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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
September 6, 2013     Cape Gazette
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September 6, 2013
 

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4 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 NEWS Cape Gazette A SPECIAL TIME BY THE SEA Friendships develop due to mutual love of the seashore By Ron MacArthur ronm@capegazette.com During the week, Ann Mills works for the DuPont Co. in Wilmington, but don't get in her way when the weekend comes. Like so many others, she and husband Mark head south about every summer weekend to spend time at the beach. While others cart chairs, coolers and umbrel- las from parking spots across the sand to the shore, she and her "extended beach family" have the art of four-wheel-drive beach access down to a science. They carry everything imagin- able in their trucks for a day at the beach. That extended beach family has grown and grown over the past four years so that dozens of people have become close because of their love of the beach life. There are at least five fami- lies in the group and sometimes as many as eight families: Mills says sometimes work gets in the way of their fun. "We all met on the beach," Mills said. Together, they have experi- enced births, anniversaries and birthdays, and even some trying times. Noel Mucha, who everyone calls Wonder Woman - and not just because of her red, white and blue bikini - saved her friend Pattie McBride's life by doing the Heimlich maneuver when a Flags fly high to mark their spot on the beach. The first person who ar- rives is charged with saving spots for others. piece of steak got lodged in her throat. Then three years ago, Mucha suffered the loss of her son, who drowned in the surf. "We support one another just like a family," Mills said. "We re- ally love each other." The youngest beachgoer, Bri- ella Napier, is only 11 weeks old and already loves the beach, says grandmother Mills. They keep coming back to the same location near Herring Point in Cape HenloPen State Park for fishing, playing, swim- ming, eating, sunbathing and lots of fun. Mills said most families and friends spend as much time as they can at the beach, which usually ends up being all day "WE SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER JUST LIKE A FAMILY. WE REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER." - ANN MILLS Saturday and Sunday. And those who lose at the group's favorite game, corn-hole toss, are sure to face the wrath of Missy Kalafut. The roller-derby player is quick to tackle the los- ers regardless of size - all in fun. Mills said one of the men in the group tried to return the favor and was in the process of throwing her into the ocean when he realized she actually got the upper hand by pulling down his pants as he picked her up. He didn't realize it until it was too late. "We saw a full moon that day," Mills said with a laugh. The group - at least 24 strong - got together this past Labor Day weekend for a final beach blast at the end of the summer season. The Italian feast was one to rival any good restaurant. They dug out a large table in the sand and sat down to eat around 6 p.m. as the sun began to dip behind the dunes on another perfect beach day. Of course, they were all back earIy the next day to do it all over again. Surf-fishing permits required to reach the beach Park along the Atlantic Coast. Those who park on the sand must be actively involved in surf fishing and have the re- quired equipment on hand. Four Vehicle beach cross- ings are provided in the two Backing up the truck to the state parks, and one crossing shoreline is a way of life for is providedto reach the beach thousand of people who line on Beach Plum Island. the "shoreline each weekend, Surf-fishing vehicle permit tags are required to ride a ve- hideon the sand in designated areas within Cape Henlopen State Park near Lewes, Beach Plum Island Nature Pre- serve near Broadkill Beach and Delaware Seashore State Annual permits are $65 for residents and $130 for non- residents and $55 for resident seniors over 62 years of age and $110 for nonresident se- niors. Delaware firefighters and emergency medical techni- cians receive free permits. :15 < : RON MACARTHUR PHOTOS THE ORIGINAL FAMILY MEMBERS who started coming to the beach four yi~ars ago are (I-r) front row, Dennis Ruff, Alyssa Kalafut, Michelle Octavia, Casara Kalafut and Brady Kalafut and back row, Mike Phillips, Mark Mills, Ann Mills, Noel Mucha, John Haigh, Ralph McBride, Pattie McBride, Missy Kalafut and Mark Kalafut. Games, such as bean-bag toss, are always part of every weekend. Josh Haigh, left, and Mark Mills react to a shot during a game. Casara Kalafut spends her 21st birthday on the beach with her morn, Missy Kalafut. It's time to prepare the feast. Ann Mills (I-r), Judy Kreggenwinkel and Pattie McBride start preparing food. The group usually eats all three meals on the beach. A third generation beachgoer joins the group. Morn Tina Napier gives a bottle to Briella Napier, who is just 11 weeks old, Trucks are in a line along the beachfront. Over the Labor Day weekend, the families drove in more than 20 four-wheel- drive vehicles.