‘Concert for Carolyn’ to honor Hughes with music of an era

Music of the 1930s and ’40s will fill the air on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. as the Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee pays tribute to Carolyn Hughes, a former member of the group and longtime Bethany Beach resident, with a Concert for Carolyn at Bethany Beach Town Hall.

“This is probably the most appropriate way to remember her,” said her son-in-law, Don Sharp. “When she was growing up, there was a lot of great music. She loved that music, and that’s what we’re going to play.”

The 90-minute concert, hosted by CHAC and organized by Sharp, will feature a seven-piece band playing a mix of ballads and dance music. All are welcome to attend.

Hughes first came to Bethany Beach in 1939, when she married Marcellus, a young man with Bethany roots dating back to 1917. His family owned Journey’s End, which served as a guesthouse and later a barracks for the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II.

Since Marcellus was in the Army and on the move, the couple did not reside in Bethany full-time until 1995. Prior to that, Hughes was a social columnist for the Washington Post and spent her summers in the town, helping her husband run Journey’s End, which reverted back to a guesthouse after the war.

“Carolyn attended her share of parties,” Sharp said. “And if she didn’t attend, she knew what was going on and who was there.”

When Hughes became a permanent resident, she continued to write and became involved with the Bethany Beach Landowners’ Association and the Bethany Beach Historical Society, the forerunner to CHAC.

Her daughter, Marcy, and Sharp have operated Journey’s End since the 1990s. Though it is their private home, they rent rooms in the summer, so its original purpose of a guesthouse remains intact.

Sharp said he was looking forward to the event and the opportunity to honor his mother-in-law and friend.

“Carolyn was an unforgettable person,” he said. “When you live to be 97, you have all kinds of friends, some of whom go back 30 and 40 years or more.”

The Feb. 13 event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (302) 539-8011, ext. 23.