Saturday, January 31, 2009

Annie Whaley - 1958

From the Bi-State Weekly Friday January 24, 1958


Fire Destroy Bldg. Early Mon. Morning

One of Delmar's largest fires in recent years swept the business house of M. L. Hastings early Monday morning. in addition to the property loss, an elderly lady who lived in one of the two apartments over the business lost her life as a result of the fire.

Mrs. Annie Whaley, 63, perished in the fire which started about 7:20 and within a short while filled the interior with a dense smoke and minutes later was a roaring inferno. The occupant of the other apartment, Mrs. Arzie West (age in the high 80's) was saved and rushed to the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford by the Delmar Ambulance.

Mrs. West related this account of the early moments of the fire to Ernest Timmons, owner of the building. She awoke shortly after 7 o'clock and smelled smoke. She immediately began an investigation of her apartment. Smoke was seeping through the walls and floor. Within minutes the rooms were full so she went to bang on the door of her neighbor in the adjoining apartment. Her door was locked. Smoke had completely filled the hall so she started for the stairway and as she reached the head of the stairs she doesn't remember any more. Apparently she fell most of the way down stairs. This is where she was found.

The fire department arrived on the scene and, after learning that another lady was in the building, started a heroic attempt to save her. Firemen said that Chief Oscar Porter, Lee Baker, and Darrel Stearns, both firemen, entered the building and crawled on hands and knees in an effort to locate Mrs. Whaley, a victim of arthritis who barely able to get around her apartment. They searched everyplace except the bathroom. Not being familiar with the floor plan of the apartment, they missed that spot. That is where the body of Mrs. Whaley was found after the fire was controlled.

The report that a shortage of water let the fire get away is untrue, according to Robert Baker, town engineer. Mr. Baker said that at no time did the water pressure drop below 40 pounds. That is the pressure the pumps come on at and stop automatically at 46 pounds pressure, In fact, he said there was more water in the tank when the fire was under control, two hours later, than when it first started and at the beginning there was 85,000 gallons in the tank.

The Laurel Fire Department came to the aid of the local firemen and gave valuable assistance in controlling the blaze and preventing its spread to other buildings in the area.

Ernest Timmons, owner of the building, estimated his loss Wednesday at $21,000 which was partially covered by insurance . Mr. Hastings, owner of the business establishment, said that he had not completed his check on losses but felt that it would be about $6,000. He is covered by insurance, he said. The furniture in the upstairs apartment was also lost. First reports said that the records of the Hastings firm were lost but that proved untrue. Mr. Hastings said later that he was able to save his most important records such as accounts receivable, etc. They were scorched on the edges but are legible.

The orgin of the fire is still undetermined, Robert W. Favinger, State Fire Marshall, is continuing his investigation.

Graveside services were held Tuesday for Mrs. Annie Whaley in Mount Olive Cemetery with Rev. Norman Ehrlich, pastor of First Baptist Church, officiating.

She is survived by her mother, Mrs. Lizzie German of Delmar, two sons, Norman Whaley of Georgetown, and Charles Whaley of near Wilmington, a sister, Mrs. Carrie Prevette of Delmar, and a brother, Coulter German of Laurel.

Explorer 1 the first American Satellite was launched on January 31, 1958.

Today in 1958 America finally successfully launched a Satellite. After what seem like a long period of watching rockets blow up on the launch pad, Explorer One made it into orbit. Altho called Explorer One it was actually the second Explorer as the first Explorer One was destroyed when the rocket that was to carry it blew up on the launch pad. The rocket that was successful was a modified Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter C missile named Juno 1. It was fired from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite was built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Explorer 1 satellite was six feet long, cylindrical, and at 31 pounds, was about one thirty-sixth the size of the Soviets' Sputnik 2.

Today a satellite launch doesn't even rate a news headline. In 1958 we had been following this up coming event for several years in the school system. Our little junior scholastic reader that came out, I think weekly, would always have an article on the upcoming satellite launch. 1958 was part of what was called the International Geophysical Year (IGY). It was first proposed in 1952 and it was to be a series of global geophysical activities to span the period July 1957-December 1958.

In 1971 Apollo 14 selected this date to be launched on it's mission to land on the moon. Piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, on February 5, Shepard and Mitchell descended to the lunar surface on the third U.S. moon landing.

Holding the Explorer One From left to right: William H. Pickering, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which designed and built Explorer.

James A. Van Allen, University of Iowa physicist who directed the design and creation of Explorer’s instruments.

Wernher von Braun, head of the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency team that designed and built the Jupiter-C rocket.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Black Mulch Film

I was out driving west of Delmar this morning and noticed this pile of used black mulch film (plastic) that a farmer had removed from his field. This type of plastic product is always a problem once it is used. It is a recyclable item but it requires so much cleaning to remove the dirt, moisture and pesticide residues that it ends up being too expense to recycle. As you can imagine in a state like Florida that does major tomato growing and use tons of this stuff it is a big recycling/landfill problem.

I once worked for a company in Harrington that made this stuff, actually they made a number of products and black mulch film was merely one of them. There is very little profit in making black mulch film because there is so much competition. In the plastic (blown film) industry there is a high amount of scrap (25%) in the manufacturing process. Some of this scrap can be re-melted and fed back into the product that is currently being made but it has to be a low percentage or you have quality issues. Black mulch film however is a low quality item and you can take the scrap you have left over from your other products and remelt it into black mulch film thusly replacing higher cost virgin resin pellets. You can take all the various colored plastic scrap and feed it into black mulch as it receives a black dye that makes everything black. Many of the plastic companies make black mulch film to get rid of their scrap. In turn such a large amount of competition in a limited size market drives the price down to almost a breakeven point.

They started using plastic mulch film in the 1950's and it is just about everywhere. I think to do an acre of land requires about 4 rolls of 4.5 ft by 2,400 ft plastic, which at about $150 a roll is $600 to do an acre. It normally will pay for itself. I would guess to remove it from the field and haul it to dump, allowing for dumping fees, it would cost as much to get rid of it as to buy it. Since most of it is non-biodegradable it is going to here for a long time.

Lax punishment For Crime

I am sure most of us have read the newspaper court briefs and wonder how some one can have fifteen charges on them and go to court and have the state attorney put it on the Stet docket. It drives me crazy to read stuff like that. First we have so many laws that a simple crime will produce 15 charges, which says we have too many laws. Second, why doesn't the State attorney go ahead and put these people away. The court system is a joke.

Do you remember back when, I think it stopped in the 1970's, people would be brought to court on minor crimes like drunkenness and given a choice between doing 30 days or be kicked out of the state of Maryland, promising never to return. It was big in Maryland where the courts in Salisbury would load them up in a police car and drive them to Delmar and put them out at the state line and tell them not to return to Maryland.

Maxwell House coffee

As you get older you become set in your ways and one of the things I don't like to have messed with is my morning cup of coffee. For years I have used Maxwell House Coffee. I am use to the taste of it the first thing in the morning when I get up and I don't want any changes in it. Well about a month ago, with the most recent purchase of coffee, the taste changed. It is now bitter. At first I thought maybe it was the coffee maker or some other problem but after making adjustments there has been no improvement. Other Maxwell House Coffee drinkers have complaint about the same thing, so it is not just me. I am now looking for a new coffee to buy. I certainly am not planning to spent $7 a pound for coffee so what else is out there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sinus Weather

If your sinuses as driving your up the wall look at the Barometer reading over at the local Delmar weather station CW4197. It is going down down down.

50 Winters Later Starts Today

Hello baby, yeah, this is the Big Bopper speaking
Oh you sweet thing
Do I what
Will I what
Oh baby you know what I like

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, along with the Surf Ballroom & Museum in Clear Lake Iowa (as of this posting in Clear lake it is minus three degrees) , will honor the 50th anniversary of the Winter Dance Party with a weeklong series of events beginning on Wednesday, January 28 that will culminate in a tribute concert at the Surf Ballroom where J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly played their final concert.

I had a girl
Donna was her name
Since she left me
I've never been the same
'Cause I love my girl
Donna, where can you be
Where can you be

It was at the Surf Ballroom where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” played their final concert on February 2, 1959. Later that night after boarding a plane bound for North Dakota their plane crashed killing all on board.

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, Peggy Sue
Oh, my Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Oh, well, I love you gal
And I need you, Peggy Sue

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our Morning Snow Fall

We have some snow coming down at this time. Matches up well with the kids being out of school in Delmar. It is a good wet snow, the type that make good snowmen and cause heart attacks while shoveling it. It makes me glad I am retired and do not have to go out in it.

Aggie Building at Delmar School - 1951

From the Bi-State Weekly January 26, 1951


Construction of the new farm shop which had been started began to speed up this week. The boys in the agricultural classes under the direction of their instructor, Mr. Chester W. Lathrop, Jr., have dug out the foundation and the concrete footings have been poured. Mr. Clyde Perry has assisted in the laying out the foundation and will begin to lay the concrete blocks this weekend.

The building which will be ninety by forty feet will be constructed of concrete blocks. There will be a classroom twenty-six by forty feet at one end with part of this space given over to a storage room. The rest of the building will be the farm shop where the boys will learn through actual experience to repair farm machinery.

Lecates and Company have drawn the plans for the building and is furnishing the necessary steel.

The school has just purchased a Ford truck and will use it in hauling materials for the building and for other projects of the agricultural program.

Joseph Moss, Jr. - 1954

From the Bi-State Weekly January 29 1954


Joseph Moss, Jr., 38, a know epileptic was found dead Tuesday morning at the rear of Holdens poolroom in Frogtown. Vollie Gray, Sussex Corner, said he probably died of exposure after suffering an epileptic fit. He was examined by a local doctor.

Services are scheduled to be held today at the Colored church. Burial will be in Union Cemetery.

This Day in Delaware History - Jan 27th

Jan 27th, 1945 Amid 17 degree temperatures, Freddie Harris and Jack Palmer received 10 lashes each for robbery at the New Castle County Workhouse and then were imprisoned for 10 years.

Picked up from This Day in Delaware History. Today's facts were compiled by historian Roger Martin and brought to you by the Delaware Public Archives.

Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway Meeting

As a reminder there is a meeting at the Delmar Fire Hall tonight at 6 P.M. for a discussion of the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) which will go thru Delmar actually a little to the north of Delmar. Additional area meetings will be at the Gumboro Fire Hall January 29th at 6 PM and the Millsboro Civic center on February 4th at 6 PM.

The MAPP project is a 230-mile 500-kilovolt transmission line that will go from Possum Point Maryland, under the Chesapeake bay, to Vienna than to Delmar, than under the Delaware Bay so our northern neighbors can have electricity. 105 miles of the transmission line will be in Delaware. Considering Delaware is only 96 miles long it obviously isn't going to take the most direct route.

A mention of it is given on the blog Wind Watch.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The January 2009 Joint Council Meeting

The January 2009 Joint Council Meeting was held by the Mayors and Councilpeople of Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland tonight. The only councilperson missing was Carrie Williams.

Nate Benson and Mayor Outten. Nate Benson was sworn in as an officer of the Delmar Police Department. Delmar Police Officers are sworn in by both Mayors as they have to swear allegiance to Maryland and Delaware.

Lt. Robert Remo received a letter of appreciation for the work he did earlier this month involving members of the Blood gang.

Sgt Wade Alexander and Mayor Outten and Mayor Niblett. Sgt Wade Alexander also received a letter of appreciation for the work he did in arresting members of the blood gang.

Chief Harold (Hal)Saylor mentioned that one of the people arrested in the incident earlier this month was charged with committing a murder.

The only other item of interest to me was the discussion of Timco leasing a warehouse on Maryland Avenue. Commissioner Carl Anderton cited a number of reasons he was against a produce operation there. Some of his objections were; employee parking, the untagged watermelon buses, the dumpster with rotting fruit in them, and a loading dock being put up outside the fence around the property. A man from the audience also said he objected because of the smell and the produce would attract raccoons and such. Mayor Niblett said he was concerned about the weight of the truck and the effect it would have on Maryland avenue. Timco will be asked to appear before the next Maryland Council meeting.

The January 2009 Delmar Utility Commission Meeting

The January 2009 Delmar Utility Commission Meeting was held tonight. It was a short meeting - over with by 6:45 P.M. All members were present.

The backup well, 2B, was discussed. As you may recall this well was recently drilled and the water from it has a high iron content. DNREC had changed the well design on the day of drilling by only allowing 30-foot of screening instead of the 50-foot the town had designed. A formal letter was received from the state of Delaware basically saying they are sticking with the 30 foot of screening and we can use the well as-is if we treat the water to a level that is acceptable to the customers. I don't think the town has given up on this expensive well but sometime in dealing with the state you have to pause before going back to the fight.

In a recent inspection the state of Maryland cited several violations at our Waste Water treatment Plant. They were related to the BNR upgrade we have in the works. Bids for the BNR project will be opened February 17th at 3:30 PM.

Tidewater Utilities will give an up date at the Delaware Council Meeting in February on their progress in building a Waste Water Treatment plant to service the east side of town.

Restoring the Delmar Caboose

While doing a little web browsing i came across this website on part of the restoration of the Delmar Caboose. Interestingly he mentions after all his work credit was never given to him.

Free Boat

Good Old Boat is advertising a free 1962 Seafarer Polaris 26 Ft owned by Holly Siegel in Delmar.

DownTown Revitialization

From DelDot

The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces that Stripe-A-Lot, Inc., is the low bidder for the Town of Delmar streetscape improvements. For this project, the Delaware-based firm submitted a bid of $317,527.12, the lowest of seven bids received.

This project was applied by the Town of Delmar as part of their downtown revitalization effort and to improve pedestrian mobility in the area. The required match will be raised by the town. The location of the project will be North Pennsylvania Avenue. The streetscape enhancements will include new curbing, sidewalks and crosswalks, street signs, decorative lighting, fencing, and landscaping. The construction will begin in mid February and will be completed in approximately 96 calendar days.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Couple Spiegel articles

Three articles of interest, at least to me, are in SPIEGEL ONLINE. The first is an article about the unexploded bombs etc that are under the airfield at Tegel Airport in Germany. At times you think half the earth must still have unexploded weapons buried in it's soil from all the wars we have had.

The second item is in the Polish city of Malborka a mass grave containing the remains of at least 1,800 people have been found. It is believed to date back to the end of WW2 but it is not known who the people were or who, if anyone, killed them. Malbork, at the end and during WW2, was a German city called Marienburg. The interesting part is no government officials are looking in to it nor does anyone have any memory or record of the mass grave.

The third is an economic stimulus plan in Germany to buy old cars from individuals so they will buy new ones. About $3,250 would be paid to individuals to junk their current car provided it's at least nine years old, and buy a new (or slightly used) car and it would be be backdated to January 14th. Sounds like a better ideal than giving the money to Bankers.

Dolores Elliott 1955 Science Award Winner

Announced in January of 1955, Delores was selected because she had the highest scholastic record in science subjects during her high school career. This award was given by the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company. The award was not given until graduation but it was announced in January because the names of the winners from the 5,700 schools involved were submitted to a scholarship program at the University of Rochester. Dolores is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carlos W. Elliott.

State Employees - 1954

From the Bi-State Weekly January 22, 1954


The ten clerks in the Motor vehicle Department who Monday halted their work because of the employment of three colored women clerks in the Department are no longer connected with the Department.

Thomas E. Burrough, Acting Motor Vehicle Commissioner, stated that the few clerks in the group who had not tendered their resignations had been dropped from the records of the Department.

According to Mr. Burroughs the three colored clerks were selected for work following a screening that showed them to be competent and that it was on the basis of their ability, rather than their race, that they were selected for the work.

The ten clerks held a conference with Mr. Burrough Monday afternoon and informed him that they were not going to work with the colored women.

Delmar School District Vacant Board Position

I see there was an ad (actually two ads) in the Daily Times this morning looking for individuals to fill the open slot on the Delmar School Board. The only legal requirements are they must be an adult citizen of Delaware and reside in the school district. Legally it leaves it open to illegal immigrants and child molesters. It is a good opportunity for someone who is looking to put "member of the Board of Education" on their resume and only have to put up with this thankless job until June. So all you potential elected public office seekers should look at this one.

So why was the same ads run twice in the Daily Times on the same day? Lord knows this size ad must cost $400 or more to run.

The second item concerning Delmar High School is they are going to close for two days to do heating well work repairs. I think the students must be off more than they attend school. The school is closed during the summer when there is no school yet the school board feel they need to take two more days off during the school session to do well work for the heating system. The newspaper didn't say the system wasn't working but described it as an emergency anyway. I know I have heard students talk about how cold it is in school but that has been going on for years. I also think the "new" school, that I was against, was a poorly designed school and poorly sized from the beginning.

Bits of Delmar News January 1942

From the Milford Chronicle Friday January 23, 1942 - Delmar News

Delmar held its first air-raid drill last Friday night, with 129 members of the auxillary brigade.

During the alert, Fred A. Grier, Jr. of Salisbury, chief fire coordinator for Wicomico county, and Chief Walter Disharoon of the Salisbury Fire Dept., accompanied by members of the local defense council, toured the town in an effort to determine the degree of protection Delmar would have in the event of a regular raid. Mr. Grier later reported the test was 100 per cent effective.

Deolia Fleetwood, of Wilmington, spent Tuesday in town.

After a visit with relatives here. Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Wheally have returned to their home in Waverly, N. J.

William Fisher has returned to Camp Croft after spending a few days with his parents here.

The Delmar Defense Council has decided to use the fire siren as its air-raid alarm until a more suitable alarm can be obtained. Three long blasts on the alarm will signify an air raid.

The Eastern Shore Public Service Company notified the fire department that a master switch had been installed here to be used in the event of a blackout.

Jesse P. Fox of Camden N. J. has arrived here to serve the P. R. R. as road foreman of engines, and Curtis Nock has been transferred to Wilmington in the same position there. Mr. and Mrs. Fox will occupy the home of Mrs. Harlan Waller on Jewell Street.

Miss Vivian Poulson has returned from a visit to Georgia.

Mrs. E. E. Fletcher gave an old-fashioned quilting party at her home last Tuesday which was thoroughly enjoyed by those present.

Billy Beach of Fort Sherman has been spending a few days with his relatives here.

A course in Red Cross home nursing was started last Thursday night on the second floor of Moose Hall, Delmar. Mrs Walter A. Venables, chief of nursing for the Delmar Defense Council, is in charge; assisted by Mrs. Albert Hastings, R.N.

The course will require 20 hours of study and will be held each Thursday afternoon and evening until completed. It will consist of practical demonstrations and theory. More than 40 women have already signed up for the course.