Archive for July, 2009

A nice visit from European students

July 23, 2009
Johanna Gillinger, left, and Melissa Neubacher at a park concert in Lewes.

Johanna Gillinger, left, and Melissa Neubacher at a park concert in Lewes.

Melissa Neubacher and Johanna Gillinger spent a couple of days with Becky and me recently. The two girls are part of a group of 48 exchange students who stopped in Lewes while traveling across the U.S. this summer under the auspices of Rotary International. Melissa is from Ennepetal (Valley of the Enne River) about a half hour by train from Kolm. Johanna lives in Langenlois, Austria, about a hour west of Vienna.

“We have more vineyards than anywhere else in Austria,” Johanna told us with pride.

Melissa spent the last year in Kingman, Arizona while Johanna stayed with a family in Prescott Valley. Johanna said one of the things that impressed her most about the U.S. was free refills at restaurants. Melissa said she was disturbed by the amount of racism she has encountered during her stay in our country. The group has been traveling the country by Amtrak.

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A great July 4th celebration

July 6, 2009

dennis20090706Great weather and lots of events brought tons of people into Delaware’s Cape Region for the July Fourth weekend. On Friday night at 9:30 p.m., 25 people stood in line outside of King’s Ice Cream in Lewes while live music poured out the doors of Besemé a block away. On a parking meter in front of R&L Liquors, police placed a courtesy notice advising motorists that the street would be closed to all traffic starting at 6 a.m. the next day.

Saturday was non-stop from sun-up until after sundown. In Rehoboth Beach, when the sun was clearing the horizon, the dawn found people preparing for the 7:30 running of the Beach Paper 5K. More than 300 runners and walkers toed the mark and pushed their molecules into motion down Henlopen Avenue and around the in-town circuit. The Nation’s Summer Capital never looked back as the streets stayed full all day, until well after midnight when the final stragglers watched the Funsters pack up their equipment in the wake of a post-fireworks concert at the Bandstand.

In Lewes, the July Fourth games filled Second Street with children, parents and grandparents, chalk on the streets, eggs flying through the air and plates filled with dark and gooey fruit awaiting mouths eager to participate in the pie-eating contest. People strolled into the heart of town from the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and the crowd pulsed all day through the artists’ stalls at the annual St. Peter’s Sidewalk Sale of Art as they came and went from the games and the boat parade. Red, white and blue and stars and stripes were everywhere. The annual Fourth of July Doo-Dah Parade rolled out of Manila Avenue somewhere in the vicinity of the appointed hour between 5:15 and 6. Thousands of people lined the streets to witness dozens of patriotically decorated floats rolling past houses flying flags and hung with bunting while the occasional crackle of fireworks rung out from sidestreets.

Then in the evening, eyes from all over Delaware’s Cape Region shifted upward as public and private fireworks displays filled the Sussex skies. When the Fourth of July lands on the weekend, it’s wide open along the coast. And when it falls on a Saturday, and the celebrations go into the wee hours, the day after – Sunday – provides an amazingly welcome day of rest.

Furloughs mean more beach days

July 1, 2009

They say it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow any man some good.  Most winds do blow some good and such is the case with the furloughs announced this week as part of Delaware’s plan to balance its budget.  State employees are seeing their wages cut by 2.5 percent, but with the cut comes an extra five paid days off.  Other states are doing furloughing as well and the impact is already being felt in Rehoboth Beach.  According to a reliable source, the coming July Fourth weekend is swelling beyond its usual boundaries because furloughed employees from Maryland and elsewhere are using some of their extra days to lengthen their summer break.  That can only be seen as a good thing for Sussex County which relies so heavily on the tourist industry for economic boost.

The world continues to adjust to a new economy where there is more emphasis on time than money.  It will give everyone a chance to get to know their friends and family more, spend time outdoors where the pleasures are free, and walk and relax in their own communities rather than traveling great distances and spending lots of money.