Beautiful world with beautiful people on Sesame Street by the Sea

March 13, 2020

Join the resistance - Senior Kevin Williams is driving hard, like a sprinter at the start, with yellow elastic bands around his shins and attached to a fence. Coach/trainer Ellis Gaulden is like the Gallagher of track coaches; he has a prop for every activity. Coach Ellis works mostly with sprinters and jumpers, which will qualify him for three inservice credits in abnormal psychology by the end of the season. Cape is deep in distance runners. If the Vikings can get a few sprinters to snap like bungees, they will be in the hunt in the tough Henlopen Conference.  

I Love Lucy - All Cape peeps love senior Lucy Siranides, the stellar soccer goalie twice dropped by ACL injuries. Her career guarding the cage is over unless she takes a job at the Philly Zoo. Lucy is helping out as an assistant coach this spring season, and in the fall, she will begin pursuit of her nursing degree in the University of Delaware program articulated with the Beebe School of Nursing. I was recently speaking with Dr. Uday Jani, who complimented me, saying, “It’s so nice you go out and do all these things for people,” And I said, “I am blessed to be 73 and able to roll out the door and go find people who are actually glad to see me.” If you are not in the teacher/coach/community journalist business, you may miss the euphoria of hands-across-the-generations connections. 

Jeff in the Hood - Last Friday night in the Cape Big House before the Tatnall at Cape girls’ game, I panned the front row – just so many stories embedded – and it is a Cape sports history treasure trove. There was Jeffery Hood, a guard on the 1975-76 Cape state championship basketball team. Jeff is Milton all the way. Someday I’m going to grab the mic and go around the gym, standing people up and telling stories about them for 15 minutes or as long as it takes the Beebe ambulance to come snag me and take me to Third Floor North. 

Streetball - Sabria Streett, Tatnall freshman and daughter of Chad Streett, is part of the Nanticoke Nation, Cape and Sesame Street by the Sea. All players were introduced before the game, but Sabria is the only photo. I took it because what I do is track kinship systems, getting my money’s worth from my anthropology degree. There were more interconnected Streetts in the Big House than in all of Lewes.

Gym rat Gramps - I am what happens when a sixth-grade gym rat becomes a lifelong adaptable rodent and just keeps going to games and all-day tournaments. And for years I was a Lewes Polar Bear telling people no virus can live in a 38-degree ocean, but those hothouse gymnasiums are incubators of mutating life forms. The human immune system is remarkable, but as we age, it gets weary of fighting battles. A virus without a vaccine is on the edge of life, but if it mucks about with your DNA you may be DOA, a virtual “hostess with the mostest.” If there are big games inside old gyms, then I’m going in. I have acquired immunity to every human contagion ever propelled out of someone’s nostrils. 

Catching up with cancellations - With colleges closing and going to online classes, the cheaters are like “time to boost my GPA above 2.0.” America is in the containment phase of fighting back against the coronavirus. Sports leagues cancelling the tail ends of a season,  conference tournaments and March Madness without fans will look like Friday change-of-pace day pickup games in phys ed class. Crazy Containment Syndrome is out of the bottle, and every gym has become a potential Temple of Doom. The University of Delaware has banned fans from spring sports like baseball and men’s lacrosse. What fans? There are travel restrictions coming down on high school teams that cannot be verified, often just a coach explaining, “Well, that’s what I heard.” Sports is the interwoven fabric and social safety net in the United States, from T-ball to travel ball, through youth leagues and school ball, all the way to the pros. I just read that federal and state health officials are urging seniors to avoid crowds as much as possible to reduce their risk of contracting the coronavirus from some won’t-stop-talking person whose name they can’t remember.  

Snippets - I first heard the words “Cape Henlopen” from the announcer at the Penn Relays in spring 1975. If those walls at Franklin Field could talk, the first thing they would say is, “This place is nasty.” The Penn Relays are always the last weekend in April, so there is time for this viral outbreak to play out its storyline. My personal Facebook page is still not loading and no goober has come up with a solution. I found a backdoor solution to post limited photos, but my style has been gramped – I mean cramped. Go on now, git! 

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