May 19, 2011 | by Peter Rosenstein
Another Rehoboth summer: fun, sun and traffic

Memorial Day is fast approaching and that means the official start of summer. It also means that if you haven’t been on a diet for the past few months it’s too late to start now. It means figuring out how to get out of work early on Friday to miss the traffic and then how long to stay at Aqua on Sunday before you have to put off going home until Monday.

A great way to avoid driving is to take the bus. Go online at www.DC2NY.com to find a new and even better schedule to Rehoboth Beach, Del. More buses to and from Dupont and you can even return on Monday morning.

As usual, the “boys of summer” (you know who you are) will be heading to the beach Memorial Day weekend to show off those hard earned sculpted bodies. I suggest the first place to stop this year is the new Universal Gear store on Baltimore Avenue. They have the best selection of swimwear, beach and bar attire at the beach, perfect for your first appearance of the season on the Aqua deck. Once again, Joe Maggio and Bill Shields have provided for our viewing pleasure the cutest bartenders and waiters. Some may be straight but that doesn’t stop anyone from gawking or some wishful thinking. Bar manager Shawn, Nickola, Brad, Chase and Mikie are back and there are some hot new guys — Chase, Josh and Uris — for you to ogle while sipping your cocktail or trying out the great menu. For special events check out www.aquagrillrehoboth.com.

Then stroll down Rehoboth Avenue past the Philip Morton and Ward Ellinger Galleries to the Blue Moon, the grand old lady of Rehoboth gay bars. The Moon is celebrating its 30th year and the bar is still as great as ever with Jesse, James, Chandler and Matt among those serving behind the two bars. If you try only one fancier restaurant while at the beach the Blue Moon is still the place to go with a fantastic new menu by Chef Lion Gardner. If you’re lucky, then co-owner Meghan Gardner will be at the front desk welcoming you to your great dining experience.

These are exciting times for the LGBT community in Rehoboth Beach and the state of Delaware. Two weeks ago, Gov. Jack Markell, who I am honored to know and support, signed into law a civil unions bill, which as of Jan. 1, 2012 will give all the rights of marriage in Delaware to same-sex couples. This along with the two other pro-LGBT bills passed in the last couple of years with the help of Rehoboth’s own great State Sen. Pete Schwartzkopf, is a huge step forward for our community. It means that more and more gay and lesbian couples living and retiring in Rehoboth will have more security.

Over the 28 years since I first visited Rehoboth there have been many changes but in many ways it is still the small beach town I first got to know and love. The gay and lesbian presence in the town keeps growing and there is now a large year-round community supporting each other. Many like Tony Burns, Marvin Miller and Dan Kyle remember that integrating the LGBT community into Rehoboth wasn’t always easy. But with CAMP and its founders Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald and so many others, it has become the place where my sister and sister in-law love retired life even while escaping to Florida for the winter as many Rehoboth denizens do.

As always on Memorial Day I will raise my glass in a toast to those friends no longer with us but who helped to make life in Rehoboth what it is today.

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