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The courtyard at the Cozy Restaurant is shown on its last day of business, June 8, 2014.

by James Rada, Jr.

Cozy-outsideThurmont has lost one of its iconic businesses. The Cozy Restaurant was the oldest restaurant in Maryland, continuously owned by one family. That’s right….was. When the restaurant closed its doors on Sunday, June 8, 2014, it closed for good.

The closing means that around seventy-five employees, mostly part-time, will need to find new work. Parties and events that had been scheduled at the Cozy will need to find new venues.

“The motel will stay open, and we may rent or sell the restaurant,” owner Jerry Freeze told the Frederick News Post. “I’m almost eighty, and there really isn’t anyone left in the family to run the business. I never thought I would want to retire.”

Cozy-inside--WillysThe Cozy Inn and Restaurant began in 1929, when Wilbur Freeze purchased property on Frederick Road to build a tourist camp that consisted of three cottages, tents, shower building, rest room, and a gas station.

The restaurant had long been associated with Camp David since the Herbert Hoover administration. The Inn served as the original housing for Secret Service agents during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The restaurant even had a Camp David Museum, which showed photos and memorabilia of Camp David, the Cozy, and the presidents who had visited over the years.

The restaurant portion of the Cozy Inn began in 1933. A small bar and luncheonette that could accommodate twenty people was built next to the gas station. It was built because Prohibition had ended and alcohol could be sold again.

Cozy-insideIn recent years, the Cozy’s buffet featuring meats, vegetables, salads, soups, and desserts has been a popular feature at the restaurant. It was a popular stop for tour buses passing through the region. According to the Cozy website, more than twenty million people have dined at the Cozy since it opened.

The closure of the restaurant does not affect the operation of the Cozy Inn and its twenty-one President-themed rooms and cabins.

The Cozy Restaurant was a member of the Maryland Restaurant Association Hall of Fame and the National Restaurant Association Hall of Fame.

Publisher’s Note:

On June 20 and 21, 2014, Cozy hosted a sale of the restaurant’s equipment and furnishings. Greeters would accept price inquiries about items and, “Check with Jerry [Freeze, the owner]” to see how much he wanted for each item.  If he was undecided, you were invited to fill out a bid sheet and, “put it in the box. He’ll call you if he accepts the bid.”  It was a strange going-out-of-business sale that emphasized the restaurant’s awkward closing after its 85-year run.

Cupcakes Now Available at Kountry Kitchen in Thurmont

by Deb Spalding

sherry cupcakesThe Thurmont Kountry Kitchen Restaurant is known for its homemade sheet cakes, especially Red Velvet Cakes. But for about a year, they have been creating cupcakes to meet a growing demand.

With owner Pat Ridenour’s 7 year old granddaughter, Jayden, on hand for support, Pat and her daughter, Sherry Myers, make sheet cakes, as well as various flavors of cupcakes. Some cupcakes are made from scratch and some are made from box mixes. Flavors include Almond Joy, chocolate with peanut butter icing, mint chocolate chip, lemon, strawberry shortcake, caramel apple pie, Mystery Machine with Scooby Do, Teddy Bear, Red Velvet, Coconut, Snickers, Dirt with worms, and every week a new flavor. If you have any requests, please call.

While watching as the cupcakes were being iced on a Monday, Jayden said, “I love cupcakes!” Cupcakes are $1.50 a piece, if you buy more than 12, they are $1.25 each. Some specialty cupcakes are $2.00 each. Call 301-271-4071 or stop by the restaurant at 17 Water Street in Thurmont.

Look for more photos on Catoctin Banner Facebook page.

Ebg-her-Day-jasmineEmmitsburg has held a fireworks show for years, but this year the Emmitsburg Lions Club and its sponsors hosted a day-long free festival on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The day was packed with fun stuff for people of all ages and interests including fitness, sports, a bike rodeo, horseshoe tournament, kickball tournament, exhibits, vendors, a yard sale, car show, bingo, swimming, a book sale, parade, food, open houses, bands, rides, music, and of course, fireworks.

Ebg-her-Day-kickerdoodlesWinners of the Old Field Games follow:

The Greased Pig Chase winners were: ages 1-6, Blake Cool; ages 7-11, Mason Joy; ages 12-16 Mathew Legare; and 17 years and older, Dennis Ebaugh.

Ebg-Her-day-3-leg-raceSack Race Winners included: ages 1-4, Sophia Padget 1st and Leah Scarzello 2nd; ages 5-8, Abby Reiger 1st and Mary Legare 2nd; ages 9-12, Mason Joy 1st and Josh Maze and Madison Flohr 2nd; ages 13-16, John Walker 1st and Kegan Greer 2nd; ages 17 and older, Rick Oleszczuk 1st and Dave Zentz 2nd. Singles Sack Race 2nd Heat winners were Jenna Zentz 1st and Evan Ott 2nd.

Ebg-her-Day-vet-vendorDoubles Sack Race Winners were: ages 5-8, Hailie Dawson and Tesssa McKenzie 1st and Jack Scarzello and Eva Oleszcuk 2nd; ages 9-12, Makenna Stambaugh and McKaila Heims 1st and Mason Joy and Josh Maze 2nd; ages 13-16, Elizabeth Buchheister and Tara O’Donnell 1st and Jacob Hahn and Keegan Greer 2nd; ages 17 and older, Bridget McCarthy and Cynthia Fraga 1st and Makenna Stambaugh and McKaila Heims 2nd.

Ebg-Her-Day-eggEgg Toss winners were tied by Team Noah Oleszczuk and Evan Ott and Team Wady Joy and Mason Joy.

Water Balloon Toss winners were Chris Stahley and Garrett Ridenour.

Pie Easting Contest winners were: ages 5-8 years, Grady Abruzzese 1st and Meara McVearry 2nd; ages 9-12, Madison Flohr and Evan Ott; ages 13-16, Michael Larrivee 1st and Mady Crampton 2nd; ages 17 and older, Jerry Wilson 1st and Elizabeth Hoover 2nd.

Ebg Her Day watermelonWatermelon Eating Contest winners were: up to 4 years, Sophia Legare 1st and Avrey Stockman 2nd; ages 5-8 years, Jack Scarzello 1st and Satiago Canadas 2nd; ages 9-12, Madison Flohr 1st, ages 13-16, Jack McCarthy 1st and Matt Legare 2nd; ages 17 and older, Rose Samples 1st and Erin Oleszczuk 2nd.

Ebg-Her-Day-bugCasting Contest winners were: up to 4 years, Avery Stockman; ages 5-8, Faith Cool; ages 9-12, Jacob Smith; ages 13-16, David Stockman; ages 17 and older, Dave Shields.




Photos by Deb Spalding

by Ashley McGlaughlin

In 2013, the Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) U15 lacrosse team completed their 2013 season and claimed their title as division champions in the Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse Conference Festival on May 18, 2013, at Heritage Farm Park.

Most of these young men moved up and continued to play lacrosse for the Junior Varsity team at Catoctin High School (CHS), completing their 2014 season with a record of 9-3.

CHS Junior Varsity finished their season with a remarkable record: winning nine games and only losing three. Families and friends would gather at each game to watch them play as one, and the head coach witnessed improvement in each individual player as the season progressed. “The players are very talented individuals. I’m looking forward to seeing these players next season and to see how much they have improved since last season,” said Head Coach of Junior Varsity Lacrosse, Jeffrey Entwistle.

Most of these players have grown up together, having played lacrosse since they were very young. “All of our skills mesh together to make a positive result,” said Team Captain Andrew Douwes.

At the end of every game, win or lose, they stayed positive. This sportsmanship gained them the respect of other teams. Junior Varsity goalie, Keith Dorsey, especially aided in their wins with his goalie skills. He completed the season in the top five Junior Varsity goalie record in the county for his goals saved.

Some of the other teammates were first-time lacrosse players, so they taught each other, and learned from every mistake. “Next season will be different since some of us will be advancing to Varsity. Even though we have been playing together since the fifth grade, I think it’s going to be interesting to see how we perform at different skill levels,” said Team Captain Adam Fields.

At the end of the season, every player was satisfied with what they had accomplished. Next year, they wish to break their record and continue to play as one family. Good luck for next season Cougars!

Maryland Express 14U Girls Fastpitch Softball Team Captures USSSA State Title

The Maryland Express 14U Girls Fastpitch Softball Team competed in the USSSA State Tournament on June 20-22, 2014.  The team went 5 and 0, beating Anne Arundel Heat, Maryland Chill, Olney Black Cougars, and the Heartbreakers twice on their road to the championship.  They scored 32 runs and allowed only 10 runs during the tournament.  Ashley Mayton was the winning pitcher for all five games.  Members of the Championship Team are:  Taylor Beckley, Natalie Holmes, Lily Kapfhammer, Madelyn Krantz, Ashley Mayton, Abbey McMaster, Abigayle Perry, Jordan Pryor, Ashley Roberts, Olivia Stah, and Paige Tolbard.  Head Coach is Tracie Lehman and Assistant Coaches are Jason Watts, Craig Beckley, and Jimmy Pryor.

Catoctin-Ettes Give Free Baton Twirling Classes

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local, non-profit youth organization, is hosting a FREE, four-week baton twirling course for the beginner twirler!

Classes meet on four consecutive Mondays (began on Monday, June 23, 2014) at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym, from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Classes are geared for students five years to teen years. Batons are loaned free of charge for class time.

This is a great opportunity to determine your child’s interest for twirling with no commitments and no financial outlay whatsoever! If enough interest is shown, they will begin a second session. To register, please email Donna Landsperger at or call 240-405-2604.

Bueso Named School Counselor of the Year

The Frederick County Association of Counseling and Development has named Thurmont Middle School counselor and department chair, Sherry Bueso, School Counselor of the 2013-2014 School Year.

“Sherry is the foundation of our counseling department at Thurmont Middle School,” says Principal Jennifer Powell.

Having worked as Thurmont Middle school counselor for twenty-two years, Ms. Bueso has developed several highly effective programs. She has coordinated the Young Women Leadership Program, which pairs eighth grade girls with a big sister from Mount St. Mary’s University. The students and their mentors meet weekly to improve student self-esteem, discuss relevant issues facing teens today, and learn leadership skills.

Ms. Bueso also initiated an outstandingly successful program called “Life After Middle School.” It involves parents of eighth graders in an evening of presentations about the expectations and decisions their children will face throughout high school. The program was such a success at Thurmont Middle School that FCPS expanded it throughout the county and presents it in conjunction with Frederick Community College.

Eighth grader Ally Davis shares her appreciation: “I know I can depend on Mrs. Bueso. She is a caring, understanding person.”

Koepke Wins Prestigious Award

The 2014 Giant Food-Sophie Altman Coach of the Year trophy was awarded to John Koepke, the It’s Academic Coach at Catoctin High School.

Each year, eighty-one of the best scholastic teams in the Baltimore area compete on It’s Academic, shown each week on WJZ, Channel 13. For thirty-three years, Mr. Koepke has worked with his students, inspiring them to compete on the highest level.

It’s Academic is proud to recognize John Koepke’s dedication, his enthusiasm, and his contribution to education. It’s Academic is recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the longest-running quiz show in the world.

Volunteer Recognition at SES

On June 9, 2014, volunteers were recognized at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES). Place mats made by each of the classes were given to the volunteers, along with a potted plant.

During the 2013-2014 school year, there were fifty-two registered volunteers who donated 1,283 hours to the school.

Those honored with more than 500 hours during their tenure were Angie Hahn, Joan Fry, and April Sharpe.

A light brunch was served and everyone enjoyed socializing with the Principal and Teachers.

2015 Catoctin High School Safe & Sane

The 2015 Catoctin Safe & Sane Graduation Committee will hold a meeting of interested parents of the Class of 2015, Wednesday, July 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Rocky’s Pizza in Thurmont. Any and all interested parents of the Class of 2015 are invited to attend the meeting. There are many activities planned and committee chairpersons are needed to make these events a success for our seniors. For more information contact Cheryl Phelan at Upcoming events and meeting minutes can be seen on the website at or visit our Facebook page — Catoctin High Safe & Sane Class of 2015.

The 2015 Catoctin Safe and Sane Graduation Committee is hosting the Fish Bowl game booth at the Thurmont Carnival during the week of July 7-12, from 6:00-10:30 or 11:00 p.m. Parents are needed to work the booth. Please contact if you are available to help. The contribution of your time will make the first fundraiser of the 2015 graduation year a success for your student.

by Nicki Milbourne and Megan Millison

2014-2015 Chapter Officers from left are: (back row) Dusty Hahn, Stephanie Kennedy, Kayleigh Best, and Johnny Kempisty; (front row) Kayla Umbel, Nicki Milbourne, Hannah Barth, and Megan Millison.

The 2014 Catoctin FFA Parent/Member Banquet was held at Catoctin High School on May 15, 2014. The Banquet was called to order by President Lauren Schur. The evening began with dinner catered by Mountain Gate Restaurant. After dinner, everyone gathered in the auditorium to begin the awards ceremony.

There were many awards, degrees, and scholarships presented during the ceremony. The Scholastic Achievement award, which goes to the member with the highest GPA, was awarded to Aislinn Latham. Four members received their Greenhand Degree and ten members received their Chapter Degree. This year two students were awarded the Star Greenhand Award. This award is given to first-year members who went above and beyond standard expectations within the chapter. This year it was awarded to Jonathan Hubbard and Maybelin Cruz.

The 2014 Star chapter award was presented to Ashley McAfee. Three students were recognized for their outstanding SAE projects. Lauren Schur was awarded the Star in agribusiness, Jacob Shriver was awarded the Star in Ag-placement, and Ashley McAfee was awarded the Star farmer.  Cathy Little and Brian Hendrickson were installed as Honorary Members. Kelly Kirby, Denise Shriver, and Avery Tucker were presented with the Advisor Appreciation Award.  Ashley McAfee was presented the 2014 Dekalb Award.  Cody Harmon was honored as outstanding Ag mechanics student.  Hannah Barth was recognized as the outstanding horticulture student.  Norman and Sandy Shriver were recognized for all of their help and support of the annual butchering. Ten FFA members also received an FFA jacket from the help of ten jacket sponsors. Nine senior FFA members earned an FFA cord to be worn at graduation this year.  Ashley Ridenour was presented as the Thurmont Grange unsung hero, while Hannah Barth was honored as the Community Show unsung hero. Jacob Shriver was honored as the Farm Bureau Unsung Hero. FFA members also received a certificate listing all of the activities they participated in throughout the past year. Six members were awarded scholarships from numerous sponsors. Jonathan Hubbard was the top sales person for the meatstick, spring citrus and nut, and fall citrus fundraisers. Matthew Lenhart earned the award for top butchering sales person.  Wyatt Farmer and Nicki Milbourne were recognized for their proficiency applications. Justin McAfee was recognized for receiving his $1,000 SAE grant.

The evening wrapped up with the installation of the 2014-2015 chapter officers. The new officers include: President — Nicki Milbourne, Vice-President — Hannah Barth, Secretary — Megan Millison, Treasurer — Kayla Umbel, Reporter — Johnny Kempisty, Sentinel — Dustin Hahn, Historian — Stephanie Kennedy, and Junior Advisor — Kayleigh Best.

Local Students Recognized as 2014-2015 Local Frederick County Dairy Maids at Celebration in May

The 2014 Frederick County Dairy Princess Celebration was held on May 18, 2014, at the Woodsboro Volunteer Meeting Hall in Woodsboro, Maryland. Along with the recognition of the 2014-15 Frederick County Dairy Princess was also the recognition of the Frederick County Dairy Maids, consisting of four students from the Catoctin community.

Kayla Umbel, the daughter of Chad and Sandy Umbel of Emmitsburg, attends Catoctin High School. Kayla served as a Dairy Maid, appearing at numerous dairy promotions and participating in Ag Week at the Mall. Kayla is a member of the Frederick County Junior Dairy Club and the Holstein Association. She received awards for her record books, and her animals were nominated Junior All-American. Kayla is a member of the Catoctin FFA Chapter and participates in many FFA activities. She is president of her 4-H Club and an Honor Roll student.

Elizabeth Bisbee, the daughter of Judy and Jamison Bisbee, Sr., attends Catoctin High School.  She is a member of the Tom’s Creek 4-H Club, Maryland Brown Swiss Association and Beef, Sheep & Swine Club. Elizabeth participated in the swine workshop and received many awards in the 4-H dairy judging and dairy bowl programs. She participates at the Sabillasville Elementary School math club and helps at the soup kitchen.

Kaylee Smith, the daughter of Robin Smith of Thurmont, attends Catoctin High School.  She is a member of the Lewistown 4-H Club and Catoctin FFA Chapter.  She has given a 4-H demonstration at her local 4-H club on how milk is made and shipped to stores and has also participated at the Tractor Supply petting zoo.  Kaylee enjoys showing dairy animals and participating in activities which the FFA and 4-H Club sponsors. She also enjoys horseback riding.

Tiffany Lenhart, the daughter of Tina and Jerry Lenhart, attends Thurmont Middle School.  She is a member of the Lewistown 4-H Club and the Ayrshire Association. She has given a demonstration in her 4-H Club on how to show a cow.  She has been on the Honor Roll at school and also has had perfect attendance.  She will be participating in volleyball and cheerleading in the fall.

by Labella A. Kreiner

Shooting for the Moon

This month allows us to celebrate the achievement of independence won by our nation 238 years ago, as well as some of our own local accomplishments. The Catoctin Track and Field team competed at their state and national championships. During these events, our athletes were able to create some amazing opportunities and memories, as school records were broken and personal goals were met. Then our Catoctin Leos completed a successful Car Wash for our local food bank. They also have plans to team up with the Thurmont Ministerium for a Summer Lunches program to help benefit needy families over the summer break.

The Catoctin Track and Field team competed in a two-day state championship, with the boys finishing sixth overall and scoring thirty-two points. On day one, David Dorsey ran the 3200 meter run, finishing second with a new season best time. His brother, Kevin Dorsey, also ran the 3200 meter run and placed sixth with an impressive performance. Zach Gasho ran the 3200 and placed ninth in his first state meet as a Catoctin athlete. The 4×800 meter relay, consisting of Matt Athey, David Dorsey, Kevin Dorsey, and Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, finished third. Patrick also placed seventh in the long jump and set a new personal record. Noah Stone ran the 110 meter high hurdles and finished ninth with an awesome performance that almost matched his personal record.  Jacob Larochelle placed ninth in the high jump, participating in his first state meet. The girl’s team had some great performances as well. The 4×800 relay, consisting of Camryn Skowronski, Julien Webster, Lillie Parella, and Megan Demarais, finished twelfth and ran a new season best time. In the 3200 meter run, Molly Janc placed thirteenth and Julien Webster placed twenty-fourth. For both girls, this was their first state championship.

During day two of the state championship, the boys team had some amazing performances. For the 1600 meter run, David Dorsey placed fourth and broke his own school record, with his brother Kevin coming up behind him in sixth and winning his heat. Patrick Van Der Cruyssen finished fourth in the 800 meter run and ran a new personal record. Finally, the 4×400 meter relay of Tony Reina, Jacob Larochelle, Matt Athey, and Patrick Van Der Cruyssen finished seventh.

The girls team had some great individual performances, as well as an impressive relay performance. Jasmine Herman finished sixth in the 400 meter dash with a new personal best time. This was her first time scoring points in an individual event at the state championships. Aisslyn Latham finished tenth in the high jump. This was also Aisslyn’s first and last outdoor state championship meet. The 4×400 meter relay, consisting of Megan Demarais, Camryn Skowronski, Lillie Parella, and Jasmine Herman, placed tenth with a new season best time.

At the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, our boys team relays set three new school records! The SMR (Speed Medley Relay) of Noah Stone, Matt Athey, Jacob Larochelle, and Patrick Van Der Cruyssen ran a new school record of three minutes and forty-one seconds. The 4×800 meter relay of Matt Athey, David Dorsey, Kevin Dorsey, and Patrick Van Der Cruyssen ran a time of eight minutes and nine seconds. Finally the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) of Kevin Dorsey, Jacob Larochelle, Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, and David Dorsey ran a time of ten minutes and twenty-eight seconds. For more results, go to

The CHS Leo Club held a Car Wash this past month for money and perishables that could be donated to the Thurmont food Bank. Their theme was “Wash Your Wheels for Food,” and the fundraiser was held at Criswell Chevrolet. The CHS Leos held the Car Wash for two hours and were able to collect a box of perishables for the food bank, as well as approximately $100 towards purchasing more items for the cause. The Club wanted to send out a special thank you to those who participated in the event. You will be able to catch the Leos again between July 21-25, as they run a week of our local Summer Lunches program at the Community Park.

With the school year starting up again next month, plans are going to be brought forth for the preparations of this year’s Cougar Camp. Also, meetings will be held to cover topics like our Back to School Night and the start of the fall sports season. Catch you next month with details about the start of our 2014-2015 school year, as well as information surrounding participants in one of our own celebratory events: the town parade! Thank you so much for reading again this month and God bless. Have an idea for a topic? Email me at

by James Rada, Jr.

The crowded slate of candidates for offices in Frederick County was thinned out considerably after the primary election that ended on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Current Board of Frederick County Commissioners President, Blaine Young (R), will be facing off against former Board President, Jan Gardner (D), in November to become the first Frederick County Executive. Young received a majority of Republican votes (53 percent) in a field of three candidates while Gardner was unopposed in her primary race.

The new Frederick County Council will have seven members, two of whom are Catoctin-area residents: Kirby Delauter (R) won 53 percent of the Republican vote and Mark Long (D) won 62 percent of the Democrat vote. They will face off for the District 5 seat in November.

The At Large County Council candidates will represent the interests of the county at large. There are two seats available in November. Democrats Susan Jessee and Linda Norris will go up against Republicans Billy Shreve and Bud Otis.

Incumbent County Sheriff, Chuck Jenkins (R), won 75 percent of the Republican vote and will face Karl Bickel (D) who ran unopposed in his race.

For the three seats available in the District 4 Maryland House of Delegates, Republicans Kathy Afzali, Kelly Schulz, and David Vogt, III, will be trying to keep it an entirely Republican delegation. Democrat Gene Stanton, who ran unopposed, will attempt to grab a Democrat voice in the delegation.

For the District 4 State Senator seat, Michael Hough won 68 percent of the Republican vote and unseated the three-term incumbent, State Senator David Brinkley. Hough will face Democrat Dan Rupli, who ran unopposed.

In the non-partisan Frederick County Board of Education race, voters will be selecting four candidates in November. Of the nine candidates on the ballot for the primary election, only one person was eliminated. The candidates running in November are: Liz Barrett, Jonathan Carothers, Colleen Cusimano, Mike Ferrell, Kenneth Kerr, April Miller, Richard Vallaster, III, and Brad Young.

County voters also voted in state-wide races, including Maryland governor, Maryland lieutenant governor, Maryland comptroller, attorney general, U.S. congressman, judge of the orphan’s court, register of wills, clerk of the circuit court, state’s attorney, and judge of the circuit court.

Current Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (D) will be facing Larry Hogan (R) in the Maryland Governor race. The comptroller race will be between Peter Franchot (D) and William Campbell (R). Brian Frosh (D) and Jeffrey Pritzker (R) will be running for Attorney General and Chris VanHollen (D) and David Wallace (R) will be running for the U.S. House of Representatives District 8 seat.

Of the 149,393 registered voters in Frederick County, only 34,799 or 23.29 percent voted during the Primary Election. For a full listing of voting results during the primary election, visit the Frederick County Board of Elections website at

The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. In the coming months, The Catoctin Banner Newspaper will be speaking with many of the local candidates about issues facing the region, their positions on the issues, and their qualifications for the offices they are seeking. If there are any questions or issues that you would like raised with the candidates, please let us know.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Remembering Jim Spalding

jim spaldingJames Irvin Spalding, life-long resident of Thurmont, passed away peacefully in his home on May 19, 2014 at the age of 75 years. He was the loving husband of Ellen L. Sutton Spalding for 23 years.

Born January 23, 1939 in Thurmont, he was the son of the late Charles “Hamp” Spalding and Helen M. Gourley Spalding. Jim served in the United States Air Force for 4 years. He worked for the Maryland State Highway Administration as a Maintenance Foreman for 34 years and earned, along with his father, Charles “Hamp” Spalding, and brother, Don Spalding, a family accolade for 109 of combined service to the organization; Jim worked 34 years, Don 37 years, and Hamp 38 years.

He was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, a life member and past Post Commander of AMVETS Post 7 in Thurmont, a member of the American Legion Post 121 in Emmitsburg, as well as the South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, and the Guardian Hose Company in Thurmont.

Jim was an athlete. At Thurmont High School, he played soccer, basketball, and baseball. In 1956 and 1957, his team won the Frederick County Championship for basketball.  He loved to dance and was good at it. He loved to have fun, tease people, and laugh with them.  He loved to cook and have his family for Sunday and holiday dinners. He helped the fire company in preparing food for different events.

He was involved with family functions and the community. On most days he would wake early and set the coffee on for his wife, then set about making his rounds to Bollinger’s Restaurant, to Shuff’s Meat Market, Hobb’s Hardware, and sometimes to Timeless Trends before settling back home.

He was a father that never missed an event, ballgame, outing, party, or celebration, and most of the time he was the first to arrive. He didn’t promise to be there, HE WAS THERE!

Jim made sure family and friends came together for one of his favorite activities — butchering. He guarded his recipes for pon haus closely and only shared the recipes with a few select individuals — imparting the knowledge slowly and sometimes without their knowledge. Those who had the privilege of tasting his recipes know his are some of the best.

Jim’s daughter, Kathy Hovermale, said, “He taught me so many things and I have a lot of funny stories I could tell you about jokes he played on me.”  One story she told was about Jim walking her down the aisle on her wedding day. She recalled, “When it was just him and me in the back of the church, he kissed me, told me he loved me, then kicked the side door open and said, ‘Last chance—we can run, I’ll go with you!’”

Jim found Kathy and her husband, Keith, a house that turned out to be right up the street from Jim’s house in Thurmont. Kathy said people thought she was crazy moving so close to her family. Kathy said that since moving in, “I needed them {Jim and her mother, Ellen} a thousand more times than they ever needed me. I ate their food, sat on their porch, and spent more time there bothering them than the other way around.”

Jim’s niece, Diane Miller said, “We talked on the phone every day and some days 2, 3, or 4 times, depending on what was going on. I had to keep him updated on what was going on around the farm.” She recalled his relationships with the farm animals, saying he wasn’t too fond of cats, but was very involved with all aspects of the farm.  She recalled him often asking what she was going to do when he wasn’t around to help with it anymore.  Diane said, “I know it’s not realistic, but I never thought that day would ever come.”

An ornery youngster, an elementary school teacher of Jim’s wrote on one of his report cards that he, “had a rather happy-go-lucky attitude about it all.” For all who knew him, that described him well.  He made friends wherever he went, even befriending a lady who had mistaken him for ‘Steve’ during a rest on a bench in a Walmart.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Mary Mahoney and husband, Michael, of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, Kathryn Hovermale and husband, Keith, of Thurmont; his grandson, James Austin Hovermale of Thurmont; his brothers, Donald L. Spalding and his wife Joan, of Thurmont, and Charles E. Spalding, also of Thurmont; nieces, Diane M. Miller and husband Randy, of Sabillasville, and Lisa Campbell and husband, Todd, and their daughter Katy, of Orangeville, Pennsylvania; and a nephew, Mark Spalding and his wife Deb, and their children, Lydia and Hayden, of Thurmont.

by Ann Marie Bezayiff

Thurmont Food Bank Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, Thurmont Food Bank Volunteers were recognized for their service to the community. Members of the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thurmont hosted the event in their fellowship hall. The guests were treated to an Italian dinner, recognized with a volunteer pin, and asked to stand and share with the audience his or her role in the Food Bank. Each received a grateful applause. One volunteer commented, “We don’t do this for the thanks, but it sure felt good to know that what we do makes a difference and is appreciated.” A very special volunteer, Eddie Crouse, was remembered for his service to the Food Bank, and his presence will be missed. Later, the Thespians delighted everyone as they performed several songs from Smoke on the Mountain.

Currently, there are eighty to ninety volunteers who support the Food Bank, which is administered by Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin. “They loved the music and the food and the feeling of being appreciated. It provided a boost in morale and helped everyone bond with other volunteers and the folks from St. John’s,” said Pastor Sally.

Volunteers help with donations from the community and deliveries from the Maryland Food Bank. Unloading, sorting, stacking, and filling shelves are time-consuming tasks, and strong, healthy backs are needed. There are volunteers who help with the clients by signing clients in, filling bags with groceries, and distributing the bags to each client to take home. Other volunteers are clients themselves or the children of clients.

Pastor Susan Beck from St. John’s has seen the operation firsthand, since the distribution of the food takes place at St. John’s where she is the pastor. “It is a wonderful group of volunteers who make this well-oiled machine work. It is one of the most organized and efficient food banks in our area.”

The social Ministry team at St. John’s would like to thank the following community members for their support and donations: Fratelli’s New York Pizza, Rocky’s New York Pizza, Weis Market, and Food Lion. The members of St. John’s donated desserts. The first Food Bank Appreciation dinner was a success, because people in the community volunteered their time and provided donations to show their appreciation for these amazing volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or have needs as a client, contact Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin at 301-271-4554 (messages only). The Food Bank is located at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 15 North Church Street, Thurmont. Hours of operation are: Tuesday, from 6:00-7:30 p.m.; Friday, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. The Thurmont Food Bank is a project of the Thurmont Ministerium

Traveling along 550 through Sabillasville to Fort Ritchie or Blue Ridge Summit or towards Thurmont, you will see stone fences with jagged quartz tops. The stones appear to be unique to this part of western Maryland and Pennsylvania. They probably were constructed sometime in the 1800s or early 1900s, as sturdier mortar mixtures became available. The stone was collected from area farms and fields, and the walls were constructed by local masons. The Brown brothers are names that keep surfacing as stone masons who worked in this area. Roscoe Pryor of Waynesboro is also another name. He helped construct Fort Ritchie’s stone entryway.

These fences differ from older New England stone fences also found in our area. Those were built loose with stone piled on stone. This type of fence doesn’t need mortar, because the stones sit lightly on the land. No foundation is needed. If constructed correctly, the stones actually expand and contract with the freeze cycle, and water can flow right through them. They are more common than our mortared, stone-topped fences.

However, while on a recent trip to Dublin, I took the train to the coastal city of Howth. While there—much to my amazement—I saw identically constructed limestone stone fences, glued together with similar mortar patterns and topped with the same jagged stone design on top. The fences surround what was once a stone fortress that was built by the Irish in the 900s as a defense against the Viking invasions. Originally in Ireland, the fences were used as cattle enclosures, but later they became useful as boundaries and made beautiful ornamental walls. So the idea for constructing stone fences in our area may have come from Ireland with Irish immigrants. Another source said the idea for these walls originally came from Germany first and then to Ireland. Though the origin of our stone fences remains a mystery, we can all be proud of the workmanship and the craftsmanship that created them.

by Gracie Eyler                                                              

DSC_0037 The Vigilant Hose Company in Emmitsburg successfully held their 6th Annual Spring Fling on Echo Field at Mount St. Mary’s University, despite sopping wet conditions. Heavy rain the day before the event caused extra work, as volunteers began setting up the day before the big event in preparation of the biggest Spring Fling yet. With over 1,600 tickets sold, they worked diligently to set up tents, tables, and chairs; stock the coolers; and prep the grills—only after they siphoned the very wet, Echo Field.   “We were lucky to have sunshine and nice weather the day of the event, considering the four inches of rain that down-poured the day before,” said one of the event’s coordinators, Gabe Baker. “We were able to utilize our fire training to pump the excess water off the fields, using a relay system,” added Baker. The relay system worked by using a series of three pumps. In consideration of the grounds, they opted to use four-wheelers and lighter equipment, as opposed to big trucks and larger trailers, to haul items during set up. This made for the longest set up in years. They also had many fire calls to cover on Friday and Saturday, during the set up and during the actual event. Volunteers seemed to be unflappable as they prepared and served food to participants. Nine hundred pounds of beef, 3,000 pounds of barbecued chicken, 1,000 pounds of hot dogs, and a lot of drinks were consumed over the course of the day. One Spring Fling participant was heard asking, “Did you have some of that chicken?  It was so good!  It was grilled perfectly.” The Vigilant Fire Hose Company would like to thank everyone who participated or volunteered their time to make for another successful Spring Fling, especially the Thurmont, Biglerville, and Leesburg Fire companies who stood in that day.

For a list of winners, visit their website at


Spring Fling volunteers, Laurie Wivell, Julie Davis, Tiffany Click,    and Greg Sterner organize fundraising tickets to sell.





Volunteers grill and prepare food for Spring Fling participants—900 pounds of beef, 3,000 pounds of barbecued chicken, 1,000 pounds of hot dogs, and a lot of beverages consumed throughout the day.






Sally McIlrath (left) and Ann Benjamin added to the fun at the Spring Fling.



by Deb Spalding

2014051695065637When I was waking up just before 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 16, 2014, I thought the highlight of the day would be my son, Hayden’s, 14th birthday and his going fishing at the annual Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (BOJC) event at Camp Airy later that day. When I glanced out the window, I was surprised to see a pond in an area that is usually green lawn.  I checked Facebook on my ipad and read some posts by our local unofficial weather man, Chris Black of Catoctin Mountain Orchard, where he reported three and one-half inches of rain overnight. Other posts mentioned a bus stranded between the top and bottom of Route 77, and a water rescue at the turn below Camp Peniel on Route 77.  Route 550 was also closed, and photos of the watery mess were starting to be posted. I could hear the emergency sirens in Thurmont.

I phoned my parents, who live at the top of the mountain off of Route 77, to tell my father that the road was closed. I knew he would be itching to get to the BOJC.  Mom hung up from my call, so she could call my brother, who lives back her lane, to make sure he made it to his house, since he had driven in from out of town overnight. Mom called me back to say that my brother had indeed arrived home safely around 4:00 a.m., also mentioning that it made sense that there was a water rescue, because their six-inch rain gauge was overflowing. “All of that water had to go somewhere,” she said.

My daughter, Lydia, was driving to school at Catoctin, so I suggested a route where she would encounter the least amount of water. After a few minutes, she texted that she arrived safely to school.

My Mom called me back again and said, “That water rescue was your sister.”  While on that call, my sister, Carol Gray, beeped in. I switched to her call, and she proceeded to tell me of her adventure that morning.

As a hospital sales representative, she was on her way to the V.A. Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, to deliver medical supplies for a patient’s surgery that was scheduled to take place at 8:00 a.m.  A little after 6:00 a.m. she was driving up Route 77 from Thurmont and encountered water over the road just before the Camp Peniel Bridge. She was following two 4×4 trucks who made it through, but she stopped for fear that she wouldn’t make it. Her vehicle is a small SUV. There was a car and a school bus behind her, so she couldn’t go backwards. Behind the bus was the hair-pin curve below Camp Peniel. She called 911.

For 45 minutes, the folks at 911 coached her to stay calm while emergency crews were dispatched. During the 911 call, the flash flood waters must have reached their peak because the waters dissipated quickly while the emergency crews planned their approach. Within 20 minutes, Carol was escorted from her car by Frederick County Advanced Technical Rescue personnel.  The water had receded to the point that the lines on the road were visible. From her perspective, having watched for nearly an hour as the water rushed around her and large tree limbs narrowly missed her vehicle as they swished by, she was shaken up.

By 8:00 a.m. she was on her way to deliver the supplies to the hospital.

By 9:00 a.m. the heavy rain and flooding was a distant memory for all of us.

It’s all a matter of perspective. To Carol, as she made the decision to stop her vehicle in treacherous water, it was a life-threatening time.  If she had followed the trucks, would she have been swept away?  We’ll never know.

To citizens, the morning was eventful.  There were several water rescues across Frederick County, it was a challenging morning for motorists, and it was exciting. Guardian Hose Company’s Chief, Chris Kinnaird, indicated that from an emergency service perspective in Thurmont, “It wasn’t as bad as it seemed.” Regarding the multiple emergency sirens that were sounded, he said, “We were able to handle all the calls with the resources that were available.”

In an effort to prevent a flood water emergency in our futures, I did a quick search on the internet for flood safety tips.  The following facts are from the Office of Insurance and Safety in Georgia: Flash floods are those that develop within six hours of a rain storm, but severe flash floods can occur in a matter of minutes, depending on the intensity and duration of the rain and the topography of an area.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away a vehicle. This includes pickups and SUVs.

Anyone who has witnessed a flash flood can testify to the devastating power of fast-rushing water. Flash floods can roll boulders, uproot trees, destroy buildings and bridges, carry away vehicles and create deep new channels in the earth.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Eat_that_water_melon_2013You don’t want to miss this year’s Community Heritage Day in Emmitsburg, so mark your calendars and plan for a day of fun, sun, and hometown celebration! Newly planned this year are activities such as a neighborhood kickball tournament, baseball exhibition game, bicycle rodeo/ride, carnival rides, and games—all this in addition to its traditional field games, parade, and fireworks! “We have the best fireworks,” said local resident Linda Pembroke, “and Community day really is the best festival around.” The kickball tournament is a brand new activity. “You don’t have to be an expert athlete to participate. You just have to want to have fun!” said Jennifer Mellor, “Silo Hill has already started forming a team and they say, ‘It’s on!’”(Please check out the Facebook page: Kickball Heritage Day.) If you are interested in signing up a team from your neighborhood for the kickball tournament, please send your request to

Also included this year are a vendor and crafter show and a yard sale.  The yard sale will be hosted by Seton Center, Inc. at the Farmer’s market area on South Seton Street; spots are $20.00 (which will go to provide much needed funds for needy families).  In addition, Friends of the Library will have a very large book sale nearby.  “The vendor/crafter show was something we started last year,” said Jennifer Joy of the Community Heritage Day committee, “and we learned that we needed to consolidate the event at the Community Park.”  This year, the large field behind the Town Office building will have vendors and crafters, as well as carnival rides and special activities for children. “This way the whole event will be located at the same area.” Anyone interested in participating in the vendor/crafter show can contact Jennifer Mellor at or Jennifer Joy at or call 301-447-6467.

For music lovers, there is all-day music at the bandstand sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. This year, they have lined up a variety of music styles from bluegrass to rock and roll.  You will hear the Home Comfort Bluegrass Band, vocal artist Miriam Warthen, singer Matthew Braden, the Frederick Let There Be Rock School, local Silver Lining Band, Seven x Seventy (Christian Rock), and The Bubonics (alternative rock).

And there is still so much more: The Lions Club will be selling its BBQ chicken to benefit its many charities and scholarships; the Vigilant Hose Company will be having its annual breakfast; the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League will be hosting their annual Car, Truck, and Motorcycle show; a Bike Rodeo and Bike Ride will be provided by Bike Maryland and the Frederick Bicycle Coalition (respectively); The Osteopathic Primary Care Center will be having an open house with tours, crafts, and a bake sale; local churches and organizations will be having games and activities for the kids; and the town will have the pool open free to the public, from 12:00-7:00 p.m.

For those who love history, the local museums, such as the Seton Shrine and the Fire and Rescue museums, will be open, and a history walking tour of Emmitsburg is planned for 4:00 p.m.  “Emmitsburg has a rich history,” says Mike Hillman of the Emmitsburg Area Historical Society, “and the personal accounts from Emmitsburg about the Battle of Gettysburg are some of the most compelling.”

Not to be forgotten, the annual parade, Lions Club Memorial Program, and Fireworks close out the day’s activities.  For those interested in participating in the parade, please contact the Heritage day committee email address at

Don’t miss this year’s festival! For information on the above and other details about the event, please visit  Also, friend them on Facebook! Or you can reach the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Committee at 301-447-6467. View their advertisement on page 48 for more information.