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Lewes, Delaware
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August 8, 2003     Cape Gazette
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August 8, 2003

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54 - CAPE GAZETTEj Friday, Aug. 8 - Aug. 14, 2003 CAPE LIFE Fort Miles Historical Association to preserv0000 legacy By Bridin Reynolds Hughes To local founders of The Fort Miles Historical Association, the WWII fire towers lining the shores of the Cape Region stand as symbols of vigilance and courage. Now weathered by wat6r, wind and time, the towers face the sadly common fate of deterioration. The worry that decades of neglect and an era of tight state financing would be the cause of losing an irreplaceable legacy led to the recent founding of the private association. The announcement came Aug. 3 under sunny skies, the rare kind of skies which would have allowed Fort Miles SeaCoast Fortification soldiers of the war-torn 1940s to see for precious miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The 11 fire tow- ers were essential in fending off enemy surface fleets through a method of triangular measuring of an enemy vessel for those man- ning the big guns at Fort Miles. "It was crucial to guard this coast and allow the ports of indus- try to be open to operations," said Lee Jennings, chief historian for the Division of Parks and Recreation, who gathered with his fellow founding trustees of the association at Tower Road, just south of Dewey Beach. Restoring and reopening the concrete tower at that site is one of the first priorities of the new foundation. That priority was set earlier this year, when Dewey Beach resident David Main and former Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick approached Jennlngs about the deteriorating towers. In coopera- tion with Lewes historian Dr. Gary Wray, they formed the Fort Miles Historical Association and launched The Save the Towers Project. The initial efforts will include a series of fundraisers hosted by local restaurants, begin- ning with an event Sunday, Aug. 10, at The Starboard. Ann Marie's Italian Seafood Restaurant and Sharkey's Grill are also slated hosts. "They are stepping up at a large moment," said Jennings. The restoration of the towers is part of a previously established plan to restore parts of Fort Miles to WWII condition - a plan with a $10 million pricetag. "We estimate restoring this tower will cost a couple hundred thousand dollars. It will be an important tourist attraction for Dewey Beach and draw attention to the larger project," said Frederick, adding he believes it is a goal attainable within three years. Restoring the only tower currently open to the public, locat- ed at Cape Henlopen State Park, cost $150,000. The ultimate goal is to establish a first class museum using the old barracks and make the towers safe and accessible to the public. At Fort Miles, underwater listening devices facilities will include demonstrations of shiptracking and triangulaiion methods so that visitors can experience what it Continued on page Bddin Reynolds Hughes photos The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation along with Dewey Beach resident David Main and former Dewey Beach Mayor Bob Frederick announced the for- mation of The Fort Miles Historical Association Aug. 3. Shown left at Tower Road south of Dewey Beach are (l- r) Main, Frederick, Dr. Gary Wray, Lewes historian; Lee Jennings, Division of Parks and Recreation historian; and Jim Oleil, division man- ager of cultural services. Dr. Gary Wray, a historian and educator, has long envi- sioned a Hving history muse- um commemorating the strategic role the Delaware coast fulfilled in wartime. Shown at the announcement with Wray, above, is Josephine van Es, a Lewes resident who remembers the etablishment of Fort Miles. A chapel-in Vegas is defmitely the wa00' to go AROUND TOWN Usually this kind of amnesia onl N takes place in cities that have no idea what they are doing when it comes to nuptials, cities like Las Vegas, which incidentally, is Idol." I've always been intrigued with the idea of getting hitched in Vegas though. Just the fact that the bride can get her bouquet out of a vending machine is enough to consider renewing my vows. Well maybe not quite enough. But still, if you have ever received a bill for a wedding plan- ner that probably equals the cost of a small villa in the south of France where only the Rolling Stones vacation, you can under- stand why people flock to Las Vegas; mainly those people are parents of the bride demanding advanced bookings and will take anything, even places like "Stu's Chapel By the Side of the Road or Something Like That." When you think of weddings though, you have to realize you dubbed the wedding capital of the - are talking about an enormous world and where the lines to get number of relatives: That's right; hitched are longer than tryouts for people will be coming out of the reality shows like "American woodwork. And today it's corn- plicated. You've got the bio morn and dad, the parenting mom and dad, in-vitro mom and dads, peo- ple who have donated uteruses, sperm donors and all those test tube nieces and nephews that sometimes number in the thou- sands. Very often the guest list is a deal breaker. It's not that people want to go to a wedding, it's just that they don't want to be thought of as on the "C" list, which is invi- tees only asked if the church needs to be filled up. Of course with all these people there is bound to be a little ten- sion, thus the reason for the demilitarized zone right down the main aisle of the church. On one side is the groom's family and friends who think the bride has too much facial hair. And on the other side is the bride's family and friends who think the groom could write a book called "Loser City." Everyone has their own crying gaiHe. Personally I think weddings would be a lot less tense if the invitations simply said "No gir- dles allowed." I once wore a gir- dle to a ceremony that would have taken the Jaws of Life to extract me from at the end of the evening. The whole purpose of wearing this garment was to make me look thin in front of 200 people I didn't know, nor would I ever see again. Steel bullets could have bounced off of this thing. By the time they got to the part where they exchange rings, blood had pooled in large quantities in my extremities demanding to be let back in under the elastic girdle. At tltis point I was relieved I was  in a church because my only hope was for an exorcism. That's why I think Vegas isthe way to go. All you need is a white belt, shoes and a couple of people you met at the Wayne Newton show. Everyone loves a wedding. And the month of August is still one of the most popular times for getting married. In fact, the whole wed- cling industry today is booming. Everything from silverware to invitations are bouncing off the shelves and into large offshore accoun which is where you have to keep your money in order to afford a wedding today. It seems that there is nothing like a solemn ceremony between two people who have banded together to become one on this special day and share their special thoughts. Those thoughts can be boiled down to 'Whe last thing I remem- her is being upside down on a bar and someone pouring an I.V. tube filled with mai tais down my throat and now I'm standing in front of some guy in his bedroom slippers saying things like to thee I troth. I don't get it." I'm just kidding of course. ]|IlliTllF-'1I'i"" llgFnflrl IIIIlIIIIBBIIIIIIHWT " ' r IF I "TTIU'l ! ,. 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