Sarah Crawford: A Fashion First


17 Gem of a Business

38 Cape May Brewery

21 Gift of Inspiration: Kevin Frazier



42 In The City 44 On The Riverfront

25 Your Vote Counts 28 An Election for the Ages 35 Voting Info You Need

Cover design: Matthew Loeb (Hand lettering by Allanna Peck & Anthony Nardo)

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

FEATURES 13 A Fashion First Opportunity knocks for Sara Crawford By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman

17 A Gem of a Business Caelen and Samantha Bird strike gold in the jewelry business By Lauren Golt

21 The Gift of Inspiration: Part II Wilmington’s Kevin Frazier credits friends and family for his success By Leeann Wallett

25 Your Vote Counts History—including Delaware’s—proves it By Bob Yearick

28 An Election for the Ages Seven respected former politicians weigh in on what we can expect

38 Learning To Fly

OutandAboutNow.com Printed on recycled paper.

Cape May Brewery’s Ryan Krill has learned to navigate the unexpected By Jim Miller

Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • contact@tsnpub.com AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER At the Y, we stand against all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred.



TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Hearings planned for Wilmington


rganization founder Margaret Collins and her team at LastStoptoFreedom.org are hoping to make Delaware the site of Truth and Reconciliation hearings on the “injustices that people of color, especially Black Americans and Indigenous populations, have faced.” “Delaware is freedom’s first state. Wilmington is freedom’s first city,” said Collins, a former consultant to the City of Wilmington and the Riverfront Development Corporation. “Delaware has a special obligation, a special role to play as a voice for humanity.” Via its website LastStoptoFreedom.org, Collins’ team is collecting stories from people who have experienced or witnessed racism. The “unscripted, unedited testimony from people of different races and generations throughout Delaware” will be collected through July 4, 2021. On Aug. 29, 2021, live hearings and a “funeral service to bury racism” will take place in Wilmington at a location to be announced. Before that, however, an introductory event is set for this Aug. 29 in Wilmington. The public can tune in to a livestream of the proceedings at 10 a.m. For details, visit LastStoptoFreedom.org. Collins says the efforts of her organization are being done in collaboration with the Delaware Juneteenth Association and the August Quarterly Festival. August Quarterly is the oldest African-American religious celebration in the nation (207 years old). “Dismantling White supremacy, that’s the goal,” said Collins. “But that goal must be accomplished through education. “Right now, people are wondering where we go from here, so it’s important to increase public awareness of what the next step should be. That step should be Truth and Reconciliation hearings. Make racism— experienced or witnessed—part of the public record.”


From The Publisher



here do we go from here? That was the are saying, it’s hard to imagine voter participation not question we posed in our July issue. I reaching historic levels. sincerely hope no reader expected us to have Shame on us if it doesn’t. the answers by this issue. In this issue, we asked an esteemed collection of retired But boy, did we learn some things. It’s unsettling to Delaware politicians to serve as guest contributors and weigh be called out for being a bystander to racism as Larry in on what they expect to see in the upcoming elections. Morris did in his no-punches-pulled opening essay (visit Also, Contributing Editor Bob Yearick revisits a few past OutAndAboutNow.com for the full text): political contests that underscore the notion that every vote The problem has been that White people in America have is critical. Finally, we’ve compiled a list of key dates, new been uncomfortable speaking about race. With the exception procedures, mail-in voting requirements and more to help of a small number, Whites have not shown they care about you prepare for this year’s elections. what was being done to Black people even though they were Until then, do your homework. Most politicians talk supposedly friends, coworkers or teammates. The silence of good a good game—that’s why they’re politicians. So, look past White people in America is what has perpetuated the status quo gender, skin color and clever slogans. Insist that candidates and has prevented America from becoming all that it could be— show you what they’ve done, not tell you what they’ll do. or all that it says it is. Technology has made it easy to proliferate fake news. Tough medicine. Many of my White friends reacted It has also made it easy to do research. So, rely on credible as I did—defensively. But while we have an abundance of news sources. And check the facts provided by those credible solid arguments to explain our inattention, justifying the sources against other credible sources. When you see the acquiescence is a bit more same facts repeated by challenging. Most politicians talk a good game, multiple credible sources, So, we at Out & About that’s a pretty good sign that’s why they’re politicians. will work to show we care. those facts are reliable. And continue sharing Remember, we’re all So, look past gender, skin color energizing stories about suckers for being told what and clever slogans. Insist that our community—all of the we want to hear. Avoid that community. We’ll also seek candidates show you what they’ve trap by demanding details. more ways to collaborate Many politicians have done, not tell you what they’ll do. with minority communities. mastered the art of sounding Some of those efforts are authoritative without already underway. speaking with authority (knowledge of facts). A lot of people But where we go from here as a country, I don’t have that are saying that it’s time to call bullshit. answer. I’m certain of one thing: It would be tragic to stay Regardless of whether you’re White, Black, Brown or where we are. Yellow, you should be mad as hell about the predicament Which is a perfect segue to the theme of this issue: Voting we find ourselves in. Channel that anger. Voting in the Matters. To cite a source often used by The White House, A upcoming elections is a strong step toward determining lot of people are saying this is the most important election where we go from here. That said, it’s just a step. of our lifetimes. You’ll get no argument here. With the pandemic, and the racial tension, and all the things people — Jerry duPhily




WHAT READERS ARE SAYING About Where Do We Go From Here? by Larry Morris, July 2020 The truth has been well spoken by Larry Morris! We have suffered for far too long. Now what are we Blacks, Whites and other ethnicities going to do about it? As Larry said: It takes all of us! — Dorothy Hersi, Bear I agree whole-heartedly. Well said. You look around and you can’t believe there is still so much hatred in this world that we all say we love so much... BREAK the cycle teach your kids how to love everybody and that includes all races. — Deborah Denn, Wilmington Excellent article. Sharing to my page.

— Karen DiTulli, Wilmington

Reading Larry Morris’ piece in the July issue made me realize that I am part of the problem in race relations in this country. Raised to respect and treat others as you would treat yourself, I thought that was enough. But in his article, Morris described a ‘middle group’ of White Americans—those who are not racist, but stay silent because of the social and cultural privileges afforded to them. I am in this group. But short of voting, what does ‘doing more’ look like? I wonder if we can make a playbook for people like me who don’t attend marches or protests. — Catherine Nessa, Centreville About Are You Listening? From the Publisher by Jerry duPhily, July 2020 That is why God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth… we should listen 2x more than we talk. — Steve Williams, Wilmington You have yet to embrace the fact that Black people don’t impose racism on themselves. The fact of the matter is that racism can only be ended when White-skinned people stop doing racist things and dismantle their white superiority support system. Unfortunately your business magazine has lost an opportunity to make a real difference. Maybe the “guest editorial board” should have been comprised of the racist people of power in your media market place. For it is them that are in the process of falling. — Emery Graham, Orlando, Fla. About The Return of Hometown Heroes by Jim Miller, July 2020 Could not be happier that Mark and all the incredible local talent have a new outlet to continue the run for “Hometown Heroes.” — Mark Weidel, Thornton, Pa. Mark has always been a joy to listen to. Kudos to Delaware Public Media for bringing him back. — Andrew Sgroi, Wilmington




‘We’ve been through a lot, but we’ve got a lot more to offer!’ The following is a response from a 14-year-old Gen Z to Jeff Taylor’s Bridging the Gap essay in our July 2020 edition. Visit OutAndAboutNow.com/archives to view Taylor’s essay.


e are a generation who entered this world around 9/11 and are now entering young adulthood under a worldwide pandemic, an economic recession and racial strife. Think about that for a minute… We’re either starting high school or starting life as high school and college graduates (all sadly with no ceremonies celebrating our academic accomplishments), with no summer jobs, no summer camps, and low employment prospects. Yeah, I guess some Gen Zers will be living at home for a while longer. For the most part, I agree with OG (Old Guy) Baby Boomer Jeff Taylor’s essay…that we can and should have better communication between Gen Z’s and Baby Boomers. Admittedly, we can sometimes be a little too absorbed with the new technologies, but it’s always nice to have my parents learn something from me for a change. However, because we have been raised under the rapid development of new technologies and unique ways of communicating through social media, we are very conscious and aware of the world we live in, its problems, the challenges we now live under, and the beauty of a truly multi-ethnic and diverse society. This has allowed us to be both more accepting and understanding of different cultures, races, genders, transgenders and the LBGTQ community. Despite some of the media misperceptions about our generation, we are deep thinkers, with thought-provoking beliefs. We will challenge traditional thinking because we care about our community, humanity, and the world we will eventually be running. But we want it to be a world where we can all live in peace, one where there is no more unlimited funding of war machines, when those dollars can better be served to eradicate disease, provide sustainable food, a living wage, health care and clean drinking water.

Oh yeah, even in the United States, where millions of kids go hungry every night, where health care is not available for everyone, and where cities like Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey unbelievably have undrinkable water systems. Sadly, these disparities were politically created and led by Baby Boomer policy makers. We believe in the value of all marriages, racial justice for all people (including the African American, Native American, Latin American and Asian American communities), political and police reform, and a major plea to please do something about climate change. Think about this for a minute: It took a 15-year-old Gen Zer, Greta Thunberg from Sweden, to lead an international discussion on climate change. It took a then 23-year-old in Congressman John Lewis to be a major contributor during the Civil Rights movements in the ‘60’s, up until the day he recently passed. Together, with continued communication and the exchange of ideas between Gen Z’s and Baby Boomers, we will make an effective and prolific change in today’s world to build a better planet that we will one day inherit. We are the light of the world…and thank you Baby Boomers for holding the candle for us! You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light . . . Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. —John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America (Author’s name for A Word From Z not published at her request.) AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM




Artist and educator Richmond Garrick addresses humanitarian issues through his acclaimed art


rt sustained Richmond Garrick through a childhood of hardship in Sierra Leone, the war-ravaged, diamond-rich, yet impoverished nation on the southwest coast of West Africa. Ever since grade school, when he picked up a colored pencil, opened a music book, and began drawing almost exact images of the composers he saw there—Chopin, Mozart, Bach—Garrick relied on the saving grace of art. After high school, jobless and unable to afford college, he sank into a deep depression. But he rallied, receiving a scholarship from the European Economic Community, and entered Milton Margai Teachers College in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Garrick earned his teaching certificate and began his career as an educator. Meanwhile, he sold his paintings to local galleries, restaurants, and studios and began to earn fame for his art. In 1991, a brutal civil war exploded, and Garrick was so unnerved by the daily atrocities that he fled his homeland, joining his older sister in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In his new home, he worked odd jobs while looking for scholarships to slake his thirst for education. Eventually, he found funding, and earned an associate degree in Media Arts from Middlesex County College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts/Graphic Design from Montclair State University, and a Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. Now, he’s pursuing an EdD in Educational Leadership at Wilmington University. “It’s quite an amazing program,” Garrick says. “It gives you very good groundwork, and [in his cohort] we have a lot of professionals in the field of education who are starting to become leaders, and all of us individually are bringing various experiences from our education and personal lives.”

Garrick’s doctoral degree will mark the latest in a series of stepping stones that have led him, despite monumental obstacles, to success as an acclaimed artist, respected educator, husband, and father. In spite of Garrick's full, busy life, the civil war he left behind was never far from his mind. And in 2000, while he was attending Rutgers, the savagery reached across the miles when he received a phone call telling him that his brother, Sydney, had been captured and killed in the conflict. When he met with his academic committee after the devastating phone call, they discussed how he could deal with the inhumanity of the war. The obvious answer: through his art. “I wanted to recount my experiences, the brutality of war, the sadistic nature of it, through the didactic nature of the brush strokes,” Garrick says. On canvases thick with layers of paint, he used bold colors to create art that portrayed the war more powerfully than any photograph. “I want my paintings to have a dialogue with viewers,” Garrick says. “I want people to be sensitive to what is going on in the world. If there is terrorism going on in the world, it affects all of us.” After Garrick completes his doctorate at WilmU, he hopes to teach art full time on the college level while continuing to use his art to address humanitarian issues around the world.

WilmU works for educators and leaders like Richmond Garrick. To read the expanded version of his story, visit wilmu.edu/BrushStrokes.

Prepare for your next career move. WilmU works. Find out how at wilmu.edu • Next classes start August 31 XX AUGUST AUGUST2020 2020 | | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 10


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 • Sportscaster Dan Patrick (yes, him again) on his radio show, spoke of the 2020 baseball season as “unchartered waters.” He meant uncharted, which means “not recorded or plotted on a map or a chart.” Remember: Never take a chartered boat into uncharted waters. • Xerxes Wilson in The Wilmington News Journal: “. . . up and down the boardwalk, and on the sidewalks of the popular tourist town, many people were abiding the rules . . .” Used this way, abiding must be followed by the preposition by. Abiding, by itself, means “continuing without fading or being lost.” As we learned from The Big Lebowski, “The Dude abides.” • Brian Truitt in USA TODAY, writing about Jon Stewart’s latest movie, Irresistible: “Stewart most impresses by hoeing a familiar folksy road . . .” You hoe a row (of corn, tobacco, cotton, etc.). You cannot hoe a road. • Josh Peter, also in USA TODAY, on the plethora of George Floyd merchandise: “Yes, underwear, $18 for three pair.” Pairs! Apparently, because the word connotes two, writers often ignore the plural form. • A reader reports that golf broadcaster Nick Faldo said, “They told we announcers to shut up.” This is another instance of phony sophistication. The correct pronoun here is us, but Faldo obviously thought “we” sounds more sophisticated. This is similar to instances where people incorrectly insert whom into sentences, such as this one from Bryan Alexander in USA TODAY, discussing Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw: “Whomever this future villain is, expect a major name.” •We thought Michelle Obama was perfect, but apparently not. It was revealed that, in a Father’s Day message to Barrack, she wrote: “We feel your warmth and generosity today and everyday.” Everyday is an adjective, meaning occurring daily – every day. For our last four items, we turn to The Philadelphia Inquirer: •Reader Charlene McGrady spotted this in an AP story in The Inky: “You have the 4 million Obama 2012 voters that sat out in ‘16 – Obama obviously has cache with them.” A cache (pronounced cash) is a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place. What the writer was groping for was cachet (pronounced cash-AY), which refers to prestige or a mark or indication of superior status.

By Bob Yearick

• Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson, quoted in a story about guard Brandon Brooks’ Achilles tear: “My heart sunk when I got the news.” That’s sank, Coach. • Sportswriter Bob Brookover: “Girardi also squashed the idea of replacement ball.” One quashes ideas. • Brookover’s colleague, Matt Gelb: “In 1949, the Phillies’ lineup was completely different than the one that started 1948.” Things and people are different from, not different than. From is used for contrast, than for comparison, as in “I can run faster now than I could last year.” Department of Redundancies Dept. Speaking of different, the word often is used in a redundant manner. E.g., “I have visited 15 different states”; “he read 10 different books about meditation”; “she was accepted by five different colleges.” In these contexts, it’s an unnecessary, throwaway word. Gadzooks! Fellow grammarian Ben Yagoda, author of When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, reports that The New York Times apparently finds “whilst” acceptable, citing this example: “Whilst U.S. coronavirus infections surge, President Trump is scheduled to travel to North Dakota . . .” Sad. Just sayin’ . . . •Okay, I officially hate the word “pivot.” Its use is pervasive, extending the meaning of “change, switch, transform” far beyond reason. E.g., a reader reports that in meetings, her group now “pivots” to the next item on the agenda. Ridiculous. •As an alumnus (not an “alumni”; I’m only one person), it saddens me to call out this (wordy) sentence from the Penn State Athletic Department: “We continue to support our student-athletes in using their voice and their platform to protest in a peaceful manner in order to affect change.” That’s effect change, the rare case in which effect is a verb meaning “to bring about.”

Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Word of the Month

elide Pronounced ah-lide, it’s a verb meaning to suppress or alter something, such as a vowel or syllable, or to strike out

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

something, such as a written word.

Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf or by calling Out & About at 655-6483.



F.Y.I. Things worth knowing



ristina Kalesse, the wife of late local journalist Rob Kalesse (an Out & About contributing writer), was hoping to get a respectable turnout for the inaugural Rob Kalesse Memorial Classic golf tournament. Turns out, the event (set for Sat., Aug. 22 at Rock Manor Golf Club in Wilmington) has already reached capacity. A sold-out field of 112 golfers from 10 states have registered, with proceeds benefiting a cause Kalesse was passionate about: the American Lung Association. The event is sponsored by Green Energy Construction & Consulting, LLC. and though no more tee times are available, you can honor Kalesse and support the American Lung Association by visiting RockManorGolf.com/events or emailing cristina.page@gmail.com



hrough August 14, Lighthouse Cove Dewey Beach is running a weekly photography contest celebrating the history of its lighthouse. A winner will be chosen for every decade the lighthouse existed (it was built in 1979). All photos must be original works taken by the entrant and a maximum of five photos per individual are permitted. For complete details and prizes, visit LighthouseCoveDeweyBeach.com 12 AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



n recognition of Black Lives Matter and protests happening in Wilmington and around the world, the Delaware Art Museum has reinstalled the exhibition Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot. On view now through September 27, the work is a series of 13 retroreflective screen prints by Hank Willis Thomas based on photographs from the Delaware National Guard’s 1968 occupation of Wilmington and a booklet from the period titled Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot. The 1968 community disturbances in Wilmington came about after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and left an indelible mark on the community. For museum hours and more, visit Delart.org



o replace its annual 5K Run/Walk in August, which has been postponed due to Covid-19, the Delaware KIDs Fun has introduced 92 Days of KIDS—a summerlong hunger initiative. The concept is simple: Donate what you can when you can from now until Sept. 14. All funds will go to the KIDS Fund Food Pantry, which provides food for local children struggling with food accessibility in our community. The KIDS Food Fund is using a local fundraising platform, DEGives.org. To donate, visit DeGives.org/fundraisers/92-days-o-kids.

ount Cuba was recently named the Best Botanical Garden in North America by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. The Top 10: 1. Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, Del. 2. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Coral Gables, Fla. 3. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Chaska, Minn. 4. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Boothbay, Maine 5. Missouri Botanical Garden - St. Louis 6. Ganna Walska Lotusland - Santa Barbara, Calif. 7. Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island, Wash. 8. Garden in the Woods - Framingham, Mass. 9. UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. 10. United States Botanic Garden Washington, D.C.



he Brandywine Zoo is hosting Summer Nights Ice Delights on Friday evenings Aug. 14 and 28 from 5-7pm. Kona Ice will be selling coolflavored shaved ice onsite for guests to enjoy while visiting the Andean condors, red pandas, bobcat, serval, capybara, burrowing owls, eagles, goats, macaws, Scarlet Ibis, and others. Informal presentations will be held for guests interested in learning about some of the conservation programs that the Brandywine Zoo and the Delaware Zoological Society participate in and support. For tickets, visit BrandywineZoo. org or call (302) 571-7747.




Opportunities continue to knock for Wilmington designer Sara Crawford after her label hit By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman

Sara Crawford’s moonlight gig is earning her international attention.


t’s not every day that up-and-coming fashion designers get contacted to show their collections during New York Fashion Week. That’s why when Wilmington designer Sara Crawford received an email late last year to do just that, she thought it was a joke. The email came from AMG Group, which was hosting a special show during fashion week that would feature several emerging designers. “I was reading the email when I was on the phone with one of my friends,” says Crawford. “They were excited, but I was still trying to process it.” She thought about it for a few weeks and finally agreed to participate around Thanksgiving, which gave

her less than two months to put together her collection. She focused on women’s wear for the collection, even though she also designs clothing for men and children. “During Christmas I was out running around, working on my collection for all of two months,” she says. “I created a whole new collection. I took time off of work (she is the program director at True Access Capital, a not-for-profit, federally certified, Community Development Financial Institution that supports small businesses and community development projects) and had a lot of late nights.” Laughing, she says, “I am no longer built for these all-nighters.” ►




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A FASHION FIRST continued from previous page

She put together 10 looks for her Anara Original label and titled it “The Pigment Collection.” It featured muted colors but with lots of texture and embellishments. Although she is known for her fun and flamboyant tutus, she chose a pastel palette to bring awareness to her albinism, a rare genetic disorder. “I wanted it to speak to the woman who loves classic but who still loves to stand out,” she says. Crawford graduated in 2005 from The International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa, Fla., where she studied fashion design and marketing. She also started her label in 2005. She moved to New York after college, where she worked for fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger. But, she says, “the cost of living was just too high. I was just working to pay bills.” The New Castle native returned to Wilmington after two years in The Big Apple and continued designing in her spare time. But when it was time to return to New York for the fashion show, she spent less than three days there. She arrived only one day before the fashion show and fitted all her models that day. She says it seemed as if she blinked and the runway show was over. But she received promising feedback from those in attendance. “Most people said it was very polished and whimsical and had a power to it,” says Crawford. She left New York the day after the show, but she made time to visit some of the clothing factories and check out the apparel production process. She also enjoyed meeting some of the other up-and-coming designers. “There was a young lady from Milwaukee and one from Orlando who were really great designers. It was great to hear their stories while we were waiting around,” says Crawford.

bee-friend THE



bee-eautiful WITH

At bottom left, Crawford says her “Pigment Collection” is for the woman “who loves classic but who still wants to stand out. Above, Crawford’s fun and flamboyant tutus have become a signature item.

photo by Hank Davis

Back home in Delaware, she found that the show generated an influx of online orders, especially for her custom t-shirts, which display slogans like “Dress Responsibly” and “ICON Be You. Be Original.” “I was getting contacted after the show and I didn’t have any stock! It’s hard being a one-man-band and having a fulltime job,” she says. Not long after the runway show, The Oxford School of Fashion in London contacted her to put together a collection for London Fashion Week. She’s also researching the companies that reached out to her to work on garments. “Collaborations are golden,” she says. In the meantime, she’s going to keep doing collections and continues to make her custom tutus, which are about a two-week turnaround. Adult tutus range from $75-$250; kids’ tutus range from $25-$60. “To be a designer you don’t have to have a store,” she says. “I love being a custom designer because it’s a little more controlled.” She says since the onset of COVID-19, she has been working on a t-shirt collection inspired by her albinism. She is launching the new collection soon, which will feature t-shirts with statements and slogans on them challenging you to embrace your differences. And while many retailers had to pivot from storefront to online sales, Crawford says she was already ahead of the game. “My business was already in the virtual space, so if anything, the virus enhanced my visibility because everyone is hanging out online,” she says. Who are some of her dream clients? “I would love to dress [actress] Tracee Ellis Ross, [singer] Janelle Monae and [actress] Sarah Jessica Parker. They are all fun and classic,” she says. Crawford realizes that although this exposure has been great for her career, she is not going to immediately become a world-renowned fashion designer. But she is more determined than ever. “[The exposure] will invoke more inspiration and get me back in that saddle,” she says. For more information and to shop, visit anaraoriginal.com.

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A Gem of a Business Created in the wake of a home robbery, this husband-and-wife jewelry company has clients throughout the U.S. By Lauren Golt Midwinter Co.’s signature look: gray diamonds in unusual cuts and stunning blue-green sapphires. Photo courtesy of Midwinter Co.


hen their home on Monroe Street in Wilmington was burglarized in 2011, Caelen and Samantha Bird found themselves without a TV, computer, and their favorite ice cream. (Yes, the thieves actually stole a gallon of mint chocolate chip out of their freezer.) While the couple attended an evening church service, the burglars, who were later identified as kids who lived down the street, entered through a second story bedroom in the back of the house. Insurance covered the cost of the TV, but not the computer. In response, Samantha turned to a past hobby. “This loss drove me to dig out my jewelry supplies and start creating again to help pay for a new computer, since I needed one for work,” she says. Several months after the burglary, in the fall of 2011, the Birds turned Samantha’s creations into a business, and Midwinter Co. was born. They started by selling necklaces on Etsy, an online marketplace for companies selling custom, handmade, and vintage items. Then, on Black Friday, shortly after they had established their business, a large order for necklaces came in from the flash sales site Fab.com. They’ve continued to grow ever since. Midwinter's e-commerce website brought in $28,000 when it launched in 2013. Annual sales have doubled almost every year since, and totaled $1.5 million in 2018.

That’s when the Birds moved production from their home to a studio in Trolley Square, which is available for shopping by appointment. Both Delaware natives, Caelen and Samantha have known each other since they were neighbors in Elsmere when they were 11. By age 13 they were dating and, in December 2006, under shooting stars in Rehoboth Beach, Caelen proposed. Eight months later, they were married. Today the couple resides in Brandywine Hills with their two children, Norelei, 9, and Eldin, 4.

The Beginning of the Brand

Before Midwinter, Samantha was a self-employed photographer, graphic designer and web developer. She started making jewelry in 2005, when a friend taught her how to bead on wire and finish each piece with clasps. Caelen was using his certificate of ornamental horticulture from Longwood Gardens as the estate manager of a large home in Greenville. His job helped fund the business. While working full time, he made jewelry at night and on the weekends. Eventually, Samantha says, Caelen left his job to devote full time to Midwinter “so that we could both focus on business and family together.” ► AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Photo Matthew Loeb

A GEM OF A BUSINESS continued from previous page

Samantha Bird designs the pieces and photographs the work, and husband Caelen makes the jewelry, utilizing recycled metals for the settings.

Samantha admits they had “zero training to go into business for ourselves.” But, she says, “I just have a strong entrepreneurial personality, heart, and mind. Risks don’t make me hesitate when I feel motivated and able.” Their roles in the company are complementary and their skills self-taught. Samantha is the visionary who designs the pieces and photographs the work. Caelen makes the jewelry, utilizing recycled metals to mold the gemstone settings and bring Samantha’s designs to life.

Creating Celestial Diamonds

You won’t find any “perfect” diamonds here. The Midwinter catalog features a fresh perspective: high quality, raw gemstones with plenty of character and beautiful flaws.



“The earth has created much more beauty than you can find at your average jewelry store,” Samantha says. “I hunt down strong and stunning diamonds that convey glamour while still expressing the unconventional, the unexpected.” The gems they work with are sometimes called by the industry galaxy or salt-and-pepper diamonds, but Midwinter calls them Celestial Diamonds, a name they have copyrighted. Celestial Diamonds are untreated, gray-toned and full of imperfect inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye, making them unusual. “Each diamond we use looks different,” says Caelen, “and some have really cool geometric cuts and facets, which then requires unique metalwork to keep the stone secure.” Alicia Fretz and her fiancé, Sean Hoban, of Wilmington, discovered Midwinter while on a hike. “Sean and I love to spend time outdoors together,” Fretz says, “and we were hiking in Alapocas Run State Park one day in 2016 and decided to do some geocaching to make it even more fun, [geocaching is] kind of like a treasure-hunting challenge. The geocache we found included a small canvas bag with a beautiful vintage necklace and Midwinter Co.’s business card. I looked them up online and found out that they were a local husband and wife team, creating stunning, socially responsible, high-quality jewelry. How could we not love them right away?” Flash forward to 2019, when Fretz and Hoban were on another hike, this time in Arizona. That was when, in her words, “he took my breath away by getting down on one knee and asking me to be his wife with the most beautiful Midwinter band. Sean chose the band himself, and I am positive that there is no other ring in the world that more perfectly represents both of us. We're so proud that such an ethical, eco-friendly, local company is a part of our story.”



Our Grand Opening coincides with our group exhibit “Pendulum Swing, which features 15 black visual artists from as far as Florida—each with a unique expression that conveys pain, triumph, and optimistic views of their feelings about the current climate. Exhibit closes October 30. 18 AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

The diamonds Midwinter Co. ...our diamonds sources are less taxing on the earth with their because the Birds are not seeking obvious “perfect” diamonds. When a mining inclusions are company looks for a clear diamond the epitome of with invisible inclusions, it extracts true perfection: hundreds of tons of earth in its search for that one stone, using excessive each is unique, resources. By using stones that have real and visible flaws, Midwinter gathers a stunningly wider variety of untreated diamonds beautiful in without extensive mining, utilizing its own right. fewer resources. “We simply chose not to conform to the mainstream idea of perfection, and believe our diamonds with their obvious inclusions are the epitome of true perfection: each is unique, real, and stunningly beautiful in its own right,” Samantha says. No part of Midwinter’s sourcing, mining, and shipping process tolerates conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds are sourced from war zones and their purchase finances an insurgency or war efforts on the part of an invading army or warlord. Each diamond and gemstone supplier Midwinter Co. partners with is held to the highest ethical standards, promoting and ensuring socially responsible mining and business practices.

Custom Designed – by Customers

Photo Midwinter Co.

Besides promoting eco-awareness in the jewelry industry, Midwinter’s four team members, Samantha, Caelen, Barbara Duszak and Nicole Woodruff, focus on creating a welcoming, intimidation-free environment for their clients online and in their Trolley Square studio. Half of Midwinter orders are ready-to-ship and the other half are custom creations. Many customers take part in designing their own jewelry by providing drawings of what they are imagining. Midwinter then uses computer-aided design (CAD) software to build the piece digitally. The CAD design is printed in wax, the wax is made into a mold, and the mold is filled with melted gold. The gold solidifies and then is ready for finishing. This added level of customization creates a personal touch. “Midwinter Co. was fantastic to work with,” says recent client David Jacobson, of Wilmington, N.C. “I had ideas for the shape and style of my fiancée Raven's rings, both engagement and wedding band, and they were endlessly patient going back and forth with various revisions and tweaks.” While Midwinter Co. is based in Delaware, they have clients throughout the country. With this national reach, the Birds prioritize a comprehensive online presence.

Upon appointment, customers can try on every piece in stock, like those above, view loose stones and help design their own custom piece. AUGUSTL 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



Reservations only, please call (302) 994-6700 x7194.

At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille is located at the White Clay Creek Country Club on the grounds of Delaware Park.

The Terrace Restaurant is also open on all live race days for reservations only. Please visit our website for more details or call (302) 994-2521 x7306.

777 Delaware Park Blvd. | Wilmington, DE 19804 800-41-SLOTS | delawarepark.com


Photo Matthew Loeb

Your favorite restaurants are back with inside and outside dining choices! At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille is now open Wednesday – Saturday 12pm to 8pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Samantha creates digital mockups on her iPad as part of the custom design process.

“It’s a business model type to focus on the rest of the world, inviting them digitally,” says Samantha. They attribute their marketing success to an informative website, detailed and aesthetically pleasing photographs, and an active Instagram account. “Our Instagram is a community,” Samantha says. “We approach it as an opportunity to connect to people, and avoid the whole advertising feel. We also use Instagram to educate people about jewelry styles, minerals and metals. People feel a part of Midwinter Co. because we are excited to be a small part of their love stories.”

Doing Well While Doing Good

In addition to creating unique jewelry using eco-friendly materials, Midwinter donates 10 percent of its profits to charity. Its business model is based on eco-friendly, ethical and giving practices. “Our personal beliefs are the foundation to what we do,” says Samantha. “We don’t give out of obligation, but instead we believe all businesses have a responsibility to their local community and to the economy.” The funds go to local and international charities that focus on food insecurity, lodging, education, and more. In 2019, they donated almost $70,000 to charities such as Sunday Breakfast Mission, Urban Promise Wilmington, Love 146, and World Vision. Something they don’t support, however, is discrimination of any kind. When choosing a charity, the Birds do their research about the causes they’ll be supporting, where the money goes, and who will directly benefit. Any organization that discriminates, in any capacity, is off the list. Clients appreciate Midwinter Co.’s philanthropic values. Says Fretz: “I think their incredible talent is obvious as soon as you look at their work, but I hope people are also aware of the values and mission that drive them - like supporting environmental protection, fair labor practices, and generosity by donating at least 10 percent of their profits to charitable Metalsmith work in Midwinter Co.'s studio. organizations. I think that's such an important thing to consider, especially when choosing an item to represent the love between you and your partner or your own self-love.” Midwinter Co.’s foundation is based on authenticity and individuality. Their jewelry is designed as an extension of each customer’s personal story. “Whether you choose a bright and crystal clear diamond or one that looks more like the night sky, I advocate that perfection is an opinion,” says Samantha.

Photo Midwinter Co.

We’re back and ready for you!

A GEM OF A BUSINESS continued from previous page


Wilmington’s Kevin Frazier says friend and family support provided the foundation for his career.

Creative Outlet

Entertainment entrepreneur Kevin Frazier has translated East Coast experiences into West Coast success Part two of a four-part series: The Gift of Inspiration

By Leeann Wallett


here weren’t a lot of opportunities where we came from (on the East Side),” says Kevin Frazier. “People become complacent with whatever life has given them. I am never going to tell my son that he can’t do something. (He) will always have someone to be supportive of the decisions he makes, whatever those are.” Frazier’s own number one supporter has been Jermaine LaFate, son of artist Eunice LaFate (last month’s cover artist), whom he met when they were five years old at the YMCA’s East Wilmington summer

camp. The two soon realized that they lived right around the corner from each other on Wilmington’s East Side. They were destined to be lifelong friends. “We’ve been around each other our entire lives,” says Frazier. “Jermaine was best man at my wedding.” His friendship with Jermaine also extended to the LaFate family. “Ms. LaFate became a second mother to me,” says Frazier. “If you hadn’t eaten, she made sure you ate. She was always invested in the kids in the neighborhood. There was no such thing as a ‘bad’ kid from the neighborhood.” ► AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM



THE GIFT OF INSPIRATION continued from previous page

Kevin Frazier says being involved with art at an early age helped him understand different aspects of life and think outside the box.




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Frazier remembers that his and other neighborhood parents were very involved with “all of us,” including Jermaine and his other friends. “Our parents instilled in us the ‘it takes a village’ mentality,” says Frazier. So, whether he was at his house with his mother, Lynette Scott, who worked in real estate and finance, or at the LaFates’ house, he felt supported. “My mother gave me a solid understanding of how to run a business, while Ms. LaFate gave me the freedom to be creative,” he says. Whether it was painting, writing poetry, or making music, the LaFate household became a safe haven for Frazier and the other “Arts as Prevention” boys to explore their individual creativity. While at the LaFate home, Frazier had many instructive conversations and formative learning experiences that started with critiquing the artwork that filled every wall of the house. “If there was a new piece, Ms. LaFate would ask your opinion and then tell you the story about the piece,” says Frazier. Being around and learning from Eunice LaFate shaped Frazier’s understanding about different aspects of life, including how to think outside the box. This important life skill, coupled with LaFate’s maternal guidance, gave Frazier a solid understanding of how to be business-savvy in the creative industry.


Frazier gained a deep appreciation and a diverse palette of music from various family members. His mother loved Motown and the oldies; his father loved jazz. He credits two of his three aunts for his eclectic taste in music. “My Aunt Jeannette loved R&B like En Vogue and soul, while my Aunt Dean enjoyed hip-hop artists like Big Daddy Kane, Run DMC, and Notorious B.I.G,” he says. This wide exposure to music genres inspired Frazier to create his own music. As a pre-teen, he and his friends would write, perform and critique each other’s raps in the LaFate basement. “I had a manila envelope full of notebooks with my raps,” says Frazier. Asked if he could share some of his old raps, Frazier laughed and said that most of them had probably been “thrown away by my mom.” Frazier’s first experience in the music industry came through his sister-in-law, Dawn Brown. At the time she worked at a music management company in Philadelphia with her business partner, Terry McRay, who took a keen interest in Frazier. “Terry was my first music mentor who allowed me to tag along at video shoots, meetings, and studio sessions,” says Frazier. “He gave me a full view of what it took to be in the music industry.”

McRay saw potential in Frazier’s music career and urged him to explore all aspects of the industry, not just songwriting. Says Frazier: “It’s one thing to write a song, let alone promote and release it. It’s a lot harder these days to get exposure (for an artist or a song) since there are so many more platforms to release music.”


Frazier’s journey from aspiring songwriter to producer and business owner in the music industry demonstrates his strong work ethic, ambition and at times, luck. There’s not enough space here to trace his entire career, but it began with his working behind the scenes at Ja Rule’s Mid-Atlantic tours as a teenager while attending William Penn High School. “My friends didn’t believe me until they saw me backstage at his concert on the Riverfront. I was a fly on the wall,” Frazier says. After graduating from high school in 2002, Frazier attended Lincoln University but had to transfer due to a university-wide teachers’ strike. This change eventually led him to attend the Institute of Audio Research in New York City (which closed in 2017). Between attending school full-time and working evenings as a club promoter, Frazier wangled his way into music industry events and parties by creating—there’s no other word for it—phony business cards. “(At the time in the mid-2000s) corporate websites had employee directories,” he says, “so I would find the name of an assistant to a major music executive and replicate their business cards.” While it was an ingenious use of technology then, Frazier doesn’t recommend this devious method today since, as he points out, “it’s much easier to find someone’s credentials through LinkedIn or Facebook.” Frazier’s last few years in New York included various positions at Vibe Magazine, Daddy’s House Recording Studio, which is owned by Bad Boy Entertainment Group, and Rocawear, an American clothing brand started by Jay-Z and Damon Dash. During this time, Frazier met another music mentor, Chà Deberry, who “took me under her wing,” he says. She introduced Frazier to the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles, the city he has called home since 2015.

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Frazier has some ambitious goals, and they again involve friends and family. “I want to be in the financial position to help out and invest in my friends’ ideas or support my family to make their lives easier,” he says. He credits his parents and Eunice LaFate for instilling his strong work ethic and aspirations. “When my parents separated, my mom worked two or three jobs, all while attending school,” he says. “I grew up seeing ambition, so I don’t know anything else.” Frazier and his DollarZEnterprize music production co-owner, DollarZ, have completed the build-out of their recording studio in North Hollywood. Their goal for the studio is to create a welcoming space where artists want to come to work. They plan to finish ongoing projects including a posthumous album from French Montana’s artist Chinx, which is slated to release in December, then open the space to a select list of artists in the next year or two. One of Frazier’s long-term business goals is to introduce a breakout artist. “We’re looking to find the next artist that is hoping to build a legacy and not be just a flash in the pan,” he says. Frazier and DollarZ have already begun conversations with major studios to reserve the studio for artists on a short-term basis. And in 2021, Frazier hopes to create a visual album to showcase what he and his partner have been working on as a way to sign writers and producers to their music production company. “It’ll be a pipeline for up-and-coming talent,” says Frazier. “We already have our eyes on two artists we want to sign.” Next month: Andre Harris, apostle at Breakthrough Reformation of Churches in New Castle. AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


LaFate Gallery

Has a Line-up of Spectacular Events for August!

AUGUST 1, 11:30-1PM:

FREE Children’s Heritage Paint Class (Sponsored by Buccini Polin Group)


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Opening Reception for Katie West “Jamaican Journey,”

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women Suffrage

with stunning Photographs

with a FREE Paint Night for 6 Women

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VOTE 9/15/2020


Results Introduced over 25 ordinances and resolutions that were adopted in his first 11 months as Council Member

Open for Take-Out and Dine-In, Mon-Sat, 5-9pm


Your Vote Counts History—including Delaware's—proves it By Bob Yearick


very vote counts.” We do not have government by the majority. We have We’ve all heard that patriotic rallying cry from nearly government by the majority who participate. every candidate who has ever run for local, state, or — Thomas Jefferson national office. But does it? Does it matter if you, as an individual Through the years, Delaware has had its share of tight citizen, bother to vote? races. One of the closest occurred in the 1998 battle The answer is yes, and you need look no for the Talleyville-based 10th Representative further than the national elections of 2016 for District. Democrat William V. McGlinchey, confirmation. Jr., lost to the GOP’s Robert J. Valihura, Jr., Sure, we all know the controversy by eight votes—2580 to 2,588. Bucking the around the race for president, where trend in Democratic New Castle County, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Valihura went on to win the seat four more receiving nearly three million more than times, all by comfortable margins, before Donald Trump (a margin of 2.1 percent losing in 2008 to Dennis E. Williams by a of the total cast), while Trump won the —George Jean Nathan margin of 5,038 to 4,898—a difference of presidency in the Electoral College, with 140 votes, or 1.92 percent. 306 pledged electors out of 538. Primary elections, which are often But individual votes have a much greater ignored by voters, have loomed large in impact on state and local elections, where the margins of victory are Delaware’s history. Probably the most famous one, or at least the most much, much smaller. controversial, was the 1988 Democratic battle for U.S. Senate between Take, for instance, Vermont, where a 2016 state Senate Lt. Gov. S. B. Woo and millionaire activist Sam Beard, a former aide Democratic primary was determined by a single vote—out of more to the late Sen. Robert Kennedy. They were vying for the right to than 7,400 cast. challenge three-term incumbent Republican William Roth. Also in Vermont, a state House seat was decided by one vote out At 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, Woo conceded the election after of 2,000. Even more amazing: this was a rematch, and when the two totals from 93 percent of Delaware's precincts came in, showing Beard candidates first faced each other in 2010, the race was also decided had 21,047 votes, compared to his 18,359. In his concession speech, Woo by one vote—in the other direction. indicated that he was ready to return to his position as physics professor Out west, in 2016, a Wyoming state House Republican primary at the University of Delaware. was won by a single vote, 583 to 582. But the next night, a poll watcher left a message on the lieutenant And in the same year in New Mexico, a state House seat was governor’s answering machine stating that a discrepancy in the vote decided by two votes out of almost 14,000. tally had given Beard 2,800 votes more than he had actually received. ►

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.




FOCUS YOUR VOTE COUNTS continued from previous page

Election officials soon confirmed that an incorrect tally for a New Castle County election district had been punched into a computer at the County Board of Elections on Saturday. Paul Hart, director of the Elections Board, reported that “the actual vote for Beard in this district was 28 votes. One of the keyboard operators Saturday night keyed in 2,828 by mistake.” Woo was soon named the winner, although he lost to Roth in the general election.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”

Wednesdays through August • 5-8 P.M. Stroll, jog, or bike through the most beautiful mile of the Brandywine. Bring a picnic or order one in advance. Dogfish Head beer available for purchase. Dog Days: Leashed canine companions welcome on August 26.


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—George Jean Nathan, American author and editor

In 2010, one of the biggest upsets in Delaware history, and perhaps the biggest upset anywhere in the country that year, was for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Joe Biden when he became vice president. His aide, Ted Kaufman, was appointed to fill out Biden’s term, but Kaufman chose not to run for election, so the seat was up for grabs. Chris Coons easily won the Democratic nomination, but on the GOP side, the primary became a bitter battle between Congressman Mike Castle and Christine O’Donnell, a public relations and marketing consultant. Castle’s 40-plus years in public office had shown him to be the most popular Republican politician in a Democratic state. He served as governor from 1985 to ’92, and the next year won the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a post he held when he ran against O’Donnell. His opponent, on the other hand, had never been elected to office, having unsuccessfully run for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and 2008. But it was the heyday of the Tea Party, and the pro-life, pro-gun O’Donnell was backed by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, the NRA, and the Susan B. Anthony List. Castle was seen as the establishment, someone those on the right viewed as not committed to the cause.

This and other factors led to O’Donnell’s victory by a vote of 30,561 to Castle’s 27,021—a six percent margin. While Castle’s loss was due in large part to the groundswell of conservatism that swept the GOP at that time, some observers believe that overconfidence on the part of his campaign and his supporters was another factor. He essentially ignored O’Donnell’s candidacy and refused to debate her. Unfortunately for Republicans, Castle would’ve been the better nominee. Polls had shown him with a clear advantage over Coons, who drubbed O’Donnell in the general election by garnering 57 percent of the vote. Coons still holds the Senate seat today. Castle never again ran for public office, retiring to private life when his term ended in in 2011. “Coons went from 15 percent down to Castle to 15 percent up on O’Donnell,” says John Flaherty, Democratic committeeman and long-time Delaware political observer. The race, says Flaherty, demonstrates why voters shouldn’t ignore primaries. While GOP candidates are usually underdogs in statewide contests, they have an even tougher row to hoe in trying to become mayor of Wilmington, a Democratic stronghold. (A Republican hasn’t held the office since Harry Haskell’s lone term ended in 1973.) As a result, there have been some epic Democratic primary battles for leader of Delaware’s largest city. Perhaps the most dramatic occurred in 1992 with the victory of State Representative James Sills over two-term incumbent Dan Frawley. While Frawley was a heavy favorite in the race, Sills knew that, historically, a mayoral candidate needs the support of only about six percent of the city’s residents, or roughly 4,400 votes. The candidate went after those votes the old-fashioned way. “I spent months knocking on doors, and I think that had a great deal to do with my winning,” Sills said at the time, while noting that his war chest was about $30,000, compared to Frawley’s $100,000. He beat Frawley by 927 votes—5,850 to 4,923. “Frawley never expected to lose that primary,” says Flaherty, “and I don’t think Jim Sills expected to win.” Frawley would die of a heart attack during a pickup basketball game two years later at the age of 53. Sills went on to serve two terms as Wilmington’s first Black mayor before losing to James Baker, who unlike Frawley and Sills, was successful in his bid for a third term. Today, the 88-year-old Sills is still active, serving on several boards. This year, Mayor Mike Purzycki will be opposed in the Democratic primary by City Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter and former City Councilman Justen Wright. No Republican bothered to file for the office. But many other offices will be up for grabs in both the primary on Sept. 15 (voter registration deadline is Aug. 22), and the general election on Nov. 3. In addition to voting for president, Delaware voters will decide the races for U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, governor, insurance commissioner, 11 state senatorial districts and one representative district. A more engaged electorate, spurred by a controversial administration and debates about the coronavirus, the economy, civil rights, healthcare, and other issues, seems poised to perform what some call a civic duty. And once again the cry of “Every vote counts!” will be heard throughout the land. Deciding whether or not to answer that call brings to mind comedian George Carlin’s words: “If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.”

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An Election

for the Ages Retired Delaware politicians weigh in on the issues and what we could see in the coming months • Voter turnout in 2018 was the highest for midterm elections in 50 years. Do you think that will hold for this year’s elections and why? Yes, I expect turnout to be very high. My sense is that citizens are highly engaged in this election because Donald Trump has made it clear that leadership matters—and unfortunately, he's made it clear that bad leadership can have a real impact on all of us. Joe Biden is beloved in Delaware so I expect people will enthusiastically register their support for him. — Jack Markell Percentage of eligible voters who voted in 2018 midterm election nationwide was 50%. Only five states had 60%. Yes, I believe that the turnout will be as large as ‘18. I believe the events of 2020 will inspire more people to exercise their right to vote. It is hard to understand why 50 percent of the population does not value their ability and right to vote. — Joseph Miro Even in unprecedented times, projections are suggesting that voter turnout in 2020 could reach the highest levels in decades—if not the highest in the past century. The divisiveness and ineptitude of our current administration threatens basic civil liberties and human rights. It is these same civil liberties that keep us safe, especially in times of crisis. With so much at stake, and the surge of new voters potentially producing the most diverse electorate in American history, I truly believe the 2020 election turnout will be of historic proportions. — Margaret Rose Henry The pandemic has made it very difficult to answer that question. At the beginning of the year, I thought that the turnout might handily eclipse that of the midterms. Now, with what has been happening in so many aspects of the campaigns, any guess may be feasible. Mine is that it will be slightly higher than 2018, but the true numbers will not be verified for a couple of weeks (if then). — Joseph G. DiPinto 28 AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

Based on the 2018 general elections and the 2020 Presidential primaries (in spite of the Coronavirus), I think the 2020 upcoming general elections voter turnout will exceed 55% nationally. My rationale is based on the constant barrage of media information provided daily on various media platforms. I think the American people are now totally aware that a mistake was made when the Electoral College vote count—and not the popular vote count—selected a President that lacked the capabilities necessary to preside over our great country. — Theodore Blunt Yes, if not larger. With the Coronavirus and people working from home, more are keeping up with current events. For weeks all of us watched Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx explain to us about the virus and how we can do our part to slow the spread down, as well as President Trump sometimes contradicting what they said. With this came the pundits take, either good or bad, depending upon your own beliefs. People who never wanted to discuss politics now are and want to be involved and are very adamant about voting in November. — Helene Keeley No, I think that there’s going to be a lot of chaos. And there’s going to be reluctance—on some people’s part—to vote. There are people who voted absentee [in the primaries]. But a lot of people have never done this before. So, there are a lot of people that will not select an absentee ballot to vote. [With the] virus and all this other kind of stuff, people don’t know what to expect when they go to the polls. It may mean they have to be in line for a long time because of keeping the separation and all of that. They also may not go because they just don't want to be around a lot of people. — James M. Baker

Meet Our Guest Contributors

James M. Baker

Theodore Blunt

Wilmington Mayor 2001-2013 Wilm. City Council President 1983-2001

Wilm. City Council President 2000-2009 Wilmington City Council 1985-99)

Joseph G. DiPinto

Margaret Rose Henry

DE House of Representatives; 4th District, 1987-2006 Wilmington City Council 1973-86

Delaware State Senator, 2nd District, 1994-2018

• How do you feel the Black Lives Matter movement and the current state of race relations will impact this election? The Black Lives Matter movement has revolutionized the conversation about racial justice in the country. The new and impassioned protests occurring throughout America, by people of all colors, highlight the consequences of structural racism and offers a united voice on issues that have persisted for far too long. This new era of America’s racial justice movement owes much to young people, harkening back to the powerful social movements of the past while using the technological tools of today. Black Lives Matter reminds us that freedom for Black Americans ultimately means a better nation for all. Until the most marginalized among us are recognized as part of American society in the same way as everyone else is, we will continue to see the rise of this movement until actual justice is served. — Margaret Rose Henry I think in two ways: Some people are angry over what happened in the aftermath of the demonstrations. The sad part is that some people wanted to misuse the demonstrations. [They] went downtown [Wilmington] and did some terrible things. That wasn’t anger; that was thievery—people who wanted to take advantage of this situation. There’s going to be people who feel angry about that or upset about that. ►

Helene Keeley

Jack Markell

Delaware House of Representatives, 3rd District, 1997-2019

Delaware Governor 2009-2017 Delaware Treasurer, 1999-2009


Joseph Miro DE House of Representatives 1998-2018 New Castle Co. Council 1992-98








Established a strategic planning process for new council’s legislative agenda.

Established $1 Homestead Program for residents to become homeowners of vacant properties.

Championed implementation of CDC findings regarding epidemic of trauma related gun violence.

Organized a parking task force to resolve citywide parking issues.

Created ID program for lowincome seniors to receive all eligible City resources.

Fought for funding for communitybased summer youth programs.

Resolved 50 years of flooding in Southbridge with building of Wetland Park.

Upgraded WITN TV to become an international award-winning TV network.

Encouraged Direct-toAirport train service from Wilmington to PHL and BWI.

Engaged youth in developing a peer-to-peer anti-littering campaign.

Advocated elimination of pre-K 2nd grade out-of-school suspensions. Established collaboration with New Castle County to remove lead paint in city housing. LEARN MORE @ WWW.HANIFASHABAZZ.COM Paid for by: Shabazz for City Council President 2020





FOCUS Then, the removal of statues: There’s going to be people angry about that. So that might cause people to vote one way or the other. Although it was done for safety reasons to prevent them from having paint thrown on them or damages made to them. But they have to be put back in place and the whole issue of slavery and statues and all that should be clarified. I can understand when you deal with Confederacy and the Civil War and all that. But to take down all statues because of the past history is just ludicrous. I think they should be put back in place. But I think people are going to be upset over that. And then in the African American community, there are people very upset over the situation of the killings of people and will vote to prove the point. Others won't vote to prove a point. So, I think you're going to get a mixed bag here. — James M. Baker AN ELECTION FOR THE AGES continued from page 29

The almost universal support of the initial non-violent protests following George Floyd's senseless death benefitted the Democrat Party measurably at both the local and national levels. The unfortunate growth of rioting and the surfacing of the BLM agenda and socialist policies will diminish that support as the campaign gains steam. Race will be a factor, and I hope that the quest for equal justice is not sidetracked. — Joseph G. DiPinto Black Lives Matter will energize minorities and the younger generation to vote in this election. The electorate will feel the need to make all voices heard. — Joseph Miro I believe people are beginning to realize that supporting the slogan isn’t enough. Action has to follow. And I believe that people will support candidates who are committed to action, not just words, when it comes to ensuring that our country live up to its founding principles and finally erase its original sin. — Jack Markell

• What suggestions do you have for rebuilding bi-partisanship? The murder of bi-partisanship began in Washington when some politicians decided that an adversary’s disagreement meant that they were either immoral or mentally deficient. This resulted in personal treatment and loss of mutual respect that could no longer be papered over by some pork-barrel grant to soothe the opponent’s ire. Language got cruder, putdowns were uglier, and humor and comity were forgotten. I saw this begin to happen at the local level in the early 2000s and was saddened. Bi-partisanship can be rebuilt only by strong and courageous leaders of all parties who have good manners, a sense of humor and enough selfconfidence to commit themselves to restoring class and dignity to the process of governance. — Joseph G. DiPinto Harsh differences and polarization are not new themes in American democracy. What is new is the Congress’s diminished capacity to manage these challenges. To me, the idea of bipartisanship simply means finding areas of common ground where we can come together to get important things done. In Delaware, the General Assembly works together on issues of importance known as the “Delaware Way.” Delaware is so small

that many of our elected officials know each other and have had similar experiences or have gone to school together. One way we have been effective in Delaware is to find things that we can accept and live with, even though the issue would not be our priority. This creates good will and enables elected officials in Delaware to get things done that both political parties can accept and support. — Margaret Rose Henry I think you’re going to have to have a change in Washington. Right now, one party is frightened of the person within the presidency, and because of the support base that he has. And so, they have responded in a way that has broken any sense of compromise and working together for the betterment of the country. It’s really just “our way or no way.” I don’t know how you fix all that unless you have new leadership, especially amongst the Republicans who say, “We can’t keep doing this. We’re playing to the far right, and we’re supposed to be Lincoln’s party. But we sure aren’t showing it.” You would have never gotten any of those Civil Rights bill passed if it had not been for cooperation with Republicans and Democrats. We would have not made racial progress at all without cooperation—even though you had radicalism or whatever else. When you look at the development of the NAACP, the majority of people who set up the NAACP were White. There were more Whites than there were African Americans. We have to understand we have got to find a way to work together— not just as a people—but as parties. It’s dangerous for us as a nation to continue the way we’re going. — James M. Baker When elected officials focus on the things that citizens actually care about—better schools, more and better jobs, a clean environment, highquality and affordable health care that's accessible to everybody, and a better of quality of life—they'll find they have a lot more in common than the partisan talking points too many rely on (not just during the campaign but often while governing) would suggest. — Jack Markell For over 22 years I worked really hard to build bi-partisanship in the House of Representatives and I think I did a fairly good job. None of us agree 100% all the time on every topic. In order to build bipartisanship, we need to focus on what we agree on. 98% of all legislation that I was the prime sponsor of had co-prime sponsor for the opposite party and I'm extremely proud of this. I sat down with them personally, explained the bill and its intent, asked them for their option and how I could make it better and many times their suggests did strengthen the legislation. So, when it came time for the vote, I had people in all four caucuses supporting, gathering vote to make sure the legislation passed. This can be done, it's hard work, you have to listen and put your ego aside and understand you are not the only one with good ideas. — Helene Keeley You need to look at the legislation being proposed on its merit and not based on politics. Elected officials need to remember that they are working for everyone for the benefit of the greater good of the state and the country. Our lawmakers are elected by people who respect them as a person and what they stand for. People who vote for them may be Democrats, Republicans or Independents. Lawmakers need to look at the value and merit of the piece of legislation not who is presenting it. Once elected, politics and party affiliation should not be the driving force. — Joseph Miro ► AUGUST 2020



Kyle is a mom, attorney, and advocate. Kyle believes every voice matters. She is a leader who will fight to ensure that Brandywine Hundred's values don't take a back seat in Dover. Paid for by Friends of Kyle Evans Gay



FOCUS AN ELECTION FOR THE AGES continued from previous page

• Your comments on how the pandemic will affect this year’s election? I think people will show up and vote our current president out of office. He has demonstrated an inability to provide leadership at this critical time in our history. The pandemic should have been a bipartisan, wake-up call issue with both political parties paying attention to the data and listening to our pandemic medical experts. The reason why over 139,000 people have died (as of 7/17/2020) is because our current president and his Republican office-holders have made the pandemic a POLITICAL issue versus a POLICY issue. The pandemic will definitely have an impact on this election, just like it has had on everything else in our society. — Theodore Blunt Campaigning will be strange, unlike any in recent history. Lots of innovative electronic stuff will be used, to what avail I don’t know. The conventions will probably be sleep-provoking and there may even be a meteor shower of “October surprises.” Counting of votes will be complex and the impact of mail-in ballots is yet to be determined. My thinking is that the swing voters will make very late decisions. — Joseph G. DiPinto The pandemic will affect the election in a variety of ways. First, people have strong feelings on how the pandemic has been handled by the government at the state and national levels. This will influence how people vote. Choices will be very emotionally driven in the voting booth. The pandemic will make campaigning very difficult this year especially for political newcomers. I would think incumbents have more of an upper hand this year than ever before. Door to door campaigning will be nearly impossible as will standing in front of supermarkets. People will be leery of leaflets and brochures. Paid ads, direct mail and social media will be more of the norm and they can be very expensive. I also think phone-calling may be more important than previously. As far as actual voting, the pandemic should not be an issue because of added availability of the absentee ballot, which is easy to obtain. — Joseph Miro We have already seen that several states with early primaries have had to alter their voting plans. We have seen changes in dates, combination of polling locations, social distancing causing stress and long lines, and the lack of people to work in the polls because primarily older people have traditionally been free to work at the polls. Some states have had to combine their polling locations causing confusion for its citizens. The pandemic has affected the primary race in other ways as well. Some states decided to postpone their primaries or shift to vote-bymail. Nearly 20 states have had to delay their primaries due to the coronavirus. The truncated timeline between the primary and the general election will alter campaign dynamics, which may impact who ultimately wins in November. — Margaret Rose Henry

• How will local elections be impacted with Joe Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket? Joe Biden will bring more voters to the polls in Delaware without a doubt. Biden, for the most part, has been a likeable person, so many in the state will feel a duty to go out and vote for him so that Delaware can be added to the few states that can claim a president. This is a plus for the Democrats who control everything in the state already. — Joseph Miro Democrats will benefit from having Joe Biden and Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. They will want to send a very clear signal that they (we) can’t stand Trump and that we believe Joe Biden will be an outstanding president. — Jack Markell I think Vice President Joe Biden’s name at the top of the Democratic general election ballot will help immensely with the other Democratic down-ballot candidates like U.S. senators and congresspersons, governors, county executives, mayors and other candidates running for elective offices. The Delaware Democratic Committee is encouraging voters of all ages (because of the pandemic) to consider other voting platforms such as early voting, absentee voting and voting by mail. Those options would eliminate the need for voters to wait in long lines to vote. The voter turnout will be high because many believe that this may be the most important election of our time. — Theodore Blunt Democrats will win most seats, but that would have happened with many of the contenders at the top. Local issues will prevail and there will be some surprises. — Joseph G. DiPinto

• According to many opinion polls, less than one in five Americans trust the U.S. government. That is near a historic low. What can we do on the local level to improve that? I believe everyone says this and to a certain percent, I believe this from a national perspective. However, when you ask them if the trust their own U.S. Senator and Congressperson, that number goes up. That's because they know them, see them on local news, parades, chamber events, etc. But when you see one of their colleges behaving badly, you think everyone should not be trusted, same thing happens here in Delaware. People that live in lower Delaware do not believe Wilmington state senators or representative have their best interest at heart and vice versa. What we all need to understand is that every elected official, for the most part, is doing everything they can to make our state and America better. We have to remember there are always bad apples in every line of business, not just government. — Helene Keeley ► AUGUST 2020



FOCUS AN ELECTION FOR THE AGES continued from previous page

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Be transparent in policymaking. Share how are we managing COVID-19—weekly status reports are helpful: what do we need to do to improve outcomes? Share with the people in Delaware what resources are available at the state level to help with: education, businesses, health concerns, public safety. Elected officials can hold town meetings in their districts using social distance and requiring masks to hear from the public about what their concerns and suggestions and to help Delaware move forward. — Margaret Rose Henry The public perception of all governments needs to be improved. Elected officials need to remember who elected them and why she or he was elected. They need to fulfill their promises to the best of their abilities. Candidates should not promise actions that cannot be achieved just for the sake of getting elected. We need more transparency and we need elected officials who communicate with their constituents. This was extremely apparent during the pandemic. As the state needed to push information out to residents, only Democratic legislators were given tools from the state to message to their constituents. Transparency in government and bipartisanship needs to become a priority in 2021. The health and welfare of all Delawareans should be the focus. — Joseph Miro Elected officials should focus on the things that real people care about and then deliver on their commitments. There’s no faster way to improve the standing of the government in the eyes of the public. Officials across the country could learn something from our own congressional delegation—Senators Carper and Coons as well as Representative Blunt Rochester are less caught up in political rhetoric and more focused on the things that make a difference in the lives of real people. — Jack Markell The divergence to the far right by the federal government has created so many cracks in our society. Unless we change that, you can’t get trust back again. The current president depends on anti-government people—who don’t like the government—who would rather see it abolished and another one established [and] people who are racist, who he patted on the head and said, “Oh, you’re good people, too.” Things like that have created divisions in our country where people don’t feel that the government is ever going to operate correctly. So I think there’s a lot of work that has to be done going forward by both parties [and] by the religious community. A lot of evangelists have supported the president under [a] guise that he has supported all of the religious edicts that they would like people to uphold. These people ought to be ashamed of themselves, but they’re not. They give all kinds of excuses for all of his behavior. If I did the misbehaving—that they have blinded themselves to— would they say, “It’s alright. We all make mistakes”? Well, they were preaching bloody murder about sinners and all of that beforehand. Now they just look at it and say, “Well, we understand womanizing, we understand lying.” How can your religious community be so backwards? I watch it on television, and some of the things they say are just so outrageous and anti-religious in terms of what the Bible says. But they say it their way— and they have a right to—but all of this has to change. We have to have a different form of leadership. — James M. Baker

2020 ELECTIONS Delaware’s Primary is being held on Tuesday, September 15. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all polling locations.

Need to find your polling place? Request a mail-in ballot (also known as Absentee)? Need to register to vote? Visit Vote.org (National) or ivote.de.gov/voterview (Delaware only). If you do not have access to a computer, you can register to vote at the DMV or your local and state election offices.

YOU CAN ONLY VOTE FOR YOUR REGISTERED PARTY’S CANDIDATES IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION. People that are registered Independent, Libertarian or Green Party have very few choices. You must be registered to vote by August 22.

Delaware has new voting machines with big touch screens! The machines generate a ballot that you can inspect and either accept or change before your vote is cast. There are volunteers at every polling place that will familiarize you with them. Watch a 2-minute video on how to use them here: https://youtu.be/EX51pU8rxYo.

The General Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all polling locations. All registered voters can vote in this election but must be registered by October 10.

• • • •

August 22: deadline for unregistered voters to register to vote August 31: deadline for unregistered uniformed service members and citizens living outside the United States to register to vote September 11: deadline for the Department of Elections office to mail absentee ballots out for the September 15 Primary Election September 15: deadline for voters to return voted absentee ballots for the Primary Election to the Department of Elections

• •

October 10: deadline for unregistered citizens to register to vote October 19: deadline for unregistered uniformed service members and citizens living outside the United State to vote October 30: deadline for the Department of Elections Offices to mail out absentee ballots November 3: deadline for voters to return voted absentee ballots

These are the elected officials that impact your daily life in Delaware, and many of us know our local elected officials personally. Most of the Democrats running for office will not have a Republican foe in November, so the Primary Election will decide who wins. If you care about who represents you, vote on September 15.

• • • • • • • • • • •

U.S. Senator (2 Dems & 2 GOPs) Representative in Congress (2 GOPs) Governor (2 Dems & 6 GOPs) Insurance Commissioner (2 Dems) State Senators & Representatives New Castle County President (4 Dems) New Castle County Clerk of the Peace (2 Dems) New Castle County Executive (2 Dems) Mayor, City of Wilmington (3 Dems) Wilmington City Council President (2 Dems) City Treasurer (2 Dems) Wilmington City Council—At Large (8 Dems for 3 seats) and almost all Districts



HEY SLOW Zach Humenik and friends release new alt-country EP while continuing to record during the pandemic

Album cover art: Zach Thomas

Full Speed Ahead with

By Jim Miller


ach Humenik is on the phone talking about a tubing trip down the Brandywine River he took during our most recent Independence Day weekend, which saw temperatures hit the mid-90s. “What a great activity to do when you can’t go out and do what you normally do,” Humenik says. “I’m so thankful for that little area there. My wife and I floated down for four hours. It’s a nice little trip.” The story is an appropriate place to start the conversation about his latest alt-country project, Hey Slow, for two reasons. First, recording music is also another great activity for musicians when they can’t do what they normally do—play live. For Humenik, the pandemic pushed his energies toward recording, which, in turn, helped bring about Hey Slow’s first EP, Yosemite. The second reason the tube-trip story is a good starting point for the interview is that the river takes center stage in Hey Slow’s new song “Ride.” In it, Humenik opens with these lines:

My precious baby, Her name is Brandywine; I went down to the woods, A couple of times.

The song brings a local tie to a genre of music that is often lightly represented in the greater Wilmington area: original country music. Aside from the local settings, another interesting feature Hey Slow’s music brings to the table is a wider palette of sonic textures that one doesn’t typically associate with country music. For instance, “Ride” opens up with a reverse guitar strum, a flourish more reminiscent of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” than it does Connie Smith’s “Once A Day.” Similarly, on “Make Time,” breezy guitar tones drift in and out of the verses and solo section with a slightly psychedelic flavor. And on “Ghost Boi” a faded feedback seems to echo each line Humenik sings, like a haunting memory lingering just beneath the surface of a conversation. “That’s kind of the fun part about producing stuff, ” Humenik says. “Especially with the quarantine, I had a lot of time [to experiment]. “For some of these songs, I decided, ‘This is kind of fun, let me add extra stuff to it.’ By adding different types of keys or synths to a song kind of takes it a little bit out of that country style and starts dipping into indie or a folk-rock type of thing. 36 AUGUST 2020 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

“The country-folk thing is the foundation for all this stuff. To the extent in which I want to add stuff to it to change the vibe is really taste specific.” In some ways, Hey Slow is a distinct departure from the type of music Humenik has been known for making, particularly with his style of singing in lower registers on Yosemite. It certainly sounds different from his first band, Diego Paulo. More than a decade ago, Humenik and his musical friends attracted large crowds performing their takes on vintage Latin and island music. “I was really into—and still am into—Brazilian bossa nova music and other types of Latin and Central and South American music,” Humenik says. “So that was my inspiration [for that band].” But in other ways, Hey Slow feels like an understandable progression from some of the music Humenik has done recently with his long-term ensemble, Travel Songs. That popular group also has borrowed similarly from Latin music, but, unlike Diego Paulo, it largely succeeded by creating dreamy folk signatures through a more modern, pop-rock filter. In that sense, perhaps it would not have been too unnatural to hear Travel Songs cover one or two Hey Slow tunes during, say, their last show at Dogfish Head Brewpub. Different, but not too different. On that note, it’s probably no big surprise to hear Travel Songs co-founder Sam Nobles playing bass on these six Hey Slow songs—or that longtime collaborator Zack Thomas (High Reeper) is joining the team. “Sam and I worked on the record together,” Humenik says. “I played the drums, the guitars, some of the keys and sang. Then Sam played bass and some other keys. And we just sent sound files back and forth to each other. “But then when we play live, we work Zach Thomas into it to hit the harmonies. So, it’s like it’s a three-piece now, but we’re still early in the project. “I’m already in the phase of writing songs for the next [release]. Actually, I got Zach coming over later tonight. We’re going to work on some music.” Although the band’s name might imply something different, it doesn’t appear Hey Slow is waiting around when it comes to creating original material and moving into new directions. Hey Slow’s Yosemite is available on most digital formats including Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music.


A Legend Turns 60 Grotto Pizza enjoys a big birthday this year


rotto Pizza celebrates 60 years this summer—an astounding milestone for any business, let alone a restaurant chain. But as founder Dominick Pulieri reveals, it certainly wasn’t a slam-dunk start when the now-legendary pizza chain first opened. That first summer, when Pulieri was only 18 and enrolling in Kings College, he and his sister, Mary Jean, had to give away free samples as many Americans in 1960 didn’t know what pizza was. That was back when pizza sold for 20 cents a slice. Today, with 22 locations, Grotto has become a household name in Delaware and Maryland. The company looks to open its 23rd store in Millsboro later this year. “We’re so thankful to the local community, visitors and our long-time employees that have supported Grotto Pizza for the last 60 years—contributing to the success of our business,” said Pulieri. We caught up with Pulieri to ask him a few questions about a business he originally started to get him through college and now employs more than 1,800 people in peak season.

O&A: After 60 years of building a successful business with Grotto Pizza, what aspect or specific achievement gives you the most pride? Pulieri: The consistency of the same regular customers that come in time and time again. For me, it’s generational: We’re getting first, second and third generations as repeat customers— and that’s what makes your business become iconic. Mom and Dad can’t be the only ones that like it—the kids have to love it. Then they grow up and bring their kids. That’s what it takes to grow your company. O&A: What memories do you have about opening your first Grotto location? Pulieri: It was a very humble start for us back in the earliest days. The locals didn’t know what pizza was when we first came to Rehoboth. If you can believe it, I didn’t have a soda machine or toppings the first year! O&A: What are your favorite toppings for a Grotto pizza? Pulieri: Mushroom and onions O&A: If you had words of advice for a young entrepreneur going into the restaurant industry today, what would it be? Pulieri: Believe in yourself. Focus on one main thing that’s unique and good. In our case it’s the pizza—the pizza is the hook. If you’re just getting started, you need to roll up your sleeves. Don’t be afraid to work. The restaurant industry is extremely competitive so you must be very consistent. It’s all about the customer, quality and consistency! AUGUST 2020




Learning to Fly At Cape May Brewing Co., Co-Owner Ryan Krill has learned how to successfully navigate through some of the most challenging conditions By Jim Miller

Cape May Brewing Co. operates in a warehouse at the local airport—an aspect that co-founder Ryan Krill found convenient when getting his pilot's license and related certifications.


our years ago, Ryan Krill took off from Cape May Airport as a trained pilot taking his friend’s single-engine airplane out for a leisurely flight. In the passenger seat to his right was his wife, Dr. Kaysi Krill; a few hundred feet below was his business, Cape May Brewing Co., which he co-founded in 2011; and dead ahead was a potential disaster. Unbeknownst to Krill and his wife, the engine cowling cover of their friend’s Piper Dakota had not been completely secured before takeoff and was now—as the craft was accelerating rapidly for liftoff—in jeopardy of separating, likely damaging the tail, perhaps even searing it off completely. It didn’t take a pilot—or passenger—with Krill’s years of training to know this was not an ideal scenario. With the engine cover starting to swell and bellow, he acted quickly.


“I pulled the power way back and got on the radio,” Krill says. “I said, ‘Hey, we have a minor emergency and we need to get back.’ And so I put the plane right to a downwind position for the perpendicular runway. “If you can envision two intersecting runways, I took off out of the one and then landed on the one running the other direction, which is the fastest way to get down. By reducing the speed on the airplane, that slowed down the amount of wind force that was put being put on the cowling, so it [was] less likely to rip off.” After landing and motoring the plane back to the hanger, a quick inspection found the culprit: A small latch piece had failed. It was a learning lesson, for sure, but the close call didn’t stop him from doing what he loves to do. “My wife was in tears,” Krill admits. “But, we’ve flown tons of times since, and the thing has been fine.” As a pediatric ER fellow at Nemours Hospital, Kaysi surely understood the potential dangers the incident posed—a possible sudden drop from 500 feet—and the event still lingers in Ryan’s mind along with the notion that it all could have ended there. But it didn’t. They continue to fly. And, in the years since, the brewery that he helped build just a quick stroll from that runway has been doing gangbuster business, taking off to a place where the sky is seemingly the limit—even in a pandemic. In New Jersey, the Philly area, and now in Delaware, Cape May Brewing Co. is one of the hottest names in the business. But, when Ryan, his father, Bob Krill, and friend, Chris Henke, started the business in an empty warehouse at the Cape May Airport in July, 2011, none of them had any real experience in the industry other than being “idiot home-brewers, ” as Krill says, chuckling. “I was in commercial real estate,” Krill says. “My dad was in pharmaceuticals, and Chris was an engineer. We started the business with $25,000 and since then, we’ve only used cash flow to grow the business. That’s it. We’ve never taken on any investors or anything like that. “We didn't have a background in brewing. I think that’s part of the reason we started. Because had we been in the beer industry—on one side or the other—we probably would have known too much. So not knowing was, I think, part of the reason it worked.” Naïveté may have played a role in preventing the group from being discouraged in those early days of struggling. On the other hand, did Krill have any idea Cape May Brewing would be as successful as it’s become? “Never,” Krill says. “We were always behind in terms of [having enough] space and that sort of thing, which I guess in some ways was an advantage because we never built some giant building and then looked to fill it up. “It’s always been supplying what we think we can sell.” Nine years later, that sales number has jumped quite a bit. Bolstered by popularity of its flagship Cape May IPA, 2018 alone saw the brewery increase production by 75% to more than 16,000 barrels. Last year saw a boost of another 40% with distribution expanding into Pennsylvania. ►


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LEARNING TO FLY continued from previous page

Those figures are even more impressive when you consider the amount of competition. The number of breweries operating in New Jersey has doubled in just the past five years. So, with Cape May riding the wave as one of the big boys, it looked like nothing but clear skies this year as the brewery launched distribution in Delaware during the first week of March. Then mid-month, the pandemic hit. Like most business owners, Krill had no idea what to expect. “First off, it was really scary,” Krill says. “We had never been in a scenario like this. From Day One, we’ve been successful at growing the business in a healthy and sustainable manner. And it felt like overnight, it was all just tumbling down. And that was horrifying.” But if Krill’s piloting experiences had taught him one thing, it was this: Don’t panic. Thankfully, relief came when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy deemed beer manufacturing, distribution and liquor stores sales essential businesses. “That was our saving grace,” Krill says. “Luckily, we’d made significant investments of time, money and resources into focusing on wholesale and distribution—focusing on packaged cans. We installed this really state-ofthe-art canning line last year.” Having those cans available in liquor stores—as opposed to relying completely on draft sales at bars and restaurants, which had been suddenly closed—made a huge impact on the brewery’s ability to survive the months to come. Meanwhile, Krill’s piloting skills came into focus again, as he had to think quickly as the captain of the company. “We made changes swiftly and compassionately,” he says. “We had to make some really hard decisions. But it put us in a position that allowed us to have a business to come back to. “We had to make the challenging decision to make a reduction. We furloughed some people, and luckily it was temporary. Since then, we’ve brought everybody back with the

Cape May's brand relies on a nostalgic look, beach imagery and plenty of humor.

exception of one position [an events role] that had to be permanently laid off.” Krill and his team figured out how to survive the storm and keep flying. They worked on home delivery, focused more on off-premise liquor stores, and spent a lot of time communicating with their accounts and customers. “We’re actually doing really well right now,” he says. “We’re ahead of our original plan for the year.” Moreover, they have continued to brew new beer, just releasing City To Shore, their annual Double IPA (at 7.8%), which Krill describes as a “glass-full of citrusy, grape-fruity yumminess.” Right now, Cape May brewers are working on one of Krill’s favorites seasonal favorites, their Oktoberfest, which will arrive in stores this fall. “It is just so good,” Krill says, “It is just a beautiful Marzen lager that is totally crushable. Perfect for the fall. It’s nice and simple.” For a moment, as he describes the beer, it sounds like his imagination has drifted off to outdoor beer gardens, large steins full of brew, and German sing-a-longs. But he’ll have to wait. Besides, even in the COVID era, his summer doesn’t sound bad at all: overseeing a successful brewery just a few minutes walk from his other love of flight. “One of my favorite things to do is fly,” Krill admits. “I use the analogy all the time [in business]. It's the stuff that you do to fly. It’s not hard, but it’s all [about] having a sequence of things you need to get done that makes the whole thing work. If you don’t do them, it’s not going to work.” That’s not to say taking a single-engine vehicle up above the clouds is for everyone. “Flying really does get you outside of your comfort zone,” Krill says. “This whole COVID thing—it’s gotten everybody outside of their comfort zone. But flying teaches you about being comfortable outside your comfort zone.” AUGUST 2020





ayor Mike Purzycki was joined by state and local officials on July 15 to dedicate the new Christina River Bridge at the Wilmington Riverfront in honor of former state senator Margaret Rose Henry. “Few public servants have had such a profound effect on the lives of the people of Delaware —and her Wilmington constituents in particular—as Senator Margaret Rose Henry,” said the Mayor. “As a legislator, Henry was adept at building bridges, so it is only fitting that the City’s newest bridge now bears her name.” Sen. Henry became the first African American woman to serve in the Delaware Senate in 1994, and has a decades-long career of public service, working in nonprofit administration and championing legislation for causes such as education, autism, health, housing, gun control, mental health, medical marijuana and expanded services for seniors. She last served in the General Assembly in 2018. The Mayor also thanked long-time State Representative from Wilmington, Stephanie T. Bolden, for suggesting that the bridge be named for her legislative colleague. The Mayor said it was a perfect idea to honor former Senator Henry.





ayor Mike Purzycki, City Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz, and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC) announced that, as of July 1, the WCC is now its own, independent, tax-exempt 501 (C)(3) organization, ending an 18-year run as a project of Cityfest, Inc., the non-profit arm of City government. The status change marks nearly two decades of growth and service. WCC is a community children’s chorus begun by former Mayor James Baker, Director Betz, and the founding Artistic Director at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, David Christopher, in 2002 to give young people the opportunity to explore their musical talents and public performance abilities. It serves hundreds of young people from the City and the Greater Wilmington area. “We’re grateful for eighteen years of support from the City of Wilmington, without which our choir would not exist,” said WCC’s new Executive Director, Lianna Magerr. “We are proud to continue serving the children of Wilmington through our extensive, year-round, tuition-free programming.” WCC’s curriculum emphasizes musical excellence, cultural explorations through music, leadership, and mindfulness. The choir serves children through its Performing Choirs, Neighborhood Choirs, and summer programming and collaborates with the area’s top arts organizations. Most recently, it offered a threeweek virtual summer camp at no cost for any participant. The choir holds auditions for new members, ages 8-18, in early September and January. For information about the WCC, please visit www.WilmingtonChildrensChorus.org. The Wilmington Children’s Chorus is made possible, 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. The full text of the Mayor’s Proclamation can be found at this link: wilmingtonde. gov/Home/Components/News/News/4953/225




arclays US Consumer Bank, one of Wilmington’s longtime corporate leaders, announced in late June plans to expand its operations in the City and add more than 300 jobs as part of a nearly $7 million-dollar investment in collaboration with Delaware Prosperity Partnership. Wilmington has served as the strategic headquarters for Barclays’ U.S. consumer business since 2004. Hiring is currently underway for the new positions, which include a range of customer support and operations management roles. Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki celebrated the Barclays expansion. “We are very appreciative to Barclays for its continued commitment to Wilmington and to Delaware,” the Mayor said. “This news comes at an ideal time when we all need reasons to celebrate after months of consequences from the pandemic. When reviewing its options for expansion, Barclays chose Wilmington because of access to a strong financial services workforce, proximity to major cities and an attractive riverfront setting. Many thanks to the governor and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership for making this possible.”



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



NOW OPEN! Wed-Sun, 3-9pm All guests over 12 years old must wear facemask

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



FOR KIDS! HOME WITH LITTLE ONES? The Delaware Children’s Museum will be posting at-home children’s activities on their Facebook page until they re-open! Just search Delaware Children’s Museum on Facebook!


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Celebrating 1 Year Together Thank You Wilmington! A nyway You Slice It, It’s Family lapizzeriametro.com (302) 761-9199 | 3101 Miller Rd, Wilmington, DE 19802 Proudly Serving Our Community With The Riverfront

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