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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
December 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 26, 1997
 

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The archway at Stockley, the razor wire at SCI provide a simple Christmas lesson For more than 70 years, indi- gent residents of the Delaware Hospital for the Mentally Retard- ed at Stockley have been buried in a cemetery maintained by the fa- cility. Separated from a surrounding soybean field by a waist-high met- al fence, the unpretentious ceme- tery with its ground-level markers takes protection from the tall oaks and pines, and lower-standing hol- lies in between, that hug it on the north and east. Visitors to the cemetery enter beneath a simple but elegant stone archway supported by red brick columns and set off by evergreen landscaping. Words carved into the stone sum up the lives of those carried here in death. "Of all God's children, these are the most innocent." A single stone marker placed at the center of the cemetery lists those buried there. The names provide little clue to the identity of their owners. One reads "Baby James." Another reads "Baby Horner". The oldest stone be- longs to Bertha Adams, who died in 1927. The most recent belongs to Patricia Ann Fisher; who died on June 27 of this year. At this Christmas time of the year, only one of the ground-level markers shares its space with a holiday wreath. The mes- sage carved in the stone reflects the HOLLY attitude of some of those who work at what these days is most commonly called Stockley (rhymes with Oakley). They shake their heads when they hear of people express- ing fear of residents like those at Stockley being placed in neigh- borhoods in group homes. They say that the community doesn't need to be protected from their pa- tients. Rather, they say their pa- tients need to be protected from the world. Their innocence ren- ders them incapable of dealing with a world with more than its share of those who would take ad- BARgF00TIN' Dennis Forney vantage of them for their own gain. Barely two miles away, the sharp edges of rolled razor wire glisten in bright, noontime winter sun. Unlike the fences and walls of Stockley, the razor wire of Sus- sex Correctional Institution (SCI) doesn't serve to protect its occu- pants. It keeps them caged behind tall metal fences watched over by armed men in forbidding guard houses. No pines or oaks or hol- lies offer protection to the prison setting just south of GeorgetoWn. Winds from every direction howl without hindrance across the cold, industrial-looking complex. With the Christmas season upon us, there is little outward clue of the holiday at SCI. Only the steeple of the prison chapel, visi- ble through layers of fencing and razor wire, looks remotely like something tied to Christmas. Compared to the gentle setting at Stockley, Sussex Correctional Institution exemplifies the stark, pessimistic reality of a criminal community where, for most mem- bers, innocence never existed. The Delaware Colony for the Feeble-Minded, as it was known prior to its present name of Hospi- tal for the the Mentally Retarded, opened its doors in 1921. Ten years later, Sussex Correctional Institution opened its doors at its present location after moving out of downtown Georgetown where it was known as the Sussex Coun- ty jail. Founded on the initiative of Gov. John G. Townsend, who also provided some of the land, the Continued on page 8 The archway over the entrance to the cemetery of the Hos- pital for the Mentally Retarded at Stockley. NEW LISTING ENGLISH TUDOR 112 Henelopen Ave. - Professionally decorated and landscaped. Eat-in gourmet kitchen w/granite countertops and commercial looking alpliances. 2 fireplaces (one gas), Spacious second floor with third level sleeping loft. Only the highest quality materials have been used in this totally renovated year round home $425,000. WATERFRONT LOT RBYCC - East Side Dr. Large Comer Lot Fully Bulkheaded Dock Permit in Hand $172,000 KINGS CREEK-New home on sunny lot near all facilities. Screened porch, deck, garage, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, gas heat. Membership included. $289,000 Custom Home -lh. St - Bay Vista 3BR+lofl, 2BA, Exdnt Kitchen, Gas Heat, A/C, 4 Car garage, Large Deck & Screened Porch, Wooded Lot. $225,000 OCEAN BLOCK EFFICIENCY 12 Wilmington Avenue, Unit 101 LOW PRICE $51,900 2.98 ACRES, White Horse Farm, Front Acre Cleared & Fenced, Rear Two Acres Wooded, Cape Henlopen School District. Reduced $29,500 16 Hiekman St. - 3W Top Floor 2BR Condo Heat & AJC Ocean View Dee& $119,500 4 Ocean Sands- Dewey Ocean block & view 4 BR, 2 1/2 BA Good rental Asking $165,000 114 Coleman Ave. Lewes near Hospital 5 Year Round Apts. 100' X 125' Lot $299,900 Pierre's Pantry Coffee/Bagel Shop 1st. St near Wilm. Ave. 2,000+ square feet Asking $60,000 123 Breezewood Drive Four bedroom - two bath Cape Cod on large lot Two car garage & studio $149,900 57B Delaware- Rehob. Three bedroom condo Second floor Recently redecorated $124,500 Doug Davis Associate Broker RIE/MAX Realty Groul - Rehobtk tadx 226-DOUG (Direct) 1-888-226 DOUG (Toll Free) Fax 226-0970 - email doug@dougdavis.com