Saturday, June 14, 2008

1935 Ad Imperial Liquors

1992 Ad Cigarette Outlet

Local Citizen Weather Observer

We have outside of Delmar, Delaware, a Local Citizen Weather Observer. He has a weather station set up that supplies weather information to the State and Federal government. His weather ID is CW4197 and this is a link to his site. As you can see the top information line gives wind direction,wind speed, temperature, humidity, dewpoint, and pressure. He has several graphs that show similar information for the past periods out to ten days.

He is part of CWOP. The Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) is a private-public partnership with three main goals: 1) to collect weather data contributed by citizens; 2) to make these data available for weather services and homeland security; and 3) to provide feedback to the data contributors so that they have the tools to check and improve their data quality.

Should you want to contact Paul, our local weather observer, his email is;

What I like to look at is the dewpoint. From my non technical viewpoint the dewpoint is simply put; the temperature at which dew forms. In this area it is in the 70 degree plus range due to the moisture and the closeness to the water. When I was in the military and stationed in Ajo, Arizona, part of my morning duty was to calculate the dewpoint so allowances for the radar system could be made. The dewpoint there in the winter was usually in the single digits. It did on occasion in the summer, when the wind direction changed, climb up to 40 degrees or so which usually would signal to us we had a severe storm coming our way. Of note at that time the radar antennas were not enclosed in a bubble so when the winds reached a certain speed you have to shut the radar down and climb up the antenna and release a lock that would let them free turn, similar to windmills in a storm. Here we tend to look at the barometer more for storms. Humidity there was in the 10% to 30% range instead of the 90% to 100% range here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cape Henlopen School District Rejects Money Transfer

Wow, the taxpayers in Cape Henlopen School District rejected in referendum, a proposal to transfer extra tax collection and tax rate from the Debt Service (capital project bond and interest payments)account to the Current Operations Account to offset any loss of funding for instructional and/or support staff, and school programs currently funded from the State of Delaware. In simple terms the school district wanted to juggle money accounts like Delmar did. They had hoped for $800,000 to be transferred to the operating account and they had plans to put down artificial (synthetic) turf on the sports field with this money. The selling point, as it was in Delmar, is there would be no increase in the overall tax rate. Unlike Delmar, the Cape Henlopen people were smart enough to know if it was not approved the school tax rate would be reduced - even better than no tax increase. This was a typical government thing where money was there and instead of returning it to the people they had plans of grabbing it for themselves. The estimated decrease for the average taxpayer will be about $18 a year. Not much but it is always better in your pocket than in a government agency's pocket. Some day maybe Delmar people, other than myself, will question some of the spending the school and town does here.

Christina and David Pierson

A Milton couple were arrested for embezzling $62,014 from the Delaware Bay Surgical Services in Lewes. Christina Pierson worked for Dr. Mayer Katz, vascular surgeon, and had access to his checkbook and company credit card. She worked for him from 2002 to April 2007 when she was fired. Her and her husband, David Pierson, were charged with felony theft, conspiracy 2nd degree, two counts of Forgery 2nd degree, and falsifying business records. Both were released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Self Checkout

I don't care for the self checkout lanes in the big box stores. First, being cheap, I don't feel I am getting my money worth checking my own purchases out and having the cheap ass store refusing to hire another checkout clerk or open another checkout line. Maybe if they offered a small discount on my purchases if I do the work myself it would interest me more. Being old, the self checkout lines confuse me. Like wise at Sam's Club, I see little reduction in prices, compared to Walmart, and you have to box the stuff up yourself and pay for an annual card. However, on a trip to the Wicomico County Free Library I saw and I used the self check out device for my books. I thought it was great. It took me about 30 seconds to swipe my library card and the two books I had, and I was on my way. I still don't care for the self check out line at the stores but the Library self check line has my complete approval.

1937 Hanging

From the Milford Chronicle June 11, 1937


Joseph Nelson, 36-year-old negro died on the gallows at Georgetown last Friday morning for the murder of his common-law wife, Carrie Lethel.

At the trial he had confessed to the killing with an axe during a drunken brawl on the night of March 28.

A few minutes before he died he said in a tremor less voice “I want you to tell everyone who drinks whiskey that it’ll be the cause of their downfall.”

The execution took place in the courtyard of the Sussex county jail, within a boarded enclosure.

The trap was sprung at 5:02 o’clock, standard time. The man was pronounced dead at 5:25 o’clock by Dr. J. B. Waples and Dr. A. C. Smoot, of Georgetown.

Witnessing the hanging were prison officials, the execution jury, two Maryland State policemen, and nine Delaware State policemen including Sergeants J. P. Wood, F. G. Powell, and S. B. Knox.

The condemned man was escorted from the death ceil to the gallows by the Rev. Richard K. White, prison chaplain and rector of St. Paul’s P. E. Church, Georgetown and the Rev. John King, negro minister from Millsboro.

Nelson spent the night on his knees while the prison guards read him prayers. The man could neither read nor write.

His last hours he spent in a cheerful mood and just before he mounted the gallows he said to Mr. White, “I’m feeling good.”

Because no relatives claimed the body it was buried in the old potter’s field at the expense of the county.

Nelson lived near Laurel. On the night of March 28, after he had killed the woman, he dragged the body to a field about 150 feet from the house of Isaac Cordrey and said he had found the woman’s body battered.

Arrested, Nelson confessed and reiterated his confession at the trial.

This was the thirteenth hanging in Sussex County since 1825 and the first since the execution of Mrs. May H. Carey and her son two years ago.

Today, June 13th in 1986, Governor Michael Castle signed House bill 32 which abolished hanging as a capital punishment and substituted death by injection with a lethal substance. - From This Day in Delaware History From the Delaware Public Archives

Special People Parking

I was out to the shopping center today at about 11:30 and these two cars were parked in the fire lane by Family Dollar so I took a picture of them. As usual the police were no where around. A black woman jumped out of the black SUV and started giving me hell about; "I didn't have any right to take a picture of her car" and "where was my badge" and "I couldn't do that." So I told her to call the police on me if it was a problem and went ahead about my shopping. As usual both vehicles had Maryland license plates.

Nanking Cherry Bush

I have spoken before about how few cherries I get off the Nanking Cherry bush I have in my yard. Usually the birds eat all of them before I get to them. Today, while pruning back branches I found the bush had a number of cherries on it - down in the bottom branches where the birds couldn't get to them. I picked a pint or so which is an avalanche of cherries for what I usually get off the bush. Now they are not the greatest cherries but what is important is I finally got something productive off the bush.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Delmar Band - 1909

From the "Salisbury Courier" March 20, 1909

The Delmar Concert Band of 22 pieces will give a grand musicale in the K. of P. Hall, Sharptown, Saturday evening March 27th. This is the best band south of Wilmington, and has played in all the principal towns in lower Delaware. A fine program has been arranged for this occasion. General admission, 25 cents. Concert begins at 7:30 P.M.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Boring Book

After a certain amount of time, devoted to reading a book, you are forced to admit the book was a mistake and would be a waste to continue reading it, such is the case with William Least Heat-Moon book "River Horse - Across America By Boat". William Least Heat-Moon is an author who wrote "Blue Highways" about 1981. I found "Blue Highways" enjoyable as I like travel books and he traveled on the less traveled roads around America in the a van that he also slept in. He traveled lean and mean.

A second book he wrote "PrairyErth" was not as good as "Blue Highways' but was passable.

Well 20 years after "Blue Highways" he decides to take a trip across America by boat. I like boats - I like to read about travel - so I thought it would be a good book. He starts in New York City and follows the Hudson river, Erie Canal etc across America. Unlike his beatup van in "Blue Highways' he is using a C-Dory (about $55,000 used, okay even I wouldn't expect him to use 12 intertubes tied to 3 sheets of plywood, and float along). He is like many of us, older, so he no longer eats bologna sandwiches and sleeps in his van (boat) as in "Blue Highways', now every other day he is docking and sleeping over night in a Bed and Breakfast or hunting around town for "a really good Irish Stout or at least a genuine pilsner" and is disappointed when the town of 1,000 people he stops at does not have it. He talks about his meals washed down with the correct wine. His Book is thick. I was reading the large print version which is over 700 pages (I stopped at page 398). His sentences are boring with about 15 adjectives in each sentence. He throws in large, hardly ever used words. He has a number of people at various times traveling with him in the boat, but in an effort to keep the attention focused on himself he does not mention them by name. In order to keep up his sense of self importance he mentions the reporters that follow him on the trip and how government officials go out of their way to help him along.

Now I will admit describing scenery on a river is not the most interesting thing lets face it - we went pass a tree, there were weeds growing along the bank and there was mud - can be used to describe any river anywhere, but he is suppose to be an author so he needs to make it interesting otherwise he might as well write a blog. It was not interesting. Frankly, I have been to meetings at the Delmar Town Hall that has been more interesting than this book. Big thumbs down on William Least Hurt-Moon for trying to cash in on his one good book and putting out crap like this.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Truck Riding Days

This hot weather reminds me of when I was young and school was out. My father for most of his life was a truck driver. When I was in grade school and high school he drove a tractor trailer hauling produce from Florida to New England and Canada. His schedule would be; he would leave on Sunday night for Florida, find a load of produce in Florida, come home on Wednesday, drive on to the produce terminal or supermarket in New England on Thursday, coming back home on Friday and having Saturday off and than Sunday start it all over again. About twice each summer he would take me with him on these trips. Now this was in the 1950's before interstate highways and air conditioning in trucks. It seems like it was very slow and always hot and sweaty. However compared to driving on the interstate today, for someone who was just along for the ride, it was much more interesting. We went thru every little town on Route 17 and Route 1 on the east coast. We used the ferry between Little Creek and Cape Charles and the ferry between Love Point and Kent island. We saw traffic traps, road side zoos, ate at exciting truck stops and sweated from Florida to Boston with dust floating in thru the open windows clinging to us.

Looking back on it I can see how it effected his health in later years. With his left arm always resting in the window in the sun and the sun shining on the left side of his face he got skin cancer on that side of his body. A stray thought, I guess if he was a lorry driver in England the skin cancer would have been on his right side. Naturally hemorrhoids came from years of sitting in the truck. Since there is little to do when you drove he was a a heavy smoker for a number of years until he gave it up in the 1970's. The Doctors insist that was what caused his death but if you die of cancer and ever smoke a cigarette in your life they would say that.

One of the interesting places (to me anyway) he would go to was the produce terminals. The one in Boston and the one outside of New York City was always interesting. Trucks from all over the United States deliver to these terminals and the produce is broken down into smaller quantities and put on smaller city size trucks to be delivered to mom and pop grocery stores. The smells of all the different produce was always in the air, people bustling around on fork trucks, strange languages, organized crime and a bunch of other stuff you didn't normally encounter.

One of the things I was impressed with was how well my father knew the weight of his truck and the weight of the produce he was carrying. As you know each state has a maximum weight a truck can weigh when it rides on their state roads. The state will usually have a weigh station shortly after you cross over the state line to weigh the truck either entering or leaving the state. The trick was always to overload the truck and be heavier than the legal amount but to calculate the weight of the motor fuel and ice on the truck and the time and distant it would take for it to be consumed, so when weighed at the state line the truck would be under the legal limit. This is one reason why truck stops would always be located just past a truck weigh station. The truck driver would have to refuel because he had timed out the fuel consumption so he would be almost riding on fumes when he got to the weigh station and would need refuel real quick after leaving the weight station. In that time period it was not normal for trucks to have air conditioning (Thermo Kings) on their trailers and instead they would have a compartment in the front of the trailer where block ice would be dumped and a small gasoline engine would rotate a fan to blow the cooled air back over the produce so it would not spoil. The ice would have also melted down (reducing the overall weight of the truck) by the time you arrived at the weight station and would have to be replenished at the truck stop. I was amazed how he could calculate that stuff in his head.

Low Water Usage Flowers

I have a few low water plants in my yard. Mostly they are native plants or plants that have been in the area a few hundred years. They seem to bloom about this time of year. I use to have a lot of wild daisies and yarrow and/or Queen Anne Lace which I enjoyed but that enjoyment was not shared by my wife, so they are gone.

Prickly Pear Catus, I just planted this last year and so for it has been a very good container plant.

The Yucca, always a nice creamy white bloom.

What I have always called a Tiger Lilly but everyone else insists it is a Day Lilly.

The problem with all of these is in another three weeks all the blooms will be gone and you will just have a green plant.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hot Day

The day was so hot my daughter and I decided to go canoeing in Laurel.

It was a mistake, we went on Broad Creek and found no shade at the time of day we went.

This photo may look like it was cool there but it was not.

Since I am such a poor swimmer and with my track record of tipping the canoe, I make anyone with me wear a life preserver. The problem with them is they just hold the heat into your body making you about ten times as hot with them on.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Graduations - 1937

Selections from the Milford Chronicle June 11, 1937 - Delmar News

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Cullen and family attended the commencement exercise at The University of Maryland, College Park, on Saturday, June 5th, when their son Richard received his LL. B. degree. His many friends here are pleased to hear of his splendid record at this law school, where he was an honor student, president of his class, member of the student government and on the Student Editorial Board of the "Maryland Law Review."

Commencement exercises were held in the school auditorium on Thursday evening, June 10th. Mr. J. Wallace Woodford, mayor of Dover, was the guest speaker. addresses were given by Clara Belle Ellis, valedictorian, and Eli Brill, salutatorian. G. M. Nelson, president of the Board of Trustees, presented the diplomas. Col. A. H. Lord, member of Governor McMullen's staff, presented the Good Citizenship medal awarded by the Sons of the American Revolution.

Graduation - 1935

Selections from the Milford Chronicle June 7, 1935 - Delmar News

Rev. E. E. Coleman, pastor of the M. P. Church in this Town, delivered the baccalaureate sermon on Sunday evening, June 2, to the graduating class of the Delmar (Del) High School in the auditorium.

The class night exercises were held on Wednesday evening of this week. Thursday evening, June 6, the final graduating exercises were held at 8 o'clock. Dr. G. Wilcox Meade of Washington College was the speaker of the evening. The valedictory address was given by Henry White and the salutatory address by Betty Wilhelm. The Graduating class consists of 24 members, 12 girls and 12 boys.

Summer is here

Whew!! with the heat turned up I see a lot of window air conditions being put in yesterday and today. Pools are opened or being opened and kids are out in full force in Delmar.

Big Brown

Well that was a surprise, here is a horse that had came in first in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and comes in last at Belmont. I understand the crowd booed the poor horse. A 38 to 1 long shot named Da' Tara came in first. Now I certainly root for long shots and under dogs but it does look a little suspicious, doesn't it?