Posts by: "TheCatoctinBanner.com"

BY Richard D. L. Fulton

To some people, squirrels may seem a public nuisance, chewing on wiring and rubber tires, or finding ways into attics, making a mess out of the insulation. 

Some see squirrels as being a free meal, beginning as far back as whenever the original human occupants of the Americas figured out how to catch them.

But to others, merely observing or documenting squirrel behavior provides a glimpse into one of nature’s basic forms of governance, tribalism…hewn into animal perfection in the case of the squirrels during their 40 million years of existence. 

Having initially evolved in North America, squirrels, as a whole, have survived a half-dozen major ice ages and an equal number of periods of moderate-to-maximum global warming and, along the way, ultimately resulted in their inhabiting every continent, except Australia. 

Today, there are over 300 species of squirrels worldwide. Of the five squirrel species that are found in Maryland, the gray squirrel tends to be the species most encountered in Frederick County. Somewhat scarcer species to be observed include the red squirrels, fox squirrels, and Southern flying squirrels. As an aside, there is no shortage of Eastern chipmunks, which are also considered squirrels, as is the woodchuck, according to a county-generated watershed study.

The 23-acre Thurmont Community Park provides the perfect habitat for the gray squirrels, who are arboreal (tree-loving) by nature, and provides park visitors with ample opportunity to enjoy observing their interactions with each other and humans, as well as the playfulness of their young—and they are not particularly camera-shy as well.

In fact, one of the local Thurmont photographers recently found himself engaged in photographing the grays in the park after having returned from his previous employment in Alaska.

Brenton Knott, a Thurmont photography enthusiast, began searching the area for potential photography subjects. He found himself exploring Community Park, where he noticed the prolific gray squirrel population (he had also spotted a rarer red squirrel on one occasion).

Knott said he came across the park when he was in the process of “scouting out potential landscape compositions.” He said, upon arriving at the park, “Immediately after I got out of my car, three squirrels came up to me (seeking edible handouts), so I changed my focus on the squirrels.”

“I did have a chance to feed the squirrels,” he said, adding, “The most interesting thing about them, I thought, was that they were very friendly. They (generally) kept their distance, but they were not afraid to come up to you.”

Knott, who originally hailed from Monrovia in Frederick County, developed an interest in photography while he was attaining his associate degree in music in 2011 at the Frederick Community College. His interest in photography carried over into art classes that he then attended at the University of Maryland.

Knott explained his fascination with photography by its ability to allow one to “capture a whole story in an image.”

In 2014, Knott accepted a position as a deli and bakery manager for the Alaska Commercial Company (and, subsequently, with the State of Alaska Court System), resulting in his move to Kotzebue, 34 miles north of the Arctic Circle. 

While the position was grocery supply related and not photography related, the Alaskan scenery and wildlife further fueled his interest in photography. He soon found himself expanding on the cameras and lenses, and frequently ventured out to take pictures, which included wildlife (mainly birds), scenic landscapes, and his favorite: the Northern Lights. “I shot pictures the whole time I was in Alaska,” he said.

But, when he adopted a seven-week-old female husky, named Coconut, last year, the puppy’s allergic reaction to certain dog foods created a problem. The nearest veterinarian was not within a reasonable driving distance. In fact, it required Knott to secure flight passage for himself and Coconut in order to acquire medical help for his dog. 

With this in mind, he decided to return to Frederick County earlier this year.

Presently, when not indulging in his photography, he is now employed at the Farmhouse Exchange in Thurmont.

Knott said that, ultimately, he would like to relocate to Upstate New York, where he plans “to work remotely, build a homestead, and live a simpler lifestyle,” along with Coconut, whom he believes would more than likely feel more “at home” in the Upstate New York climate.

Brenton Knott has captured thousands of photos of the Thurmont Community Park’s community of squirrels.

Joan Bittner Fry

The Enchanted Forest was about an hour away, so it became a nice place to go to entertain the kids and “eat out” in the mid-50’s. Our family of four, at the time, went there, and the kids explored the fairy tale houses and rode the wonderful rides. I wonder if this brings back a memory or two for you.  

The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland, officially opened on August 15, 1955, following a preview party the afternoon before—one month after Disneyland Park’s opening. Appealing mostly to families with small children, the park had a nursery-rhyme theme.  

The park featured fairy tale buildings and characters, but no mechanical rides, originally. Track rides were added later, including the Alice in Wonderland ride with teacup-shaped cars, a Cinderella’s castle ride with mice for the cars, the “Little Toot” boat that took children to Mount Vesuvius for giant slides, and the Jungleland Safari that was driven by open Land Rover-type vehicles. 

Children’s birthday parties were often held in the picnic areas among the attractions; many local teenagers worked as ticket-takers at the park. It was unlike many other attractions of the time.

Admission cost one dollar for adults and fifty cents for children. The park expanded from 20 acres to 52 acres. At its peak, the Enchanted Forest welcomed 300,000 children per summer season. After its original owners, the Harrison family, sold the park for $4.5 million to JHP Development in 1988, the park closed for the first time in 1989.  After turning more than half the land (primarily the parking lots) into the Safeway-anchored Enchanted Forest Shopping Center in 1992, JHP Development reopened the park for the 1994 summer season, predominantly for children’s birthday parties.

The park was permanently shuttered from 1995 to 2005, when active preservation began. Much of the theme park sat undisturbed, yet neglected, behind a chain-link fence. In 1999, the Friends of the Enchanted Forest was formed, with the goal of reopening the park. In 2003, the Enchanted Forest Preservation Society was formed, with the long-term goal of reviving the Enchanted Forest. Their work focused on preventing the artifacts from being lost forever.

History of Forest Diner

A trip to the Enchanted Forest Park wasn’t complete without visiting the Forest Diner across the highway. For 66 years, Forest Diner meant great food, good friends, and a real treat, especially for families from more than an hour away.

For 66 years, Forest Diner meant great food, good friends, and a hot cup of Joe. Now, the diner is closing (2012). Customers crowded in for one final meal. “I’m going to miss it. It’s been so nice every time we come here. It’s like family. As soon as you walk in, they know you right away,” said Dorothea Cox of Arbutus.

Waitress Ellen Jackson has been here 19 years. “It’s starting to hit me now. I knew it was going to happen. This is my family. I think I’m gonna make it. I have to. I’m hoping they’ll all come across the street. That’s what I’m waiting for,” Jackson said.

At this beloved Ellicott City landmark, every customer has a story. “It’s a little sad. It’s the end of an institution. I’ve been coming here 25 years. There’s a lot of history and our kids came here,” said Bruce Peen, a customer from Ellicott City.

Forest Diner employees will not lose their jobs. They’ll move across the street to Jilly’s, where the menu will be the same. “I’m trying to be brave,” said Barbara Carroll, an employee for 43 years. “It’s like losing part of the family. This is my second home. I have so many customers that I love, who are like family to me.” That family came out in force Monday for the food and the memories.

“It’s very sad. It’s the end of an era. I’ve been here for 15 years. It’s been great. It’s like a family, and the people who are all grown up now are bringing their children,” said Mary Harrell, Forest Diner employee.

The brothers who own the Forest Diner will create retail space and 38 apartments on the property.

The official notification hanging in the diner:

Dear Loyal Forest Diner Patrons,

After 66 years of serving the finest food in Howard County, the Forest Diner will be opening our doors for the last time on Monday, May 28, 2012. We would like to thank everyone who has allowed us to become part of their lives over the years. It has been our pleasure to serve each and every one of you.

While the Diner will be closing, we have partnered with Jilly’s Bar and Grill, which is right across the street in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, to continue the tradition of fine food and service that you have come to expect from us. This means the Forest Diner without the dining car. Starting on May 29, 2012, Jilly’s will be open at 6 am to serve you. You will be able to get the same food as the Forest Diner, prepared and served by the Forest Diner staff for the same price.

Once again, thank you for being part of our family over the years.  And while we will miss the dining car, we do hope to see you at our new home at Jilly’s. 

~Truly Yours, The Staff of the Forest Diner

BY Terry Pryor, Writer, Poet, Life Coach, and Student of the Mind

Note: This is the fourth month of action described in a series of motivational articles. Take some time each month to complete these action items, and you’ll see a “New You” emerge. Enjoy!

Power Action #4: Believing Is Seeing

Believing is seeing. No, I didn’t get it backward. If you want that perfect job, relationship, house, adventure, or anything else in your life, you must begin to plant the seeds.

The Seeds to a New You

• See the outcome in your mind.

• Believe that what you see will come to pass.

• Focus daily on what it is that you want and how you will feel once you acquire it.

At this point, you are not yet picturing what you have to do to acquire what you want, only how you will feel once you have it. Emotion matters greatly as we will soon see.

Using the three seeds above, begin to create a movie of how you will live once you have what you wish. You are the producer of this movie and have complete control over the direction in which this film will go. Be creative, and do not let those monkey-mind thoughts enter your script. Example: “I’ll never have enough money to start my own business.” Never is a very long time, so let’s get rid of that energy right now.

Take a piece of paper, and as precisely as you can, create the look, the feel, the atmosphere, the actual environment of that perfect movie outcome. That gorgeous new car with the heated leather steering wheel you have always wanted (don’t forget to imagine what color it will be.) That dream kitchen you have thought about for years. Be very specific about what the finished project will include. Write it all down, even to the type of coffee maker that you will have and the colors in window treatments.

This movie is a must-see, a visual feast starring you. Remember, you are seeing and feeling all the luxuries you want to have and that acquiring your dream will provide for you.

Next, take out that list of undesirable things you created in Power Action #2 in the March edition of The Catoctin Banner. After each item on the list, repeat out loud: “I will never see myself doing (fill in the blank) again.”

I suggest you perform this exercise every day. There is no longer any reason for you to do anything that does not allow your light to shine. Repeating this affirmation daily will reinforce to your subconscious mind that you are worthy of doing only those things that you desire to do.

Next, take out your “I Spy” list from last month, adding even more conditions that you want in your new future. After each one, say out loud (and with gusto), “I see myself happy, challenged, and thriving in my new job, relationship, house, car, or whatever your dream is. I see myself experiencing (list each “I Spy” item) _____________.”

Close your eyes and envision yourself doing and having all of the things on your “I Spy” list. See that dynamite sales team that you lead. See the colors in your new kitchen, the heated seats in your new car, the adventures on your bucket list. See that salary you want in your career. Draw a blank check on a clean sheet of paper and fill in the desired annual income that you want. Make copies of this check and place them all over the spaces in which you currently live. Put a check in the bathroom, on the fridge; put one in your wallet and one next to your computer. Put one of these checks next to your bed and look at it before you go to sleep. Imagine how you will feel when that salary is achieved, that car is in your garage, and that new updated kitchen is done. Imagine how you will feel accomplishing what you desire!

Affirmation: I am deserving of all that is good, prosperous, and healthy. I am an unlimited being in an unlimited Universe with an unlimited imagination for all things good. All things good find their way to me easily. I am inspired to clearly see all my options and to choose only those that allow me to be the person I am meant to be.

Caution, Monkey Mind Ahead!

Here’s a great idea: Don’t believe everything you think! Negative thoughts will come calling, but you can change this. Be sure that you think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Some people get turned around with this. They think thoughts like, “How am I going to live without that job or that person?” or “How am I going to get out of debt?”

These are very emotional subjects. When you focus on something with emotion (joy, fear, confusion, despair), the subconscious acts even more quickly to bring you more of what you are focusing on. Change those thoughts to, “I see myself having all I need at the moment,” or “Today is the day of my most amazing good fortune!” Add emotion to your positive thoughts and powerful things will happen.

Remember, the goal of your subconscious is not to tell you what is a right (positive) or wrong (negative) thought. Its sole goal, now and forever, is to grow the seeds (thoughts) that you plant. Remember, you are creating a brand-new habit. It may take a few days of practice, but I promise the monkeys of doubt will soon disappear. It is very important to remember that you are in control of your thoughts. No one else is in that head of yours. It’s all you!

I assure you that I understand you might be overwhelmed at times, even while reading these words. Scary thoughts may be trying to get your attention.

Each time one of those undermining thoughts pops up, replace it with, “I am in control of my destiny. I am creating a brand-new life for my family and myself. I am free to become all that I was meant to be. Thank you, (past job or individual’s name), for allowing me the opportunity to grow beyond what you thought I was capable of becoming. My destiny is nothing short of miraculous.” 

It’s a good idea to print this out (or create your own powerful affirmation) and put it on the ceiling over your bed, so you see it when you wake up. Lying there before your day begins, imagine all that you were meant to be and start each day with a positive expectant feeling.

Place a copy of this affirmation everywhere, on your forehead if necessary, anywhere to surround yourself with these positive thoughts. They are your partners in your success. Positive thinking is a habit. Imagining all things good is a habit. As humans, we sometimes tend to think the worst, especially when we are faced with fear, and losing unhealthy emotional patterns can feel scary. After all, change can be daunting. But, I promise, if you begin to replace those negative and fearful thoughts with positive input, and constantly repeat them, you will establish a new habit—one that will serve you very well as we move through this adventure together. 

Adventure? Did she say adventure? Oh yeah, baby, and the adventure continues!

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Here we are in June already! We got a real feel for summertime the weekend of May 21-22, when the temperature soared to the low 90s. This summer, we may be looking forward to higher average temperatures, and we must be prepared to handle the heat and sunshine. Remember to keep hydrated when the temps rise; we need to drink more water when we sweat. Also, be sure to wear a hat and long sleeves, and use plenty of sunscreen if you plan on working, picnicking, or playing outdoors. I know everyone loves a nice tan, but please do not overdo it; sunburn can lead to skin cancer later in life. Keep sunscreen close at hand for the little ones when they are outdoors.

The board of commissioners has been hard at work reviewing the Master Plan Update, 2022-2023 town budget, and an annexation proposal for the Simmers property. These topics are being discussed during our town meetings, BOC workshops, and public hearings. The public is welcome to attend any of these meetings, watch them live streamed on Cable 99, or on the video archives on the town website (thurmont.com). Typically, during town meetings, we will ask for public comment; at workshop sessions, we do not take public comment; and public hearings are designed to include public comment. I encourage everyone to watch our meetings and attend if you have any comments to include in the discussion. Many times, I am approached by residents that have heard mistaken or confused facts from others. Watch our meetings, attend them in person or ask me or one of the commissioners if you have any questions regarding current topics being addressed by our Board of Commissioners.

I want to congratulate the members of Catoctin High School Class of 2022 for finishing twelve of the most important years of your life! We are all extremely proud of each and every one of you, and we hope that you can follow your dreams as you move on to your next adventure. Some of you will be going on to higher education, some may be entering the military, many of you will be entering the workforce, and some may be starting families. Whatever your career path is, be sure to enter it with pride, knowing you are a graduate of CHS! Wherever life takes you, please remember you will always be welcome in the Thurmont and Emmitsburg communities.

With summer close at hand, we will see our children out and about on our streets and sidewalks. Always be on the lookout for children crossing our streets or riding their bikes, skateboards, or scooters. Kids are often unaware of their surroundings, and we need to be extra diligent when they are close to our streets.

Thurmont is once again offering our “A Day in the Park” Summer Recreation Program (for kids in 1st through 8th grades). This year, there will be three week-long sessions with a maximum of 30 kids per week. Each week-long program will be filled with lots of fun, educational experiences, and adventure. Each one-week session costs $45.00 per child and includes an official “A Day in the Park” T-shirt, knapsack, and more. You can stop by the town office at 615 East Main Street (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.) to pick up a registration packet. If you can’t get there in person, call 301-271-7313, and we will send you a registration packet.

The Thurmont Farmers Market is being held each Saturday morning, from 9:00 a.m. until noon, at the Community Park on Frederick Road. Each market offers a wonderful selection of fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods, eggs, beef, cheeses, handmade soaps, crafts, and other goodies.

On Friday, May 20, we had our first Art & Wine Stroll in over two years. It was an outstanding success, with several hundred guests enjoying the entertainment, vendors, food, artwork, and the wine and moonshine tasting. If you missed this one, be on the lookout for our next Art & Wine Stroll.

Thurmont residents can put out grass clippings and leaves for pickup on Monday mornings. The grass and leaves must be placed in paper bags, no more than 40 lbs. in weight. Have the bags at your curb no later than 6:00 a.m. on Monday mornings. Grass clipping and leaves only—no sticks, rocks, root balls, etc. will be collected.

I hope everyone has a nice June! I can be reached at 301-606-9458, by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com, or on Facebook if you have any comments or concerns.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

Mayor Briggs was unavailable to write his Mayor’s message for this edition. He will return next month with double the news!

At the Woodsboro town meeting on May 10, we had a few topics on the agenda. The main one, of course, was the upcoming budget that will be voted on at our next meeting on June 14. There was not much discussion around it, as there wasn’t many changes from last years.

Another item that was on the agenda, which I was very excited about, was awarding the ARPA (COVID Relief Grant) to some of our town businesses. We had six businesses apply for the $5,000 grants, and all six were approved to receive the grants by our commission that viewed the applications. The following businesses received $5,000 grants: The Olde Towne Restaurant, Trout’s Market, Forestheart Studio, Affordable Pest Control, Gardner’s Garage, and Dynamic Graphics. The business owners were all in attendance to receive these funds. The town council and I were all happy to be able to assist our small businesses who are the backbone of our community.

After issuing the $30,000 in grants to the small businesses that applied, that left us with $20,000 in allocated funds towards grants remaining. I proposed to the town council, and it was voted on unanimously, to add in another $1,000 to the $20,000 dollar pool and divide it between our six nonprofits in town, which include four churches, the American Legion, and the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department. We will be issuing checks for $3,500 to each of them over the next couple of weeks.

Commissioner Crum reported on the items that she submitted for funding for the annual Program Open Space grant through the county. This year, she submitted for funding for some new ADA-compliant playground equipment, a pavilion to be built near the disc golf course, a message board at the disc golf course, lighting, and new flag poles at the memorial in town. We will know in early June what has been approved. Commissioner Crum and I will be attending the POS meeting on May 26, where we will get more information on what has been approved.

On June 2, the town will be going to closing on the purchase of the lot at 605 S. Main Street. This is where we will be building the new town offices. A large portion of that funding will be coming from the grant we were able to secure in Governor Hogan’s budget. Funding to purchase the lot was made possible through Woodsboro Bank.

I am also very happy to announce that the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Parade will be back this year after a couple of years of hiatus due to the pandemic. The parade will take place on Main Street in Woodsboro on Sunday, May 29. The events of the day will begin at 12:00 p.m., with a memorial service taking place at the War Memorial on Main Street, followed by the parade at 1:30 p.m.

As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at gvcs.inc@verizon.net or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at hbarnes@woodsboro.org or by phone at 301-401-7164.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, as needed. If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted fourteen days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street in Woodsboro. The public is always invited to attend.

by James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont

Mayor and Commissioners Get First Look at Budget

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners got their first look at the Fiscal Year 2023 town budget.

•   General Fund: Revenues-$4,768,518; Expenditures-$4,278,662; Capital Expenditures-$489,000.

•   Water Fund: Revenues-$1,062,150; Expenditures-$838,257; Capital Expenditures-$222,000.

•   Wastewater Fund Revenues-$1,764,009; Expenditures-$1,471,239; Capital Expenditures-$292,770.

•   Electric Fund Revenues-$5,760,224; Expenditures-$5,633,798; Capital Expenditures-$125,000.

The budget needs to be approved before June 30 because it takes effect on July 1.

Micro-Breweries Approved as a Thurmont Business Use

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioner approved a text amendment to allow small-scale micro-breweries to operate in general business and town business zoning districts in Thurmont. Josh Bollinger, with Bollinger’s Restaurant, made the request to the Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission in February. They approved it and sent it to the commissioners. Bollinger intends to expand his current business with a small micro-brewery. Under Maryland law, a micro-brewery can produce no more than 15,000 barrels of beer a year.

Easements and Rights Of Way Approved for Hammaker Hills

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners approved the phase 1 easement and rights of way for the proposed Hammaker Hills Subdivision. The easements are for utilities and three parks. The rights of way are for two roads. The commissioners gave the subdivision conditional approval last year if the easements and rights of way could be secured. With this approval, the subdivision can now move forward.

Emmitsburg

Commissioners Get First Look at Budget

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners got their first look at the Fiscal Year 2023 town budget. The general fund revenues have increased 8 percent to $2,053,217, and it includes a 5 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for town employees to try and keep up with inflation. Tax equity revenues from Frederick County are up over this year, but still lagging behind what the town received in 2021 and 2020. Currently, $1,880,067 has been budgeted with the difference marked to be used for capital projects. The budget needs to be approved before June 30 because it takes effect on July 1.

Changes to Parking Begin

The Town of Emmitsburg is looking to update how it handles parking in town. A 5-year plan was introduced to the board of commissioners in May and tabled for future consideration. Among the things the town is looking to do is purchase parking boots and digital meters. The new meters would also be able to accept digital payments. The town is also looking to install meters at the community pool parking lot, although parking would still remain free for pool patrons.

The town has already made one change to parking. Tickets are now white instead of orange because of a new system the town is using. Also, the town now accepts payment of parking tickets and permits online at the town’s website.

New Wayside Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved the 12th wayside exhibit for the historic walking tour of Emmitsburg the down is developing. This wayside will feature St. Euphemia School and include the fact that the school integrated 10 years before the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling in 1954. The exhibit will be in front of the apartment building at 50 DePaul Street where the school was. The total cost is $7,095, including town funding and an in-kind match of $3,548. The installation of the wayside is expected to be complete by June 15.

Town Adding to Bike Trail

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a proposal to construct a new quarter-mile section of trail. It will line the green and yellow multi-user trails at Rainbow Lake.

Parks and Recreation Committee Members Re-appointed

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners re-appointed Shannon Cool, Glenn Blanchard, Sandy Umbel, Steve Starliper, and Amanda Ryder to the Parks and Recreation Committee. Their terms run from December 3, 2021 through December 3, 2023.

New grants are available for businesses to make energy-efficient retrofits and save money. Frederick County is offering supplemental grants, up to $5,000 for LED lighting upgrades and up to $10,000 for deeper retrofits to HVAC and commercial refrigeration systems. These funds will cover the customer co-pay for incentives offered by Potomac Edison. By combining funds, businesses may make improvements at no cost as long as funding is available.

There are two eligible Potomac Edison programs. First, the Small Business Direct Install provides a turnkey solution, choosing the best products for an upgrade, managing the installation process, and providing enhanced warranty support. Potomac Edison provides incentives covering up to 80 percent of installed energy saving measure costs.

Second, Building Tune-up (BT) offers incentives to offset the upfront costs for energy efficiency improvements in existing commercial buildings through HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, and food service measures. These incentives support more comprehensive improvements.

The programs are available for most non-residential facility types, including commercial, institutional, and industrial customers. To qualify, participating projects must be in Potomac Edison’s Maryland service territory.

Willdan Energy Solutions is implementing the Potomac Edison programs in partnership with Frederick County.

For more information, contact Willdan: energysavemd@willdan.com or call 800-880-3808.

Frederick Health, the largest healthcare provider in Frederick County, recently marked the 120th anniversary of its founding on May 1, 1902. Frederick Health—then known as Frederick City Hospital—was founded by Emma Smith, a local Frederick resident who had a deep commitment to her community.

Smith spent most of her life working on behalf of the residents of Frederick, and her legacy continues to live on in the care provided by the organization that she helped to found. “Our community is so incredibly blessed to have this organization,” said Tom Kleinhanzl, president & CEO of Frederick Health. “Ms. Smith, our founder, had a saying: ‘Care for the sick, comfort the injured, and provide peace of mind,’ and we’ve certainly done that incredibly well for 120 years.” From its humble beginnings as a single hospital with a dozen beds, Frederick Health has grown to a network of facilities, offering state-of-the-art, award-winning healthcare. Recently, Frederick Health Hospital was named one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the Nation by Healthgrades America.“Our hospital now has nearly 300 beds, and our expansive network contains 22 facilities, with nearly 4,500 team members. Emma Smith could have never dreamed that we would have grown in such a way,” added Kleinhanzl.

Throughout the month of May, Frederick Health marked the anniversary with special announcements and ceremonies. The system continues to grow and will be opening its new Critical Care Expansion at the hospital later this summer, as well as its 23rd facility in Emmitsburg.

“Together, we row this boat that cares for this community. We’ve been caring for you, our friends, family, and neighbors for 120 years, ”continued Kleinhanzl. “We’re going strong and we will continue to be here for this community.” For more information, please visit www.frederickhealth.org/120.

Frederick Health, the largest healthcare provider in Frederick County, is pleased to announce that it is now offering ION Lung Biopsy procedures to patients in need. This minimally invasive biopsy tool can detect even the smallest traces of lung cancer in patients.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with an estimated 130,000 deaths expected in 2022. In Frederick County, cancers are the second leading cause of death.

“Frederick Health is leading the way,” said Dr. Maurice Smith, Medical Director of Chest Surgery with Frederick Health. “This piece of equipment gives us the ability to biopsy smaller nodules, as well as provide an earlier diagnosis and peace of mind.”

ION is the most accurate and scientifically advanced equipment available for performing lung biopsies, and Frederick Health is the first community healthcare system in the state of Maryland to offer this technology to patients. By making the biopsy a more comfortable patient experience, Dr. Smith hopes to boost earlier detection and treatment rates in the community.

“This technology really puts the patient experience first, without incisions or needles,” added Dr. Smith.

As with most cancers, detecting lung cancer early is the key to an increased survival rate.

“The simple truth of the matter is that early detections save lives.”

To learn more about Frederick Health’s cancer treatment programs, please visit www.frederickhealth.org/cancercare.

Frederick Health provides comprehensive healthcare services to the residents of Frederick County. The system includes Frederick Health Hospital, Frederick Health Medical Group, Frederick Health Employer Solutions, Frederick Health Home Care, and Frederick Health Hospice. Frederick Health Medical Group is a multi-specialty practice, with more than 100 providers, 17 specialties, and multiple locations across the county. The system has several ambulatory care locations, the freestanding James M Stockman Cancer Institute, two urgent care locations, and the Frederick Health Village.

With over 4,500 team members, Frederick Health provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness

services to support its mission to positively impact the well-being of every individual in our community.

On April 25, Thurmont Grange held its annual Community Citizen Dinner. Michael and Amy Jo Poffenberger were the evening’s honorees. They were recognized for their never-ending dedication to our youth and agriculture in our community. Currently, Amy Jo is an ag teacher and FFA advisor at Catoctin High School, and Michael is the parts manager at Fitzgerald Auto Mall. In addition to their full-time jobs, they are involved with Farm Safety Camp, Ag Week at the Mall, City Streets Country Roads at The Frederick Fair, Frederick County Farm Museum, Frederick County Farm Bureau, Frederick County Young Farmers, 4-H, and FFA, where they advise, coach teams, plan trips to state and national FFA conventions, assist with butchering, and help with plant sales and fruit sales to raise funds for the FFA Chapter, just to name a few events and organizations to which they donate their time. Several people spoke on their behalf, and all expressed how Michael and Amy Jo have made such a positive and life-long impact on their lives.

Michael was described as being “very good at teaching and explaining how to do things and a great planner and organizer.” Amy Jo was referred to as “amazing and supportive.” The countless hours this couple spends volunteering and giving back to our community is truly extraordinary. Thurmont Grange could not think of two people more deserving of this recognition.

Pictured from left are Grange President Bob Wiles, Amy Jo Poffenberger, Michael Poffenberger, and Grange Lecturer Niki Eyler.

A group of Lions members attended the Thurmont Town Meeting on April 26, 2022. Lion Mark Long announced the Thurmont Lions Club 2022 Volunteer of the Year, Cindy Poole, who makes a difference in the Thurmont community. She serves as the coordinator of the Thurmont Green Team and does an exceptional job in this role. Cindy coordinates the Community Gardens at Carroll Street Park and lines up volunteers to help maintain them. She can be seen pulling her wagon around town with painting supplies, painting storm drains. There are so many activities around town that Cindy can be seen coordinating or working on. She is a true “lead by example” leader, and Thurmont is very fortunate to have her as such a dedicated and selfless volunteer. The Thurmont Lions Club would like to say, “Congratulations and thank you, Cindy, for all that you do.”

Cindy received a Certificate of Appreciation, a gift card to a restaurant, and a $400 donation to a charity of her choice: The Green Team.

The Thurmont Lions Club meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at St. John Lutheran Church in Thurmont. Visit www.thurmontlionsclub.com or contact Lion Joyce Anthony at jananny@comcast.net or 240-288-8748 for more information.

Pictured from left are Lion Mark Long, Cindy Pool, Commissioner Wayne Hooper, Lion Dianne McLean, Mayor John Kinnaird, Lion Joyce Anthony, Lion Gayle DiSalvo, Commissioner Wes Hamrick, and Commissioner Bill Blakeslee.

On April 13, Past District Governor Paul Cannada inducted a new member into the Thurmont Lions Club: David Crum. 

Lion Doug Favorite was Lion David’s sponsor. Lion David is married and lives in Emmitsburg. He recently transferred to the Thurmont Woodsboro Bank as their new manager. Lion David is excited to start helping with the fundraisers for the club and the community. Congratulations to Lion David and welcome to the Thurmont Lions Club family.

Pictured from left are Lion David Crum and Lion Doug Favorite.

Pictured from left are: (front row) Lions Nancy Echard, Dianne McLean, Gayle DiSalvo, Bev Nunemaker; (back row) Lions Marci Veronie, Joyce Anthony, PCC Bob Muchow, FVDG Nadja Muchow, PDG Paul Cannada, and CS Susan Favorite. Absent from picture: Lions Julie El-Taher, Doug Favorite, Donald Keeney, Jr.

The 2022 Multiple District 22 Convention was held April 22-24, 2022, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The convention was an outstanding event. The Lions Memorial Service, numerous seminars, District luncheons, meetings, candidate’s hospitality rooms and election of incoming officers were well attended.  Past International Director Steven Sherer from Ohio was the guest speaker. PID Sherer’s messages were very informative, full of stories about his wife, Lion Mary Ellen and himself were inspirational.

District Governor presented numerous awards to his cabinet members and throughout District 22-W. Lion Joyce Anthony was named to the District 22-W Honor Roll. This award recognizes Lions who have rendered outstanding service to their club and their community at the “grass roots” level over an extended period of time, who exemplify the spirit of Lionism through their unselfish dedication, and who are deserving of District-wide recognition for their efforts in support of Lionism. The Thurmont Lions Club had 13 members attending the convention.

AMVETS Post 7 Ladies Auxiliary presented a donation of $3,000 to the Thurmont Lions Club for “Wreaths Across America,” working together to make sure our Veterans are honored for their service and never forgotten.

Pictured from left are Julie El-Taher, “Gold Star Mom” and the incoming president for 2022-2023 for the Lions; AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President Betty Lou Toms; and Carie Stafford, program director of “Wreaths Across America” for the Lions Club.

Frederick Health is a national leader for patient care and a recipient of the Healthgrades 2022 America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™. This places Frederick Health among the top two percent of all hospitals for clinical care and patient outcomes across treatment of the most common conditions and procedures. Frederick Health has received the America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award for three consecutive years (2020-2022).

“Frederick Health is honored to be recognized as one of Healthgrades America’s 100 best hospitals in the nation. Being named one of America’s 100 best hospitals, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is a true testament to the skill and dedication of our award-winning team. I am very proud of what Frederick Health has been able to accomplish and of the continued care that we bring to our families, friends, neighbors, and community,” said Tom Kleinhanzl, president & CEO of Frederick Health.

Methodology Healthgrades is committed to delivering the most scientifically accurate and comprehensive information about doctors and hospitals, with data insights not available anywhere else. To assess overall hospital performance, Healthgrades reviewed outcomes across more than 31 of the most common procedures and conditions. Recipients of this award have consistently delivered better than expected outcomes for their patients.

Impact America’s 100 Best Hospitals award recipients are making an impact. From 2018-2020, patients treated in hospitals achieving the Healthgrades top 100 hospitals recognition, on average, had a 25.4 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive this award, as measured across 17 rated conditions and procedures, where mortality is the outcome*. In fact, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to Frederick Health and other 2022 Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals, 162,830 lives could potentially have been saved from 2018-2020.*

Frederick Health has also received the: America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Spine Surgery™ (2019-2022); America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care™ (2020-2022); America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Prostate Surgeries™ (2020-2022); America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Gastrointestinal Care™ (2017-2022); America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Gastrointestinal Surgery™ (2021-2022); Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ (2019-2022); Neurosciences Excellence Award™ (2021-2022); Pulmonary Care Excellence Award™ (2016-2022); Critical Care Excellence Award™ (2016-2022); Surgical Care Excellence Award™ in 2022.

Frederick Health is the only hospital in the State of Maryland to receive the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Gastrointestinal Surgery and Gastrointestinal Care Awards in 2022.

“We are proud to recognize Frederick Health as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for 2022,” said Brad Bowman, MD, chief medical officer and head of Data Science at Healthgrades. “As an America’s 100 Best hospital, Frederick Health’s clinical performance and patient outcomes outpaced nearly all other hospitals in the country. We believe these distinguished hospitals are leading the industry and setting the standard for providing safe and quality care.”

With tools like hospital ratings and awards, Healthgrades helps consumers make confident healthcare decisions by enabling the evaluation and comparison of hospital performance to find the highest quality care. Visit Healthgrades.com/quality/America’s-best-hospitals for an in-depth look at Fredrick Health’s performance and profile to explore the highest quality care in Frederick today. Consumers can also visit Healthgrades.com for more information on how Healthgrades measures hospital quality, and access the complete methodology here.

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2018 through 2020 and represent three year estimates for Medicare patients only.

This year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded 100 high school seniors with their prestigious college scholarship. These scholarship recipients will receive up to $55,000 toward the cost of their undergraduate education at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Along with the financial support, the recipients are provided with ongoing academic and career advising and networking opportunities. Applicants this year were from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

The Cooke College Scholarship Program aims to assist high-achieving students with financial need to obtain a college degree.

Only one student from Frederick County and only six in all of Maryland were awarded this scholarship. The scholarship winner of this prestigious award from Frederick County is Nicholas “Nick” Miller (pictured above).

Nick is a resident of Thurmont. He graduated from Catoctin High with his classmates on May 25. In the fall, Nick will be attending Hamilton College, located in upstate New York, to study microbiology. Nick has been an exceptional student during high school and is planning to be a scientific researcher, hoping to make an impact on the field of medical research in the future. A full list of all the scholarship winners can be found on the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website at www.jkcf.org.

Twin sisters Emma and Sarah Simmons’s love of horses has led them to the winner’s circle at the Frederick County Science and Engineering Fair. Their invention, “Portable Bronchodilator Delivery System for Equine Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases,” garnered them several awards, including: the Overall Middle School Grand Prize; 1st place in the Middle School Biomedical Engineering category; the Broadcom Masters Top Prize (Broadcom Masters is affiliated with the Society for Science); the Hively Family Inventor Award; the Lemelson Early Inventor Prize (sponsored by the Lemelson Foundation.The Broadcom Masters top prize includes an invitation to the national competition in Fall 2022.

The seventh graders engineered a device that delivers medication to a horse with equine inflammatory respiratory disease. This device is unique because it allows a rider to administer the medication while remaining mounted. Typically, horses are given medicine for diseases, such as asthma, through an intramuscular injection or an electric nebulizer, which requires that the horse be taken to a stable or veterinarian. The nebulizer treatments require electricity to operate the compressor, and the horse is kept still and quiet during administration since the horse is required to wear a mask.

“We are incredibly proud of Emma and Sarah,” said Mother Seton School Principal Kathleen Kilty, Ph.D. “The ingenuity and hard work that went into this project are impressive.”

The sisters’ invention has many potential applications, such as for mounted police engaged in urban crowd control, farming and ranching, and equestrian eventing. In these situations, if a horse becomes respiratory compromised, emergency medication cannot easily or safely be administered. With the system Emma and Sarah engineered, the life-saving medication can be delivered by the rider without the rider dismounting. 

“It is an amazing achievement for Emma and Sarah,” said their mother, Lisa McLeod-Simmons, Ph.D. “It also highlights what a great school Mother Seton is, that students are not only ’taught’ science, but they are taught to ‘do’ science.”

Mother Seton School announces Emma and Sarah Simmons, grade 7, as Overall Middle School Grand Prize winners of the 41st Annual Frederick County Science and Engineering Fair for their invention, “Portable Bronchodilator Delivery System for Equine Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases.”

The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) 8th grade Life Skills curriculum includes a service learning project. This year, the students at Thurmont Middle School (TMS) chose to help the people of Ukraine.

The students researched the needs of the people since the February 2022 invasion by Russia. The class decided to make and sell support ribbons and crochet bracelets in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Each student made a persuasive poster, advertising the sale of these items and set a class goal for $400. They surpassed their goal and will be sending a check for $423 to Direct Relief. Congratulations, TMS 8th graders!

The Emmitsburg High School Alumni Association (EHSAA) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual EHSAA scholarship program. Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded this year. The scholarship applicants were judged on involvement in school and community activities, as well as their academic work. Honors and work experience were also considered.

The first three scholarship recipients were seniors at Catoctin High School (CHS). Rianna Chaney, daughter of Lee and Becky Chaney, is planning to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall. Sheridan Chaney, daughter of Lee and Becky Chaney, is planning to attend Butler Community College.  Wyatt Davis, son of James and Peggy Davis, is planning to attend Shippensburg University. 

The final recipient was a former graduate of Catoctin High School.  Attending West Virginia University, with the idea of becoming a Neurosurgeon, is Max Bingman, son of William and Jennifer Bingman.

All recipients will be recognized at the Emmitsburg High School Alumni Association’s 98th Annual Banquet to be held October 15, 2022. They are all wished much success.

Pictured are Sheridan Chaney, Wyatt Davis, Rianna Chaney, and Vickie Frushour.

BLAIR GARRETT

Nine Catoctin High School (CHS) seniors officially signed on to further their education while playing sports at the next level. All nine athletes excelled in their sports, helping to propel each of their teams and teammates to be better every day. CHS held a signing day ceremony to let the head coaches share with the athletes’ friends and families what kind of competitor and person they’ve seen each player blossom into.

Few people in a high school athlete’s life see the growth and development that a coach does. The students who go on to compete in college are among the most driven and dedicated to keep improving each day, and a good coach takes notice of that. Each one of these athletes has put an exceptional amount of time into their craft. Putting in the hours on the fields, courts, tracks, and in the gym, coupled with a good attitude, can take you a long way, and each one of these student-athletes has demonstrated that day after day.

Football: Wyatt Davis has committed to play at Shippensburg University in the fall, and the Raiders will be lucky to have him. Davis played defensive end and tackle for Catoctin and was a driving force on the defensive line.

Track and Field: Jenna Zentz is taking her talents to Towson University, where she will look to continue her successes on the track. Zentz ran a variety of events for the Cougars, including relays and 100- through 800-meter races.

Baseball: A pair of star athletes, Noland Kinna and Dalton Williams, have signed their letters of intent to play ball in college, and both have meant a tremendous deal to CHS during their time playing there. Kinna, a commit to the College of Southern Maryland, was involved in a myriad of school programs, and he became a key piece to Catoctin’s back-to-back great seasons. Williams will go on to play at High Point University. Both players were part of the state championship winning season in 2021, helping CHS grab its second championship title.

Softball: Catoctin softball’s Kara Watkins and Avery Sickeri have been integral in the team’s phenomenal season. From start to finish, the Cougars have been dominant, with Watkins and Sickeri helping the team capture the Central Maryland Conference Championship en route to a 17-2 season. Watkins is set to join Shenandoah University’s softball team, while Sickeri looks to make waves at West Chester University.

Girls Basketball: With a talent-packed lineup and a lot of hard work, seniors Emma Wivell and Emily Williams helped push Catoctin to the state finals in the team’s 23-3 season. The seniors had great individual accomplishments as well, with Wivell making the Maryland Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) 1st team, and Williams making the MBCA 2nd team. Wivell has committed to Salisbury University while Williams has committed to Shenandoah University.

Boys Basketball: Though the team had a rocky season, Catoctin’s Ryan Burke played a key role in the successes the boys had over the course of the season. Burke, a shooting guard, plans to play next season with Hagerstown Community College, and will look to make an impact just as he did with the Cougars.

Congratulations to all graduating seniors and to the student athletes who put in years of effort to take their careers to the next step. 

(above) Avery Sickeri and Coach Jessica Valentine.

(above) Kara Watkins, family, and coaching staff.

(above) CHS Principal Jennifer Clements addresses the student athletes.

(avove) Noland Kinna (seated left) and Dalton Williams (seated right) with CHS baseball team.

(above seated) Wyatt Davis and Jenna Zentz are shown.

(above) Emma Wivell and Emily WIlliams.

Ryan Tokar, Thurmont Little League

It’s hard to believe another season at Thurmont Little League (TLL) has nearly come to an end. Despite the weather being unpredictable at times, it’s been another fun and successful spring! There have been lots of big events around the complex as of late, beginning with our first-ever District 2 Softball Mixer. We were lucky to have a rare, beautiful Saturday, as the league played host to 12 teams from multiple districts, spanning from Hancock to Lower Montgomery County. The TLL concession stand was rocking, serving up delicious treats to all the visitors, along with The Sauced Savage and Kona Ice. We received a lot of compliments about our facilities and how well-run the event was, and we can’t wait to host more of these in the future. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to making this event a success.

On Saturday, May 14, TLL held its annual hit-a-thon fundraiser. This is the largest annual fundraiser for the league, and proceeds go towards necessities like field maintenance, uniforms, concession upgrades, and general complex improvements. With the addition of our new softball program this year, as well as a record number of registrations, expectations were high that last year’s record-breaking total would be surpassed. Our TLL families and the surrounding community did not disappoint. This year’s hit-a-thon brought in nearly $28,000 in online and cash donations, the largest amount raised in league history! The hit-a-thon is an extremely fun event for our players. Players receive one hit for every $10.00 raised (for a maximum of 10 hits). They can continue to raise additional money in order to win prizes. A bonus hit is also awarded if a player brings a non-perishable item for the Thurmont Food Bank. Prizes are awarded to the top overall fundraisers and also to the players who hit the ball the longest distance. The major and minor divisions are judged on where the ball lands, while the softball, instructional, and t-ball divisions are given credit for how far the ball rolls.

Distance winners for this year’s hit-a-thon were: Majors—Chase Cregger (216 ft.), Marcus Kuhn (199 ft.), and Barry Riddle (190 ft.); Minors—Desean Brown (216 ft.), Nemo Dewees-Johnson (175 ft.), and Chase Dumas (143 ft.);  Instructional—Logan Stephens (156 ft.), Jaiden Poole (120 ft.), and Travis Haller (118 ft.); T-ball—Dixie Eckenrode (125 ft.), Chase Atkins (123 ft.), and Gregory Arellana (122 ft.). TLL softball had a great showing for their first year participating. Distance winners from our softball program were: Delaney Warner (162 ft.), Madilynn Hollingshead (154 ft.), and Allison Lyman (145 ft.).

The overall fundraising winners this year raised some of the highest totals in event history. Congratulations to the following winners: Carson Unger (T-ball Royal Blue)—$1,400, Ethan Smith (Minors Brewers)—$850, and Maverick Cox (T-ball Vegas Gold)—$750. They will each be awarded an Amazon gift card for their prize. In addition to the individual winners, the teams with the most overall donations earn a free pizza party at the end of the season. Highest earning teams were: T-ball Vegas Gold—$2,145, Instructional Wolf Pack—$1,997, Minors Brewers—$1,810, Majors Cubs—$1,707, and Minors Softball Outlaws—$1,214. Along with the close to $28,000 raised, the league also collected several hundred non-perishable goods, which were donated to the Thurmont Food Bank to help those in need. TLL would like to thank the community, parents, and volunteers for their support. Without you, this event would not have been such a tremendous success.

The spring season is winding down, with games concluding in early June. We will then move on to the end of the season tournaments and All-Star games. Look for more information in next month’s issue!

Players line the field during opening ceremonies of the Thurmont Little League’s 2022 season.

Majors winners: Chase Cregger—1st place; Barry Riddle—3rd place

Marcus Kuhn—2nd place.

by Valerie Nusbaum

The Yellow Rose

Randy and I haven’t done much traveling during the last five or so years. Between the COVID pandemic restrictions and all the family obligations and crises, we just weren’t able to do it. I miss that a lot and hope that someday soon we can get back on the road again. It’s always fun and exciting to visit places we’ve never been and to have a change of scenery, but for the time being, I’ll have to be content to fondly remember some of the trips we’ve taken over our years together.

One of my favorite trips was to San Antonio, Texas. We had both done some reading about the River Walk, and we thought that would be a good fit for us. From all my research, I deduced that that particular area was a bit upscale, so when I packed my bags, I went with casual but stylish clothes and chose most of my wardrobe in shades of black and white. Black is slimming, after all, and by sticking with one color scheme, I could mix and match pieces and wouldn’t have to take a lot of extra shoes and accessories. That’s me—a real planner. I helped Randy with his packing, too (blue and tan), and we headed to the airport in mid-March.  I don’t remember what year that was, but I do remember thinking that I’d packed well and would look as good as possible.

Randy had made the reservations and travel arrangements. Nevermind that on the plane, Randy got up to use the restroom, and I moved over into his middle seat so that he could sit on the aisle when he came back. The man in the window seat hadn’t spoken a word to Randy in the two hours they’d sat side by side. As soon as my fanny touched the middle seat, the man turned around and proceeded to tell me his life story for the next two hours. Did I mention that he also took off his shoes and displayed his feet?  We happily got off the plane in San Antonio, and our car picked us up to take us to our hotel. 

Our driver’s name was Benito, but he said we should call him “Benny.” Benny handed me his business card and said that I should call him any time we wanted to drive out of the city. His card displayed a photo of him wearing a long cape, and his smile showed very long, very sharp fangs. I guessed that Benny moonlighted as a vampire, and I planned to promptly lose his card. It worried me a bit that he had picked us up in the dark of night, and I prayed that we’d get to our hotel safely and without being bitten.

I suffer from migraines, and the air pressure in the plane along with stress and the climate change had brought one on. My head was pounding and I was feeling nauseated, but I was so very relieved when we pulled up to a shiny, new-looking hotel in the heart of the city, right on the River Walk. I was pretty sure it was the wrong hotel, though, when we walked into the lobby with our bags, and I saw the gorgeous waterfall in the lobby, along with all the glass, brass, and luxury. But, no, my wonderful hubby had actually booked us into a suite there. We headed up to our rooms just in time for me to throw up. It was late, but Randy got us a case of water to drink, and I took some medicine for my headache. He’s a good guy, that Randy.

By morning, I was feeling more normal, and after a lovely buffet breakfast at the hotel (gratis), we struck out on foot to explore. The first order of business was to visit The Alamo. The historic mission and grounds were under renovation at the time, but we were still able to go inside and see everything. It struck me as absurd that such an important piece of history was directly across the street from a Ripley’s Believe or Not museum, but that’s America for you.

Did I mention that my mostly black wardrobe was leaving me a bit hot and sweaty since the temperature in Texas in March that year was over 90 degrees? I ended up going to the mall, also located on the River Walk, and buying some lighter summer clothes.

It was a fun trip, though. We took the water taxi tour all the way up the San Antonio River, which is hardly more than a stream. We did a trolley tour to all the missions, walked to the arts district and visited the galleries, shopped, ate a LOT of Mexican food and barbecue, visited the church where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie’s remains lie, and had a very good time. We even managed to find a McDonald’s housed in stucco and brick. I had a craving for one of their southwest salads. I know. At lunch another day at yet another Mexican restaurant, Randy paid a mariachi band to serenade me, and their rendition of The Temptations “My Girl” was definitely something to be remembered.

Would I go back to San Antonio?  In a heartbeat, but don’t tell Benny I’m coming.

A serial fiction story for your enjoyment

written by James Rada, Jr.

3: A Voice In the Night

Tim Ross closed the door to Dr. Vallingham’s office in the Maryland State Sanatorium Administration Building. He paused for a moment before releasing his grip on the doorknob, feeling like he had been hauled before the principal of his high school.

Tim turned and saw Dr. Vallingham sitting behind a large oak desk that was entirely empty, without even a blotter or desk lamp. The man who was second-in-charge at the hospital didn’t even bother standing up. He simply motioned to a wooden chair in front of the desk.

“Please have a seat, Mr. Ross.”

No hello or handshake. He was not a warm fellow by any stretch.

Tim sat in the chair and noticed it was low, making him have to raise his head to look over the desk at the doctor.

“I am Dr. Jeremy Vallingham. I will oversee your treatment while you are a patient here.”

“What about Dr. Cullen?” Victor Cullen was the doctor in charge of the hospital and also the reason it had an excellent reputation for treating patients with tuberculosis.

“I am his… associate. The demand for our services here is so great that it requires two doctors.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Tim wouldn’t wish his disease on anyone. He had lost weight and strength. He coughed up blood or just felt pain while breathing at times. He had a fever during the day and chills at night. He felt like he could feel himself slowly fading away, slowly dying.

Dr. Vallingham’s brow furrowed. “Hmmm… oh, yes, I see what you mean. Your tuberculosis was detected early and seems mild. That is good news. It means you won’t be placed in the reception hospital.” This was the building where the sicker patients were housed.

Tim nodded. “Yes, I am in shack five.” Shacks were what everyone called the pavilions that were barrack-like buildings with large floor-to-ceiling windows that could be opened to allow plenty of air to pass through the buildings.

“Shacks. That is the colloquial term. It does not do them justice. They are specially designed housing units to augment my treatments.”

“Which are?”

Dr. Vallingham’s nose lifted a bit. He did not like being questioned. “Treatments vary depending on the patient. It will require some testing to fine tune the best treatment for you. Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., a nurse or orderly will come to your pavilion to take your temperature and pulse. You will also be given your first dose of medication. From there, we will see how things progress.”

Tim nodded. “What are my chances of recovery?”

“I don’t like to speculate, but I have an excellent track record. You are in good hands, Mr. Ross.”

“That’s why I came here.”

Dr. Vallingham nodded. “And now that you are here, there are some rules you need to follow. No fraternizing with the nurses. It is allowed between patients, of course, but no intimate relations. No alcohol is allowed. Feel free to walk the yard and even over to the reception hospital should the need arise, but avoid the pharmacy, powerhouse, and nurse’s quarters.”

“Why’s that?”

The doctor stiffened at being challenged. “Because those are not areas patients need to be. Also, this area has problems with men making illegal liquor, and we wouldn’t want them to mistake you for a federal agent.”

Tim knew that was possible. He had heard about the moonshining war in nearby Smithsburg, even in Baltimore City. “For patients caught breaking the rules, there are consequences,” the doctor continued.

“Consequences? What sort of consequences? Do you send me to bed without my dinner?”

Tim smiled to show Dr. Vallingham he was making a joke, but the doctor did not have much of a sense of humor. He was the king of his kingdom. Tim had seen it with some fight promoters when he was still able to box. They were all friendly and smiles when things were going their way, but let one customer try to welch on a bet or a fighter not take a fall, and those smiles suddenly seemed like a way to show sharp teeth to those people right before they got hurt.

Dr. Vallingham said, “It varies based on what rule is violated, but rest assured, patients don’t like them and rarely make the same mistake twice.”

Was this man the reason people here seemed nervous? He and his rules and punishments?

Tim shrugged. “OK.”

The doctor nodded. “Fine. That is all, then.”

Tim knew when he was being dismissed, so he left. He walked back to the shack. He saw a few more of the residents of pavilion five. Eleven people were currently in the shack. Tim introduced himself to four other people who had returned to their beds. They were all men who weren’t severely sick. Tim introduced himself to them. Then he sat on a deck chair on the porch and stared out into the forest, trying to process what was happening here.

He felt like he was in a prison without walls. People walked on egg shells, afraid of violating one of Dr. Vallingham’s rules. This was not going to be an enjoyable stay, but was any hospital stay? Best he take his treatment and leave as quickly as possible.

Frank Ziolkowski, another resident, shook his shoulder. Tim looked up.

“We’re heading over for dinner. Want to come?” Frank asked.

Tim nodded and stood up. The small group of patients walked over to the dining room and got in line for the meal. He looked around for Max Wenschof. Tim wanted to talk to him about Dr. Vallingham, but Tim didn’t see him.

He saw the young nurse who had fetched him at lunchtime and stopped her.

“Have you seen Max Wenschof?” Tim asked.

“Who?”

“Max Wenschof, the man who was eating lunch with me when you came to get me.”

“Him? Oh, yes, Mr. Wenschof is no longer a patient here.”

“No longer a patient? Was he cured?”

The young nurse frowned. “Patient information is confidential.”

“It’s not like we don’t know what he has or had. Everyone is here because they have TB. And if he’s no longer a patient, then it’s no longer a breach of confidence.”

She looked around nervously. “Mr. Ross…”

Tim held up his hand. “Nevermind.”

He was drawing stares from some of the other patients. He didn’t feel like getting punished, especially when he wasn’t sure what it would be for.

He skipped dinner and walked back to the shack. The windows were all open, allowing a light breeze to flow through the building. It was quiet outside. Did he smell alcohol, or was he imagining it? The hidden stills couldn’t be that close, could they?

“Tim…”

Tim sat up and listened. Had he heard someone calling for him?

“Tim…”

He walked through one of the open windows to the railing of the porch. It was dark out, except for the starlight. There was no moon, but he could still make out shadows on the field in front of the forest.

Had he imagined the voice?

He saw a white figure emerge from the forest. It wasn’t a ghost, but someone dressed in white like an orderly. The figure was running and seemed to be looking over his shoulder, but Tim couldn’t be sure in the dark.

Tim looked at the forest. He couldn’t make out anyone else there, but something was scaring this man. Was he the one who had called for Tim? If so, who could it be? Only a few people around here knew his name.

The man in white veered off in another direction and ran back into the trees. A short time later, Tim heard a shot.

Then everything went quiet again.

June 1922, 100 Years Ago

Union Bridge Bank Closes Temporarily

The doors of the First National Bank of Union Bridge were closed on Saturday by order of the directors of that institution. The Baltimore Sun of Sunday last says:

“E. F. Olmstead, cashier of the First National Bank of Union Bridge, has confessed to the board of directors that he is a defaulter to an unknown amount. He admits that he has used the money in speculation.”

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, June 1, 1922

Should Make Repairs

Raising peach trees along the streets is no criminal offense, but when said trees in wet weather forces pedestrians to the edge of a very bad piece of pavement then somthing (sic) is wrong but not with the trees. This refers particularly to the broken and dilapidated condition of the pavement at the H. & F. trolley (sic) station on E. Main street. Do not remove the trees, but replace a little concrete.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, June 1, 1922

June 1947, 75 Years Ago

Co. Group Asks For New School House

A large delegation of patrons, citing allegedly unhealthy conditions at the Sabillasville school, Wednesday requested the Frederick County Board of Education to consider the construction of a new building at an entirely new location.

                                          – Frederick News, June 5, 1947

Barns Struck, Trees Felled During Storms

…Tons of hail fell in Thurmont Saturday evening, riddling gardens and damaging crops on some farms around the town. The fury of the hailstorm centered in the town. Residents said they could scoop it up in shovels. Potato, tomato, corn, bean and other garden plants were cut off by the large hail stones. Residents said the hail fell thicker in a short time than they had ever seen it fall before.

                                     – Frederick News, June 9, 1947

June 1972, 50 Years Ago

Town Council Hears Flood Complaints Of Emmit Gardens Citizens, Will Act

Former Mayors Guy Baker, Jr. and Samuel Hays were the spokesmen when eighteen residents of Emmit Gardens appeared before the Town Council Monday night. Hays said that eighteen of the thirty-five homes in the development had been affected by Sunday night’s heavy rain and flooding. Seven homes had back up sewage, according to Hays.

The group asked the town council to clean and straighten Flat Run Creek and to assist them to petition the State Roads Adminstration to relieve the bottleneck at the bridge where Flat Run passes under Route 15.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, June 8, 1972

Mrs. Jones Retires From Town School

Mrs. Alma S. Jones retires at the conclusion of this school year from her position as the librarian of the Emmitsburg Middle School. Mrs. Jones has served Frederick County school 31 years, having begun teaching in 1942. The Emmitsburg PTA gave her a recognition party at which an inscribed silver dish was presented. The school faculty honored her at a party and presented her with the gift of a lounge chair.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, June 15, 1972

June 1997, 25 Years Ago

“Give Us Back Our Kids!”

A Citizen’s School Committee has planned an open meeting to present and make clear this town’s concern about the future of its school. This open meeting will be held at 7:00 June 12, in the multi-purpose room of the Emmitsburg Elementary School. It is expected that all of the county commissioners will attend and that there will be representatives from the Frederick County Board of Education.

According to committee moderator Mayor Carr, “Our job is to stem the eroding of our kids out of Emmitsburg into the Thurmont School District and then to bring them back to Emmitsburg.”

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, June 1997

Voter Registration Procedures Changed

At the Public Workshop held May 20th, the commissioners voted to eliminate the Town’s municipal voter registration procedures and utilize the Frederick County voter registration system.

Emmitsburg has been one of 6 municipalities in the county to have their own registration system for town elections.                                                 – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, June 1997