Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Ramonia and Gerry

A late Happy Birthday to Ramonia and a late Happy Birthday to Gerry. Two people I worked with at the Wicomico County Government. One is very very old and the other one acts old.

Ford Brewington

Although I like to keep my blog orientated to the Delaware side of town, at this time of year you tend to remember people who have passed away. One person was Ford Brewington. Ford was one of the many, many characters of Delmar. He was best known, locally and statewide, for his annual public Christmas dinner. In spite of this, if you ask half the people in Delmar what they thought of Ford Brewington they would tell you he was crazy.

He drove a van that was painted in patriotic colors with the saying “God and children hates divorce”. He always attended the Delaware/Maryland joint council/commissioners meetings. At that time (in the 1980’s) we would smoke during the meetings. Ford use to have a World War I gas mask that he would put on when we started smoking and wear it through the entire meeting. He always had comments at Public Comment time, although his comments were at time muffled due to the gas mask he was wearing. He would pass out photocopies of newspapers articles about irate citizens in other towns who came in and shot their mayor and council over disagreements. It was in that period we started having the police attend the meetings. However he was always interested in helping people. The Maryland side of Delmar Town Government was just as much to blame as Ford was for what later transpired. Ford collected old cars and the Maryland side of Town got their Town attorney to write him a letter saying he was running an unauthorized junk yard. Ed Feeney was a commissioner at that time and was so ticked off about the injustice he got the Town to change their position on that one. Ford also collected license tags and when his estate auctioned them off he had over 25,000 of them. For a view of the 2003 Ford Brewington Estate Auction click here.

Well things just got worst and worst between the town and Ford. It was just a constant pissing contest between Ford and the Maryland side of town government; specifically Karen Horsman, the town manager, and Frank Gully, the Maryland Mayor. At each Joint council meeting I use to thank God that I was the Delmar Delaware Mayor and did not have to get involved in that mess. Karen, I haven’t heard from in years and we know where Frank Gully is. It finally accumulated in Ford painting a sign on the entire side of his house in pink paint and refusing to pay his property taxes. He refused to pay his taxes until the town provided services for the taxes. The town declared it an unauthorized sign and went after Ford with all the force and vengeance they had. Regardless how small a town is, any news item about a town going against a citizen will always be played out as a David versus Goliath scenario. An article, with accompanying photo, of Ford’s house was carried in the Baltimore Sun and local papers. It gave the town a lot of unfavorable publicity, but they deserved it. I think eventually his house was sold for delinquent taxes because he continued to refused to pay them. You may think you own your home but try and not pay taxes and you will find out you are in a no better position than a renter.

Ford started an annual Public Christmas Dinner in his home, than branched out to holding it in the American Legion. He became very well known for this event and other helpful things he did around Town. This resulted in his being awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 1993. This award is statewide and honors individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service. It is my understanding the American Legion is not having the dinner this year but will have it next year.

So when it is all over with Ford Brewington is remembered favorably for his annual Christmas Dinner, receiving the Jefferson award for Public service in 1993, and has a charitable trust named after him. Whereas Frank Gully, former Delmar Maryland Mayor, is remembered as a child molester who went to jail. In this case the “strange” person was the one who did the most good and the “normal” person (Frank Gully) was the one who was hiding things.

As a postnote, should you feel a really strong Christmas spirit and want to be charitable toward Frank Gully, you can send him a Christmas Card to this address:

DOC ID Holding Facility 241341
Western Correctional Institution
13800 McMullen Hwy. SW, Cumberland, MD 21502

If a person is in a Maryland State Prison his address can be looked up by going
to inmate locator

“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy... or they become legend.”Quote Jim Harrison

Ten Reasons To Live In Delmar, Delaware

1) We have a great Fire Department
2) Our Library is one of the best on the Shore.
3) Altho I question the quality of the Middle and High School, we have Lil Red Hen - one of the best preschool and nursery facilities on Delmarva.
4) The VFW is one of the best civic and social organization around, in spite of being located on the wrong side of the street.
5) The Concerned Citizens will be one of the best civic organizations in Delmar.
6) We have Sara Bynum-King as town manager.
7) The Police Department, altho they work in mystical ways, is excellent.
8) We have the Delmarva Model Train Club.
9) Our American Legion will become one of the best on the shore.
10) We don't have Barrie Tilghman as Mayor.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Clam Chowder and Clam Cakes

I decided today to cook Clam Chowder and Clam Cakes for supper. It did not turn out anywhere near as well as my mother-in-laws. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and when we visited her and my father-in-law in the summer she made the greatest Clam Chowder and Clam cakes. Now in New England, Chowder and Clam Cakes is a summer time meal. It is usually accompanied by corn on the cob, Narragansett beer (Hey give me a Gansett!)and perhaps lobster. I rarely heard of them eating it in the winter, but since I am from the Eastern Shore and don't know any better, we are having it for supper in December. Well both have passed on so I guess I will never get her recipe now. Narragansett was acquired by Falstaff and the mystic never returned to having a gansett. Much like National Bohemia beer and that little one eye guy(Hey give me a Boh!)it is only a memory. One of the hard parts in fixing this was finding a brown paper bag to shake the clam cakes in after frying them (you are rarely given a choice between paper or plastic now days) but they always told me this was a key step.

The Christmas Carol

"Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail."

Today, in 1843, Charles Dickens published "The Christmas Carol" and brought forth that great Christmas word of "Humbug". A word we hear frequently as Christmas gets closer. He gave the accounting profession a new idol in the form of Scrooge. To reread this story click here The Christmas Carol It is different from the movie version - less emphasis on Tiny Tim.

A quote from Charles Dickens "There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts”

Monday, December 11, 2006

Politically Correct

At the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport they have removed the Christmas trees they had put up in the airport. They removed them rather than put up a giant Jewish menorah, in addition, to the trees. The Rabbi that had requested the menorah be put up, when refused, hired a lawyer and threatened to sue.

“We decided to take the trees down because we didn’t want to be exclusive,” said airport spokeswoman Terri-Ann Betancourt. “We’re trying to be thoughtful and respectful, and will review policies after the first of the year.”

For the story go to MS NBC

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Today's Quote

"Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist"
Richard M. Nixon


In today's "Daily Times" there was a cartoon about the Voice Legacy to Wicomico County. It implied that VOICE and the Revenue Cap was the reason why the schools need money, the 911 dispatch salaries are low and Wicomico County has capital needs that are unfulfilled because of VOICE. Let me say VOICE was the greatest thing that ever came to Wicomico County. I worked for Wicomico County for five years and daily I was astonish at the waste that I saw. They could easly cut the budget by 20% and still fulfill the needs of Wicomico County. There are a number of problems with the lack of money in Wicomico County. First, they have too many personnel. Those employees they do have they don't expect to do any work. The County Council does nothing except make sure they get their special projects thru. I have spoke with John Cannon before he was elected and I don't expect anything special from him. Rick Pollitt is a bureaucrat who will do nothing to cut back on spending. The new sheriff, Mike Lewis, won't be any better on controlling spending. The school system is entirely out of control with too many managers at inflated rates of pay. Now I live in Sussex County Delaware which certainly has it's share of problems and incompetence, but I don't think it is anywhere near as bad as Wicomico County. I can speak about Wicomico County because I have property I pay taxes on in Wicomico County. I live on a budget that is based on my income, it is time Wicomico County looks at their budget (which they should have started on at this point) and decide how they can fulfill the needs of the residents of Wicomico County and not the Real Estate developers. The cap was put in place by the majority of voters in Wicomico County. It truly gripes my ass when you hear Wicomico county officials speaking out against it. If they are unhappy they should quit, but I can't imagine them being able to find another easy job like they presently have, which is why they haven't quit. The only official statement they should be making concerning the cap is "it is what the voters of Wicomico County wanted" and than shut the hell up.