Cars, Dogs, Friends, Kids
Ten Things About SonnyeBoy

If Only He'd Had A Bucket

From 1939 to 1942, the US built 13 observation towers along the Delaware shore. Soldiers in the towers used the narrow slits to search for Nazi ships and U-boats, triangulate their positions, and report them to the gunnery towers at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen. No ships were ever sighted, but the coast was protected.


The walls are concrete, one foot thick. Inside were wooden observation platforms, accessed by ladders. One of the towers has been restored and is open to the public, but the rest are just tall concrete shells, covered with vines and home to vultures.

They were meant to last 20 years, but every single one still stands, 60 years later.

Every single year when we drove down to Ocean City for our family vacation, my Pop took the route through Delaware. It was 12 miles shorter, you see, so we got there that much faster.

Every single year, as we drove down Coastal Highway breathing in the salty sea air, we passed the tower in Fenwick Island. Every single year, Pop would point to it and say, with great gravity, "You know, a man died in that tower."

Every single year, we would gasp in horror. Every single year, one of us kids would say, "How did he die?"

And every single year, Pop would say, "He ran himself to death looking for a corner to pee in."