Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lewes, De in the Summer of 1976 Part 1

The only way I have to date this recollection is I remember constantly hearing the song "Let 'Em In" on the radio. I'm titling this one Part #1 because I'm sure down the road I will remember something else. At this point in time I was a big fan of kite flying. I used to walk to the local neighborhood stores and buy kites and spools of strings. One place was a Hoy's 5 & 10 n Union Street and the other was Circle Discount over on Maryland Ave near Broom Street. A diamond shaped kite could be had for 15 cents and a batman type of kite was 25 cents. I had done quite a bit of kite flying around Canby Park and there were a number of broken kites, kites stuck in trees, and kites that simply flew away. Each time I bought a kite I would buy as many spools of string as I could afford. My goal was always to fly the kite as high as possible.

 At the beach I found that the Western Auto in Lewes sold kites and somehow I got the money to buy a kite and a lot of string. Our rental place was on Newark Ave in Lewes on the bay side. It was about a block off the bay beach. So I was off kite flying while my mom and brother were on the beach. Mom mostly liked to sit in the sand and read and Chris and I mostly floated on rafts but sometimes would go out to the sand bar or build sand castles. This day I was flying a kite as high above the bay as I could. It was out there with multiple spools of string, hundreds and hundreds of feet. The kite was just a little dot. The banner planes would fly by from time to time throughout the day. One pass the plane went by and my string went limp. The kite just went on out into the sky and disappeared while the banner plummeted to the bay. A number of boats raced over and some lucky boater picked up the banner. I don't know if it was returned or not. This made for a great story and sometimes people would not believe it but it did indeed happen.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wilmington and Western RR in Kindergarten

I entered kindergarten at the Cedar Hill School in the fall of 1971. The train ride was my first experience riding a train, and a steam train at that. The train ride was probably in the spring of 1972 as I remember it being warm out. It started my lifelong passion for trains. Later as a W&W volunteer I found that the "school trips" ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays and was a long established W&W tradition. The use of the steam engine for school trips ended in the 1980's when the W&W bought the tracks and diesel locomotive #8408. I remember the huge size of the driving wheels of the locomotive, the sound of the whistle, and the wicker rattan seats. I remember pushing the seat back to face the other way at the mid-point of the trip. I remember asking my teacher, Mrs. Platts how they steered the train. She incorrectly told me that they used a huge steering wheel. At the end of the trip we somehow left my best buddy Mark Emory behind. We got back and Mark's mom was not happy. I rode with her in the car back to Greenbank Station where we found Mark had been treated kindly by the folks at the W&W. He was given snacks and drinks at the snack bar there and given a W&W pennant. I was actually jealous that he got to spend more time at the railroad and had a W&W pennant.

Wilmington's Role in The Lady Bird Special

Early 1900s Postcard View of Wilmington Shops Wilmington has been a railroad town since America became connected by steel rails. There a...