Joan Glass: From the Classroom to the Beach
After a 30 year career in the Philadelphia classroom as a biology teacher, Joan retired to the beach in 1997. Prior to teaching, Joan attended Penn State and Temple Universities. She has a daughter and son-n-law who still reside in Philadelphia, along with Joan’s two “grand-cats.”
Joan owned a mobile home in Camelot from 1988 to 1996 and sold it to purchase a home. In 2011, her home was destroyed by fire but now stands beautifully rebuilt. After the fire, Joan says she took a break from her hobbies, and the social scene, to “concentrate on getting my life and home back in order. I have turned the corner, so to speak, and now I’m back with full gusto.”
When/why did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
A long time ago, most likely starting in 1991. CAMP was still in the small office in the back of the courtyard, and I started collecting items for Sundance. I remember the office was so filled with stuff we had to climb over boxes. Back in those days when we were limber enough to climb and jump.
What’s been your best memory volunteering here?
Working with Steve and Murray are some of my fondest memories. One year I was working in the small office and all of our desks were literally on top of each other and every time I answered the phone incorrectly, Steve would pop his head up to correct me. I’d just laugh and feel his intensity for getting the job done correctly.
What’s been your most exciting memory volunteering here?
The days building up before Sundance when the thrill of excitement and anticipation are in the air. The Convention Center is alive with beehive fervor and Murray is the queen bee…buzzing around with directions and colorful ideas.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
A place to belong, a place to energize your spirits, a place for healing, and a renascent place for continued vigor.
What events/activities have you been involved with at CAMP?
I started with Sundance and I still help Natalie (Moss). She says I’m her number one helper…that makes me feel special. I was also on the ground floor of development for the Community Center, going to meetings at Epworth Church on Saturdays, imagining the dream that now exists. I was one of the founding members for the formation of the Women’s Project of CAMP Rehoboth, as it was called then, and the Starburst Gala group. I’m now working in the CAMP office on Thursdays, trying to redeem myself in Steve’s eyes. LOL.
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
This is difficult…I would have a bunch of comedians gather to see who would make me laugh the most. I probably would gasp and choke (asthmatic…get the inhaler) and possibly pee my pants.
“Wouldn’t you like to be a CAMPer too?” How would you encourage someone to get involved with us?
I’d just speak of all the accomplishments that have been garnered by CAMP and then make them write a 300 word composition on what they remembered. Seriously though, when we reflect on all that has transpired and come to fruition, all the multitudes of people who have been helped, all the time and energy invested into CAMP, it’s an honor to be part of the CAMP movement and encourage others to join and make their own mark as well.
Tell us something that very few people know about you.
I have a fantasy that I’m wearing this fabulous beaded gown and have a piano concert and invite all my friends. Where can I get the dress?
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
Rehoboth means renaissance. The seeds for growth and change were planted here for me as well as the surrounding agrarian community. The seeds germinated in these past decades for me especially by retiring here and developing into the second phase of my life, as well as CAMP’s growth and its tendril-like impact on this section of earth.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the off season?
Park anywhere I want to, eat cheaply, and enjoy the quietude of the quintessential beach town. I remember when you could roll a bowling ball down Rehoboth Avenue in winter and not hit a soul. The only restaurant was Grotto’s.
Where was your last vacation destination and what influenced you to go there?
I went to North Fort Myers, Florida. Not very exciting I know, but I bought an aluminum condo for escaping the cold winters. (Hah!)
Friends are coming over for dinner. What will you make?
Rotisserie Chicken from Giant…not a good cook! I like pot-lucks where guests bring their specialties.
What’s your favorite TV show currently? Of all-time?
Currently, I’m enamored with Breaking Bad, after all I was a teacher and perhaps I could have morphed into a crystal-meth queen…not! Mad Men…because I grew up in that era and see on screen the values and expectations that were placed on women. That was me and it’s difficult to watch now, the negative forces that molded my life, and of course, Modern Family…so funny and poignant.
What is the last book you’ve read? Your all-time favorite?
The last books were the Dragon Tattoo series. Through a series of life changes and tragedies, I find it difficult to read like I used to. I like magazines…Popular Mechanics (yep!) HGTV, Real, and of course, Letters from CAMP Rehoboth.
People often ask me, “What’s it like living in Rehoboth year round?” I love that question. How would you respond?
Wonderful, however, I’ve lost that ”big city guarded edge.” I’m a country-girl now! I enjoy listening to the birds chirp instead of horns honking. I like walking my dog at night without looking over my shoulder. It’s a more peaceful existence.
Would you rather go to the movies or watch one at home?
Lately, I prefer television shows because I feel they afford a chance for extended character and plot development. I have been disappointed in the quality of recent movies. Good ones are getting fewer and the popcorn is so high in fat and calories.
What was your last text, post or tweet? And to whom, if applicable?
I will go on record as a Facebook failure. Trying to keep up with this electronic communication leaves me sweating with anxiety. Even typing this interview in Microsoft Word has my heart racing and pinky finger numb from hitting the backspace button…glad I remembered to save what I wrote or else I would be screaming expletives!
You did a great job with the interview, Joan, just as you have with so many other things over the years here at CAMP Rehoboth. We owe you a debt of gratitude for all you’ve done to support this organization. Our sincere thanks!
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.