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Blair Garrett

A lot has changed over the past 18 months.

The world is a vastly different place. People have pressed through a lot of adversity to be where they are today.

Nobody has felt that adversity more than the small businesses that make up towns like Thurmont and Emmitsburg.

From your local restaurants to the Walmarts of our community, the majority of businesses are desperately looking for help. The signs are everywhere, and hiring managers are still having trouble getting applicants through the door.

The hiring shortage is a complex problem that has countless potential causes. But, it’s also a problem that is gutting businesses around the country that are looking to recover from continuous setbacks over the past two years.

Lack of employees is an issue that is felt from top to bottom, forcing local businesses in our hometowns to limit hours, cut back days, or even close for good during these difficult times.

While we deal with the fallout of mismanagement due to the pandemic on every level, the hiring problem even transcends our communities. Industries across the world that had either temporarily closed doors due to the Coronavirus or permanently shut down have sent a ripple effect that we deal with now every day.

Places responsible for importing many of the raw materials we use have experienced their own shortages, skyrocketing production times and prices, locally.

The smaller businesses owned and run by people you grew up with struggle every day to keep things rolling day after day. It is exhausting, and there is no simple fix for the situation we all have had the shared misery of navigating.

While there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel that one day this pandemic will officially be behind us, there are still major issues lingering throughout our communities.

“I work with these businesses every day, and it’s still a crisis situation for employment,” Town of Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder said. “The hiring situation, in general, has been coming for a long time, but the pandemic just solidified it and took it to the tenth power.”

While events are now somewhat in full swing, the staffing issue has not followed suit. “Over the past few months, small businesses in hospitality have had to close early because of the lack of employees,” Grinder said. “It has not rebounded at all.”

What exactly causes these shortages of workers is as complex an issue as it gets, but the pressure-cooker that the virus has put us in has exacerbated these problems tenfold.

Something not mentioned enough is how much inconsistency at home is putting pressure on families to adjust when they may not always have the means to. “As a parent, it’s kind of hard to work when one week your kids are in school, and one week they’re not,” Grinder said. “Especially if you’re a single parent, what are you going to do?”

Situations, where one or both caregivers have to work to provide for their children, have never been more challenging. If a child in class tests positive for the virus, how many students are being sent home, where a parent has to take time off work in order to be there for the kids?

That kind of flexibility is not a luxury that every parent can afford to have, and it’s often unmanageable for the businesses having to compensate for that.

“A lot of restaurants and manufacturing companies can’t have people in one week and out the next, and so people may just stay home,” Grinder said.

Many people point to government assistance as the culprit for workforce shortages, but there is always more to the story.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan had been focused on alleviating the hiring shortage for months, pushing to end additional government funding back in July, with legal delays slowing down that process. While it is not up to states to decide whether or not to use pandemic relief funding toward unemployment benefits, Maryland officially decided to end the extra $300 per week assistance on September 5. More than 100,000 Maryland residents were receiving additional benefits when they ended last month, and for the time being, the unemployment situation continues to plague local businesses.

The blue-collar jobs that the United States was built on were for a long time the primary avenue for success for the American people. The post-Industrial Revolution tech boom has seen millions of people choose an alternative route to start their foundations on. With thousands more each year choosing higher education and tech careers out of high school over a physical labor trade, there are bound to be fewer people searching for small local businesses as the focus for their careers.

The fix for such a muddy situation is as gray as the cause for how we got here in the first place, but there is hope that this trend will turn the corner at some point. “I think we’re all witnessing something we never thought we’d see,” Grinder said.

Who knows, once this pandemic is behind us and our industries can return to the consistency and rhythms that previously made them successful, our communities might just see the economic rebound your favorite mom and pop stores have been hoping for.

Until then, be mindful of the difficulties your local businesses may have, and be understanding of the hard times we are pushing through, and support those places when you can. After all, a small town is nothing without the support of the community within it.

James Rada, Jr.

Parts of this article come from a 2015 Catoctin Banner article about the Acacia Lodge.

The world has changed drastically since 1871, yet freemasonry remains relatively the same with its traditions and goals.

“It can be difficult to imagine a world of 150 years past, the year 1871… a world so familiar to all of us, yet so far in the past that even our most common conveniences were unknown nor heard of,” John Hoke said during the Acacia Masonic Lodge’s sesquicentennial dinner in September 2021.

The dinner celebrated the formation of the Acacia Lodge No. 155 of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in Thurmont.

“We had Masons from every lodge in Frederick County and some from D.C. and Pennsylvania,” said Lodge Worshipful Master Rick Boyle. “We also had the Grandmaster of Maryland and some of his line officers with us.”

It was a special event. Not many Maryland lodges have reached 150 years of service. In fact, there was a time when the Acacia Lodge closed. Decreasing membership led to the lodge’s charter being revoked in 1881. It wasn’t reinstated until 1887.

It is no coincidence, though, that the Acacia Lodge formed after the arrival of the Western Maryland Railroad in Mechanicstown.

“Employees from the Western Maryland Railroad began to settle in the local surrounding areas of Mechanicstown,” Hoke said. “Many of these men were members of Masonic Lodges in other parts of Maryland.”

The Acacia Lodge was formed from the Columbia Lodge in Frederick. Thirteen Masons in the area formed the lodge in Mechanicstown, with Charles Lyon as the first Worshipful Master (lodge president). The new lodge’s first meeting was held on May 22, 1871, in a room on the third floor of the John Rouzer apartment house, opposite the Lutheran Church on Church Street. Besides choosing officers, it was decided to name the lodge the Acacia Lodge.

Not all of the charter members of the Acacia Lodge came from the Columbia Lodge. Others came from lodges in Baltimore, Westminster, and Union Bridge.

Even before the Acacia Lodge received its charter and was officially recognized, it had begun to grow as two new members were added.

The Acacia Lodge was examined by other Maryland Masons in October 1871 to see if its membership was sufficient enough to support their own lodge, and on November 21, 1871, the Acacia Lodge was granted its charter. It met in the International Order of Odd Fellows Hall.

The Acacia Lodge continued to grow between 1872 and 1876, but for the next two years, many of the members found themselves working away from Thurmont. Because of the distance and the available forms of travel, many of the Masons couldn’t attend meetings.

This decrease in membership and activity led to the Maryland Grand Lodge taking back the lodge’s charter in 1881. Local Masons continued paying their dues and working to establish stability in their lodge. They applied for restoration of their charter in 1887, and it was granted on December 19.

“The lodge reorganized for work with all of its old members returning, and the lodge once again began to grow and prosper,” Hoke said.

One of the things that the members decided would help their stability was to own their building rather than continue to rent space. Beginning in 1894, the Masons, under Worshipful Master Leonard Waesche, began looking into buying the Bussard Building (where the lodge is currently located at 12 E. Main Street).

The lodge purchased the building in 1895 and began adding a third floor. The Masons also made repairs to the first and second floors of the building and began renting out the space. Over the years, the first two floors have been a livery, doctor’s office, post office, grocery store, drug store, beauty parlor, and more.

The third floor was completed in 1898, and the building began serving as the Acacia Lodge in January 1899.

When the lodge celebrated its first 50 years at the Thurmont Town Hall on November 29, 1921, only three of the original members were still living. They were George Stocksdale, Leonard Waesche, and David Martin.

World War II saw a surge in attendance at lodge meetings, mainly because of servicemen stationed at nearby Camp Ritchie who came to the Acacia Lodge. The Acacia Lodge conferred Masonic degrees on servicemen on behalf of other lodges through the Masonic Service Association.

The last tenant for the second floor of the lodge left in 1960. The space remained vacant until 1962 when it was decided to use the floor as the lodge’s social hall, which continues to be used for that purpose today.

Though generally believed to be a Christian group, Masons include many faiths. Each lodge has a book of faith on its central altar. The Acacia Lodge uses a Bible, but other lodges can include a book of faith for the predominant religion of the lodge.

“It doesn’t matter what religion you are, you just have to believe in a higher power,” Boyle said.

The Acacia Lodge is involved in many civic activities and participates in parades and building dedications. They can be identified in full regalia that includes tuxedos, top hats, and aprons. The local Masons dedicated the cornerstone of the Thurmont Library and have contributed money to many local efforts, such as purchasing a new flag pole for the town and paying for the memorial stone for servicemen in Memorial Park.

The lodge also offers an annual scholarship of $1,000 to a senior in the Catoctin High district.

The lodge is always seeking new members. If you are interested, contact a Mason. If you don’t know a Mason, visit the lodge’s website at and send an email on the contact page.

Pictured from left: (back row) Walter Ellenberg, Guy Calhoun II, Rob Reid, Colt Black, Bob Koons, Shawn Winpigler, John Hagemann, Rocky Birely, Mick Barlow, John Hoke, Buzz Murdorf; (front row) Grant Johnson, Barry Bosley, Cliff Drumheller, Marlin Mills, Rick Boyle, Bob Keilholtz, Bob Reid, Brian Speck, Roal Davis Jr., Daniel Webb, and Tommy Morris.

by James Rada, Jr.


Rutter’s Breaks Ground

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Rutter’s store on MD 140 was held on September 13. Work is expected to begin this month. The 8,400-square-foot store is expected to bring around 50 jobs to the area. Besides the convenience store, the site will also include diesel and gasoline fuel pumps, a truck scale, and truck and car parking spaces. It is expected to open in the second half of 2022.

Stormwater Study Contract Awarded

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners reluctantly awarded a contract of $33,578 to the University of Maryland Environmental Science Center to conduct a stormwater utility feasibility study. This is part of the federal mandates municipalities are being required to do, and the commissioners complained that it is placing an unneeded strain on the town’s budget.

Town Charter Repealed and Replaced

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners repealed the town’s charter in September and replaced it with one that had been updated and corrected for grammar and style issues. Although it did not contain major substantive changes, one that garnered discussion among the commissioners was a change from requiring a one-year residency in town to run for town office to one month. This is based on a recommendation that the longer requirement was likely unconstitutional.

Slaughter Appointed to Committee

During the September town meeting, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners appointed Sandy Slaughter to serve on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Her three-year term will run until September 7, 2023.

Arbor Day Event at Myers Community Park

The Town of Emmitsburg is hosting an Arbor Day event at Myers Community Park on October 2 at 9:00 a.m. Seven new trees will be planted. The public is invited to attend. Bring a shovel and help. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will also hold a tree-planting demonstration.

Town Receives $400,000 to Plant Trees

The Town of Emmitsburg received a $400,000 grant to plant 26 acres of trees near the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The trees will be planted on land donated to the town by Daughters of Charity.


Town Election This Month

Thurmont’s town election will be on October 26 at the Guardian Hose Activities Building at 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., as citizens choose who will serve as mayor and in two commissioner positions. Anyone in line when the polls close will be allowed to vote.

To learn more about the candidates, you can attend the candidates’ forum hosted by the Thurmont Lions Club at the town office. It will be held on October 6 at 7:00 p.m. If you have questions you would like asked, contact Mark Long at no later than October 4.

Town Makes Donation to Senior Center

The Town of Thurmont recently made a $33,000 donation to the Thurmont Senior Center to help them continue providing activities and services for the town’s elderly.

Town Replacing More Utility Poles

The Town of Thurmont had planned on replacing six utility poles in town, but recently discovered that three more were in need of replacement. The additional poles are in Woodland Avenue and Moser Road. The town added the poles to the outstanding RFP for the six poles. The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners awarded a contract of $56,500 to AUI Power in Elkton to replace nine utility poles in town.

Check for Tree and Shrub Compliance

The Thurmont Police are asking residents to check to make sure their trees and shrubs are in compliance with town ordinance. Limbs must be no closer than 9 feet above sidewalks and 15 feet above streets. Otherwise, the limbs must be removed.

James Rada, Jr.

The Town of Emmitsburg held its municipal election on Tuesday, September 28. Cliff Sweeney, Liz Buckman, Rosario Benvengi, and Tim O’Donnell ran to fill two commissioner seats.

During the election, residents cast 269 ballots. O’Donnell was the top vote-getter with 182 votes, followed by Cliff Sweeney with 174 votes. Former commissioners Buckman and Benvengi received 98 and 63 votes, respectively.

On the same day, the Town of Thurmont held its nominating convention in the town office to decide on who would be running for the mayor and the two commissioner seats open this election.

John Kinnaird was the only person nominated for mayor, so it is expected he will be elected for his third term as mayor of Thurmont.

Long-time Commissioner Wayne Hooper will be seeking re-election as a Thurmont Commissioner. He will be joined in the race for the two commissioner seats by Christopher Stoutter, Mickey Blank, Sabrina Massett, Olen Gunn, Janice Guillory, and Bill Blakeslee.

Commissioner Marty Burns is retiring after 24 years of service to the town and won’t be seeking re-election.

The Thurmont town election will be held on October 26 at the Guardian Hose Company activities building at 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Anyone in line when the polls close will be allowed to vote.

Absentee ballots for this election will be available on October 8, and the close of business on October 19 is the last day to make an application for an absentee ballot.

The winners of the election will serve four-year terms.

Mark Breeden, owner of Lawyer’s Automotive in Thurmont, has announced the name transition from Lawyer’s Automotive to Breeden Automotive. With the transition, the logo and signage has been updated, but the quality of service remains the same.

Stop by to see Mark and his right-hand mechanic, Caden, for your car care needs.

October is Brakes for Breast Cancer campaign, during which Breeden Automotive will match your donation. View the advertisement on page 41 to find out how. Breeden Automotive is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Call 301-271-2736 for more information.

Jayden Myers

With the current unemployment situation and local businesses closing, a lot of places are understaffed and feeling the fallout of hard times.

As kids graduated middle school, entered high school, and became of age, many were eager to work. Many places may not want to hire younger kids because of lack of experience, age, or even because of the limited hours they are allowed to work.

However, many kids in these younger generations are hungry for an opportunity to work right now. This generation often has more to offer than what we are held responsible for.

Starting out in the workforce as a teen is quite terrifying at first, but eventually, you get the hang of it. Expect to make mistakes. It is okay to make mistakes, and you will learn from them and be able to improve.

I work in a restaurant, and I know my first few weeks consisted of many mistakes, yet I learned from them and improved each week.

Communication is a big thing. If you don’t communicate with your coworkers or boss for help, or in general, it can be hard to adjust. Make sure that your boss knows ahead of time if you need days off.

When first starting out, working around the schedule can definitely be a tough one. Though eventually, you’ll get into a routine and it will get easier. It helps to know when the routine is going to change, so you don’t get too overwhelmed.

A routine helps organize your everyday life and often gives younger workers the structure they need to succeed inside the classroom, as well as in their personal endeavors.

Balancing work and school is definitely hard sometimes. This is why communication is a big one in the workplace. Make sure that you stay on top of school work, so you don’t fall behind. Also, make sure that your work doesn’t interfere with school-related activities. That balance is sometimes overlooked, but incredibly important.

Although this sometimes lack of flexibility can be hard for employers, hiring teenagers can be beneficial. It allows them to learn new responsibilities, expand their knowledge, and obtain better communication skills. This is important because it gives them a chance to experience the workforce and to grow. It gives them a start for future jobs as well.

Personally, working has given me a great opportunity to grow as a person. It has allowed me to become part of a team, to work with others, become more independent, and have more responsibility.

My coworkers have truly become like family as we’ve worked together, and they’ve taught me a lot of what I know now. This has allowed me to build my work ethic.

Young adults starting work can open many opportunities for them in their future as they continue growing and learning. That structure and camaraderie have been important for me and thousands of others who share that same drive.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The new and former owners at Hobbs Hardware and Lumber in Thurmont invite the general public and general contractors to, “Come on In!”

In a time where small businesses everywhere are struggling to maintain a grasp on viability, it’s even more rare to find a successful small hardware store that is still thriving in the face of big-box hardware store competition. Hobbs Hardware is THAT rarity!

Hobbs Hardware recently became Hobbs Hardware and Lumber when it was purchased by Structural LLC. Structural is a commercial business located in Thurmont, where they have 50 acres of lumber. Voila! With this transition, Scott Austin, CEO of Structural, accomplished several goals: He expanded the product line at Hobbs, he brought a backbone of contract business that allowed pricing to become competitive with the big-box hardware store pricing, and he proudly maintained the historical integrity of the business by continuing the name and employing its heritage with Eddie and Mike Hobbs manning the store. Austin said, “They [Eddie and Mike] are the brains, they have all of the experience.”

The Hobbs family has a deep history in the community. The family purchased the hardware store in 1942 from Sam Long, who had already logged 40 years in the Thurmont business. According to John Kinnaird and courtesy of, “The hardware store has been in the Hobbs family for four generations: Edward G. Hobbs and Louise F. Hobbs (Eddie and Mike’s dad and mom) had the hardware store and a grocery store, E. Guy Hobbs and Lillian Hobbs (Eddie and Mike’s grandparents who bought the grocery and hardware stores in 1942.) Eddie and Mike Hobbs stepped in in high school and have kept it going since.”

Hobbs Hardware has occupied other locations in Thurmont but has been in the current location at 15 E. Main Street since 1981.

Scott Austin is originally from Buffalo, New York, but lives in New Market, Maryland, now. He’s been the owner of Structural LLC since 2010. Structural Systems has been in business since 1992.

Austin eyed up the Hobbs Hardware business to complement a need within the Structural business to add residential products. They were getting a lot of requests for lumber and didn’t have a way of selling lumber because they are manufacturing it. The solution was to keep the hardware part at Hobbs and to merge the lumber there.

Austin said, “It is a partnership, and they work very well together. We are here to service the community through our hardware store, and we are continuing to grow the Hobbs tradition.”

Eddie and Mike Hobbs are joined by several new faces, General Manager Rob Baker and Chad Crane.

Hobbs Hardware and Lumber is a handyman’s playland with lumber, lots of power tools, and tons of contractor-friendly inventory. Residents, small builders, and contractors are welcome to shop at Hobbs to get lumber for basements, decks, additions, etc. Hobbs delivers as far as Northern Virginia, actually up to 100 miles away!

Hobbs is open 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Call 301-271-2233 for product inquiries and more information.

Pictured from left are Eddie Hobbs, Scott Austin,  Mike Hobbs, and Chad Crane at the new checkout counter at Hobbs Hardware and Lumber in Thurmont.

Hobbs Hardware store in 1980.

James Rada Jr.

The Frederick County Board of Education voted last month to conditionally approve the charter for the new Sabillasville Environmental School. This will give the school three more years to prove it can attract additional pupils who want to receive an agriculturally focused education.

The conditional approval depends on two things: (1) The new school can find a suitable site; and (2) It can show there are 161 students who will attend the new school by December 1.

The Sabillasville citizens’ group that put the charter proposal together plans to use the existing Sabillasville Elementary School for their new school, but this is not a given. The Frederick County Board of Education first has to vote to close the elementary school. Once that is done, a process is started to decide what to do with the building. It could be used for the Sabillasville Environmental School, but the board members pointed out that another charter school has also shown some interest in the site. Board President Jay Mason said the board could not guarantee the building for the Sabillasville Environmental School.

“We called all three charter schools in Frederick, and they told us they are not interested in the school because it’s too small,” said Alisha Yocum, president of Sabillasville Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization and head of the citizens’ group. “We’re not sure why suddenly this is coming up again.”

The citizens’ group had hoped the board of education would grant the school a conversion charter that would allow the elementary school to transition into the charter school. Some confusion still remains over whether state law allowing for a conversion charter would apply in this situation and who has the authority to make the decision.

The board intends to sort this out, and if it is applicable, members seemed willing to go this route, which would provide the new school with the building the citizens’ group wants.

As for reaching the school-needed-enrollment number, the citizens’ group has been working toward that. The number needs to be reached so that the school receives enough per-pupil funding to operate. With the current enrollment at less than half of the needed 161, it seemed a daunting task to reach in a short time. However, after Superintendent Teresa Alban made her recommendation of conditional approval to the board in August, the citizens’ group has been soliciting letters of intent from county parents to show they would be willing to send their children to the new school. Yocum said that as of September 18, the citizens’ group had 105 students whose parents wanted to send them to the Sabillasville Environmental School, which does not include the students currently enrolled in the elementary school. This would bring the potential enrollment in the new school to around 175 students.

“We have interest from all over,” Yocum said. “Woodsboro, Middletown, Myersville, Frederick, and Thurmont. Parents are very interested in the environmental and agricultural part of the curriculum.”

With the board’s conditional approval, the citizens of Sabillasville overcame a large hurdle toward keeping a school in their town. Now, they have to continue the momentum and meet the conditions that came with the approval.

“It’s exciting,” Yocum said. “I can’t wait for all the unique opportunities and experiences we’ll be able to provide kids.”

These individuals are some who played a vital role in supporting and planning for Sabillasville Elementary School’s future: (from left) Abbey Sparkman, Kelsey Norris, Heather Sparkman, Justus Yocum, Alisha Yocum, Bryce Yocum (in front), Robbie Koontz, Shelby Green, Barb Doney, Eli Yocum, Colleen McAfee, and Tanzy Logue.

Ryan Tokar, Thurmont Little League

Thurmont Little League (TLL) is well underway with its largest fall season to date. This season saw 193 total registrations, up from the previous high of 148 last year. It is wonderful to see more and more children from the surrounding community coming out to participate and learn the game of baseball. Just four years ago, the fall total was a mere 96 players.

Now, we are proud to support five T-ball, four instructional (coach pitch), five minors, four majors, and an intermediate team. This is not only impressive from a number’s standpoint, but the fact that the teams are also extremely competitive is an extraordinary feat. It would not be possible without a tremendous network of volunteers and support from the local community.

Along with a new season, came the election of a new board of directors for 2021-2022. TLL would like to welcome Robbie Nash as the new president of the league. Robbie spent many years as a manager in the T-ball/instructional divisions, also serving as a vice president of those leagues. He has also been extremely hands-on in creating signage, uniforms, and spiritwear for the league, as well as maintaining social media. He will also continue to manage a team in the minors division.

Other newly elected board members include: Jeff Kuhn, who moved from vice president of minors to league vice president; Darryl Dextradeur, vice president of minors; Kaitlin Nash, vice president of instructional/T-ball; Nikki Hahn, director of sponsorships/uniforms; and Nicole Tyler, head of field maintenance.

As the new members settle into their roles, we cannot forget to thank our outgoing board members who made so many wonderful contributions to the league over the years. Keith Myers, in his second run with TLL, served as a manager, vice president, and spent the last few years as league president. John Code was also a manager, league vice president, and master scheduler. Kathleen Davis and Joey Youngerman also spent many years in their positions of sponsorships/uniforms and vice president of T-ball/instructional. Last, but not least, is P.J. Nicholson, whose contributions to field maintenance led to his name being immortalized on our minors (Nicholson) field. The league is grateful to each of you for your many years of service.

In addition to baseball, the league has many other events and fun activities planned for the remainder of the fall.

Team and individual pictures will take place in late September. This is normally reserved for the spring season, but due to the overwhelming numbers, it is being offered this fall season as well.

A movie night will be taking place, featuring the classic baseball film, The Sandlot. Players, families, and the community are invited to pull up a chair on the outfield grass and grab a bag of popcorn for a fun evening for the whole family. And, finally, plans are in the making for some fun Halloween activities at the ball fields.

For more information on Thurmont Little League, please follow the league on Facebook or visit the league website at

A new serial fiction story for your enjoyment

written by James Rada, Jr.

2: A Death in the Family

After dropping off a load of charcoal at the coal house in Catoctin Furnace, Abednego Hunt walked down Frederick Road to the nearby store for supplies. He and his brother, Meshach, had a small garden at their collier’s camp on Catoctin Mountain. It provided fresh vegetables, but the brothers still needed staples like coffee, flour, and sugar from time to time.

Abednego looked over the offerings on the shelves, but he was really watching Nellie Latimer behind the counter. She was 22 years old and already a widow. Her husband had been a woodcutter. He had died last year when a tree fell the wrong way and crushed him. Now, Nellie worked for her father who owned the store.

Abednego liked to watch her move and listen to her laugh. She was smart, too, which didn’t say much, since Abednego never finished school. He had had to go to work after his parents died from a fever.

“Can I help you find something, Ben?” Nellie asked.

“I’m just looking everything over,” Abednego said.

“It doesn’t change that much between your visits, and it’s not that interesting.”

“That may be, but I’m used to seeing trees and flames, so anything different is worth taking time to look over.” Abednego walked over to stand closer. “How have you been?”

“All right, I suppose. My father works me harder than his other clerk,” Nellie said.

“You could always get another job.”

“I could get other work, but it wouldn’t pay as much. It pays to be the boss’s daughter sometimes.”

She smiled at him. Her teeth were white. Abednego pressed his lips together. He doubted his teeth were that white. He rarely brushed them. Just didn’t seem to be much reason to with being so isolated on the mountain.

“So what can I get you?” she asked.

“Do you have any newspapers?” Abednego liked to read when he had time. He tried to keep on top of what was happening.

Nellie looked under the counter. “I’ve got four from Frederick, one from Gettysburg, and one from Hagerstown.”

“I’ll take the most recent one.”

She laid a copy of the Frederick Herald on the counter. It was three days old.

“Anything else?”

Abednego bought coffee and sugar, and he took a risk that a dozen eggs could make it back up to his hut on the mountain without cracking. He eyed his purchases, comparing the cost against how much money he had with him.               

“Add a nickel’s worth of candy to the order, Nellie,” Abednego said. “I’ll bring Shack a treat since he never comes off the mountain.”

“Who’s that?”

“Shack. Meshach, my brother.”

“Oh.” She raised an eyebrow but said nothing more.

Nellie tallied up the order and placed the items in a bag. Abednego paid the bill and headed back out to the wagon which he had left near the furnace.

He walked past the furnace to the ironmaster’s house. It was a large three-story home built of stone and wood. It had 18 rooms inside. It could probably contain all the stacks that Abednego and Meshach managed with room left over. How large was the ironmaster’s family for him to need such a large home? Abednego and Meshach lived in a single room with no windows. If they had lived in a place like the ironmaster’s house, they might go for days without seeing each other.

He did have to admit it was a beautiful home with its wide porches and boxwoods surrounding it. It probably had large beds with thick feather mattresses. How wonderful it must be to sleep on a cloud at night.

Abednego walked back and climbed into his wagon. He looked up at Catoctin Mountain. It looked like a dog with mange. There were still plenty of trees, but he could also see bare patches where the woodcutters had cleared everything away. Other areas showed newer growth where trees had been replanted. They weren’t old enough to harvest yet, but the woodcutters would eventually come back to them. The furnace was a ravenous beast that demanded to be fed. Colliers, like the Hunt brothers, brought in wagon loads of charcoal each day to keep the fires burning. The charcoal was the first layer put down in the furnace. Then came limestone and finally the iron ore. Then the layers repeated until the furnace was filled to the top. It all started with the charcoal.

He drove the horse north toward Mechanicstown and turned west to head up the mountain. The dirt road wound back and forth, making its way ever higher. The ride got rougher when he left the main road to head to where their camp was. It was fortunate he didn’t have to pull big loads uphill. He would have needed another horse.

He drove through stands of trees that were probably 10 to 15 years old. In another five years, the woodcutters might be felling them again. Who knows where their camp would be then? They moved it twice a year to stay close to woodcutters since they had to use mule-drawn sleds to bring the logs to the colliers. The closer the collier camps were to the trees, the less time was wasted hauling logs.

As Abednego approached the camp, he saw Meschach jumping the stack on number one. He shouldn’t be on that stack. It was too close to finishing. It was already starting to shrink as the logs burned down to charcoal.

“Hi, Ben!” Meshach called, waving.

“I bought you some candy!” Abednego said.

Meschach grinned. A gust of wind blew through the clearing. The wind swirled and blew leaves onto the stack. They floated upward on the small tendril of smoke from the chimney.

Then Meshach disappeared.

Abednego blinked and stared at the top of the stack. Then he saw the larger hole near the chimney and he heard his brother scream.

Abednego dropped the reins and scrambled up the ladder onto the stack.


Released from the confines of the stack, more smoke rolled out and the flames in the hearth ignited.

Meshach screamed again.

As Abednego stepped up to the hole, the edge collapsed. He fell backward rather into the hole as his brother had done. He rolled off the stack and landed hard on the ground. His breath left him in a gasp.

Meshach screamed, “Ben, help me!”

Abednego rolled to his feet and climbed back onto the stack. This time, he lay on his stomach and looked into the hole. He couldn’t see anything. The hole was dark and smoke poured out making it hard to keep his eyes open.

Meschach continued screaming. Abednego reached into the hole.

“Shack, grab my hand! Grab it! I’ll pull you out!”

That was going to be the only way to get his brother out quickly. He felt something slap his hand, but it moved away quickly.

“That was my hand, Shack! Grab it!”

Meschach stopped screaming.

“Shack! Shack! Shack!”

Meshach never answered.

Written by Terry Pryor

At the age of four, little Doreen just KNEW, KNEW, KNEW,

that SOME THING under her bed at night GREW, GREW, GREW.

The minute her mommy turned out the light and closed her bedroom door,

SOME THING under the bed made slithery sounds across the floor.

Little Doreen, a brave little girl, under normal circumstances,

would pull the covers over her head, not taking any chances;

for if IT came out and tugged at her foot or grabbed her little hand,

she was sure she would scream and scare SOME THING who wouldn’t


Little Doreen grew each year and many new things unfurled,

but under the bed SOME THING stayed the same in its under the bed world.

One night as Doreen lay sleeping, upon the verge of a dream,

SOME THING came slithering, creeping and crawling

and hatched its ancient scheme.

But Doreen, you see, had finally grown to understand about FEAR,

not something children are born with but always in some fateful year,

FEAR comes calling and changes lives forever;

some adults can tell you this, but only if they’re clever!

So, on a particular shadowy night, as Doreen lay in her bed,

SOME THING did what SOME THING does and tried to place FEAR in her head.

Oh, FEAR, you trickster of the mind, you thief of hope and dreams,

Doreen has learned some tricks of her own for foiling your boogeyman schemes.

False Experiences Appearing Real, that’s all that FEAR really is;

just stories some folks tell themselves getting all worked up in a “tiz.”

But our brave little girl chose to tell a tale, one where courage appeared,

and right then and there SOME THING under the bed shriveled up and disappeared.

The Beginning

by dave ammenheuser

On December 13, 1969, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into their newly constructed home along Creagerstown Road.

Prior to moving into the home, that family—my parents and my brothers—had lived for a few years in an apartment building on the square in Creagerstown.

On August 30, 2021, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into the same home along Creagerstown Road.

Prior to moving into the home, that family—whom I had never previously met—lived in the same apartment building on the square of Creagerstown where my family did in the 1960s.

Sometimes life can go full circle.

After both of my parents died in 2020, I spent the next 12 months clearing my childhood home. It was emotionally difficult selling their possessions and treasures. It was even more difficult signing over the house deed to Rachel Kirkpatrick and her family on August 30, just two days short of the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.

Without any advertising, we had many offers for the house. In this booming real estate market, I turned down dozens of “cash-only” deals from brokers and flippers. I chose not to use a real estate agent and to sell the home myself.

I met Rachel purely by chance. Her mother-in-law went to school with my brother, Bob. Rachel and her family asked if the house was available. The house negotiation was quick and easy.

By our third meeting, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right choice.

How did I know? On this particular visit, Rachel came for the septic test. She brought along her two pre-teen boys. While the septic test was conducted, the two boys ran around the backyard, chasing each other. At one point, the older boy pulled out his smart phone and started chasing something that I couldn’t see.

I asked Rachel what he was doing. Oh, he has a phone app for ghost hunting?

“Mom, I found one,” the boy shouted. “It says he was born in 1930-something.”

My jaw dropped. I stared at the boy. Stunned, I looked at Rusty Yates, my late father’s best friend and next-door neighbor who had dropped by to chat.

My father was born in 1938. My father was an avid ghost hunter, who bought all kinds of “Ghostbuster” gizmos to track ghosts on the Gettysburg battlefields.

Was my father sending me a message?

After a year of upheaval and sadness, was my father giving me a message that the toughest year of my life was over?

That he’d watch over the property, and it was time for me to resume my life?

My father was a firm believer in the afterlife.

Me? Meh. At least, not until that recent summer day. Rachel Kirkpatrick and Dave Ammenheuser in front of Rachel’s new home (and Dave’s childhood home) near Creagerstown

Pretty Good Things

by Valerie Nusbaum

As I was trotting on my treadmill yesterday, I happened to glance out the window, and I had to laugh out loud. I saw Randy, wearing his big straw hat, go past. He was riding the lawnmower and heading down the front sidewalk. The next thing I knew, he turned the mower around and rode it up the street and back up our driveway, then around the sidewalk on the other side of our house. I had no idea what he was up to, but it brought back a memory from my childhood, and I really started laughing then.

I was about 10 years old and was at home, probably reading a book. Anyway, our next door neighbor, Mr. Runkles, was the first person in our neighborhood to own a riding lawnmower. We didn’t call them lawn tractors back then. We had push mowers and riding mowers. My dad was in our yard, probably push mowing the grass. Dad came to the door and yelled for us all to come outside. He was laughing really hard.

My mom, brother, and I all went out and looked in the direction Dad was pointing. Poor Mr. Runkles was riding his lawnmower around his yard and yelling. Apparently, he couldn’t get the mower to stop. Now, Mr. Runkles was an older gentleman and small in stature, but he had a set of lungs on him. We could hear him yelling and cursing for Emma to come and help him. Emma was Mrs. Runkles and nothing much bothered her, but this time she was distressed. The next thing we knew, Mr. Runkles took the mower through their carport and hit a stack of old newspapers. It looked like snow in there.

At that point, most of the neighbors had come out to see what all the commotion was about. My memory is foggy, but I think my dad and my Uncle Bill, who lived across the street from us, both went over to the Runkles house to see if they could help. They couldn’t get near the mower, though, and no amount of trying to tell Mr. Runkles to turn the key seemed to help. The poor soul rode that mower until it ran out of gas, and I don’t think he ever mowed his own lawn again.

I’m sorry for getting off-track but that story was on my mind and I thought I’d share it. What I really started out to do this month was talk about Martha Stewart. As you all know, I’ve been picking up Oprah’s slack for years after she quit her daily television show. Now I’m taking on some of Martha’s responsibilities. Martha is getting on in years, hanging out with Snoop Dogg, eating cannabis gummies, and drinking too many cocktails, so I’m not all that sure how good her ideas are. Randy and I saw her most recent HGTV show, and we both believe that she’s been keeping her gardener locked in her basement.

I feel it’s my sacred duty to share some of the things I’ve learned over my many years of trying to make things easier and faster, because I don’t enjoy housework and yard work all that much. Shoot, I’d much rather be drinking Martha-ritas, too. Read on.

Marinate your burgers first if you’re planning to grill them. This makes them juicy and delicious. I use a mix of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, and parsley. You can adjust this marinade to suit your particular tastes. All you need to do is mix it up and pour it over your ground meat (this works great for ground turkey, too, and gives it some actual flavor), and make your burgers. They can sit in the fridge for a few hours, too.

Folding a fitted sheet isn’t difficult, but it takes time and patience. I don’t do it the same way Martha does, but mine look nice and unwrinkled when I unfold them. Take your fitted sheet and turn it upside down on your bed. Fold in the edges and straighten the sheet, and start folding it in on itself until you get the size you want.

When you’re loading your dishwasher, separate your silverware before you wash it. That way it’s ready to go in your drawer in the appropriate slots when you unload.

If you need to clean your oven or grill racks, take them outdoors and use spray-on oven cleaner. Lay them on newspaper, spray them and let them sit in the sun, and then hose them off. Do touch-ups with a steel wool pad and hot soapy water, but most of the baked-on stuff comes off easily.

You have a garden and your tomatoes won’t ripen? Pick them and put them in brown paper lunch sacks. Seal up the bag and set it somewhere in your kitchen out of direct sunlight. Your tomato will be ripe in a few days.

Water your houseplants, change your sheets, take out the trash—make sure you do any regular, routine tasks on the same day of each week. That way you’ll always remember when it’s time to do those chores.

These are just a few helpful tips. I have hundreds more. I’m a wealth of useless information, and I’m willing to share it.

Incidentally, the reason Randy was taking our mower for a ride on our sidewalks is that he discovered it’s an easy way to blow the grass off the sidewalks without having to stand up and sweep.

It’s a pretty good thing.

by James Rada, Jr.

October 1921, 100 Years Ago

New Ice Machine

Wisotzkey Bros. are installing another ice making and refrigerating machine. …

It is a Frick machine and it will make two tons of ice every twenty-four hours, and at the same time take care of the hardening and cold storage rooms.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 27, 1921

Large Pepper

Mrs. H. C. Foreman brought to this office last week a large green pepper. It is formed of three peppers grown together; its largest circumference is fifteen inches and measures five inches from top to bottom.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 20, 1921

October 1946, 75 Years Ago

Rites For Admiral Waesche To Be Held Monday Afternoon

Admiral Russell Randolph Waesche, longtime commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who died Thursday at Bethesda, was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Waesche of Thurmont, where he spent his boyhood days and received his scholastic education in the public schools. He left Thurmont in 1904 to enter the Coast Guard Academy and since has been stationed in many parts of the world.

                                          – Frederick News, October 18, 1946

Better Mail Service For North County

Residents of Emmitsburg, Rocky Ridge and other northern County communities will get better mail service after November 1 it was learned Thursday when Congressman J. Glenn Beall advised that the Postoffice Department extended to Thurmont the star-route from Emmitsburg to Emmitsburg Junction.

          – Frederick News, October 27, 1946

October 1971, 50 Years Ago

Firemen from Emmitsburg, East Berlin and Arendtsville won top trophy awards in the annual Adams County Fire Prevention Day program hosted by the Biglerville Fire Company at their fire hall last Sunday afternoon.

Approximately 500 persons attended the event in which 20 area fire companies participated.

Emmitsburg firemen won the first place trophy in the hook-up contest with the best time of 46 seconds.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 7, 1971

Break Ground For New Store Here

Central Maryland Corporation of Thurmont, Maryland, will break ground today, October 14, for a new High’s Dairy Products Store on Route 97, on the west end of Emmitsburg. The store will be owned by Central Maryland Corporation and operated by High’s, carrying over 2,000 convenience items, and opened from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 14, 1971

October 1996, 25 Years Ago

Town Meetings To Be Held At Community Center

Town Manager Yvette Semler has announced that monthly town meetings will now be held in the medial room at the Community Center on South Seton Avenue rather than the Town Office. This new arrangement begins with the October 7 meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. It was decided to make this move to better accommodate the increasing number of residents attending the meetings.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, October 1996

Renovation Of Community Center About To Begin

Several months ago a report on the Space Requirements and Building Evaluation on the Emmitsburg Community Center was presented to the Frederick County Services Division. The purpose was to identify the need to renovate and reconfigure the center and to plan for full and efficient utilization of the building in the future.

The wheels of government decision-making turn slowly, but now bids for the first phase of renovation will be let in October. Work is expected to begin somewhere around the 1st of February, 1997.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, October 1996

More Accomplishments of HARNEY UNIVERSITY

by James Rada, Jr.

During the early part of the 20th century, the highly successful Harney University was known for the many great achievements of its faculty. If it was to be believed, the reputation of the school outshone any other college in the country.

If it was to be believed. Which it wasn’t.

The faculty, as it were, consisted of Jacob Turner, Jerry Overholser, Daniel Shorb, and Bill Snyder, who met regularly at the Slagle Hotel in Emmitsburg. The staff would have also had to include Sterling Galt, editor of the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

The adventures of the Harney University faculty wasn’t an attempt to fool readers of the newspaper. The stories were too outrageous to be believed. It was a way to inject humor into the news and bring a smile to faces of readers.

Here are some of the fantastical achievements of Harney University and its faculty.

January 24, 1913: The Khedive of Egypt sent Dr. Dan Shorb a wireless message that consisted of four lines of gibberish made up of letters (some upside down) mixed with numbers (including fractions) and a few odd characters. Translated, the message was supposedly talking about how the parcel post system in Egypt was so successful and required so many camels that the manufacturing of camel-hair brushes, camel hair shawls, and “camelopards” had ceased.

July 25, 1913: Harney University now had a War College, which the federal government was consulting over how to handle tensions with Mexico. The recommendation of the War College was that seven airplanes loaded with molasses be sent to the border, along with troops from Zora, Four Points, and Poplar Ridge, who would be armed with 800,000 rounds of Limburger bullets.

According to the Emmitsburg Chronicle, the plan was simple. “The molasses will be released from the aero-planes, about 100 tons from each machine. This will have the same effect on the enemy as tangle-foot flypaper has on flies. When the opposing forces are rendered incapable of marching or standing erect, Limburger bullets will be discharged at them at a rate of 10,000 a second. Death will be instantaneous due to the smell of the cheese. An important feature of this mode of warfare is that death will be so horrible that no further recruiting will be possible—no one will enlist in the Mexican army.”

August 8, 1913: Jacob Turner was appointed the chair of snakeology at the University of Harney. He wanted to offer a correspondence course in snake charming. “The professor now has 28 snakes of different varieties fully trained and he says he has no difficulty in making them do anything he asked. In the collection, there are two copperheads which he has taught to dance the tango and a black snake taught to walk the slack wire blindfolded,” the Chronicle reported.

September 12, 1913: Twenty-seven men, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Overholser and Dr. Daniel Shorb from the University of Harney, built an airship underwater. “The main feature of the engine, which is of the complex eccentric type, is the simplicity of the duplicidentate. The meta centre articulates with the friction real and top burtons on the warping chock. This flutes the suction pipe in such a manner as to lap joint the back gear. The lubricator, connecting with a center balance spring, throws the pinch cock under the carburetor, at the same time opening the muffler cutout near the nephoscope. This feeds the silo juice through the bunghole and sparks the fifth wheel near the gunwale. The cloud anchor, which is regulated by a heliograph, is so adjusted on the pinochle deck that it releases automatically from the whiffletree, making it possible to stop and remain stationary by putting on the reverse clutch while going at the rate of 184 knots a second.”

They planned to take the ship on a test flight from the Popular Ridge standpipe to the Eiffel Tower, stopping for lunch at the Sandwich Islands.

September 27, 1913: Dr. John Glass of Harney University came out against the Federal Reserve issuing smaller bank notes. Instead, he had a formula using rubber and yeast that he wanted currency printed on. He told the Emmitsburg Chronicle, “Expandable bills will allow local residents to stretch their dollars further, allowing more to be bought with each bill.”

October 15, 1915: James Arnold and Howard Harbaugh went hunting with Shorb and brought back a Gnukokukua Hen, three Aviskovis Hawks, and a Night Heron, which were supposedly displayed in the Chronicle’s front window.

October 8, 1915: Daniel Shorb of the “Board of Strategy, of Harney University” invented a rapid-fire noodle soup gun for the French Government. The gun fired noodles to entangle the legs of enemies and feed them when they were your prisoner. The French ordered five million of them and awarded Shorb the Order of the Imperial Soup Ladle and granted him a lifetime pension of 450,000 francs annually. He was also working on a macaroni tent that would both feed and shelter prisoners.

December 12, 1918: George Sanders sued the Emmitsburg Motor Car Company because the company sold a car to Rebecca Shorb, who then proceeded to get into an accident with Sander’s horse-drawn wagon. The Chronicle reported, “Mr. Sanders, citing evidence recently published by the University of Harney that women’s brains did not have sufficient capacity to master the art of driving, feels that the Emmitsburg Motor Car Company should not have sold Miss Shorb the car. ‘By selling a car to a woman,’ Mr. Sanders said, ‘they have endangered all hard working men who have to use the roads to make a living, and thus are liable for any damage they produce. Women should stick to their proper roles—namely cooking, cleaning and taking care of youngins, and leave complex tasks that require thinking to men.’”

The building drawing is from the Emmitsburg Chronicle and supposedly showed the Harney University Science Hall that Dr. John Culp, Professor Emeritus of the Science of Pingpongology, presented the university.

Spooky Succulent Garden

by Ana Morlier

Happy October, everyone! Looks like it’s time to put down the pumpkin-spiced lattes and pull out your next great costume. The season of free candy, spooks, and transforming into your favorite character is upon us!

Halloween is drawing closer and closer, with its anticipation following close behind. Even though the status of trick-or-treating may be uncertain, there is one fun activity that we can all take part in: decorating!

Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and talking animatronics seem to be standard decor these days. It seems difficult to make a statement when pretty much everyone has a talking head on their lawn. It’s also difficult to stay family-friendly. Having your favorite horror movie characters seemingly alive on your lawn sounds great in theory. However, it’s not as fun when you have a dozen laughing clowns scaring your trick-or-treaters away (with angry parents in tow). Likewise, just when you have admired your work of angling your projector just right, you have to change out your decorations for cornucopias. October seems to come and go so quickly!

Luckily for you, reader of the Banner, I have come upon a decoration that is sustainable, family-friendly, and spooky!

Here’s a list of what you will need for your Spooky Succulent Garden:

Small wooden coffin box or a rectangular wooden box (preferably, small; can be found at the Dollar Store. You may need to paint your coffin!);

Your favorite succulents [Try these to set a spooky mood: Black Hens and Chicks, Black Zebra Cactus (Haworthia), Chocolate drop stonecrop, Zwartkop, Arachnacantha, Black Knight, Black rose, and Living Stones];

A mini skeleton (or one to fit your coffin. You can also hot-glue dried pasta together to form a convincing skeleton);

Potting Soil;

Cardboard or paper;

Hot glue gun or duct tape;

Your favorite Halloween music (Thriller, anyone?).

Step 1

Paint your coffin, if desired. Fill your coffin about three-quarters of the way full, leaving room for your succulents.

Step 2

Lay your succulents to rest (in the coffin)! Position your plants however you want, just keep in mind that you will need to put your skeleton in the coffin, preferably unobstructed. Try to place a small to medium-sized succulent near the head of the coffin. You can also add a visitor by adding googly-eyes to an Old Man Cactus and planting it off to the side.

Step 3

Slightly bury your skeleton in the dirt. Cut out your paper/cardboard to look like a mini tombstone. For ease in placement, tape or glue your (colored) piece of paper to the cardboard shape, as this will also act as a better garden stake. Make sure you cut your cardboard longer than the piece of paper so that your tombstone stays deep in the dirt.

Step 4

Add whatever you wish to your spooky scene! Some ideas include air plants as your skeleton’s hair, integrating living stones as stepping stones (or other pebbles), or adding another skeleton (Do I see an arm-wrestling match in the near future?).

You can use the skeleton idea on a larger scale. A skeleton waving at guests from your garden will provide quite a bit of surprise. If you properly seal a skull or adhere it to a flowerpot, you have an eerie planter!

While your coffin planter may seem puny in comparison to your neighbor’s life-sized werewolf animatronic, it will startle your next party guest and stay around all year-round. With flowers out of season, this decoration will make a chilling,  yet festive, centerpiece for your table.

May all your plants protect you this Halloween!

by Buck Reed

Bread: Will It Kill You?

I get it. There is a segment of the population that could be exposing themselves to a great deal of harm if they eat bread. Or more specifically, to Celiac disease, which is linked to an allergy to gluten. Bread is high in carbs and low in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and the gluten (a protein found in wheat products) in bread may cause health issues for some people.

Those who have Celiac disease must avoid gluten at all costs. Bread is often referred to as the “staff of life” because it is a very basic food that supports life, yet suddenly everyone is now of the mindset that eating bread carries a death sentence. Now, I am not a doctor, but I do have few ideas on the subject, and of course, I am not shy about sharing those thoughts.

First, most bread made in the United States is trash. Most of the ingredients are over-processed, and mass-produced bread has a lot of sugar in it. The sugar increases the shelf life, but most people outside the U.S. think our bread is more like cake.

Making good quality bread is more of an art than a science, and a baker can make a career out of perfecting the product. Everything from the quality of the ingredients to the water is taken into consideration. Even the number of slits cut into the top is well thought out.

In my opinion, if you have decided that eating bread is worth the risk, you should eat better bread wherever possible. Most grocery stores have a bakery that offers some pretty good bread. 

For me, there is only so much you can do with a sandwich. I prefer my luncheon meats sliced thin and my burgers cooked medium with all the usual condiments. After that, the difference between a good sandwich and a great one is the bread. Is the bread fresh? Is it toasted properly? Does the crust possess a good chew? Eating better bread directly improves the way you eat.

Whether you are under a doctor’s order to not eat certain foods or you have decided on your own to not eat certain foods, it is my job as a chef to accommodate your choices. Like I said, I get it, but most don’t. Who ruined it? The person who wants pasta but wants to substitute linguine because they are allergic to penne! That person is crying for help.

by Ava Morlier

Happy October! Since the holiday of this month provides many sweet flavors (halloween candy, anyone?), today’s dish is savory and warm (to fight the coming chilly temperatures): rice pilaf.

Though pilaf can seem pretty basic, its basic nature allows this dish to be versatile and easy to make. No constant incorporation of liquid is needed (much unlike a risotto); the toasted rice (providing a richer flavor) is added to liquid all at once. Today’s recipe plays up the versatile nature of the dish, taking flavor cues from Mediterranian tastes. Ingredients such as curry powder (provides a subtle flavor boost to the dish, perfect for those wanting to try a traditional pilaf dish but aren’t fans of regular curry), golden raisins (adds elements of color, chewiness, and sweet contrast to the mainly savory flavors of this dish), and the addition of chopped cashews (brings a boost of texture and a slightly sweet creamy flavor) may seem different, but provides a powerful flavor punch that boosts this dish from mundane to mouthwatering.

Enjoy your October, and may this dish warm you and your family in these increasingly colder days!

Rice Pilaf with Raisins and Veggies


3 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp. butter or olive oil

4 stalks celery

½ large onion

4 green onions

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp. curry powder

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups rice (white or brown)

½ c. golden raisins

¼ cups chopped cashews (optional)


Put the pot on medium heat and add chicken broth; let simmer. Heat pan on medium heat. Wash and chop celery, onion. and green onions (divide the green and white parts and chop); mince garlic. Measure out rice and set aside.

Once the pot is warm, melt butter (or add oil). Add celery, white part of green onion, and onion to pan; season with curry powder and salt and cook until tender (5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until aromatic (10 seconds).

Take vegetables out of the pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add rice to pan and let cook until lightly toasted (3 minutes). Make sure rice is evenly distributed throughout the pan in order to ensure every grain is toasted and not burnt.

Once toasted, add to simmering chicken stock. Turn heat down to medium-low. Let cook for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed by the rice. Take off of the heat.

Add vegetables, golden raisins, and the chopped green onion tops. Stir until well combined; serve.

Tools Needed

1 large pot, 1 skillet, spatula, cutting board, chef’s knife, liquid and solid measuring utensils, spoon, fork, medium bowl.

*With Credit to Jaquine’s Rice Pilaf with Raisins and Veggies recipe on

by Priscilla Rall

WWII Thurmont Nurse Follows Troops: Part 3

We continue with the story of Army nurse Mary Catherine Willhide as she nursed wounded American soldiers after the Battle of the Bulge. While stationed in Malmedy in Germany, Mary endured the explosions from German bombs for months in late 1944.

She was on night duty on December 16, sitting near a stove as she wrote a letter home. A bomb hit so close that it knocked the pen out of her hand. This is how she found herself in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge.

According to Mary, “you couldn’t hear anything for the terrible explosions…one knocked out the corner of one of our buildings. About a dozen people were killed in Malmedy about a half-mile away.” On December 17 at breakfast, the colonel told the nurses that paratroopers had dropped between Malmedy and Eupen, 30 miles away. There was to be a counterattack, but no orders had been received so far.

Around noon, infantry troops began jumping out of trucks right at the hospital’s front gate! Mary could hear the fire of small arms in the direction of Malmedy. At three in the morning, a nurse tore into Mary’s room to tell her that there was fighting in the streets of Malmedy and there was to be an emergency nurses’ meeting.

For the next two days, the casualties were heavy and her hospital had nearly 300 patients. Then, Mary noticed a very unsettling activity. All the traffic was now in reverse, including the tanks!

The nurses’ meeting took all of three minutes! The hospital staff was ordered to pack, and Mary wisely dressed as warmly as she could. Fifteen minutes later, they got the word that they were to be evacuated, and the colonel asked for five volunteers to remain at the hospital. Apparently, there were no orders from headquarters, as there was another hospital in Malmedy and no nurses were left behind when they evacuated. The patients were being evacuated as far as possible in “trucks, ambulances, or anything we could get.”

As luck would have it, all nine of the trucks assigned to Mary’s hospital were still there. Forty nurses were placed in one truck. In the afternoon, the nurses from the field hospital at Waimes arrived with a harrowing tale to tell. They had just gotten out ahead of the Germans. Apparently, Mary’s headquarters had called the corps commander four times before they were given the order to evacuate. Mary wryly noted that if they had been told on the morning of the 17th, they would have had time to pack up all of the valuable hospital equipment. Unfortunately, they had to leave all of their medical equipment behind with seven enlisted men and one officer as guards. They worked through the night and had everything packed by 6:00 a.m. on the last truck, also carrying the last load of patients. According to a letter sent to her parents, Lt. Willhide was forced to move three times in one night during the worst of the Battle of the Bulge.

“Fortunately an engineer battalion held the Jerrys back after they had orders to retreat,” Mary wrote. An infantry division and an armored division had already started from above Aachen, but they didn’t arrive until Sunday afternoon and the rest the next day. It was too late. According to Mary, that was the trouble. If they took our troops out of the Aachen area, then the enemy could break through there. “In other words, we were biting off more than we could chew.”

Soon, the British moved into Aachen and the U.S. brought our troops south. According to Mary, “it was the airplanes that defeated the Germans who didn’t have enough support, and the Americans tore up their supply lines.”

A colonel from headquarters came and asked for three volunteers to come with him. Of course, Mary volunteered! She claims that the nurses weren’t too scared until the colonel asked them if the German strafed their jeep, could they make it to the gutter! “We said, brother, you won’t have to tell us more than once!”

He took them to Spa, Belgium, just 10 miles from Malmedy. They met the rest of the unit there. The main drive was towards Stavelot, Belgium, and then further south through St. Vith toward Bastogne. On Monday, December 18, we moved again to Hartze “where we had our closest call.” They stayed there just one night as the battle raged on only 10 miles east of them. Luckily, they moved out just two hours before the Germans took the place. “Thank God we were always just a jump ahead of them.” She realized just how fortunate they were when she saw the ragged and starving POWs from the concentration camps. On the 19th, they moved to Huij, Belgium, where they helped the 102 Evacuation Hospital, which was inundated with the wounded. “It was like Normandy all over again.”

Although Lt. Willhide doesn’t mention it in her letter, she received the Bronze Star with a citation for meritorious service on January 4, 1945. The citation reads “For meritorious service in connection with military operations as an anesthetist, 67th Evacuation Hospital, semimobile from 17 June 1944 to 27 November 1944 in France, Luxembourg and Belgium.”

Then, most of the hospital staff went on to Namur, where the Germans made their deepest penetration. Mary stayed there until January 7 and then went on to the 51st Field Hospital. From there, she went to Duren, which was in complete ruins. It took the men three days to clean it out. “There were dead Germans in the cellar and in the attic where they were housed.”

On March 25, Mary moved to Bonn, where she stayed at the Pathological Institute by the Rhine River. Next stop, Huborn, the next largest hospital since St. Mere Eglise. There, they cared for 30 Russians, all with head injuries. “If you ever saw a mess, that was it. No one spoke Russian, and they were afraid of us and wouldn’t stay on the operating room table, so I put them to sleep on the run!”

On May 4, they moved to Bayreuth, Bavaria, 280 miles by truck, taking 12 hours.

Mary went through Frankfort to Nuremberg, where she saw Hitler’s Stadium. Finally, the long-awaited V-E Day came. But there was still work for Mary. She moved to Marienbad, Czechoslovakia, a lovely resort town, where they set up yet another hospital on June 1. As time went on, Mary noticed that the Germans were less hostile towards the Americans. “Never have I seen a more bedraggled, dirty, sullen people than the German soldiers, who were all along the road. They were walking, riding in horse-drawn vehicles, trucks, and every imaginable mode of travel.” They had thrown the dice and lost.

Now Capt. Willhide, Mary Catherine finished out her tour of duty and then served in the Maryland State Department of Health. She died on February 15, 2001, at her home on Flanagan Road and is buried in Weller’s Cemetery in Thurmont.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Plantar Fasciitis Causes & Exercises to Prevent It

Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick, web-like ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It acts as a shock absorber and supports the arch of your foot, helping you walk.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions, affecting millions of people each year and accounting for more doctors’ visits than any other foot problem.

Some Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Active men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 are at the highest risk for developing plantar fasciitis. It is also slightly more common in women than in men. Women who are pregnant often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy.

You are at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are overweight or obese. This is due to the increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments, especially if you have sudden weight gain.

If you are a long-distance runner, you may be more likely to develop plantar fascia problems. You are also at risk if you have a very active job that involves being on your feet often, such as working in a factory or being a restaurant server.

If you have structural foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet, you may develop plantar fasciitis. A tight Achilles tendon, a tendon attaching your calf muscle to your heel, may also result in plantar fascia pain. Simply wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support can also result in plantar fasciitis.

The Most Common Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis symptoms usually develop gradually over several weeks or months, especially after beginning  an exercise program or becoming active in a new way. The most common symptoms are:

• Pain in the heel, especially when waking up and taking the first few steps of the day;

• Worsening bone and joint pain after exercising, lifting weights, or carrying heavy objects;

• Tenderness and sometimes swelling throughout the feet;

• Trouble walking normally and completing everyday tasks without pain; and

• Reduced pain when stopping repetitive movements or exercising for a period of time.

Foot Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Certain exercise and stretching programs can significantly help to reduce the pain and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Short Foot Exercise. Pull ball of foot toward the heel while sitting or standing. Hold 8 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Plantar Fascia Stretch. While sitting, cross your legs and pull the toes back. Hold for 30 seconds and message the fascia while stretching. Do three reps on each foot.

Toes Lift. While standing with feet shoulder width apart, lift all toes and hold for five seconds, then lower them to the floor. Repeat six to eight times. Then raise all toes, hold for five seconds, then lower them one toe at a time, starting with the small toe. Repeat six to eight times.

Posterior Tibia Tendon Strengthening. Standing with a tennis ball or pickle ball squeezed between your ankles, raise your feet onto your toes. Hold for two seconds and slowly drop down in four seconds. Do three sets of 10 with rest between sets for a few seconds.

Calf Wall Stretches. With one leg planting forward and the other leg stretching backward, while holding feet firmly against the ground, stretch the back leg calf to tolerance. Hold 30 seconds and do each calf three times.

Achilles Tendon Stretch. Standing on steps or stepladder while holding onto something to maintain balance, drag the heels, hold 30 seconds. Do it three times. Do with both feet, then one foot at a time. If the plantar fascia is too painful—and for patients with balance problems—you can stand on a thick phone book or a red brick on front feet/foot, then lean forward until you feel the tendon being stretched out to tolerance.

Five Plantar Fasciitis Treatments You Can Try at Home

For the majority of people with plantar fasciitis, conservative treatments—as opposed to more aggressive treatments like surgery, shock wave therapy, or steroid injections—can help decrease inflammation and pain.

Rest, Massage & Ice the Heel. One of the best things you can do when treating plantar fasciitis involves taking time off from repetitive movements that trigger the condition and increase pain. You will likely need at least several weeks of rest to allow the affected tissue to heal properly, although the exact time-period needed differs from person to person. While you are giving your feet a rest, you can continue to perform low-impact sports that do not cause pain, including swimming or bicycling. Immediately after an injury or an episode that causes swelling to your foot, ice can be helpful. Try elevating the affected foot and applying an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes, two to four times, daily. Some experts even recommend freezing a water-filled paper cup and rolling it over the site of discomfort for about five to seven minutes to massage the area.

Once swelling subsides, after about two to three days, massage the heel and apply heat. Warm oil massages with coconut oil or olive oil are extremely beneficial for your feet because they increase blood and fluid flow, speed up the healing process and break up scar tissue or adhesions that can harden. Massage the painful heel with your hands in circular motions for 15 minutes or more, daily. 

Practice Heel Exercises and Plantar Fasciitis Stretches. Studies show that in patients with plantar fasciitis, stretching exercises for the legs and affected heel are one of the most effective treatment options. Stretching the bottom of the foot, along with exercising and strengthening the legs (especially the calf and Achilles tendon), reduces tissue adhesion, improves form, and helps improve range of motion. Refer to the six foot exercises listed above in this article.

Wear Supportive Shoes & Footwear. Your shoes can really affect your walking or running form. Shoes also affect your ability to withstand force and pressure. If you experience heel pain frequently, it is a good idea to consult an expert. They can measure your feet and help you find the best type of sneakers or shoes for your foot type. Look for shoes that offer extra cushion and arch support, which lowers risk for injury.

If you are a runner, make sure to buy new shoes after about 500 miles of use to avoid wear-out and injury. Avoiding high heels, sandals, and going barefoot on hard surfaces can all help control heel pains and symptoms.

Maintain a Healthy Weight. Reaching and sustaining a healthy body weight (meaning a BMI of 19 to 25 for most people) can help minimize the amount of stress placed on your heels. The higher your body weight and the weaker your lower leg muscles, the more pressure your heels experience.

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and regularly exercising can all help with weight loss. Some of the best foods for weight loss and controlling inflammation to include in your diet are fresh fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, and healthy proteins like cage-free eggs and pasture-raised poultry.

Consider Visiting a Health Professional. If the pain does not subside, consider visiting a professional such as a chiropractor, podiatrist, or physical therapist. They can show you how to perform heel exercises to stretch the plantar fascia in the most effective way. They can also help you learn how to strengthen your Achilles tendons, calves, and lower leg muscles, along with your ankles and lower back, to stabilize your body weight over your heels better.

Plantar Fasciitis Takeaway

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 90 percent of all patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting simple treatment methods that can be done at home.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at

classified and display ads

To place a classified ad, submit and pay online at under the ‘Classifieds’ tab. A classified ad costs $20 and includes up to 200 characters in the For Sale, For Rent, Help Wanted, Yard Sales,  and Wanted categories. Classifieds under the Services category require a paid display ad. When purchasing a paid display ad, you may place a classified ad for free in the months you advertise. Also, continuous advertisers who have regular customer walk-in hours at their brick-n-mortar business location get an additional ad in the Town section. This is to encourage the quick reference reader to visit your business.


Lawn and Patio Services – Fertilizer programs, mowing, landscaping, mulching, and more. Call Mountain View Lawn Service at 301-271-2832.

Visit Quality Tire in Emmitsburg for super tire service at 17650 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Call 301-447-2909.

Asphalt paving and seal coating by Frederick County Paving. Call for a free estimate, 301-662-2820 or email

Accounting services and tax management and filing with Melissa Wetzel in Emmitsburg. Schedule your appointment today at 301-447-3797.

Rick Hurley & Son Small Engine Repair Service. Call 301-271-2117 or 240-285-2494 (leave message).

Call R&D Lawn Service for mowing, trimming, mulching, bush hogging, and Spring clean-up. 301-305-1409.

WE BUY USED CARS! Call 301-788-2626.

Thurmont Backhoe Services. Friendly. Dependable. Affordable. Call 240-288-7048 or email us at We look forward to serving you!

DENNY BROWN CUSTOM PAINTING Professional brush and roll. Free estimates. 240-674-7788.

Custom combining, hay baling, no-til planting. Kenny Marshall of Marshall Farms. Call 301-305-4783.

Septic tank pumping, Reliable Service and Reasonable Rates. Serving Frederick County and surrounding areas. Staley’s Onsite Services 301-788-3636 or email

Piano lessons in Thurmont. Erin Petrella of Petrella Piano Studio. Call 610-984-5075 or contact via web-site,


Seeking choir members, musicians, and singers of all skill levels for the New Music Program at Tom’s Creek UMC, 10926 Simmons Road, Emmitsburg. Contact our New Director of Music Ministries, Holly Phillips, at 240-750-7886 or

Mission of Mercy is looking for a volunteer driver for 1 to 2 days a month. Position would entail driving a motor home to site and patient registration. Training is provided. Call 717-253-2907.

Antiques & Collectibles like crocks, jugs, postcards, photographs, advertising items, old signs, old dolls, toys & trains (pre-1965), quilts, political items, guns, old holiday decorations, hunting & fishing items, jewelry, and coins; gold, sterling, coin collections, etc. Will buy one item or collection. 301-514-2631.

Any unwanted lawn mowers, tillers, snowblowers, or yard items. FREE pickup. Call 301-514-8640.

For Rent

Emmitsburg Studio/Office for Rent on the Town Square, Commercial Rental, 700 sq. feet. $600 plus electricity. Call 240-204-4456.

HALL RENTAL: Weddings, Banquets, Events of any kind. Call the American Legion at 301-271-4411.

Beautifully renovated Foxville Schoolhouse available for rent as a venue for receptions, retreats, special meetings, family reunions. 14814 Foxville Deerfield Road, Sabillasville, MD 21780. Contact Pastor Julie Brigham at 240-405-2173.

Thurmont Senior Center for rent, evenings & weekends, 301-271-7911.

Looking for a place for a meeting, reunion, reception, picnic, or party? St. John’s UCC in Sabillasville rents its pavilion or parish hall. Contact Megan Doolittle at 301-514-3115 or the church at 301-241-3488 (leave a clear message).


Looking for a Complete Collagen Product? Collagen-9 is Shaklee’s newest product! And, it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Supports hair, skin, nails & joints. Get 10 gr. per serving. Website: pws.shaklee/jeanneangleberger.

For Sale

Seasoned Firewood for sale. Mixed hardwoods and oak. Call 301-271-4812. Leave message.

For Sale By Owner: Hoffman’s Market, 405 E. Main St., Thurmont, MD. 301-271-4707. Business and real estate for sale.

Hay and Straw sales, Kenny Marshall of Marshall Farms. Call 301-305-4783.

Cheerful handmade angel dolls. Text 240-285-0978 for pictures and color choices. Perfect unique gift for granddaughter, daughter, mother, friend & self.

Horse hay round or square bales. Also, farm machinery wanted ‘dead or alive’ new and used – buy, sell, trade. 301-667-4020.

Beautiful handmade log furniture. $20 dining room chairs, $150 coffee table, $300 queen size bed frame, $200 large porch bench, $100 table. Call 240-357-5659 or Email-

1951 Chevrolet Deluxe, rebuilt 235 engine, turbo glide transmission, repainted black, tons of new chrome and parts! Original condition – very motivated to sell! Call for details. 240-457-2727, leave message.

Help Wanted

Now Hiring! Experienced Lead Carpenter – Seeking self-motivated person with a good work ethic. Must have own dependable transportation to shop, be able to pass DOT physical, and have a clean driving record. Must show up for work every day. Ability to drive pickup and trailer necessary. Pay rate and benefits based on experience. Call Kevin at 301-606-5815 or email

Now hiring: Fertilizer Tech at Mountain View Lawn Service. Please call 301-271-2832 for more information.

Church Administrative Assistant (Part-time): Weller UMC; Thurmont. Successful candidate will be able to work between 16-24 hrs. per week and conduct typical administrative tasks and assignments. A specific role description is available to applicants. Vacation and Sick Leave provided; no other benefits. Annual salary paid monthly. Interviews scheduled ASAP. Please call or email w/questions OR submit interest letter, resume, and three (3) references: 301-271-4111 or, OR mail: SPR Team Chair: Administrative Assistant, Weller UMC, 101 N. Altamont Ave., Thurmont, MD  21788.

Local Trucking Company looking for class A and/or B drivers. Please contact our office at (717) 334-6586 or email:

Carriage House Inn Restaurant and Catering, 200 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg. Looking for Line Cooks, Lead Catering Chef, Servers, and Server Assistants  $11.75-18/hour. Weekend Hours are a must. Apply within or email for an application.

Pondscapes Hiring Immediately – Pond Technician/Laborer. Experience preferred, but will train. Pay depends on experience. Heavy lifting required. Clean driving record required. Call 240-446-2846 or email:

Part-time kitchen and cashier positions available at The Village Store in Keymar. Evenings and weekends required. Stop in or call 410-775-2966 and ask for Mary.

NVR in Thurmont is hiring: Production Team Member, Truss Framer, Laborer, Trim Carpenter, Forklift Operator. Most positions start at $19.78. Apply for a position online at

Journalists and History writers in The Catoctin Banner Newzine, volunteer and sometimes assignments that are paid. Call Deb 301-271-1050.

Event Advertisements

You may advertise an event in our calendar for free by submitting an entry under the ‘Calendar’ tab at For a more detailed listing (details, contact information, ticket information, and web address), please sign up for a paid display ad under the Calendar tab and reference the Advertisement Rates tab for costs and contract. Paid display ads come with a detailed calendar listing and a write-up in the Around Town section that references your ad page. Calendar listings will be listed only in the calendar month in which they take place.

October 2021

1…… Bingo (every Friday night), Thurmont Event Complex, 13716 Strafford Dr., Thurmont. Doors open 5 p.m.; Bingo 6:45 p.m. Tip jars; food; jackpot up to $1,000. Benefits Thurmont Community Amb. Srv.

1…… Speaker Series: Secrets of the Ritchie Boys, Fort Ritchie Comm. Center, 14421 Lake Royer Dr., Cascade, MD. 6 p.m. Featuring Author Beverley Driver Eddy.

1…… Wolfe Agricultural Auctions: Livestock Sale, at The Eyler Stables, 137 Emmitsburg Rd., Thurmont. 301-898-0340.

1…… Tyrian Masonic Lodge 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, Cedar Ridge Golf Course, 1225 Barlow Two-Taverns Rd., Gettysburg, PA. Shotgun start 9 a.m. $65/person; $240/foursome. Ron 717-688-1598 or Dan 717-321-3968.

2…… Meet Author Brigid Kemmerer, Thurmont Regional Library, Moser Rd., Thurmont. 2-3 p.m.

2…… Walkersville High School’s Class of 1981 40th Reunion, Mt. Pleasant Ruritan Club, 8101 Crum Rd., Walkersville.1-9 p.m.

3…… Chicken BBQ, Lewistown Ruritan Club, Carryouts only. Intersection of Fish Hatchery Rd. & Rt. 15 (northbound side), Lewistown. 10:00 a.m. until sold out.

4…… Clothes Closet, Thurmont UMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 6-7:30 p.m.

4…… Cash Bingo, Woodsboro Vol. Fire Co., 2 South 3rd St., Woodsboro, MD. Doors open 5:30 p.m.; games 7 p.m.

5…… Knitting/Crocheting Group for Newborn Hats for FMH Hospital, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 11 a.m.

5…… Piano Music by Ruth & Sing Along, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 11-11:30 a.m.

6…… 50/50 Bingo, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m.

6 ….. Free Blood Pressure Checks by Right at Home, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:45 a.m.-noon.

6…… Thurmont Candidates Forum: Mayor & Commissioner Candidates, Thurmont Town Office, 615 E. Main St., Thurmont. 7 p.m. Open to public; seating is limited. Broadcast live on local cable channel 99 & Hosted by Thurmont Lions Club.

7…… Exercise to a Video Tape, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 9:30 a.m.

7,8… Yard Sale, 305 Eyler Rd., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Supplies, train table, baby swing, exersaucer, toys, clothes & more.

7,8… Multi-Family Yard Sale, 7912 Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. Longaberger baskets, antiques, furniture, household items, tools & more.

7,8… Multi-Family Yard Sale, 12610 Creagerstown Rd., Thurmont.

7,8… Community Yard Sale, Orchard Hills, Bosc Court, Thurmont. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tools, furniture, home decor, baby clothes, linens, collectibles & more.

7-9… Huge Yard Sale, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Food available (carryout only) Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (or until sold out): sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, soda/water, soups & lots of baked goods.

7-9… Giant Yard & Furniture Sale, Harriet Chapel Catoctin Episcopal Parish, 12625 Catoctin Furnace Rd., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Baked goods, soups, pulled pork, sandwiches & hot dogs.

7-10. Huge Multi-Family Yard Sale, 107 North Carroll St., Thurmont. Household items, girls clothing, designer handbags, waterfowl decoys, hunting boat.

8…… Benefit Yard Sale, 10825 Coppermine Rd., Woodsboro, MD. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

8,9… Puerto Rico Mission Trip Yardsale, TUMC, in Pavilion, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. Oct. 8: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Oct. 9: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

8,9… Benefit Yard Sale for Willing Workers of Grace Rocky Hill, 10825 Coppermine Rd., Woodsboro, MD.

9,10. 57th Annual Catoctin Colorfest, Community Park, Frederick Rd., Thurmont. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nationally recognized juried arts & craft show. Free admission. Shuttle bus service available.

9,10. Warm Apple Dumpling Sale, Community Park (right in front), 21 Frederick Rd., Thurmont. $4/each; $18/pan of 6. In Nov. & Dec. place orders for take-n-bake dumplings (frozen):301-271-3820.

9,10. Food for Sale, Thurmont Grange Hall, Carroll Street, Thurmont. Hand-dipped ice cream, chicken salad sandwiches, hot dogs, country ham sandwiches, soft drinks, water & homemade baked goods. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Outdoor seating available. Reasonable prices.

9,10. Mount Tabor Church Ridgefest, Mount Tabor Church Park, 13616 Motters Station Rd., Rocky Ridge. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Home-cooked food (cash only), numerous vendors, apple butter demonstration (Sat. only). Free flea market set-up spaces: Jeff Sharrer 301-447-6387.

9,10. 45th Annual Sabillasville Mountainn Festival & Car Show, Sabillasville ES, 16210 Sabillasville Rd., Sabillasville. Oct. 9: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Oct. 10: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (car show Sunday). Free admission. Local vendors, demonstrations, food trucks, music & more.

9,10. Rocky Ridge Vol. Fire Co. Ridgefest, Rocky Ridge Activities Bldg.,13516 Motters Station Rd., Rocky Ridge. Breakfast sandwiches 6-10 a.m.; famous country-ham sandwiches until 6 p.m. $5/ea. (freshly made/individually wrapped).

10…. Shotgun Shoot, Indian Lookout Conservation Club, 17107 Riffle Rd., Emmitsburg. Registration: noon; Shoots: 1 p.m. 12 guage and 410.

14…. Monthly Birthday Party,  Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 12:30 p.m.

14…. Fundraiser Night for the Thurmont Sr. Ctr. at Thurmont Roy Rogers. 5-8 p.m.

15…. Special Storytime, Winterbrook Farms, 13001 Creagerstown Rd., Thurmont. Hosted by Thurmont Regional Library. 10:30-11:00 a.m.

15…. Marie Free’s Seated Massage, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

15…. Clay Shoot, Fort Ritchie Community Center hosts at Orvis Hill Country, 519 Gladhill Rd., Fairfield, PA. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $125/participant (includes 100 targets,15 shooting stations, eye and ear protection, catered lunch, awards presentations, complimentary gift). Must be at least 12 years old to participate. Register at

15…. Historic Outdoor Walking Tour of Myersville, MD-The Colorful History of a “Sleepy” Maryland Town, Myersville-Wolfsville Area HIstorical Society, Myersville Town Hall, 301 Main St., Myersville, MD. 7 p.m.

15,16.. Wolfe Agricultural Auctions: Horse Sale, at The Eyler Stables, 137 Emmitsburg Rd., Thurmont. 301-898-0340.

16…. Emmitsburg High School 97th Annual Alumni Banquet, 17701 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 4 p.m.

16…. History Trick-or-Treat, Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick. 301-696-2936;

17…. Third Annual Emmitsburg Community Unity Celebration, Town Park. 2 p.m.

17…. Delone Catholic H.S. Open House, 140 S. Oxford Ave., McSherrystown, PA. 1-3 p.m. Come see what there is for your student to love. Scholarship competition for 8th grade students. Can’t make open house? Contact Jennifer Hart or 717-637-5969 ext. 206).

18…. Cash Bingo, Woodsboro Vol. Fire Co., 2 South 3rd St., Woodsboro, MD. Doors open 5:30 p.m.; games 7 p.m.

18…. Songs and Stories of the Old Railroad Days, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1:15 p.m.

19…. Pauline’s Pals, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m.

19…. Apple Dumpling Sale, 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge, MD. Pick up Oct. 24.

19…. Clothes Closet, Thurmont UMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 10-11:30 a.m.

20…. 50/50 Bingo, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m.

21…. Fright Night on the Deck, Thurmont Regional Library, Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6-7 p.m. Grades 6-12.

23…. Support Shannon Baumgardner’s Fight Against ALS, Kountry Kitchen, 17 Water St., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Family raffling off items donated by local businesses & 25% of restaurant proceeds will go toward medical expenses. 301-271-4071.

23…. Family Campfire, Fountain Rock Park, 8511 Fountain Rock Ct., Walkersville. 301-696-2936;

23…. Quarter Auction for Kyle Minnick, 8 Park Ln., Thurmont. Doors open 11 a.m.; bidding 12 p.m.

23…. History Trick-or-Treat, Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market Street, Frederick. 301-696-2936;

23…. Drive-Thru Dinner, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 8619 Blacks Mill Rd., Creagerstown, MD. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $12/dinner (fried chicken, green beans, pepper slaw, biscuit & cake). Chicken: 8pc.-$10; 12pc.-$15; 16pc-$20. Apple butter: half-pint-$2; pint-$3.50; quarts-$5.50. Pre-order by Oct. 19: 301-898-5290 (leave name & order) or Carmi Sayler 301-401-0633.

23…. 18th Annual Urbana Indoor Art & Craft Show, Urbana Fire Hall, 3602 Urbana Pk., Frederick. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission/parking; 65 vendors. Sponsored by Wesley Chapel UMC.

23…. Slippery Pot Pie Pickup, 12027 South St., Libertytown, MD.

23,24 Fall Harvest Show, Murphy Farm, 11502 Browningsville Rd., Ijamsville, MD. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

24…. Gateway to the Cure Covered Bridge 5K, Eyler Road Park, Thurmont. Run/walk registration: 8:30 a.m. $35/runner. or Thurmont Town Office 301-271-7313.

24…. Maryland International Harvester Fall Harvest Show & Tim Burrier Memorial Cake Auction, 11502 Browningsville Rd., Ijamsville, MD. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

24…. Children’s Bingo, Woodsboro Vol. Fire Co., 2 South 3rd St., Woodsboro, MD. Doors open noon; games 1 p.m.

24…. Shotgun Shoot, Indian Lookout Conservation Club, 17107 Riffle Rd., Emmitsburg. Registration: noon; Shoots: 1 p.m. 12 guage and 410.

25…. Clothes Closet, Thurmont UMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 6-7:30 p.m.

26…. Town of Thurmont General Election: Mayor and Two Commissioner Seats, Guardian Hose Co. Activities Bldg., 123 E. Main St., Thurmont. Polls open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Info.: 301-271-7313.

27…. Halloween Party & General Meeting, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m.

27…. Lewistown UMC Slippery Pot Pie Take-Out Orders Due, 11032 Hessong Bridge Rd., Thurmont. $7/quart (indicate chicken or ham, quantity, name, phone number, pickup time): 301-898-7004 or email Pickup Nov. 6 noon-6 p.m.

28…. Trunk or Treat, Thurmont Regional Library, Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6-8 p.m.

29…. Trick-or-Treat Drive-Thru, Utica Park, 10200-B Old Frederick Rd., Frederick. $10/carload. Advance registration required: or 301-600-2936. Frederick Co. Parks & Rec.

30…. History Trick-or-Treat, Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick. 301-696-2936;

30…. Trunk or Treat, TUMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 5-7 p.m. Trick or treat at the church; stay for dinner/costume judging. (Save the Date: Unclouded Day Concert Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m.)

30…. Wolfe Agricultural Auctions: Halloween Party, at The Eyler Stables, 137 Emmitsburg Rd., Thurmont. 6 p.m. 301-898-0340.

30…. Not Your Average Boozy Costume Party Bingo 18+, 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge, MD. Doors open at 4 p.m.

30…. Trunk N’ Treat, First Baptist Church, 7 Sunny Way, Thurmont. 4-6 p.m. Decorate your car trunk (no scary scenes); enjoy treats, games & free pizza. Trophy awarded for best trunk. Bring non-perishable food item for food bank. Register:

30,31 HarvestFest Craft Fair,  2814 Opossumtown Pk., Frederick. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

45th Sabillasville Mountain Festival & Car Show

Mark your calendars for the 45th Annual Sabillasville Mountain Festival & Car Show on the weekend of October 9-10 at the Sabillasville Elementary School on Sabillasville Road. Admission is free! Come enjoy local vendors, demonstrations, food trucks, music, and much more! The car show will be held on Sunday, October 10. View the advertisement on page 27 for more information.

57th Annual Catoctin Colorfest

It’s back! The 57th Annual Catoctin Colorfest will be held October 9-10 in the Thurmont Community Park. Event features nationally recognized juried arts and craft show, plus free admission and shuttle bus service available. View the advertisement on page 8 for more information about this much-anticipated yearly event.

Gateway to the Cure Covered Bridge 5K

Register today for Thurmont’s Gateway to the Cure Covered Bridge 5K on October 24 at Eyler Road Park in Thurmont! The run/walk starts at 8:30 a.m. There are two ways to register (cost is $35.00): or call the Town Office at 301-271-7313. Pre-register and get a T-shirt! View the advertisement on page 6 for more details.

2021 Thurmont Lions Club Christmas Ornament

The 13th in the series of Thurmont Lions Club Christmas ornaments features a watercolor by talented local artist, Rebecca Pearl, and depicts a scene on Water Street of the D.S. Weybright store and the Moravian Church circa 1896. Mr. Weybright’s store today is home to J&B Real Estate. The Moravian Church property was gifted to the Town of Thurmont and later became the town library. Today, it is home to The Thurmont Main Street Center, which features artwork and crafts. 

As in the past, the ornament is a limited-edition treasure, with only 350 being offered for sale at $10.60 each (tax included). And, it is expected to sell out again! This ornament makes an excellent Christmas or hostess gift. To reserve yours, call Lion Albie Little at 301-271-2134. View the advertisement on page 6 for more information.

Thurmont Town Election

The Town of Thurmont election for mayor and two commissioner seats will be held on October 26 at the Guardian Hose Activities Building at 123 E. Main Street in Thurmont. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Absentee ballot applications will be available on October 8. The last day to make an application for an absentee ballot is the close of business on October 19. View the advertisement on page 9 for more information.

Holiday Bazaar

The Guardian Hose Company is holding its Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 6, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Activities Building on the carnival grounds on E. Main Street. View the advertisement on page 23 for more information.

Mount Tabor Church Ridgefest

Bring the whole family out to the Mount Tabor Church Ridgefest at Mount Tabor Church Park in Rocky Ridge on October 9-10, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Enjoy home-cooked food (cash only), numerous vendors, apple butter boiling demonstration (Saturday only), and more! View the advertisement on page 13 for more information and who to contact for free flea market set-up spaces.

Sleep In Heavenly Peace

The Thurmont Lions Club is supporting Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a group of volunteers who builds beds for children (ages 4-17) who need one. The club is collecting new mattresses, sheets, blankets, quilts, and pillows. Please consider donating one or more of these items now through November 3. View the advertisement on page 22 for more information.

Food for Sale at Thurmont Grange Hall During Colorfest Weekend

Plan to visit the Thurmont Grange Hall during the Catoctin Colorfest on October 9-10, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., for hand-dipped ice cream, chicken salad sandwiches, hot dogs, country ham sandwiches, soft drinks, water, and homemade baked goods. The Grange Hall is located near the Thurmont Carnival Grounds, near Carroll Street. Outdoor seating is available, along with reasonable prices! View the advertisement on page 12 for more information.

FRCC Hosts Clay Shoot Fundraiser

Fort Ritchie Community Center will host a Clay Shoot at Orvis Hill Country, 519 Gladhill Road in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on October 15. Participation is $125 per participant, which includes 100 targets,15 shooting stations, eye and ear protection, catered lunch, awards presentations, and a complimentary gift. Must be at least 12 years old to participate. Gun rentals and ammunition are available for an additional cost from Orvis. Proceeds benefit community outreach programs at the Fort Ritchie Community Center. For more information on the Clay Shoot or the Community Center, please call 301-241-5085 or email Sam at View the advertisement on page 30 for how to register today!

Tom’s Creek UMC Drive-Thru BBQ

Mark your calendars for Tom’s Creek UMC Drive-Thru BBQ on Saturday, November 6, from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., at The Promised Land, 10918 Taneytown Pike in Emmitsburg. Enjoy delicious sandwiches, bowls, sides, and desserts. Everyone is welcome, so please bring your family, friends, and neighbors. Pre-ordering will be available. Check the website at and view the advertisement on page 17 for more information.

Golden Gears Car Club’s Fall Dance

Save the date for the Golden Gears Car Club’s Fall Dance on Saturday, November 20, from 7:00-11:00 p.m., at the Frederick Elks Lodge #684 on Willowdale Drive in Frederick, with live music by Full Effect. All are welcome! Tickets are $12.00 per person (bring a new toy for donation, and your cost will be only $5.00). Benefits Toys for Tots. View the advertisement on page 2 for contact information.

St. John’s Bluegrass Chapel Band

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown presents Bluegrass Chapel Band on Sunday, November 7, at 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments will follow the service. View the advertisement on page 23 for more information.

Wreaths Across America

The Thurmont Lions Club, in conjunction with Wreaths Across America, is sponsoring Wreaths Across America. Wreaths will be placed on Veteran gravesites in Thurmont at Weller United Methodist Church Cemetery on Altamont Avenue and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church Cemetery on Saturday, December 18, at noon. View the advertisement on page 9 for information on how to donate a wreath or make a monetary donation.

Christmas Quarter Auction & Dance

Thurmont AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 7 on Apples Church Road in Thurmont is holding a Christmas Quarter Auction & Dance on Saturday, November 13. Doors open at noon; the auction begins at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 (includes two paddles; extra paddles are $1.00 each). The event features raffles, a cash bar, food, and more! Live Band “Bad Moon Rising” oldies music playing after the auction, from 7:00-11:00 p.m. Open to the public. Benefits scholarship program. Donations excepted. View the advertisement on page 7 for more information.

Bingo — Every Friday Night

Come out to the Thurmont Event Complex every Friday night to play bingo! Doors will open at 5:00 p.m.; Bingo starts at 7:00 p.m. Bingo also features tip jars, food, and a jackpot up to $1,500! Proceeds benefit Thurmont Community Ambulance. View the advertisement on page 53 for more information.

St. John’s Drive-Thru Dinner

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown is holding a Drive-Thru Dinner on Saturday, October 23, from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Dinners are $12.00 (fried chicken, green beans, pepper slaw, biscuit, and cake). Buckets of chicken and apple butter are also for sale. Pre-order by October 19. View the advertisement on page 27 for pricing and for how to place your orders today!

Indian Lookout Conservation Club Shotgun Shoots

Indian Lookout Conservation Club in Emmitsburg is holding its Shotgun Shoots (12 gauge and 410) on October 10 and 24, as well as November 7. Registration starts at noon, with shoots at 1:00 p.m. Masks and social distancing will be required. View the advertisement on page 18.

Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s Ridgefest

Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company is hosting Ridgefest on October 9 and 10 at the Rocky Ridge Activities Building on Motters Road in Rocky Ridge. Breakfast sandwiches are sold from 6:00-10:00 a.m.; famous country ham sandwiches are sold until 6:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 6 for more details.

Rocky Ridge Country Butchering

The Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company is holding its Country Butchering on November 20. A pancake breakfast will be served from 6:00-10:00 a.m. in the activity building. Orders must be picked up between 6:00-10:00 a.m. Place your orders before November 13. View the advertisement on page 18 for information on how to place your order.

Thurmont Lions’ Cash Bingo

Don’t miss the fun at Thurmont Lions Club’s Cash Bingo on Saturday, November 20, at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building on E. Main Street in Thurmont. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., with games starting at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 each and include 20 regular games and 3 specials. Bingo also features a tip jar, King Tut, specials, raffles, and more! View the advertisement on page 27 for information on how to reserve your tickets today!

Thurmont Candidates Forum

Come out for the Thurmont Candidates Forum: Mayor and Commissioner Candidates at the Thurmont Town Office on Wednesday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m. Event is open to the public, but seating is limited. The event will be broadcast live on local cable channel 99, as well as at The forum is hosted by the Thurmont Lions Club. View the advertisement on page 9 for more information.

Winter Golf Tournament at Flatbush Golf Course

Enter the Winter Golf Tournament at Flatbush Golf Course in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, November 6, with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. The cost is $200 per team of four (includes green fees, cart, prizes, and hot dog). Registration deadline is October 31. View the advertisement on page 12 for information on how to register today!

Slippery Pot Pie Take-Out

Lewistown United Methodist Church in Thurmont is hosting its famous Slippery Pot Pie Take-out! Advance orders only by Wednesday, October 27. Pickup will be on Saturday, November 6, from noon-6:00 p.m., where you can visit the baked goods table. View the advertisement on page 21 for how to place your orders today!

Events at Thurmont United Methodist Church

Thurmont UMC is holding many not-to-be-missed upcoming events, including the Puerto Rico Mission Trip Yard Sale on October 8, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and October 9, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; and Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 30, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. All events and services are free and open to the community. View the advertisement on page 28 for more details.

Graceham Moravian Church’s Huge Yard Sale

Graceham Moravian Church on Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont is holding a Huge Yard Sale on October 7-9, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tons of items, with something for everyone! Food will be available on Saturday for carryout only: sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, soups, sodas, water, and lots of baked goods. View the advertisement on page 16 for more information.

Delone Catholic High School Open House

Fall in love with Delone Catholic High School when you visit its Open House on Sunday, October 17, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. The school is located at 140 S. Oxford Avenue in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania. Come see what there is here for your student to love! View the advertisement on page 8 for more details.

Harriet Chapel’s Giant Yard & Furniture Sale

Harriet Chapel Catoctin Episcopal Parish in Thurmont is holding a Giant Yard & Furniture Sale on October 7-9, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The event also features baked goods, soups, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot dogs. You won’t want to miss it! View the advertisement on page 32 for contact information.

Frederick Co. Parks & Rec’s Trick-or-Treat Drive-Thru

Looking for a fun family event? Register today for the Trick-or-Treat Drive-Thru at Utica Park in Frederick on October 29 ($10.00 per carload), hosted by Frederick County Parks & Recreation. Advance registration is required. Register at View the advertisement on page 30 for times.

2021 Wolfe Auctions Sales

At The Eyler Stables in Thurmont, Wolfe Agricultural Auctions is holding a Livestock Sale on October 1; a Horse Sale on October 15 and 16; and a Halloween Party on October 30, beginning at 6:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 51 for more information.

Vigilant Hose Company Sportsman’s Calendar

Your favorite calendar is back: The Vigilant Hose Company Sportsman’s Calendar Gun Raffle 2022! A gun or cash prize will be awarded each day. Must be 18 years of age to purchase a calendar. View the advertisement on page 19 for more details and information on how to purchase your calendar today!

8th Annual Gateway to the Cure

Get your pink light bulbs for Thurmont’s 8th Annual Gateway to the Cure! Pink light bulbs will be for sale starting September 20 at Cousins Ace Hardware, Hobbs Lumber and Hardware, and Thurmont Municipal Offices. View the advertisement on page 13 for more details.

Emmitsburg’s Veteran Banner Program

Join the Town of Emmitsburg in honoring our past and present Veterans by purchasing a banner to be displayed on Main Street and Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. Banners are $45.00 each. View the advertisement on page 6 for more information on how to purchase a banner today!

Trunk N’ Treat at First Baptist Church in Thurmont

Decorate your car trunk and enjoy treats, games, and free pizza at First Baptist Church’s Trunk N’ Treat on Saturday, October 30, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. A trophy is awarded for the best trunk! Bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. View the advertisement on page 21 for more details.

18th Annual Urbana Indoor Art & Craft Show

Mark your calendar for the 18th Annual Urbana Indoor Art & Craft Show on Saturday, October 23, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., at the Urbana Fire Hall on Urbana Pike in Frederick. Sponsored by Wesley Chapel UMC. The show features 65 vendors! Free parking and admission. View the advertisement on page 36 for more details.

Vigilant Hose Co. New Year’s Eve Bingo

Save the date for Vigilant Hose Company’s New Year’s Eve Bingo on Tuesday, December 31, at the Vigilant Hose Activity Building on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with games beginning at 8:00 p.m. Dinner platter included in ticket price: $50.00 in advance. View the advertisement on page 33 for more details.

Warm Apple Dumpling Sale

Hungry for a delicious, warm apple dumpling? Visit the Thurmont Ambulance Company at Thurmont Community Park on October 9-10 to get your dumplings! Ice cream, water, and soda will also be for sale. View the advertisement on page 31 for more information.

Blair Garrett

Making the big league is every young athlete’s dream.

For Mason Albright of Thurmont, that dream has finally become a reality.

The Catoctin alumni pitcher was selected in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Angels, giving him the opportunity to move one step closer to reaching a professional baseball career.

Albright, who pitched for Catoctin High School his freshman, sophomore, and junior year, spent his senior season in Bradenton, Florida, pitching at the IMG Academy among some of the nation’s top prospects.

Leaving friends and family behind for a year to improve was a tough decision, but ultimately, Albright felt it put him in the best position possible to begin a professional career in baseball.

Catoctin went on to win the state championship in Albright’s absence this past season on the back of a remarkably skilled pitching core, but Albright’s sights are set much higher.

The 18-year-old had plans to commit to Virginia Tech this coming fall, but the Angels made him an offer sweet enough to push the prospect to sign right out of high school, a feat that hadn’t been done by a Frederick County baseball player in over a decade.

With the first two draft days passing by without hearing his name called, the chances were getting slimmer and slimmer that he would accept an offer from a team and forgo his scholarship to Virginia Tech.

The Angels’ $1.25 million signing bonus offer is the largest in the bonus-pool money era of the draft for a player picked after the 10th round, which means the Angels knew they had an opportunity to pick up a talented player and ran with it.

With a limited amount of signing bonus money left, the Angels’ commitment to meet Albright’s signing value shows they believe he can make an impact down the line someday soon.

Albright held tight for a signing bonus that would persuade him to relinquish his commitment to Virginia Tech, and his confidence in his abilities ended up paying off big time on the final day of the draft.

The mission over the past year for the left-handed pitcher has been to improve his game, and he is now among elite company to eventually make the push onto the Angels’ roster. 

The Angels used all 20 picks of their 2021 draft selection on pitchers, so the message is clear that the team wants to develop a deep prospect pool of pitchers.

Albright headed west to Tempe, Arizona, to the Angels’ training facility for a team mini-camp to grow with other top prospects for the coming season.

The future is bright for the former Cougar to make a splash into the MLB, and he’s just getting started on what is hopefully a long and successful career on the mound.

Mason Albright, 18, throws for the Perfect Game National Showcase, which gives

scouting exposure to baseball’s top prospects.

James Rada, Jr.

As the world remembers the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I am filled with memories of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and my experiences there.

I was off work that Tuesday, so normally, I wouldn’t have heard about the day that changed the world because I didn’t have television in my house. Instead, I had a “honey, do” list to finish, and I was in the car driving around Cumberland on various errands.

I was listening to a CD on my car stereo, so I didn’t hear the first reports of the plane crashes on September 11. It was a beautiful fall morning, and I was enjoying the day. However, when I stopped at a pharmacy to pick up a prescription, the pharmacist asked, “What do you think about the plane crash?”

When I told her I had heard nothing, she explained a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center tower in New York City. I hurried back to my car and turned on the radio. The reporter was talking about the crash. I quickly realized it was about a second crash into the World Trade Center.

I drove to the next place on my errand list, listening to the radio reports as news came in. I didn’t want to get out of my car when I parked at the store where I needed to pick up some things. I went in and bought what I needed as quickly as I could. When I got back into my car, the news reports were talking about a third crash into the Pentagon.

‘CumberlanFiguring things were probably crazy at the Cumberland Times-News where I worked, I headed in to see if I could help.

I was wrong. Things weren’t crazy. Everyone seemed glued to the television as the video played over and over of the planes crashing into the towers.

I had barely seen the footage when my city editor saw me and sent me and a photographer off to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to search for another plane that had supposedly crashed. No one was sure what to make of this. Why would a plane crash in a town of fewer than 250 people? It wasn’t a well-known target like the World Trade Center or Pentagon. As the photographer and I neared Shanksville, we wondered where to go. We saw no smoke or anything that could lead us to the crash site.

Then, a Pennsylvania State Trooper car passed us with its lights flashing.

“Follow him,” I said. “If a plane crashed up here, that’s where he’s got to be going.”

So, the photographer sped up and followed the police car up the highway. It had gone about a mile when it suddenly made a U-turn in the middle of the road and headed toward us. Diane let the car pass and did her own U-turn to follow. The police weren’t even sure where the crash site was.

The car began snaking through some back roads until it reached another group of police cars with flashing lights. The police had barricaded all entrances to the site of the crash and pointed us to a field across the street as a place to wait. Only a handful of reporters were there.

I walked to the nearest house and interviewed the woman who answered the door. Paula Pluta had seen the plane come down in the quarry across the street. I stood with her for a few minutes and drew out her story. When I left her, I felt a little shaken myself. To have seen such a crash, what would that be like?

In the next house, a man had been driving home when he heard the crash. He had been to the crash site and seen nothing but smoke and small pieces of debris, “nothing bigger than the size of a car door.”

After I had interviewed anyone I could find within walking distance of the site, I headed back. I waited for hours in a hot, open field with no shade. As the day wore on, more and more reporters showed up, and we took cover from the sun in the shade of vehicles.

I was too afraid to leave the site in search of food or water, although I was hungry. What if we were allowed into the site and I was snacking at a diner? I ignored my rumbling stomach and dry mouth and waited.

After a couple of false alarms that we would be allowed back to see the site, a tour bus arrived around 4:00 p.m. The bus drove the media through lines of vehicles that made up mobile stations for federal teams, the Red Cross, biohazard teams, and cadaver dogs. Then, it stopped in a clearing, and we got off.

There wasn’t anything to see.             An amazing statement considering a passenger jet had crashed there just a few hours earlier.

Some state troopers stood watch at the edge of the perimeter where the media was allowed. You could see a pile of earth and smoke coming out a couple hundred feet away. That was it. That was all that was left of Flight 93.

After a press conference wth Governor Tom Ridge, there wasn’t anything left to do but to head home and file my story. It was a quiet ride. I tried to gather my thoughts and write out my story. It was hard to write objectively, though, when I felt so unsettled.

I guess the world has felt that way ever since.

Picture shows debris from Flight 93 at the crash site.