Saturday, January 14, 2012

Legislative Updates By Mike McDermott

Field Notes
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
By Delegate Mike McDermott

Week 1 January 11-13, 2012

It Begins...
Opening day of session involves much pomp and circumstance coupled with historic traditions. The work of the day involves the election of presiding officers. These actions are all staged and predetermined by the Democratic Caucus. The first vote is for the Speaker Pro Tempore who then presides over the body until the election of the Speaker of the House is conducted. With this session, Michael Busch becomes the longest serving Speaker of the House in Maryland history.

All committee Chairmen are reappointed along with committee assignments formalized. No changes were seen this year over recent years. It is not unusual to have most of the congressional delegation present for the opening ceremony along with the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Comptroller. This year was no exception.

I found some of the comments made by the Governor and Speaker very interesting. Both mentioned how important it was to have the views “of the right and the left” expressed in the General Assembly and how we were made better by this diversity of thought and approach to government. On the heels of these fine sentiments came the Governor and Democrats Legislative Redistricting Map which seeks to destroy and eliminate many districts currently held by Republicans. They could not even get through the first stanza of “Kumbaya.’

Changes to the map are possible during the next 45 days but it seems more likely than not that many Republican lawmakers will have some decisions to make in the coming months. Del. Otto and I have seen our districts altered by well over half and now find ourselves together in a single member district. These are the actions of a ruling party that has little interest in hearing from those representing the values of the Eastern Shore.

Judiciary Committee:
A hearing was conducted to review the use of phone contracts and collect call charges made by inmates in the prisons and jails throughout the state. In order to provide the specialized phones and recording services, the state and local jurisdictions contract with various companies to furnish all of the equipment needed along with billing services. It is a lucrative business whereby the state collects a profit/commission of roughly 42%. The companies themselves have a profit margin of approximately 5%. In some jurisdictions the profit is used for providing inmate services while in others it is simply placed in their general operating budget.

An advocate for reducing the cost to the inmates of making these types of calls questioned what she referred to as the “kickbacks” being received by corrections officials for providing these services. That term was a misnomer as she was actually referring to the negotiated commissions received by the state. It was pointed out that Maryland is among the lowest in terms of cost to the inmates for local calls. In fact, only Alaska came in lower due to their local calls being free. It was good to see that Maryland State government was competitive in something with surrounding states, even if it is the cost of inmate phone calls.

Eastern Shore Delegation Meeting:
Secretary of Planning
We met with Secretary of Planning Richard Hall to discuss  Plan Maryland. The plan  provides for increased state oversight of local planning and zoning land use issues. It seems clear from the discussion that the state can and will use state money as the lever to gain active compliance from resistant local governments. The Secretary skated around a lot of the issues that were addressed to him, predominately because the plan is so broad based, no one has any real notion how the implementation will affect local governments and Maryland citizens. The delegation expressed consternation with the plan not coming through the General Assembly and being back doored by the governor. The Secretary offered that the plan was authorized in 1974 and simply had not been acted upon until now.

I was particularly concerned over the private property rights which will be jeopardized by such a broad, centralized plan. It is clear that the governor wishes to expand state control over an additional 300,000 acres of farmland in the next 20-years. I asked if the administration would support a bill I am working with that would require the state to compensate land owners when they create laws and regulations that prohibit that same land owner from being able to develop or utilize their property as they may desire. Secretary Hall said they would take a look at the bill but could not express any support.

There was much concern expressed about the future of poultry on the shore if Plan Maryland continues to move forward with the adoption of additional rules and regulations that only serve to restrict farming activities or make them cost prohibitive. I mentioned that this type of system where rules and regulations are imposed on business create a de facto moratorium on any growth or development of an industry.

It was quite clear that we are at polar ends of the specter with the O’Malley administration when it comes to Plan Maryland, but the concerns expressed were bi-partisan in nature. Maryland has operated for decades with a State Department of Planning  that has worked to provide guidance to local government. This plan will turn that “guidance” into direct oversight. Yet another layer of government bureaucracy to overcome. We met with the governor as a delegation last year to express our concerns over his proposed septic bill (which went down to defeat). It seems the governor has decided that the General  Assembly is not needed when it creates a stumbling block for his programs. It was suggested that we meet with the governor again, but the governor appears to have dug his heels in on Plan Maryland.

"Pirates of the Chesapeake" ~ Delmarva Discovery Center

TIME MACHINE Preview ... Early Days Of Anti-Liquor Sentiment On The Eastern Shore.

Prohibition Church planned.

Liquor traffic cited in Pocomoke and other towns.

Controversial anti-liquor crusader (she was known as a saloon smasher) visits Eastern Shore.

It's this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

POCOMOKE CITY RESIDENTS DAY ~ Delmarva Discovery Center

A special day at the
Delmarva Discovery Center
For Pocomoke City residents only!!!

Always wondered what's inside of the
Delmarva Discovery Center?
Love the museum and want to give a special donation!

For Pocomoke residents only, on January 14, 2012
the Delmarva Discovery Center
will be open to the public and all we ask is that you make a donation.

Donations will be anonymous unless you wish otherwise.

This is your chance to visit the
 Delmarva Discovery Center,
a 16,000 square foot living museum of the cultural and natural history of the Eastern Shore.

See our 6,000 gallon aquarium, learn about Native American history, try your hand tonging for oysters or climb aboard our replica Steamboat.

This is your museum! Come see what it's all about!

All children must be accompanied by an adult.


$1.00 OFF- ALL DAY

Friday, January 13, 2012

Planning Commission Says NO To Atlantic Sewage Plant

The Accomack County Planning Commission Wednesday night declined to endorse a proposed amendment to the County Zoning ordinance to change the wording in section 106-1 that would enable developers to build sewage treatment facilities on agriculturally zoned land.

Atlantic Properties LLC contended that according to the State code that public utilities could by right build sewage treatment plants in agriculturally zoned areas and that their proposed sewage treatment plant which would serve their proposed planned unit development in Wattsville, was in fact a public utility as defined by the state code.

Dozens of speakers from the Atlantic area and as far away as Melfa , New Church and Greenbackville spoke and almost all were opposed to the change. Among the reasons for opposing the change were that putting the treatment plant in Atlantic would destroy property value and property rights. The speakers also told the Commission that passing the text amendment would allow developers to build anywhere and any time and the County would give control over development to the developers. They feared the change would open the door to private development without public input.

Meanwhile others felt that the proposed sewage treatment plant might pollute water wells and water ways and at the very least, the sewage treatment plant should be contained on the property of the planned unit development itself. One speaker feared that the sewage treatment plant could damage the water quality of the Columbia aquifer itself.

Speaking for developer Atlantic Properties, attorney Mark Baumgartner defended the proposal stating that the local areas could connect and that doing so would actually benefit the environment because , he contended, septic tanks and drainfields or non point source pollutants do damage to surrounding waterways and water sources would be reduced.

Baumgartner countered arguments that public utilities should not be privately owned by citing that A& N Electric is a perfect example of a privately owned public utility. He cited several counties, 27 in all in Virginia that allow these types of utilities. He said that the need for waste water treatment facilities on the Eastern Shore is urgent and serious.

In the end the members of the Commission voted not to recommend the change in wording to the text amendment tothe Board of Supervisors. Several members spoke against the amendment with Commission member George Parker citing his concern that there wasn't a clearly defined service area for the sewage treatment facility.

A motion was made not to recommend the change and it was unanimously passed . The recommendation will be passed on the Board of Supervisors which will hold its own public hearing at a later date and then will vote on the matter at a future meeting. The public will be notified when the public hearing is scheduled.

Lowcost Rabies Vaccination Clinics

Shore Beef and BBQ



Pulled Pork Sandwich w/side
Drink ~ &7.50

The weather is getting cold so call your orders in -


SHORE BEEF AND BBQ is on Facebook

Alleged Pocomoke Arsonist Deshields Not Guilty

Written by
Nancy Powell
Staff Writer
(Jan. 13, 2012) The 43-year-old Pocomoke man who was found not guilty last week of arson and other related charges found it impossible to obey the judge’s order to be quiet in the courtroom.

“Thank you, Jesus,” Anthony Deshields shouted after the judge announced the verdict.
When Judge Thomas C. Groton III admonished him, Deshields said, “I’m excited. You have to excuse me.”

Deshields was found not guilty of setting fires to a trashcan in a bathroom, a children’s slide and a bench at a pavilion at Cypress Park.

During the trial, a recording a surveillance video showed a man dressed in black walking in Cypress Park in Pocomoke the morning of Aug. 21, 2011. Pocomoke policeman Ralph Corbin testified that he recognized the man as Anthony Deshields because of his clothing and because it showed a tall slender man.

“Just his general height and weight and clothing,” said Corbin, who admitted he did not see the suspect’s face.

Corbin also testified that he “really had not much experience with him except for the past two weeks and he wore the same clothing the entire time.”

A nearby resident testified that she saw a tall, slender black man wearing dark clothes and carrying a white bag over his shoulder when she was walking her dog that morning. But she was also unable to see the man’s face and could not identify Deshields in court as the man she saw.

Pocomoke Police Chief Calvin Sewell, who was a lieutenant at the time, testified that he interviewed Deshields after being told he was the suspect. Deshields denied setting the fires, the chief said. He interviewed one other man “for the process of elimination.”

Deputy Fire Marshal Rodney Sharpley Sr. testified that he eliminated natural or accidental causes for the fires and that he had interviewed Deshields, who said he saw a burnt trash can outside the bathhouse when he went to the park.

Testifying in his own behalf, Deshields said he spent the night in the lobby of a nearby post office because he had been out partying and did not want to disturb his mother, with whom he lives. That morning, he rode his bike from the post office to the park to wash up in the bathhouse before going home, he said.

“I went straight to the bathrooms,” he said. “I took care of my business and then left.”
Groton said he did not believe Deshields, but the circumstantial evidence and the untruthfulness “do not rise to the level of beyond a reasonable doubt.”

There was no evidence of Deshield’s guilt, he said.
Deshields had been in the Worcester County jail since his arrest Aug. 23.


Photos: Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company
Worcester County Fire Marshal's Office
**NOTE:  The Pocomoke City Police Chief's correct first name is Kelvin.**

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pam's Story

In a recent email, I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to
consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we'll name him Timothy and we'll make him a preacher.

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and
eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam's
youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father's ministry in the Philippines . He also plays football. Pam's son is Tim Tebow.

The University of Florida 's star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football's highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His current role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he is being called The Mile-High Messiah.

Tim's notoriety and the family's inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women's centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters. I pray her tribe will increase!

Hat Tip: Kack

Pocomoke City Police Chief Makes USA Today News.....

When the former Baltimore City Homicide Detective and now current Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell remarked to a news reporter ...."You wave to someone in Baltimore City you might get shot", he wasn't lying. Even if you're 'street smart' in that beautiful city of Baltimore,  harm can find you.

You can't exist there if you live in fear....and you won't.

Speak to a Baltimore criminal.....or even any Baltimore City about crime in Pocomoke City or the Eastern Shore and I bet they laugh at you. We don't know what big time crime and violence is. Don't believe me? Then may I suggest you get a copy of the book written by Kelvin Swell and Stephen Janis titled "WHY DO WE KILL?".  

I received an autographed copy for Christmas and haven't completely finished it yet but I will tell you this: The book is a MUST read and I just can't say enough  about it.

"However sometimes we have to step outside the box, so to speak. Give a clear view of the world as we see it. Deliver an honest dose of reality as real and unfiltered as a subjective observer's can be" (Kelvin Sewell)

"WHY DO WE KILL?" is that dose of reality for the reader.

I'll report more on this wonderful book when I have finished reading. 

Kelvin Sewell has been the Pocomoke City Police Chief now for just a little over a month and already wonderful things are being said about the changes taking place in and around the great town of Pocomoke City. It's a new day in Pocomoke City now and so many citizens seemed to be pleased with what they have seen in just such a short period of time.

Pocomoke City people can be hard to convince at times but Police Chief Kelvin Sewell seems to have eased so many concerns. With his knowledge and back ground in violence and the worst of crimes  I can't help but sense that Pocomoke City is in the right hands.

Please read this article (see link) about Chief Kelvin Sewell's challenges as police chief in the small town of  Pocomoke City. 

City police find new challenges as small-town chiefs

"WHY DO WE KILL"  can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

TIME MACHINE Preview ... Early Days Of Anti-Liquor Sentiment On The Eastern Shore.

Prohibition Church planned..liquor traffic cited in Pocomoke and other towns..controversial anti-liquor crusader visits Eastern Shore.

It's this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!



Beef Brisket Sandwich w/ side
Drink ~ $7.50

Please call your orders in - 757-824-0009

Shore Beef and BBQ is on facebook

Hostess Bankruptcy 2012:

Maker Of Wonder Bread, Twinkies Prepares To Refile For Chapter 11

Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, is preparing to refile for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just two years after emerging, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

A spokesman for the privately held Irving, Texas, bakery company declined to comment on the report.

The Wall Street Journal said people familiar with the matter said the company is facing a cash crunch with more than $860 million in debt, high labor expenses and rising ingredient costs.

When the company, then called Interstate Bakeries and based in Kansas City, Mo., filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004, it blamed low sales and high fixed costs. It emerged in February 2009.

Hostess Brands employs about 19,000 workers and operates in 49 states. Annual sales are about $2 billion, according to the company's website.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Virginia Beach Victim-Witness Program Receives Award for Service to Crime Victims

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that the office’s Victim-Witness Program received the 2011 Program of the Year award from the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF). 

The award was formally presented by CICF Director, Mary Vail Ware, at the Virginia Beach City Council meeting held on Tuesday evening, January 10, 2012.

According to CICF, the Program of the Year award signifies “outstanding service and advocacy on behalf of victims and for providing assistance to help ease the economic burden caused by violent crime.”

Presented annually since 2004, over 100 Victim-Witness programs throughout the state were candidates for the award.

A group of 18 CICF staff select the recipient based upon the amount of CICF claims submitted by the program in comparison to their population and crime rate, the program’s mechanism for and amount of restitution collection, how well the victim-witness advocates relate to their victims, and how responsive the program is to CICF requests for assistance in advancing a claim. 

Virginia Beach’s Victim-Witness program facilitated the collection of over $230,080 for 232 victims of crimes such as homicide, robbery, sexual abuse, and assault.

Reimbursed expenses included medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, personal property, moving expenses, temporary housing, and transportation costs. 

“Virginia Beach has undergone quite a few changes in recent years, and the improved services to victims are evident all of the way to Richmond,” said Ware.  “You all have a lot to be proud of.” 

Handmade Greeting Cards

Do you remember what the nicest thing once was about going to the mailbox? A greeting card!

In our younger days those birthday cards sometimes held a little bit of cash from Grandmom and Grandpop or an aunt from out of town. I still have many of those store bought cards that have been sent through the years.  The money enclosed many years ago has long been spent...on junk I probably didn't need. Cards were always something all of us looked forward to.

But those are the days that seem to be almost gone having been left behind because of modern technology and email making it more "convenient". An emailed card never put a smile on my face like getting a card in the mail did.

If you send cards quite often or if you are bored with the cards sold in the stores today take a look at this website 

The cards you see on the website are ALL handmade by Karen Rees Freiberg. Name sound familiar? That's because it is. Karen, known as Karen Rees grew up in Pocomoke and graduated with many of us in the class of '71 from the Pocomoke High School.

Karen makes each and every card by hand. There's a card for every occasion and most times 2 or 3 designs for any occasion you can think of. And if you have an occasion she hasn't thought of and you need a special card send her an email with your idea. She will be more than glad to hand craft a card that will put a smile that special someones face.

All the information you may need is on the website.
Karen is also available for fundraisers.
Handmade Cards by Karen

give a card....get a smile

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sounding Rocket Launch ~ Wednesday

WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – A flight test of a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket is scheduled for January 11 from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Using surplus rocket motors, the vehicle is being developed to support NASA science missions.

Based on the approved range schedule, the rocket is set for launch between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. EDT. The backup launch days are January 12 and 13. The rocket will be visible to residents in the Wallops area.

The NASA Visitor Center will open at 6:30 a.m. on launch day for public viewing.

The mission will be web cast beginning at 6:30 a.m. on launch day at:

Mission status on launch day can be followed on Twitter at:

Launch status also is available on the Wallops launch status line at 757-824-2050.

Wednesday Night ~ Public Hearing on Atlantic Sewage Plant


The Accomack County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing Wednesday night at Metompkin Middle School.

The meeting is slated to start at 7:00 PM and the public hearing will begin at 7:30.

The public hearing will give Atlantic area residents and others the opportunity to speak concerning plans by a developer to create a planned unit development in the Wattsville area and build a sewage treatment plant near Wisharts Point Road.

In anticipation of a larger than usual crowd the meeting was moved from the Board Chambers in Accomac to the cafeteria at Metompkin Elementary School in Parksley.


Monday, January 9, 2012

This Is Exactly Why I Don't Bungee Jump

Pocomoke City Police Department ~ Press Release


Pocomoke Police Department
300 Second Street
Pocomoke, Maryland 21851

Arrests – January 3, 2012 to January 9, 2012
1-03-2012 Kevin D. Fisher, 48, of Pocomoke City was arrested and charged with "Driving on the Highway without a required License". Fisher was released on a Citation pending trial.

1/05/2012 Dwight A. Sampson, 40, of Pocomoke City was arrested and charged on a Bench Warrant for "Theft". Sampson was taken before the District Court Commissioner and incarcerated in the Worcester County Jail pending Bond.

1/06/2012 Omar A. Williams, 28, of Pocomoke City was arrested on a Federal Warrant from the US Marshalls Office and has been extradited to Baltimore for prosecution. At the same time, Williams was arrested and charged with Burglary 1st Degree and Theft of a television on a Pocomoke City Warrant for a December 2011 B & E. Williams will be prosecuted after he serves his time with the US Marshalls.

1/06/2012 Diane Mills, 52, of Pocomoke City and Sabrina Trader, 41 of Pocomoke City were arrested and charged with Assault 2nd Degree stemming from an altercation between the two females. Both Mills and Trader were taken before the District Court Commissioner and released on their own recognizance pending trial.

1/06/2012 Shawn A. Brown 41, of Pocomoke City was cited on a Civil Citation for "Hampering Free Passage" of customers at the Wal-Mart Plaza. Brown was released on Citation pending payment of fine.

1/07/2012 Chico D. Kenney, 39, of Pocomoke City was arrested and charged with Domestic Assault. The victim has an active Protection Order. Kenney was released on a Criminal Summons pending trial.

1/07/2012 Markeshia R. Ballard, 31, of Snow Hill was arrested and charged with "Knowingly driving an uninsured vehicle" after a traffic stop alerted Officers to an active Tag Pick-up Order. Ballard was released on Citation pending Trial.

1/07/2012 Jeremy W. Douglas, 19, of Pocomoke City was arrested and charged by Citation with "Driving on a Suspended License". Douglas was released pending trial.

A Poem From 1949

Click to enlarge

Christmas Tree Recycle

The Solid Waste Division of Worcester County will host its annual collection of Christmas trees through Jan. 14, 2012. Trees can be dropped off at the Central Landfill in Newark and both the Berlin and Pocomoke Homeowners Convenience Centers at no cost to area residents only.
Businesses and organizations selling trees will not be permitted to drop off trees at the convenience centers, but may take them to the Central Landfill where applicable tipping fees will be assessed.

The trees will be ground into mulch for use as cover at the Central Landfill. For more info, contact Recycling Manager Ron Taylor at 410-632-3177.

Good Luck, Courtney!

Prayers and wishes for the very best of luck go today to Courtney Bloxom as she travels to Baltimore, Maryland where she will be a patient at Kenney Krieger Rehabilitation Center for the next couple of months. As always, Courtney will have her mom Becky by her side as she has been through this long journey since May 2010 when Courtney suffered brain injuries from a single vehicle accident.

Since a few days from that horrible night, while Courtney was unresponsive, her Mother Becky rolled up her sleeves and has done what we Mothers hope to never have to endure....carring for a child and believing in God when there seemed to be no hope. Becky Bloxom is a woman of steel. She has kept an open journal since a few days from Courtney's accident. Becky has let the world know her true feelings, her happiness, disappointments and hopes.

Courtney and Becky haven't been without support. It takes a mighty stong family unit to hold it all together and that's what they have. Courtney is blessed to have such a loving and caring brother and sister. And it always makes me smile when I read from Becky's daily writings that Courtney's has made noises prompted by no one else but her Father. - Yes, a daughter will do that for a dad.

Friends, family and extended family have kept close watch on Courtney through the many months. Many prayers have been said and still contiue to flow. Though so much better now than she was a few months ago Courtney still has that long road to travel. She's much stronger now than she was back in May of 2010 and her Mother has just as much determination now as she ever did. We are all hoping that this trip to Baltimore is the last major step for this family to take before Courtney can go home.

The next couple of months will be six days a week of advanced therapy for Courtney, compared to the 3 days per week she had been receiving in Riverside Shore Rehabilitation Center. That's a big difference and every day will put both Courtney and Becky through the grind, I'm sure. Courtney never seems to give up. Becky never seems to give up on Courtney....none of us do.........Becky has hope and never gives up on God. She'll tell you so.

Come home soon...

Please keep Courtney and her family in your prayers.

To read a wonderful story on Courtney's "Farewell Party" and to get some insight on what's been going on with Courtney go here:

Crime Watch Meetings To Be Held

Worcester County Sheriff's Office
Neighborhood Crime Watch Meetings

January 13, 2012  at 6 p.m. Bishopville area Crime Watch meeting at the Bishopville Fire Department.

January 18, 2012 at 6 p.m. Newark area Crime Watch meeting at the Newark Fire Department.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

TIME MACHINE ... Eastern Shore Clay Eaters?

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)


( In searching newspaper archives I occasionally come across an item that raises a flag as to its authenticity. It makes one wonder if such items were, in their day, like hoax items that flood the Internet today. The following item made its rounds in more than one newspaper, and was a front page news story in the 1885 publication mentioned below. Was it legend..hoax..or fact?)


December, 1885

(Reno Evening Gazette- Reno, Nevada)

Eastern Shore Clay Eaters

Of the "clay eaters" on the eastern coast of Maryland, it may be said that they are not reptiles or animals, but people- real human beings, most of whom have never seen a railroad, heard a locomotive whistle, or voted the Democratic or any other ticket. It is hard to understand the appetite that craves clay as a diet. Some people refuse to believe that people can live and eat clay, but a reputable and truthful physician who recently contacted a severe case of the shaking ague in making a tour of eastern shore swamps, declares that these peculiar specimens of the Maryland population do eat clay and have a passion or habit of chewing it like lovers of hasheesh. There is a kind of clay in that section that is oily, like putty, with little sand or grit in it. Dr. S. P. Denisen, the physician referred to, says that clay-eating swampers are miserable specimens of humanity. With legs that are mere sticks, narrow hips, depressed chests, pot bellies, and blush-yellow complexions, they present about the lowest type of the white race found in the United States. The swampers who acquire the habit of eating clay are generally short lived, but the other inhabitants of the Eastern Shore swamps are as hardy as others and as ignorant as Hottentots. Their morals are lax, and a man and woman will live together and rear a family without troubling themselves about a marriage ceremony. Many of their houses are built on piles, and they reach them in boats through the lagoons. Though they shake with the ague half a year, and have skins the color of saffron, they seem to be insured against any other disease, for it is rare to hear of any other sickness in the swamps than ague. It is astonishing what quantities of quinine and whiskey are consumed by these people. The women, who are not clay eaters, chew tobacco and drink corn juice the same as men. In the summer the women and children gather huckleberries, which are plentiful in the vicinity. The men go off in the woods and make shingles, which they sell to the nearest country stores for cheap wearing apparel, corn meal, bacon, quinine, and whiskey. These people are never reached by the tax collector, the preacher, the book agent, the politician, or the lightning rod agent, and when they are not shaking with chills they are happy and contented.


May, 1938

(The Daily Mail- Hagerstown, Md.)

Flags Down Train,

Water Stops Fire

POCOMOKE CITY, MD., May 20 (AP)- Opportunity blew a whistle for the Pocomoke City volunteer fire department.

Battling a lumber yard blaze four miles south of here, the department ran out of water. Undaunted, firemen flagged down a Pennsylvania railroad freight train, drew water from its boilers, and brought the fire under control with but one shed destroyed.


April, 1956

Jerry Miles was assigned by the Baltimore Orioles to the Thomson team in the Georgia State League. The 18-year-old Parksley, Va. righthander was a standout pitcher on Pocomoke City's 1955 Central Shore League team.

Footnote: Miles was in an automobile accident during the winter of 1957 and he later requested the Orioles to place him on the voluntary retired list for the upcoming season. No Information was found about his future activity in baseball.


Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Four Arrested for Eastern Shore Arsons

James M. Wood

Five fires set between Sept. 2011 and Nov. 2011

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - State police have arrested four people in connection with a series of arson cases on the Eastern Shore.

Two vacant homes and three brush fires were set between Sept. 23, 2011 and Nov. 30, 2011.

A three month investigation led to the Jan. 6 arrests of James M. Wood, 24, two 17-year-old males and one 15-year-old male.

Charges against the suspects include arson and conspiracy to commit a felony.

“Aside from being extremely dangerous, intentionally setting fires even when no one is injured is a serious crime in Virginia,” says F/Sgt. Paul J. Fowler III, BCI Chesapeake Field Office.

According to police, all five arsons were connected.