Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here wishing each and every one a very Merry Christmas.

Prayers also go out for a prosperous New Year.

Thank you for visiting the "Soapbox". I look forward to continuing it's publication.

A Better Christmas from The Redmen

Twenty-two years ago it came to the attention of the Redmen Lodge in Fruitland Md. that there were 4 local families in need of help for Christmas. They answered the call and it became a tradition to reach out to families in need every year since. This year the Lodge was able to assist more than 90 families with food and toys to make Christmas a reality for them.

Here Don & Dot Braithwaite of the Redmens Lodge along with many other members gathered this Sunday to wrap the toys that were to be delivered on Christmas Eve. As the toys were
wrapped and sorted for the families they
were bagged, tagged and stored in an adjacent room to the Lodge hall. I didn't get an exact count on toys but as you can see there were plenty to be delivered on Christmas Eve.

As some of the members wrapped toys other worked to fill boxes with food. Here Tony Johnson works with the dry goods that had been collected. Boxed foods like cereals, Macaroni & Cheese, loaves of bread and the like were boxed and labeled for each family. Perishable items such as milk, eggs, & meats were kept in the coolers until the morning of December 24 and were placed with each box for delivery at that time
Many members of the Lodge donated their
time and vehicles to make the deliveries
as well as members of the Eastern Shore Chapter
of the Antique Truck Club of America. Much of the food was donated and purchased from the Fruitland Food Lion store. Many of the canned goods were collected by students at the Wicomico County Applied Technology Center on College ave here in Salisbury. The Redmen also received some private donations for this annual project and money donated by the Shuffleboard League and Dart League at the Lodge was also earmarked for the the Christmas delivery.
Seen at right is Mrs. Pat Stevenson, the coordinator for the project. Pat has been with this event since it's inception 22 years ago and ensures that all runs as smoothly as possible on Delivery Day.
Thanks to the Lodge and it's members more than 90 families have a Christmas this year they may not have had otherwise. Thank you Redmen Tribe #149 and Pocahontas Council # 61.
UPDATE: I was also asked to include that in addition to this program the Redmen also donated $2000.00 to the Bless Our Children Campaign @ WBOC-TV

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Farewell to a Best Friend

On Wednesday morning, December 17th Ahrens, one of my two Dalmatians, did not seem to feel well. As the day wore on changes in her actions were very evident and the color completely left her beautiful eyes. We knew she had some cataracts in one eye but this was different because both eyes took on a grey filmy color and by late afternoon she was completely blind. I don't remember her drinking any water that day and she reluctantly took a " K-9 kookie" when it was offered. As the day wore on she became more distressed and actually got lost in the house a couple of times. Only when you touched her was she aware of your presence and then the greeting was a very weak tail wag.

The other Dalmatian, "Christie" sensed a problem as well and stayed pretty clear of Ahrens all day. Early that evening my wife took her to the Vet and the feeling was she had one or more strokes and that was what had created the blindness. Both of the Dalmatians lost their hearing about a year ago and this blindness for Ahrens now just reduced her the quality of life tremendously. It was also not know when a fatal stroke may occur but we were assured the chances of anything getting better was non-existent. With that the decision was made to do the humane thing.

Today I carried her remains to the Holloway's Funeral home for cremation and I have to say the folks there are just wonderful. She was treated with the same respect as any member of the family would have been.
We have yet to decide what to do with the ashes because we need to talk to our son since she was as much his dog as anyone's. He's the one that picked her the day we got her and she shared a special bond with him.
Ahrens is 13 1/2 year old, which is about the average for a Dalmatian, and she has had a good life here with us.

R.I.P. my sweet Ahrens. We shall miss you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Something Cool that Xerox is Doing

Click on the title of this post and you will taken to: . There you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq .

You can't pick out who gets it, but you can personalize it with your message and your hometown. It will then be sent to some member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a great site. Please send a card or even more than one. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 7, 1941. Lest we Forget

I thought I had this post ready to go automatically for this morning but either I didn't get the direction right or there was a glitch.
Today is Pearl Harbor Day. The Japanese attack on this day in 1941 catapulted the U.S. into the Pacific theater of war which did not end until the dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese homeland some 4 years later. Most of Americas fleet was lost or severely damaged on this Sunday morning. Some of the greatest Battleships in history were lost and essentially born on this day as America went on the fast track to rebuild the fleet. Fewer and fewer people are alive today that remember the attack and fewer still are those that lived through it as it played out.
May we never forget.
May we never forget.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fairmont VFC Turkey Shoot

Due to the rainy weather last week-end the Turkey Shoot for the Fairmount Vol. Fire Company has been re-scheduled for Sunday December 7th at 1:00 pm.

I apologize for not posting this earlier.

Little Known U.S. Naval History

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).
However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution
Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum." Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard;By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home. The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food , no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Christmas Poem

(I believe this has been around before, but it's worth a repeat)






















This poem was written by a Marine.

The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Here wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving today. Please remember those in distant lands who can't be with their families and off a prayer for them.

May your stuffing be tasty.
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes 'n gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious.
May your pies take the prize.
ay your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Cards for American Soldiers

Recently I have received a number of e-mails requesting that everyone send a Christmas Card for a recovering American soldier to this address:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001

This is a fraudulent e-mail. Although the intention is good by mailing to this address you would be wasting the card and the postage. Walter Reed Hospital will not deliver any mail to soldiers addressed in this fashion. Please click on the title of this post or use this link:

to go to "Snopes" for all the facts. There you find a valid address for "Holiday Mail for Heroes" which is sponsored by the Red Cross and will ensure delivery of cards and other item.
Their link is found here:

I can also suggest you check in your local neighborhoods for family members of soldiers and grass roots organizations that are working with local National Guard s to send items and cards to our brave soldiers in the field. Thanks for taking the time to check and Thanks for remembering our soldiers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wicomico Yacht Club Turkey Shoot

This past Saturday the first turkey shoot for the season was held at the Wicomico Yacht Club on Collins Wharf Road. The crowd was a little lighter than usual with a little more than 20 shooters. The weather was great! Sunny and quite warm but with a bit of breeze. It was so nice outside that most of the shooters elected to stay outside during the shoot as you can see here in the first photo. Guys and Gals alike participated in the days events and good time was had by all.

Even some of the younger generation got in the act and under close adult supervision loading and positioning the guns the kids took their turn with the hefty 12 gauges.

The young fellow here is using a older model side by side shotgun and trust me this gun had quite a bit of punch for a guy this size. None the less he handled it well and I expect we will see him again in future events.

For safety sake and convenience the gun table keeps all weapons in plain view during the shoot. As you can see there is a wide variety of guns used including pumps, auto loaders, double barrels and single shots. Competition guns as well as field guns were also there. Notice one gun even has a scope. This is not a common practice at this shoot but many paces you go for turkey shoots you find this is the norm. I not sure if it really has any advantage, it's just a matter of personal preference.

The wife and I both shot this day and we were both skunked this time. However there were ten very happy people leaving that day with food and cash prizes. The next shoot at the WYC will be in January and I will post the date as soon as it's made available.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good-bye Mr. D.

Last Wednesday Mr Bill Duvall of the "Duvafiles" blog retired from cyberspace. I waited this long to post to be sure that he was really gone and to be sure no other post have appeared. Mr. D was one on the first bloggers in this area and set the bar for political satire and humor on the local front. His wit, though it did get him in a bit of hot water once, was quite good and was done in a professional manner with out the use of curse words, slander, or malice. His was the first blog I ever read and the first blog I read every day.

I fear he may be missing some great opportunities to ply his sageness after this last election and with the city election coming up in a few months but I can also appreciate his wisdom and desire to leave the blogoshere at this time.

Little more can be said except:

Good-bye Mr. D. I shall miss you and of course:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day Service at WYCC

At 11:00 a.m. this morning veterans and families of vets gathered under a sunny sky and a cool breeze at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center for the a memorial ceremony honoring those from the Eastern Shore that have served and died for our country. There were many special guests on hand including local and state politicians but one particular stood out today. Mr Jerry Elliot,(standing at right) was recognized for his service in Viet Nam in 1968-67. Jerry served with the USMC and was wounded twice. Through some clerical errors and lost information Jerry did not receive any of the medals or awards due him until earlier this year. Through the efforts of his family pursuing every avenue possible Jerry finally received the more than 15 awards and ribbons including two purple hearts for his sacrifice and service that he was due.

Congratulations Jerry and Thank You for your dedication to this country

The honor guard for the service today was provide by the JROTC cadets from Wicomico Sr. High School under the direction of SFC Addis. These young men and women in their crisp uniforms took on the task of administering to the flags during the ceremony. These young teens showed a great deal of professionalism in their work and are a credit to their uniform.

SFC Addis could tell me that these fine young men and women will attend several ceremonies today and in the days to come. They have a very special function coming up on Monday the 17th but I shall have more on that later.

Thank You SFC Addis for your dedication to JROTC program at Wicomico High School and for providing such a fine contingent for today's event.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Armistice Day---November 11th

A year ago I made this post on the Soapbox. It can certainly never grow to old to read again. I have added the following song and I believe the author/singer is Terri Kelly.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.”

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it highIf ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

Major John McCrae, MDCanadian ArmyAt the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. (Later to be known as WWI)Germany, destitute of resources and manpower, knowing invasion of the homeland was eminent, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car near Compiegne, France. Word spread quickly and the great battlefronts grew quiet. At the appointed hour cheers rose from the trenches on both sides and the former foes joined one another in celebration.

The poem “In Flanders Fields”, written by Major John McCrae, a surgeon of the Canadian Army. Major McCrae wrote the poem after he lost his dear friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer in battle on May 2, 1915.
The day after his friend was buried Major McCrae penned his now famous poem while musing Lt. Helmers death and watching wild poppies sway in the wind at the cemetery where he was buried. McCrae initially tossed the poem away but a fellow officer retrieved it and it was published by “Punch” newspaper in England in 1915.

On June 4th, 1926 a resolution by congress officially designated November 11th as “Armistice Day” in remembrance of the end of the war. Congress approved an act on June 1st, 1954 to change the name to “Veterans Day” in order to honor all Veterans of the U.S. armed services. In Canada November 11th is known as “Remembrance Day” in honor of their veterans.

God bless all of those who have served and died to keep us free.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Clam and Shrimp Feast at Remen Lodge

On Saturday, November the 8th the Improved Order of Redmen, Tribe 149 in Fruitland held it's annual Clam and Shrimp Feast for members. Pictured at right Neil Abbott opens another bag of clams and prepares them for the steamer. Thanks to Neil, Johnny Bennett, Richard Timmons, Tony Johnson and many more

workers, the clams and shrimp kept on coming with little delay. The buffet table had plenty of Hush puppies, Mac Cheese, Potato salad and other sides as well. The full house of members wanted for little on this day and a good time was had by all. On the right you can see the folks in one end of the hall and there are very few open seats. More tables were set up behind where I was standing and they filled quickly as well. In the Center photo Dick Mitchell takes a break from the clams and enjoys the camaraderie of other members while at the same time Bob (pop-pop) Coffin and his wife (mom-mom) Jo Anne go about enjoying the bounty.
The Improved Order of Redmen is one of the oldest Fraternal organizations in the United States. Mush like the more well known Moose Lodge and The Eagles they strive to give back to the community in various ways. The Redmen in Fruitland has been the host to Women Supporting Women Poker Run this past July, and the Antique Truck Show held in October. The Antique Truck Club, The Redmen, and the Order of Pocahontas (ladies of the Redmen) will team up next month to provide Christmas gift and meals for needy families on the Lower Shore. Last year over 80 families benefited from this Christmas program and at least the same amount is the goal for this year. The Redmen have many other activities for it's members too. There is a pool league, a shuffleboard league, and a dart league. Friday night dinners and a live band for entertainment, Sunday dinners and daily lunch specials are all on the agenda year round.

More about the Redmen can be found by clicking on the title of this post to be taken to the National Site. Want to be a member? Stop by the lodge in Fruitland and ask for an application or see any member.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jefferson Davis elected to Confederate Presidency

Today in 1861 Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America. There was no opposition or actual race but more of a confirmation to the decision that had been made by the Confederate Congress earlier in the year.
Like his Union counterpart, Abraham Lincoln, Davis was a native of Kentucky. He attended West Point and graduated in 1828 and served in the Black Hawk War of 1832.
After the Mexican war he was appointed to fill a vacant U.S. senate seat from Mississippi, and he served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce.

When the newly seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4, 1861, they decided Davis should serve as the first President of the Confederacy and would serve a six-year term as established by the Confederate constitution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turkey Shoots

It's that time of year again for the annual fundraising turkey shoots. First on our schedule is Saturday November 15th at the Wicomico Yacht Club on Collins Wharf Rd. The shoot starts at 12:00 and the shoot is open to the public. There will be two money rounds for cash prizes and eight additional rounds for food prizes. Also there will be at least one and possibly two scatter cards which also net cash prizes to the winner.this will be the first of four shoots held at the club. The three remaining shoots will be held after the first of the year. Points are awarded for 1st & 2nd place winners for all four shoots and after the last shoot the top two point winners receive gift certificates to the WYC restaurant.

Second on our calendar is the Fairmont Volunteer Fire Co. in Somerset County on Sunday November 30th. We ahave attended this shoot for several years and have always had an enjoyable time. The ladies of the Company keep the kitchen busy with oyster sandwiches and soups as well as deserts and beverages. FVFC has in the past had some very nice prizes including jewelry, food and every year the final round of the day is a gun prize.

Other shoots are available throughout the winter and as I become aware of them I post the information. Hope to see you there.

The Battle of Monocacy Maryland

Also known as Monocacy Junction this battle occurred near Frederick Md. as part of Confederate Lt. General Jubal Early’s Valley campaigns of 1864. . Lee’s army was under siege at Petersburg and the campaign effort was an attempt to divert Union forces away from that area in order to relieve Lee’s army.

About 2300 soldiers known as “Hundred Days” men defended the railway junction at Monocacy. These men on a one hundred day enlistment came from the local population for the most part and were used to relieve the regular troops from routine and mundane duties in order for the regulars to be used at the front. They were lightly trained and most of them had never seen action. These “Hundred Days” men were under the command of Lew Wallace who would later gain fame as the author of “Ben Hur: A story of Christ.”

General Grant, upon hearing of Early’s campaign sent two brigades under Brig. General James Ricketts to assist Lew Wallace’s men in an effort to secure the junction. The junction, three miles southeast of Fredrick was a logical place to set up a defense. The Georgetown Pike and the National Road to Baltimore as well the B&O Railroad all intersected here and could serve General Early’s troops well to march on Washington D.C. or Baltimore or both. The combined forces of Wallace and Ricketts, now numbering about 5800 set up defenses along the bridges and fords of the river using the higher east banks of the river as natural breastworks. Two block houses nearby were also occupied and trenches and earthworks had been constructed in various vantage points along the fence lines of local family farms.

The Battle

The Confederate encountered Wallace's Union troops on the Georgetown Pike near the Best family farm while another Confederate division clashed with the Federals on the National Road. In order to avoid a costly frontal attack, General Early sent his cavalry down Buckeystown Road to ford the river and outflank the Union line.

The Federals fought fiercely to hold position, but the superior force of about 14,000 Confederates using a fierce three pronged attack soon gained control of the field. Late afternoon saw the Federals retreating toward Baltimore leaving nearly 1300 dead wounded and captured. General Early’s force did not finish the day unscathed. Between 700 & 900 Confederates lay dead and wounded and of larger importance a day was lost in the quest to march into Washington D.C.

The next day Early marched on and by midday Monday he stood just outside of Fort Stevens inside the District of Columbia. With his troops spread far and wide behind him and with Fort Stevens casting an impressive shadow he decided to return to Virginia across the Potomac River at Whites Crossing thus ending the Confederates final bid to capture the Federal Capitol.

General Grant wrote of Early’s sortie:

"If Early had been but one day earlier, he might have entered the capital before the arrival of the reinforcements I had sent .... General Wallace contributed on this occasion by the defeat of the troops under him, a greater benefit to the cause than often falls to the lot of a commander of an equal force to render by means of a victory."

The battlefield remained in private hands until the 1970's when much of it was acquired to make the Monocacy National Battlefield. It would be a fairly long day trip from Salisbury to visit this historical site but a well planned weekend could easily take you to Harpers Ferry, Antietam, or the historical Town of Frederick as well. For more information and photos on the Monocacy National Battlefield simply click on the title of this post to be taken to their site.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Faire to Enjoy

There is another Renaissance Faire not to distant from Salisbury and that is the Pennsylvania Faire near Mannheim Pennsylvania. It can be done as a day trip, but it would be a very long day. A weekend excursion would be more reasonable for comfort. I actually went to the Pennsylvania Faire in 1994 before I ever went to the one Crownsville Maryland. As I remember it is much the same size as the Maryland Faire but are quite a few differences. One of the big attractions there was a Human Chess Match played by live actors on a huge grassy area designed as a chessboard. The grounds there were much more hilly than Maryland's and good walking shoes are again a must. The Faire is held on the grounds of the Mt. Hope Winery and the Mt Hope Mansion (pictured here) is just outside the gates of the Shire. There is a wine shoppe in the mansion selling their wares and the wine is reasonably priced and quite good with dozens of varieties.

The Faire at Mt. Hope is over for this year but the good thing is there are many programs going on year round at the Mansion. Starting this Friday there will be 3 consecutive weekends of a program titled "Poe Evermore". Starting November 28th through December 28th there is a program titled " A Dickens of a Christmas". These are live actor programs held in the theater in the mansion. Click on the title of this post to be taken to the Faire Website. Also enter "Mt. Hope Mansion" in your browser to find more information about this faire and the programs at Mt. Hope. Also you can asked to be added to their e-mail list and you will receive regular mailings and information of the Mt. Hope programs. You will not be disappointed!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something for Amusement

Click on the title of this post and it will take to a site that offers an interesting insight on the human thought process. Watch till the end for an interesting surprise.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another Visit to The Standpipe

Last April I wrote about the standpipe on Lemon Hill behind the John B. Parsons Home. This structure was the first water tower for the city of Salisbury and held 150,000 gallons of water. It was built by the Grier family after the Jackson lumber Mill fire of 1899 and is made of Swedish Steel.

When I last visited this site the standpipe was partially covered with a heavy growth of ivy. I seem to remember that the John B. Parsons home had some concern about the stability of the structure and there was some dialog with the city about it's condition. I had heard there may have been some movement underway by the fire department to try and restore and preserve this structure as it has a great deal of importance to the history of the SFD and the Grier family which was so influential with the department and the city. Recently I noticed the ivy had been cut away from the standpipe and so I visited once again.

As you can see the ivy has been removed and even the ground around the base appears to have been cleared of the plants root system.

All the way around the base there appears at first glance to be a concrete pad that the pipe sits on. However a little closer look and it seems that the concrete is actually just a dressing to the foundation. In one place it is possible to count at least 3 layers of brickwork beneath the concrete and the 10 buttress style flanges are clearly held in place with some massive nuts and bolts.

To give you some idea of the size of these nuts take note of the black walnuts lying on the ground near the base. These walnuts, in their hulls, are nearly the size of a softball.
Without a great deal more research or digging at the site it is impossible to tell just how deep the anchor and foundation for the pipe goes or what the condition is below ground. However I would guess that the structure is probably very sound as it was the habit in those days to build things a lot sturdier than was actually needed.
Although the pipe appears to be very rusty most of it seems to be little more than surface rust and discoloration. From what can be seen at ground level the structure does appear to be quite sound. No doubt it would be quite a job to clean it up and paint it but I believe it could and should be done. Possibly some sort of historical grant can be obtained to restore and maintain this structure for it's history to the city and the Grier Family. I suppose time will tell what is in store for the standpipe but I truly hope it is not destined for the scrapyard.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Breast Cancer Site Needs Your Help

"We need your help: We need more people to click daily on the pink button! If clicks don't increase soon, we won't reach our shared October goal to fund 700 free mammograms for women in need.
Please tell 10 friends, family members and co-workers about clicking to fund free mammograms at
The Breast Cancer Site today. "

It only takes a minute of your time and it cost you nothing! While you are there, click on the buttons for the other five sites as well. Again it cost nothing but a few minutes each day. You can sign up for daily e-mail reminders to make it even easier to do this.

Click on the link above or on the title of this post to go the "The Breast Cancer Site"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kyle Dixon Scholarship Dinner and Auction

I was asked in a recent comment about this event and a check in the Daily Times "Go" magazine lists a benefit dinner for this Sunday, October 19th at the Delmar VFW. A phone number with the ad got me to Delmar Liquors and the nice lady there confirmed the following information.

This Sunday between 1 and 5 pm there will be a Beef & Dumpling dinner for the Kyle Dixon Scholarship Fund at the Delmar VFW. A silent auction will be held all day and a live auction will begin around 5 pm. Admission for the event is just $10.00.

Looking for a great Sunday Dinner at a reasonable cost and for a good cause? Delmar VFW is the place to go this Sunday, October 19th.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Only 2 Days Left!

October 18th & 19th will wind up this years presentation of the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville Md. Admission too the Faire is $18.00 for adults and believe me it is worth it. However if you go----GO EARLY! The Faire opens at 10:00 am and even if you have to wait outside the gates for forty-five minutes to an hour it will be worth the better parking and the smaller morning crowd, at least that's how it was this past Sunday.

The Faire opens from the parapet of the Shire wall with the Mayor and other dignitaries welcoming all who come to visit. Just prior to the gates opening the King and Queen arrive on horseback with great fanfare. After the Royalty make their way through the gates a cannon sounds and the public pours through the gates as the merriment begins.

Just inside the gates greeting the rabble as they arrive we encountered Robin Hood. With a great smile and a hearty "Welcome Sire and m'Lady" he bade us to have great day. Robin is but one of the many street performers to be met at the Faire and each is as cordial as can be. Many of them can be seen throughout the day participating in demonstrations of various skills. Robin for instance is a master of the longbow. Throughout the Shire balladeers, minstrels, magicians and others perform while roaming the streets providing a constant entertaining atmosphere.

This year there were a total of 47 separate stage acts for the entire season. Not all the acts are available every weekend but with 7 stages, the jousting arena, and a scheduled act in one of the five taverns there is little room for idle time and the variety of acts abound. Shown here the "Pyrates Royale" perform in the Globe theater. Great harmony and humor blended to perfection for family entertainment.

Probably the main attraction of the day is the joust. There 4 held each day and it is wise to get to the arena early to snag a seat. The knights engage is several competitions and mock fights prior to main event and shown off their skill as horsemen and entertainers. The actual joust itself gets to be serious business for these guys and points are awarded for each strike made by the lance. This is a real competition and is not choreographed.

There are over a hundred artisans and craftsmen though out the Shire giving demonstrations and selling wares as seen at this glassblowing shoppe. Notice the crowd is at standing room only as all the benches have been taken up for this demo.

There is so much more to see and do as well but it would be impossible to list it all here. If you can't make this year plan on going in 2009 for a great family outing. Food and beverages are aplenty and even though there was a line where we ate, it moved quickly and we were not delayed with the wait.

If you go---GO EARLY. Wear comfortable shoes because the shire is a bit hilly in places and walking is the only mode of transportation. Thee is plenty to see and do. Take a few minutes to review the program (they're free at the gate) and plan your day. You can't see it all in one visit and I'm sure a return trip will be in your future.

Click on the title of this post to be directed to the Faire website.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A.T.C.A. Show at Redmens Lodge in Fruitland

This past Saturday at the Redmens Lodge in Fruitland the local chapter of the Antique Truck Clubs of America held their annual truck & tractor show show. More than 70 trucks and tractors were on hand for visitors to view and appreciate the hard work that goes into restoring these classic vehicles. Everything from pick-up trucks to tractor trailers were on hand and I have to say these restored vehicles were simply awesome.

Much of the field adjacent the the Redmen's lodge was filled with vehicles. To the right is just a few of the restored big rigs on display.

Diamond in the rough?

This 1950 Mack dump truck was brought in by Tom Zacuy from Philadelphia. I didn't get to meet Mr. Zacuy but my guess is he has just recently acquired this truck and as you can see it is in rough shape. I sure hope he brings it back another year after it is restored.

Fred Moore of Allen owns this restored 1926 Chevrolet delivery truck. The wood on this truck is absolutely beautiful and it is easy to see a great deal of care has gone into it's restoration.

Also owned by Fred Moore is this 1936 Farmall tractor. Another beautiful restoration. Notice the steel rear wheels with steel cleats. Wow! Talk about traction.
This show was a real treat for the lover of antique trucks and tractors. Hopefully they will back again next October with another show.

Women Supporting Women Walk for Awareness

Saturday morning’s air held just a little fog and wee chill in Winterplace Park but the sun soon burned it off and some perfect fall weather shone through. Over 700 people gathered there to participate in the 7th annual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness help by the local Women Supporting Women organization. Dozens of vendors supporting the cause were also on hand. First order of the day was registration and team photos and I have to say there were some very enthusiastic folks on hand ready to walk for the cause.

The opening ceremonies took place around 9:30 with the National Anthem and a release of white doves to remember those unable to be there that day and at 10:00 o’clock a sea of blue and pink began the 3-mile walk along a woodland path.

Many of the walkers were took advantage of being accompanied by their K-9 buddies and each of them received a very classy pink doggie bandanna to show their support for the cause.
Shown here is "Heinz" proudly sporting his bandanna and making new friends with everyone. Heinz is owned by Debbie Harris.

The entry fee for the walk included lunch for the participants and as the walk commenced employees of the "Texas Roadhouse" were busy preparing dogs and burgers.
Other sponsors for the days events were Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Hills Home Health, Smullen's Towing Service, Herls Bath and Tile and many, many more too numerous to mention.
Do you need to know more about Women Supporting Women or know someone that does? Click on the title of this post and it will forward you to their website for all the info you need and who to contact for help. Remember--all funds raised by these events stay right here on the Eastern Shore helping local folks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A.T.C.A. Show this Saturday

The local chapter of the Antique Truck Clubs of American will be holding their annual Antique Truck & Tractor Show at the Redmens Lodge in Fruitland this Saturday. Last years event was huge with more than a hundred trucks on display.

Food and refreshments will be provided by the Redmens lodge and will include oyster sandwiches, burgers and dogs, and soft drinks. Admission to the show is free.

See you there!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sporting Clays Event.

Another great shooting day! The University of Delaware Ag Alumni held their 11th annual sporting clay shoot at Owens Station in Greenwood Delaware. As usual the friend ship was great and the competition was diverse with many "A" class shooters right down to first timers. Believe me folks, this makes for a great day. In out squad was a young man about 11-12 years that had only shot this type of event once before and turned in a very respectable score.

I took first place in the "B" class today. My better half started out very strong and up to the last three station had me on the ropes. However after a couple of real tough target presentations and a little luck on my behalf I managed to edge her out.
Phew. Good thing too or I would have never heard the end of it. Man, that lady can shoot with that Beretta!

While we are the subject of shooting for a cause, take a look at this:

This will also be held at Owens Station and the manager tells me it promises to be a good crowd. Entry fee is $75.00 but it goes to a great cause. Lunch is included and you are entered into a raffle for a new sporting clay gun not to mention all the great people you will be around and as you can see first time shooters are welcome and encouraged.

Click on the title of this post and you will be taken to the Owens Station web site. Click on "location" in the orange box and get easy directions to the range.

See you there!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Put a paw print on your calendar for October 11th and bring your human to the Women Supporting Women Walk for Awareness at Winterplace Park. Humans walk for a $15.00 entry fee and for a mere $5.00 more K-9 companions can accompany their humans. Four footed walker get a really neat pink doggie bandanna and the first 500 humans get a T-shirt. Lunch provided for all by Texas Roadhouse.


All proceeds go to Women Supporting Women. All funds raised by this organizations stays right here on the Shore benefiting local folks. Click on the Heading of this post for more information about Women Supporting Women.

See you there! Ruff!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness

Mark Your Calender's!
Women supporting Women will holding their seventh annual "Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness" on Saturday, October 11th at Winterplace Park in Salisbury. This walk will be held rain or shine and the two options for the walk is a three mile woodland path or a one mile walk around the pond.
Registration begins at 8:30 am and the walk will begin at 10:00. Registration fee is $15.00 ($20.00 after 10/3/08). The first 450 registrations will receive a T-Shirt and after the walk all participants will be treated to lunch provided by the "Texas Roadhouse"
For an additional $5.00 walkers may be accompanied by their K-9 friends with a special K-9 walk package which includes a distinctive pink doggie bandanna that proudly proclaims their participation!
Folks, the Texas Roadhouse lunch is worth the entry fee not to mention the friends you will make and the fun you will have. So put on those walkin' shoes and meet us at Winterplace Park.
Attention Local Businesses and Vendors!
Advertising options are available for this event and table space for vendors is also available. For more information contact Women Supporting Women at 410.548.7880
or write to:
Women Supporting Women
106 Circle Ave, suite 101
Salisbury, MD. , 21801
Remember---100% of money raised by this organization remains in the local community. Please consider participating in this walk or donating to this fine cause at the address above.
Also, if you click on the title of this post you will be taken to the Women Supporting Women Website for more and information on this fine organization.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Remeberance of September 11, 2001

Seven years ago today the world was changed forever. Over 3000 people perished that day in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Many more have passed since as a result of injuries and health problems incurred that day and the months that followed during the recovery and cleanup. Among those fallen were 343 firefighters serving the people of New York City. Men that unselfishly entered the towers in an effort to rescue and assist as many people as possible. Many of those have yet to be found or their remains identified to give closure to the families. I dare say some may never be found. The names of these 343 firefighters are emblazoned on a memorial plaque (pictured above) at the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg Md. Remember these men and all the victims of that horrible attack today as we observe Patriot Day in their remembrance.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mike McMullen Tournament Results

It turns out to be a beautiful day for the teams that signed up to play ball in the 3rd annual Mike McMullen Softball tournament sponsored by the Salisbury Fire Department.

The entire tournament was held on Sunday September 7th due to the fields being shut down on the sixth because of Tropical Storm Hannah. It made for a long day and I am told the mythical creature "Dragonass" arrived in the afternoon and had an effect on some of the players.
Top photo Salisbury Assistant Chief Jim Gladwell sending a ball on it way to the outfield during a game with "Bad Mojo", the team sponsored from the west side of the county. In the second photo Assistant Chief Bryan Records on defense at third base during the same game. "Bad Mojo" won this game against Salisbury and went on to place 2nd in the tournament.
Final results were:
1st place--Talbot EMS
2nd place--Bad Mojo
3rd place--Strokers (from the Churchhill Area)
A great time was had by all and the monies raised from this tournament go to the Michael J. McMullen EMS Scholarship at Wor-Wic Tech, and the Fire and Rescue Service Suvivors Scholarship at Salisbury University.
The Salisbury Soapbox wishes to thank all those attending the tournament either as players or supporters and here's hopping we will see you again next year.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cowboys of the Past


Many of you will not remember some of these guys but trust me----it was a wonderful time of life.
Click on the post title above and enjoy the the video.

Mike McMullen Tournament Update

Wicomico County has shut down the Athletic fields for Saturday, Sep. 6th due to weather so there will no games.

If all goes to plan, opening ceremonies will be held on Sunday Sept. 7th @ 8:am and the first game will begin @ 9:am.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Third Annual Michael McMullen Softball Tournament

It's time again for the 3rd annual Michael J. McMullen softball tournament sponsored by the Salisbury Fire Department. Mike McMullen was a firefighter paramedic with the SFD when on Dec. 24, 2005 he was mortally wounded while serving with the 243rd Engineer Battalion, 2nd platoon in Iraq as a sergeant. Mike was wounded while assisting a fellow soldier that had been injured in the attack on Dec. 24th and succumbed to his injuries on January 10th, 2006.
For his actions Mike was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant and was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Army commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Truly an American Hero at home and abroad Mike was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full Fire Department and Military Honors.
In Mike's memory the Salisbury Fire Department host this softball tournament to help funding for two local scholarships. The "Salisbury University Fire & Rescue Service Survivors Scholarship" and the "Wor-Wic community College Emergency Medical Services Scholarship".
For more information on the tournament contact by phone or E-mail any of the persons listed above. For more information on the scholarships, contact Danny Webster @ 410.572.8738 or e-mail @
Please join us for the fun on September 6 & 7 and cheer for your favorite team.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Women Supporting Women Longaberger Basket and Dinner Event is a Huge Success

On August 15th Women Supporting Women held their annual Longaberger Basket and Dinner event at the Wicomico County Civic Center in Salisbury. A silent auction, live auction, chinese auction, 50/50 drawing, candy sale, dinner and guest speaker were all on the agenda.

Over three-hundred people attended this event which proved to be extremely well received by all. The guest speaker for the evening was humorist Carol Moore and I am told she was extremely entertaining.

Prior to the main event the ladies in attendance were kept quite busy in the large room with he silent auction items. Tables around the perimeter displayed quilts, baskets, and all manner of crafts and merchandise.

One of the items in the silent auction that caught my eye in particular was a tiny life sized woodcarving of a ruby throated hummingbird perched on the edge of it's nest with tiny eggs inside. I am told the carver of this fine piece is a cancer survivor and donated it for the event.

Also many of the local businesses supporting this event were on hand with products specifically for women having suffered the devastating results of breast cancer. Mr. Dean Coffelt of Apple Discount Drugs expertly answered questions and offer information on their products.
Apple Discount Drugs is a regional sponsor for Women Supporting Women. Their professional staff is always willing to assist with your needs.

Above are three of the items featured in the live Auction. A beautiful Chess Set donated by "Spoontiques", a Mercedes pedal car donated by "I.G. Burton" of Seaford, and a quilt donated and a quilt donated by Joyce Hickman. The live auction was conducted by Doug Marshall of "Marshall Auctions" and as usual he did a wonderful job.
Remember, all monies raised by Women Supporting Women remain in the local area to aid and assist patients who have suffered from this terrible disease. As dates become available for future events I shall post them for your convenience. Thanks to all who attended this basket and dinner event and thanks to all of the sponsors.