Saturday, May 16, 2009

3rd Annual St. Philip's Strawberry Festival and Garden Tour

As you descend the roughly hewn pavers and inhale the inviting aroma of gardenia and lavender, visions of endless summer of hydrangea frolicking in Laurel come into view. Not far away, Iris beckons, as she and her sisters, stick out their tongues at the trio of Adonis sunning themselves adjacent to the knockout Bess Buds. Another day has started here at Shan-gri-la.
description of one garden on the Laurel Garden Club tour.

I attended the Strawberry festival and garden tour in Laurel today. The scrapple sandwiches sold there were, as always, cooked to perfection. The garden tour however was the highlight for me. Any gardener enjoys walking around town and peeking over fences into people's backyards to catch sight of their gardens. Garden tours allows you to so without having to explain what you are doing to the police. Note: do not try to go on the garden tour with a garden trowel in your back pocket. The Laurel garden tour had ten gardens on display. I obtained as much enjoyment from reading the descriptions of the gardens (above) in the guide book as I did from looking at the gardens. The map to the gardens left a great deal to be desired but I did find nine out of the ten gardens. To allow your home to be on a garden tour must be a combination of pride, coercion, ego and a little foolishness, but let me thank the home owners for letting me see their gardens. I did notice Elbert's spacious estate was not on the tour. Laurel has a number of old, colorful, historic houses (can you also say hard to heat and high maintenance)and it is always a good town to walk around and just look at homes etc. A couple garden photos are below.

Part of the Lois West Garden

Part of Lois West Garden

Part of Academy Street Antiques Garden

Part of the Merritt-Jeffries Garden

Heloise - 1164

"If I am remembered it will be for this
that I was loved by Heloise"

Peter Abelard

Heloise died today in 1164. Heloise and Abelard a couple who are unknown to many unless you are a romantic. For 900 years their relationship has been revealed thru their letters to one another.

The short story for this couple is this; Heloise was a brilliant scholar and recognised to be so at an early age, when she was 18, Peter Abelard was hired by her uncle to teach her, Heloise and Abelard had a love affair, a child was produced (Astrolabe), they were secretly married, the uncle became enraged and had Peter Abelard castrated, Peter becomes a monk, Heloise becomes a nun. Over the years they wrote love letters to one another. The relationship was both tragic and romantic so it has appealed to dreamers and lovers for ages.

After they had passed away, both were, supposedly, buried at the Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Elijah Wheelton and his big fish - 1953

In the May 15th 1953 edition of the Bi-State Weekly it was reported that Elijah Wheelton had caught a sturgeon in the Nanticoke River that weighted 138 pounds and was six foot nine inches in length.

It was the first caught since Earl Phillips caught one of similar size in 1950. They were the only two caught in the last ten years.

One Eyed Jack Markell

Back a long time ago, when I was in high school, Marlon Brando came out with a movie called One Eyed Jacks. The summary of it is; Kid Rio (Marlon Brando) and Dad Longworth(Karl Malden) are partners in a robbery in Mexico. Dad Longworth takes off with the money and leaves Kid Rio to face a Mexican jail term. The Kid breaks free, hunts Longworth down (who now is sheriff) and tells him; he is a one-eyed jack. Now as we know a Jack in a deck of cards is seen in profile and only one side of the face with one eye is shown but Kid Rio tells Dad Longworth he has seen the other side of the face of the one-eyed jack (referring to Longworth) and altho people may think he is a respectable person, the Kid has seen the other side of his face and knows what he really is; a deceitful betrayer of trust.

Fast forward to 2009 and now we have Governor Jack Markell. I must say I do not agree with many of Jacks proposals and laws he is signing into effect. He tends to wishy washy. Now an indication that Jack was a banker at First Chicago should have clued us in he was not be trusted, but he is Governor now and like most politicians who are one-eyed Jacks, showing only one side of their face at election time, he is now showing us the other side of his face. Now I am not a big fan of wishy washy people and two-faced people. I also still believe the "state" is you and I, not some unknown entity. As such I expect for the "state" to show some amount of morals and a clear cut across the board policy. Not some situation where on one hand the state says tobacco use is bad for you and on the other hand design their tobacco tax to attract out of state smokers into Delaware to satisfy their habit.

Jack Markell was elected treasurer three times, he should have been well aware of the financial situation Delaware was in prior to being elected Governor. I frankly don't remember him saying the only way Delaware could attract more tax money was to have additional gambling. More and more I have the feeling this issue was decided by Jack Markell and the gambling interests long before he ran for Governor.

I certainly view jobs that are related to tourism (gambling casinos, motels, restaurants, etc) as being in the same grouping as prostitution. It is acting in a servitude position to people from other states who make more money. It is a type of work that encourages minimum wage and illegal workers. In the end the money the state will make from gambling will disappear into that enormous black hole of government spending and five years from now we will need more money. What amount of respectability will we have left to sell at that time?

When I worked for national companies they would periodically have layoffs regardless of the profit situation. The reason for the layoffs were to get rid of the people who were performing at that minimum line - well enough not to be fired - but contributing little to the well being of the company other than holding a position. Now Governor Markell would like to cut every one's pay instead of laying off 1,500 government workers. I am sure there are 1,500 marginal people working for the state. Instead of looking at increasing taxes simply reduce government.

Yes Jack, before you were a one-eyed jack and we only saw one side of your face, now we are beginning to see the other side of your face.

Terraplanes and Hudsons - Central Garage - 1934 - Salisbury

The Delmar Streetscape Project

This morning I watched a school bus run over the curb as it exited Pennsylvania Avenue and headed west on to State Street.

As You can see this new curb is becoming black with tire rubber.

Eventually the sidewalk will break and the town will have to repair it or it will just remain broken and the looks of it will go with the LeCates building across the street from it.

The sidewalk they have marked for an extension in to Grove street looks like it will really be a tough turn to make.

Some wag at the bar has added a sign for Boardwalk Fries to the temporary cross over.

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day. The holiday was created on 1 October 1962 to pay tribute to the local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage and dedication. It is a holiday in which the flag of the United States is display at half-staff. As I look out my back door I see, again this year, the Delmar Post Office is not aware the flag is suppose to be half staff. Altho the Post Office is the only Federal Building in town I see the High school, Fire Department, VFW, American Legion, State Street Park, the Funeral Home and about everyone else who has an American Flag in town has not put it at half staff.

U-Boat Surrender at Lewis - 1945

U-Boat 858

Picked up from This Day in Delaware History

May 15 1945 The next to last German U-boat to surrender in World War II, the U 858, Capitainlieutenant Thilo Bode commanding, was brought into the Lewes Breakwater.

Today's facts were compiled by historian Roger Martin and brought to you by the Delaware Public Archives.

Captain Thilo Bode

Photos from the Delaware Archives

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Morning Walk

This morning my walk took me pass the construction in Gordy Park.

The basketball court has been re-paved

The Skateboard park has been paved.

The pavers are still working on the skateboard park

Free To The First State Day

Coming up this week end is Delaware's "Free To The First State Day". Visitor attractions in Delaware will open their doors, free of charge to state residents, on Saturday, May 16, 2009, when the popular "Free to the First State" program returns to celebrate National Tourism Week.

For free admission to the participating tourism attractions, Delaware residents only need to show proof of residency, such as a driver's license, student ID or a military ID. Fees for tours or special exhibits may apply at some attractions

In Sussex County: DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, Elsie Williams Doll Collection, Fenwick Island Lighthouse, Georgetown Train Station Museum, Governor Ross Mansion, Lewes Historical Society Complex, Milford Museum, Nanticoke Indian Museum, Nassau Valley Vineyards, Nutter Marvel Carriage Museum, Old Court House in Georgetown, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Seaford Museum, Treasures of the Sea Exhibit, and Zwaanendael Museum.

In Kent County: Abbott's Mill Nature Center, Air Mobility Command Center, Biggs Museum of American Art, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village, Delaware Archaeology Museum, Delaware Public Archives, Delaware State Police Museum, Delaware Agricultural Museum, Delaware Archaeology Museum, Delaware Public Archives, Delaware State Visitor Center, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, The First State Heritage Park at Dover, John Dickinson Plantation, Johnson Victrola Museum, Monster Racing Excitement, Museum of Small Town Life, Parson Thorne Museum.

In New Castle County: Buena Vista, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Delaware History Museum, Delaware Toy & Minature Museum, Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame, Greenbank Mill & Philips Farm, Hagley Museum and Library, Hale-Byrnes House, Historic Houses of Odessa, Iron Hill Museum, New Castle court House Museum, Old Swedes Church & Hendrickson House Museum, Port Penn Interpretive Center, Rockwood Museum, Winterthur Museum & Country Estate.

For more information click on Free Day

Vaseline - US Patent 127,568

Today in 1878 - The name Vaseline was registered by Robert A. Chesebrough. It had a U.S. patent given to it in 1872. Vaseline is a registered trademark and is a brand of petroleum jelly based products. Today it is owned by Unilever. Vaseline has 77 percent of the market for petroleum jelly; the rest is primarily private label store brands.

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly has a ton of uses and beside being a best selling item in Rehoboth Beach here are a few other websites with uses for Vaseline;
50 uses for Vaseline
and other uses are here

and at least one Vaseline joke;
A woman answers the door to a market researcher. "Good morning madam, I'm doing some research for Vaseline. Do you use it at all in your household?"
"Oh yes, all the time. It's very good for cuts, grazes and burns."
"Do you use it for anything else?"
"Like what?"
"Ahem.. err.. well.. during.. ahem.. sex."
"Oh, of course. Yes, I smear it on the bedroom doorknob to keep my husband out!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waxing the Omni

I have an old Dodge Omni that I bought new from Wayne Buhrman Dodge in Salisbury in 1984. It passed Delaware vehicle inspection yesterday so I thought I would celebrate and give it a treat and wax it. Now waxing my cars is something I rarely do now days - maybe twice or three times a year. When I was a younger man I use to enjoy waxing whatever car I owned, there isn't much heavy thinking you have to do to complete the job so it is relaxing. Now days the paint job on cars are so much better than in the 1960 and 1980's that they don't seem to need waxing as often.

When I was seventeen my family lived out on Snow Hill Road in an old farm house that was surrounded by plowed fields. At that time I was the proud owner of a 1949 Nash Ambassador (cost me $75). It looked like an upside down bathtub but it was a great running car. A popular and quickly passing teenage fad to do at that time was instead of spending money on wax you would buy a quart of motor oil and wipe it on the car and then buff it off. It gave a great shine. The draw back was it left a thin film of motor oil on the car and since it was spring and the farmers were plowing the fields around us within a day the car looked like a dirt ball from the dust, kicked up by the plows, clinging to the oil residue.

The 1985 MOVE bombing

Today in 1985 the Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on a "radical" group called MOVE and eleven people died in the ensuing fire, 61 homes were destroyed and another 110 homes damaged.

The MOVE organization was a cult like group started in 1972, that was mostly black and who believed in "back to nature" and changed their surnames to Africa. Unlike most groups they did not stay off to their selves. They had a house in West Philadelphia on Osage Avenue where they used a bullhorn 24-hours a day to broadcast their messages to the world and the neighborhood. As part of the back to nature movement their children ran around naked all day. The neighborhood listen to this for six months before the police and fire department surrounded the house. The police fired over 10,000 shots into the house and dropped a small bomb, which started the fire. The Fire Department supposedly waited until the fire was out of control before they started to contain it. Philadelphia has spent over $42 million in lawsuits and relocation fees for people whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

Eight years later, the standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas, echoed the MOVE scenario.

Delmar School Board Election

I am reading in the News Journal this morning that Jason Coco and Greg Cathell won the Delmar School Board election. Jason Coco (290 votes) beat out incumbent Charles Smith (285 votes) for the five year term. Greg Cathell with 269 votes beat out Wayne Moore (147 votes), Jeff Fleetwood Sr.(91 votes) and Phil Thompson (72 votes) in the three year office term. I assume the absentee ballots are counted and included in this number.

Congratulations to the winners.

It looks like 579 people voted in the election, which frankly is higher than I expected.

The school board election results for Sussex County can be found at the Department of Elections sussex county webpage

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did I Miss It?

In reading the Daily Times (Salisbury Md) this morning I saw an article on the Indian River and Cape Henlopen School district school board election today, but nothing on the Delmar and Laurel school board election. You would think there would be something written on the elections in school district pretty much right next to Wicomico County instead of the Eastern Sussex county school election.

I did however enjoy the article on Jeremy Smith, a Senior at Delmar School, doing as his Eagle scout project a prayer garden at Mount Nebo United Methodist Church outside of town.

DNREC Press Release

Six Downstate Ponds to Be Treated for Aquatic Weeds

During the next three weeks, weather permitting, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will be treating six downstate ponds for aquatic nuisance weeds that, left unchecked, can choke the waters, crowd out other, more beneficial plant species and prevent fishing and boating access.

The target aquatic species is hydrilla, a non-native plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. The Division will apply Sonar, an EPA-registered and approved aquatic herbicide containing fluridone. Sonar has been used in Delaware since the 1980s and has been proven safe and effective for controlling hydrilla.

The ponds to be treated are, in Kent County: Garrisons Lake near Smyrna and Tub Mill Pond near Houston; and in Sussex County: Millsboro Pond; and Chipmans Pond, Tussock Pond and Horseys Pond near Laurel.

Residents along the shoreline of each pond will receive hand-delivered notice of the treatments. In addition, signs will be posted in the boat ramp area of each pond on the day of treatment.

The only special precaution for residents is a 30-day restriction from the day of treatment on the use of water from the ponds to irrigate crops, grass, flowers or gardens.

“Residents who live beside the ponds and those directly downstream should not use pond water to irrigate their gardens, yards or agricultural lands for 30 days following treatment to avoid possible damage to their plantings,” cautioned Craig Shirey, Fisheries biologist and environmental program manager.

Shirey also noted the Division would like to remind residents that in order to use any water from Delaware’s freshwater ponds, a permit from the DNREC Division of Water Resources is required. Next year, under a new notification system, only those residents who have these permits will receive individual notice of the treatments, he added.

Use of Sonar does not pose any threat to wildlife, including fish. “There are no restrictions on fishing or consumption of fish as a result of these planned treatments,” Shirey said.

For more information on the treatment of the ponds, please call the Division of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Section, at 302-739-9914.

For information on obtaining an irrigation permit from the Division of Water Resources, please call Patty E. Murray at 302-739-9945.

More information and the permit application is available online at
OtherServices/Pages/WaterSupplyWaterAllocationBranch.aspx . Click on the link to “short form.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Delmar High School Spring Concert

The Delmar High School Band Concert, under the direction of David Smith, was tonight. I had to choose between going to the Delmar Maryland Council Meeting or the band concert - not a hard decision. As usual the band was great. Many faces, in the 50 plus member band, looked familiar as I had seen them at the Chorus concert last week. The band did seven numbers and I thought Carmina Burana was the best.

Ben Gifford

Yvette Siegel

Some of the trumpeters

Ashlie Walter

Standing are Senior band members. There were seven band members chosen for the Sussex County Honor Band; Donya Smith, Ashlie Walter, Adwoa Nyame, Ben Gifford, Josh Smith, Skylar Schirtzinger, and Skyler Blewitt.

The Delmar Jazz ensemble performed five numbers in the second part of the show.

Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble, I loved Tori Blewitt mask - just the right touch

All the students I see in the band and chorus are a talented group but I feel I should mention one student in particular and that is Josh Smith. Now I don't know Josh personally so my comments are just from what I see of him at the concerts and a previous newspaper article. Josh is the son of David and Juliana Smith, both are music teachers. Now we know from observing the sons and daughters of preachers that not all the offsprings follow in the tracks of the parents and I am sure it is the same way with music teacher's offsprings. However Josh seem to be doing just that and doing so very well. I am not just impressed with him for being one of the Drum majors, in the Chorus and band, in the school musical, picked for Sussex County Honor band, All State Chorus, and All Eastern Honors Ensemble, I am more impressed with him because at The shows i have seen him in he is one of the ones that are always working on the stage - moving the piano on and off stage, moving scenery, running the vacuum cleaners around between scenes picking up loose feathers from a number in which the chorus wore feather boas etc. He does more than what is expected. I believe he is a Junior this year so we get to see him in action again next year. Good job Josh!!

There are many more that stand out such as Megan Spindler, Nancy Maner, Annika Nichols, Rhiannon Smith, and Ben Gifford.

Note: the Delmar Elementary School concerts are Thursday morning May 14th at 8:45 AM and 9:45 AM. Delmar Band awards night is May 27th at 6:30 PM and High School Seniors graduation on June 5th.

Upcoming events

May 11. Delmar High School Band Concert. Delmar High School Auditorium. 7:00 p.m.

May 11, 7 PM Delmar, Maryland Council Meeting

May 12. Delmar School Board Election

May 12, 3 PM Sussex County Council Meeting Georgetown

May 14 6 PM Sussex County Planning and Zoning Meeting Georgetown

May 16. Laurel Strawberry Festival St. Phillips Church

May 16th “Free to the First State “ Day Free entrance for Delaware residents to Delaware parks and museums

May 16th and 17th The Great US 50 Yard Sale. From the Atlantic to the Pacific there will a yard sale on RT 50 One spot will be At Wrights Markey in Mardela Springs contact 302-846-0643

May 16th 10 am to 4 Pm Free entrance to “The Treasures of the Sea” exhibit at Del Tech

May 19th Sussex County Sheriff sale, Georgetown

May 19 7 PM Delmar Board Of Education meeting

May 20 3 PM Sussex County Planning and Zoning Georgetown

May 22 to 24 Seaford Heritage Weekend

May 25 Memorial Day

May 26, 6:30 PM Delmar Utility Meeting

May 26, 7 PM Delmar Joint Council Meeting

May 28 6 PM Sussex County Planning and Zoning Georgetown

June 5 7 Pm Delmar High School Senior Graduation

June 20 – 21 Dover Air Force Base Open House

Delmar School Board Election Tomorrow

The Delmar School Board election is tomorrow. There are two positions open, a three year position and a five year position. The candidates for the three year term are; Mr. Gregory A. Cathell, Mr. Jeffrey T. Fleetwood, Sr., Mr. Wayne F. Moore, and Mr. Phillip W. Thompson. The candidates for the five year term position are Jason Coco and Charles Smith. Once again this has been a poorly publicised election with little information being made available about the candidates. This usually ensures the incumbent will be re-elected.

The News Journal, today, had an article that gives a brief statement by the candidates with the exception of Jason R. Coco and Gregory Cathell who did not respond. The article for Delmar starts at the bottom of Page 5 and continues on thru page 7.

Patty Cannon died 1829

Picked up from "This Day in Delaware History" website

May 11, 1829 Patty Cannon died of her own hand in Georgetown jail by taking poison. A notorious Seaford slavetrader, she had been indicted on three counts of murder.

This Day in Delaware History is compiled by historian Roger Martin and brought to you by the Delaware Public Archives.

Marble King - 1962

From the May 11, 1962 Bi-State Weekly


Stanley Baker, fifth grader and son of Mr. and Mrs. Linwood Baker, Delmar, came off top honors in the Wicomico County Marble Tournament last Friday at the Wi-Hi Baseball Park.

The tournament pitted the 36 top marble shooters in the county, after preliminary contests had been held in all the county schools. Stanley was runner-up in the Delmar Elementary school and was one of two local representatives. Greg Nichols, a sixth grader was first here but failed in the big contest.

Stanley will go to Wildwood N.J. on June 1 to compete for the title of National Marble King. The Salisbury Rotary Club, sponsor of the local contest in cooperation with the Wicomico County Recreation Commission will enter Baker as County titleholder, in the national competition.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mother's Day Poem

by Will Carleton, 1897

Over the hill to the poor-house I'm trudgin' my weary way---
I, a woman of seventy, and only a trifle gray---
I, who am smart an' chipper, for all the years I've told,
As many another woman that's only half as old.
Over the hill to the poor-house---I can't quite make it clear!
Over the hill to the poor-house---it seems so horrid queer!
Many a step I've taken, a-toilin' to and fro,
But this is a sort of journey I never thought to go.

What is the use of heapin' on me a pauper's shame?
Am I lazy or crazy? am I blind or lame?
True, I am not so supple, nor yet so awful stout;
But charity ain't no favor, if one can live without.

I am ready and willin' an' anxious any day
To work for a decent livin' and pay my honest way;
For I can earn my victuals, an' more too, I'll be bound,
If anybody is willin' to only have me 'round.

Once I was young an' hand'some---I was, upon my soul---
Once my cheeks was roses, my eyes was black as coal;
And I can't remember, in them days, of hearin' people say,
For any kind of a reason, that I was in their way!

'Tain't no use of boastin' or talkin' over-free,
But many a house an' home was open then to me;
Many a han'some offer I had from likely men,
And nobody ever hinted that I was a burden then.

And when to John I was married, sure he was good and smart,
But he and all the neighbors would own I done my part;
For life was all before me, an' I was young an' strong,
And I worked my best an' smartest in tryin' to get along.

And so we worked together; and life was hard, but gay,
With now and then a baby to cheer us on our way.
Till we had half a dozen, an' all growed clean an' neat,
An' went to school like others, an' had enough to eat.

An' so we worked for the child'rn, and raised 'em every one---
Worked for 'em summer and winter, just as we ought to've done;
Only perhaps we humored 'em, which some good folks condemn,
But every couple's own child'rn's a heap the dearest to them!

Strange how much we think of OUR blessed little ones!---
I'd have died for my daughters, and I'd have died for my sons.
And God He made that rule of love; but when we're old and gray
I've noticed it sometimes, somehow, fails to work the other way.

Stranger another thing: when our boys an' girls was grown,
And when, exceptin' Charley, they'd left us there alone,
When John he nearer an' nearer came, an' dearer seemed to be,
The Lord of Hosts, He came one day an' took him away from me!

Still I was bound to struggle, an' never cringe or fall---
Still I worked for Charley, for Charley was now my all;
And Charley was pretty good to me, with scarce a word or frown,
Till at last he went a-courtin', and brought a wife from town.

She was somewhat dressy, an' hadn't a pleasant smile---
She was quite conceity, and carried a heap o' style;
But if ever I tried to be friends, I did with her, I know;
But she was hard and haughty, an' we couldn't make it go.

She had an edication, and that was good for her,
But when she twitted me on mine, 'twas carryin' things too far,
An' I told her once, 'fore company, (an' it almost made her sick)
That I never swallowed a grammer, nor 'et a 'rithmetic.

So 'twas only a few days before the thing was done---
They was a family of themselves, and I another one.
And a very little cottage one family will do,
But I never have seen a mansion that was big enough for two.

An' I never could speak to suit her, never could please her eye,
An' it made me independent, an' then I didn't try.
But I was terribly humbled, an' felt it like a blow,
When Charley turned agin me, an' told me I could go!

I went to live with Susan, but Susan's house was small,
And she was always a-hintin' how snug it was for us all;
And what with her husband's sisters, and what with child'rn three,
'Twas easy to discover there wasn't room for me.

An' then I went with Thomas, the oldest son I've got:
For Thomas's buildings'd cover the half of an acre lot,
But all the child'rn was on me---I couldn't stand their sauce---
And Thomas said I needn't think I was comin' there to boss.

An' then I wrote to Rebecca, my girl who lives out West,
And to Isaac, not far from her---some twenty miles at best;
And one of 'em said 'twas too warm there for anyone so old,
And t'other had an opinion the climate was too cold.

So they have shirked and slighted me, an' shifted me about---
So they have well nigh soured me, an' wore my old heart out;
But still I've borne up pretty well, an' wasn't much put down,
Till Charley went to the poor-master, an' put me on the town!

Over the hill to the poor-house---my child'rn dear, good-bye!
Many a night I've watched you when only God was nigh;
And God'll judge between us; but I will al'ays pray
That you shall never suffer the half that I do to-day!