Footloose on the Fourth
For 50 years, Lewes’s Doo Dah Parade has marched to its own idiosyncratic beat
One summer day in the mid ’60s, the Shockley, Hudson and Hoenen families were enjoying their traditional Fourth of July get-together at the Hoenen house on Chestnut Street in Lewes. Well, the adults were having fun, but the kids, facing hours before the fireworks were to start, were bored.
“It was one of those years that Lewes hadn’t arranged any children’s activities downtown,” saysEd Shockley, who was around 12 or 13 at the time. “There weren’t any sack races or pie-eating contests. The kids were getting restless.”
Suddenly, moms Carolyn Shockley and Phyllis Hoenen came up with an idea. “We trimmed a tree with red, white and blue crepe paper,” says Phyllis, who still lives in the same Chestnut Street home. “We took speakers off the walls and put them by the door, turned the Sousa music up loud and the kids marched around, banging on pots and pans.”
Tales From Behind the Bar
At area watering holes, mixologists pour themselves into a demanding — but seldom dull — job
From the June 2015 issue
Ginger Breneman was working in the banking industry in 2004 when she picked up a few bartending shifts at The Frogg Pond Tavern in Rehoboth Beach (now The Pond Bar and Grill). Breneman, who had no experience in the latter line of work, was thrown into the fray on a Memorial Day weekend. “The first piece of advice I got was that if you don’t know what the drink is, make it pink,” she recalls with a laugh.
Today, Breneman is putting her business degree and restaurant experience to good use as the owner of Mixx in Rehoboth Beach — where she still works the bar. “People expect to see me here,” she explains.
Breneman isn’t the only beach bartender to develop a loyal following. On April 10, Paul Byron Rogers, affectionately known as “PBR,” hung up his apron after 30 years at the Summer House in Rehoboth Beach. His retirement was met with dismay from customers who’d been bellying up to his bar since the 1980s.
But Rogers, a special education teacher, grew weary of getting up at 5:30 a.m. for that job and not getting home until 2:30 a.m. Despite the long hours, he, like many bartenders catering to the vacation crowd, made it look easy. “Even on a very noisy evening, PBR can read lips,” says frequent Summer House customer Jose Morales. “He always remembers names. He has excellent mixology skills — he can mix you a Tom Collins as easy as pouring you a cold Bud.”
Earning a Place in the Work World
For Julian Medina and other students, Sussex Consortium program is paying off
For businesses dependent on student workers to bolster their employment ranks year-round — and especially in the tourist season — the Sussex Consortium helps fill a critical need.
Almost 300 county students are enrolled in the consortium, which provides special education classes and services at a main campus in Lewes or in classrooms at almost every school in the district. Sixty-seven of those students work at area businesses through the vocational program, holding paid and unpaid positions to gain life skills, job training and opportunities that have led to full-time employment after graduation.
When classes end this month, 17-year-old Julian Medina will return to Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park near Rehoboth for his second summer, working several days a week cleaning the miniature golf course and managing the bumper boats. “I help people get in and out of the boat safely,” he explains.