Rehoboth-area volunteer — and Santa surrogate — Dennis Diehl is eager to show others that acts of kindness beget more of the same

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Carolyn Watson
From the Holiday 2018 issue

DennisDiehl-Santa Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #27Dennis Diehl considers himself “the luckiest person in the world.” Even when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer this summer, that feeling didn’t change.

“When they told me that I had cancer, I knew right away that it was a temporary thing, that I would get better,” he says. “I haven’t ever considered the alternative.”

That confidence is rooted partly in his Christian faith: “My first thought after my diagnosis was ‘He’s not done with me yet.’”

But it also comes from Diehl’s belief that he has a purpose in life and that, after more than 30 years focused on earning a living, he is finally doing meaningful work. “I knew that it wasn’t time for me to leave this Earth,” he says.

The years slip away and events recede into the past, but the experiences of local World War II veterans remain etched in their memories

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photographs by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2018 issue


Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II. All but a handful of countries participated in that conflict and historians estimate that more than 60 million people died as a result of the war. Included in that death toll were 40 million to 50 million civilians, killed by bombings, disease and starvation, and war crimes, including the Holocaust’s systematic extermination of Jews and others.

The United States joined the war in December 1941, after the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. By the end of the conflict nearly four years later, nearly 406,000 U.S. soldiers, Marines, sailors and Coast Guardsmen had been killed and more than 672,000 wounded.

Despite developers’ offers, tenuous economics and unending chores, family farmers in coastal Delaware say they’ll provide locally sourced food till the cows come home

By Chris Beakey | Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the Holiday 2018 issue


Henry Bennett grew up on his family’s farm just outside Frankford, about 10 miles from the beaches where he loved to surf with his high school friends. Early on, those friends learned there would be days when Bennett couldn’t join them. As they headed east to catch the morning waves, he’d stay behind to collect eggs from the chicken house, haul pruned branches from the orchard, and chop firewood for the woodstove that served as the main heat source for the family home.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” he says, reflecting on those days as he sits at the kitchen table in a house built by his grandparents. “It was always hard, and there were a lot of days when I just hated it.”