In ‘normal’ years, overseas guest workers flood beach resorts in summer, drawing comfort and support from an army of volunteers

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


Editor’s note: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, coastal Delaware business owners expect to employ far fewer exchange visitors in 2020. Reporting for this article took place during the summer of 2019, giving a view of the guest worker experience in a typical year.

It’s 5:25 on a Tuesday evening in June 2019, a happy yet nervous time for a dozen or so volunteers in the dining hall at Rehoboth’s Epworth United Methodist Church. After two hours of preparing sandwiches, salads and desserts, they can only hope their upcoming dinner will be a proper welcome for hundreds of young people from around the world who will be working in area beach communities in the coming months.

At 5:30, when she can no longer stand still, Rehoboth-area resident Fabiola Ciliberti steps into the lobby, where the glass doors reveal exactly what she’s hoping to see: a stream of young men and women bicycling toward the church. Moments later she resumes her position at the entrance to the dining hall and beside the three-piece band, a perfect spot for watching surprised smiles as the guests step into the room.

Even in a small resort town, there’s no vacation from misfortune and misbehavior

By Victor Letonoff Jr.   |  Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the May 2020 issue


One sergeant reflects on the day-to-day challenges, sharing insights that might deepen the public’s understanding — and help new officers find their way in a demanding, sometimes confounding, career.

Dear Young Cop:

There’s so much I want to tell you and so very much I want for you: to serve without receiving injury; to end your career quietly after 20, 25 — even 40 — years with the knowledge that you have done your job well. I want you to be filled with pride every day that you put on your uniform, gun belt, ballistic vest (always wear your vest, young cop). Mostly, I want you to feel both awe and humility at what an honor it is to be a police officer.

But who am I to write this letter? I’m not a big city cop whose career was filled with drama: homicides, drug busts and high-speed chases. Instead, I’m a sergeant in a small Mid-Atlantic resort town with only three entrances into the city, one of them over an antiquated drawbridge. The ocean flanks one end of town along with an old-fashioned bandstand, where outdoor concerts are often held. Beyond that is a mile-long boardwalk, built in the early 20th century for patrons at the luxury hotels (so they wouldn’t carry sand into the elegant lobbies). The town, originally founded in 1873 as a Methodist church camp, is often described as quaint and upscale.

A day of deliberate wrong turns makes everything right

By Bill Newcott  |  Photograph by Carolyn Newcott
From the April 2020 issue


For the seasoned traveler, there’s nothing better than getting lost. If you never get lost, you never discover anything.

Alas, getting lost isn’t as easy as it sounds — particularly if you’re determined to get lost in the place where you live. There are street signs everywhere. Familiar landmarks keep popping up. And you have to resist the urgent temptation to switch on your GPS, “just to see.”

Despite the challenges, I was determined to get lost in coastal Delaware for a whole day; to explore unfamiliar back roads; to meet people who didn’t know anybody I knew. And so one recent morning I kissed my wife farewell, hopped into my car, and set out to get utterly disoriented.

Of course, even getting lost requires ground rules. I decided on a specific starting point and a final destination, to reduce the chances of just driving around in circles all day. Point A would be the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, hard up against the Delaware/ Maryland border. Point Z would be Cape Henlopen, site of the Fenwick light’s long-lost sister, the beacon that fell from its sand dune pulpit in 1926.