Publisher emeritus Jim Flood Sr. notes its never too late to enjoy life.


If you were to ask Chuck Helwig and his wife Maggie what they did for their summer vacation, and if they tried to tell you all the trip’s details, you would be in for a long recital.

That’s because they left Dover in their 2006 Airstream recreational vehicle on June 12 and didn’t return until Sept. 23, in the meantime driving across the country and doing some major meandering around Canada and Alaska.

Chuck drove the 12,000 miles involved and observed his 66th birthday on the trip.

They weren’t alone on this adventure. As they have done on past trips, they joined other Airstream campers for this well-planned journey. Thirty-five Airstreams made up the vacationing caravan.

The cross-country trip included attending a rendezvous of 800 Airstream owners in Gillette, Wyo., before the trip rendezvous itself in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

The blog Chuck sent out to friends from time to time included not only details of the places they visited but also an amazing sampling of the photos they took — mountains and glaciers and bears and whales and gold mining fields among them.

One impression the photos make is the simple vastness and emptiness of the largest U.S. state. One example of distances was Chuck’s talk with a man whose full-time job was making one delivery of fuel a week to the town of White Horse, taking two days to get there and two days to return.

Chuck was also able to fit in some unusual fishing and has some of his frozen halibut catch as evidence of it.

(If you would like to see some of the photos he and Maggie shot, as well as read brief accounts of the places visited, go to his blog: alyeskathegreatland.blogspot.com).

Chuck is retired as an insurance company’s claims manager but continues an active life. He is involved in building projects and he and Maggie often take off for long rides on their bikes. He did most of the building of the home they live in.

Besides the experiences of the new places visited on the 103-day trip, Chuck was impressed at how well all the travelers got along.

“Everyone was willing to help if any problem came up,” he said.

He and Maggie are already looking forward to next year’s excursion, this time again to the far north.

*****

Bob Burris of Milford died a week ago, and an indication of the great esteem in which he was held was the very large visitation of friends and family at the Eagles Nest Fellowship Church near Milton last Thursday.

We went to the church but the crowd was so numerous we weren’t able to stay for the length of time it would have taken to express our sympathy to members of his family.

I didn’t know Bob well but did have talks with him a few years ago, which left me with an admiration for him personally and for his active participation in the business and civic life of his community.

*****

John Friedman’s many friends will be glad to learn that John is out of the hospital again, and by following a rehab routine is making good progress as he recovers from a hip replacement.

He said he hopes to be “back to normal” soon, brushing aside the tough time he has had in having the operation done once and then done again because of a problem with the first one.

“I have to learn to walk all over again,” he quipped.

“Great to be out of the hospital,” he added.

John is chairman of the Dover Planning Commission and past president of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce.

*****

When I step out of our front door these fall days about 5:30 each morning to pick up the daily papers, I am greeted with a loud chorus of crickets, which is a pleasant enough sound when you are outside your house. Crickets are not as welcome inside the house, though, or in the garage. And they are quick. It’s not easy to dispatch them.

But I do have a method which works well, providing the cricket is in an open enough area and you can get within three or four feet.

My weapon is a book. The other day, for example, a particularly large cricket (how it got into the house is a mystery) was in the foyer. But I picked up the 1,167 page volume by Robert A. Caro titled “Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate” and carefully lofted it in Mr. Cricket’s direction. Plop! Splat! Cricket gone. And humanely as well, I think.

But I admit I sometimes miss.

*****

Talking about wild things, Mary and I were taking a walk the other day and while we were stopped and talking to a neighbor, we looked up and there was a fox perhaps 100 yards away. It was sitting next to a real estate sign and apparently looking at the three of us.

After a minute or two the animal trotted off toward the St. Jones River.

Just another example of the numbers of wildlife living within the state capital.

*****

A golf tournament called a “scramble” has a “shotgun” start, meaning that teams of players are starting at all 18 holes on the course. But it’s wrong to call such a tournament a “shotgun,” which is what I somehow did last week.

*****

This brings up a golf joke, which may or may not be appreciated by all, even die-hard golfers.

A young man was playing this hole with a senior citizen. Just as the older man was about ready to hit his tee shot he noticed a funeral procession approaching on the nearby road.

The man took off his hat, put it over his heart, and stood silently as he watched the procession drive by and disappear.

The younger man said. “That’s really nice of you. Do you always do that when a funeral goes by?”

“No,” said the senior citizen, “not usually, but I was married to the woman for 40 years!”