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by Theresa Dardanell

Weller United Methodist Church

A Welcoming Congregation

When I met with Pastor Bob Kells and several members of Weller United Methodist Church (UMC), I learned that this church is the oldest church within the Thurmont town limits. Although that is an interesting fact, I agreed with Dorothy Clever, president of the United Methodist Women, who said that what is going on currently in the church is more important than just the history.

The church began its history without an actual building.  Members met in homes for Bible study. Jacob Weller, a prominent resident who owned and operated a local match factory, donated land for the church, which was built in 1830. During an expansion project in 1915, the bell tower and stained glass windows were added. A final expansion was completed in 1957.  The cemetery has been a part of the church since the beginning. Jacob Weller and his father are buried there, along with soldiers who fought in the Civil War, as well as many local residents. Records of grave sites are available at the church. Family members can search for ancestors buried there.

Currently, Weller UMC has about one hundred active members, who do a considerable amount of community outreach, not only locally, but around the world. The major project right now is the flood buckets being assembled for the people recovering from the recent hurricanes. The buckets contain supplies for the initial cleanup so that people can return to their homes. The congregation donated an outstanding $1,490 for forty-five buckets. Pastor Bob said that the congregation responds generously when there is a need. It is “an expression of our connectedness as a church and as a people that we give these things in times of need.”

The list of ongoing projects carried out by the members of the church is impressive. Food is donated to the local food bank; toiletries are collected and donated to the Religious Coalition in Frederick. Members volunteer weekly in the classrooms at Sabillasville Elementary. Annual projects include the Catoctin area school supply drive, a summer book drive for Sabillasville Elementary, and the Thurmont Ministerium Christmas gift program. Children who go to the food bank at Christmas and Easter receive special treat bags (350 bags were distributed at Christmas last year).  Members also participate in the summer lunch program, which is coordinated by the Thurmont Ministerium. During one week in the summer, they enjoy serving lunch, playing games, and working on craft projects with the children. Pat Alexander, co-chair of the Mission Team that coordinates these projects, said that the latest project is the “tied fleece” baby blankets, made by the members and donated to the Catoctin Pregnancy Center. Along with supporting the local organizations, the United Methodist Women’s group pledges money to the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, which supports the needs of people around the world.

The generosity of the members is not limited to monetary and material donations. Church Lay Leader Catherine Pitt said that the Prayer Shawl ministry is very important. Anyone who is in need of comfort or healing can request a prayer shawl for themselves or someone else. Requests are not limited to members of the church.  Members create the shawls and the congregation prays for the recipient.  Catherine said that knowing that an entire congregation of people is praying for you is very helpful when going through a difficult time.

Members of the congregation are not “all work and no play.”  The puppet ministry is one activity in which the youth and adults are involved together. Paulette Mathias, chairperson of the Church Council, said that the puppet ministry has been performing for “children of all ages” for about five years. The lyrics for popular songs are replaced with Christian lyrics to create Christian parody music and used in skits for performances at the church, and occasionally at other locations in the community. For the adults, another social activity is the participation by the Weller team in the Frederick Christian Basketball League.

The dedication of the members was apparent during my meeting with Pastor Bob, Paulette Mathias, Dorothy Clever, Pat Alexander, Henry Alexander, Cindy Hart, and Catherine Pitt. Other hard working staff and volunteers include Lay Servant Wes Baugher; Lay Speaker Mark Eyler; Administrative Assistant Billie Lookingbill; Organist Lori Eyler; Music Director Debbie Shultzaberger; Custodian Donny Wastler, Jr.; Nursery Assistant Lois Griffith; and Parish Relations Committee Chair Colby Child.  Trustee Chairman Tom Shaffer leads the team that keeps the church facilities up-to-date and in working order.

Two worship services are held every Sunday. There is a traditional service with organ music and song leaders at 8:30 a.m. and a contemporary service with christian praise music at 11:00 a.m. Sunday school for children and adults is between the services at 9:45 a.m.  Easter and Christmas seasons are celebrated with special musical accompaniment by a large choir and bell choir cantata. A very special and moving remembrance service is celebrated on All Saints Sunday.  For each member who has died during the previous year, a photo is projected on a screen, a candle is lit, and a bell is rung while the name is read. A special altar cloth containing the names of the deceased is placed on the altar on this day. This tradition began in 1998.

Everyone is welcome to join Weller United Methodist Church for Sunday services. It is located at 101 North Altamont Avenue in Thurmont. Call 301-271-2802 with questions during office hours, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Visit their Facebook page or website at for additional information.

Members of the Weller UMC Mission Team, with the flood buckets created for victims of the recent hurricanes.

Courtesy Photo


by Anita DiGregory

Thanks & Giving

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us.  I love Thanksgiving—the faith-based tradition, the family-time, the fun, the food, and the feasting.  Quietly nestled between the sugar overload of Halloween and the incessant over-commercialization of Christmas (I honestly think some retailers had Christmas decorations displayed in September this year!), Thanksgiving has remained a humble holiday, steeped in tradition and rich in meaning. Even in a time when patriotism has somehow become controversial, Thanksgiving continues to bring people together and unite them around tables across the country. Although the holiday only happens once a year, teaching, modeling, and reinforcing the ideas of “thanks” and “giving,” has scientifically been proven to help both adults and children to be happier and healthier.

Dr. Robert Emmons from the University of California has conducted numerous scientific studies on gratitude. The findings reported from experiencing and demonstrating gratitude included many psychological, physical, and social benefits. Researchers found that gratitude resulted in feelings of alertness and wakefulness and higher levels of joy, pleasure, optimism, and other positive emotions. Benefits also included improved immune systems and blood pressure and decreased aches and pains. Grateful individuals were more apt to exercise, practice healthy living, and experience healthier sleep patterns.  Thankful participants were less lonely, demonstrated better social interactions, and displayed more signs of being forgiving, outgoing, helpful, compassionate, and generous.

Instilling a strong sense of gratitude in our children is a necessary and powerful tool in equipping them to become happy, healthy adults. According to Halloween author Christine Carter, Ph.D., grateful children may grow into happier grown-ups. Carter, director of the Greater Good Parents program at the University of California at Berkeley, states, “Pioneering social scientists think that 40 percent of our happiness comes from intentional, chosen activities throughout the day. Thankfulness is not a fixed trait. It’s a skill that can be cultivated, like kicking a soccer ball or speaking French.” Therefore, consistently teaching and encouraging our children to be grateful is vital. Here are some ideas for helping children to grow in gratitude.


Lead by Example. Children are great imitators, and little eyes are always watching. As parents, we can send a powerful message to our children by modeling grateful behavior. By taking the time and effort to say thank you and being openly and enthusiastically thankful to others for opening a door, making a meal, or helping out, we demonstrate gratitude.


Put it in Writing.  Help your child write a thank you note to someone who has helped them, perhaps a teacher, coach, bus driver, or school crossing guard. Help them hand deliver their special note.


Make it Fun. Children learn more when their lessons are real and entertaining. Try doing an ongoing gratitude activity. Last year, during the month of November, I constructed a gratitude tree with my two youngest children. We designed the trunk out of construction paper and taped it to a prominent wall in our home. Each day, they wrote on colored, construction paper leaves one thing for which they were thankful. By Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful, colorful display of their gratitude for all to enjoy.


Make Gratitude a Habit. Help your children to be thankful each day. Help them design a gratitude journal, where they can draw or write about what they are thankful for that day. Incorporate giving thanks into nighttime prayers, when each child can think back on the day and list those things for which he or she is grateful.


Thankfulness goes hand-in-hand with giving. Thanksgiving.  By teaching our children to give of themselves—to give their time, talent, and treasure, one small act at a time—we empower them to make a difference in a world that could use a lot of work. With small acts of kindness, we can change not only ourselves for the better, but the world as well. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”  There is no better place or time then right here and right now to make a difference.

According to studies, kindness is actually contagious. David R. Hamilton, PhD., author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness, states, “When we’re kind, we inspire others to be kind, and studies show that it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends—to 3-degrees of separation. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards, touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.”

Additionally, scientific studies suggest that being kind is actually highly beneficial for us. A study conducted at Emory University found that when a person is kind to another, the giver’s pleasure and reward center of the brain is stimulated to that of the receiver.  This increase in pleasure is known as the “helper’s high.” Other studies have found that acts of kindness increase energy, happiness, lifespan, and serotonin, and also decrease pain, stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and depression in the giver.

Here are some things we can do with our children that may help nurture a spirit of kindness in them:  model kindness; smile; spend time with an elderly relative or neighbor; donate gently used toys, books, or clothes; visit a nursing home; help a friend in need.

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD., author of The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, But Does, states that almost any type of act of kindness will boost happiness in the giver. Quoting one of her study’s findings, she adds, “when 9 to 11-year old kids were asked to do acts of kindness for several weeks, not only did they get happier over time, but they became more popular with their peers.”

As parents, we are greatly helping our children, ourselves, and the world by instilling in them a sense of gratitude and a genuine desire to be kind to others…true thanksgiving.

by Lisa C. Cantwell

Dear Reader: This is a column to help you determine the history and value of your heirlooms, attic finds, flea market purchases, or antique items. Please send a picture and description of your piece, such as how you acquired it and any details about its history, to I’ll research any item, whether it’s a piece of furniture, a painting, a tool, a doll, a figurine, or an article of clothing.  An approximate value will be determined to inform you if it’s a “Trinket or Treasure.” Please submit all pictures and questions by the preceding 15th of the month for possible publication in the next monthly issue of The Catoctin Banner. All inquiries will be answered; however, only those selected for publication will include approximate value assessments. Furthermore, not all submissions may be published in the Banner due to space considerations.  Please include your name or initials and where you reside. Thank you and happy treasure hunting!

I have a collection of small, opalescent animal figures. The birds and rabbit were given to me, and I was told they date to the 1920s.  I found a similar dog figure in an antique mall recently and paid $12 for it.  It has a sticker on it that says, “Sabino.” The dog and rabbit are two inches long and the birds are just an inch wide. They remind me of Lalique figurines. Are they valuable?

— Marybeth Ray, Bethesda, MD

These little treasures are gaining value, because in addition to being charming, they are no longer made. Sabino glass was produced during the 1920s and 1930s by an artisan of the same name. Marius Sabino (b.1878 – d.1961) lived in France and studied at the Beaux Arts academy in Paris. The son of a sculptor, he became fascinated by the effect that the invention of electricity had on glass. He focused on creating chandeliers at first, making them monumental and ornate. These light fixtures soon became in demand for luxury hotels, ships and for the private estates of the wealthy. Sabino’s works were commissioned for palaces in India and Persia. He used a technique similar to his contemporary, Rene’ Lalique, creating an opalescent glass that included blue and gold hues. Apart from chandeliers, his factory studio created multitudes of vases, busts, statues, plates, animal figures of all sizes, perfume bottles, and other decorative objects. They are quite valuable today. Popular celebrities of the time, like Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier, collected his large fish figurines. Production ceased during WWII, but in the 1960s, nude figurines and small glass animals, such as yours, were produced. The mid-century Sabino’s are not as valuable, but are quite collectible. Value the Pekinese dog, which has a Sabino sticker on its base, at $40.00. The three birds are signed, “Sabino,” on their bases and could bring as much as $50.00 on an online auction site. The hare has a couple of small chips on its ear, so unfortunately, damage detracts from its value. It’s not uncommon for a lot of signed, tiny, Sabino animals to bring $95.00 to $100 at an online auction, even with slight damage. Thank you for sharing these cute pieces!

I bought this box of 35 cardboard farm animals at an antique mall for $18.  They are various sizes with the largest one being 7”x 6”.  All have wooden stands. On the back of each animal is a description of the breed, followed by several educational paragraphs. How old are they and what are they worth? Were they toys?

— Joan W., Franklin County, PA

These sets were made in the 1930s through the early 1960s by various companies and were used as educational toys in school and at home.  My research did not bear a specific maker for your set, but Milton Bradley made one that included a barn, silo, and people. Due to color and wear, your set likely dates to the 1940s. It’s uncommon to find this number of animals with all the stands. In 2016, on a popular online sales site, 28 “vintage” cardboard farm animals and stands sold for $124.99. A recent sales search yielded seven for $22.00. A fair resale price would be in the range of $75.00 to $95.00. Your animals are in good condition, so they are indeed, a treasure!


Lastly, I’d like to share from my own collection. Be on the look-out for American folk-art items, even those made within the last ten years. They are highly sought after, like the pictured hand-carved deer with googly eyes, and the small, carved turkey. The older and quirkier the folk art, the more valuable, of course. Both pieces are mid-to-late 20th century. The deer measure 5” tall and 3 ½” wide. They are carved from one piece of wood, and were glazed and painted. I found them in Mississippi at an antique store, in a bowl with other carved critters. The store owner told me they date to the 1940s and were made by a local man who recently died. I wish I’d bought the lot! The little turkey was almost a giveaway item at a nearby flea market. Its tail has been attached, but the paint, finish, and detail make it perfect for any Thanksgiving craft display. Charm and originality cannot be manufactured.

Pumpkin, Anyone?

by Valerie Nusbaum

I always know when autumn is just around the corner because I start seeing television and online ads for products featuring the delicious flavor of pumpkin spice. There are coffees and teas and pancakes galore. The pancakes are good, but I don’t drink coffee and I don’t like flavored teas. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and many other chains have jumped on the pumpkin wagon. So has IHOP.

I’ve tried pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin-flavored cereal, and pumpkin seed granola. I didn’t love any of those products, and I didn’t care for the pumpkin-flavored instant oatmeal either. There are a plethora of breakfast choices out there if you happen to be a pumpkin lover. I just bought a box of pumpkin spice Cheerios, and I’ll let you know how those taste. Like cardboard, I’m guessing.

Then, there are all the cakes, cookies, pies, muffins, and breads.  My mom always bakes a batch of yummy pumpkin muffins for me when fall rolls around. I hope she’s reading this because I haven’t seen any muffins yet this year, and I’ve lost a few pounds. My mother-in-law loved pumpkin pie, but she wouldn’t eat any pie that wasn’t Mrs. Smith’s. She liked what she liked, and we always served her a Mrs. Smith’s pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, unless some other brand was on sale and then we hid the box. Pumpkin bread with raisins and nuts is one of my brother’s favorite fall treats. And how could I forget pumpkin whoopie pies? Dunkin’ Donuts has a whole assortment of pumpkin donuts and treats, and they’re delicious.

Just this morning, I received an email from Harry & David. For only $89.99, I can buy a gorgeous and delicious two-layer pumpkin-shaped devil’s food cake. It’s frosted with orange icing and has a jaunty green stem sticking out the top. Or for $5.99, I can bake two chocolate bundt cakes, slap them together, and throw a few drops of red and yellow food coloring into some vanilla frosting. I can stick a couple of silk floral leaves in the hole and call it dessert.

My mother loves pumpkin butter on her toast. We’ve tasted pumpkin ice cream, and I even made pumpkin soup one year for Thanksgiving dinner. I won’t do that again. It was a whole lot of effort for very little taste, or else I did something wrong.

My friend, Teresa, buys a large pumpkin for Halloween, and after she and her kids make a jack-o-lantern, Teresa roasts the seeds.  She’s very talented.

Well, here’s the thing: I heard a news report on TV recently stating that a lot of products advertising “pumpkin spice” flavoring actually contain no pumpkin at all.  They contain cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a few other things, but there’s not a lick of pumpkin in there.  Now, that’s not true of everything.  There are always exceptions, I’m sure. I did some research at the grocery store, and I admit that I had a hard time finding the word “pumpkin” listed in the ingredients in some of the products.

Luckily, pumpkins aren’t just for eating. Like Teresa, you can carve them up for Halloween, or keep them whole and decorate with them all through the fall. Pumpkins may be painted and decorated. They can be used as containers for flower arrangements or they can hold beef stew or soup, as is the tradition at Patsy Davies’s house.

Pumpkins can also be chunked, as in “shot out of a cannon.” We can go to pumpkin patches and pick our own beauties. We can also grow our own, as Randy has done in the past. One of the funniest things he ever did was enter a teeny, tiny pretty little home-grown pumpkin in the Thurmont Community Show. I swear that thing wasn’t more than five inches in diameter, and I razzed him something awful for having the nerve to enter it in the Show. I ate my words when the darned thing won “Best Pumpkin.”

Pumpkins come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and they really do look pretty on our porches and tables. Whatever your pumpkin preference is, I hope you find something you enjoy and celebrate this beautiful season.

We always associate the month of November with Thanksgiving, but let’s not forget Veterans Day. Randy and I sincerely thank all of you Veterans and your families for your service and sacrifice. We couldn’t do what we do, if you hadn’t done what you did and continue to do.

We’re also sending our best wishes to you all for a very happy Thanksgiving.  This year has been a difficult one for our country, with all the hurricanes, floods, fires, disasters, shootings, and tragedies, not to mention the political climate.  It’s hard to remember to be grateful for the good things in our lives when there’s so much to worry over.

As we sit down to dinner on November 23, I’ll be thankful for my wonderful husband and mother and the rest of my extended family; for my friends, without whom I couldn’t get through the bad days; for a roof over our heads and food on the table; and for the ability to get out of bed in the mornings. I will remind myself that I am grateful for many other things as well, and then I will dig into something delicious that tastes like pumpkin.


Christine Maccabee

Consumer Power:

“Think Globally, Act Locally”

Some days I go shopping for food, with enough time to look at the ingredients; whereas, other days, I just speed in, get my few items, and speed out. I love the days I have time to be more discriminate, for, as I take more time to shop, I am giving myself an education as well.

This past year, I have been focusing on not buying anything with palm oil in it. Palm oil production has more than one problem associated with it. After four decades of production, a very small percentage of palm producers are exploring less damaging practices, but the majority have bulldozed close to 70 percent of the rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. Such practices are killing and displacing orangutans, elephants, and every other wild creature that depends on the diversity only a rainforest can provide. These mega-companies also use lots of toxic chemicals, as well as inordinate amounts of precious water, affecting the health of underpaid workers and surrounding communities, both human and wild.

Lately, I have been using my consumer power as a modest protest. Sadly, I am no longer able to eat my favorite fig bars due to the palm oil ingredient. However, it is well worth the sacrifice. Some people might ridicule me, saying that my boycott of such products won’t make a difference, but my values and my determination are unrelenting.

If more people knew about this problem, then perhaps the boycott of palm oil products would make a difference. However, even if more sustainable practices are employed, habitat destruction will continue. As we all know, rainforest destruction proceeds at a disturbing rate, globally. Already, the palm oil corporation has its eye on forests in the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo, according to Guardian Sustainable Business News.

Just so you know, palm oil can also be found in margarine, some soaps, and even fuels, so read the labels if this is a concern of yours.

Many of us are familiar with the herbicides and pesticides that unfortunately are used with abandon on agri-business crops. Of course, when we buy our food, we never really know what chemicals were used on/in our purchases, so my approach to this problem is, first and foremost, getting accurate information. Did you know that some commonly used herbicides have glyphosate as a primary ingredient? According to a highly appraised book, White Wash, by Carey Gillam, this commonly used herbicide is carcinogenic (World Health Organization 2015 report). In 1974, it was considered a wonder weed killer, as “safe as table salt” (Monsanto). In her book, Carey Gillam writes, “Testing shows glyphosate residues in bagels, honey, oatmeal, eggs, cookies, flour, beer, infant formula, and the chemical was found in 90 percent of the pregnant women tested.”

So, what are we, as consumers, to do, anyway? For me, the answers are discrimination and action. I will be careful to consume as few chemicals in my food as possible, which means mostly buying organic foods and growing my own. I also plan to write to the companies that use them, asking them not to. In other words, I will use consumer power.

There is an ongoing war against the health of our planet and our people that must be acknowledged and regulated.

I remember the old slogan, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and it still holds true these days as much as it did back when. But don’t worry, as you go shopping, for you are in good company. Remember, we are all in this together and we can all make a difference.


Christine encourages you to come to the films to be shown during Thurmont’s Fall Environmental Film Series. Watch for the dates and times as advertised in newspapers and fliers. Thank You. She also invites you to come up to visit her Sanctuary for Wildlife and Native Plant Preserve, just ten minutes north of Thurmont. You can write to her to set up a visit at

by James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont Forced to Allow KKK to March Through Town

On May 27, 1988, the Maryland Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) applied for a parade permit in Thurmont to be held in August. The KKK said the parade was to support the “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign and the AARP. However, it was also being held to recruit new members with the slogan “Save Our Land, Join the Klan.” The parade would be made up of no more than one hundred members, one float, and a few vehicles.

The Thurmont Commissioners denied the permit.

The Maryland State Police had already approved the Klan’s special event permit. It had also been submitted to the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). SHA would not recommend it without the approval of Thurmont’s police chief, who would only approve it with the support of the commissioners.

Although commissioner approval was not required in the town ordinance, a process had developed that the town evaluated any parade applicants in Thurmont and approved or denied applications. In the case of the Klan’s parade, the commissioners rejected the permit because according to a KKK lawsuit against the town:


  • “They did not want to set a precedent where many other groups could request to hold parades in Thurmont”;
  • “The parade would require the use of all of the Town’s police officers and would require time and a half to be paid to these officers”;
  • “Concern for the safety and welfare of citizens as well as of the KKK members”; and
  • “Another group, Moore’s Business Forms, would be holding a large event on the same day.”


The Klan tried again in August for a September parade. This time, the commissioners reserved judgment and scheduled a public hearing.

“Sometime between June 8, 1988, and August 24, 1988, the NAACP informed counsel for the Town of Thurmont that they considered that case law of this Court prohibited the Town of Thurmont from granting permission for the KKK’s proposed parade, unless black and/or nongentile persons were allowed to march in that parade. The NAACP informed Town counsel that they would sue the Town if it granted permission without imposing a nondiscrimination condition,” the Klan’s U. S. District Court lawsuit notes.

During the public hearing, the American Civil Liberties Union appeared on behalf of the Klan. The commissioners asked questions of Grand Dragon Roger Kelly, trying to figure out what conditions they could impose on the Klan. The ACLU counseled Kelly not to answer many of the questions and asked for a permit free of conditions.

Not surprisingly, many of the public commenting spoke out against having the Klan march through town.

The commissioners took only ten minutes to decide to deny the permit again. This time, the reasons given, according to the lawsuit, were:

  • “We don’t know who we are giving this permit to. Granted Mr. Roger Kelly has signed it. We have asked various questions as to who the Klan is, and we have not gotten answers. Who is responsible for damages that may be incurred by the town, for anyone along the parade route?”;
  • “The town facilities and resources are being provided to an organization that appears to be discriminatory to races other than the white race, and also appears to be antisemitic and discriminate against other religions.”; and
  • “You have indicated you will not provide insurance coverage or any hold harmless agreement or reimbursement of expenses in assisting you with a parade in this town apparently meaning claiming no responsibility.”


The court case looked at whether the town procedure for considering parade applications was constitutional, whether the town could impose financial conditions on the KKK for granting the permit, and whether Thurmont could make nondiscrimination a condition of granting the permit.

The court found that the town treated the granting of permits for other parades in town differently. They were not subject to public hearings, questions about their intent, or financial conditions. Also, the court found that the commissioners were free to impose any conditions that they chose.

The court found that “Although no official permit is issued, the permission system of the Town operates as a prior restraint on free speech. If a group paraded without permission, the Town deems that it would have cause to arrest them.”

The town needed to have policy guidelines that it followed for each applicant.

The court found that some of the financial conditions that the town had tried to impose on the Klan were not actually needed. It was also found that the town’s insurance actually covered parade activity.

It was admitted in court that the Klan’s activities in Thurmont and Frederick County in the past had been peaceful. The town had even held a “walk-through” in Thurmont on September 3, when the members strolled through town in their robes without incident. The town position was that some of the spectators could be violent, but this was found to be a Constitutionally impermissible consideration.

Although the town could ask the Klan to have insurance, it would have to be something in a written policy and asked of all parade applicants. However, the request to ask for reimbursement for police protection and clean-up was found to be unconstitutional to impose on parties who are exercising their freedom of expression.

As for requiring the parade to be non-discriminatory, the court struggled with this issue. “It is clear that the Town must open its sidewalks to persons of all races and religions as spectators at the parade. The question here, however, is whether the Town may open up the parade itself to participants of all races and religions, where the KKK has requested a parade for only “card-carrying members” of the KKK, which consists only of white Christians,” the court found.

The court found that the streets of Thurmont were a public forum and that granting the permit did not amount to government support of discrimination. “If the Town’s procedure gives the appearance of approval or disapproval of groups, it is the Town’s own fault for having in place an unconstitutionally vague permission procedure whereby applicants must plead their individual cases at town meetings, after which the Commissioners announce their votes and reasons therefore,” the court found.

In issuing their decision, the judges made a point of writing that they felt “repugnance” at the Klan’s beliefs, but “if these civil rights are to remain vital for all, they must protect not only those society deems acceptable, but also those whose ideas it quite justifiably rejects and despises,” the court found.

Following the decision, the town issued a statement that read, in part, “It deeply pains us that this court’s order compels the town to support this activity by providing public streets, police protection, clean-up and other assistance at taxpayer’s expense.”

The Klan finally held its parade on January 16, and it became a protest of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, according to the Frederick Post. “The event went off without any major problems, although a few shouting matches erupted between klansmen and bystanders,” the newspaper reported.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Veterans Day

November 11

Veterans Day is a celebrated holiday that honors all persons that served or are serving in the United States Armed Forces. It dates back to World War I and when the Armistice with Germany ended the hostilities on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson expressed what he felt that day meant to all Americans. Exactly one year later, Wilson’s Address to Fellow Countrymen on November 11, 1919, from the White House read as follows:

A year ago today, our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggression of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people, to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory, there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interest of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the council of nations.

On June 4, 1926, the United States Congress adopted a resolution requesting then President Calvin Coolidge to issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. Approved May 13, 1938, by a congressional act, November 11 would be a day dedicated each year as a legal holiday and, thereafter, known as Armistice Day.

Raymond Weeks, from Birmingham, Alabama, a World War II Veteran, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all Veterans, those alive as well as those who died in World War I. In 1945, Weeks led a delegation to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who supported the idea. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama, and led it annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982, as the driving force for the national holiday.

I know a lot of people get confused trying to figure out the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is held in May and honors those who have died while in military service. Veterans Day is held on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and celebrates both those who died while in service and those who have served and are still living.

Sons of AMVETS Squadron 7 Thurmont will be holding a breakfast for Veterans and their families on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The breakfast is buffet-style and will be held from 7:00-11:00 a.m. All Veterans eat free. The breakfast is open to the public; non-veterans pay $5.00. November 11 falls on a Saturday this year, so National observance will be November 10.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

Thurmont American Legion Post 168

Ed Gravatt, Past Commander

Just in case any of you haven’t noticed, the Town of Thurmont did an excellent job in cleaning up after Colorfest, and wasn’t it a beautiful weekend. I want to send out a big “Thank You” to several members of our Sons of the American Legion for their tireless efforts getting our Octoberfest set up and cleaned up. Without their assistance, it wouldn’t have come off so effortlessly. Now we can start planning for next year.

In the past couple of months, we have had to do some extensive repairs, and there will be a handicap restroom in the near future. All of this required some patience, both on our part and from members who had to contend with our construction mess and inconveniences.

There is some really good entertainment here at the Legion this month. On Saturday, November 4, 5 1/2 Men will be here again; pretty soon, they might have to change their name to 5 3/4 Men. They are a very good band, playing a variety of music from country to Rock to Pop. On November 11, we have the honor to have the Catoctin High School Safe & Sane Dance here again this year. This is an excellent event, raising funds to help keep our Kids SAFE, and out of trouble. On November 17, we will have TC Beats in our party room.

Please remember that our kitchen is open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Doreen and Christi do a wonderful job; we are lucky to have them.  The soups and specials from our kitchen are made from scratch and could compare to any of the finest restaurants around. Come on out for a good meal. Join us for the Ace of Hearts drawing on Wednesdays or for Bingo on Thursdays, along with  some great entertainment on most Fridays.

We, here at the Edwin C Creeger American Legion Post 168, would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. For any of you who may be venturing into the wilderness this month in search of the elusive White Tail Deer, please have a safe and successful hunt.

Submitted by Bill Eiker, SAL Historian

On October 7, 2017, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL), Post 239 of Cascade held a benefit drawing on the grounds of Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

Of the more than 2,500 tickets sold, there were over 1,000 people in attendance. Those present at the bash thoroughly enjoyed the fundraising festivities, the wonderful weather, the delicious meal, and were generously supportive.

Fisher House Foundation’s “Persons in Need” fund and the Cascade Elementary School’s “Christmas Project” will be prioritized in receiving the proceeds from the SAL.

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital they serve.  Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths.  Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room.  Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes Program, using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge.

A heartfelt thanks to all who endeavored to make this day a huge success.  Winners of the event were M. Sewell, D. Sanders, Jr., J. Coyle, C. Morrow, R. Wolfe, B. Dawson, M. Cochran, K. Fiorita, D. Hobbs, B. Hammond, F. Keepers, F. Scheib, M. Green, J. Sanders, B. Shaffer, N. Hinckle, J. Davis, and C. Wilt.


by Buck Reed

A Cook’s Efforts

If I had to label myself as a cook, I am afraid I would have to call myself “old school.” I get that sous vide and plates laden with foam are the wave of the future (For my readers who are interested in these techniques, I am currently working on articles that might explain them, but probably will not encourage you to try them.) And I understand that people are going to pay big bucks for a tiny portion of dishes dedicated to these techniques. And I get that the chefs and line cooks who prepare this food are extremely talented and dedicated professionals, changing the landscape of what fine cuisine is going to be. But it just isn’t for me. It isn’t the food I want to eat and it isn’t the food I want to make.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not too old to learn. The world hasn’t quite passed me by yet. I respect these guys immensely, but it all feels like they are just doing what I call “throwing tricks” at their customers. It all seems like it is all hinged on plate presentation and manipulating the ingredients with stabilizers.

Most of the professional cooking groups I have joined seemed to be filled with members that want to complain about food service business. They would rather talk about the long hours, the small pay checks, and, yes, even the customers. I didn’t stay long. But the one that I have stuck with is about the food and, sometimes, even about how to make the food better. There are people who do the Michelin star plate presentations for us to critique, and I tend to stay away from those posts. My people are the ones who ask or share ideas on how to create great food from simple ingredients. These guys and gals know that any fool can cook up a piece of tenderloin and make a meal from it; but, if you want something amazing, give me a person who can cook a nice brisket. It takes time, patience, and, more importantly, a lot of knowledge to make that piece of meat into a memorable meal. I will pick the person who can put that together any day and twice on Sunday.

Many cooks today would hear me talk about all the time I put into learning how to cook perfect oatmeal and think I am wasting my time. But, like anything else, it took me time to research it and then practice it until I got it just right. Now, when I ask a cook to make me oatmeal, I don’t care if they put caramelized apples or candied walnuts in it. If the oatmeal isn’t cooked right and, more importantly, if they have no interest in learning the right way, then I have no real use for them. And, since I know how to cook oatmeal perfectly, I have a pretty good idea of how to cook most any other grain perfectly as well.

So please show me that picture of a beautiful plate of meticulously arranged food. You will probably not get me to critique it or even coax a comment on how nice it is. But, I may ask you to explain how you made one component of your dish. And please feel free to elaborate every detail. I will make the time.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you have an idea for an article, please contact me at

Priscilla Rall of Rocky Ridge finished her cookbook, and it has been printed. “This has been a labor of love and a long time in the making. It includes a chapter (with my illustrations) on open hearth cooking, its tools, ingredients, methods, etc. Then, there are 178 recipes, including ones for hoe cakes, all kinds of steamed puddings (like fig, hasty, and pease), ginger cake, homemade yeast, beaten biscuits, apple fritters,schnitz un knepp, venison, broiled eels, squirrel, blackbird pie, shad, pickled peppers, sauerkraut, cranberry ketchup, horse cake, green tomato pie, my great grandmother’s kaffee kuchen, corn and locust beer, elder and dandelion wine and much more!” Rall said. “My book is profusely illustrated with vintage botanical illustrations, my own photos, Uncle Wiggely (remember him?), and lots of nursery rhymes. There are some old fashioned remedies, also. It has a spiral binding, so you can open it up flat—the better to read it by.

Learn the history behind our ancestors’ cooking, what they ate, and how they prepared it. This isn’t your Monticello or Mt. Vernon cookbook, but one with seldom seen recipes for everyday folk. Also invaluable for the living history reinactor.

The price for this cookbook is $36.00. “Wish it was lower, but I had to have it printed privately, so no room for wholesale pricing,” explained Rall.

Rall will be scheduling an open hearth cooking workshop this winter, just looking for a nice venue. If interested, let her know at 301-271-2868.

Sabillasville Cookbook Available

A cookbook named “Kitchen Help” will be available in November. The book is from St. John’s United Church of Christ in Sabillasville and honors its Ladies’ Guild. The Guild was in existence seventy-five years, from 1932-2007.

Inside the book, you will find a story of the first twenty years of the Guild’s existence taken from their minutes, two pictures of Guild members, helpful hints, and many recipes from Sabillasville and surrounding communities. This book would make a great gift. The book was compiled by Joan Bittner Fry and printed by E+ Copy Center in Emmitsburg.

To order a book, contact or call the church at 301-241-3488 and leave a message with your name and number. Someone will get back to you. The price of the book is $17.50 each or two for $30.00.

Poetry by Francis Smith

It is a pinto sunset

like spotted steeds

the cloudlets race

across this fall’s horizon.

Some say

it’s Indian Summer

the last blast

of our sunny season.

The real reason why the clouds

send us a peachy sky

where eternal blue

yields its coolness

is our atmosphere

anticipates the autumn

grandeur of painted

and falling leaves

while Canadian geese

in famed formation

and chorus strong

flap their wings

and honk their song

in their way

to warmer pastures

by Lisa C. Cantwell

Sam Tressler invited me to his home near Emmitsburg, recently, to share his collection of antique salesman’s samples. Tressler, an antique dealer who offers informal appraisals, exhibited several of these beautiful samples at a community event that I attended over a year ago. It was a thrill to finally see all of his collection, which amounts to a small museum of rare treasures!  Pictured are four of his favorites.

Sled Salesman’s Sample-Little Paris Manufacturing Co., mid-1860s

Tressler’s pride and joy is this one-of-a-kind hand-painted sled, made of maple and ash woods with brass fittings and steel runners. The detailed motif is of a hunting dog with a dove in its mouth. This sample measures 9 ½ inches by 3 ¾ inches, and is so rare it is featured in the authoritative resource, Great Sleds and Wagons by Joan Palicia. The manufacturer of this sled sample was America’s most prolific sled maker and first opened in 1861 in Paris, Maine. Children’s sleds to full-size sleds and wagons were produced, and, before the turn of the century, branch stores sprang up in several major cities. Tressler purchased this treasure from an antique dealer near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In today’s market, he values it between $6,500 and $11,000.


Other Sleds and a Tin Sign

Tressler’s collection began thirty-one years ago, with a tiny sled purchased at an antique store in Frederick for a mere $67.00. There were many sled samples in his showcase, including Flexible, Champion, and Fleetwing brands.  Two salesman’s samples were of “summer sleds,” which have wheels. Their full-size counterparts were made between the 1880s and 1920s.

The bright orange Bendex Racer tin sign was purchased at auction and is the only one in existence.  Tressler said he has yet to find an actual Bendex sled.

Feed Grinder Salesman’s Sample

A curious and exceedingly rare piece is “The Sherman Cutter,” or feed grinder, that Tressler found on a popular online auction site. It was misidentified as a “tobacco cutter” and needed some TLC, so he acquired it at quite a bargain. Tressler cleaned and shined the large piece to reveal brass, iron, and American black walnut in excellent condition. Although not a patent model, an inscribed plate reads “March 24, 1885.” This salesman’s sample runs smoothly. Measuring 21 inches wide and 14 inches high, the mini served as a demo for the larger product, where corn stalks, hay, or straw could be ground into fodder or feed. Tressler values this exceptional feed grinder sample at $1,500 to $6,000.

Hand-Cranked Sausage Stuffer Sample

The last rare salesman sample dates to 1890, and Tressler knows of only one other, which brought $4,600 when it was sold to an auction company in Indiana. Made of cast iron and steel, the 7-inch-high sausage stuffer was made by the National Specialties Co. of Philadelphia. The full-sized product would have been manufactured for farm use only and was obsolete by the 1930s, when electric models became common. Tressler bought this treasure at an antique show in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He said to expect this sample to fetch anywhere from $1,600 to $5,000.


If you have an interesting collection of antique items that you wish to share with our readers, or would like me to research an item to determine whether it’s a “trinket or treasure,” please e-mail me at

Thanks again to Sam Tressler for sharing his rare and beautiful collection of saleman’s samples!

Tis the Season

by Valerie Nusbaum

It’s September as I’m writing this column. The kids have gone back to school, and summer is pretty much over. I can hardly wrap my mind around those facts. Thanksgiving is only two months away, Christmas is closer than I care to imagine, and Halloween is almost upon us.

September and October used to be very busy months for Randy and me because early autumn is the time when all the fall festivals and outdoor arts and crafts shows are held. Back in the day, we used to participate in at least four or five festivals and shows annually.  It was a fun way for us to spend time together, as we sat in our tent and sold our handmade wood items, watercolor prints, potpourri, jewelry, candles and floral arrangements. Over the years, we’ve handcrafted everything from holiday ornaments to wall hangings and yard decorations. Christmas trees, crab mallets, greeting cards—you name it, we’ve made it.

Last year, we more or less retired from the arts and crafts business. The work involved in setting up and tearing down for a two-day show is very hard on our old joints. Not to mention that two or three days of dealing with people wears a body out.

I don’t know how those of you who work in retail manage it.  Shoppers and lookers can be very rude, sometimes without meaning to. Plus, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, and it’s no fun in the rain.

In November, Randy and I said goodbye to Catoctin Colorfest, after many years of setting up our tent in the Community Park. Yes, we’ll miss all the shows and our friends, but we will still be able to attend and do some shopping, and we’ll finally be able to get something to eat! Who knows? We might miss it so much that we’ll find ourselves wanting to get back into it. Maybe when Randy actually retires, and we have some time on our hands.

If you’re a person who enjoys getting out in the beautiful fall weather and looking at all the interesting items for sale, I’m giving you a helpful list to make your craft show experience a happy one. Read on.


Eleven Things You Should Never Say to an Artist or a Craftsperson


“I/My husband/My kid could make that.” FYI: We don’t care.


“I saw one of those at Walmart, and it was cheaper there.” Good for you. Chances are the item you saw at Walmart wasn’t handmade. That’s probably why it cost less.

“Did you make/paint/draw that?” Most juried craft shows or art fairs require that the items for sale be handmade and that the person who actually did the making be the one selling. So, yes, I made it. Duh.

“Will you give me a discount or take less for it?” Craft shows are not flea markets. Most of us vendors never get paid for the amount of time we spend making our art. We can’t afford to give discounts or offer sales. The really good shows prohibit price haggling or sales.

“Can you give me directions for making that?” Sure, but why would I do that? I have a whole table full of things I’m trying to sell.

“That’s very nice, but I don’t know where I’d put it.” On Saturday morning, I might respond with a “thank you,” but by Sunday afternoon, I might have a few suggestions for where you could put it.

“Would you make one for me?”  See #5.

“You remind me of my grandmother.” Unless your grandmother was Georgia O’Keeffe or Frida Kahlo, I might be a little offended by that statement.

“I really need to start selling my own work.” Please do, so I can come by your booth and make you feel bad.

“I don’t have the time to craft/paint/sew.” Then what, pray tell, do you do with all that free time? Sleep?

“Yes, but this isn’t, like, a real job.” No, it isn’t. I work much longer hours for lots less money and even less appreciation.

So, as you can see, I really did need a little break from the business. I’m still selling online and doing an occasional exhibit or small indoor show, and I’ll probably always paint or make some crafts for the sheer pleasure it gives me. I just found selling it in-person is too exhausting. Randy has had so many other things going on in his life in recent years that he, too, needs some time to regroup.

We’ll carry with us many pleasant memories of our vending days. One, in particular, still makes me smile. It was during Catoctin Colorfest, and it had been a long day. A young father came into our tent with his small son. The little boy was looking at some of my prints and seeming to enjoy himself. The father came over and whispered that his son loved to draw and paint, and asked if the boy could ask me a question.

“Sure,” I said.

The boy was about five years old, and he very seriously asked, “How do you stay inside the lines so good?”

I answered him honestly when I said, “I don’t always, and that’s OK.”

Happy Fall, y’all!