Dela-where No More

There’s never been a more exciting time to live here. The nation is finding out why.

It could be easy to be parochial about this, but it seems little Delaware has finally made the map.

In entertainment, the forces behind Philadelphia’s esteemed World Café Live have seen enough in Wilmington to invest in a repeat venture in the soon-to-be-renovated Queen Theatre. Smyrna-boy-turned-country-music-star Chuck Wicks made a fair showing on ABC’s hit “Dancing With the Stars.” And of the Black Eyed Peas awarded four Christiana High School students college scholarships on no less than “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He could have picked students from anywhere.

In sports, another horse owned by Rick Porter furthered the state’s leading role in the Triple Crown races. The trainer for the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies is from Laurel. Former University of Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco damn near took the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl in his rookie year. And his former Blue Hens teammate, Ben Patrick, caught a touchdown pass for the Arizona Cardinals in the big game.

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In politics and government, Dover Air Force Base became a hub of news coverage when the Obama administration lifted a ban on covering the return of fallen U.S. servicemen. The main strategists for each of the presidential campaigns were Delawareans. And last, but certainly not least, one of our U.S. senators was elected vice president of the United States of America—a U.S. senator from Delawhere?

Having lived in my native state for most of my 46 years, I can honestly say I never thought I’d see so much attention focused on this place. So maybe it’s just me, but life here suddenly seems charged with an all-new energy. And what better time to celebrate than now, the month of Best of Delaware.

For my money, this is the best little state in the union. I’m preaching to the choir by pointing out that we have world-class universities, world-class hospitals, companies that defined the idea of multi-national and world-class cultural institutions. (Have you seen Nemours lately? If not, turn to page 64.) What’s more, you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy any of it. Delaware is affordable.

Former CNN correspondent Ralph Beglieter told us months ago that the rest of the country would hear a lot more from Delaware, and it has. Now, perhaps, everyone will finally understand why we’re The First State.

Mark’s Day Book
  • Who has ever seen Joe Biden speechless? That was close to his state after a tribute by his sister Valerie Biden Owens and a video homage shown during the Delaware Historical Society’s annual awards event at the Chase Center. Honored with the History Makers Award, it took a few minutes for our former senator to warm into his speech about the significance of becoming vice president to the nation’s first black president. The speech ended as vintage Biden, but it was a slow start. I’m one step closer to having seen it all.
  • Point-to-Point at Winterthur was a rainy affair, to be sure, but holing up in the Jockey’s Club tent proved fruitful in winning a few minutes to talk with acting estate director David P. Roselle. It had been nearly 20 years since I first shook his hand as a student advisor at UD, when he was but a candidate for the school’s president. Dr. Roselle, it was quite a pleasure. My sincere thanks to Winterthur’s Vicky Saltzman for the invitation.
  • It was nice to see Ginny Marino, Kristen Battaglia and Kimberly Kegaris of the YWCA at DT’s special reception for women’s organizations at CW Harborside. There’s no telling what deep, dark secret from the past will be revealed when someone who has known the Nardone brothers for as long as Kimberly has. Thanks to Carol Arnott and everyone else who attended. Stay tuned for more on DT’s special women’s section.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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