Melded in a magic moment of sports soulfulness

June 27, 2023

Magic moment - I was just living my life at the front end of a long, hot photo day at the Jungle Jim’s 5K and then this happened. I was detached, framing oncoming runners with my camera lens. And then I wasn't. Someone’s spirit captured my soul. It was vivid. I didn't know where to put it, but it's a part of me now. Photos tell the story of Team 360 and Kimar Holcey. And I got this comment from Mary L.E. Robinson: “Thank you for capturing my daughter in your photos. I love it!”  

Travelin’ Man - Who am I, Ricky Nelson? As a veteran columnist with 42 years in the low-yield bank of no returns, I choose what to cover and write about. I’m not a travel tourney guy; I just have never known how to contextualize it. I do know that each sport is its own culture; there is passion to pursue dreams and there is always a chunk of change involved, which is nobody's business how families choose to spend their disposable dollars. Have you ever been on Rehoboth Beach to watch an inexperienced person body-surf waves that suck out all the water and drop the surf rider face first in the wet sand? It’s the zone where slapstick and shoulder separation collide, so really not that funny at all. Those surfing the wave of a single sport run the same risk of the sudden splat followed by a wounded wing, but now it seems everybody is a kinesiologist. I mean, I know about five of them. ACL injuries are happening to young women who play too many games on turf. Read the book “Warrior Girls” by Michael Sokolove, first published in 2008. All Sokolove’s words, articles and books are worth your time to read, perhaps between games at the next tournament.  

Truck too tall - I was snapping photos at Fredman Bend Saturday morning waiting for the race to end when the Dewey cab cruiser came into view. The tinted window went down and veteran police officer of 40 years Donald Robinson said, “I think that's it, Dave.” Donald and I have been friends since I first touched down in Lewes in 1975. Donald was proud to tell me he will be inducted into the Delaware State University Athletics Hall of Fame Friday, Sept. 1, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. The banquet will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Go to for detailed information. I know Donald is really proud of this honor, but it would be seeing friends show up to share it that would really make his day. Donald then offered me a ride to my car, but it took everything I had to climb up into the cab. Just two hall of fame friends cruising Bellevue Avenue, preferable to Bellevue Hospital. 

Mosquito Coast - My friend Bruce Marine passed away June 12 at the age of 78. Bruce was always a rock-hard athlete. We played against each other in 1965 when Temple won at UConn 12-11. I re-met Bruce after moving to Lewes. Our boys were friends. I talked Bruce into joining the Cape football staff in 1986. About the second practice on the far back field with the sun dropping and mosquitoes buzzing like crop dusters, coach Rob Schroeder began speaking on dedication and character as players were punching themselves in the heads and kicking their own calves. On the way off the field, Eddie Gaines said to me, “I don’t buy any of that stuff. I can read Schroeder like a book, and I can't even read.” We got to the coaches’ office and Bruce, the former UConn captain, said to me, “The mosquito speech just reminded me why I never wanted to coach football.” I’m going to sound like a Sussex Countian for a minute and just say, “Mosquitoes back in the ’70s and ’80s actually showed up on radar.”  

Snippets - In the Cape caravan of sports when I first got to town, the directions to all away games and all fields always included the same two words: “liquor store.” Stopping at said liquor store on the way back home for a traveler or two would be the most fun you’d have until the next away game. Say it isn't so, then you just don’t know. Go on now, git!  

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