SuperFresh senior citizen discount double-take

November 23, 2012
Jim Powell, still officiating basketball at age 79, signals touchdown, but we all make mistakes. BY DAN COOK

How’s Humpty? - Walking into SuperFresh last Tuesday, I ran into Jeff Carter, a student from back in the day. Jeff said, "Coach Fred, you still look good, man, young and fit.” I asked Jeff how his older brother Hiram “Humpty” Carter was doing.  I coached Humpty when I first came to town in 1975; he was a sprinter and 22-foot long jumper. "He’s doing great, Fred. He’s retiring from Vlasic after 32 years.” And so I get it that I’ve coached grandfathers and retired guys, but I still look young and fit because Jeff told me so. I was checking out with my chips and Cheetos and  got asked the usual question, "Do you have a super-duper you’re-so-cool card?” I said “No, my wife ran away with it and took one of the dogs, too.” The clerk said, “That’s OK, we’ll use the store card and with your Tuesday senior citizen 5 percent discount you save $20.” Just like that, my self-delusion as the young and fit guy was brought back to the reality of the 5 percent senior discount Tuesday guy. It gets worse. I had legally parked in a handicapped spot using a placard I acquired when I ruptured my quad tendon after slipping on dog vomit.

Boom Boom Powell - I went to a Cape basketball scrimmage versus Stephen Decatur last Tuesday and didn’t have to use my 5 percent senior discount because admission was free. There were five officials rotating into the game, among them Jim Powell; you Lewes locals know him as the unicycle guy. There is no way I could physically officiate a high school basketball game, plus I would want to fight people in the stands who got personal with their criticisms and they would end up going to jail because it’s a felony to punch a person over 65. Grandmom Rose: ”The only time Poppy breathes hard is when he’s standing in front of the adult magazine rack.” Jim is the eighth wonder of the world on the basketball court. I asked, ”Are you 70 yet?” and he said, “I'm 79. My doctor said If I stop and go to the chair I may never get back out of it." Also officiating the scrimmage was Evan Gillespie, a Sussex Tech graduate who began refereeing when he was a senior in high school four years ago. That’s right, Evan is just 20 years old; that’s a 59-year age difference in officials if your sun-powered pocket calculator has gone dead.

Reindeer Chukchi - Someone asked my granddaughter Anna if her decision to sign with Temple to play lacrosse was influenced by the fact her granddaddy Fredman went there (twice - first as an athlete and later as a PhD anthropologist wannabe) and Anna politely answered, “Maybe subliminally,” not wanting to hurt my feelings. Yes, I was a 24-year-old primitive academic man, matriculating inside a doctoral program lost in a world of posers and hosers. I wanted to use my writing skills to travel to remote places to see if there were comedians in all cultures from the simple to the complex. I was sitting in a seminar at Mitten Hall and made some point that slapstick humor - falling into the campfire - was universally funny when some Ivy guy asked, “Are you familiar with the Russian Reindeer Chukchi?” My answer: “I’ve got your Chukchi right here, pal!”  Paging Professor Fredman!

Snippets - Remember that Sunday, Dec. 2, the Cape Crusaders and Cape basketball team are collecting gently used winter clothing, seldom-used toys and canned or dry food items. These will be given out Saturday, Dec. 22.

Should there be a day-care program, part of the child development curriculum, so athletes can bring a younger sibling to practice to take the pressure off Mom at home? The answer is yes; there are some families that need an older sibling to help watch younger ones, which comes before sports teams. So why not combine them both and give Mom a break and students some practical experience?

JB Moore of Rehoboth completed the Nov. 18 Philadelphia Marathon in just over four hours. Philly welcomed registered New York Marathon runners and handled a field of 30,000 athletes.

Michael Vick has a $15 million headache; that’s how much he will immediately lose if the Eagles cut him at the end of the season.

The Cape field hockey captains took the state championship trophy to Beebe Medical Center to spend time with their inspiration, Barbara “Cookie” Dougherty, who is recovering from surgery. Community connections - sweeter than a box of fudge.

Go on now, git!

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