An end, a beginning, but perhaps more of a middle

January 23, 2022

In a very recent issue of this newspaper, we were informed that its founders, Dennis Forney and Trish Vernon, had sold the publication to a most worthy successor and team member, Chris Rausch. As both an employee and friend of the Cape Gazette, I could not allow such an event to pass unheralded. Even though I arrived in Delaware long after the launch of the paper, there is irony in the fact that the Gazette’s midweek ink began in June 2004, the very month and year I decided to retire from full-time public school administration, which resulted in my subsequent relocation to southern Delaware from northern New Jersey. As I became acclimated to my new environment, I also became a subscriber to the local paper, as well as a visitor to the local bookstore. Some of you readers may recall my words about the owners of Browseabout when they transferred ownership to a most deserving staff member and manager. There appear to be similarities with the changing of hands for the Cape Gazette too.

My knowledge of the principals of my newspaper does not at all equal my relationship with the Cranes and Kehoes, but I believe some meaningful words can be stated for the two people who started this newspaper and, as one of their final gestures, hired me, an African-American male from elsewhere, as a columnist replacing the late Nancy Katz. Dennis and Trish indeed took a chance on me, although I had written several commentary pieces prior to their taking me on as a staff member. Let’s face it, this part of the world is not filled with minority contributors in too many (if any) aspects of daily life. I shall be forever grateful for this opportunity. My two former bosses were trailblazers from the get-go just in terms of their starting a newspaper in this neck of the woods – southern Sussex County, Delaware. All of us both past and present, and certainly future, are the recipients of this special gift which the founders intended to be “the finest newspaper possible to serve the community dubbed Delaware’s Cape Region.”

Mr. Forney made the decision that enough natives of the region and/or its visitors are readers and deserve to be given reading material in newsprint. I am a relative newcomer to the area, only 18 years, but absolutely appreciate what Dennis and Trish and Chris have given us in this publication. The Cape Gazette, as we all realize, has something for everybody who calls the area home, whether full time or just vacationing. Even though truly little has been left unexplored, there is certainly room for more new trails to be blazed. As it were, as the paper now moves forward under new ownership and leadership, perhaps we are at a crossroads and I, for one, am immensely proud to have been a more recent hire.

We have no idea what the future holds for the Gazette or the region, but we do know that we are in a continually changing environment. Growth may not be a friendly visitor to some of us, but reality indicates that those who shall be an integral part of the future are now a young, integral part the present. Twenty-eight years is a relatively short span of time in the life of any enterprise, hence my labeling the present time frame as both an end and at least a middle, rather than merely a new beginning. Implicit in the word middle is the concept of continuation. As we bid a fond farewell to Dennis and Trish and 2021, and welcome Chris as our new owner, we also look forward to new and exciting features and articles and events in 2022 and beyond.

A sincere word and sentiment of thanks is again extended to the founders of the Cape Gazette for their insight and courage in bringing an inspired printed word to the people of the region. They brought together a talented group of reporters and columnists to give their readers an exciting series of news articles and personal comments. We wish our former owners only the best in personal health and general wealth as they grow in whatever or however ways the future may enfold.

  • Peter E. Carter is a former public school administrator who has served communities in three states as a principal, and district and county superintendent, for 35-plus years. He is a board member for Delaware Botanic Gardens and Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, and the author of a dual autobiography, “A Black First…the Blackness Continues.”

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