Nancy remembers visiting the Lewes/Rehoboth area for “what seems like forever,” having vacationed here with friends while in high school and later with family for many years.
She has been married to her husband Joe for 31 years, which is “probably something of a record because it’s a second marriage for both of us. We like to say that marriages are like waffles—sometimes you have to throw the first one out.”
About two years ago, the couple bought a condo in Lewes as a first step toward living here full time. They currently split their time between here and Chadds Ford, PA but hope to make the permanent move by next year. They have a son, Matt, and a “feline lady of leisure,” Eclaire.
Both Nancy and Joe are active volunteers for multiple political, social, and cultural organizations, and have provided marketing services to many organizations, including CAMP Rehoboth. Nancy has an MBA and decades of marketing experience, so helping organizations become more visible, raise funds, and attract volunteers comes easily to her.
Nancy started writing when her son was born, as it was “something I could do on my own schedule.” After publishing 17 books through commercial publishers she started her own imprint, called Cat & Mouse Press, to publish books of local interest. She is about to release You Know You’re in Rehoboth When. A humorous picture book for adults, it’s “sort of a follow up to A Rehoboth ABC, which I published earlier this year. I also created the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Competition and will publish an anthology of the top entries later this year.”
When/why did you start volunteering at CAMP and what events/activities have you been involved with since?
I volunteered for the “Volunteers on Vacation” program. I thought that program was a terrific idea, in fact I even mentioned it in a book I wrote about managing volunteers. I’m also on the Sponsorship Committee and have helped Murray with some publicity and marketing, especially for Sundance.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
Well, it’s always a fun crowd. Unfortunately, most of the work I’ve done has—by necessity—been from home, but I always enjoy my interactions with CAMP as it’s such a great group of friendly, welcoming people.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
From the moment I heard about it, I connected with the idea of “creating a more positive environment.” It fits so well with Rehoboth’s original meaning of “room for all.” I’ve always been a very strong supporter of LGBT rights and have long contributed to organizations like the Human Rights Campaign that advocate for equality. CAMP takes that down to the street level and works within the community to break down the barriers of ignorance and misunderstanding.
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
The vibrant fabric of life here. It’s such a lively place, from the arts to the restaurants, to the colorful people.
Assuming you live or visit here year round, what’s your favorite thing to do in the off season?
The cynical answer would be take advantage of discounts at restaurants; a more thoughtful answer is visit the beach. I hate crowds, so being able to walk on the beach without having to navigate around flabby bodies roasting in the sun has a lot of appeal.
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
I think it would be fascinating (but probably exhausting) to spend a day with Hillary Clinton, but for sheer enjoyment, I think I’d choose Stephen Colbert. For someone on the local scene, I’d go with Christopher Peterson because it would be like spending the day with a crowd of celebrities.
Fast forward or rewind? If you could go ahead in time or back, which would you pick and why?
Definitely back. I have always been interested in history, and in fact wrote a whole series of books for young people called “Passport to History” that were written like travel guides and described the sites and activities (what to wear, what you’d eat, etc.) if you were to go to Ancient Egypt or Colonial America, for example. Time travel has always fascinated me.
Lost! If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want with you (other than food and water)?
I think if I had my iPad (loaded with books and music) and a way to recharge it I would be perfectly happy.
Early bird or night owl? Why?
Early bird. Way too early. I just wake up early, get a lot of work done, and then start to crash right after dinner. I’ve been a party pooper my whole life. That said, I always like to work in the morning—before the phone starts ringing and emails start flying. As a writer, I find undisturbed blocks of time are a very valuable (and rare) commodity.
You’ve won the lottery. What’s the first thing you’d do with your winnings?
This sounds sanctimonious, but when I think about having a lot of money (and it is a thought, not a reality) I think about how much fun it would be to make strategic donations. My fantasies involve dropping big checks on small organizations that can really use them and fixing problems for families who are struggling.
I’m really sounding like an old fussbudget, but I find spelling and grammatical errors on signs and in published materials extremely annoying. Going beyond pet peeves to serious aggravation, I find ignorance, bigotry, and stepping on the rights of others extremely upsetting. I feel particularly strongly about both gay rights and the separation of church and state.
What was your last New Year’s Resolution and how long did it last?
I don’t really do resolutions, but I do set goals for myself. This year, for example, I wanted to focus on my writing and my new publishing venture, continue the transition from Chadds Ford to Lewes, ride my bike more, and publish two books. So far, I’m doing pretty well with those, although the transition to this area is taking longer than I would like.
What was your best job ever? Worst?
OK. Brace yourself. Tray tables up. So far, I’ve painted a pretty sorry picture of a party pooping, grammar-correcting, charity-giving, goal-setting stick-in-the-mud. Here’s where I shake things up a little with a single answer. When I was in college in Baltimore, I studied film production and worked (very briefly, but it counts) on the John Waters film Female Trouble. I was on set the day Divine (Water’s famous cast member) required a stand-in to provide what was essentially a stunt penis. Keep in mind I was about 19 years old and had not had a lot of experience with even the non-stunt ones.
One favorite food? One food you’d never eat?
I am a tremendous foodie and will try nearly anything, although I’m not keen on eating fish and raw or undercooked meat. I love nearly all vegetables but hate the word “veggies.” Favorite food is impossible, but high on the list are figs, cheese, asparagus, avocado, lobster, crab, cherries, and life’s greatest cure-all, chocolate.
What are you most thankful for?
My health, my family, and my friends.
We are very grateful for your talented and beneficial contributions here at CAMP Rehoboth in a relatively short period of time, Nancy. We also look forward to seeing, and reading, what comes next.
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.