LAUREL GIRL NAMED ONE OF STATES TOP POLITICANS WHO MAKE WAVES

A benefiting honor goes out to a Laurel young lady who was named by the News Journal as one politician who makes waves in Delaware politics.

Sara Wootten who describes herself as “the wonky nerd” in Legislative Hall who is anything but except a dynamitic no nonsense young lady where the sky is the limit for her political career.

Wootten, has been the House Democrat’s deputy chief of staff for policy since 2014. She was instrumental in many of the last-minute bills that lawmakers passed over the summer, including legislation to allow voting by mail in the 2020 elections.

She began her career upon completing college 19 years ago working for Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2002 vetting political nominees, one of the lowest level positions as the assistant to the director of boards and commissions, a job leading to tedious work that taught her the necessary minutiae of state government.

By 2009, she had moved over to the state House and, after that, the Division of Research before returning to the House.

She is also credited being one of the main organizers of the police accountability task force, which the Black Caucus created in June as part of a eight-item list of efforts to address systemic racism. While she doesn’t take credit for those agenda items, she’s passionate about criminal justice reform.

She expects to dedicate the rest of her career in state government to include responding to the coronavirus pandemic because she believes sit will take a decade or longer to flesh out all policy solutions needed.

She is the daughter of Edsel and Kathy Wootten.

SOMEDAY I’M GOING TO BE PRESIDENT: JOE BIDEN 1977

Joe Biden was elected by a slim margin as Delaware’s US Senator, over popular Caleb Boggs in 1972.

Five years into his first term, 1977, Joe Conaway who was Sussex County Council Administrator had an interest in running for Congress. I had just been elected Sussex County Democrat Chair. Joe thought the senator could give him some insight for fund raising. Joes wife Joanne rode with us.

We met in the senators Wilmington office.

Most of the conversation was dominated by the young senator, and I’m not sure if we received any information on fund raising. Biden was just interesting to hear speak.

Just before our meeting terminated out of the sky Biden stated, “Someday I’m going to be President of the United States. I looked at Conaway, he looked at me, neither of us said a word.

Joe was driving home, and after we hit the outskirts of Wilmington, I broke the silence with, “Did you hear what I heard”. Conaway agreed. I have no idea how the conversation continued after that. We were still numb.

Well, Conaway decided not to seek office, and Biden’s ride to the White House has taken many detours to achieve his goal. But he stuck by his dreams. I heard a person tonight who wrote a book about Biden that even in school on some essays he would write about being president.

He is an inspiration to many of us who have failed in life, not to give up your dream. He certainly is a model for one who has fallen on his face, had to overcome tragedy.

I am glad people are getting to see the Joe Biden I know by the many documentaries now being shown about his life. As much as I would write about the passionate side of Joe, the many who did not know about him scorned him as liberal, socialist, communist, the regular name calling.

I lost my writing job because of my support of Joe and not of Trump, but I feel vindicated, very happy, and thankful to America for choosing Joe as their next president.

Tomorrow will be an emotional day for Joe, and myself. I feel at times I traveled that road to the WH with him. I wish I could be there tomorrow; we both waited 50 years for this day. Many times I thought he was down for the count, but he got up, started over and was a stronger person each time he got up.

God, please protect Joe and his family. He’s a good person.

SUSSEX GOP STATE SENATORS REFUSE TO CONGRATULATE BIDEN/HARRIS VICTORY

Six Sussex County Delaware Republican senators refused last week to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for winning the 2020 election.

Lawmakers last week voted on two Democratic resolutions, which essentially serve as a formal statement without any legal or material consequence, to congratulate the state’s former U.S. senator and his running mate on achieving the highest office in the country. Six of the 7 Republican senators voted against the resolutions. Instead of trying to unite the two parties this is driving a wedge wider.

For a party trying to rebound from their worse election loss in years, losing all state-wide and federal offices, plus two senate seats, this action doesn’t exactly excite their base. Many Republicans in Delaware have spoken to me of their disappointment in some of the quality of their ticket and the embarrassment of recent developments in Washington, DC.

Some say the senators are voting the wishes of their constituents: 6 of the 7 Election Districts in Sussex supported Trump, one did not, represented by Republican Ernie Lopez who voted with Democrats in support of the resolution. The argument here they are supporting their majority.

Really, aren’t elected officials sworn to represent ALL of their CONSTITUENTS? When is the Republican Party going to stand up and grow a pair? Being ignorant, abusing power, disrespect by their leader the past 4 years hasn’t helped their cause, why not trying to be kind, tolerant of others regardless of their political differences?

What’s happened to the Christian values the conservatives preach. Somewhere in their principles must be the words, honor, forgive, love thy neighbor?

Although my ED in the 4/40 did not support the Republican ticket, straight Democrat for those who were contested, my senator, Republican Bryant Richardson voted with his members. What about me senator, are you going to ignore representing me because I am a Democrat?

Petty, pissy, shitty, disgraceful, childish, unprofessional, are just a few printable words I can think of. A slap in the face to a Delawarean we should be proud of regardless of politics.

I feel sorry for my friend Jane Brady State Republican chairlady. I know how strongly she believes in her party and being in her position is not an easy job. She is trying to rebuilt their creditability but each time she takes a step forward, something as this weakens her position.

If the Republican Party in Delaware is to rebound, and I hope it does because I believe in a good strong two-party system, it must rid itself of hatred and racism, both which strongly exist in the southern two counties of our beloved state.

WHAT WILL A BIDEN PRESIDENCY LOOK LIKE

By Frank B. Calio

What will a Joe Biden Presidency look like? For starters, quite tranquil compared to the past four years. We won’t have the tweeting, no verbal insults to women, people of color, disabilities or those who oppose his programs. Catholic, he practices his religion faithfully

A person who is one of us, the blue collar worker, the way he was raised by his family. Until he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden received book offers Joe was last on the list of US Senators in net worth.

Whether you love or hate him, most people know the name Joe Biden in Delaware. “In Delaware,” he says, “I’m Joe. I mean for real. It’s not some gimmick, I’m Joe”. There is an interesting story in this months DELAWARE TODAY MAGAZINE which gives a Biden Timeline from his birth to his present day election as the 46th President of the United States.

He is loyal to his friends who have helped him over the years. He has suffered tragedy, losing a wife and daughter in a vehicle accident shortly after he was elected the youngest U.S. Senator, Dec. 18, 1972, and lost his oldest son, former Delaware AG, Beau Biden to cancer May 30, 2015.

In Feb. 11, 1988 After two near-fatal brain aneurysms ae diagnosed, Biden undergoes successful surgery. Complications lead to blood clots in the lungs. It take him seven months to recuperate.

Even as vice-president you could still see Joe pop up anywhere in a store in Delaware whether it be catching an Italian Sub at his favorite sub shop, or getting a hamburger at the Charcoal Pit where he went as a college freshman at the U of Delaware

Joe has been a familiar face in Delaware politics since he was elected to the NCCo Council in 1970. I meant him shortly after when we both served on the State Democrat Committee to reform the Delaware Democrat Party which had just suffered a devastating defeat by the Delaware GOP.

He was thinking about a run for the US Senate against the popular Republican incumbent Cale Boggs. He asked me what did he need to do to win. Without hesitation I told him to screw the Democrat State organization, and form his own organization.

He asked me if I would serve as his Sussex County chair. I reorganized the Young Democrats, started a group called Teen Democrats, a group of kids not old enough to vote but volunteered to deliver once a month his now famous lit drops, folksy pamphlets about the milk man delivering milk giving talking points about the poor economy for the working class.

I believe those young kids sold their parents on Joe. He never forgot a name, knew all the kids, spoke on their level; they loved him. Joe met my dad one time. In a parade in Laurel, he spotted dad, got out of line, came over to speak to dad.

In 1972 just a few years being a Senator, I visited his Wilmington office with a fellow Democrat seeking some information. At the conclusion of the meeting he stated that someday he was going to be President of the United States. My friend and I said nothing until we got in the car to go home and I blurted out, “Did you hear what he said?

It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy road but Joe has hung in there and his goal has been reached. I’m sorry he can’t have the pomp and circumstance other presidents have had. I know he looked forward to seeing his well wishers at the Amtrak station in Wilmington, and his ride to DC, the same ride he took everyday to his Senate job

Recently under the new environment Joe was accused of touching women and children. That was the generation, the political environment he was raised in. Then you kissed babies, held them. Politics 101. I have seen women, especially elderly, standing in line waiting for a hug or kiss on the cheek from Joe, and if he missed them, I have seen women grab him. He used to genuflect when he would see my late wife to embarrass her. She used to make his favorite Italian cookie for he and Beau. Beau spoke at her funeral, and Joe called me from DC twice to comfort me. That’s the Joe I know and respect.

The elderly women fell in love with Joe, and Joe with them. An underdog against Boggs, but he won not only the state but carried Sussex County by over 600 votes. My job was to hopefully break even in SC or keep Boggs’s vote count down. To Joe winning Sussex was a landslide win. He has always had a special live for Sussex, and recently purchased a beach home in Rehoboth. I worked on all of his Senate campaigns until he became VP.

It was upsetting to me to read the negative comments on FB about Joe during the campaign. Knowing Joe for more than 50 years, I knew this was not the Joe I know. I hope those people give him a chance to show how a president should act, how he really cares about the working class, and his deep love for this country.

Republicans threw all the dirt they could dig up against Joe during the recent campaign. Nothing stuck which led one Republican to call him, “Teflon Joe”.

In my opinion Joe is the best prepared person for the presidents position of any we have elected. He has built a tremendous amount of respect from leaders throughout the world, he is one who will work across the aisle and not be critical of the Republican Party. He will bring dignity to the office and respect throughout the world.

He knows the system and he knows how to navigate the system. A liberal he is not, a socialist he is not. He is an American who cares about the welfare of his country.

Good Luck my friend. Your country is in your hands. I know you’ll take care of ALL Americans.

Frank Calio is a former Delaware State Election Commissioner. He resides in Laurel, DE.

WRAPPING UP ANOTHER YEAR

As we are wrapping up 2020what can I say except good riddance. I hope we never see another year like this one.

We suffered through the COVID VIRUS since January of this year. It took our government, or rather the president to realize it was the real thing by late March which put this country behind the 8-ball since other countries hopped on the bandwagon as soon as it hit their country.

Hospitals were short of supplies for the onslaught, no ventilators to care for the sick, no direction from the Federal Government, or should I say not from the president who consistently confronted his medical advisors.

As a result the U.S. numbers are reaching 350,000 deaths and 19 million hospitalized, with record numbers being recorded each day, expected to continue after the Christmas numbers come in.

The virus has wrecked the economy of our country, peoples lives, which will take years to overcome. People who have spent years building a business only to see their livelihood go down the drain. How many will lose their homes, be evicted for not paying rent, have difficulty finding a job?

Those who have their health, a roof over their head, able to put food on the table, have a job or retired with good pensions, are blessed.

And to our children of school age who are being cheated out of a good education they will never recoup, and the seniors in school who will miss out on the best year of their life, I feel sorry.

This was also a year of unrest in this country. The rein of white supremacy which seemed to be ignored by our President. And in his final days he has abandoned his country acting like a sore loser, contesting an election he protested by provided no evidence of fraud and threatening to hold up relief package he preferred not to participate in the drafting of the bill.

The only good thing that was a God send for the country, is Trump will be gone January 20, 2021 which should make next year a better year.

I will be doing a column soon why I believe Joe Biden will be a good leader for this country. Some will agree, but as his term goes on people will see a difference how a president should act.

And finally I thank the readers of my BLOG for following me this year. I did not write as often as I would have liked. Truthfully, I was depressed, afraid of catching the virus, sadden by watching the news seeing the number of new cases of the virus, people losing their businesses, jobs, homes. Just too much for this ole boy to handle.

MY CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

As a father of five, while my children were of the I Believe in Santa Claus age, I enjoyed Christmas as much as they did.

Santa usually made a house visit prior to Christmas, and I would always give him a few tidbits about the kids behavior before he entered the house.

My favorite was to ask him to look at our ceiling vents for his hidden cameras. I had told the kids of the hidden cameras but I don’t think they were convinced. Angie and Dominic were my favorite targets for this visit. Santa walks in the house, instantly looks up to the ceiling and says, “Just checking my cameras to see if they are working.”

Brother and sister look at each other as if to say, “Busted”. The look on their faces were priceless, still etched in my mind as if it occurred today.

Dominic like many kids his age liked to jump on our sofa in spite of many verbal pleas. On this same occasion Santa told him he needed to listen to dad and stop jumping on the couch. Again the two siblings looked at each other in disbelief.

Then their was the year Lisa, disappointed she didn’t receive the bicycle she wanted found it in the garage when we sent her to the freezer to fetch something. She came out of the garage screaming with joy. And other toys and games we hid in closets we would send the kids to find something for us.

The year Lisa was living in California with her daughter and I arranged for her to fly home for Christmas as a surprise to her mom. Son Chris and I drove to BWI to pick them up only to find their baggage was lost including the one special gift her daughter wanted.

The employees at BWI upon hearing of the loss, got together and purchased that special gift and others, AND delivered it to our house THAT evening.

And yes, mom was surprised to see the two covered in blankets in the back of the station wagon.

Yes, many pleasant memories, WOW where did the time go?

Enjoy your family and memories while you can. They will comfort you in your senior years.

Merry Christmas; stay safe.

RUDOLPH AN ABUSED REINDEER

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is probably the most popular Christmas song and TV story with a positive ending, but if the “Me Too” policies were in effect when Western cowboy Gene Autry introduced his song, today Santa would have to resign in disgrace.

Let me explain. Rudolph was born with a physical defect, a bright red shinny nose. Because of that he didn’t have any friends. Remember fellow reindeer wouldn’t play any reindeer games with him, they laughed at him. He was ignored by all including his parents and particularly Santa Claus.

I think today that is called verbal abuse. In later years he ran away to an island of misfits like himself. After a brief period of isolation from his family he decided to return to his home.

As the story goes this particular Christmas Eve a heavy fog set in and if the fog didn’t clear Santa would have to postpone Christmas. Panic broke out in Santa land, what to do?

Then suddenly a flashing red light appeared. It was Rudolph’s red nose blinking. Santa took a quick look, and a light bulb went off in his head; “Rudolph with your nose so bright you could guide my sleigh tonight,” said Santa.

Suddenly Rudolph jumped to number one on Santa’s popularity list which also moved him to number one celebrity in the neighborhood, for Rudolph was going to save Christmas for all the children in the world.

Frankly Speaking I would have told Santa to take his sleigh and reindeer and shove it, but Rudy was a team player and was a true trooper willing to put all his abuse and pain behind and save Christmas.

My point of my story is this: isn’t this still true today? Kids being made fun because they aren’t wearing designer clothes. That’s the reason many schools are going to uniforms. If a person has a physical defect people tend to shy away from them, or make fun of their physical issues. If you are lucky enough to raise a kid who is a genius, (nerd) they get hassled by idiots.

And, now their is such a disparity in wealth in this country that their is them and us. God forbid if you are homeless, help, not enough, comes from local churches, private individuals, not much from greedy large corporations. Our local chicken industry is the only large groups I see making any kind of effort to provide some relief to the poor, hungry, and homeless.

Folks, as our president elect spoke eloquently Monday evening stating, “This is America, we are all Americans, Republican, Democrat, or Independent”. His message was intended to heal the wounds which have split this country, to unite Americans.

All colors of Americans, white, black, or brown, the foreigners in our country, immigrants, those with mental illness, physical defects all bleed red. We all have our imperfections and I am sure during our lifetime we have said or done something we were sorry for.

This is the Christmas season, the season and the reason for giving. Their are a lot of Rudolph’s out there, kind, passionate, in need of love and attention.

This has been a trying year for all Americans, and people throughout the world. Millions are doing without many of the things in life we have taken for granted.

If you have survived the year with some relevance of good health, have a job or good income, roof over your head and food on the table, look out your window of you neighbor who may not have done as well as you and their family is suffering, reach out to them and at least make sure they have a good Christmas.

Food Banks are being overwhelmed, donate goods or money, even time to help distribute or stock their pantry’s.

Who knows, that someone could be you someday. Remember Rudolph.

Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.

LAUREL WIN TURKEY CLASSIC OVER SEAFORD – CR OVER DELMAR

The Laurel Bulldogs won the 100 year contest over the Seaford Blue Jays, 28-6, extending their winning streak to 17 and improving their Conference record to 3-0.

Two touchdown each by Javier White and Kylse Wilson provided the winning margins.

QB Tremere Woodlin led Caesar Rodney to a 26-6 win over the Delmar Wildcats tossing a touchdown pass and rushing for anodther to remain unbeaten at 3-0.

Trent Kemp scored Delmar’s only score with a 9-yr rush. Delmar drops to 1-1.

MY ELECTION PREDICTIONS (UPDATED)

As had been my tradition each election cycle to give my predictions on the forthcoming election, here they are. These are not endorsements.

With Presidential Candidate Joe Biden atop of the ballot in Delaware, with his popularity in New Castle Co, and the strong Democrat registration, in that county and the City of Wilmington, he will lead the state-wide offices, John Carney, Governor; Bethany Hall Long, Lt. Governor: Chris Coons, U.S. Senate; Lisa Rochester. U.S. Congress; and Trinidad Navaro, Insurance Commissioner to an overwhelming victory, as Delaware along other states will have record turn outs in voting.

The voting will be entirely different in the southern two counties, very much conservative, but a record turnout will not change the state-wide ticket.

LOCALLY: Representative District #35. incumbent Jesse Vanderwende vs challenger Darrynn. Incumbency has a great advantage as does name recognition. Republican Vanderewende has both. Winner in this contest goes to Vanderewende.

In the 36th district, Republican Bryan, former mayor of Milford is the incumbent, is challenged by Greg Fuller, former SC Clerk of the peace. Fuller has placed some nice TV ads, but Milford is a tough spot for Democrats to gain votes, once again a former Democrat stronghold. Good fight Greg, but no cigar unless real Democrats turn out for the presidential race, then he could ride a blue wave.

Incumbent Republican State Representatives Stephen Smyk of the 20th District, Ruth Briggs King of the 37th, another Republican seat, as the 38th with Ron Gray, 38th, Danny Short, 39th, 40th, Republican Tim Dukes, and Rick Collins all unopposed for another 2yr term.

State Senator Republican Brian Pettyjohn is uncontested.

The County Council races are quite different; Council District 1 finds Republican incumbent Mike Vincent having an opponent this time around. A new comer to politics Hunter Hastings has been working his way around the district. Vincent has been president of the County County Council for some time.

Again incumbency and name recognition would give the nod to Vincent. However their is some backlash in this race, I don’t think has gone far, is the position Vincent took in the closing of the 911 center in Seaford, supposedly favoring the center in Seaford. How deeply this issue is among Seaford residents I cannot find. Incumbency again should prevail as well as serving as president.

The 3rd Councilmatic district has been watched by many, pitting Mark Schaffer who won an upset victory over Republican I. G. Burton by a handful of votes.

Enter Pat Draqo a supporter of Burton who started a petition for Burton to run as a 3rd party candidate. When he refused she filed as a 3rd party write-in candidate.

She has raised over $80,000 for her campaign. Her TV ads clearly show voters how to do a write-in vote. Schaffer, former mayor of Smyrna, led super development/growth of that once sleepy town, now one of the largest south of the Chesapeake Canal, is a transplant as is Ms. Drago. I wouldn’t bet either way on this race, but if voters know how to use the write in, the race could go the way of Ms. Drago.

The news media has certainly kept us nail biting on the presidential race. Polling shows Biden in the lead, but last minute turnouts by Republicans in key battleground states show cutting those Biden majorities.

As Joe Biden has said to me many times, “Republicans my fight among each other, but on election day, they all come home.”

Trump pulled it off last time with his last minute barn storming of key states, and a big help from last minute false accusations from AG James Comely on emails from Hillary Clinton.

You’d think with the exception of a lot of Hunter Hastings and a few Democrat signs, with all the Republican signs on every corner, one coming into Delaware from the south would think Delaware was a Blue State. The leadership in Sussex County has failed by not filling their slots to give people a chance to voice their opinions.

You never know what can happen when you fill an empty seat against a shoo in opponent. Case in point in the 3rd Councilmatic district, a Democrat could now be a choice in a 3-way race, or disgruntled Republicans might have endorsed the Democrat.

Hope you have voted or will do so Tuesday.

LAUREL-SEAFORD THANKSGIVING GAME MEMORIES

REMEBERING THE GOOD TIMES WATCHING THE LAUREL SEAFORD THANKSGIVING GAMES

Thanksgiving with the 4-day week-end makes for a chance for families far and wide to gather for this special holiday when we give thanks for what we have, to make memories, and the traditional turkey dinner.

But to residents on the Western Side of Sussex County none of the above brought more joy and energy than two traditional football games between Bridgeville and Delmar held in the morning, the Laurel-Seaford Thanksgiving Day football rivalry, until the state developed state-wide football tournaments in 1984 which moved the games to two weeks before Thanksgiving. The rivalry and enthusiasm between Laurel and Seaford has lessen since both Laurel/Seaford team have seen better days on the field. Their are barely enough fans to fill 1/3 of the bleachers. Delmar and Woodbridge are still competitive conference teams and their rivalry continues.

The Laurel traditional rivalry began in 1920; this year marks the 100th year of that competition. In 2001 the game was canceled because of racial threats which caused the competition to lose the status as the longest yearly rivalry in the state.

Although there were other rivalries on Thanksgiving, Bridgeville before consolidation and Delmar and a couple schools on the east side of the county, none were more competitive and drew larger crowds than the Laurel-Seaford contest where crowds of upward to 3000 plus attended the games mostly before either school built bleachers.

Daily newspapers in Maryland and Delaware had stories daily on the players; as sports editor of the former State Register I ran 3 full pages when newspaper pages were large and without any advertising on those pages about the game.

Delmar-Bridgeville played at 10:00 in the morning, then that crowd would move to the Laurel-Seaford game which started at 1:00.

The game was like a class reunion with former players and graduates from both communities coming from afar to attend the game.

The streak ended in 2001 as former Seaford coach Ben Sirman recalls, over “Fear” because of some racial incident in Bridgeville both schools agreed to cancel the game which caused the competition to lose the status as the longest yearly rivalry in the state.

People would bring peach baskets, and ladders so they could see over the standing room only crowd to see the competitive contest.

Seaford and Laurel actually began playing each other in 1920. Because of the limited number of schools having football teams, both schools played each other twice during a season from 1920-48 with the exception of 1922 and 1937.

Before the legendary George Schollenberger came to Laurel in 1930 Laurel held the edge in games, having an 11 game winning streak from 1923-28. In Schollenberger’s first season as head coach his team, not yet known as the Bulldogs, won 12-6.

The rivalry intensified when the Lions Clubs of the two communities made in 1946 what was to be known as the Lions Club Trophy that was given to the winning team with bragging rights until the next time the teams met.

The football was made of Walnut from a local tree in Laurel and the Nylon base holding the football from Seaford. The winning team is engraved on a plate attached to the nylon base.

During the era of Thanksgiving Day games the two teams played hard and tough till the final whistle blew. Regardless of your teams record going into the game, the Thanksgiving game was a new beginning. At stake was bragging rights and if you defeated your opponent, you had a winning season. Many former players may not recall their record that year, but they can give you a blow by blow description of the game and who won.

During the 1960’s the Jaycees of both communities presented a “Good Sportsmanship” trophy to a player from each team voted upon by the opposing players.

It was not an honor to win this award. No one wanted to be voted a ‘nice guy’ on this particular day. I never heard anyone say, “I won the good sportsmanship award.”

With the schedule change, and Seaford’s football program struggling, the Laurel-Delmar game has become more competitive with a trophy going to the winning team.

I had a tradition which began before I played football and continues to this day. Mom would cook her turkey early in the morning although dinner was not until I returned from the game.

My Uncle who was an alumni of Laurel but lived in Wilmington, would come down the night before with those famous fresh Italian baked rolls. On would go the turkey complete with mom’s home baked dressing, and a couple slabs of cranberry sauce.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven and I was ready for football. Now the sandwich comes between two slices of bread and the day after Thanksgiving. Not the same as the good ole days, but I’ll take it.

The two coaches had a special play or two reserved for that day, mostly by Blue Jay coach Bob Dowd, Laurel usually stuck to their basic plays mostly on the ground. Dowd was the first coach we played against I saw to have special teams; Schollenberger played his first team until they dropped.

One year I was announcing the Thanksgiving Day game, and out of no where Laurel played a reverse, first time I had seen it that year. The play was executed perfectly with the final hand-off given to Bulldog Ron Williams, (later an editor for the News Journal) as he circled to the opposite side of the field all alone.

Shocked and surprised, I blurted out, heard throughout the field, “it’s a reverse.” Seaford’s players stopped in their tracks, reversed course, found Williams and smothered him. Schollenberger and the Laurel bench looked up at me. What I said to myself I can’t print nor probably what Schollenberger was thinking. Needless to say “I retired” from announcing. Williams always pointed out I ruined his chance for fame.

Before the Thanksgiving Day game was played Schollenberger and Dowd would meet with the referees assigned to the game and urge the referees not to throw the flag so much and allow the kids to play. The games were clean, rough, especially if you were at the bottom of the pile and had the ball out of the view of the officials.

Seaford has won 67 games, Laurel 50 with 10 ties; two 0-0 scores in 1932-33 and 38; Highest score Seaford 1981, 82-0, Laurel, 2015, 70-0; oddest scores 2-0, 3-0 in 1931 and ’92 both won by Seaford; Each team has had 16 game winning streaks, Seaford 1975-1990, Laurel 2004-2019.

For years until after I graduated I figured Schollenberger and Dowd were arch rivals as much as their players were. I went to interview Schollenberger for a story; he was working in his garden, a favorite pastime of his, and along side of him was coach Dowd.

Dowd’s wife Jean told me later her husband and Schollenberger were the best of friends visiting each other often. Both retired by then, their competition now was to see who could grow the best garden she said. Thus the rivalry continued!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner; and try my sandwich. Have a good one and don’t forget that prayer of thanks before you eat.

Frank Calio is a former Delaware State Election Commissioner and resides in Laurel.