Sneaking Suspicions
Archives-- May 7-20, 2006

This page includes posts from May 7-20, 2006 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

May 17, 2006
He didn't care

Work's been really busy for a while now.

Fortunately, this morning provided a work-related opportunity for a short road trip to Kitts Hummock to take a look at an unpaved public right-of-way that is now the subject of litigation against my clients at DelDOT and the folks at DNREC.

The state's environmental agency built a beach-preserving dune over DelDOT's strip of formerly flat sand at the eastern edge of Kitts Hummock Road. It also built a narrow dune crossing on the right-of-way that leads directly to the Delaware Bay.

Kitts Hummock dune crossing, looking west from Delaware Bay

While walking back to my car from the bay side of the little dune, I caught a glimpse of a tiny toad in the sand just off the fenced-in path.

His body was perhaps an inch in length.

I probably interrupted his hunt for something to eat.

Otherwise, I don't think he'd cared one whit about who owned the dune or who had the right to cross it.

May 13, 2006
Long-distance suicide

It’s not every day you see a State Police helicopter traveling along a main highway at about 75 feet in the air.

Unfortunately, it was part of a long-distance suicide of sorts.

Thanks to a migraine, I left work early yesterday afternoon and headed home. As I rode along State Route 1 bypassing Milford, I saw the copter heading north on the same route, at a very low elevation. Just below the helicopter were two City of Milford police cars, with their lightbars flashing and their sirens just barely audible over the copter’s engines.

Another Milford police car turned onto Route 1 from the next intersection south, and joined the others.

I didn’t see anything particularly unusual about any cars heading north in front of the police contingent, and assumed the police were headed for an accident scene on some nearby road.

As it turned out, there was a crash, but it hadn’t happened yet.

The News-Journal reported today that a young man was pulled over by a Bethany Beach police car for a traffic violation, and took off before the officer completed his investigation. The police learned that the man had outstanding warrants, and began a chase.

The 19-year-old drove nearly the entire length of the state, with a series of police cars following him and then pulling back, before he crashed his car in Wilmington and killed himself:

County paramedic spokesman Assistant Chief Richard D. Krett said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene of head and chest injuries suffered when he was ejected from the car through the windshield….

A pool of dried blood marked the spot where the man's body landed after he was ejected from the black Chrysler Sebring. Police said they could not immediately say how fast he was going at the time of the crash….

The sound of the collision brought some people from nearby auto body shops, and motorists also stopped.

Asbury Miller said he was driving south on U.S. 13 when he spotted the black car storming up behind him. Before he had time to look behind him, he said it was all over.

"All I heard was an explosion," Miller said. "No brakes at all, just a boom."

As he looked back, Miller saw the driver hit the ground.

When Wilmington police Capt. Marlyn W. Dietz took a look at the victim's body in the back of an ambulance, he said he was speechless at the extent of the injuries.

Unfortunately, the young man not only killed himself, but also seriously hurt another driver in the head-on collision that lead to his own death.

I hope the injured driver recovers. From the reports it doesn’t seem like he had any chance to escape the consequences of the other driver’s reckless disregard for others.

May 12, 2006

Tonight we attended the official grand opening celebration of the Art House Theater at the Movies at Midway.

Thus far the Rehoboth Beach Film Society's experiment in bringing independent films to Delaware's Cape Region throughout the year, in addition to their annual Film Festival, has outperformed the Society's expectations since the soft opening in January.

Tonight's reception took place in the upstairs screening room of the movie theater, and well over a hundred film fans crowded into the space to enjoy the moment.

They also enjoyed hearing from Director/Writer Doug Sadler, the writer/director of the current feature, Swimmers. He chatted with us all a bit during the reception, and for a short while before and after the film's early evening screening in Theater 14.

The movie itself was a charming drama, if that combination is possible. The tautly-written script explores a Maryland Eastern Shore family's struggles, primarily through the observations of the youngest child, the 11-year-old Emma Tyler. Tara Devon Gallagher's first feature film role as Emma was a delight, especially because she stayed true to her age instead of the all-too-common film depiction of children as far smarter than any of the adults around them.

The film also captured the kinds of problems facing the watermen of the Eastern Shore, with plot lines that would be familiar to those who've read Beautiful Swimmers, William Warner's Pulitzer Prize-winning study, or Tom Horton's various studies of Chesapeake Bay life.

If you have the chance to see this movie or read these books, seize the opportunity.

May 10, 2006
An awful case of mistaken identity

TO: Pat L. Wright, Director of Small Business Solutions, Capital One F.S.B.

Thanks very much for your recent solicitation letter.

I need you to to make one significant correction to your obviously sincere wish that I apply for a Capital One® Visa® Business Platinum Card with No Hassle Miles sm.

Here's the problem:

  • The letter was properly addressed to Sneaking Suspicions.

  • However, you asked that the letter be brought to the attention of Terry McAuliffe.

I truly don't believe that anyone else has ever confused me with the former head of the Democratic National Committee. We're both registered Democrats, but the list of what we have in common pretty much stops right there.

So if you thought I was a good credit card risk because I was the guy who once made a speedy $18 million or so, let me reassure you--that ain't me.

Under the circumstances, I can't exactly say I'm flattered by this situation, so I'd really appreciate it if you would make this one small alteration to your database.

Thanks again.

May 7, 2006
Welcome back

A few days ago my wife traveled off the Delmarva Peninsula to retrieve younger daughter from her first year of college. 

They left the school just before noon Friday and had a quick ride from the school, over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and through the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

The car windows were rolled down and the two were enjoying the sunny afternoon. 

Just as they entered Delaware on State Route 16, they were immediately hit by the unmistakable smells of ripe fertilizer on the adjacent farm fields. 

Soon thereafter, a Perdue Chicken tractor trailer laden with a full load of live chickens pulled in front of their car. It remained there for several miles, until the truck turned onto another road that would take it to Perdue’s processing plant in Milford.

For younger daughter and wife, it was as if Sussex County was saying “Welcome Back!” in its own, special way. 

You might think that because my wife is a city girl from southwest Philadelphia that she didn’t care much for the greeting. However, we’ve lived here long enough that she says actually enjoyed it. 

Younger daughter first came to live here as a one-year old, so for her this road trip really was a great way to mark her return home from a successful freshman year.


Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969

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© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2005