County Councilwoman Joan Deaver loves her job, despite feeling isolated by party, gender and policy positions

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the May 2014 issue

joandeaverOn a cold January day, representatives of Sussex County government, town officials, people in the health care and tourism businesses and chamber of commerce members all gathered at the Sussex Pines Country Club near Georgetown. They were there for the unveiling of the latest version of the Sussex County Profile, a 72-page compendium of data about the county and its government.

When County Councilwoman Joan Deaver arrived, the other four council members were already there. They, as well as their friends and family members, were all seated at one table at the front of the room. Another table, also reserved for representatives of the county, was empty.

“I walked up to the table where they were all sitting and asked if there was anyplace for me to sit,” recalls Deaver. “All of the chairs were taken. But they could have moved a chair and someone [could have] slid over to fit me in.”

Secret testing of a revolutionary ‘smart-bomb’ device during World War II gave area residents a start — and the U.S. a key advantage

By Michael A. Hamilton and George W. Contant
Photograph courtesy of the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University
From the May 2014 issue

ftmilesDuring World War II, Fort Miles guarded the entrance to Delaware Bay with a wide variety of coastal defense guns, including huge 12- and 16-inch behemoths — the sort that battleships fired to such devastating effect. With all that firepower so close by, it’s no wonder people in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach were often jarred in their homes by the thunderous sound of heavy weaponry.

Except, those monster guns were actually fired just a few times, and that was for testing. So what was the source of all the booming that locals used to complain about? The answer lies in the fact that from January 1944 to September 1945, some 150,000 artillery shells were indeed fired from Fort Miles — an average of 180 per day, or 2,000 per week — but it wasn’t the fort’s defensive guns that were firing, and they weren’t shooting at some enemy. These rounds all emanated from a highly classified area of the fort known to the locals as Herring Point, but to the U.S. War Department and dozens of high-level civilian scientists as the Ordnance Research Center–Fort Miles Section.

Many say that a trip to the beach is good for what ails them. 

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Kevin Fleming
From the April 2014 Issue

beach"I am quite convinced that, with very few exceptions, the sea-air always does good. … Dr. Shirley, after his illness … declares …  that [it] did him more good than all the medicine he took; and that being by the sea always makes him feel young again.”

— Henrietta Musgrove in “Persuasion,” by Jane Austen

Henrietta Musgrove wasn’t the first person to extol the virtues of a visit to the seashore. Hippocrates, that ancient Greek whose oath many doctors still swear by, advised his fellow medical practitioners to immerse their patients in the ocean. English physician Richard Russell’s 1750 “Dissertation on the Use of Sea Water in the Affections of the Glands,” written in Latin, was translated into English two years later. The treatise, in which Russell asserts that the ocean is a “kind of common defense against the corruption and putrification of bodies,” was so popular that it was often pirated, and by 1769 was in its sixth edition.