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.