Big Train Trugman retires from Amtrak to Lewes

David Sills stops by Cape football
July 21, 2020

Trugman’s Train Trip - Neil Trugman, the chief investigating officer for Amtrak, retires to Lewes this week after 47 years in law enforcement. I know him through the running scene. If you know Neil for five minutes, you have known him forever. Friendly and loquacious, he has that zest-for-life personality. Here is a photo of Neil with John Lewis in 2015 at Philly’s 30th Street Station. “He spent at least 30 minutes talking with me and I kept thanking him for all he did, but he kept thanking me for serving,” Neil said. Neil quickly capped his career, “I started policing with the D.C. Police Department on July 9, 1973, so it's been 47 years. I left Brooklyn to join the D.C. Police Department on an Amtrak train. It's been a full circle. There will be a farewell walk-out ceremony for me on Wednesday that will be Zoomed due to the virus. Been a great ride!”  

Montana Jones - At girls’ lacrosse open fields July 16, coach Lindsey Underwood whispered to me, “If you can, get a picture of Montana Jones. She made the Under Armour All-American Lacrosse team class of 2024 but we’re not allowed to tell her until Sunday.” “Great,'' I said. “Who is Montana Jones?” Lindsey pointed to a strong girl who looked like a sprinter. Montana went to the defensive end of the field where it’s hard to flash and capture glory. And then she scooped up a ground ball and started passing players like stalled cars on the freeway. Coach Leigh Rupar looked at me and smiled and I said, “I get it.” Montana plays volleyball, basketball and was ready to snap for Beacon track, thinking she was ready to break the school record in the 200. Flat-out fast and a great kid is Chapter 1 on Montana Jones. 

Talking trash - The truck rolled around the corner with MACK all caps above the grille. I sat in my blue chair and got the head-on shot. The driver behind dark glass wearing a green vest practically jumped from his seat and pointed. I knew it meant, “What’s up, Fredman?” Later found it was Jermain Lambert, a Cape connection. I was actually his mother Sharon’s teacher. A hall of fame moment for me. The guy in the trash truck knows my name. It makes me a player.   

Sills stops at Cape - David Sills, a 6-foot-4, 204-pound, two-time first-team All-American wide receiver out of West Virginia University in 2017 and 2018 stopped by Cape football workouts July 16 and talked to the athletes. Sills is nationally known for being offered a Division I scholarship by Lane Kiffin of Southern Cal when he was in seventh grade. Not sure what grade Sills was in (that was a joke). Sills is currently on the active roster of the New York Giants. Sills played high school quarterback for Red Lion Christian Academy in Delaware. Besides all that, he is a Delaware kid who’s often seen at the beach in the summer. He’s considered very accessible and a nice person. 

Disheartening - Athletes around the world have been shut down since the pandemic went viral in February. It’s odd that this targeted population is the most fit and least likely to get “rolled by the rona!” I know all about asymptomatic carriers infecting their grandparents, and what I don’t know I can learn from Zoom transmissions. The major difference that separates professional athletes from those in college and high school is the pros don’t have to take classes and travel hallways and sit in a lunchroom with hundreds of same-age people who don’t play a sport. I’m for letting kids own the fields and tracks and even the gym after 3 o’clock. Let teams practice and play other teams from their own state. And during the day, whatever is decided in terms of dissemination of information construed as education is OK. As Grandmom Rose said, “You cannot dumb down a smart person, so stop trying.” 

Snippets - Ken Dunning looked at me at a sports event two years ago and said, “You know you’re old when your camera needs a cane.” On July 15, the day Jake Bamforth swam Cape to Cape wearing a wetsuit – he may be crazy but he’s not insane – I climbed the circular stairs of the Pilot Tower at Cape Henlopen State Park with the camera rig and pole on my shoulder, humming the Barry Manilow song, “I think we can make it.” Capt. Bill Henry Buckaloo, who was on duty, invited me to the perch. I admit thinking, “It’s 2020, you ain’t got no elevator?” I did get to see two “Furry Boats” pass each other – quite a spectacular view. The $3,000 camera rig was lowered back to the ground in a $20 vinyl laundry basket, but Fruity Fredpop had to surf the stairway to heaven back down to ground zero. Go on now, git! 

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