Saturday, December 22, 2007

Golden Meadows

While on my walk this morning I went thru Golden Meadows Elderly Apartment complex and was pleased to see all the Christmas decorations that the residents have put out.

A while back the manager of the complex Donna Haney received an award from USDA Rural Housing for keeping the place well managed.

As I recall the 34 units at Golden Meadows is owned or operated by Shelter Management.

Anyway it is a well kept up complex and the residents seen to enjoy living there.

Melvin Thomas Ardis

December 23, 1942 Salisbury Times


Melvin Ardis Found Dead At Roseland

Melvin Thomas Ardis, 16 year old youth, died late last night from carbon monoxide poisoning in a tourist cabin on the Delmar Road six miles north of Salisbury, State Police said.

Two state police troopers, Sherwood Williams and Charles Prittchett administered artificial respiration for nearly an hour in an attempt to resuscitate the boy.

Dr. E. A. Radememaker, Wicomico County Medical Examiner, pronounced Ardis dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Dr. Rademaker said when he arrived the jet on a gas heater was still open and the flame extinguished. Time of death was between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., according to the physician.

Police said Ardis retired to the cabin at Roseland at about 10 p.m. and apparently forgot to turn off the gas heater when he went to bed.

When the oxygen in the room of the cabin was used up, the flame was apparently smothered and the building flooded with escaping gas, Dr. Rademaker said.

Francis Caulfield, with whom Ardis usually slept, discovered the boy’s body in the gas-filled room about midnight when he was going to bed. He then called his brother, James, who felt Ardis pulse and summoned a doctor and police.

Francis and James are sons of the proprietor of the cabins and diner. Andrew William Caulfield is their father. Ardis was an employee at Roseland, police said. He is the son of John Ardis, of Delmar Road.

Somebody Had Fun

Friday, December 21, 2007

Delmar Ad - Heath's Radio Shop

Earle Teat Music, Delmar

In my Christmas Shopping wandering I was in Earl Teat's today. It is a nice music store that mainly sells Guitars, Drums and electronics for instruments. It is located in the State Line Shopping Center.

There is quite a range of prices from a $99 Stagg to a $3,300 Gibson (remember it is in tax free Delaware so it should be 5% cheaper than Maryland). Being a simple Eastern shoreman I am always fascinated by bright colors and the guitars had quite a range of colors on them. So if you want to get the special person a $3,000 guitar I am sure the people at Earle Teats can help you.
Earle Teat Music, Delmar
38650 Unit 5 Sussex Highway
Delmar DE 19940

Buzz and the Christmas tree

A 1964 Christmas Story.

A long, long time ago I was in the Air Force and I served a year of duty on a small island north of Okinawa called Okino Erabu Shima. The island was about 4 by 11 miles and had a whole bunch of Japanese on it and about 80 Air Force people who manned a Radar station. Since most of us were about 19 or 20 years old, the main off duty amusement was drinking. At 20 you don’t have very lofty goals in life. One of my friends was Buzz Van Beaver and he was from Oklahoma. He had previously been stationed at a California Radar Station while I had been at an Arizona Radar station, so we knew a number of mutual friends. We would drink at a bar on the island called Tom’s place. At Christmas time a few of the bar owners, where Americans would hang out, would set up Christmas trees in their bars. Tom’s Place was one of those bars. Christmas Trees were very un Japanese and frankly were offensive looking, merely verifying our thoughts the bar owners were after every yen they could milk out of us. One night, prior to Christmas, Buzz decided he had had enough of the tree so in a moment of drunkenness he attacked it. After they subdued him and the Japanese police worked him over a little, they threw him into the back of a police jeep and took him back to the Radar station, where a special helicopter was flown in to take him to Okinawa for a psych exam.

After a few weeks he was shipped back to us. Shortly after his return we were drinking in the NCO club on the Radar station and during our debriefing session we decided all in all it didn't turn out so bad, after all he got to ride in the helicopter. He got off the island and spent Christmas in Okinawa. The hated Christmas tree was gone. He got to meet interesting medical people (American nurses) and identify ink blots. The bruises on his face were healing nicely along with the tree needle burns, and in spite of being restricted to base for most of his remaining tour we decided it was a good thing as he needed all his money to pay for the damage to the bar.

So this year I lift my glass in salute to Buzz, where ever he may be, who made 1964 an interesting Christmas.

Buzz at a time when he was still allowed in Tom’s Place

Christmas Wreath

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Bottle Tree

From DKY Bar and Grill A beer bottle christmas tree. I wonder what are the chances of my wife letting me make one?

Evil People

This week New Jersey decided to eliminate the death penalty. I believe there are truly evil people in this world who do heinous acts and they should die for their acts and be removed from the face of the earth. As long as they live, as in life in jail, they stand a chance of finding a way to escape from jail and continue their ways. Stop them now. Kill the scum that makes justice in America a mockery in the face of decent people. Make sure Delaware never follows New Jersey's example of allowing criminals to continue to live. Merry Christmas. A few more days of Christmas shopping and you are going to see more of these type posts.

Christmas Wreath

Edward T. Conoway

From The Bi-State Weekly December 20, 1940


Edward T. Conoway, 65 year old farmer living north of Delmar, was killed instantly early Friday morning, while loading logs onto a railroad car in the north yard here. Fellow workmen stated that Conoway was standing under the derrick and aiding in keeping the logs on a course towards the car, when the chain holding the log broke, causing the log to crash to the ground striking him on the head. A physician was called and pronounced the man dead. He was working for Edward Dickerson, owner of a saw mill west of Delmar.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at two o’clock at the St. George’s Methodist Church, west of Delmar, with Rev. Walter Pritchard, pastor of the church officiating.

Mr. Conoway is survived by his wife, Mrs. Florence Conoway, and eight children: Edward C. Conoway, one of the first Delaware draftees at Camp Upton, N. Y., Lonney G. Conoway of Laurel, Andrew Conoway of Parsonsburg, Md., Carlton J. Conoway, Miss Mildred V. Conoway, Miss Evelyn M. Conoway, Miss Nellie Conoway and George A. Conoway, all of Delmar. Interment was in the Delmar Methodist Episcopal Cemetery.

This article is of interest to me because my father had told me about the accident a number of years before I came across the Newspaper article. My father was working with Ed Dickerson the day it happened. Ed Dickerson ran a logging operation and sawmill west of Delmar. He and his wife, Maude, had a number of children (Hazel, Helen, Hattie, Noah, Joe, Martin and Paul) and they lived on St. George’s Road. Their descendants are still in the area. Ed Conoway was a farmer who like many farmers in the winter took part time work to bring in hard cash. As the article said they were loading logs (actually my father referred to them as “mine props’) on to a rail car. Joe, Ed Dickerson’s son, was working a tension line to move the logs and the line broke resulting in the death of Ed Conoway. Now logging is a mean business and there are not many older loggers who don’t have crushed fingers and toes and a number of broken bones. This death was viewed as an accident. In 1940 there was not many small business that would carry insurance on their employees nor make any accommodations to the survivors. My father said Ed Dickerson did want to pay for the funeral but his wife Maude refused to let him. Ed Conoway had, beside his wife, five children living at home with him. The youngest was George at age ten, Nellie was 12, Evelyn was 15, Mildred was 18 and Carlton was 22. After a few months Florence Conoway could not keep up the farm and the family was broken up and parceled out to relatives to be raised. It was a Christmas story without a happy ending.

Delmar Ad - Penna Railroad

Today Delmar was founded

Picked up from This Day in Delaware History:

1859 The Town of Delmar was founded with the coming of the railroad.

I don't think I have ever heard of a specific day Delmar was founded on but according to the Delaware public archives; today is that day. In two years we will be celebrating our 150th year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Delmar Ad - Smiley Hasting

1983 Iron and Rust problem in Delmar

As the town entered 1981 there was an increase in the amount of rust in the water system. In 1981 the town entered into a 1.1 Million dollar water system improvement project. The money was obtained from the Farmers Home Administration, in the form of a $600,000 loan and a $500,000 grant. The project had three phases to it. First, new water lines would run to a new well on the south end of town. Some additional lines were installed in a section of town known as Delmar Manor as the system did not form a loop in that section of town and was but a dead end. Phase two was a new 300,000 gallon water tower. Phase three was a new well.

The new well was drilled by Delmarva Drilling Company of Bridgeville. The well was driven 205 feet into the Manokin aquifer. While the well was being it driven, in December of 1981, the well collapsed during installation. Delmarva Drilling said it would have to charge extra for the additional work involved in drilling again and repairing the well. The town engineers on the project Andrews, Miller associates said the drilling company used grouting not specified in the contract and they, Andrew Miller Associates (Although they were also the inspectors for the project) would have to charge the town addition money for additional engineer studies. The Town said, no, they were not paying any additional money to anyone. Thus started a year long finger pointing contest.

Of note the south well was originally drilled to 180 feet where clear usable water was found, however since Federal money was being used the Federal government required for the well to be deeper. At the 205 feet level the water tested okay but developed iron after pumping was started.

The 300,000 gallon water tower was built by Brown Steel Co. of Newman, Ga. And put on line in early 1982. The water tower is a classical five leg elevated water tower. One of the problems with this design is local daredevils like to break into the water plant compound, climb the tower and paint graffiti on it. The North Water Tower (single pedestal) that was installed in 2000 has so far prevented or discouraged that type of behavior.

By the summer of 1981 the first complains, in large numbers, of discolored water and rust was heard from users of the water system. By the end of summer the town manager, Robert Martin, was announcing the town would be making more frequent flushing of the system and they would add Calgon (Calgon combines with iron and magnesium to form particles that will not precipitate) to the one working well on the north side of town. An independent lab had tested the well and found 1.1 parts iron per million parts of water. Robert Martin, the town manager, would soon be one of the first causalities of the rust problem. He left about 6 months later.

From April 1982 thru 1983 the town started on a town wide flushing program to clean out the water lines. Prior to this indiscriminate flushing had only stirred up the rust and iron. William C. Wolford of the Maryland State Health Department called for a “super Chlorinating” of the town water system to kill iron bacteria and a systematic method of flushing. He said this should relieve the town of it problems. It didn’t. Town residents were told to run water from their taps to clear them and flush their hot water tanks.

By January 1983 the new well was on line. It was using lime and chlorine for treatment. However the town decides to use aquadene (Aquadene is water treatment compound that supposedly will sequester iron and manganese, eliminate discolored water and remove existing scale and tuberculation) to hold the iron in solution, prohibiting precipitation. The iron content is periodically exceeding 2 parts per million. The new town manager, James Peck, predicates the town will be looking at another year before the rust is cleaned up. Since the town residents only wanted to hear the problem would be corrected over night this had the effect of him extending his arms and crossing his ankles over one another and asking for the nails to be driven in. In another 9 months he will resign and take a job elsewhere.

In May the North well (put on line in June of 1981) went down with a bad pump. This made the south well the only usable well. Since the well was on the south end of town and water had been pumped from the north well for 70 years the flow was reversed. In addition the water from the south well had a higher iron contain. The North well stayed down until November.

The original cast iron water mains installed in 1911 had tuberculated. This is hardened clumps of material in the pipes from corrosion and mineral deposits. The tuberculation will be smooth on the side of the flow of water and build up into a wedge with the high part of the wedge being on the side the water is not flowing against. When the direction of the flow of water was reversed it impacted against this wedge chipping it off sending rust and iron through the system.

In February of 1983, out of frustration due to the water problem, a citizen group formed. The Delmar Citizens Committee For Decent Water was made up of ex-mayor Frank Bonsall and a number of other Mayors and council people from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They were in part the cause of the problem as they had refused to make improvements to the water system while they were in office. They expected immediate results to correct the problem. Often heard was the phrase “It wasn’t like this when I was in office”. This group would eventually become strong enough to determine budgets for the town, direct town employees, and dictate town policy.

With the formation of the citizen’s group, the first of a number of major town council/citizen meetings begin to occur. Citizens with mayonnaise jars full of rust colored water cramped into town hall. Richard B. Howell III of the Office of Sanitary Engineering, Delaware Division of Public Health attends the meeting and said “the presence of iron and cooper sulfate is not a health-related standard. It is not physically harmful. Samples taken show that the iron level is running at or below one milligram per liter. This is not much different from 80 percent of all Sussex county water” Residents such as Jim Campbell are quoted as saying “The water is not fit to drink, make tea out of, coffee or anything else”. Town Manager James Peck says the town’s options are to treat the water with chemicals or install a $200,000 filtration system. He says the rust problem has gotten worst since using aquadene.

The meetings brought out the worst in people. There was much finger pointing of either the index finger or the middle finger. Apparently iron and rust stains on the unmentionables of the cream of southern Delaware womanhood will cause them to develop the vocabulary of a street whore and it was displayed at those meeting. Everyone expected the problem to be cleared up over night and any answer that differed from that was shouted down.

Invited to the Delmar Citizen Committee meetings were state officials. Again the Director of the Office of Sanitary Engineering, Delaware Division of Environmental Health Richard B. Howell III said to the group; the water meets all primary health standards. The presence of iron, which may cause coloration, staining or odor is an aesthetics, not a health related problem. Howe suggested two sources of the iron; natural content of the groundwater and the corrosion of pipe. He said “Any metallic pipe will be dissolved by water as corrosive as this”. Don Melson of the Delaware Division of Environmental Health said the least expensive possibility is a complete flushing of the system that would involve shutting off the Maryland well and using pressure supplied by the Delaware well to systematically flush every hydrant in town. The process would take about two months. Chemical treating with Chlorine and Aquadene would continue.

In July Matthew Aydelotte of the Delmar Citizens Committee for Decent Water and the Delmar Fire Department begin a systematic flushing of the town’s water system. The town was divided into five water districts. Each being supplied by a 6 or 8 inch main connected to the new 10 inch trunk line. The trunk line runs down Pennsylvania Avenue and connects the 1911 standpipe at the north end with the new elevated storage tank at the south end. Each water district was isolated by the valves and the water mains were back flushed a great many times. The system designed by Matthew Aydelotte tried to duplicate the flow of water before the new well was drilled and put on line. Fire hydrants when opened will create a higher velocity of flow which will pick up rust and flush it out. In the past the mains were flushed without isolating them and this just created a problem of sending rust into the other mains in town.

Matthew Aydelotte is quoted as saying “With the full cooperation of the citizens and the Public Works Department, we can turn our million dollar lemon into a drinkable lemonade”. At that time the water looked more like tea with lemon in it than lemonade.

During this period about 1/3 of the water pumped into the system was dumped on the street in hydrant flushing (So much water was flushed from the system that you could tell where fire hydrants were from the red rust coloring of the paved streets) or poured down the sewer line when homeowners tried to clear their tap water up from rust by running it an excessive amount of time. This also increased the volume of water going to an aged and overworked sewage treatment plant. There was much damage to ice makers, hot water heaters, clothing in washing machines, and water coolers. The faith the people in town had with their government’s ability to run a water system suffered the most.

Hindsight is always a great way to voice your opinion and it is my opinion that the big rust and iron situation of 1983 was caused by five problems. First, in spite of test wells drilled, the south well had a high level of iron in it. The iron was pumped into the system from the well, where it went to every user on the system. Second, part of the rust problem was caused by the vibration to old cast iron pipe installed in 1911 from the construction and installation of the new water mains. This vibration broke loose rust in the mains. Third, when the south well came on line it changed a 70 year direction of the flow of water in the water mains. This broke off tuberculation and iron particles that went everywhere in the system. Fourth, the town employees in attempting to flush the system did not isolate the areas they were trying to flush causing the increase water flow from flushing to break off more rust particles and send them into the sections of water mains already flushed, in addition somewhere in attempting to isolate areas the isolation valves were left in the wrong positions creating water flow against the direction of the previous 70 years. This reversed direction of course also broke off rust particles. Finally the fifth item was paperwork. An important part of flushing is to have detail drawings of the water main layout. Paperwork and maps, in Delmar, are one of the items that have always (including today) been missing or so out of date they were useless.

At the end of 1984 the iron problem was reduced but still continued at a lesser level. The town continues its policy of refunding the money spent by residents in buying laundry Rust and Iron removal products for the outbreak of iron even today. Today all the suggestions made in 1983 to correct the iron problem such as, a new water treatment plantand replacing and pigging mains, were made in the year 2000.

The Shire Family

I received this email from The Delmar Christian Center in regards to the Shire family;

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, December 9th, one of our Church Families lost their home in a fire. The Fire Marshall has declared the house and contents a total loss. They lived at 417 East East Street, Delmar MD

Eric and Sonja Shires have two children; Alanna (14) and Alex (11). They also have Eric's mother and Grandfather living with them. Eric has his own construction company and Sonja works for the Post Office.

We have gotten them some clothes and food to get through this week. We are strongly recommending VISA gift cards so they may specifically get things they need. Gifts cards to local restaurants would also be nice.

Friday morning December 14th, they found a house and plan on start moving in. It is located at 8533 Shadow Lane, Delmar MD. If you would like to call Sonja directly, her cell is 443-359-0607.

The clothes Sizes are as follows:
Pants Shirt Shoes Coat

Eric 32-30 Medium 8 ½ Large

Sonja 10-12 Medium 6 ½ Large

Alex 10 slim Medium 2 ½ Medium

Alanna 1 petite Medium 7 Medium

Grandfather 28-30 Medium

Grandmother 12-14 Medium

Financial Contributions may be made to:

Delmar Christian Center , 107 East State Street, Delmar, DE 19940

Put Shire Family in the memo portion of the check.

Wednesday night, December 19th, the Shires family will be at Delmar Christian Center from 6 – 7 pm to receive the blessings the community has gathered for them. If you have something, this would be great time to give it to them and to meet the family.

Any questions or coordination issues. Email me at or call me on my cell at 302-381-5274.

Pastor Jim Brown

Christmas Wreath

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dr Long DVM

As many of you may already know Dr. Long has sold his practice at Pet Medical Center to Dr. Joanna Pappas. My wife has taken her dog there a couple of times and Dr. Pappas receives my wife stamp of approval. I understand Dr. Long will continue working there a couple of nights a week.

Delmar Joint Council Meeting December

The Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland Joint Council Meeting happened to night.
As usual what I write is not the minutes of the meeting and the items are only what I have decided to mention and is my own impression of what was said. If you want to know the whole story attend the meetings.

A new Town emblem has been painted on the wall behind the council members. It is some what reminiscent of those medieval Catholic iconic images of saints with halos surrounding them, only instead of a saint it seem to surround Mayor Outten, and many have said he is indeed saintly.

There was a presentation by Delaware Rural Water (John Hayes) about the Source Water Protection Program and why the Town needs another Ordinance. He addressed the three wells in the Delmar Area; The Town Wells, Holly Oak Mobile Home Park wells, and Crystal Steel Fabricator well. The Town did a First reading of the Ordinance. Strangely enough Delaware Rural Water references my description of the Town of Delmar Water treatment plant on their website.

Gerard L. Esposito, President of Tidewater Utilities Incgave a talk about how they are dropping the regional concept of a Waste Water Treatment Plant that would also service Blackwater development and are going to concentrate on just servicing Delmar.

There was first reading of the Gateway annexation. As had been discussed before the Gateway retail project would like to take over Stage Road between RT13 and BiState and rework it so it services their retail stores better. The road currently belongs to Wicomico County. Gateway wants additional land annexed, besides what has already been annexed, so they can rework Stage Road. Carl Anderton pointed how collector roads should be 42 feet wide and the plat only shows a 30 foot wide road.

Parks and Recreations - said they did planning for the upcoming year, they want Wicomico county personnel to be more active in Delmar, they want to examine ways to have more free or minimal costs for kids to participate in park projects and they would like more land to expand.

Public works report - The street sweeper is fixed and has to go to DMV for an inspection. The Delaware state inspector wants a top coat put on Stage Road before the problem of the dip in front of Yorkshire Estates can be addressed. There is a bid of $815 to replace the bent light post in State street park. They will reuse the light fixture as it is still good.

There was a discussion about the conditions at the Delmarva Inn and what the town could do about the conditions.

Utility Commission - December 2007

This month the Utility Commission had their monthly meeting. All were present and Marlena Hodgins is our new member replacing Joan Tisinger. A number of the items on the agenda was really held in the Joint Council Meeting. Mainly, the agreement with Tidewater Utility and the Source Water Protection Ordinance. Other items;

The EPA is going to give us a grant that we will apply to the BNR/ENR project at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The Maryland side of Town has to do a Comprehensive plan by 2009. Delmar will share some expenses with Wicomico county in completing this.

There has been a recall on the type of lubricant used in some fire hydrant. The town fire hydrants will be inspected to see if they are among the recalled ones.

Doug Sergeant protested a water bill. The commission could see no cause that was the problem of the town and we decided not to adjust his bill.

Christmas Tree Sales

Back in 1977 my brother, Alan, had a used car lot in Laurel and he decided him and I should sell Christmas Trees for the season. At that time you could get trees from Jean and Ken in Salisbury at about $8 a tree and retail them between $16 to $25 a tree. Jean and Ken also had a buy back option if you didn't sell all of them. It was an interesting project, at the end we made a couple of bucks on the deal but what impressed me was the difference in attitude in people buying Christmas trees versus buying other retail items. They were happy and smiling and there was almost no selling involved. They picked their tree, paid us, we throw it on top their car, tied it down and off they went. Once a guy pulled in about 8 o'clock or so in the evening, driving a big Cadillac, he brought a tree, I tied it on top the car and he said he was heading for New York City. I figure that tree didn't have a needle on it once he drove those five or six hour on the turnpike, But he was happy so why should I care.

Today they sell the trees for a whole lot more and I think they make less profit, plus the trees are cut so early how does their conscience allow them to sell a tree so dry?

Christmas Wreath

A Fourth Grade Field Trip in 1948

From the December 10th, 1948 edition of the Bi-State Weekly


On the first of December, the fourth grade of the Delmar, Delaware School, accompanied by their teacher, Mrs. Mabel Hearne, and several parents, made an excursion to the Chesapeake Airways airport. Several pupils and parents of the fourth grade pupils made a local flight while others observed from the ground. The General Manager of the airport was in contact with the pilot by radio, from time to time, during the flight. The pilot described to those who didn't fly but were listening, what the passengers were viewing from the plane (Delmar, Salisbury, Hebron). All pupils went through the planes and had chances to question the General Manager, a pilot and a co-pilot. These experiences have enriched the class program - vitalizing Reading and English, especially.

The fourth grade pupils and teacher wish to thank their home room mother Mrs. Richard Figgs, for her part in making arrangements. They wish, too, to thank those who furnished cars or drove to the airport: Mrs. Herman White; Ms. Thomas Adams; Mrs. Phillip Elliott; Mrs. Lester Smith; Ms. Granville Brumbley; Mrs. Joel Walker and Mrs. Mabel Hearne.

1948 Delmar Ad - Avenue Theater

Robert Dickerson has a Birthday

Today Robert Dickerson of Hammonton N.J. turns 40 years old. Happy Birthday Robert.

It's Keith Dennis Birthday

Wow! today Keith Dennis turns 39. If you see him out at Perdue's give hime a big Happy birthday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Survivor - China

The only reality show I watch is Survivor and tonight was the wrap up for Survivor - China. Rarely does anyone I rooted for make it to the final selection and tonight was no exception. The three that lied, double crossed, and back stabbed the most (Amanda Kimmel, Todd Herzog and Courtney Yates) made it to the top three, with Todd Herzog winning the million dollar prize. I know it is all in the way the show edits the program that makes you form the impression you have of the various people but still James Clement and Denise Martin certainly had my sympathy vote to be the winners. I also think what is bad is to be the first person voted off. You know in your mind it can only be random chance as to how the first person is selected to be voted off, in Survivor - China it was Steve 'Chicken' Morris. Neverless it seems to be the one of the shows I am hooked on.