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Deb Spalding

Sab Kids“Quality education,” “a comfortable learning environment,” and “friendly atmosphere” are some of the descriptions former students have used to reference the education they received at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES). Current student, Lillian Coles of Foxville, who experienced her first day of kindergarten at SES on August 24, said, “It’s fun and I like to paint.” Although she had just arrived at school and hadn’t yet had the opportunity to paint, she was definitely having fun.

SES is a single-level school that sits amongst a beautiful mountain setting in Sabillasville. When construction on the school was completed in 1965, Frederick News-Post writer, Richard Shafer, reported, “Residents of Sabillasville won their fight with local officials to get funds approved for a new elementary school, and they are happy about it. The struggle to get plans and appropriation okayed has taken at least ten years, said one Sabillasville resident. Foxville residents are happy about the new school. Their children had attended the new Wolfsville school, but traveled by bus over a dangerous mountain road.

Rev. Claude Corl, St. John’s Reformed Church, thinks area residents will be satisfied with the eight-room school. The new school will enroll an estimated 200 students and will relieve crowded conditions at Thurmont.”

In the coming months, generations of students who have attended the school since its opening will share memories and reconnect in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. SES’s Principal, Kate Kreitz, said, “I’m very excited for this wonderful celebration, where we will pay tribute to fifty years of quality education of several generations of students from the Sabillasville-area community.”

Fourth grader Garret Worth’s dad, Jason, attended SES, and Garret’s grandmother, Faye Worth, is a volunteer there. Garret said, “I like having a fun teacher (he has Mrs. Mortensen this year), playing with all the kids and stuff.”

Mason Newcomer, in third grade this year, said, “I like the teachers, learning new things, and meeting all my friends.” His mother, Barb Messner, also attended the school and serves on the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Another PTO volunteer, Angie Hahn, said that her husband, Gus, and his siblings attended SES. Their two children, Nathanael and Elizabeth, currently attend the school. Jen Mullenex is the current president of the PTO.

Tradition has always been important for staff and students at the school. Many students may recall a single sapling of pine that was given to each student on Arbor Day, others remember the hand-made Christmas ornaments that are still hung on some student’s Christmas Trees each year. Some of these, and other traditions (including the paddle that hung on the principal’s wall), have been removed as our world has changed politically and spiritually.

The school’s custodian, Jody Miller, holds the honor of assuming the position that his late father, Jack Miller, held for over thirty years. Jody’s brother, Rick, also worked in the position, and Jody has been at SES for fifteen of his twenty years with FCPS. Jody said, “There have been three Millers in the fifty-year history of the school. It’s my honor to continue the legacy that my father started.” Some may remember the maze Jack Miller made out of boxes during the school’s Fall Bazaar. Boy was that fun!

For a long time, SES had staff cooks in the kitchen. Locals Millie Eyler and Imogene Smith served savory meals for students every school day. Students who experienced their cooking still yearn for a favorite dish. Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) switched to centralized meal distribution years ago. Since then, the meals have been prepared in Frederick and trucked to schools throughout the county.

Despite the replacement of Millie’s and Imogene’s personal touch at lunch, the underlying family feel, overlaid with a relaxed kindness, can still be felt. Perhaps the feeling exists because of the school’s location in such a serene place. But for many, their memories of the place where they learned their arithmetic and ABCs are special. In recent years, the school has been on the chopping block to close for FCPS budget cuts. The general consensus of the community is that the school is much too valuable to close. If you stroll through SES on a normal school day, it is evident on the students’ faces that they are happy and comfortable in their classes. They are meeting and exceeding education benchmarks set by the Frederick County Board of Education. Their teachers are effective in nurturing a supportive, family-like learning atmosphere.

History of the Present Sabillasville Elementary School from 1924

by Joan Fry (article is part of her book, Part 2 Plus — The State Sanatorium At Sabillasville From 1908)

Sabillasville Elementary School was the culmination of years of work and hope for residents of the area. Actually, students from two former elementary schools in the area, Sabillasville and Foxville, were served by the new school. Foxville School, built in 1924, was closed in 1961. The 60 students enrolled there were transferred to Wolfsville Elementary School until a suitable facility could be provided for the Sabillasville-Foxville area. The former school building at Sabillasville, erected in 1927 with an addition in 1934, housed 140 students through the close of the 1964-1965 school year. Because of the limitations of the basic building, many services, which have come to be regarded as necessary and desirable, were unavailable to these students.

It was with great enthusiasm, therefore, that residents of the area greeted the announcement that a new school would be built. The school opened in 1965. This school is still serving area students currently despite multiple attempts from Frederick County Public Schools to close the school. Each time, support from residents and students has helped save the school from being closed.

sabillasville school in 1964The present (1965) Sabillasville Elementary School building is pictured. It combined the top two schools pictured left.


sabillasville school up to 1964



(right) Sabillasville School is pictured. It was built in 1927 with an addition in 1934, and served students through the close of the 1964 school year.


foxville school to 1964(left) The Foxville School is pictured. It was built in 1924 and closed in 1961.





sabillasville school to 1927The building pictured far left (now a house on Harbaugh Valley Road) served as Sabillasville School until the next school house was constructed in 1927.

The Purpose of the Community Show is to Educate, to Inspire, and to Entertain

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School on September 11-13, 2015. Visit the Community Show’s website at to view the premium list for 2015 and the community show booklet.

On Friday evening, September 11, the 2015-2016 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. The baked goods auction will begin following the program, and the grand champion cake, pie, bread, gluten-free baked product, sugar free baked product, and the Junior and Youth Department baked product champions will be sold at 9:00 p.m.

Entry of exhibits will take place on Thursday evening, September 10, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 11, from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., in the new gymnasium and in the agriculture department area. There will be changes made in many of the classes, including photography, fresh vegetables, corn, and other departments. Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 11, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m., and the Friday night program will feature the 50th anniversary of Sabillasville Elementary School, with several individuals being honored.

On Saturday, September 12, the show opens at 9:00 a.m. Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing contest, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Ag Center at the school. A Scales and Tales demonstration will take place immediately prior to the Pet Show in the front of the school. The Pet Show will be held at 10:30 a.m. outside the front of the school. The petting zoo, farm animals, and pony rides by the Mason Dixon Quarter Horse Club will also be held on Saturday and Sunday, located near the upper parking lot at the high school, featuring “Abel,” owned by Joe and Ruth Biser, who is a Brown Swiss animal that is twelve years old and weighs 2,600 pounds. Alpacas, owned by Lynn Cherish of Baggy Britches Farm, will be on display. Emus, owned by James Royer, will be on display, and a sow and litter of pigs owned by Phil Wivell will also be on display.

The Thurmont Grange will serve their turkey and country ham dinner in the school cafeteria from 3:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. CATOCTIN The Band will perform in the auditorium, beginning at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m., the Taylor Brown “Elvis Show” will be performed. There will be no admission charge for this entertainment.

The 41st annual Catoctin FFA Alumni Beef, Sheep, Swine and Market Goat sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area on Saturday night, with approximately fifty-five head of livestock being sold. Buyers are welcome to attend and purchase animals.

Activities begin on Sunday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. with the Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Show and Decorated Animal Contest. The decorated animal contest will begin at noon.

At 12:00 noon, the Catoctin FFA Alumni Chicken Bar-B-Que will be held in the cafeteria. The 35th annual Robert Kaas horseshoe pitching contest will begin at 1:00 p.m.

The Log Sawing Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m. under the show tent in the Ag Center area. A peddle tractor contest for kids will be held on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., also in the Ag Center area. The Thurmont Academy of Self Defense will have a program in the old gymnasium at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. CATOCTIN The Band will perform in the auditorium from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and the Taylor Brown “Elvis Show” will be held from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Catoctin FFA Alumni will be holding a raffle during the community show. Profit from the raffle will go toward the scholarship fund as each year the Alumni awards scholarships to graduating Catoctin FFA Chapter seniors and past FFA graduates seeking secondary education.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. If items are left at the school after this time, they may be picked up in the Ag Center area on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, as there is no school on Monday, September 14th.

The community show booklets can be found in local Thurmont, Emmitsburg and surrounding area businesses in late July or early August. New residents of the community are urged to enter and be a part of the Community Show, the largest in the State of Maryland. Some minor additions and deletions will be made in some of the departments. Departments include: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers and Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department and Youth Department. There is no entry fee. Please visit our website for updated information at

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Maryland State Grange and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.


Randy Waesche

Fifty years ago three of Thurmont’s leading citizens figured in two of the most remarkable episodes in town politics. The men were Donald L. Lewis, Roy W. Lookingbill, and Calvin G. Wilhide.

Mayor Lewis

Mayor Lewis

Donald L. Lewis was one of Thurmont’s most-progressive mayors. Although only in office for just over five years, the effects of his tenure are still felt today. Of impressive stature and fitness, he came from a large and prominent Thurmont family. He was a staff sergeant in the Army Rangers during World War II and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. In 1956, he opened Lewis’ Confectionery on the square, a widely known general store that sold everything from fountain sodas to fishing rods. Forty years old when first elected mayor in 1959, he embarked on an activist course and worked with political leaders at all levels, and courted anyone with an eye to expand local business. Concerned that unregulated land use had allowed Thurmont to become blemished with such nuisances as dilapidated house trailers, he secured federal grant funding and developed Thurmont’s first planning and zoning ordinance, master plan, and subdivision regulations. He brought the state economic development commission to Thurmont where they touted the local spirit of cooperation and new local opportunities for progress. Surveys were undertaken to evaluate and improve town water and sewer service and establish policies for underground electric in new growth areas. He was in front of the Maryland Department of Forests and Parks advocating for local recreation areas. He opened discussions that eventually led to the Town’s ownership of what is now the 20-acre Thurmont Community Park. Lewis worked with local businessman Victor Leisner and broke ground for Greenfield Estates, a major subdivision on the town’s eastern edge then at Blue Ridge Avenue. The project promised to include the largest sewage and water development ever undertaken and was the first under the town’s new developer’s policy. He appointed the first planning and zoning commission, chaired by his brother Harry “Buck” Lewis, who owned a Sinclair auto service station diagonal from the confectionery. When plans stalled for a new north county high school, Lewis and some Emmitsburg officials headed to the Board of Education, kept the project moving, and within five years Catoctin High School opened. He worked with magistrate M.T. Mathwig to relocate local court from a rented Water Street building to the Town Office. Revision of a new town code was introduced. There seemed to be no end to the energy of mayor Donald Lewis.

Mayor Lookingbill

Roy W. Lookingbill owned and operated Lookingbill’s Barber Shop in the first block of East Main Street for 22 years. He had twice won a town commissioner seat and in 1963 ran for mayor against Lewis, but lost. Two years later in April 1965 Lewis was unexpectedly alone on the ballot for mayor and seemed to have an easy path to a fourth term. Although short on time and in uncharted legal territory, Lookingbill launched a write-in candidacy for mayor. To guard against spelling disqualifications, several thousand stickers were printed with his name and distributed across town. Voters were asked to become “sticker lickers for Lookingbill” and were instructed how to affix the stickers onto the ballot and mark an X alongside. A car with loudspeakers slowly drove the town’s streets loudly asking for votes for the mayor’s challenger. Hundreds of orange handbills from the Lookingbill campaign were spread through town that contained a list of allegations against the incumbent, and the town was rife with opinion about the upstart long shot bid. It would be weeks following the election before debate quieted about the accuracy of the handbill, but the vote was in. In an election where 627 votes were cast for mayor, Lookingbill had narrowly won by 19.

Calvin C. Wilhide

Calvin C. Wilhide

One of Thurmont’s more colorful personalities, Calvin G. Wilhide was the owner of Wilhide Chevrolet-Oldsmobile on Water Street, formerly owned by Fred Redding and started by Edwin Creeger over 40 years before. Wilhide also owned the Texas Lunch on West Main Street, operated an amusement machine business, owned and raced prize horses at Shenandoah Downs, and also had a trucking business and garage on Carroll Street Extended that included his Thurmont Star rural mail route. Known by many as Pud (pronounced like the first syllable of “pudding”), he had run for mayor in 1959 and 1961 but lost both times to Lewis. He won a town commissioner seat in 1964. On the town board he was especially critical of the town’s new zoning policies, which he declared were ruinous to business. He was again nominated to oppose Lewis in 1965 but surprised many when he declined, setting the stage for Lookingbill’s successful bid. With a year to go as commissioner, Wilhide settled in with the new mayor and board. Then came a situation that eclipsed April’s upset election in local lore.

Carroll E. Kinsey was a local developer. Among his real estate holdings was a brick building that is now the Thurmont Senior Citizens Center on East Main Street. It was in a town zoning district that allowed commercial uses. In the fall of 1965 Kinsey leased half the building to the Board of Education to hold 60 students from the overcrowded Thurmont Elementary School across the street. The other half he leased to a business called Shankle Body Works. Only thin sheets of drywall separated two grade-school classrooms from the noisy riveting, hammering, and welding operations of the truck trailer assembly plant. Amid the racket, classroom instruction was impossible. Thurmont zoning inspector Austin Bruchey stepped in and declared that the operations of the body shop were industrial rather than commercial, and therefore not allowed under the zoning policies. He ordered it shut down. To relieved parents and a grateful board of education, if ever there was a reason to have zoning policies, this was it. To Calvin Wilhide, the snuffed business proved if ever there was a reason not to have zoning policies, this was it. At the next town meeting on October 11, 1965, Wilhide sought to reverse the ruling. After a bitter and contentious meeting, the board refused to override their zoning inspector. Wilhide quit. Within days he reconsidered, and said he would return if allowed. At first, the board said no, but after being lobbied by some civic leaders, new mayor Lookingbill scheduled a meeting for October 21 to further discuss the matter. Controversy again swirled and for the second time that year, the town was consumed with opinion about the latest political drama.

On the evening of October 20 in his office at his car dealership with his son and Kinsey, Calvin Wilhide was stricken with a heart attack. He was dead at the age of 51.

A little over a year later on the first of December 1966, following a normal day at his barber shop, mayor Roy Lookingbill suffered a heart attack and died at his home. He was 57. Former mayor and commissioner C. Ray Weddle again took the helm, and during his long service to Thurmont was elected mayor ten times.

In 1970 Donald Lewis was elected to the Frederick County Board of Commissioners and was named vice president. He served two terms. Today he has been with us longer than any former Thurmont mayor or county commissioner, still sharp at 96.

James Rada, Jr.

Ranger - Jim RadaJeremy Murphy (pictured right) was born and raised in Emmitsburg, graduating from Catoctin High in 1998. He visited both Catoctin Mountain Park and Gettysburg National Military Park on field trips and summer trips, never realizing that he would grow up to become the chief law enforcement officer for the Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site.

Murphy, who has been with the National Park Service (NPS) for fourteen years, took over the duties of planning, direction, and execution of programs dealing with law enforcement and resource protection, emergency services, and safety for the park rangers.

“I’m happy to be here,” Murphy said. “My family lives in the immediate area, and my wife’s family is from Taneytown.

Previous to coming to Gettysburg, Murphy was chief ranger for the Visitor Protection and Resource Education Division at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick. He also served in law-enforcement ranger positions at Catoctin Mountain Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, and Delaware Water Gap NRA. Prior to law enforcement, he worked for the resource management division and the maintenance division at Catoctin Mountain Park.

“I actually went to school and studied wildlife management and then I shifted to forestry,” Murphy said.

When he graduated from Penn State, Murphy originally tried to get a job with the Pennsylvania Forestry Service, but was turned down because he didn’t live in Pennsylvania at the time.

He had worked as a trail crew member for the NPS, which was seasonal work. He tried to get a job with NPS on a permanent basis through the NPS intake program, but the organization wasn’t hiring biologists. He did find out that they were hiring law-enforcement rangers. He applied and was hired.

“I’ve never regretted it,” Murphy said. “I like that my days are never the same.”

He has kept his work sites near his hometown, which has worked out well. He was involved with the sesquicentennial events for the Civil War sites in the area and the bicentennial events at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. When he was working at Catoctin Mountain Park, he even met President Bush. He is currently the planning section chief for the planned Papal visit this month to Independence National Historical Park.

“Each park I’ve been at has moments for me that stand out,” Murphy said.

His favorite park, however, is the Delaware Water Gap Park.

“It was the first park I was at on a permanent basis, and it was a treasure trove of natural resources,” he said. “I could go out and spend all day just hiking the trails.”

Murphy met his wife, Erin, through a mutual friend while he was working at Harpers Ferry National Military Park. They live in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, with their three children—Wyatt, Ayla, and Tristan.

Grace Eyler

Crossbow_1On August 15, 2015, the U.S. Crossbow Club (USCC) celebrated its 2nd Annual Awards Banquet. Located on Tower Road in Thurmont, members from across Maryland, and as far away as Ohio, joined together to share stories of their crossbow hunting adventures, to display their mounted trophy animals, and to receive awards for their hunting and fishing accomplishments. Although these USCC members come from all walks of life, the one thing they all have in common is their passion for hunting, fishing, and their crossbows. Dennis R. Britton of Thurmont is the club’s founder and first president. He recalled purchasing his first crossbow at Jefferson Archery in 2008. At the time, Britton was sixty-five years old and could legally hunt with a crossbow, but after reading Maryland’s laws and regulations governing hunting with a crossbow, he found them to be biased, discriminating, and unfair when compared to other legal archery hunting equipment: (1) a crossbow hunter could only hunt on sporadic specified dates of the archery season whereas the traditional bowhunter could hunt every day of the archery season; (2) a crossbow hunter had to be at least sixty-five years old, while the traditional bowhunter had no age limits; and (3) a crossbow hunter had to be physically impaired whereas a traditional bowhunter did not. He recognized the laws and regulations prevented many younger and healthier hunters from having a choice of hunting weapons. A firm believer in equal rights and freedom of choice, Britton campaigned for a change that would benefit all sportsmen across Maryland, regardless of age or disability.

Britton started in Thurmont with a door-to-door petition to enlighten as many residents as he could about the uneven archery hunting laws. After collecting over 2,500 signatures, Britton then sent the petition to the Maryland Governor’s Office, The Department of Natural Resources, and key state senators. He thought 2,500 votes could convince Governor Martin O’Malley to reverse his way of thinking in an election year, and they did. Beginning with the 2010-2011 Maryland hunting season, crossbows became a legal archery hunting weapon for everyone, without limits or restrictions for the entire hunting season!

In September of 2010, Britton founded the Maryland Crossbow Federation to unite all Maryland crossbow hunters into a single voice, and to represent that voice in all legal crossbow matters.

Britton said, “Because of reputation and popularity, our membership has grown overwhelmingly and has spread into Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Ohio, as well as Germany, Canada, and South America. On February 4, 2015, the Maryland Crossbow Federation became legally known as the U.S. Crossbow Club.

Today, Britton and his wife, Lucy, warmly welcome archers to the club’s headquarters and new crossbow range. The site has twenty Ironman targets, with no two targets being placed at the same elevation or distance. It is the only archery range in the state of Maryland to have permanent-placed straight in-line targets at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards, great for calibrating long distance scopes.

During the awards ceremony, Dennis reminded his fellow members that, “…Our mission as a club is to promote more crossbow hunting and shooting opportunities for everyone, without limits and restrictions, and to recognize each member for their outdoor sports accomplishments.”

The U.S. Crossbow Club (USCC) has the most extensive awards programs in the world.

Britton said, “We have awards for all Maryland and National big game species, in both fair chase and estate hunting conditions,” adding, “We are the first hunting organization to recognize our member’s fishing and crabbing talents, and also the first hunting organization to recognize our member’s harvesting of Maryland and National doe whitetail deer.”

The 2nd Annual All Awards Presentations ceremony began with the club’s Biggest Catch Award, where award recipients reminisced about their fishing stories.

Next, another unique award was presented: the Maryland-National Heaviest Whitetail Doe Award, which was created to (1) allow young whitetail bucks to mature; (2) create award opportunities to those that never see a mature whitetail buck; (3) help in managing our ever-growing whitetail deer herd; and (4) recruit and retain crossbow hunters.

Other awards included Hunter of the Year; Estate Hunter of the Year, for harvesting the most different species of big game animals; and the USCC Golden Arrow Award and Estate Golden Arrow Award, for harvesting the most big game animals of the same species.

After members received their awards, Lucy gathered everyone for a tasty barbecue lunch. Members dined and swapped stories of their outdoor adventures. As the afternoon progressed, members said their goodbyes, and are now looking forward to next year’s gathering.

For more information on the USCC, contact Dennis Britton at 301-271-7001 or at

You do not have to be a Maryland resident or even a U.S. citizen to enjoy the benefits of being a U.S. Crossbow Club member.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Happy September

I’ve heard and read that happiness is a choice we make. According to the experts, we can wake up in the morning and choose to be happy or we can choose not to be. Apparently, it’s up to us whether we see the glass as half full or half empty.

There are all kinds of happiness projects and experiments out there, so I decided to conduct one of my own, and as usual, I dragged Randy along for the ride.

A friend of mine is taking a photo of something that makes her happy and posting it on social media every day. Her project is called “100 Days of Happiness.”

Knowing that I’d lose interest quickly, I opted for something shorter and less labor intensive. Quick and easy makes me happy.

The rules for my happiness project were simple. For one week, Randy and I would each make note of three things that had made us feel happy during the previous day. I would record our thoughts, and at the end of the week, we’d see if there was a pattern or some rhyme or reason. The three items would not necessarily be the top three things that made us happy the day before, nor would they be in any particular order. They would simply be the three things we remembered most easily, and seriously, any time I can remember anything, it makes me happy.

Our project went something like this:

Day 1


(1) I didn’t have to cook dinner or think about it (Randy brought home a pizza); (2) I made it home safely (traffic was terrible on Rt. 15 that day); and (3) I spent a few minutes with my mom.


(1 and 2) He woke up, he came home from work (those are two separate thoughts. Randy didn’t wake up and then come home from work); and (3) The sunflowers were blooming.

Day 2


(1) Randy brought me a donut with a smiley face; (2) Randy caught a fish; and (3) I finished polishing the bedroom furniture.


(1) He went fishing; (2) He spent the day with me; and (3) Everyone was healthy enough to be home.

Day 3


(1) I spent the day with Randy; (2) Randy helped me with the groceries; and (3) I found a quarter in my grocery cart.


(1) He spent the day with me; (2) He ate coconut macaroons; and (3)He didn’t have to go to work.

Day 4


(1) I had the whole day at home—there was nowhere I needed to be; (2) I finished the treadmill two minutes sooner than planned; and (3) I watched American Ninja Warrior.


(1) The sun came up and he could enjoy it; (2) He has a job and is able to do it; and (3) People are willing to sacrifice for our freedom.

Day 5


(1) I survived a trip to Walmart; (2) I didn’t have to drive home in the rain; and (3) My old blue bathrobe.


(1) He spent the evening with me (I swear these are his answers. I didn’t make it up); (2) He got a new hose; and (3) He enjoyed planning a trip.

Day 6


(1) Rotisserie chicken…

And this is where my notes end, because I forgot to list two more things and didn’t have the energy to remind Randy to tell me his three items.

Day 7

We completely missed Day 7.

I noticed several things about our “happy” choices. I don’t like to cook, drive, buy groceries, go to Walmart, or get dressed. Randy would rather stay home than go to work. He seems to enjoy spending time with me, although a lot of our together time was spent eating and watching television. We both enjoy dessert. Randy is much more altruistic than I am, and we both like it when he goes fishing.

With regard to Day 3, Randy and I went to the ALDI grocery store, where shoppers are required to insert a quarter in order to retrieve a grocery cart. As stated, my cart already had a quarter inserted in the slot. With the intention of paying it forward, I left said quarter in the slot after I finished shopping and returned the cart to the kiosk. As Randy and I were driving out of the parking lot, I noticed a man returning his cart, and I saw him glance at my cart, spy the quarter and pocket it. I feel sure, however, that Karma took care of him somehow.

One more thing that really makes me happy this season is that Randy and I have decided—at least for now—to discontinue production of our potpourri products. Instead, Randy will be selling his wooden shelves and stools at Colorfest this year. I’m happy not to have the potpourri mess all over my basement and house. However, I think I’ve traded it for sawdust.

by Chris O’Connor

There’s More to Bonnie than Postage Stamps

Sabillasville resident Bonnie DeLauter is a self-described social butterfly who loves to talk.

Many know her as a hard-working employee of the United States Postal Service (USPS), who runs the post office in Cascade and who is a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville.

I know about her talkative side. She was the first person to befriend me over a decade ago when transferring my then-second grader to Sabillasville Elementary School. We met many times there to join our daughters at lunch. Early on, Bonnie’s gift of gab must have left me looking a bit bewildered while she attempted to fill me in on the lay of the land. Bonnie’s late husband, Steve, noticed the bemused expression on my face. He glanced at me and said, “Confusin’ ain’t it?” I chuckled, but Bonnie didn’t miss a beat and continued to educate me on what to expect in the days to come.

Bonnie and Steve met when she was just fourteen. They dated for close to a decade before marrying in 1982. She worked as a bus driver before taking the civil service exam some thirty years ago and was hired by the USPS, working at post offices ranging from rural post offices on the other side of Hagerstown to Libertytown.

Her only sister, Linda, passed away in 2001, but Bonnie treasures and appreciates the company of her Aunt Virginia in Thurmont, and her aunt and uncle, Dorothy and Richard Valentine of Emmitsburg.

Her husband, Steve, worked for a couple of years in the late 1970s for the Western Maryland/Chessie Railroad, until he turned his full attention to the family farm in Sabillasville, producing grains, hay, fruit, and raising cattle until his passing in 2004. Bonnie and her still young daughter, Karen, returned to her parents place, Donald Harbaugh and her late mom Betty Green Harbaugh’s Sabillasville farm. They resided with her dad, Donald, until building a house on the home place in April 2006.

Bonnie is active in a variety of organizations, including the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Cascade Post 239, of which she is obviously proud. The Legion sponsors many activities to raise money for Veterans who have served our country and philanthropic organizations such as the Patty Pollatos Fund, a non-profit that helps to financially benefit individuals and families in need while in the throes of devastating illnesses and injuries.

One upcoming fundraiser is a gun raffle on September 26. Bonnie helps out by selling tickets to the raffle and lending a hand the day before with food preparation. Raffle tickets are available to the public for $10.00, and can be obtained from Bonnie at the Cascade Post Office or the Legion Hall on McAfee Hill Road.

The Legion’s Mr. and Mrs. Cascade event is being held on October 10 (Colorfest weekend). The light-hearted occasion finds men and women dressed as the opposite sex, participating in a talent showcase. Bonnie’s description of past contests made the coronation sound like more fun than a barrel of monkeys. It is open to the public.

Local businesses donate products, time, and talents for the Spa Day on October 18, which is also a public event. One can enjoy a massage, makeup, manicure, and hair styling. A donation to the Legion is welcomed and ultimately benefits someone in need, especially those who have honored us with their service.

The wide-reaching significance of the Legion to Veterans and residents of the Cascade area is hard to quantify, but Bonnie conveys a perspective that hints at the reach of the Legion’s helping hand. Profits benefit Veterans of our Armed Forces, as well as children for a back-to-school get-together. At Christmas, members attempt to fulfill the wishes of children at Cascade Elementary, whose families might find purchasing a particular gift unaffordable.

Bonnie recounted many touching, heart-warming deeds accomplished by the Legion’s members, which I hope to recount in a future column.

Some years ago, I was a beneficiary of the Legion’s generosity after breaking my leg and receiving a loaner wheelchair from them, thanks to Bonnie’s intervention on my behalf.

She is also a member the Ladies Auxiliary of South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, located on Rt. 77 in Smithsburg, which opens its doors to non-members during holiday celebrations throughout the year.

One tradition Bonnie revisits is cruising to her childhood stomping grounds in Rocky Ridge, helping out wherever needed at the annual Rocky Ridge Carnival. It also affords her the opportunity to chat with friends she can’t see as frequently as she’d like.

Another of her local haunts is Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, where she plays shuffleboard and enjoys a meal and the camaraderie of friends.

Travel is another of Bonnie’s favorite pursuits, though she bemoans the fact that it’s been more than a few years since she has been able to get away. She loves visiting friends in Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio, while squeezing in one of her favorite spectator sports: bull riding. There’s been a Caribbean cruise or two, and horseback riding at John Flaugher’s place in Florida. John was a great friend to Bonnie’s husband, Steve, and is Karen’s godfather.

Bonnie’s benevolent nature, sense of humor, and easy laugh is testament to her favorite saying, “Life is what you make it.”

by Jim Houck, Jr.

U.S. Army

Private Alfred Woodrow Clark

102 Years Young

Born June 13, 1913, in Washington, D.C., to Henry and Edith Clark, was a boy they named Alfred Woodrow. Alfred’s family had a tradition of giving newborns of the family a nickname. His family was together nine days after he was born at their home in Takoma, Maryland, and his one aunt said, “Well, I am going to call him Boogie.” His mother confirmed it, and Alfred was stuck with that nickname from that point on.

Alfred had twelve brothers and sisters; he said several of them passed away when they were young. He stated that if they were born today, they probably could have been saved, but they just didn’t have the medical knowledge back then that they have today.

Alfred went to elementary school in Takoma Park and dropped out in the fourth grade, as many did back then. He took care of the huge family vegetable garden, along with his siblings and mother and father.

Alfred stated that at one time he was a heavy drinker. One day, he was in a beer joint; when he came out, this old man was right behind him and asked him which way he was going. Alfred asked the man which way he wanted to go. The old man told Alfred where he wanted to go, and Alfred said he would take him home. When he pulled up in front of the man’s house, the old man said, “Come on in and meet the folks.”

They sat Alfred down around this big round table, and this girl was sitting right across from him. They started talking; the rest of them got up and left. He sat there talking to her for just as long as he could, and then he asked her for a date. The girl told Alfred to come down next Sunday and they will go to a meeting. If Alfred had known it was church, he wouldn’t have gone. Alfred thought that if you broke a commandment, you were done for, and he didn’t know there was any way back. So, that Sunday, they went to the meeting, and the man preached on the five kings: the mineral kingdom, the vegetation kingdom, the animal kingdom, man’s kingdom, and God’s kingdom. Alfred explained that what the preacher said woke him up. Alfred said it was 1936, and he got saved. He married his wife a little over a year later on May 29, 1937. He started into construction work at a young age and, other than the two years he was in the army, made it his life-long career.

Alfred joined the U.S. Army on January 4, 1944, and landed overseas eight days after D-Day; he was all over Europe for the next eighteen months.

When Alfred came home from the army, he went back to work as a construction carpenter for a man named Clark (no relation to Alfred). Clark had come to Alfred’s home and asked him to come to work for him right away. Alfred bought a truck from the man for $200.00; not long after that he was asked to pick up supplies for the construction jobs and wasn’t receiving any pay for his time or the use of his truck. Clark had also wanted Alfred to work extra time after hauling his supplies and not pay him for it. He didn’t stay with that outfit very long; Alfred had just gotten out of the service and needed to be paid.

Alfred got a job as a superintendent carpenter with a construction outfit in Takoma Park for a couple of years before he and his boss had a falling out, and he left that job. That was when Alfred went to work for Poretsky Management and started making kitchen cabinets.

Alfred had his own way of doing heads on cabinets that would only take him two minutes. He remembers his boss telling him to do the cabinet heads, and when his boss came back after an hour and a half and saw Albert just standing there, his boss said, “I thought I told you to do those cabinet heads.” Albert told him that they were built. The boss told Albert that it takes everyone all day to do the heads, so he walked down and looked and said, “I’ll be darned, they are done.” Albert said the boss was very happy and paid him good wages; he stayed with him from 1949-1975. His back and hip were giving him trouble, and his doctor said that if he didn’t retire, his back would retire him. He was old enough to retire, and the doctor wrote a letter to the company explaining it to them. He retired after twenty-six years; the company gave him a big send-off with a check for $1,700 (a nice sum for that time; you could buy a new Chevy Impala) and a plaque with a golden hammer on it with the words “Boogie” Clark, Poretsky Management, 1949 -1975, The Maintenance Crew. He has the plaque on his wall in his room. Alfred said he did more work after he retired than he did before retirement. He sold firewood and said when someone bought a cord of wood from him they got a good cord. Alfred was living in Burkittsville, Maryland, and he and his wife had a daughter, Gwen, and a son, Jerry. Gwen and Vernon Troxell have four boys and are living in Thurmont and Jerry Clark and wife have two girls and are living in Burkittsville, where Jerry has a garage. Alfred has so many great and great-great grandchildren that he said he could not count nor even begin to name them. Alfred said that when you get up there in age, names just don’t stick with you. Alfred has a picture of a dove that had a nest on his back porch; he said the dove used to eat out of his hand, being the only one who could get close to her.

Alfred lost his wife in 2002, after sixty-nine years of marriage; she was just short of 91 years of age. Alfred said, “We got along well; she would say jump, and I would say how high.” Shortly thereafter, Alfred went to live with his daughter Gwen in Thurmont. Gwen pulled her arm out of socket while taking care of Albert and could no longer give him the care he needed, so he is now living at Village of Laurel Run Nursing Home at Fayetteville, Pennsylvania. Alfred said there is no place like home, but he likes it there and the staff is very nice, the food is good, his room is kept clean, and, most of all, he has all the assistance he needs.

I very much enjoyed my interview with Alfred and enjoyed the hospitality he showed me. I found him to be a most interesting man who became an army veteran at thirty-one years of age and already had a wife and children, but loved his country and proudly served. Alfred has had a full life, and I hope he continues to for many years to come.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

by James Rada, Jr.

Bessie Darling’s Murder Haunts Us Still

Bessie Darling House 07-09-1941 001 JAK (2)When the mail train from Baltimore stopped in Thurmont on Halloween, more than the mail was delivered. George F. Schultz, a sixty-two-year-old employee with Maryland Health Department, left the train. Schultz hired Clarence Lidie and his taxi to give him a ride to the Valley View Hotel, which was ten minutes away on the side of Catoctin Mountain.

As Schultz climbed into the car, Lidie noticed that he was carrying a .38-caliber revolver and remarked on it.

“Shultz laughed and remarked that ‘he didn’t know what he might run into,’” Edmund F. Wehrle wrote in a study about the history of Catoctin Mountain Park.

The Valley View Hotel was actually a summer boarding house, which had been run by Bessie Darling, a forty-eight-year-old divorcee, since 1917. It was a large house built in 1907 that sat on a steep tract of land near Deerfield.

Darling, a Baltimore resident, had purchased the property from Mary E. Lent after Darling’s divorce in 1917.

“She generally managed the hotel in the summer and returned to Baltimore in winter, where she used her considerable social contacts to drum up summer business for her hotel,” Wehrle wrote. “Her skill at cooking and baking, as well as the scenic site, helped build her a solid clientele.”

In the early twentieth century, people took the Western Maryland Railroad from Baltimore to Pen Mar Park to enjoy the cooler mountain temperatures and to get away from the stresses of the city. Such was the appeal of the Catoctin Mountain area as a summer retreat that visitors always needed a place to stay.

“These such boarding houses offered the women of the area a rare opportunity to operate businesses,” Wehrle wrote.

Schultz had known Darling since 1926. They had become so close that Schultz had even spent Christmas 1930 with Darling’s family. Newspaper accounts at the time said they were romantically linked, and he often spent weekends at the hotel while Darling was there.

Darling, who was fourteen years younger than Schultz, met a lot people, both men and women in her work. In the summer of 1933, Schultz had become convinced that Darling was seeing Charles Wolfe, a sixty-three-year-old man who had lost his wife a year earlier. He also lived in Foxville, much closer to the boarding house than Baltimore. (Wolfe later told the Hagerstown Daily Mail that he and Darling had been little more than acquaintances.)

The thought of Darling with another man made Schultz angry, and he was known for his displays of temper.

“One Thurmont resident remembered that Schultz frequently drank, and, on one occasion, assaulted Darling during an argument in front of the Lantz post office,” Wehrle wrote.

While Darling forgave him that time, she was not so forgiving in this instance. Schultz and Darling got into a loud argument apparently over Wolfe, which ended when Darling left the hotel. She went to a neighbor’s home to spend the night, and told the neighbor that Schultz was no longer welcome in her home, according to newspaper accounts.

Darling didn’t return to the hotel until Schultz left for Baltimore, and Darling didn’t return to Baltimore at the end of the tourist season. She decided that she would spend the winter in the hotel rather than having to deal with Schultz and his jealousy.

Around 7:00 a.m. on Halloween morning, Schultz came up to the rear entrance of the hotel as Maizie Williams, the eighteen-year-old maid, was coming out for firewood. Schultz demanded to see Darling. Williams said Darling was in her room and tried to close the door on the man.

Schultz forced his way inside. Williams hurried upstairs to Darling’s bedroom to warn Darling, with Schultz following. Williams entered the bedroom and locked the door behind her.

This didn’t stop Schultz for long. He forced the lock and opened the door. Then he entered the bedroom and shot Darling who fell to the floor dead.

Schultz then calmly told Williams to make him coffee. She did, and when he finally let her leave the house to get help for Darling, he told her, “When you come back, you’ll find two of us dead.”

Williams rushed out of the hotel to the nearest home with a phone. She called Frederick County Sheriff Charles Crum who drove to the hotel with a deputy around 9:30 a.m.

They entered through the basement door, because Schultz had locked all of the doors and windows. When they entered the Darling’s bedroom, they found her lying dead at the foot of the bed.

They also found Schultz nearly dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his chest. Crum brought Dr. Morris Bireley up from Thurmont to treat Schultz, who was then taken to the hospital in Frederick.

Once Schultz recovered from the wound, he was tried for murder on March 13, 1934. The prosecution called twenty-six witnesses in their case of first-degree murder. Schultz claimed that Darling had also had a pistol, and his killing her had been an act of self-defense. The jury deliberated an hour and found him guilty of second-degree murder; Schultz was sentenced to eighteen years in the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore.

Wehrle recounted the story of Charles Anders, who had been in the courtroom when Schultz was sentenced and, sixty-six years later, still remembered watching Schultz sob as the verdict was read.

The drama of the murder fed into the tabloid-style journalism of the day, and people followed the case with interest.

“Even today, the murder stirs an unusual amount of residual interest,” Wehrle wrote.

Most recently, the Thurmont Thespians performed an original musical based on the murder case.

Deb Spalding

Mel-PooleCatoctin Mountain Park Superintendent, Mel Poole, will retire on August 25, 2015, having completed an adventurous thirty-seven year career with the National Park Service (NPS). When summarizing his contributions, Poole let out a chuckle. Correction, it was more of a flat-out laugh. I soon understood why as he reviewed the many roles he’s filled during his career.

About Catoctin Mountain Park, where he’s spent the majority of the last seventeen years within the National Park Service system, he said, “For sure, the park is bigger, if not better,” as he explained that the park has grown from 5,772 acres to its current size of 5,890 acres.

He recalled that Catoctin Mountain Park was the first in the National Capital Region to look at deer management in order to aid in forest regeneration. Don’t forget that until the 1920s, the Catoctin forest was substantially cut over by various timber businesses to make charcoal for Catoctin Furnace. The mountain has been growing back, or regenerating, since then. Poole was part of a regional Environmental Assessment team that was formed in 1978 to determine what to do about the increasing deer population at Catoctin Park.

Poole noted that the park knows more about its natural resources than ever, but are still finding new species and monitoring populations of species. Park resources are faced with a huge range of issues: invasive species, threats to vegetation like the Gypsy Moth and hemlock, future potential threats like Emerald Ash Bore (EAB), all overlaid with fluctuating climate conditions like rainfall, severe storms, and changing air and water quality.

Brook trout have been an icon in Catoctin Mountain Park, drawing fly fisherman from near and far. In recent years, there has been a decline in the numbers of brook trout, not only across the State of Maryland, but across the country as well. Less than nine percent of historic brook trout habitat remains nationwide and sixty-two percent of the historic habitat has been lost in Maryland.

The depth of Poole’s knowledge of all of the varying parts he’s managed within the park, from studies of current plant and animal species, management and preventive maintenance of those species, and day to day challenges created by the use of the park by humans, is difficult to convey in this short space, but be assured that Poole’s knowledge is comprehensive.

He said, Catoctin Mountain Park “has one of the strongest resource protection ethics of all the parks in the region.” He shifted credit for this ethic to current coworkers and former employees of the park. He also shared credit with other state and local park systems and federal, state, and county agencies, indicating that the high standards would not be achieved without their support, cooperation, and contributions towards a shared vision.

Poole’s ethics, like that of his peers, mirror those of the National Park Service’s 1916 Organic Act that mandated the conservation and preservation of natural resources for future generations. He said, “Invasive species have the ability to come to us within twelve hours, thanks to air travel. Globally, it’s hard to keep outside influences from impacting the ecosystems that we’re trying to manage.”

Raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and with deep family roots in coastal North Carolina, Poole is one in a proud family of public servants. He said he knew he wanted to be a ranger from about age eight when he wrote his congressman and asked for a job. He claims he was a typical suburban kid who, in junior high, wandered into the woods in his neighborhood where he discovered life and wonder, which further fueled his interest in nature. He then climbed the ranks of Scouts as a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Explorer, spending his time completing tasks to earn outdoor conservation merit badges.

He was fortunate, at age fourteen, to attend the National Boy Scout Conservation Camp, where he spent time building trails with professors from Rutgers University who taught conservation. Poole said, “I ate it up! I absolutely loved it.”

From a tent mate who was from Pennsylvania, Poole learned about the varying wild life and terrain in Pennsylvania. He said he felt the camp mate, “might as well have been from Mars,” because he described a landscape so different from Poole’s coastal habitat. He also met people from Texas, New York, New Hampshire, and Georgia, and learned that there were even more parts of America. He said, “I was going to see them all.” He then worked in a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in Norfolk, Virginia, for three years and went on to college at Virginia Tech, where he earned a degree in horticulture by way of forestry and landscape architecture.

He accepted his first job within the NPS in 1978 as a gardener in the White House greenhouse. President Carter was in the White House at that time. Later, working with National Capital Parks-East, a management unit based in D.C., he gained experience with hard-core urban parks, but also worked on a portion of the Potomac River and historic sites, where he worked with vegetation management and cultural landscapes. It was here and along the Anacostia River that he worked oil spills, first as a Hazardous Materials Specialist for the park and then at the regional level. This work, along with firefighting and water fowl hunting management, made for exciting daily adventures.

In 1984, he qualified as an interagency firefighter. For six years, he fought fires each summer and fall in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Montana, and California. Meanwhile, he progressed in grade and served as the Regional Fire Management Officer for six months, during which time he mobilized firefighter crews from the mid-Atlantic area to wherever forest fires were occurring across the continental United States. In 1989, he was detailed to Kodiak, Alaska, to help clean up the Exxon Valdez Oil spill. He said, “That was interesting, because I thought Denver’s mountains were big. It’s double that in Alaska.” His oil spill expertise would again be put to the test when he was assigned to the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast in 2010.

Before accepting the Superintendent job at Catoctin Mountain Park, Poole was the Park Manager at President’s Park in Washington, D.C.—ground zero for First Amendment activity in Lafayette Park and lineups for White House public tours. He helped at seven Easter Egg Rolls, seven White House Christmas Tree Lightings, and two Presidential Inaugurations. Poole literally watched history being made every day during his time in Presidents Park.

A career highlight for Poole occurred in 1992 when then First Lady Barbara Bush requested that the National Park Service provide a White House tour for every fourth grader in Washington, D.C. Poole handed a script to rangers who greeted school children at the Northwest Gate where, every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., fourth graders entered the White House through the front door on the North Portico. These kids witnessed daily business and history of the nation as they moved through the White House on their tours. He said, “It was a great school year for them, and a great experience for all the NPS rangers!”

In 1994, a new visitor pavilion was built on the Ellipse at President’s Park to replace a kiosk where Poole and his park rangers worked. It was complete with new bathrooms for visitors and a first-aid room where rangers could treat minor visitor injuries. He said, “We saw that as a quantum leap forward.”

In April 1995, Poole helped to open the White House Visitor Center across the street at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue. In addition to high quality exhibits on White House history and a retail store staffed by the White House Historical Association, the National Park Service provided public tour ticketing for visitors each morning until 9/11 ended that tour operation. It was a big milestone to open that facility because, even if you couldn’t take a tour of the White House, you could still have a White House experience. In June of that year, Poole went to Shenandoah National Park to temporarily serve as Public Information Officer on the incident team managing a double homicide investigation. This case was later featured on America’s Most Wanted.

Poole finished at President’s Park in 1997 and moved to Catoctin Mountain Park. He’s been at Catoctin since March 1997, leaving briefly in 2006 to serve as Superintendent at George Washington Memorial Parkway, and again in 2009 to serve as acting Superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park.

His milestones at Catoctin include work on President Clinton’s Middle East Summit, President Obama’s G8 Summit, and Gulf Coast Summit. In 2008, the park conducted a two-day search operation that successfully recovered a lost eighty-one-year-old woman.

Upon retirement, he is planning some genealogy research, some doing nothing, and a visit to a lifesaving station on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where three of his cousins were keepers, to volunteer.

Poole and his wife, Candy, will continue to reside in Thurmont. Their son, Joshua, is currently serving in the Marine Corps, stationed at New River Air Station in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Their daughter, Lauren, recently graduated from Penn State, and landed a job as page designer for a newspaper in North Carolina.

Deb Spalding

barnstormers rebecca pearlThe 9th Annual Barnstormers Tour and Plein Air Paint-Out was held on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Local artist Rebecca Pearl was one of thirty-five artists to participate. The event was sponsored by the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation as a fundraiser to support the preservation of barns in the Frederick County area. The day’s activities gave attention to these beautiful old structures and their importance to our agricultural heritage.

The day had three components: a ticketed barn tour for the general public; an art contest, show, and sale; and various educational demonstrations and displays. Tickets included a guide book and map.

This year, the barns of the scenic Sugarloaf Mountain Region were featured. Artists were sent to various farms, where they each determined a perspective to draw or paint. Rebecca was randomly assigned to paint Moon Shadow Farm, located just over the Frederick County border in Montgomery County. She had never been to that location before.

“It was quiet and gorgeous. It was hot and humid. It usually is. That’s part of the challenge of plein aire (outdoor) painting. You put up with the changing light, the weather, and people talking to you,” said Rebecca.

She walked around for a while when she arrived, looked at a lot of different perspectives and lighting, and finally settled into a fenced pasture and set up. She painted until about 2:30 p.m. and then gathered her supplies and moved to the event headquarters, where a reception would be held that evening. There was no requirement on the size or number of paintings created. Once she arrived at the headquarters, every artist matted and framed their own canvas. All was complete by late afternoon and ready for the reception.

This year, tour headquarters were located at Wildcat Spring Farm in Clarksburg, Maryland. Once the art was displayed, the artists left and a judge was brought in. When the judge’s decisions were made, the artists were invited back. The judge reviewed aspects of each award winner’s art as the winners were revealed.

Rebecca had entered the event five times in the past and won first place one time before. This year, she was surprised when her watercolor was selected for first place.

“I was shocked!” expressed Rebecca. Rebecca recalled that the judge liked the composition of her watercolor, complementing the pattern of light in the painting, and expressing that it had a finished look.

“It was so worth it to put myself out there,” said Rebecca.

Dean Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Heavy Timber Construction, Inc. purchased Rebecca’s painting. It turns out that his company had completely rebuilt and renovated the barn that Rebecca painted

James Rada, Jr.

Joan Boyle

June 4, 1913 – July 11, 2015

joan-boyle-2Emmitsburg lost its oldest citizen on July 11, 2015, when Joan Boyle passed away at St. Joseph’s Ministries in Emmitsburg. She was 102 years old.

Boyle was born June 4, 1913, in Adams County, Pennsylvania, but she spent much of her life trying to improve Emmitsburg.

She was elected in 1981 as an Emmitsburg town commissioner and served for a term. In an unpublished 2007 interview she gave to the author, she said that she decided to run for the same reason many people get involved in politics at the local level.

“I remember I would pick up the paper and read about what was going on, and I thought, ‘It’s such a mess,’” Boyle said.

Because she had taught a civics class during her twenty years of teaching in Washington County, she believed she had enough knowledge to run a town.

So she began campaigning door to door and was elected as the town’s parks and recreation commissioner in 1981.

She remembers as she lowered her hand after taking the oath of office, Mayor Eugene Myers, who had just sworn her in, told her, “I must tell you there’s no money in the budget for parks and recreation.”

At that point, Boyle knew she had her work cut out for her.

A member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, she also attended St. Euphemia’s School in the 1920s. The school opened in 1889 and was named after Mother Euphemia Blenkinsop, recently deceased superior of the Daughters of Charity. It operated until 1956, when the elementary school ceased and the building was used by St. Joseph’s High School.

Boyle remembered a big event for the school that she recounted in her 2007 interview. “The principal told us if we can do plays for 25 cents a person, we can start putting in indoor plumbing. At that point, I wasn’t sure what indoor plumbing was,” Boyle said.

She graduated St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg and went on to attend the University of Madrid in Spain; Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland; and the University of Galway in Ireland.

As an adult, Boyle taught school in the Hagerstown area and Chatham Hall School in Virginia.

Boyle also remembered the Emmitsburg town fountain when it ran. The town fountain was installed in 1884 in the middle of the square. Traffic flowed around it going through the center of town.

Boyle remembered the fountain from her childhood. “The fountain would spray out all over the place. It was lovely, but the cars had to go around it. As the years went by, the area around it became smaller and smaller as more trucks and cars came through town.” It was destroyed when a car hit it in 1927.

A Memorial Mass was held for Boyle on July 16 at St. Joseph’s. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Emmitsburg Public Library Children’s Programs, 300 S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.


The Gettysburg Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation is for Veterans and Civilians — A New Lifestyle for the Rest of Your Life

experience concerning issues with my heart. I wrote of my experience with the staff of the two hospitals—Gettysburg and York—where I was treated for my heart condition. I would now like to follow up on my experience with learning a new way of life at The Gettysburg Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, and the wonderful, professional staff who operate it.

I was home recuperating from a recent surgery I underwent to have a stent inserted due to a 99 percent blockage of the right artery of my heart, when I received a phone call from Wendy, who said she was from Gettysburg Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. She asked if I knew anything about the Unit, and I told her I did not. She proceeded to explain what it was all about and how it would be beneficial for me to enroll in the program. She told me that she would get back to me in a few days, and that would give me time to think about it. She discussed the rule was to wait at least four weeks after surgery before starting the program. Well, I knew if I decided not to accept some help and continue on the path I was on, I would be—as much as I didn’t want to be—back in the same condition as when my heart problems began. I gave it a lot of thought and decided that when she called me back, I would go for it.

True to her word, Wendy called me back and I told her my decision; she welcomed me aboard to start the program. She said I would be enrolled for ten to twelve weeks and we then discussed what times and days would suit me best. I told her I would leave that up to her, as I could work my schedule around whatever she decided. Wendy set my time for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:00 a.m.

I reported to my scheduled appointment and was greeted by Susie; we went through the preliminaries of being signed in and being asked questions about my medication and general health. She took measurement of my waist, my height, and my weight; she then showed me how to hook up electrodes to a small machine that monitored my heart rate and pulse and other things during the entire time I was there. I was shown how to hook up my monitor and fill out a check-in sheet and to weigh myself each morning when I arrive at class. The blood sugar test and blood pressure test are taken before any exercises. If the blood sugar is low, they give you some nourishment to bring it up before exercise. They are very alert to your vital signs, and if they are not right or you are not feeling well, they will call your doctor and most likely you will not be exercising that day. I only had to call off one day and that was because I had overdone it the previous day by working sixteen hours straight.

The first exercise was a six-minute walk, where I was evaluated for blood oxygen, heart rate, and pulse, and to see how many laps I could do in six minutes on a previously marked-off course. My blood pressure and blood sugar were regularly checked, because I not only have a heart condition but I also have diabetes. This monitoring system was routine each and every time I attended class, and I never met a more professional or caring team of nurses anywhere.

The class I was in consisted of two women and three men, including myself. I started out as everyone else did at three minutes on each machine, with three minutes of cool down time (walking and wiping down the machine you had just used). You were to use six machines of your choice, but to alternate between arm exercise and leg exercise machines. You are then asked to rate each session on a scale from very easy to very hard; depending on the rating you give, adjustments are made to the machines as far as difficulty and when you advance in time. We were asked to have an exercise routine at home on the days we are not in class. I choose my home exercise routine as a ten-minute walk twice a day and a bicycle ride once a day.

I have been walking, but I need a chain for the bicycle my granddaughter donated to me. When I get the bike in riding condition, I will go to the parking lot of the school that is near me and ride each day for a half hour or so.

If it sounds like I enjoy it, that is because I do, and I never thought I would say that about exercising. I have enjoyed not only the exercising part of the class but also the education part, because all of the professionals—Andi, Laura, Carol, Susie, Wendy and Ben—are all so very knowledgeable about the subjects they deal with on a daily basis. I thank each and every one of these wonderful people for keeping me on point and focused so that I now have a chance to survive my health issues. I have moved to three-and-one-half minutes of exercise and two-and-one-half minutes of cool down; you move up one-half minute exercise and down one-half minute cool down until you reach six minutes exercising and no minutes cool down.

The rehabilitation program was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun as well. When I graduated the program, there were only two of us in the class: Ron and me. Ron has a few more classes to take before he graduates. What a great team they are at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit.

I would recommend the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit at Gettysburg Hospital, and their staff, to anyone with a cardiac problem who would like to have a longer, enjoyable life. I feel so enriched by doing this and thank the staff there very much. They even played Pomp and Circumstance for my graduation.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

Graduation from Cardiac Rehabilitation 005

Jim Houck, Jr. (center) is shown on the AireDyne with (from left) Wendy, Carol, Andi, and Laura, a few of the wonderful and dedicated staff at Gettysburg Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Buck Reed

Let me take a moment to put on my “El Predicto” hat and take a look into the future. With the progress being made in the minimum wage, and just the overall increase in everything, I believe that going out to eat is going to get even more expensive. Face it, even fast food isn’t cheap anymore. I would argue that it never has been a bargain, but the convenience seemed to offset the price for most families.

In the search to feed our families, where will we look to? The supermarkets, grocery stores, and even the farmer’s markets. Looking to save a few of their precious dollars, people will actually go back to cooking more.

Today’s supermarket is a far cry from days gone by. They still offer a wide variety of products, but now they also offer for sale a wide range of ready-to-eat, convenient foods that make even the most inept cook look good.

One of the first things that might have grabbed your attention is the rotisserie chicken. For the most part, they are cooked fresh daily and range from pretty good to excellent; priced below raw whole chicken, these beauties have warded off more than a few of the hunger pangs of anyone needing a quick, easy meal. Most if these chickens are good enough to use for leftovers in salads and sandwiches.

But what about actually buying something and cooking it? Certainly prepared tomato sauce (marinara, spaghetti, and such) isn’t new. The best part of these is that they are certainly less expensive than making them from scratch yourself. Is it a crime to heat up some sauce and throw it on some pasta? Probably. But the only victim is you, and I really doubt anyone is going to call the police over this. But I do encourage you to do something to this product. Adding some chopped onions, fennel, garlic, or just about anything, is going to improve jarred tomato sauce. Try a small can of diced tomatoes and half cup red wine to help enhance the texture and flavor of your dish. And who doesn’t have a half jar of sauce in their refrigerator? Use it on your scrambled eggs or add a couple of tablespoons to a canned soup.

I also believe that supermarkets will become more educationally inclined. That is to say, it will become easier to find someone on the staff that can actually help you with your questions about the products they sell and how to prepare them.