It’s good for Tom Griffith’s mental health to work out on Coastal Highway

Postal Lane, Route 1 intersection is in a traffic responsive zone allowing for more vehicles
December 15, 2023

Story Location:
Miller Road
Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

I don’t remember how long ago I first noticed a near-naked man working out along Route 1 near the Sea Shell Shop outside Rehoboth Beach. I was with my family on the way to the beach when I saw him. I pointed him out to my wife and she suggested I stop, but I didn’t want to ruin the spontaneity by scheduling an interview for a later time. 

The time for an impromptu interview finally arrived the other day. I was going into town to get photos for other stories. He was working out. I looked at the clock, made a U-turn at the next light, made another U-turn at Miller Road, parked and walked over.

After having to wait about five minutes for him to finish the Les Mills workout track blaring from his boombox, I learned the man’s name is Tom Griffith Jr. He moved here from Harrisburg, Pa., a few years ago and now lives off Munchy Branch Road.

Griffith said he delivers food for Hunan Chinese Restaurant, located in the strip mall with Michy’s at one end and Pete’s Steak Shop at the other, and started working out outside as a way to kill time between deliveries. After a while, he said, he decided to work out before work, so now he does an hour of stretching, then an hour of cardio.

It gets the blood flowing while also giving him his daily dose of vitamin D, he said.

“I’m out here every day,” said Griffith. “I do it for my mental health. It’s good to get the stuff out of me.”

People stop and talk with him occasionally, but he’s so far back from Route 1 that most people don’t. There are a couple of other regulars out there doing their own thing too, he said, listing off a guy on a bike and another guy who walks around with a sword.

“There are a few of us oddballs around. It’s kind of cool. Life’s short. What are you going to do?” said Griffith.

As for his workout outfit of choice – no shirt and short shorts – Griffith said he wears next to nothing because he gets too sweaty.

“If I had on basketball shorts, it would get messy,” he said, laughing, as he turned his workout music back on.

Traffic lights changes

A couple of weeks ago, I was in my car on Route 1 waiting for the red light at the intersection of Postal Lane. As I was sitting there, I noticed a long line of vehicles in the northbound turn lanes of Postal Lane. When the light turned green, most of the vehicles were able to make the turn, which surprised me because I used to live in that area and it always seemed like that light was too short.

Seeing all the cars make the light got me thinking if the Delaware Department of Transportation had changed the length of the lights at that intersection due to the detour related to the Malfunction Junction closure. I reached out to DelDOT spokesman Charles “C.R.” McLeod and the answer is yes, kind of.

According to McLeod, the signal sequencing at that intersection is in something called a traffic responsive zone where DelDOT’s software responds to changes in volumes of traffic.

“The increase or decrease of these volumes of cars allows the system to initiate predefined traffic patterns to account for these changes,” McLeod said. “This would also be what is happening during summer travel peaks and lulls.”

DelDOT doesn’t make specific adjustments to traffic light sequencing, McLeod. The system selects more appropriate patterns to keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible, which means DelDOT can’t say how long a traffic light is being extended or shortened from a previous time because it can be changing constantly.

Joke of the Week:

Ted Bavis, the Gazette’s professional circulation money collector, presented me with five popsicle sticks that had jokes on them. He said he knew he had to save them as soon as he saw there were jokes on the sticks. Here’s one of the jokes. As always, send jokes to

Q: When is a potato a bad idea?

A: When it’s half baked.


  • Chris Flood has lived in or visited family in Delaware his whole life. He grew up in Maine, but a block of scrapple was always in the freezer of his parents’ house during his childhood. Contact him at

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