Letter From the Editor-in-Chief of Delaware Today Magazine: Maria Hess Attends the 2nd Annual Biden Beach Boardwalk Bash in Washington, D.C., with Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden

Three VIPs and me.

We get lots of perks around here. Me? I work with a talented staff, visit unusual places, meet interesting people. As a team, we continue to earn the trust of thousands of readers. We take none of that for granted.

Then there’s pizza. We sample lots, which should be evident in this month’s dining feature. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your waistline for the sake of your readers.

There are other benefits. Like when I—and 300 other journalists—received an invitation from the vice president and Dr. Jill Biden to attend the 2nd Annual Biden Beach Boardwalk Bash in Washington, D.C. I’d always wanted to see the mansion at One Observatory Circle. And the chance to rub elbows with the D.C. press sounded pretty exciting.

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But I almost didn’t go.

The invitation came by email. Worse, invitees had to provide full names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers—all via email. I smelled a rat—then declined the invitation.

I’m no VIP, so I figured I’d been punked. Then I got a phone call from Debbi, the deputy residence manager of the vice president’s residence. She said that Dr. Biden wanted me to go—or probably anyone from Delaware Today to go—but no matter. I was flattered.

Then, as I got over myself, I started to worry again. Was Debbi real? Or was she part of the diabolical plot to steal my valuable information? I declined the invitation—again.

Debbi, who should’ve given up, said, “OK. Call the White House. Have them transfer you to me. Here’s the number.”

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Still skeptical, I found the White House Web site and compared the number Debbi gave me to the official switchboard number. The numbers matched. I dialed.

“Can you transfer me to Debbi,” I said sheepishly to the White House operator.

“Right away,” she said.

Debbi answered. She had every right to laugh at me. Instead, she was gracious and, indeed, real. After apologizing several times, I gave her my and my guest’s vital information—by phone, of course.

That guest was my 9-year-old son Benjamin. I wanted him to meet the vice president and Dr. Biden. Knowing how much Dr. Biden loves the Phillies, I figured she and my son would be simpatico. Ben wore his best Phils jersey, and the Bidens made a huge fuss over him.

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I thank Debbi for treating me with such kindness despite my annoying paranoia. But mostly I thank the Bidens for giving my son
an experience he’ll never forget.

Whatever perks you get: Enjoy them.
When life gets you down, eat pizza.


Team Notes

From left: Louise Bolin, Drew Ostroski, Kelly Carter,  Jared Castaldi, Katie McCabe and Mark Nardone. photograph by Jared CastaldiMark It was great fun seeing Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner and helping doctoral candidates of UD’s Art Conservation program impress the press.

Katie I thoroughly enjoyed our recent get-together with downstate freelance writers and photographers at The Pig+Fish in Rehoboth. The affable group made conversation easy, the food and drinks were great, and the waitstaff was top-notch.

Drew As my friend Kate notes, The Pig+Fish lived up to its name, sort of, with one tasty offering in particular: the shrimp wrapped in bacon. Perhaps they should call it The Pig + Crustacean.

Louise I enjoyed my first event at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. What a beautiful location! The Delaware Today Singles Event was a fun time, complete with the Dating Game hosted by WSTW’s Wake Up Crew! Can’t wait to get back to the World Cafe Live.

Kelly I had a blast designing The Ultimate Pizza Guide. There were so many scrumptious photos of pizza that I had trouble choosing. It made me realize that as Delawareans, we are blessed with so many choices for pizza night. It also made me realize how many I still have left to try.

Jared This month I went to Fred Dawson’s to shoot a man cave where the band Club Phred rehearses. What an amazing space! I also got to sit in on drums! So cool—a bunch of great guys!


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