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20150307_100136James Rada, Jr.

The Thurmont Food Bank did what it does best at the grand opening of its new home on March 7…it fed people.

Food trays of hot and cold foods were spread throughout the Thurmont’s former Town Office, as dozens of people crowded the building to see how it had changed now that it is home to the Thurmont Food Bank.

The biggest change is in the office area that once held the cubicles of Thurmont Town staff. The room is now lined with freezers, refrigerators, and deep shelves. Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin, who manages the food bank for the Thurmont Ministerium, estimated that there is now about fifty percent more storage space.

“The nice thing with having more freezer space is that I can buy ahead when things go on sale, say turkeys, or when it’s hunting season and there’s deer meat offered,” said Joyner-Giffin.

The new freezers were purchased with a grant that former Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee helped the food bank staff obtain.

The Thurmont Food Bank is currently serving about 310 families, comprised of about 1,200 people, in the Thurmont area.

“This new location gives us the ability to serve more, should we have to,” Joyner-Giffin said.

As the ribbon was cut, officially opening the new food bank, Joyner-Giffin gave Mayor John Kinnaird a dollar bill, representing the food bank’s first year’s rent to the Town of Thurmont. Carol Robertson, President of Colorfest, Inc., also gave Joyner-Giffin a check for $500 to help pay the utilities on the building for a couple months.

Many of the people attending the grand opening were volunteers who help fill the orders and serve the food bank clients. Joe Bailey has been helping out at the Thurmont Food Bank for four years.

“I’m passing it forward,” Bailey said. “I want to give back to the people in the community, because helping others is what God tells us we should be doing.”

St. John’s Lutheran Church had been the previous home for the food bank, but after several years there, it outgrew the space. The new location for the Thurmont Food Bank is at 10 Frederick Road. Although the Thurmont Public Works Department still uses the back offices in the building, all of the front offices, including the commissioners’ former meeting room, is part of the food bank.

Hours at the new location are now: Tuesday, 5:00-7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off any time; please place them in the shopping cart in the entryway of the food bank. Both perishable and non-perishable foods can be delivered during food bank hours or on Tuesday mornings from 11:00 a.m.-noon. Please check to be sure all items are not spoiled or expired before donating them.

The food bank is always looking for volunteers to help out. If you would like to help, you can call the food bank at 240-288-1865 or visit

Grace Eyler

On March 7, 2015, members of Guardian Hose Company joined together to celebrate their accomplishments of 2014 during their annual banquet. Invocation was provided by Chaplin Rev. James Hamrick, followed by a home-cooked meal served by GT’s catering. Family and friends mingled until Wayne Stackhouse drew all attention to the podium, where he introduced special guests from other organizations who aided the company throughout the year.

Floral tributes were presented during the memorial service, in memory of Linda Duble, Franklin Keeney, and James Spalding, who all passed in 2014. The entire room bowed their heads while the Chaplin said a pray for the families who lost a loved one.

After the memorial service took place, Chief Chris Kinnaird shared the chief’s report with the audience. Kinnaird started off thanking everyone for their attendance, and for all of their support throughout the year.

“Our company volunteers 364 days of the year; this is our only night off. A huge thanks to Smithsburg and Walkersville Fire Companies for filling in.”

Kinnaird explained that it had been a very busy year. Guardian Hose Company ran 544 more calls than in 2013. Members partook in 528 hours of training, including Fire 1 and 2 classes. It was estimated that Guardian saved an approximate 1.8 million dollars in damage. On the average, eight volunteers respond to a call.

Kinnaird was proud to announce that this year every firefighter will be provided with a “Bail Out Kit,” which includes a 30-foot rope, carabineer, and escape hook. This will enable the firefighter to safely exit from a second-story window. Other expenses incurred included new tools, upgrades, and maintenance to the company’s apparatuses.

“It is better to be over prepared then under,” stated Kinnaird. “That’s a part of our job. We ride around in big tool boxes!” joked Kinnaird.

Guardian runs on three well-prepared engines, but could soon drop down to two apparatuses. The next big expense they foresee will be replacing one of the apparatuses, in roughly two to three years, which will cost approximately $500,000. Another change the fire company foresees will be overnight crews who will stay at the fire house, awaiting any calls that may come in during late hours. This will quicken response time to a call.

Top responders were recognized by Assistant Chief Carroll Brown. This year’s top responders were: Dave Sanders—145 calls; Steve Strickhouser—184 calls; Christopher Kinnaird II-202 calls; Chad Brown—246 calls; and Brian Donovan—278 calls. Top five drivers included Steve Yingling Larry Duble, Mike Duble, Wayne Stackhouse, and Terry Frushour.

Service Awards were presented to Charity Wivell; Cody Wivell; Christopher Kinnaird, II and Chad Brown for five years of service. Ten years of service awards were presented to Matthew Black and James Kilby. Twenty years of service awards were presented to Robert Dailey, Jr.; Blaine Schidlt, Sr.; and Christopher Kinnaird. Thirty five years of service awards were presented to Ray Brown; Donald Doughtery, Jr.; and Larry Duble. Life membership awards were given to Troy Angell and Lori Brown.

Wayne turned the microphone over to Robert Jacobs to swear in the 2015 Administrative and Operational Officers: President—Wayne Stackhouse; President Emeritus—Donald Stitely; Vice President—Terry Frushour; Secretary—Lori Brown; Assistant Secretary—Tisha Miller; Treasurer—Russell Shantz,  Assistant Treasurer—Pam Fraley; Trustees: Brian Donavan, Jody Miller, Steve Yingling, Joe Ohler and Steve Strickhouser. Operational officers include: Chief—Chris Kinnaird; Assistant Chief—Carroll Brown; Captian—Blaine Schildt; Lieutenants—Sean Donovan, Will Gue, and Chaplin Rev. James Hamrick.

Wayne Stackhouse closed the evening with, “May you take a part of your company’s operation, big or small—it takes us all. Our company’s success will be measured by your efforts. All of your efforts are always appreciated.”

Lori Brown_Life Member

Wayne Stackhouse presents Lori Brown with Life Membership Award.


Operational Officers_GHC

Operational Officers

Pictured from left are: (back) Blaine Schildt and Will Gue; (front) Chris Kinnaird and Charlie Brown.

DSC00181James Rada, Jr.

Imagine staying in a historic cabin in Catoctin Mountain Park for weeks to walk the trails, watch the wildlife, and be inspired to create.

For the past four years, Catoctin Mountain Park and the Catoctin Forest Alliance have offered artists, sculptors, poets, and writers a chance to get away from the familiar and be inspired by the natural through the Artist-In-Residence Program.

“The artist comes and produces a work that has to be about nature,” said Elizabeth Prongas, committee chairperson for the Artist-In-Residence Program. “They also have to be willing to meet with children and the public at least once to give a workshop or demonstration.”

The program is open to both professional and amateur artists. Each year, four are selected to come and stay at a cabin in Misty Mount or a campground site. The artist coordinates with a park ranger when his or her public meetings are going to be and then the artist is left to be inspired by the park, to paint, draw, sculpt, or write.

“After the residence ends, the artist donates a piece to the Catoctin Forest Alliance,” Prongas said. “After two years, we can sell it as a fundraiser to support the program.”

Invitations to apply for the resident program are sent all over the country, and applications have been received from around the world.

“Making a decision among them is a lot of work, but we somehow muddle through,” Prongas said.

Recently, the Cunningham Falls Visitors Center opened a display area where you can go and see some of the best of the many pieces of art donated to the Catoctin Forest Alliance. Prongas said that she also hopes to display some of the pieces at the Thurmont Regional Library in the future.

The artists coming to Catoctin Mountain Park are: Lisa Kyle, landscape painter (May 3-16); Laura Brady, painter (May 17-30); Anneliese Vobis, sculptor (August 2-15); Linda Johnston, nature artist and journalist (September 6-19).

Watch the Catoctin Mountain Park web page ( for information on when the artists will be holding public workshops.

Last To Fall CoverRichard D. L. Fulton and James Rada, Jr. will be holding a book siging at St. Philomena’s on the Emmitsburg Square  in April.

When were the last U.S. Marines killed in the line of duty on the Gettysburg battlefield? If you said 1863, you’d be wrong.

The year was 1922. Two marine aviators crashed their bi-plane on the battlefield during military maneuvers that summer and died in the accident.

Their story is part of a new book by Richard D. L. Fulton and The Catoctin Banner’s Contributing Editor James Rada, Jr. called The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg.

“This is a story that Rick, with the encouragement of his wife, Cathe, and I have been wanting to write individually for years,” Rada said. “We finally combined our efforts and put together something that neither of us could have done alone.”

The 176-page book is 8.5 inches by 11 inches and contains more than 155 photographs depicting the march from Quantico to Gettysburg and the simulated battles on the actual Gettysburg battlefield.

“The march involved a quarter of the corps at the time,” Fulton said. “It was part PR stunt, but it was also an actual training maneuver for the marines.”

As part of the march, the marines stayed two separate nights (going to and coming from Gettysburg) on Hooker Lewis’s farm just north of Thurmont. They showed visitors around their camp, visited Emmitsburg and Thurmont, showed movies in camp, and played a baseball game against the Emmitsburg team.

“On their way to Gettysburg, they marched into Emmitsburg and were greeted by Civil War veterans who were still living in town,” Fulton said.

While on the Gettysburg battlefield, many of the marines were willing to hike back into Emmitsburg to enjoy the hospitality there, rather than go into Gettysburg, which was much closer.

The Last to Fall also contains pictures of the marines in Emmitsburg and Thurmont.

“It’s surprising how few people know about this event nowadays,” Rada said. “It involved a large body of marines marching through Washington and Maryland and got a lot of national coverage at the time.”

Rada, Fulton, and Cathe, who served as a research assistant, searched through hundreds of documents and photographs, looking for the details of the march and battles, but the book was meant to tell a story. For that, they went hunting through lots of newspapers in order to piece together the stories of the marines on the march and the people they met along the way.

“What’s really fun is that the marines re-enacted Pickett’s Charge both historically and with then-modern military equipment,” Rada said.

The event was also marred by tragedy when something happened to one of the bi-planes and it crashed into the battlefield, killing the two marines flying it. The pilot, Capt. George Hamilton, was a hero of World War I.

President Warren G. Harding and his wife, along with a number of military personnel, politicians, and representatives of foreign governments, stayed in camp on July 1 and 2 with the marines and witnessed some of the maneuvers.

Richard D. L. Fulton is an award-winning writer, who has worked for many of the local newspapers. He lives in Gettysburg with his wife, Cathe, who was also a big help in tracking down photos of the 1922 march. The Last to Fall is Fulton’s first book.

 James Rada, Jr. is an award-winning writer, who Midwest Book Review called “a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.” Small Press Bookwatch listed Rada’s Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town as “highly recommended.”  He is the author of five historical fiction novels and seven non-fiction history books, including No North, No South…: The Grand Reunion at the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses.

The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg retails for $24.95 and is available at local bookstores and online retailers.

Fulton and Rada will be signing  books at St. Philomena’s on the Emmitsburg Square on Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

You Asked For It

by Valerie Nusbaum

In last month’s column, I asked you to send me your questions and I promised I’d do my best to answer them. You held up your end of the bargain, so here goes. Several of you sent in questions asking for my help, but you asked to remain anonymous. I can’t say that I blame you. I completely understand that you wouldn’t want your friends and family to know that you’re desperate enough to come to me for advice.

I’ve selected some questions about relationships and love, at least the ones that could be printed in a family-friendly publication.

Dear Valerie:

The lady in my life has told me that she doesn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day.  She told me the same thing at Christmas, and I gave her what she asked for. She didn’t speak to me for two whole weeks. Should I get her a gift this time, or should I honor her request?

Signed, Not Bill Blakeslee


Dear Not Bill:

The fact that you even have to ask that question tells me that gifts are the least of your problems. At the very least, buy her flowers and chocolates, but after your gaffe at Christmas you’d be wise to spring for jewelry—the good stuff.

Commit this to memory: When a woman tells a man that she doesn’t want a gift, SHE DOESN’T MEAN IT.  It’s a test. Do not fail the test a second time. No man gets a third chance.

—Good luck, Valerie


Dear Valerie:

I was wondering if you and Randy argue a lot.  My husband and I do, and sometimes I worry that we’re abnormal.

—Signed, Combative in Crisis


Dear Combative:

Don’t worry.  You and your husband are not abnormal at all (unless you bite his head off for saying “Good morning”).  It’s healthy to air your differences.  I’m always suspicious of a couple who profess that they never argue.

Randy and I agree on most of the major life issues, but we bicker about the small stuff all the time. His driving makes me crazy and my worrying and nagging gets on his nerves. Mostly, I worry and nag him about his driving.

Just remember to treat your spouse with respect, and remind him to do the same for you. If you need to yell at him for leaving the seat up, go ahead and do it. Or better yet, get even. 

—Hang in there, Valerie


Dear Mrs. Nusbaum:

How can I get my man to lose a few pounds without hurting his feelings?

—Signed, Too Big For His



Dear T.B.:

You said that he needs to lose a “few” pounds, so I’m assuming that he isn’t going to be taking up sumo wrestling any time soon.  Also, you didn’t mention if your man is having health issues that could be due to his weight. I’d suggest that you have him see his doctor for a check-up. That may involve tricking him into going, but it’s necessary. If your guy has health issues, the doctor may take care of the diet issue for you. 

If the doctor gives your man a clean bill of health, then it’s up to you. Get rid of all the junk food and sweets. Cook healthy meals, and suggest that the two of you take walks together or invest in a treadmill. If he’s doing the cooking, you might want to get more involved so that you know what you’re both eating. I’m a firm believer that anyone who likes to eat should also know how to prepare food.

On the other hand, if your guy is quick to tell you when you gain a few pounds or you look less than perfect, ignore my previous advice. Call him “Porky” and tell him his super model days are over.

Whatever works, Valerie


I am compelled to remind you all that following my advice could be hazardous to your health and your relationships. I am neither qualified nor certified to counsel you.  I’m simply offering my opinion, which could change at any time. I’m menopausal. If my advice doesn’t work, I really don’t want to hear about it.

Some of you also sent in general questions, and I’d like to address a couple of those as well.

Shirley Greene asked me if Randy and I share the same middle name. Yes, Shirley, we do, and we both dislike it. Randy has forbidden me from using that name in print, but I can tell you that he’s named after a blue grass song. 

Jamie (no last name) wrote me the following:  “I was driving past your house the other day, and I noticed Randy standing on your porch roof. Why was he doing that? Do you think it was really a good idea?”

Several answers come to mind, Jamie: (1) He was being punished for not buying me something; (2) He was hiding from me; (3) He goes up there to think.

The truth is that he was washing the outsides of the windows. I’m pleased to report that the only casualty that day was the bottle of window cleaner. Yes, I am a lucky woman. I married a man who does windows.

I’ll answer the rest of your questions another time. My thanks to all of you who helped out with this month’s column. 

by Jim Houck, Jr.

My Thank You and Explanation to All My Family, Friends, and Faithful Readers of my Catoctin Banner Column

Me and the cannonThank you one and all for taking the time to read my column, which is dedicated to the Veterans in our local neighborhood communities and across this great land of ours. I am aware that quite a few of you know that I have been in the hospital, and I thank all of you for your prayers, as I greatly believe that the good Lord answered them and that is why I am able to write this today.

I had not been feeling well for quite some time, and was struggling from day to day just to keep myself moving. I was tired all of the time and found it hard to get my breath. I also had a hard time concentrating on things that used to be routine chores. I knew something was just not right, but I was putting in long days and long weeks, so I blamed it on that. I did a god job of fooling my wife, because I didn’t want her worrying about me, as she is not in good health. Well, I fought for as long as I could and, finally, when the severe headaches and sweats were at the worst, I asked her to call the doctor and make an appointment for me. She made the call and I had an appointment the following day.

I arrived at the doctor’s office at 9:30 a.m. and signed in, after driving the ten or so miles from my home with chest pain. The nurse came out to the waiting room and escorted me back to one of the examination rooms and started checking my vitals. My blood oxygen was at the bottom line; she said I had to get it back up, so I did some deep breathing, trying to get it to whatever level it should be. She took an electrocardiogram and it showed some inconsistency, so she called the doctor in. The doctor read the vitals and the printouts and said I needed to get to the Gettysburg Hospital emergency room. I wasn’t buying it, because I just wanted something to make me feel better so I could go home; I had too much to do. The doctor kept talking to me until I finally agreed to let Joan, my wife, drive me to the emergency room. I arrived and everything was already set up, so they brought me a wheelchair and wheeled me to a room. I got undressed, of course—if I would have had to sneeze, I would have had to undress. More vitals were taken and another electrocardiogram was done; blood was drawn after an IV was inserted in my hand. I laid there for what seemed like forever, and then the cardiologist came in and said the test showed irregular, and that they were admitting me for a stress test the following day.

That night, I was restless and, of course, the nurses were in and out all night taking my vitals and blood for testing. I could have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Around 7:00 a.m., the cardiologist came in and explained that I could not do the treadmill and that they would inject radioactive medicine in my bloodstream to make my heart race. I was to have a set of pictures taken of my heart, and I had to lay flat on my back with my hands over my head. Then I would be taken to the waiting room for one hour, and then be taken to the stress test room and have the medicine injected into my blood while an electrocardiogram was taken. After, I was taken back to my room and given two slices of toast to wait another hour to be taken to have more pictures, the same as before. They came in and said the first set of pictures before the stress looked pretty good. Then came the news from the second set of pictures; I was told I had to be transported by ambulance to York Hospital to have a cath done, because I had blockage. They didn’t know how many or exactly where, but it was one of my main arteries. So, they loaded me into an ambulance that rode like a log wagon and hauled me to York Hospital. They took me to a room they had ready for me and started taking vitals and blood and everything I was getting so used to.

The next morning I was taken to the cath lab and prepped for the procedure. They took me in and transferred me to a big table with huge monitors above it and positioned me for the procedure. They said that I would soon be going to sleep and they were right, the lights went out. When I awoke on the table, I was amazed at how well I could breathe; and for going through the procedure, I thought “Wow, I feel peppy.” I was taken to the recovery room and had to wait until my blood was right to clot before they could remove the plug in my artery and put pressure on the cut to start the clotting procedure. When the nurses were done, I was taken back to my room for the rest of my recovery. The cardiologist came in and said I was very lucky to have gotten there when I did, because my right side main artery was 99 percent blocked, and they put some kind of special stent in.

The doctor came in when he was discharging me and looked me in the eyes and said, “If you don’t take your medicine as directed and don’t stay on your diet, the next time I see you, it won’t be for a stent or a heart attack, it will be me saying goodbye.” That scared me, and I think I will listen to what he said for the rest of my life.

I want to thank the staff at Gettysburg Hospital and York Hospital for all the professional service and all the kindness and gentleness they gave me for my entire stay.

I am so thankful for my professional internist, Dr. Ronald Krablin, who saved my life by having the skills to know I needed help and for talking me into following through.

I am planning to have a very good column next month and will be ready to hit the ground running.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veterans, God Bless Family and Friends, and God Bless You.

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg Gets Three Burgesses in Four Months

Emmitsburg once went through three burgesses in the span of four months in 1939.

It began when Burgess Michael J. Thompson died unexpectedly on May 31. He had gone out walking through Emmitsburg, including stopping at the Hotel Slagle, before heading home. He had only been home a few minutes when the heart attack struck and he died about 12:20 p.m.

“Mr. Thompson had been in ill health for the last two years, and the attack this morning was third he has suffered within the last year,” The Frederick Post reported.

He was only sixty-one years old. He had been born in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1877. He loved playing sports, but, in 1893, while playing football for Suffield Academy against Taft School, he broke his right leg. He healed, but then broke it again the following spring while sliding into second base during a baseball game.

His playing days were over.

When he attended Holy Cross, he organized the school’s first football team and coached it in 1896, while he was still only a freshman. The following year, he refereed his first game between Boston College and Brown.

He soon became a regular referee for college games.

“His most famous game was the Harvard-Carlisle Indians contest in 1903, when he allowed the ‘hidden-ball’ play. Jimmy Johnson, the Indian quarterback, in a close formation, slipped the ball under the jersey of Dillon, a husky tackle, who lumbered unmolested down the field and across the goal line,” The Frederick Post reported.

He came to Mount St. Mary’s College in 1911, and served as a coach and referee for twenty-three years before retiring.

He was also a former publisher of the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

Two days before Thompson was buried, John B. Elder became the burgess, since he was the head of the town council. Like Thompson, he was also a publisher of the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

With Elder’s move to burgess, Council Member Charles Harner became the head of the town council.

Harner and Elder were the only two members of the town’s governing body at this time. Usually, there was a burgess and three members of the town council. However, the third seat on the council had gone unfilled in the last election. Thompson had been planning on appointing a person to fill the seat, but he had died before it could be done.

One August 21, The Gettysburg Times reported that “Emmitsburg now has its third burgess since the May election as municipal affairs underwent a second unexpected change, occasioned by the sudden resignation last Friday of Guy S. Nunenbaker, retired engineer.”

Elder had unexpectedly resigned from his position as burgess at the beginning of the month. Luckily, Thornton Rogers had been appointed to town council before Elder’s resignation, so Harney wasn’t left as the sole member of town government.

Richard Zacharias became the new burgess and served out Thompson’s unexpired term.

This wasn’t the first or last time that Emmitsburg would have trouble finding people to serve in Emmitsburg’s government. Many of its elections lacked contested races and, once, no one even filed to run for the office of burgess.

“A light vote is anticipated inasmuch as apathy of local citizens to run for office was prevalent during the past week when no one filed his intentions to run for the office of Burgess,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported in 1955 just before the election.

The newspaper speculated that most people probably thought that incumbent mayor Thornton Rodgers would run again, but he, too, chose not to seek re-election. When no one had filed for burgess in the election, Rodgers allowed himself to become a write-in candidate.

He was re-elected with 91 votes (out of 438 registered voters) of residents who wrote in his name.

James Edward Houck was elected burgess in 1961, but even then, people referred to the position as mayor. He won the election by only four votes over the incumbent Mayor Clarence Frailey.

Houck wrote in an article for the Greater Emmitsburg Area Historical Society about his time in office, “Being elected Burgess of Emmitsburg in the early 1960s was quite an eye-opening experience for me. The regular duties that you expect to do and the things you want to accomplish are only a small portion of the job.”

Additional charter changers in 1974 made official the change from a burgess to a mayor.

In 2006, the number of commissioners on the board was increased from four members to five. Changes were also made to keep the mayor from voting on issues since he also has veto power.

James Rada, Jr.

Five young Labrador retrievers bounded into the Frederick Youth Center on a cold Thursday night, pulling their trainers behind them. Still puppies, they wanted to romp, play, and explore. They slid on the wooden floor, as they strained their leashes to visit nearby people or other puppies.

This wasn’t a play-date for them, though. Pretty soon, they were calmed down and one-by-one they were asked to show their mastery of basic commands. They had to go to their rug and lay down on command and come to their trainer on command. They were also walked around the room to experience different smells and tactile sensations.

These puppies are destined for bigger things than chasing squirrels around a yard. They are only puppies now, but in a couple of years they will help blind people lead independent lives. These puppies are part of the Guiding Eyes For The Blind Program.

“Our job is to raise the puppies to be sent to New York, where they can be trained to be guide dogs,” said Beth Propps of Emmitsburg.

She and her family have raised three dogs, from approximately eight weeks old until they are eighteen months old. Propps first got involved with the program in 2009, when she saw a newspaper ad asking for volunteers.

“We do miss the puppies when they leave—they’re all such characters—but we know going in we’re only going to have them for a short time,” Propps said.

Guiding Eyes has been around since 1954, so they have developed a program based on seeing what has worked in the past. Since all of the puppies that the organization trains each year can’t be trained in New York, where the Guiding Eyes headquarters is, local organizations like Guiding Eyes Catoctin have been set up to handle the pre-training of puppies.

“They tell you exactly what needs to be done each day,” Propps said. “Then the puppies are evaluated weekly to see how they are doing.”

The pre-training involves things that are good for every dog to know. House manners. Obey voice commands. Control their youthful exuberance. The local families also make sure to expose the dogs to a variety of stimuli, such as train noises, crowds, and farm animals.

Not all dogs are cut out to be guide dogs, though. When the dogs are eighteen months old, they are evaluated for the New York program, and again upon completion of the program. Those dogs that don’t make the cut are often used as companions for autistic children or police dogs to be trained to sniff out drugs or bombs. A few might be used in a Guiding Eyes breeding program. If none of those options work, then the dog is adopted out to a loving family.

Guiding Eyes depends on volunteer puppy raisers to provide the love, support, and direction the puppies need to prepare them for formal training as future guide dogs. No prior experience is necessary, as Guiding Eyes provides training and support for raisers; raisers attend local classes and puppy evaluations. 

For more information or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer puppy raiser or simply want to learn more, take a look at these websites: Guiding Eyes Catoctin: and Guiding Eyes For the Blind:


Puppy-in-training, Endora, is shown with her raiser, Susan Allen.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.


During the Open House and Dedication Ceremony for the Town of Thurmont’s new Municipal Building, held January 31, 2015, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird was obviously very proud. His message was one of great appreciation for all the parties involved in bringing the project to fruition.

Town Commissioner Wayne Hooper had broached the idea of purchasing the former Daily Funeral Home property, located at 615 East Main Street, and renovating it for use as a new town municipal building. At the time, Town Commissioner Marty Burns was mayor and helped to jumpstart the project. Mayor Kinnaird took office as the bidding process for construction was about to begin.  Mayor Kinnaird stayed very involved in the project as it progressed.

Mayor Kinnaird asked former Mayor, now Commissioner, Burns to cut the ribbon. Burns was sure to point out that no one person gets all of the credit for the project. It was truly a combined effort by many, including Bill Blakeslee for applying for the money and grants to purchase the building and completing many of the renovations.

After the ribbon was cut, Mayor Kinnaird welcomed special guests, starting with Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. Gardner offered congratulations for a beautiful renovation that will serve the community for many years.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter said, “It’s a good day for Thurmont. Congratulations!”

Kinnaird recognized Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler; Thurmont Police Lt. Alan Droneburg; Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins; Lonestar Builders; Green Brothers Construction; Cornerstone Heating and Air Conditioning; Tier One Technology Partners; Quick Connect Communications; former Mayor Eileen Waesche; Lisa Nolan Humerick; Lowman Keeney with the Thurmont Ambulance Company; former Thurmont Superintendent of Public Works, Joe Fraley; Donna Voellinger, President of the Thurmont Historical Society; Carol Robertson, President of Catoctin Colorfest; Butch West and the Thurmont Public Works Department; Jim Brown, Project Manager; and other Town staff, including Harold Lawson, Randy Eyler, Tim Eyler, Brad Weddle, Dave Stevens, Gary Hodges, Lee Hanvey, and Russell Sanders. Town of Thurmont office staff members were also introduced, including Becky Long, Senior Administrative Assistant; Tracy Schur, Chief Financial Officer; Wanda Stottlemyer; Melody Dix; Lori Kaas; Debbie Ecker; and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

Mayor Kinnaird gave praise to all parties involved and also recognized Jim Castle with the Department of Housing and Community Development, stating that, “We wouldn’t have gotten the grant money to purchase the building and complete the project without his help.”

A historian at heart, Mayor Kinnaird noted the history of Thurmont Town Offices. They were first housed in the basement of the Thurmont Bank Building on the square, and then moved in 1956 or 1957 to the Frederick Street location. Moving now to a property that was once owned by one of Thurmont’s former mayors seems fitting.


Pictured from left are Town Commissioners Bill Buehrer, Wayne Hooper, Marty Burns, Wes Hamrick, and Mayor John Kinnaird during the Dedication Ceremony for the Town of Thurmont’s new Municipal Building on January 31, 2015.

Photo by Allison Rostad

They have a way with words. They are the Scribbler’s Club at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg.This group of third through fifth graders meets on Tuesdays to learn more about writing better and to share their stories.

Whether it is a story about sibling rivalry or a poem about Harry Potter, these young writers are anxious to try new ways to express themselves through the written word.

“This is creative outlet for these kids,” says Club Advisor Lynn Tayler. “A lot of kids love to write, and they get to do that here.”

She said that her goal is to have the young writers contribute at least one story to an end-of-the-year journal that will show off the best that the Scribbler’s Club has to offer.

The club meets on Tuesdays after school in the library. They come in with journals filled with stories, poems, and ideas that they have been working on throughout the week.

“I like writing because it allows you to express your feelings,” said Ella Lowry, a third grader.

The club is currently made up of approximately a dozen students. About two thirds of them are girls, but the different writing interests are evenly spread among the group members.

Fourth-grader Beckett Taylor likes writing action and adventure stories. “I like being able to write whatever stories I want and not just what I have to for school,” he said.

Club Advisor Lynn Tayler and her co-advisor, Dianne Hoffman, introduce the students to new types of writing and have them experiment with them. It might be through writing prompts or worksheets with examples of different types of writing.

For Valentine’s Day, the group experimented writing different types of poetry.

“It exercises my head,” said Gray Grube, a third grader. “I like it.”

The goal of the club is to encourage these young writers to not only engage their imaginations but to be able to express those ideas.

Fifth-grader Mia Furraro says that she has always loved to write. “I love to express how I feel through words and with my imagination, and I want to get better at it,” she said.

Third through fifth grade students in the Scribbler’s Club at Mother Seton School meet every Tuesday to share their stories and to express their ideas and creativity through writing.


Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Mother Seton School Alumni Present Gift for Scholarship Fund

The Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School (MSS) will help a few more families this year, thanks to the efforts of the Little Family. On December 15, 2014, Tony Little, Mary-Lou Little, and Jane Moore, presented MSS Principal Sr. Brenda Monahan, D.C. with a check for $10,000 (the proceeds from the annual Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament). The 2014 event was held on October 3 at the Mountain View Golf Club in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

The tournament began as a promise made to their dying father that the Little siblings would do something to repay the generosity shown their parents when they sent their six children to MSS in the 1970s and 1980s. Tony, a graduate of MSS in 1978, followed through with that commitment and, with his siblings—Tim, Mary Lou, Pam, Scott, and Ed—launched the golf tournament as a means to raise money for the Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School.

To date, the tournament has raised over $60,000 for the fund and helped numerous families afford the cost of tuition to MSS.

“We want to continue to help Mother Seton School grow and thrive, and not have money be an issue (for families who wish to enroll their children),” Tony Little said.

“We are grateful to the Little Family for their generosity and continued commitment to Catholic education,” said Monahan. “Mother Seton School helps students to integrate their faith into every aspect of life. Our students excel academically and have the opportunity to experience a diverse selection of extracurricular activities. Thanks to the support of the Little Family, we can meet the growing demand for financial assistance so that families can choose and remain in a Catholic School.”

Tony Little remains humble about his and his siblings contributions. “None of us do this for recognition, only to keep mom and dad’s dream alive. For that reason, we will continue our efforts to contribute to the scholarship fund.”

The next Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on October 2, 2015.

The Little Family donated $10,000 towards the Mother Seton School scholarship, named for their parents, Jack and Shirley Little. The donation came from proceeds from the annual Angels Above Golf Tournament that the family hosts. Pictured from left are Sr. Brenda Monahan, D.C. (Principal), Mary-Lou Little, Tony Little, and Jane Moore.

Car Cruise Fundraiser in Memory of Jacob Loudon

Catoctin High School students, Mikey Clise and Rob Reaver, will hold a Fundraising Car Cruise in memory of senior, Jacob Loudon, who recently passed. Cruisers should meet at Catoctin High School at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The cruise will begin at noon, and travel towards Frederick.

Memorial decals will be sold for $7.00 each, and there will be a donation box. Proceeds go to the Loudon Family. Please call Rob Reaver at 717-398-6276 with any questions or text 240-397-3806.

Who Will Be 2015 Teacher of the Year?

Do you know a teacher who goes beyond what is expected? Is there a teacher who has made an impact on your life or your child’s life? It’s time to recognize these special teachers by nominating them for the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year Award. Anyone, including parents, students, and fellow teachers may nominate a teacher.

This award is open to full-time teachers, pre-K through grade 12, in the Catoctin feeder school system: Catoctin High, Thurmont Middle, Thurmont Primary and Elementary, Sabillasville Elementary, Lewistown Elementary, Emmitsburg Elementary, and Mother Seton School.

One finalist from each of the eight schools will be announced during a reception in April. The Teacher of the Year will be selected from these finalists by a committee of community leaders, and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions Club’s Education Night on May 13, 2015. Nomination forms are available at and at the Thurmont Regional Library.  Nominations are due by Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.

by Chris O’Connor

A Sketch of An Artist

Artists are visual historians with the ability to record, enhance, or influence the human condition with a variety of media—paints, charcoal, pencil, pen, ink—on a variety of surfaces, from cave walls to homes to houses of worship to the polished corridors of galleries all over the globe. Steve Burdette is one of those artists.

The artist who greeted me from his front porch the day of my visit was an affable guy, making me laugh within moments of meeting, and quite often throughout our meeting, as he recounted many anecdotes. He was introspective, too; at junctures in our conversation, he yielded to a more serious tone while commiserating about current events.

As I was going through his prints, he took time to explain the painting techniques he had used in one piece or another. He even waxed poetic about his granddaughter’s use of color when they spend time together painting in his workspace. 

Originally hailing from the rolling farm country of Damascus, Maryland, Steve Burdette spent his formative years instilled with a sense of wonder and appreciation of nature—the outdoors and architecture reflected in his art.

Steve and his wife Kathy have three adult children, two grandchildren, and a grandchild on the way. He and Kathy reside in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Steve remains a working artist, with an extensive and varied portfolio of oils and watercolors and other media. Many works in progress rest around his home studio.  

A painting I’m looking forward to seeing upon its completion is of Steve’s mom in her garden. He credits her for recognizing his artistic nature when he was just a child, and saving money earned from babysitting to pay Charles Jones, a Damascus, Maryland, art instructor, under whom Steve studied for fourteen years.

The body of Steve’s work has something for everyone. There are landscapes and architecture, including a multitude of barns and rural outbuildings. There are tractors, and my personal favorites: the florals and the paper birch trees and creeks in all seasons.

Some of Steve’s most evocative works are renderings of his vision of the Battle of Monterey Pass in Blue Ridge Summit. It occurred as the Confederate soldiers were in retreat, following the Battle of Gettysburg.

I first saw prints of Steve’s works, including the Battle of Monterey Pass, at the Martin House Bed and Breakfast, although he has had exhibits at venues such as the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Maryland. Lynn and Duke Martin, owners of Martin House Bed and Breakfast, proudly display and market prints of Steve’s art at their Bed and Breakfast. After seeing Steve’s art, I was truly looking forward to meeting the artist who exhibited such a wide range of skill, style, and creativity.

For the Battle of Monterey Pass, Steve spent hours on the old Maria Furnace Road that runs into the forest behind the new museum at Monterey Pass Battlefield Park. He imagined the wagon train of defeated Confederates, many already mortally wounded during battle at Gettysburg, sustaining an attack by Union soldiers. He envisioned the darkness, lightening, thunder, and blinding rain. In his mind’s eye, Steve saw that horrible night and painted what he imagined.

Generally, the artistic process for Steve may be the stereotypical one of an artist setting up outdoors and, weather permitting, sketching or painting away. But Steve often asks his wife Kathy, a talented photographer in her own right, to snap scenes or subjects he wants to paint that she later downloads onto the computer.  He then sketches the image from the screen and later paints from his sketch.

Steve has enjoyed the support and encouragement of his wife, Kathy, and their three adult children.                                                                                                                                      

At one time, they also had a gallery at Tracey’s Corner in Blue Ridge Summit that they decided to close during the nation’s economic downturn. It may have been a blessing in disguise, actually benefiting Steve’s creativity and, ultimately, all who love and appreciate his art. He believes an artist may overlook a beautiful subject because it may not “sell,” and considers that the demise of art. As the gallery doors drifted to a close, Steve felt his joy of creativity revived and renewed. He felt free to paint subjects that made him happy, rather than subjects he felt compelled to paint to fulfill market demands.

This artist wears yet another other hat, or two.

Steve grew up a firearms enthusiast with his brother, but he put up his guns to gather cobwebs after his brother passed away. But one day Steve decided to remember the years of gun training he had enjoyed with his brother, and chose to carry on their shared legacy and bond, forged in guns and marksmanship.  Steve and Kathy joined a gun club, where they can utilize the shooting range; Steve often forays into the deep woods to shoot targets, while stealthily trekking through the timber.

He tells of being “unfriended” on social media by some that are averse to his gun totin’ ways. But what an image: a guy in full camo, armed with a  30.06 rifle, juxtaposed to the same man who can paint a soft pink apple blossom in watercolors, or capture the facets of sparkling freshly fallen snow on the forest floor.

Last but not least, the artist and marksman is also a man of deep faith. Steve Burdette is a pastor of a non-denominational church, conducting Sunday service at his and Kathy’s home. He also frequently visits other churches to share his ministry.

He is the proverbial “man for all seasons,” a man of faith who treasures his wife and family, and the great outdoors that has inspired his art.

Steve’s art will be showcased at the Mountaintop Community Spring Fair on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Blue Ridge Summit Fire Hall in Blue Ridge Summit, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


Pictured is artist Steve Burdette.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Scenes From A Marriage

I’ve known and observed a lot of couples who have been married for a long time, and it appears to me that the longer a couple is together, the more they begin to think and act alike.  That’s certainly true for Randy and me.  It’s surprising how often we look at each other and utter the same thought.  Sometimes we don’t speak at all.  We can tell by a look or a raised eyebrow what the other is thinking.  I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe it’s just what happens when two people live together for years.

Some couples complement each other like Yin and Yang.  We knew we were perfect for each other the first time we ate broccoli together.  I only eat the florets and Randy only eats the stalks. There’s no waste at our house! Thankfully, I haven’t adopted my hubby’s other odd eating habits. Did I ever mention that he puts gravy on macaroni and cheese?  Or spaghetti sauce on Brussels sprouts?

Marriage changes people both physically and mentally.  We’ve each changed a lot from our single days. Before we got married, Randy had horrible sinus and allergy problems. I, on the other hand, had nary a sniffle. I used to be smart. I’m talking high school valedictorian and 4.0 GPA in college smart.  Now, he’s the one making all A’s in graduate school, and I’m the one with the runny nose.

Married couples do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do in order to find common ground.

I’ve been to three NASCAR races.  I bought the tickets and took Randy to see The Who because they’re his favorite band.  I’ve cooked for hundreds of picnics and dinners, gone to football and baseball games, and clocked a million miles on road trips. Not to mention all the movies and television shows I’ve watched with Randy because he enjoys them. Truthfully, I’ve enjoyed most of it right along with him. I like seeing him have a good time.

Randy has taken me to a lot of concerts, too.  I had great times, but he seemed to enjoy them more. He made a friend named Sarge at the Barry Manilow concert and danced with him.  He disappeared during the Cher concert, and I saw him on the Jumbotron dancing with the lady who ushered us to our seats. I was eating a giant boat of nachos so I didn’t care.  Randy did “The Locomotion” with Little Eva, and sang and danced to “YMCA” with the original Village People.  He was moving and grooving along with The Temptations, too, but one of them stopped singing long enough to tell Randy to sit down because he was throwing off their rhythm.

Also under the heading of “Things We Do for Love,” Randy met Richard Simmons. My friend, Roxann Welch, and I were keeping in shape by working out to Richard’s exercise videos (this was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, ok?), and when we found out that Mr. Simmons was doing a personal appearance at a local mall, we decided to go.  Randy went along with us.  Richard really seemed to like Randy. I have pictures.

Randy has taken me to see the circus more times than I can count, and he always holds my hand when the clowns come out. I love the aerial acts, but I’m terrified of clowns.

Married people learn to pick their battles. Some things aren’t worth fighting about. I remember a yard sale we held a while back. Randy made some signs advertising it, but he didn’t put our address on them—just arrows pointing in different directions. No one came. I made him go back downtown and put our address on the signs. He did, and a car pulled up right away. He said “Don’t even say it.”  I held my tongue, but I gave him the look and lifted my eyebrow.

Even after a lot of years of marriage, spouses can still surprise each other. I was doing the laundry in the basement.  I complained to myself—as I do often about so many things—that there just wasn’t enough light for me to see what I was doing. Randy was at his workbench fiddling with something, and I assumed he wasn’t paying attention to me. A couple of days later, I went to the laundry room to do another load, and there, hanging above the washing machine, was a big fluorescent light fixture with a red bow attached to it. Now, a lot of wives might have gotten upset over that, but not me. I was tickled that Randy had not only heard me, but he’d actually listened. And after only eighteen years, I finally had enough light to do the laundry, which, by the way, Randy still claims he can’t sort properly.

Husbands and wives support each other through difficult situations. I don’t know what I would do without Randy. He’s been in many a waiting room while I’ve undergone medical tests and waited for results. Years ago, I had to have an MRI of my brain, and the neurologist put me through a battery of tests. I was scared, and we were both relieved to hear that my tests were normal. The doctor, however, did diagnose Randy with a brain disorder, simply from symptoms I was explaining. Someday, I’ll tell Randy that we were just messing with him. Hey, married couples get their kicks where they can.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you! 

F_X_Eby Jim Houck, Jr.

Note: This is the story titled “History of the Francis X. Elder Post, No. 121 American Legion From its Beginning,” as written by “Abigail,” a writer for the Emmitsburg Chronicle. The article was published in the Emmitsburg Chronicle in 1940.

Original Post Founded In 1920. Present One Originated in 1936. Lester J. Damuth and Charles J. Rowe Instumental In Its Formation.

By Abigail

An American Legion Post was organized here in 1920 for the first time and was named Francis X. Elder Post No. 75. The original Post was the nucleus of American Legion activities in the community and undoubtedly served as an incentive to augment the membership and the splendid spirit that is a part of the present Post.

It was not until March 12, 1936 that the present Francis X. Elder Post, No. 121, Department of Maryland, was organized by Mr. Lester J. Damuth and his committee. State Commander Charles S. Houck, of Walkersville, addressed the veterans and assisted in the organization of the new Post. Those veterans who were members of the organization at that time follow; John H. Rosensteel Jr., C. C. Combs, Charles J. Rowe, Louis H. Stoner, Clarence Baumgardner, Gerald N. Ryder, Lester J. Damuth, Maurice H. Moser, Clarence G. Fraley,  James M. Alvey, J. Ward Kerrigan, George Wagerman, Raymond Baumgardner, Guy C. Angell and J. Ralph Angell.

It was agreed to name the Post the Francis X. Elder Post in honor of the first Emmitsburg boy to enlist and the first to be killed in action. Francis X. Elder, son of the late Mr.  and Mrs. James B. Elder, was born in Emmitsburg on June 30, 1893. He inlisted in the service of his country on May 9, 1917. He was in France from June 15, 1918 until death. He was killed in action on October 11, 1918. Others killed in action were Captain Henry higbee Worthington and Martin Hahn. Killed by accident was first lieutenant john Reading Schley. Died of disease, Charles Francis Gelwicks, Francis Edward Rowe. Robert Bruce Reifsnider, Arthur Bentzel and Vernon Ross Ohler.

The following Officers were elected for the year of 1936-1937; Post Commander, Lester J. Damuth; Post Adjutant, Charles J. Rowe; Vice Commander, Maurice H. Moser; Finance Officer, Louis H, Stoner; Historian, C.C. Combs; Sergeant -at-Arms, George Wagerman; Chaplain (Temporary), Reverend Father Francis Dodd; Membership Chairman, Clarence G. Frailey; Grave Registration Chairman, Gerald N. Ryder; Service Officer, Charles J. Rowe; and Child Welfare Chairman, Clarence Baumgardner. The Executive Committee was composed of John H. Rosensteel Jr., Clarence Baumgardner and James M. Alvey, and was asked by the Post Commander to draw up the by-laws of the newly formed Post.

During the year, the Post took an active part in flood relief by sending food, clothing and money to the relief committee of the Francis Scott Key Post in Frederick. They were one of the first Post to receive the “Community Service Citation”.

All veteran’s graves were marked and registered this year. In November the by-laws submitted by the above named executive committee were unanimously approved. The Armistice Day Services were held on November 8 in Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Rev. Francis Dodd, Post Chaplain was in charge of services.

A military funeral was conducted for John S. Hobbs, a World War veteran, at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in December of that year.

In February 1937 the Post donated $47.00 for flood relief in the Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio River section. The money was sent to the Red Cross. Again the Post received the “Community Service Citation”.

In March 1937 the local Legion Post celebrated its first anniversary in the Fireman’s Hall with a banquet and dance at which 135 Legionnaires and their guests were present. The Colors of the Legion were presented to the local Post by Bryon Hobbs, Department Commander. At the same time C.L. Shrine, Vice Commander of the Western Maryland District and Morris Frock, Post 42 of Hagerstown, presented the charter and citation. Among the notables present were; Major Elmer J. Munshower, Superintendent of Maryland State Police; Rev.John L. Sheridan, President of Mt. Saint Mary’s College; Rev. William J. Groeninger, Pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; Rev. E.L. Higbee, Pastor of the Reformed Church of the Incarnation; Rev. Phillip Bower, Pastor of the Elias Lutheran Church; Rev. Francis Dodd, Chaplain of the local Post; Miss Louise Sebold, President of St. Joseph’s College Alumnae; and Mr. John D. Elder, brother of Francis X. Elder and Editor of this paper.

In May of 1937 the Post sponsored the Walk-a-Show, on Decoration Day the services were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church at 3 pm; Rev. Raymond E. Cook, Department Chaplain, delivered the sermon. Charles J. Rowe, Post Adjutant introduced the speakers after a brief talk and introductory remarks.

In July the following Officers were elected for the year 1938; Post Commander, Maurice Moser; Vice Commander, C.C. Combs; Adjutant, C.J. Rowe; Finance Officer, Louis H. Stoner; Sergeant-at-Arms, John Walter; Historian, William S. Sterbinsky; Chaplain, Rev. Francis J. Dodd; Raymond Baumgardner was named to the Executive Committee. A committee of two was named to investigate insurance for the colors, Charles J. Rowe and James Alvey.

In September Adjutant Charles J. Rowe announced that the Mayor and Commissioners granted the Post permission to take over the Doughboy War Memorial. The Armistice Day services were held in the Reformed Church of Incarnation and the Pastor, the Rev. E.L. Higbee, delivered a very eloquent address for the occasion. About 30 members were present.

In January 1938 the Posttook action to reduce hazards to motorists on Tollgate Hill. On January 19, the Legion turned out for the funeral of Mrs. James B. Elder, mother of Francis X. Elder, for whom the Post was named. in March of 1938 about 75 Legionnaires, Ladies of the Auxiliary and friends attended the second annual banquet of the Post held in Hotel Slage. Post Adjutant, Charles J. Rowe, presented two rifles to the Post, purchased by his mother, in memory of her son, Francis Edward Rowe, who died at a Naval Training Station during the war.

The memorial services in this year were held at the Presbyterian Church, with the Pastor, Rev. Irwin N. Morris, delivering the impressive sermon. In June the following Officers were elected for 1939; Commander, C.C. Combs; Vice Commander, Raymond Baumgardner; Adjutant, J.E. Prendergast; Chaplain, Rev. Francis Dodd; Historian, William S. Sterbinsky; Treasurer, Dr. O.H. Stinson; Finance Officer, Charles D. Gillelan. Charles J. Rowe and James Alvey were appointed as delegates to the State convention with C.C. Combs and Allen Rosensteel named as alternates.

In August the newly-elected Officers were installed by the State Commander, Bruce Blair. A bugle was accepted as a gift from Mr. Ralph S. Sperry. In September the Post was honored in having one of its members elected as one of the State’s Vice Commanders. This outstanding Legionnaire was Charles J.Rowe. The Armistice Day services were held at Elias Lutheran Church. The Pastor Rev. Phillip Bower, gave a very appropriate and impressive address. In the afternoon the Armistice Day Parade was held with the following

Posts represented; Drum Corps of the Francis Scott Key Post No. 11, Frederick, members of the same Post with the Forty and Eight; Members of the Morris Frock Post, Hagerstown; Carroll Post, No. 31, Westminster; Hesson-Snyder Post, No 131, Taneytown; Drum and Bugle Corps of Albert J. Lentz Post, No. 202, of Gettysburg; and the colored Post of Frederick of Frederick with its band. Immediately following the parade all assembled on the local Community Athletic Field where the Hon. Judge J. Fred Johnson, of Washington gave the principle address. State Commander Herbert L. Rhodes, and past State Commander Bruce Blair, both spoke briefly. There was singing by the entire assembly led by Post Historian, William S. Sterbinsky, accompanied by the Fairfield High Band.

On November 20 the Post attended the funeral of Mrs. Edward H. Rowe, the mother of the Vice Commander, Charles J. Rowe, which was held from her home.

On March 23, 1939, the Post celebrated its third anniversary in the Green Parrot Tea Room with about sixty guest present. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Frailey was the principal speaker and District Vice Commander, Charles J. Rowe, disclosed some interesting information concerning the local Post.

Memorial services were held this year at the United Brethren Church, in Thurmont. The Rev. Ivan Naugle, a recent member, and the Pastor, was in charge of the services. At a meeting held on September 4 the following Officers were elected for the ensuing year of 1940; Commander, Raymond Baumgardner; Vice Commander, L. Mackley; Adjutant, J.E. Prendergast; Treasurer, Lesley Fox; Historian, Allen Rosensteel; Sergeant-at-Arms, Henry Warthen. The new committees were appointed by the Commander.

The Charter Members of the Post follow; James Alvey, Guy Angell, Ralph Angell, Morris Barrick, Clarence Baumgardner, Raymond Baumgardner, C.C. Combs, Lester Damuth, Francis J. Dodd, Lesley Fox, Clarence G. Frailey, William Frailey, Edgar Freeze, David Gall, Vincent Hartdagen, J. Winfield Houser, Luther Kelly, Harry Knight, Arthur Malloy, William Miller, Maurice Moser, Allen Rosensteel, John H. Rosensteel Jr., Charles J. Rowe, Gerald N. Ryder, Arthur Starner, William Sterbinsky, Dr. O.H. Stinson, Louis Stoner, Harry Valentine, Robert Valentine, George Wagerman, John Walter and Curtis Weddle.

The deceased members of the Post are John H. Rosensteel Jr. and Robert Valentine.

The present total membership is sixty-one.


I would like to share with you the last words written by Francis X. Elder in a letter to his mother from the front line in France.

                                                         Dearest Mama,

As I am about to enter the big fight for Democracy it is my desire now, whilst I have the opportunity to pencil you a few lines briefly, and bid you, Papa and all, a sincere farewell and may our dear and most precious God always protect you in this life, and knowing this, I will die cheerfully for a good cause, if it to be his holy will, otherwise it will be the happiest moment of my life when I can once more kiss those motherly lips. If the worst happens to me, take the news, courageously be brave!, as I am going to try and be. If I come through O.K. I will write at once and let you know.

Hoping for the best and trusting I will see you all on earth, or that we will meet in Heaven, I am your most affectioate and loving son.”

                                                                                                                                  Farewell,                                                                                                           Priv. Francis X. Elder


Happy Birthday, Francis X. Elder American Legion Post 121.

God Bless America, God Bless our American Veterans, and God Bless You.

Buck Reed, The Supermarket Gourmet

Okay, okay…I get it. We like corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. Yet, there is an array of perfectly good Irish food we can eat on this day that might be considered more appropriate. We have coddle, Irish salmon, or my personal favorite, Irish stew. Don’t get me wrong, I like corned beef and cabbage, but I would order Irish-style bangers and mash on St. Patrick’s Day over corned beef and cabbage any time. But, I know every restaurant and bar will be serving corned beef and cabbage, as if this is the only thing they eat on the Emerald Isle. And, of course, you will probably pass up the Guinness and go for whatever beer they happen to be adding green dye to.

However, if you are one of those many who will be foregoing the bar-hopping tradition, you will hopefully be cooking at home and maybe even invite a few friends or neighbors over. Although Irish food is well known for being uncomplicated, most of you will still be making corned beef and cabbage. If you are inviting me over, I like horseradish sauce with mine. One friend of mine once made corned beef and cabbage, but the store was out of green cabbage. She was in a hurry, so she purchased red cabbage instead, and everything she served was purple. The hard part of this operation is trying to convince your guests that purple potatoes were St. Patrick’s favorite way to eat them. 

I say go ahead and have a small party. Except for a few of the more morose poets and a couple of murderous monarchs, the Irish are a mostly friendly people. And we all love that snake-chasing patron saint, so a party in his honor is more than appropriate. So, get your shamrock decorations ready, put on your “Kiss Me, I Should Be Irish” green shirt, and make some corned beef and cabbage. Even better, make extra corned beef and cabbage. It really isn’t that much extra work, and the leftovers can be turned into wonderful dishes. Here are a few ideas: 

• Make hash by chopping up the corned beef and potatoes and fry it up with just a touch of horseradish.

• Even better, add chopped beets to the above to make a red flannel hash. 

• Save the broth and make a coddle-like dish with the vegetables and a bit of corned beef and maybe a nice piece of sausage.

• Fried corned beef might become your second favorite side meat to serve with fried eggs.

• Make a corned beef and cabbage burrito for a quick on-the-go lunch (probably great for a hangover).

• As long as we are on the fusion thing: try corned beef and cabbage stir-fry or, even better, serve it up over your favorite ramen.

• Back to Irish cuisine: how about colcannon?

Need a recipe or have an idea for an article, email me at