Thursday, July 14, 2011

Missing For 30 years

It has been 30 years since Kathryn Mae Quackenbushwent missing on July 14, 1981 from Delmar, Maryland. Quackenbush was a resident of Georgia and was in the Delmar area with her brother visiting her father. On the evening of her disappearance, she planned to go to the bowling alley in Salisbury, MD When he was not on time, it is alleged that she started walking south on Rt 13. The boyfriend arrived 5 minutes later and left to pick her up. She could not be found, and was reported missing. Foul play is suspected.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Up Up and Away - Layoffs at Kennedy Space Center

As NASA's space shuttle program wraps it up, a massive workforce in Florida and Texas is about to become unemployed. Now back in the 1960's I worked as a computer technician for a few companies (Applied Physics Lab of John Hopkins University, Burroughs Corp., and Electronic Associates). In 1967 RCA flew me to Florida to interview for a job at Cape Canaveral. The place was a boom town. I decided not to go with them and went with Electronic Associates out of West Long Branch, NJ (now defunct but at that time was the 10th largest computer company in the USA) and they sent me to work in Huntsville, Alabama. When the contract ended they sent me to Orlando, Florida to work at what was then Martin Marietta Corporation. This was in 1969 the space program had landed on the moon and the mission was accomplished so 8,000 employees were laid off from a workforce of 23,000. The Cocoa Beach - Cape Canaveral area was a waste land. People were begging for jobs. The average pay of electronic engineers dropped to that of a migrant worker (which they were - they just didn't know it). So many people defaulted on their homes and not paying property tax the school system was in a panic. It took a number of years for the workforce to adjust.

Again in 1977 a repeat of the economic devastation of 1969, when NASA abruptly cancelled the Apollo program; everything from rocket science to real estate was impacted, practically overnight. They had 28% unemployment.

So now in 2011 we are looking at it again, but it is not like they didn't have warning. Anyone who works government project should always have a backup plan. Buying a house is already cheap in Florida, when this round of layoffs is complete they should be even cheaper. Well in 1969 Disney World wasn't open so maybe they can find work there.

I think it is a shame they are not making more of an effort to move into space. It was that dream given to us from the Kennedy years and anyone who grew up in that time period still cherish the dream. "One small step for man turned into one small 12-step program to space sobriety" wrote Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post in a recent article "Space ceased to be somewhere you went for its own sake and became a program we praised for its externalities — satellite communications and Silly Putty and pens that wrote upside down...The future turned out to be celebrity tabloids and magical personal screens and the continuation of old feuds, not mankind suddenly clasping hands and setting its sights for the beyond....The greatest argument against space travel has always been that “we have enough problems right here.” Well, “here” is a strange word. Here is hurtling through space at thousands of kilometers per second. It is only in our minds that we aren’t moving. And as we hurtle onward through space, on a launch pad in Florida, the pillar of fire transforms into a pillar of cloud and the Atlantis vanishes into the sky. And we look up. I hope it’s not the last time that we do."

Of course since the world will end in 2012 what difference does it make anyway?

From another website - no idea if accurate but it looks right
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) NASA and contractor employment
1968 - 25,767 (peak)
1971 - 15,000
1973 - 14,000
1974 - 9,450
1975 - 8,500 - Brevard County unemployment rate 18%
1976 - 8,441 (lowest level reached post Apollo / pre-Shuttle)
1978 - 10,000
1979 - 10,600
1980 - 13,876
1983 - 12,000
1986 - 16,000
1987 - 13,500
couldn't find data in the 1990's
2003 - 13,800
2005 - 14,000
2007 - 15,000
2009 - 15,400
2009 - 13,000
2011 - 8,900 (as of 5/13/2011)

July DHAS Newsletter

The July Delmar Historical and Arts Society (DHAS)Newsletter is out. If you would like an electronic copy emailed to you, send your name and email address to

Is The Delmar Casino Dream Gone?

Property Type: Lots and Land
Price: $1,974,500
Status: Active
Lot Size: 39.49
Area: Delmar, DE
County: Sussex
MLS/Web ID: 557574

39.49 acres, includes Parcel 86.04, Zoned Agr/Res. Property ideal for development. 3.89 acres of land situated on West side of US Rt13. 35.60 acres between Old Stage Rd & US 13 and 1 mile North of Rt 54.

Art In The Park

Yes tomorrow night is a return of Art In The Park. The band will be "Southern Sounds." Come on out and join us. 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday night

Secession For Kinney, Minnesota - 1977

City of Kinney
Clerk’s Office

July 13, 1977

Honorable Cyrus Vance
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C.

BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Kinney, in Kinney, Minnesota, has decided to secede from the United States of America, and become a foreign country. Our area is large enough for it. We are twelve square blocks, three blocks wide and four blocks long. We will be similar to Monaco. It is much easier to get assistance as a foreign country, which we need badly, and there is no paper work to worry about. If necessary, we will be glad to declare war and lose. However, if this is a requirement, we would appreciate being able to surrender real quick, as our Mayor works as a nurse in a hospital, and most of our council members work in a nearby mine and cannot get much time off from work.


Mary Anderson, Mayor
Margaret Medure, Clerk
Al Helmin, Councilman
Lloyd Linnell, Councilman
Myron Holcomb, Councilman
Jim Randall, Village Attorney

On July 13, 1977, the small Iron Range town of Kinney, Minn., seceded from the United States of America.

Kinney, which was never recognized by the U.S. government as a foreign nation, seceded because city council said “there is less paperwork to receive foreign aid.” At the time, council members were trying to obtain a $186,000 grant from the federal government to repair the town’s unworkable water system.

In true tongue-in-cheek fashion, the town issued 1,600 passports, guaranteeing those who held the passports safe passage through the city, a free slice of Slovenian cake, and 10-cent cups of coffee at Mary’s Bar. The city even commissioned a navy, which was comprised of a single canoe and no sailors.

Frozen food giant Jeno Paulucci even got in on the action. An Iron Range-area native and owner of Michelina’s and Jeno’s Pizza Rolls, Paulucci donated a used 1974 Ford LTD police car with 50,000 to replace the city’s only (and not running) police car. He also donated 10 cases of frozen pizza.

In the end, Kinney eventually received $198,000 from the state of Minnesota to fix the town’s broken water system. Today, the town sometimes holds a festival to celebrate their “independence.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Week At The Delmar Library

On Wednesday July 13th at 10:30 A.M. Meet the Delmarva Shore Birds! Bring an item to be autographed by a future baseball star or just take a photograph.

On Thursday (if you are not at Art In The Park) the Rehoboth Summer Children Theatre will bring to life an hour long tale of "Toad's Escape."

As usual all the events are FREE

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Delmar is hosting a couple of Maryland State Little League tournaments. I think it is the 9-10 Baseball teams and the 11-12 girls softball All-Star teams.

Those days of sitting in the sun for a couple of hours are gone for me.

The grilling did smell good