Reflecting back and standing in awe of our home

We recently had the pleasure of celebrating our ninth anniversary here at the Point.
Coastal Point •  Submitted

Our wee little graphic artist Tom continued his brown-nosing ways by bringing in a cake to commemorate the occassion, there were some talks about a bigger celebration to mark our first decade in business next year and there was a bit of a trip on a wave of nostalgia as we reminisced over some of the funnier moments that have gone on behind the curtain here at the paper over the years. It was a lot of fun to just enjoy a brief moment with each other without the pressures of deadlines hanging over our heads.

Of course, that trip down memory lane continued to bang around my head over the next few days. I started thinking about stories we’ve done over the years that have made me proud and, in turn, some of the ones I’d like to have back and do differently.

I thought about the ones that slipped away because we just couldn’t get the confirmation we felt comfortable with, or that we’d chase around for weeks and months and eventually come to the conclusion that there just wasn’t a sensible story to piece together at the end. I began to realize that you remember the things you’re not happy with more than the ones that make you proud, and I guess that’s what ultimately spurs you to continue to try to get better. I also started thinking about how much I wanted to kick back with a glass of Jameson and ...

But I digress.

As I kept thinking back on nine years with the Coastal Point, I consistently came to the conclusion that we have managed to carve out a small place for ourselves in this community because of, well, the community. This is a dynamic place to live and work, not just because of the ocean and bays and beautiful natural scenery, but more so because of the people who call this place home. This is a community filled with young families, retirees and longtime locals who cling to the traditions and culture of this area like a liferaft.

And all of that is necessary.

Those of us who have moved here from somewhere else need the old guard to remind us of what made this place so attractive to us in the first place. And fresh ideas from the newcomers have allowed the community to grow and opened up new opportunities for future generations of people who call this place home. The retirees bring with them a wealth of experience in the different fields in which they worked, as well as a tireless work ethic and spirit of volunteerism. It’s a concoction that can at times be volatile, but has combined to create a wonderful place to live.

There have been two massive community efforts I have been blessed to witness in this area that have at some level changed my life for the better. Not because they contributed directly to me on any level, mind you, but because they have illustrated what a motivated group of very different people can accomplish.

First, was the effort behind Justin’s Beach House, the respite home in Bethany Beach for the families of those living with cancer. This was a labor of love, born from a partnership between Contractors for a Cause and the Justin W. Jennings Foundation, and nurtured by an outpouring of support from nearly every corner of this community.

Civic organizations, private individuals and local businesses jumped in to help facilitate the birth of this home, and it is now booked throughout the summer season, as family after family has shared positive experiences from their dream vacations at the beach. The Town of Bethany Beach even stepped in and helped with fees and permits to help make this incredible project a reality, and it is truly something we can all look at with shared pride. It is special. It is real. And it does help others.

And that is just awesome.

The second effort that has left me simply in awe has been the community’s response to the potential demise of the Clayton Theater in Dagsboro. Old and young, longtime local or newcomer, individuals and organizations jumped in to try to save the Clayton as soon as word filtered out that the need for newer technology would be too costly for the theater to continue operating.

Perhaps people took the Clayton for granted over recent years as multiplex theaters have taken our attention, but in a case of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” people have rediscovered their love for the theater and jumped at the opportunity to do what they can to keep the movies shining into the future. It’s both a case of nostalgia by the community for a dear friend it doesn’t want to lose and a sense of pride in preserving “one of us.”

This is a special community, forged on special relationships, and we are proud to be entering our 10th year of service.