Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Salisbury 'S' Curve

I had written before about the Delmar S Curve today, once again, while driving South on South Salisbury Boulevard I was reminded that Salisbury also has an 'S' curve. As you know Salisbury Boulevard (RT13) runs parallel to the railroad track until south of the hospital at about Division street where you have to do a hard right turn and than out around Maryland Avenue you turn back left and Salisbury Boulevard stays semi-straight after that. Salisbury Boulevard was built in the late 1930's and early 1940's. It was to be a by-pass around Salisbury taking the traffic off Division Street. At that time however the phrase 'limited access' was not known so businesses built up on the bypass creating as many problems as Division street had. So if you are building a new by-pass why would you have an S curve in it? Since this was before my time I have to refer back to the book my cousin, Richard Cooper, wrote. The book titled "Salisbury In Times Gone By" talks about this problem and not unexpectedly it goes back to money and politics.

Heading south on the by-pass at Division Street, on the East side of Salisbury Boulevard, between the railroad tracks and the Boulevard was a three story brick building called the Jackson-Gutman Shirt factory. The building was not run parallel to the railroad track but stuck out at an Angle from it. This Shirt factory went bankrupt in the depression leaving Salisbury National bank holding the loan on it. William S. Gordy was president of Salisbury National Bank and he was also the Comptroller of Maryland. When they were trying to obtain the right-of-way for the by-pass he told them they could run the by-pass in front of the Shirt factory but not closer than 75 foot in front and it had to run absolutely parallel to the building. Since he was Comptroller of Maryland and controlled all the checks being written for road projects in Maryland he got his way. So each day for the last 70 years people driving on South Salisbury Boulevard have had to make that hard right turn into the S curve because William S. Gordy was an ass. The shirt factory was torn down and now some health centers are built in it's place.

While I am writing about Salisbury streets for those who do not know how Division street got it name let me tell you. Wicomico County was formed part from Somerset County and part of Worcester County, prior to Wicomico County being formed half of Salisbury was in Somerset County and half in Worcester County. The border line (street) that ran thru Salisbury for the two counties was called Division street, naturally dividing the two countries. Well that is about enough trivial information on Salisbury for today.

Tyler Downes

There was an interesting article about Tyler Downes in the News Journal (hard copy not online) today. Tyler Downes played football for Delmar High School back about six years ago and is now at West Chester University (PA). Downes is actually from Laurel but transferred to Delmar to play football. The article talks about some of the problems he had with that decision and how his mother picked Delmar over Laurel for him because of it's educational value.

Back at election time Biff Lee made an interesting comment when asked about school choice. Posted on Elbert Blog the comment was Lee: I support choice but not if it is for athletic reasons. Now in one of those rare moments I agree with what Biff Lee said. I do wonder if it was Tyler Downes transferring to Delmar from Laurel that formed the basis for his comment.

Old Farmer's Advice from Salisbury Soapbox

Over on the blog Salisbury Soapbox is something he posted called Old Farmer's Advice. . It has a number of true useful advice one of which is If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin. I wish our government would make use of that comment. In an economy that has gone to hell because of easy credit the least thing you would want to do is to give out zero interest loans and bailout money to people who can't control themselves. It is the same as giving a drunk more alcohol in order to wean him off being a drunk.

Delmar's Sesquicentennial Celebration Meeting

There was a meeting last night of about 20 people to discuss plans for the Delmar's Sesquicentennial Celebration (150 years). The Council people had already mapped out a draft plan of events. It will start on September 20th and will last for a week. There will be parades, yard sale days, picnic in the park, block party, a play at the school in honor of the 150 years. They will have another meeting January 29th at 7 P.M. to discuss committees, etc. Altho I was roped into the publicity committee I am more of a history bluff and a centennial celebration is a festival and has little to do with history. Now days when people have these events they like to imagine a Disneyworld Main Street type thing instead of real life Delmar a 150 years ago. The Centennial celebration they had in 1959 played to a predominately white audience that still had a downtown. Now the business section is on RT 13 but still all the celebration will be downtown or State Street park. I wonder what pitch they will give to the business owners at the State Plaza and Delmar Commons when they go asking them to buy ad space and contribute to the celebration? With all the action downtown it doesn't look the celebration is going to drag that many customers to them. The January 29th meeting is a chance to express your opinions or contact any Mayor or Council/Commissioner person. They are looking for suggestions.

The 1953 Delmar Cotillion Dance season

From the Bi-State Weekly January 2, 1953


The first Cotillion Dance of the current season is all set to be held January 23rd at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars building. Dancing will be from nine til one to the music of Nooks Naugle and his orchestra.

The club officers, after a one year lay-off due to lack of a suitable building, plan three dances this winter.

The membership is limited to 50 couples on a first-come-first served basis. Oscar Brown, club president said this week that less than half a dozen memberships are still available.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Audited Financial Statements - 2008

As readers of this blog are aware I am a member of the Delmar Utility Commission. Today I received the audited Financial Report for the Utility Commission for the period ending June 30, 2008. You may be aware that this is January 2009. Each year the town receives the Financial Report about six months after the end of the accounting year. Now in private business you would expect to have this report about two months after the accounting year ends, but for some reason when it comes to government every thing takes forever. When I worked for Wicomico County it was the same way. They were always late. Other counties in Maryland have their reports completed about three months after the end of the accounting year but here on the Eastern Shore our CPA's seem incapable of doing this. There are other Federal and State reports that the county or town has to complete with information from audited records. It means those reports will be late and in turn whatever funding that relies on the reports will not be forthcoming. Also if there was any major issue exposed in the reports there is little in the way of reasonable and planned action you can take as this accounting year (FY2009) is already half over with. Maybe the town of Delmar should look at hiring Western Shore or Wilmington CPA's to do their audit so things will get done in a timely fashion.

State of Delaware Auctions - Bell Helicopter

I received a notice that the State of Delaware will auction off a 1996 Bell Helicopter SN 53011. It is at Summit Aviation, 4200 Summit Bridge Road, Middletown DE 19701 and the Contact person is Captain Jeff Evans, Delaware State Police Aviation 302.378.5788. As of yet there is no date for the auction. I assume this is one of the Delaware State Police's Bell 407's model. They received back in April a new Bell 412 model. Gov Minner mentioned this on her April 15th post on her blog, which isn't posted to very often.

Also on they are auctioning off Durango's starting January 24 thru the 28th. They are at Delaware Surplus Services, 1 Wilmington Avenue, Delaware City, DE 19706 and the Contact person is Robert B. Johnson or A. Ray Fruytier at 302.836.7640 or 302.836.7641. Back in October when they auctioned some Dodge Durangos off they went for $1,200 to $1,600 each.

The Frank Brown Building 1940

From the Bi-State weekly January 1940


Several men are busily engaged in rebuilding the Brown Garage on S. First St., between State and East St., on the Maryland side of Delmar. The building was built twenty years ago by Frank Brown, who operated a garage in Delmar for many years. The garage was closed in 1929 and since that time the building which was built at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars has not been used.

The building was recently purchased by a Washington produce broker, who is rebuilding the garage for a large warehouse in which to store produce purchased in this section by his company. The structure has been torn down and only the outer wall made of concrete blocks has been left standing. The cost of reconstruction will be approximately ten thousand dollars and will employ ten men for more than three months.

Note; I did a post on the Frank Brown building back in February 2008.

1962 Ad - Delmar State Line Car Rental

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Craiglist Scam?

My brother recently listed a car engine on Craiglist to sell. He received this email regarding it. It sounds like a form letter as it never mentions the engine and it has the same tone as those emails you receive saying you will receive $50 million dollars from Africa. Has anyone else encountered this?

Thanks for your reply, concerning my inquiry, Am quite comfortable with the condition of the item since I won't be making any repairs on it, I will add $50 to it for keeping it for me, Please provide your full name, address and your phone number for payment. i am paying by money order. It will take afew days for payment to get to you. as per pick-up, i will make arrange for pickup after payment has been received by you. i hope it is in good condition, kindly get back to me with your name, phone # and mailing address where payment will be sent. i will let you know how I intend to pick it up. I would have loved to come check it out but I am presently away on a business trip, so you can send me pics of the item so I can know it is in good condition.

The Wildcat Cafe

The Restaurant that was for years Linda's Railroad Cafe and for a few months The New Place In Town is now called the Wildcat Cafe. As far as I know it is new ownership, altho you will see familiar faces there. I stopped by for lunch today and since today was their first day it may not be fair to comment on them, but nevertheless. First the hours have been extended in the evening; Closed on Monday, open Tuesday thru Sunday 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. It is going to be good to have a restaurant uptown at night and on Sunday again. I am sure the crowd from the karate School in the evening will be hanging out there.

The menu has been cut back some but mostly it is the same menu as any small town diner. The Dinner menu is about ten items, the usual chicken, beef and gravy, shrimp, crab cakes, liver; everything under ten dollars. The lunch menu is mainly burgers and subs. I had a Delmar Cheeseburger (Bacon, Mushrooms, Pepper and onions); $5.95. They also have a Wildcat Burger (Ham and Swiss cheese and mushrooms); $5.95. They said the mushrooms hadn't arrived yet so I did with out them on my burger. My napkin was a folded paper towel. I will chalk it up to opening day. There was also some confusion as to if fries are included with the burger, they are.

The walls of the restaurant have some blown up xerox copies of the old Bi-State Weeklys(local defunct Newspaper) and some Delmar Wildcat High School posters and photo.

Disturbing was the price for a Scrapple and Egg sandwich at $2.75, the Express Mart sells them for ninety-nine cents.

The WildCat Cafe is at 20 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Delmar, Delaware 302-846-3667

1962 Levin and Holland Twilley

From the November 23, 1962 edition of the Bi-State Weekly

The Death of Sallie Collins - 1934

From the Milford Chronicle Friday January 5, 1934 - Delmar News

Mrs. Sallie Collins, wife of Levin Collins, of this town, passed away at her home on Chestnut Street early Thursday morning as a result of complications arising from a fall sustained nearly two months before. She was confined to her bed from the time of her injury until her death and in addition was compelled to endure the ordeal of being taken from a blazing building at 2 a.m. Christmas Day when the home of her son-in-law, A. K. Wiley, with whom she and her husband lived, was almost destroyed by fire.

Through the prompt aid of friends she was safety removed to the home of neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Rue Hastings, who cared for her until the afternoon when she was removed to the new home secured by Mr. and Mrs. Wiley. While heart trouble was given as the cause of her death, it is thought by many that the excitement incident to these experiences probably hastened her demise. The deceased was 80 years old and had been married fifty-six years. She was a conscientious Christian, a faithful and loving wife and mother and enjoyed the love and esteem of a large host of neighbors and friends.

Funeral services conducted by Rev. E. E. Coleman, pastor of the Delmar M. P. Church were held from her home at 2 p.m. Saturday and interment made in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Laurel. She is survived by her husband , three children, Mrs. Clara Wiley, Victor Collins, Laurel; and Charles Collins of Wilmington; one sister and several grandchildren.

Monday, January 05, 2009

January Delmar Delaware Council Meeting

The Delmar Delaware Council Meeting took place tonight. All members were present. The meeting started at 7 P.M. and ended at 7:30 P.M. I was the only one from the "public" there.

Since this was the first stand alone meeting for the Delaware side of town there was not that much to discuss. Two resolutions concerning housing were voted on and approved. One pertained to stating Delmar believe in Fair Housing and the other one approved Sussex County handling a housing application for housing rehabilitation for the town of Delmar.

Under Council people comments; Woody Payne said he would talk to the owner of Diamond Dream about the unpaved driveway and try and convince him to pave it. Mary Lee Pase said the community effort this year was outstanding in helping 85 needy kids to have a Christmas.

Sara Bynum King reminded everyone there is a financial workshop for everyone at 6PM Thursday, it is my understanding this is not open to the public

Sunday, January 04, 2009

1961 Ad Kobby's Golf Range

New Year Resolutions

I see What A Smell has new year resolutions to vote for on his sidebar. Take a look.

Raccoon Fight - 1957

From the Bi-State weekly January 4, 1957


Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Ellis, retired farmers near Providence Church, won a night battle with a raccoon last Friday night.

The Ellis', both in their eighties heard a noise in their chicken house at about 10 P.M. Friday night. He, armed with his cane, which it is necessary for him to use, and she with a flashlight went to the chicken house to investigate. After a half-hour fight, they had killed their intruder, a 17-lb, raccoon. Mr Ellis sustained scratched hands and legs. Mrs Ellis was unmarked in the skirmish.

This battle is expected to end the case of the Dead Chickens which has been a problem for the past 2 or 3 months.

Delmar's Sesquicentennial Celebration

In 2009 Delmar will celebrate a 150 year birthday. There will be a town hall meeting on January 7th (Wednesday) at 7:00 P.M. to discuss what can be done for this event. If you have any ideas as to what should be done or are just interested, please attend the meeting.

American Legion Presents Flag to Post Office - 1960

From the Bi-State Weekly January 1 1960

1980 Ad Allenwood Lounge Salisbury

Music by C R Hook

Miyoko Has Yet Another Birthday

Happy Birthday Miyoko Yagi!! Miyoko is the number one Japanese instructor at Anne Arundel Community College and she is having yet another birthday today.

Another Year

Well another year has started in Delmar. I started this blog three years ago and I have over 2,300 posts on it. A high number of them are about Delmar so my fears of having something to write about while living in a small town were not justified.

My oldest daughter will be taking a job in Rockville, Maryland toward the end of the month so I have been apartment hunting with her the last couple of days. It has been about 40 years since I have rented an apartment or house so looking at them in the Rockville area has been a cultural and financial shock. Allowing for our unfamiliarity with the area it would seem the average one bedroom apartment is about one thousand to thirteen hundred dollars a month plus utilities. She found one out in Germantown, which about ten miles from where she will work, and she think she will take that. I am sure I will be writing more about this move.

I will leave you with this 2009 shot of the pride of Delmar the LeCates building.

1953 Ad Howard S. Rogers Studebaker Salisbury