Saturday, January 24, 2009

Area Violence

This year has certainly started off with more crime than normal. Starting with the high speed chase and capture of members of the "Bloods" gang in January, and the killing Thursday of 25 year old Anitra Pirkle. It looks like the western shore life style is coming to the Eastern Shore. We had a visit last night from a woman who is a nurse in an ER unit in Baltimore. She said they figured in the ER room if it is stabbing it is the MS-13 gang and if it is shooting it is the "Bloods". A co-worker of my wife said her grandson was beat half senseless last week by the "Bloods" in Salisbury. The common denominator of it all is the majority of the people involved are black.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Revisit To The Wildcat Cafe

My wife and I just returned from supper at the Wildcat Cafe. It was better than my first visit, a number of opening day problems had been corrected. It's popularity is increasing and that has created a parking problem downtown. The karate school customers take up most of the parking places downtown. Again the menu is very simple and diner orientated. My wife had the Liver and Onions, she said the liver was tender and the mash potatoes tasted homemade. I had the Beef patty in gravy with onions. The people next to us had a cheesesteak sub which looked good. At the price that is charged it is difficult to complain about the food, however food should first always taste good regardless of price. While I found the food better than when the last owners had the place, it still lacked seasoning and the full body favor you would expect. I guess Jimmeys Grill in Bridgeville has set the food flavor bar too high for other diner/restaurants in this price range. There were paper napkins this time. There was no bread served with the meal. Service was adequate. Additional Wildcat High School orientated items decorate the walls. I do wish they would do something with the floor as there are rust stains on it from the iron pedestal of the tables. The place is clean but the rust stains give you a poor impression of how clean the place is. The cook, John Dunn, came out and talked to the customers which is definitely a nice touch. Our total bill for two with coffee and tea was $16.70. I think it will continue to improve and for the price of a meal for two people the Wildcat Cafe certainly makes a reasonable alternative to staying home and cooking your own supper.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Andy Fleetwood and the BOE

So what is going on at the school? I am receiving E mails that Andy Fleetwood has resigned and the board is going to appoint someone to fill his position. Uncle Paul at What a Smell made mention of this first than I started receiving emails but no details.

UPDATE: I have spoken to someone on this matter that should know and they said it was simply a matter of Andy got a divorce and has remarried and is no longer living in the school district so he resigned. The board will appoint someone to fill his position. It will only be for about three months until elections reoccur, so if someone is interested in a school board position that will only last a few months you should put your name into the school board for consideration.

The January 2009 Planning and Zoning Commission

The January 2009 Planning and Zoning Commission was held tonight. It was a short meeting and over with by 7:40 p.m. All members except Carl Anderson were present. Carl was representing the town at a Maryland Municipal League meeting.

First item of business was to give Ed Ferro a certificate of appreciation for his volunteer work on the Planning and Zoning committee.

Mike Houlihan presented the certificate to Ed.

The second item was Timco Worldwide leasing the warehouse at 503 South Maryland Avenue (the old American Casein building). Timco wants to use it as a produce warehouse.

John McClellen spoke for them. John is with Sperry Van Ness.

Brandon Catlin and other people with Timco stayed in the back.

Timco Worldwide wants to use the warehouse for produce year round but mainly for the watermelon season from July to September. The warehouse will operate 7 AM to 7 PM. The concern of everyone on the commission was the truck traffic. Timco, naturally says at it's peak, there will only be a about ten tractor trailers a day plus watermelon trucks the farmers will drive to the warehouse. They will use Foskey lane instead of coming thru town.
Ed Ferro asked about dumpsters on the property to handle damaged produce and Brandon Catlin said two dumpsters would be there for that purpose.

The other main item tonight was the Well Protection Plan for Delmar.

Mike Houlihan gave a presentation on the Well Head Protection Plan

The wellhead protection plan is to ensure there are no harmful environmentally unsound business operations around the town wells. The map of Delmar, in the photo, shows a large yellow circle which is Zone-two which extends out 2,000 feet from the wells. Zone one is a two hundred radius around the wells and Zone three is the red area north of town which is a water recharge area for our aquifers. Each zone will only allow certain businesses in them. The plan will be put in the Town of Delmar Maryland Comprehensive Plan which is currently being worked on.

Joe Dixon asked why there was not a zone around the south well and Mike said he thought there would be one if that well was activated again.

End The War

While in Germantown on Tuesday we were walking out of my daughter's apartment and a young black girl carrying a can marked donations stopped us. She said "my church is collecting money to help Obama and Biden end the war, do you want to donate?" Amusing to us was the fact she pronounced Biden, Bid-in instead of Bi-Den. Now of course we told her no. Even in the remote case where the money didn't go for drugs for her and ended up in an actual organization to end the "war" I doubt after the zillion dollars the United States has already spent on ending the "war", any effort a church could do would help end the "war". It also didn't give me a good opinion of my daughter apartment complex if someone soliciting would be going thru it.

Train Engineer hit by bullet - 1960

From the Bi-State weekly January 22, 1960


Paul Rosewell, an engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad, who makes his home just south of Delmar, was injured by a stray .22 calibre bullet last Friday as he operated his train through Salisbury.

The bullet passed through his face on the right side, striking his cheek and emerging below and in back of his ear on the same side. He was treated and released at the Salisbury hospital.

A juvenile was suspected of firing the shot but not on purpose.

W. S. Melson, also of Delmar, in the cab of the engine with Mr. Rosewell, was struck on the cap by the same bullet but was not injured.

1960 Engaged Betty Lou Timmons

1960 Business license Disagreement

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The On Going Moving my daughter to Germantown Story

Well it has been a busy couple of days for me. My wife and I drove another van load of my daughter's stuff to her apartment in Germantown on Monday in the snowstorm. I would say from the amount of road salt on my vehicle they use the equivalent of the annual snow removal budget for roadsalt that the entire State of Delaware has on that one little snow. We ended up staying over Tuesday due to the inauguration and Wednesday my daughter started her new job. She did work for Maryland District Court in Wicomico County and she transferred to District Court in Montgomery County. Today she was sworn in by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Loretta E. Knight, as a Maryland District Court Commissioner. We went to watch the swearing in and than drove home. The Clerk of the Circuit Court administers the Oath of Office to elected officials, judges, county police officers, sheriff officers, deputy state's attorneys, fire department members, gubernatorial appointees and my daughter. In spite of her being a government employee we are still proud of her as it is another step in the direction she wants to go.

The Germantown/Rockville area is not a place I would care to live; lots of people, lots of traffic, lots of shopping (well not really, it is the same big box stores we have here they just have them every half mile), a large "Culturally Diverse" population that can't, or won't speak English, and it is expensive. There must be something positive I can say about the area, lets see, well because there is such a culturally diverse population in the area they have a lot of small restaurants all over the place. Many are very good. We had lunch at a Tex-Mex cafe in the Montgomery Village shopping center. It was more Salvadorian style than Tex-Mex but it was good. The place was small - maybe it would hold twenty-five or so people if it was full. It was very clean and the food was good. I guess I can say Howard doesn't care much for culturally diverse people but he approves of culturally diverse food.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Janis Joplin would have been 66

”Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."
Janis Joplin Quote

Janis Joplin was born January 19, 1943, in the oil refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. She died on October 4, 1970 at 27. The official cause of death was an overdose of heroin combined with the effects of alcohol. She would have been 66 today if she had lived. I must say she was never one of my favorite artists as her voice was raspy and cracked up a lot but she was a celebrity and no doubt one of the icons of the 1960's and 1970's.

Vern's Drive-In - 1956

From the Bi-State Weekly

Vern's drive-in, located on Route 13 at Chesnut St. in Delmar, opened for business Thursday, January 19 at 6:00 P.M.

The drive-in built by Vernon Livington of Delmar has been leased to the Association of Food Service Operators, Inc, which operates four drive-ins on the Eastern Shore. Others are the Bay Bridge Dining Room, Howard's Drive-In at Salisbury and The Beacon drive-in at Milford.

John R. Van Fossum has been named operations manager and master chef of Vern's Drive-In. He was chief food consultant for the U. S. Army for ten years and is a member of the International Stewards and caterers Association, Baltimore Chapter.

Mr. Van Fossum states that it will be the policy of Vern's Drive-In to serve quality food at reasonable prices in a pleasant dining atmosphere.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1957 Engagement Eilene Wiltbank

1957 engagement of Eilene Wiltbank from the January 1957 Bi-State Weekly

Boulevard Motors and Steering Wheel spinners

I was riding by Boulevard Motors last week and thought about how long it has been in business and what a great place I thought it was when I was a teenager. Boulevard Motors was just another used car and new car dealership in the mid 1950's but it had the more interesting selection of cars than other car lots. Notice in the 1959 ad the 1957 Isetta they had for sale for $475, now there was a car.

First, it was the Fiat dealership in Salisbury and in 1960 those cars, compared to American cars, looked like they came from another planet and you asked yourself who would possibly drive one. No doubt the reason why they don't have the dealership anymore. I never bought a car from Boulevard, looked at a lot of them, but never bought one. The closest I came to buying from them was when Phil Johnson and I were 17 and we were looking at buying a 1939 LaSalle hearse from them. I think the cost was $80. Common sense, the fact it wouldn't run, and the Air Force ended up overcoming the purchase of the hearse.

While on the subject of cars in the 1960's one item I had on a couple of cars I owned was a steering wheel spinner (some people called them a suicide knob or Brody knob).

It was knob that clamped to the steering wheel and allowed you to drive one handed. They are still around and handicap and other cool people use them. In the days of cars without powersteering it was a big help. The problem with the spinner was you had to clamp it on the steering wheel so tight it left an indentation if you removed it, so once on it pretty much stayed on. Some pathetic old people I understand now put them on their riding lawnmowers so they look cool cutting the grass.

The way the cookie crumbles or it's Girl Scout cookie time

Well it's that time of the year again - Girl Scout Cookie Pre-Order Selling Time. For 92 years this tradition has been going on. Once again we are hit up not by Girl Scouts selling cookies but by their moms and grandmothers putting you on that guilt trip of I brought cookies from your girls now you have to buy cookies from my girls. It sort of like the graduation and wedding gifts thing. Now my girls were both in the Girl Scouts (actually I thought 4-H was better) and they sold cookies. Neither wanted to go door-to-door but their mother walked along with them and made them do so. If you believe the Girl Scout Organization; This annual program is the leading financial literacy program for girls in the U.S. Girl Scouts learn about and get experience in: public relations, marketing and salesmanship; project management; being an entrepreneur and a leader; goal-setting and money management (including bookkeeping and accounting); philanthropy (through the Gift of Caring option), and more. If their parents are selling the cookies I doubt the girls are getting any of those benefits but merely learning the American way of sitting on your ass doing nothing and getting credit for it.

The cookies are $3.50 a box of which the local troop usually gets about fifty cents out of it to go toward their events and projects. The rest goes to paying the two cookie bakeries (ABC/Interbake Foods and Little Brownie Bakers) they buy the cookies from and supporting the ever growing bureaucracy of the Girl Scout Regional headquarters in Newark Delaware. But who ever shows up with the cookie pre-order form do buy a couple of boxes of cookies or if you want to be sacrilegious to a long standing 92 year old tradition or just unemployed but want to help give them the amount equal to fifty cents a box and tell them to deposit it directly into their troop bank account and skip the cookies.

GPS Systems

Back at Christmas time my wife and I gave both of our daughters GPS systems. Now I usually figure most electronic stuff is a waste of money as technology will make it obsolete before you get a return on the money you invested in it (remember 8 track tapes?). Yesterday I made another trip to Germantown to carry some of my daughter's possessions over to her apartment and she took along the GPS system. Naturally you expect the GPS to tell you the direction to whatever location you are driving and they do that well. After hauling the stuff to her apartment we drove into Rockville where she will be working. Rockville has a nice courthouse square and shopping eating district. We parked in one of the parking garages and walked around looking at the ice rink they had set up in the center of the square and had something to eat. Now being a man, I have always had a good sense of direction but as I walked toward the parking garage where I thought I had parked my daughter stopped me and told me I was heading in the wrong direction. I think that may have been the first time in her life she has told me that. She had put the GPS in her purse and was now using it to find the way back to the car in the parking garage. Amazing, it worked. It also again proved to me that I am but a few days away from that Alzheimer ward in the nursing home. Just think if all old people had a GPS - you wouldn't see them wandering the Walmart parking lot looking for their cars.