Posts by: ""

Deb Abraham Spalding

The former elementary school in Sabillasville has closed its final chapter as an elementary school and started a whole new book as a Frederick County Classical Charter School. On August 23, 2022, Alisha Yocum, president of the board of directors of the new Sabillasville Environmental School (SES), cut the ribbon to signify its official opening, while Frederick County Public School (FCPS) officials, school staff members, students, parents, and community members cheered. 

After the ceremony, a picnic was held, farm animals were available for petting, a kickball game was underway, children were playing, and food and fellowship were enjoyed by all. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was very special, with a vocal performance by Katie Brennan, the Pledge of Allegiance by SES students, touching remarks by Yocum, and FCPS comments by David Bass, with closing remarks by the school’s principal, Dawn Getzandanner.

Over the years, when the former elementary school was, more than once, slated to be closed by the FCPS Board of Education, the community rallied to prevent its closure. This time, the FCPS was more determined, but so was the drive of Sabillasville Elementary School parent Alisha Yocum, SES volunteers, SES parents, and the collective community.

For the past three years, a series of important decisions were made that created stepping stones to a new future for the school. Vital members of the Board of Education refused to give up on the school and partnered with the SES volunteers to create a new path within the framework of a Frederick County Charter School. 

Alisha Yocum’s children, Bryce (2nd grade) and Eli (5th grade), are third-generation students at the school.

Yocum said she is, “Relieved! It’s been three years of hard work to get here. It’s exciting to have everyone coming out to celebrate.”

Yocum has steered the project to allow the spirit of the old Sabillasville Elementary School to continue, with even more improvements and opportunities now available to all of Frederick County’s students, not just the Sabillasville feeder pattern. 

The charter school, home of the Honeybees, will open its doors to 161 excited students in August, with 23 in a grade, and a waitlist of 15-20 students per grade in grades K-6 (7th and 8th grades will be added in the second and third years of operation).

Sabillasville Elementary School was often called FCPS’s “best-kept secret,” especially by former students. Yocum claims that the environmental charter school model will be even better, with more hands-on instruction and plenty of instruction outside the classroom. There’s even a greenhouse on the property that provides a year-round opportunity for students to “dig in the dirt and get dirty,” and “apply what the student learns in math and science to what they do with their hands.”

The classical approach is a well-rounded approach to history in chronological order. For example, in kindergarten students learn about cavemen. As a student progresses through the grades, they’ll understand what happened historically to support what happens next. There’s a complete connection of what the student is learning—like learning the Renaissance in third grade and connecting art, music, agriculture, the environment, and history that is based around this period. Data has shown charter school students are well prepared to transition into high school.

The charter learning approach is well aligned with a special-needs learner. It’s important to note that any special services found in the FCPS school system are also provided here. The small classroom size and the hands-on approach are integrated, and the special-needs students are not segregated from the main classroom.

Yocum explained, “With a charter school, it’s run by a board of directors who are making the decisions for the school. There are still FCPS requirements that we have to follow.”

The board of directors is comprised of volunteers, most of whom don’t have students at the school, and even some who live out of state, but they lend professional expertise to the project. Members include President Alisha Yocum; Vice President Robert Koontz; Treasurer Jeffrey Finch; Secretary Gary Cox; and Members-At-Large Shelby Green, Nancy Keller, and Christine McCauslin.

“Thank you!” Yocum said to the community. “They [supportive community members] were here from start to finish with whatever was needed, whether it be helping with a fundraiser, donating money, or putting in time. And, when I say community, it’s not just here, we had people responding from across the county, across the state, and even out of state. It shows that what we are doing is unique, and the community stands behind all the benefits that will come out of it.” 

Yocum has been a driving force behind the charter school, but she is quick to point out that while she contributed a lot to this destination, there were individuals who were equally important, vital, and committed in its success.

You can still be a part of this community project! Donate to the school, volunteer your time, weed the gardens in the greenhouse, or help a student (some vetting required). Reach out to the SES Parent Teacher Organization by calling the school at 240-236-6000.

Alisha Yocum, SES Board of Directors President, cuts the official ribbon,  marking the opening of the new Sabillasville Environmental School (SES).

Photo Cover by Danielle Jackson

Anne Beck (top) and Van and Charlotte Mullins pet Precious the pony, owned by Shiloh Jackson, an incoming first-grade student at SES.

Photo by Danielle Jackson

Makenzie, Brody, Landon, Mark, and Kinsley Breeden are shown at the Sabillasville Environmental School Grand Opening picnic.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

These kids could be heard squealing with delight and yelling, “We love school! We love school!” as they played in the cafeteria/gym area of the school.

Joan Bittner Fry

The Beginning

The early settlers knew the value of education. After Sabillasville was laid out, a log school house was built at the western end of the village. School was maintained there for some time, the building was also used for public meetings and church services. Some of Maryland’s greatest men made addresses in that old building. After the stone schoolhouse was built, on the then-Wagaman farm, this log house was used as a residence, and the post office was kept there at two different times. 

The stone schoolhouse was used for school purposes until 1871, when a brick building was built on the eastern side of Sabillasville. It was made into a two-room building in 1885. About the middle of the 19th century, a long building was built at Deerfield and was used as a schoolhouse, for religious worship, and for other public purposes, among which was holding the elections of Hauver’s District. In 1888, a two-room building was built on the same ground at Deerfield. 

A Record Herald article tells of the 61-year history of Mr. Earl Eby (1886-1994) working at the polls in Hauver’s District, Frederick County. Mr. Eby and his wife, Mabel, owned Eby’s Grocery Store in Sabillasville. He recalled the first election he attended, around 1907. In those days, votes were hand-counted under the eyes of party watchers. When he joined the election board, elections were held in the log schoolhouse at Deerfield.

From mid-1920s

Foxville Elementary School, built in 1924, was closed in 1961. The 60 students enrolled there were transferred to Wolfsville Elementary School until a suitable facility could be provided for the Sabillasville-Foxville area.  The former building at Sabillasville, erected in 1927 with an addition in 1934, housed 140 students through the close of the 1964-1965 school year.  Because of the limitations of the basic building, many services, which had come to be regarded as necessary and desirable, were unavailable to these students.

The present Sabillasville Environmental School was the culmination of years of work and hope for residents of the area. Actually, two former elementary schools were immediately represented in the area served by the new school.  

It was with great enthusiasm, therefore, that residents of the area greeted the announcement that a new school would be built. Construction began July 20, 1964. In September 1965, the new school opened with an enrollment of 240 students.

Sabillasville People Happy With School (Excerpt from an article in Frederick News—Post by Richard Shafer, Staff Writer)

The $640,000 request was approved by County Commissioners on July 6.  Fifteen and one-tenth acres of level farmland were purchased by the school board in August and September of 1963 from Mrs. Ruth E. Lewis, Mr.  & Mrs. Ralph Miller, and Mrs. Grace A. Lantz, all near Sabillasville, for a total of $12,872. The badly needed school is slated for completion before the 1965-1966 school year begins.

In 1927, a brick school building was built on the eastern side of Sabillasville and housed 140 students through the 1964-1965 school year.

The badly needed new school was built on 15 acres of farmland and opened in September of 1965 with 240 students.

Courtesy Photos


 Mayor John Kinnaird

This morning, I am writing from London! Karen and I have been vacationing in Great Britain since July 1. We started our trip with eleven people, including one daughter, a bunch of grandchildren, and companions! The first stop was Aberdeen, where we caught the overnight ferry to Lerwick on Shetland. The crossing took 13 hours and was a little rougher than our last trip.

While on Shetland, we visited puffins, Shetland Ponies, and 5,000-year-old ruins. We then sailed to Orkney to visit a cathedral built in the 900s. After a day on Orkney, we arrived back in the North of Scotland.

We took a drive down the coast to the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse and then back to Aberdeen. I took everyone to see the house I lived in when I was born, and the place where we moved to the U.S. in 1960. Then, it was time to send eight of our group home.

We spent a peaceful night at the village of Pennan and then headed to the Isle of Skye for three days. Our granddaughter, Megan, stayed with us for the second half of our journey.

While traveling from Skye to Ripon, we stopped at the Falkirk Wheel. Then we stopped at Ripon, Yorkshire, to visit our friends Paul and Helen Smith. While in Ripon, we stayed at a wonderful little pub called The Bay Horse Country Inn.

We then went to Liverpool, where we stayed at the Titanic Hotel on the Mersey waterfront. While in Liverpool, we took the Beatles Tour and visited Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, Eleanor Rigby’s grave, the place where Paul McCartney first met John Lennon, and the Beatles’ childhood homes. I recommend taking this tour if you visit Liverpool.

We are finishing up in London visiting my Uncle Grant, Cousin Ian, Cousin Tracy, and their family. We are taking a boat on the Thames, and I hope to see the Cutty Sark.

We have had a great time, but I am looking forward to getting back home to Thurmont.

Please don’t forget the Thurmont Farmers Market on Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m.-noon. The Board of Commissioners holds our weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Please call me with any questions, comments, or concerns at 301-606-9458 or email me at

What visit to Scotland is complete without a stop at Eilean Donan Castle? After leaving the Isle of Skye, we came across the Kylerhea-Glenelg Ferry and backtracked a bit to see this outstanding fortress. They say this is the most photographed castle in Scotland; I know I took about a hundred shots myself. Eilean Donan Castle sits on an small Island (Eilean), jutting out into one of the many sea lochs on the coast.

Photo by John Kinnaird


Mayor Don Briggs

After 170 years, the Vincentian priests are bidding farewell to the St. Joseph parish. The town was only in its 67th year from being established when they first arrived. The issue is vocations to the Order.

In June 1852, Archbishop of Baltimore, Samuel Eccleston S.S., offered the Saint Joseph’s Parish to the Lazarist Fathers or Vincentians, as they then were interchangeably known. The Order, founded in Paris in 1625 by St. Vincent de Paul, accepted the offer only one year after the dedication of their American seminary in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Father Mariano Maller, C.M., was the pastor of St. Joseph, the Order’s first parish east of the Mississippi River.

In November 1852, a property across DePaul Street was purchased for a rectory. The Order brought continuity to the parish during the Civil War, deadly influenzas, world wars, the 1929 stock market crash, the Great Depression, the Korean War, the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam War, President Nixon’s resignation, 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and so much more. They shared peace with other community pastors in the formation of the Emmitsburg Council of Churches in 1966 and continuing works.

There have been bumps and bruises along the way, as there surely always are. Thank you, Fathers. Well done. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecc 3:1-8). Manning the 229-year-old parish, effective September 1, will be the IVE (Spanish) or the Institute of the Incarnate Word Order, who currently are chaplains to the Basilica and the Grotto. They soon will serve the three parishes of Northern Frederick County: St. Josephs, St. Anthony’s, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 

I will be asking the town commissioners by proclamation to honor Sr. Anne M. Higgins to be the Town Poet Laureate for a two-year term. Sister Anne, a native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been a member of the Daughters of Charity for 44 years, and teaching at the Mount for 22 years. Nine books of her poetry have been published.

Emmitsburg and Northern Frederick County’s own, Carolyn Melody and Kiernan Myles, in mid-July set off on a 12-day rugby tour of Ireland. Having honed their rugby skills with the West Carroll Marauders, they were selected after play in Chicago last year for a 22-person team. The “Eagles Impact Rugby Academy” (EIRA) sponsored the tour. Matches are scheduled in Limerick, Dublin, and Belfast. They leave July 18 and return July 30.  Congratulations and much gratitude for lots and lots of parental elbow grease.

It was a wonderful day in the park for a visit from our friends, the Frederick Rescue Mission “Summer Enrichment Campers.” After a morning tour of the Mount, hosted by the members of the Mount Rugby team, 20-some kids and counselors enjoyed pizza and play in Myers Park along with a surprise visit from Vigilant Hose firefighters with a fire truck (thank you Commissioner Davis). Campers got to get in the truck, handle a fire hose to spray out in the field, and ask lots of questions before going to the town pool for a swim. The focus of this year for the campers was kindness. That, you could feel.

We had another fantastic town-sponsored pool party, the second of the year. About 215 people showed up to enjoy a sunny and low humidity evening. I’m sorry that there were not enough hot dogs and lemonade, but there was lots of ice cream. The lemonade and hot dogs were once again donated by the Carriage House Inn. Great to have Commissioner Burns and family on hand to welcome and enjoy. The final pool party will be on Friday, August 12, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., with more free food and music.

National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 2, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., in Myers Community Park. This is an event where we can meet the firefighters and deputies who run toward danger in our community. Enjoy free food, ice cream, music, pony rides, petting zoo, and vendors.

Congratulations to Bollinger Construction Inc., celebrating its 30th year of business this August.

Congratulations to the Sabillasville Environmental School. A grand opening for the new school was held on Saturday, July 23, for the re-adaptation in new mission. 

 Thank you, Gonzaga High School, for painting the yellow restrictive curb areas along Main Street as one of the school’s summer community service projects. This is not the first time the school has pitched in up here in Emmitsburg. Go Eagles, but don’t beat St. John’s.

The town received a wonderful note from the Community Heritage Day Committee, thanking the town staff for helping bring about the annual celebration. Wait a minute, thank you also to Community Heritage Day Committee and volunteers.

It’s back to school soon. It’s been wonderful seeing summer’s lost friends again, catching up, and enjoying lots of sports. Bring it, harvest moon.

by James Rada, Jr.


For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit or call 301-600-6300.

Parking Discussions Get Heated

Parking became a hot topic during the July meeting of the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners. As town staff looks to replace old and outdated parking meters with digital ones, the topic of increasing parking ticket fines, meter fees, and permits came up. Any increase in parking ticket fines would seem to affect out-of-town residents the most. Town Planner Zach Gulden reported that 90 percent of the tickets issued were to non-town residents.

The fees have not been reviewed since 2018, but the commissioners appeared reluctant to raise any fees. In particular, Commissioner Frank Davis took issue with meters that were not calibrated to give the proper time paid for and quick ticketing when meters ran out. He said what put him over the edge was when a funeral home vehicle was ticketed during a funeral for facing the wrong way when it was something the business had been doing for years without any issue.

Mayor Don Briggs noted that town staff was only enforcing the ordinances on the books and that if the commissioners wanted it handled a different way, the commissioners needed to change the code.

For now, it appears no changes will be made until the new meters are installed and calibrated.

Crime Comments Get Corrected

Although the Emmitsburg Community Deputies reported an increase in crime across the board during their June report to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners, they revised their opinion during the July meeting. They told the commissioners they were seeing no statistical difference in most crimes in the town over previous reports. The only difference was with property crimes and that could be attributed to construction site thefts.

Municipal Charges Will Become Property Liens

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a new ordinance that will allow any charges, taxes, or assessments issued by the town against town property owners to become property liens. They will then be able to be collected in the same way town taxes are collected.

Two More Historic Waysides Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved two new waysides for the town’s historic walking trail. These exhibits will be for St. Joseph College and Emmitsburg High School. The Emmitsburg High School wayside will be placed in front of the community center, since the building once served as the high school. The St. Joseph College wayside will be placed along the sidewalk outside of the National Emergency Training Center. These two waysides bring the total number of exhibits on the walking tour to 14. This is currently all the waysides the town has planned. They will be installed and unveiled in September.


For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit or call 301-271-7313.

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners did not meet between June 28 and July 26, so we do not have any meeting briefs for August.


Burgess Heath Barnes

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool and hydrated. This is my favorite time of the year, but the heat can also be dangerous, so please take precautions.

At our July 12 meeting, I announced that a new code enforcer had started work on July 11. With this addition to town employees, we now have three full-time employees and one part-time employee who are employed with the town.

The town put out a request for bids last month to demolish the property at 605 S. Main Street where the new town hall is to be built. We received four bids and the council voted unanimously to accept one for $16,500. The demolition will begin shortly after Potomac Edison can come and remove the overhead power lines.

The council also voted to approve listing the lot at 503 S. Main Street with Realtor Melanie Cooley. The lot was listed for sale for $148,000 and within 72 hours we received an offer for the full asking price. The offer has been accepted, and we are tentatively closing the deal on July 29. This was a great profit for the town, as we paid $90,000 for it in 2018. This amount will help us to pay down the loan that was taken out to purchase the new lot.

We had a town resident attend the meeting with the proposal of raising funds for a possible skate park like the one that Thurmont built. The council and I were very open to hearing more on this idea. We invited them to attend the August town meeting with their proposal. More details to come in next month’s column if this project will move forward. Many people have asked for the town to clean up and mow the ice-skating pond to prepare it for winter. The pond has been mowed and cleaned up and will be maintained so that when winter arrives the skating pond will be able to be used if we have cold enough days for it to freeze.

Mark your calendars for October 15 and 16, as Woodsboro Days will once again be a two-day festival, instead of just the one day as had been for the last several decades. I have lined up three bands for the festival on Sunday the 16th at the stage in the park, along with several vendors and food trucks that will be set up there also. Last year’s music festival in the park was well attended and successful, and we are looking forward to this year’s event. If you are a vendor or operate a food truck and are interested in attending, please reach out to me.

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 or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at 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 14 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, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

BY Terry Pryor

Writer, Poet, Life Coach, and Student of the Mind

Note: This is the sixth 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 #6: “D” Day

This month, every day is “D” day: D for determination; D for daredevil; D for dazzle, desire, and deliriously optimistic; D for dialing; D for drumming up business!

Today, you get on the phone. This activity is called networking and should be viewed as something akin to a political campaign. Whether you’re seeking a new job, selling a business venture, or scoring new friends, you need to be revved up for success.

Ever seen a grumpy, tired politician out stomping the trail or one with a defeatist attitude? Nope. They are pumped and ready for action. Politicians are in it to win it and project that winning attitude all the time. They hit the ground running, flash those charismatic smiles, shake those hands while looking people squarely in the eye, and hug those babies as if they were their own. They have a game plan and they are working it.

This day is for making everyone on your list aware that you are making changes; that the lifestyle you held previously is no longer a challenge, and you are seeking to use skills you have not previously been able to use to your full potential or you need a referral for someone.

While you may be tempted to use email to get in touch with your contact list, I strongly urge you not to. First, you want to have your contacts hear that wonderfully strong and powerful voice and head off at the pass any notion that you may be depressed or full of complaints.

Second, regardless of the wonderful technology and ease of email communication, email communiqués run the risk of being misinterpreted or dumped into the spam folder. Yours is too important a message to take any chances of misinterpretation or getting lost on its way to your contact. You may not be selling anything in your networking. You may just be supporting your friends and, in doing so, becoming a better human for yourself.

Third, the spontaneity of a phone call has a better chance of receiving the spontaneity of a positive response, particularly with those people with whom you are not in constant communication. You really want the surprise factor on your side.

Often, what we refer to as gut feelings, hunches, or messages from the Universe are prompted by a spontaneous remark or action. During a spontaneous phone conversation, there’s little time for the mind to interfere by laying down its rules and structures—something the mind loves to do.

You’re ON!

Today, you are going to use that wonderful personality of yours to your advantage. In part, your personality is how others perceive you. Your personality is something you develop over time. That makes it somewhat harder to change spontaneously. Just like we do not have to tell our hearts to beat, we do not have to get up each day and tell ourselves to have a personality. It’s always there ready and waiting for us to use in our interaction with others.

You are definitely going to be interacting today. Since we each have our unique way of communicating our personality, I am hesitant to write your phone script for you. You do need one, however, so I have provided some guidelines to go along with your original way of delivering them. Your script should contain: (1) a cheery hello and introduction; (2) asking the person you’ve called if it’s a good time to talk; (3) the reason for calling—networking for a job, looking for a new place to live, need a referral for something, or checking in on a friend; (4) a request to keep his or her eyes and ears open for you or your promise of the same for the person you’ve called; (5) your contact information; (6) a request for the person’s contact information if you are missing something—don’t forget email address; (7) a request for permission to email if you need to do so; (8) a sincere thank you.

Now, how do you say, “I’m out of a job, can you help?” or “I have an idea for a business. Can I bounce it off you?” or “I’ve been thinking about you and wanted to reach out to see how you’re doing.”

Consider lines something like this: “I am exploring new frontiers in finding a new job.”; “I have much more to offer than my last job allowed, and it’s liberating to be free to look;” “I now have the opportunity to find a job that is more of a match for my skill set;” “I’ve been thinking about you.”

Whatever you decide to use, make sure that it empowers you and supports your positive state of mind.

This day is going to be wildly productive and you are about to be positively amazing! Think of all the networking you will be initiating today. The ball will be rolling after that first call and that life change for you will be closer than ever.

Power Affirmations to Your Perfect Life

Affirmations are great. They remind us of what we want and what we don’t want. Below are some to use or modify to your purpose.

1. The past is over. I have no control over what used to be. I am free to create a new future and a new reality—one that brings me joy, prosperity, and happiness. I am in charge. I move forward with confidence and trust in my abilities. I am a powerful, mighty oak.

2. Today, I free myself from fear. I dismiss anything that would hold me back from my birthright of happiness, abundance, and prosperity. I am a perfect and magnificent being capable of astounding things.

3. Today, I allow nothing to concern me. I am free to create. My future is positively glorious, and I relax in the knowledge that all is well in my world. I say, “Get out of here” to all negative thoughts and feelings. No person or thing has any power over me. I am fearless.

4. My future is positively glorious! All is well in my world, and joyful people and experiences surround me. My perfect future is already moving toward me. My perfect future contains all that I love to do.

5. My mind is a rich and fertile garden. I now plant incredible ideas to help me create the perfect life for myself. I am smart, savvy, and possess the skills others seek. I am open to receiving new avenues of income.

6. I am deserving of all that is good and prosperous. 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.

7. I am creating brand new habits. These habits replace any negative or fear-filled thought patterns that I have hung onto. I am now a magnet for all things good and empowering.

8. Each moment presents another opportunity for me to change. Today, I am open to wonderful, new, and exciting opportunities. I see myself in my new job, successful and thriving. I move beyond past limitations in thought and action.

James Rada, Jr.

The Seton Center has been part of Northern Frederick County since 1969. Over those 53 years it has helped thousands of people, yet most people in the area don’t realize what the center does for the community.

“Most people think of the Seton Center as a store,” said Vickie Grinder, a Seton Center board member. “Some people still think of it as a day care center.”

However, the center offers a variety of services, such as financial assistance with rent, a GED program, dental care, and referrals to other programs.

“We’re here to help you because that’s part of what we do,” said Sister Martha Beaudoin, the Seton Center Director.

The staff and volunteers at the center have recently undertaken an effort to let the communities in Northern Frederick County know about the services available and that the center is much more than just a store. They have been speaking to groups and organizations throughout the area to find those people who are living at or below the poverty level and need help.

About half of the center’s clients come from Emmitsburg, while 45 percent are from Thurmont, and the remaining 5 percent come from other north county communities.

The largest need recently has been for housing. “We get a lot of requests for help with rent and housing,” Beaudoin said. “It’s hard to find anyone who will rent at a reasonable rate.”

Some of the center’s programs include:

•  Build Your Resources: Monthly resource workshops for anyone, regardless of income level.

•  Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World: A small-group program lasting 16-20 weeks to help people impacted by poverty to build their resources.

•  Staying Ahead Program: For Getting Ahead graduates to continue meeting monthly and building on what they learned.

•  DePaul Dental Program: Eligible clients can get reduced-cost dental care from area dentists and oral surgeons.

•  Holiday Helping Hands: The Seton Center helps about 250 families each year celebrate the holidays by providing gift cards to local grocery stores and helping the families plan their meals. The center also distributes toy and gift cards to children and teens.

•  Seton Center Family Store: Find gently used items at bargain prices and help support the Seton Center programs.

•  Workforce Development: A program to help match job seekers learn the skills needed to find and keep a job.

The center started a GED program in July that will run twice a week until the attendees take their GED test. They also offer COVID tests through the Frederick County Health Department.

Each year, the center helps hundreds of families through its programs; however, it wants to do more, which is why it has focused on outreach this year. Beyond the direct programs the center offers, the Seton Center can also make referrals to many other programs.

“We can’t apply for a person, but we can help,” Beaudoin said. “A lot of people don’t know they are eligible for certain programs.”

The center’s goal is to do more for the community than simply provide financial assistance and to do it for more people.

“We are trying to find those in need who don’t know the programs are there,” said Grinder.

For more information, visit the Seton Center’s website at

Richard D. L. Fulton

A new $4 million healthcare facility being sited on Old Emmitsburg Road is the result of a partnership established between Frederick Health and Mount St. Mary’s University. The facility is expected to open in mid-August.

Donald Schilling, vice president of Ambulatory Services, Frederick Health, said the new facility will provide primary care offices, urgent care offices, laboratory services, imaging (x-ray) services, as well as physical therapy and sports rehabilitation. “It will be staffed by a talented team of nearly 25 Frederick Health providers, nurses, and specialists, who are experts in their respective fields,” he stated.

Frederick Health and Mount staff held a ground-breaking ceremony on October 15, 2021, marking the beginning of the construction of the joint project. The facility is sited on what had been a vacant lot located across from the Mount’s Public Safety office and was donated to Frederick Health by the university to use as the location for the new facility.

The healthcare center has been described as a “cutting edge” medical center, offering “award-winning local care to residents of the area, staff, and students,” according to the Mount’s communications staff.

This facility, to be operated by Frederick Health, was to have opened its doors in June but will open in mid-August instead. Vice President Schilling said the delay was due to issues with the national supply chain, adding, “While we were able to successfully navigate through these challenges, it did result in our opening being temporarily pushed back.”

“The good news,” Schilling said, “is that this facility will be open and ready to treat patients… just in time for the Mount’s upcoming academic school year.”

Mount St. Mary’s first entered into a “strategic healthcare partnership” with Frederick Health in 2018, paving the way for the expansion and improvement of health and wellness services for students and student-athletes.  Mount President Timothy Trainor said, “We have been very pleased with our partnership, which became even stronger during the pandemic and was a major factor in our ability to have students living and learning on campus.”

Trainor further stated, “As part of our commitment to our students’ and the local community’s health and well-being, the partnership has evolved to further improve services to our students and help bring needed healthcare services to Northern Frederick County through this healthcare facility.”

Focusing on prevention, treatment, and the overall wellness of the community, the facility will provide a wide range of healthcare services. The development and construction of this facility will continue to improve access to quality award-winning care in the northern area of Frederick County, Mount communications staff stated in an October 6, 2021, press release issued in conjunction with the October groundbreaking.

Thomas Kleinhanzl, president and chief executive officer of Frederick Health, previously stated, “The construction of the new Emmitsburg facility is yet another way of increasing access to the award-winning care provided by Frederick Health. These kinds of improvements help our neighbors and community grow healthier together.”

“Frederick Health is thrilled to be able to bring our award-winning services to the northern part of Frederick County. This facility is part of our ongoing commitment to increase access to healthcare services to all residents,”  Vice President Schilling told The Catoctin Banner.

Schilling stated that Frederick Health provides “comprehensive healthcare services to the residents of Frederick County,” noting that 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 free-standing 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,” Schilling added.

The new healthcare center will be the 23rd facility within Frederick Health’s expanding network.

A new $4 million healthcare facility on Old Emmitsburg Road is nearing completion, with an expected opening date of mid-August.

Photos by Richard D. L. Fulton

Blair Garrett

Keymar Outdoors, Frederick County’s newest hunting, fishing, and outdoor supply specialty shop, has officially opened its doors.

Outdoorsmen in the Northern Frederick County area can rejoice now that they have a new hub in Keymar, housing everything from fishing rods to deer feed, and much, much more.

Those of us who have stopped by Keymar Outdoors’ former location, Craig’s Mower and Marine, will see a familiar face among the walls of boating supplies and lawn care accessories.

Craig Eichelberger, owner and operator of Keymar Outdoors, has changed things around a bit. Eichelberger’s new shop has a new look and offers plenty of equipment to keep your mowers running and the fish biting. He now sells ammo and gun accessories, too, and plans to expand his hunting section even further.

“I applied for my Federal Firearms License (FFL) back in March, so I’m waiting on that to come through now,” Eichelberger said. “Once that comes through, we’ll be adding guns and stuff into the mix.”

While the store does offer much of the gear that hunters need, Eichelberger believes adding the guns to the store will take his business to the next level.

“Right now, we do everything hunting except for the guns,” he said. “In this area, there are a lot of hunters and a lot of farmers, so I think once the FFL comes in, it’ll be a really good thing once we get everything up and running.”

Despite the shop just opening its doors back in April, Eichelberger and company have been building this business for a long, long time.

“I originally started just doing mower repair. I worked part-time just down the road around 1990, and I decided to go into it full-time in ‘92,” Eichelberger said.

An unlikely call led to an opportunity that allowed his business to expand, and he ran with it. 

“Fort Ritchie got me into the boating side,” he said. “They called me when they were open as a military base, and they asked if I’d be interested in servicing some of their equipment.”

As he worked on some of their outdoor motors, locals began to take notice, and a new branch of his business was born.

“People would come in and see we had a boat motor sitting there, and they’d ask if we’d work on those,” Eichelberger said. “We really didn’t, but we’d take a look at it, and then we added that in for quite a few years.”

Keymar Outdoors no longer does the boating repairs it did at its previous location, but Eichelberger and his team have still got you covered on your boating needs. 

“We added hunting, fishing, and crabbing supplies, and that’s been a real hit, but we still sell all the boating parts and the accessories.”

While he now has a well-rounded outdoors store, he may be best known for his help fixing up faulty mowers. There’s a level of dependability leaving your engine repairs to a technician with the amount of experience that Eichelberger has.

Eichelberger has been fixing things for the better part of three decades. Before he got his start in his own business, he worked as a mechanic for a small plumbing company in Germantown, repairing generators and small engines. It was the first sign of foreshadowing for a business opportunity from which he would eventually be able to create a career.

Fortunately, Eichelberger’s willingness to adapt to his consumers’ needs has historically opened up avenues for business that have kept him successfully in this line of work for 30 years.

“I still have a lot of my normal customers, but we’ve picked up a lot of new people here, too, even if it’s just to stop by and see what we have in stock.”

If you’re someone who likes to spend your time out on the water or out in the woods, or needs lawn or garden equipment, stop by Keymar Outdoors and they just might have exactly what you’re looking for.

Keymar Outdoors is located at 1067B Francis Scott Key Hwy in Keymar. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; and closed on Sundays. Call 301-271-2196 or view the advertisement on page 26 for more information.

Owner Craig Eichelberger mans the front of the store, offering patrons friendly advice on outdoor supplies.

Photo by Blair Garrett

The following are the status of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg:

•  Brookfield cul-de-sac — The sketch plan is submitted, and the town is waiting for development plans for 10 single-family dwellings.

•  Christ’s Community Church — A concept plan has been submitted to build a 12,500 sq. ft. church with 98 parking spaces on Creamery Road near Quality Tire.

•  Emmit Ridge 2 — The property has sold to an investor. RJD Development and Ryan Homes are working with the investor to purchase it. Wetlands have been found that compromise eight of the proposed lots and part of the proposed Irishtown Drive. Wetland mitigation will need to be approved by the State of Maryland. Forty-eight lots have been proposed.

•  Federal Stone — The groundbreaking has been scheduled for 2023.

•  Frailey Farm — The property is for sale. The Emmitsburg town planner met with a potential developer in May.

•  Mason Dixon Logistics Park (Trout Property) — The concept plan has been submitted to staff for a commercial/industrial park. 

•  MDOT/SHA Park & Ride — The design is 15 percent complete. The project is on hold due to state budget cuts resulting from COVID-19. Staff is working with legislators to push the project forward. 

•  Ripleigh’s Creamery — Owners are working on a Fred. Co. building permit.

•  Rutter’s — The project is under active construction. It is expected to be completed later this summer.

•  Village Liquors & Plaza Inn — The owners are working with Frederick County on erosion and sediment control and stormwater management permits. Also, they are working on conditions for approval on the town site and improvement plans.

•  Warthen’s Court 5-unit townhomes — A sketch plan has been submitted. The developer is preparing the required engineered plans for the Emmitsburg Planning Commission submittal.

Cheryl Lenhart

Thurmont Grange #409 hosted its First Responders Appreciation Night at the Thurmont Town Park on June 27. After an invocation given by Nancy Wine, all members and guests in attendance enjoyed a covered-dish picnic dinner.

Lecturer Niki Eyler then turned the program over to Grange members who introduced our First Responders.

Graceham VFC No. 18: Jane Savage introduced recipient of Graceham VFC No. 18 recognition award, Julie Fogle. Julie was nominated by Fire Chief Louis Powell, Jr., who in his comments stated, “It is with the utmost honor that I nominate FF/EMT Fogle to be recognized by the Thurmont Grange #409.” Chief Powell stated that FF/EMT Fogle’s hard work and dedication earned Graceham VFC No. 18 the Clint Hughes Departmental Fire Prevention Award at this year’s Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (“FCVFRA”) Awards Ceremony, which was held on April 18 at Walkersville VFC #11. FF/EMT Fogle is in charge of Graceham’s Facebook page, where she posts monthly fire prevention and life safety messages. FF/EMT Fogle previously held the positions of secretary and lieutenant and currently serves on the board of directors and is assistant secretary. She is also the chairperson for Graceham’s Fire Prevention Committee and Banquet Committee. It was her hard work that allowed Graceham to have a great banquet this past year. FF/EMT Fogle meets and exceeds the standards set forth by the FCVFRA to be a Chief officer.

Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department: Nancy Wine introduced recipient of Lewistown’s recognition award, Bethany Wachter. Bethany was nominated by Wayne P. Wachter, Jr.  and was nominated as she was the top responder for EMS calls during the entire COVID-19 pandemic.  This year, she will have 25 years of service to the community. Bethany helps with dinners, bingos, yard sales, and all other functions the Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department has during the year.  She lives in Mountaindale with her husband and two daughters.

Thurmont Community Ambulance Service: Nancy Wine introduced recipient of Thurmont Community Ambulance Service recognition award, Jennifer Frushour. Jennifer was nominated by Judith White of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service. Jennifer was recognized for her service to the department and the community as a whole. She has been involved with volunteer fire and rescue service since she was a youngster and helped her dad with activities at the fire department. Jen became involved with the ambulance company as well; she completed her Emergency Medical Technician training and went on through national registry.  She has also trained in Emergency Vehicle Operator, instructor training, hazardous materials operations training, and EMS officer program.  She has served as lieutenant and now is the assistant chief for Thurmont Ambulance. She has countless hours of standby and has been recognized by the department as a top responder for multiple years. Jen is also a mentor to new members and EMT students and continues to assist with many activities. She is employed as a dispatcher for the 911 Center in Frederick.

Vigilant Hose Company: Jim Barto introduced recipient of Vigilant Hose Company’s honoree, Matthew Boyd.  Matt was nominated by Fire Chief Chad M. Umbel. In his remarks, Fire Chief Umbel stated that it was his honor to nominate Matthew Boyd, who has been a member of Vigilant Hose Company for 10 years and was active as a junior firefighter before obtaining operational status.  Matt’s remarkable ability to work with people and effectively organize tasks and priorities have made him a model for others to emulate and has earned him the respect of his peers.  Along the way, he has obtained many certifications and awards for exceptional service. At the Vigilant Hose Company, there is no better role model than someone who is humble and modest, who constantly strives to improve his knowledge and skill set toward the betterment of the organization; someone with a vision who is also a good listener, has a sense of humor, and can be decisive when necessary; a person of integrity, always willing to help someone else succeed. Matt has spent many hours at the station and the activities complex, utilizing his mechanical capabilities, working on and fixing whatever needs done.  Matt has worked his way up through the ranks and currently holds the position of Captain.  

Thurmont Police Department: Jim Barto introduced recipient of Thurmont Police Department’s honoree, Sgt. Dave Armstrong.  Sgt. Armstrong was nominated by Lt. P.A. Droneburg, deputy chief of police for the Thurmont Police Department. In his remarks, Lt. Droneburg stated that Sgt. Armstrong joined the Thurmont Police Department in 2012 after retiring from the Frederick Police Department. He has proven to be an asset to the department since the day he began. After serving in patrol and as a first line supervisor, Sgt. Armstrong was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2018. His service has been exemplary. He has responded to numerous call-outs for death investigations and other significant criminal investigations. His work ethic has also been outstanding.  In January 2021, Sgt. Armstrong received a compliment from a citizen (excerpt): “The sergeant then took it upon himself to look for my daughter as a missing person (as she had fled the scene), and once he found her, he took her to the hospital. I did not expect the professionalism and great concern for everyone’s safety that the officer provided.”  Sgt. Armstrong assumed the role as the agency’s training coordinator after being promoted and has developed a timeline for all mandated training.  During this past year, he attended numerous training sessions to improve his knowledge and to better serve the agency. In May 2021, Sgt. Armstrong completed a De-escalation Training Course, so he could be an instructor for the agency. In July 2021, Sgt. Armstrong received a Letter of Acknowledgement from Chief Eyler for his outstanding performance in handling a suspicious death investigation. Also during July 2021, Sgt. Armstrong nominated a citizen for a Certificate of Appreciation for their assistance with a young female found walking along a roadway. This nomination enhanced community involvement and recognition. During this past year, Sgt. Armstrong became an advocate for the skateboarding youth in town and was instrumental in assisting them with their presentation to the board of commissioners, which led to the construction of the Thurmont Skatepark. In October 2021, Sgt. Armstrong worked with the agency’s administrative coordinator to prepare for a significant CJIS Audit.  Their combined effort provided the agency with one of the best audit evaluations ever received. Sgt. Armstrong also provides daily supervisory leadership for the officers. His service to the Thurmont Police Department projects a professional image to the community with efficient and quality policy service. 

Guardian Hose Company: Niki Eyler introduced Brian Donavon, the representative for the Guardian Hose Company. In the company’s remarks, Chief Charlie Brown and President Wayne Stackhouse stated as follows: “We have decided not to pick only one person from the Guardian Hose Company to be honored, but to honor everyone that is a first responder/member in our organization. It is very hard to pick one person over another when everyone in our organization has an input to our success. There are so many people within our organization that provide a very meaningful part of the day-to-day operations, from administrative duties to responding to emergency calls. Without either one of these individuals, we could not function as a whole and be there when residents of Thurmont need us. We want to thank the Grange for thinking about our family at GHC and our mission to do our best to help the citizens of Thurmont remain safe. We hope that we can continue to assist residences in Thurmont for a long time to come.”

Chief Brown also wished to thank all of the people who came out the last week of June and supported the Guardian Hose Company during the carnival. It was a very successful week with lots of support for the town and the residents. He then went on to say that the “Guardian Hose Company has operational members who run the emergency calls, we have social members and also administrative members, all who play a special role in the organization. This past year and a half, the organization received career staff from the county. We have three people 24 hours a day to get the first piece of apparatus out the door.  The career staff and the volunteers work hand-in-hand to respond to emergency calls. With the changing world and everyone’s schedule being more involved with family priorities and work obligations, it’s hard to make sure someone is around to staff the apparatus 24 hours, seven days a week. The operational members responded to over 700 calls last year. This year, I think we are going to top that. Our area is currently in the neighborhood of 47.2 square miles of first-due area. Now, we also respond out past the state lines and county lines. We respond to Pennsylvania. We assist other counties: Franklin County and Adams County, Pennsylvania; Carroll County and Washington County, Maryland, and a few weeks ago, we were specially requested to a commercial building fire in Jefferson County, West Virginia, with our air unit. We have over 50 operational volunteers and are always looking for more to help to fill the openings. The Guardian Hose Company was organized in 1887 and provides fire and rescue services to an approximate 84 square miles, mostly all rural area. In that 84 square miles lies the Catoctin Mountain National Park, the Cunningham Falls State Park, and William Houck Area, within which the company provides service as well.”

Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company: Niki Eyler then introduced honoree for Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, Alan Brauer, Sr.  Alan was nominated by Linda Northrup, the Awards Committee chairperson. Alan joined the fire company in July of 1963. He is also a member of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company and the Frederick County Hazardous Incident Response Team.  He has been active with the fire service and instrumental in company training since joining. He has also held many offices and served on many committees throughout his 58 years, serving as secretary for 14 years, assistant secretary for 4 years, vice president for 2 years, and captain of the Rocky Ridge Fire Police for 11 years. He has served as captain of the fire prevention committee for 13 years, chairperson of LOSAP for the company for 18 years, and Fund Drive Committee for 7 years. He also served as the meat raffle chairperson in 2018-2019 and the drive-through ham sandwich sales in 2021.

Alan also helps with the fire company’s Santa detail two weeks before Christmas, and he helps to patrol the traffic and keep personnel safe. He provides fire police services for any need in Frederick County, especially in the northern part of the county. He is a member of the Frederick County Fire Police Association, and has served as secretary for the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Association and the Executive Committee, and was chairman of the Frederick County Fire Prevention Committee. 

At the annual Rocky Ridge Carnival for the past 47 years, Alan has been in the same stand. It just has had a few name changes over the years, from nickel pitch to glass pitch and now dime pitch. Alan has received many awards, including 1988 Lifetime honor member, and in 2018, the Charles Mumma “Firefighter of the Year Award.” He has also received the Millard “Mick” Mastrino Instructor/Safety Award at the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Association Awards Ceremony in 2005, and in 2007, received the State Instructor of the Year Award. He also has participated in several fun activities with the fire service such as the Hook Up Contest in 1971, chairman of the Halloween party, and has participated in a pie-eating contest at the Summers Farm. 

He provides Hazmat Refresher and CPR Refresher courses for the local volunteer fire companies. He also provides safety consulting services. He does CPR, OSHA, MOSHS training and other safety training all over the United States.  He has developed and implemented compliance training for the biotech, general, and construction industries across the country. He has extensive knowledge in Federal regulations, including OSHA, DOT, and EPA. He has had many years of experience in the fire service, including specialized knowledge in fire prevention, life safety, and hazardous materials.

Alan is also very involved with agriculture and is an active member of the Farm Bureau and the Grange, where he has held several offices in the local, county, and state.

When Alan spoke at the Rocky Ridge Fire Company banquet in January of 2014, he recapped his 50 years in the fire service. His ending comment was “The concept of fighting a fire has not changed from 50 years ago, we just have bigger and more expensive equipment and a lot more training.”

The members of the Thurmont Grange sincerely congratulate all of the award recipients and thank them for their service to the community and the county.


Pictured from left are Julie Fogle (Graceham VFC #18), Niki Eyler (Thurmont Grange Lecturer), Bethany Wachter (Lewistown VFC), Brian Donovan (Guardian Hose), Alan Brauer, Sr. (Rocky Ridge VFC), and Sgt. Dave Armstrong (Thurmont Police Dept). Not pictured: Jennifer Frushour (Thurmont Ambulance) and Matt Boyd (Vigilant Hose).

Courtesy Photo

James Rada, Jr.

Camp Airy’s historic dining room catches fire on June 29.

Photo by Trevor James

The day after the Camp Airy (a Jewish summer overnight camp for boys) dining hall in Thurmont burned at the end of June, the staff and campers at Camp Airy showed their resilience by still hosting a carnival for the campers and the girls from Airy’s sister camp, Camp Louise.

“The kids had a blast, and it allowed them to feel everything was normal,” said Marty Rochlin, co-executive director for Camp Airy and Camp Louise.

The fire caused $4 million in damage to the hall, kitchen, storage, and offices in the building. No one was injured, but the remnants of the building have been demolished and a new building will be constructed. More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze for hours. The Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services said in a news release that the cause is under investigation, but it was not believed to be “intentional or suspicious factors,” according to the release.

“It’s not the sort of summer experience either we or the kids expected, but they are doing fine,” Rochlin said. “It was an unprecedented and scary day. We had to make sure the kids were taken care of and let the worried parents know they were fine.”

At any given time during the season, the camp has around 340 to 400 boys, plus a couple hundred staff members.

Following the fire, a tent dining hall, serviced by a mobile kitchen, has been established. Rochlin said that he expects a fine-tuned version of this will be used next camping season as well, with the new hall ready for use in 2024.

In the days following, area restaurants and grocery stores provided meals and food to the camp, while donations poured in from alumni and the community. Some of the businesses lending a hand were Food Lion, Weis, Rocky’s Pizza, Mountain Gate Restaurant, and Gateway Farm Market.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington allocated $25,000 in emergency funds to the camp, according to a news release.

“Jewish summer camp is an incomparable experience,” Gil Preuss, the Federation’s CEO said in the release. “Many children from our Greater Washington community attend Camp Airy, and we are grateful to Camp Airy’s professional team for their dedication to ensuring that, in spite of this difficult situation, their campers will continue to have a wonderful summer.”

Rochlin said the response has been wonderful. “We are lucky to have such great alumni and a supportive community.”

Richard D. L. Fulton

Two youth camps located in Frederick and Washington counties are preparing to celebrate for their 100-year anniversaries.

Camp Louise was established in 1922 and is located at 24959 Pen Mar Road in Cascade. Camp Airy was established in 1924 and is located at 14938 Old Camp Airy Road near Thurmont. Both will be celebrating their 100th anniversaries in 2023. 

Organizers were elected to hold one celebration in 2023 to commemorate the founding of both the 1922 and 1924 camps instead of holding separate celebrations.

Anniversary events to be held in 2023 include a Centennial Golf Tournament at the Worthington Manor Golf Club, 8329 Fingerboard Road, Urbana (to be held on May 19), and a Centennial Gala at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore (to be held on October 14). Fees to attend the events to be announced. Sponsorship slots are available for both events.

Other celebratory events to be held will be for (then) current staff and campers only and will include a Summer 2022 100th Birthday Party at Camp Louise and a Summer 2024 100th Birthday Party at Camp Airy.

Camp Louise was founded by Baltimore philanthropists, Aaron and Lillie Straus to provide a respite for young Jewish female immigrants,  after the couple having observed the “cramped, sweaty factories and offices” many of the immigrants were working in, according to the camp website. 

The Straus couple purchased the Cascade Melvue Hotel—subsequently dubbed the Camp Louise White House—which formed the nucleus of Camp Louise. Camp Louise quickly became “a mountain retreat where young women would come each summer for an opportunity to rest, relax, celebrate being Jewish, and learn from inspiring women role models.”

The camp website noted that the young women were able to enjoy “the freedom to try new things without judgment from their male peers” and that this, “combined with the camp’s encouraging sense of Jewish community, made it easy for girls to grow into excellent, confident community leaders.”

Due to the immediate success of the camp for young Jewish females, in 1924 the Straus couple established a second camp, Camp Airy, for young Jewish males. 

Camp Airy was recently in the news for less-historic purposes than its impending 100-year anniversary when the camp dining hall was destroyed in a fire on June 29.  The fire rendered the hall a total loss. More than 100 firefighters from Maryland and Pennsylvania responded to the blaze, isolating the fire to the dining hall.

It took firefighters approximately three hours to bring the fire under control, according to the Frederick County Division of Fire/Rescue Services. There were no civilian injuries reported, as the camp population was evacuated to a safer location within the camp. There were also no reported injuries to emergency responders.  Firefighters continued to extinguish re-ignited hot spots among the building’s debris throughout the day into the next.

Lauren Perlin, Camps Airy and Louise co-executive director and director of development, told The Catoctin Banner that the loss was established at around $4.4 million, and that the structure will be replaced, although the timeframe for which that would occur has yet to be determined.

Loss of the Camp Airy dining hall aside, Camp management noted, previous to the fire, “To this day, Camps Airy and Louise are the only ‘brother-sister’ Jewish overnight camps in the country, and they still exist as a place for Jewish children from any economic background to get a refuge each summer.”  The camp is not restricted to solely Jewish attendees.

“We know that Lillie and Aaron would be amazed at what their camps have become and proud of the legacy we still celebrate. That is why we are so excited to kick off the camps’ 100th anniversary,” management stated.

To volunteer to help with the approaching 100th anniversary celebration or serve as an event sponsor, email the Camp Louise-Camp Airy organization, at For additional information on the 100th Anniversary celebration, visit the Camp Louise-Camp Airy organization website at

To donate money toward the replacement of the lost dining hall at Camp Airy, go to the Camp Louise-Camp Airy organization donation page at

Cascade Melvue Hotel as it appeared in the early 20th century before it was purchased by Aaron and Lillie Straus and made part of Camp Louise.

Date: 1900/1906; Source: Library of Congress

The old Cascade Melvue Hotel as it appears today, where it continues to serve as the primary building serving Camp Louise.

Source: Courtesy of Camps Airy & Louise, Baltimore

One of the greatest supporters of the annual baked goods auctions at area community shows, Mearl McCleaf of Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, passed away in October 2021. For many years, Mearl McCleaf purchased Champion and Reserve Champion cakes and baked goods at Community Shows in Frederick County. 

At this year’s Frederick County Community Show’s Baked Goods Auctions in September and October, every Youth Department’s Champion Cake will benefit its community show’s area youth with the proceeds equally allocated to these three funds: FFA Chapter’s National FFA Convention Trip, and their Grange & FFA Alumni & Supporters Scholarships.

Rodman Myers, president of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, recently presented a plaque in honor and memory of Mearl McCleaf to his wife, Dolores, and sons (left to right) Craig, Dean, and Keith, of Mountain Gate Family Restaurant in Thurmont.

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

As a member (since 1958) and volunteer fireman for the Guradian Hose Company (GHC), Dick Willhide held many positions within the GHC.

Dick has been ill for the past year, and wished he could ride in the squad truck one last time (not possible because of his health and age), especially since the squad truck had been in an accident last year. 

His son, Greg Willhide, and daughter-in-law, Sherry, said, “Why can’t you?” and made arrangements to make it happen.

Dick rode with Steve Yingling in the Guardian Hose Company’s Fireman’s Parade in June (pictured below). Dick always loved to watch the parade, but this made it so much better to have his wish come true.

Sherry said, “He was not only throwing candy, he had a lollipop in his mouth, too!”

Photo by Sherry Willhide

Brenda Wastler, the late George Wireman’s granddaughter, received a postcard in the mail from a lady named Jean Roeth, of  Delaware. Jean tracked Brenda down to let her know that she had found an original, signed copy of George Wireman’s Gateway to the Mountains book at their church’s flea market a few years ago, while cleaning out.

Jean and her sister decided to try to find George’s family. They reached out in December after finding Brenda on Google.

Brenda said, “We finally met in May when I went to Rehoboth for a retreat. It was really a miracle they found me.”

“There are only so many copies of signed Gateway to the Mountains books that Pap made,” Brenda explained, “We’re trying to get a signed copy for every member of our family. This was a real gift that we can keep in the family.”

Shortly after this meeting, Brenda had a severe case of COVID that resulted in central vision loss. She is still seeking treatment and a path to healing. If you know of someone who has been through this, please reach out to The Catoctin Banner.

Brenda Wastler (center) is shown with Jean Roeth and Nancy Hlywiak from St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Othodox Church in Delaware.

Courtesy Photo


In July, Harold “Cap” and Peggy Long (pictured left and right above) were inducted into the Maryland Dairy Shrine. Their daughter, Becky Long Cheney had the honor of presenting a slideshow highlighting their dedication to the dairy industry and the success of the Long View Farm Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, and Holstein cattle. Forty special friends, grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces, great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews attended the special evening honoring the Longs. Granddaughters Rianna and Sheridan Chaney presented a thank you on their Pap and Grandma’s behalf.

Cap and Peggy Long established Long View Farm in 1956 near Thurmont milking Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, and Holstein cattle. Cap and Peggy, their six children, and many grandchildren have been involved extensively in breeding Brown Swiss as well as leadership in state and national programs. Although the herd dispersed in 1993, the Longs’ impacted the breed lines of today through offspring that trace back to Long View genetics.

They have bred and developed numerous All-Americans and All-American nominations; won a combined 14 Maryland State Fair Brown Swiss Premier Breeder and Exhibitor banners; and had Long View animals selected as junior, senior, and grand champion and reserve at more than 20 state shows and 12 national shows. Their greatest success was breeding a legend of the breed, Long View Jade’s Raisin. Raisin is one of five of the most decorated national grand champions in the breed, being named grand or reserve at the Eastern National Show, Central National Show, and the Southeastern National Show.

Other prominent Long View animals included Long View Jubilation Isabel, (Topped National Brown Swiss Sale for $10,000 in 1982); Long View Jetway Oprah (named grand champion at 2000 World Dairy Expo); and Long View Chall Rosemary (named junior champion at both the Eastern National and Central National Shows as a winter calf in 1993). That same year Long View Farm exhibited the winning WDE junior best three females. The Longs also had some state Total Performance Winners as well as two grand champion females at the Eastern National Junior Show and several state milk production winners.

Cap and Peggy also developed one of the breed’s most prominent bulls, Bridge View Jubilation, and his semen was sold all over the world by Sire Power and World Wide Sires. The Longs also had much success with several of their Ayrshire cattle with several county and state champions. Long View Fickle’s Whisper was the reserve Jr. All-American Jr. Yearling and 2-year-old. Their most prominent Holstein was Long View Tong Suzy, pictured around the globe to promote the Tong bull.

Cap helped with the Mid-Atlantic Brown Swiss Calf sale for 30 years as well as managing the Great Frederick Fair milking parlor for 10 years. Peggy is most known for her dedication as a 4-H Club leader for 50-plus years and for coordinating many Brown Swiss food stands. They are proud that some of their children and grandchildren continue working in agriculture and promoting the Big Brown Cow.

For the full list of previous inductees, please check out

Courtesy Photo

Thurmont local, Melissa McKenney (pictured right), has been selected to be part of a team of 20 individuals from all over the United States to serve on the Cuddy Family Foundation for Veterans’ team to complete the 29029 Everesting Challenge in Vermont in October of 2023. Each member of the team will have 36 hours to climb 29,029 feet up Stratton Mountain in Vermont.

Melissa said, “We walk up the mountain and ride the ski lift down. It’s a total of 17 trips up the mountain. I joined the team to help bring attention to how Veterans, as a whole, are treated. We let them fight for our country, but then let them live in tents. We need to do more for them. We need to do more job training, mental health awareness, housing help, and various other things. The Cuddy Foundation and this event help to support Veterans in these ways.”

The Cuddy Foundation’s mantra is “Actions, Not Words.” The foundation is 100 percent volunteer and a 501(c)(3), with the primary goal of helping Veterans become self-sufficient. Efforts are specifically aimed at reducing the alarming suicide rate for Veterans.

The Cuddy Foundation helps give Veterans a sense of purpose through various creative means and activities: poetry journals, art projects, involvement with The Boston Marathon, The 29029 Challenge, GloryFest benefit concerts, and so forth. Visit for more information or to donate.

Courtesy Photo

Thurmont Lions Club President Dianne McLean presented Lion Bob Johnson a Progressive Melvin Jones Award at the Lions membership meeting on June 8. Lion Bob has served on the board of directors; has held positions as vice president, president, and membership chair; and has received a Diamond Centennial Membership pin. 

Lion Bob has mentored many new members, helps with the food fundraisers, and has become the master maker of beef and pork barbeque. He has held several district positions, including LVRF, LOVRNET, member of the Global Membership Team, Mobile Screening Van committee, and is a certified Guiding Lion. Congratulations to Lion Bob.


Pictured are Lion Dianne McLean (right) and the Progressive Melvin Jones Award recipient, Lion Bob Johnson.

Courtesy Photo

The Nancy Dutterer Service Award is awarded to a Lion member who doesn’t stop with their work with the Thurmont Lions Club. They assist and volunteer with other organizations in Thurmont, Frederick County, and beyond, a Lion who emulates their philosophy of giving of one’s self. The award was presented to Lion Joyce Anthony.

Lion Joyce has held the office of president, membership chair, and has served as secretary for numerous years.  She not only works tirelessly for the Thurmont Lions Club as secretary and on many committees, she has prepared the newsletter for the Thurmont Lions Club for more than 11 years. She is the recipient of two Progressive Melvin Jones awards. Lion Joyce manages the Homeowners Association for Phase I of the JerMae Estates community as secretary/treasurer for 17 years, is a member of the Lewistown United Methodist Church, is a member of many committees, and is treasurer for the Lewistown United Methodist Women. She also is a board member and administrative assistant for the Catoctin Medical Center. 

As a Lion, she has an excellent working relationship with the Town of Thurmont’s mayor and administrator. She often helps neighbors and friends by providing transportation, setting out trash and recycling bins, and picking up mail. She spearheaded the club’s Veterans’ Banner Project in recognition of past and present Veterans in the zip code of 21788 by having banners made and displayed on the lamp posts in the town of Thurmont.

Lion Joyce helps to prepare BBQ sauce and coleslaw for the pit sandwich sales, makes pounds and pounds of sloppy joe each year for Colorfest, and works all day at the pit sandwich sales and Colorfest in various positions.  Congratulations to Lion Joyce.

Pictured are Lion Dianne McLean (left) and the Nancy Dutterer Service Award recipient, Lion Joyce Anthony.

Courtesy Photo

The Thurmont Lions Club welcomed District Governor Charlie Croft to officiate the 2022-2023 installation of officers. District Governor Croft expressed to the members that having a successful year depends upon what individual members are doing to make a difference in the community and worldwide.  In addition, the success of the club depends on the officers.

For more information about the Thurmont Lions Club, visit or contact Lion Susan Favorite at or 240-409-1747.

Pictured from left are: (front row) Nancy Echard, 3rd Vice President; Don Keeney, Jr., 2nd Vice President and Tail Twister; Joyce Anthony, Secretary; Gayle DiSalvo, Lion Tamer; Heidi Dennie, Assistant Secretary; (back row) Bev Nunemaker, one-year Director; Doug Favorite, Treasurer; Bob Johnson, one-year Director; Julie El-Taher, President; Dianne McLean, IPP and LCIF Chair; Lisa Riffle, two-year Director; Jan Ely, Assistant Treasurer; Don Ely, two-year Director. Absent from the picture: PCS Susan Favorite, 1st Vice President and Membership Chair.

Courtesy Photo

Thurmont Grange #409 was proud to present scholarships to two Catoctin High School 2022 graduates pursuing their higher education goals. Both scholarship recipients are exceptional students and very involved in community service, as well as in many extracurricular activities.

Sean Whitworth will be attending Salisbury State University, and Paige Baker will be attending Frederick Community College, transferring to Wilson College upon completion of her associate’s degree.  Congratulations and best of luck to Sean, Paige, and to all of our 2022 graduates.

(above) Pictured from left are Susan Crone (Scholarship Committee), Sean Whitworth, and Niki Eyler (Scholarship Chair).

(above) Pictured from left are Susan Crone (Scholarship Committee), Paige Baker, and Niki Eyler (Scholarship Chair).

Courtesy Photos

Ryan Tokar, Thurmont Little League

There has been absolutely no let-up at Thurmont Little League (TLL), with a flurry of activity continuing to keep our players, coaches, and parents busy throughout these hot, sticky summer months.

Our three travel All-Star teams have been in action battling some of the top teams from across the district. We have had lots of great baseball and other activities going on to keep our complex full of people.

The summer travel schedule kicked off with our 9-11 All-Stars traveling to Germantown to take on MCLL Upper. They started things off in an impressive fashion with a 7-5 victory to begin the tournament. Next, they returned home and lost against an extremely tough MCLL Lower team, 13-2. Not to be deterred, the team rattled off two straight comeback victories: first, a walk-off against Frederick National, and then an exciting come-from-behind victory against Brunswick. Down 7-2 in the top of the 6th, their bats heated up and they stormed back to win by a final of 9-7. This put them back against MCLL Lower in a showdown for the championship, where they, unfortunately, fell to a well-rested MCLL team. This team showed a lot of grit and determination. They could never be counted out and battled all the way until the end. TLL was extremely proud to see them finish as the runner-up in the tournament.

Our 11-12 All-Stars were next up, kicking off their district tournament with a tough opening round match-up against Brunswick. After rain delayed the game for over 24 hours, the team came out fighting. The game was neck and neck until the very end, but the Railroaders pulled away in the end to win by a score of 9-4. There was no let up in the schedule, with their bracket sending them to Bethesda to play MCLL Lower the very next day. Once again, this resilient group battled, but would ultimately be defeated. Despite the outcome of the games, this team had nothing to hang their heads about. Unfortunately, they drew the two top teams in their first two games, who ended up playing for the district championship. Brunswick would eventually defeat MCLL Lower to become this year’s champion.

In late July, our Minors All-Stars began play in the Emory Frye Tournament, hosted by Brunswick Little League. In their first contest, they soundly defeated South County by a score of 11-1. These young ballers looked very impressive, and at the time of this writing, they were still alive in tournament play. Additional updates on the results will be provided in the next edition.

It hasn’t just been games keeping TLL busy this summer. A plethora of other activities has been ongoing around the complex and in the surrounding community. First up, was the annual Guardian Hose Company Parade. After a two-year absence due to COVID, TLL was excited to be back in the parade with three truckloads of players, coaches, and family members waving and throwing candy to the crowd. Also, in late June, the annual participation in the “World’s Largest Game of Catch” was held. This event is sponsored by Jeff Potter of The Potter Baseball Tour. Thurmont was one of over 100 virtual locations attempting to break the world record for most people playing catch at one time. TLL had over 75 people playing catch and raised $200 for CureSearch to help with pediatric cancer awareness.

Speaking of Coach Potter, his baseball tour rolled into town in late July as they have done for the past several years, to help with community action projects. In the past, they have done a charity kickball game alongside Fuse Teen Center, painted the Thurmont Food Bank, and done exterior work on the Thurmont Senior Center. This year, they joined up with TLL to hold a “morning at the ballpark” event at the Thurmont Regional Library. They also pulled weeds and did other cleanup along the Thurmont Trolley Trail, as well as some exterior painting on the pavilions at the Thurmont Town Park.

Jeff was joined by some extra helpers this year, as members of the Potter Pirates-Black baseball team (that will be traveling to Cooperstown, New York, August 3-9) assisted his tour group with its projects. These team members are all current or former TLL players, who will be getting a chance to play in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. It’s always great to see Coach Potter, as his love of baseball and community is infectious.

Registration is now open for Fall Ball! This is for baseball and softball, ages 4-13. Divisions of play include: T-ball, Coach Pitch, Minors, Majors, and Intermediate. Please visit www.Thurmont to sign up. The deadline to register is August 14. We can’t wait to see everyone else back on the fields soon!

Thurmont Little League 9-11 All-Stars

Thurmont Little League 11-12 All-Stars

Trees & Other Things

by Valerie Nusbaum

It’s mid-summer, and since we had a rather wet spring season, things around here have been growing like mad. Randy and I like to have our mature trees pruned every couple of years for safety reasons, and since neither of us likes heights or is much of a climber, we hire a tree service to do the job for us. We use a licensed, reliable local service and have been very pleased with the work we’ve had done over the years.

The other evening, Mike, the owner of the tree service, stopped by to take a look at the work we wanted to be done so that he could give us an estimate.

Randy walked Mike through our yard and talked with him about the various stuff growing here. Mike pointed to the English walnut tree beside our house and commented that it looks very healthy, surprisingly so since those trees don’t always do well in our area. Randy mentioned that the tree had come to us in a tiny flower pot from my dad many years ago. Randy expressed his disappointment that the tree has never borne nuts. We weren’t sure if we need a second tree in order for the two to cross-pollinate, or if the army of squirrels and the bevy of birds living with us have been pilfering and plundering.

Mike laughed and said that it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever see walnuts on that tree since it’s a white ash. Well!

That reminds me of my mother-in-law, Mary, who had a way with all plants, vegetables, and flowers. Hers were always taller, bigger, and stronger than anyone else’s. Her gardens were prolific, so she was constantly digging up things and toting the plants up here for me to plant and, ultimately, kill. Mary handed me several green, leafy, kind of stinky things and pronounced that she was gifting me with mint plants.

I dutifully planted those things in my herb garden and around our deck because I’d read that mint repels mosquitoes and other insects, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t kill the stuff. I will say this about that: the “mint” may have repelled insects, but it sure did attract cats.  It finally dawned on me that the mint was actually catnip the day I found the neighbor’s cat passed out on my garden bench from over-indulging. My mother still laughs about the day Ol’ Jasper got up off the bench and staggered home, high as a kite.

Moving on from plant material, here’s a moral dilemma for you:  You go to a fast food restaurant drive-thru and order food and drinks. After you pay, your order gets passed to you through the pickup window in a bag, so chances are you give it a cursory look-see to make sure it’s all there and then you go on home. Once you get home and start to divvy up your takeout, you discover that the restaurant has given you six chicken nuggets instead of the four you ordered. What do you do?

Do you let it be? You’ve likely been to that same restaurant and gotten home to find that something was missing from your order. It all balances out in the end.

Do you drive back to the restaurant to pay for the extra pieces? It’s several miles from your home, and your food is getting cold.

Do you, the next time you go to the restaurant, tell the person at the drive-thru that you got extras last time and offer to pay the difference?

The way in which you would handle that situation says a lot about you, your morals, and your character. I’m just messing with you. The nuggets weren’t for me, and I had no idea how many were actually in the box until Mom told me later that she’d put three of them away because six were too many. What?  She’s 90 years old, and if she wants a chocolate milkshake and chicken nuggets for lunch, she can have it.

Randy and I ran into a former classmate of his one day while we were in Dollar Tree. Shirley, let me assure you that Randy is mostly clueless when it comes to recognizing people. It wasn’t you.  Now, I’m pretty sure that you and I have met before, maybe in that same store, and maybe more than once.  I remember having a conversation with you in the past. I don’t always recognize faces, particularly these days when we’re wearing masks half the time. And, my nouns tend to escape me, so I’m not great with names either. But, other things do trigger memories. 

As I told poor Shirley after she’d introduced herself to my oblivious hubby, he tends to think every actress with dark hair is Sandra Bullock, who, by the way, is his hall pass.

Whatever Randy’s shortcomings, he is a good guy. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m very lucky to have him. He usually recognizes me when he sees me, and he doesn’t care that I have a whole list of hall passes. He knows I wouldn’t follow through, even if Justin Hartley gave me the go-ahead, which he wouldn’t. I’m not so sure about Sandra Bullock, though. She might be smart enough to know a good thing when she sees one.

Maybe I should tear up Randy’s pass.

written by James Rada, Jr.

A serial fiction story for your enjoyment

5: Miracle Cure

Tim Ross walked backed to the courtyard area of the Maryland Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Sabillasville. He hadn’t found the man he believed had been shot, but what he had found gave him pause. The laboratory seemed to hold more than just a laboratory where medicines could be formulated and blood and fluids tested. It appeared as if humans were sometimes restrained there. He had also discovered a still in the power house. Unlike the laboratory, which worried him, Tim thought he would enjoy knowing where he could go to get a drink, especially since the federal government had outlawed liquor.

He reached the yard area and walked to the dining room for breakfast. The room was filled with patients, most of them seemed to be eating oatmeal and fruit, but some had eggs on their plate.

Tim looked around for Max Wenschof. He wasn’t sure whether or not he expected to see the other patient. Max hadn’t been at dinner, and Tim suspected he might have been the man in white he believed had been shot last night. Frank Larkins, an intern at the hospital and one of the moonshiners operating a still in the power house, thought a rival moonshining gang could have shot the man accidentally.

Tim walked over to a table with two men at it and sat down. He introduced himself to the men, who seemed more interested in their own conversation than in Tim.

“I’m telling you, I feel great,” a middle-aged man with jet-black hair told his companion.

“It’s temporary. You’ll start feeling the TB effects again,” the other man said. He looked older, but it may have been the effects of the disease on him.

The first man shook his head. “It’s not. I’m really getting better. I’m on a special treatment.” He looked over at Tim nervously.

“What’s different about it?”

The first man shrugged. “I don’t know. I just know I was doing real bad. You know it. You saw me.” The second man nodded. “I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last two weeks. I can walk from the shack to here without running out of breath.”

“I have to say you look good, but when can the rest of us get some of what you’re getting?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the doctor wants to wait until I’m ready to leave here and go home.”

“You think you will… go home, I mean?”

“That’s what Dr. Vallingham says.”

“I’m happy for you, Paulie.”

“Thanks, but keep it under your hat. The doc doesn’t want word getting out until he has everything the way he wants it.”

“Sure, sure. Just put in a good word for me. I want to be next.”

Tim kept his head down and focused on his oatmeal. He listened with interest and didn’t want to stop the man from talking. He was hoping to hear clues of what the special treatment was. However, when he heard Dr. Vallingham’s name, he was immediately suspicious. He didn’t trust the assistant director, but he wondered how much of that feeling came because of the doctor’s attitude versus his ability.

He might have trusted the news of a new treatment if Dr. Cullen had been the doctor mentioned. He had a good reputation and was the reason Tim had chosen to come to this hospital when he had been diagnosed with TB.

He finished his breakfast and walked back to his shack. All the windows had been opened wide, although it was still cool out. He went inside and flopped down on his bed, pulling the covers over himself.

Frank came by a short time later, carrying a tray with medicine on it.

“What’s that?” Tim asked.

Frank’s eyebrows rose. “It’s medicine.”

“What type of medicine?”

Frank glanced around. “I’m not supposed to know, but I saw the nurse fill the cups once. It’s aspirin.”

His treatment was aspirin? “I don’t have a headache.”

“It’s not for a headache. It’s Dr. Vallingham’s standard treatment. He relies more on the fresh air to help clear the lungs than medicine.”

“I heard someone talking this morning about a special treatment that Dr. Vallingham has been giving him.”

Frank shrugged. “Not from me. The tablets I give all look the same.”

“Have you seen the patients who get his treatments?”

“I’m not sure who they are. He probably uses his goon squad.”

Tim sat up in his bed. “Goon squad?”

“The doc has three orderlies who work just for him. They don’t do anything unless Dr. Vallingham okays it. They’re big guys, but you usually don’t see them unless the doc has them running an errand.”

Tim took the aspirin and swallowed it. He felt thinking about everything that was going on at this hospital would wind up giving him a headache.

Later that afternoon, he walked over to the administration building and asked to see Dr. Vallingham. He had to wait a half an hour, but eventually, the nurse at the front desk showed him into the office.

The doctor was sitting behind his desk as he had been during the first interview.

“I don’t have much time, Mr. Ross. What can I do for you?” Dr. Vallingham said.

“Well, Doc…”

“Doctor,” Vallingham corrected.

“Doctor. I heard that you have a special treatment for some patients that seems to work. I was hoping I could get it, too. I want to get out of here and back to work, but I’ve got to get better.”

“And what makes you think I have a special treatment?”

“Someone was talking about it at breakfast. He was very excited about feeling better and gaining weight.”

“I’m not sure what your heard, but it couldn’t have been what you say. I have no special treatment for patients, and if I had one that worked, I assure you, I would have used it for everyone here. I want you to recover as fast as you can, Mr. Ross.”

Dr. Vallingham looked down at something on his desk, as if to dismiss Tim. Tim frowned, but he stood up and left the office. As he walked down the hall toward the stairs, he saw three orderlies come out of a room at the other end of the hall. They were each as large as Tim had been before he got sick.

Tim was forced to stand to the side of the hallway as they passed him without saying anything. They reminded Tim of boxers. He glanced at their hands and saw their knuckles were scarred. They were definitely men who fought, but they weren’t boxers, not with scarred knuckles. They also looked nothing like typical orderlies. Tim watched them knock on Dr. Vallingham’s door and then enter the office.

Back in his shack, he tried to read the newspaper. He had never been much of a reader, and honestly, the only news he wanted to hear was how he could get better. He didn’t want to wither up and die like a plum turning into a prune.

He went outside and tried to run around the road that ran around the yard for exercise, but he was out of breath before he had even completed a lap. As he stood bent over, trying to catch his breath, he saw Frank drive the truck up to one of the shacks.

Tim walked over. “What’s going on?”

Frank frowned and shook his head. “One of the patients died. I have to take him to undertaker in Thurmont, so they can get him ready to send home.”

“Who was it?”

“Paul Donofrio.”

Tim didn’t recognize the name, but then he didn’t know most people here.

“What happened to him?”

“The same thing that happens to most everyone here. The TB gets them.” Frank paused and looked at Tim. “Sorry.”

Tim shook his head. “I know what I’m up against. Believe me. It scares me more than any boxer I ever faced.”

Frank walked into the shack with another orderly. They came out a couple minutes later, carrying a body on a stretcher. Tim bowed his head. He hadn’t been lying when had said he was afraid that he wouldn’t recover from his TB. This might be his future.

As the two men slid the stretcher into the back of the truck, Tim looked up. He saw the dead man and was surprised that he recognized him.

It was the man who had been bragging about getting better at breakfast, and now he was dead just a few hours later. Even TB didn’t work that fast. Something else had happened to him.