Final Word: Lies, Damned Lies

Dear Lord, please save us golfers from ourselves. If you could only see Your way to amending Commandment Nine...



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



illustration by Gilbert Ford www.gilbertford.com

 

I once played golf with a fellow golf writer (there’s a hint that this story is not about integrity) who had made no secret of his single-digit handicap.

When our round began, I could see nothing off the tee or from the fairway that would suggest the skill of an accomplished player. On the greens, though, I watched him routinely rake 8- and 10-foot putts as “pickups” and “gimmees.”

The USGA has tried to level the playing field with both its Rules of Golf and the USGA Handicap System—golf’s answers to the U.S. Penal Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. But in the same manner that our prisons are full to bursting and handicap parking spaces are routinely abused by the able-bodied, the Rules of Golf and the handicap system are subject to similar violations and abuses.

Consider the typical golf association team event. There is always a team in the fourth or fifth flight (usually reserved for those who struggle to break 100) that miraculously shoots about 18 under. Willie Sutton robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” Presumed 25-handicappers who are suddenly striping 260-yard drives and bombing putts from 35 feet have applied Sutton’s principles of finance to their handicaps. That’s when you realize that the best use for most handicaps would be to bag them, then pile them up to prevent flooding.

I don’t think most of us start out being deceitful. It’s more our perception of where we should be in skill level based on the thousands we’ve sunk into equipment, lessons, videos, magazines, self-help books, hypnosis, psychotherapy, pilgrimages to Tibet, and a commitment to simulation and gadgetry that only a NASA astronaut would appreciate. Given all that, it can’t possibly be us making all those terrible swings and putts. It must be course conditions.

The USGA understands this, thus it has evolved an elegant mathematical system that takes into account the various vagaries that we feel are at the root of our sub-par performance.

Rating and Slope represent the great curve in grading our performance on any given course. But we know that Rating and Slope alone can’t account for all the adverse conditions we may face (wind, cold, rain, an inattentive beverage cart girl), so we occasionally resort to a shorthand rating and slope of our own to more fairly represent how we should be playing. These include: first tee mulligans, practice putting on the green, preferred lies, random declarations of “ground under repair,” and expanded definitions of objects that qualify as movable or temporary (such as a car parked on the clubhouse lot with the keys inside).

What the USGA nobly attempts with course calibrations is what God Himself strives for with the Ten Commandments. Which may explain why many see golf as a secular religion.

How many times is God (or his Son, for that matter) invoked on a golf course? Don’t we beg the ball for the (generally brief) time it’s airborne to perform in opposition to the laws of gravity, propulsion and vector physics—asking for a miracle, in essence—the same way we ask our Creator to help us find our car keys in return for promising never to violate any of the commandments again, with the exception of No. 3 (during any round), Nos. 8 or 9 (during the club championship) or No. 6 (upon having lost the club championship due to Nos. 8 or 9 being used against you by the eventual winner). (Note: King James Bible version of the Decalogue.)

In a big way, golf is like attending religious services: We go to extol the image of the type of person we’d like to be while privately begging indulgence for the type of person we really are. 

D

 

Reid Champagne is known for his judicious application of the “foot wedge” on courses across the state.

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February 2017

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-658-9111
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Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The Wilmington & Western Railroad's Hockessin Art Festival is a fundraising effort to benefit the railroad, now entering our 50th year of tourist service. Over 25 artists will be...

Cost: $3 for art show admission; $5 for train fare (children under 2 are free)

Where:
Hockessin Memorial Hall
606 Yorklyn Road
Hockessin, DE  19707
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: 302-998-1930
Contact Name: Carole
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Visit The Waterfall for our annual Wedding & Special Event Showcase. Sunday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event is complimentary and open to the public. Come see...

Where:
The Waterfall
3416 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE  19703
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Telephone: 302-792-2600
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Prospective brides, grooms, and their families are invited to Hagley’s wedding showcase, set in beautiful Chateau Country at Hagley’s Soda House. This premier free event puts brides and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum and Library Soda House
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Belly Dance Classes with Zahra Open to teens and adults February Sundays Beginner: 2:30-3:30 Intermediate: 1-2 February 5th & 12th Advanced payment: $22 via PayPal to...

Cost: $15-$52

Where:
Take the Lead Studio
320 Lantana Drive
Hockessin , DE  19711
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Sponsor: Take the Lead
Contact Name: Zahra
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Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery will host bariatric support groups on Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Medical Staff...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-536-5395
Contact Name: Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery
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Why should the boys have all the fun? Jeffrey Miller will help close our Inside the Opera Studio series with an elegant evening that is all about the ladies. Not all sopranos are created...

Cost:

Where:
Opera Delaware Studios
4 S Poplar St
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Website »

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Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Notbybreadalone Ministries presents Feeding the Hungry Outreach. All are welcome to come and partake of food, fun and fellowship. Those who desire a better way of life through Jesus Christ are...

Cost: Free

Where:
2nd and 3rd Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801


Sponsor: Notbybreadalone Outreach Ministries
Telephone: 442-0440
Contact Name: Ministers Wayne and Stephanie Dumpson
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Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery will host bariatric support groups on Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Medical Staff...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-536-5395
Contact Name: Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery
Website »

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Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

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Put on your warmest coat, some gloves and join us to play with ice. Learn about the properties of ice and experiment with this slippery substance. Enjoy a craft, a snack, and a warm drink indoors....

Cost: Members:$6 Others:$10

Where:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Website »

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Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmer's Marke 25 vendors

Cost: Free

Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Telephone: 302-945-3489
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmers Market Nov 8, 2016 - April 11, 2017  11 am- 2 pm 25 vendors Location:  East Coast Garden Center 30366 Cordrey Rd Millsboro, DE 19966 302-945-3489

Cost: frr

Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: East Coast Garden Center
Telephone: 302-945-3489
Website »

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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is pleased to collaborate with the League of Women Voters® of Sussex County to present the second annual Women’s Film Series. The focus of this monthly series is...

Cost: $9

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts nutrition classes on the first Wednesday of each month from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Nanticoke Training Center located at 121 S. Front Street in...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Training Center
121 S Front Street
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-536-5395
Contact Name: Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Thursdays from 4:00PM-5:30PM Fall session: December 1st, 8th and 15th Winter session: Starts January 19th, every other Thursday until March 30th This program is based entirely outdoors and is...

Cost: Cost: $30 for TLC members / $40 for non-members

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Rd
Avondale, PA  19311
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

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Pages of Time: Mother & Daughter Book & Craft Club Thursday November 3, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 pm: A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple...

Cost: $25-35

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet each Thursday for a total of five weeks – four...

Cost: Childbirth class, $50. Refresher class, $25.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
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Telephone: 302-629-6611 x2540
Contact Name: Nanticoke’s Maternal Child Health Clinical Educato

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Visit Paint Nite's website to see Tutto Fresco's events, held the first Thursday of every month (through 2017) starting at 6:30 p.m.

Where:
, DE

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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance. The moving tale of John Merrick, a...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
Website »

More information

Gina Sicilia has been wowing audiences across the globe throughout her decade-long career, with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Considered a true rising star in the blues world, her debut...

Cost: $12 ADV - $15 DOS + FEES

Where:
World Cafe Live- Wilmington
500 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Terry Anderson's new landscape paintings from the Brandywine Watershed to the Canadian Near North, take on an abstract quality reflecting her interest in the relationships between shape, space and...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

First Fridays This noon-time lunch series on the first Friday of every month pairs an engaging 30-minute discussion about a work of art with a delicious lunch in the Thronson Café. 

Cost: $12 Members, $14 Non-Members (Café lunch voucher included in price)

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Tutto Fresco has live entertainment every Friday night from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Call for details. http://tuttofrescode.com/

Where:
Tutto Fresco
514 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE  19809
View map »

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Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Why should the boys have all the fun? Jeffrey Miller will help close our Inside the Opera Studioseries with an elegant evening that is all about the ladies. Not all sopranos are created...

Cost: $29-$59

Where:
OperaDelaware Studio
4 South Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: OperaDelaware
Telephone: 302-442-7809
Contact Name: Mary Wilcosky
Website »

More information

The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance. The moving tale of John Merrick, a...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
Website »

More information

Philadelphia band Mason Porter has a ton of fun on stage. And that’s how it should be. It’s that positive energy that connects them with their audience every time. They play a style of American...

Cost: $15 ADV - $17 DOS + FEES

Where:
World Cafe Live- Wilmington
500 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

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First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Terry Anderson's new landscape paintings from the Brandywine Watershed to the Canadian Near North, take on an abstract quality reflecting her interest in the relationships between shape, space and...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities at the Delaware Museum of Natural History's newest special exhibit. Undertake...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as you LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years and mimic dinosaur...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Newark, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Are you interested in learning more about what volunteer opportunities the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation has to offer? Consider attending our Volunteer Open House at our shipyard in Wilmington, DE from...

Cost:

Where:
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
1124 E 7th St
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Website »

More information

Between 1917 and 1944, the Society of Independent Artists (SIA) hosted annual exhibitions for its members. Famous painters and Sunday painters were able to exhibit their work in enormous open shows...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

During his lifetime W. Heath Robinson (1872–1944) was ranked with Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac as one of England’s foremost illustrators. Beginning in the 1890s, Robinson developed a linear...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy four weekends of Tour de Tanks in March 2017. Use the trail brochure to plan your stops as you drive to each location. Includes exclusive tank or barrel tastings, tours or educational...

Cost: $30

Where:
Various Locations
, PA


Telephone: 1-888-858-9675
Website »

More information

Collector Eric Holzenberg will explore W. Heath Robinson’s significant contribution to the gift book phenomenon in works he illustrated and wrote, including The Adventures of Uncle Lubin (1902)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance. The moving tale of John Merrick, a...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
Website »

More information

1977: the year Apple,Inc. incorporated, Fantasy Island premiered on ABC, Star Wars & Saturday Night Fever ruled the box office, and disco dominated the airwaves. Buy your tickets now, and see you...

Cost: $60 + FEES

Where:
World Cafe Live- Wilmington
500 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

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