Saturday, May 14, 2011


April, 1967

The Pony Ranch Drive-In on Route 13 south of Pocomoke City was advertising a 39-cent Ranch Burger special that consisted of a double-decker hamburger with cheese, special sauce, lettuce and pickle. The regular price was 60-cents. The Pony Ranch menu also included Subs, Pizza, Chicken In The Basket, Shakes, and Soft Serve Products.

Footnote: The Pony Ranch parking lot spaces had speaker phones so you could just drive up and order from your car; your order would be brought out to you to enjoy in your car or to take with you. The Pony Ranch was operated by L.J. and June McGee.

August, 1959

Twin Towers on Route 13 south of Pocomoke announced the Grand Opening of its' new "Tower Room" cocktail lounge to complement its' restaurant. King Sterling at the organ provided dinner music. Dinner features at the popular Pocomoke gathering spot included Chinese Dishes, Broiled Steaks, and Live Maine Lobster from their lobster tank.

November, 1956

Probably more than a few Pocomoke City residents were planning a visit to Salisbury where 1936 menu prices were being featured during the 20th anniversary celebration at the two English Grills. Menu specials, including all the trimmings, were 50-cent hotcake and sausage breakfast, 60-cent fried chicken lunch, and for dinner $1.25 breaded veal cutlet or local baked rock fish.

July, 1958

Johnnys & Sammys in Salisbury was advertising a Wednesday 85-Cents Lunch Special: Chicken & Slippery Dumplings served with hot rolls and butter, and choice of coffee or hot tea.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Viagra Spat Between Newlyweds Leads To Shooting

Written by: Shawn J. Soper

BISHOPVILLE -- A Bishopville woman was arrested on attempted second-degree murder and other charges this week after allegedly shooting her newlywed husband in the abdomen during a domestic argument reportedly involving a popular male enhancement drug.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, the Worcester County 911 Dispatch Center received a call from a man reporting his wife of six months, identified as Alice Carmita Johnson, 72, had just shot him in the abdomen during a domestic argument in their Bishopville home on Hotel Rd. Upon arrival, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies met with the victim, Robert Lee Leonard, 64, who handed the officers a .22 caliber pistol with which he had allegedly been shot. According to police reports, the weapon appeared to have been freshly fired.

Leonard told police he and Johnson had gotten into an argument that had escalated. According to police reports, the couple had been arguing about Viagra, although the tenor or context of the argument was not included.

A short time later, Johnson allegedly produced the small caliber pistol, aimed it at Leonard’s abdomen and fired a round, which entered his body. Leonard told police he was able to grab the gun from his wife’s hands, which prevented any further injuries. Leonard was then taken by ambulance to PRMC in Salisbury for treatment of injuries not believed to be life threatening.

According to police reports, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to speak with Johnson about the incident, but she evoked her Miranda Rights and said she would not make a statement without first consulting her attorney. Because of the serious nature of the incident, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was called into to continue probing the incident.

Johnson was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $150,000 bond. She was released later on Monday after posting bond.




This was the only young lady in the tractor pulling last season and she is really good!    She put all the guys to shame!

These tractors come in all colors all, all makes and all years!  Some of the older tractors were the best.

And be sure to stay for the SAND DRAG AND MUD BOG!
Above photo is Brian taking 'Cowpatty' through the MUD BOG.  Watch to see if they get through the mud at the bottom of the hill.

In the dirt drag you will see some of the fastest trucks around speed through 200 feet of sand.  The speed of most of the trucks will amaze you and you will wonder if they will stop before reaching the woods!

DON'T MISS IT!.......

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rigell Town Hall Meetings For Accomack and Northampton Counties

United States 2nd District Representative Scott Rigell will be holding a pair of town hall meetings on the Eastern Shore on Tuesday, May 17.

The first town hall will be for the citizens of Accomack County and will be at Captains Cove Golf & Yacht Club at 3332 Captains Corridor in Greenbackville, VA from 5:00 6:00 PM.

The second town hall for Northampton County will be held at Little Italy Restaurant in Nassawadox and will begin at 7:30 and last until 8:30 PM.

Congressman Rigell urges the constituents of the Eastern Shore to be active and attend these town halls.

Constituents can visit to sign up for eNews alerts and follow Congressman Rigell at or @RepScottRigell on Twitter.


No Charges Yet For Two In Pocomoke Drug Raid

POCOMOKE CITY — A four-month investigation into sales of crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana led to two raids of homes in Pocomoke City, law enforcement officials said. In a news release, police named the targets of the investigations that led to the raids, but did not say criminal charges had been filed against them.

After raiding two houses in Pocomoke City on May 5, police said they found two grams of cocaine and two rolled marijuana cigarettes as well as materials used to package cocaine and paraphernalia.

During the investigation police are reported to have purchased crack cocaine from Gerry Marshall Laws II at his residence. Corey Brusshea Cropper was also targeted as part of a cocaine distribution investigation, police said. As of midday Wednesday, neither Laws nor Cropper had been charged with any offenses stemming from the raids, according to police and court documents.


Big Government. Small Brains. Dumb Laws


“R” rated movies shall not be shown at drive-in theaters.
It is illegal to fly over any body of water, unless one is carrying sufficient supplies of food and drink.

City Laws in Delaware

Fenwick Island
It shall be unlawful for any person to sleep, lie or loiter on, or occupy as a sleeping quarter or under the guise of pretending to sleep, on any part of the public beaches within the corporate limits of the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware, between 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m. local time.
Full text of the law.

Activities inside vehicles prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to live, dwell, cook, sleep, change clothes or use toilet facilities inside any vehicle within the corporate limits of the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware.
116-5. Tailgating. [Amended 8-30-1980] It shall be unlawful for any person to tailgate from any vehicle or picnic on any street or highway within the corporate limits of the Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware. For the purposes of this chapter, "tailgating" shall mean standing or sitting and eating or drinking on any street or highway and using the vehicle as a picnic facility.
It is illegal to wear pants that are “firm fitting” around the waist.
Getting married on a dare is grounds for an annulment.
Rehoboth Beach
No person shall change clothes in his or her vehicle.
On Halloween, children may only “trick-or-treat” from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and if Halloween falls on a Sunday, they must “trick-or-treat” on October 30 during this same time interval.
One may not whisper in church.
No person shall pretend to sleep on a bench on the boardwalk.
Changing into or out of a bathing suit in a public restroom is prohibited.
Six-year-old girls may not run around without being fully clothed.
Alcohol may not be served in nightclubs if dancing is occurring on the premises at the same time.
South Bethany
All persons must carry a bag with them at all times when they walk their dog in case said dog “poops”, or risk a $100 fine.

(Pocomoke) Mother Trapped In Alleged Craigslist Scam

 Watch the video

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. - A mother is on the brink of homelessness after she was allegedly scammed on the popular website Craigslist.  It is an online classified site, billions log on to find just about anything.
Including Mindy Page. The mother of four was searching for a rental house and found an offer on Craigslist that sounded too good to refuse.  "He had an ad on Craigslist for a nonprofit organization that had foreclosed on houses.  I was very interested because it was a huge house and it was very cheap," said Page.

Page says the man behind the deal was Robert Austera.  He allegedly promised Page she could move into a house in Pocomoke City for just $590 a month.  Mindy Page said once she met with Austera she signed a lease to move into a house on Laurel Street.

She says he even gave her a set of keys, and told her if she put in a little sweat equity she would actually get the first month rent for free.
Police say Austera was hired by several property owners to make repairs on homes that were inhabitable, but was never authorized to rent them out.  While he hasn't been charged in the case involving Mindy Page, he has been charged in a similar case.  Police say they are also investigating five other cases.

"He seemed like he cared, like he was honestly going to get the house together.  I gave him a $600 deposit on the house and started working on it," said Page.  It was the last few dollars Mindy had.  Left penniless the mother is now trying to find help.  In hours she will be left with nowhere to call home, but the streets of Salisbury. "What do I tell my kids letting them down, and the baby. What would happen to the newborn," asked Page with tears in her eyes.

Austera's arrest in another case brings little comfort to Page, who is trying to protect her children.  "I don't want to loose my kids that's all I have," said Page in uncontrollable tears.
Mindy currently lives in Salisbury and has to move out of her home on Smith Street on Thursday.  She says she has looked into several shelters, but her family size is too large to fit in one room.
The investigation into Austera continues. Victims are asked to call Pocomoke City Police at 410-957-1600.


Cause Unknown For The Shaking Last Night

As of this morning the loud BOOM and shake you may have  heard and felt yesterday evening around 7:00 PM still has no explanation.  The same activity that was experienced across the bay was felt here on the Eastern Shore also.

If you felt your home shake around 7:30 Tuesday night, you weren’t alone.

Emergency dispatchers received calls from residents in the North End and near the Oceanfront who reported a shaking sensation. Other areas felt a disturbance, too.

Police investigated but were unable to determine a cause.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield also had no idea what caused it, either.

Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist, said he checked with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center at Wallops

Island on the Eastern Shore, where there was no activity, and the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., reported no seismic activity in the area.

No stormy weather was in the region.

So for now, the phenomenon remains a mystery.


In Case You Don't Know What Time Of Year It Is...............



Two Worcester Bills Signed Into Law By Maryland Governor

ANNAPOLIS — Legislation to abolish the Liquor Control Board and to allow slots at fraternal organizations in Worcester County have both been signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley. Both bills end long struggles in Annapolis and portend future changes for the county.

The abolishment of the LCB will not mean the end to government involvement in the sale of wine and spirits, but the creation of a county Department of Liquor Control to oversee it. The choice to keep the sale of certain types of alcohol within government oversight was seen as a way to preserve government revenue.

The fraternal slots bill will allow designated fraternal organizations, such as the American Legion, to have up to five slots machines. The revenues from the machines must be divided up with at least 50 percent of the profits going to other non-profits and charities in the area.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Accident at Second and Laurel involving a Shore-up Bus

The Pocomoke City Vol. Fire Co. & Pocomoke EMS responded to motor vehicle collision involving a Shore Up bus. There was only minor damage to the bus and none of the occupants of the bus were in injured or in any danger. Pocomoke City Police investigated.
PCVFC Lt. - Wade Taylor was the officer in charge.







Virginia To Switch Execution Drugs Due To Shortage

Virginia will join other states that are switching the sedative used in lethal injections because of a nationwide shortage of the drug, officials said Monday.

The Virginia Department of Corrections will substitute pentobarbital for sodium thiopental, whose sole U.S. manufacturer announced in January it would no longer make the drug.

The announcement sent the nation's 34 death penalty states scrambling to find a new supplier. Some canceled executions, while others obtained the drug from England, but then had it confiscated by federal agents amid questions they circumvented the law to obtain it because that country has banned the drug's export for executions.

It is not clear whether Virginia purchased sodium thiopental from overseas, and if so whether the Drug Enforcement Administration also seized its supply.

Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor referred all questions to the Attorney General's Office, which refused to answer questions about whether Virginia had obtained sodium thiopental from overseas.

Virginia will continue to use a three-drug cocktail, only substituting the sedative drugs, said Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office. The first drug sedates the inmate, while a second stops his breathing and the third stops the heart.

"The Virginia protocol for lethal injection has been litigated and has been found to be constitutionally acceptable by every court in Virginia that has looked at it ... and we are confident that the change to allow the drug pentobarbital to be substituted for sodium thiopental in the protocol will be found to be constitutionally acceptable, as well," Gottstein said.

Pentobarbital has survived legal challenges in other states and has been used for recent executions in Oklahoma, Ohio and South Carolina.

Virginia is home to the nation's second-busiest death chamber, behind Texas. There currently are no scheduled executions.

NASA Sets May 16 For Final Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL -- NASA managers have set the liftoff of space shuttle Endeavour for 8:56 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 16. Launch attempts are available through May 26, except for May 21. The STS-134 mission to the International Space Station is the penultimate shuttle flight and the final one for Endeavour.

Space Shuttle Program Launch Integration Manager Mike Moses and Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach announced the date at a news briefing Monday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They also discussed the progress of repairs since Endeavour's launch postponement on April 29.

A short in the heater circuit associated with Endeavour's hydraulic system resulted in the launch postponement. Technicians determined the most likely failure was inside a switchbox in the shuttle's aft compartment and associated electrical wiring connecting the switchbox to the heaters. The heater circuits prevent freezing of the fuel lines providing hydraulic power to steer the vehicle during ascent and entry.

The faulty box was replaced May 4. Since Friday, Kennedy technicians installed and tested new wiring that bypasses the suspect electrical wiring and confirmed the heater system is working properly. They also are completing retests of other systems powered by the switchbox and are closing out Endeavour's aft compartment.

STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly and his five crewmates are set to arrive at Kennedy for prelaunch preparations on Thursday, May 12, at approximately 11 a.m. NASA Television will broadcast the crew's arrival live. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

Football Tailgating Gets City's OK- But Not For Parrotheads

If you plan on attending the Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band concert  at Farm Bureau Live (formerly Virginia Beach Amphitheater) leave the margarita mixers at home.  Buffett is performing May 26, 2011.

Ain't no wastin' away at all in this parking lot
Toss away that drink blender and beer
Some fans claim that it's a shame to tailgating norms
But you know it's the city way

 My apologies to the Jimmy Buffett fans out there, but I couldn't resist. I also can't get Buffett's "Margaritaville" out of my head.

That song, along with "Come Monday" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise," served as the soundtrack to the week I spent in Honduras helping build a school with my church youth group. Buffett was playing in the background as our rickety bus drove down rural hillsides on the road to Mayan temples.

The singer is synonymous with good times.

But, alas, this isn't Margaritaville, or even Honduras. It's Virginia Beach. And local Parrotheads will have to enjoy Buffett's upcoming performance without the usual pre-concert tailgating party.

So wear your Tommy Bahama shirt to the amphitheater on May 26, but leave the tequila at home.

Virginia Beach mostly prohibits drinking in public places. The City Council made an exception last December for the United Football League, which will be playing at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex stadium. UFL officials successfully argued that tailgating is an essential part of going to football games.

However, the change does not extend to the amphitheater because the managers of the concert arena didn't ask for it, said Mayor Will Sessoms.

Sessoms, who plans to attend the event, said he'll still have a good time, even without the tailgating.
"I've got to look responsible," he joked.

But some fans are peeved.

Beach officials have received a handful of questions about the legality of tailgating. And rumors abound that Buffett didn't make the Beach a stop on his tour for nearly a decade because of the tailgating code.

Barry Ezell, a Beach resident and Buffett fan, said even stores near the amphitheater are promoting the concert with cases of Corona and paper palm tree displays. Ezell and his wife travel up to Massachusetts every year for a Buffett concert.

"Tailgates (yes, with alcohol) are part of the big draw," Ezell wrote in an email.

Buffett fans are older and more responsible, said Ezell, who is an associate professor at Old Dominion University.

"We're not the types to go crazy and jump around in a mosh pit and start fights," Ezell wrote.

But come concert time May 26, these fans will also have to go inside the arena and buy a beer from the amphitheater concession stand.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Worcester County Woman Charged With Shooting Husband

BISHOPVILLE, Md.- Authorities say a Worcester County woman is behind bars on attempted murder and related charges after she shot her husband during a Monday morning argument.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation says that at around 10:28 a.m., 64-year-old Robert Lee Leonard, of 9752 Hotel Road in Bishopville, called 9-1-1 and stated that his wife, 72-year-old Alice Carmita Johnson, had just shot him in the abdomen.

Upon their arrival, deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff's Office met with Leonard who handed them a .22 caliber pistol with which he claimed had been used in the shooting. The weapon appeared to have been freshly fired, according to police.

According to police, Leonard stated that during an argument, Johnson produced the pistol, aimed it at her husband's abdomen and fired a round that entered his body. Leonard told deputies that he was able to grab the weapon from his wife's hands, which prevented any further injuries.

The WCBI was called to continue the investigation. As a result of the investigation, Johnson was taken into custody and charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Johnson was ordered held in the Worcester County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.


How they vote in the United Nations:

Below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations records:

  • Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time
  • Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time
  • Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time
  • United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
  • Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
  • Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
  • Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
  • Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
  • Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
  • Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
  • Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
  • Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
  • Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
  • Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
  • Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
  • India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
  • Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
  • Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

US Foreign Aid to those that hate us:
Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.

Jordan votes 71% against the United States
And receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Pakistan votes 75% against the United States
Receives $6,721,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

India votes 81% against the United States
Receives $143,699,000 annually.





Perhaps it is time to stop this and give the tax savings back to the American workers who are having to skimp and sacrifice to pay the taxes
(and gasoline).

Disgusting isn't it? IT'S TRUE !

Harry and Bess Truman True Americans

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don 't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale.."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don 't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale. (sic. Illinois )

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!

I say dig him up and clone him!!

Hat Tip; Kack

Maryland Residents Urged to be Vigilant

A series of letters containing an unknown (white) powder have been delivered to public schools in Washington, D.C.  Tests have not found any toxic substance to date.  Official s feel it is an effort to instill fear and disrupt the daily lives of those who receive these packages/mail.

For info, etc:

In light of the death of Osama Bin Laden, The Maryland Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with Maryland Law Enforcement agencies, has recommended the following protective action and awareness recommendations to all Maryland residents.
The law enforcement intelligence community has assessed that the death of al-Qa’ida (AQ) leader Osama Bin Ladin could result in retaliatory attacks in the Homeland and against US and Western interests overseas and therefore not only Maryland, but all US citizens should remain at a heightened state of vigilance.
Police and First Responders emphasize citizens should remain alert and aware at all times. If You See Something/Say Something   -  REPORT any and all suspicious behaviors and situations to local law enforcement.  The If You See Something, Say Something campaign underscores the concept that homeland security begins with hometown security where an alert public plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe.
Report Homeland Security threats to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center at 1-800-492-TIPS.
Police and emergency management officials ask that citizens familiarize themselves with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)—a robust terrorism advisory system that provides timely information to the public about credible terrorist threats and replaces the former color-coded alert system. The National Terrorism Advisory System will provide the American public with information about credible threats so that they can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Citizens can find information on the new terror alert system here.
The Department of Homeland Security does not intend to issue an NTAS alert at this time. DHS has been clear since announcing NTAS in January that they will only issue alerts when they have specific or credible information to convey to the American public.
NTAS alerts provide a concise summary of the potential threat including geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure potentially affected by the threat, actions being taken to ensure public safety, as well as recommended steps that individuals, communities, business and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to a threat.  NTAS Alerts will include a clear statement on the nature of the threat, which will be defined in one of two ways:
· “Elevated Threat”: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States
· “Imminent Threat”: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States

Depending on the nature of the threat, alerts may be sent to law enforcement, distributed to affected areas of the private sector, or issued more broadly to the public through both official and social media channels—including a designated DHS webpage (, Facebook, and via Twitter @NTASAlerts
Remember….Be Alert…..If You See something….Say Something…..

Location Chosen for Jury Selection in Caylee Anthony Murder Case

Jury selection for the trial of Casey Anthony, who's accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, will take place in the Tampa area in Florida.

Court officials in Orlando didn't announce the location of jury selection in Pinellas County until early Monday because of intense media interest in the case of the young woman accused of killing her daughter Caylee. More than 600 media credentials have been requested for the trial.

At the center of the maelstrom is 25-year-old Anthony, who could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty and says a babysitter kidnapped Caylee.

Jurors selected in the case will have to put their lives on hold for up to two months. They will be transported to Orlando and sequestered in a hotel.

Officials In Southwest Va. Disappointed By FEMA Denial

FEMA denied the request Saturday, indicating the damage was not severe enough to qualify for federal assistance. More than two dozen tornadoes hit Virginia in April, killing 10, destroying more than 200 homes and damaging more than 1,000 others.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said he may appeal the decision.

"I think it's going to be devastating to the county," Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman told the Bristol Herald Courier. "I was disappointed certainly. I'm sure a lot of people were counting on federal assistance to provide some help."

Pokey Harris, Washington County's director of emergency management, said officials are taking steps to ensure the recovery process stays on track despite the denial.

"Washington County officials are committed to leaving no stone unturned in seeking assistance for the citizens affected by the tornado," Harris said.

The FEMA assistance was sought for the counties of Halifax, Pulaski and Washington.

Even if federal aid had come through, it would not have completely covered all the damage, said Bob Spieldenner, director of public affairs for the Virginia Department of Emergency Services.

"Even if we had gotten the assistance, it would've taken community help," he said. "It's going to go back to the community and the volunteers working together to rebuild."

He said he, too, expected FEMA assistance. "At this point, we thought we had a pretty good case," he said.

FEMA money would help families and businesses whose property was damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Several homes that were damaged or destroyed did not have insurance.

If the state appeals, it will require officials to gather new data about the extent of the damage, which could take several weeks, Spieldenner said.

Officials also could apply for loans through the Small Business Administration. But the appeal process has to run out before officials can request that help, he said.

"Apparently, we can spend all sorts of money on many frivolous federal programs, but not for those who are truly in need of disaster relief," said U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem. "I urge the governor to appeal this decision so that the people affected by these devastating storms get the support they need to begin rebuilding."


'Home Alone' House For Sale

The red-brick Winnetka Georgian so bravely defended by Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone is being put up for sale Thursday for $2.4 million.

Homeowners John and Cynthia Abendshien, empty-nesters who purchased the home in late 1988 for $875,000, acknowledge that it may not be the best time to put a high-end house on the market but believe the home’s attributes and its cachet may net a buyer.

The couple also researched the housing market and were advised that it might not bounce back for another three to five years. “We just decided we wouldn’t wait any longer,” Cynthia Abendshien said.

The 4,250-square-foot, 14-room home sits on a half-acre lot and features four bedrooms, 3.2 baths, a large screened-in porch with a chandelier and, of course, the staircase sledded down by Culkin in John Hughes’ 1990 film.

The median sales price in Winnetka in April was $1.297 million.

“The $2.4 million isn’t just because of its cinematic history,” said the home’s listing agent, Marissa Hopkins of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It really is a residential masterpiece.”

Only pre-qualified buyers can make appointments to see the home, and no open houses are planned. “It would be a zoo,” Hopkins said. “There are a lot of people who would like to see the Home Alone house if they were given the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, another famous North Shore property, the Highland Park home featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is temporarily off the market but it will be relisted, said Coldwell Banker agent Meladee Hughes. Originally listed at $2.3 million, it most recently was offered for $1.65 million.


Sunday, May 8, 2011


"Number Please"

Dial telephone service arrived in Pocomoke City in the early 1960's as I recall. Prior to that time all local calls were operator assisted. You'd pick up the telephone and wait for the operator to come on the line. "Number please" she'd say, and you'd give her the phone number you wanted to reach such as "187R" (that was our home phone number). If the line was busy she'd tell you, otherwise you'd hear the online ring.

The local phone numbers consisted of three numbers or three numbers and a letter (some phone numbers may have been two digits in earlier times as was true in Salisbury; a late relative who grew up in Salisbury once told me "It is said that I as a small child, I used to ask the operator for my daddy, and she would ring 60").

The local operators in Pocomoke worked at the phone office located on the second floor of a building at the northeast corner of Willow Street and Clarke Avenue. You could also pay your telephone bill there. As a youngster I remember going up the steep flight of stairs once and seeing the operators with their headsets on patching cords into their switchboards as calls were being placed. Pocomoke, I believe, was the last Eastern Shore of Maryland area to get dial telephone service.

In New York City the first change over from operator assisted calls to dial service began in the early 1920's. The following are excerpts from a 1922 New York Times article:


Ten Years Will Be Required To Replace 1,000,000 Instruments- Girls Still Retained

The New York Telephone Company has begun installing automatic machinery that will cause each user of the telephone to be his own operator, at the Pennsylvania Exchange in downtown Manhatten, at Academy in upper Manhattan, and at the Walker Exchange in Brooklyn.

An increased number of "information" operators will be necessary, it is expected, for some months at least, until the public is broken in to punching its telephone calls in a manner which resembles working the combination of a safe.

It takes some time for the public to learn the use of the automatic devise, which requires a number of separate manipulations by the person seeking a number. The process is described as follows by the telephone company. "Having secured the desired telephone number from the directory, which we will assume to be Pennsylvania 5280, the subscriber will first remove the receiver and listen for the 'dial tone,' which indicates when the apparatus is ready to receive his call. He will then insert his finger in the hole over the letter 'P,' rotate the dial, rotate the finger until it comes in contact with the metal stop, and release the dial, which will automatically return to normal. He will then repeat the operation for the letters 'E' and 'N,' and in turn for the four numerals 5-2-8-0." When the subscriber has performed these operations the complicated device at central does the rest.

While no telephone girls will lose their positions because of the introduction of automatic machinery, the force eventually will be reduced, but not so rapidly as the girls leave the service to get married or take other jobs.