‘Sounds of the Past’ to come alive

A trip down memory lane for some people is also a historical record for others. And Sound United Methodist Church has invited locals to tell their stories at Sounds of the Past II, a Living History event, on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m.

“It’s all about remembering Sussex County … years ago,” said organizer Beverly Mattox.

After an immensely successful June history night, Sound UMC plans for even bigger autumn and spring events.

“Everybody had such a joyous time we decided we would encompass the rest of the group that didn’t get to speak,” said Mattox.

At the June event native Delawareans shared stories of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s — sometimes in costume. For instance, Jeannette Grise dressed in dungarees and demonstrated how she and her sisters made and sold holly wreaths. A mother and daughter sang an old song.

“It was just the kind of spirit that was throughout the congregation. It was a grand time,” Mattox said. “Some of the stories that were told, they were just so special.”

Time keeps flowing as the 10 speakers each have five minutes to tell a story — or longer if the audience is truly enthralled, which Mattox certainly saw at the last event. Recordings of these tales will be preserved for the future.

Speakers this month will include enthusiastic Delaware historian Russ McCabe, Ocean View Mayor Gordon Wood and other local figures.

Afterward, people can visit the archival room, featuring old aerial maps, many old photographs and books by local authors. Sound UMC is also searching for old wedding photos from the church’s own 350-plus-year history.

Light refreshments will include Achsah Brasure’s “200-year-old punch recipe that is a guarded secret,” said Mattox.

Sounds of the Past is free and open to the public. A collection will benefit Sound UMC’s Especially for You outreach mission, which services six local shelters, such as Home of the Brave. The Jefferson Award-winning charity provides exactly what shelters request and need, from teddy bears and groceries to nail polish and Old Spice toiletries.

“We see the joy that comes to them when they get a new bar of soap, a new shower cap … a new blanket, and it’s very rewarding … to see them holding the boxes filled with the items that are requested,” Mattox said.

Sound United Methodist Church is located on Route 54, just west of the Route 20 intersection.