Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stop The Violence

I received this as a comment on another post and thought it deserves a post of it's own in light of the recent tragedy to our community. The comment contained a link to a new blog found at this address:

So far this is the only post and there is not a comment section in place. If the owner of this blog would please contact me I will be happy to continue to spread the word about your cause.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

7:00 to 9:00 PM
Wicomico County Youth & Civic CenterSalisbury,
MDA presentation will be made by Dan Dougherty,
Assistant States Attorney regarding:Youth Violence and Community Response

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Celtic Woman

When angels sing it surely must sound like this. Click on the title of this post to listen a beatiful rendition of "O Holy Night", or copy and paste this to your browser.


Friday, December 4, 2009

USO Operation Care Package

What a grand way to show our deployed troops that they are not alone in this Holiday Season! USO Operation Care Package will for a $25.00 donation send a care package worth at least $75.00 to a man or woman deployed overseas this Holiday Season. Any donation to this cause is tax deductible and the last page on site (after filling in the required info) is a printable receipt for Uncle Sam.

Won't you please tell our troops we are thinking of them this season? They will appreciate it.

Thanks from Salisbury Soapbox, the USO, and all the folks in uniform protecting our freedoms.

Click on the title of this post to be taken to the USO Operation Care Package site or copy and paste this address into your browser:

Operation USO Care Package enables the public to express their support of our men and women in uniform. Sponsoring a care package and including a personal message provides individuals with a way to touch the lives of our deployed troops around the world. For every $25 donation you make, the USO will send a care package with both needed and requested items valued at approximately $75 to a deployed service member.

Please note: Each USO Care Package is $25. Please enter your donation amount in $25 increments.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Indoor Yard & Craft Sale

7:00 A.M. UNTIL 1:00 P.M.
Sponsored by

Setup will be allowed Friday night between 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.
$15.00 FOR 6’ X 12’ SPACE
$25.00 FOR 12’ X 12’ SPACE
Or Mail your check to:
SMKC - P.O. BOX 1881 - SALISBURY, MD 21802
Click on the title of this post to be taken the Salsibury Kennel Club Websitefor additional information about this great asset to out community.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jimmy Gladwell update

I have received many requests to post an update on Assistant Chief Gladwell and his lovely wife. I have not really ignored these requests but since it was of such a delicate nature I felt obligated to honor their privacy. I also did not want to intrude on that privacy and I have let some time elapse before speaking to Jim about the situation.
I recently had an opportunity to discuss it with Jim and relayed to him my fears of posting the outcome of these events. Jim--as always assured me that he was confident that anything I posted would be of good quality and he had no problem with me posting an update.
First--up to speed.
Jim and his wife were expecting their first child when they were involved in a horrific auto accident last August. A check on the baby's status immediately following the accident led to the discovery of a medical problem that greatly endangered the child’s health and development. This condition was not related to the accident. Several weeks of testing and monitoring and procedures followed in an effort to correct the condition. Unfortunately, this diligent work was to no avail. The procedures and testing needed to be done on a frequent basis which entailed weekly trips to Baltimore to University of Maryland hospital. On the last trip there was a procedure planned that hopefully would dramatically alter the course of events and would prove to be a lifesaving act for the child. Unfortunately, sonogram performed prior to the procedure found that the baby had expired. This was quite devastating to the Gladwells as you can well imagine and the focus now was to ensure Mrs. Gladwell remained healthy and the physical and emotional healing begin.
Jim and is wife have now recovered from the accident and have returned to their respective jobs. They will probably forever be in recovery for the loss of their child but time and faith does have a way to ease and heal and I believe they are well on that road as well.
One item of note that Jim insisted I pass on is that he and his wife were both humbled by the response and support received from their friends, family, and even people they didn’t know. They wish to convey their most humble thanks to all of you for that support.
They are still planning on a family and I sincerely pray that success is in the cards for their success. Hopefully soon I shall have their permission to post that great news.
From the bottom of my heart and theirs----THANK YOU!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Women Supporting Women Benefit Halloween Party

Women Supporting Women will be sponsoring a "Pink Ribbon Halloween Party on October 30th at the Galaxy Bar & Grille located on 66th St. and Coastal Highway in Ocean City.
Live entertainment by the "Philly George" band and a special drink, the "Pink Ribbon Martini" will be featured.
Click on the poster at left to enlarge for additional information and don't forget to wear a costume!
The Salisbury office for Women Supporting Women has moved to 1320 Belmont Ave, Suite 402. This new office is larger than the Circle Ave. space that had served them so well. Click on the title of this post to go to the WSW homepage where information to their valuable services are available. Women Supporting Women is a local organization serving the local folks. All money raised in this area stays in this area and WSW supplies a vital service to women who are victims of this terrible disease. Kindly visit their site and consider participating in the various events this organization works for so diligently. Thank You!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pennsylvania Rail Road Museum

A couple of weeks ago I had a post up about the Strasburg Rail Road just outside Strasburg Pennsylvania. In that post I spoke of the Pennsylvania Rail Road museum located across the street from the SRR and mentioned the fact this is a huge building and display. This museum easily make an afternoon of entertainment and possibly an entire day can be spent here. Since my last visit several years ago the museum has grown tremendously and my planning for this visit was lacking in time and so a return visit is in the works. There is a second floor with some artist displays and a catwalk that goes over the entire display floor below. Because the building is so big I found it difficult to do justice to the display floor through my camera but you can get a rough idea of the enormity of it all with the two photos on the right.
The number of engines in this building is staggering and the beautiful restoration wok is really breathtaking. If you have ever appreciated the time and effort of restoring an old automobile you can only imagine the amount of work that had to go into one of these works of art. Everything from steam driven locomotive to diesel-electrics has been returned to the shining glory of their age. Easily, the work performed here is a passion for those involved. There is also an out side display area where many locomotives and cars sit on track waiting for restoration work to begin and also on display are more restored cars for you to see.
There is so much more to the museum as well. There are all kinds of programs and special events held there and all this information can be found by visiting the museum website which you do by Clicking on the title of this post. To see some other example of their fine work, visit the site and click on the “Rail Road Equipment” button and then the “Restoration Achievements” button for a brief slide show of some of the restored cars and engines at the museum. Admission to the museum is $10.00 per person, $9.00 for seniors, ages 3-11 is $8.00, and under 2 is free. Group rates are available on request. The Pennsylvania Rail Road Museum offers a whole lot of history and some great Americana artifacts for your enjoyment. Inexpensive and well worth the trip!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


About 10 miles north of Lancaster Pennsylvania on Rt. 501 is the small, sleepy town of Litiz. Just a dot on the map Litiz is an old town with some interesting architecture. There is really nothing electrifying about the town and if you just happen to pass through there is little to catch your attention, except of course the large brick factory on the left just past the railroad tracks in the center of town. Emblazoned across the front of this building are the words, “Wilber Chocolate Co.”

CHOCOLATE! Certainly got my attention! Across the street is a parking lot that is shared by several small businesses but there is usually a space or two to be found. The gift shop/museum is open to the public and I believe the opening time is 10:00 am. There is no factory tour per say but the gift shop and museum offers many displays on the history of chocolate and the Wilber Chocolate Co. Antique candy molds are everywhere and there is a huge display of oriental porcelain chocolate jars. Behind a glass partition you can watch chocolate artisans work their magic making confections for the gift shop and the special orders placed for birthday, anniversaries, graduations and other special events.
Of course the gift shop is abundant with Wilber products including cocoa, candy bars, and my favorite— dark chocolate “Wilber Buds”, tasty little morsels without the foil wrapper to contend with. Buds also come in milk chocolate but I prefer the dark.
There is no amusement park next door or pseudo ride through the factory and your entire visit to the museum and gift shop can be accomplished is an hour or so. But that’s plenty of time to stock up on chocolate and have an enjoyable morning or afternoon. Not so far out of the way from Lancaster if you are in the area and it surely will make you want to return just like I have done many times.

Click on "CHOCOLATE" in the title of this post to be taken to the Wilber Chocolate Co. site for more information, some history of the Company and to order Wilber products. Enjoy!

Left: Chocolate Castle created by the on site artisans.


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Road to Paradise.

What is a trip to Lancaster Pennsylvania without a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road? I have made this short trip many times and when I return I shall surely do it again.

The railroad was founded in 1832 and was used for passenger and freight service. The main purpose of the railroad was to interchange freight with the Pennsylvania Railroad. After WWII highways were improved and truck transportation became more of the norm for freight and, as happened all over the country, the Rail Road's usefulness diminished. In 1957, quite a bit of track was destroyed or severely damaged by storms and the owners were unwilling to invest in the necessary repairs and so a petition to abandon the service was formulated. However, two rail fans, Henry K. Long, an industrialist from nearby Lancaster, along with Donald E. L. Hallock, led the formation of a group of interested individuals to save the railroad. After repairing 4 1/2 miles of track and acquiring locomotives and rail cars the Strasburg Railroad opened to visitors in 1958 and has been running ever since. Much more of the history of the Railroad can be found by clicking on the title of this post. Hours of operation, direction to the site, ticket prices and events are also listed there. The round trip ride usually takes about 45 minutes with a stop at the picnic area and a brief visit with the ghost of a long lost train. Yes, it's really there and you can hear it in the distance. Your conductors will be happy to fill you in on the details.

When we purchased our tickets we chose the open air car and the ticket agent directed us to the first or second car in the station. When we got the second car the staff was assisting a wheelchair patron board the train car with a lift designed for that purpose. (they are very accommodating here) so we went to the first car. I thought this might be a good idea because I would be able to see inside the locomotive cab and watch the working of the engine has it happened. Bear in mind when we boarded the train the locomotive was well behind us on the switch track. When the locomotive came along beside the train to switch over to our track I noticed it was facing the cars instead of away from them. So much for watching the engineer and fireman do their work! Instead we had the pleasure of all the clanking, and banging, and chugging of the engine, not to mention the fact we were very close to the steam whistle and all the smells of smoke and burning wood. It was really wonderful!

Once we arrived in Paradise the locomotive disconnected from the train and used another switch to get on a parallel track. Then he moved to the opposite end of the train and re-coupled for the return trip. This put us on the last car and the ride was much quieter but now I was 7 cars away from the engineer and still did'nt get to watch the operation in the cab of the locomotive. It's a beautiful ride through the Lancaster countryside where the old meets the new. You pass real Amish farms and modern housing. Cornfields and tobacco fields and barns, horse drawn farm apparatus and tractors, and if your lucky, while you are waiting for the antique locomotive do it's switch in Paradise a modern Amtrack will come roaring by with the engineers of each train saluting one another with whistle blasts. We missed the Amtrack on this trip but we did get to see one on a previous ride.

There are shops and a small cafe at the station back in Strasburg and barely 1 1/2 miles away is historic Strasburg with Lancaster just a few mile more. Directly across the street from the Strasburg Railroad in the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. It is a huge building and it's easy to spend hours there if you wish. The museum is always a work in progress so there is always something new to see. Well worth trip anytime. I have also ridden the Strasburg Railroad in the winter when snow was on the ground and that gives all the sights an entirely different perspective. Going to Lancaster to shop the outlets? Figure in an extra day or even half a day for the railroad. You won't be sorry.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Can You Be Johnny Today?

I received this from a dear friend today. I thought it was well worthwhile to pass on.

Click on the title of this post to see the short, but moving video.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Zouaves--Colorful Civil War Soldiers

On July 18th I posted an article titled “The Blue, The Gray and the Green?” referencing the uniform colors of Americas Civil War and I spoke mainly of the Union green uniforms of the United States Sharpshooters commanded by Hiram Berdan. There were also many other uniform styles during the war and probably the most colorful were those of the Zouave (zoo’ahv) soldiers. I had seen many examples of these uniforms over the years but until a little research I was unaware of how extensive the Zouave concept really was. All told there were more than 50 Zouave units formed during the Civil War with the majority of them belonging to the Union. Although many of the uniforms were similar each unit had its own distinctive style and color scheme. The most common example is with bright red pantaloons, a waist sash, short jackets with an array of gold or red trim and braid and head gear consisting of a turban or fez.

First a little background on the real Zouaves. The original Zouaves were from the North African natives of the Zouaoua Tribe mixed with French settlers and served with the French army in the 1830’s. Their native dress of baggy trousers, short, tight jackets, and fez became the benchmark of the Zouave uniform and changed little over the years even up to the first world war when the conspicuous uniforms attracted more than their share of enemy ordinance. The bravery and courage of the Zouaves was legendary and they were the subject of many paintings and illustrations of the era.

Just prior to the Civil War a military enthusiast, Elmer Ellsworth, began the Zouave craze by forming the “United States Zouave Cadets” from a company of the Illinois State Militia. Basically this was a demonstration drill team that performed for the public. Newspapers lauded their performance and it was said that women swooned at the sight of Ellsworth and his band of Cadets. Maintaining this team proved to be expensive and in time it was disbanded however the Zouave craze had begun and Ellsworth was not finished.

At the onset of the Civil War Ellsworth headed to his home State of New York with the idea of raising the first Zouave unit to serve the United States in the war. He felt that the bravest of the brave should compose this unit and he promptly began a recruitment of the fireman in New York City. The response was overwhelming and in 48 hours the rolls for the 11th N.Y. were full. In May of 1861 the Fire Zouaves were in Washington and ready for action which occurred on the night of May 23. The 11th entered Alexandria VA. in order to seize the town. Seeing a Confederate flag flying from a local tavern, Ellsworth entered the establishment to remove the banner from its place of prominence and as he descended the stairs he was shot dead by the tavern owner who in turn was dispatched by a Zouave corporal that had also entered the building with Ellsworth.

It seems that many Zouave units were formed around a common denominator. There were a number of units consisting mostly of fireman as well as units being formed around Irish, German, or English ethnicity. The 10th N.Y. National Zouaves boasted mostly members of the Masonic Fraternity and were nicknamed “Machesney’s Zouaves” after their drillmaster.

No less than three Zouave units fought at the battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. The 44th New York Infantry, whose Gettysburg monument is shown at the right, helped defend Little Round Top on the second day of the battle while the 73rd N.Y., also known as the second fire Zouaves fought in the Peach Orchard.

The 72nd Pennsylvania (composed of Philadelphia Fireman) was in reserve at "The Angle" on the third day of battle but was called up to help repulse Picketts Charge at the stone wall. Their monument on the battlefield is that of a Zouave Soldier using his rifle as a club very close to what is known as “The High Water Mark” where the futile Confederate charge was halted and the tide of the war was turned.

Zouave history is a bit complex due to various enlistment terms of the soldiers, units being decimated in battle and merging with other units and many other issues that arose during the course of the war. “American Civil War Zouaves is an excellent book by Robin Smith and Bill Younghusband and has a fairly detailed history of the Zouaves. The book contains many photos and drawings and is available from Amazon Books on the web.
A noted Southern Zouave unit was “Wheat’s Tigers” officially know as the 1st Special Battalion Louisiana Infantry. This may well be the subject of a future post as General Roberdeau Wheat has a unique history all his own.

"Remembering Our Boys" 1st Annual Memorial Poker Run

The Knights of St. Florian Motorcycle Club and the Mardela Springs Vol. Fire department will be holding a memorial poker run on September 19th, 2009. All proceeds will support the Wicomico War Memorial Wall in the name of Walter F. "Trae" Cohee III & The Michael J. McMullen Emergency Services Medical Memorial Fund at Wor-Wic College.
Registration for this event begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Mardela Springs Volunteer Fire House.
Please click on the poster to the right for more information about this event and to read a brief biography of these two brave soldiers that gave the supreme sacrifice for our country.

Friday, September 11, 2009

343--Never Forget

September 11, 2001.

343 F.D.N.Y. Firefighters answered their last alarm.

Never Forget.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chad Spicer, Georgetown PD R.I.P.

On Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009, Patrolman Chad Spicer of the Georgetown Police Dept., Georgetown DE. was violently gunned down while on patrol and in the performance of his duties. Patrolman Spicer is the first officer in the history of the dept to be killed in the line of duty.

Two of the suspects in the shooting were apprehended immediately while the third suspect escaped until Friday Sept. 4th when he turned himself in.

Patrolman Spicer was 29 years and old leaves a daughter aged 3. Services for Patrolman Spicer will be held on Tuesday September 8th at Crossroads Community Church located at 20684 Forrest Road, Georgetown DE. beginning at 2 p.m. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. Interment will be in Cokesbury Cemetery on Cokesbury Road and Seashore Highway.

A fund has been set up for Patrolman Spicers daughter. If anyone should wish to contribute you may do so by mailing you contribution to:

Aubrey Spicer Fund
c/o Norman Spicer
Wilmington Trust Bank
139 S. State St.
Dover, DE. 19901
Contributions may also be dropped at any Wilmington Trust Branch.
Rest in Peace Patrolman Spicer. God be with You.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Prayers Please!

Back on August 16th I put up a post about my good friend Jimmy Gladwell and his family being involved in a terrible accident while on their way to Gettysburg. Jim's wife is pregnant and of course a great deal of concern was for the baby. I am not sure if the current situation is a direct result of the accident but there has been some bad news concerning the pregnancy.

During some test it was determined that the unborn child is a son. These tests also reveled a life threatening situation which must be addressed soon. The procedure is dangerous and quite frankly for Jim and beautiful wife it is extremely frightening.

Jim and I have been friends for quite a while and he and I have have had many discussions about our supreme being. About that that let's just say Jim has some unanswered questions. None the less he has asked that my family, and many other friends say a prayer for his son, wife and himself. With that I extend to you my readers the same request. Jimmy has been a firefighter for a great many years and I have personally witnessed his courage and compassion for the citizens he serves. Now it is time for us to help him in the manner he asks. He asks for prayers.

I extend to you, my readers, a request to please remember Jim and his wife and son in all your prayers until this crisis is over. Please do this for me and my friend Jim and his family.

I will keep this post updated as information becomes available. Thank you in advance from myself and the Gladwell family.

UPDATE: 8/28

On Wend. Sept 2 Jim and his family will travel to University Hospital for testing and possibly a procedure to ease the situation. The test results will determine the next steps to be taken. Jim has now assured me this is not a result of the terrible accident they were in a couple of weeks ago. However because of the accident this problem was discovered sooner than it may have been otherwise. Kindly continue your prayers and thoughts for the Gladwells through this difficult time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8th Annual Women Supporting Women Walk for Breast Cancer Awaremenss

8th Annual Women Supporting Women Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness To Be Held Saturday, October 10th at Winterplace Park, Salisbury, MD.

On Saturday, October 10th, 2009, Women Supporting Women will be celebrating its 8th Annual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness at Winterplace Park off Rt. 50 E. and Hobbs Road in Salisbury. PRE-REGISTRATION AND TEAMS ARE ENCOURAGED. Registration is $15.00 per person and canine companions for $5.00. Join either the 3 mile walk or the 1 mile fun walk.
Those registered by September 25th will receive a free t-shirt. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. with registration and team pictures, the walk at 10:00 am, followed with lunch by Texas Roadhouse. Join us to support a worthy cause, be in the fresh air, have fun, good food, and enjoy the music & vendors. All proceeds raised from our walk will go to support all of our free services including educational materials, informational tote bags, wigs, hats, mentoring, and many other items and services offered to survivors and their family and friends right here in the local community. Call Women Supporting Women for more information, vendor and team packets: 410-548-7880 or visit our website at
Women Supporting Women (WSW) is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide awareness, education and support to all those who are affected by breast cancer. We have four outreach chapters on the Shore in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Mid-Shore (which services Talbot, Dorchester and Caroline counties) in Maryland. We offer a safe, supportive environment, open to all women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. For more information call 410-548-7880 or visit our website at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10th Annual Hope is on the Horizon Benefit Dinner

THE AMERICAN DREAMS LONGABERGER BRANCH is proud to present their 10th Annual Hope is on the Horizon Benefit Dinner on Friday, August 21st to be held at a new location, The Fountains in Salisbury. All proceeds will benefit WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN, a local breast cancer support organization. Doors open at 4:30 pm and dinner is at 6:00 pm. with a Luau Theme – Hawaiian Attire Optional. There will be guest speakers, a cash bar, live, silent and Chinese auctions, a 50/50 and door prizes.
Tickets are $60.00 in advance and are not available at the door. They include the dinner and a Horizon of Hope Basket. For more information contact Joyce Hickman at 410- 749-2147, or Tickets are also available at Women Supporting Women, 106 West Circle Ave., Salisbury, MD 410-548-7880.
My wife and her mother went to this event last year and they had a great time. The items up for auction were simply beautiful and there were plenty of them and the speaker was absolutely great! No doubt they will be attending again this year. As always, click on the title of this post to be taken to the WSW website for more information about this and other events.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A/C Jimmy Gladwell & Family (Update for Tues 8/18


My good friend, Assistant Chief Jim Gladwell, and his beautiful wife were on their way to Gettysburg this past week when they were involved in a horrific accident in Cambridge MD. The story is they were stopped at a red light when a vehicle struck them from behind causing them to hit the vehicle in front of them. The impact than shoved them through the intersection and beyond. It was said the driver causing the accident never touched his brakes and that he struck Jimmy at hi-way speed.

Mrs. Gladwell is currently hospitalized and is about 12 weeks pregnant with their first child. Jim suffered a back injury but I am told he was treated and released.

I ask for you prayers for Jimmy and his family. They are wonderful folks and great friends.

I will update this post as I get more info. Thank You! for your thoughts and prayers.

(Thank you Wayne Barrall for the photo)

UPDATE 1:oo pm 8/16

We just left PRMC visiting w/ Jim and his bride. She is doing better but will remain at the hospital for a few more days. The baby is O.K. Jim looks quite tired and is some discomfort w/ his back but seems to be doing well.

UPDATE 9:00 am 8/18

Mrs. Glawell has returned home. Plese check the comment section of this post for an update from Jim. His words are better than mine. Thank all of you for prayers and thoughts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Queen Arrives @ The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

August the 8th was opening day for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and we were there! Much as changed since my last visit about 15 years ago. New battlements have been built around the entrance, a new large gift shop now stands out side the mansion, and as we learned a little later the entire shire is now blacktopped. The blacktop is a bit of a disappointment as it seems to take away some of the flavor of the shire but it was a welcome relief to have good footing about. It also keeps the dust down and it make it some easier for wheelchair and handicap access. Beside, isn't imagination what it’s all about anyway? Another great addition is modern restrooms and running water for hand washing. No doubt this makes for a healthier environment to the faire in general. The faire seemed to be bigger than I remember with a lot of new shops and shows. It’s not possible to see it all in one day so a two day pass is a great bargain. Ticket sales begin at about 10:00 am and the gates to the Shire open at 11:00. Advance tickets can be purchased online.

We arrived early and visited the gift shop and generally just did a “people watch”. There is a discount for showing up in costume so there were many, many people dressed for the occasion. One family, pictured here, stood out among all others. They had beautiful costumes and I believe they were homemade. If I remember correctly the family name was “Rholer”, but since I forgot my notebook I just wrote the name on a scrap of paper that was in my wallet and naturally I can't find it now. Perhaps if they read this one of them would kindly let us know for sure and tell us a little about themselves and their costumes.

There was also a gentleman in costume who proclaimed himself a “Bubble Wright”. He had a marvelous homemade bubble machine that produces a myriad of bubbles with little effort. Now this may seem a little strange for a Renaissance Faire but he assured us that bubbles did indeed have a place in the period portrayed by the faire and he was one of few true bubble wrights to be found. He also proudly proclaims that being a bubble wright is not a job but a lifestyle.
I can’t attest to those claims but I can tell you this---his marvelous machine delighted children of all ages! And what a bargain! Bubbles were 3 for a quarter or as many as you can stuff in your pocket for a dollar! The bubble wright, by given name, is Felix Cartagena and he hails from Newark Delaware. He is a delightful person indeed.

Shortly before the gates open to the masses the Mayor, Sheriff, his deputy and other members of the shire stood upon the battlements and bade welcome to all visitors. News of the Queen arriving today was welcomed by all and one of the first stage shows was the Queens court. Of course the humorous activities here set the stage for the rest of day with the human chess match taking place late that afternoon. I’m sorry to say we missed that show as we left before its scheduled time.
Through out the day the actors and characters greeted with the visitors and the interaction was great! Many craftsmen displayed their work from glass blowing to music, to archery and much, much more. We also found that the folks at the aid station were more than willing to assist with a minor problem we encountered and for that we were grateful.
The Faire can be done as a day trip from Salisbury but it may make for a long day. Like I said earlier you can’t see it all in one day so a two day pass and an overnight stay may be the way to go. Advance tickets can be bought online by visiting their site and you can do that by clicking on the title to this post. I also suggest you look closely at the schedule because each weekend has a slightly different theme and some week-ends have special pricing that may be of interest for your visit. Weapons are discouraged inside the shire but if your in a costume that comes with a weapon it will have to “peace tied” before entering the shire. Security is on hand to do that for you. Bags are allowed but will also be checked prior to entering as food and drink (except bottled water) are not allowed to be brought it. A picnic area is located out side the shire if you desire to bring your own refreshment. Food and drink is sold inside the shire and the prices are reasonable.
I suggest you carry some bottled water, sanitary hand wipes, maybe some sun block and wear comfortable shoes. And above all---Have fun!
(Click any of the above photos for a larger view)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gettysburg Segway Tour

The wife and I returned to Gettysburg this year for our vacation. Not so much to see the battlefield again this time but to see the new Visitors Center and to view the Cyclorama since it has been restored. While in the motel lobby we looked at the rack containing all the brochures of the attractions around the town with restaurants and museums first on the list and we had some favorites to revisit as well. Almost immediately one little brochure for a battlefield tour caught our eye. Tour the battlefield on a Segway! This was new since the last time we visited and we thought we would give it a try.
I was a little apprehensive at first because I had never ridden one of these contraptions and I was pretty sure that before it was all over a hospital stay was in the works. We called the number, made a reservation and soon enough all my worries were put to rest. Let me assure you, Mr Bob Velke and his staff the absolute greatest! They asked that we arrive a little early so that we could practice on the machines and learn all about riding a Segway. They were extremely patient with everyone and made absolutely sure we were ready for the streets before starting the tour. The learning process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and even though you may not be an "expert" in that time you can be proficient enough to take the tour and totally enjoy yourself.

Safety is a key issue with the these folks and I promise you will reminded the entire tour of the safety practices. I was very impressed with the way they kept a sharp eye out for hazards and traffic and their diligence in making the tour safe and enjoyable. Two tours are available and we took the longer of the two, the western tour. Each rider is given a radio receiver and during the tour we listened to a recording by a licensed battlefield guide of the highlights of the battle for the areas we were covering. The recording doesn't run constantly and information is intermixed with your live guide riding with you. Live guides ride in the front, middle and rear of the tour in order to watch all the riders carefully and to assist with traffic. On the western tour four rest stops are factored in and the tour guides carry snacks and water for the riders.

Now there is a down side to this tour but it is a slight one and really is no different than any other guided tour. That being the tour is done with a bit of a time constraint which means that a lot of monuments are passed by and you just get a fleeting glance of them. On the other hand, this tour does tend to point out most of the highlights of the battlefield and many of the monuments that mark the major events of the battle. It is not possible to see the battlefield in one day anyhow so if you have but a few hours hours to spend then the Segway tour is the a great way to go. Even if you have been before, this tour gives new flavor to the battlefield and a great new perspective of the events there in July of 1863.

You can get more information on the Segway Tour of Gettysburg by clicking on the tile of this post. Doing so will take you to their site for a brief explanation of the tours and a short film on the ride. Trust me! We had a blast riding the tour and would do so again in a heartbeat.

A real tip of the hat to Mr. Velke and his staff! Thanks for a great tour!

Maryland Renasaince Faire Begins August 29th

Don't forget! The Maryland Renaissance Faire opens in Crownsville Md. on Saturday, August 29th. The Faire will run o weekends until October 25th. This is a great attraction and lots of fun for the entire family.
Just remember a few tips:
Go early! The Faire fills quickly and little wait outside the gate is worth it.
Wear comfortable shoes. With the exception of a few boardwalks it's all natural ground there.
Take a backpack or fannie back with hand/face wipes. The restrooms are port-a-potties and there is no running water for washing before eating. Bottles water may be a good idea for the packs as well.
Take a camera! There is a lot you will want to remember.
Costumes are allowed and encouraged, but NO WEAPONS, real or fake, are allowed at this Faire.
Plan the day. You can't see it all so take a few minutes to look at the schedule and decide what you want to see. Get to the arenas and stages early for the best seats.
Have Fun! Also, plan a return trip to see what you missed the first time.
For more info, click on the title of this post. It will take you to the Faires home page and there is a discount coupon for opening week-end admission.
I went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire opening on August 8th this year and had a great time. I will have more posts and pictures of this later this week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Faire Approaches!

Kings and Queens
Dukes and Duchesses
Lords and Ladies
Peasants and Common Folk !

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

August 8th through October 25 On weekends marks the 2009 season for the Pennsylvania Renasaince Fair held the grounds of the Mt. Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim Pa. This is a victorian theme event with a full schedule of shows and programs inside the shire as well as family attrations for all ages. Several food establishments are also located inside the shire and the days can be easily filled with fun. It's not possible to see it all in one day so you may need to plan for a return visit. Need to know more? Click on the title of this post and it will take you the website for the faire. It's a great time for a reasonable cost.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Women Supporting Women & Chili's Restaurant

Now here is something to consider. The Chili's in Salisbury on North Salisbury Boulevard has designated the 15th day of each month as Women Supporting Women Day. Be sure to mention that you are there for Women Supporting Women and they will donate 10% of your check to our organization!

What a great way to support this worthwhile organization and at the same time treat yourself and family to some really great eats. An added bonus to this is Chili's now has a 2 for $20 section on their menu.
Split an appetizer, get two entrees, and share a desert for $20 bucks!
Now that's a great price for eating out. Couple that with the contribution to Women Supporting Women and you make a lot of people happy starting with yourself.
Click on the title of this post and it will take you to the Chili's menu site and you can see for yourself the great selections for this deal. Of course the regular menu is always available and 10% of those checks will also go to WSW if you mention them on the 15th of the month.
See Ya At Chili's

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Blue, The Gray & the Green?

America's Civil War, The War Between the States, The War between the North & South, The War of Northern Aggression, The War of Secession and other titles are all names associated with the conflict fought on American soil between 1861 and 1865. Another reference to this war is the War of the Blue & the Gray. This of course in a reference to the color of the uniforms worn by the two factions with the Blue being the Northern Federal Armies, and the Gray being the Southern Confederate Forces. Often overlooked and often unknown are some of the other color of uniforms seen on the battlefields. The differing colors held great significance to the units they were associated with and held much meaning if nothing more than distinguishing a certain expertise. Such is the case with the Berdan Sharpshooters.

Hiram Berdan, pictured at right, was known as the county's best marksman for at least 15 years before the war. He invented a musket ball and a repeating rifle. He apparently was a well educated man and was of some financial stature within the community. Mr Berdan has a long and colorful history all his own but what is of importance here is his service to the Union during the war. In the summer and fall of 1861 Hiram Berdan, with the blessings of General Winfield Scott and President Lincoln, form two sharpshooting regiments and he himself was named Colonel of the units. In order to gain admission to the sharpshooter corps Colonel Berdan had stringent requirements that must be met. One such requirement was that the shooter must place 10 consecutive shots in a 10 inch bulls eye at 200 yards. Not impossible but not an easy feat for the rifles of the day. When enough recruits were available the 1st USSS (United States Sharpshooters) were mustered into service with companies from New York, Michigan, New Hampshire and Vermont. Enough recruits to the corps soon followed to make the 2nd USSS a short time later. The uniforms for USSS regiments were of similar tailoring to the regular army but the frock coats, trousers, and forage caps were a distinctive green instead of the traditional union blue. These men were promised a bounty payment for supplying their own gun of sufficient quality to snipe with. The bounty was never paid. These men were promised additional pay for their expertise. This pay was never realized. The recruits were promised the new Sharps Breech Loading rifles. These rifles eventually were made available but only after the issued colt revolving rifles proved not to be as effective as promised. Still, the USSS regiment performed their duties with great precision and pride.

The 2nd USSS was sent to the Fredericksburg area in 1862 while the 1st USSS was tested the same year at the beginning of General McClellans Peninsula Campaign. The sharpshooters were called upon to man picket lines and forward rifle pits with the purpose of "picking off" unfortunate confederates, especially officers, that dared to expose themselves to the eyes of the green clad snipers. As the Union Army moved up the peninsula the sharpshooters proved their worth over and over again. Often their mission was suppress artillery fire from the confederates by "dissuading" the artillerymen from exposing themselves to load their cannon. At Yorktown a siege operation was used to take the city. The sharpshooters were called upon to protect the troops creating trenches and earthworks around the town while at the same time keeping Confederate artillery quiet and to dispatch any opposing snipers. The siege continued for several weeks with the Union constantly inching forward as the southern troops withdrew largely in part to the effectiveness of the USSS. On the morning of May 4th, the confederate defenses, many less than 50 yards away were empty. Six USSS men occupied that abandoned defensive works and that effectively marked the conquest of Yorktown.

Berdan corps was also used at Chancellorsville, Seven Days Battle, Second Bull Run and Gettysburg to name a few and remained active through-out the war.

Colonel Berdan's service however is not without controversy. He was apparently a very egotistical person and his contemporaries often refereed to him as a liar and as a coward. The Colonel chose to lead from the rear and was rarely seen at the front. He resigned his commission in 1864 and died in 1893 while playing a game of chess in Washington D.C. Colonel Berdan is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

And so, should you see a print or colorized photo of a Union soldier wearing a green uniform, look close to see if he carries an colt revolving rifle or a Sharps Breech Loading rifle both of which are pictured below. If so you are probably looking at one of Colonel Berdans Sharpshooters. These were men of exemplary shooting skill.

Colt Revolving Rifle

Sharps Breech Loading Rifle

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bikes and Trikes and Food and Folks........

.....and door prizes, and auction items, and a 50-50 drawing, friendship and fellowship, and most of important of all----------Hope for a Cure. All of this and more was to be found at the 5th annual Breast Cancer Poker Run, Ride for Awareness sponsored by Women Supporting Women held this past Saturday. Early Saturday morning the ladies set up the canopies for registration for all the motorcycle riders that would soon be arriving. And arrive they did! A little over 200 bikes and trikes registered for the 80 mile ride that started at the Redmens Lodge in Fruitland and took them to Princess Anne, Crisfield, Rumbley, Allen and back to Fruitland for a lunch provided by Phat Boys BBQ and the five card poker draw. All in all approximately $ was raise by this event to support this wonderful grass roots organization. Below are some photos from the days activities. Enjoy!

The registration table stayed busy for a while as the bikes arrived.

The parking lot and the adjacent field quickly filled with bike and riders.

One the beautiful custom trikes that participated in the ride.

Phat Boyz BBQ stayed busy after the ride was finished.

Without a doubt some of the best pulled pork I have ever tasted!

Bill Reddish of Delmarva Broadcasting was the guest auctioneer for the day.

Jennifer of Women Supporting Women assists Bill with items for sale.

Special thanks to all who contributed to the cause and made the event a success was displayed on the back of this years souvenir T-shirt.

All in all a little over $8800.00 was raised in this years event and once again, all money raised by Women Supporting Women stays in the local area and benefits local patients. All of the services provided by WSW is 100% free to those in need of their assistance. Click on the title of this post to be taken to the Women Supporting Website in order to learn more about their programs and to donate to this great grassroots organization.

Thank You!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Women Supporting Women 5th Annual Poker Run


Plan now to attend and ride in the 5th annual Poker Run Sponsored by Women Supporting Women. This year promises an 80 mile, 3 hour ride and the poker ante is just $20.00 and for an additional $10.00 a passenger can enter too. Prizes are listed on the poster to the right.

This years event is once again starting it's run at the Redmen's Tribe #149 on Clyde Ave. in Fruitland. Registration starts at 9:00 am and the last bike must be on the road by 11:00. There will entertainment, door prizes, a live auction, T-Shirts for sale and food and drink to enjoy all day. Kindly mark your calendars for this event and plan to attend.

Please remember, all the money raised in this event, and other Women Supporting Women events, stays in the local area to support local women who have or are suffering from this terrible disease.

Click on the title of this post to go the the Women Supporting Women Website for more information about this wonderful Ladies and their organization.

See Ya There!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


July 1st, 2nd, & 3rd mark the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg fought in 1863 during America's Civil War. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark" for the confederacy because it was here that the tide was finally turns and CSA General Robert E. Lee began his retreat to the South towards Richmond and never again recovered for a major offensive. Another event occurred on July 4th 1863 that also delivered a great blow to the Confederacy. That being the fall of Vicksburg in Mississippi.

Vicksburg Mississippi was essentially the gateway to the Mississippi River being a major port for incoming supplies for the the south. If the Mississippi River could be controlled by the North that supply line for Lees Army would dry up and the Confederate Army would be in dire straits quickly.

A little known General named Ulysses S. Grant had been on a campaign since October of 1862 to encircle the town of Vicksburg and capture it. Several of these attempts resulted in failures and great loss of life for the Union Army as there were several forts and batteries along the river both above and below the town kept the river in Confederate hands and the terrain around the city was difficult. None the less Grant persisted. After several failed direct assaults Grant ordered his army to take up siege operations against the city. This entailed cutting off all lines of supplies and communication to the city as well as a constant artillery bombardment which drove many of the citizens into caves dug into the hillside surrounding the city. All this ended on July 4, 1863 when confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton surrendered to Grant. Of course this was not relayed to General Lee for several days and it is said that when he found out of this loss he was sure the Confederacy was doomed.

Of even greater importance with this series of events is the victory of Vicksburg brought Grant to the attention of President Lincoln and soon after Grant was appointed to the rank of Lt. General and made the Commander of all Union forces charged with ending the war. It was through this appointment that Grant gave his blessings to General William Tecumseh Sherman to further divide the South with his famed "March to the Sea" taking Atlanta Georgia and soon after Savannah further destroying and depleting the supplies for Lees army that was taking up position around Richmond and Petersburg.
From the Victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, new life was breathed into the Union cause and though the war lasted another 18 months after Gettysburg, Lee never again had the momentum to make an offensive action against the Union. Shortly after Lee's surrender to Grant at Appromadox, General Joe Johnson surrendered to General Sherman in the South and essentially the war was over.