FENWICK ISLAND – A frequent vacationer to Fenwick has gifted a panoramic photograph featuring the island’s beaches and horizon to the town.
In last week’s town council meeting, Allen Hansen, a retired foreign service officer of the United States Information Agency (USIA), gifted a professional panoramic picture of Fenwick Island’s beaches to the town.
“Presenting a unique copy of this photograph to the Town of Fenwick Island would pay back in a small way the happiness this place has brought us for so many years,” he said.
Hansen explained that he and his family were introduced to the area more than 40 years ago when a colleague at the USIA suggested both families exchange their vacation homes for a week.
At that time, Hansen and his wife owned a vacation home in Shenandoah Valley and his colleague owned a home in Fenwick Island.
“Perhaps someone here might remember, if you go back 40 years, a two-story house painted pink, which stood alone in the middle of a great number of sand dunes,” he said. “There was this house … with nothing else around it. This was our introduction to Fenwick Island, when we took that week at his house.”
Though he and his family would often live in faraway countries for work-related assignments, Hansen said they made it a mission to return to Fenwick Island as often as they could.
“When I retired in 1987, we came here more often,” he said. “Though we had many great adventures as a foreign service family … Fenwick Island will always be remembered as one of the most pleasurable places we’ve ever known.”
Last year, Hansen decided to hire a professional photographer to take a panoramic picture atop the dunes near a cottage he rented.
He said he would often go there to admire the views of the ocean.
With a camera, ladder and tripod in tow, Hansen said the photographers snapped 84 pictures.
“They then put together 12 of them to print out this fine picture … where you see the curvature of the earth,” he said.
Hansen explained he had plans to give the panoramic to the town as a gesture of gratitude.
“I had not expected to make a formal presentation,” he said. “When the new town manager suggested that … I had to agree.”
Alicia Hatcher, Hansen’s daughter, said her father wanted to do something special for the town.
“My parents and our family have been coming to Fenwick Island to vacation for over 40 years,” she said, “and my father has words prepared because he wanted to give a gift to the Town of Fenwick Island as a thank you for all of the years.”
Several council members admired the photograph and thanked Hansen for the gift.
“I hope you and many others who work here or visit this town hall will also enjoy this view,” he said.