Lower Sussex Little League and District III have now hosted Softball World Series events in Roxana for 11 consecutive years. And for 11 consecutive years, they have done an exemplary job.
For the first nine years, they hosted the Senior League Softball World Series, and many of us watched with open mouths as the event got bigger and bigger every summer. There appeared to be more fans, more volunteers and a steadier flow to its operations each and every year.
Then last year they added the Big League Softball World Series to their efforts — opening up another field of play, adding one more round of action a day and coordinating the logistics of twice as many athletes, coaches and parents. More people, more problems? Maybe. But not to the naked eye. To those of us who observed the tournaments, things appeared to have run tight and on schedule all week.
The Lower Sussex Little League people once again did an amazing job playing host, and District III, led by the tireless Martin Donovan, put on a tournament that will certainly be remembered fondly by the athletes for decades to come as they look back at their time in Roxana.
Torrential downpour just as the games were ready to start Sunday afternoon? You bet. The rain came down so quickly and with such force it simply washed away the additive for the soil organizers used in case of rain. But ground crews from throughout District III got on the fields quickly, and two of the three fields were up and running within a few hours. They ran extra games on those two fields, played past 1 a.m. and kept to their schedule for the rest of the week.
It was the absolute best performance someone could expect from organizers and groundskeepers, and it was probably the most critical thing that happened throughout the week as far as keeping things on schedule. During a week when there were two World Series happening at the same venue at the same time, it was critical.
We tip our hats to the organizers of this year’s games, as well as the volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to giving these exceptional athletes a time they will always treasure.
When one is in elementary school, opportunities to express one’s individuality are few and far between.
The haircut I had that looked like a record melted on my head was not my individual decision as much as it was a fact that the bowl my mother used as a guide when cutting my hair happened to result in an unfortunate haircut that neither flattered nor mattered much to me. My clothes were whatever Sears had on sale at the time we decided to go clothes shopping, and my taste in music spanned from what my mother was playing at any given time all the way to what my father selected.
I had clothes on my back. They were clean. And I looked just as silly as everybody else did in the 1970s, from my deep-grooved corduroy pants to my butterfly-collared polyester shirts.
In an unrelated subject, there aren’t many photos of me during that time that are still around. Trash bin 1, continued humiliation over the years 0. Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t help but wonder if all of our parents weren’t taking part in some massive conspiracy to keep us down by ridiculing us through ...
But I digress.
Though children had a little less autonomy back then, we did have one avenue available to us which we could use to showcase a little bit of ourselves — the lunch box.
Oh, we felt glorious and in charge as we strutted to school with our lunch boxes. There were the classics, like “The Lone Ranger” and “I Love Lucy” on a few, as both those programs made a renaissance during that period through the wonders of syndication. And there were “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Happy Days” boxes to display the trendier programs of the day, along with the real rebels who sported rock bands, such as “Kiss,” as a means to hold their bologna sandwiches.
And, of course, there were the kids who had the brown paper bags, often decorated with doodles or the simplicity of the carrier’s name to express one’s self. I was often one of those kids — except we never really had the brown paper lunch bags around the house, so I usually had an enormous shopping bag from Giant that made me look like a bargain Santa Claus as I carried a sack larger than myself to house one peanut butter sandwich and three broken potato chips wrapped in a sock.
But 1979 was truly the year of Darin.
I clearly remember Travolta-strutting into school that first day with my lunch box gripped tightly in hand, knowing that all the boys were envious and the chicks were all looking past that Keith Partridge haircut and right at the “Mork & Mindy” artwork emblazoned across my sandwich-carrier.
Oh, I had it going on.
You see, “Mork & Mindy” was the “It” show at that point, and Robin Williams was the unquestioned star. He, and the character he portrayed, were in an episode of “Happy Days” a little while before the spinoff, so he was already known to a public that knew just about every show on television because there were only a few channels available.
And Williams was a bit different from everybody else at that time. He was frenetic and talented — able to make you roll off the couch laughing one minute, and maybe feel a tug of humanity for him the next. It was a gift he never let go of, as his apparent kindness seeped into every character he portrayed, even the ones he presented as himself on the late-night talk circuit.
As funny as Williams was, and he was ridiculously funny, it was the fact that he allowed all of us to see his soul and love at all times that endeared him to so many. He was all heart, emotion and openness, and you couldn’t help but feel as if you knew him because he so willingly shared all of himself with the people who adored him.
For as wild as Williams often appeared, there was just something about him that screamed kindness and sweetness. He was the child who never grew up to many of us — those innocent eyes taking in all around him and embracing everybody and everything around him.
And now the world seems a little out of step.
Williams was pronounced dead at his California home on Monday, Aug. 11, apparently from suicide. As soon as word began to make its way around the world that day, people began reacting. I received one text from a friend that said, “Please tell me this is another Internet hoax.”
I’m no psychotherapist, and I didn’t even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don’t dare analyze Williams’ mental health and try to explain what could have caused him to take his own life. I have been around loved ones who battle depression, and I can tell you that it is a dark mistress that takes no prisoners and can bring the strongest of people to their knees.
What I can tell you is I loved Robin Williams, as much as someone could love a complete stranger. I admired his humanitarian efforts, was touched by some of his more dramatic roles and would find myself forgetting everything else going on in the world and just diving into laughter when he would grab the spotlight.
He made life a little better for many of us, even as he was apparently battling unhappiness himself. He won’t be forgotten.
Editor’s Note: M. Patricia Titus also shared her insight and thoughts on Robin Williams on page A19.
Letters to the Editor
In accordance with Coastal Point editorial policy, the last issue in which letters to the editor regarding the Sept. 6 Bethany Beach Town Council election and Sept. 9 primary races will be published is our Aug. 29 issue. All letters regarding these races or their candidates must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, in order to be published.
Resident supports Young in election
Well, the cat is out of the bag! Council member Boss Joe Healy is championing a slate of candidates in the hope of unseating Margaret Young.
Margaret asks too many embarrassing questions about the Town’s giveaways to Maryland real estate developer Jack Burbage.
Bethany’s Quiet Resort believers and supporters have not had a so seriously important choice like this in years.
If you are not irritated by, but actually appreciate, a council member who asks questions and makes decisions for herself, your choice for council this September should be Margaret Young.
She represents you — not Bethany Beach’s largest commercial property owner!
This endorsement is not paid for by anybody!
Reader pushes for fishing beach
I continue to read your paper online every week. I am a Bethany Beach lover and always will be. I love our quiet resort.
The reason for this [letter] is to address a problem (in my opinion) I noticed in July when at the beach. I know there is nothing you can do about it, but maybe get some public opinion and take it to the board.
I realize after the lifeguards leave at 5 p.m., it’s a free-for-all at the beach, and I think that’s great — throwing a football, throwing a Frisbee, playing paddleball, etc. What I have a problem with are the people who bring their big fishing poles out and start fishing. There are still plenty of young children still swimming after 5, and one day someone is going to get fish hooked and it’s going to be bad.
My son and nephew were still swimming, and I had to totally pick up and move because there were three gentlemen with at least two fishing poles a piece. The last thing I need is one of them getting stabbed by a fishing hook. Why don’t they set up a certain area for the people to fish and not all over the beach?
This is just my opinion, and I wanted to share.
Miken gets thumbs-up from reader
My hat is off to Mike Cummings, Martin Blackburn and the folks who make up Miken Builders.
Led by Mr. Blackburn, Miken built an addition to our home eight years ago. This spring, I noted signs of a leak around one of the windows and, upon investigation, confirmed there was a problem. I contacted Mike and Martin, who paid an immediate visit, confirmed the leak, as well, and took all necessary action to correct it completely. Exterior work involved flashing and weather-proofing. Inside work required sheetrock and insulation removal, replacement and finish painting. All was done perfectly!
Despite that the original work was seven years out of warranty, Miken stood behind their work without hesitation or question. Theirs is an ethic all too rare these days and certainly deserves recognition.
Thanks Mike, Martin and the whole crew!
Healy lists his picks for council
Our annual Town Council election is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. in Town Hall.
I wish to bring to your attention four outstanding candidates who are standing for election.
But first, this has been a very trying year, as our dedicated and hard-working Mayor Tony McClenney was forced to step-down due to an unfortunate illness. Jack Gordon was about to assume Tony’s mayoral duties, and Lew Killmer moved into the position of vice-mayor. Rosemary Hardiman was appointed to fill Tony’s remaining term — all in a most seamless fashion.
Jack Gordon has not missed a beat in taking the position of mayor, and the ever-competent Lew Killmer, known for his invaluable committee chairmanship, has once again stepped forward.
Rosemary Hardiman, as an individual, has been active in Town committees both as a member and an attendee at meetings. Her knowledge, attention to detail, and her attentiveness, have been invaluable as she was well prepared for her role as a town council member. Bruce Frye has, over the last several years, been a regular attendee at Town Council and various committee meetings. He also brings to the table thoughtfulness and attention to detail.
I would like to bring these four outstanding individuals to your attention for your consideration of their candidacy.
Therefore, your consideration of Bruce Frye, Jack Gordon, Rosemary Hardiman and Lew Killmer for the office of Town Council is appreciated.
Joseph T. Healy Jr.
McClenny endorses candidates in Bethany
On Sept. 6, voters of Bethany Beach will have the opportunity to select four members for the Bethany Town Council to serve the next two years, and I’d like to urge you to reelect Jack Gordon. It was my pleasure to work with Jack since he was first elected to the council in 2008, and I believe that he has outstanding qualifications to continue to be part of our town government.
Jack served for three years as secretary/treasurer of the council; his many years of experience as CFO of Navy Federal Credit Union gave him a sterling financial background with which to handle the responsibilities of that position.
In 2011, he was chosen by our fellow council members to serve as vice-mayor, and we worked closely and well together for almost three years. He gained a thorough working knowledge of all aspects of our Bethany Beach government as we approached many issues important to the wellbeing of our town and its citizens. He was extremely well-qualified to take on the position of mayor early this year, and he has been an effective leader in guiding the council through important decisions.
In all my years of serving with Jack, I found him to be fair and open-minded, giving careful and thoughtful consideration to all issues before taking a position. He is a man of principle who votes for what he believes in. His understanding of the workings of the Town of Bethany Beach is thorough and comprehensive. I feel that we have been fortunate to have Jack as part of our Bethany Town Council, and I hope that you will keep him as part of our government.
To fill out the council, I recommend that you also vote for Lew Killmer, our current vice-mayor; Rosemary Hardiman, our hardworking newest addition; and Bruce Frye, who has been enthusiastically involved in many town committees and meetings for the past several years.
The polls will be open on Saturday, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. You can get an absentee ballot either in person or by mail from Town Hall, and the town will be sending instructions in the near future. Thank you for taking an interest in the government of Bethany Beach.
Tony McClenny, Former Mayor
Frye gets endorsement from resident
If you are reading this letter to the editor, I bet that you care about local government.
I am voting for Bruce Frye for Bethany Beach Town Council on Sept. 6, 2014, and here’s why:
Bruce Frye is a Leader.
He is a disciplined man of many talents developed through personal drive and hard work. As President of our homeowners’ association, he consistently balances the sometimes-fractious interests of owners in a transparent manner so all of us see the facts weighed and participate in the consensus decision-making process we have come to depend on and trust.
He seeks out our opinions, asks probing questions, and consistently communicates in a friendly and sometimes cajoling manner that somehow results in improving levels of aesthetic, financial and social integrity for our association
Bruce Frye is an Active Listener.
He is an analytical thinker with a heart who understands and deftly uses the tools of governance and communication to solve problems. He addressed our community concerns about wetlands development and flood insurance rates by contacting state agencies to learn about controlling rules and regulations, private consultants to ascertain nuances and trends affecting decision-making today, and communicated broadly to build understanding and drive consensus.
Bruce Frye gets Results.
His personal integrity and respect for the dignity of each person contribute to his ability to get things done. Bruce and his wife, Charlotte, were both born in Delaware and are grateful for the education, family, role models and mentors that shaped them. They developed and used their professional skills to benefit society during their careers and are now “giving back” as volunteers to support the youth and elderly of Sussex County. They are deeply devoted to each-other and their three children and are generously welcoming each new grandchild.
Bruce Frye has the leadership qualities that I would like to see guide Bethany Beach today. I hope you agree and will learn more about his candidacy at http://facebook.com/brucefryeBB
Thank you for considering my point of view.
Bethany resident offers endorsements
With the elections for Town Council approaching on September 6, 2014, I am endorsing Bruce Frye, PhD., along with Lew Kilmer, Jack Gordon and Rosemary Hardiman. These four candidates will help continue the traditions that have made Bethany Beach a wonderful place to live and a seaside resort to enjoy.
Generations of families have made it a top summer destination. This was the tradition of Bruce’s family growing up, which he, along with his wife, are continuing with their children and grandchildren. He has a heart for this town that is unique and special to his family.
Bruce is a longtime resident and has contributed many volunteer hours to support our community. He is currently serving on three committees. He is a role model for what public service is about, and because of this, he is well liked and respected in Bethany Beach. He is well-informed and forward looking, bringing breadth and depth to our local politics.
Our town’s financial position remains in very good shape, offering a low tax rate, low debt ratio and good services. Bruce’s expertise in leadership will help the town continue its sound management and good efficiency.
Bruce is well-qualified to serve as a member of the Town Council. I encourage you to vote for Bruce Frye,. PhD., on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.