Ready to fade into my own parade

October 18, 2022

Battle of Route 9 - Sussex Central football plays at Cape Henlopen Friday night and it’s Homecoming night for the Vikings. Who thought that was a good idea? The Golden Knights are 5-1, having shut out Salesianum 7-0 and Dover 21-0. Cape is a surprising 4-2, scoring 41 points per game in its four wins, but losing to Salesianum and Dover. The good news is there are two ways into Cape’s parking lots, so local knowledge being what it is, use the Kings Highway entrance if you are going to the game Friday night. I’m still decompressing from being stalled for 35 minutes forced to watch the Caesar Rodney Homecoming parade last Friday night. That was the longest parade I ever witnessed. I reached the breaking point, so blasted on Facebook, “This parade is longer than their losing streak.” I was instantly accused of taking a cheap shot, and it was true, but it was the only shot I had. I can always pull the crazy old guy card and suggest, “Send me home if you like, just don’t leave me stuck in traffic.”

Three lefties - Route 9 connecting Lewes to Georgetown – and Hardscrabble if you keep traveling west – can also boast three lefties who started major league careers with the the Philadelphia Phillies. The priceless black-and-white photo shows Johnny Morris, Chris Short and Costen Shockley. Morris and Short were pitchers for Lewes High School, while Shockley was a first baseman out of Georgetown. What’s the chance that downstate produced three major leaguers before the dual highway reached Route 9? I was blessed to meet all three men since moving from Philly to Lewes in 1975. I would describe their personalities as gracious and always appreciative that some people remembered who they were and what they did. The Phillies and Padres in the NLCS for a seven-game series is a gift to local baseball fans. 

Local Padres connection - Tim Stauffer, a right-handed pitcher out of Richmond U, was drafted in the first round in 2003 with the fourth overall pick by the Padres. His agent was Ron Shapiro, who has a summer home in Bethany Beach. Lawyer Bill Schab of Lewes is Tim’s uncle. And so that is it, Sussex County is all over this series. Speaking of Padres, Father William Cocco, pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth, gave a prayer Saturday morning prior to the running of the Ashley Furio 5K. Cocco went to Monsignor Bonner in the Philadelphia Catholic League, so we made a connection. Not sure he understood that Deacon Dave McDowell  and I went to the same high school. After his prayer and amen, he added, “Go Phillies!” The crowd cheered like they just heard “No second collection!”  

Commitment issues - I find slightly befuddling the practice of high school athletes posting “I’ve committed” photos on social media showing a university banner and campus background. It’s like Antiques Roadshow without the appraisal. And two years out, there’s a chance that the coach who said, “Sure we’d love to have you,” is gone like a turkey through the corn. I only mention it as a columnist because it’s the latest rage, like visiting college campuses when you’re a freshman in high school. 

Darby Dash - The late Darby Dog bypassed the rainbow bridge and took that long way home. Last Sunday, there were 70 runners who showed up for the second annual Darby Dash. It was peaceful and relaxing; it seemed everybody knew somebody and I knew them all. We don’t need big crowds to prove something is legit. Culture gets co-opted if it's cool enough, just look at Punkin Chunkin and the Lewes Polar Bears, and the Lewes Marathon, “quaint until it ain’t.” Remember the dropping of the ball on New Year’s Eve on Second Street by the Sussex Trust bank clock? Remember town dogs? All good, but all gone. To quote Marvin Gaye: “If I wouldn’t be doggone, I’d be long gone.” 

Snippets - Why are there so many local Cowboys fans who have never been to Texas and never ridden a horse or roped a calf or eaten beef without the bun straight from the chuck wagon? The other team with nationwide appeal is the Steelers. It’s amazing, people have never been to Pittsburgh or inside a steel mill. Philly rapper Meek Mill performed before the Eagles-Cowboys game. I remember meeting Darius Rucker, who was there to sing the anthem, in the Eagles press box. “What’s happening, Hootie?” Go on now, git! 


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