The Funny, the Fabulous and the Confounding
By Pam George
From the Holiday 2014 issue
The man behind the restaurant and philanthropic empire was a whirlwind of energy and ideas. Those who knew him best tell what made him special, and why he will be dearly missed.
The sun shone bright and unseasonably warm on Sunday, Sept. 28, when more than 2,000 people gathered at The Freeman Stage at Bayside to commemorate the life of Matt Haley, who had died the previous month following a motorcycle accident in India. From the video clips to the passionate speakers to the spirited rendition of “Sympathy for the Devil,” the event was joyful, inspiring and, of course, sad.
It had been a year of enormous highs and crushing lows for Matt, whom I met in 2001 shortly after he opened Redfin, now Bluecoast Seafood Grill, in Bethany Beach. Not that the Washington, D.C., native’s life was ever easy.
Going for the Rebound
Return of the Slam Dunk basketball tournament is seen as a boost for businesses and sports lovers
Some of the nation’s top high school basketball players will display their talents at Cape Henlopen High School during Christmas week, but supporters of the revived Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament say the event is about much more than three days of nonstop fast breaks in a packed gymnasium.
“It means a lot more feet on the street,” says Carol Everhart, president and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce.
No one is quite sure how many feet that will be “but it can’t be anything but positive,” she says.
The Delaware Sports Commission, a state agency within the Delaware Economic Development Office, is sponsoring the tournament, which will bring in 11 highly rated teams from six states and Washington, D.C., to join five from Delaware for a long weekend of holiday hoops and hoopla.
Confessions of a Townie
A mostly true story about 24 hours on, around and under the boardwalk
As the sky above the pitch-black sea gradually paled from indigo to violet, the twinkling lights of the fishing boats crawled along the horizon and out to sea. I stirred from beneath the damp and tattered beach blanket, and gazed upon the still sleeping face of my lovely Allison, her sweet countenance framed by the long black hair that cascaded across her shoulder.
We were under the boardwalk near the Henlopen Hotel, and had selected this accommodation from long experience, knowing that it was less likely to have been used as a facility for less sanitary functions than the sections closer to Rehoboth Avenue. After ruminating on this romantic observation, I kissed her awake, and our day had begun.
It was 1964, and Allison was to turn 18 on Sept. 1, two days after this early Sunday morning (I would follow in October). Our pretext for spending this night together was that Allison was at a sleepover with her best friend Nancy on Olive Avenue; this seemed a minor infraction in that we were only two blocks away.
We emerged from our cocoon and the dank recesses beneath the boards, rubbing the sand and the effects of the Pabst Blue Ribbon from our eyes. As we clambered from the beach to the promenade above, we observed no other living soul in view. These were quieter, simpler times, and the early morning neoprene-clad cyclists and iPod-wearing runners were still decades away.