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Part 1: Taking Flight

“The Anger of Innocence” is a six-part original serial set in the Graceham area during 1973. Serialized fiction is something that older newspapers often did as an additional way to entertain their readers. We thought it was about time for serial to make a comeback. Let us know what you think.

Story Written by James Rada, Jr.

The blackbird fell out of the sky, diving so close to Christine Weber’s head that the blonde 13-year-old had to duck to keep the bird from tangling in her hair. She flapped her arms over her head trying to drive it off. When it didn’t land in her hair or claw at her, Christine straightened up and looked around.

The blackbird stood on the side of the road about six feet in front of her. It stared at her with unblinking dark eyes.

“Shoo!” Christine said, waving her hands toward the bird.

It didn’t fly away or even hop around. It might as well have been a statue.

She thought of swinging her book bag at the bird, but she didn’t want to anger it so that it would fly at her.

Christine walked around the blackbird giving it a wide berth. It turned to watch her as she walked.

She traveled the quarter mile between her home on Graceham Road and the bus stop twice a day during the school year. She’d seen plenty of birds during that time; crows, robins, cardinals, once even a hummingbird had zipped by her, but she had never seen a bird act as odd as this one. Occasionally, a bird would fly near her and even land on the street, but it always flew off if she got too close. She didn’t intimidate this bird at all.

She kept walking down the road. She couldn’t let a stupid bird delay her.

Christine thought about the homework she had to do tonight. Her teachers at Thurmont Middle School had no shortage of papers and projects to assign her, but she was an eighth grader. Next year, in the fall of 1974, she’d be a freshman at Catoctin High School, and she had to be ready. Tonight’s assignments would take at least an hour to do, and her mother would set her down at the kitchen table with a glass of Kool-Aid and expect her to get to work when she got home. She hoped she could finish quickly enough to have time to go over to Marci Robertson’s house and listen to the new Kool and the Gang, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and Jackson albums that Marci had gotten for her birthday. Christine especially enjoyed grooving to “Dancing Machine” by the Jackson Five.

She paused when she saw the pair of blackbirds standing on the side of the road staring at her. They stood there in the grass, not moving. Christine stopped and turned back. The bird that had dive-bombed her still stood on the edge of the road not doing anything but staring at her.

Odd.

When she turned around to start walking, a cowbird stood in front of her, so close she could have easily kicked it. She was tempted to do so, but it didn’t seem right. Like the other birds, this one didn’t hop around or peck at the ground. It just watched her. It wasn’t doing her any harm or even annoying her. It was just…weird.

She stepped around the bird and kept walking, although now she walked faster than she had been. She wanted to be inside her house. She wouldn’t have to see these odd birds there or feel their eyes upon her.

A half a dozen starlings landed on a power line that ran above the road. That was nothing unusual except that they also stared at her.

Christine shook her head. She had to be imagining this. One bird might stare at her but not every bird she saw.

She hurried down the road until she saw the flock of blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds, and starlings sitting on the road. There must have been hundreds of them. They formed a thick line, not only blocking the road, but stretching a yard or more to either side of the road.

Christine stopped. She couldn’t walk through the birds, although she might kick her way through them. She was beginning to doubt that though, as all these birds stood unmoving and staring at her. She wished for a car to drive up, so she could hitch a ride. At this point, she didn’t even care who was driving. Let the car drive right through this line of birds. They would either fly away or be flattened.

She hurried onto the field next to the road, planning to go around the line of birds, but they all turned in unison and hopped to stay in front of her. Christine ran in the other direction, thinking she could move faster than the birds and get around them. They took flight to move quickly to block her path.

Christine couldn’t be sure, but it seemed there were more birds now than before their short flight.

Then, even as she watched, a flock of birds flew in from the direction of Thurmont. They swirled around overhead and landed in a circle around the young girl. Thousands of birds formed a solid circle around her that was six-feet wide.

Christine turned looking for a way through the line. It was too broad for her to jump over. She swung her book bag at the birds. They didn’t move, and she knocked them over like bowling pins. The fallen birds flapped their wings until they could get their feet under them again.

Christine suddenly realized what made her so uneasy about the birds, in addition to their staring. The birds that had fallen over hadn’t made a sound, not when the book bag had toppled them and not when they had struggled to stand up. If Christine had been hit with a book bag, she would have yelled, and she was a lot bigger than a bird.

“Help!” she shouted, hoping someone in a nearby house would come out to help her.

Someone had to be nearby. She wasn’t so sure what anyone could do to help her. If the birds wouldn’t move for her, they wouldn’t move for anyone else. Christine would feel easier, though, if she wasn’t so badly outnumbered. Not that 5,000 birds to two people was much better than 5,000 birds against just her.

“Help! Somebody, help me!”

No one came, and no one was in sight. She was on her own.

Christine suddenly yelled and ran toward the outside of the line. She kicked at the birds and judging by the crunch she heard, she stepped on at least one of them. And still none of them made a sound.

She had only taken a few steps into the birds when they took flight and flew in a circle around her. Christine stood in the center of it all, afraid to try and push through the swirling wall of birds in front of her.

“Help!”

She doubted anyone could hear her. She could barely hear herself among the beating of wings. Christine looked up at the sky in time to see the swirling birds close the gap of sunlight.

***

Sarah Adelsberger stepped out from behind the blue spruce tree so she could see things better. The swirling flock of birds numbered at least 10,000, probably more. They spun in a tight circle as large as a house.

Even as she watched, the circle tightened and grew denser so that no flashes of daylight could be seen through the column. Then the birds shot off in all directions in a wild flurry.

Sarah walked across the field and crossed the street. She came to a stop where the column of birds had been. She saw a few spots of blood on the grass and a quarter-size piece of canvas from Christine’s book bag, but that was all.

Sarah picked up the piece of canvas and put it in her pocket. Then she looked into the sky at the birds, most of which were specks against the sky as they flew off.

Somehow, she knew they wouldn’t go too far. They had come for a purpose.

To be continued…

Old Glory

Poem by Francis Smith

Yes, Sir! I can see

Old Glory proudly perched

Upon her battered staff.

            And yes, at five a.m.;

            In the glorious light of dawn,

            Old Glory holds her own

            Above the sturdy ramparts

            Of old Baltimore’s

            Fort McHenry.

As you may know,

A famous old church tune

Kept surging in the soul

Of that wakened spirit

Of Francis Scott Key.

            As the patriotic hymn

            Kept Francis humming

            Its age-old tune,

            The dawn also broke

            In his fertile brain.

To his delight, his thoughts

Of war and peace

Burst into the solemn melody;

The words for the tune

And so was born

Our ‘Star Spangled Banner’

In “dawn’s early light.”   

Happiness

Poem by Amanda Sweeney

I know my soul,  my courage,  my life, I have tested myself to change out of the old soul,  I poisoned with tragic misery of not how I can explain from the torture I went through  with no passion,  now I seek and found my passion with my beast,  my beast helps keeps me controlled with the right soul I found with him, I begin to now find love with more than ever, the happiness finds me gratitudes I yet have not never seen all yet, but it will never end with my beast, to keep find the right and blessed eternity of great pleasures we keep in our souls make one of the soulmates we are meant to be, through pain, suffering, aches,  headaches of all kinds, love, sadness, happiness is the most of all to not complain, we just want to be the turtle doves, the angels that GOD keeps in his nature to live a full long life, to not complain at all!   

Focus

On Catoctin

Photo by Debbie Wivell

The photo shows the Roddy Road covered bridge, just north of Thurmont, off of US 15, where Roddy Creek Road meets Roddy Road at Owens Creek.

Debbie Wivell took this beautiful photo of the historic bridge on Saturday morning, June 1, 2019.

The Roddy Road Covered Bridge, built in 1856, is a small, one-lane Kingpost design wooden covered bridge. It crosses Owen’s Creek near Thurmont. It is 40 feet long, 16 feet wide, with a 12 foot-8 inch clearance.

The Roddy Road Covered Bridge is the smallest of the county’s covered bridges. There are two more covered bridges close by; the Loy’s Station Covered Bridge and the Utica Covered Bridge.

Explore the natural beauty of this park and bridge, go fishing, or relax with a picnic.

You are invited to a free showing of Before The Flood, a special film documenting extreme weather changes and how they are affecting all of us, especially the poorest people and innocent creatures worldwide. From rising sea levels to destruction of rainforests, Leonardo DiCaprio, as the Messenger of Peace on behalf of the of the United Nations, takes us on a tour around the world as he investigates with us the consequences of human activity and the spiritual necessity for us to protect “our only home,” as Pope Francis puts it.

The free showing will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Weller Methodist Church, located at 101 N. Altamont Avenue in Thurmont.  A second showing will be at Mystic Meadows Nature Preserve on Friday, June 21, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. (please RSVP for this second showing at 240-469-7899, or for any questions related to either showing).

The Emmitsburg Lions Club is once again sponsoring a Heritage Art Contest. The contest is open to school-aged children from the Emmitsburg School area in first through eighth grades. Homeschoolers are encouraged to participate as well.

All artwork should reflect the theme: “What Does My Community Look Like to Me?” Prizes are awarded to winners in each division.

For registration, visit www.Emmitsburgevents.com or email eburgheritagedays@gmail.com.

Poem by Francis Smith

Come to me
in the greening
     of the springtime

when all the world is born
     fresh and new.

          Come to me
              when flowers and trees,
              veggies and fruits,
              and seedlings of all sorts
              poke their heads
              and twine their roots —
              their colors burst anew.

So, come, watch with me,
     enjoy the scenes, and
     smile your biggest smile!

Come, rest your soul;
     it is so worth the while!

Last month, I wrote about how a local Emmitsburg collector owned two Armstrong rifles, which had been crafted in town. The same collector owns an Eyster clock, and the Maryland Room at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick owns a Hoover clock.

John Hoover is believed to be Emmitsburg’s first clockmaker. He lived from 1771-1832, so his working years would make him a contemporary of riflemaker John Armstrong and Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton.

The John Hoover clock in the C. Burr Artz Library is a tall clock in a wooden case. Hoover signed the face: John Hoover, Emmitsburgh, 20.

The numeral indicates that it was Hoover’s 20th clock.

“The case is very well constructed, and it is interesting to note that both this clock and the Eyster tall clock show a similar Pennsylvania Dutch influence in the design on the base,” Mary B. Nakhleh wrote in Emmitsburg: History and Society.

Little else is known about Hoover, regarding his clocks. Luckily, much more is known of Andrew Eyster (1800-1872). According to Nakhleh, a local story is that a clockmaker named Bachman, who came from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, trained Andrew in clockmaker and silversmithing. However, she also theorizes that, given their ages, it is possible Andrew Eyster learned his trade from John Hoover. Besides clockmaking and silversmithing, Andrew also earned a living as a jeweler. The Eyster shop was on the south side of West Main Street. He was also active in local government, serving as a town commissioner, burgess, and magistrate.

When Andrew died in 1872, his sons, George Edgar Taylor Eyster (1847-1914) and Hall Webster Eyster (1851-1927), took over the business, having been apprenticed to his father. At least one clock still exists that is labelled “G.T. Eyster & Bro., Emmittsburg.” According to Nahkleh, it has a double dial and a calendar dial that indicates day and month.

George was a Civil War Veteran. He had enlisted in the Army in 1864, and then signed up for Cole’s Cavalry in 1864, according to his obituary in the Emmitsburg Chronicle. “

Mr. Eyster was one of the few men who could boast of having heard Abraham Lincoln deliver that immortal address at Gettysburg at the dedication of the National Cemetery,” the Chronicle reported.

Like his father, George was active in civic affairs, although in his case, it was serving with the Vigilant Hose Company for 20 years as its captain.

George advertised his business in a way left little doubt as to what he did. “George T. Eyster has hung out, at his store, a large gilt watch, that indicates the time at 8:20 or 5:40 o’clock as you please to read it. It goes by swinging.” “This sign is still in the possession of the Eyster family,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported in 1883.               

Although George was the Eyster name on the business, Hall seems to have had the talent. Andrew may have recognized this because he left all of his watch and clock making tools to Hall. Hall also held a patent for creating an improved clock movement frame. “The frame was designed so that the mainspring arbors could be removed without tilting or damaging the movement. The lower portions of the clock frame, both front and back plates, were constructed in three parts which were screwed together in such a way that the entire lower frame could be dismantled sectionally,” Nakhleh wrote.

A third son of Andrew Eyster was also a clockmaker. George’s older brother, John Thomas Eyster (1833-1921), is listed in Maryland Clockmakers as Andrew’s son and apprentice who worked as a silversmith, jeweler, and watchmaker.

Given the rich tradition of clockmaking in Emmitsburg, it’s a shame that more Eyster and Hoover timepieces haven’t survived.

(left, below) Hoover Clock in the Maryland Room at C. Burr Artz Library.

James Rada, Jr.

Watching Majo jump around, waiting for Tim Duhan to throw a lacrosse ball, it’s hard to imagine that the nineteen-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix is a trained law enforcement officer. On the job, Majo is all business, as he tests the air for the scent of hidden narcotics.

“He’s 100 percent a puppy still, and he’s also ball crazy,” said Duhan, a corporal with the Thurmont Police.

Majo is trained as a narcotics dog and has been on the job since September 2018. He came from the Czech Republic, and the Thurmont Police purchased him from Castle’s K-9 Inc., a company in Pennsylvania that imports and trains police dogs.

The town had a budget of $10,000 to purchase and train Majo, but the bill came out to be $12,600. However, the Humane Society of Frederick County donated $1,600 and Woodsboro Bank donated $1,000 to make up the difference.

“Another couple of agencies wanted to make him (Majo) a dual-purpose dog, but we got him first,” Duhan said.

Some dogs can also be trained as a patrol dog, besides smelling for certain scents. This “bite work” is left to dogs with a temperament for it and a reputation for being tough like German shepherds or Doberman Pinschers.

“The town didn’t want a dog that would bite, though,” Duhan said. “They wanted a social dog, and Majo is very social.”

Majo also does his police work well. So far, he and Duhan have been called out for scans three times, and drugs were found every time.

This comes from Majo’s daily training. Duhan not only exercises him, he trains him through scanning scenarios.

“With a dog like this, he should be doing some sort of drug training every day,” explained Duhan.

Majo takes over the position of canine cop from Buddy, a black Labrador retriever who was medically retired in May. He was running and playing when he injured himself in an accident.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Duhan said. “I saw him running down the yard and turned away for a moment. When I turned back, he was doing a somersault and hit a tree.”

Duhan rushed over to Buddy and discovered that the dog couldn’t get his front legs to work. He rushed him to the veterinarian for care. It was discovered that Buddy had permanent nerve damage to one of his legs, and it had to be amputated.

“He still could have done the job, but the town was unable to get insurance for him,” Duhan said.

Buddy still lives with Duhan, his family, Majo, and Duhan’s large Pyrennes. The dogs get along well, except they fight over toys like children. Duhan will still let Buddy do drug scans because the retriever likes the activity.

“He watches me do it with Majo, so I also let him scan,” Duhan said. “Even after being retired, I could probably certify Buddy now.”

Corporal Tim Duhan stands with Majo, a trained narcotics dog with the Thurmont Police Department.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

James Rada, Jr.

There was a time in Frederick County when workers needed to follow the work. Every year, a couple thousand workers would journey up the East Coast to work on farms and in factories in the county. They lived in migrant camps in Thurmont, Frederick, and Araby.

Galen Hahn was among them. He didn’t travel with them or work the jobs they did. He ministered to them in the 1960s.

Born and raised in Frederick County, Hahn is the son of John and Helen Hahn. He was confirmed and ordained into Christian ministry at Grace Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick.

While in high school, Hahn spent a couple summers working with the pastors who served the migrant communities in the county. He initially served as a guide, getting a pastor who wasn’t local to the different places he needed to go, but he continued volunteering and serving the migrants. After he graduated college, Rev. Hahn returned to the county as the migrant pastor.

“It wasn’t just a meeting on Sunday,” Hahn said. “I had to go day to day, week to week. The bulk of the people I worked with were children and a few women.”

This is because the men, and most of the women, were in the county to work, and they worked seven days a week. In the Thurmont area, they worked in a canning factory owned by J. O’Neill Jenkins.

The migrant camp was a set of run-down barracks that were “falling apart,” according to Hahn. For these poor accommodations, the families paid $2.00 per person, per week. The camp, which was near the Weller Church cemetery, no longer exists.

Hahn has written a book about his time as a migrant pastor, called Finding My Field. It includes pictures, which he has since donated to the Maryland Room in the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick.

The book is the story of the migrant ministry in Frederick County and the people who cared enough for the migrant farm workers to pursue justice for them.

“Toward the end of my life, I am enjoying the opportunity of revisiting some of my early days of involvement in ministry before ordained ministry became my life,” Hahn said. “I was early affected by race, poverty, justice, and ministry to children where these were issues. These issues stayed with me throughout my ordained ministry.”

Although he now is retired and living in North Carolina, Rev. Hahn previously served as pastor of the Mt. Pleasant Reformed United Church of Christ and the Sabillasville United Church of Christ. He has also served as a chaplain at Stauffer Funeral Home, Victor Cullen Center, and Victor Cullen Academy.

You can purchase his book online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Copies are also available to check out in county libraries.

Thurmont Migrant Camp

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Thurmont-Camp-1963.jpg

Before Migrants Arrived in 1963

Connie  Stapleton at the Thurmont Camp Garbage Area.

Thurmont Camp Barracks Family Room.

Photos Courtesy of the Maryland Room, Frederick County Public Libraries

Blair Garrett

Emmitsburg-based filmmaker Conrad Weaver’s new documentary, Heroin’s Grip has been making waves in a community affected by an addiction epidemic.

The documentary offers viewers hope, understanding, and empathy for those who have struggled with addiction or are currently dealing with the effects of opiates.

Weaver’s in-depth look at the critical issues of opioid addiction premiered locally this September, and the impact of the film is already catching the eye of filmmakers around the country. It all started by Weaver paying close attention to the people close to him and their personal issues with addiction.

“One of my friend’s kids got tangled into this mess, and hearing their stories and their struggles and seeing it on the news every day made me decide to jump into it and figure out how to tell this story,” Weaver said. “I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer and just turn my head away. I just had to get into it and get involved somehow.”

The response from the community has been tremendous for Weaver and his team, and it comes at a time when Frederick County and thousands of others need the message most.

“We had a screening [locally] a couple weeks ago and the feedback to that was just amazing,” Weaver said. “Immediately, I started getting calls from people around the country looking to screen the film.”

The reach of the film is perhaps what may drive awareness most, and that awareness is what Weaver is striving for. “We really hope to help people understand addiction, help them to have a little more empathy for those who are caught up in it, and I believe that is what that film is doing.”

While the documentary has been a local hit so far, soon the world may get to understand Weaver’s vision behind Heroin’s Grip. “My goal is for as many people to see it as possible,” Weaver said. “It really does change your perspective on this problem, and specifically what opioids do to the brain.”

Weaver plans to show his film locally again and hopes to have it broadcast in theaters nationwide. For Weaver, if Heroin’s Grip helps erase some of the stigma surrounding addiction or helps another to understand and support those in recovery, the documentary will have done its job.

The sense of satisfaction in filmmaking is not always about the money. Sometimes, a story needs to be told for the good of the people, and Weaver’s documentary is giving people just that. “This is my third feature documentary I’ve produced, and I love telling stories. Projects like this are near and dear to my heart.”

 

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was the great national project that failed to live up the dream. It never reached its ultimate destination, which was not Cumberland, Maryland (where it wound up), or the Ohio River (as the name implies). The early vision of the canal planners was something far grander and longer, and it’s just one of the secrets of the C&O Canal.

In his new book, Secrets of the C&O Canal: Little-Known Stories & Hidden History Along the Potomac River, award-winning writer James Rada, Jr. (pictured right) tells the stories of the canal, its people, politics, and connection to history.

If you’re wondering where the canal could have gone, one possibility was that it would have ended at Lake Erie to offer competition to the Erie Canal. You can discover and alternate starting point in the book.

Other “secrets” of the canal include: Discovering the connection between the C&O Canal and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Finding out how building the canal led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution;    Discovering how the Johnstown Flood helped kill the canal; Solving the mystery of two murders on the canal that never actually happened.

“I’ve been writing about the C&O Canal for eighteen years,” Rada said. “It was the subject of my first historical novel. I love it, and I keep coming back to it as a topic for stories.”

Rada considers “secrets” in this book as stories that aren’t widely known. When speaking to audiences about the topics of his other “Secrets” books, he has found that people whom he expected to know all of the stories in his book knew half of them.

“And those were people who you would expect to know all about the topic,” Rada said.

These are stories that Rada discovered looking through old newspapers and journals, and they cover a wide range of areas.

“These are stories that caught my attention in one way or another,” Rada said. “They aren’t the types of stories you find in history books about the county, but they are part of the area’s past.”

Secrets of the C&O Canal contains sixty-seven black and white photographs and illustrations that help bring the stories to life.

“I love writing about history,” Rada said. “I love finding interesting and unusual stories about people and places, and I haven’t come across an area that doesn’t have plenty of these stories.”

Secrets of the C&O Canal is the third in a series of books that Rada is writing about regional topics.

James Rada, Jr. is an award-winning writer, who Midwest Book Review called “a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.” Leatherneck Magazine called The Last to Fall “a superb book.” Rada has two dozen writing awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, Maryland State Teachers Association, and Utah Ad Federation. He has been writing about history for nearly twenty years and still finds it fascinating and new.

“History is not boring. It’s full of love, adventure, comedy, and mysteries that still aren’t solved to this day. It’s those types of stories I like to write, and I believe I’ve pulled together a great collection of them for this book,” Rada said.

Rada is the author of twenty books, most history and historical fiction. His articles have been published in magazines like The History Channel Magazine, Boy’s Life, and Frederick Magazine. He also writes four local history columns for The Cumberland Times-News, The Gettysburg Times, The York Dispatch, and The Catoctin Banner.

Secrets of the C&O Canal: Little-Known Stories & Hidden History Along the Potomac River retails for $19.95 and is available at local booksellers. For more information about James Rada’s books, visit his website at jamesrada.com.

Catoctin Voices Evening of Poetry opens its 2018 series with guest poet, Jessica Flynn, on Friday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Collier’s Log House, located at 12607 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont. Flynn, of Gardners, Pennsylvania, has written poetry for sixteen years and performed as a Spoken Word Artist for over four years. She represented the USA as an award-winning Poet of 2015 in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia. Her YouTube channel, “The Hippie Housewife,” currently features fifty-nine videos on topics such as art, crafts, food, nature, family, animals, tattooing, dreadlocks, hula hooping, children, and more. She produces two videos per week. Her husband, Dustin Nispel, is also an award-winning published poet and Spoken Word Artist.

Catoctin Voices is open to the public and features a guest poet from the region every third Friday of the month, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., April through November. The venue is held in the village of Catoctin Furnace at the historic Collier’s Cabin, courtesy of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society. Anyone who writes poetry or has a favorite poem by another author may share up to three pieces during the 45-minute open mic time. Students are most welcome! Open readings precede the featured poet and refreshments are always served. For more information, call 301-418-3375.

Jessica Flynn, featured guest poet at Catoctin Voices Evening of Poetry on April 20, 2018.

Calling all artists for the 2018 Spring in the Village/Art at the Furnace event in historic Catoctin Furnace in Thurmont.

During the past six years, more than 3,500 visitors have enjoyed the crafts, food, and traditional atmosphere of the historic village during this family-friendly event.

For more information, please visit www.catoctinfurnace.org or call 301-271-7574.

Anita DiGregory

Have you recently fallen in love?  Are you newly engaged and planning a wedding? Did you recently get married? If so, Mount Saint Mary’s graduate and author Stephanie Calis has some practical and spiritual advice for you. On February 11, in honor of St. Valentine’s Day and the observances of National Marriage Week (February 7-14) and World Marriage Day (February 11), the Seton Shrine hosted a “Chat with an Author,” featuring Calis and her book, Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner, which is up for its second printing and has been a #1 Amazon bestseller in Weddings.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born U.S. saint.  Because Mother Seton was a young wife, mother, and resident of Emmitsburg, the Seton Shrine was thrilled to invite Calis to share her message with the community. The event, which was well received, was moderated by Shrine Programs Director Tony Dilulio and included a talk, a question and answer session with the audience, a book signing, and refreshments. The free event was the second in the series, with the next talk (featuring Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom, author Colleen Duggan) scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on April 29, 2018.

Calis, a young wife and mother herself, was happy to meet with the community and share her wedding and marriage advice in a refreshingly humble and down-to-earth style.  Her passion is sharing with others the immense worth that they hold as a human person; that love is a verb; and that pure, sacrificial love is real.

With the tone of a big sister or a best friend, Calis invites her reader (much like a friend would over a cup of coffee) to see with fresh eyes the beauty and truth of the sacrament of marriage. In an honest and caring manner, Calis shares her insights in hopes to share that rules as established through the Catholic Church are in actuality freeing, resulting in pure, sacrificial love.

“My hope for the book is to present a message, which is accessible and inviting, where Faith is a path to freedom,” adds Calis. In an attempt to combine practical wedding planning advice with spiritual teaching and insights, Invited includes the Catholic Rite of Marriage; planning worksheets and checklists; sample invitations and programs; and reception planning sheets, interspersed with information on marriage prep programs, how to choose the perfect dress, budget aids, planning resources, and more.  Another unique element of the book is the “From the Groom” advice, which includes thoughts and insights written by her husband.

While a student at the Mount, Calis met her future husband, Andrew, a fellow student in her English class. In 2010, Calis graduated, got engaged, and worked in the field. The following year, she and Andrew married at the Grotto in Emmitsburg. Over the next year, she and her husband attended nine weddings for friends and family. Each time, Calis, who had just recently planned her own wedding, was asked for practical advice on topics from the liturgy to vendors to wedding planning. After realizing there were very few resources covering both the practical and spiritual aspects of wedding planning, Calis attempted to humbly fill that void. In 2012, she started a blog, Captive the Heart, to inspire and assist new brides-to-be. Soon after, the sisters from Pauline Books and Media approached her, asking her to write a book, incorporating her insights from the blog. Calis was thrilled to do so, and in 2016, Invited was released.

Those looking for helpful, friendly advice in wedding planning or marriage, can reference Calis’ book, Invited; her blog, Captive the Heart; or her current undertaking (as co-founder and editor) of the beautiful and inviting blog, Spoken Bride.

Author Stephanie Calis and Moderator Tony Dilulio respond to questions from the audience at Seton Shrine Chat with an Author event.

Photo by Anita DiGregory

by Larry Freshman

Well, the old kid has rested and my brain seems ok, so how about some more fanciful recollections of Thurmont back in the day. On the square corner was a large store operated by Jules and Rose, selling a large variety of goods, everything from liquor to clothes. Margaret Thompson had moved from across the street and next to Shappy’s took her place; Margaret sold lovely ladies’ clothing that were accented with style and grace. Some years later, Pat and Pat would take over the shop and rename it LuRay; And continued to sell beautiful clothing, the classic style of the day. Down the street was Roy Lookingbill’s Barber Shop with Billy and Roy Purcell; As a kid I had my hair buzzed there and I thought it really looked swell. Once in a while, I imagine I can still get a whiff of those fragrant aftershaves and hair tonics I recall; But what fascinated me most back then was the painting of Custer’s Last Stand on their wall. Next to the Barber Shop was my Uncle Guy Hobbs’ grocery store; I know he delivered groceries to our house every Thursday as a weekly chore. Down the street was the Stoner House, it’s grandeur and beauty so evident; However, in the name of progress it was torn down, but its magnificent wall paper now decorates the home of our President. Further down on the corner of Center Street, Creager’s Furniture Store could be found; With some of the most gorgeous home furnishings of anywhere around. I can still see Mr. Creager at his desk working on accounts, order forms and sale notices by the score; While daughters Clara Jean and Mary Ellen were assisting customers who were browsing through the store. Across from Creager’s was a large old building, I think several families lived at that sight; In my memory, it was called Mathews Apartments, I believe I am right. From the apartment building to the alley were some quaint little homes all in a row; Across the alley was the old Post Office where mail deliverers and letter carriers scurried to and fro. Above the Post Office, those very steep stairs you would have to climb; To be treated for your illness by Dr. Gray, one of our best physicians at the time. Up the street were two taverns whose business was quite brisk; Although some wives didn’t think kindly of hubby going to Keefer’s for a brew, so it was understood if you went it was at your own risk. In between those two taverns, dentist, Dr. Doll’s office was located; As a kid, a trip to the dentist meant that nasty drill, I guess that’s why those visits I hated. Outside Dr. Doll’s office, Reverend Krone sold vegetables, freshly picked from his garden earlier that day; Everybody was trusted so just leave your payment in the box on the table and be on your way. Behind the Shapiro’s store was a market where you could purchase meat of fowl, pig, or cow; It was Hunting Creek Market, owned and operated by Louis Powell. At the top of Church Street hill was a doctor’s office, Bireley was his name; And as a kid, every time I went there his treatment was the same. The remedy, get up on that table and pull-down your pants; With this big needle of penicillin, those germs won’t stand a chance. Across the street from Dr. Bireley were the Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic Churches all in a line; Oh! how lovely they were, when all were decorated at Christmas time. Further out on Church Street, Mountain Jerry’s Place you would find; The thought of this place brings smells of fried chicken, cigarettes, and beer to mind. As a kid the best thing about this place was the baseball player sign that read; In flashing letters, Mountain Jerry’s it’s a hit, what more needed to be said? Out the street, on the right was Royer’s Restaurant owned by Sam Louise; Royers was spacious inside, had plenty of parking and a staff that worked hard its customers to please. The terrific food and service made Royers busy night and day; I know, ‘cause I was the kid manning the dishwasher; The plates, glasses and silverware never seemed to go away. Traveling past Royers was Bollinger’s Restaurant and snack bar located on a hill nearby; With Momma B doing the cooking, everyone wanted to give that delicious food a try. Hot roast beef sandwiches, cole slaw and fries, my favorite back then and today; Located near Bollingers was a ball field where I believe the Bombers used to play. I hope as you read my remembrances of old Thurmont, you’ll recall your own fond memories of the peaceful places and kind people for which our small town is renowned. Well, it’s time for the kid to put his trusty pen away; And if the memory holds up, there might be more on another day.

There are two more excellent films to be shown in Thurmont this autumn, at both the Regional Library and the Main Street Center. The library itself, as everyone knows, is a great resource for our community, with multiple creative activities and books and movies to engage our minds, as well as internet access. The Main Street Center on Water Street is a marvel to enter, with art work by local artists, as well as the history of this area. We are blessed to have both of these wonderful features here in Thurmont, which is increasingly becoming a reservoir of culture, along with many local businesses.

This fall, we are fortunate to have two films sponsored by the Town’s Green Team and the Sierra Club, and everyone is welcome to attend, free of charge. The films, places, and times are as follows:

 

Before the Flood, a thought-provoking documentary with Leonardo Dicaprio, taking us on a tour around the world, showing us the ravages of pollution, corporate destruction of rainforests, and climate disruption. It also examines positive ways that we can help rectify the problems. A must see! Showing : Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 p.m., Thurmont Main Street Center, 11 Water Street.

 

Bag It, a playful, yet serious, examination depicting the current problems we are are having with plastics in our environment and our food. Excellent!

Showings: Thursday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library; Friday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m., Thurmont Main Street Center, 11 Water Street.

Both of these films are good for adults, as well as middle school and high school students. There will be discussions following the film, along with healthy food to snack on. Hope to see you there! For more information, write Christine at songbirdschant@gmail.com.

Each year, the VFW Post 6658 Auxiliary sponsors a contest titled “The Patriot’s Pen,” which is open to students in grades sixth through eighth.

Students are required to do a typed essay of 300-400 words, based on the theme “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Monetary prizes are given to the winners on local, state, and national levels. Judging is based on knowledge of the theme, theme development, and clarity of ideas.

If interested, please contact Annette Wivell at 301-447-3475 for an entry form. Deadline for obtaining the form is October 1, 2017

Poet Tracy Seffers of Charles Town, West Virginia, will read from her latest work, Some Other Life, at the monthly poetry gathering, known as “Catoctin Voices,” on Friday, September 15, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. The event has moved to the historic Collier’s Cabin, located at 12607 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont, home of The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society.

Publisher Finishing Line Press of Kentucky, describes Seffer’s work as bringing “…into view the deep ‘other life’ hidden underneath the commonplace. It is a celebration of the small and unseen lives that reveal deeper truth both divine and deeply human: the poetry sings an incarnational universe.”

  1. Claire Cantwell poet, columnist, and host of “Catoctin Voices” wrote this jacket review: “Tracy Seffers gives us her well-lived poems with an intensity and intimacy that both scores and soothes us, excites and rests, charges and stills. She invites us to float in her world of familiar themes and objects, but what is unfamiliar is her vision, awash in something. Shall I say wisdom? Perhaps it’s more akin to grace.”

The poems demonstrate “a musical ear and fine sensibilities that tap deeply into and from the Appalachian landscape and her own heritage,” writes Dr. Sylvia Baily Shurbutt, professor of English, Shepherd University, senior editor of Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and Director of NEH Voices from the Misty Mountains. “Her poems have an exquisite sense of structure and touch the reader with the quality of language and art. This is a book you will love.”

Tracy Seffers lives with her family on the banks of the Shenandoah River, under the shadow of the Blue Ridge. Her poetry has been featured in reading events throughout the Jefferson County WV Arts Council and in WV Writer’s podcasts; and published in regional literary journals such as the Bluestone Review, Backbone Mountain Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Journal, the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and in online journals, including Still: The Journal and Assisi: an Online Journal of Arts and Letters.

“Catoctin Voices” is open to the public and features a guest poet from the region, in addition to open readings from anyone who writes poetry or has a favorite poem by another author to share. Approximately forty-five minutes of open reading time precedes the featured poet. Refreshments are always served. For more information, call 301-418-3375.

On July 21, 2017, beginning at 7:00 p.m., Mark Barton will share his poetry at The Creeger House, located at 11 N. Church Street in Thurmont.  Poets and lovers of poetry are welcome to share their original or favorite works during the open mic session. All ages are welcome and refreshments are provided.

Barton is a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society’s Keysner Chapter. He is grateful for the group’s poetic insights and for the structure it provides. Mark has also gained from his association with Mituro Music, a collaboration of close friends, who have intermittently cultivated their own compositions and lyrics since the 1970s.

Barton’s poetry has appeared in Encore (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) and Prize Poems (PPS); in Words with Wings (a Keysner Anthology); in Modern Haiku and in Grit, Gravity, and Grace (a compendium released by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia).

Mark Barton lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. A graduate of Dickinson College and the Pennsylvania State University, he is retired from a career in human services. He reads, writes, gardens, enjoys the natural world, and attempts the in-home study of other languages. Barton says he is sustained by his wife, Bonnie, his daughter, Chelsea, and by Bartlet, the family dog, and also by his friends. Please come enjoy the poetry of this gifted gentleman!

“Catoctin Voices” occurs every third Friday at historic Creeger House and showcases poets from the region. For more information, contact Lisa Cantwell at 301- 418-3375.

Four oil painting scenes of Catoctin Mountain View Farm by Andrea Myers Mannix, daughter of Rodman and the late Jean Myers, are currently on display at the Thurmont Regional Library, through September 10, 2017. The paintings are displayed near the Thurmont Center for Regional Agricultural History Room.

In April 1962, C. Rodman and M. Jean Ogle Myers purchased Catoctin Mountain View Farm on Smith Road in Thurmont from Harry and Marie Zentz. In 1967, an additional farm was purchased from William and Lola Zentz; and, in 1969, an additional farm was purchased from Claude and Martha Favorite. Catoctin Mountain View Farm consists of 425 acres, with its main crops consisting of corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, hay, and straw.  Until 2006, Holstein cows were milked, and now steers graze the land.

In early 2017, Andrea’s oil painting teacher, Kevin Cook (www.kevincook.com), held an exhibit of all his student’s work. The photo (above) is from the Artist’s Opening Reception, held on January 10, 2017, at New Paltz’s Elting Memorial Library. Andrea has raised her son and daughter in New Paltz, New York, and resides there for her job as an IBM Project Manager in Human Resources Corporate Business Applications. New Paltz is in the Hudson Valley area of New York State, with lots of mountains, orchards, and beautiful scenery— just like the Catoctin area!

Andrea Myers Mannix is pictured with her two children and her dad (from left): Denise Mannix, C. Rodman Myers, Andrea Myers Mannix, and Kevin Mannix.

Catoctin Mountain rose from a primordial lake to heights taller than Mount Everest. As time wore it away, many of its secrets were lost with its dwindling peaks. In the era of man, though, its history has been better preserved, although it still holds onto its secrets.

In his new book, Secrets of Catoctin Mountain: Little-Known Stories & Hidden History of Frederick & Loudoun Counties, James Rada, Jr. (Catoctin Banner contributor/editor) tells the stories of Catoctin Mountain, its people, and places.

Residents of Northern Frederick County treasure their association with the mountain, but it actually runs south from Thurmont until nearly reaching Leesburg, Virginia. The more than two dozen stories in the book take place all along Catoctin Mountain.

You can hunt for the snallygaster and dwayyo, legendary monsters that roam the mountain ridges.

Discover what it took to become a spy at the secret OSS training camp on the mountain.

Search for a forgotten gold mine in the foothills of Catoctin Mountain.

These are just a few of the stories included in Secrets of Catoctin Mountain, telling the tales of ordinary people living their lives under unusual conditions at times. Taken together, they paint a picture of the character of the people who live on and around Catoctin Mountain, whether they are from Maryland or Virginia.

“These are stories that caught my attention in one way or another,” Rada said. “They aren’t the types of stories you find in history books about the county, but they are part of the area’s past.”

Rada considers “secrets” in this book as stories that aren’t widely known. He gave as an example a presentation he recently did at the Garrett County Historical Society about his book Secrets of Garrett County. He told the audience about a half a dozen of the “secrets” from the book.

“Before each one, I would ask, ‘Who has heard of…’ and say the secret. I thought that I would be preaching to the choir, and the group would know even more about the stories I was telling than I did. Most of the group had only heard about two of them,” Rada explained. “They’re the type of stories I look for, interesting, but not well-known.”

Secrets of Catoctin Mountain contains sixty-four black and white photographs and illustrations that help bring the stories to life.

“I love writing about history,” Rada said. “I love finding interesting and unusual stories about people and places, and I haven’t come across an area that doesn’t have plenty of these stories.”

Secrets of Catoctin Mountain is the second in a new series of books that Rada is writing about regional topics. The first, Secrets of Garrett County, was released earlier this year.

James Rada, Jr. is an award-winning writer whom the Midwest Book Review called “a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.” Small Press Bookwatch said that Rada’s coal-mining book, Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town, was “highly recommended.” He has two dozen writing awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, Maryland State Teachers Association, and Utah Ad Federation.

Rada has been writing about history for nearly twenty years and still finds it fascinating and new.

“History is not boring. It’s full of love, adventure, comedy, and mysteries that still aren’t solved to this day. It’s those types of stories I like to write, and I believe I’ve pulled together a great collection of them for this book,” Rada said.

Rada is the author of twenty books, most history and historical fiction. His articles have been published in magazines like The History Channel Magazine, Boy’s Life, and Frederick Magazine. He also writes five local history columns for The Republican, the Cumberland Times-News, the Gettysburg Times, The York Dispatch, as well as The Catoctin Banner.

Secrets of Catoctin Mountain: Little-Known Stories & Hidden History of Frederick & Loudoun Counties retails for $19.95 and is available at the E Plus Graphics, Printing, & Promotions store in Emmitsburg, at online retailers, or on his website at

Poet and novelist, Mark Greathouse, will be the featured writer for “Catoctin Voices” Evening of Poetry at The Creeger House in Thurmont on April 21, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. Open mic precedes his presentation, so poets of all ages are invited to share up to three of their favorite or original poems.

This author and poet continues to express his passion for writing, as he seeks to share a revealing cross-section of his own life through poetry.  His soon-to-be-published Life Unfettered represents his own life catharsis, as he humbly presents his poetry to readers and shares the vulnerability that accompanies such personal offerings. Greathouse regularly offers his original poetry at monthly gatherings of the “Catoctin Voices” in Thurmont, and at First Friday Poetry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, he had poems published in the Gettysburg Poetry Society’s anthology, Almost Time Enough.

Greathouse created his first “serious” poem in 1957 at age fourteen. At the time, he saw it as an expression of the deep feelings he was having about evil and its repercussions. He has always enjoyed the arts—especially poetry—as an expression of his emotions, invariably cathartic. He sees poetry as an expression of personal vulnerability and thus views poetry as sharing pieces of his very soul.

A must-see documentary film by Leonardo DiCaprio, Before The Flood, will be shown at Thurmont Regional Library on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. It is an excellent documentary about the many problems our planet and all its life forms are presently enduring because of pollution. DiCaprio has dedicated his life to speaking out for healthy changes that we can make in order to stop the degeneration of our water, land, and air. The visuals speak for themselves; so if you want to see a powerful film that speaks to your heart, then please come out to the library on April 8. There is no cost, and popcorn and juice will be provided!

That same day, starting at 11:00 a.m., the Thurmont Green Team is holding a stream clean-up and water quality testing in the Community Park in Thurmont. All ages are encouraged to come to this educational and fun event. Afterwards, you can jog on over to the library to see the film!

Thurmont’s Main Street Center, located at 11 Main Street, will host a second showing of this amazing film on May 20, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.

To get more information about Before The Flood, you can Google it. Once again, admission is free. The Earth is a gift and a treasure, which we all need to take care of the best we can.

The story of Frederick County’s heroin crisis will soon be shown on the big screen in a documentary film, being produced by Emmitsburg, filmmaker, Conrad Weaver.

“The heroin and opioid epidemic has devastated hundreds of families, individuals, and businesses all across our county. We see it in the news nearly every day, and it’s easy to think that it’s someone else’s problem. We think that it’s a Frederick or Baltimore issue. It’s not! It’s in our neighborhoods. My neighborhood. My small town. It’s our community’s problem, and we must work together to solve it. I couldn’t simply stand by and watch; I had to get involved. That’s why I’m making this film,” said Weaver.

The film is being called Heroin’s Grip and will tell the story from a variety of angles. Weaver intends to interview current addicts, healthcare and mental health workers, officials from the law enforcement community, as well as families whose lives have been shattered by heroin and opioid addiction.

“We need more documentary films like this so that you become a part of the solution,” said Charlie Smith, State’s Attorney in Frederick. Smith was interviewed for the film to include his perspective on the epidemic.

Filming began in early February and will continue through the spring months. Weaver hopes to complete production by early September in order to submit the project to a number of major film festivals around the country. He plans on releasing a DVD version, along with educational materials related to the film sometime in 2018.

Weaver is not working on this alone. He’s recruited Caressa Flannery, a Frederick entrepreneur and mother of a heroin addict who’s in recovery. Together, they have partnered with the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, who will help manage the fundraising efforts for the film.

Weaver is launching a Crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to raise money for the production of the film. Interested donors should visit the film’s website at www.HeroinsGrip.com for more information.

Weaver is an award-winning filmmaker. Most recently, he received a Mid-America Regional EMMY© Award for his 2014 documentary, The Great American Wheat Harvest.

Maryland film producer, Conrad Weaver, and a collaboration of award-winning film makers, have launched a crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo.com to raise development funds for a new film project called Scars of an Orphan. The film will tell the true story of Diana Prykhodko, a young orphan girl who survived—yes, even thrived—against insurmountable odds. Fleeing the wrath of her abusive mother, Diana took to life on the streets of Kiev, Ukraine. But through a series of unlikely events and encounters with loving people, she discovered a very different identity. Scars of an Orphan will tell her remarkable story.

Weaver and his team hope to raise $25,000 in order to launch the film project and enable them to begin the process of writing the script and developing the business plan and marketing for the movie. “People need to see this story. That’s why we’re asking generous donors to partner with us by making a contribution!  It’s the most important film project I’ve ever worked on; the film will shock you, inspire you, and motivate you to help orphans around the world.” Weaver and his team believe Diana’s story will help shed light on the plight of orphans in Ukraine and around the world, and they have committed to donate a portion of the profits from the film to organizations who help orphans.

The film was inspired after Weaver attended the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Orlando, Florida, where Diana told her unbelievable life story to an audience of orphan advocates. Following her talk, Weaver spoke with Diana about the possibility of making a film based on her story, and has since signed a story-rights agreement with her.

Weaver has partnered with a couple of award-winning production companies to make the film: Panama-based Seedling Media Productions, and Star Wipe Films based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “We plan on casting actors from the United States and Ukraine to make this a truly international film. Our goal is to produce a movie that garners national and international attention in order to see worldwide theatrical distribution. This is a story that simply must be told,” said Weaver. He hopes to begin production in the fall of 2017.

The IndieGoGo campaign was launched on November 13 and will run for a month. You can visit the campaign page at https://igg.me/at/scarsofanorphan. Weaver is the executive producer on the film project and can be reached for comment, interviews, and other media inquiries at 301-606-7794, or via email at conrad@conjostudios.com.

2dsc_3149Deb Spalding

Sabillasville resident, Christine Maccabee (pictured right), has been a volunteer at Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) since 2012. In that role, she plays a baby grand piano on Wednesdays for a couple of hours. She first encountered the piano in the lobby of the hospital when she went there for one year after an accident, which had damaged her right arm. For close to a year, she had to discontinue playing her guitar and organ for churches. “This was a very depressing time for me, until I found the FMH piano. Its tone and light touch was a perfect match for me,” and it was therapy for her injured arm. She also discovered that her music was a gift for people waiting there in the lobby.

The piano was a gift to the hospital from Jeff and Patty Hurwitz, and set up to be a player piano. However, “It is a wonderful instrument to play on by a real human being.” She feels that the hospital is a perfect place to share her music because, “music is a healer.” Patrons and visitors often thank her for her music, and once, a father and young daughter began dancing together to an Irish waltz she was playing!

Christine is proud to be releasing her third CD of music entitled Love at First Touch recorded live at FMH by her son Ashley Maccabee. Her original song, “Love at First Touch” was inspired by the love she felt when first playing the baby grand in the lobby of FMH. The words and music for the song came within a half hour. She said, “It was meant to be.”

Christine also wrote the second song on the CD called, “Forgive Me For Loving You”—about a man, not a piano! The remainder of the music on the CD are various versions of twenty-two songs from the 1920s through 1070s, songs like “It Had to be You,” “Memphis Blues,” “Yesterday” (Beatles), and “What the World Needs Now” (is Love Sweet Love). The $15.00 CD is available at E Plus Copy Center or by email at songbirdschant@gmail.com.

Christine had created two earlier CDs of original songs, “Songpoems from the Heart of a Naturalist” and “Winter Wait.” “Songpoems” was recorded before a live audience at Apple’s Church in 2002. “Winter Wait” was recorded live in her living room. “These are both very personal CD’s, with songs I didn’t want to take with me, if you know what I mean…” They include a mixture of music on piano, guitar, and vocals, many expressing her deep love of  nature.

Christine has been studying and playing piano since she was just four years old. She was raised south of Baltimore in Brooklyn Park, Maryland. She claims that her mother couldn’t keep her out of the woods behind her house. The first song on her first CD is called “Child’s Song.” It was inspired by her adventures as a child in the woods. Her love of nature drove her to become a naturalist, but she’s a trained musician and artist as well. Christine graduated from Hood College with a B.A. in Music. In her twenties, she sang in the Verdi Requiem Mass as soprano soloist and did roles in Mozart operas at Frostburg State College, all while being inspired to write her many folk songs.

Christine has taught private piano, voice, and guitar in this area for twenty years, while always very busy with environmental things and being a mother of three. At heart, she said, she “was always out climbing trees and experiencing the glory of the natural world.” It would be impossible to separate that love from her music!