Keeping an eye on our roots

One of the exciting things about coming to this area every year for vacation is seeing all the new things that have popped up over the year. Each summer seems to bring new restaurants, retail shops, houses and, sometimes, new weekly newspapers that just wow you with brilliance.

It happens to those of us who live here year-round, too. We see the new businesses open in the spring and hurry to get in before the crowds come for the season, and we drive through new developments as they’re being constructed. It’s a kind of re-birth we get to see first-hand every year.

But as the old businesses get replaced by the new, and the population turns over with newcomers, we tend to lose track of the importance of the past — the very roots of this community that gave this place its original identity and formed the basic structure of the local landscape.

And that’s truly a shame.

However, there has been a push by several area groups to preserve the history of the area. Take a walk through Bethany Beach Town Hall’s lobby and get a taste of that town’s rich history, or talk to members of the Ocean View Historical Society, who have been very active in not only celebrating Ocean View’s heritage, but that of the entire community.

Next Wednesday, June 3, the Ocean View Historical Society will be holding the second part of their “Trip Down Memory Lane” series at the Millville Town Hall, at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will be Norman Justice, a resident of Cedar Neck, who will talk about life as a young boy growing up in the area during the early 1920s and into the Great Depression.

Justice will discuss not only the hardships of living in a remote rural area during that trying time, but also how much community and family mattered to people. This is a great opportunity to hear firsthand about the genesis of this area, and see the massive growth from the eyes of someone who saw it happen.

Admission is free to the event.