When creating a book from the Rehoboth Beach Museum’s postcard collection, these two designers didn’t just mail it in

By Bill Newcott
Photograph courtesy of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society
From the July 2023 issue

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The young woman in the photograph has clearly gotten a good running start, even on the soft sand of Rehoboth Beach. At this split second she is aloft, her legs spread at a wide angle, displaying a daring flash of knee that peeks into the summer sun from just below the skirt of her black woolen bathing suit and just above the long black stockings that reach up from her somewhat clunky-looking black shoes. 

In a plucky show of feminine assertiveness, she is leapfrogging over a young man, his hair slicked down, his body positioned in a deep crouch. Beyond this frozen tableau, a few dozen bathers pause their vacation reveries to watch the action. Somewhere in that crowd, no doubt, a Civil War veteran, or perhaps his widow, is shaking their head and muttering, “Honestly. Young people today …”

Demand for live entertainment is high in coastal Delaware. These musicians are answering the call.

By Pam George
Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the July 2023 issue

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When Jake Banaszak and B.J. Muntz moved from New Castle County to coastal Delaware in 2004, they planned to stay only for the summer. The musicians were looking for gigs, and they’d spotted an increased demand for bands at the beach. The relocation was well worth it. “We never left,” Banaszak says. 

 Their band, Lower Case Blues, is playing six nights a week this summer — one less than in 2022 because everyone needs a break, Banaszak says. “There’s no shortage of work, that’s for sure.”

Lower Case Blues isn’t the only group with a packed schedule. The Hot Sauce Band, known for its very lively, mostly instrumental music with a Latin flair and unexpected song choices, performs up to 11 times a week, according to percussionist Michael Shockley. His brother, Ed, is equally busy playing with The Funsters and Vinyl Shockley, among several others.

Coastal Delaware is at the crest of a population transformation

By Andrew Sharp
Photograph by Marianne Walch.
From the May 2023 issue

May-2023-issue

It’s called the gray wave, or the silver tsunami: a striking increase in the number of older people in the population as the baby boomer generation ages, birth rates drop and technological advances increase our lifespans. 

This global trend will strongly shape the coming years, and Sussex County is out in front — nowhere more so than in the coastal area. 

Census figures for southern Delaware are enough to make a demographics researcher spit her coffee. Around 30 percent of the population in Sussex County is age 65 or above, far above the national average (and is even higher on the eastern side of the county). And according to projections, that share is set to increase in coming decades. 

Workers in their 20s might read these predictions and immediately begin pondering the economic implications: Who is going to support this crowd of needy seniors? What about housing and health care? And that’s how the story is often framed — look out, the gray horde is coming.