Katz to Carter: A transition of note and solemnity

August 22, 2021

We read of the untimely passing of Nancy Katz, the woman whose words occupied this column for so many years and entertained us all. Nancy was a creative writer with credentials to prove it. Each and every one of her columns was a pure delight about subjects to which we could relate. We shall surely miss this gifted writer who gave us such great pleasure and joy.

I trust there are certain columns we recall with interest and excitement, and others with reflection and introspection. What a body of work Nancy has left us, perhaps worthy of an anthology of its own. In the meantime, may I offer the Cape Gazette readers of Around Town a new perspective on this column, written by perhaps a less-seasoned “local” citizen of the Cape Region.

Allow me to introduce myself to those of you who may not have read my prose over the years. As my current book, “A Black First: The Blackness Continues” shares, I moved to the Cape Region in spring 2005, and have been a very happy resident  ever since, sharing ideas with all of you from time to time in the commentary section. Hopefully, despite the sad circumstances surrounding my possible ascension, the time may have come for me to move up the journalistic ladder to the Katz level. My hope is that you will come to appreciate the column as you have Nancy’s. All I can promise is that I shall do my very best to keep you coming back for more.

It is ironic that many years ago when I was in my early 20s, I hosted a radio show on WFUV-FM titled “Around the Town.” It was a weekly information program based in New York City where I spoke about things to do and see in the city for any given week. Yes, I am originally a New Yorker, and the radio station belongs to Fordham University, from which I obtained my undergraduate degree. But that was then, and this is now, so let us move from the blocks of the Bronx to the roads of Rehoboth, about which I hope to write several fun and interesting stories for you.

In one of my many visits to Lewes Beach, for example, I took particular note of a grandfather or two teaching children how to fly a kite. Seems like a simple task, unless of course you have actually tried to fly a kite. I have – tried, that is – back in the 1950s, but rarely successfully, probably because I did not have a grandfather to do the tutoring. I watched the grandpas involved in this non-Zoom schooling, and they were excellent. There were several types of kites, all three of which gained liftoff and remained in flight for the most part. The grandchildren were extremely interesting to observe as they took control of the strings and thus the actual kites. Once the kites were airborne, the children lost interest. In their minds, the goal had been accomplished; why hang around any longer? One child actually returned the string to grandpa, and the other just let the kite fall to the sand. He’d had enough and did not see the point of going any further.

I have given that particular episode of beach life some thought, and pondered that once a person has achieved an initial goal or part of the goal, he or she is content and tends not to go too much further. The grandfathers had brought a few other kites with them worthy of launch, but they were never to see the Lewes skies that day. I guess we are all a bit like those grandchildren. Enough is good enough. There is no need to really push the envelope, although I find pushing the envelope to be fun and satisfying. Where do you weigh in on that?

During the next weeks and months, I hope to be able fly several kites with you, some of which shall remain airborne, others crash to the ground for a permanent demise, and so many dive and rise again. There will be much more than kites and beaches to write and read about, and perhaps every once in a while, we may disagree, but never become disagreeable.

I look forward, then, to your welcoming me to Nancy’s spot in the Gazette, and many minutes each week of journalistic joy and excitement. I shall try my best not to disappoint, and keep your spirits bright as we traverse the landscape which is the Cape Region.

  • 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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