Born in Brooklyn, New York, Linda left home at 18 to join the Air Force. After four years there, she realized she wasn’t cut out to take orders the rest of her life, and moved to Ohio. As she puts it, “Of course, there was a woman involved.” Linda went to college in Ohio and then medical school.
Linda has “an amazing family” who all live on the east coast, so in 1985 she moved to Maryland to be closer to them, “Well, there was also a woman involved.” Trained as an emergency physician, she worked at several hospitals in Maryland, and, after considering a career in law, she decided to stay in medicine and became a department chair at the University of Maryland. There she saw the problems of the uninsured and the obstacles the insurance companies placed on people who had insurance, and it motivated her to become involved and politically active. She was elected president of the state chapter of a professional society and was able to help get legislation passed that improved patient access to care and forced insurance companies to pay for emergency services.
In 2001, Linda bought a condo in Rehoboth, and, five years later, she decided to change her life and “stepped off the cliff.” She sold her Maryland home, gave away most of her possessions, and moved to RB full time. She then did some consulting work and worked with Delaware Hospice but decided to retire three years ago.
An avid, or as she calls it, “mediocre” tennis player, Linda started playing golf last year, loves to play cards, and has always loved opera. She has three brothers, three sisters, and says her sisters are her best friends. Linda became a great aunt for the first time this year and has two cats, Max and Rocky, both 19 and “going strong.”
When/why did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I became really involved three years ago when I joined the CAMP Rehoboth chorus. I had just retired and was looking for ways to be more involved in the community. It was a great decision! Since joining the chorus, I’ve met an amazing new circle of friends who share my interests and values. They’ve become what I call friends of my heart, and in a way, I have CAMP to thank for that. This year I also started with the Rainbow Thumb Club, caring for the plants in the courtyard. Most recently, under the leadership of Janet Redman, we’re getting ready to kick-off CAMP-Mautner Cares, an effort to help members of the LGBT community who have had an acute injury or illness that requires them to need short term help with meals, driving, medical appointments, etc.
What’s been your best memory volunteering here?
I think it was the first time I performed with the chorus, I felt so much a part of the community and so connected to the wonderful friends I’ve made.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
A place of gathering, to get support if needed. A place to make new friends and celebrate community.
What events/activities have you been involved with at CAMP?
I’ve tried to take advantage of the many events and programs at CAMP. The wonderful shows that Fay Jacobs has sponsored, the dances, Starburst Gayla, Women’s FEST, the wonderful art shows, etc.
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
Living, Hillary Clinton (assuming she’d be honest). I would love to know how she thinks, what she plans to do. Dead, Jesus of Nazareth, no matter what your religious beliefs, he changed the world. I’d love to know if he really meant to do that.
How would you encourage someone to get involved with CAMP Rehoboth?
I think many people don’t know where to begin, or how much they have to contribute. I’d say just come in and meet the staff and volunteers at the desk. Mickie always has a smile for everyone and is very easy to talk to.
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
Sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself.
Other than CAMP Rehoboth, of course, what else do you like to do in your spare time?
My other volunteer activity is at the Rehoboth Elementary School. This is my fourth year there and don’t laugh at what I do…I help the computer teacher with her Wednesday kindergarten and first grade classes. It is an absolute hoot! I’m also taking two classes at the Life Long Learning Center in Lewes.
Assuming you live here full-time, what’s your favorite thing to do in the off season?
I have a great circle of friends and we keep busy in the off season. Play some indoor tennis, have movie and game nights. I love to cook, so it’s pretty common for us to have gatherings for dinner.
Where was your last vacation destination and what influenced you to go there?
My last fun trip was to Manhattan to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday.
Friends are coming over for dinner. What will you make?
That depends on who’s coming, I get requests. Could be beef short ribs or curry chicken. I’m also trying to learn some dishes for my vegan friends.
Who’s your favorite current musician or entertainer? Who’s your favorite of all-time?
I really can’t answer that. I love to dance, so Lady Gaga and Adele for that. Ella Fitzgerald for jazz/blues, Pavarotti for opera.
What is the all-time favorite book you’ve read?
Hard to say since I have such diverse interests, but what comes to mind is Anne Tyler’s A Ladder of Years because of the strength of the main character. She just walks away from her old life in order to find herself.
People often ask me, “What’s it like living in Rehoboth year round?” I love that question. How would you respond?
It’s fantastic! I’ve become one of the locals who rejoices when the crowds leave. When I first started coming down here 25 years ago, there was hardly a restaurant open. Now there’s always something fun to do.
Thank you, Linda, for the various volunteer work you’ve done here. When it comes to the Chorus, we’re not only grateful for your lovely voice but also for serving as a member of the Leadership Committee and for playing such an important role in the growth and success that program has achieved.
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.