|by Beth Fitton
|I Saw It on Baltimore Avenue
Are you familiar with the children's picture book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss? It tells of the people and traffic on that particular street as seen and imagined by a child.
My office at CAMP Rehoboth is on what was the original porch of this fine beach house. I have lots of windows through which to observe our own Baltimore Avenue. My fantasy is to write a book, for adults, called, And to Think That I Saw It on Baltimore Avenue. Perhaps I could lay it out seasonally. Spring would include the bizarre outfits worn by all the people believing that if they are at the beach, they should dress for the beach, whether it is 50 degrees or not. Summer could include "outfits by out-of-towners." (Kathy's Rule Book suggests that people should have to wear any outfit they wear on Baltimore Avenue on Main Street in their home town first.) Summer would also feature a section on special transportation modes for dogs. Whether in bicycle baskets, doggy strollers, or top-down convertibles, the visuals would be a hoot. Early fall would bring the Lambda Car Club, often with a drag queen perched on the back of the car. Also, Beauty and the Beach Getaway, the annual cross-dressers escape to the beach in late October. Winter would have a focus on cold weather attire, holiday decorating, and shopping.
The underlying theme of the book, and I dare say the behavior I have observed, is that you can be a child at the beach. You can have fun and not be harshly judged. There is a playfulness about people at any beach. In Rehoboth Beach, not only can you be playful but, you can be your "gay old self."
For those of us who live here full-time or count this as home, we can forget that the freedom of Rehoboth Beach life is not the norm for so many people. For me, that knowledge comes with responsibility. I accept that while I am relatively safe to speak out for human rights, I need to be sure I use my voice to speak for others who do not feel safe to do so. Also, it means that I have to work hard to assure that CAMP Rehoboth remains a viable force in the city of Rehoboth Beach. My job is based on continuing to secure the funds to keep CAMP Rehoboth a strong voice for our community.Unless I am the Powerball winner sometime soon, I cannot guarantee CAMP Rehoboth's future by myself. I really do need help from all of our community members. Information on the GEM Club and the Wish List appears on pages 8 and 9. If this is more money than you can commit to at this time, choose an amount that you can give. Like so much of life, you only get out of something what you put in. I can guarantee that when you are attending an event, support group, commitment ceremony or program in the new multi-purpose room addition, it will feel good to know that you were responsible for making the vision come to life.
Beth Fitton is Development Director of CAMP Rehoboth. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 302-227-5620.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 08 June 27, 2008