The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Delaware memories part 2, Rehoboth Boogaloo!

People have a funny relationship with where they grew up. They stay or they stay away, it’s hard to be anything else. I had a lot of friends growing up and in my early adulthood that I shared a desire to get out of Delaware with, but most of them still live in the area. There are advantages to that, they tend to be closer to their families, for one thing. I may have the luxury of public transportation and regular rock shows but they have careers and families and are in general more successful adults than I. As I often say, fate plays a funny game with us all.

My last smidge of state pride was snuffed out with the issuing of the State Quarters. I was really psyched that my little homestate was finally getting some nationwide love. The Delaware quarter features Caesar Rodney’s ride through a thunderstorm to Philadelphia to vote in favor of the Declaration of Independence. Heart warming, patriotic stuff. It was political suicide at the time, but now history has judged him correct and the event was now immortalized in coin form.

The first time I had some in my pocket, I went to a party and showed the pride of my erstwhile home to any one who’d care. One woman asked, “Is this what you do to meet women?”

No, NO! Would that work? More over do I want it to work? What if I end up marrying a woman I met that way? Do I honestly want to tell my grandkids when they ask how I met grandma, “I showed her 25 cents and I was in there like swimware!”

When I visited family in Rehoboth last year, the change brought about by the influx of money into the area was startling. My dad, uncle, and I all grew up there at different times, but we exclaimed the same curmudgeonly things: “When did that go out of business?”,”When did that put that there?”, and the most popular one,”That’s a fuckin’ shame!”

The outlets, that seemed rather ostentatious at their original size has grown into a tax-free shangri-la for the thrifty. When I was a kid it was a big deal when McDonalds opened on Rt. 1., now it’s a gauntlet of the usual suspects of gentrification, Ruby Tuesday, Walmart, et al.

Downtown is a different story, housing sprawl is the name of the game. They’ve got housing developments on every bare piece of real estate, even under the rt. 1 overpass, so now you can pay a premium so you can live like a troll. The guy that bought my grandmother’s house took out the back porch and shoehorned a new house into the backyard, where I made some of my earliest memories.

All of this is to be closer to the beach, with is about half the size it was when I got sick of it as a teenager. Then after the 3 to 5 months of usefulness in the summer, it becomes a virtual ghosttown. At least that hasn’t changed, that and the fries are still greasy and amazing.

The ironic thing to me is that a lot of people who are driving up property values (and taxes) are from the DC metro area. DC, to me, represents everything I needed in Delaware but couldn’t get: culture, music, tolerance. But that beach’s got a heavy pull, and every weekend in the summer, people can’t get there fast enough. But to me it’s like when I walk past a trendy nightspot with a ton of people waiting in line to get into it. I’m glad I don’t have the slightest desire to join them.

1 comment:

Lonnie Bruner said...

I miss the Rehobth I knew in the 80s.