Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Delmar Heritage Day Festival

I was up to the Delmar Heritage Day Festival about 10:30 AM and there was some activity. I went back about 4:30 PM to see if anything was happening and no one was there so I assume it was rained out. I hear tell Delmar won the football game.

Barb Hudson, who is the Democratic candidate for the 40th District State representative had a booth set up. She is opposing Biff Lee.

Barb Hudson and Greg Fuller. Greg is running for Clerk of the Peace in Sussex County. I was disappointed there were not more candidates here. They either could care less about Delmar or I can be nice and say the rain kept them away. I tend toward the former.

The New Century Club of Delmar put this garden in front of the Caboose. I think the New Century Club is the oldest volunteer organization in town.

I stopped by the Kiwanis trailer for some oyster sandwiches and who should I spot but

Biff Lee, the 40th district State Representative. I don't travel in the same circles as he does so even though I have been told he comes to Delmar often I never see him unless it is at an event or parade like this. Happily I carry my Biff Lee calendar with me so I was able to ID him. He has a very manly handshake.

Delmar Heritage Day Festival and Homecoming at 9 AM

The Delmar Heritage Day Festival and Homecoming is today. At 9 AM the sun is trying to breakthru an overcast sky. Everything is wet from the rain but vendors are setting up and everything but the parade is a GO. One of the vendors told me the parade had been cancelled. Over on the school website the only info I see is; "Saturday's parade is questionable, a Honeywell announcment will be made about 9 am."

The parade being cancelled because of rain reminds me of when I lived in Millsboro and was president of the Jaycees. Each year the Jaycees would put on the Christmas parade, well Christmas parades, because they are usually on the weekends and there are only four or five weekends in the Christmas season, are difficult events to reschedule. The rule we went by was; if all the units in the parade were on the road marching when the rain broke out we would not reschedule the parade - it was just rained out. If however they had not started marching we would do a rain date. Well one year, on parade day, the sky was clear with the exception of a large black cloud to the north. As the start time came nearer so did the big black cloud. When we started the parade the rain started also, it poured. We had band members running for cover, we had girl scouts dressed as Christmas presents trying to run in boxes, it was a horrible mess. When the rain date came for the parade we had about 30% of the original entrants marching that we had on the original parade day. It's a crap shoot rather to cancel a parade or not.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Delmar Heritage Day Festival and Homecoming

All eyes are on the weather forecast for Delmar's big day tomorrow. Yes, once again it is the Delmar Heritage Day Festival and Homecoming. Should be a lot of people around Delmar tomorrow (if it doesn't pour). It would be a great day for a yard sale. This week a number of volunteers were downtown cutting and trimming grass, planting flowers, painting etc etc. If it was not for the LeCates Building the place would look good. Should be a good day with carriage rides, pie eating contests, vendors, politicians (I understand Christine O'Donnell and Barbara Hudson will be here), car show, Randy Lee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys, and of course the parade at 11 and the football game afterwards.

The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks

My niece sent me the address of the Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks. No doubt as a hint to me. Now since the grammar and punctuation on my blog can certainly be described as a free style, I found how nit-picking he or she is, to be interesting.

The September Planning and Zoning meeting.

The Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting was held last night. The commission is made up of Ed Ferro, James Henderson, Carl Anderton, Jr, Michael Houlihan, Joe Dixon, William Boyan, and Joy Slabaugh. All volunteer their time for this commission and all were present.

The last pad site at Delmar Commons was given final plat approval. It is a 9,950 sq ft building, north of McDonalds. It will house a mattress store and there will be two other occupants, as yet unannounced.

The Lighthouse Square people were there to discuss a plat correction and easement/ setback problems.

Commander Luther Hitchens of the American Legion came requesting approval for an extension on to the American Legion. I applaud Mike Houlihan for announcing before the discussion on the American Legion that he was a member of the American Legion and would not be voting on the matter. Approval was given.

Delmar Gateway, a proposed shopping center between Connelly Mill Road and Stage Road, came to request preliminary approval. A general discussion of the entrances to the center was talk. The commission was not in favor of the entrance thru the used car lot from Connelly Mill Road and going in front of NAPA and the church.

Whitetail Run(also called Brittingham property), a proposed 352 unit development off Old Stage Road (Delaware), came to request preliminary plat approval. Their designer, Doug Warner, from Elements really puts some thought into the design. It is interesting to hear him talk about why streets are a certain width, drainage, walk paths, etc. Approval was given.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Owe Me

America is going to hell with the culture of entitlement and a “you owe me” attitude. People keep taking for granted what they have and keep asking for more, and the more they get the more they expect. Businesses, because other businesses have been bailed out, now think the Government owes them, so now we are faced with a $700 billion bailout. We have schools that think the population owes them because they teach our children. We have parents of school children who think the schools and government owes them because they themselves refuse to accept responsibility for their own children. We have elected officials helping themselves to various perks and bribes because the "people" owe them. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated the New Deal programs in the 1930’s the people in America has been indoctrinated in to a "You Owe Me” attitude and everybody thinks somebody owes them something.

On a smaller scale here in Delmar we have our volunteer fire department. The Fire Department was formed by the citizens of Delmar to protect the town and as years went by it expanded into protecting a fire district, the Delmar Volunteer Fire Department District became less the Town of Delmar and it members became fewer residents of Delmar.

We are proud of the fire department. We think they have a high level of professionalism when it comes to public safety - fire fighting and ambulance calls. The town tries to assist the fire department in various ways, even though the town knows part of the help will go for the general good of people in the fire district, not just the town of Delmar.

The town, because it has a water system, supplies “free” water to the fire department. I don’t think the residents of this town, who pay for the water, objects to the fire company using the water outside of the city limits for fires or other public safety acts. We do like to know when the fire department is taking our water for non-public safety purposes. As long as it benefits the area or an organization we will rarely object to it use for that purpose. We do like to be informed of it.

Now the Utility Commission of the Town of Delmar, which oversees the water and sewer operation, is in disagreement with the Fire Department. What could be more Delmarva than for a commission of a town to be in disagreement with their local volunteer fire company? Why is the Utility Commission in disagreement with the fire company? Because although I had always thought if you volunteered you did so freely without expectation of rewards, some individual members of the Delmar Volunteer Fire Company feel “You Owe Me”.

The Utility commission received a complaint that the fire department was filling tankers from the town water system and filling select individual volunteer fire company member’s swimming pools. This was done without informing the town the water was being removed for a non-public safety reason, nor asking approval to do so. A letter was sent to the fire department telling them to stop this practice. It is the Utility Commission responsibility to protect the Delmar Water system and it does not provide free water to non-users of the system. The fire department appeared at the town meeting saying this was a long time practice they had and what did they want for them to do. In our discussion with them they seemed outraged we would question their actions at all. Although no one was happy with the compromise the agreement we reached with the Fire Chief, who we felt was spoke for the fire department, was; we would allow the pools of volunteer firemen who were residents of the town of Delmar to be filled. My post on that subject is here. As I said no one was happy with it but it was a compromise.

Now the town of Delmar has a number of volunteers in other organizations, on town commissions or just individuals trying to make Delmar a better place. They assist at the library, at schools, on sport teams, and in the government of the town of Delmar. As I have stated before I have volunteered my time for over ten years on this Utility commission. I don’t expect, nor do I receive free water for my house nor do I expect to have my swimming pool filled for free. Like most volunteers I don’t expect any form of recognition for doing this work and giving my time. I do it as a volunteer, because it is in an area that I think I can help Delmar. In this meeting the Firemen implied that I was wasting my time as it was of no importance. Being a volunteer fireman was the only important thing in Delmar. This outlook came mainly from someone who doesn’t even live in the town limits but yet expects to direct the town in the way it spends money. I think that attitude is insulting to all the volunteers that help out in Delmar and I was amazed at the arrogant of the volunteer firemen.

The Fire Company has to go by the same laws and rules other people go by. Even in performing their public safety activities they are not allowed to drive in an unsafe manner or do anything that is unlawful. The Utility Commission does not allow individuals to take water with out permission and not paying for it to benefit that individual. We do not expect the Delmar Fire Department to remove water from our mains for non-public safety reasons without notifying us first.

I understand the Fire Department feel the Utility Commission has besmirched their reputation when we talked about their unauthorized removal of water from the town mains. They apparently are not happy with the Utility Commission directing them as to whose pool they can fill. So now we have another meeting coming up and frankly I don’t know who we will deal with from the fire department. I had thought the fire chief spoke for the fire department at the last meeting but since he is going against the agreement he either does not represent the fire company or he is not a man of his word.

This upcoming meeting is a situation no one is going to win. The fire department is going to appear like a good ol’ boys club filled with favoritism, instead of a professional fire fighting unit and the utility commission is going to appear like it is ungrateful and penny pinching. Now we all know this argument isn’t about if volunteer firefighter Joey Morris can or can not have his pool filled with town water, it is about who runs the town, the volunteer fire company, which is made up of a high percentage of non-town residents, or the town of Delmar which is the town residents. The next Utility Commission meeting is Monday September 29th at 6:30 PM and the Joint Council Meeting is at 7 PM. Come One Come All it should be a great show.

So like I said we are a nation of “You Owe me” People. Today, nationally, requesting $700 Billion for a bailout and locally filling a volunteer fireman swimming pool and come Tomorrow??

As my disclaimer states on the side bar this blog is my opinion. It does not represent the opinion of the Town of Delmar nor does it represent the opinion of other members of the utility commission.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Blog

I found this blog called Heating Oil, Propane and Gasoline on Delmarva. Who ever runs it set up to tell horror stories about the price and quality of those items in Southern Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Take a look and give your comment.

Jump You SOB's Jump

When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the gray men
When they dive from the fourteenth floor
Black Friday by Steely Dan

I am currently listening to TV newscasters talk about John McCain suspending his campaign to work on the $700 billion bailout bill and Obama is not. Is there anyone that you know that is in favor of this bill? Absolutely everyone I know says they got their selves in the mess let them go under and hopefully if they are semi honorable the bankers and stockbrokers will jump from a tall building for being so greedy. Let us hope they will be holding hands with Henry Paulson and a few Senators as they are falling.

First, it was Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac they bailed out for being incompetent. Now rather suddenly we are told if we don't give $700 Billion dollars to wall street banks our whole economy will go under. I can not imagine any thing so critical that it has to be done in a week's time. I can't imagine raising the $10.6 trillion limit that is currently the limit on the national debt to a limit of $11.3 trillion. Does anyone doubt that next months it will raised again?

In 2002 the debt limit was raised from $5.95 Trillion to $6.4 Trillion, In 2003 it was raised to $7.4 trillion, in 2004 raised to $8.184 Trillion, In 2006 it was raised to $9.815 trillion, in July 2008 it was raised to $10.6 trillion, now in September (2 months later) we are looking at going to $11.3 trillion. Isn't it time to stop and face the reality? Our Senators and Representatives are responsible for this situation. Vote all of them out.

Black Ankle Camp - 1941

From the Journal-Every Evening (Wilmington) September 16, 1941

“Black Ankle” Camp Fracases Lead To Arrest, Man Hunt

Berlin, Md. – One man is in the Berlin jail and two others are being hunted by Worcester County authorities and state police, climaxing a series of three outbreaks at the notorious “Black Ankle” camp of seasonal and itinerant Negro workers in Berlin.

In a Salisbury hospital today lies George Higgins of Norfolk, Va., whose chances of recovering from a slashed abdomen are slight, declared Constable Edwin D. Lynch last night. Higgins was slashed with a knife across his stomach several times Sunday night, climaxing a general crap game at the camp, it was stated. Today officers are seeking his assailant.

A state warrant for another Negro who shot Madison Reddick in the foot three weeks ago during a gambling game of craps, sending Reddick to the Salisbury hospital for 20 days, was issued yesterday by Trial Magistrate Fred A. Culver.

Magistrate Culver explained that the shooting was reported to State Attorney William G. Kerbin of Worcester County three weeks ago by Dr. Charles R. Law, Berlin physician, but that no action had been taken by officials. Yesterday a warrant in the case was sworn out by Noah Hudson, Berlin night police chief, Mr. Kerbin has been on vacation.

Declaring that the “Black Ankle” camp at Berlin had long needed a general clean-up by county authorities, because of the numerous outbreaks of crime there this summer. Trial Judge Culver, a former deputy sheriff and Berlin police officer declared “If necessary I shall again wear a badge and cleanup the place myself if county and Berlin police officers persist in ignoring flagrant crime conditions there.

Yesterday another incident broke out in the “Black Ankle” section of Berlin when Frank Brown complained to officials that another Negro named Lee Wilson was hunting him with a loaded shotgun. State Police Corp. Newton J. Lloyd and Constable Edwin D. Lynch rushed to “Black Ankle” camp, found Wilson with a shotgun and took the loaded weapon from Wilson’s hands. Wilson was duly warned to behave.

One hour later a second complaint was made against Wilson. This time he was gunning for Frank Brown with a loaded rifle. Trial Judge Fred A. Culver and Night Police Chief Noah Hudson went to the camp found Wilson grabbed a rifle from him and landed the bad man in the Berlin City jail on a charge of “assault with a shotgun upon Frank Brown.”

He will face trial Tuesday.

1952 Campaign Pin - Dwight D Eisenhower

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Munich Oktoberfest

The famous waitresses in their Dirndl dresses heaving handfuls of one-liter Mass glasses, does it look like he is looking at the beer?

The Munich Oktoberfest started this weekend. The Oktoberfest dates back to the wedding in October 1810 of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig with Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. This weekend the party goers drank 450,000 liters of beer and ate 11 oxens. At 6 euros a liter (about 9 US Dollars a liter) the Germans went thru some money also. I think I will stick with my $1.75 draft beer at the Sports Nuts Bar. The Oktoberfest ends October 5th so there is still plenty of time to attend. Last year Oktoberfest visitors ate 521,873 roast chickens, 58,446 pork knuckles and 104 oxen. They consumed 6.9 million liters.

This year there is a little controversy over the traditional dress of Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses being made in Eastern Europe, China, and India. The Purists are complaining that they should be made locally. Of note, a pair of embroidered deer-leather short Lederhosen made by a Bavarian tailor would cost 600 Euros ($882 USD), while imported Lederhosen costs just 150 Euros ($220 USD). It is not a difficult choice for me as I couldn't afford either one.

One of the big beer tents

1934 Cigarette Thefts

From The Milford Chronicle Sept 21, 1934

...Appearing before Judge Charles S. Richards last Saturday and pleaded guilty to charges placed against them without having to stand trail at the October term of Court of General Sessions. This action on their part not only saved the county the expense of trials but also made it easier on them in the sentence imposed.

... James Rogers and Louis Overton, of Delmar, each charged with stealing cigarettes, tobacco and matches from the filling station of Vincent N. Dennis were sentenced to serve six months in the county jail and pay $25 as restitution....

Thunder Road

It is hard to believe but the movie Thunder Road is 50 years old this year. In 1958 when it was released it was popular with those of us in Wicomico Senior High School. For those who are not familiar with the movie it starred Robert Mitchum and some other people. Robert Mitchum was always a popular star on Delmarva. He lived with his grandmother for a while in, I think Felton Delaware, and he had a farm over around Cambridge or Easton. When he would hit Ocean City, his drinking and actions were popular gossip around town. Anyway Thunder Road is about a Tennessee bootlegger who ran fast cars transporting the illegal alcohol. It was a “B” movie but certainly developed a cult following. I think I have a tape of it somewhere around the house and it is shown on Turner Classic movie channel ever so often.

The theme song (written by Robert Mitchum) goes like this;



So advance forward four years and I found myself in the Air Force. Now you may not know this but military people tend to be some of the biggest bullshiters you would ever meet. Once they realized there was no one from home to tell otherwise they developed their own make believe childhood and environment. About ever other guy from the southeastern United States would tell the story line from Thunder Road as tho it actually happened to them and they ran fast cars with illegal alcohol. They all seem to think they were the only one who had seen the movie and no one would be suspicious of them. Neverless it is a great redneck cult classic movie.

This movie review of Thunder Road is as good as any of them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

American Legion and Ford Brewington Trust

The Delmar American Legion from the Outside
I was invited to the American Legion tonight to watch a ground breaking ceremony for a new extension on the current building. Luther Hitchens is the commander and he enticed me to go with the promise of free food.

It was the first time I had been inside the American Legion Building. They received their charter on March 20th 1935. The chapter, #15,is named after Glen Rayne.

The Napoleon bust was donated from France and arrived on the Gratitude Train in 1949. This thank you to America was donated by Madam A. Goujean, 23 Rue Massena, Lyon, France.

The Ford Brewington Jr Trust Fund in alliance with the American Legion will be adding a 20 X 50 extension community hall on to the current American Legion Building. They hope to have the building up by mid October. There will still be a kitchen to equip but by Christmas 2009 they should be able to have the annual Ford Brewington Dinner there. The above photo show our Mayors and American Legion officer flipping earth for the new building

Everybody in the picture. As everyone remembers Ford Brewington was one of the unique people we have or had in Delmar. I did a post on him back in December 2006.

First Day Of Fall

What says fall is here any better than mums and winter pansies.

Weekend Camping Trip To Kiptopeke

This weekend our neighbors and we went camping at Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I always feel comfortable on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a branch of my ancestors come from the Belle Haven/ Franktown area, so those Baylys, Scarburghs, Robins and Gunters in that area are cousins. For some reason none claim me as a relative.

A drive down Route 13 on the Eastern shore of Virginia is a sightseeing tour of tomato fields, Labor camps, Mexican restaurants, numerous “Vote For Obama” signs, produce packing houses, chicken plants, derelict buildings overgrown with vines, and a proliferation of small frame homes. In 1660 the Virginia law was that to lay claim to a plot of ground you had to build a 12 feet square house on it. The building of the 12 by 12 feet house seem to continue on into today as the Eastern Shore of Virginia has numerous small houses on it. Now I happen to enjoy looking at small houses so it suits me. I would rather see people living in small houses they can afford instead of these large houses you see now days in developments where the occupant is in debt up to their eyeballs and the government (me) is bailing them out.

The park is at the old Virginia Ferry Corporation terminal for the Norfolk to Kiptopeke ferry run. When the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel was built about 1964 it put the ferry out of business, the land became a hunting club and later was sold to the State of Virginia. Today it is a State park and has a shallow water beach that sand dollars grow in, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, camping areas, playground, and nature trails. It is a good base of operations to tour the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia or too drive across to the western shore.

Since we tent camp, the Kiptopeke State Park area has very roomy camping sites nestled in the woods, a short walk from the beach. Compared to Tom’s Cove in Chincoteague it is quiet and at night it is dark as there are no street lights, if you are making much noise about 10 PM a pistol packing park ranger will come by to remind you that at eleven it is "quiet" time in the park.

The walkways to the beach

Always good walking on the beach

Horseshoe crabs, not just in Delaware

We took our flashlights and went walking on the beach at night looking for small crabs that come out at night and scurry across the beach

One of the points of interest at Kiptopeke State Park is the Kiptopeke Navy. They are nine concrete cargo ships used as a breakwater at Kiptopeke. In 1948 the Virginia Ferry Corporation decided to move the Eastern Shore of Virginia terminal from Cape Charles to Kiptopeke. In order to protect the harbor they purchased nine surplus ships from the government, grounded them on the bottom of the bay, and filled them with sand.

The ships were made of ferrocement and steel reinforcement bars in an attempt to save steel during WWII. They were all built about 1944 at the McCloskey & Company shipyard in Tampa FL. so they all look alike. Concrete ships had been built since WWI. Since they are inefficient to use for commercial applications due to their heavy weight, low cargo carrying area and heavy fuel use after each war they were used piers, reefs and breakwaters.

Since they are almost as old as I am, they are crumbling away and a lot of the reinforcement steel is showing thru the holes in the hulls. The nine ships were the S.S. Robert Whitman Lesley, S.S. William Foster Cowham, S.S. John Grant, S.S. Richard Meade, S.S. Willard A. Pollard, S.S. Willis A. Slater, S.S. Arthur Newell Talbot, S.S. Edward Thatcher, and the S.S. Leonard Chase Wason.

Above is the SS Arthur Newell Talbot when it was a working ship.

They have a fishing pier at Kiptopeke and for three dollars a day you can use it without buying a Virginia fishing license. My fishing for the two days went like this; bait line, cast, reel in blue crab, switch baits, cast again, reel in seaweed, switch bait, cast, reel in horseshoe crab. The only thing biting was flies and the only thing I caught and kept was sunburn on my neck. My neighbor did catch a small flounder that he threw back. Happily, no one else on the pier was catching anything so it wasn’t my usual feeble attempts at fishing.