Between The Lines

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The shock of the traumatizing situation still remains fresh today among the minds of many, but the affected community is funneling its energy in the positive direction with the hope of helping a local family.

On Thursday, April 14, Sierra Hall, a third grader at Worcester Preparatory School, was practicing with her Beach Lacrosse team at the county fields in Berlin when she suddenly collapsed. While transporting Sierra, a Millsboro, Del. resident born with a heart condition, to A.I. DuPont Hospital in Wilmington, paramedics were forced to make an emergency landing at Kent General because she went into cardiac arrest. Currently, she is in the cardiac intensive care unit at A.I. DuPont.

As you can imagine, this incident has rocked her family, her team and her school. Consequently, a fundraiser is being held at Mango Mike’s in Bethany Beach on Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. to benefit Sierra and her family. All proceeds will directly benefit the family as it deals with costs for her care. Tickets are $45 per person.  Kids are welcome at $10 per child. Checks can be sent to FBO Sierra Hall, 118 Waterview Lane, Dagsboro, Del.  19939.

I shook hands with the venerable William Donald Schaefer back in 1994 in Ocean City. He at the time was a lame duck governor in the final months of his second term in office. At that time, most thought he would enter retirement and live his golden years looking back on his contributions to Baltimore and the state with pride. At that time, nobody would have ever imagined he would be the state’s comptroller just five years later.

At that time, I was in college and working summers at this paper. I think my title was something along the lines “assistant to the sports editor” or maybe it was just “copy boy”, which is what then-Publisher Dick Lohmeyer used to call me.

I remember the assignment well from Lohmeyer — the order was something like “go get a picture of the governor shaking hands with people on the Boardwalk and get back here as soon as possible.” Lohmeyer, a staunch conservative, was not much of a fan of the liberal Schaefer. It’s worth remembering Schaefer was not admired by many at this time because of his famous comparison of the Eastern Shore to an outhouse of sorts.

Schaefer, who died this week at the age of 89, didn’t seem to mind that he was not loved by all. He did what he thought was right and that was that. It was charming in a way, whether you disagreed with him or not. That’s also how Lohmeyer was and that too made him endearing to a degree.

There aren’t many folks like Schaefer (or Lohmeyer) anymore. Some would say that’s a good thing, but I will simply say I’m glad I met Schaefer 17 years ago and remember well what he said to this camera-toting novice reporter on that sunny day on the Boardwalk. Showing me more respet than I probably deserved, he singled me out from the group of photographers and asked, “What do you want kid — looking at the camera or not?”

I had no idea what the answer was at the time, so we did both.

While I can easily recall that encounter with Schaefer, I can’t say I ever remember meeting Eunice Sorin, who passed away on Saturday at her Berlin home, which is just a mile from where I live.

However, that doesn’t mean I was never in the same place as her because I was often and I know we said hello more than once over the years. It was just that like Park Place Jewelers owner Todd Ferrante said this week, Eunice, “always demanded a lot of attention” and subsequently was always surrounded by people. Her services this week confirmed her death did nothing to diminish that fact, as hundreds mourned her passing. It can be said she was celebrated even in death and was still receiving “a lot of attention” even after her spirit had moved on.

Sorin will never be forgotten. All one has to do is drive around northern Worcester County and her contributions are immediately noticeable, particularly in the health care and tourism fields. She was one of a kind.

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