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.

BULLDOGS GAIN FIRST WIN OVER LAKE SINCE 2016

The Laurel Bulldogs gained a season opening win Friday, defeating Lake Forest 27-18, overcoming a Lake 6-0 lead close to the half before Bulldog Kaden Shockley let his team down the field and tied the game with just under two minutes before the half.

The Bulldogs would go on to outscore lake 21-12 in the second half.

Laurel (1-0) will travel to Indian River Friday.

SEAFORD CHANGES VOTER REGISRATION POLICY

The City of Seaford jumped into the 21st century by dropping the City’s registration book for municipal elections and accepting to abide by the voter registration book of the state of Delaware.

Seaford, like many SC communities use a local registration for elections which has frustrated residents. Many voters go to the polls thinking if they are registered by their county to vote, they should be allowed to vote in local elections.

This is not the case in most SC municipalities. Many incumbents like keeping the registration low, less votes, better chance of winning.

While I was Delaware’s Election Commissioner their was controversary over voter registrations, and how elections were run.

I had a bill passed reforming municipal elections by incorporating the state code with the municipals, so all elections would be operated the same as the states.

The counties agreed with one exception: they have the option of using their own registration lists. Knowing this was the only way my bill would pass, I gave up that slice of cake and took the rest.

At least their would be a greater consistency for elections than before.

Congratulations to Seaford. Hopefully more municipals will follow suit.

FRANKLY SPEAKING: BIDEN SUPPORTERS NATIONWIDE AFAID TO HAVE YARD SIGNS

I’ve seen some horrifying post of FB but none has shaken me more than a post I read from a Biden supporter from Ohio this week.

She posted having a Biden sign in her yard she was finding notes posted on her sign from passer byes, thanking her for having the courage to post a Biden sign.

What followed was an explanation of the letter saying others were afraid to have signs, bumper stickers, flags, etc. on their homes or vehicles for fear of repercussions from Trump supporters.

Then came a continued flow, I counted 47 in a matter of minutes from posts all over the country giving their horror stories about posting Biden/Harris signs.

One lady wrote her husband and she like to take their travel trailers on week-end jaunts preferably in insolated areas because of COVID. They won’t even put Biden bumper stickers on their trailer for fear of being in an insolated area and coming upon Trump supporters.

Another told a story about almost being run off the road, being given a finger, and cursed for having a Biden sticker on her car.

Others afraid to have any Biden material feared for their life and property. Most lived in areas of Trump supporters.

Then followed news of the attempted kidnapping of the Michigan governor and attempt to storm the capital.

What have we become as a nation under this so called law and order president who won’t condemn while supremacy, Nazi or KKK groups and tells to a national televised audience for a whited supremacy group to stand by and stand down.

I guess Trump supporters have taken his word during a rally a few years back when he told his cult followers he would pay the fine for their violent violations.

This FB post, the responses and the Michigan event have shaken my confidence in the direction this country is heading. No wonder gun sales are at record highs, people are buying for protection.

Is the First amendment only for Trump followers, aren’t all of us in this country entitled to the freedom of speech?

Joe Biden is a decent man, sensible, understanding, one who has lived the life as a middle class American and even with his wealth still knows the needs of the working class.

He will if given a majority in both Houses, to do his best with his true Christian values, bring unity and sanity back to this great country.

I have known this man for 50 plus years. He’s been the same down to earth man for all those years, a very compassionate person.