Dennis E. Black

The weather forecast for Sunday, November 9, 2014, called for a splendid day for anyone wanting to venture out on an antiquing trip. My friend, Larry Hauver, asked me to consider going along with him that day to the first York Antique Bottle Show. I was reluctant to go, with so many things that needed to be done, but he talked me into it—as he usually does. I’m thankful that he did.

There were a fair number of dealers at the York show, with the usual assortment of collectibles being offered for sale, in addition to bottles.  About an hour into the show, I happened to be checking out the display of a bottle dealer (Tom Gordon) from Manchester, Maryland, when I noticed a potential buyer beside me, holding a small Bible that the dealer had for sale. During the conversation between the two, I heard the dealer explain that the Bible belonged to a Frederick County, Maryland, Civil War soldier. That piqued my interest.

After the potential buyer returned the Bible to the dealer’s display case and walked away, I picked up the book and noticed the following inscription on the inside cover:  M.L. Brown, Co D, 6th Regt Md. V.I.   Now I am really curious!  Company D, 6th Regiment, of the Maryland Volunteer Infantry consisted of a group of 112 young Frederick County men, including those from the Hauvers and Mechanicstown Districts (Foxville, Wolfsville, Sabillasville, and Thurmont), who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. (Ref. History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers – War of 1861-1865.)  My great-grandfather Josiah Edward Wilhide (1844-1915) was a member of Company D.  In addition to being wounded in battle at Winchester, Virginia, he was captured and held as a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.

While I examined the small 1863 Bible, the dealer further explained that his research confirmed the existence of a soldier in Company D named “M. L. Brown” from the Foxville area. He had acquired the book online, which had ended up in Indiana. Could this well-worn Bible, most likely carried by this soldier during the Civil War, have belonged to a relative of my brother-in-law, Ed Hatter?  Ed’s mother and John Brown (Brown’s Jewelry & Gift Shop in Thurmont) are both descendants of the Brown family from the Foxville area. I had to get home and further research this with Ed.

Some things simply can’t be explained. After further research that evening, Ed confirmed with much excitement that the Bible belonged to his great-grandfather, Martin Luther Brown (1836-1898), who had, in fact, served in Company D and was wounded in battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Two days after the York Antique Bottle Show, which coincidentally turned out to be Veterans Day, Ed was able to acquire the Bible. The incredible luck of standing in the right place at the right time at a small antique bottle show resulted in a local Civil War soldier’s Bible being returned to his family for safe-keeping—over one hundred years later. What are the odds?

Cross Country pic -go with article by AshleyAshley McGlaughlin

On November 8, 2014, Catoctin High’s Cross Country team competed for the 2A State Cross Country Championships at Hereford High School, near northern Baltimore County. The sheer determination, love of the sport, and countless hours practice led the Catoctin Boys’ Cross Country Team to win states for the third year in a row.

“It was perfect cross country weather, low 50s with a little bit of wind,” said Coach Terri Gibbons. It wasn’t just the nice weather that aided this group of young men to win this three-mile race.

Throughout the months of training—beginning in August and ending in November—this team practiced every day for two hours, some staying longer just to help each other out. Running next to a group of people every day really makes a team grow strong.

“A lot of it was just how much of a family we are. At the end of the day, at race time, it’s good to know that the person you’re standing next to has your back just as much as you have theirs,” said Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, who placed fifth in the championship.

Coaches and families were very proud. “They all work hard all the time. The boys team does a very phenomenal job of working together and pumping each other up,” said Coach Gibbons. Winning states not only brings them victory, it gives each team member a feeling of accomplishment, achieved from all of the training and dedication, which will only help them with their future goals.

Zach Gascho, who came in first place, winning the overall championship, said, “I think that all the training that our team has done extremely helped us. We got some great workouts in over the season that I think made us prepared for states. Running has given me a work ethic that makes me set higher goals for myself, and I make sure to work every day to achieve those goals and I plan to continue using this throughout my life.”

Not only did the boys cross country team succeed, the Catoctin Girls’ Cross Country Team also did a phenomenal job in the race, placing seventh overall.

“The girls also do a tremendous job of working together. They do this thing called “little sister, big sister,” where upper classmen and lower classmen have an exchange of gifts once in a while—they even give each other motivational quotes,” said Coach Terri Gibbons.

Even being injured, many players have kept a positive mindset. Sophomore cross country runner, Lilie Perella, said “…all I can hope for is to be injury free next year and just train my butt off for states. Last year, my freshman year was better than this year. I want to make my junior and senior year count.”

Girls who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Bella Kreiner, Molly Janc, Julien Webster, Lillie Perella, Sienna Caselle, Courtney Orndorff, Hannah Romsburg.

Boys who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Zach Gascho, Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, Demetrius Patterson, Paul Slotwinski, Eric Myers, Andrew Douwes, Keith Gasior.

James Rada, Jr.

Statewide, the biggest takeaway from the November 4, 2014, election was the win of Republican Larry Hogan in a heavily Democratic state to become the next governor of Maryland. Frederick County’s election was a historic one, as representatives were selected for the county’s new form of government.

Voter turnout in the county was 51.36 percent. Among the local voting precincts, voter turnout ranged from 41.06 percent at Thurmont Middle School to 51.78 percent at Woodsboro Elementary School.

The new county officers will be sworn in on December 1, 2014.

Jan Gardner (D) defeated Blaine Young (R) to become the first Frederick County Executive. Gardner won 53.82 percent of the vote, while Young finished with 45.82 percent. Although Gardner had a strong victory overall, she did not win in any of the local districts. Her best showing was at the Woodsboro Elementary polls, where she won 44.59 percent of the vote.

Gardner, who will oversee county operations, establish policies, and propose budgets, will be working with a majority Republican county council. The Republican candidates won four of the seven seats, including the two at-large seats and the District 5 seat. The Council’s job is to initiate legislation for Frederick County. It meets for only forty-five days each year.

Kirby Delauter (R) defeated Mark Long (D), 54.72 percent to 45.13 percent, to win the District 5 seat. Delauter won a majority of votes at all the local polling places, including 67.89 percent of the votes cast at Sabillasville Elementary School.

Republicans Billy Shreve and Bud Otis defeated Democrats Susan Jessee and Linda Norris for the two at-large county council seats. The Republicans also won their contests at all of the local polling places.

Incumbent Sheriff Chuck Jenkins (R) easily won re-election over Karl Bickel (D), 62.79 percent to 37.06 percent. Jenkins performed even stronger locally, where he won between 75 to 83 percent of the vote, depending on the polling place.

Four seats on the Frederick County Board of Education were open in this election. Liz Barrett (15.52 percent), Brad Young (14.20 percent), Colleen Cusimano (13.55 percent), and April Miller (12.92 percent) were the top vote getters.

For the District 4 State Senator seat, Michael Hough (R) won 66.7 percent of the vote to defeat Dan Rupli (D) who earned 33.08 percent of the vote.

The three seats open for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 4 are also all filled by Republicans. Kelly Schulz (30.89 percent), Kathy Afzali (28.49 percent), and David Vogt, III (24.69 percent) defeated Democrat Gene Stanton (15.63 percent). Stanton was the lone Democrat running for the position.

For a complete listing of the 2014 General Election results, including the final results in Frederick County, either by county or polling location, visit the Frederick County Board of Elections web page at You can also find the official final results when they are posted.

by Michele Cuseo


Snow Removal Ordinance Reminder   

As winter approaches, here is a summary review of the Thurmont Snow Removal Ordinance:  All sidewalks are to be cleared of ice and snow within twelve hours after snow has ceased falling.

When removing snow, it should not be pushed into the traveled portion of any public street.  Property owners can be fined for ignoring the snow removal ordinance. Town officials are also requesting that people park cars in their driveways when snow is in the forecast to ensure easy access for the snow plows.

Food Bank and Clothes Closet

Donations for the food bank can be dropped off at the town office and other designated locations around town. There is a need for additional food for the holidays and winter months. Also, warm coats, hats, scarves, and mittens are needed for those in need to make it through this winter. Please drop off items at the Clothes Closet, located at the Thurmont United Methodist Church on 13880 Long Road in Thurmont.     

Sidewalk Construction Update

The State Highway Administration (SHA) construction team is progressing on the sidewalk redesign, which is incorporating  handicap accessibility on all main street walkways. The work will continue on to North Church Street this month. Mayor John Kinnaird requested that the construction team avoid the downtown square area until after the holidays, so Thurmont citizens can enjoy the planned festivities.

View the Town of Thurmont’s website at or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.


Bridge Replacement Planned

The bridge across the Flat Run area near Jubilee Foods is slated to be replaced in the fall of 2015.  The State of Maryland Highway Administration will replace the bridge that was built in 1912.  The bridge is in need of replacement due to age and issues with flooding. The new bridge will be sturdier and wider and will include a sidewalk on both sides for pedestrians. Originally, the state planned to put in only one sidewalk on one side.  The town asked that the sidewalk be placed on both sides and the state has agreed to the request.  One side of the bridge will be constructed at a time so that traffic can still pass over the bridge, sharing a single lane in both directions.

Town Staff Salary Review

The payroll for town staff was reviewed by the town’s human resource consultant, HR Solutions.  It was determined that some of the town staff is underpaid by as much as fifteen percent, according to current market comparisons. HR Solutions made the report to the town hall commissioners at the meeting on November 17.  Commissioners agreed to take the information under consideration, but took no further action at the November meeting.  The next town hall is scheduled for December 3, 2014.

Free Holiday Parking

Park free in Emmitsburg from December 17-24. As in previous years, the town has offered free parking to the public during the holiday season, and encourage the citizens to shop locally to support our community.

View the Town of Emmitsburg’s website at or call the town office at 301-600-6300 for more information.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association 2014 Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association is holding a Cash Bingo on December 7. Doors will open at 11:00 a.m. Games will begin at 12:45 p.m. Their Breakfast with Santa will be on December 13, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. On December 14, they will hold their Sunday Funday at 2:00 p.m.

Ladies Night & Style Swap

Susan Torborg will host a Ladies Night & Style Swap at Fort Ritchie Community Center, located at 14421 Lake Royer Drive in Cascade, on Friday, December 12, 2014. Get ready for beauty and style makeovers. Bring up to ten fun accessories for a styling swap. A $10.00 admission guarantees a fun afternoon where makeup, jewelry, friendship, and YOU are the focus for a whole evening, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Learn about an entire line of chemical free skin care and cosmetic products.  Light refreshments and appetizers will be served. Call 717-642-5977.

Save the Date — 6th Annual EBPA Rock n’ Roll Relics Dance

The 6th Annual Dance fundraiser will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015, from 8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m., at the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company building, located at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Enjoy rock and roll sounds from the 50s and 60s. Tickets are $15.00 in advance; $20.00 at the door the night of the event. Sponsored by Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA)

Dinner With Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Kountry Kitchen

You can have dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Kountry Kitchen on December 10, 2014, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. All kids meals are $3.99 with the purchase of an adult meal (Dine in only).

The Christmas Story

The Creagerstown Community Chorus will be presenting The Christmas Story, a Classical Carol Celebration, preceded by invitational harpist, Elisabeth Allen, on Sunday, December 21, 2014, at 3:00 p.m.

Gateway Candyland Open House

Gateway Candyland will be holding an Open House on December 6 and 7, 2014.

Christmas Bazaar and Yard Sale

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is holding a Christmas Bazaar and Large Yard Sale on Saturday, December 6, 2014, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Find gifts and goodies and their indoor yard sale, as well as soups and sandwiches.

Come See Santa

Don’t miss seeing Santa Claus at the Guardian Hose Company, located at 21 N. Church Street in Thurmont, on Saturday, December 13, 2014, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Christmas in Emmitsburg

There are multiple events taking place in Emmitsburg on Saturday, December 6, 2014. The day is sponsored by the Emmitsburg Council of Churches.

Christ’s Community Church, located at 303 West Lincoln Avenue in Emmitsburg, hosts their 3rd Annual Christmas Bazaar, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. There will be nineteen vendors and a silent auction, as well as baked goods and food for sale. There will be a free scavenger hunt, free cookie decorating for the kids, and a free picture with good ol’ St Nicholas. For more information, contact Heather at 717-321-5522 or Pastor John at 301-447-4224.

Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 100 West North Avenue in Emmitsburg, will hold their Annual Christmas Bazaar and Beef, Turkey, & Ham Supper (with apple fritters), starting at noon. The cost is $11.00 for adults; $4.00 for children (ages 6-12); $12.00 for carryout. The supper also includes stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, applesauce and cake. The annual bazaar includes crafts, home baked products, yard sale items.

The Lions Club of Emmitsburg hosts its annual Christmas Party for the children of Emmitsburg, hosted at the Vigilant Hose Company fire hall, located at 25 West Main Street in Emmitsburg. Free for children of all ages, featuring crafts, magic show, food, and a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Contact Lions Club for a time at

Breakfast with Santa and Christmas Bazaar will be held at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg, from 8:00 a.m.-noon. Enjoy a pancake breakfast then shop their craft and specialty gifts vendors at the bazaar. With photos for Santa, door prizes, raffles, and a kids’ bazaar, there’s something for everyone. Free admission to the bazaar. Breakfast tickets are available for $7.00 (ages 7-adult); $5.00 (ages 3-6); Free (ages 2 and under). Visit for more information.

Spend an evening with the Mount St. Mary’s University Chorale at The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, located at 339 South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. They will perform Haydn’s Mass in Times of War.  Find comfort from the worries of today in a beautifully hopeful artistic performance.

Don’t miss the Christmas Craft Fair at the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Saint Joseph Catholic Church (corner of North Seton Avenue and DePaul Street) in Emmitsburg, from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. There will be over thirty vendors. Baked goods and food for sale. (Event also on Friday, December 5, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) Contact Jane Gjerde at 717-642-1247 or Gwen Topper at 301-447-2713 for information.

Free parking is available at Christ’s Community Church, Seton Shrine, Mother Seton School, Elias Lutheran Church, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas Celebration

Come join in the fun-filled festivities at the annual Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas Celebration. This year’s event, sponsored by the Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, will be held on Saturday, December 20, 2014, from 4:00-7:00 p.m., at the Blue Ridge Summit Plaza, located at the intersection of Monterey Lane and Sabillasville Road. There is something for everyone at this year’s activities and it’s all free!

There will be songs of the season by Rich Fehle and others, fire truck rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, s’mores on the plaza, refreshments, craft making for the kids, and the historic Blue Ridge Summit Free Library will open its doors for the annual Holiday Open House.

At 6:30 p.m., the tree lighting ceremony will take place. This year the tree lighting will honor the memory of Jerry Scruggs and Dorothy Abplanalp.

At 7:00 p.m. the program continues at the Monterey Pass Battlefield museum and interpretive center, with a special candle light program and tours by Civil War and Monterey Pass Battlefield Historian, John Miller.

Any questions regarding the event, please call library board members, Duke and Lynn Martin at 717-642-5645.

Santa Comes to the Fire Museum

The Chief of the North Pole Fire Department, ol’ Santa Claus himself, will be at the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum in Emmitsburg on Saturday, December 13, 2014, from 1:30-4:00 p.m. The museum will be participating in Frederick County Museums by Candlelight that day, and will also be collecting for Toys for Tots for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Representatives of the Reserve will be on hand to receive new, unwrapped toys to pass on to deserving children.

The museum is located at 300B South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg, in front of the Community Center. Stop in on December 13 for a  visit with Santa Claus and a free tour of the museum.

Free Children’s Christmas Party

The Emmitsburg Lions Club will host its annual Children’s Christmas Party on December 6, 2014, at the Vigilant Hose Company, located at 25 East Main Street in Emmitsburg, starting at 10:00 a.m. The event is free and will feature children’s crafts, face painting, Khan-Du the magician, and hot dogs and hot chocolate. It is also anticipated that Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance.


An Evening of Christmas Spirit

Come out for the 26th Annual An Evening of Christmas Spirit on Monday, December 1, 2014, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The event will begin with the Emmitsburg Tree Lighting Ceremony on the square in Emmitsburg. Join local choirs in caroling and Mayor Briggs in the lighting of the town Christmas tree. At 6:30 p.m. Santa will arrive at The Carriage House Inn. All are invited for complimentary hot dogs, cookies, live Nativity, entertainment, and hayrides. Local choirs and vocalists will be featured in Joann’s Ballroom from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Canned goods and donations will be accepted for the Emmitsburg Lions Club Christmas Food Drive.

Event sponsored by The Carriage House Inn, the Town of Emmitsburg, and the EBPA.

Christmas in Thurmont

Christmas in Thurmont will be held on December 6, 2014, and will begin with a ribbon cutting at 9:00 a.m. at Mechanicstown Square Park in the center of Thurmont. Santa will be available for free photos, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and, again, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Thurmont Lions Remembrance Tree will lit at 4:00 p.m., with caroling. Gather at 5:00 p.m. at Hobbs Hardware for prize drawing. Be sure to get a map and visit the listed businesses so you can enter the prize drawings. Children need only register to be eligible for prizes.

Thurmont American Legion Post 168

8 Park Lane, Thurmont

HO-HO-HO, Santa Claus is coming to town. As a matter of fact, he will be stopping here, at The American Legion in Thurmont, for Breakfast on December 20. Santa will only be here from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning for breakfast. The cost for having Breakfast with Santa is free for kids ages 12 and under; $5.00 for those over age 12. Santa will be sharing juice, scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, coffee, and tea.

This month, we will be having entertainment downstairs on December 5 with DJ Jake; on December 12, Big Al will be doing the Honors; and on December 19, for our Ham & Turkey Night, Ralph Gann will be here. On New Year’s Eve, we will be having DJ James; bring a dish to share and bring in the New Year here.

Next month, the band Poverty Ridge will be here on January 10, 2015, from 8:00 p.m.-midnight. There is a Fender Electric Guitar donated by Poverty Ridge to our Scholarship Fund, being raffled off; winner to be announced the night of the dance. Raffle tickets available at the Legion or from Members of the Auxiliary, The Sons of the Legion.

There will be Bingo on Thursday evenings, and on Wednesday evenings they will be doing Corn Hole upstairs. Don’t forget our Ace of Hearts on Wednesday. Kitchen is open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Legion will be closed on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.

VFW Post 6658

12 W. Main Street, Emmitsburg

DJ Southpaw will be at the VFW Post 6658 on Saturday, December 6, from 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. DJ/Karaoke with Brian’s Songs will be held on Saturday, December 13, from 8:00 p.m.-midnight; Ugly Sweater Party! Come in your best ugly sweater for a chance at a prize. Judging will be done at 11:00 p.m.

DJ/Karaoke with Mountain Music will be on Saturday, December 20, from 8:00 p.m.-midnight. Turkey/Ham Give Away, sponsored by the Men’s Auxiliary, is on Saturday, December 20, from 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Deb Spalding

As we enter the Holiday shopping season, it’s important to be prepared and, sometimes, cautious. Here at The Catoctin Banner newspaper, we encourage local shopping—with our valued advertisers, of course!

Statistics suggest that shopping locally helps support our local economy, since the money stays in our community. Another major plus is that it strengthens our community by providing jobs.

In support of shopping locally, we’d like to remind shoppers to “beware” should you decide to meander to a big city or play in cyberspace. It’s a nasty world out there, sometimes. Here are some examples of situations where you should be cautious. Don’t be a sucker!

Sucker Tip #1: Do not respond to unsolicited emails on the computer or unsolicited offers on the street, in the mall, or on your computer. While working on the computer, I opened an email that turned out to have a virus attached. I spent a lot of time and money removing it. Something might look appealing to click on and possibly purchase; however, be weary if you don’t know the site or the sender. In the aftermath, I am fed up but wiser. May my sentiments carry us all safely through shopping season.

Sucker Tip #2: Avoid filling out forms both online and in person. Did I tell you, I just won a wonderful vacation from those nice people “giving away” free vacations at an event I attended this past summer? NOT! If I fulfil my sucker destiny, I will spend a few thousand on a vacation to some place I had no plans to visit. I get something for free, but the end doesn’t justify the price.

Sucker Tip #3: Are the deals really worth the hassle? I waited in line on Black Friday last year and missed the deal. The last one was given to the lucky sucker five up in line from me. If you really want the prize, be sure to calculate your risk and reward ratios. It’s cold outside!

So, save yourself time, gas, and headaches and see what your neighbors are selling (this is only a partial list of local ideas for gifts; sorry to all who are not mentioned. Please check out the ads in this issue for more ideas.)

The Thurmont Lions Club is selling some great holiday gifts of mural designs created by Artist Yemi. Commemorative gift items include all six murals, signed prints, individual mural prints, ornaments of etched glass, and a full color giant book Thurmont – Murals and Memories.

Each year, the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society members decorate wreaths to your design with bows, pinecones, ornaments, icicles, and more, during the Traditional Village Christmas event on December 6, from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Coffee gift baskets are available at Holy Grounds Café in Emmitsburg.

Browns’ Jewelry has beautiful fine jewelry, watches, and gifts in stock in Thurmont.

Schedule your appointment with Nails By Anne for a fresh holiday manicure or pedicure!

Hunters might like their trophy mounted by Quirauk Skull Works.

We have many auto repair professionals throughout The Catoctin Banner reading area. It may be time for a tune up, a shine, or some new tires.

Vigilant Hose Company members are selling Gun Calendars and Spring Fling Tickets. Get yours today!

White House Ornaments, honoring President Warren G. Harding, are being sold by the Catoctin Area Civitan Club.

Gateway Candyland Market will hold a candy making open house with a large selection of Christmas gifts and crafts, including an open door into At Home Primitives, where home décor is abundant.

Get your Shot Shell Christmas lights from the Frederick County 4-H Shooting Sport Club.

There are unlimited sources for gift certificates in our local area.  Patronizing local artists, authors, and photographers is a unique alternative for meaningful gifts.

Members of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club are offering 2014 White House ornaments that honor President Warren G. Harding. If you would like more information, please call 301-676-9752.

The ideas listed here are just a sampling of ideas to get you started. Remember, don’t be a sucker and enjoy the Holidays!

BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 3BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 1Georgine Rabenold

Renovations Salon and Day Spa got a makeover. The transformation began over Labor Day weekend 2014, and when the doors reopened that following Thursday, the salon had a fresh, updated new look. The Salon and Spa has been open for nine years.

“It was time for a new look. We want to keep the spa in style, just like our customers,” said owner Claire Bennett.

Renovations Salon and Day Spa offers a complete package of services, from facials to hair coloring to pedicures. In addition, they also offer special occasion services for weddings, homecoming, prom, or any big day in your life. They have a full staff of ten experienced stylists, nail technicians, and even a makeup artist!

Renovations participated in Thurmont Thinks Pink in October. Claire and her staff challenged customers to “think pink” by offering them the choice of a pink glitter nail for $5.00, to get a pink hair flair, or to make a small donation. All proceeds went to The Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

If you haven’t already, come see the new look at Renovations Salon and Day Spa, located at 120 Frederick Road in Thurmont. 

Lindsay Brandt

emma jean store nowA new general store has opened in Creagerstown. However, Emma Jean’s General Store isn’t your everyday store. Yes, it has the usual milk, bread, and eggs, but you may be surprised to learn that it is also an antique store.

Emma Jean Goldberg and her son, Chuck Johnson, had the same kind of store open in West Virginia, but when they had an opportunity to purchase the old building in Creagerstown, they felt it would be a perfect spot to open up a new store. “It’s an authentic 1800s store; it’s the nostalgia of old things, and we are trying to make it as authentic as possible,” describes Emma Jean.

The property was on the market several times; it went to auction, had no bidders, and then eventually went into foreclosure. That’s when a friend of Emma Jean and Chuck informed them about the 118-year-old building. So the pair packed up their West Virginia store and headed to Creagerstown.

While strolling through the store, the sense of history and the feeling of nostalgia are noticeable. The store’s shelving, the 24-foot store counter, and the grand staircase leading up to the antiques are all original to the turn-of-the-century building. The additional pieces of furniture that are now housed in the store come from many types of stores and include seed counters, nail bins, cheese cases, shirt display cases, and bread cases. There is also a selection of furniture from old hardware, mercantile, and general stores. They are hoping that the store will become a tourist attraction.

“I’ve always liked general stores. We take old store fixtures and use them in the house. They just have a look that we prefer. It’s solid furniture. We have a bunch of old ice boxes in the store. We just like the look,” Chuck said.

Some of the many antique items that are for sale include advertising antiques, industrial pieces, an old teller station, antique ice boxes, display cases, a revolving nail bin, displays, vintage mannequins, a workbench, old toys, signs, and milk bottles. Whether you are an avid collector or just like to look at old unique pieces, this store will appeal to anyone who appreciates antiques.

Emma Jean’s General Store is already helping to keep local antique historical items in the community. Emma Jean and Chuck purchased several items from the Cozy Restaurant auction that are now being used to enhance the history of the store. Some items acquired are a lamppost, an enormous Christmas wreath, and holiday angels.

“It’s different, almost like a tourist thing,” Chuck said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by people showing up. It was packed for Colorfest. We weren’t ready, but we had to let people know that we were here.”

Along with managing the store, both mother and son are working to get involved with local charities in the area. They hope to get the community into the holiday spirit by hosting Santa! Santa will be visiting the store December 13, 2014, starting at 4:30 p.m. The donations received will go to local charities.

In addition to hosting some community activities, they want to service the community. “In winter time, if people can’t get out, we’ll have things to keep people going,” stated Chuck. “If somebody calls at closed hours, and they say they need some milk or something, of course, come on up and we’ll meet you at the door! If we are here, we won’t turn you away. If we can accommodate the people, this is fun for us.”

Emma Jean’s General Store is located at 8636 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown (technically) Thurmont. Call 240-288-8778 for more information.

Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

lawyer farmLindsay Brandt

The season of giving kicked off early at Lawyer’s Farm and Moonlight Maze, located on Creagerstown Road in Thurmont. On Sunday, October 26, 2014, all admission proceeds for the farm were collected to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association in honor of Jan Lawyer, who passed away from brain cancer on December 15, 2013.

Jan was the mastermind behind the property, which includes a farm, maze, sculptures, teepee, and pumpkin cannons that he built himself. The corn maze was one of the first and largest in the state of Maryland.

“When my dad passed away, I had a really hard time dealing with it. But being surrounded by everything that my dad created, and being able to hold a fundraiser in memory of him really gives us the encouragement to get by and to keep working hard. There is a reason why we do it. It’s fulfilling.”

“He was always creative. He could do anything. That’s just how his mentality through life was—whatever he set his mind to, he could accomplish, and he did,” said Jan’s daughter, Taylor Huffman. “I wanted to keep my dad’s memory alive. I wanted to do something that would let people know that this place exists because of this man and his ideas, and his motivations to create a unique place to bring families. We lost a really good man to something as awful as brain cancer, and we aren’t going to give up; we are going to keep raising money for research.”

When Taylor and her husband, Brandon Huffman, set out to have a fundraiser, they set a goal of raising $5,000 for a donation. With an estimated 450 people in attendance that day, they ended up raising $11,350 to donate to the American Brain Tumor Association. About half in attendance came specifically for the fundraiser—friends, family, and locals—but the other fifty percent of business at the farm that day was regular farm customers.

“Everyone had a really good time,” Taylor stated. “A lot of people came up to me and said they were touched. Some people had stories to tell of friends and family who have been affected by brain cancer, so it was really good to gather and talk to everyone.” The Huffman’s hope is to continue fundraising every year.

“We set a high bar,” Taylor expressed, adding, “So we hope that we can keep going up and up.”

James Rada, Jr.

Colorfest, Inc. met for its annual meeting on November 11, 2014, at Simply Asia in Thurmont to elect officers for the coming year and to review its contributions to the Thurmont community.

Colorfest, Inc. earns income from the annual fall festival and returns much of that money back to the community through either cash donations or purchases made on behalf of organizations.

Between December 2013 and November 2014, Colorfest gave $14,486.50 in cash and goods to the Thurmont community.

Here’s how those donations break down: Guardian Hose Company—$1,500; Thurmont Ambulance Company—$1,500; Thurmont Police Department—$1,500; Catoctin High School FFA—$1,164.40 (for a hog purchase at the Community Show, which was donated back and sold again with the proceeds donated to the Thurmont Food Bank); Catoctin High Scholarship—$3,500; Boy Scouts—$50 (for the BSA popcorn fundraiser that was then sent to overseas servicemen); Memorial Day Observance—$25 (for flowers and a wreath at Memorial Park); Straw—$188; Town Gardens—$126.19; Commissioners of Thurmont—$2,000; Gift Card—$50; Thurmont Food Bank—$2,233; Summer Donation—$250; Thurmont Regional Library—$100; Town Christmas Decorations—$200; Thurmont Main Street—$100.

In addition, local businesses and organizations benefit from the increased traffic in town during Catoctin Colorfest weekend. Hotels and restaurants are filled. Gas stations sell more.

Many organizations also use the event as a major fundraiser for their groups. Even residents make money with yard sales.

“We really try to support the local businesses, restaurants, hardware stores, grocery, by buying straw or flowers or Christmas decorations or even printing our brochures and fliers,” said Colorfest President Carol Robertson.

Robertson and all of the current officers are remaining in office for the next year and will continue making contributions to their community.

The 2015 Catoctin Colorfest will be October 10 and 11, 2015.

no im not willieLindsay Brandt

He may look, walk, talk, sing, and play the guitar like Willie Nelson, but Richard Isaac Renner is not Willie Nelson. Richard started singing when he was just five years old. He would run around his parents house, grab his mother’s broom, and create a makeshift guitar while singing along to the tunes of George Jones, Hank Williams Sr., and Lefty Frizzell.

“I didn’t know what they were singing since I was so young, so I made up words that suited me, that fit the music,” laughed Richard. “Mom would say, ‘I don’t know what those words are,’ and I would say, ‘Well, I know what they are!’”

When Richard was five years old, his parents took him to a carnival where a band from Hanover, Pennsylvania, was playing. During their intermission, the Hundred and One Ranch Boys announced that there would be an amateur singing contest. Richard’s parents didn’t say anything to him; his father just grabbed him and hoisted him onto the stage. When he was on the stage, his father said to him, “Sing that Patsy Cline song that you sing!” So Richard sang “7 Lonely Days” by Patsy Cline.

“I won a silver dollar! The audience loved it and I was just thinking, wow, it’s no big deal, I sing every day,” said Richard.

It’s safe to say Richard’s singing career started after that moment. As Richard grew older, he became involved with high school bands and marching bands, as well as playing the drums. At age ten, he was being sneaked into bars to play the drums for professional bands. “I’d been offered four professional jobs, but I was too young to accept them,” he said. So he kept on singing and playing. When he turned thirteen years old, he began to write down his lyrics. His original songs started being added to the band’s shows, and the audience would yell out, wanting to hear the drummer sing.

When Richard was in his late twenties, his band would often perform Waylon Jenning’s “Good Hearted Woman,” featuring Willie Nelson. His band mate would sing Waylon’s part, and Richard would sing Willie Nelson’s bit. As soon as Richard started to sing the first note, the crowd would start to applaud.

“I thought, what’s the problem? What am I doing?” recalls Richard. So during intermission, his band mate told him to go look in the mirror. Richard went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and said, “I see me.” But then his band mate explained to him that the crowd doesn’t see “him.” To them, his face, his hair, and his voice are Willie Nelson. “But, I’m not Willie!” stated Richard.

Consequently, Richard Renner has been called Willy for thirty-five years, whether he’s on the road or at his home.

While dining at the Kountry Kitchen Restaurant in Thurmont, Richard laughed and said, “I’ve had ladies come in with their husbands and ask their husbands if it was okay for them to sit down with me for dinner. They would want me to sign an autograph. So I told them I could sign Willy Renner, but I can’t sign Willie Nelson, because I’m not.”

Throughout his career, Richard has played at private parties, pig roasts, motorcycle parties, pool parties, anniversaries, birthday parties, and in every club along Rt. 355. While performing at a party in 2006, Richard’s friend, Greg Nixon, pointed out that since everyone knows him as Willy, he should write a song about it. After some thought, Richard started to develop his song, “No, I’m not Willie.”

Richard’s wife took it all in stride, and, since she likes Willie Nelson, she helped him start to look the part. She would do his hair and pick out the shirts similar to what Willie would wear.

Richard has two sons and two daughters, and whenever he would start to ease off of the music scene, one daughter in particular would encourage him to keep going. “She would say to me, ‘Dad, you are depriving people and you don’t want to do that; you’re not that kind of guy. Get back out there, get your ‘you know what’ in gear, and let’s go!’”

“No, I’m Not Willie” has three verses in the song. Each verse has a different scenario of occasions when Richard was mistaken for Willie Nelson. Verse one is about when he and his wife were held up at a Pennsylvania store by a cashier who was not convinced that Willie Nelson was not standing in front of her until Richard pulled out his driver’s license to show her his name. Verse two recalls a situation at a fair where people would point and nudge one another to get a look at “Willie” walking through the crowd. The final verse tells about how, even in his hometown, people call him Willie Nelson.

“I don’t want to imitate him; it’s more of a tribute to him, and so I tell them that. But I give them this song, so they can understand,” said Richard.

“No, I’m Not Willie” will be available on December 6, 2014, during the Christmas in Thurmont event at the Kountry Kitchen on Water Street and the Thurmont Eye Care on East Main Street. After the event, the single will be available until December 20, 2014, at those two businesses.

Richard has decided to donate all proceeds from this project to the Thurmont Food Bank. The song is available for purchase for $5.00.

Richard will has a ten-song country-rock album due to come out in January 2015.

“The only thing that Willie Nelson does, that I would like to do, is get that sound in my guitar that Willie Nelson has. I just can’t get that Willie Nelson sound. The Willie Nelson sound is one in a world. Certain people in the world have sounds that you just can’t copy. If I could play the guitar like Willie and make that sound, I would be happy. I still wouldn’t imitate him; I want people to know that I am not a Willie Nelson impersonator. I just happen to be born his twin.”

You can reach Richard “Willy” Renner at 240-409-1414.

In closing, Richard voiced, “God Bless All!”

James Rada, Jr.

Brace yourselves. It could be such a cold winter that one of the best-known prognosticators—the wooly bear caterpillar—is hiding out looking for a place to stay warm.

“I haven’t seen one since August,” said Bill O’Toole, a prognosticator with the Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanac.

Though he doesn’t recall how that shy caterpillar was colored, other people have said that the few wooly bears they’ve seen are all black, a sign of a cold winter approaching. Unscientific studies done in the 1940s found a correlation between how brown the middle of a wooly bear caterpillar was and how mild the winter was. The wider the brown band in the middle, the milder the winter; therefore, an all-black caterpillar is a warning to all who follow the predictions of the wooly bear. It’s going to be cold out there!

O’Toole says that the Hershel Chart method of weather prediction that the almanac uses also shows that it will be cold this winter. Farmers developed the Hershel Chart centuries ago.

“They tracked the weather and noticed trends based on moon phases and changes,” O’Toole said.

It is not exact and things like active sunspots can play with the accuracy of the predictions.

“Right now, it looks like it will be very similar to last year; colder than normal, snowier than normal,” stated O’Toole.

He even explains that the conditions going into this winter are similar to those we had five years ago, during the winter of Snowmaggaden.

“I’m not saying that that’s going to happen,” he quickly added. “Only that things are similar.”

However, Christy Purdum noted on The Catoctin Banner’s Facebook page that the last time she saw an all-black wooly bear was the autumn before the region got hit with Snowmaggaden, and she had seen them again this fall.

Some readers chimed in on the Facebook page with their thoughts about a snowy winter.

“No thank you to a cold Winter! I want a mild Winter like we had a couple of years ago!” wrote Dawn Bonsby.

“I believe it will be a bad winter and a lot of snow,” wrote Laura Hoyt.

A few people are looking forward to northern Frederick County being a winter wonderland.

“Let it snow, let it snow…I hope it is a really deep snow,” Chris Digilarmo wrote.

So, now it’s just a waiting game. When will the first snow fall, and can I get to Arizona before it does?

James Rada, Jr.

Erik Legg was named the 2014 Thurmont Volunteer of the Year in October 2014. He was chosen from among a group of six volunteers who had been nominated.

“Our community is very fortunate to have such individuals who give of their time freely,” said Colleen Gillen with the Lions Club.

Legg was nominated for his volunteer work throughout the community, particularly with Project Hope, an organization that helps find activities for young people to hopefully give them productive alternatives to drugs and alcohol.

“I lost my friend when I was twenty-one years old,” Legg said. “He died in my arms. That’s when I made the decision to help.”

Legg will have his name added to the Volunteer of the Year plaque that is displayed in the town office. He will receive a gift certificate for two to a local restaurant, and a $400 donation to Project Hope will be made in his name.

Other nominees for this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award were Beth Watson, Nancy Dutterer, Joann Miller, Regina Amery, and Rodman Myers.

“These are individuals with significant contributions to the Thurmont community and are well-rounded volunteers who generously give their time, energy, and skill,” said Joyce Anthony with the Thurmont Lions Club.

Also recognized at the ceremony in Community Park on October 25 was the 2014 Police Officer of the Year. Officer D. Armstrong was awarded this honor. He received a plaque, dinner for two at a local restaurant, and a $400 donation made to the charity of his choice, which was Boy Scout Troop 270.

The award ceremony was held as part of the Lions Club annual “Make A Difference” Day.

“This is a great opportunity for the Town of Thurmont to recognize the Volunteer of the Year and the Police Officer of the Year,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

The Lions Club has been sponsoring the day since 2006. Each year, organizations and groups are encouraged to perform a service project during the day.

“Today is the day of volunteerism,” said J.R. Wantz with the Thurmont Lions Club. “Basically, it’s people helping people.”

A couple dozen people, including three members of the Thurmont Board of Commissioners and Police Chief Greg Eyler, attended the afternoon ceremony at the park. Even as the Lions were recognizing volunteers in the community, dozens of volunteers were busy in the park preparing it for the Halloween in the Park festivities that evening.

The Thurmont Lions Clubs had planned on dedicating a Lion drinking fountain at the Community Park and a Lion bench at the Trolley Trail Park, but production problems have delayed the project.

“They will be tangible evidence of what the Thurmont Lions Club gives the town,” Wantz said.

volunteer of the year Legg






Erik Legg awarded 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

volunteer of the year

Officer D. Armstrong awarded 2014 Police Officer of the Year.