Decorative trim spices up the area’s Victorian-style homes
From the Holiday 2016 issue
Ellen Passman doesn’t need to bake a gingerbread house for Christmas. She lives in one. Passman’s home is on Union Street in downtown Milton. The yellow clapboard structure has a wide front porch and is decorated from top to bottom with fancy scrollwork, commonly called gingerbread.
Along the edge of the roof on the main portion of the house, the gingerbread resembles waves; over the two-story bay window, it looks like a paper chain of hearts and bows.
On the front porch, circles with daisy-like cutouts are on either side of the six posts. The circles are connected to one another by two small boards that run parallel to each other and the roof; an inverted fleur-de-lis interrupts the boards at the center point between the posts.
“All of that gingerbread is definitely part of the home’s appeal,” says Passman, who bought the house in 2000. The structure was built in 1870, at the height of Victorian architecture’s popularity in the United States, and all of its decoration is original. When she moved there, some of the swirls and curves were broken off; an area craftsman was able to duplicate the designs and patch it up.
The Grape Escape
With his long hair and tweed sport coat, Larry O’Brien looked every inch the hip college professor. He stood before a class of 23 students, who gazed expectantly at the materials he’d placed on the tables in front of them. It didn’t take long before O’Brien was tossing out a string of similes and adjectives.
“This smells like a cigar,” he said. “But it’s not a good cigar, it’s a bad one, and it smells like it would if you touched the tobacco and it crumbled.” He followed up with descriptors like “silky,” “elegant,” “gorgeous” and “refined.” The smell of leather and cedar were all labeled enticing aromas.
O’Brien wasn’t teaching a creative writing class. Nor is he an English professor. He’s a master sommelier with Jackson Family Wines, which owns vineyards in six countries. On that October afternoon, O’Brien was leading the tasting of five wines at the Southern Delaware Wine, Food and Music Festival, held at Independence, a 55-plus community near Angola.
A Dwelling Concern
For some, finding and keeping a home is a struggle. For community activists, the search for solutions goes on.
From the Holiday 2016 issue
It has been more than 2½ years since what was known as Tent City, a transient community set up in a wooded area near Midway, was dismantled by police. But Janet Idema still cries when she tells the story of that night, and of helping some of the people living there who suddenly found themselves with no place to stay.
Idema is president of the board
of directors of Immanuel Shelter, a Rehoboth-area cold-weather refuge for the homeless. “The people had just lost their home, and they were terrified,” she recalls. “But we were able to convince some of them to come and stay with us.”
Five Tent City denizens, one of them a woman, went to Immanuel. But they balked at staying when they saw that men and women were segregated in the shelter, with the former on one side of a big room and the latter on the other. “They were used to being together, and they all wanted to sleep in the same area,” Idema explains.