A publisher, author and witty writer, Fay Jacobs is a fixture in Rehoboth Beach. Jacobs, a former director of the city’s Main Street program, has published a trilogy of amusing and insightful books about life in the resort, the most recent of which is titled “For Frying Out Loud.”
DT: How did you wind up in Rehoboth?
FJ: My partner Bonnie and I have been coming to Rehoboth Beach for over 15 years. We had a 27-foot cruiser that we used to live on on weekends on the Chesapeake Bay and we decided to relocate the boat down here. In 1999 we bought a house. It’s behind the Food Lion. We call it Schnauzer Haven at Food Lion Estates.
DT: When did you feel you were considered a local?
FJ: I don’t think anybody who wasn’t born in a barn in Selbyville is considered a local (laughing). I think you’re always looked at with suspicion. But because I worked at Main Street and I got to know everybody in the business community, I feel like I’ve been here as long as most people have.
DT: Tell me about the cover image of “For Frying Out Loud.”
FJ: I don’t know if you can print this, but it’s funny. After working with the city all those years, I looked at the book cover and thought, Oh my god, how many illegal things can you do on one book cover? I’m on the beach on a lifeguard stand with a dog and a drink (laughing). It’s a trifecta of illegality.
DT: How much have attitudes changed toward gays and lesbians since you started coming to the area?
FJ: Oh, quite a bit. I think it’s marvelous. Now I may be living under the proverbial rock because I’m living in Rehoboth Beach, and I know it’s not the same everywhere. But I love Rehoboth Beach. We call it Gayberry R.F.D. And it’s the perfect mix of straight and gay and everybody is treated as an individual and a couple. And that’s how life should be.
DT: Everyone gets tired of tourists. Got any pet peeves?
FJ: One of the things that makes me crazy is when people see a parking space and they drop off the frailest person in their car to stand in there until they can come around the block and get it. It’s just stupid.
DT: Where did you get your sense of humor?
FJ: My father. He was very funny. He told me, “Nothing is so terrible, if it’s worth a funny story you can tell about it later.” That’s my philosophy. Somebody told me the other day, “Bad decisions make good stories.”
And that’s really true. —Drew Ostroski
Page 2: A Great Oar-ganization | The fast-growing Newport Rowing Club boosts the local economy while developing the town’s waterfront. Can you say Boathouse Row?
The fast-growing Newport Rowing Club boosts the local economy while developing the town’s waterfront. Can you say Boathouse Row?
John Wik can’t believe all that’s happened. Just last spring, The Newport Rowing Club was little more than a pipe dream. Today the club has a fleet of nine world-class boats, several new docks on the Christina River, and a makeshift clubhouse.
Wik resigned from the Wilmington Rowing Club’s board last spring and ventured to Newport, where he saw the potential for a new amateur student club. Support was immediate—two acres of waterfront property and tens-of-thousands of dollars in funding and equipment were donated.
“The town of Newport and the business community have recognized that by bringing a boat club into town, we can do nothing but improve the local economy,” says Wik, the club’s executive director. “At some point we will have a series of boathouses along the Christina River, and as you drive down I-95, you will see something not unlike what you see on Boathouse Row in Philly.”
The club registered 45 students its first season and competed in several notable races, including the Head of the Charles in Boston, the largest race in the country.
Wik says he is always looking for new students interested in the sport. “Rowing is one of those things you get passionate about and then stay passionate about forever.” For more information, visit newportrowingclub.org. —Nick DiUlio
Page 2: One Thing I’ve Learned | Cadet Col. Michael R. Shaw U.S. Air Force Academy (Wilmington native)
Cadet Col. Michael R. Shaw U.S. Air Force Academy (Wilmington native)
“Four years at the Air Force Academy have taught me that strength of character plays a far greater role in your success than any other attribute, and you must lead with integrity so your subordinates trust you will bring about the best possible outcome for them, not necessarily yourself.”
Page 3: Doing Good | Honoring War Dogs
Honoring War Dogs
For centuries, dogs have played an active role in war. Attila the Hun used giant Molossian dogs and Talbots in his campaigns. During the Middle Ages, war dogs were outfitted with armor and frequently used to defend caravans. Even Napoleon had dogs posted as sentries at the gates of Alexandria.
Eleven years ago, Steve McElwee Sr. began thinking about his experience fighting in the Vietnam War and the battle dogs he often saw in that conflict. One afternoon, while helping to raise a flag at a local soldiers memorial, McElwee decided Delaware needed a spot dedicated to the more than 4,000 canines that served between 1965 and 1972.
“Something in me was inspired to do this,” says McElwee, who, while never a dog handler himself, was moved by the wartime contributions of man’s best friend. “It was amazing to me when I found out what these dogs did, and I wanted people to know about it.”
After years of gathering the support and funding needed to erect his humble memorial, McElwee finally made his vision a reality earlier this year.
The memorial at Fire Base Lloyd in Townsend is a fitting tribute to these four-legged soldiers. It includes a lifelike resin sculpture of a German shepherd perched honorably atop a boulder inlaid with various military medallions, a beautiful granite bench displaying the years of the conflict and the logo of the Vietnam War Dog Association, and a glass case containing various military branch medallions.
“I want people to visit and not only think about the men and women who fought in this war, but the animals that were involved too,” says McElwee.
At 11 a.m. on June 11, McElwee will be hosting a formal dedication of the memorial. It is open to the public. —Nick DiUlio
Page 4: Index | Winterthur’s Point-to-Point
5 and 8
Month and day of event
Average annual attendance
Size of track in miles
Size of P2P area in acres
Maximum age of pony riders
Total race purses in dollars
Maximum number of horses in each race
Price in dollars of Helen Kaminski hat
Tailgate spaces eligible for contest
Jumps in timber race
Rolls-Royces at event
Dogs in Canine Capers
Bagpipers in parade
Page 5: Delebrity Bibliography | Carla Markell, First Lady of Delaware
Carla Markell, First Lady of Delaware
Prodigal Summer | Barbara Kingsolver
Love, nature, and drama in Appalachia.
Three interwoven stories about the intersection of human nature and Mother Nature. Filled with unforgettable characters and passionate, evocative descriptions of the natural world. Kingsolver explores common but challenging themes of love, grief and family connections. My favorite Kingsolver book.
To Kill a Mockingbird | Harper Lee
An honest look at attitudes toward race
and class in the Deep South in the 1930s.
Both a painful and strikingly beautiful depiction of the complexities of the human condition and the struggles we face in our society around race and class. I have re-read this book and seen the movie numerous times and will continue to do so. The writing is vivid and the characters are exceptionally well-developed.
The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother | James McBride
An autobiography of James McBride and a tribute to his mother.
James McBride grew up in a nontraditional racially mixed family and actually spent part of his formative teen years here in Delaware. His poignant writing allows the reader to look beyond all issues around religion and color and instead focus on the equalizing human conditions we all face, no matter what our background.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle | Haruki Murakami
Toru Okada’s cat went missing today and his life will never be the same again.
This story is like a private window into a surreal, dreamlike world. Quirky characters and unusual relationships are juxtaposed with modern-day Japan. Murakami is able to penetrate into the hidden depths of the human psyche and go places no other author has taken me. I’ve enjoyed several other books of his as well.
Bel Canto | Ann Patchett
Based on the Japanese Embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru.
Ann Patchett was a guest author last year in Delaware. During her Q and A, she shared that the entire story line stemmed from a vivid dream she had. This novel was romantic, suspenseful and beautifully crafted. Patchet magically combined South America, a hostage situation and opera while depicting the shared human experiences and nuanced relationships between captors and terrorists. I could not put this down.
Page 6: A Class Act | Audrey Doberstein helped grow Wilmington University from humble beginnings. The adult education pioneer was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.
Audrey Doberstein helped grow Wilmington University from humble beginnings. The adult education pioneer was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.
Audrey K. Doberstein is in a class all her own.
As the first and only female president of a four-year college or university in the state of Delaware, Doberstein transformed Wilmington University from a small college in New Castle to a thriving higher education institution with many satellite campuses and more than 10,000 students.
Since ending her 26-year run in 2006, she has continued her mission to provide educational opportunities to students of all ages and backgrounds.
“In some of our first classes, when the entire class had about 150 students and 90 percent were the first people in their family to attend college, that inspired me to make education possible for even more people,” Doberstein says.
Doberstein was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women along with Neda Biggs, Susan Del Pesco and two Wilmington U. alumnae: Moonyeen Klopfenstein and Imogene Chandler.
“It was an amazing honor,” Doberstein says. “They’re really an awesome group of women and I’m really honored to be in that group. It was really very special. It was just overwhelming to be among so many women who have done so much.”
Current Wilmington University president Jack Varsalona has known Doberstein for more than 30 years and has been a constant supporter of her goals.
“She is a pioneer in adult education and that enabled so many working adults to go back to school and get the kind of education that they needed to improve their personal lives and their careers,” Varsalona says.
Doberstein also received the Advancement of Women Award at the YWCA’s Evening of Style 2011 Gala in February. —Lauren Zaremba