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Photo by Susan Krysiak

Virtual Tours: A new way to reach those who love Cape May May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) would have to cancel the 47th annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours, scheduled for Dec. 5, 12 and 19. A nearly 50-year tradition, thousands of people on three nights in December travel to more than a dozen homes, inns, B&Bs, churches (CONTINUED ON PAGE 11)

2021 Cape May Music Festival takes shape Cape May MAC received the good news about our funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts at the end of October and have begun to sketch out our 32nd annual season. It remains challenging as we don’t yet know what restrictions will apply in Spring, nor which venues will be available to us. We do know that we can expect our good friends and partners to join us once again for some “sweet sounds by the sea.” Jed Gaylin, music director of the Bay Atlantic Symphony, and Eliot Bailen, artistic director of the New York Chamber Ensemble, are both hard at work planning the artistry we’ll enjoy come springtime. Maestro Salvatore Scarpa and members of


Cape May MAC saved The Emlen Physick Estate from demolition, shown here circa 1970, and since then has been an important part of the story of Cape May’s renaissance.

Bedford Inn Owner and Innkeeper Paula Murray takes a break Dec. 3 during video shooting for Cape May MAC’s Virtual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Video.

It started with an idea and a question: “What if we offered the Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour virtually this year?” In July of 2020 senior staff, from our CEO Jody Alessandrine to operations and the tour department, from marketing and volunteer management to visitor services, were discussing the likelihood that Cape

the Atlantic Brass Band are ready and willing to join us for a rousing concert in celebration of Memorial Day. We do know that we will present a hybrid season, with a combination of virtual and live concerts come Spring. We’ve chosen April 22, May 13 and June 2 for our virtual “Happy Hour” Concerts. As in 2020, these will be taped in advance, feature members of both groups and be available on Cape May MAC’s website. All virtual concerts will again be followed by live question and answer sessions via Zoom featuring the musicians involved. Zoom Q&A registration (CONTINUED ON PAGE 12)

‘50 Years of MAC’ exhibit returns in 2021

The exhibit “50 Years of MAC” will return to the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., in 2021. This historic exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC), now Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture), with historic photos, artifacts and a timeline that shows in detail the development and evolution of the organization from its roots in 1970 to the present day. Curator Janet Coupland and Exhibit Designer Jean Barraclough worked for more than two years planning and mounting the exhibit, digging into historical records, organization photos, and more to document the rise of this important organization that has contributed so much in the last five decades to the renaissance of Cape May. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

In This Issue Donor Profile..................................Page 5 Membership News .......................Page 7 Message from the President......Page 6 Recent Happenings...................... Page 2 Thank You Department........Pages 8-10 Vintage News...............................Page 10


As it has been since March, our schedule was filled with disappointing cancellations and innovative replacements. One of our favorite community events, Trick or Treating at the Physick Estate, was cancelled as was a Trunk or Treat at the Inn of Cape May. The Gloomy Apparition, an immersive experience in partnership with Ken Bingham and the folks from Without a Cue, replaced Phantoms of the Physick Estate and ran through early November, though we were able to operate the Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tours. Scarecrow Alley did go on without a hitch, thanks to coordinator Cathy Baldacchini. Here’s a list of our winners: PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARE: Kiss - The Bedford Inn/The Beach Concierge BUSINESS: Strawberry and Buckles Dramatic Act Theatre INDIVIDUAL/FAMILY: Wendigo Demon of Death - Rainbow McAtee MUNCHKIN: Snow White & the 7 Homeschoolers – Emma Phillips NON-PROFIT/CLUB/CHURCH: Clara Barton, Founder of the Red Cross - Garden Club of Cape May SCHOOL: Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust Home Schooled by Choice Our thanks to all who entered and all who came to vote for their favorites. Sherlock Holmes braved the pandemic, showing up in Cape May right on schedule. Attendance was lighter than normal, due to capacity limits at Aleathea’s Restaurant, but enthusiasm was high. Since the typical Search for Clues House Tour was not possible, Janet Yunghans created a self-

Cape May MAC President Tom Carroll, left, and Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine, right, congratulate Janet Coupland, the 2020 Cape May MAC Honor Award winner in the Carroll Gallery in midNovember. Janet was chosen for this annual Cape May MAC award for the extensive work she did as curator for the exhibit, “50 Years of MAC,” a retrospective exhibit of the organization’s history that opened in 2020. The exhibit will remain open to the public through October 2021.

guided walking tour which had guests looking for clues along the route. Our overall winner was Nancy Frank from Wayne, NJ. This is the first time she has done the weekend but says she will be back. Our Clueless Wonder, the person who tries hard but is way off course, was Larry Morton from Dumfries, VA. Larry has been joining

NEWSLETTER Published by Cape May MAC, a not-for-profit corporation P.O. Box 340, Cape May, NJ 08204 • Phone: 609-884-5404 New Jersey Relay Center for TTY Customers: 800-852-7899 Web Site: • E-Mail: Editor: Jody Alessandrine • Assistant Editor: Jean Barraclough Contributors: Sandra Adams, Tom Carroll, Susan Krysiak, Anna Marie Leeper, Eliza Lotozo and Mary E. Stewart

OUR MISSION Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. ---- v ---OUR VISION Preserving Cape May’s rich heritage and assuring its vitality through superior cultural programs and events Page 2 • Winter 2021

us for Sherlock Holmes for many years. Cape May MAC’s Annual Meeting was a quiet affair, held by Zoom this year. The Nominating Committee introduced the candidates for the Board of Trustees for 2021. The highlight of the meeting was the announcement of the winner of our Honor Award. Janet Coupland was recognized for her many contributions to the organization, including curating our 50th anniversary exhibit. It was an honor well-deserved. Except for the brief interruption of Sherlock Holmes Weekend and our Annual Meeting, it seems we went directly from Halloween to Christmas programming. Construction began on the Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit Nov. 2, with Jean Barraclough passing the responsibility for coordinating the exhibit to her son David Barraclough. Paul Smargiassi and his maintenance crew and volunteers started unrolling what seemed like miles of Christmas lights the same week. Curator Gail Capehart and Registrar Ben Ridings directed their crew of elves in creating a festive and authentic Victorian Christmas in the Physick House. Over in the Carriage

Cape May MAC



Cape May Lighthouse

ATTRACTIONS 609-884-5404 • • 800-275-4278

Virtual Winter Lunch & Learn Programs Educators from Cape May MAC’s Museum Education Division move online to bring you two Virtual Lunch & Learn lectures via Zoom that you can participate in from home. Upcoming topics are:    • Wednesday, Feb. 17 at noon: The Doo Wop Experience    - Presented by Mike Urbanski (tentative)    • Wednesday, Mar. 17 at noon: The First Ladies: Part 2     - Presented by Mary Stewart Registration is required in advance. Register online at by clicking here. For assistance in registering, call 609-884-5404. More programs are being planned for April through June. All programs are free.

Presidents Weekend

Feb. 13-15: Presidents Weekend features some of Cape May MAC’s most popular tours in 2021. Celebrate Washington and Lincoln and learn about Cape May history and architecture on a getaway weekend to Cape May. Cape May MAC offers Historic District Trolley Tours, Combination Trolley Tour/Physick Estate Tours, Emlen Physick Estate Guided Tours, and Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tours. Visit the Cape May Lighthouse, the Carroll Gallery Exhibit “50 Years of MAC,” and shop in our museum shops. Bring the kids and hunt for historic and architectural clues together on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, with the (donation only) Physick Estate Scavenger Hunt package, or tackle the Cape May Family Treasure Hunt together, and expand your learning and clue-finding to Cape May’s famous Historic District (with only a donation).

Cape May’s Sherlock Holmes Weekend

March 19-21: Join Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master sleuth, Sherlock Holmes with Dr. John Watson and follow the clues in a challenging original mystery for 2021: “Sherlock Holmes and Making the Grade.” Caught off guard by an unexpected visitor, Sherlock Holmes is thrust into his latest case, this time at a prestigious boarding school. Will he be able to uncover the reason why so many students are disappearing, or will the children prove to be too much of a distraction for our favorite consulting detective? Written by Jacklyn Fazio. Discover clues along Cape May’s Victorian streetscape and compete for a weekend for two people in 2022 grand prize and for other valuable gifts. Full weekend packages at $115 per person and include welcome reception, performances, tour and luncheon. Weekend overnight packages are available. The Search for Clues tour Saturday, March 20 is for weekend participants, only.

City Guide Golf Cart Tours

Braving the winter chill on a golf cart is not for the faint of heart. If you’re a hardy soul and your friends are, too, take a custom tour of Cape May on a golf cart in winter! Your stock will swell among family and friends when you regale them afterwards with the windy details. Let an experienced tour guide and driver show you what most interests you in the Cape May area, weather permitting. Tours require two business days advance notice. Call Susan Gibson at 609-224-6030 to make your reservation.

The Cape May Lighthouse is undergoing a repainting of the interior staircase in January and will reopen in time for Presidents Weekend! If you’ve never climbed the Cape May Lighthouse in winter, add this to your bucket list: take an invigorating winter climb up the 199 steps on Presidents Weekend. Put on a scarf, gloves and hat and feel the winter wind on your face. Imagine how Lighthouse Keepers might have felt in the late 1800s as they worked during all sorts of weather keeping the light on. Open noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13-Monday, Feb. 15, Saturdays, Feb. 21–March 20, and daily with varying hours beginning March 26. Mothers climb free May 9. $12 adults, $8 children (ages 3-12)

Emlen Physick Estate Tour

Take a guided tour of the first and second floors of the 1879 Physick House Museum, for an in-depth look at Victorian architecture and the period, reflecting one Victorian family’s lifestyle, and detailing the way the Physick family and their household lived, worked and spent their leisure time. Built in 1879, the 18-room mansion is an architectural wonder built by famed American architect Frank Furness and is one of the best examples of Victorian Stick Style architecture in the country. Weekends through March 28. Daily beginning March 29. Hours vary. $20 adult, $15 children (ages 3-12).

Combination Trolley/ Physick Estate Tour

This immersive, 1.5-hour tour experience combines a guided tour by trolley of Cape May’s Historic District with a guided tour of the Emlen Physick Estate, providing an in-depth dive into Cape May history and architecture. Learn why Cape May is the only National Historic Landmark City in the nation as you appreciate the details of Cape May’s unique Victorian streetscapes via trolley. Take a guided tour of the first and second floors of the 1879 Physick House Museum, for an in-depth look at Victorian architecture and the period. Built in 1879, the 18-room mansion is an architectural wonder built by famed American architect Frank Furness and one of the best examples of Victorian Stick Style architecture in the country. The tour includes a visit to the Carriage House and Carroll Gallery exhibit and begins and ends at the Ocean Street Trolley stop across from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Weekends Feb. 6 through March 28, daily beginning March 29 (except Easter Sunday April 6). Hours vary. $35 adults; $25 (children ages 3-12). Historic District Trolley Tour offered separately at limited times.

Cape May MAC

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TROLLEY TOURS Ghosts and Mysteries Trolley Tours

ATTRACTIONS 609-884-5404 • • 800-275-4278

World War II Lookout Tower

Keep an open mind for what might be beyond your senses as you step on a trolley tour that relates some of Cape May’s infamous ghost stories. These trolley tours all include stories of strange, unexplainable happenings in Cape May that have been unearthed by psychic medium and author Craig McManus, each tour with a unique slant. Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tours; Spirits & Oddities Trolley Tours, Historic Haunts Combo Tours. Various times.

Mansions by the Sea Trolley Tours

Museum & Memorial: (Fire Control Tower No. 23)

A Museum and Memorial, Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. Visitors can climb to the sixth floor spotting gallery while learning about the homeland defense efforts during World War II. The ground floor of the tower is fully accessible. Weekends beginning March 26 (plus Easter Monday, April 5), daily beginning May 1. Hours vary. Adults $8, children ages 3-12 $5. Free admission for active military with ID.

Brunch & Bingo at the Beach Bingo and a delicious breakfast are combined for a morning of fun at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Your morning includes a fashion show from the Cotton Company/Lace Silhouettes, along with the chance to compete for valuable prizes. Saturday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m. $25.

Murder Mystery Dinners

You might be envious of how the top 0.01% lived during the turn of the century, and perhaps even now, on this trolley tour of Cape May’s east side of town. With broad avenues and large homes, this tour tells the story of East Cape May and its history, an area that has attracted the ultra-rich since the early 1900s. Various times.

Welcome to Cape May Trolley Tour

This trolley tour is an excellent choice for those who are just getting their feet wet in Cape May. It’s a good introduction to the lay of the land, to cultural attractions and to what makes Cape May buzz. After taking this guided trolley tour, you’ll understand better Cape May’s history and place in the world, and also understand better some important places and things to do around town. Various times.

Underground Railroad Trolley Tours

Murder and mayhem are served during Murder Mystery Dinners at Aleathea’s Restaurant, Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Savor a four-course dinner as players take you on a mysterious journey, leaving clues “on the table,” figuratively, even while you enjoy your entrée or dessert. Keep track of the characters and their motives and plots as the mystery unfolds around you and is finally revealed. Written by Jacklyn Fazio. Saturdays, April 24, May 22 and May 29 at 7 p.m. $60.

Lighthouse Full Moon Climbs

Don’t miss the romance of a nighttime climb to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse. These special opportunities are only offered a handful of times each year, during a full moon. Regardless of a clear or cloudy night sky, you will join a select group who have experienced stepping out onto the Watch Gallery at nighttime. Revel in the view of the Delaware Bay and the southern tip of New Jersey from the highest vantage point on the peninsula. April 27, May 26: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. $20 adults; $10 children (ages 3-12).

Hear tales of the Underground Railroad in Cape May and how, fleeing their chains in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, African American slaves braved strong currents and stormy seas, guided by the beacon at the Cape May Lighthouse. Hear how legendary anti-slavery fighter, Harriet Tubman, walked these streets, as did businessman and former slave, Stephen Smith, whose railroad cars carried hundreds to freedom. Presented by the Center for Community Arts in association with Cape May MAC. Saturdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29: 10:30 a.m. $25 adults; $15 children (ages 3-12).

Crafts & Collectibles Shows at the Physick Estate Shop and browse outdoors on the grounds of the beautiful Emlen Physick Estate among crafters and collectibles dealers from the tri-state region.

Masks are required at this time both indoors and outdoors at all Cape May MAC tours, events and historic sites. Schedules subject to change and capacities may be limited.

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Cape May MAC

Saturdays, April 24 & May 8 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission

MAC DONOR PROFILE: Patricia Valas, of Lovettsville, Va., has been a Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) member, supporter and donor for years. A Friends of the Lighthouse plaque with her name on it, alongside other major donors in support of the lighthouse, is in the entryway to the Cape May Lighthouse. “I’m a normal person who’s been very fortunate in life,” she said. “Because of my family history, I have a place in my heart for Cape May and Cape May Point. That’s where I choose to bestow my good fortune.” Patricia lives with her husband a mile and a half south of the Potomac River in northern Virginia near the Maryland border and is a retired middle school teacher and librarian. She currently works at her local library as a page, which means she shelves books, which, as an accomplished librarian and booklover, she enjoys. “And I do it perfectly!” she said, laughing. “I was a middle school teacher for 30 years in Carroll County, Maryland. I started out in life sciences and halfway through my career I got another master’s degree and became the librarian. “I was only ever at middle schools and at two of them in Carroll County, Maryland. I went to McDaniel College, which at the time was called Western Maryland College, and that’s where I stayed when I graduated.” She was born in southern New Jersey, in Pitman. Her connection to Cape May and especially Cape May Point, her home away from home, goes back to her childhood. “My first memory is that we stayed in a house on the ocean side of the road in Whale Beach – houses on that side of the road in Whale Beach don’t exist anymore because they were all wiped out in the storm in 1962. I remember staying there and then we drove up to Cape May Point to see the lighthouse. At that time there was a wooden boardwalk that went out from the dunes to the top of the (World War II) bunker which was mostly buried in the sand. I remember walking out to the top and my father telling us a story about enemy submarines in the ocean and showing us where the guns would have been to protect us. I saw my first pelican fly by and I was hooked by the

Patricia Valas, an oenophile and wine judge, speaks during a wine dinner near her home in northern Virginia.

history and mystique of the place.” As an adult, Patricia returned to Cape May and Cape May Point regularly on vacation. She’s been vacationing in the Cape May area for more than 35 years. “The place I settled on was Somewhere in Time at the Point. I rented the same condo for years,” she said. “It is my home away from home. The owner has changed in the last couple of years, but the owner knew me well enough that I could come off-season -I like to come in the spring and the fall when the birds and the Monarchs are migrating.” Patricia’s interests and passions are diverse and drive both her travels and the causes she helps support. One of those passions is Monarch butterflies. She’s traveled to Mexico to the sanctuary for Monarch butterflies at the end of their migratory path. Another is habitat preservation. She supports the Loudoun County, Virginia Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, where her

Patricia Valas

passion for Monarchs developed as she learned how to tag them and studied them, while learning about habitat preservation. Locally, she has supported the Monarch butterfly tagging program in association with New Jersey Audubon. “I would go and visit the Monarch tagging program at the Point. I met (Monarch Monitoring Project Director) Mark Garland, and I donate to his tagging program. I did tag butterflies on my own, not there, but here in Virginia for two years, and now I’m just trying to get people to plant native plants,” she said. Another passion is beach glass. Patricia always walks the coastline from the Point to Higbee’s Beach when she vacations at her home away from home in the Point. She loves to scour the beach for the colorful glass and found a unique piece from the 1920s, which impressed more than one of the judges at the 2014 North American Sea Glass Association conference held in Cape May that year. Another passion is wine. Patricia has been a wine judge since 1997 and counts 40 years of learning and experience. She is a member of the American Wine Society, a national organization, and is a graduate of their wine judge training program. She is good friends with the owners of both Turdo Vineyards & Winery in North Cape May and Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House. Patricia is adept at seeking out and meeting experts in Cape May who share her passions, including Joe Jordan, who wrote an authoritative history of Cape May Point, Pete Dunne, internationally recognized birding expert and author, and Richard LaMotte, renowned expert and author on beach glass. She owns a signed copy of each of these authors’ books. She met Pete Dunne by spotting him birding one morning with New Jersey Audubon at the Hawkwatch Platform in Cape May Point State Park. She noticed he was sorely missing his usual cup of coffee, so she biked back to her condo to make a fresh pot and brought it to him. Running through it all, is a passion for

Cape May MAC

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6) Winter 2021 • Page 5

FROM THE PRESIDENT The past few months have provided me with a lot of time to reflect on the amazing year we and all of Cape May have been through. For me, it started with the transition of leadership in Cape May MAC: Michael Zuckerman retiring after 37 years as Director and Jody Alessandrine stepping into Michael’s shoes. Less than three weeks later, our lives were turned upside down as accommodations, restaurants, shops, theatres and every door at Cape May MAC closed just as we entered the popular spring tourism season. I admit that I felt quite depressed and deeply concerned about Cape May MAC and all of Cape May, a community I have grown to love in so many ways. With no road map to guide us, we were forced to turn to each other for support, ideas and consolation. But rather quickly, our community of dynamic leaders pulled together just as we have witnessed other areas do after natural disasters like hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. Petty and political differences, competition and financial gain were forgotten and we became Cape May Strong. There is nothing that pulls people together faster than all being in the same sinking boat. Volunteerism swelled within our cultural community, guidelines were quickly developed to protect the health and welfare of our residents and visitors and the city helped the hard-hit restaurant community with public spaces changed into outdoor dining areas. City Council

new community spirit will stay with us as we venture into a new normal. Long before the pandemic hit, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities had decided to celebrate its 50th birthday with the new name: Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture). The decision to change our name was based on our desire to take advantage of the fame and popularity of the Cape May brand, a name that stands for quality attractions just about everywhere. I am convinced that it was a smart move and we at Cape May MAC are very proud to still be a leader in the ongoing success of Cape May. Sue and I wish Cape May MAC, Cape May and all of you the very best for 2021.

-- Tom Carroll, President even made the controversial decision to allow alcoholic drinks to be consumed safely outside, away from a dangerous, crowded bar. Church services went virtual as did plays, concerts and meetings, “Zoom” no longer describing a speeding car, but a new necessity in our lives. By mid-summer, most aspects of our community were running pretty smoothly and word was out that Cape May was a safe and fun place to go without dealing with airports or long car trips. Our community teamwork, with an emphasis on excellent hospitality, was paying off and helped us keep our economy going well into the fall. Although all of us are looking forward to a return to normal, I for one sure hope this

Donor Profile (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5) Cape May. In the midst of all these interests, Cape May and Cape May Point have been a geographic focus of Patricia’s passions. “Cape May Point is my heart,” she said. Her decades-long support of Cape May MAC, first as a member and since as a regular donor, has helped the organization thrive. Patricia has responded when the organization was in special need, from providing financial help to repaint the lighthouse, to providing extra financial support in 2020. She is a donor to Cape May MAC’s 2020 Society, a rainy-day fund that helps bolster the organization in times of crisis. Patricia doubled her donation in 2020, as a way to help the organization stay afloat during a difficult year.

“Tom (Carroll, Cape May MAC President) called and said COVID was a tough year and he didn’t know whether I wanted to change my donation, or make my donation earlier, because it normally comes in October. And I said, ‘It’s too much trouble to change that. I’ll just make an additional donation.’ Because he said there was a need.” She views her financial commitment to Cape May MAC as an investment in the future. “You’re preserving the things that are important for future generations,” she said. “I don’t have children, but I still would like those things to last … keeping something alive that is important to remember, culturally and geographically.” -- SK

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Cape May MAC

Exhibit (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) With COVID quarantines beginning in March of 2020, the exhibit’s opening was delayed for months. It was decided to reprise the exhibit through 2021 to allow more visitors to experience these fascinating stories in person. “It was important that we not allow the pandemic to short-change the celebration of this important 50-year milestone for the organization,” Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine said. “We decided to bring the exhibit back in 2021 to give those who had not had a chance to view it, time to explore it at their leisure, in-depth and in person.” As an antidote to the pandemic keeping visitors at home, a 15-video series was launched on April 27, 2020 featuring Cape May MAC President Tom Carroll as host, sharing details and highlights of each aspect of the exhibit. That series can be viewed on Cape May MAC’s YouTube site by clicking here. Experiencing this fascinating exhibit in person teaches much about a vital Cape May organization that to this day is committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. The exhibit reopens on Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m., open daily during Presidents Weekend, Saturday, Feb. 13 to Monday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be open daily beginning March 26, with varying hours. For the full schedule visit -- SK

MEMBERSHIP NEWS Welcome New Members

Platinum Business:

Beaches End Properties of Cape May (Ron & Kim Tupper) of Cape May, NJ. Family: Amanda Lin & Tam Ngo of Metuchen, NJ; Robert Locke & Sarah Thorne-Locke of Philadelphia, PA.


Cynthia & William Blumenkrantz of Somerville, NJ.


David & Marta Black of Denville, NJ; Anna D’Amico & Andy Feiring of Wilmington, DE; Jere Gibber & J. G. Harrington of Alexandria, VA; Donato & Patricia Giusti of Mechanicsburg, PA; Karen

& Henry Hyatt of Rye Brook, NY; Stephan & Kathy Link of Linwood, NJ; Joe Mammarella & Deborah Bianchi of North Wildwood, NJ; Greg & Debbie Offner of Avalon, NJ; Elizabeth Schellenger of West Grove, PA; Michael & Valerie Redpath of Toms River, NJ; Tony Tascone & Caitlin Halbert of Rockland, DE; Theodore & Clare Wydeven of Wayne, PA.


Christine Bradford of Bradley Beach, NJ; Susan Kraus of Cape May, NJ; Karen McGarrity of Villas, NJ; Jennifer Quail of Washington, DC; Eleanor Roman, of North Cape May, NJ.


Michael & Anne Curtin of

MAC Board Election Results

Ballots for the 2021 Board elections were mailed to MAC Members in November. MAC’s Membership elected the following Officers and Trustees to lead MAC in 2021: President: Tom Carroll 1st Vice President: Mary McKenney 2nd Vice President: Brian Groetsch • 3rd Vice President: Doug McMain Secretary: Jeanette Block • Treasurer: Lee Bellarmino Trustees: Norris Clark, Jake Cuomo The newly elected Officers and Trustees join Chris Clemans, Wendy Collins, Bernie Haas, Diane Hutchinson, Ioanna Iliopoulos, Steve Steger and Suzie Zingman-Leith, who are currently serving unexpired terms, and Jody Alessandrine, who serves ex officio as Director. Our thanks go to Vicki Watson who has retired from the Board after nine years of service and Jeff Elliott who has retired after six years of service.

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Cape May MAC contracted with Eastern Industrial Services, Inc. to paint the interior stairway of the Cape May Lighthouse this winter. Shown here, EIS painter Miguel Leon. The lighthouse is currently closed and will reopen to the public Saturday, Feb. 13, noon to 3 p.m. This restoration project is supported in part by a matching grant through the Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund, as well as a grant from the Cape May County Open Space & Farmland Preservation Program.

Cape May MAC

West Cape May, NJ; Eric & Dori Jones of Spring Lake, NJ; Dawn Vitagliano & Barry Bittenmaster of West Cape May, NJ.

FRIENDS OF THE LIGHTHOUSE Individual: Douglas Turner of Ocean

View, NJ.

Family: John & Mary Defeo of Hockessin, DE.

Grandparent: Patrice Thiede of Del Haven, NJ.

Student: Sandra Blank of Ocean View, DE.

Congratulations to: Zack Mullock, on his election as Mayor of Cape May; Stacy Sheehan, on her selection as Deputy Mayor of Cape May; Chris Bezaire, on his election to Cape May City Council; Lorraine Baldwin, on her appointment to Cape May City Council; Vicki and Bruce Clark, on the birth of their grandson, Grant; Barbara Hubmaster, on the birth of her great-granddaughter, Charlotte Noel.

Condolences to:

Sandi & Dave Adams, on the death of Dave’s brother-in-law, Alfred “Corky” Corchiani (Retired Wildwood Crest Chief of Police); the family and friends of Bob Alls, long time audio tech volunteer at the Cape May Music Festival; the family and friends of Keith Chatten; the family and friends of Beth Eastman, long-time Cape May MAC Member and partner and coowner of the Inn of Cape May; the family and friends of volunteer Georgia (GiGi) Embs; the family and friends of Tom Hand, former publisher of the Star & Wave and a MAC Incorporating Board Member; the family and friends of long time Cape May MAC Member and donor Captain Charles Juechter; Alan and Brenda Leonard, on the death of Alan’s father, Henry Leonard; the family and friends of former Cape May MAC Staff member Carol McCullough; the family and friends of Vince Pale, former Cape May MAC volunteer and World War II veteran; Lighthouse Keeper Kelly Redington and her family, on the death of her mother-inlaw; the family and friends of Col. Alfred Shehab, a World War II veteran and visitor to the World War II Tower; Cape May MAC Trustee Steve Steger, on the death of his grandmother, Margaret McGlory.

Winter 2021 • Page 7


Russell, Bruce & Jane Ryan, John & Carla Schaeffer, George & Theresa Schu, Carol Smith, Garret & Ruth Stauffer, Jim Yingst & Pixie Angelo. •  $100-$249 Donors: John & Cheryl Abate, Sandi & Dave Adams, Jim & Eileen Alesi, Darcy Amburn, Anthony & Margaret Battistelli, Suzana Beites, The Benevento Family, Thomas Bocket, Frank Bucci (Bucci Cataract & Laser Vision Inst.), Christian Bucco, Thomas & Julie Cahalane, John Carroll, Bud & Peggy Cawthern, Michael & Nancy Childs, Mark & Linda Clemente, Jill Collins & Beate Pohlig, Margaret & Paul Cromelin, Dan & Mary DeWaters, Cristofer DuBois, Lawrence & Margaret Dunbar, Kenneth & Nancy Durkin, Peter & Jan Dwyer, Kate Emerson (Abigail Adams Apartments), Brian Falconer, Kathleen & Bob Familetti, Anthony Freeman, William & Adrienne Gallagher, Judy Gatt, Rosemary Gilroy, Marie & Ed Gleason, Debra Glessner, Mr. & Mrs. William Jason Grace, William & Laura Grau, , R.J. Scott Griffith, Dave & Linda Guendelsberger, Anthony & Lucy Guerrino, John & Cheryl Gulish, Kevin & Karen Hammeran, Walter & Joan Hansen, Beth Harris, Deborah Harry (On the Chin Inc.), Adam & Mary Hauser, Bruce & Carol Ann Hector, David & Jane Huegel, Lisa Ann Huggins, Diane & Ed Hutchinson, Rhonda Hutchinson (Angels Point of View, LLC), It’s a Breeze (Wilmer & Dorothy Laufman), Scott & Allison Jackson, Dennis Johnson, Leigh & Carol Johnson, Maria Kastner, David & Eunice King, Candia Koleszar, Robert & Rebecca Kriebel, Edward Kurimcak & Christine Kennedy, Suzanne Krebs, Tricia Leith, Michael & Mindy Levy, Janice Lewis, Margaret Lonzetta, Alphonse & Martha Maffeo, Theresa Maher, Charles & Ellen Mansueto, Carol & Peter Mastrola, Joseph & Emily Mclaughlin, Theresa McMenamin, Krystyna Miller, Beth Moini, Erin & Kevin Monaghan, Wayne & Joyce Monsees, Barbara Morris (Henry Sawyer Inn), Gus & MaryAnn Mosso, Eric Muck, Rose Muller, Jonna & Dale Myers, Theodore & Virginia Passon, Timothy Paul, Carla Penzotti-Wenrich, Colette Perri, Kelly & Kevin Peters ( The Poet’s Inn @35 Jackson & The Puffin Atlantic Suite), Peggy Philp, Dennis & Judy Pizzica, Gregory Priano, Florence Price, Sandra Rayser Ragonese (Queen Maysea’s Cottage), Carol Reynolds, Gerri Ridings, Janet Robertson, Craig & Donna Rothman, Gerald Ruane, Wayne & Terry Rusch, Michael & Susan Schwartzman, Carole & George Sick, Alfonse & Laure Simone, Judy Skeels, Cheryl Smith, Karen Smith, Teresa and Robert Smith, Gary & Deborah Snyder, Janice Sparks, Chris Stafford, Roy & Marlena Steinberg, Kevin & Kathe Stepanuk, Richard Sterner & Diane Degurian, Mary Swartz, Kathryn & Chalmer Taylor, George & Margaret Thompson, The Toy Shop

($25,000 pledges over 5 years)

Dan Barbera Curtis Bashaw Lee & Jill Bellarmino Tom & Sue Carroll Chris & Dave Clemans Tom & Peg Curran Mary & Tedd McKenney NJM Insurance Group Jay & Lisa O’Donnell Bill & Audrey Schwab Patricia Valas Joan & Dane Wells


($10,000 pledges over 4 years)

John & Sylvia Baer Brown and Brown of New Jersey Bob Fite Richard and Susan Foxx Myles and Leslie Martel Doug and Anna Marie McMain Jim and Betty Moffatt Barbara Morris PNC Bank Sue Priester Catherine Rein Steve and Sandy Sheller Sturdy Savings Bank You can help ensure MAC’s future by becoming a GOLD MEMBER of the 2020 Society with a $4,500 pledge over 3 years ANNUAL APPEAL DONATIONS •  $1,000-$1,999 Donors: William & Tina Angstadt, Alan Fisher, Marc & Lauren Shenfield, The Grand Hotel of Cape May. •  $250-$599 Donors: Frank & Beth Acker, John & Nancy Bailey, William & Lorie Barbera (The Blake House Guest Suites), Joan Casale, Glenn Bloiso & Margaret Crabtree, Joseph & Eileen Cassidy, Russ & Lora Jo Dickhart, Michael & Karen Eldredge, Patricia Everett, Susan Greene & Kathleen Sheridan, Bernie Haas, Bob & Carole Irwin, Bob & Terri Lamendola, Thomas & Nancy Lofredo, Henry & Carol Mauermeyer, Sharon Magraw, McMaster –Carr Supply Co., Eleanor Roman, John & Janice Rose, Robert Page 8 • Winter 2021

Cape May MAC

of Cape May, Victoria Tryon, Colin & Susan Ungaro, Joy Wadleigh & Richard Hudson, Bennet Werner & Michelle Uhl, Harvey & Grace Williams, Doanld & Christiane Wiscott (Rosemans Marina), Thomas & Susan Zug •  Under $100.00 Donors: Clara Jane Amodei, Bernard Bernacki, Edward Borer & Amy Ryerson Borer, Patricia & William Brown, Frank Burns, Mary Lou & Richard Byer, John & Kathy Chiaro, Stanley Ciurczak, Susan Consalvi, Paula Corson, Joe Costa, Susan Denecke, Alice & Richard Dalla Palu, Michael Dellangelo, Carol DiJoseph, MaryAnn Donahue, Elizabeth Feeney, Katherine Fiskett (1211 New Jersey Avenue), Lee & Carol Fredericks, Paula & Robert Gasper, William & Anne George, Robert Gerlough & Cyndy Cesena, Barbara Heim, Barry & Sherri Hershfeld, Jean Hill, Joe Hindelang, Peter Hirsch, Elizabeth Hobdell, Eva Elisabeth & Bill Hohman, Gregory Hueston, Karen & Henry Hyatt, Rajavel & Kelly Jagadesan, Mary Ann Jones, James & Cheryl Kay, Joan King, Marianne Klink, Tamara Kukainis, Thomas & Barbara Kupp, Barbara & Andy Lamont, Bruce Madden, Giuseppina Marinucci, Linda & Kevin McAlpin, Frank & Jeanne-Marie McCall, Mark & Caroline McClendon, James & Susan McCormick, John & Yvonne McGinley, Robert McLaughlin, Meditation Ridge L.L.C. (Eileen Wood), Vincent & Lorraine Menna, Bill & Mary Anne Mistick, Helen Mondschein, Ann & Mark Mulholland, John & Patricia Murray, Judith Pease Smith, Elizabeth Phelan (Washington Square), Brian & Christina Phillips, Denman & Carolyn Powers, Susan Primmer, Robert & Mary Reader, Richard Renza, Jean Richardson, Francis & Jane Roddy, Richard & Joan Rojek, Seema Schappelle, Harry & Millie Schmidt, Patti Schwartz, Chuck & Carolyn Snyder, Richard & Patricia Spana, Anne Stephany, Christopher & Elizabeth Stouffer, Robert & Elizabeth Troxell, Susan & Bill Wallace, Janet & Carl Yunghans 2020 SOCIETY DONATIONS •  Charter Members $5,000 Donors: Mary & Tedd McKenney. •  $5,000 and up Platinum Donors: Doug & Anna Marie McMain (Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast). •  $2,500-$4,999 Gold Donors: James Moffatt. •  $100-$499 Friend Donors: Linda Gianni & John Bradford, Henry & Carol Mauermeyer, G. Philip & Linda Scott. LESSONS OF HISTORY FUND DONATIONS •  $100-$249 Donors: Nancy O’Hanlon. •  Under $100.00 Donors: Carol DiJoseph. CAPE MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL DONORS •  Solo Sponsor ($4,000-$9,999): The David R. and Patricia D. Atkinson Foundation

‘T H A N K YO U’ N E W S Cape May MAC also contracted with Eastern Industrial Services, Inc. to repaint the red portions of the exterior of the Cape May Lighthouse in 2018, shown here on Nov. 17, 2018. At left, EIS painters Miguel Leon and Jose Pinan (front), on a high reach with safety harnesses, begin work on repainting the exterior of the red dome and ventilation ball at the very top of the lighthouse. At right, the completed paint work, and a magnificent view. Photos courtesy of EIS


•  Amber Allen, for a $1 donation. • The David R. & Patricia D. Atkinson Foundation, for a $10,000 donation. •  Nancy Bagot, for a $1 donation. •  Lee & Jill Bellarmino, for a $5 donation. • Michael, Amy & Jonathan Bellarmino, for a $100 donation in honor of Lee & Jill Bellarmino. •  Frank Blough, for a $15 donation. •  Nicholas Borillo, for a $4 donation. •  Wendy Brett, for a $100 donation. •  Cape May Garden Club, for the donation of a live Christmas tree to be planted this spring. • Kate Carangi, for a $100 donation to the Cape May Lighthouse in memory of Edward F. Carangi. •  Bonnie Cassells, for a $100 donation. •  Leanna Chen, for a $4 donation. •  Steven Clement, for a $4 donation. •  Susan Consalvi, for a $25 donation in honor of James Sonzogni. •  Nanci Coughlin, for the donation of a Dell printer. •  Jacob & Erin Cuomo, for a $21 donation. •  John & Mary Defeo, for a $25 donation. • Danie & Mary DeWaters, for directing a matching gift of $250 from McMaster – Carr Supply Company. •  Robert Durham, for a $4 donation. •  Ricardo Da Cruz, for a $20 donation. •  Salvatore DeFranco, for a $3 donation. •  Katelyn Fatzler, for a $12 donation.

•  Debbie Finnegan, for a $10 donation. •  Jennifer Flamini, for a $10 donation. •  Richard & Susan Foxx for a $4,000 donation to the Physick Estate. •  Garden Club of Cape May, for a $100 donation. •  Chris Goodyear, for a $4 donation. •  Bonnie Greiner, for a $20 donation. •  Frank Hatch, for directing a $200 grant from Johnson & Johnson. •  Vali Heist, for a $50 donation. •  Stacey Hernandez, for a $20 donation. •  Andrew Hood, for a $4 donation. •  Marc-Anthony Hourihan, for a $50 donation. •  Brian Jennings, for a $4 donation. •  Ioana Joerg, for a $50 donation. •  Dorothy Johnson, for a $10 donation. • Eileen Kirk-Lazaroff, for a $100 donation to operations, and a $100 donation to the Physick Estate. •  Lori Koch, for a $20 donation. •  Steffen Kraehmer, for a $4 donation. •  Rebecca Lausch, for a $4 donation. •  Susan Leo, for a $11 donation. •  Stewart Lester, for a $4 donation. •  Amanda Lin & Tam Ngo, for a $15 donation. •  Kevin Loftus, for a $320 donation. •  Meghan Luna, for a $4 donation. •  Kathleen Manzetti, for a $8 donation. • Henry & Carol Mauermeyer, for a $250 donation. •  Jim & Vicki McBride, for a $40 donation. • McMaster – Carr Supply Company, for a $250 donation   Cape May MAC

•  Barbara Morris, for a $5 donation. •  Scarlett Morris, for a $1 donation. •  Kevin Oettel, for a $14 donation. •  Sarah Ort, for a $3 donation. •  Laurie & John Orem, for a $500 donation in honor of Tom & Sue Carroll. •  Jessica OToole, for a $4 donation. •  Alan Owens, for a $20 donation. •  Erica Paladino, for a $5 donation. •  Mitchell Parnes, for a $4 donation. •  Crystal Poretti, for a $12 donation. • Therese Porzio-Kwiecinski, for a $4 donation. •  Susan Reese, for a $4 donation. •  Patty Reger, for a $2 donation. •  Joseph Reilly, for a $25 donation in honor of Dory Coe. •  Patricia Reilly, for a $5 donation. •  Matthew Rusin, for a $5 donation. •  Gunda Simpkins, for a $10 donation. •  Pawee Sophikulphong, for a $4 donation. •  Frank Squilla, for a $4 donation. •  John Stefankiewicz, for a $1 donation. • Kevin & Kathe Stepanuk, for directing a matching grant from ExelonFoundation in the amount of $100. •  Francis Stonis, for a $10 donation. •  Regina Syp, for a $5 donation. •  Joseph Teifer, for a $10 donation. •  Alyce Templeton, for a $25 donation to the Cape May Lighthouse in memory of Kent. B. Seagreaves.

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 10) Winter 2021 • Page 9

‘ T H A N K YO U ’ N E W S Donations (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9) •  Bill & Laura Ten Eyck, for a $150 donation to the Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse. •  Robert Teunisen, for a $10 donation. •  Marlo & James Vandegrift, for a $100 donation to the Cape May Lighthouse. •  Irene Vazquez, for a $4 donation. •  Michele Vranica, for a $1 donation. •  Eileen Welsh, for a $6 donation. • Bennett & Michelle Werner, for donating a lawn mower for use on the Physick Estate Grounds. •  Michelle Werner, for a $4 donation. •  Charles Yablonsky, for a $14 donation. •  Sheri Young, for a $3 donation.

Assistance • Cathy Baldacchini, for assisting with the production of the Christmas Candlelight Tour video. •  Frank Corrado, Esq., for assistance with legal matters. •  Ayeshah Dickerson, for assistance with the production of the Christmas Candlelight Tour video. •  Tom Grayson, for lending video equipment for the production of the Christmas Candlelight Tour video. • Carol Hartman, for laundering the Mrs. Claus costume. •  Roger Henry, for polishing the brass on the trolleys. • Kathy Morais, for dressing in costume for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. •  Libby Ross, for dressing in costume for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. • Mary Stewart, for helping with Christmas decorations in the Carriage House Museum Shop. Christmas Candlelight House Video Tour Participants: The Abbey (Barbara Tillman), Angel of the Sea (Ron & Theresa Stanton), The Bedford Inn (Paula Murray), The Cherry House (Frank & Beth Acker), Franklin at 721 (Trish Ternove), The Henry Sawyer Inn (Barbara Morris); The Mainstay Inn (Pete & Esther Scalone), The Mason Cottage (Kim Gilbert); The Mission Inn (Wendy Collins & Laura Shaddock).

Carol Hartman, Barbara Lamont, Gerri Ridings, Harry Schmidt. Christmas Undecorating Volunteers: Alan Alessi, Joyce Barth, Jill Bellarmino, Al Bennett, Peggy Gora, Carol Hartman, Harry Schmidt. Christmas Tree Lighting Volunteers: Bill & Sue Currie, Bob & Roe Gorgone, Bob & Carole Irwin, Mike & Maureen Gallagher, Victoria Heimall, Dave Morais, Peggy Ose, Rachel Zeides, Ernie Zeli-Bove. Curatorial Volunteers: Jill Bellarmino, Sue Carroll, Janet Coupland, Dave Morias. Maintenance Ground Crew Volunteers: Tom Carroll, Jan Dwyer, Robert (Bob) Gorgone, Roe Gorgone, Carol Lindsay, Dave Morais, Kathy Morais, William Schlitzer, Mike Smith, Ben Werner. Marketing Department Volunteers: Barb Hubmaster, Dave Morais. Museum Education Volunteers: Mary Stewart. Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit Set-up and Break-down Volunteers: Jean Barraclough, Matthew Barraclough, Reese Barraclough, Victoria Heimall, Barb Hubmaster, Eunice Hudzik, Kelly Lofts, Ernie Zeli-Bove. Scarecrow Alley Contest Participants: The Bedford Inn/The Beach Concierge, Cape May Lutheran Church Youth Group, Cape May Point Social Club, Desatnick Realty, Dramatic Act Theatre, Garden Club of Cape May, Gusto Brewing Company, Home Schooled by Choice, Rainbow McAtee, Laura McPherson, Olde Cape Lighthouse Chapter of Questers, Emma Phillips, Mary Stewart. Tour Shift Volunteers: Joyce Barth, Jennifer Grayson, Eliza Lotozo, Mary Stewart.


Volunteers of the Month

Winter Wonder Walk Participants: Cathy Baldacchini, Janet & Warren Coupland’s, Flying Fish Studio, Garden Club of Cape May, Melissa Payne, Red Door Gallery, Mary Stewart, The Tour Department.

NOVEMBER: Bob, Carole, Ben & Elena Irwin DECEMBER: Cathy Baldacchini JANUARY: Lisa Jurewicz


Christmas Decorating Volunteers: Joyce Barth, Jill Bellarmino, Al Bennett, Janet Coupland, Rosalie Gallagher, Peggy Gora, Page 10 • Winter 2021

Cape May MAC

Vintage renews its contract for restaurant at the Carriage House Principals of the Kara Restaurant Group and Cape May MAC have reached agreement on a new management contract to continue Kara’s operation of the former café at the Carriage House on the Emlen Physick Estate. Kara created Vintage BYOB in early 2020, and had an incredibly successful inaugural year, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vintage management maintained the mandated social distancing between diners’ tables in the open-air tent as its main seating area, as well as in the patio area. Vintage’s menu featured an eclectic mix, providing a fine dining experience in a casual atmosphere. The gardenlike setting, as well as free off-street parking at the Emlen Physick Estate, also contributed to Vintage’s great reception. Vintage formally opened in June, offering brunch and dinner daily through late fall, and continued on weekends through the first weekend of 2021. It is set to re-open sometime in April. The new management contract is for five years, with a five-year renewal option. “The Kara Group is thrilled to be part of the history and culture intrinsic to the Emlen Physick Estate. It’s a unique property and our product meshed very well. We’ve had a wonderful relationship with Cape May MAC staff and look for forward to many more years to come,” said Kara Group Senior Managing Partner, Nikolaos (Nikos) Gourtzouris. “Cape May MAC is pleased to continue our partnership with Nikos, Yianni (Karapanagiotis) and the Kara Group,” said Jody Alessandrine, Director & CEO of Cape May MAC. “In addition to providing Cape May residents and visitors with a phenomenal dining experience, it introduced many to the Physick House Museum and its tours, our trolley tours, and what Cape May MAC has meant to the region — both with respect to historic preservation and the local economy, for the past 50 years. And we’re proud to further enhance that with Kara and Vintage.” -- JJA

Virtual Tours (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) and hotels each night, to see interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. It is arguably the organization’s most beloved tour, as well as being a substantial revenue source for a non-profit constantly counting every dollar. But how do we offer a tour that requires thousands of people to enter private homes during a pandemic? Impossible. Our entire tour schedule was being rethought. We were in the middle of a chess game, moving pieces of the schedule back and forth, advancing and retreating, having lost or given up rooks and pawns, and we were in the middle game of the match. The Candlelight tour was the queen: so powerful and agile you dare not give her up without good reason. There were a lot of “hmmms” and more than one “Can we do it?” “How would that work?” and “What would it cost?” Underneath it all, was, “OK, but will people want it?” *** Four months prior, on Saturday, March 21, Gov. Phil Murphy had announced the New Jersey stay-at-home order would go into effect at 9 p.m. Anticipating that possibility, I had purchased a GoPro camera that arrived a few days before. I scrambled to complete Virtual Experience videos of two of Cape May MAC’s most popular attractions, the Cape May Lighthouse and the Emlen Physick Estate, with only hours before the order went into effect. It was a simple idea: just do the tour and record it, then figure out later what to do with it. I recruited my niece Emily and her boyfriend Ben, to climb the empty lighthouse. “Just climb,” I said, “and I will record you. No one else will be there. We’ll be careful. I’ll wear a mask and we’ll use disinfectant.” At the same time, I recruited one of Cape May MAC’s guides, Jon Vile, who was willing to join me wearing a mask and social distancing in the Emlen Physick Estate that same day, to give me an abbreviated oneperson tour. He is so experienced, and so gifted, that we recorded each part of the tour in one take, with just one small retake. I was learning about and using the GoPro for the first time. I quickly edited the videos beginning Sunday and uploaded the first one the next day and the second some days after that to our YouTube site. We shared and shared them. shared them. The History Girl shared them, and others shared them on social media. Views grew to over 18,000. These Virtual Tours became popular as people watched them

from home, for free, with only a donation request. It was the first time we had offered a virtual tour like this to the world. Cape May MAC’s President Tom Carroll then came up with another idea: Let’s do a series of new videos on our Carroll Gallery Exhibit, “50 Years of MAC,” a beautiful exhibit that stood disappointingly empty under quarantine. On April 20, we started a 15-video series. Tom’s insights, as one who has been with the organization from its earliest days, added interest and context, funny and personal details and additional drama to the story of MAC’s unfolding. This popular series was getting lots of views as well on our YouTube site from Spring through Fall. With these virtual offerings under our belt, by August, a Virtual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Video seemed like a good idea. This time, however, we would have a paywall to offset the tremendous loss in 2020 revenue. For this big project, we needed to hire a dedicated videographer. Planning began, bids were accepted and a videographer was chosen. Study Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance signed on as sponsors. Benefit House Tour Manager Ayeshah Dickerson worked as the scheduler. She said it was not difficult getting houses on board. “It was not difficult at all. Initially, I surveyed all customary candlelight participants, and we had a resounding ‘Yes!’ Everyone was willing to help. It became tricky for properties to commit due to filming deadlines and being decorated on our required timeline. Ultimately, we had to narrow down our participant list due to the length of the video.” *** Filming had begun on the video when I got the phone call on Monday morning, Nov. 30. “I’m so sorry, Susan, but I just cannot do it.” The videographer we’d hired to shoot, edit and deliver our 30- to 45-minutelong video, for which we’d already had purchases through pre-orders, and which already had a quick timeline for completion between Thanksgiving and the first week in December, was mourning the sudden passing of his best friend that weekend. He barely made it through the weekend’s filming schedule, and we were scheduled that day and evening to do more. I am not ashamed to say that I cried in the car. Perhaps in part for him, but in fact, 99.9 percent for myself. I had no idea

Photo by Ayeshah Dickerson

Cape May MAC Director of Media Relations Susan Krysiak records The Mission Inn Owners and Innkeepers Wendy Collins and Laura Shaddock the evening of Dec. 2 for their segment in the Virtual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Video.

what to do next. I sat on Michigan Avenue waiting for a bright idea, but none came. I drove to the Wawa, called Jody, then drove to The Mission Inn, and called The Cherry House to share the bad news that the project was on hold until we could reschedule their filming days, which had been carefully negotiated and in the works for weeks. We debated what to do over the next two days. “I think I can do it,” I told Jody on Wednesday, after a day of phone calls and not enough sleep. “I think, if I can borrow his equipment, and with your help and support, I can finish this.” “OK,” he said. “You’ve got it.” What happened next was a whirlwind of consecutive 12–14-hour days filled with obsessive-compulsive checks of video and audio equipment and footage both on- and off-site, long hours of waiting for footage to upload to my laptop and charging batteries, several crying jags (“There’s no crying in baseball!”) and regular take-out pizza from Jake’s Pizza in West Cape May. In the span of two and a half weeks, I bought a new laptop and upgraded software, scoured or edited hundreds of clips of footage, listened to and purchased licenses to more than 10 pieces of original Christmas music, directed homeowners to sit or stand, or smile, told too many people to please try to be quiet, captured “A” roll and “B” roll, directed our lighting crew team Cathy Baldacchini and Ayeshah Dickerson (“Turn it down a notch” and “a little more to the left”), and felt a bit, in a small but wonderful

Cape May MAC

(CONTINUED ON PAGE12) Winter 2021 • Page 11

Virtual Tours (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11) way, like a film director. In the midst of it, I had the presence of mind to marvel at the magnificent beauty of Christmas at Cape May properties as their caretakers lovingly and proudly told the stories of their home, inn or B&B on camera. “I loved it!” Ayeshah said. “It was great seeing the property owners and innkeepers who I’ve been blessed to know over the five years as Benefit House Tours Manager. I was happy to help as needed, either coordinating the film schedule or holding the fancy light!” On Dec. 21, the first Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour Video was launched into the world as prepurchasers began receiving email links to the video on Since then, the tour has been a revenue success story, and more. The tour will always be a boon for those who cannot travel to Cape May to enjoy it in person in years to come, but also to people who use wheelchairs and others who find it difficult to physically navigate the huge tour. Director Jody Alessandrine had this to say: “The versatility and creativity of Cape May MAC staff was exhibited from the outset of the pandemic, having to deal with scheduling partial staff and limited by state-mandated occupancy levels. Among the best examples of adaptability were the virtual experiences we offered -the Cape May Music Festival, tours of our historic sites, and of course the Christmas Candlelight House Tour video. Kudos to Susan Krysiak and the staff supporting this initiative. Without it, Christmas would not have been the same for even more people who traditionally spend a part of their holiday season with us. This production brought Cape May into their homes and has a shelf-life for them to return to Cape May, and the holidays, whenever they wish!” I have thought a lot about the organization I work for this year and its mission. With so much sadness, sickness and trouble in the world in 2020, daily tasks sometimes felt shockingly insignificant by comparison. As Director of Media Relations, I work with members of the media to tell the public about Cape May and its history and all that Cape May MAC does to create inspiring, educational and enlightening cultural experiences. My job changed quite dramatically in 2020, as did those of my colleagues. Quarantine kept many visitors – and reporters — at home. We discovered we often didn’t know from one

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) information will be provided by email and available by clicking here. We hope to use the Emlen Physick Estate as an open-air venue and possibly partner with the City of Cape May at Rotary Bandstand. As plans develop, we’ll share the news. In other good news, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts has provided additional support for its grantees through CARES Act funding. Cape May MAC was fortunate enough to receive a grant of $36,765 to help offset losses to the 2020 Cape May Music Festival caused by COVID19. We’re grateful that the Arts Council continues to make resources available to the field. All the positive news above is tempered

Page 12 • Winter 2021

month to the next what we could offer the public, making publicizing it difficult. But as an organization, we reinforced the basics, and all stretched ourselves in myriad ways. This is just one of those stories. By doing so, we made it through a difficult year. One of the outcomes was discovering exciting new ways to reach people wherever they

are, and bring Cape May, Queen of the Seaside Resorts, to them. Our thanks to sponsors Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance for their sponsorship of the Christmas Candlelight Tour Video. -- SK

Fall/Holiday Wrap-up (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2) House Museum Shop, Retail Director Sharon Falkowski turned the shop into a wonderland of ornaments and unique gifts. Everything was in place for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 21. Following pandemic precautions, each of the 500 tickets for the ceremony was reserved in advance. The Atlantic Brass Band, under the baton of Salvatore Scarpa, opened the evening with a concert of rousing holiday music, Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine and Board President Tom Carroll warmed up the audience for the man of the evening- Santa Claus – and we were off on six, busy weeks of holiday programming. We were happy to bring back a fanfavorite programs for the holiday season. Ben Ridings and Mary Stewart planned two holiday-themed Lunch & Learn programs, using Zoom as a platform. Attendance was gratifying and has prompted us to plan monthly programs for 2021. Registration is available by clicking here. In addition to our typical holiday programming – Ghosts of Christmas Past, Holiday Lights and Santa Trolley Rides and A Physick Family Christmas Tours –

we came up with some innovative ways to replace programming cancelled by COVID 19. We introduced A Dr. Physick Christmas Tour led by Dr. Physick himself (in the guise of Ben Ridings). We also again partnered with Without a Cue for The Lamplighter Walking Tour and A Dickens of a Murder in the Physick House. Director of Visitor Services and Special Events Janice Corkery quickly pulled together three open-air crafts/collectibles shows on the grounds of the Physick Estate, all of which found enthusiastic audiences. Following up on the success of our virtual Cape May Music Festival concerts, we again partnered with Jed Gaylin and Eliot Bailen for a fifth virtual concert. Titled A Musical Holiday Celebration: Traditions From Home & Abroad, the concert featured members of the Bay Atlantic Symphony and New York Chamber Ensemble and beloved music from around the world, followed by a Q and A session with the musicians. This concert is available by clicking here. Finally, the highlight of the season was the debut of our video Christmas Candlelight House Tour, which Susan Krysiak details in a page 1 article. -- MES

Music Festival

Cape May MAC

by two losses to our Music Festival “family.” On January 1, Beth Eastman, as owner/ manager of the Inn of Cape May and Aleathea’s a long-time supporter of the festival, passed away suddenly. Beth will be greatly missed for her support and the welcome she gave to the many musicians who stayed with her and enjoyed her hospitality. Shortly thereafter, we learned of the passing of Bob Alls. Bob was one of the crew who came from WHYY to audio-tape the chamber music concerts for rebroadcast. Bob was committed to the performance of classical music and performed this service for the Music Festival pro bono. Bob will also be sorely missed. -- MES

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