James Rada, Jr.
National-Park-Service-logoYou don’t have to travel out west to visit a national park; you can find five National Park Service sites in Frederick County, Maryland (described below), plus the Gettysburg National Military Park located to our north just over the Pennsylvania state line. This year would be a great year to visit these parks because the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial!

“America’s national parks are beautiful, emotional places,” Ed. W. Clark, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site, said in a park news release. “Places like Gettysburg National Military Park, Flight 93 National Memorial, and the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail tell us more about who we are and help us understand history. Many parks are natural wonders that offer scenic getaways, wildlife viewing, and other adventures. The centennial is about celebration, discovery, and making new connections.”

The National Park Service (NPS) began when President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Organic Act” on August 25, 1916. This legislation not only created the NPS, but it give the NPS the job “…to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

“It had far-reaching ramifications, which continue to impact 6,815,195 park visitors per year in Maryland alone. Even individuals who have never visited a park, if such people do exist, are impacted by the tourism dollars that are derived from NPS sites in their communities,” said Mary Mannix, Maryland Room Manager with the Frederick County Public Libraries.

In 1916, there were 35 parks and monuments under National Park jurisdiction; today there are over 400. They are located on over 84 million acres of land throughout our 50 states, along with DC, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. Maryland is home to 16 of these national parks. More than 300 million people visit national parks in the United States annually. This is roughly 1,000 times the number of people who visited U.S. national parks in 1916.

With such a large anniversary for the NPS, you can be sure that more than the parks will be holding celebrations in its 407 national parks. Many individuals will host cookouts and celebrations, and in Frederick County, the Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) is hosting a series of talks and activities in conjunction with the NPS.

“To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this momentous act, Frederick County Public Libraries is partnering with several of Frederick County’s NPS sites for a year-long celebration of events, unique programs, and informational displays,” said Mannix.

Patrons can join in storytime walks in Catoctin Park; hear a talk about James “Snap” Rouzer, a 19th century bounty hunter; brush up on outdoor skills; or learn about moonshining in the area.

In Emmitsburg, patrons can view the art of Catoctin Artists in Residence and come face-to-face with some of the birds and animals from Catoctin Mountain.

To encourage participation in these events, the library system and NPS are offering a free overnight stay in the Canal Quarters at Point of Rocks (Lockhouse 28).

For every NPS/FCPL Centennial partnership program you and your family attend in 2016 in the parks and libraries, you will have a chance to enter into the drawing for the overnight stay.

Visit www.fcpl.org for more information. The drawing will take place on December 31, 2016, and the winner will be notified.
Find out more about what’s going on to celebrate the National Park Service anniversary in your local library at http://fcpl.org/programs/programs-events/national-park-service-centennial.

                                                                 An Overview of the NPS sites in Frederick County, Maryland
Appalachian National Scenic Trail (www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm)
This 2,180-mile-long trail traverses all types of terrains along the Appalachian Mountains. It runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It passes through our area from Harpers Ferry National Historic Park to Caledonia State Park, east of Gettysburg, PA.

Catoctin Mountain Park
Home to Camp David, this park’s land has served multiple uses over the years: Native Americans quarried rhyolite there; its trees were used to fire the charcoal and iron industry; moonshiners hid their stills there; the Works Progress Administration and the Civil Conservation Corps created the nation’s first Job Corps Center.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm)
This 184.5-mile-long canal runs from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, along the Maryland side of the Potomac River. The canal is no longer used, but there are still stretches that are flooded and where you can ride a canal boat through a lock.

Monocacy National Battlefield (www.nps.gov/mono/index.htm)
In 1864, General Jubal Early and Confederate forces were approaching Washington, D.C., with the intent of capturing it. General Lew Wallace and his outnumbered Union troops met the Confederate troops at Monocacy Junction. Their battle delayed the Confederates long enough for Washington to reinforce its defenses.

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm)
This is a series of trails that connect the Potomac and Upper Ohio river basins. You can explore routes traveled by George Washington on foot, bicycle, horse, and by boat, contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands.

Creagerstown Community Dinner
Come out to the Creagerstown Community Dinner on Saturday, May 7, 2016, from noon-5:00 p.m. Dinner features chicken pot pie and ham pot pie, fried chicken, country ham, and more. View the advertisement on page 6 for more information.

Vigilant’s Annual Spring Fling
The Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling is on Saturday, May 21, 2016. This event will now be held on Echo Field at Mount St. Mary’s University. Spring Fling features $30,000 given in prizes, plus horseshoes, food, 50/50 tip jars, live music, and much more. View the advertisement on page 6 for how to get your tickets today!

7th Annual His Place Car Show
Mark your calendar for the 7th Annual His Place Car Show, scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2016, at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg. Event features cars, trucks, hot rods, motorcycles, and tuner cars, along with three awards each for five categories, as well as door prizes, food, music, and more! View the advertisement on page 8 for more information and for a schedule of events.

Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ
The Guardian Hose Company is sponsoring a Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ on May 6, 2016, from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; and May 7, 2016, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Just in time for Mother’s Day, come out and see the large assortments of plants, flowers, bedding plants, and more. View the advertisement on page 10 for more information.

Mother’s & Father’s Day Dinner at Keysville Grace United Church of Christ
Make your reservation today for the Mother’s & Father’s Day Dinner at Keysville Grace United Church of Christ in Keymar, on June 11, 2016. Serving times are 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. Reservation deadline is June 4 (limited seating). View the advertisement on page 22 for more information.

Music on the Deck at Thurmont Regional Library
Come out and enjoy the Bluegrass Series: Music on the Deck at the Thurmont Regional Library on June 13, July 31, and August 21, 2016. Admission is free. View the advertisement on page 24 for more details.

White Stars Tours: Mystery Trip, Casino Magic Connecticut, and Potomac Eagle Dinner Train Ride
White Star Tours is offering three exciting tours: Mystery Trip (one-day trip in July); Casino Magic Connecticut (three-nights in September), and Potomac Eagle Dinner Train Ride (three-hour trip in October). View the advertisement on page 25 to see all of the details for these not-to-miss tours.

CYA Football/Cheer Open House Registration & Free Community Sport Equipment Swap
Come out to the CYA Football and Cheerleading open house registration at Thurmont Library on Saturday, June 4, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.; and Saturday, June 18, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. They are also hosting a Community Sport Equipment Swap—all items are free—on June 18 at Thurmont Middle School. View the advertisement on page 14 for more details.

CHS 2016 Safe and Sane Fundraising
On May 1, Painting with Laura Day will be held at the Thurmont American Legion, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. On May 15, a Cash Bingo will be held at the Thurmont Carnival Grounds, with doors opening at 1:00 p.m. and bingo starting at 2:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 13 for more information.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events
The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association located at 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, Pennsylvania, is hosting many upcoming events in May, including a Cash Bingo on May 1; Pool Tournament Playoffs on May 7; Kids Fishing Rodeo & Senior Rodeo on May 7; Shuffleboard Tournament on May 15; and more. View the advertisement on page 15 for more event information.

2nd Annual Fun Festival
On Saturday, May 21, 2016, the 2nd Annual Fund Festival will be held at Victory Tabernacle on Kelly Store Road in Thurmont, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The event features free games and prizes (ages 12 and under); free door prizes, free face painting, free snacks and drinks, and free live music. Meet Princess Leia and Chewbacca! View the advertisement on page 6 for more information.

Sarah’s Garden Social at Harriet Chapel
You won’t want to miss Sarah’s Garden Social on the weekend of May 7-8, 2016, at Harriet Chapel in Thurmont. This event features craft vendors, plants, hanging baskets, jewelry, homemade baked goods, food, entertainment, and more. View the advertisement on page 19 for more information.

Randy Simpson Performs at Deerfield United Methodist Church
On May 15, 2016, Southern Gospel Recording Artists Randy Simpson will perform at Deerfield United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 26 for more information.

Guardian Hose Company Sponsors Yard Sale & Flea Market
On May 28, 2016, the Guardian Hose Company is sponsoring a Yard Sale and Flea Market at the carnival grounds in Thurmont. Spaces are available for $5.00 each. View the advertisement on page 9 for more details.

Crafters & Vendors Wanted
The Guardian Hose Company will host a Craft Show & Bazaar on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Crafters and vendors who are interested in being a part of this event should call Patty at 301-788-0432. View the advertisement on page 10.

Frederick County Parks & Recreation Upcoming Rec Programs
Sign up today for the many youth classes, programs, camps, and sports offered through Frederick County Parks & Recreation, including Zumba, Archery Open Practice, 5 Star Basketball Camp, Lacrosse Camp, and many more. View the advertisement on page 4 for more information on how to register today.

Stavros Pizza Returns
Grace Eyler
The community was devastated in July 2015 with the passing of Bev Koontz, owner of Stavros Pizza in Emmitsburg. When the local pizzeria had abruptly closed, customers were saddened that they not only lost someone so involved with the community, but their favorite meals as well. The question that remained, would Stavros ever re-open and live up to Bev’s standards?

When the Dorcus family, owners of Dorcus Construction based in Thurmont, heard the grim news, they, too, were devastated. Ian Dorcus said, “ We hoped there was something we could do.” His family, like many others, had been customers of Stavros for thirty years. Sure enough, they were able to revive the family tradition by re-opening the local business in March of 2016. The Dorcus family purchased the business in January and began in February to prep for the business to re-open.

Ian recalled, “In the beginning, it was the calm before the storm.” Once word got out about Stavros being open, the first few hours were slow, then a rush hit where customers waited for as long as two hours just to get their hands on a fresh pizza pie. Ian and his staff struggled to keep up with the high demand. After business leveled out, the average wait became the standard fifteen to twenty minutes. Staff wrote wait times on a dry erase board at the counter to let customers know what to expect.

As you enter Stavros, you’ll notice that not much has changed. Upon walking into the dining area, the quaint pizzeria still boasts the scent of fresh Italian food, as well as the original seating, signs, and arcade games in the back. There are even some of the same friendly staff faces as before. “For the most part, everything is still the same. The same sixty seats, same table cloths and same traditions Bev started,” Ian said. The only noticeable difference is a little fresh paint and bright accent lighting.

Manager, Ian Dorcus, is new. Ian retained management skills from his family’s company, but his experience in pizza-making goes way back.

A big question that struck our community with the re-opening of the restaurant is THE question: Would the recipes still be the same? The answer is yes! The same sauce, ingredients, and even the signature cheese on top of the toppings. “We are doing our best to preserve everything the best we can, but there are still some learning curves to overcome.”

As the Dorcus family does their best to preserve Stavros legacy, we can look forward to some new things in the future, including a corporate lunch program, specialty pizzas in the evening, and even deliveries to Emmitsburg and some of Thurmont.

For customers who are health conscious, you can be assured, that Stavros is already utilizing organic vegetables from local farms in Frederick.

Another added feature is the convenience of online ordering. Visit www.Menufy.com to place your order and pre-pay through the online ordering service. Please note that during busy evenings or weekends, the online ordering feature may not be available, but call-ins and walk-ins are always welcomed. You can also check out Stavros’ local specials on Facebook.

“We want everyone to feel welcome. We love getting to know people, a name for a face,” Ian said fondly about the reoccurring customers who come in, have lunch or dinner, watch TV, or just converse with staff.

Stavros and its staff members look forward to serving their local community as one big family. It’s safe to say, Stavros is here to stay.
Pictured (left to right) are Justin Messner, Marrie Sanders, Wade Stuffle, Ian Dorcus, Aubrey Iaea, and Katie Kingsford.

Sewer Pumps Get Optimal Power to Run
James Rada, Jr.
The best way to save energy is to use only what you need. For Emmitsburg, that means not to bring in more power to its sewer pumps than is needed to run them at their optimal levels.

It sounds like a simple idea, but energy saving devices in America focus on running equipment with less power while ignoring the fact that often more power comes into the equipment than is needed. Not only is that excess power wasted, but it causes the equipment to run hot.

By the middle of this month, Emmitsburg will have installed the Powerstar Voltage Optimization System at its sewer pumping station. Once it is installed and running, Emmitsburg will be the first American entity using the system.

“What it is, is a device that goes in front of the fuse box and turns back excess electricity,” said Emmitsburg Zoning Technician Jerry Muir.
The Powerstar System is expected to save the town a couple thousand dollars annually in reduced energy bills for the third-largest town-owned power user.

“If it works the way it should, we expect to start seeing savings in June,” Muir said.

In its efforts to reduce its energy costs, town officials had decided to perform an energy audit, but the vendor who they had hoped to get to perform the audit brought up the idea of using a system developed in Europe. Powerstar has been used successfully over the past decade in Europe, but hasn’t made its way to America yet.

Rejecting excess power that doesn’t have to be paid for is the biggest selling point of the system. However, because only the needed amount of power comes into the sewer pumps, they will run at optimal efficiency.

“When you get too much power into the equipment, they can run hot,” stated Muir.

This increases the maintenance needed on equipment and can reduce their useful life. When equipment gets just the amount of power it needs, it doesn’t run hot and maintenance needs are reduced. This creates some additional savings.

Town staff believed that the Powerstar System was just what they needed to accomplish their goals. They approached the Maryland Energy Administration seeking a grant to purchase three systems for the town.

“They turned us down,” Muir said. “They said the technology was too new without proven returns.”

Although the results that the system was getting in Europe didn’t convince the Maryland Energy Administration, it did convince town staff. They found $17,000 in the budget to purchase one system.

If the system performs as advertised, they will budget for additional systems in the future; but hopefully, by then, they will be able to get a grant.

Community Shred Event
The Thurmont Police Department and the Thurmont Police Commission will be hosting a Community Shred Event on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Police Department, located at 800 E. Main Street in Thurmont. ALL-SHRED, Inc. will provide a truck for four hours; all residents in Thurmont and surrounding areas can bring up to five boxes of documents per resident. As part of this free service to residents, the host will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Thurmont Food Bank. Residents are encouraged to prevent Identity Fraud and Identity Theft by taking advantage of this free service and have their sensitive documents shredded.

Postal Food Drive
The National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive is being held on Saturday, May 14, 2016. For twenty-four years this collaboration between the community; city, and rural carriers, post office management, county food banks, the Religious Coalition, volunteers and sponsors have made this food drive a mainstay for our food banks. The timing of this drive restocks the shelves for the summer when families don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch.

You can participate by placing bags of non-perishable food by your mailbox for your postal carrier to pick up on May 14. You may also leave clearly marked checks made out to your local food bank with outgoing mail, or take your food donation to the lobby of your post office where there will be a collection bin during the week of the food drive. All donations stay in your immediate community to help those who need it most.

Emmitsburg Community Garden Open
James Rada, Jr.
With the late-January blizzard and the cold temps, it may have seemed like spring would never get here. It still may be a ways off, but it’s not too early to start planning your gardens. The Emmitsburg Community Garden opens at the end of May.

“Mushroom compost has been ordered for the beds and mulch for around them,” said Emmitsburg Commissioner Tim O’Donnell.

The garden plots will be available in the Community Park for Emmitsburg residents who wish to demonstrate their gardening skills. The town currently has eight raised garden beds available for use, and more can be added as demand increases.

You can reserve a plot by completing a short application at the Emmitsburg Town Office and providing a $20.00 refundable deposit.
For more information, visit the town website at www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.

2nd Annual Thurmont Pioneer Covered Wagon Excursion to be Held
Last year, the Thurmont Commissioners and Mayor John Kinnaird declared by proclamation that the weekend of May 29 be Thurmont’s Pioneer Covered Wagon Excursion Weekend. Wagons Ho! On May 29, 2016, more wagons and outriders than last year are expected for this 2nd annual excursion because the word has gone out to many.

It all starts Friday evening, with the gathering of wagons and outriders at 14 Eyler Road in Thurmont. Saturday morning, wagons will be leaving the farm at 9:00 a.m. sharp, because the first day’s trip is thirteen miles long. The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Kevin Booth, a fantastic Elvis, Conway, George Jones, and gospel performer, and will last until after midnight. The public is always welcome.

Sunday morning features breakfast and cowboy church. The excursion will leave at 9:00 a.m. for Keymar, Maryland by way of Francis Scott Key farm (Star Spangled Banner) and on to Taneytown, Maryland. Call Joe Eyler for more information at 301-271-2023 or 301-639-4933.

Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church Hosts Face of America Rest Stop
Ride-4When a representative of the World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Face of America bike ride asked Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (UMC) to host a rest stop on Sunday morning, April 24, 2016, for the nearly 700 riders who would be passing through the area, Pastor Heath Wilson was honored and elated.
“While we knew this would impact worship, the church knew this is what it means to be the church. We are honoring those who sacrificed for our nation, so as a church, we could sacrifice to ensure they know the body of Christ supports them and does not take for granted the sacrifice they made while serving,” Pastor Heath explained.

Since 2006, the Face of America ride has brought together disabled veterans, active and retired military personnel, emergency responders, and citizens alike to honor and raise funds and awareness for the wounded warriors of our nation. This year, participants could choose one of two routes on their way to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: 110 miles from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, or 120 miles from historic Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Many of the participants, who had lost limbs during tours of duty, rode specialty recumbent bikes.

For several years, members of Tom’s Creek UMC in Emmitsburg had cheered on the riders as they passed the church on Sunday morning. Riders often expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of heartwarming support from the church. One rider shared with a volunteer, “We always looked forward to seeing you out there!”

So this year, Tom’s Creek UMC cancelled Sunday School and its second worship service to be able to serve as host of a rest stop for the riders, offering food, facilities, and a place to rest and re-energize before continuing on their journey. A bluegrass/gospel band from Calvert County, called The Unclouded Day, provided uplifting patriotic music. Many volunteers from the church served beverages, nutritious snacks, and home-baked goods to the riders.

But more than providing a place of rest was the opportunity for the church community to show gratitude to the participants for their determination and resilience, not only for the wounded veterans but for all participants who embraced the meaning of the American spirit. Riders were greeted at the entrance with a large American flag, hoisted high on a crane provided by D.G. Johnson. Church members, volunteers, a fire truck from Emmitsburg Vigilant Hose Company with members of the company, and community members, including the mayor of Taneytown, lined the drive, waving flags, clapping, and offering words of thanks and support. The whole event was inspirational to spectators, volunteers, and riders alike.

On a Facebook post, a rider and pastor, Rev. Chris Bishop of FaithPoint UMC, later shared, “Many thanks from team FaithPoint goes out to the awesome pit stop today hosted by Heath Wilson and Tom’s Creek UMC.”

After the ride, Pastor Heath reflected on the day, “As I watched the bike riders reach the pit stop with the church community cheering them on; as I was told by the wife of the president of Face of America how amazing the people of the church I serve are; as I was called over to pray for one of the teams; I was overwhelmed and humbled by the call God has placed on my life. I was speechless when riders who have lost limbs serving our country said ‘thank you to you and your church,’ because, in reality, I have given so little compared to their sacrifice. I had a moment when my eyes welled up with tears, proud of the church I serve and thankful that I have been given the opportunity to serve at Tom’s Creek.”

As the riders set off for the next leg of their journey toward Gettysburg, volunteers could be heard promising, “We’ll see you next year!” After all, as the Face of America website explains: “We all ride the same road…”
For more information about the Face of America ride, visit worldteamsports.org/events/face-of-america/or about Tom’s Creek UMC, visit www.tomscreekumc.org

One of the riders is shown riding a specialty bike so that he can participate in the race despite injuries from serving.

Volunteer, Greta Nettleton, is pictured with one of the teams. They were so grateful for all the ways they were nourished!
Volunteer Donald Loveland, who is a veteran, helps feed a veteran who is riding.

A Community Memorial Dedication Ceremony in Honor of Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell
FerrellThe communities of Thurmont and Emmitsburg are hosting a memorial dedication ceremony for Marine Corps Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell, a young Marine stationed at Camp David, who lost his life by a hit-and-run driver on September 29, 2015, when he stopped to assist a stranded motorist on Rt.15 during a rain storm in Thurmont.

Cpl. Ferrell was also a full member of his local fire department, and aspired to become a police officer in his hometown when his service to the Marine Corps was completed. Remembrances told by those who knew this young man well attested to his life of generosity and service to others.

The dedication ceremony will be held on June 11, 2016, at the Memorial Park, located at 116 East Main Street in Thurmont, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Colors will be presented by the Color Guards of AMVETS Post 7 and the American Legion 168.

The National Anthem will be performed by Thurmont residents, fourteen-year-old Jodie Eyler and American Legion member Dwight Reynolds.

A dedication sign in memory of Kyle will be erected by the Maryland State Highway Administration under the Catoctin Furnace Historic Trail bridge on Rt. 15.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird will unveil and present a memorial stone in Kyle’s honor. Commander Bob White, American Legion 168, will present a tree planting. A Day of Remembrance Plaque will be presented to the family by Commander Ed Superczynski, AMVETS Post 7, and a replica plaque of the bridge dedication sign will be presented to the family by Jack Collins of VFW 6658. A Bible, signed by all, will be presented to the family.
Guest speakers will include Kyle’s parents and hometown friends, fellow service personnel from Camp David, state and local government representatives, and representatives of the Veteran organizations sponsoring the event.

The ceremony will be followed by a Pig Roast picnic at the American Legion 168 pavilion at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont, featuring roasted pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetable trays, salads, chips, and water and soda. A cake walk will also be held during the picnic.

Proceeds from contributions and the day’s events will be presented to the family to be donated to the Carthage Police Department in Carthage, North Carolina, in Kyle’s memory.

If you would like to make a donation to support the dedication and memorial ceremony to honor Cpl. Ferrell and his family, who nurtured, loved, and lost such a giving and kind soul, please make checks payable to “CPL. William Kyle Ferrell Dedication Fund” and send to AMVETS Post #7 – Sandi Burns, 26 Apples Church Road, Thurmont, MD 21788.

The Catoctin Community Mourns
Nick DiGregory
I remember vividly the moment when I first heard the news. I had just arrived at my day job, and as I clocked in for the morning, I passed my boss. A young and happy guy in his mid-twenties, my boss rarely conveyes any kind of negative emotion. That’s how I knew something was up. As I passed him on the way to the office, he was visibly perplexed, so I asked him if anything was wrong.

“Did you hear the news?” he asked me, seemingly dumbfounded at my ignorance. “A girl from Catoctin passed away. She committed suicide.”

Later that day, as I was driving home, my mother texted me a link to the obituary. I pulled off the road so that I could read through it. Sienna Michele Caselle. Only sixteen years old. My heart sank as I looked over the memorial photo; there was just so much youth, vibrance, and joy in her face. I had never known her personally, but I had seen her name in The Catoctin Banner several times before, and I remembered that she was something of a cross-country star. I whispered a little prayer for her and her family, and then drove back onto the road.

It was later that I learned about Jesse Hubbard’s death, which occurred in the same week. He graduated from Catoctin last spring, while Sienna was a junior this year. I am in my early twenties and know the excitement of life, and I am saddened that these two will not have the opportunity to experience that. I know that their friends and families will miss them tremendously.

Through social media, I have watched my community come together in support of Sienna and her family, and in support of Jesse and his family. So many have reached out with love and compassion, and so much bittersweet beauty has come in the memories of them both.

In memorial to Sienna, every website or social media page with her name on it has been flooded with well wishes from friends and strangers alike, offering strength and peace. A new non-profit organization, which Sienna was working on with her father before her death, is being formed and will, amid other things, help to promote suicide awareness among veterans.

I don’t know the details about Jesse’s passing, but do know that his passing was way too soon.
While our community has come together fiercely, and publicly, to battle bacterial meningitis with Catoctin freshman, Wyatt Black, the hidden battle that led to suicide for Sienna Michele Caselle resonates with me on a deep level. Sienna’s death brings to light a growing trend in child suicide, identified by some as the “silent epidemic.”

We’ll never know the reason Sienna chose suicide, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention, suicide rates among preteen and teenage girls have more than tripled since 1999. Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for children under the age of fourteen, and it has become a particular threat for young girls.

Researchers debate the primary causes of this increase; most agree that the growing trend of impersonal communication through texting and social media is driving more girls toward depression and suicidal behavior. A study conducted in 2012 by David D. Luxton, Ph.D., illustrated that high-risk groups, among which preteen and teenage girls are included, were more susceptible to depression and suicidal behavior when exposed to negative or aggressive content on the Internet. Since 2006, a growing number of child suicides have been linked directly to specific posts or comments on websites or social media.

With the escalating trend of child suicide linked to a growing social media presence, it is more important than ever for every person to be involved in suicide prevention. The exercise of proper social media habits, as well as an understanding of suicidal traits, can help prevent the further loss of young lives.
For more information about suicide statistics and prevention, visit the National Institute of Mental Health website at www.nimh.nih.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website at www.afsp.org.
If you suspect that someone is exhibiting suicidal behavior, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company Banquet
Grace Eyler
On April 16, 2016, members and guests of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company joined together to celebrate the company’s successes during the past year over dinner at their year-end presentation.

Graham VFC’s President, Louie Powell, stood before the audience to welcome special guests from around the county who made a special trip to be a part of the company’s 56th anniversary.

President Powell called upon the Morningstar family for a special recognition in remembrance of a beloved member of the fire company, George (Junebug) Morningstar. Mr. Morningstar had passed in March 2016. Powell made sure to let his loved ones know that they are a part of the family and thanked them for their presence.

Graceham’s Chief, Jim Kilby reviewed that in 2015, Graceham ran a total of 228 calls. Out of the 228 calls, there were 20 to which the fire company was unable to respond. Kilby reported, “We were unable to make them because most of our members work during the day time, when these happen.” Graceham is known as a “100 Percent Volunteer Fire Company” which is not staffed all hours of the day.

During the quiet years of 2013 and 2014, Graceham VFC had no property loss due to fires. However, that changed in 2015 with three major fires; one on Old Frederick Road, one on Creagerstown Road, and one on Jimtown Road. These fires resulted in a little over $200,000 in damage.

“Out of all those calls, one of our volunteers was there for 118 responses!” said Kilby. Hilary Blake was Graceham’s number one responder this year. Other top responders included Chief Kilby with 73 calls, Scott Willard with 72 calls, and Louie Powell with 64 calls. They all modestly declined the award, indicating that as line officers, it is their main responsibility. Sunny Grimes had 36 calls, Brian Boller had 34 calls, Michele Powell had 26 calls, and Kelly Willard had 25 calls.

Before Chief Kilby could exit the podium, President Powell asked him to remain while he announced to Kilby that he wanted to specially recognize him for the work he does behind the scenes with the company. Kilby makes sure that all of his volunteers are up-to-date on training, and makes sure the company’s equipment is ready to go on a moment’s notice. Powell added that Kilby reaches out to members to see how they are doing, if there is anything they need. He is a mentor, teacher and a leader. As members clapped, Louie presented Chief Kilby with a special recognition award.

The next award that was presented is always a difficult choice for any president. Powell said, “It is always hard to choose just one person, because every one of our members is a vital part of the organization, and that’s the God’s honest truth.” The recipient of the President’s Award had been a member of the fire company since she was seventeen years old. She was recognized as being the go-to person for working with children, giving good insight to the fire company, as well as representing Graceham Fire Company during Fire Prevention Week at the Thurmont Primary School. “I couldn’t do my job without her keeping me straight,” joked Powell. The recipient of this year’s President’s Award was Hillary Blake.

Not only did Hillary receive recognition for being the Top Responder and President’s Award, but Chief Kilby then awarded this year’s Chief’s Award to her as well.

Doc Simmers was called forth by the Chief and President for being a dedicated member of the company for fifty years. As a thank you to Simmers, the Fire Company made a special shadow box that holds his first jacket, badge and helmet. They plan to proudly display the box on a wall in the building.

After the awards were presented, Brian Boller came forth with Frederick County Fire and Rescue Coordinator, Chip Jewell, to honor the two members Graceham lost this year. Leslie “Sonny” Sovocool, Jr. was the last member who was one of the original incorporators of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company. He passed on October 17, 2015. “Sonny” was recognized for spending three decades on keeping the company up and running. He was one of the first EMTs of Frederick County.

George Morningstar, active in the company for the past fifteen years, recently passed on March 22, 2016. In recognition of those lost, Mr. Jewell rung the fire station bell three times for each member lost. Prayer was followed with Pr. Sue Koenig.

Following the Memorial Service and year-end review, Graceham installed the new officers for 2016. Officers included Louie Powell, President; Bill Morgan, Vice President; Hillary Blake, Secretary; Julie Durgan, Asst. Secretary; Sterling Seiss, Treasurer; and Brian Boller, Asst. Treasurer. Operational Officers included Jim Kilby, Fire Chief; Louis Powell, Jr., Asst. Fire Chief; and Val Kilby, Captain.

Pr. Sue Koenig ended the evening with Benediction. If you’d like more information on volunteering for the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company or to find out what events are coming up, please visit them online at http://gvfc18.webs.com/.
Graceham Volunteer Fire Company’s Administrative Officers
Chip Jewell swears in the officers of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company.
Pictured are Top Responders Hilary Blake, Brian Boller, and Sunny Grimes.
Photos by Grace Eyler

Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Awards Banquet
Allison Rostad

The 23rd annual awards ceremony for the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue (FCVFR) Association and the FCVFR Ladies Auxiliary was held on April 18, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., and was hosted by the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company. During the evening’s presentation, several Northern Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue companies, or one of their members, were nominated and awarded for their service, time, and dedication as volunteers.

Among those companies were the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company 26, Vigilant Hose Company 6, Guardian Hose Company 10, Thurmont Community Ambulance Company 30, Rocky Ridge Volunteer Company 13, and Lewistown Volunteer Fire Company 22.

FCVFRA President Eric Smothers presented special presidential recognition awards to all previously listed Northern Frederick County volunteer companies. This award was presented in recognition of each company’s diligence in responding to the house fire on West Main Street in Emmitsburg in December of 2015, when one life was lost.

Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company 6 was awarded the Fire and Rescue Department Training Award, having averaged 126 hours of training per member for the 2014-2015 training year. Rose Latini, chief of the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company and also assistant chief of Thurmont Community Ambulance Company, was also awarded the Michael Wilcom Officer of the Year Award for her “drive and determination that helped the station [Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company] see it’s return of career staff and the dispatching of first dues calls in May of 2015,” stated Smothers.

Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company had three of its members awarded throughout the evening. Both Alan Brauer, Sr. and Larry Eyler were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their dedication to and support of fire and rescue volunteerism over a combined eighty-one years of service (Alan Brauer, Sr. joined in 1963; Larry Eyler joined in 1988). President Smothers presented the Dr. Jame Marrone EMS Member of the Year Award to Kerri Gasior, commenting, “Although she only joined the company in 2014, her excellent work ethic and dedication to EMS services has greatly benefitted her department.”

From Lewistown Volunteer Fire Company, Steve Stull earned his lifetime membership to the Lewistown department in 1996, and was awarded the Presidential Award for the company in 2013. During the evening’s presentation, he was nominated and inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Special Presidential Awards were received by each company’s representative.

Rose Latini, Chief of the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company and Assistant Chief of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company, was awarded the Michael Wilcom Officer of the Year Award.

On behalf of Emmitsburg Ambulance Company 26, Vice President, Eric Stackhouse (left), accepted the Fire and Rescue Department’s Training Award.
question-2-croppedKerri Gasior of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company 13 was awarded the Dr. Jame Marrone EMS Member of the Year Award.
steve-stull-lewistown-croppSteven Stull of Lewistown Volunteer Fire Company 22 was inducted into the FCVFRA Hall of Fame.
Photos by Allison Rostad

Fort Ritchie Community Center Bass Fishing Series Underway
Blue skies and warm temperatures helped make the first event of the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites Bass Fishing Series a tremendous success. Over one hundred people participated in the first of three qualifying events on Lake Royer in Cascade, Maryland. The winner of each qualifying event earns a spot in the championship, which will feature a $10,000 fish. The series supports the mission of the Fort Ritchie Community Center, a non-profit organization, located on the former Fort Ritchie property.

“We have very aggressive goals in terms of our services for 2016,” said Buck Browning, executive director of the Fort Ritchie Community Center. “Events such as the Bass Fishing Tournament are fun and also help to secure resources for the community center to continue providing programs and activities for local residents,” Browning added.

Patrick Eshelman of Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, won the tournament with a 17-inch Bass. Eshelman will be one of only four competitors in the championship, scheduled for August 13.

Janet Kuhn of Cascade took second place with a 16¾-inch Bass. Kyle Minnick of Smithsburg received third place with a 16½ fish.
New to the series this year is a fourth competitor being added to the championship through a raffle.
The Bass fishing series includes a youth division, sponsored by Gander Mountain. Daniel Niederer of Ortanna, Pennsylvania, took the top honors among the youth with a 14¾ inch fish.

Alexa Dainton and Aidan McCleaf, both of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, tied for second place in the youth division, each bringing in a fish measuring 13¾ inches.

The second round of the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites Bass Fishing Series is scheduled for May 21. The third event is set for June 18.
The cost for adults is $35.00 per person, and $15.00 per person for youth (ages seventeen and younger).
For more information or to register for any of the upcoming events, please visit their website at www.thefrcc.org.

Patrick Eshelman (center) won the first round of the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites Bass Fishing Tournament. Janet Kuhn (right) took second place and Kyle Minnick (left) was third.

Daniel Niederer (back left) won the Gander Mountain Youth Division. Aidan McCleaf (front) and Alexa Dainton tied for second place in the tournament.

   by James Rada, Jr.                                                                        

                                                                                               April 2016
Pool Management Contract Approved
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a contract to have RSV Pools manage the town pool this year. As per a request from the commissioners, this new management company will have its staff wear uniforms and offer swimming lessons if there is sufficient interest. The company will also make efforts to hire staffing for the pool from among local residents. The new contract will cost the town $47,028, which is 2.5 percent higher than last year’s contract.

Town Deeds a Small Portion of Land to the State
To aid the bridge improvement work of the Flat Run bridge, the Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted to deed 250 square feet to the State of Maryland temporarily. The land near the bridge is needed in order to build up a sufficient slope for the bridge. When the work is completed, the land will be deeded back to the town. The town will receive $250 for the land.

No Tobacco Products in Town Vehicles
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted on April 4 to prohibit the use of any tobacco products in town vehicles. Tobacco use is already prohibited on town property and buildings.

Haller Retiring
Emmitsburg Town Manager, Dave Haller, will be retiring at the end of June this year. The long-time manager will be replaced by an interim town manager until the mayor and town commissioners decide on who to hire as a permanent replacement. Town Clerk, Cathy Willetts, will be serving as the interim town manager.

Two Meetings in May and June
Town Manager, Dave Haller, told the town commissioners during the April town meeting that they will be asking for two town meetings in May, and possibly, June. The town has only recently switched to a single town meeting each month, but reserved the right to meet twice a month if needed. With the town entering its budget season, town staff feels that the extra meetings are needed in order to be able to have the budget approved before the end of June.
Town Votes to Accept a Trail Conservancy Grant
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted on April 4 to accept a $30,000 grant from the Trail Conservancy for trail improvements in town. There is a chance that the grant could increase to $40,000 if the town includes new signage and a parking lot in the improvements. However, this increase would also require the town to put forward a matching portion of $2,000. The commissioners can revisit this portion later if they choose to do so.
For more information on the town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.

Pick-up in Thurmont
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a bid from Key Sanitation of Dickerson, Maryland, to provide curbside trash removal and bulk trash pick-up for Thurmont. Key Sanitation is the current provider of this service and the commissioners are quite happy with the service the company provides. When the contract was put out for bid, the town received two bids and Key Sanitation was the low bidder. The amount of the contract is $135,960 for the first year and $138,000 for the second year. The second bidder, Republic Services in Frederick, was roughly $60,000 more each year.

John Bean Reappointed to the Board of Appeals
John Bean was the only person to apply to fill his expiring term on the Board of Appeals. The commissioners re-appointed him to a third term. The Board of Appeals still has one member vacancy and a vacancy for an alternate member.

Moser Road Bridge Work Continues
Work on the Moser Road Bridge, which will also include a pedestrian bridge, is continuing. The 90-feet long and 5-feet long pedestrian bridge will not be parallel to the 60-feet long and 23-feet wide vehicular bridge. The town now has all of the permits and easements they need to move forward on the project.

The town is also considering creating a mini-park near a lime kiln that was discovered by the bridge. This hinges on the town obtaining land currently owned by Dan Ryan Homes. Discussions are ongoing to make this happen.

Farmers Market Opens in June
The Thurmont Farmers Market will restart on June 4, and be held each Saturday through September. The hours for the Farmers Market will be 9:00 a.m.-noon at the town parking lot on South Center Street.

For more information on the town of Thurmont, visit www.thurmont.com or call the town office at 301-271-7313.

Thurmont Little League Opening Day
Grace Eyler
On April 16, 2016, the community gathered to celebrate its love for baseball and the Opening Day of the 65th season of the Thurmont Little League. At the grandstand on the league fields that are located on East Main Street in Thurmont, teams practiced and families found a front row seat. Brian Mo from WFRE welcomed a special guest, Chris Black, to the field. Mr. Black gave an update on the team that everyone has been cheering for: Team Wyatt. Chris is Wyatt Black’s father. Wyatt, a player in the Thurmont Little League, has been fighting bacterial meningitis. Chris sincerely thanked everyone for the support of his family during their challenging time, and he updated everyone on his son’s recovery. He closed by saying, “Thank you all very much, and let’s play ball!” The Thurmont Little League sold stickers and raffles throughout the day to benefit the Black family.

Shortly thereafter, the teams for 2016 began to proudly line the field, preparing for the opening pitch. This year’s Major Division includes the Cardinals, sponsored by PJ’s Roofing; the Cubs, sponsored by Concur; the Rangers, sponsored by Bekwam; the Nationals, sponsored by the Thurmont AMVETS Post 7; the Orioles, sponsored by Cousins Ace Hardware; and the Yankees, sponsored by Rocky’s Pizza.

Thurmont’s Little League Minor division includes the Dodgers, sponsored by Thurmont Free Masons; the Rays, sponsored by the Center of Life Chiropractic & Pilates Studio; the Blue Jays, sponsored by Affordable Glass; the Marlins, sponsored by Food Lion; the Orioles, sponsored by Vivint Solar; the Athletics, sponsored by Cousins Ace Hardware; and the Mets, sponsored by BKC Massage and Fitness Studio.

This year’s instructional division includes the Angels, sponsored by Resthaven Funeral Services and Davis Systems; the Braves, sponsored by Portner Trucking; the Cardinals, sponsored by Edaptive Systems; the Dodgers, sponsored by Dave Seiss Construction; the Orioles, sponsored by Mearl Eyler Painting; and the Red Sox, sponsored by the American Legion.

This year’s tee ball division includes the Cubs, sponsored by PJ’s Roofing; the Indians, sponsored by MedOne Pharmacy; the Nationals, sponsored by Roy Rogers; the Orioles, sponsored by Catoctin Dental; the Pirates, sponsored by 40 West Auto Care; the Red Sox, sponsored by Roddy Creek Automotive; and the Royals, sponsored by C.F. Kerns Trucking, LLC.

During the opening ceremony, deejay Brian Mo took a moment to recognize the 2015 Little League Maryland State Champions and the Mid-Atlantic Region runner-ups. Last year, they advanced further than any other Thurmont Little League team in the league’s history and competed against over 600 other little leagues. The community applauded as the players held their banners proudly to celebrate their accomplishments. “These boys representing Thurmont Little League were truly at the pinnacle of talent…we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said Brian Mo.

Last year’s championship team included Braden Bell, Peyton Castellow, Connor Crum, William Gisriel, E.J. Lowry, Braden Manning, Joseph McMannis, Griffin Puvel, DJ Shipton, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, and Matt Utermahlen.

After the little league players and coaches pledged to the code of conduct, Melissa Kinna walked on to the field. As her audience removed their hats and held their right hands across their chest, she sang the National Anthem.

Mayor, John Kinnaird concluded the ceremony with the first pitch of the season with Dylan Nicholson. After Kinnaird whipped the ball across the field, the league’s board of directors presented Mayor Kinnaird with a plaque in appreciation of his leadership in the Town of Thurmont and his commitment to the Little League. After graciously receiving his award, he concluded the ceremony with a “Let’s play ball!”
Teams quickly dispersed off the field to regroup with parents to do exactly what they came for, to play the sport that has brought the community together for sixty-five years: baseball!
TLL_2015-Champs-Pledging-(1 Top Left – 2015 Champions (not in order): Braden Bell, Peyton Castellow, Connor Crum, William Gisriel, E.J. Lowry, Braden Manning, Joseph McMannis, Griffin Puvel, DJ Shipton, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, and Matt Utermahlen.
TLL_Kids-watching-the-drone                                                                                        The Orioles observe the drone as it hovers over the field.

TLL_Receiving-Plaque-2 Deejay Brian Mo from WFRE presents Mayor John Kinnaird with a plaque of appreciation after he threw 2016’s first pitch with Dylan Nicholson.
Photos by Grace Eyler

TM-drone-1 The drone flown during the ceremony captured the crowd that came out to opening day ceremony.
Photo by Steven Ward’s Drone

Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball Legue Opening Day
Grace Eyler
ALL-TEAMS-_-EmmitsburgThe overcast morning didn’t deter Emmitsburg Little League from opening day held on April 23, 2016. Coach Davy Wantz raked the sand preparing for a game while Coach Jacob Fisher practiced catching in the field. As families set up on bleachers and around the main field, others gathered around to watch the talented face paint artist from Creative Occasions perform her work on their team mates. In the meantime, the ladies in the concession stand fired up the grills and opened up for business.

From tee ball tots to the 15U little league, President Leroy Wilber introduced all teams to the field for 2016’s season. First to make their way across the freshly raked home plate was tee ball player, Evan Ryder, from the Giants. While being announced, the youngest players on the field provided entertainment to the bystanders as they found their place in line. Following the Giants, the Cardinals donning their ‘game faces’ piled into the lineup, alongside Coach Brandon Rivera.

Next up on the field, was Davy Wantz and Jacob Fisher’s well known 12U team, who holds the Maryland State Championship title since 2011. Coach Wantz, who has an outstanding 24 years of coaching under his belt, looks forward to making this the fifth year. The Red Sox were followed by Rush, last year’s runner up Silver State Champions and one of two of the girls’ softball teams. Even though the Wild Cats, who were 2015’s Silver Champions in the Frederick County Girls Softball Championship, were unable to make opening day, 20 year veteran coach, Sandy Umbel stood on the sidelines to represent her Wild Cat champs. Second to last, were the 15U Renegades, led by Coach Doug Wivell and representatives from the Warriors team.
“I’d like to thank our sponsors, Tim’s Garage, Zurgables, Stateline Guns, Melissa Wetzel, Emmitsburg Glass, Knights of Columbus and Bryant Group, Inc.” said Leroy. This year’s team sponsors included The Palms Restaurant, Emmitsburg VFW, The Emmitsburg Legion, Briggs and Associates, The Ott House, Med One Pharmacy, and Emmitsburg Exxon.

The league president also encouraged participation, welcoming new volunteers and for fundraising support. As Sandy Umbel discussed game day preparation, she commented on her excitement for the season to begin. Leroy said “Everyone here is looking forward to playing ball!”
As the weather brightened, Opening Day for Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League turned out to be a hit as they celebrated their 61st season playing baseball. Stay tuned to upcoming events for Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League by visiting them on Facebook.


RUSH Team photo: (top row) Coach Tina Winfrey, Ashley Glass, Kim Shields, Jade Lopez, Team Manager Leroy Wilber, Rachel Winfrey, Taylor Jackson, Coach April Jackson; (second Row) Hannah Poole, Kyla Weller, Jenna Wilber, Alexis Jackson and Allison Cool. Not pictured: McKayla Heims and Faith Rosinski.

On April 10, 2016, the Emmitsburg Wildcats 12U Softball team stood alongside Mount Saint Mary’s Softball Team during the national anthem.
Steph1Players pictured from left are: (top row) Sarah Devilbiss, Coach Amber Andrew, Coach Steph Andrew, Madison Working, Morgan Cool, Coach Shannon Cool; (bottom row) Haven Andrew, Faith Cool, Natalie Bentz, Cloe Wantz, and Lexi Cool. Not pictured: Sammy Bentz and Josie Kaas.

Cardinals_EbgCardinals Tee ball: Aaliyah Snedegar, Mason Rivera, Wyatt Droneburg, Hunter Rivera, Savannah Phebus and Coach Brandon Rivera. Not pictured: Adelynn Weatherly, Kyler Weikert, Wesley May, and Adeline Ridenour.
EBG-Red-Sox_12U_Formal-ShotRed Sox 12U (not in order): Deacon McLivaine, Joshua Wantz, David Stitley, Joel Miller, Garrett Shorb, Dodge May, Brenden Ott, Adam Wresche, Sean Himes, Kameron Berkey, Colan Droneburg, and Logan Malachowski.

Thurmont Lions Club’s Pitch, Hit, & Run Competition
Thurmont-Lions-Club-Pitch-aThe Thurmont Lions Club hosted its 1st Annual Pitch, Hit, & Run Skills Competition on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at the Thurmont Little League Complex. Five players advanced to the Sectional Pitch Hit & Run event, being held on May 22, 2016, at the LOUYAA Park in New Market, Maryland, at 9:00 a.m. Players advancing from that competition will move on to the Team PHR Competition at Oriole Park Camden Yards, with the chance of attending the finals during Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby this July. Players advancing from the Thurmont Lion’s event are as follows: Ben Krauss and Patrick Morlan in the 9/10 baseball division, Noland Kinna and Ryan Burke in the 11/12 baseball division, and Chase Bowers in the 13/14 baseball division. The Lions Club wishes the very best to these young men as they move on to the next level of competition!


2016 Season Preview of Thurmont Fielders
Chris Cobb
fielders-2015-seasonThe Thurmont Fielders are excited for another year of baseball. The Fielders compete in the Mid-Maryland Semi-Pro Baseball League, which is an adult amateur baseball league, operating in Carroll and Frederick Counties in Maryland. The League consists annually of eight to ten teams, with players ranging in age from eighteen to over thirty. Most players have collegiate or high school level experience, along with some former professionals.
After finishing last season with a record of 12-11 and securing fourth in the standings, the Fielders are looking for a bounce-back year, hoping to finally advance to the championship. With a disappointing loss to the Frederick Flying Dogs in the second round of the playoffs last year, the Fielders were eliminated by Frederick for the third straight season.
The Fielders’ season starts at the beginning of May and ends in July. Games are played Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. and double headers on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Home games are played at Titans Field, which is located at 12051 Old Frederick Road in Thurmont. You can view all teams and schedules at www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=mmspbl&sid=901151.
We hope to see you there!

Buck Reed
The Supermarket Gourmet
As a chef, I get into a lot of interesting conversations with people I meet. Mostly, it involves questions about what my favorite thing to cook is or what my specialty is. Once in a while, someone will ask me what my favorite ingredient is or if I have a favorite gadget I like to use. One girl was amazed that a chef could keep all those recipes in their head. People will often express the idea that they wish they were a better cook, to which I can only reply “then you should learn to cook better.”

So what does it take to become a better cook? Many who teach the culinary arts believe that all you have to do is demonstrate a recipe, go over it, and let the student loose. I can tell you from experience that these people couldn’t be more wrong. Recipes are a good place to start, but someone who tells you that recipes are the answer to becoming a better cook is lying to you. If you want to become a better cook you have to learn about ingredients, techniques, and how to get the most flavors out of your dishes.

I remember a fairly recent job interview for a craft brew pub that the owner swore he had the best barbecue sauce recipe ever. Everybody loves it, he told me, and nobody better come here thinking it needs changing. I pointed out that there are many cooking techniques in which barbecue sauce might be called for and one sauce will not accommodate all of them. For instance, a smoked chicken will need a different sauce then a grilled chicken breast. I didn’t get the job.

So, instead of memorizing a perfect recipe, you have to be ready to roll with it. You may have to adjust the flavor to suit someone else’s taste. Take French toast. I add a little orange juice to give it a different flavor. Most people cannot even identify this flavor, but they either enjoy it or they do not. Most people enjoy my French toast, but that does not make me a genius. The idea that I understand the technique and I use the right bread makes me a good cook.

Why is understanding technique more important than memorizing a recipe? The answer is: Because recipes are flawed. Any fool can write a recipe; I do it all the time. Have you ever seen a recipe that calls for one clove of garlic? They must be kidding. Even if you don’t particularly like garlic, one is almost never enough. Recipes have to be living things. You have to have the knowledge to look at them and make changes as needed to suit your taste. The mistake many people make is that they believe recipes are written in stone by the almighty himself (Emeril). The ability to “fix” a recipe is the road to true kitchen enlightenment.

If you have any questions or need an idea, please feel free to contact me at RGuyintheKitchen@aol.com.

by Valerie Nusbaum
I originally intended this column to be about our garden project, but I decided to put that story on hold until later in the summer when I’ll know whether or not our new garden is a success or a failure. We’ll either be eating tomatoes and corn, or crow. That remains to be seen, and I’ll let you know.

We’ve been experiencing sort of a strange spring this year. Raise your hand if you agree with me. You know I can’t see you, right? Anyway, March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. The winds were terrible and they wreaked havoc on our daffodils and all the stuff that was starting to bloom. Since it’s said that April showers bring May flowers, I’ve been thinking a lot about flowers lately and decided to do some research into species and varieties.

Each month has a specific “birth” flower, which symbolizes characteristics of those born during that particular month. January’s flower, the carnation, stands for fascination and love; February’s primrose represents modesty and virtue. Randy’s April birth flower is the sweet pea (how appropriate), which means that he’s blissful and full of pleasure. Sure he is. My birth flower for August is either the poppy or gladiolus, which both symbolize moral integrity. So, there.

Other flower months are as follows: March—daffodil (rebirth, vanity); May—lily of the valley (happy, humble); June—rose (love, appreciation); July—delphinium (joyful, fickle); September—morning glory (daintiness); October—calendula (grace, comfort); November—chrysanthemum (cheerful, friendly); December—holly (sweet, self-esteem).

Every state has a state flower. Some are cultivated and some are wildflowers, but each blossom is indigenous to that particular state. We all know that Maryland’s state flower is the black-eyed-susan (rudbeckia hirta), but did you know how the flower got its name? It was named for the Swedish professor of botany, Olaus Rudbeck. You thought I was going to tell you the story of how Susan got a black eye, but I seriously couldn’t find anything about that. My guess is that she was born in August and got lippy with a girl who was born in March.

Texas has the bluebonnet and Massachusetts has the mayflower, while Maine’s state “flower” is the white pine cone and tassel. These should be self-explanatory. I can’t list all fifty states here, but you can look up the state flowers on Wikipedia if you’re interested.

There are hundreds of varieties of roses, and these sweet-smelling beauties come in a wide range of colors. Did you know that the color of the rose you give to someone is intended to tell that person exactly how you feel about her or him? Red roses, of course, infer romantic love, while white roses imply purity of heart. Pink roses are the correct way to show appreciation or say “thank you” and yellow roses indicate friendship. On a trip to San Antonio a few years back, Randy and I learned that the Yellow Rose of Texas was a person and not a flower, but that’s a story for another day and probably another publication since it’s a bit risqué—at least the way the story was told to us. On the other hand, our tour guide was drinking something from a flask. But I digress….

Giving orange roses to someone is meant to let that person know that you desire her or him, while lavender blooms indicate that it was love at first sight for you. A bouquet of different-colored roses might say that you’re unsure how you feel about the recipient, but you certainly liked her or him well enough to buy roses!

Not only does the color of the rose tell a story, but also the number of stems you’re handing out. A single flower shows your utmost devotion. Two entwined roses say “Marry me.” A bouquet of thirteen roses is from a secret admirer, so please remember not to sign the card, and don’t deliver it in person.

We use flowers at weddings to celebrate new beginnings, and we send flowers for funerals to show respect and say good-bye. We plant flowers in our yards to beautify our homes. Our choices reflect our personalities and tastes, and sometimes our degree of laziness. These days, I tend to plant flowers that don’t require much attention. I used to have a gorgeous rose garden, but roses are such divas and the constant pruning, feeding, and tending wore me out. People used to stop all the time to ask me questions about my roses. I didn’t have answers for them because I tossed out all the tags that came with the plants. I didn’t care what they were called. They were pretty.

When we were dating, Randy sent flowers to me all the time. I jokingly told him once that pink carnations were my favorite. After that, he always sent me bouquets of the perky pinks, or he made sure that the florist included at least one pink carnation in every arrangement delivered to my office. Years later, I confessed that my favorite flowers are really white roses. Randy still sends or brings me flowers, and he still gets me pink carnations, because, as he says, why mess with a sure thing.

by Jim Houck, Jr.
                                                                                             Danielle Bloxham
                                                                                    E-4 Spec. (Military Police) U.S. Army

Born on June 12, 1983, in Red Bluff, California, to Dawn and Stephen Marsh, was a bouncing little tomboy they named, Danielle. Eventually, Danielle was blessed with three younger sisters: Desiree, Ronee, and Stephenie. Danielle grew up in California; her mother, Dawn, moved to Maryland in 1996 after Danielle’s youngest sister turned one year old, and a year later, she and her other sisters followed.

Danielle, being the oldest, went to school in California through the sixth grade and part of seventh. She then attended Maryland schools for the remainder of seventh grade through the eighth grade. Following eighth grade, Danielle went again back to California and finished ninth and tenth grades, and then came back to Maryland and got her GED. While in school, Danielle played softball and soccer—and just about every sport. She states that because she was a tomboy, she would travel with the boys’ basketball team to their games and keep the records for them. Her whole family was avid softball players and they still are; she said her uncle was in the Little League World Series in 1975 or 1976. She grew up around sports. She also loves to fish and hunt each year and gets a license for both. She was due to graduate in 2002, but she signed up for the military and left for boot camp before her graduation. Danielle was in 95 Bravo Military Police and went to Fort Leonard Wood Base in Missouri, because it has one-unit service training and is coed; it has different bays but the training is done all at one time and then they go to their assigned station. Danielle was there from mid-January until June. Afterwards, she had two or three weeks of leave, so she flew back to Maryland and then to California. Following her leave, she was off to South Korea.

Danielle was stationed in Buson, South Korea at Camp Hialeah in the second biggest city (also a port city) in South Korea, with Seoul being the largest city. Camp Hialeah has a perimeter of two miles, which makes it very small, but Danielle said that they would back-fill for other areas, so they would go all the way to Seoul to fill for other people. In the United States, it is a lot different being a military police officer, according to Danielle. In South Korea, one of the major job duties you do there is riot control; there are a lot of riots. In South Korea, they have to have permission to riot from the K&P; this is because of KATUSA (Korean Obligation to the United States Army). They are actually Koreans and instead of doing their military service with the Korean Army, they do their twenty-six months with the United States Army. The Korean Military Police are outside of the gate and the U.S. Military Police are inside the gate, in case people would try to breach the gates; the protesters would have to get through the K&P to breach the gate and then get through the U.S. Military Police.

Riot control is a big thing in South Korea. A few times, people would come close to breaching the gates by tossing Molotov cocktails. Danielle said that when she first arrived at the base, she would wear her uniform when riding the trains, but when she left a year later, they were not allowed to wear uniforms to travel in public. She was in South Korea from June 2002-July 2003.

During her time in South Korea, she met someone and put in a COT (continuing overseas tour), requesting to go to Germany. You usually come back stateside for a short period of time after a tour, before being sent overseas again. Being young, Danielle thought she would put in to go to Germany, but in the process, tried to stop her orders. She flew home and then went back to Korea for another six months, then orders came down that would make Fort Huachuca, Arizona, her next duty station. Danielle was at Fort Huachuca until she got out of the Army.

Danielle was released from the Army with a medical discharge in March 2005. While in Korea, Danielle had surgery in Seoul on her left hand for De Quervain’s disease, which is a painful inflammation of tendons in the thumb, causing pain from the base of the thumb that extend to the wrist. She also had surgery at Fort Huachuca on her right hand for De Quervain’s disease about a year and a half after her first surgery. While in Arizona, she got pregnant; she had her daughter, Jaiden, on April 10, 2004. When she got her discharge, they drove across country to Maryland; Danielle got a job shortly thereafter with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Frederick. She was an operations analyst. She worked for Wells Fargo just shy of ten years, when she decided to go back to school to be a vocational rehabilitation coordinator.

While waiting for her benefits to come through after arriving home, Danielle developed problems from an injury to her knee she received in the field in South Korea. The surgery was supposed to be a simple in-and-out procedure; she had it done at Martinsburg Veterans Hospital. Danielle said that three weeks later, she was still in a full leg brace and on high doses of pain medication. At one point, she woke up and was in so much pain that she could not even stand the light, so she had her sister come get her and take her to the hospital. They cleaned a lot of infection out and asked her where she had the surgery done and proceeded to tell her that she needed to go there immediately. They flew her to Martinsburg; she blacked out and when she woke up, she found out that she had a staph infection and had to have emergency surgery again. Danielle said she was out for a week and remembers waking up and the nurse saying, “Thank God you’re awake.” She was in Martinsburg for another week, and she remembers that the hospital was really getting to her and she just wanted to get out of there and get home to her two-year-old daughter. She got approval to get off the morphine drip and asked what she could do to get home. The infection was so intense that she had to stay on the medication for quite a while, so they put a pick line in her left arm for her to be able to give herself intravenous therapy (IV). She set up to have in-home nurses come to her home. She was a young twenty-three at the time, and she had to give herself IVs three times a day. Danielle did the IVs for six weeks and was on medication for about six months to make sure the infection was gone from her system, then she went back to work.

Danielle is now going to Frederick Community College, majoring in cyber security and is just one class short of graduating with her Associate’s degree. Danielle had a second daughter, Evie, on March 11, 2011. Both daughters like sports like their mother, and Evie is playing T-Ball this year. Danielle likes to reflect on the differences in weather in California and Maryland, and how she never owned a coat until she moved to Maryland in January of 1997. She said that thinking back, she remembers playing soccer in Woodsboro, where her mother lives and most of her family resides; Danielle and her daughters live in Thurmont. Danielle said that she and her mother and sisters worked or work at Trout’s Grocery Store in Woodsboro. She said that they would all joke with John Trout that there were more of their (Danielle’s) family working at the store than the Trout family. Danielle’s daughters go to school in Thurmont; Evie is in Pre-K and Jaiden goes to Thurmont Primary School.

Danielle is also a Girl Scout leader and has been since her daughter, Jaiden, was in kindergarten. Jaiden joined when she was a Daisy and is now a cadet after seven years as a Girl Scout. Currently, Danielle can’t give the required time for a leader since she is in night school, but another leader is now standing in for her. She is getting ready to enroll Evie into the Girl Scouts this fall.

Jaiden is very active in Thurmont activities, including softball and karate, and is in dance class and gymnastics; she took piano lessons and also loves fishing. Evie does T-Ball, dancing, and gymnastics, and will begin fishing this summer. Danielle said she has a lot of good friends in the area; she thanks God for them, because they really help her out with the kids. She has a hectic schedule with work and night classes and she could not be attending night school if it weren’t for the help with her daughters. Sometimes because of the lateness of her class, her friend keeps the girls overnight. Danielle said it is hard for her and the kids, and she will be glad when this semester is over.

Danielle expressed that she and the kids love to travel. They try to go to Florida at least every other year. With all that Danielle is involved in, I think the vacation is well deserved, and I wish them a safe and fun-filled vacation—whenever they take it.
Danielle is a busy woman and still takes time out for her two daughters. She is a very pleasant person to talk to, so if you see her on the street or at the grocery store or at the AMVETS, wish her a Happy Mother’s Day and thank her for her service to our beloved country. Thank you, Danielle!
Happy Mother’s Day, Danielle, and to all Veteran mothers.

God Bless America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

Danielle Bloxham is pictured with her two daughters, Evie and Jaiden.

Christine Schoene Maccabee
The Joy of Weeding
There is a small, but growing, movement in the world of people, who we will call “ultra-organic gardeners.” This term is not my own invention, but as defined in my excellent book called The Natural Garden Book. Ultra-organic gardeners tolerate “weeds,” use no chemicals whatever, and are generous with patches of wild habitat in-between cultivated plots. This method, also known as permaculture, has actually been employed naturally by many indigenous cultures around the world since the beginning of time until, sadly, in more recent times, large agrochemical companies convinced many of them of a “better way.”

For those of us who work quietly with the earth, who frequently find ourselves in the prayer position, and whose pant legs are holey in the knees, garden magic is most fully revealed. When I first came to my mountain valley home, getting to know all the wild plants that were already here was of critical importance to me. My interest in wild herbs and wild edibles was well established in my psyche over my lifetime, so I knew many of the plants by name and knew their uses. As well, I knew that habitat for bees and butterflies and other pollinators was being destroyed daily by development, so I made it my mission to explore and preserve as much as possible on my eleven acres.

I am learning that it is possible to work cooperatively with most of the plants already in my soil. They are all there just waiting to be recognized. Every year, my daughter and I eagerly await spring so as to pick violet leaves and flowers, high in vitamin C, to put in our salads. We add edible chickweed, which is delicious, to the salad as well, and give it permission to grow in out-of-the-way places and frequently right in the cold frame. From the cold frame, I get full salads every day, consisting of spinach, lettuce, tah tsai (mustard family), and kale.

However, it is in my main garden where the magic really begins. Over the years, I have rescued Canadian asters and wild Bergamot from being mowed along the sides of back roads, transplanting them into my gardens, and there they still reside in islands between my many vegetable beds. When they bloom in summertime, bees and butterflies are drawn to them like a magnet, as well as the hummingbirds and hummingbird moths (ever see one?). These pollinators then pollinate the flowers of my tomato, potato, green beans, peas, and whatever else I have time to plant as a food crop. I guess you could say we are having a happy symbiotic relationship!

I rarely see weeding as a chore anymore. Rather, it is a process of discovery. Wherever I can, I leave a large Queens Ann’s Lace where it planted itself (a non-native, but then so am I), some purple clover wherever I see them (I use their flowers in teas or eat them on the spot), and of course milkweed wherever it comes up. One year, a mullein plant decided to grow in my green bean bed, and instead of moving it to another place—as I sometimes do—I let it grow there, getting fuller and fuzzier as the summer went on. It grew to be nine feet tall! Mullein leaves are excellent in a tea for coughs in the winter; its flowers are food for bees, and its seeds feed small birds in the fall. It is a win-win plant—so many of them are.

So, did I read all about this stuff? A little, but mostly I used good ID books to find out what the wild plants were good for, be they simply as food for pollinators, seeds for birds, or medicinals and edibles for human use. I now allow St. John’s wort, vervain, mullein, evening primrose, peppermint, purple clovers, white clovers, chicory, daisy fleabane, a variety of wild asters, golden rods, milkweed, phlox, wild spinach, and many more too innumerable to count, to dwell here with me, within some limits. Some control is needed, but mostly we work cooperatively, to everyone’s benefit.
Okay, you say, that is well enough for you, but I just want nice neat rows free of all the weeds…the things I did not plant there. To tell you the truth, I respect that approach, too. I am simply trying to clarify the importance of giving wild plants space to grow in a person’s garden, if they have the space. There is a concern among many naturalists that eventually, much like the languages of small groups of indigenous peoples around the world, many essential wild plants and their value will be exterminated, sadly disappearing forever, unless some of us care enough to get to know them and appreciate their worth and beauty.

Due to lack of space in this column, I cannot expound further upon why these plants are so important, but perhaps you might like to, at least, begin to explore these matters more in depth.

There are many opportunities to do so available to you, one of which is by coming to my seminar at the Thurmont Regional Library on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. There are also good books, like The Natural Garden Book by Peter Harper, and ID books so you can explore on your own .
This year, enhance your relationship with wild growing things, and as you do, perhaps you too will experience, as I have, the JOY of weeding!

Young Boy Rescues Friend from Runaway Rail

Emmitsburg-RR-005-JAKJoseph Flautt Frizell was walking along the tracks of the Emmitsburg Railroad one evening in May 1922 with some friends. They were goofing around, as teenage boys are known to do, as they approached the station located on South Seton Avenue.

The Emmitsburg Railroad had been incorporated on March 28, 1868. It connected Emmitsburg to Thurmont by rail, and from there to other communities via the Western Maryland Railway. Besides making it easier for townspeople to travel to places like Baltimore, it also provided a convenient way for students to arrive at St. Joseph’s College and Mount Saint Mary’s College. The railroad was more than seven miles long and opened for passenger service on November 22, 1875.

Frizell and his friends saw a baggage car approaching them. Then they noticed another local youth, Paul Humerick, on the front of the baggage car. He had apparently jumped aboard hoping to catch a free ride, probably destined to the station in downtown Emmitsburg, which marked the end of the line.

What Humerick hadn’t noticed was that the baggage car had detached itself from the rest of the train and was coasting down the incline in the tracks. The boys on the ground called for Humerick to get off the car, but he ignored them, apparently not recognizing the danger.

“Quick as a flash young Frizell realized the danger and ran after the car, which was moving slowly, jumping it and at the same time pulling Master Humerick down to the earth,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The boys hit the ground, rolled, and climbed to their feet unharmed. Meanwhile, the baggage car continued just a short distance before it hit an embankment. They watched the baggage car “smash over the embankment into a tree. The large tree hit in just the place where Humerick was standing on the car and eyewitnesses say that had the young boy held his place he would have been badly mangled if not killed outright,” published the Catoctin Clarion.

Frizell spent the week afterwards being praised by his friends as a hero. The newspaper said the praise was rightly deserved because “it was not only a brave deed but showed that his mind was working fast to take in the situation.

The incident was investigated and it was found that after the train had stopped at St. Joseph’s College Station without incident on its way to the end of the line at the Emmitsburg station, it was believed that while the conductor was helping passengers off the train at St. Joseph’s College, someone had uncoupled the cars. The train had left the station heading for Emmitsburg, but the baggage car had separated from the rest of the train on an incline.

The car suffered some damage in the accident, but it was expected to be repaired and put back in service. None of the baggage in the car was lost or damaged.

The Emmitsburg Railroad stopped its service in 1940 due to more attractive business options, such as car travel.

                                                                                           A House Divided Part II
by “My Father’s Son”
Aurora-3The house at 601 East Main Street in Thurmont is much more primitive in style than its neighboring Aurora Cottage. A simple square by perimeter, 601 is a 2-1/2 story, typical three-bay façade, differing from others in Thurmont of the same description by its forward-facing, steeply-raked front gable, allowing space for a largely habitable attic beneath the high-pointing rafters. One hundred and eighteen years old, this address is often known as “The Campbell House,” recognizing two scores of ownership by the surname. Removal of the columned wrap-around porch, asphalt-shingle siding, full-sized attic front-gable windows, and the replacement of the sash exchanged for the front door, the “Campbell place” is promptly exposed as Aurora Cottage’s lost Annex.

Before proceeding, let’s resume where Part I concluded in 1912 with the Charles C. Waters family leaving their Fredericktown-house at 116 E. Church Street, returning to Thurmont’s 513 E. Main, this time as their private home. Five years prior, Waters and business partner, Charles Cassell, closed and sold the Aurora Cottage boarding house. Just as this endeavor ended, so would all others involving the pair on June 2, 1907, when Charles E. Cassell died two months after the home’s sale. Cassell’s absence invested Waters further into the legal arena where his reputation as a learned estate attorney had grown since passing the Frederick County Bar in 1898.

The Waters’ second arrival to Aurora Cottage brought the departure of the Annex. By purchasing a bordering sliver of land from owner Blanche Darr Donaldson of Philadelphia allowed Waters to shift the Annex he and Cassell had constructed approximately 100 feet 12° SE to become its own address—the structure’s displacement angled to accommodate a large shed still sited behind the Annex today. As no staircase existed in Aurora’s addition, Waters outfitted an L-shaped stair against the Annex’s severed side incorporated into the stacked passages once linking the guest wing to Aurora. The retro-fitted house was rented until 1919 when Waters would add twenty-five feet of his own holdings to the Annex, creating a satisfactory lot fronting fifty-five feet on E. Main Street. Upon purchase that same year, Edgar and Marguerite Tregoe secured the Annex as a separate entity to be forgotten as a fragment of the neighbor it once coupled.

The Tregoes extended their lot to Apples Church Road by obtaining more of Donaldson’s land. They sold the whole to Ross and Nanna Firor in 1935. Divided into four lots, the Firors sold most of Tregoes Donaldson purchase between 1952 and 1968, returning the Annex’s acreage to near its original conveyance.

Over a year prior to Waters’ sale of the Annex, November 1918 announced World War I’s conclusion and spread peace across the globe quickly cloaked by suffrage even unseen through warfare. The American Medical Association summarized our country’s morale best: “Medical science for four and one-half years devoted itself to putting men on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combating the greatest enemy of all—infectious disease.”

At age eighteen, the Waters’ only son, James, became ill with the “Spanish-Flu,” the wickedest epidemic in recorded history. James was a prime host for the ailment, which spiked the death-by-illness rate of those aged fifteen to thirty-four by 20 times that of the previous year. Over 675,000 American lives were lost, James Waters’ among them.

His son departed, Charles Waters amended his Will to donate Aurora Cottage to the Order of the Holy Cross, instructing his “present home and grounds” be designated the “James Somerset Waters Memorial for religious and charitable purposes.” Per the Will, Rosa Waters received life estate at Aurora Cottage after Charles’ death in 1926, the occasion of her death or remarriage to execute her husband’s final testament. Unexpectedly, Rosa contested the Will and County Case #11557, Rosa Waters v. The Order of the Holy Cross, dishonored the late Mr. Waters’ wishes. Rosa’s legal victory protected her home from institutionalization and reestablished entitlement by Mrs. Waters, allowing sale to occur four years later.

The Dern, Fraley, and Green families succeeded Rosa Waters, each conveying the property to the next after an average inhabitance of eighteen years until the deed was purchased by the Cochran family—Aurora’s longest owners (this month marking thirty years of residence). Nine acres added by the Waters’ between Aurora’s current lot and the Western Maryland Railroad were sold by the Derns in 1940 (later becoming the Cannon Shoe Company), and additional area lost by Fraley’s 1945 purchase and swift construction of a trending bungalow-style home upon the Aurora lot for daughter Mabel and son-in-law Earle Townsend. The Townsend’s created 511 East Main Street, carved from the Aurora parcel, an abnormal allocation, shrinking to around only fifteen feet to dodge Aurora Cottage’s existing carriage house before reopening its bounds.

The Cochrans obtained Aurora Cottage from William and Patricia Green, parents of familiar Frederick News Post photographer, Bill Green. The Green family occupied the home from 1967 until 1986. Bill’s paternal grandparents were houseguests of the family and occupied a “suite” of sorts arranged in the first-floor area, where the Annex earlier joined. This space was repurposed by the Greens, with its own bath and access to a section of the front porch receiving glass-enclosure. “It is told that Mr. Green gave a large ledger, found in the home’s attic, containing Aurora Cottage’s Inn records to a Thurmont resident for historic keeping. The whereabouts of this ledger 49 years later is a mystery but remains an artifact Mrs. Cochran would greatly like the opportunity to view.”

White and trimmed with green at the time of purchase, the most apparent change made by Jim and Debbie Cochran is the colors accentuating the home. Aurora’s palette was realized after Debbie sketched the home and colored in photocopies of her drawing to depict various color schemes using colored pencils matched to paint swatches. The exterior grandeur of the Cochran’s home continues inside where a fireplace opposes the front door; a handsome stairway travels up the rightward wall; and a fine, baby-grand piano floats among floor to ceiling windows. Throughout their thirty years at Aurora, Jim’s vintage Triumph roadster has fittingly posed out front in the circular drive; Debbie haunted the porch as a witch on many an All Hallows Eve; and children, Wes and Wendy, have been seen coming and going from Catoctin High, on college breaks, and now as adults continuing to frequent their childhood home.

Aurora Cottage, as a whole and a house divided, has boarded thousands of guests, hosted splendid soirees, and been the backdrop to the best and least-desirable memories of changing residents. Sallie Boyce’s 513 E. Main St. home stood complete only a relative moment before the Annex was added to its original form. Residing for the last 105 years 100 feet apart only a brief thirteen years united the pair prior to the Annex’s separation to 601 E. Main Street. New ownership and recent improvements leave many hopeful that the Annex will return from prolonged neglect and periods of vacancy (during which one man reserved squatter’s rights for a time) to sustain its status as joint-shareholder of Aurora Cottage’s colorful history. Fortunate that both remain, neither home can be more fairly addressed “Aurora Cottage” than the other although the San Franciscan-colors and tin-fashioned, faux terra-cotta-tile roof of the Cochran’s 513 residence more familiarly claims the moniker, ushering in day’s first light like a shimmer of magic on the foothills of the mountain.

The Cochran Family home on Thurmont’s East Main Street, absent the Annex, once affixed at the home’s right side is presented today in nearly the original vision of Sallie K. Boyce.

                                                                               Pig-Headed — Not Just for Teenagers
by Carie Stafford
IMG_20160415_172521There are so many idioms that are made up because of little old me. Of course, little is a word that does not describe me—maybe at one point in time. A few of those choice idioms include: pig-headed, eat like a pig, sweating like a pig, happy as a pig in muck. As you can guess, I am a pig, but not just any old pig: I am a pot-bellied pig.

A pig is a pig, right? Well, we may all taste good to you, but we are different and raised for different reasons. Pot-bellied pigs are originally domesticated pigs from Vietnam. There are different kinds of pot-bellied pigs, such as teacup, toy pot, royal dandies, micro mini, dandie extremes, mini julianas, and
miniature  pot-bellied pigs. We range from 12-125 pounds, depending on our breed. We mature at two to three years old and can live for twelve to eighteen years. Pot-bellied pigs are usually raised to be pets—and fantastic pets we make, just like a dog or cat.

We love being treated like one of the family. We are easy to house-train, we are intelligent, we enjoy living inside with everyone else, we can walk on a leash, and we socialize with other animals and talk to you. It’s pig noises, but you eventually pick up what we are saying. The most astonishing thing, and what most people don’t know, is that we like to be clean. We like to root around in the dirt like any old pig, but we brush it off.

My name is Betsy Ross. Yes, I am a “4th of July girl.” I was originally purchased for a family with several children, and I lived in their bedroom with them. I had my own bed, ate out of a glass bowl, and loved to sleep under the blankets. I was not fond of my harness, but I enjoyed walking and playing with my human siblings. As I grew bigger, the space got smaller. I was given to a family friend, who had a farm, and have adjusted to being the head pig. I still have my blanket. My siblings come to visit and I remember them, so I get so excited and squeal with delight.

I have many friends here at the farm. Chickens, sheep, a dog, and cats. My favorite cat is an orange tabby, called Starlight. We do just about everything together. Sun bathing, carousing the farm, and sleeping together. Two peas in a pod, you could say.

I like the neighbors, though they are not fond of me. It may have something to do with the flower garden that I rooted up and ate all the flower bulbs, or maybe because I like swimming in their pool without permission.

I do like my nails polished and even have favorite colors of red, purple, and pink. I love me some fresh fruits, especially bananas, without the peel. My favorite treat is to get into the vegetable garden and dig up the sweet potatoes and the tomatoes—so scrumptious. I have to grab and go, because if I dally, I will get caught.

Speaking of grub, it is time to eat! It can be pretty messy and noisy—you might not want to hang around for this.