|by Mark Aguirre|
|A Chat with Michael Boyd
Michael Boyd and I met as many of us do through the Rehoboth Beach social scene of parties, fundraisers, and, of course, the beach. We now serve on the Save Our Lakes Alliance 3 (SOLA3) board of directors together where we have gotten to know each other even better. Michael has a wonderful quick wit and easy going nature that can be traced through the faint sound of an accent that says he's full of southern charm. It has been a pleasure working with him.
Mark: What first brought you to the Rehoboth Beach area?
Mike: Shortly after moving to Washington, DC, I was introduced to a group of guys who were putting together a seasonal rental on Scarborough Ave. for the summer of 1989. I joined up right away, even though I only knew one other house member at that point. I'd never really spent more than a day or two in Rehoboth before then. I was anxious to make some new friends, and I did. After that first summer, I was hooked. I have spent my weekends at Rehoboth every summer since then.
Mark: Where are you are originally from?
Mike: I moved to Washington from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I went to school and lived for 18 years. (I should point out that it didn't really take me quite that long to graduate.) My parents are both from the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina and I lived there as a little boy. I still have lots of family all along the coast from Wilmington, NC to Charleston. I guess it's no surprise that I am attracted to the ocean.
Mark: You now have a second home between Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach on Lake Comegys. How do you like living near water?
Mike: I love living on the edge of the lake. I never get tired of the view because it is beautiful and always changing with the weather and the seasons. We have herons and an osprey that hang out there, along with at least a dozen other birds I've seen. We have turtles and muskrats and lots of fish in the lake. It is my little piece of paradise.
Mark: You're on the Board of Directors of Save Our Lakes Alliance 3 (SOLA3). Can you tell us more about the organization?
Mike: SOLA3 was founded last year by another Lake Comegys resident, Sallie Forman, in response to growing community concerns about ensuring the long-term health and recreational quality of our three fresh water lakes. Long-time residents and vacationers alike will agree that Silver Lake, Lake Gerar, and Lake Comegys are integral to the character and aesthetic appeal of the Rehoboth Beach area. The lakes have gotten along fine for a long time without too much intervention, but that doesn't mean that they always will. If SOLA3 is to be successful in contributing to the long term health and protection of our lakes, we will need the help and support of those who call this area home, including those of us who call it our home away from home. Working together, we can find constructive solutions to things like the overabundance of geese on the lakes, the algae blooms that can come in late summer, the runoff from new construction, and other threats.
Mark: Can you tell us more about what SOLA3 is working on?
Mike: We have been very active in our first year, but a lot of our energy has gone into forming the organization, soliciting supporters, applying for a tax-exempt status and things like that. We have also been meeting with local and State officials to get a better understanding of who is responsible for what in terms of jurisdictional authorities, lake ownership, lake maintenance, and so forth. We are already planning lake-related projects for this spring and summer, and I encourage those who are interested in volunteering or supporting SOLA3 to get in touch with us at our email address: Saveourlakes3@aol.com
Mark: Has your volunteer work shown you a side of Rehoboth Beach you may not have experienced otherwise?
Mike: It really has. Until my involvement with SOLA3, I was pretty much locked into one set of experiences and expectations. I would come here for sun, relaxation, and socializing with friends. And those are all good things. What I was missing was the incredible depth of other experiences that Rehoboth has to offer. Just in the last year, I have started reading about the history of the Delaware coast. I even discovered that my great grandfather was a POW at Fort Delaware during the Civil War. (I suspect that my experiences here are considerably more pleasant than his.) I am becoming a self-taught bird watcher and this year I rode a bike out to Gordon's Pond twice to watch the fall migration. In addition, I'm enjoying meeting new friends and acquaintances in the community that I would have never met otherwise.
Mark: Do you have a little known Rehoboth Beach pleasure?
Mike: I love going to the Back Porch for lunch on Saturdays. I know it's not a very provocative answer, but anyone who knows me knows I love good food!
Mark: You have been coming to Rehoboth Beach for a long time. If there were one thing about Rehoboth Beach you could preserve forever what would that be?
Mike: We all want to hold on to those things that first attracted us to Rehoboth Beach. If I could have put a bell jar over the town and kept it just the way it was when I came here in 1989, that's what I'd want. And I'd be willing to bet that lots of people would say the same thing, just filling in a different year to match their own nostalgia. If you want a down-to-earth answer though, I guess I'd have to say to preserve the lakes (obviously), the Boardwalk, and the tree-lined streets. Oh, and one more thing, bring back the Renegade!
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 1 February 11, 2005