Saturday, October 25, 2008

Delmar - Milford Football Game

I understand Delmar beat Milford last night 37 to 15. I also understand Laurel beat Indian River 43 to 37. All in All this upcoming Friday Delmar-Laurel night game should be a big one. Now I won't insult your intelligence by trying to pass myself off as football fan and pretend I attend the games - I am not a fan nor do I go to the games. However I am married to someone who is a big fan and attends every Delmar game she can. She has a vast wardrobe of Orange and Blue, cowbell props and is at the ticket booth by 6:15 for those 7:30 games, so she fills me in on these games.

The Daily Times once again has set her off with their lack of Delmar Football coverage. As I have said before we receive both the Daily Times and the News Journal. In the News Journal Sports section, this morning, is a large picture of the Delmar Milford game and an article. There was also a small writeup on the Laurel-Indian River game. In the Daily Times there is nothing. Both are Gannett publications and will trade articles but nothing about Delmar was in our morning copy of the Daily Times. I suppose I should be happy they had a write up on the front page about the possible microbrewery coming to Delmar, altho I think it was really aimed at telling Salisbury they lost out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick or Treat in Democrat Land

Election Campaign Signs

As I was driving up to Dover yesterday I couldn’t help but notice the number of election campaign signs on the highway. Their widespread use seem to have replaced the election bumper stickers of years ago. Now in Delaware, believe it or not, we don’t have as many campaign signs as other states because in Delaware once someone is elected they stay in the office until they decide to leave. People don’t run against them so you don’t have as many campaign signs on the roads. For an office seeker running against an incumbent however the campaign sign signifies to everyone that the campaign is going full steam and you want to be elected.

Now those signs are expensive but I think they are a good election value. It has been estimated that well-placed campaign signs can account for four percentage points on Election Day. They cost about a dollar, if ordered in quantities of a thousand, and about $3 a sign for two-sided, two-color signs in quantities of a hundred. The signs seem to be three types, plastic foam (coroplast), polybags, and paper. My Bill Lee sign was made of some kind of paper and it fell apart in a heavy rain storm. I guess you can say his signs would recycle well. The others will stay in the landfill for ever. In the 1980’s when I ran for councilman they didn’t have them and I used simple black-white posters tacked to power poles. My whole campaign cost for the Delmar councilman position was between $300 to $400 which mainly consisted of mail-outs, letters, envelopes, stamps, beer and posters. The current councilpeople who ran unopposed are getting a free ride.

I can certainly see there is some sign logic required for them to be effective such as how many, location, size, color, etc. Location is an obvious - you put them where the most people travel. You don’t see many in Delmar but the roads leading to Georgetown has a lot of them and of course RT13 as you go north of Bridgeville. I think size is a matter of if you are putting the sign in a neighborhood where the streets only have a speed limit of 25 mph (small ones 18 by 24 inch) or out on RT 13 where the speed limit is 55 mph (larger 4 by 8 feet ones). After all you only have a split second while driving to take in the information on a sign. I have no ideal how many a candidate would buy. Certainly Barb Hudson has about 20 signs for every one of Biff Lees. How many does she have out there – a thousand? They were over by Georgetown when I went there last week. Someone who could tell us where the signs are located is "Scrapple" Shields who being a pizza delivery guy goes everywhere.

The main thing that will make you notice an election signs is color and size of the lettering. Now I think signs should have the main information transferred to your brain in a split second as you drive by it. Photos, flags designs, and excess information distracts from that transfer. I see a number of them that have website addresses on them this year. Do those people really think you are going to stop your car and write down the website address? It is useless information.

So that said lets look at some photos of campaign signs I took yesterday and today and I will give you my opinion of them;

Let’s look at using photos on campaign posters. I used my photo on my campaign poster but hindsight says no, although I did get some pity votes for being ugly. Christine O'Donnell uses her photo on her poster, okay she is a pretty girl. Mike Castle doesn’t use his photo. Okay if they were running for the same office and your choice was based on a photo of Christine O'Donnell or Mike Castle who would you vote for? Karen Weldin Stewart also uses her photo.

Let’s look at color;
Background color is key and it varies with each individual as to which color they like. Some colors for what ever reason, aren’t used such as black, purple, pink, and only a limited amount of orange. Dave Wilson does has some small ones in orange that look Halloween like.

This is a simple blue with white background it comes across positive with me. Large name letters transfers the main information to remember in the election booth.

Usually a navy blue is a predominate background color, sometimes with variations and touches of red and white in it.

This is my favorite. Navy Blue, white letters with a green stripe. Perhaps due to age it reminds me a preppy clothing color scheme of navy and green used back some years ago. It is a positive sign for me.

I don't like the shade of blue used on this sign also I think it is risky using this takeoff on the "I Like Ike" signs from the 1950's. The association might be positive if you liked Ike but other might not like the copy cat slogan.

Good simple design everyone knows Joe so we know what he is running for - maybe. I understand this same sign is used in Pennsylvania but it says "Scranton's Joe Biden" on it. No Biden photo on it.

I like his signs because they say "Please" on them.

Parish has good simple lettering. Altho the small size sign is on Rt13 at 55mph you can read his name.

Fuller sign isn't bad but the added information doesn't make it as readable.

This would be a good sign but he has additional information written in red letters that you can't read because the blue overpowers the red.

A good clean sign, the website information is only a slight distraction because it is small enough not to be noticed, which makes you wonder why it was put on to begin with.

This is a good sign but the website information distracts from it.

Red is a color that should stand out but I don't care for it. I don't know if it is the black letters or the same dark color intensity of both the red and black. Perhaps due to my age and on a subconscious level I also relate this red background to the communist signs of the 1950's. Maybe a younger person wouldn't think about this.

This is a nice sign but it doesn't stand out as well as the others do.

Not a good photo but I also don't care that much for the yellow background. Also the smaller red sign for Georgette Williams is poor due to the red and the small size.

A good sign with just enough of red and white to draw your attention to it.


Scrapple told me about the Libertarian Party campaign sign for Mark Parks and I took this picture of it. Now what comes to mind is that old saying that everyone (thing) is good for something even if it is a bad example. This sign is bad on sooo many levels. It is like someone made it up with out ever considering the purpose of an election sign. The color isn't bad and it is the right size for 55 mph but it has so much stuff put on it. At 55 mph the only thing I read was "Libertarian Party." The "Mark Parks For Congress" is written in some strange script that does not stand out, nor is it readable at a glance. Plus it is at the bottom of the sign. Had this sign been put out a month ago the grass by now would be tall enough to cover up the Mark Parks part of the sign. I have always said Delaware is small enough that a third party candidate could be elected. Each election year it is like the Libertarian Party doesn't think about the election until a month before the election plus they must rethink how to run a campaign each election year.

The Traveling Picture Man

I was talking to Dick Dykes yesterday and he touched on a subject I had long forgotten which was the traveling Photographer. Back in the late 1940's when wives stayed home and didn't work outside the home there were many more door-to-door salesmen. Matter of fact, since it was usually a one car family and the husband had the car, the wife had to stay home. There was a wide assortment of salesmen and peddlers driving thru the neighborhood who sold food and other products. Yet none of us kids were stolen or kidnapped; altho the threat from our mothers of "the gypsies are going to get you" was made often. Sales types like; the Fuller Brush man comes to mind, vacuum cleaner salesmen, the fish peddler, Produce peddler, and let's not forget the ice cream truck, etc. My mother worked at one time as an American Tea Store traveling saleslady. I think it was associated with the A&P Grocery store chain. She would drive a jeep with food supplies and other items in it and sell door-to-door to farm wives in the rural areas of the Eastern Shore.

In Salisbury at this time there was a man with a pony who would go thru the neighborhood knocking on doors, asking the housewife if she wanted a picture of her child on the pony. Since this was the age of the baby boomers and mothers go out the way for the "first" child he had a good market. He had a cowboy hat, chaps and handkerchief as props with which he would dress the child. Dick Dykes sent me this photo of him (or his brother as they were twins) dressed in the outfit. Naturally, since they didn't have Polaroid or digital cameras back then the photo was mailed to the housewife later. The saddlebag on the pony held the film and other attachments for the camera. The photographer's tripod would be carried by the pony in between camera shots.


Jane Brown sent me this pony photo of her father, Ralph Brown of Salisbury, taken in 1928. Shows the popularity of pony photos.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Cabin Kids - 1937

As the ad says, the Cabin Kids made a live appearance at the Delmar Theatre in April of 1937. The Cabin kids made about 16 movies shorts between 1935 to 1938. Along the line of Little Rascal (Our Gang) series The Cabin Kids were billed as a musical ensemble and the writers made up some lite comedy plot which would feature them singing. The Cabin Kids were Mrs. Beatrice Hall's quintet of children; Ruth, Helen, James, Winifred, and Fred.

Educational Films Corporation (Educational Pictures) usually made The Cabin Kids series of shorts. Educational Films started out as a movie production company that made films for schools but discovered more money could be made by producing short comedy/musical films. Some of the people who starred in Educational pictures shorts were; Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, The Ritz Brothers, June Allyson, Imogene Coca, Danny Kaye, Shirley Temple, Joan Davis, and Roy Rogers.

As you can see from the ad they were to start their show at 2:30 P.M. and continue on into the second show which started at 6:30, sounds like a long day for kids. It must have been over about ten at night. I assume they had the same difficulties of black performers of that day in finding a hotel to sleep in or a restaurant that would feed them. I can also assume any blacks that came to see the show sit in the balcony of the Delmar Theatre.

Update: Over at The Balloon Man, Dick Dykes has posted a clip of the Cabin Kids singing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

State of Delaware Auction

There is a State of Delaware auction coming up on October 25 at 10 AM in Dover. Over three hundred vehicles for auction, lots of school buses and 15 passenger vans, plus SUV's,and pickups. If you are about to be evicted from your house here is a good chance to buy a school bus to live in.

The auction is at 800 S Bay Rd, Dover, DE. Inspection is October 24th 10AM TO 3PM.
A $200.00 cash refundable or deductible deposit to Auction Liquidation Services at time of registration. All bidders must be 18 years old and are required to have a valid form of identification. Cash payments shall be in U.S. currency; other acceptable forms of payment are cashier’s check, or traveler’s checks. All of the above checks must be made out to the auctioneer.

A Nickname For Brian

Brian Shields over at The Mourning Constitution is dieing to run for an elected office in Delaware. He says his two hold backs is first, not being a native of Delaware and second, not having a nickname. Well not being born in Delaware doesn't hold anyone back, look at Joe Biden and Tom Carper both born elsewhere. Matter of fact Joe isn't claiming Delaware in any form now and is broadcasting he is from Scranton PA. Beyond the title of Senator you wouldn't know he is from Delaware now days.

So that comes down to the issue of nickname, a serious subject in Delaware and Sussex county politics. I am pretty sure when you file forms in Sussex County to declare you are a candidate for an office the form is worded like; First Name, Last Name, Nickname. Lets look at our congress people; Joe, Tom, and Mike. Fairly vanilla favored nicknames, but nicknames never the less. We have Aunt Bea who is governor, and "Bill" Lee and "Jack' Markell wantabes for Governor. So I guess we need to come up with a nick name for Brian. I can't think of any shortened form of "Brian" that would be acceptable to western Sussex County so that leaves the door wide open for a good Western Sussex County name. Let's help Brian out and post your suggestions and I will tell you mine.

I think the name of "Scrapple" is an idea name for Brian. Brian "Scrapple" Shields, it reeks of Sussex County. If I was in the "Sports Nuts" bar in Delmar and said "Okay Scrapple it is your turn to pay for the beer", no one would think anything other than this is a local boy. It is an election winning name.

1949 Delmar Feed Mill Fire

On October 20th 1949 the Delmar Feed Mill caught fire and burned. The fire started next to the stationary diesel unit used to power the mill's equipment and as the fire spread it ignited the fuel oil storage tanks, resulting in an explosion heard thru out Delmar. The main building was burned but the office building, truck garages, corn bins and other small buildings were saved. The fire was discovered by Lester Dunn, mill manager. Lee Littleton, owner, estimated the loss was more than $33,000. The main building continued to smolder for over a week before the rubbish could be cleared. The mill had recently been recovered on the outside in tin and new machinery put into the building. The mill was located where the current (2008) mill now stands.

1977 Ad - Laurel House and Crystal Ash

Pretty Boy Floyd

Today in 1934 Pretty Boy (Charles Arthur (Choc) Floyd was shot to death outside of Wellsville, Ohio. Floyd was one of a number of gangsters in the 1920’s and 1930’s that were made popular by the news media and Hollywood. In truth Floyd was simply a robber, killer, drunk and a whore chaser.

Born in Georgia to a farming family (Walter Lee Floyd and Mamie Helena Echols Floyd) on Feb 3, 1904. The Floyds had ties to the Floyds of Eastern Shore of Virginia based on the family story of four brothers who came from Wales in the mid-1600’s. Two brothers, William and Frederick, settled in Accomack County Virginia, another brother went north and Charles Floyd settled in Georgia. I have discussed the Three or in this case Four Brother myth in genealogy before.

The family later moved to Sallisaw, Oklahoma where the Floyd family farmed and made moonshine. Floyd got his nickname of “Choc’ from a type of homemade beer made in Oklahoma called Choctaw beer, which was made from the spent mash of moonshine.

In 1924 he knocked up Ruby Hargraves (Hardgraves) and married her. They had a son named Jack Charles Dempsey Floyd. Shortly afterwards Floyd started his crime career by holding up the courier for the payroll for Kroger Grocery and Baking Company. The clerk who was held up gave the description of Floyd describing him as a pretty boy and thusly gave Floyd his best known nick name. Floyd went to jail for his crime and in 1929 Ruby divorced him. After being released from jail Floyd went back to robbing and killing.

There is some discussion on how he died in the field outside of Wellsville, Ohio. Some says he was still alive after receiving a couple of gunshot wounds and the police shot him pointblank when they walked over to him. Other says the first couple of gun wounds he received while trying to escape caused him to die. Regardless one more criminal was removed from doing harm.

If you read old newspapers from the 1930’s you will know gangsters were popular writing material. At the library in Salisbury when I look at the microfilm newspapers from that period they will go on for days about shootouts and killing done by Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd etc. Floyd’s death write up only lasted about a week but Dillinger’s death and the Lady in Red had articles written about them for several months after his July death. Matter of fact, mingled in with the October Floyd shooting in the Salisbury Times was an article about Dillinger.

Altho remarried after their divorce, Ruby Hardgraves would shack up with Floyd after his release from jail. She went thru multiple marriages and none were successful. She died on July 29, 1970 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma at age 63.

Charles Demsey Floyd died at age 74 on March 23, 1999. He was a successful businessman in Vacaville, California. He was survived by his wife, son and daughter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1964 Ad - John Hough

Where did Nice Laurel Go?

I went to check out the blog "Nice, Laurel" and I find it has been removed, what happened?

Joe Biden Federal Spending Outlook in 1977

This article by U.S. Sen. Joe Biden appeared in the Oct 6, 1977 State Register newspaper

Federal Spending Control

I am more than ever convinced that there is a growing sentiment throughout the state and around the country for less government, less costly government, and less intrusion into people’s lives by government. I don’t believe that this sentiment is going to go away. In fact I think that it is getting stronger and that it is the responsibility of those of us in the Congress to try and do something about it.

That is why last week I testified before the senate Rules Committee on behalf of the Federal Spending Control Act which I have introduced. I think this legislation will benefit all taxpayers. It should help assure better service for the dollar and fewer dollars spent.

Specifically, this legislation will require a review every four years of each Federal spending program to determine whether it serves a useful purpose. If it does not, the program will automatically terminate. In addition, every new spending program will have to be compared in relation to existing programs to be sure that it is really needed. We must not only review existing programs in order to weed out the wasteful ones but we also must stop enacting them in the first place.

This bill will also stop another fiscally irresponsible practice of authorizing new spending programs without putting a ceiling on the annual spending. It will require that any bill which authorizes spending must state the maximum amount that can be spent in any year. If the cost of the program spirals out of control, then Congress will have to review it determine whether or not it will grant the additional cost.

We have told the American people again and again that we will work toward a balanced budget. But the unanswered question has been: how are we going to do it? I think that my Federal Spending Control Act provides one answer to that question.

In 1977 the Federal National Debt was about $706 billion today in 2008 it has a new debt limit of $11.3 Trillion. Somewhere in the 31 years since he wrote this article something went wrong with Joe's outlook. He voted for the $700 billion bailout. His records speaks for him.

Patrolman Charles Brown - 1977

In October 1977 Charles Brown joined the Delmar police Force. He had been on the Fruitland police force for about a year before joining the Delmar Police Force. At that time the Delmar Police Chief was J. W. Ford and the police force had five full-time and three part-time officers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Donald Johnson - 1977

In October of 1977 Donald Johnson, 19 year old senior at Delmar High School, signed a one year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Johnson said he had been undecided as to play baseball or to go to Delaware State and play football. He was raised and lived with his aunt Mable West in Delmar. Johnson had played with the Delmar football team that took the state championship in 1976. I think his son is Dustin Johnson who was on the Delmar State championship football team in 2000.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Mule Show

The Mule Show put on by the Delmarva Coon Hunters Association is located on Ben Davis Road between Pittsville and Powellville.

Nice Looking Mule

It is a female dominated contest and this poor mule (Red Hot Chili Pepper) is having it's hooves painted pink. Click photo to enlarge

Mule playing peek-a-boo around corner of trailer

A father helping his daughter to put on spurs

If there was a prize for big ears this mule would take it

Flag carrying mule is it lucy?

At horse shows the horses know their routine and get out there and do it. At a mule show everything is up for discussion and negotiation with the mule usually winning. This mule was suppose to be lead by it's owner at a run, instead the mule decide to walk with the owner dragging the mule.

In spite of being on show if a mule decides to roll in the warm dirt he is going to do it, no need to groom them and frankly this looks like the same mule from last year doing the same thing. The mule did get a round of applause after five minutes of rolling in the dirt.

The Mule Lineup - click on photo for larger photo

Second Place winner

Red Hot Chili Pepper picked up a third place win, must have been the pink hooves.

First Place Winner

Rail Sitters discussing Showmanship strategy

Prize Winner getting family photo

Mule Jumping I think the mule is Lucy. Once again this year I had another meeting to go to and missed the rest of the day's events.

It should be pointed out the event is free and the food is cheap. Fifty cents for coffee or hot chocolate, dollar for onion rings or fries or a hot dog, BBQ chicken at $5 and oyster or clam fritters at $6.