Thursday, October 12, 2006

Delmar apathy

Once again Delmar residents, town government officials and elected officials showed their apathy toward getting involved in anything more mentally challenging than a football game. A public hearing was held in Georgetown last Tuesday to discuss the proposed Blackcreek Golf Course development west of town. The proposed 1,200 homes would not be in the Delmar town limits but the residents would be using the Post Office, School, and retail shopping stores. They would also be adding to the traffic going thru town. Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips was disappointed (according to the Laurel Star) that no one from Delmar showed up to the meeting. Now I was not there so I don't know if it means no one commented or no one identified themselves as being from Delmar. I think they should build as many houses as they can cramp on to those 708 acres. Sussex County has no intention of encouraging any development in this corner of Delaware so if it takes 1,200 homes to encourage some type of economic boom than let them build. I am glad they are not in the town limits as my wallet couldn't support paying for anyone else to move into the town limits.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tramps, Hobos, Bohunks and Transients

Delmar being a combination of a railroad town and a border town has had and continues to have a large number of transient people. Up thru the 1970’s and to a lesser degree today, people have rode the rail illegally and jumped off in Delmar. In addition there are a number of people that want to slip across the state line in order to avoid “the law” from the opposite state. I will save for a future post the problem of people living in Delaware when wanted by Maryland and vice versus.

At one time Delmar was a major switching station that assembled freight cars to form different trains. That function was moved to Harrington, Delaware sometime in the 1980’s. Because the trains stopped in Delmar and the cars were put off on sidings there was time for people riding the railcars illegally to jump off and hide out in the surrounding woods or jump on the railcars to go elsewhere. Delmar had two main encampments or Hobo Jungles. One was about two miles north of town on the Delaware side. The other was on the south side of town (Maryland) and was the larger of the two jungles. Both of these encampments continued thru the 1960’s and there is some indication there are still people (today referred to as “homeless”) that live in the woods on the North and South side of Town.

The Hobo Jungle on the North side of town was in the woods north of Old Racetrack road. It seem to have been made up of a combination of Gypsies and Hobos. My father, who lived on Old Racetrack Road when he was 8 or 9, use to refer to them as Bohunks. No doubt today this is a politically incorrect term but my father was never much for being politically correct. It is my understanding, both from him and other people, that Delmar had a few gypsies living outside of town. The Hobos, bohunks and gypsies were constantly stealing things.

The encampment on the south side of town had a population of twenty to forty hobos. My neighbor, Butch, has told me stories of him and CT Moore icing down produce on freight cars in the 1960’s and having Hobos threaten them with guns. For the most part he said they would speak to you and act friendly, unless you tried to enter their camp on the south side of town. It was in this South camp in 1939 that twenty tramps rioted and only after a fight were police able to drive them from the yard. The Railroad Police would police the Railroad property and run off or arrest anyone on the railroad property. The tramps would than travel into town where the Delmar Police would arrest them. In the 1940’s people caught riding the railroad illegally were give ten days in jail or a $5 fine. Today, in Maryland they are given 30 to 90 days and/or a $100 to $500 fine. In Delaware they could receive up to 30 days in Jail and/or a $575 fine. The charges are for trespassing on railroad property. The Delmar Police have said they have not had a problem with this in at least 10 years.

The Railroad Police are still active. The Norfolk Southern Railroad Police has a good discussion of their history at History and an update of recent railroad robberies. News (To my knowledge the Anthony Dickerson mentioned in the articles is no relation).

There is a romantic notion that Hobos are free loving spirits that roam the rail system and cause no one any harm. Can anyone say Robert Joseph Silveria Jr? He was a hobo who may have responsible for over 100 deaths in the 1990’s. In my opinion they are mean spirited drunks, addicts, mental ill, and freeloaders that should be jailed. Today, in Delmar you can still see a few scraggly looking people walking down the track. Some people have even mistaken me as a hobo when I walk my dog down by the tracks, but hell even when I was Mayor no one know who I was.

Papillion

Yesterday I took this photo. The butterfly is unique in the fact there is a sticker on it's wing. I couldn't get close enough to read the sticker and have no idea how the sticker got on the butterfly's wing. It doesn't seem to bother the butterfly.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Delmar Noise Ordinance

In today's "Daily Times' there was an article on Delmar's Noise ordinance. It is interesting that the person they interviewed and whose photo is in the paper is Joanne Bushman from Holly lake estate. The paper says "Joanne Bushman... took her fight against noise to the Town Council - and won". Back in August (look at August 30th post in archives) I wrote about the Town Council meeting in which I said

"The question was asked several times why the noise ordinance was proposed. The answer from the Councils was they felt one was needed. As I have posted before the noise ordinance is an outcome of the people in Holly Lake Estates requesting it, so the Town of Delmar would deal with Saturn Dealership. This ordinance was tabled for further discussion"

I think the newspaper article clears up who wanted the noise ordinance (Joanne Bushman and Holly Lake Estates) and for shame on our lying ass council people for not owning up to it.