Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hans Helmut Kirst

Today in 1989 Hans Helmut Kirst died at age 74 in Bremen, West Germany. Hans Kirst is one of my favorite novelists. He was a German who wrote about German soldiers in World War II. He wrote 46 books with at least one, "The Night of the Generals," being made into a Hollywood film. In 1965, he won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for "The Night of the Generals." The best from my standpoint was his Gunner Asch tetralogy, a satire on army life centered on Gunner Asch, a private in the German Army. The books point out a simple fact a dogface is a dogface, even under the swastika. Gunner Asch was the soldier who tries to stay alive and not become to involved in the military system. At the time I read them I was in the Military and it certainly was my philosophy so his books struck the right chord. The four books in the Gunner Asch series were; "The Revolt of Gunner Asch", "Forward, Gunner Asch!", "The Return of Gunner Asch", and "What Became of Gunner Asch".

Friday, February 22, 2008

The 1909 Train Crash

In February of 1909 the United States Naval battleship fleet, known as the
“Great White Fleet”
was returning to Norfolk after a 14 month, 43,000 mile journey. The squadron was manned by 14,000 sailors. President Theodore Roosevelt had sent them on this journey to show the world the might of the United States. Many relatives wanted to be in Norfolk to greet the returning sailors and four different trains were proceeding south from Philadelphia to Norfolk on February 22nd.

The second of those trains on entering the northern outskirts of Delmar plowed into two engines that, for unexplained reasons, had been left sitting on the main track. At 3 a.m. in the morning the train derailed killing seven people and destroying most of the train. The crashed train consisted of the locomotive, express car, mail and baggage car, three day coaches and six Pullman sleepers.

The train cars telescoped on impact into one another and the hot coals from the destroyed locomotives scatter back on to the wrecked cars sitting them on fire. The fire ignited the gas tanks that were on each car for the gas lights in the cars which added to the inferno. The fire made it impossible to rescue the men and their bodies were severely burn. Those that died were; William Cochran, mail clerk, George Davis, Engineer, Robert Davis, Mail Clerk, John McCreary, baggage master, Oliver Perry, express messenger, Harry Wilhelm, mail weigher, J. W. Woods, mail clerk.

There were other non-human victims of the fire. The train carried a comedy company going to Norfolk that had trained dogs and monkeys. They were all burn to death in the baggage car. The best known trained animal however was Princess Trixie. Trixie was a 20 year old, pure white, trained Arab horse that was a principal attraction at the 1907 World Fair in
Jamestown Virginia
. The horse and trainer, Lewis Brockway, traveled on the Keith Vaudeville circuit. The horse was billed as the smartest horse in the world. I have not been able to find information on why this was the smartest horse in the world but I have the impression the horse did more than count to four and was in the same group of trained horses as
Lady Wonder
, and Clever Hans of the Elberfeld horses, which could accomplish feats of mind reading.

Lewis Brockway, the trainer, was penned in the baggage car under Princess Trixie who was screaming and kicking to get out from under the crumpled car. Charles H. Smith, from Delmar, pulled Lewis Brockway from the car moments before it exploded into flames. Princess Trixie was burned to death. The horse was buried on railroad property a short distance form the wreck. I do not know where the grave is. A faded photo of Trixie is shown in this post. It was found near the grave and according to a 1959 Bi State Weekly article was the property of Mrs. Hattie Duffy.

The New Yorks Times carried an article about this accident and it is located here
New York Times Article

Princess Trixie

Hauling away wreckage from the 1909 train wreck

1976 Ad - Deckers

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Delmar February Planning and Zoning Commission

The February meeting of the Delmar Planning and Zoning Commission was held tonight, all members were present. Some items of interest;

Henry Hanna and Frank Nechay of the Lighthouse Square development came to ask about clarification of the zoning of the Lighthouse Square Land. Lighthouse Square is along side the Holiday Inn Express, they are looking at putting a warehouse that may have offices in it. The Commission was unable to determine the zoning of this piece of land so they tabled the item until next month.

Lee May (above photo)representing McDonald Corporation came to show plans and ask for Preliminary Plat approval of the building and layout of the land. McDonalds is looking at going in along side the WaWa at Delmar Commons.

The Commission felt the McDonald sign (which Ed Ferro is showing everybody), altho it had been reduced to 16 foot, was still too high and should only be ten foot high. Lee May said at that height people would play scrabble with the lettering on the sign. Neverless he is to decrease the sign to ten foot.

Ed Ferro and James Henderson discussing a point on traffic flow.

There much discussion on the traffic flow in and out of McDonalds in relation to RT 54.

Finally approval was given with the stipulation the sign would be reduced and if traffic problems materialized they would revisit the layout and change it.

What the Delmar McDonald's will look like. 3,900 sq ft, 56 parking places

Jamie Rostocki came in for Preliminary Plat Review with his attorney George Danneman. His development, Chesapeake Bay reserve, is shown above. Not much has changed since the last presentation. There will be 478 lots on 206 acres in the development. Rostocki will donate $180,000 to a regional park in Delmar Delaware. This will be based on $376.57 being donated each time a building permit is issued.

Part of The Commission looking at plat layouts

Part of the Commission discussing a point.

1976 Ad - Delmar Tastee Freez

Salisbury Urban Sprawl

Over at Outraged Richard there is a good post on the sprawl and growth in Salisbury plus links to other sites on urban development. The man does have a way with words.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The State Street Pavilion

Like the caboose in town if you had not moved to Delmar before 1976 you would have thought the Pavilion at State Street Park has been here forever. The State Street Park Pavilion was dedicated on September 20th, 1975. It was the outcome of the Delmar Bi-Centennial Committee. This committee was formed to celebrate the nation's 200 year birthday - not Delmar's 200th birthday. Delmar was created in 1859 and does have a 150 year celebration coming up in 2009.

Maryland Comptroller Louis Goldstein spoke at the dedication. Music was provided by the Delmar High School band, under the direction of Mr. Baione, and additional music in the form of Bill Godfrey and the Associates followed by the Eddie Steward Quartet, Savannah, Vibratones, the Seven Nichols Sisters and wrapping up the evening was Bunky and the Inmates. Other day long events took place including the first sale of the Delmar Bi-Centennial Cookbook.

The Pavilion didn't just happen, it took a lot of work and money raising events to build it. The Committee did food sales, flea markets, cookbooks sales, commemorative medallions sales, and booth sales. Irene Culver was the General Chairwoman, Miriam Binebrink and Bonnie Bogardus were Co-Chairwomen from Maryland, Jean Ellis and Pauline Hammond were the Co-Chairwomen from Delaware. The Pavilion was but one item the committee gave the town. They donated $900 to the Delmar Library for a historical corner, $300 was donated to the high school band for a recorder, the Maryland Elementary school had their Loyalty Day float sponsored by the committee, $300 was donated for a flag pole in Gordy park, landscape shrubbery was put in State Street park, three pictures of Delmar were purchased and given to the library, and of course the caboose was paid for.

The Wildcat Weekly

I suppose since I have no children in High School I pay less attention to the school website than some that may have children at the school. Part of the school website is the Wildcat Weekly, a newspaper at the High school. The link will be on the left of the main page. It is an interesting little thing that has a blog type format, it naturally talks about things that are going on in the school from Uniforms, dances food recipes, etc. It seems to have been around since September 2007. Take a look.

Some Events This Week and This Weekend

Today at 3 p.m. is the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Meeting. of interest is WOLFE PROPERTIES, INC. Subdivision of land dividing 155.00 acres into 184 lots, and requesting a waiver from the forested buffer requirements. It is located north and south of Route 24, 1,200 feet east of Road 493 and Road 514.

Thursday February 21 at 7:00 p.m. the Delmar Planning and Zoning will meet at Town Hall. As usual there is no agenda posted on the Town Website.

Saturday Feb 23rd from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Delmar Fire Hall, a Beef and Dumpling Dinner put on by the DFD Ladies auxiliary. Adults and Carry out $10, Children 12 and under $5

On Saturday, Feb 23 in Cambridge, MD at the American Legion on Rt 50, a Fisherman’s Flea market, doors open 8:30 a.m., admission $2

Saturday, Feb 23 noon until 6 p.m. a Soul Food Dinner at Union United Methodist Church, 1203 Pine St, $13 for adults, $5 for children under 10. Fish, Pigfeet, Muskrat, chicken, greens, cabbage etc etc .

Saturday, Feb 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. is the big Chili Cookoff at the Delmar Library. You must pre register.

On Your Side SBY blog

Congratulations to Debbie Campbell and Terry Cohen, Salisbury City Council Members, who started a blog up about Salisbury government issues and other things. It is called On Your Side SBY. I think it would nice if someone from the two Delmar councils would start their own blog and let us in Delmar know what is going on. Campbell and Cohen even give their phone number on the blog so you can reach them.

Wicomico County Landfill Theft

Well as we have all heard about, Some Wicomico County Employees at the landfill decided to make some extra money by selling County owned diesel fuel, tires, oil, etc to a local contractor. To the tune of a half million dollars in a year's time. Just think how much they could have sold if the Revenue Cap was not in place. I have said before it is not how much money a government or individual makes but how he controls the money he has. Wicomico County, with out an audit force, will just continue to waste or let people steal from it. What do you suppose the Accounting office at Wicomico County thought - "Gosh those vehicles at the landfill sure get poor fuel mileage".

It was pointed out the way the police found out about it was someone tipped them off, not any suspicion from the County Accounting department or Rai Sharma, Public Works Director, having a clue what was going on. Did you notice Mike Lewis, Sheriff, was the one that pulled the truck over leading to the arrest - he is such as publicity hound.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Old Keys and Homeless Keys

Okay I admit we are pack rats here, just one step a way from those deranged people who live in old houses with newspapers, books, and boxes of “stuff” stacked up to the ceiling. Always we keep saying we have to throw some of this stuff away but I am waiting for the "other person" to make the first move before I toss out all the good stuff I have got. One of those accumulations are keys. In desk drawers and on top of my dresser I have keys to long gone cars, padlocks I can’t find, houses I haven’t lived in for years, and keys to things I have no ideal what they were for but I know they didn’t go to a treasure chest.

Today I was looking through a desk drawer and among the paper clips, safety pins, deteriorated rubber bands, scattered coins, pens, pencils, and rulers were about twenty keys. Once again I told myself I would throw them away. Well after looking at them I thought they may fit those old padlocks in the garage if I could just remember where I stored them. I also understand on E Bay there is a big demand for keys to 1983 Dodges and of course there is that decoupage project I had always planned to do with keys that will project me into the art world plus expand the right side of my brain with creativity, who are we kidding the right side of my brain is as dead as the left side. So the sum total of my cleanup effort today was to leave all of this for my kids so when I die or they pack me off to a nursing home they can go through all of this stuff. Wait until they hit the attic and discover the Commodore 64 I have stashed up there, that will make them wonder.

1962 Ad - Johnny's TV Hospital

Monday, February 18, 2008


Over at Elbert" he mentions a post by Average Girl on scrapple. Now I have a special fondness for that Delmarva Epicurean delight, Scrapple. Scrapple is part of the basic food pyramid of Eastern Shoremen. There is nothing better than to browse a flea market or yard sale with a scrapple sandwich in one hand a and a cup of coffee in the other. Stay away from fast food sandwiches as you don’t know what is in them, stick with a couple slices of scrapple on good white bread.

Scrapple is a product that greatly varies with the producer and the geographic area you are in. I think that Philadelphia and Pennsylvania stuff is crap. I usually stick with Rapa but sometime wander off and try Milton Scrapple from Harrington also made by Kirby and of course Kirby Holloway from Harrington and occasionally Hughes Delaware Maid Scrapple from Felton.

The same as beer is not just for breakfast, neither is scrapple, here is a supper dish;


1 ½ pounds of scrapple
3 tablepoons chopped onions
6 large green peppers
1 cup of cheese sauce

Cube and soften scrapple over low heat. Add onions. Cut thin slice from stem end of pepper. Remove seeds and plunge in boiling water 5 minutes. Drain and stuff with scrapple. Set scrapple in muffin pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 25 to 30 minutes. Top with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bon appetit

The Tag

Well as many of you have heard some one bought Delaware black and white tag #6 for $675,000. Now the first thought was "what a fool!", but I guess after thinking about it it could be considered an investment. Admittedly an investment in a small market population but neverless an investment, certainly if someone won at bid a certain silver dollar or gold coin for $675,000 no one would think twice about it. The winner of the auction was Frank Vassallo, IV, representing his grandfather, Anthony Fusco of Wilmington, the owner of Fusco Management. In addition to the $675,000 he has to pay Emmert Auction Associates of Rehoboth Beach a 12 percent buyer's premium if paying by credit (there's a credit limit I would like to have) or debit card and 10 percent for cash or check purchases. Still $675,000 for a tag can only be considered a Delaware thing. There was also a half dozen other Delaware tags for auction that day, none when close to this amount.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

1942 Ad - Silver Slipper

Walter Wyatt 1933

From the Feb 17 1933 edition of the Milford Chronicle


Walter Wyatt, Negro, Also Sentenced to Serve Ten Years

Walter Wyatt, negro, living in the Laurel section, who on January 28, before Resident Judge Charles S. Richards, entered a plea of guilty to robbing George H. Matthews, merchant and former member of the House of the Delaware Legislature, on the night of January 8, this year, was whipped with 40 lashes at the post in the new jail yard, on Saturday morning, by Sheriff Martin O. Carey. In accordance with the law, the whipping took place publicly, and Sheriff Carey administered the cat-o’nine-tails in such a way that Wyatt will long remember his experience in “hugging Susan” as the whipping post is often called by lower Delawareans.

Wyatt, in addition to being whipped with 40 lashes, will have to serve 10 years in the Sussex County jail.

Going to the store of Mr. Matthews on the night of January 8, and calling him out of bed, with the pretense that he wanted to pay him for a week’s supply of groceries. Wyatt struck the merchant with a stone as soon as he opened the door and then went through his pockets and took $18 and then made his escape.