Posts by: "TheCatoctinBanner.com"

Blair Garrett

Winning a state championship is a rare feat. Winning during a global pandemic is exceptional.

It takes a tremendously resilient group to fight through the lulls of quarantines, shutdowns, and uncertainty with the season. To re-focus and capture a regional and state championship speaks volumes about the discipline and dedication of the Catoctin High School Baseball Team.

The Cougars captured the team’s second 1A state title in a dominant performance over Saint Michaels on June 18, 2021, winning the game 10-3 at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland.

The team’s breakout postseason was sparked by a change of playstyle, with the batters focusing on getting on base with ground shots rather than looking to send the ball into stands each hit.

“The end of the regular season didn’t go as planned,” shortstop Dylan Click said. “We got blown out by Urbana, so we changed the hitting style that wasn’t working in the regular season.”

Following Catoctin’s 5-6 regular season, the group buckled down to put the pieces in place to spur their offense.

The ability to put runners on base was something that the team had struggled to find during the season, posting just 1.35 runs per game. The Cougars’ team-first focus on keeping the ball in play earned them 26 runs in their final three games.

Though Catoctin’s shift to slicing ground balls became the premier strategy, playoff teams were punished for putting pitches in dangerous spots for Cougar batters. “Our offense clicked and we just went on a run through the playoffs,” Click said.

Catcher and outfielder Dylan Nicholson changed the momentum of the game with one big shot, sending the ball soaring out of Regency Furniture Stadium with two runners on base.

The three-run swing set the Cougars up with a lead they would hold on to throughout the rest of the game.

Catoctin’s pitching was sensational throughout the entire season, posting a deep pool of talented kids with a combined earned runs against (ERA) of 1.10.

“Our pitching was great all year, and our defense was solid, we just weren’t hitting,” Click said. “When the playoffs came around, we finally started hitting, and our pitching continued to be great, and that’s why we strung a few wins together to win the whole thing.”

The Cougars’ successes in the playoffs this season are no surprise for the players, who had confidence in each other that they could put the pieces together to make a deep run in the playoffs. “Going into every playoff game, I think we knew we were the better team,” Click said. “It wasn’t any different in the championship game.”

Catoctin sophomore Joey McMannis got a surprise start and capitalized on his opportunity.

The pitcher’s composure at the plate saw the Cougars take charge through the four and two-third innings he pitched, and that boost built the foundation for the team’s stellar showing. He threw just 10 innings before Friday’s state championship game, but his banner performance speaks to the team’s depth behind the mound.

“This is one of the best pitching teams I’ve been a part of,” senior pitcher Ayden Shadle said. “Everyone contributed, everyone was really solid throughout the season, and everyone did their part.”

Shadle was the closing pitcher who brought players and fans to their feet with his final strikeout of the game. “On the last pitch, I was up 0-2 (zero balls, two strikes), so I threw it as hard as I could, and we got the strikeout,” he said. “After that, everyone came out of the dogpile, and every single coach got in. It was a really great feeling.”

With the team buying into head coach Mike Franklin’s slash-hitting system, and the offense flourishing, it was only a matter of time before the Cougars hit their stride, and the team caught fire at just the right time.

“All of us this year, but the seniors especially, were thankful to have the opportunity,” Click said. “At the beginning of the season, we didn’t even know if we were going to have a playoff format, so when we got the news we had the chance to play for a state championship, we were all pretty happy. It’s pretty nice to go down in the history books.”Logan Malachowski jumps with pitcher Ayden Shadle as Catoctin’s baseball players   react to their 1A High School Championship game in Waldorf, Maryland.

Cover Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

Senior catcher Dustin Isonagle hits down third baseline.

Photo by Melissa Kinna

First baseman JJ Zirkle snags a foul ball.

Photo by Melissa Kinna

Ayden Shadle closes out the game as the final pitcher.

Photo by Chuck Baxter

Deb Abraham Spalding

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Freedom isn’t free,” especially around Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day, as a reminder of the sacrifice others have made to protect our freedom. This past Memorial Day, the official dedication ceremony of the Moser Road bridge and Trolley Trail foot bridge in Thurmont to two Thurmont Marines who were killed in action in Vietnam reminded those in attendance that there is a price for freedom.

The Moser Road bridge was dedicated, and signage unveiled, to honor SGT Woodrow Franklin “Frank” Carbaugh USMC. The Trolley Trail foot bridge was dedicated, and signage unveiled, to honor PFC Charles R. Pittinger USMC. These two young men were raised in Thurmont, and upon graduating from Thurmont High School in the 1960s, each enlisted or was drafted into the United States Marine Corps.

They were both killed in action by wounds received from hostile forces in Vietnam. They gave their lives in service to our nation, for our freedom.

The signage that is visible from both directions as you approach the bridges will serve as an on-going opportunity for travelers to remember and give thanks.

At a luncheon hosted by the volunteers at the Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion on Park Lane in Thurmont, dedication ceremony host Gary Spegal, Frederick County Commander and Thurmont American Legion Honor Guard OIC, gave the official welcome to the dual dedication of the Trolley Trail foot bridge and the Moser Road bridge spanning over Big Hunting Creek in Thurmont.

Commander Spegal said, “Read the names, reflect, and consider the sacrifice for the values that these two men fought for and died for. They inspire all of us to pray for our country’s leaders to seek peaceful settlements to our disputes.” He added, “One of the things our nation could have done better is welcoming home our Veterans who fought in Southeast Asia. It’s been half a century and their legacy has faded.” Locally, the bridge dedication will be a reminder to those who pass.

Thurmont’s Mayor John Kinnaird said, “The memory of the day when news arrived about the deaths of both Charlie and Woodie sticks clearly in my mind. I think it is appropriate that these bridges be dedicated in their names today. Bridges physically transport us from one point to another, but these bridges will now take us back in time. Each time we cross these bridges, we will remember Charlie and Woody…as the local boys we knew as family, neighbors, and friends…and the sacrifices these young men made for our community and our nation.”

On the bridge site, Ella Renner, the American Auxiliary Jr. Unit 168’s Poppy Princess, assisted Unit 168 Poppy Chairperson Angela Spegal to install red poppy flowers on each of the sign posts. The red flower of the poppy represents the blood of our fallen.

Deacon John Hawkins provided the blessing of the bridges. “Chewy,” a Veteran memorial vehicle, sounded the guns in salute.

Attendees moved from the official dedication location at the bridges to the ceremony location at the Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion on Park Lane in Thurmont.

Here, Scouts of Troop 270 Color Guard performed the Presentation of Colors.

During this touching ceremony, music was enjoyed, attendees sang the Marine Corps Hymn, and several people shared fond memories.

Sandy Seidel, mother of 1st Lt. Robert Seidel, presented a print of Robert’s poem “War” that was written in honor of Charles Pittinger to the Pittinger family. As an elementary-aged boy in Emmitsburg in the 1990s, young Robbie Seidel, learned from his uncle Larry Pittinger, about another uncle, Charles Pittinger, who had lost his life in Vietnam. He wrote the poem “War” in Charles’ honor. Little Robbie later became 1st Lt. Robert Seidel, who was killed in action while serving our country in Iraqi Freedom in May 2006.

Sgt. David Carter USMC traveled from Morristown, Tennessee, to the ceremony to talk about his tour with Sgt. Woodrow Franklin “Frank” Carbaugh. He said, “His tour of duty ran parallel with mine. I met Frank in January 1967. We received orders together. I will never forget him. He was the most Christian man I have ever known. A man of great character.”

Larry Pittinger, representing his brother John and sister Ann, spoke about their brother PFC Charles R. Pittinger. He shared that in preparation, American Legion Cmdr. Gary Spegal gave him a project to locate photos and memorabilia to display at the event.

Larry said, “For me, this request is the most rewarding part of the past eight months. Because of this request, photos that were packed away were unpacked and enjoyed again. Letters written more than 50 years ago were re-read. Through these letters, I learned of Charlie’s plans to buy a Corvette when he returned home. In a follow-up letter, he said that he may have to switch to his plan B, which was getting his ’57 Chevy on the road because of a change in the State of Maryland’s insurance rates.”

Larry continued, “He wrote of his frustration of walking through about four inches of mud to return to the base camp while carrying the M79 that was nicknamed the “Blooper” and carrying other gear that almost weighed as much as himself. Next, I found a website for Lima 35. Some of these Vets called me and shared their personal experiences. I am not a military Veteran, but after talking to these four Marine Vets, I have a deeper understanding of the kinship and the bond Veterans have for one another. To all Veterans, thank you for your service.”

“Thank you all for honoring my brother PFC Charles Robert Pittinger.”

The ceremony closed with the Benediction by Deacon John Hawkins and the Retirement of Colors by Scouts of Troop 270.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

The Moser Road Bridge named in honor of Sgt. Carbaugh.

Waynesboro Becoming Destination Town

by Blair Garrett

With the world’s gradual return to normalcy looming on the horizon, the need to make up for lost time is ever-growing.

There are countless great restaurants and places locally to have an awesome experience, and more seem to be popping up every month. Just over the Mason Dixon Line in Pennsylvania, not far from us in northern Frederick County, several places have risen from the shutdowns to bring good drinks and good times to all.

A wide variety of options are now available for just about any craving, but a fun and unique side of Waynesboro hasn’t had its chance to blossom just yet.

The rapidly changing town has seen an influx of businesses over the past few years. Notably, more breweries have found a new home in the south-central Pennsylvania town. Waynesboro even boasts a brand new distillery, sure to spice up the weekends of visiting customers and regular locals.

Rough Edges Brewing

Just past the square on Waynesboro’s main drag lies Rough Edges Brewing. The small team has found tremendous success crafting brilliant recipes into well-balanced beers.

The brewery is led by owners Wes Phebus and Casey Phebus, who are excited for an opportunity to flourish post-pandemic.

“The growth in Waynesboro has been fantastic,” Casey Phebus said. “We like to think we are a part of that. With us and Lake House, and the other breweries opening up, I think we’re part of making Waynesboro a destination.”

The brewery’s launch was an initial success, but due to the ongoing pandemic, Waynesboro’s newest brewery had to weather the storm during uncertain times. “We opened February of 2020. We were open six weeks, but the weekend of our grand opening, we got shut down, and it was heartbreaking,” Phebus said. “We had been doing well, and the community was very happy and very receptive.”

Adjusting to the restrictions wasn’t easy, but Rough Edges pulled through selling beer to-go, allowing them to keep brewing and producing great local craft beer.

“The community was insanely supportive,” Phebus said. “We survived with that model, and then we were able to finally have indoor dining, and luckily we were in a position to get right back into it.”

Rough Edges came to be through Wes’ home-brew hobby, which eventually blossomed into a career in crafting beers.

“Wes started as a homebrewer, and got into it as a pretty serious hobby,” Phebus said. “After a year or so, he decided he wanted to brew professionally, so he left his prior career and got a job at Something Wicked Brewing over in Hanover.”

Phebus quickly took over as head brewer at Something Wicked, and the two seized the opportunity to open a place of their own when presented with the chance to do so.

“We had aspirations to have our own place, and we wanted to bring our love for craft beer to our hometown.”

To date, Rough Edges offers a variety of craft beers that have been making waves in the community. “We do a little bit of everything,” Phebus said. “We have kettle sours, IPAs, we have a root beer float stout that’s been really popular, we have lagers on, too.”

You can catch some of Rough Edges’ beers at select stores locally, or at their brewery, Thursday through Sunday.

Lake House Distillery

Lake House Distillery is one of Waynesboro’s newest attractions, and it has quickly become the talk of the town. Their sign hanging above the bar features owners Aaron and Tara Lake’s name and family home, displaying the at-home feel of a comfortable and intimate bar and restaurant.

The couple opened Lake House Distillery just two months before the chaos of the pandemic set in, and navigating their way back to a full-capacity business has been a journey and a half.

“It was a brand new business, with nothing like that around here, and eight weeks later, Corona shut us down,” Tara Lake said. “It was kind of a gut punch after you spend 18 months of building.”

After renovating and pouring money and time into their passion project, the uncertainty of what was to come pushed the pair to take action to help in any way they could.

“Around here, hand sanitizer was very difficult to find,” Lake said. “During the pandemic, we used what product we had that we were going to be making whiskey with, and we made hand sanitizer with it. We donated it to the fire department, police departments, nursing homes, the post office, and all the first responders to make sure that our community had some sort of protection.”

The Lake family gave away hand sanitizer to the community after first responders had been stocked up, continuing to provide for Waynesboro residents in any way they could. “ It was two weeks that turned into eight months,” Lake said.

The distillery pushed through the pandemic by selling to-go drinks, and now has events in the works.  They often feature live music on the weekends to show guests a great time to go with their great drinks.

Aaron Lake runs the spirits side of the business, perfecting his craft with an open-barrel fermentation process and a whole lot of fine-tuning. If it isn’t up to his quality, he won’t pass it on for distribution.

“When I put something out, I want to make sure that it’s good. That’s our name, that’s our house on the sign,” Aaron said. I’ve dumped up to 45 gallons of whiskey down the drain, just because I won’t sell it if it’s not to my standard.

His attitude of continuing to learn and hone his skills has made Lake into a phenomenal distiller. “I will never call myself a master distiller because I want to learn,” Lake said. “Once you stop being humble and learning things, that’s the day you start losing interest in it.”  

Waynesboro used to be a bustling hub for distilleries over a century ago, and Lake touched on some of the history behind the town’s pre-prohibition era scene.

“Pre-prohibition time, there were actually five distilleries in Waynesboro,” Lake said. “One of them was about two blocks from here called Pen-Mar Distilling Company. A lot of people think of whiskey as a southern thing, but all of the distillers that are in Kentucky came from Pennsylvania distillers. The old colonies and the farmers moved south where corn was more prevalent, and up in Maryland and Pennsylvania rye was more common.”

The Lake family has a few great whiskeys and vodkas, and more in the works coming soon. On hand, Lake House Distilling has a corn whiskey, a white rye, a vodka, an applejack brandy, and an apple pie moonshine that compete with decade-old companies.

Their spirits can be found at their Waynesboro location and in stores located throughout the greater Catoctin Region, including Catoctin Furnace Liquors in Foxville, North End Liquors in Hancock, Liberty Liquors in Cumberland, and Prohibition Hub in Hagerstown.

With both Tara and Aaron still working full-time jobs, Lake House Distillery’s action takes place on the weekends, often featuring food trucks, live music, and good times.         

With more and more places opening in Waynesboro, it’s easy to see why breweries and distilleries would follow suit. Waynesboro currently has Rough Edges, Lake House Distillery, and 633 Brewing, named after the 633 acres of land Waynesboro was originally settled on, and more to come soon.

Waynesboro is not a giant metropolis, but there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years for this growing town, and the new businesses that have set roots here have created a real destination that people in surrounding areas have noticed.

Rough Edges features great drinks and great designs, with their IPAs quickly gaining popularity.

Aaron and Tara Lake, owners of Lake House Distillery, show off their brand-new refurbished bar, featuring handmade drinks and a hometown feel.

Photo by Blair Garrett

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Face Mask Restrictions Loosen at Town Pool

The Emmitsburg Commissioners voted not to require face masks be worn inside the bathhouse at the town pool this season. However, pool personnel may still be seen wearing masks as they interact with visitors.

Town Approves Agreements to Move Irishtown Road Work Forward

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved a Road Transfer Memorandum of Understanding with Frederick County for Irishtown Road and approved Brookfield Lots 1-19 Irishtown Road project’s right-of-way, temporary grading easement, and public works agreements. These agreements allow the town to take over Irishtown Road so that housing developers can move forward in bringing the road up to town standards.

New Committee Members Named

The Emmitsburg Commissioners re-appointed Wendy Walsh (term ending February 2, 2022), Wayne Slaughter (term ending October 15, 2022), Tricia Sheppard (term ending July 15, 2023), Will Sheppard (term ending July 15, 2023), and Conrad Weaver (term ending July 15, 2023) to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for two-year terms.

Kevin Hagan was appointed to a five-year term as an alternate to the Planning Commission ending June 7, 2026.

Pavilion Bid Approved

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved a bid for a small pavilion in the E. Eugene Myers Community near the bandstand. Green Sites, LLC, of Elkridge will build 8 x 8 foot pavilions for $12,750. Program Open Space funds will pay for this project.

Town Applying for Federal Assistance With USDA Rural Development

Emmitsburg is eligible for federal assistance from the U.S Department of Agriculture Community Facility Disaster Grant Program. Town staff identified $285,500 in public works equipment purchases that could be made under the program. If the funding is approved, USDA will pay 55 percent of the costs, leaving $128,500 for the town to pay.

Thurmont

Trail Paving Bids Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners unanimously approved a bid to pave the Eyler Road Park Trail and Thurmont Trolley Trail Extension. Town staff will do the grading and stone work on the projects, and American Asphalt Paving Company in Baltimore will do the asphalt overlay for $47,835 ($15,000 for the Trolley Trail and $32,835 for Eyler Road Park Trail).

Water and Sewer Main Work Approved   

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a bid of $163,000 to have Arro Consulting of Frederick do the design and engineering work to replace the water and sewer mains along North Church Street. The project will be paid for with budgeted funds in the water budget and surplus funds in the sewer budget. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick said he hopes the town will be able to reimburse those expenses with the federal American Recovery funds Thurmont is expected to receive.

Thurmont Gets Program Open Space Funding

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird updated the commissioners on the amount of Program Open Space funding the town would receive for projects this year. Frederick County municipalities had $771,860 in funding to divide among municipal park projects, with half designated for acquisition and half for development. Thurmont received $125,000 in acquisition funding, which is the amount it sought, and $40,000 in development funding, which was $3,750 short of what it sought. The funds will provide a 75 percent match to town funding for multiple projects.

A Day in the Park Returns

Thurmont’s summer park program, A Day in the Park, is returning this summer and will run July 26 through July 30, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in Community Park. Enrollment will be limited to 30 children. The town will also offer an alternative program if parents don’t want their children participating in in-person activities.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

June has been special with the swiveling three-season weather experience. The next generation of homeowners are now settling in throughout the town. Included are the families purchasing the new homes that will finish out the Brookfield subdivision. Their settlements started in June and are queued throughout the summer and fall. With the completion of the buildout in the subdivision will come the completion of the necessary upgrades to Irishtown Road to permit opening Brookfield Drive onto Irishtown Road to two-way traffic. The road work is expected to be completed before Labor Day.

To our new neighbors, welcome to Emmitsburg, a place settled in pre-Revolutionary War times. Indeed, history has been very kind and generous to us. Our heritage includes Main Street being a primary western migration route for the early settlers. The place where master craftsman John Armstrong made signature Kentucky Long Rifles at the turn of the nineteenth century. Later, to where thousands of Union soldiers encamped and were nourished before moving on to Gettysburg. The town is the seat of mercy from which the Daughters of Charity went the ensuing days to tend to those wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg.

To the prestige embodied, the town, being recognized as a National Register of Historic Places, has picked up the monikers of “Fire Town” and “Green Town.”

It is left to wonder what those who formed our history would say to a town being a regional leader in the use of renewable energy. What we did eight years ago is where most of the country must go. The town has an electric car, four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, solar-powered algae control at the town lake, and 94 percent of our town government energy needs are provided by renewable solar power. But, they still would recognize a quiet town idyllically set amid a natural balance of mountains, farmland, and streams absorbing what comes their way. Earlier this year, Emmitsburg was recognized as being one of the top ten most beautiful small towns in Maryland.

Today, unlike in the past, residents go about their “day to days” amidst their daily scurries and interactions at our restaurants, three museums and four archives, the world’s most visited fire house: Vigilant Hose Company, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine and Basilica, the Homeland Security/Fire Academy facility, the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, the Grotto of Lourdes, and Mount St. Mary’s University, hosting over 400,000 visitors a year. All cylinders running 24/7/365. We welcome you, as we do the streams of returning university students, alums, firefighters, and winter-season skiers on their way to and from the nearby Ski Liberty.

Our history is harrowed deep from what those before us did and left. Like them, we are day-in, day-out committed to growing the quality of life in Emmitsburg.

 Emmitsburg is a great place to live, work, and visit. Join us. Your choice, step back in time, follow the wayside exhibits or step into the future forward in a regionally recognized sustainable leading community. Embody it; let its place speak to you.

Maybe this is your first experience of the Emmitsburg annual Community Heritage Day festivities and parade, do not stop now, go to the pool, farmer’s market, library, dog walk, or just step out your front door and take a leisurely walk.

To all: Best wishes for a wonderful 4th of July.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

First, I want to congratulate the Catoctin High School Cougars Baseball Team for their 1A State Championship win. We are all extremely proud of this amazing accomplishment!

We will see the 2021 Guardian Hose Company Carnival in Thurmont on July 6-10. After over a year of COVID-19 cancelations, it will be great to get back to the GHC Carnival. Be sure to get out and enjoy the amazing selection of food, rides, games, and entertainment. Karen and I are looking forward to attending and meeting friends and family for a great evening. I will be providing several all-you-can-ride tickets for kids during the carnival; be sure to check my Facebook page each day of the carnival for details.

As we all know, Governor Hogan has lifted the State of Emergency for Maryland residents and businesses as of July 1. This action removes the remaining restrictions on masks, gatherings, and social restrictions. Please note that individual businesses can still request face masks. With the help of the vaccination, we are past the most critical months and can look forward to decreasing cases of COVID-19. The Town of Thurmont and the Frederick County Health Department are offering free COVID-19 vaccinations every Friday evening, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Town Office parking lot. Please take advantage of the free vaccinations if you have not already received a vaccination.

The Thurmont Skate Park is getting closer to reality! I recently acquired $40,000 in Open Space Funding for developing the skate park. We had requested $43,750, and I was extremely pleased to bring home 40K! I want to thank the teens and adults in the Skate Park Commission for pressing forward with this project. They have secured financial support from many donors. They are also selling T-shirts and raffle chances on two amazing skateboards. There has been a skate park booth at the Main Street Farmers Market where you can buy chances and shirts, make a donation, or chat with the kids. Project Open Space Funding comes from the State of Maryland through Frederick County. The County is awarded funds that the County can split with all the municipalities. Municipal leaders gather and decide how the funds are invested. Each municipality can request funds for the acquisition of park property and funds for development. The funds are generally split equally between acquisition and development; this year, there was almost $400,000 available for each. I was able to get acquisition funding for two properties we are considering.

The Town of Thurmont welcomed two new businesses to Main Street on June 19. KTS Mental Health Group opened its Thurmont practice at 5B East Main Street. They specialize in children and family mental health. Cuddles Cat Rescue opened at their new location at 3 East Main Street. Cuddles Cat Rescue is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to humanely reducing the feral and stray cat population in the Thurmont area.

School is out for summer, and our kids will be out and about playing and visiting friends. Be sure to be on the lookout for kids crossing our streets or riding bikes and skateboards. They are not always aware of their surroundings, so we need to be extra careful while driving. The kids are out having fun, so let’s take the extra time necessary to make sure they stay safe.

As has been the practice for many years, the Thurmont Board of Commissioners will have only one meeting in July. The meeting will be on Tuesday, July 27, at 7:00 p.m. The regular schedule of weekly meetings will resume on July 27. Please feel free to contact us during July. The Town Office and staff will be operational on their regular schedule the entire month.

I hope that families going on vacation this month have a great time. We all need some time off and the opportunity to get away for a few days!

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please call me at 301-606-9458 or contact me by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com You can also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/john.kinnaird.3.

James Rada, Jr.

You can indulge the kid in you with the new Emmitsburg business with a most-unique name: Wookiee Walkers. This new comic book store with comic-related merchandise is located in the Silo Hill Shopping Center.

The store is still filling up as more and more comics, graphic novels, and merchandise arrive. At the core of its offerings, Wookiee Walkers has thousands of new and old comic books. For youngsters who are looking to get into comic book collecting, they can purchase penny comics.

“We’re a niche market, but with our proximity to Gettysburg, college gamers, and the visitors Emmitsburg gets, we think we’re in a good location,” says Casey Myers, who co-owns the store with Amber Phillips.

Although the store has been open since May 22, 2021, owners Casey Myers and Amber Phillips are planning a grand opening celebration for July 17. The store should be easy to find on that day. Just look for the superheroes outside. Inside, Myers is hoping to have comic book artists and writers.

A comic book collector himself, Myers says, “This has been a dream of mine for a long time.”

This month, they also started game nights on Thursdays, from 8:00-9:30 p.m. If you like playing fantasy-inspired board games like Dungeons and Dragons, come in and compete or discover a new favorite game.

Myers said he would like to see the store expand eventually to include a lounge area where the gamers can compete. He is also slowly working sports collectibles and trading cards into the store’s offerings.

“This is our home. The community is so supportive of each other, we couldn’t imagine being someplace else,” said Myers.

You can visit Wookiee Walkers’ website at www.wookiewalkersmd.com or give them a call at 443-794-8160.

The store is open Tuesday through Thursday: noon to 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday: noon to 5:00 p.m.

Casey Myers in the new Wookiee Walkers comics and collectibles in Silo Hill Shopping Center.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Blair Garrett

Emmitsburg has a new face in town, with Mason Dixon Mixin shaking up how we see sweets.

Mason Dixon Mixin’s grand-opening weekend kicked off with a bang on Saturday, June 19, putting a new spin on healthy gourmet shakes.

Excited first-time customers packed the house, eager to try some of the team’s fun new drinks.

From energy teas to decadent red-velvet smoothies, the variety of options is vast and there is something for the whole family. With over 40 flavors to enjoy, you may never run out of sweet options to perk up your morning.

The group prides themselves on making picturesque smoothies and drinks with health-boosting effects, and Emmitsburg’s premier juice bar is ready to take off. All of their smoothies are under 250 calories, have 24g of plant-based protein, are low in sugar/carbs, and have 21 essential vitamins and minerals in them. They are nutritious and delicious!

Mason Dixon Mixin is located at 101 Silo Hill Road in Emmitsburg. You can catch them throughout the week, from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Mason Dixon Mixin has a hugely successful grand opening, giving Emmitsburg a much-needed sweet-treat shop. Pictured is owner Kelly Moreland (right) with Joyce Kidwell (left).

Photo by Blair Garrett

Courtesy Photos

(above) The Town of Thurmont welcomed KTS Mental Health Group to 5 B East Main Street, Thurmont on June 19 (from left): (front row) Thurmont Commissioner Bill Buehrer, Dr. Natasha Smith (Licensed Psychologist), Christian Adams, Caleb Adams, Olivia Adams, CEO Chris Adams, Chris’s wife Misty Adams, Chief Financial Officer Keith Boring; (back row) Thurmont Commissioner Wayne Hooper, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, Chris Adams Jr., Chief Operating Office Cynthia Covington Boring, Licensed Counselor Cheryl Back, & Licensed Clinical Social Worker Montana Love. For more information on Key Therapeutic Solutions, visit www.ktsmentalhealth.com.

The Town of Thurmont welcomed Cuddles Cat Rescue to their new location at 3 East Main Street, Thurmont on June 19 (from left): Joan, Linda, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, Thurmont Commissioners Wayne Hooper & Bill Buehrer; (center) President Michelle Shaw, and Founder, Karen Kinnaird;  (the right on sidewalk) Dawn and Kim. For more information on Cuddles Cat Rescue, visit www.cuddlescatrescue.com.

James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont servicemen Charles Pittinger and Woodrow Carbaugh were remembered last month when the Moser Road bridge was dedicated in their honor. However, their families will soon receive another remembrance. Kellen “Buck” Musser will paint portraits of the two young men for their families.

Musser, 83, has been painting for 20 years. He often paints in watercolor or acrylics, using a palette knife.

“I use every edge of that knife when I paint,” he said.

His paintings are vivid and often look a lot like a photograph. He once spent two-and-a-half hours getting a shoe right in one painting.

Musser is also a 26-year Veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force, serving in Vietnam. He often paints portraits of fallen Veterans for their families and Veterans’ groups. For the many hours of loving work he puts into the portraits, he receives nothing more than a “thank you.”

“This comes from the heart,” he said.

Musser not only paints the portrait, he also has it framed for the family. Over the years, he has painted more than 100 of these portraits.

He remembers the first one he did of David Smith, a Frederick Marine reservist killed in Afghanistan in 2010. Musser spent about 50 hours on the painting. When it was complete, he called Smith’s mother and asked her to meet him.

“I told her I had something very valuable to her that she would want,” Musser said.

They met in a Denny’s parking lot, and Musser took the painting out of his truck to give her.

“Her smile when she saw it… she had tears running down her face looking at it. That made it worth it for me,” Musser said.

Musser grew up in Brunswick. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army. When he retired from the military the first time, he came to Frederick to work as a maintenance employee for the city. After two years, he realized he didn’t enjoy civilian life and rejoined the military.

“In all those places, all those people I met, I never told anyone I was an artist,” Musser said.

He always knew he had an attraction to making art, but he never indulged himself and took classes to refine his skills. That is, until he saw a painting of a vase of flowers with water drops on it. Those water drops intrigued him, and he decided he wanted to learn how to paint.

“It was a gift I was born with, but I had never used it,” Musser said.

He took a class with Diane Simmons at A. C. Moore. Then, he continued taking classes with her, learning all he could, trying different subjects, and challenging himself. He then found a way to combine his love of art and the military.

He does his paintings at his small kitchen table, working from pictures of the servicemen provided by their families.

“I don’t eat at the kitchen table anymore,” Musser said. “It has my work on it.”

His home is filled with his paintings—hung on the walls, in sketchbooks, in stacks around the living room. He also has a book filled with the letters he has received from the families to whom he has given his paintings.

His work has also allowed him to meet some notable Veterans, such as Frank Buckles, the last surviving Veteran of WWI who died in 2011, and Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient.

Buck Musser holds a painting he made for “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Iwo Jima Medal of Honor winner. You can see on the wall a self-portrait he did of himself after he joined the Army.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

A wonderful SpringFest event was held over the Memorial Day weekend at the Catoctin View Church. The two-day event in memory of our fallen Heroes was attended by many Thurmont families. Mayor John Kinnaird gave the welcome.

The Catoctin View Church provided activities such as bounce houses, inflatables, foam machines, a 150-foot slip ‘n’ slide, snow cones, a reptile display, pony rides, a yard sale, an antique car display, and free food for guests. 

“This was an opportunity to come out of the house and enjoy the outdoors after a year of not being able to,” said Alvin Payne, Bible Worker for the church.

“It was the first large event post-pandemic in Thurmont that I enjoyed volunteering for,” said Children’s Ministry Director Tina Gagliardi.

The Catoctin View Church is committed to making the SpringFest a yearly event, and adding more activities to it, reminding others that the church is fully open to serve all families in the area.

“We are here to help in any way we can,” said, John Bennet, Vietnam Veteran and First Elder of the church.

Alvin Payne helps Jay T. navigate the largest slip-n-slide foam attraction in Thurmont.

Education Night was held at the Thurmont Lions Club meeting on May 12, 2021, and it was a very meaningful evening for the teachers, students, parents, and administrators from the Catoctin feeder area! Lion Bob Kells Jr., chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented scholarships to five very outstanding students: Isaac Dugan (Lynn Stuart Scholarship), Ethan Burdette, Ava Maze, Savannah Morris, and Dylan Click. Pablo Arriaga will receive his fourth year of the Vic Jagow Scholarship.

Three outstanding teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award. The teachers recognized were: Katherine Best from Thurmont Elementary, Kristianne Dove from Thurmont Primary, and Sarah Gue from Thurmont Middle School.  Kristianne Dove was presented with the well-deserved 2021 Teacher of the Year award. Thank you to all of the teachers who have worked so hard to continue to educate our youth.

Pictured from left are Jen Clements, principal at Catoctin High; Ethan Burdette; Savannah Morris; Ava Maze; and Isaac Dugan. Absent from picture: Dylan Click and Pablo Arriaga.

Courtesy Photo

Woodsboro Bank congratulates Steve Ott on his retirement in June 2021.

Ott has been in the banking industry for over 46 years, with 23 at various Farmer’s & Mechanics Bank branches in Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and Frederick Towne Mall, as well as 23 years with Woodsboro Bank. At retirement, Ott had worked 33 total years in Thurmont.

Since joining Woodsboro Bank, he has been the Branch Manager of the Thurmont Branch for many years and oversaw all branch operations.

“I liked working with the people and the community,” Ott said, especially, “being involved with the community activities like the Community Show, the Thurmont Police Shred Events, Thurmont Economic Development meetings, and the Thurmont Business Expos.”

Ott plans on, “relaxing, relaxing, and relaxing,” in retirement. In that order.

“We are very thankful for Steve’s years of service to the Bank and will miss him greatly. We wish him the best in this next chapter of his life,” said Woodsboro Bank President & CEO Steve Heine.

Former Mount St. Mary’s basketball coach and athletic director Jim Phelan passed away in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning, June 16, at his home in Emmitsburg.

Phelan arrived at the Mount in 1954, accepting a one-year contract to lead the team as the youngest coach in college basketball. Forty-nine years later, using fierceness, fearlessness, and humor, he had guided the efforts of the Mountaineers’ men’s basketball program to 830 career victories and 16 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, he led the Mount to the 1962 College Division National Championship and Final Four appearances in 1957, 1961, 1981, and 1985.

His all-time win total stands 13th all-time in NCAA men’s basketball history, and he was the winningest active coach in the sport from 1997 to 2003, following the retirement of Dean Smith at North Carolina. Beginning his career as the youngest coach in 1954, Phelan ended as the oldest active coach, retiring at the age of 73. His 49 seasons at the helm in Emmitsburg are the third-most for any coach in one single location.

“For 49 seasons, Coach Phelan formed student-athletes who embodied the Mount’s mission statement by having a passion for learning, being ethical leaders, and serving God and others,” Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy Trainor said in a statement. “Everyone who met Jim loved him, especially his student-athletes and his family. He touched the lives of thousands of Mounties and summer basketball camp attendees.”

His coaching had a direct impact on hundreds of student-athletes, both on the court and in the classroom, over the years. Notable success stories include the school’s all-time leading scorer Jack Sullivan ’57, two-time All-American and 1962 national champion John O’Reilly ’63, and 2,000-plus point scorer Chris McGuthrie ’96. All three players have had their jerseys retired at the Mount, along with a symbolic “830” for Phelan. Fred Carter ’69 also has a jersey that hangs from the rafters at Knott Arena. A future NBA standout and coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phelan’s recruitment of Carter to Mount St. Mary’s was instrumental in integrating the college.

Along with his duties as head men’s basketball coach, Phelan took on administrative duties as athletic director. He served in that post from 1967 until 1989, when the Mount moved to Division I, and coached the baseball team from 1955-1965.

A member of 13 Halls of Fame, Phelan has received induction in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame, La Salle University Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and the Mount St. Mary’s Hall of Fame, to name a few.

Two awards for excellence in coaching are named in his honor: the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, presented by CollegeInsider.com, and the Northeast Conference’s Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. His home court of Knott Arena, where he monitored from the sidelines for 16 years following the opening of the facility in 1987 to his retirement, is named in his honor, immortalized by a logo bearing his signature bow tie, which Phelan wore for almost every game he coached.

Following his final game on the bench, he remained in the Emmitsburg area for the rest of his life and was a regular attendee at Mount St. Mary’s games and events.

Originally from Philadelphia and a 1951 graduate of La Salle, Phelan served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War and was drafted into the NBA in 1953. Following a brief career with the Philadelphia Warriors and an assistantship at his alma mater, he assumed coaching duties in Emmitsburg.

Phelan is survived by his wife, Dottie; four children: Jim, ’78, Lynne, ’79, Carol, ’81, and Bob, ’90; 10 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his son, Larry, ’87.

Volunteers with the Thurmont Alumni Association hosted the Thurmont High School (THS) Alumni Annual Banquet at the Thurmont Event Complex on June 12, 2021. Alumni president, Howard Lewis (Class of ‘60), welcomed the crowd of about 200, and Ron Free (Class of ‘64) served as Master of Ceremonies.

Carol Long (Class of ‘72), Nancy Rice (Class of ‘62), and Bob Fahnestock (Class of ‘76) sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and Larry Eby (Class of ‘62) gave the invocation.

Fond alumni memories were shared with a big screen video developed by Maxine Troxell (Class of ‘62), with photos from the good old days in school. In addition to the social aspect of the banquet, some association business was conducted with the reading of the organization’s last meeting minutes by Secretary Viola Noffsinger (Class of ‘58), as well as the Treasurer’s Report and Scholarship Fund Report by Treasurer Becky Linton (Class of ‘58).

Anniversary classes honored at this banquet were graduating classes: 1940, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971. Those in graduating years ending in 0 or 5 would have been honored last year, but the banquet was canceled due to COVID-19.

Prizes were given for the oldest attendee, Edward Coleman (Class of ‘42), and the person who traveled the farthest, Ernest Snyder (Class of ‘53).

Carol Long, Lela Weaver, and Lottie Trigg distributed door prizes and hosted the fundraising auction.

The alumni’s slate of officers of 2022 was approved, with Howard Lewis servicing as president, Viola Noffsinger as secretary, and Becky Linton as treasurer.

It was an honor to extend support to the alumni’s scholarship recipients: Kelby Benjamin (Walkersville HS), Emily Marie Dewees (Catoctin HS), Addison Elizabeth Eyler (Catoctin HS), Ava Maze (Catoctin HS), Shelby Madeline Ott (Walkersville HS), Nathan Sanders (Catoctin HS), Austin Lewis Smith (Catoctin HS), Lily Elizabeth Smith (Catoctin HS), and Grace Stambaugh (Walkersville HS).

The banquet was closed by President Howard Lewis, announcing next year’s banquet date as Saturday, June 11, 2022, with anniversary graduating years ending in 2 and 7.

Special thanks to all of the businesses and individuals who donated for the event.

Photos by Lottie Trigg

A nice crowd of alumni gather to celebrate and socialize.

Scholarship recipients from left: ( top row) Grace Stambaugh, Shelby Ott, Emily Marie Dewees, Addison Eyler; (front row) Ava Maze and Austin Smith.

Beginning Wednesday, June 30, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Food and Nutrition Services started distributing “to-go” breakfast and lunch to anyone in the community, 18 years old or younger. Those over 18 who are enrolled in an educational program for people with disabilities can also be served.

FCPS will distribute enough to-go breakfast and lunch meals for seven days every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the following 11 schools: Ballenger Creek Elementary, Brunswick Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Middletown High, Spring Ridge Elementary, Sugarloaf Elementary, Thurmont Middle, Walkersville Elementary, Waverley Elementary, and Whittier Elementary.

An adult, such as a parent or guardian, may pick up meals for a child. Children do not have to be present. The last day of summer meals service to the community will be Wednesday, August 11.

Starting June 28, FCPS will also serve breakfast and lunch to students enrolled in summer-school programs while they are at school. To-go breakfast and lunch for Friday through Sunday will also be offered to these students before they leave for the day every Thursday during the summer-school program. 

Information about FCPS facilities offering food to students learning virtually during the 2021-2022 school year will be available at a later date. If you have questions, contact FCPS Food and Nutrition Services at 301-644-5061.

Catoctin High School/Saint Joseph’s High School, Class of 1981, 40th reunion will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. Save the date; more details to follow. For more information, contact Jerry Free at 301-418-5351 or Mark Williard at 214-263-6613.

Over 150 students graduated on the football field of Catoctin High School (CHS) on June 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. The rain held off and the clouds lightened up to reveal the school’s beautiful backdrop just as the ceremony was about to begin.

After beginning the year in a full-virtual mode, the students were welcomed back into the school for hybrid learning in March. The confirmation of a live in-person graduation with guests wasn’t announced until May due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each student was allowed to bring four guests to the graduation ceremony.

The graduation ceremony was also live-streamed to the public and to-date has over 2,300 views. You can watch the ceremony by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzLkirsOq1A.

Seniors lined up in the school and walked down the hill to the field as “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the Catoctin High School Band, under the direction of Evan Felmet. The National Anthem was sung by senior Michael Willard following the presentation of colors by the Thurmont Honor Guard of AMVETS Post 7. Guest speakers for the ceremony were Frederick County Board of Education Board Member Liz Barrett and FCPS Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban.

Each year, the senior class awards a staff member of CHS the Cougar Paw Award for the impact he/she has made over the students’ four years of high school. This year’s recipient was Evan Felmet, who teaches band, chorus, guitar, drama, and leads the school’s marching band, dramas, and musicals.  The award was presented to Felmet by senior class secretary, Joshua Maze.

Principal Jennifer Clements offered final remarks recognizing the class of 2021 for overcoming the challenges they have seen as students during a pandemic and wished them success for the future.

Excited seniors line up and walk down the hill to the field for their high school graduation ceremony on June 3, 2021.

Over 150 seniors graduate on the football field of Catoctin High School.

The CHS graduation ceremony was live-streamed to the public. Watch the ceremony by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzLkirsOq1A.

Ryan Tokar, Thurmont Little League

The regular season came to an end for the Thurmont Little League (TLL), but there was still a lot of baseball to be played!

As the normal slate of games concluded, the league quickly moved into All-Star and tournament season.  First up were the TLL In-House All-Star games for the T-ball and Instructional (Coach Pitch) divisions, which were held on Saturday, June 12. Representatives from T-ball included Addison Ling, Parker Ketterman, Madelyn Toms, Logan Otto, Mireya and Harlen Chavez, Reid Thurston, Jaycee Moriyama, Erin Mcgrew, M.J. Hoke, Jett Derr, Riley Woodward, Ben Roberts, Franek Zielinski, Garret Troxell, Wyatt Murray, Caleb Lynn, Lily Tankersly, Caleb Valentine, Tyler Warfield, and Riley Woodward. The teams were managed by Mark Lingg and Evan Atkinson. The Instructional rosters were made up of Brayden Nash, Hunter Crabb, Aaron Oden, Payton Fritz, Xavier Meekins, Dennis Smith, Cheyenne Jones, Stiven Makarov, Gage Emert, Angus Riddle, Ryan May, Levi Baker, Julian Thompson, Bryce Rickerd, Abby Harrington, Harper Holmes, Devin Riffle, Luke Wiles, Chris Kehne, Bryant Price, Gracen Baer, and Riley Workman. Managers for this game were Robbie Nash and Darryl Dextradeur. Congrats to all of these future stars on a great season of baseball!

Next up was the Minor League division In-House playoffs, which included a host of extremely hard-fought games, culminating in the Thurmont Nationals becoming back-to-back league champs, overcoming a valiant effort by the Cubs. This was an extremely hard-fought game that came all the way down to the final at bat. Both teams put forth a tremendous amount of effort and displayed excellent sportsmanship throughout the game. The Nationals were managed by Jeff Kuhn, with assistants John Veronie, Darren Hudson, and Tim Swartz. The roster included players: Weston Tyler, Mason Delcid, Myles Kuhn, Tyler Creel, Jeremy Veronie, Noah Bradbury, Desean Brown, Colt Hudson, Herbie Blache, and Daniel Genemans. Congrats to the Nationals on another successful campaign. After their regular season ended, many of these teams also participated in the Frederick City Minor Tournament, which provided even more valuable experience for their players. Additionally, there will be a Minors All-Star team traveling to play in the Emory Frye Memorial 11U Tournament and the Penmar Youth League Tournament. Managed by Jeff Kuhn, with assistants John Veronie and Gregg Warner, the team is made up of Daniel Genemans, Myles Kuhn, Jeremy Veronie, Camden Magluilo, Devin Youngerman, Ayden Wolfe, Eli Yocum, Weston Tyler, Desean Brown, Tyler Creel, Colton Warner, Landon Kelley-Voisine, and Parker Hahn.

The Major Division was represented by two teams in end-of-season tournaments as well. The league champion Brewers, managed by Chris Morlan, played in the Gregg Quedeweit Memorial Tournament of Champions at Brunswick Little League. Meanwhile, the second-place Orioles and Manager John Code played in the Dave Fogle Tournament at Frederick National Little League. The team fought extremely hard and finished in second place. There will be two All-Star teams from the major’s division. The 11-12 year-old team managed by Keith Myers will play in the District 2 Tournament. Players selected were Carson Fry, Connor Smith, Gage Eyler, Hunter Byington, Jay Code, Justice Myers, Lane Koenig, Layton Wilhide, Mason Fry, Mason Hewitt, Skyler Sotzky, and Tanner Shorb. John Code and Jeff Eyler will serve as assistant coaches. The 10-11 year-old team will begin their District 2 Tournament on June 26. This team is managed by Chris Morlan with assistant coaches Brandon McQuay and Adam Cregger. The roster includes Weston Brantner, Brody McQuay, Chase Cregger, Brayden Rickerd, Grayson Strobel, Nate Morlan, Tucker Bryant, Bracen Webb, Justin Salonis, Reed McCauley, Ethan Tokar, Noah Shankle, and Marcus Kuhn. Congratulations to all the teams participating in tournaments this summer.

In addition to the full slate of year-end tournaments, TLL will also be taking part in several fun community events. On Saturday, June 26, the league will be riding in the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Parade with several teams participating. Then, they will play host to the Guinness World Record Game of Catch on Wednesday, June 30, at 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by The Potter Baseball Tour, Thurmont will be one of over 100 virtual locations participating across the country. Along with having a memorable time (and receiving a medallion), all proceeds will go towards CureSearch, a non-profit organization that does research on pediatric cancer. The cost is $10.00 for ages 13 and over, and $5.00 for ages 12 and under. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Refreshments will be available, including The Sauced Savage food truck and Kona Ice. Please come out and join in the fun and help raise money for an incredible cause!

Thanks to everyone that came out to support the league this year. Following the loss of our last spring season due to COVID-19, it was great to be back on the fields to celebrate 70 seasons of TLL! Fall registrations will be opening in July, so be sure to sign up to be a part of a tremendous organization.

Minor League Championship post-game, featuring the Cubs and League Champion Nationals.

Deb Abraham Spalding

AIM stands for Academics, Integrity, and Marksmanship. It’s the youth program for the ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association), a national and worldwide program. “This is a sport,” explained Maryland AIM Director, Chuck Farmer, “and it’s the safest sport you can play. Safety is built into the program, so there aren’t accidents. It builds the responsibility, respect, and discipline that carries on to everything else in life. That’s what sports are really about, and ALL that shooting sports are about- and it’s FUN!”

Farmer took the lead when the AIM program was moved to Thurmont two years ago. Dick Hughes had run the program for many years at Harvey’s Cedar Gun Club near Baltimore but turned it over to Farmer as the new director when his attention shifted in other directions.

In Thurmont, Farmer has appreciated the many volunteers who have stepped forward to create an active committee of support. Older trapshooters, members of area sportsman’s clubs, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, and other professional adult volunteers dedicate time and effort to the annual event. He said, “It’s a good thing to have it here in Frederick County.” Now, a non-profit Maryland State AIM committee has been formed. “It’s all about growing the youth programs,” he added. “We’d like to expand to make Frederick County the central hub in Maryland for all youth-shooting sports, including sporting clays, skeet, five-stand, trap, and the pistol and rifle shooting sports.”

AIM encompasses and supports all the area’s youth trapshooting organizations including 4-H Shooting Sports, Boy Scouts, High School Rodeo Shooting Sports, Conservation club teams, USA High School Clay Target teams, Scholastic SCTP teams (there’s one starting up in Thurmont and one currently at Mt Airy IWLA). To form a team, a squad of at least five shooters is required. Call Chuck Farmer at 301-988-2809 or email MDATA.AIM@yahoo.com with inquiries.

On June 12, 2021, AIM members hosted the Maryland State AIM Championship at the Sportsman’s Club in Thurmont. Four age groups comprise the AIM program: Pre-Sub (11 and under); Sub Junior (12-14), Junior 15-18, and Junior Gold (up to age 23). The day after this shoot, the Pennsylvania State AIM Shoot was held in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. Farmer said, “It’s a state competition, but you’re really competing against yourself. You’re earning targets to go towards the bigger contests. That’s why you’ll see youngsters side-by-side with adults while competing and everyone competes on their own level and ability. The best part is that anyone can participate- even if you are in a wheel chair.”

Grand American Nationals are coming up from July 30 to August 3 in Sparta, Illinois, with shooters from countries all over the world. At that event, there will be Olympic shooters, professional shooters, youth shooters, and more.

Farmer shared, “We probably have already 15-20 from the area’s new high school clay target team (Frederick Stars & Stripes) that are interested in going to the National event. The Grand American is rich with history with many people who participated over the years such as Annie Oakley, Roy Rogers and John Philip Sousa.” The Grand American at the World shooting Complex is the largest shooting competition in the World with a trapshooting firing line  over 3.5 miles long. The World Shooting Complex is also the current home of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame Museum and worth a visit if in the area.

Brian Ferris, Director of a new program in West Virginia, will host their first State Shoot in Winchester, Virginia, July 10 and 11, trying to model after Maryland’s AIM program.

AIM members may go to any local gun club, or even visit another club to shoot while on vacation. The kids are the future of their clubs and of the sport. The Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club (TCSC) hosts frequent shooting opportunities. If someone would like to make a contribution to AIM or the Club, they can do that.

Vice President at TCSC, Jeff Plum, is also the Thurmont Sportsman’s Club’s pool chairman. He said, “The pool is open,” and encourages membership at the Club.

Special thanks are extended to all the sponsors, including the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club, Brunswick ACE Hardware, Butler Tire, Rentals Unlimited, Whistle Stop Smokehouse, National Wild Turkey Federation, NFM Lending—Jeremy Poling, MD State High School Clay Target League, Shotgun Shooting Supplies, J&B Real Estate—Elle Smith, Evolve Stone, PJ’s Roofing, Tuscarora Gun Club, R&R Guns, Hafers & Skeeter’s Gun Shop.

Special thanks also to the event’s caterer, Mission BBQ, and Rita’s Italian Ice who provided the treat trailer.

Maryland AIM Director, Chuck Farmer, explains the rules and process of the Annie Oakley competition during the MD State AIM Championship on June 12, 2021.

Shooters rotate turns and positions in groups of up to five per squad.

Shoot Out winner, Tami Nanan, won the coveted Maryland State Leather Shooting Bag, donated by Shamrock Leathers.

Elmo (Lawrence “Elmo” Keller) suddenly passed away at a trap shoot in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on April 29, 2021. He was a fixture at the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club, where he looked forward to the competition of shooting trap as often as possible.

“Elmo” looked forward to helping with any youth event since he was “a big kid at heart.” He had a positive impact on the trapshooting community and at the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsman’s Club in Thurmont, always lending a supporting word to youngsters and adults alike.

“He was quite a character,” said his wife, Linda. She explained Elmo’s competitive adventures in bowling, archery, trap, race cars (in the poor man’s class), and fishing.

It wasn’t uncommon for Elmo to take a trip down to the boat ramp at the Club to see the eagles. He appreciated and shared a connection to nature and a love for all of its wonders and critters.

written by James Rada, Jr.

A new serial fiction romance story for your enjoyment

6: A Life to Live

Margaret Rosensteel walked home to the family farm west of Emmitsburg. She walked in a daze, stunned at what Mrs. Sachs had said to her about not being able to see Caleb Sachs. How could Caleb’s mother say Margaret wasn’t good enough for her son? Margaret was a good person. She and Caleb were just friends. Well, maybe there was more there, but they hadn’t explored the possibility. They hadn’t the chance. Everyone was against them. Did they see something between her and Caleb that they didn’t see?

Margaret hadn’t taken an interest in a boy in quite a while. She avoided those feelings. Her interest in Caleb had just snuck up on her, but it seemed like she wasn’t the only one with a destiny, at least according to Mrs. Sachs.

Dinner was quiet. No one said much except for the younger children. Margaret’s parents kept looking at each other. After dinner was finished and the dishes washed, Margaret’s parents called her into the parlor.

“We need to talk to you about a decision we’ve made,” Samuel Rosensteel said. Margaret’s mother laid a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “But first, we want you to know that we think nothing inappropriate happened.”

Inappropriate? So were her parents now going to come out against her and Caleb?

Her father said, “That’s right. We know you’re a good girl, but nothing can come of this relationship between you and Caleb Sachs.”

“What relationship?” Margaret asked. “I admit I like him, but we only met for the first time at the dance.”

“Well, that’s fine. Then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Your life has been committed to God, so we have decided to send you to the sisters early.”

Margaret jumped up. “What?”

“You are getting to the age where boys can turn your head. Your brothers and sisters certainly seem to think you’ve taken an interest in Caleb. Sending you away now will avoid that problem.”

Margaret nodded. “I understand… but I’m not sure I want to go.”

“That’s why we’re sending you away. You’re letting your emotions get the better of you.”

Margaret shook her head. She stood up and left the house for a second time today without a word. Outside, she ran off into the fields. She didn’t know where she was going. She didn’t care. She just wanted to get away.

When she tired of running, she started walking until she reached Gettysburg Road. She turned south and headed into town. She saw St. Joseph’s Church and went inside.

It was dim, except near the front of the church where candles burned. She walked up to the first pew, genuflected, and slid into the seat. Then she bowed her head and prayed. She needed help. She didn’t understand what was going on, not with Caleb, not with everyone else. What should she do?

Rosa Sachs walked upstairs to Caleb’s bedroom. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, staring out his window. He wasn’t looking at anything in the street, just staring off into the distance.

“Caleb, how are you feeling?” Rosa asked.

Caleb looked over his shoulder. “I’m sore, but I’ll be fine.”

“We should call the sheriff.”

“Why? I don’t know who did this to me.”

“I think you do.” She paused. “Even so, I know who they were. We can’t go around letting men beat up children.”

“How do you know?”

“That girl you’re mooning over came to see how you were.”

Caleb stood up. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because she’s not the girl for you. I told her the same thing I told you. She’s not Jewish, so she won’t be marrying you.”

Caleb shook his head. “You’re putting the cart before the horse.”

“I am not.”

“I don’t know what life has in store for me. It’s not like I’m on a train going along a fixed path where the destination is the most important thing. I want to enjoy the journey and explore my life.”

His mother scoffed. “And you want to explore it with that girl? She’ll lead you in the wrong direction.”

“How do you know that? How do you know what my life is going to be? It’s my life, and I don’t know. You’re no better than her brothers. They tried to scare me off. You tried to scare her off. What is everyone so afraid of? That we’ll be happy?”

“Happy? You will be miserable. Both of you. That’s what we want to help you avoid,” Rosa said.

“I like her. I like her a lot. I want to spend time with her. I don’t know if I love her, but I suspect I might. If not now, certainly in the future.”

“And what has that brought you? A beating. Arguments with your mother who loves you.”

“Neither of which I caused.”

He sat back down and stared back out the window. Rosa stared at him for a few moments more and then turned and left.

Caleb walked into a church for the first time. Only a few people filled the pews, and he quickly found Margaret near the front. He walked up the aisle and sat down next to her. He said nothing because it looked like she was praying.

She finished and looked up.

“Caleb, what are you doing here?”

“I figured you might be here after what my mother said to you.”

Margaret frowned. “Not just her. My parents want to send me to sisters early.”

“Because of me?”

She nodded. “Are we wrong?”

“Does it feel wrong?”

She shook her head. “No.”

He took her hand in his. “Then I don’t think it’s wrong. It’s not easy, but no one has had it easy since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden.”

“But everything is so confusing now. It seems like everyone is against us.”

She leaned her head on his shoulder.

“I saw you praying,” Caleb said. “Did it help?”

“Not yet.”

“I want you to know that I won’t hold you back from your promise, but while you’re still free, I want to be with you and get to know you better. I want to have lots of wonderful memories to look back on and comfort me after you leave.”

“But it would break my heart,” Margaret said.

“And mine, too. I think that will tell me it’s worth it. If you were to leave, and I felt nothing, it would be like I had nothing invested in our relationship. I’m willing to hurt for a long time if it means I can be truly happy for a short time with you.”

She stared at him, her eyes glistening with tears. She nodded. “Yes.”

He smiled. Then he leaned down and kissed her. He pulled back, smiling.

“I said what I needed to say. I’ll leave you to your praying now,” Caleb told her.

He got up and left the church.

Father Harmon stood up from the pew where he had been sitting and doing his own praying. He walked over to where Margaret sat. She looked up, a bit startled.

“Forgive me, Margaret. I didn’t want to intrude.”

“You heard me talking with Caleb?”

He nodded. “Yes. Well, the young man has stated his intentions. Now the decision is yours.”

“What should I do?”

He motioned to the pew. “May I sit?”

“Please.”

The priest sat down and leaned against the back of the pew. “You have two admirable choices: Become a Daughter of Charity and be married to God or become a wife and raise a family in faith.”

“We haven’t talked about marriage. We barely know each other.”

“That may be true, but if it is, why does the decision trouble you? Your choice would be between an honorable life of service and a relationship you don’t think will last.”

“I don’t know how my life will be if I stay for him, but I do know what it will be like with the sisters.”

Father Harmon nodded. “Do you believe in Jesus?”

“Yes, Father, of course.”

“Well, he was a Jew. So loving a Jew must not be a sin, and I know your particular Jew. He is a good boy from a good family. If you were not committed to the sisters, your family might not worry.”

“But his family…”

Father Martin nodded. “Yes, that could be a problem, but those types of problems often resolve themselves, particularly when grandchildren come along.”

Margaret gasped. “Father, you have me married with children, and I don’t even know if I love him.”

“Then you need to decide that.”

“But would it be fair to get involved with him and then leave him?”

“Would it be fair to commit yourself to the Daughters with unresolved feelings? You must make that decision. That is why we are given life on earth, to make decisions and hopefully make the correct ones.”

Hot Weather Safety Tips for Our Furry Friends

Give them plenty of fresh, clean water. Pets can get dehydrated quickly. Make sure they have some shade. Your pet needs to have a shady place to get out of the sun and take a break from the heat. Don’t over-exercise them. When it’s hot out, shorten your walk or make sure you give your best buddy breaks in the shade during exercise. Keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Maybe take your walk in the evening when it cools down a bit. Your furry friend will thank you. It’s important to know the symptoms of overheating in pets: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomit, along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

And, of course, never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle in the summer heat.

Our pets love being with us all the time, even when it’s hot and uncomfortable for them outside. They will never complain! So, let’s make sure we keep them safe and happy outdoors during the summer.

by dave ammenheuser

Returning home after 30 years to take care of my late parents’ estate has given me a lot of time to reminisce about Thurmont and Northern Frederick County. I’ve driven over the country roads and through the covered bridges; I’ve returned to Cunningham (to me, it will always be McAfee) Falls; and taken leisurely drives through Foxville, Wolfsville, Sabillasville.

All of those scenes and settings have provided some comfort in a year when I lost both of my parents.

Perhaps nothing has been more therapeutic than returning to 26 Elm Street in Thurmont.

As a youth, I spent hundreds of Thursday nights at that Thurmont address, home of Scout Troop 270. It was the building where I became the region’s third Eagle Scout, and where Scoutmaster Norman Feldser provided leadership and mentorship to hundreds of youth. 

So, it was with great pride that I returned to 26 Elm Street on June 12 to join in Troop 270’s weekend 75th anniversary celebration.

More than 125 current and former Scouts, parents, and friends attended the weekend festivities, which included skills competitions, a pig roast, campfire, and more.

The concrete building has been home to the local Scouts since 1946. The troop was founded in 1942, supported since day one by the Thurmont Lions Club. (A quick history lesson: The original local organization was Troop 11, founded in 1928. It disbanded during World War II; Troop 270 was founded after the war).

Felder is still active in the troop, but he has taken on a larger district-wide role. The troop is now led by Sean Young and Carie Stafford. Sean is the Scoutmaster for the boys Troop 270-B, while Carie is the Scoutmaster for the girls Troop  270-G, which was founded in 2019 when Boy Scouts of America transitioned to Scouts BSA to reflect its policy to allow girls to join separate, gender-specific troops.

“Sean had the idea to celebrate the 75th anniversary,” Troop Committee Chair Julie Bostian said. She told me that it was Young’s idea for the weekend celebration. “He said we needed to do something to celebrate. So, we decided to have a big party.”

One of the weekend highlights was dedicating the new outdoor pavilion to Sherm Pearsall, John and Beth Ruppel, and Feldser. Key long-time board members, they were honored for their leadership for the pavilion project and other endeavors throughout the past half-century.

William Bentz, who became the troop’s first Eagle Scout in 1975, returned for the weekend and was honored at the pig roast. The troop now boasts 75 Eagle Scouts, with a couple more expected to join the elite rank in the coming months.

Seventy-five Eagles in 75 years! With a few more targeted to join the elite rank very soon.

The weekend was so successful that Bostian told me that the troop leaders are thinking of having an annual alumni weekend. However, she and the troop need help in locating many former Scouts (reach her at 301-471-8419).

The troop is constantly fundraising to support their monthly outings and summer camping adventures. 

Boys and girls interested to learn more about Scouting should attend a meeting. They are held each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at 26 Elm Street in Thurmont.

Dave Ammenheuser, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in November 1977, is writing a monthly column for The Catoctin Banner in 2021. He can be reached at AmmenheuserFamily@yahoo.com.

Returning Scouts share stories and look through mementos and scrapbooks that highlight the troop’s history.

Current scouts participate in a competition during the weekend festivities.

Scouts, families, and friends enjoy a pig roast to celebrate Troop 270’s 75th anniversary.

Twenty Tips for a Successful Vacation

by Valerie Nusbaum

Summertime is here and that means a lot of you will be taking vacations. This summer, the beaches, mountains, roads, and airways will likely be very busy since we were all relegated to taking stay-cations last year.

No matter what your travel plans may be, here are some tips, ideas, and suggestions that might help make your vacation more memorable:

(1)  Take someone with you who can carry things. Husbands are especially handy for this task. My Randy proudly tells people that he has three tasks to perform whenever we leave our house: to carry things, to hold things down when the wind blows, and to kill the bugs.

(2) Avoid family at all costs. Yes, I know that a lot of you take annual multi-generational family trips, but I also know that you’re the same people who get back home and vow never to do it again.

(3) Take good snacks. Children and old people love them.

(4) Pack absolutely everything you own and go out and buy new stuff, too.  Pack the new stuff as well.

(5) If all your stuff won’t fit in your vehicle along with everyone else’s stuff, empty someone else’s suitcase and put your stuff in there, too. If your snacks are good enough, your grandparents might never notice that they have no clean underwear and your kids won’t care.

(6) Do not stay in the same hotel room with other family members. Heck, don’t even stay in the same hotel.

(7) If you must go visit family, don’t call it a vacation. You’re only fooling yourself.

(8) For road trips, make sure you have lots of water, Diet Coke, and empty cups in the car. Sometimes, there is absolutely no place to make a pit stop, especially when you’re lost. And even if there is a place to stop, you’ll drive right past it as you’re screaming at each other about who missed the exit.

(9) Be flexible. Plans don’t always work out. Your first-choice vacation destination may not be doable. It also helps to be flexible if you are planning to share a hotel with your family because you might be the one stuck sleeping on the sofa bed.

(10) If you’re traveling with an older person, check their stuff. Before you leave home, be sure to go over the checklist to make sure they’ve packed hearing aids and batteries, glasses, teeth, a cup for the teeth, hair that is not being currently worn, and a shoebox full of medicines and ointments. These items are more important than clean underwear.

(11) Have very low expectations.  Anything good that happens will seem like manna from heaven.

(12) Don’t let your husband choose the hotel. Randy is wonderful about scouting locations, and he’s great at negotiating a discount, but I get the final say on where we tuck in at night. His one exception to that rule was an Embassy Suites in San Antonio, and he hit it out of the ballpark with that one. On the other hand, there was the inn in Kill Devil Hills where we spent our honeymoon and found someone else’s leftover food in our refrigerator. The place actually blew down during a hurricane a few years later. Oh, and Daniels Resort in The Poconos, and the Beachmark in Ocean City, and someplace at Deep Creek Lake with a hole in the wall….

(13) Be prepared for bad weather. If you’re spending a LOT of money on the trip, be prepared for a natural disaster.

(14) If you’ll be flying, assume that you will get the seat next to the person who will take off his shoes for the whole flight. And the person who ate a pound of garlic will be on your other side. If only one or neither of these things happen, enjoy your flight. This may well be the high point of your trip.

(15) Ask the concierge or hourly attendant (depending upon where you’re staying) where the locals eat dinner. The prices and food will be better and you will upset all the local diners by going there. They hate tourists.

(16) Split the driving with your travel companion(s). Randy and I enjoy giving each other a break from driving and a thrill on the road.  With him driving, I never know if I’ll live to see our destination, and with me driving, he says he’s never sure he’ll live long enough.

(17) Don’t depend on GPS. Pack some maps and/or a road atlas and learn how to read them. It doesn’t help if you point out that your exit was a half mile back.

(18) Get your priorities straight. Don’t pass a Dunkin Donuts without stopping for some munchkins. 

(19) Take along some good road trip music if you’re driving but make sure it’s not irreplaceable. See Number 20.

(20) Always assume that things will get lost or broken.

Please don’t think for a second that all of our vacations have gone badly. They haven’t. We’ve had some great trips and made some wonderful memories. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues when the Nusbaums venture out, most of it unintentional.

I also happen to like my family very much. Most of them, anyway.

 I’m actually looking forward to having some new adventures with my hubby this year, and I’m wishing all of you safe and happy travels this summer.

by James Rada, Jr.

July 1921, 100 Years Ago

Sheep Poisoned

Fourteen sheep belonging to Mr. L. R. Waesche sealed their doom when they strayed from their usual grazing land to the roadbed of the H. & F. electric line on Friday of last week. On Thursday the road had been given a treatment of poison to kill the weeds.

The sheep were seen coming upon the track by Mr. Portner, who is employed on the farm by Mr. Waesche. Within not more than five minutes they were driven back into the field, but they evidently had all the time that was necessary, and the fourteen sheep are dead.

Mr. Waesche lost also by death last week two hogs. This, he thinks, was due to too much dry feed.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, July 14, 1921

Bitten by Spider

Mr. Grayson Shaffer had the unusual experience on Tuesday of being bitten by a spider. He had just put on his coat when he felt a sharp pain, similar to that of a bee sting, on his neck. On investigation he found a medium sized spider between his collar and neck, and a swelling half an inch in diameter with a central puncture about the size of a pin head. An application of iodine relieved the distress.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, July 28, 1921

July 1946, 75 Years Ago

Bunt Gives Thurmont Victory Over Hanover

Shortstop Duncan bunted on the third strike, to sacrifice in Thurmont’s winning run Sunday, 4-2 over Hanover, in the Penn-Maryland League baseball feature at Thurmont. The daring strategy was pulled in the third inning with home club runners on third and second base. Duncan also pulled the most spectacular fielding play of the stanza with an acrobatic stop and assist from behind the pitcher, in the fourth stanza to stop a Hanover rally.

                                          – The Frederick Post, July 15, 1946

Thurmont To Be Host To Co. Fireman Assn.

Highlighted by the annual convention of the Frederick County Firemen’s Association on Thursday and Friday, the Guardian Host Company’s annual carnival at Thurmont next week Monday through Saturday, bids fair to be the largest yet held in the north county town. The Guardian Host Company is this year’s host to the county convention.

                                          – The Frederick Post, July 27, 1946

July 1971, 50 Years Ago

Town Loses Court

Effective July 1, the Emmitsburg Magistrate Court was eliminated. In the future, the Emmitsburg District will be served by a District Judge located in Thurmont. Other District Judges are located in Frederick.

Mayor Hays said that the change has been a disservice to the Emmitsburg District. Hays said that Judge Guy Baker has done an excellent job in the past and has been considered as having very good judgement and common sense.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, July 9, 1971

Teen Center Opens in New Location

The Emmitsburg Teen Center moved last Saturday night into a new location at the Emmitsburg Public School, and opening night proved to be a great success. Between 40 and 45 area teenagers enjoyed an evening of quiet recreation. Of special interest was the new pool table that was broken-in by being used continuously until closing.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, July 22, 1971

July 1996, 25 Years Ago

June 19, 1996 — What a Night!

That night about eleven o’clock I wakened to hear on the monitor that Gettysburg had had four inches of rain in two hours! The Adams County dispatcher reported that people were stranded in cars on many major streets in the town. Many streams and creeks converge on Gettysburg–Middle Creek, March Creek, Rock Creek, Conowingo Creek. There was heavy rain, thunder and lightning.

Within an hour reports started to come in from Emmitsburg. There was an entrapment at Flat Run on North Seton Avenue; another on Flat Run at the end of De Paul Street. Also several mobile homes had to be evacuated. Trooper 3, the State Police Helicopter, flew in the rain, dodging.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, July 1996

Reading Center Introduces New Project

The Marguerite Naseau Literacy Center at Villa St. Michael’s is starting a new project–using computer software to help rehabilitate stroke victims or persons with some brain trauma. It is also very valuable as an Awareness Program to help people keep their minds alert.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, July 1996