It was nice to hear that morning greeting Thursday in a phone call from Maui, Hawaii.
Adele Rugg, who has been hosting Delaware Day parties on the island for 32 years, was sharing information on the 2023 gathering, set for Thursday at Nalu’s South Shore Grill, a local restaurant in Kihei.
An early riser, she was planning a morning paddle on an outrigger canoe like she usually does. Unfortunately, she had to cancel due to “liquid sunshine” in the area.
A story on Ms. Rugg and another Delaware native, Ted King, starts on Page 1 of today’s edition. They shared what they experienced with the Maui wildfires in August, and what the aftermath has been like.
Both were raised in Seaford, but they met for the first time when Mr. King attended his first Delaware Day party on Maui.
His father, Bud King, a DuPont retiree also from Seaford, was there visiting.
“He was reading the local paper when he saw an ad that Adele had put in,” said Mr. King. “He basically dragged me there, but we had a really good time. He has since passed, but I still carried the tradition on of going to Delaware Day.”
This editor first talked with Ms. Rugg, by phone, about 15 years ago when we learned about her Delaware Day party.
Our state recognizes Delaware Day in honor of Dec. 7, 1787, when Delaware became the first state to ratify the federal Constitution.
Hawaii, as Ms. Rugg loves to point out, is the 50th state.
She enjoys the discovery of Delaware visitors and new First State transplants she encounters on Maui. She mentioned in our call that she recently learned about two young Delaware teachers now working at a local school.
“Someone from Milton was reading the Cape Gazette and saw the press release I had sent,” said Ms. Rugg. “It turns out that his daughter teaches at one of the schools here.”
Not long after, she learned about a Delaware woman in a Maui retirement home, whose son is a therapist at the same school.
When she traded in a car some years ago in Maui, she learned the salesman was from Wilmington.
“It’s amazing — all the wonderful connections,” she said. “Small, small world.”
She moved to Maui about 40 years ago, she said.
Prior to leaving Delaware, she had worked in a Wilmington law office with Joe Biden and later became a staffer for then-U.S. Sen. Bill Roth.
Longtime Seaford residents likely remember her parents’ business, Rugg’s Music Shop, which was on Galestown Road. She said she is a 1962 graduate of Seaford High — quickly adding another connection: One of her classmates was Howard Joseph, owner of Portable Buildings in Milford.
Ms. Rugg said there will be Delaware-shaped name tags and First State swag ready for the party guests.
A Delaware treat will be Dolle’s saltwater taffy.
She tried to encourage Capriotti’s — the sandwich shop founded in Wilmington — to deliver some subs from their Honolulu location. Unfortunately, they declined the island hop and air delivery.
The conversation with Ms. Rugg fits well with remarks that Cathy Kanefsky, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware, made at the High Stakes Harvest fundraiser Tuesday at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge in the Harrington Raceway & Casino.
Ms. Kanefsky was sharing how the casino, under Hank Rosenberg’s leadership, had been a strong supporter of the Food Bank. And she pointed out two of the Bonz staffers who had gone through the Food Bank’s training programs.
“I can’t imagine doing the work that we do without feeling connected to the people that we do it for,” said Ms. Kanefsky. “That is what makes Delaware special.
“We cannot go somewhere without seeing someone that you definitely know or that you would like to know. That’s what we are. We’re friends that we haven’t made yet. We’re friends that we haven’t met yet.”
Ms. Kanefsky shared some big news at the event.
There will be a ribbon cutting Jan. 15, 2024, for the Food Bank’s new 70,000-square-foot facility on Airport Road in Milford.
The date lines up with Martin Luther King Jr. Day — fittingly, a day of service, she said.
“It’s not just a building but a beacon of hope,” she noted.
If you have a Delaware Day event planned, let us know.
In closing, mahalo nui loa to Ms. Rugg and Mr. King for sharing their stories this week.