Carmine, Paulson cultivated culture in the Cape Region

Nanticoke Indian chief, Clear Space executive director step down after years of leadership
February 3, 2023

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve noticed on the pages of the Gazette that two people have quietly left their leadership positions at organizations that play important roles in Cape Region culture.

The first is Natosha Carmine, who recently wrapped up her tenure as Nanticoke Indian Association chief at the end of 2022. Elected in 2016, she was the first woman chief in the tribe’s history.

Through the course of her time as chief, Carmine oversaw the moving of the annual Powwow from Millsboro to Hudson Fields, facilitated a donation of 30 acres of ancestral land in Millsboro, and helped secure $1.3 million in the Bond Bill to renovate and update the tribal center. All this, while also continuing to promote in a positive light Native American and Nanticoke Indian culture.

I can still remember meeting her for a Saltwater Portrait interview. She was a little nervous – I was the first member of the media to interview her as chief – but she was also thoughtful and well-reasoned. She was proud to be the first woman chief, but she didn’t want that to define her time. The results show it won’t.

The second person is Wesley Paulson, who had served as executive director for Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth Beach since 2013. His last day was Jan. 31.

I’ve known Paulson since 2018, when Clear Space first proposed a new theater on Rehoboth Avenue. He didn’t have the success Carmine did in terms of finding a new home for the theater, but he tried and was often the theater’s public face, taking the brunt of criticism during the attempt – not an easy place to be. Through the failed efforts, it became exceedingly clear that Rehoboth Beach will be losing a much-loved asset if Clear Space leaves the city at some point. It should also be noted that with all the change taking place in Rehoboth, a historically significant structure was saved because of Clear Space.

Similar to Carmine, Paulson spent a lot of time and effort on issues outside his primary interest. Also similarly, he handled those issues while promoting the theater and pushing creative arts out into the community.

Even though I’ve only known each for a few years, I’m not surprised Carmine and Paulson decided to step away with little fanfare. They would both probably do it if I asked, but neither are the type who would want to be the subject of an interview about themselves and their time. Instead, they would rather talk about the future of their former organizations and how the new leadership will do a great job. In the end, Carmine and Paulson oversaw great strides in both organizations, and those organizations – to the benefit of everyone around here – will be seeing the results of their work for years to come.

We made it one year, and the ax is still unused

Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 4, marks the one-year anniversary of my first Choppin’ Wood column. This space provides some insight into what I’m seeing when I’m out and about, and except for the column about how I think the memorial stones at the base of street trees in Rehoboth Beach should be removed, it’s been mostly well-received. It’s tough to know if the things I think are interesting are also going to be considered interesting to others. They seem to be. I appreciate that.

For the record, I still think the stones should be removed. Also, if any one cares, I still haven’t used the overpriced, but very high-quality, ax that inspired the name of this column. 

Joke of the week:

This weekend – Sunday, Feb. 5 – is the annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge in Rehoboth Beach. I’ve never participated in the event, but I’ve photographed it for the paper a few times over the years. It’s a fun event that brings out a bunch of people who are in a good mood and are raising money for a good cause – Special Olympics Delaware. Anyway, that’s my plug for the event and here’s a polar bear joke. As always, send jokes to

Q: What did the polar bear eat after the dentist fixed its tooth?

A: The dentist.


  • Chris Flood has lived in or visited family in Delaware his whole life. He grew up in Maine, but a block of scrapple was always in the freezer of his parents’ house during his childhood. Contact him at

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