An Arden resident will light up your life. Plus, plucky pirates treasure Lewes.
When it comes to high-end pyrotechnics,
O’Regan is a veritable wizard of aahs (and oohs).
Photograph by Tom Nutter
Creating a Big Bang
Not just anyone can teach the Chinese how to put on a fireworks show. After all, the Chinese invented fireworks more than a thousand years ago and still supply most of the world’s pyrotechnics.
But when a major fireworks company in
O’Regan owns and operates Fireworks Concepts. He creates 50 shows a year, including big
"It was 12 to 14 times the size of the Penn’s Landing New Year’s Eve show," he says. "They lashed together 14 barges in the middle of the
A woodworker with a background in architecture and historic restoration, O’Regan brings to his work the eye of an artist and skills of a builder. He learned fireworks
"I decided if I was going to do
fireworks shows, I would do high-end," O’Regan says. "There are plenty of people with a pickup truck who want to set off fireworks, but they don’t have the desire or the background to design a show as art."
Delawareans have seen O’Regan
O’Regan likens his work to floral design, "painting on an aerial canvas" or creating a "fire symphony." He most enjoys creating elaborate spectacles that combine color, sound, music, lights, water and, of course, explosions.
The oohs and aahs of the audience let him know when he has succeeded.
—Theresa Gawlas Medoff
Eric Foraker grew up on the water. At two weeks old, he sailed on the
His career path is as much a surprise to him as it is to everyone else.
After a spring break trip to
While there, Foraker went back to school, earned his captain’s license from the Coast Guard, and trawled the Internet in search of surf spots. Which is how he discovered
He agreed to a 45-day ticket to
"The timing of it was a little odd," Foraker says. "I always wondered if luck could be that good."
Foraker spent the next two years captaining Strictly Business, a 58-foot catamaran around the
Today Foraker, 25, spends most of the year piloting Addiction, a bigger, better, 80-foot ferryboat—through the Mentawais.
"I feel like I have a purpose," he says. "I’m not working just to pay bills or whatever. I have a mission in my life. The people who come on the trips are on a mission, too. They’re searching for waves."
Built on Stilts?
The lot at
For Polecats Only
For $350, Patty Mandelbaum will come to your house and teach you and 12 friends a pole-dancing routine. She brings the pole. Its name is Antonio Banderas.
Antonio supports up to 300 pounds, as long as he’s drilled into a floor joist. As a certified instructor for A Pole Lot of Fun, Mandelbaum uses it to teach 12 basic steps, including the fireman’s spin.
Lest you get the wrong idea, this is for fitness only.
"I got a lot of negative feedback at first," Mandelbaum says. "Now it’s becoming quite popular. Even the people that were very reluctant, like my psychologist friends in
Pole dancing builds upper-body strength; improves muscle definition in the arms, thighs and buttocks; and burns an average of 250 calories an hour.
Though touted as
When Mandelbaum started in April, she was hosting one party a month. Now she’s up to six. Customers ranging from 25 to 70 include cops, ministers and brides-to-be. The guys are getting some too, if you will. "One groom is having a pole installed while he’s on his honeymoon," she says.
This summer, expect to see Mandelbaum and her portable pole on the
Given the town’s interesting past, some Lewes residents may have been surprised—maybe even alarmed—to see a pirate ship cruising the
No, it isn’t the ghost of Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Pirate Blueskin or Johnny Depp.
It’s only Barry Askew at the helm of the Sea Gypsy V.
Since its maiden voyage in early May, the Sea Gypsy V, through Pirates Expeditions of Lewes, has been making up to six trips a day on the canal.
"I love the sea and I love having fun," Askew says.
Aspiring pirates (that’s you)—tutored in pirate jargon, dressed in appropriate garb and initiated with the "pirate pledge"—are greeted at the Anglers Marina dock. They then set sail for Beach Plum Island, following a treasure map. When evil Pirate Pete pursues, the crew and mates fire water cannons to defend the treasure.
The Sea Gypsy V is one of six in the
Askew, a Realtor on land, was drawn to this new business by the fun of it. The ship is "the talk of the harbor," he says. "My wife thinks I’m nuts, but most of my friends think it’s a great idea."
Seafaring adventurers can book their voyage by calling 249-3538. Reservations are required.
The secret to winning a national art contest is as clear as duck soup for
The award was a long time coming.
"It becomes your Super Bowl," he says. "It’s like if you were on a football team and you win all of your games and make it to the playoffs, but don’t make it to the Super Bowl. That’s good, but it’s not what you’re going for."
Art has been a part of
Those who want to help
A Can-Do Proposition
When Jacob Vassalotti turned six, he nixed birthday presents. He asked his friends to donate to the Can-Do Playground instead. Jacob raised $400.
It was a great start, but it took another $463,900 to build Can-Do Playground, the first in
The 26,000 square-foot playground supports three major groupings: development and decision-making, physical development and social interaction. Play apparatus challenges physically. A garden offers mazes, games and other brain teasers. Raised sandboxes are wheelchair accessible. Autistic children can play alone in specified areas. Balancing tools such as pods and stepping-stones help children with Down syndrome.
Thank the six Rotary clubs of greater
The Rotarians contributed $135,000. Accountants and lawyers volunteered their services. When state officials got on board, the effort kicked into high gear.
The park’s proximity to
Brandywine Rotary member Tom Talley says the importance of the project hit home for him when a wheelchair-bound dad expressed his gratitude.
"He said, 'This is the first time I can go to a playground and play with my child,’" Talley says. "I lost it."
20 Questions Plus—for Grown-Ups
The game Knowbody Knows is not meant to be played before a fire with the family on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It’s more of a get-drunk-and-act-silly-in-front-of-your-friends-on-a-Saturday-night kind of game.
"If you’ve ever played Pictionary after a few drinks, you know what I’m talking about," says Susan McNeill, CEO of McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds, the Wilmington-based company that invented and distributes the game.
The idea behind Knowbody Knows is to get to know people better, preferably in a party setting. But unlike most games, Knowbody Knows is based on the idea that there are no right answers, only good, if not wild, guesses.
Cards direct players to guess how many hours a month other players spend "on the can" or to rate one’s flirtatiousness on a scale of 1 to 1,000. The goal is to be the player who gives answers that are nearest the truth.
Knowbody Knows received the Major Fun Party Game Award and was named one of Major Fun’s Five Most Fun Party Games for 2006. "You really can’t answer the questions without laughing," McNeill says. "It’s a great game for a party, especially for younger crowds. It’s just something different to do."