Saturday, September 25, 2010

Delmar Heritage Days Opens

I was at Delmar Heritage Day this morning about 8:30 and everyone was setting up and cars for the car show were arriving. Should be a good day, at 8:30 it was quite pleasant to walk around as it is still cool. A lot of yardsales on Old Rt 13 (BiState Blvd) coming into Delmar from the south.

A must see is the Jerry Carr Historical exhibit. Located by Grove and North Pennsylvania he has a ton of Delmar photos and good stuff. Jerry's family was a neighbor of ours when we were all growing up on Johnson Road in Salisbury. His family always had an interest in stock cars and historical items. This is a photo (click to enlarge) from the 1950's after Rt 13 was build and State Line Restaurant and the Texaco station was out there at the intersection of State Street and Rt13. It may have been taken on Sunday as the church has a full parking lot. Almost no one is parked at the motel. I can see a few airplanes at the air strip on the north side of State Street. I think the small house in the foreground has an outhouse in back of it. Notice the one car on Rt13, not going to see that today. The road was cement instead of asphalt so you can see the "slow" lane is black from being the lane most traveled in (keeps with the lower slower Delaware tradition).

The Band Boosters have good things to sell and in spite of the football game lost last night you still want to wear you Delmar colors.

Councilperson Mary Lee Pase wants your vote. Several town employees and elected officials were down town bright and early this morning.

Councilman Robert Thompson

Commissioner Karen Wells

Mums Are Being Delivered

I saw the mums are being delivered this morning. They were sold as a fund raiser for the Band Boosters.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jenkins

Today, Colonel William Jenkins will turn 97 years old. I understand he now has the title of the oldest man in Delmar, Delaware.
Happy Birthday!!!!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Delmar Heritage Day

Delmar is serving up some tasty treats tomorrow.

Yardsale Alert

Tomorrow is Heritage Day in Delmar and also in Sharptown. Last year I went to both and for anyone into going to yardsales this is a great buying opportunity. Both towns have a number of yardsales in town and as I recall there are a large number of yardsales on the Delmar Sharptown road, between the two towns. Should be about 13 miles of yardsales.

I have mentioned the Delmar heritage day events and in Sharptown there is a parade at 9 AM plus their heritage museum will be open. I have read there should be at least 30 vendors in Sharptown.

Cleaning Up the Downtown

Public Works was busy this morning preparing for Heritage Day

William Freihofer Baking Co -1 943

Stay Pure - 1943

Bad Books - 2008

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born today

Writer Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940), best known for his classic American novel "The Great Gatsby", was born on September 24, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Named after his famous second cousin, three times removed, Francis Scott Key, author of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," Fitzgerald was descended, on his father's side, from a long line of Marylanders. His father, Edward, was from Maryland, with an allegiance to the Old South and its values. His mother, Mary McQuillan, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant who made his fortune as a wholesale grocer in St. Paul.

Fitzgerald joined the army in 1917 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry. In June 1918 Fitzgerald was assigned to Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery, Alabama. There he fell in love with a celebrated belle, eighteen-year-old Zelda Sayre, the youngest daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge. For those of us who read the "Great Gatsby" we know he had replied heavily on this in the book.

The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God-a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that-and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.
The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald achieved fame almost overnight with the 1920 publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise. The novel, which draws heavily upon his years at Princeton, tells the story of a young man's quest for fulfillment in love and career. The success of this novel enabled Fitzgerald to marry Zelda Sayre, whom he had met while stationed at Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery, Alabama. Over the course of the next decade and a half, while struggling to cope with the demons of his alcoholism and her emerging mental illness, the Fitzgeralds enjoyed a life of literary celebrity among the American artists and writers who had expatriated to Paris after the First World War. The American artistic community in Europe included such notable figures as Ernest Hemingway, Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos, and Gertrude Stein.

In 1924, Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby", considered his greatest work. Although it initially met with little commercial success, the novel about the American aspiration for material success has become one of the most popular, widely read, and critically acclaimed works of fiction in the nation's literature.

Fitzgerald continued to publish novels and stories during the 1920s and 1930s. By 1936, however, both his marriage and his health were deteriorating. He spent the years 1936-1937 in the vicinity of Asheville, North Carolina, where his wife was receiving psychiatric treatment for recurrent schizophrenic episodes. For the last years of his life, Fitzgerald lived in Hollywood, earning his living as a screenwriter. Fitzgerald had been an alcoholic since his college days, and became notorious during the 1920s for his extraordinarily heavy drinking, leaving him in poor health by the late 1930s. Fitzgerald died on December 21, 1940 at the age of forty-five, leaving his final novel, The Last Tycoon, unfinished

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The September Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

The September Planning and Zoning Commission had their meeting tonight. It was over with by 7:50Pm, you all should have stopped by. I attended and was still home for the new shows on TV. William Boyan was the commission member missing.

Most of the discussion tonight was over sign requirements

Dr. Chandrasekhara (No I can't pronounce it either) came before the commission with the sign person for Dollar General to request approval for the signs. The new retail building by the Lap Top Shop is going to have a Dollar General store in it.

Dr. Chandrasekhara mentioned a number of points about his development of the building besides the sign. He feels the Town could have been more business friendly and helped with the building process. He said this project was $150,000 over budget. He also would like larger signs for his stores but as Carl Anderton pointed out the town would end up looking like Las Vegas if they allowed that. (Isn't that what the town wants - to be like Las Vegas?) The Commission approved the signs

Yorkshire Estates (behind Delmar Commons - Old Stage Road) came for sign approval. Glen Fishman is the operating principal but two female Representatives were there tonight to request sign approval. They mentioned they are offering the town houses facing Stage Road real cheap. Work has started in Yorkshire Estates after the previous company went bankrupt. New Models homes will be built. The commission approved the signs.

Yorkshire sign

Yorkshire Estates originally 66 acres on which was planned 250 homes

Rena Ennis of 9353 Stage Road (Maryland Side) requested to use her home as a daycare for up to 8 children.

The Commission approved it.

Ann Webster, General manager of the Holiday Inn Express, and Bak Patel, owner, came to request an upgraded sign for the motel. Holiday Inn requires them to do so. The Commission approved the request.

The "Great" Sign - While in college I worked as a "night auditor" at the Holiday Inn in Pocomoke in the 1970's. I was always amused that the Holiday Inn chain referred to the sign out front of the motel as "The Great Sign"

Holiday inn Express.

An interesting side note on some of the people at the P & Z meeting tonight. In comparison to native Eastern shoreman family trees that start in the 1600 and 1700's two people's family tree made them "recent" people. First, Mike Houlihan, is third generation Irish. His Grandfather came here from Ireland and was successful in running a garage/service station in Princess Anne and later a used car lot in Fruitland. Well you know what an empire the family has today. Bak Patel, as far as I know was born in India. He came to the Eastern Shore back in the 1980's with Ford Laboratories a vitamin pill manufacturer out of New Jersey. I also worked at Ford's and I know Bak from that time. When Ford's went Bankrupt all of us were out of a job. Bak was able to run a convenience store in Pittsville and later moved on to owning the Microtel motel, east of Salisbury, than he built the Residence Inn by the RT 50 bypass and RT 13 intersection, and back in March he acquired the Holiday Inn Express here. I was congratulating him on being so successful and he said "I was just lucky." I think luck may have played a part in it but hard work was the main reason. The point I am trying to make is both families made use of the advantages this country offered, but they also were successful because they worked hard and were willing to take a chance.

After the meeting I was talking to Bak about how much revenue the Bass tournament must have brought in the Holiday inn Express. He was saying Yes it did, but than he told me what all he had to go thru to get it to the Holiday Inn and how much money he had to shell out (from "donations" to their dinner, having to cut the grass in front of the Holiday Inn on property he doesn't own, to running electric out in to the yard so the people could charge the batteries on their boats etc, etc) it sounded like to me he did a great service for himself but also for the other businesses that provided services to this great income producing affair.

Maryland Local Government Audit Review

State of Maryland does a review of the audit reports
for various towns and county governments each year. The audit discussed a number of Eastern Shore town that did not file on time or at all. Delmar was not on the list - a good thing.

Delmar Heritage Day Celebration

Yes This Saturday (No Raindate) in Delmar, Delmar Heritage Day Celebration!!!

The Delmar High School Chorus will there at Noon and "13 South" band will be there at 1:30PM

First "Day" of Autumn

Today is the First "day" of Autumn. When farmers relied on moonlight to extend harvesting hours, they started calling the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox the harvest moon. If the full moon fell on the first actual day of autumn, it became "super harvest," or the "harvestest." Not only will Northern America witness the beginning of autumn at 11:09 Eastern Wednesday, there will be a full moon in the sky. Put those two occurrences together and you'll get the rare "super harvest moon."

"The two sources of light will mix together to create a kind of 360-degree, summer-autumn twilight glow," NASA Science writes.

The event has not occurred for 20 years, and probably will not reoccur until 2029.

As an added bonus, Jupiter will appear very close to the moon tonight. NASA's Tony Phillips writes: "A Super Harvest Moon, a rare twilight glow, a midnight conjunction--rarely does autumn begin with such celestial fanfare."
from the Washington Post

The September Lower DelMarVa Genealogical Society Meeting

Last night I attended the Lower DelMarVa Genealogical Society (LDGS) meeting. Aaron Horner, a research assistant from the Nabb Center in Salisbury, spoke on ways to determine the age of an ancestor if birth records are not available. The main time period he focused on was from 1580 to 1775. During that time period the main record of births were church records. Many of those records have been lost so other records must be examined to estimate the age of a person.

In Maryland there were tax lists. These tax list recorded all white males over 16, all slaves, and some widows who were Head of households. The age was not recorded on the tax list but it shows the person on the tax list was at least 16 years old and it is grouped by household. You can see when a new name appeared on the tax roll that they must have just arrived in the area or just turned 16. Likewise when they were dropped from the tax record they left the area, dropped dead, or moved out of a household to start their own household. From that you can go to other records.

Land Commission records - when there were disputes over land boundaries (as you know Delmarva has no stone so they used trees to mark land boundaries and the trees would died over time so the boundary would become disputed) dispositions would be taken by the different parties. In the disposition the person's age would be recorded.

Orphan records - When orphans would be assigned a guardian they would have their age recorded.

Court determination of age - when indentured whites, free blacks or slaves were assigned to a master in some cases they did not know their age so a court had to determine an age. This was for a number of purposes, one was so the master could be taxed if the person was over 16 years old. Another reason for age determination was so a set time period existed until that child would be set free from his indenture at age 21. A number of methods were used beside height and weight such as the condition of the teeth and outward signs of puberty.

Wills - are also a good source as frequently the age of the people listed in the will can be determined by the way they are mentioned in the will.

All of this is, of course, just an approximation of the birthyear of an individual.

It happens that on October 2nd at the Delaware Archives there is a similar talk called "Vital Records: Beyond Births, marriages, & Deaths.

The LDGS meetings are held at 7 PM the third Wednesday night each month at the LDGS library downtown Salisbury. Next meeting is on October 27th.

Planning and Zoning Meeting Tonight

Tonight at 7 PM at Town hall the September Planning and Zoning meeting will be held.

Among the items to discuss are;

• Kota Chandrasekhara- Sign approval for Delmar Square (Dollar General)
• Yorkshire Estates- Glen Fishman- Sign Approval
• Rena Ennis- Daycare-Garage Conversion 9353 Stage Rd.
• Holiday Inn Express- Ann Webster- Sign Ordinance Waiver

Delmar Library Press Release

Play Wii Bowling at the Delmar Public Library plays - for Adults and Teens/Preteens

For immediate release: The Delmar Public Library holds a popular free event for adults and teens/preteens: Wii Bowling! Teams and experience are not necessary.

Fall series ends mid-December. Drop by and play!

Wii bowling for adults: Bi-Weekly beginning October 6, from 6-8pm

Wii bowling for teens/preteens: Weekly beginning September 15, from 3-5pm

Get moving, meet others, and have fun at the Delmar Public Library. For more information and to register, call 302-846-9894.

Tell Me They Didn't Do That

Wicomico County Liquor Control Board Rations Liquor

The Great Liquor Shortage of 1943

click photo to enlarge

Baltimore Pure Rye

Cozy Cabin - 1943

Betty Lee Elliott, Otes Jester and his orchestra

Constitution Week

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sussex County sponsors election contest

NEWS RELEASE: Sussex County sponsors election contest

Georgetown, Del., Sept. 21, 2010: Sussex County is once again offering up a lesson in civics and politics that could literally pay off for some lucky students.

Sussex County this year will again sponsor its Election Year Scholarship Contest for local students. As in elections past, students will be asked to predict which candidates will win office in the upcoming general election, set for Nov. 2. The student with the most correct predictions will win a $200 scholarship, while five runners-up will each win $100 scholarships.

The scholarships will be paid upon each student’s enrollment in college or another post-high school educational program. The County Council first created the contest for the 2000 election. Funding will come through councilmanic grants, as well as from the Moore & Rutt law firm.
“This is a neat, educational way to involve children in the political process,” County Administrator David B. Baker said. “And they can have a little fun with it, too.”

Students 18 and younger who live in Sussex County are eligible to participate. Entrants will be asked to predict the winners of 22 statewide and county races; the student with the most correct guesses will win. To break a tie, entrants will be asked to guess how many total votes the winner of this year’s race for Delaware’s U.S. Senate seat will collect in Sussex County. Winners will be announced once election results are certified.

For complete rules and to enter, log onto to

Sussex County Press release

Sussex County returns excess revenue to taxpayers, public safety

Georgetown, Del., Sept. 21, 2010: Sussex County government is receiving some positive financial news, and that will mean more money in the pockets of police and fire companies and local taxpayers.

County Council, at its Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010, meeting, approved a plan to return nearly $600,000 in excess general fund revenue that a preliminary report shows was above expenditures in the budget year that ended June 30. An official audit will be in hand by the end of the year, but County leaders expert the numbers to be in line with preliminary findings.

In all, officials estimate the County collected $613,000 in added revenue in Fiscal 2010, thanks in part to a variety of factors, including reduced grants to local fire companies and police, budget savings on the part of County staff, and a slowly improving economy.

County Council approved using $250,000 of the excess revenue to waive the $3-per-person capitation tax in next year’s tax billings; using $200,000 to recognize employees who have helped reduce costs by 16 percent in the past two years; restoring to 90 percent, or $2,500 each for a total of $52,500, aid to municipal police departments; and fully funding fire service grants with $91,854.

“The money belongs to the people,” County Council President Vance Phillips said. “When there is excess, it should be returned.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anthony Mumford Does It again and again and again ad nauseam

DSP News Release: Delmar Man to Face 5th Offense DUI Charge
Location: US 13 N/O Delmar Delaware State Police
DATE and TIME: September 20, 2010 2:15 a.m.
Defendant(s): Anthony Mumford-35 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Delmar, De
Charge(s) and Bond Information:
• 5th Offense after 4 Prior Offenses Driving a Vehicle under the Influence Alcohol
• Driving While Suspended or Revoked
• Failure to Have Insurance Identification
• Failure to Have Registration Card in Possession
• Improper Lane Change
• $16,500 secured bond Sussex Correctional Institute

Delmar-Delaware State Police early Monday morning arrested Anthony Mumford-35 of Delmar for his 5th Offense of Driving under the Influence of Alcohol.

Anthony Mumford was observed traveling southbound on US 13 N/O Delmar around 2:15 a.m. in an erratic manner. The Delaware State Trooper advised Mumford was also traveling well below the posted speed limit.

As a result of Mumford’s unusual driving pattern the Trooper conducted a traffic stop on Mumford’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Trooper further detected an odor of alcohol emitting from Mumford’s breath. After being given Standardized Field Sobriety test Mumford was arrested for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol.

The Trooper’s subsequent search into Mumford’s driving record revealed he has been arrested on four prior occasions since 2000. Delaware State Police then arrested Mumford for his 5th Offense Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and other traffic related offenses.

Mumford was incarcerated on $16,500 secured bond to the Sussex Correctional Institute.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sears Ad for Forehand and Wadsworth handgun

Iver Johnson Ad

Mr. Hicks Ad - 1970

Colt Ad - 1913

A Convenient Assumption

“Once the rockets are up,
Who cares where they come down.
That’s not my department
Says Wernher von Braun.”

written by satirist Tom Lehrer

Today in 1945 German Nazi Wernher von Braun and six other team members arrive in the United States via military air transport and begin special assignment at Army Ordnance Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Project Paperclip had to smuggle them into the USA to keep Immigration, Customs and, more importantly, the State Department from finding out they were here.

Five days before Von Braun and other members of Peenemuende team selected to work with the Army Ordnance Corps in the United States sign a six-month contract, with a provision for an additional six months at the option of the employer. A supplement also provides for additional options of six months each after completion of the first year of employment. All of this came about by way of Operation paperclip.

It is now well-known that von Braun was an honorary officer in the S.S., Hitler's feared security police, and that V-2 production was made possible by slave labor at both Peenemuende and Mittelwerk, facts that were hidden or glossed over by the U.S. government and von Braun himself. But the Americans were inclined to assume that men of science weren’t to blame. “A convenient assumption if you want to use these people: you don’t want to think of them as war criminals.” But of course they were war criminals.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Halloween Costumes

Costumes By Keenan - North Bi-State Blvd - Delmar Delaware

The Bissell Carpet Sweeper

Today in 1876 Melville Bissell patented the carpet sweeper. Now this would be immaterial to me except I have noticed on my walks around Pond's Edge of the vacuum cleaners thrown away (remember with over 200 apartments and people moving in or out each week) Bissell is the most popular one tossed in the trash. I do not know if they just wear out and are being replaced or they are crap and people are getting rid of them. I know if you have pets that shed, all vacuum cleaners are crap, so I can't home in on a Bissell.

But back to the Bissell carpet sweeper, early mechanical sweepers can be traced to around 1811. But it wasn’t until 1876 that a truly successful design was introduced by Melville and Anna Bissell. The Bissells originally ran a business selling fine china, which arrived at their store packed in sawdust. Melville purchased a carpet sweeper, but wasn’t happy with it. So he made his own.

The two shop owners began making and selling them. They started small at first, with a few employees in an upstairs room. Together, the couple made sales calls to houseware stores near their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Bissells were tenacious and they had a good product. Homemakers wanted them. Seven years after their humble beginning, the Bissells incorporated their business and built a modern, five story factory. With a focus on quality, the Bissell company was well on its way to dominating a growing market for carpet sweepers. And then tragedy struck.

Melville died of pneumonia in 1889. He was only 45. But while it was a personal tragedy for the family, business thrived. Anna picked up the pieces, and for more than thirty years led a successful worldwide expansion of the company. She eventually passed the reins to her son, Melville Bissell, Jr., who faced a new competitive challenge — the vacuum cleaner.

Vacuums have largely supplanted carpet sweepers, but not entirely. Carpet sweepers are light weight and energy efficient — great for a quick pick up when you don’t want to haul out the hoover. And they’re much quieter than vacuums. Restaurants continue to use them because they don’t disturb the customers. Bissell remains the most popular brand of carpet sweeper to this day. And the company is still family owned and operated — the legacy of a husband and wife team with an idea for a better picker upper.

The Great Railway Bazaar started today

On this day in 1973 my favorite travel author, Paul Theroux,departed on the 15:30 from London's Victoria Station for Paris, the Orient Express, and the twenty-nine other trains that would take him on the fourteen-week journey documented in The Great Railway Bazaar. This was the first of Theroux's travel books, and decades later it is still on many Top Ten lists for the genre. The best travel writers seem to be cranks, curmudgeons, or kvetchers. Paul Theroux is surely one of the great curmudgeons. Theroux himself keeps moving, and writing: in a recent interview for his recent anthology of travel articles, Fresh Air Fiend (2000), he said he continues to take at least a half-dozen trips a year, as he has done for 35 years. Even more than The Great Railway Bazaar, I loved The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas. After my house fire one of the first replacement books I purchased was The Great Railroad Bazzaar. I will pickup The Old Patagonian Express before I move back into the new house. Since college costs for my two daughters have killed any chance I will be traveling anywhere but Delmarva at least I can read about other people's adventures.