QVC's Bob Bowersox remakes himself--again. Plus, the sand-sculpting Rodins of Rehoboth vs. all others, Delta vs. Celebrity in the air wars, Delaware City vs. Chesapeake City for coolest on the canal, partying pagans, Biden on Myspace and condo commandos.
Bob Bowersox has reinvented himself more than once in his long career. Next iteration: Hollywood screenwriter?
The odds of a screenwriter scoring a Hollywood agent are probably worse than winning the Powerball. But former Delawarean and QVC host Bob Bowersox may hit the jackpot.
At 60, Bowersox hopes screenwriting will be his Chapter Two. He honed his skills at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop then, last month, graduated with a master’s degree in screenwriting from UCLA, a program so competitive that only 50 online students are accepted.
All of which looks great on a resume, but in showbiz, it’s the accolades that count. Bowersox is winning them. His script “Beneath the Badge” was a finalist in six competitions, including Project Greenlight, the brainchild of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Last year his “Soul Mates” took second place at the Austin Film Festival.
“Finalists at Austin get hotel accommodations, seminars—the works,” Bowersox says. “It was five days of sheer bliss.”
Not to mention five days of hobnobbing with the likes of producer Sydney Pollack, “Lethal Weapon” writer Shane Black and literary agent Ryan Saul of the Metropolitan Talent Agency. Bowersox and Saul had a mutual friend. Because of that, Saul agreed to read Bowersox’s work.
Call this Act One. Bowersox may be a star on QVC, but he’s an unproven commodity in Tinsel Town. Copyright law prevents him from talking about his script, but word has it that UCLA’s professors loved the story treatment, and Saul likes the concept.
Until his name appears on the big screen, Bowersox is contracted to dazzle on the little one. His Sunday morning show, “In the Kitchen With Bob,” is an all-time ratings winner. He’s written six cookbooks. He’s also appeared in 19 films, including bit parts in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” and Jonathan Demme’s “
“But I do believe in synchronicity,” he says. “You can see paths and opportunities open, and you’re a fool if you don’t take advantage of them. If you look at this path, from Austin to Ryan, there is a relationship there that had to be pursued. And I doggedly pursued it.” —Maria Hess
The Rodins of Rehoboth
Our most renowned sculptors return in search of yet another sandcastle contest title. Can they build on their reputation? Can you take them?
The Temptations’ Eddie Kendricks boasted that he could build a castle from a single grain of sand. Darrell O’Connor isn’t that good, but he’s close.
O’Connor—with fellow New Castle Countians Darryl Jones, Tom Scanlon and Greg Wallace—are the First State’s kings of sand sculpting. The boys have piled up nine wins at the annual Sandcastle Contest in Rehoboth Beach. They had won six straight until last summer, when they opted to build a demo castle and give lessons instead of competing. O’Connor and Co. plan to win another title this year.
O’Connor, 51, spends weekends honing his skills on the beach at Carolina Street in Dewey. Here are his trade secrets:
Coppertone and Skippy During the contest, you’ll spend more than 10 hours in the sun, so slather on the SPF 200 and keep the Fiji flowing. O’Connor packs PB&J sandwiches because they hold up in the heat and are easy to eat on the mound.
The Early Bird Gets the Berm The champs stake their claim at 6:30 a.m. Pick a site about five feet behind the high-tide line so the surf won’t storm your castle.
Leader of the Pack The Rodins pile sand as high as a lifeguard stand, then whittle from the top. Packing is crucial. The champs shovel steadily for more than two hours while pouring on gallon after gallon of ocean to make the mound dense. (Note: Don’t pile more than you can hew. O’Connor says it takes four hours to shape a 3-foot pile.)
Rusty Trowels and Tetanus The champs use a 2-inch cement trowel for big cuts in features such as towers, a palette knife for fine slicing of things such as a tower’s roof, and a drinking straw to blow away loose sand. (For safety, push unused tools into the pile with the handle sticking out.)
Like Sands in the Hourglass O’Connor hates racing the clock, so Jones’ wife, Mary, keeps time. When the clock becomes a factor, O’Connor quickly finishes the foundation by carving boulders instead of leaving untouched sand.
The 29th annual contest will be held August 4 on Fisherman’s Beach at the north end of the boardwalk. Judges will select first- through third-place winners in adult and children’s divisions in the sandcastle, freeform and animal categories. For more, call 227-2233 or visit www.beach-fun.com. —Drew Ostroski
From the Mini Bar
Delaware may have one of the toughest bar exams in the country, but why waste time and money on law school when everything you need to know comes in a 5-inch metal box?
Law School in a Box (and its burly cousin Med School in a Box) is the hokey, yet helpful product of mental_floss magazine, co-founded by Hockessin native Mangesh Hattikudur.
“The idea was that kids get pressured into law school or med school because those are the two areas where smart people are supposed to go,” Hattikudur says. “So we thought it’d be fun to give them the entire experience in a kit.”
Each box comes with a 96-page mini-textbook of courtroom lingo and recaps of famous cases. There are 10 Heroes of the Courtroom trading cards, a mini-bar exam and a miniature diploma.
Hattikudur figures the boxes will be a hit at graduation parties or maybe with that slightly dimwitted friend who can’t pass the bar without heading to the other first.
“I think it’s just funny to have on your desk because it comes with both English and Latin diplomas you can hang on your wall,” he says. “It is the No. 1 boxed law school in the country right now.”
Stop by Borders, Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters and other places to pick up Law School (or Med School) in a Box. Hey, we’ll trade you a Sandra Day O’Connor for a Thurgood Marshall… —Matt Amis
photographs by Jackie Sweeney
A Tale of Two Cities
Could Delaware City be the next Chesapeake City? Never say never.
There’s a little joke exchanged by sarcastic First Staters: Everybody in Delaware City walks around with gas masks on. “Yeah,” says town manager Paul Morrill Jr. “We know that one.”
But since two new air scrubbers at nearby refineries have reduced sulphur dioxide emissions drastically, townies are thinking about a prosperous new, odor-free future—one that looks a lot like Chesapeake City’s present. Could it be?
DC and CC have much in common: parades, tight-knit communities, historic houses, waterfront views. But sometime between the 19th-century peach boom and today, Delaware City lost momentum in the tourism business. Chesapeake City, with its super-large marina, ultimately became a magnet for boaters.
So what does it have that Delaware City doesn’t—at least not yet? Let’s compare: