Runners roll in the morning through rain and wind or annoying big sun

A view from the window seat remembering Joan Caggiano
May 16, 2017

Happy Hours - My new millennium lifestyle has been “sleep at night, prowl in the morning.” That is why I cover and photograph every runner in every road race, which usually means every Saturday and Sunday I’m up early and out the door. Regular weekdays, I’m up early and not out the door. Last Saturday was the Mother’s Day 5K in Lewes - “Your Mother’s Day race was so ugly” - it was wet-dog wild - and on Sunday it was the 5K for Melanoma sponsored by the Rehoboth Ale House with the start and finish at the pavilion on Wilmington Avenue where all languages sound foreign on a Saturday night, which is why I stay home with my own creole blend of Philly and Sussex County dialect.

Kane going to Delaware - Kani Kane, 6-feet tall, 228 pounds, who rumbled over defenses his four years at Sussex Tech, where he also played linebacker, then took his talents to Lackawanna College after graduating from high school in 2015, will soon sign with the University of Delaware, where he will be a junior. Kane scored six touchdowns in his final game versus Cape, a 49-13 Ravens win. Kani recently graduated from two-year Lackawanna College with high honors, according to his mother Chana Kane. Kani will be attending UD in the fall. She said after he gets back from a trip to Florida, they plan to go up to UD May 18 and sign paperwork.

Heels over Head - Cape’s Ryan Head won the Henlopen Conference pole vault championship May 12 at Polytech, the only athlete in the field to go over 12 feet. I was on the record last indoor season telling Ryan that 12 feet was going to happen for him and that he was even money to win the conference if he just patiently waited for his pole to unbend and shoot him feet-first over the bar, something I would never try even in my younger and dumber days. Freshman Olivia Brozefsky placed second in the 1,600 in 5:25 and second in the pole vault. Ben Ashby was third in the long jump at 21-feet-2-inches. Ce’yra Middleton grabbed third in the shot at 36-feet-7-inches, while MacKenzie Parker placed third in the discus at 101-feet-8. Smyrna won the girls’ team title with 224 points while Cape was fifth with 51 points. Dover won the boys’ title with 175 points while Cape was eighth with 26 points.

The Window Seat - I don’t know how many years I played Thursday night basketball at Rehoboth Junior High; I just know it was 30 years ago. I retired before my skills sank to total mediocrity where many other players stayed primetime and all the time. The highlight was grabbing the window seat at Nicola Pizza afterward, which was always optimistically half empty. Patty Price was usually working, and Joan Caggiano was there too. Joan always came over to our perch and meshed right into whatever we were blabbing about. There were cans of beer purchased next door. Joan just laughed and listened to our stories; she was happy we were having fun. It turns out, she was a brilliant interviewer and never forgot you or anyone in your family or anyone whoever sat in the window seat.

Bill Schab, aka Lawyer Bill, a generous yet weirdly frugal guy, always ordered the same. “We’d like a party pizza not with ‘extra cheese’ but with a lot of cheese.“ Bill’s wife Maureen would sometimes join us. She’d ask Bill, “You want an inny or an outy?” knowing Bill preferred the inside pieces where the most cheese coagulated. I went into Nicola’s on Bill and Maureen’s 25th wedding anniversary, found Joan and ordered a party pizza with a disgusting amount of cheese (but not extra cheese) and no outside crust. She got it, but wouldn’t take my money, so I put her name on the anniversary card, actually the box. I see Joan now from the window seat, but I never see her sitting there; it was just never about her, always about you and always about us. Joan showed the strength of a good spirit and good soul, and how graciousness results in the greatest community impact.  

Snippets - I’ll be happy when all things Derek Jeter are finally retired, and the Phillies and Nationals stop playing each other. The seedings for the DIAA lacrosse tournaments will be out Tuesday for the girls and maybe Thursday for the boys. The baseball tournament doesn’t even start until May 27.

Go on now, git!