Cape Gazette


Hot sweet corn, tiki bars, Del Tech’s crystal ball

By Dennis Forney | Jul 29, 2011
Photo by: Dennis Forney Rachel Grier-Reynolds painstakingly prepares the world's smallest and most recent example of guerilla marketing for the Tiki Bra.

Dottie Purcell, of Lloyd’s Market in Lewes, said she overheard her son-in-law Lenny Pollitt talking to Mark Freeman last week when Freeman was delivering the morning’s sweet corn. Outside, the temperature was steadily climbing toward 100 degrees.
“He told Mark he better get that corn picked before it starts popping,” said Dottie.
As sweet as this year’s corn is, if it does start popping it will taste like kettle corn jumping out of the husks.

What’s hot at Del Tech

In Georgetown, at Del Tech’s Owens Campus, the college has been hosting information sessions about more than 50 degree programs offered on the campus.  It’s always interesting to see a glimpse of the future through Del Tech’s eyes as it goes about setting up new degree programs to anticipate job needs in the regional market. Among the degree programs available to students as the fall semester nears are these new courses: In the Education division, two new programs include Mathematics Secondary Education and Middle Level Mathematics Education. Obviously the need for math teachers, as our world becomes more and more dependent on technology, continues to be strong.

The new Energy division at Del Tech includes two degrees: one in Energy Management and another in Renewable Energy – Solar. With more and more solar panels showing up on buildings throughout Sussex County, it’s good to see that Del Tech is anticipating the need for more technicians in this field.

In the Computer Information Systems division, Information Security has been added as a degree program.  Food Safety has been added as a college division and separate degree program, and in the Human Services division a new degree program has been added to educate Direct Support Professionals.

Despite all the economic concerns at the moment, our economy still needs trained individuals to start new businesses and keep existing businesses ticking.  For more information about Del Tech’s many programs call 856-5400 or go online at

Tiki bars and Bays
A press release came in this week about a new destination guidebook titled “Crab Decks and Tiki Bars of the Chesapeake Bay.”

“This handy guide covers waterfront crab houses, seafood restaurants and tiki bars located on the shores of the Bay,” wrote author Susan Elnicki Wade.  “Readers planning summer get aways can flip through the pages . . . and pick places that transport them from their daily routine into a world of eating just-caught crabs under swaying palm trees. My husband and I conceived the book idea last August and went on a research frenzy to visit all 158 locations in seven months.  We spent the winter gathering bonus information like dockage, latitude and longitude, and launched the book in June 2011.”

Tough assignment, huh?

Sounds like a good book though I haven’t seen a copy yet.  One thing, have you noticed that when Chesapeake people refer to their bay they always refer to the Bay with a capital B? Seems a little pretentious to me, but then my home is a lot closer to the Delaware Bay, Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay and Big Assawoman Bay, not to mention Sinepuxent Bay and, the most pristine of the Delmarva bays, Chincoteague Bay.
No question the Chesapeake is majestic and grand and far more gentle and gentile than its Delaware sister, but still, I prefer to refer to all of them as the Bays.

All that aside, check out the tiki bar book at

Bars and bras
Forget the semantics. Forget crab commercialism and forget building permits.  The most memorable tiki bar on the Chesapeake is not a tiki bar at all but is the increasingly famous Tiki Bra. Right out of the pages of the Punkin’ Chunkin’ approach to life and appropriate technology, the Tiki Bra stands on a sand spit in Fleets Bay at the eastern edge of Virginia’s storied Northern Neck. A structure composed of driftwood, a few nails, a variety of flotsam and jetsam, and decorated with all sizes, colors and shapes of weathered brassieres, the Tiki Bra is a gathering place for locals who arrive in all manner of boats, kayaks and canoes on weekends to celebrate anything worth celebrating.

Don McCann, also known as Albert the Marsh Guide, former skipper of University of Delaware’s research vessel and, most notably, husband of former Lewes architect Jennifer McCann, lives on Fleets Island, just a short osprey flight from the Tiki Bra.

A group of us motored across the Chesapeake recently from Onancock to the Northern Neck to visit the McCanns.  We hiked a bay beach to the Tiki Bra for a look.  It was definitely original.

Rachel Grier Reynolds, part of the exploration party, took exception to the fact that the only beer decorating the Tiki Bra was a clear glass – empty of course – of Corona. Rachel’s daughter and son-in-law – Mariah and Sam Calagione – own Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Rachel wasn’t about to leave the Tiki Bra without adding decoration of her own.

No, she didn’t take off a Dogfish bra and post it among the others.  A child of the ’60s, Rachel burned her bras a long time ago.

Instead, she grabbed a bleached bay scallop shell from the wrack and with a black pen carefully wrote Dogfish Head and drew a proper shark logo.  Then she found an accommodating stretch of fishnet to hang the shell and left with the satisfaction that the hometown crew was properly represented at the Tiki Bra.

View more pictures of the Tiki Bra, in living color, on my Barefootin' blog. Do some googling and you’ll also find more.

Ironically, the founders, revelers and visitors do lots of things at the Tiki Bra, but googling isn’t one of them. Other than the obvious flow of creative energy, there’s no electricity or towers there.

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