Upticking economy and pre-dawn observations

January 12, 2012
Fernando Quajardo of the Clothes2You cleaning business in Midway Shopping Center. BY DENNIS FORNEY

12 January 2012 • Waning gibbous moon

Fernando Guajardo owns the Clothes2You dry cleaning business in Midway Shopping Center.  He waxed optimistic when I stopped in Wednesday afternoon to pick up a couple of wool vests and a wool sportcoat.  "The economy is definitely improving," said Fernando. "For the first time since 2009 when things really crashed I can see improvement.  I can see it in the number of shirts and jackets coming in the door."

He said the dry-cleaning industry is reporting the same improvement across the country.  "I know one thing this downturn has taught me," said Fernando.  "I appreciate every customer that comes through our door and I try to greet each one whenever I'm here."

The world continues to recalibrate and adjust, trying to find balance. The value of things is more in line with reality now than has been the case for 20 years.  Jobs are coming back to the U.S. from overseas, we're producing more and more of our own oil and natural gas, and wages and benefits are moderating.  The great push and pull goes on.

In downtown Lewes Wednesday night, Touch of Italy sponsored one of Lewes Chamber of Commerce's mixers.  With free food and drink, including fresh pizzas, cured meats and cheeses and a variety of colorful olives, the joint was packed.

More economic optimism at that event.  Karen Zakarian said the Boardwalk Plaza in Rehoboth is close to being booked solid for the next four weekends.  Jesse  Burns at the Inn at Canal Square said their occupancy rates are ticking up and Gavin Braithwaite of Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet said 2011 was a good year and he expects 2012 to be even better.

Thursday morning, 5:50 a.m., downtown was quiet. Driven by warm southwest winds, clouds flew overhead, eventually revealing the waning gibbous moon spreading silvery blue moonshine over the marshes of Lewes Beach.

In the pre-dawn shadows, a homeless woman made her way over the drawbridge.  As agile and quiet as a doe in the woods, she slipped away from the streetlights along the sidewalk and into the shadows beneath the young sycamore trees where Matt Carter rents kayaks and paddle boards in the summer. From there, she made her way along the front of the Beacon Motel to Wooding's Beach Deli where she gets her morning coffee.

I said hello to Tina a couple of weeks back in the early morning, this time after sunrise.  She sat stoically, with her simple smile, on the bench under the pavilion in the Mary Vessels Park on Market Street.  She said she was doing fine.  I wondered to myself where she sleeps. I know if it gets too cold outside for her she can go into the ladies room close by - but only if she can stand the heat.  Saunas are no hotter than those restrooms.

So, those are some of the happenings in the village. Say hi to Tina if you see her.