Edification and uplift were on the curriculum at the segregation-era Nassau School, whose former students want to preserve this happy part of their past

By Chris Beakey   |  Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the September 2020 issue


Years from now, when local historians recount the effort to save the Nassau School, an architecturally distinct building just steps from the roaring traffic at the Five Points intersection, they’re bound to spotlight Sandra Neal, Jeanette Williams Peterson and other former students of a certain age. Their memories and the circa-1922 edifice are testaments to a community where children were protected yet challenged to prepare themselves for successful lives.

“The school was where we found our sanctuary, but it was part of a larger neighborhood where we all felt connected,” recalls Neal, who attended grades one through six in the two-room building prior to desegregation. “The church was right across the street, and farther down was Al Wiltbank’s store where we got penny candy ... and at the intersection of Route 1 was the Five Points Beer Garden, with a white side and a black side.”

 “It was a community that took care of everybody,” adds Peterson, who attended the school from the first through fifth grades. “My dad was a cook who was known all over town. We played outside but made sure we were home when that street light came on. We had teachers who really cared and who spent plenty of time making sure you learned. Back in those days in our neighborhood they helped you, but you really had to help yourself.”  


When your husband acquires a boat, be prepared to go along for the ride

By Jeanne Shook   |  Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the August 2020 issue


“A guy walks into a bar …” and walks out with a boat. A not-so-funny punch line, but a true story.

In August 2019, over lunch and a few beers at a local pub, my husband, Dave, and his friend Tom Beall were discussing sailing. Dave, a Coast Guard veteran and former volunteer crew member on Delaware’s replica of the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, had just competed in his first Cape-to-Cape race the day before, so sailing and boats dominated the conversation.

Long before the two friends discovered their mutual interest in sailing, however, they shared a common bond through tennis. Dave, a retired Lehigh University tennis coach, and Tom, an Atlantic Coast Conference tennis champion on the University of Maryland’s 1956 tennis team, met seven years ago on the clay courts at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.



Backyard flocks are flourishing in coastal Sussex, giving eggs and comfort

By Lynn R. Parks   |  Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the July 2020 issue


When Joanne Guilfoil was a child, she and her siblings were given three Leghorn chicks by their grandfather. Her mom and dad built a small chicken house in their yard in Westchester County, N.Y., and there the Leghorns, all roosters, stayed.

Until, that is, they were old enough to crow. The racket was too much and the birds were slaughtered. “I think that my mother used them in a curry,” Guilfoil says.

A story like that, tragic as it was for the innocent roosters, could dampen any interest in raising backyard chickens. But for Guilfoil, it was only the beginning. Following the Leghorn incident, her family got Plymouth Rock chickens, this time hens, a flock of which they kept through Guilfoil’s years growing up. And ever since, except her time as an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, she has had chickens.

Now a Roxana-area resident, Guilfoil has a flock of 14 — 13 hens and one rooster. The birds are mixed-breeds except for two golden Sebrights. Those Sebrights are small (bantams) and lay eggs “the size of ping-pong balls,” Guilfoil says. “You need to eat around three of them to say that you had an egg for breakfast.”