Stories of inspiration all over the sports landscape

Seashore Striders Race Director Tim Bamforth, center, is surrounded by Rehoboth law enforcement. All his friends agreed, "He looks guilty of something." BY DAVE FREDERICK
July 8, 2014

Public enemy - Anyone driving down Henlopen Avenue in Rehoboth Beach at 7 a.m. July 5 would have seen a bevy of police officers dressed in SWAT Action Wear - or was it Traffic Control Wear? - surrounding a man from the Purple Parrot Track Club - or was that the director of the Seashore Striders, Tim Bamforth? Yes, it was Timmy and the police getting their residential ducks in a row before 450 migratory vacation runners raced the streets of Rehoboth for 5 kilometers hoping to annoy as few people as possible. The Beach Paper Firecracker 5K was the largest field ever and the fastest time generated by Lynchburg College graduate Brian Flynn, 31, of Bridgewater, Va., in 15:01. In all, 33 runners broke 20 minutes. That is a fast field.

World Cup and cultures - I can tell you as an insider escapee from the scope and sequence world of secondary education curriculum that no one teaches much of relevance about the real world we live in today. This hit me over the head like a wet soccer ball while I was watching World Cup and its anti-racism theme The world is colored and colorful - diversity clad in cool-looking soccer shirts. I am rooting for Germany because I am a German American. My parents were German along with everybody up the line for generations. But I don’t self-identify. The closest I get to a country of origin is Philadelphia. But I started to research Afro Germans and Afro French and learned stuff I never knew before including Neanderthal men were from Germany and made cave drawings of potato salad. I also learned that soccer players should wear scuba gear they dive more often than Jacques Cousteau.

Steve lights it up - Steve Prestipino leaned over the fence May 31 at Caravel Academy prior to the Cape versus Salesianum boys' state championship lacrosse game and showed me what looked like a horseshoe brand over his right ear on his shaved head. Steve’s son Christian was a senior defenseman on the team. Steve, who owns Apple Electric with his wife Lisa, seems always cool like a bright light bulb you can touch without turning off the switch.  But he’s a bit of a bad boy; Homecoming night last Oct. 4 when fireworks burst over Legends Stadium from Henlopen Gardens and administrators went to bust the high school culprit, they found Steve instead. Back to his branded head: Steve told me how surgeons had lifted out a section of his skull, removed a tumor, then patched him back together. It sounded like he was describing installing a ceiling fan. Last Sunday Steve ran the Outlet Liquors 5K in Dewey, told me he wanted to “test out his head” under stress and duress and afterward said he felt no pressure, no headaches, no unsteadiness, adding, “One more round of radiation (precautionary) then I will be good," then added, “I dodged a bullet.” Note: I take no “hippo oath” of confidentiality, so when Steve told me that story May 31 I burned it into my brain knowing I’d bring it back from the depths of my incandescent memory bank. Groucho to Harpo: “Why don’t you make like a tree and drill a hole in your head and let the sap run out?”

Snippets - I wonder if other countries notice that Americans celebrate major events and holidays by blowing stuff up.

Lawrence Merrifield, 53, from Stewartsville, Pa., ran into my fast focus at the Outlet Liquors 5K and I wanted to “posterize” him as an image of what American toughness should be like.  Is the fitness industry falling off from saturation bombing of workout centers? Are there too many physical therapists looking for clients? How many personal trainers can one community sustain when everyone can already count to 10 and say “Good job”?  I am detecting a shift to the streets and trails and rolled-up yoga mats in the bedroom closet. I was writing down names of the running girlfriends of the Camp Hill Fuller brushers - I mean brothers - and it all went wrong. “Your name is Emily Duds?” “No, Dubs” “Your name is Katie Barrett like carrot?” “What?” But the worst was fleet-footed Mary Dell when I said, “You’re 35?” Everyone laughed except Mary. “Do I look like I’m 35?” I said, “Do I look like I can hear?” I think I’m losing acuity at the edges of hearing, sort of like an  old baboon circling the rim of the breeding population. I’m out like a waterspout! Go on now, git!