Meet Sydney & George McGinley who enjoy living in Lewes, Delaware.
Syd and George relocated to Lewes, Delaware, from Center Valley, Pennsylvania, in 2015. Center Valley is in the Lehigh Valley, near Allentown and Bethlehem. It was my personal pleasure to help Syd and George find their new home here in Lewes and I have enjoyed getting to know them both. They bring so much to Lewes, and I think they personify the Boomers that are relocating here – professionals, artists and musicians. Coastal Delaware has become the Boomer Melting Pot of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
When Syd first contacted me, I realized that I knew exactly where they lived. My mother and stepfather had lived in Center Valley for many years, just down the hill from Syd and George. When I visited, I often took long walks up the hill and passed by their lovely home nestled in the trees. We never met then but I remember their home and we have fun with our small world story.
George was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and his family moved to Pittsburgh when he was 12. His parents were originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and George went to Lehigh University as his father had done. Following graduation, he went to Medical School at Georgetown University, followed by Internship, the Air Force, and then Residency.
Sydney was born in Pittsburgh. She and Bill met in high school there and have been together ever since. She knew she wanted to be an artist from the moment she opened her first box of crayons! Her parents encouraged her however to pursue a profession that would enable her to make a good living so Syd went to college in West Virginia to become a Dental Hygienist and worked in that profession for about 8 years.
When George was ready to open his Ophthalmology practice in 1973, they decided to relocate to Allentown, Pennsylvania, due to its proximity to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. He continued his solo practice there until he retired in 2015.
Once they settled in the Allentown area while raising their two children, Syd began to study art with Myron Barnstone at the Barnstone Studios. She continued to study life drawing and design for 25 years and began building her resume through participation in national and international juried art shows. She became a Master Pastelist as designated by the Pastel Society of America in NYC.
What is it they love about living here in Lewes?
Although they had a beautiful home in Center Valley, PA, it was in a rather isolated neighborhood. They wanted to find a home here in a community where they would have neighbors and a more active social life. The Village of Five Points East in Lewes met all their criteria. They purchased one of the last remaining lots and had a home built exactly to their specifications. One of the most critical requirements was to have space for Syd’s studio, and the orientation of that room had to provide North Light. I learned so much working with Syd.
North Light basks the subject matter and painting in the same cool atmosphere. This helps the artist have far greater control over values, contrasts and subtle color changes within a painting.
Syd adjusted to her new life immediately. The art community in the Lewes/Rehoboth area, she remarked, is supportive, professional, vibrant and welcoming. Her work is now shown in Lewes at the Peninsula Gallery and in Rehoboth at The Rehoboth Art League. You can read more about Syd on her website where you can also view her available paintings and drawings.
For George, the adjustment took a little more time. He began to play golf again, mostly for the exercise, and then he discovered the Osher Lifelong Learning Academy. He began taking music lessons, starting on the tin whistle and moving on to the recorder. A group formed as a result of those classes and he practices and plays almost daily. The small world story continues – two of the people George met through music lived in Maplewood, NJ, before relocating to Lewes. Guess where my mother and stepfather lived before moving to Center Valley, PA? You guessed it – Maplewood, NJ.
Syd and George have two children:
Matthew, who now lives in Cold Spring NY, and works for Morgan Stanley in Manhattan. Matthew and his wife Madeleine have one child, Owen, who is now 15 years old.
Megan, who now lives in Portland OR, has her own graphic design business. She and her husband Max also have one child, Anders, who is now 9 years old.
When Syd is not at the easel and George is not practicing his music, they enjoy spending more time outdoors and bird watching. They are living their Bucket List right here, right now, and we are all happy they chose to move to Lewes.