By Pam George | Photograph by Carolyn Watson
From the Holiday 2016 issue

wine Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #99With 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.

For some, finding and keeping a home is a struggle. For community activists, the search for solutions goes on.

By Lynn R. Parks  |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2016 issue

homeless Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #99It 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.

The annual Rehoboth Beach film festival is set for next month, but interest in cinema — both the consuming and creating of it — is a year-round love affair in coastal Delaware

By Mary Ann Benyo

movies Our Content - Delaware Beach Life - Results from #99In the aftermath of World War II, when the country was looking for a good time, Americans often found it at the movies. In Rehoboth Beach during the ’50s and early ’60s, there were three theaters downtown, underscoring how popular films were then. And “they still are,” says Richard Derrickson. He should know: His family has owned the local theaters since the late 1940s, moving and expanding them “to keep up with the times.”

Tiffany Derrickson, Richard’s daughter, represents the third generation of that ownership; she’s vice president of Atlantic Theaters, which operates The Movies at Midway, a 14-screen multiplex showing the latest releases. People may come to the area in summer for the beach, she acknowledges, “but there are times when it’s just too hot or it’s raining. Then we can have a couple thousand people through our doors throughout the day.”

The locals are there year-round. After traffic lessens in the off-season, the manager notes, the seniors come back. And she describes a steady stream of regulars, from teens on weekends and couples on date nights, to families descending on Sunday afternoons. “So, we do pretty well,” Derrickson says.

The reason for such success? “The movie-going experience is still one of the best bangs for your buck,” she answers unequivocally. “It’s great entertainment for all ages.”