Saturday, April 26, 2008

Marie Depralon - 1937

From The Milford Chronicle April 30, 1937


Elizabeth Murray, of Selbyville, and Marie Depralon of Delmar shared honors in the annual declamation contest, sponsored by the State Board of education and held in the Murphey School at Dover last Saturday. More than 100 persons attended.

Miss Murray was the winner of the dramatic division while Miss Depralon triumphed in the humorous section.

Miss Murray, a student of the Selbyville High School, had as her topic, "Dust of the Road," while Miss Depralon, a Delmar High School student spoke on "Storekeeper's Luck." Supt. Harry V. Holloway of the State schools awarded each winner $25.

NOTE: DECLAMATION = a speech recited or intended for recitation from memory in public

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wicomico Middle School Drama Club

This year's production of the Wicomico Middle School Drama Club was really four separate plays; "Imperfect Proposal", "Not My Cup of Tea", "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Chickenman!" and "Happily Never After". The plays were directed by Wicomico Senior high Students; Shelby Morris, Tessa Johnson, Briana Sarig, Hillary Pullen and Erin Moore. The four separate plays seem to go better than one long production.

Allison Pullen, Colin Dennis, and Blake Barrett who did so well in last year's production of Huck Finn once again put on outstanding performances. Allison Pullen, Devon Hendershot and Katy Bryant played parts in more than one play, and did well in each play they were in. Jordan Jones, Maura Skeen, Blake Barrett, and Corrin Harris were stand outs in the parts they played.

Imperfect Proposal

Not My Cup Of Tea

Chicken Man

Happily Never After

Bonnie Ashley

On Dover Post this week there is an interesting article on Bonnie Ashley. 54 year old Bonnie's claim to fame is she has been married 11 times and has written a book about it. She currently lives in Bethany Beach but hails from Salisbury.

Mason Dixon Auction - Good Stuff Tonight

I stopped by to preview the stuff at the Mason Dixon auction that starts at 4 PM tonight. As usual good stuff there.

This bottle had on the bottom "PB" and on the side was "Zion Road Bottling Works Salisbury MD Contents 6 1/2 Fl Oz" It doesn't look that old but does anyone know anything about it?

There were other Salisbury Bottles there.

The Usual furniture

Alleyways and Paper Streets

Scattered around Delmar are alleyways and streets that have not yet been put in. Most are on the Maryland side of town, but the Delaware side has their share.

Above, Third street heading south, unpaved but is it a paper street or real street?
These paper streets frequently lead to an alleyway or possible an East/West paper street. When my youngest daughter was in elementary school we allowed her to ride her bike to school. On days I didn't work I would ride my bike with her to school. One of our enjoyments was the sense of adventure cutting down these paper streets and alleyways.

Above, First street heading south.
These streets in the photo are obviously streets, but there are some in Delmar that have no trace of being a street. They are usually mentioned in a Plat or deed that they exist. Most are quite old and now when they come up in discussion there is many questions as to who is suppose to put in the street - the town or the people who will live on this paper street.

Above, An alleyway or East/West paper street over by the Elementary school.
Alleyways are usually mentioned in the deed, most in Delmar are considered private alleyways (so the town doesn't have to maintain them). I have always thought they are handy for criminals and burglars. There are problems when people aren't aware or chose to ignore an alleyway across their property and they build a garage or shed in the middle of it.

Gallipoli and Anzac Day

Early in the War to end all Wars, the British, Australians, New Zealanders, French and Indian forces, on April 25 1915, launched a beach head attack from the sea on the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) at the Gallipoli Peninsula. The idea of this attack was to capture Istanbul. Gallipoli is in North Western Turkey and next to it is the Dardanelles Straits which separates Europe from Asia. The Battle of Gallipoli would last from April 25 1915 to January 9, 1916, ending with the Turks kicking the invaders off the peninsula. As a refresher; Turkey had sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary (you may recall the old “Lawrence of Arabia” movie) and on the other side was Britain, France, Russia, and the “Commonwealth” countries. As I said the campaign ended in defeat, with more than 100,000 dead (mostly Turks) of that number there were 8,700 Australian and 2,400 New Zealanders killed. Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is a major commemoration day for the dead of those two countries at Gallipoli. Numerous books have been written about the Gallipoli Campaign.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Delmar Planning and Zoning Meeting April

The P & Z meeting happened tonight. Joe Dixon and Carl Anderton were missing. Carl no doubt is still recovering from walking in the Little League Parade Saturday. As usual my disclaimer is what I write is not the minutes of the meetings, it is just my interpretation of what took place and what I am interested in posting. If you want to know the real story go to the meeting. With the exception of the Bill Mervine discussion I found tonight's meeting more boring than usual, so I will just discuss that part of the meeting.

Bill Mervine of Prestige Homes wants to build a house on lot #3 on Bynum Lane in Delmar, Delaware. This is his third visit to P & Z to try and build a house. I have discuss his previous visits in the prior Planning and Zoning Meetings. In his previous submissions his house has always required a variance. This submission he has gotten the footprint down to the size that requires no variance and has parking for 4 cars on the lot. Remarkable planning on his part to get that. The P & Z is still saying no as they want input from the neighbors. It is interesting that later in the meeting they gave approval to Doug Marshall to build a house at 206 E. Walnut and 300 E. Walnut without any neighbor input. As I have said before I think the man should be allowed to build. it is his lot and he has a house that fits it. No one else in Delmar has had to go thru these hoops to build in town. I think it is reverse discrimination. You have a white guy trying to build in a black section of town and they don't want him. So P & Z is saying in order to buld in Bynumville you have to have all the neighbors give you their blessing, unlike the rest of Delmar that as long as you meet the requirements you can buld.


Well the Tansy seem to have survived the winter. This plant in mid summer is about 3 to 4 foot tall and spreads all over the place. Tansy foliage is feathery and a bright green. It has small yellow flowers in the summer and a unique smell. It is one of several plants that arrived at our house as a cute plant in a 4 inch pot that we knew nothing about and turned into a monster. Sort of like those cute kittens the kids dragged home that turned into a damn cat. The Tansy arrived by way of my wife buying it when her and the children were at Furnacetown in Snow Hill. The Herb person said it was good for chasing away flies. I don't think any of us thought about it getting 4 foot tall and spreading around the garden.

You occasionally read about people making Tansy tea from the leaves and flowers. It is suppose to be one of those good-for-what-ails-you tea. Well it seems Tansy has other uses, namely as an abortive. It has been used thru out the ages as a way to cause abortions. An old New York Times article reports on someone who killed herself trying to have an abortion created by oil of Tansy. As those of us who have read "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving know; he discussed a woman who died by way of an abortion because the constant use of Oil of Tansy prevented her intestines from absorbing Vitamin C so her body ended up with the same effect of scurvy. True or not I don't know.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Department of Energy, Another Failure

Way back in the 1970's when we had long gas lines and no gas, President Jimmy Carter came up with the idea of a government agency that would oversee and direct the nation's energy supply. This agency would see that we would no longer have an energy problem in the future. He created The Department of Energy on August 4th, 1977 and was activated on October 1, 1977. The Department of Energy was created by combining a couple different agencies; Federal Energy Administration, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission, and parts and programs of several other agencies.

Jimmy Carter delivered this televised speech on April 18, 1977 about a proposed Energy Policy and eventual creation of the Dept of Energy. Since we have all been trained to read in sound bites let me just excerpt a few comments from Jimmy Carter instead of printing the whole thing, as we know not all readers can maintain the concentration to read a complete reprint of his speech.

Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

I know that some of you may doubt that we face real energy shortages. The 1973 gasoline lines are gone, and our homes are warm again. But our energy problem is worse tonight than it was in 1973 or a few weeks ago in the dead of winter. It is worse because more waste has occurred, and more time has passed by without our planning for the future. And it will get worse every day until we act.

The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out. In spite of increased effort, domestic production has been dropping steadily at about six percent a year. Imports have doubled in the last five years. Our nation's independence of economic and political action is becoming increasingly constrained. Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil that it can produce.

The world now uses about 60 million barrels of oil a day and demand increases each year about 5 percent. This means that just to stay even we need the production of a new Texas every year, an Alaskan North Slope every nine months, or a new Saudi Arabia every three years. Obviously, this cannot continue.

The second change took place in this century, with the growing use of oil and natural gas. They were more convenient and cheaper than coal, and the supply seemed to be almost without limit. They made possible the age of automobile and airplane travel. Nearly everyone who is alive today grew up during this age and we have never known anything different.

Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.

The world has not prepared for the future. During the 1950s, people used twice as much oil as during the 1940s. During the 1960s, we used twice as much as during the 1950s. And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind's previous history.

World consumption of oil is still going up. If it were possible to keep it rising during the 1970s and 1980s by 5 percent a year as it has in the past, we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.

But we do have a choice about how we will spend the next few years. Each American uses the energy equivalent of 60 barrels of oil per person each year. Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth. We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice as much energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden.

That is the concept of the energy policy we will present on Wednesday. Our national energy plan is based on ten fundamental principles.

The first principle is that we can have an effective and comprehensive energy policy only if the government takes responsibility for it and if the people understand the seriousness of the challenge and are willing to make sacrifices.

The second principle is that healthy economic growth must continue. Only by saving energy can we maintain our standard of living and keep our people at work. An effective conservation program will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The third principle is that we must protect the environment. Our energy problems have the same cause as our environmental problems -- wasteful use of resources. Conservation helps us solve both at once.

The fourth principle is that we must reduce our vulnerability to potentially devastating embargoes. We can protect ourselves from uncertain supplies by reducing our demand for oil, making the most of our abundant resources such as coal, and developing a strategic petroleum reserve.

The fifth principle is that we must be fair. Our solutions must ask equal sacrifices from every region, every class of people, every interest group. Industry will have to do its part to conserve, just as the consumers will. The energy producers deserve fair treatment, but we will not let the oil companies profiteer.

The sixth principle, and the cornerstone of our policy, is to reduce the demand through conservation. Our emphasis on conservation is a clear difference between this plan and others which merely encouraged crash production efforts. Conservation is the quickest, cheapest, most practical source of energy. Conservation is the only way we can buy a barrel of oil for a few dollars. It costs about $13 to waste it.

The seventh principle is that prices should generally reflect the true replacement costs of energy. We are only cheating ourselves if we make energy artificially cheap and use more than we can really afford.

The eighth principle is that government policies must be predictable and certain. Both consumers and producers need policies they can count on so they can plan ahead. This is one reason I am working with the Congress to create a new Department of Energy, to replace more than 50 different agencies that now have some control over energy.

The ninth principle is that we must conserve the fuels that are scarcest and make the most of those that are more plentiful. We can't continue to use oil and gas for 75 percent of our consumption when they make up seven percent of our domestic reserves. We need to shift to plentiful coal while taking care to protect the environment, and to apply stricter safety standards to nuclear energy.

The tenth principle is that we must start now to develop the new, unconventional sources of energy we will rely on in the next century.

These ten principles have guided the development of the policy I would describe to you and the Congress on Wednesday.

Our energy plan will also include a number of specific goals, to measure our progress toward a stable energy system.

These are the goals we set for 1985:

--Reduce the annual growth rate in our energy demand to less than two percent.

--Reduce gasoline consumption by ten percent below its current level.

--Cut in half the portion of United States oil which is imported, from a potential level of 16 million barrels to six million barrels a day.

--Establish a strategic petroleum reserve of one billion barrels, more than six months' supply.

--Increase our coal production by about two thirds to more than 1 billion tons a year.

--Insulate 90 percent of American homes and all new buildings.

--Use solar energy in more than two and one-half million houses.

We will monitor our progress toward these goals year by year. Our plan will call for stricter conservation measures if we fall behind.

I've given you some of the principles of the plan.

I am sure each of you will find something you don't like about the specifics of our proposal. It will demand that we make sacrifices and changes in our lives. To some degree, the sacrifices will be painful -- but so is any meaningful sacrifice. It will lead to some higher costs, and to some greater inconveniences for everyone.

But the sacrifices will be gradual, realistic and necessary. Above all, they will be fair. No one will gain an unfair advantage through this plan. No one will be asked to bear an unfair burden. We will monitor the accuracy of data from the oil and natural gas companies, so that we will know their true production, supplies, reserves, and profits.

The citizens who insist on driving large, unnecessarily powerful cars must expect to pay more for that luxury.

We can be sure that all the special interest groups in the country will attack the part of this plan that affects them directly. They will say that sacrifice is fine, as long as other people do it, but that their sacrifice is unreasonable, or unfair, or harmful to the country. If they succeed, then the burden on the ordinary citizen, who is not organized into an interest group, would be crushing.

There should be only one test for this program: whether it will help our country.

Jimmy Carter, "The President's Proposed Energy Policy." 18 April 1977. Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XXXXIII, No. 14, May 1, 1977, pp. 418-420.

I think most people who heard the speech agreed with President Carter and were willing to make sacrifices to have energy independence for America. Okay, so 30 years later, what went wrong from freeing America from dependence on imported oil and achieving energy independence? As with any government agency the Dept of Energy became a political pawn of oil companies, lobbyist, and bureaucratic officials. The agency started with inapt government employees when the agency was formed by combining other government agencies. The direction changed from freeing America from imported oil to having a high percentage of the Dept. of Energy budget directed to research and development for nuclear weapons for the military and Weapons of Mass destruction.

From the Fy2009 Budget request for the DOE;
The FY 2009 budget reconfirms the Department of Energy’s steadfast
commitment to the national security interests of the United States through
stewardship of a reliable and responsive nuclear weapons stockpile and by
advancing the goals of global non-proliferation. Through the National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA), the Department directs $6.6 billion in this
request for Weapons Activities, a $320.6 million increase from the FY 2008
enacted appropriation, to meet the existing requirements for stewardship of the
nation’s nuclear weapon stockpile, technologies and facilities, as well as to
continue to transform the nuclear weapons complex with the goal of a much
smaller size by 2030. This transformation effort is structured to achieve President
Bush’s vision to create a more efficient and less expensive nuclear weapons
complex of the future that is able to respond to changing national and global
security challenges.

Altho the budget is boring, a review of it will show the direction of the DOE is not what was presented in Jimmy Carter's speech. If you look at the DOE website you will see it talks about energy saving and things it is doing as discussed in President Carter speech, but if you look at the budget you will see it is not entirely true. The Department of Energy is but another example of a failed government cabinet level department. With under 15,000 employees, down from over 20,000 employees when it was created, you can say the Department is more efficient or the attention to energy problems is just going away at a time when we need something done. What ever way you look at it, the original purpose of a Dept of Energy is no longer what today's DOE is.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Protecting Community Character and Sense of Place

I went to a workshop this morning at the Seaford City Hall on the Preservation of Historic Community character. First let me say the Seaford City Hall has really nice broad chairs with thick cushion that you can actually sit there for three four hours with out pain, unlike those wooden folding chairs in Delmar Town Hall. Second, there was about 40 people in attendance and naturally to attend something like this they would all be interested in it, so it was like preaching to the choir. As the speakers spoke you see all the heads nodding in agreement with them.

Dan Costello, on the board of trustee for Preservation Delaware, was the moderator and Adrian Fine of the National Trust Historic Preservation; Tom Reed, lawyer; and Robin Krawitz of the Delaware State Historic Preservation office were the speakers. The discussions were about how to maintain the character of a community by maintaining the style of the houses in the neighborhoods and town. The idea being; if the neighborhood is made up of 1,200 square foot, 2 story homes built about 1930 than a 9,000 sq ft three story house would not necessarily fit in. Nor would tearing down a house built in 1800 do much for the character of town unless it was so neglected it needed to be torn down.

One of the important thing discussed was the need for a town to do a survey of the houses in the town, so when there is a request to have a house torn down or greatly modified Planning and Zoning can determine if it would be suitable to tear it down or change it without changing the character of the community.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Amy Clayville

An article from the Dover Post - Online discussed, Amy Clayville, former Towne Point Elementary School PTA treasurer. Towne Point is in the Capital School district in Dover. Amy Clayville had been arrested for theft from the PTA bank account and entered a guilty plea on April 8th for $3,500. As usual in these cases she was ordered to pay back the money and her many years of jail time was reduced to one year of probation. However after an audit, now it turns out she may have actually taken at least $11,062. Clayville allegedly forged the PTA President, Jenny Mabus, name on to the PTA checks to steal the money. The PTA is now pretty much broke and is trying to do fund raiser to replenish the money. As I have said before Associations are the most frequently hit for embezzlement and theft. Do you know how your organization finances stand?

Death of Three Delmar Girls in 1935

April 20, 1935 The Salisbury Times

Three Delmar Girls and three Salisburians Are Victims Of Accident In Powellville At 12:15 A. M. This Morning


Bodies Were Crushed As Front Of Car Is Driven Back To Rear Seat. Girls Had Attended Rehearsal of Church Pageant

All six occupants of an automobile were killed early today when their machine crashed into the rear of a lumbertruck parked just off the road in Powellville.

The dead are;
Thaddeus Dykes, 25, Washington Street.
Norris Dykes, his brother, 22, Washington Street.
Wisehart Mumford, 19, East Locust Street.
Violet Templeton, 17, Maryland Ave., Delmar.
Evelyn Willey, 17, Chestnut Street, Delmar.
Agnes Taylor, 20, Maryland Ave., Delmar.

All died at the scene of the accident except the Taylor girl who died four hours after being brought to the hospital here. She did not regain consciousness and none of the six victims lived to tell their own story of the tragedy.

The bodies were brought to the undertaking establishment of Holloway and Company and later claimed by the relatives and were taken to the several homes.

State Attorney Rex A. Taylor said investigation showed the cause of the accident to be so apparent a coroner inquest would serve no purpose.

“It was one of the worst accidents I have ever seen since working on the State Police force,” said Corporal C. E. Minnick “ the occupants of the machine never knew what hit them, the crash was so terrific,” “the Car must have been traveling at least seventy miles an hour at the time the crash occurred,”

The incident occurred almost in the center of town at 12:15 A. M. The machine failed to negotiate a sweeping curve in the state highway and went across the road to hit the truck parked three feet off the left side of the concrete thoroughfare.

As the motor clashed into the rear of the lumber the top part of the radio, hood, and entire front of the machine was either sheared off or pressed backward against the rear seat. The impact crushed all occupants.

No actual eyewitnesses were found by Corporal Minnick, who continued an investigation until 8 A. M. He had Sheriff Charles H. Truitt notify the relatives of the victims.

Roger Jones and Henry Kelly were standing about 100 feet down the highway when their attention was attracted by the sound of the crash.

Jones said he first noticed steam rising from the wreckage and with Kelly went to the scene. They found all occupants inside the wrecked car. A superficial examination revealed that the three Salisbury men and one of the girls were dead. Life appeared to be lingering in two of the girls and they pulled the wreck apart to rescue them. One of the girls died as soon as she was extracted.

Jones put the Taylor girl in his car and rushed her to the hospital. The State police sub-station was notified and Corporal Minnick arrived with Dr. L. A. Radenmaker. The four bodies remained in the car.

Minnick said Thaddeus Dykes body was taken from the wrecked driver’s seat. Dykes was married and is survived by a widow and three children. The oldest is four and the youngest seven months old. He was employed as a cutter at a local shirt plant.

The three young women had attended the rehearsal of a pageant by the Methodist Protestant Church last night. Afterwards they joined the men and the six set off on a pleasure ride with no definite destination.

State attorney Taylor was informed they had been to a road house near Salisbury sometime during the evening. The machine was driving into Powellville from the direction of Snow Hill.

Charles Coulbourne, driver of the truck owned by Edwin Jones, Whiton, had parked the load of lumber along the roadside and went to his home in Powellville to obtain sleep, expecting to deliver it to Hebron today.

The lumber was scattered over the ground and the wrecked car. The trailer was also badly damaged.

Mumford is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Blanche Young , Mrs. Gladys Ennis, Mrs. Catherine Baker and a brother, William Mumford. Funeral Services will be conducted from St. Andrew’s Church at 3:30 Monday afternoon, Rev. R. P. Edwards officiating.

Violet was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Templeton; Evelyn; the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Willey; Agnes of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Taylor. The fathers of the three girls are all railroad trainmen.

April 26, 1935 The Milford Chronicle

Delmar News- Funeral Services for Miss Agnes Taylor and Miss Evelyn Willey, two of the three women who with their escorts, were crushed to death in an automobile accident near Salisbury Friday night, were held on Monday. The services for Miss Violet Templeton, the third victim, were held from her late home on Tuesday. Services for the other victims, Salisbury Men, were held on Monday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Brother Got Forked

Pranksters went by my brothers last night and stuck a few hundred plastic forks in his yard. Well it is better than the days when they tossed toilet paper all over your yard. Click photo to see it better

Gordy and Williams Mill on Gordy Mill Road

The Gordy and Williams Mill was similar in location to the Williams mill, south west of it. Located on today's Gordy Mill Road, off Stage Road in Delmar, the mill was a grist mill run by Benjamin Gordy and Isaac Williams in the 1870's. It was upstream from Williams Mill pond on what was than called Rum Ridge Branch. Today Rum Ridge Branch is called Andrews Branch. Andrews Branch flows to the North Prong and eventually into the Wicomico River. As the photo above shows it is a sunken piece of land today where the mill pond was. This is at the junction of Gordy Mill Road and Andrews Branch.

This is the outflow that goes to Williams Pond.

Gordy road is a lightly travelled road that is torn up at the east end due to utility lines being run to new subdivisions.

The photo doesn't do it justice but there is only a narrow strip of paved road left until you get past the subdivision.

Gordy Mill Road also has a burnt house that is roosting place for buzzards. You will notice one cooling his armpits or wings pits in the photo.

As can be seen on this 1870's map, today's Gordy Mill Road is one of the original roads in this section of Delmar, Maryland. On the map it is shown as a secondary road leading from road #848 (Stage Road)by the colored M E church, to road #737 (Rum Ridge Road). Since all the roads were dirt back then, I can't imagine what a secondary road must have been like. Still considering there is no road show to Williams Mill, the Gordy and Williams Mill must have been on a well traveled road.