A Late-Blooming Family Tree
Barb Fishel knew she was adopted, but was shocked to learn she’d been abandoned at birth. What she discovered next was even more of a jolt.
Barb Fishel grew up having no idea of the circumstances of her birth or adoption. “You were given to us by the court,” her loving adoptive parents, Vernon and Geneva Fishel, had said. Barb’s heritage and ethnicity were a complete mystery.
“I always thought I might be Swedish — you know, blond hair, blue eyes and all,” says Barb, a full-time Rehoboth-area resident since 2006. “The first photo of me that exists is at 18 months old.”
She grew up in Oxford, Pa., the only child of her carpenter father and her mom, who worked as a clerk. When she was 10, the small family moved, to Newark, Del. At age 19, while Barb was getting her degree in education at the University of Delaware, her mother passed away; her father died only three years later.
Let There Be Lights
Winter WonderFest, which lit up the Lewes area last year, promises to be bigger and brighter this holiday season, with more lights, more carnival rides and even a real ice-skating rink instead of the one that used synthetic “ice” in 2016. The festival, which raises money for local nonprofits, will run from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1.
“We look at this as a cultural event for Delaware, providing locals and visitors something to do during the holidays,” says Peter Briccotto, executive producer of the festival. “This is such a community-oriented area, and people just want to connect and get out of the house. You just have to give them a reason. We were thrilled with the turnout last year, and we hope to build on that this year.”
Saving a Salt Marsh
Wildlife habitat makes a comeback as Prime Hook project mends Hurricane Sandy’s destruction
Just two years ago, the view from Fowler Beach Road east of Milton was very different from what it is now. What had been freshwater wetlands, artificially created and maintained as part of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, was all water.
“We called it Prime Hook Sound,” says Annabella Larsen, wildlife biologist at the refuge. “We had lost all the wetlands and everything was covered with saltwater.”
Today, though, the area is home to a growing high salt marsh. More than a third of the area that was open water is now green with plants, primarily cordgrass.
“This is so impressive,” says Al Rizzo, project leader at Prime Hook as well as at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Dover. Rizzo and Larsen comment as they ride east on Fowler Beach Road, on a mission to examine the marsh’s progress. “All of this growth has happened in just two years.”