History in the midst of hallways and trailways

December 6, 2022

Hall pass - I’m sitting on a barstool in a drizzle along Flag Alley taking photos of thousands of runners as a walker approaches, so I take his picture too. I say, “You’re out for a quiet walk and 3,000 runners show up.” He says, “I knew they would be here.” What I didn’t realize was that Lou Olivere and Fredman would both be in the same place and time sharing the trail and a bit of history. We are both members of the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame. But there was never, “Hey, Lou, is that you?” or “Hey, Fredman, don't you even stop taking photos?” Lou may be the most decorated track coach ever to walk the Junction and Breakwater Trail, while I’m the most decorated never to walk it. Lou coached the girls at Ursuline Academy (that’s all that’s there) and won 18 Division II state championships – 12 in track, including 10 in a row, and six in cross country. His granddaughter Lydia Olivere runs for Villanova and holds the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Lydia ran high school for Padua and collected a combined 30 state titles in track and cross country during her four-year career.   

Bruce Clayton - Bruce is a two-name muppet at Sesame Street by the Sea. I posted a race photo and the typical response from people was, “I love Bruce Clayton.” Bruce is a triathlon coach and works at the Body Shop in Rehoboth; he is a motivator, an empathizer and an encouraging personality. He’s my friend, and if you know him, Bruce is your friend as well. 

Meineke to medical - Young Fred women of the western world take care of my three cars totaling 50 years old and my big old 1946 Buick body self sometimes known as the Spirit of ‘76. Angie Basile at Meineke, the Mona Lisa Vito of car repair, keeps the Fred fleet of more cars than people on the road and safe, while Kelly Yudt, a physician assistant with Beebe Healthcare, tracks my marauding medical self with such insight and positivity that when we deduced I have carpal tunnel syndrome and should sleep with velcroed hand braces, I ordered them from Amazon, and one of these nights, I’ll figure how to put them on by myself.    

Trap game - Eagles fans who are enjoying a surprisingly great season at 11-1 know that all games are about Dallas, where the Eagles play on Christmas Eve. Grandma Rose: “Nothing worse than an eggnog drunk. Grab Poppy’s ankles and pull him back from under the tree.” The Eagles hold a two-game lead over the Cowboys. Philly plays at the Giants and Bears before the  Dallas game. Dallas next hosts the Texans before playing at the Jaguars. The Eagles want to go to Dallas with a two-game lead. A happy Jerry Jones and Zeke Elliott’s “feed me” gesture would be too much for Philly fans to endure. The spirit of Christmas would go out the window along with the tree and calico cat. 

Snippets - Luke Bender, a senior Cape wrestler who was a state champ as a sophomore then sidelined last season after elbow surgery, placed second at the Southern Slam in South Carolina, losing in the finals to the 10th-ranked wrestler in the country. I’m not sure what weight class Luke plans to wrestle in Delaware, but I know he’ll chase some grapplers to contiguous weight classes. Cape opens the dual meeting season at home Wednesday, Dec. 7, hosting Sussex Tech. Best way to follow wrestling is at I’m still learning where to find track results. There's a great need for a Columbo app. Track fans can bookmark and then they’ll understand why they saw Cape track kids in Wawa at 5 a.m. on a Saturday. They were on the way to the Ursinus high school opener in Collegeville, Pa. Cape’s Cardin Benjamin placed third in the 3,000 meters in 9:58. Add 40 seconds for a two-mile time of 10:38. Bailey Fletcher placed third in the pole vault at 12 feet, 6 inches. Hannah Maney (2:29) and Alexa Dougherty (2:35) placed second and fourth, respectively, in the 800-meter run. Go on now, git!


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