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Hello, dahlings! Heard the buzz about the Rehoboth Beach Art Museum, all set to become a cornerstone of the community by Memorial Day weekend? That grand opening’s not as far away as you’d think. To kick things off, Mollie Lynch Vardell, chair of the new Museum Guild, threw a Bring History to Life Gala that drew about 300 supporters to Kings Creek Country Club. “For the first year, it’s more about awareness than money,” says Mollie, a graduate of The Tatnall School who winters with her husband, Michael, and their son, Andrew, in northern Virginia. But museum donations can’t hurt with three exhibits on tap, such as a turn-of-the-century boardwalk show. The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society has artifacts to contribute and is looking for more, according to president Bill Bahan. Cape Henlopen Lighthouse memorabilia and vintage swimwear rank high on the wish list. How appropriate that one-piece bathing suits, Dolle’s saltwater taffy and paper parasols comprised the gala’s spiffy décor. “Walking historians” such as Sharon Fisk Rose, resplendent in a shoulder-baring, champagne-colored dress, and Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper circulated among the guests, ready to share colorful stories. “It’s important to preserve history. If we don’t preserve history, people forget where we came from,” said State Representative Pete Schwartzkopf. “I can’t believe I’m here drinking wine without my husband,” joked Kathy McGuiness, who recently won a third term as a Rehoboth Beach city commissioner. Kathy, displaying her sun-glossed skin in a Lilly Pulitzer shift from Tickled Pink, was chatting up Patrick Gossett of the historical society’s board of directors. Fine art dealer Robert Plante of London was full of news: He’s just bought a beach house, he’s getting ready to self-publish his fourth book and he’ll have a show at a Madison Avenue art gallery in January. Some people are busy, busy, busy. Those who aren’t can curl up on the signature, limited-edition beach towels that guests took home as souvenirs. n Gabby went from history to mystery that night, scampering ahead to a bash that hosts Michele and Frank Capano made clear they’d didn’t want publicity on, after OKing the old gal’s attendance in advance. Well! The Capanos, whose summer residence is a Gatsby-esque mansion near Rehoboth Beach Country Club, seemed like perfectly nice people during our all-too-brief acquaintanceship. Besides, their Leo Birthdays party (both husband and wife share the sign) looked like a big-time crowd-pleaser, what little we saw of it. Later, Brad Eckert, premier hair stylist at Sherif Zaki Salon and The Oasis Spa in Greenville, who attended with his fiancée, Jeri Trifillis, of Lewes, gave good background. “Oh, man, the food was good—shrimp and roast beef,” Brad raved. “It’s probably the one time I see the Capanos and their friends every year.” n “That’s what I looked like when I was younger,” real estate agent and proud dad Don Allegretto said at the Blues Power Happy Hour, as his smokin’-hot, harmonica-playing son Gary Allegretto shared the musical stage. Gary, whose tree-trunk sized biceps bulged out of a black polo shirt, actually bears some resemblance to actor Owen Wilson (“Wedding Crashers”) minus the surfer dude, shaggy blonde hair. Anyway, this guy’s a looker. It’s Delaware’s loss that Gary lives year-round in Los Angeles, though he comes home regularly to visit. Don confided that Gary was in love with Jennifer Grant, the daughter of Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant, some years back, until a disapproving Dyan interfered. Also at the block party, a kick-off for the Riverfront Blues Festival: Computer whiz Rob Whitehead and his girlfriend, Kim Linney, dissing the new airport carry-on restrictions, since they were jetting off to Europe for a late August trip. n Here are some things we saw at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino during the Best of Delaware party: State Senate candidate Les Hendrix shaking hands, music man Phil Berger noshing on Iron Hill Brewery’s sandwiches and Newark Film Festival entrepreneur Greer Firestone navigating the mob. Everyone was there. Insert your name in boldface here. n Andrew Butters—a freelance journalist in Beirut who’s a graduate of St. Andrew’s School, the nephew of Judge William Swain Lee and the son of Ginny and Dave Butters, who keep a home in Greenville—has finally broken through. In mid-July, Andrew was interviewed on “CNN Headline News” by Anderson Cooper, had a front-page byline on the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe and an article in Time magazine. Next, Andrew’s feature “Beirut Blues” appeared in The Washington Post. He’s 30-something, single and too busy to date, but he’s babysitting some hamsters for French girls. In his latest email, Andrew described “buying a generator, setting up a satellite phone and finding a flak jacket for my driver. After the Israeli air force attacked a dairy processing plant, I filled my freezer with yogurt.” Updated observations are available at Ta-ta, ’til next time.

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