How did any of us arrive here in Cape country?

March 15, 2013
Darren Purcell was first discovered tearing up a field day at 10 years old when he was in 5th grade at Shields. Darren celebrated his 47th birthday March 14 along with his Coach Fredman who did not celebrate number 67.

Dream doused - June of 1975 was my third and final “rubber stamp” interview at Downingtown High, six miles west of West Chester. I was a special ed hire - not bad for a general ed guy - along with being an assistant coach in football and track. They wheeled in the aged superintendent, the grand rubber stamper himself, noticed the letters on my certification read ED/SEM but not EMH. Wrong certificate, no state reimbursement to the school district.  I was unceremoniously cast to the curb of Route 322. I arrived back at the West Chester apartment inside a big old brick house. The phone on the kitchen wall rang. "Bob Martin, Cape Henlopen.” ‘I’m happy for you,” I said in a rude tone. I had never heard of Cape Henlopen, Lewes or even Rehoboth Beach. He started to explain the location and job available when a water pipe over my head burst and started to douse my head and short out the phone. A wet and collapsed hanging ceiling panel was draped over my head like a nun's habit. My wife’s reaction upon entering the kitchen was predictable: “What are you doing?” Here I am, a Cape guy 38 years later asking myself the same question.

Birthday buddies - I share March 14 with Albert Einstein, Darren Purcell, Kathy Heacook, Steve Taylor and Mary Beth Evans. One birthday Susan whipped me up a bowl of cake batter and gave me a big spoon and a pitcher of ice water. That was the best. I am one of the original “Yeasty Boys,” real athletes do that stuff, and we never travel with salads inside Tupperware; can I get a witness?

How much do you make? - Income tax time is at hand, so tell me, how much do you make?  Never mind, I don’t care and asking is rude plus if you make way more than I do, I won’t be able to like you any longer. And so stop telling me the salaries and signing bonuses of professional athletes, because it’s disgusting. I think any media person who delivers the information should first have to tell us how much he or she grossed the previous tax year before lying about charitable donations and home office expenses.

Hope Classic - The Iron Mike DeStasio Hope Classic at Baywood Greens is set for noon, Friday, March 29. If you are a friend of Mike - battling ALS and four years down the road, any of us should be so tough - you need to get involved, maybe pull yourself away from the kite festival - you can fly your inflated barnyard animal another day. It’s $150 to sponsor a tee and you get your own sign. Call golf professional Anthony Hollerback - how great a name is that? - at 302-947-9800 because it’s getting late. Cost of the tournament is $100 per player or $400 per foursome. Price includes 18-hole scramble tournament and dinner afterward. See your white chocolate Easter Bunny self there.

Priceline - If I were told I had been granted an exclusive interview with Dennis Rodman to ask him about North Korea and the new pope then write a story about it, I would refuse. There is no amount of money that could sink me to that level. I do draw lines. The problem with Terrell Owens and his obsessive need for the most attention above anyone else on his team was that media kept paying attention to him. I wouldn’t walk across the street to talk to that guy. But if I’m walking down the boardwalk and see a man in a wheelchair looking at the ocean I will respectfully engage him in conversation and ask, “What put you in that chair?” because I honestly want to know.

Snippets - I never coached a sport where I had to cut anyone, so my heart goes out to any athlete who didn’t make a team or who was “sent to JV” when they “knew” they were good enough to make varsity. Every college team in America has bench players who know they can or should be playing. I’d play everybody and never win a championship. I’m just not tough enough.

Got kicked in the head during Temple versus Bucknell game 1965. Coach stood in front of me. “Frederick, do you have a concussion?” “I’d be the last to know, Coach.” Then he starts calling me names just for being honest. I would tell my athletic granddaughters: “If you get hit in the head, don’t tell the trainer, tell me. I’ll make sure you don’t miss any games.” Yep, I’m that guy.

Go on now, git!

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