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December 6, 2002     Cape Gazette
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December 6, 2002

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CAPE LIFE CAPE G, Friday, ]Dec. 6 - Dee. 12, 2002 - 27 The 15th annual World AIDS Day was observed in Rehoboth Beach Dec. 1 with a candlelight walk and service. The focus of this year's event was "Breaking the Silence of Stigma and Discrimination." Brldln Reynolds-Hughes photos Shown leading the silent walk through Rehoboth are (I-r) aulie Locklear, Jeanne Doe, Wayne Juneau, Carol Holland, Allen Jarmon and Ward Ellinger. World AIDS Day )bserved By Bridin Reynolds-Hughes The 15th annual World AIDS Day observation held Dec. I in Rehoboth Beach offered the commu- nity the opportunity to remember those who have been lost to the disease and to reaffirm the commit- ment in the battle against AIDS. Several dozen people gathered against the cold at the Rehoboth Bandstand for a short program before proceeding on a silent, candlelight march through downtown towards Epworth United Methodist Church for the Service of Remembrance an d Hope. Breaking the silence of stigma and discrimination was the theme of the 2002 event. "Fear and preju- dice often stalk victims of the disease, who may be ostracized from community support networks at their moment of greatest need. And awareness of the dis- ease lags, despite massive efforts to educate people about how it is transmitted and how to avoid it," said Steve Twilley, executive director of the Sussex County AIDS Committee (SCAC) which provides financial assistance, transportation, supplemental food, education, advocacy and anonymous HIV test- ing. SCAC reports that by the end of 2001, two decades since the disease was first diagnosed, 40 million people were living with AIDS. Five million new infections are predicted by the end of 2002. "Regrettably, in that time and with so many affect- ed, HIV-related discrimination and prejudice remain rampant. However, in Delaware and throughout the world, the epidemic of HIV/AIDS has also triggered responses of compassion, solidarity and support, bringing out the best in people, their families and communities," said Twilley. Since 1988, World AIDS Day has helped bring that positive response forward. World AIDS Day Continued on pages 28 and 29 Maggie Shaw, left, passes on candlelight to Rep.-elect Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, before the walk. The most important thing about Christmas is the staging area We can all agree that finding that perfect gift for that special someone at Christmas or any other holiday can turn into an arduous task. Let's face it, even if it's a lousy paperweight for your dreaded boss, the shopping can turn into a hassle. Between looking for a parking space and having bottles of per- fume sprayed in your face as soon as you hit the department store door, you may start to develop what is now called a, "shopping rage," headache. The throbbing in your head usu- ally is compounded by the endless background music of songs like "Alvin and the Chipmunks" that you never liked in the first place, but have to put up with while you stand in line behind someone at the checkout who is sweating like some farm animal because their credit card is beeping all over town. AROUND TOWN Nancy Katz For most of us though, that's small potatoes compared with where to hide those presents once you get them home. Those few items turn into mountains of pack- ages that seem to grow and take on their own characteristics, including a chromosome for blond hair and blue eyes until eventually they produce a freak strain of DNA in some back bedroom. When you start to accumulate gifts from your marathon shop- ping trips, there is always one room in the house that becomes the staging area. It's a place where wrapping paper becomes enmeshed with sticky pieces of tape and you can never find where you put the scissors, so you have to go out and buy a new pair every half hour. Nametags are strewn amongst yards of ribbons and bows that cling to the bottom of your shoes. And you can never find the marking pen, which necessitates another trip to the store because you want all those packages to look like they were signed by Martha Stewart and not some ser- ial killer. You find out that you have to use your teeth a lot in this room. Added to this pressure as the days get closer to Christmas your memory decides to take a vacation and now you can't remember what you wrapped and who the heck these people are anyway. And woe to the person who enters the staging area without permission from the grand wizard of purchases. This place is guard- ed more closely than a drug deal- er who has drilled a slat in the door to pull open so they can ask for the password. I can remember my mother had such a staging area during Christmas. It was in the attic. I can still recall all the nois- es up there and then suddenly my mother would appear as if coming down from the attic was some- thing she did every day of her life. But there are dangers from using a room or space only one month of the year. One night my father tried to take down the skis that would be a present for my brother. First he impaled my mother on the head as he slid the skis over the pull-down stairs. Then he took a chunk out of the wall as he swung them around. And finally he managed a surgical cutting of the designer wallpaper when he marched down the stairs with the skis slung over his shoul- der. This is the main reason why no one has attics anymore. Of course, there are people who hide presents in their car. This is always a problem when customs agents open the trunk a year later and find an entire Lego set melted and molded over the spare tire. Under the bed is no solution either. One turn in the bed in the middle of the night and the next thing you know you are listening to a doll scream that she wet her pants while crying "Mama!" Personally I don't have any problems about where to hide pre- sents. With my photographic memory and all the vitamins I take, none of which work, I simply use all three places. .....