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Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

As much as we look forward to the fun and festivities of the holidays, the holiday season can also bring with it stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.

Most of us are pulled in multiple directions during the holidays, with shopping, cooking, sending cards, baking cookies, hosting family, attending events, and, well, trying to please everyone. This can wear us down and, sometimes, even cause us to get sick. However, there are several techniques we can try to minimize our stress and anxiety so that we can thoroughly enjoy the holiday season. Here are a few:

(1) Set a spending budget—don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.” That’s a battle you can’t win. Remind yourself of what the holidays are really about; (2) Get plenty of exercise—being active can elevate your mood and help you deal with stress better; (3) Try to keep it simple—know your limitations and learn how to say “No”; (4) Take some time for yourself—set aside at least 15 minutes of alone time a day; (5) Forget “perfect”—Stop setting unrealistic expectations. Don’t let stress over the house being perfect, dinner being perfect, etc. rob you of enjoying the moment. Those things don’t matter in the scheme of things; focus your energy on enjoying special time with your loved ones…that is what really counts; and (6) Pick your battles—don’t let the actions of others rob you of your joy.

My Hallmark Christmas

by Valerie Nusbaum

Valerie arrived in the quaint little mountain village of Thurmont just three weeks before Christmas.  Never one who enjoyed celebrating the holidays, she couldn’t help noticing that the whole town seemed to be decorated. Festive greens adorned with red bows hung everywhere. There were thousands of twinkling lights and all manner of bright, shiny ornaments hung in trees and around doorways.

“I’ll be glad to get this job done and get out of here,” she thought.  You see, Valerie worked for a Fortune 500 company, and she’d been sent to Thurmont to oversee the buyout of the business that was the town’s main source of jobs and income: the Mountain Top Candy Company. The local business was shutting down and all operations transferred to a big, fancy factory in New York City.

After checking into the rustic inn, which was beautifully decorated, of course, and smelled of cinnamon and spices, Valerie set out to meet with the manager of the candy company. His name was Randy; he loved Christmas, and there were immediate sparks between the two of them.

Now, if this were really a Hallmark Christmas movie, Valerie and Randy would fall in love, eat cookies, have a falling-out over the business closing, and get back together just in time for Christmas and to save the company and the town. Snow would be falling, and Valerie would begin to love the Christmas season and would decide to give up her fancy job and move to Thurmont to help Randy run the candy factory. There would probably be a dog and some sort of magical stocking, locket, or ornament, and maybe Santa would turn out to be Randy’s uncle.

I’m going to go on record here and tell you that I am not a fan of those Hallmark movies. In fact, I pretty much loathe and detest them. I know this will upset some of you, but I’m okay with that because I need to be honest.  Seriously, those movies all have the same plot, there’s nothing realistic about them, and I just don’t see how anyone can watch more than one of them without getting a cavity. I understand that the movies are a way to escape the harsh reality of life. They’re just not my cup of tea. I do love some holiday movies such as A Christmas Story and Elf. I’m not heartless, you know. It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are both classics that I’ve seen more than a few times.

However, if my life were a Hallmark Christmas movie, even though I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas (because of some deep, dark secret like falling down a well on Christmas Eve when I was a child), I’d somehow get coerced into organizing the town’s Favorite Things giveaway.

Speaking of favorite things, Randy and I were driving home from Frederick one day when he said, “I have a question about your friend, Gail.” Then he proceeded to remind me that Gail had mentioned that her family does a “favorite things” gifting at Christmas. 

“How does the song tie into that?” Randy asked. He was serious.

“Do you mean that you think Gail gives her family raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?” I asked him.

He said he knew it wasn’t that literal but still didn’t understand, so I had to launch into the whole explanation about Oprah and her favorite things and how she used to give all those things to her audiences. Randy was visibly upset over this because he is not Oprah’s biggest fan, and he still couldn’t figure out how this translated to Gail giving gifts to her own family.

“So, the giver picks out things that she likes and then she gives those things to her family and friends? Is that how it works?” he asked.

“More or less,” is what I told him.

Randy shook his head and said it still didn’t make sense because that meant that the giver was not taking into consideration the likes and dislikes of the receivers. I tried to explain that the giver tried to choose things that she thought others would like or could use to make life easier. I also pointed out how gifting this way makes life so much easier for the giver, because since everyone on the gift list gets the same gift, it means only going to one store and not stressing over so many different presents. Randy still wasn’t getting it, but I really believe it’s because I said the “O” word and now Favorite Things is forever tainted for him.

In any case, in the Hallmark movie version, Oprah would come to Thurmont for the giveaway and I’d get a car, he’d get a car, and you’d get a car. The snow would fall gently, the lights would twinkle, and music would play in the background, as the whole town would come together in a warm embrace while Oprah beamed upon us.

Randy mentioned more recently that he might like to try doing Favorite Things this year, Oprah notwithstanding. Oh, goody. I can look forward to a subscription to Field & Stream and a beef stick.  Or a bag of Utz holiday pretzels. I hate pretzels, but I can always eat those while I’m watching an awful schmaltzy movie.

No matter what you enjoy watching this holiday season, we’re wishing you all the merriest and happiest holidays!

by James Rada, Jr.

December 1919, 100 Years Ago

Angry—Commits Suicide

While in a fit of anger, and after having been arrested, Mrs. Daisy Toms Baker, aged about 36, shot and killed herself in the home of Wade Wolfe, Wolfsville, this county, Sunday afternoon last, while deputy sheriff Dutrow was waiting for her to prepare herself to accompany him to Frederick City.

Mrs. Baker is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Toms of Thurmont. Her husband, George Baker, was killed some years ago on the Western Maryland railroad. For some time past, Mrs. Baker has been keeping house for Wolfe.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 4, 1919

Clocks Won’t Co-operate

Gettysburg, it is said, is in the throes of confusion over time to an extent which make the daylight savings change pale into insignificance. The citizens are traveling by four separate “times” and Sunday every church service was affected by people coming ahead of time, on time and late.

For a week the town clock in the Courthouse cupola has been speeding its course beyond its normal duty until Sunday it registered 17 minutes ahead of standard time. The Gettysburg College clock by which the northern end of the town governs its movements, is several minutes fast, and the factories have a time of their own by which whistles are blown. Railroads continue to work by their own watches, but aside from them not five per cent of the town uses standard time. The only redeeming feature to the whole mix-up is that nobody misses trains, all of the local time indicators being sufficiently “fast” to give a safe margin.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 11, 1919

December 1944, 75 Years Ago

Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker Has the Thrill of a Lifetime

The thrill of a lifetime! That’s what it seemed like to Marine Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker, of Thurmont, now stationed somewhere in Hawaii, when there suddenly was flashed on an outdoor screen before his incredulous eyes the faces and the familiar scenes which he was accustomed to seeing before he left his good old home town.

That is the amazing story which Cpl. Ecker related in a letter home to his family. He was seated, along with hundreds of his buddies, on sandbags, enjoying one of the outdoor movies which the Marine Corps provides for the entertainment of its personnel in remote positions throughout the world. The picture was entitled “Odd Occupations in the United States” and there before the incredulous eyes of the local fighter appeared his townsmen Fred Tresselt, Mr. Tresselt’s son Ernest and Charles H. Anders, who is employed by Mr. Tresselt at his fish ponds near Thurmont. The thrill which the sight of his hometown neighbors and the well-loved local surroundings brought to Cpl. Ecker can hardly be appreciated by the people still at home, he declared.

                                          – Frederick News, December 1, 1944

Two Young Soldiers From Near Here Killed In Action

Once again the war is brought closer to home as a young man from near Thurmont and one from near Creagerstown are reported killed and other from near Catoctin Furnace reported seriously wounded.

          Pvt. Charles A. Rhodes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Rhodes, of Franklinville, was reported killed in action in France on November 21 and T/5 Morris E. Hoffman, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hoffman, of near Creagerstown, was reported killed in action in France on Nov. 15. Pfc. James L. Grushon was reported to be seriously wounded in Germany on Nov. 16.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 8, 1944

December 1969, 50 Years Ago

Town Cancels Plan for Water Meters Here

Delinquent water consumer bills were discussed at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Commissioners of Emmitsburg held Monday evening in the Town Office, President of the Board J. Ralph McDonnell presiding. Present also was the Town’s attorney, Fred Bower. Regarding the delinquent water bills, Council plans to adopt an ordinance in the near future which would enable it to add interest charges until the bill has been paid.

… At the suggestion of Attorney Bower, the Council decided that due to the fact that local plumbers had not signed a contract to install water meters in local homes, the meters would be returned to the company from which they were purchased.  To date 30 of these meters have been shipped back to the company and another 20 will be returned just as soon as they can be boxed.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 5, 1969

Mike Boyle Heads Fire Company

L. Michael Boyle was elected to head the Vigilant Hose Company for a one-year term at the annual election of that group held Tuesday evening in the Fire Hall. James E. Fitzgerald, incumbent president, declined to run for the office and Boyle ran unopposed.                                           

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 12, 1969

December 1994, 25 Years Ago

2 Sabillasville Teens Charged with Homicide

A bond hearing is scheduled this afternoon for two Frederick County youths charged by Maryland State Police as fugitives from Pennsylvania where they are wanted for the murder of a convenience store clerk early Tuesday.

Clayton W. Faxon, 16, and Jeremiah D. Reynolds, 17, both of Sabillasville Road, Sabillasville, are being held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

State Police arrested the youths Tuesday afternoon in connection with the murder of Gretchen C. Groff, 30, of Fayetteville, Pa. She was killed while working at the High’s Convenience Store in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Both teens have been charged with homicide, robbery, theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg. Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said that under Pennsylvania law the juveniles were able to be charged as adults.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 21, 1994

Youths Still Missing from Victor Cullen

An escaped youth and two who failed to return from leave to the Victor Cullen Academy during the holiday weekend remained missing Tuesday, said local police.

The escape of a 17-year-old Prince George’s County teen on Christmas Eve is being investigated by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, while Maryland State Police are searching for the two who failed to return Monday after holiday leave.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 28, 1994

Meet the “Eternal Litigant”

by James Rada, Jr.

When you consider it, a horse cart rental led to multi-million dollars in lawsuits.

Dr. Harrison Wagner of Woodsboro hired a horse and cart owned by John Flickinger in 1878. When Flickinger paid off his doctor’s bill, he reduced the amount by the amount Wagner owed him for the rental. Wagner denied ever hiring the cart, but he lost his case in court.

Having lost with a weak case, most people would move on. Not Wagner. If something positive could be said about the man, it was that he never gave up.

“He then had Flickinger arrested for perjury, and nine witnesses swore that what Flickinger had testified was true, while many more contradicted this evidence point-blank,” the New York Times reported years later. The case cost Wagner $1,000 with no result reached.

It is believed this loss somehow changed the middle-aged bachelor, who lived alone in his house on Main Street in Woodsboro.

“He would leave town suddenly on horseback, by the back streets, and not return for days. While away, he would visit farmers, and beg them on his knees to hide him in their hay-lofts or garrets, as a crowd of ruffians from Woodsboro were on his track who had sworn not to sleep until they had murdered him,” according to the New York Times.

He had the sheriff in Westminster lock him up for his own safety. He barricaded himself at times in his own house. He told people he had been engaged to a woman, but political shenanigans caused the woman’s family to break the engagement.

In 1876, Wagner went to Baltimore and swore out a warrant before the U.S. Attorney saying his life was in danger in Woodsboro, and he named nine men trying to kill him. “Two deputy marshals, armed to the teeth, were at once sent to Woodsboro to break up the infamous gang. When they get there they found the ‘desperadoes’ all reputable and well-to-do citizens, willing to go with the marshals peaceably if the law required it. Only one of them was taken to Baltimore, and he was dismissed, with the remark that Wagner was undoubtedly crazy,” the New York Times reported.

Undeterred after another court loss, Wagner believed that the nine men were liable for his time spent protecting himself from them. He sued for time lost, day’s labor, injury to business, disturbed peace of mind, and more. He went after not only the men, but their family members and friends.

“When a man goes to bed here at night nowadays, he never knows whether the sheriff will be around first thing in the morning to levy on him or not,” according to the New York Times.

When the local magistrate quickly dismissed the lawsuits, Wagner filed even more in other jurisdictions in the county; over 2,000 in just a few months. The total damages Wagner claimed among all the lawsuits was $6,000, and for this, he sought $100,000. Over half of the lawsuits were against the Adams Express Company “the only cause for any of them being imaginary damage done to a single small package.”

It was thought these suits also came to nothing, but in 1879, it was discovered that 128 judgments of $98 each were still active. Wagner pursued them against the estate of William Shank who had died the previous year.

Although it was conclusively proven Shank had never borrowed money from Wagner, because of the preciseness of the way paperwork had been filed, it still had to go through the Orphan’s Court. This tied up the estate and threatened to leave nothing for Shank’s rightful heirs.

Other Woodsboro merchants had their own problems because of Wagner’s open lawsuits. They found their credit with some Baltimore businesses had been suspended because of the outstanding judgments.

“Wagner was denounced in the severest terms, and if he attempts to prosecute his claims by levying up the property of his victims, there is sure to be trouble,” the New York Times reported. “The imaginary conspiracy from which he had been fleeing for years will become a reality.”

The other plaintiffs in Wagner’s suits had had enough they had Wagner indicted as being a “common barrator.” This was a rare charge with only a handful of cases found on record. A common barrator sounds much like a cross between modern “ambulance chaser” and practicing law without a license. Wagner had one of his rare victories in this case when it was ruled that for the charge of common barrator to be appropriate, Wagner would have had to be encouraging others to file multiple frivolous suits. Wagner was filing his suits on his own behalf.

A few months later, all of his outstanding lawsuits came back to potentially bite Wagner. Although he hadn’t collected on the outstanding judgements as the cases were being appealed, he was potentially the owner of a lot of property on which he had to pay property taxes.

“From his statements it appears that the collector of State and county taxes in making out the schedule of property which is to be the basis of taxation for the year 1880 included the judgements which he (Wagner) had obtained against the estate of William Shank, of Woodsboro for $13,000…,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

Wagner appeared before the county commissioners asking for relief from unfair taxation. They told him that he hadn’t been taxed yet since the cases were still outstanding, but if the courts found in his favor that is the amount he would owe. In essence, the state and county had done the same thing to Wagner that he had done to the citizens of Woodsboro, except that the state and county had a legitimate claim.

During the following year, the cases were dismissed because Wagner was back in court in 1881 trying to get them reinstated.

Wagner soon moved out of the county, but not out of the county newspapers.

In 1883, newspapers reported that he filed more lawsuits against the Adams Express Company in the Washington, D.C. courts. This was another effort to revive some of his earlier Frederick County lawsuits. The total amount Wagner sought from these suits was $101,000. Denied satisfaction in Washington, he met a magistrate in Licksville, Virginia, to convince him to issue a judgment against the express company.

“Justice Alnutt refused to issue, when Wagner became very demonstrative,” the Sun reported. “Several residents of the village standing near told Wagner they would lynch him if he attempted the Woodsboro racket in that neighborhood. One man was especially anxious to at least give him, as he said, his deserts (sic) by throwing him in the canal near by (sic).”

Wagner quickly left.

In 1885, he next showed up in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, filing 11,443 small suits seeking $1,242,850 in unspecified damages. These suits were dismissed.

In 1890, Wagner was finally arrested and charged with a crime. Officials said he forged the name of the late William Dinsmore on a bond of nearly $2 million that he filed against the Adams Express Company.

“He went about it all so quietly, and worked it all in such an underhand way that it was only by the suspicion of the county clerk at Fredericksburg, Va., becoming aroused that the fraud became known,” the Frederick News reported.

Wagner was sentenced to one year in prison for forgery.

By 1897, Wagner was in the U.S. Circuit Court in Baltimore suing Frederick County commissioners for $1.1 million. He lost the case but appealed it to the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals in Richmond the following year and lost once again.

He continued to file lawsuits against government, companies, and individuals in the years following; never winning but continuing to press forward. He even tried to perpetrate a fraud against the U.S. Congress in 1902. The House Committee on Invalid Pensions had “an alleged copy of a bill purporting to have been passed by the Senate placing him on the retired list of the Army as an assistant surgeon has been circulated, and that an equally fraudulent copy of an alleged favorable report on this bill has been palmed off on the committee,” according to the Frederick News. When his case was researched, it was found he had only been contracted as a nurse for a single year during the war.

Wagner was committed to insane asylum in 1907 after filing another fraudulent lawsuit against the late Joseph Reisinger of Rockville. He was convicted in the case, but a lunacy commission found him of unsound mind and committed him rather than send him to prison.

He spend a short time in the asylum and then went to live with his brother in Ohio. For unknown reasons, he returned to Washington, D.C., to be recommitted.

In 1911, Wagner applied to be released saying “he would rather go to the penitentiary than stay in the government hospital,” according to the Frederick News. Frederick County citizens showed up at his release hearing opposing the action and Frederick County government opposed his release writing, in part, “He fraudulently obtained judgments against nearly every prominent citizen in this county…”

The eternal litigant lost his final case and remained in the asylum.

What Christmas Is All About

by Anita DiGregory

Does the time between Thanksgiving and January 2 seem like a blur? Are your holidays unforgettably beautiful but undeniably stressful? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent said they experienced greater levels of stress during the holidays. And, who wouldn’t? After all, retailers have been stressing us out since way back in July, with visions of Christmas trees, ornaments, and wrapping paper decking the (retail) halls. Soon after, Facebook chimed in with its countdowns to Christmas. Then, the countless pre-Thanksgiving holiday sales booklets distributed by every major retailer from A to W—that is Amazon to Walmart—were delivered (almost making one nostalgic for the good ole’ days of Black Friday). 

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

It may be the hap…happiest season of all, but the holidays can also result in excessive stress for parents and children. Holiday programs, parties, and events overfill an already full calendar.  Parents feel the added pressure that goes along with finding the perfect gifts, traveling, visiting extended family, finding a lack of time and money, and providing the perfect holiday for everyone. This can all lead to conflict and distract from the true meaning of the season. 

Ellen Griswold: I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery. (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

And let’s not forget, ‘tis also the season for those flawless, photoshopped images to flood our social media and those picture-perfect Christmas cards to be delivered to our doors. This creates added pressure. According to a research study conducted on holiday stress, 41 percent of Americans surveyed, and 49 percent of the moms surveyed, acknowledged they stressed over creating the perfect holiday. So, how do we strive to reach above the Griswold’s Christmas Vacation without overstressing about providing the perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas? Here is some advice from the experts.

Take time for planning. Talk to your family about what is important to them to accomplish and what their favorite things are to do. Reflect and prioritize.  Whether it is drinking hot chocolate while watching a favorite holiday movie, cutting down the perfect tree, making Christmas cookies, or caroling with friends at the local nursing home, whatever it is, make a plan. Schedule the time to do those things together.

Enlist help from the kids. The holidays are family time. Getting the children to help with chores, decorating, and planning gives them a sense of pride, helps unify the family, and gives everyone more time to enjoy fun activities.

Be intentional. The holidays can be a time of overspending and overeating. Overindulging is proven to cause physical and emotional stress on individuals. 

In fact, a survey conducted by the Principal Financial Group found that 53 percent of those polled acknowledged that holiday spending stresses their finances.  Approximately, 11 percent added that it results in a “great deal of stress” on them financially. Talking with your spouse about spending limits and establishing a budget can be helpful.

Slow down.  With all the added demands of the holiday season, it can be difficult to take the time to reflect, relax, and enjoy. Research has shown that spending quality time with family is key to reducing stress. 

Narrator:  It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

Nurture an attitude of gratitude. Modeling gratitude for our children is vital. Research continues to show the positive health effects of counting and reflecting on our blessings. 

Remember others. The holiday season is the perfect time to teach our children the importance of thinking of and helping others.  Doing so helps them to learn compassion and empathy. Visit an elderly neighbor; go caroling at a local nursing home; send a Christmas card to someone who may not get another card. They can even donate toys to Toys for Tots or to another community aid organization. The possibilities are endless, but the results are priceless. 

Above all, strive to remember and celebrate the Reason for the season. May you and your family have a safe and blessed holiday season and New Year.

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not:  for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

by Buck Reed

Onions, A Layer of Flavors

All over the world, almost every cuisine is defined not only by the types of food they eat, but how they prepare them. Of the many different ingredients used throughout the world, the one that seems to find its way to everyone’s table is the onion.

Although essential in cooking, sometimes onions get a bad rap. As far as bad breath that is caused by onions, well, that is temporary; and, let’s face it, if you are not willing to kiss someone with onion breath, did you ever really love them in the first place? As a chef, and not a relationship specialist, I say you can actually find room in your life for onions and the stinky breath they bring to the people you love. Hopefully, only one will fade with time. And, like most relationships, onions can bring tears to your eyes, but can also be avoided.

Onions pack a punch of flavor, as well as a lot of nutritional value, coupled with a low calorie content. They provide potassium and vitamin C, as well as being an antioxidant and antibacterial.

Although there are literally hundreds of onions used in cooking today, here is a quick guide to six common onions found in every grocery store and how to use them.

White Onions

High in water content, these onions are mild in flavor and are good raw in salads, salsas, wraps, and sandwiches. To add another dimension to them, try pickling them.

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions (also known as cooking or Spanish onions) have a pungent flavor that are not good raw but are best when cooked into soups or stews, and really shine when they are caramelized.


A staple of French cuisine, these small, elongated onions have a unique, mild flavor that is good raw as well as chopped and cooked in a saute and stir fry. Caramelized shallots can also add a unique flavor to your dish.

Red Onion

This purple fleshed onion is pretty and works best raw in sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. They can also be used in quick cooking methods.

Green Onions

Green onions (also known as scallions) come in two parts: the long green stem that is chopped and eaten raw and the white bulbous part that should be cooked. For a real treat, try grilling these onions whole and serving as a side dish.

Sweet Onions

A sweet onion is a variety of onion that is not pungent and actually tastes sweet. There are several types, but Vidalia is the most popular. These are very mild onions in flavor and are best eaten raw.

You may find that most recipes don’t specify what type of onion they call for in the recipe. While using any onion in your recipe won’t necessarily ruin your dish, using the best onion for the recipe your cooking will definitely make your food taste better. Purchasing and using the best onion for the specific type of dish you are preparing is a great way to step up your culinary game.

Victory Tabernacle, Thurmont

by Theresa Dardanell

“A hand of friendship will be extended. A heart of worship will be found. A Biblical message will be heard.” 

My recent visit to Victory Tabernacle confirmed the quote that was in the handout I received before the service.  The church, originally named Catoctin Gospel Tabernacle, was established in 1961 as an independent Pentecostal Church by Reverend Arnold Gooden. Pastors David and Hope Reynolds have served the congregation since 1983. Pastor David said that the church is currently a fully chartered member of the Pentecostal Church of God and that, “Victory Tabernacle serves as the Capital District Church, serving nine churches in the tri-state area. We also serve 69 military chaplains all across the globe as an Assistant Ecclesiastical Endorser.”

Their uplifting Sunday worship service begins at 10:00 a.m. The musical team leads the congregation in joyful contemporary music throughout the service, which includes a Scripture reading, a message, and prayers. The congregation participates with prayer requests and thanks for blessings received; there is also plenty of time to greet one another with handshakes and hugs. A special children’s church is held during the worship service. Communion is offered at Christmas and Easter.

There are plenty of opportunities for study and social interaction during the week. Men meet for Bible study on Thursday mornings; women gather for Bible study on Wednesday evenings; grandparents are invited for “table talk” to support and help one another.

The youth group meets on Fridays, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Along with Bible study, they enjoy games and snacks and work on community service projects.

Family events include grandparents night, gingerbread night, paint night, and more. A new College and Career Group for young adults has just formed,  and they will begin their community service with a nursing home visit in December. 

Outreach to the local community includes donations to the Frederick Rescue Mission, Thurmont Food Bank, Hospice, Catoctin Pregnancy Center, and a prison ministry.  Operation Christmas Child is one of the international organizations supported by Victory Tabernacle. Boxes of personal care products, toys, and craft items, along with personalized objects made by the children of the church, are packed in boxes and sent to children around the world by the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief organization. Missionaries in the Philippines are also the recipients of the generosity of the congregation.

Victory Tabernacle is located at the corner of Kelly’s Store Road and Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont. Paul Jenkins said that the members feel like family and that, “we look after each other. Guests are always welcome to become part of this family of God.”  Pastor David Reynolds shared the hope that, “people know that Jesus is alive and he loves them, and we love them and we want to worship together.”

Members of Victory Tabernacle.

The Holly and The Ivy

by Christine Maccabee

The Holly

There are about 15 native hollies in America, which, if grown in moist soil, are quite beautiful if you are fortunate enough to have one around your home. They can grow tall, but tend to be more shrub-like. Hollies are famous for their reddish berries, which only the female bears, and shiny green leaves. Cuttings are sometimes used at this time of year to decorate our homes, churches, and businesses. Most importantly, the female’s white flowers provide nectar for pollinators, and the berries are an excellent source of food for birds throughout the fall and winter into spring.

Ironically, the raw berries are poisonous for humans, though I do not know about cooked ones. I don’t think I will try it!

In the 1990s, I found my holly tree, half dead in a large pot at a roadside stand where the owner was shutting his business down for the winter. Selling it to me at half price, since it was half dead, I brought it home with great hopes that it might thrive at the corner of my house where the soil is consistently moist. Over many years, I watched with joy to see it become a thriving, and very tall, holly tree. However, disappointingly, it bore no berries.

This tale could have a sad ending since over time it looked like it was dying, its leaves turning brown and dropping off, with no sign of new life. It was becoming an eyesore, so sadly I cut it down. However, the following spring I noticed new growth, beginning at the base of the stump. I watched with great interest and excitement, as over the summer the holly resurrected itself into what is now, after many years, another gorgeous tree. It is even producing some berries!

I know of a few female hollies in our area, mostly brought in by a kind arborist or naturalist. Two of those hollies were planted at the back of the Presbyterian Church in Emmitsburg (where I am an organist), and they are thriving beautifully. I love seeing their many berries turn slowly through the season from green to orangish red (see photo above).

There are several holly forests in Delaware, and one near the Bay Bridge, which I visited a few decades ago. I can only hope it is still in existence; one day in the future, I will explore that possibility. I worry that it may have been demolished to make way for more development, as has happened to many wild areas in my lifetime.

The Ivy

There are at least two ivies that most people are familiar with: the English ivy and the dreaded poison ivy. English ivy is not a native to America and by many naturalists is considered an invasive. Even though some homeowners value it as a ground cover, it sadly does its job all too well. It is an unstoppable creeper, taking over habitat where fern and other wild plants would ordinarily grow. Also, English ivy is very vulnerable to spider mites, scale and mealy bugs, fungus, and so forth, all of which are easily transferable to other wild or domestic plants. Thus, it is a good idea to avoid planting it in your yard.

Some homeowners like to have English ivy creep up the walls of their homes, and it does look beautiful to some eyes. However, its strong roots work their way onto mortar of bricks or cracks in wood, thus damaging the house. I try not to be in judgment of other people’s choices, so I can only make my recommendations, then let it go. This is true of many other facets of life, be they political or lifestyle choices. We cannot control everything, but we can try to help with damage control.

As far as I am concerned, the holly does indeed take the crown with its beauty and usefulness. The French carol “The Holly and the Ivy” is all about the thorns and blood inflicted upon Christ. It is not my favorite carol, but I do love its melody! As for ivy, it is not my favorite plant.

 I suppose we can find the desirable and undesirable in everything in life. May you find true joy this season in many desirable and lovely things.                                                                            

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Holidays can be a time for family, food, and fun. While getting together for the holidays can be enjoyable, the food may be contaminated and friends and family may become ill. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, but organisms that you cannot see, smell, or taste (bacteria, viruses, and tiny parasites) are everywhere in the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in the United States can be traced to foodborne pathogens every year.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates two to three percent of foodborne illnesses lead to serious, secondary long-term illnesses. Unfortunately, the nonprofit Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has reported that zero risk of microbiological hazards is not possible and no method will eliminate all pathogens or toxins from the food chain (“Food Safety and Fresh Produce: An Update,” 2009).

Despite progress improving the quality and safety of foods, any raw agricultural product can be contaminated. Bacteria may survive, despite aggressive controls at the processing level, or the food may become contaminated somewhere along the way during transport, preparation, cooking, serving, and storage.

For these reasons, food safety and public health officials agree that along with aggressive efforts to identify, access, and control microbiological hazards associated with each segment of the food production system, teaching everyone about safe food handling is a priority. Consumers have an important role to play in reducing their risk of foodborne illness.

Here are some tips to follow to help you avoid foodborne illnesses.

Keep it clean. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before preparing, eating, or handling food. Also, wash your hands after using the bathroom and touching pets. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.   Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel—so dirt and germs on the surface do not get inside when you cut into the food.

Cook it well. Cooking food to the proper temperature gets rid of harmful germs. Use a food thermometer to check for the proper temperature of the meat you are cooking. Make sure chicken wings (and any other poultry) reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F and that ground beef items reach 160°F. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. Follow frozen food package cooking directions when cooking in microwave.

Keep it safe. If preparing food in advance, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in a refrigerator or freezer until the party begins. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays to keep food hot on the buffet table. Cold foods should be kept at 40°F or colder. Use small service trays or nest serving dishes in bowls of ice. It is okay to refreeze meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing. If you are getting takeout or having food delivered, make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Separate raw meats from ready-to-eat foods like veggies when preparing, serving, or storing foods. Make sure to use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.          Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator.                 Place cooked food on a clean plate. Do not use a plate that had raw or uncooked food on it—especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Offer guests serving utensils and small plates to discourage them from eating directly from the bowls with dips and salsa.

Store and reheat leftovers the right way. Divide leftovers into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate or freeze. Refrigerate leftover foods at 40°F or below as soon as possible and within two hours of preparation or one hour when the temperature is above 90°F. It is okay to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator. Refrigerate leftovers for three to four days at most. Freeze leftovers if you will not be eating them soon. Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below. Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within two days; beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within three to five days.

Wrap perishable food such as meat and poultry securely to maintain quality and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food. To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap.

Canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they have not been exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90°F. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. High-acid canned food (tomatoes, fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months; low acid canned food (meats, vegetables) for 2 to 5 years.

Thawing. The refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing meat and poultry juices do not drip onto other food. For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag. Submerge in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook immediately after thawing. Cook meat and poultry immediately after microwave thawing.

Food poisoning. Some signs of food poisoning include upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Signs of food poisoning can start hours, days, or even weeks after eating bad food. Usually the effects only last for one or two days, but they can last up to two weeks.

The treatment for most cases of food poisoning is to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. For a more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital. Get medical help right away, if you have a fever higher than 101.5°F. Also, seek medical attention if you have blood in your vomit or in your stool; and you are throwing up many times a day for more than two days, if you can’t drink or keep down any liquids for 24 hours, have a very dry mouth, are peeing much less than usual, are feeling very weak, dizzy, or lightheaded and if you have diarrhea that lasts more than three days.

Anyone can get sick from eating bad food. However, food poisoning is a serious health risk for some people. Higher risk categories include pregnant women, babies, young children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions (including AIDS, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer).

You cannot see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow these four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe: (1) Clean: Wash your hands and the surfaces food is prepared on often; (2) Separate: Keep meat and vegetables separate, so you do not cross-contaminate; (3) Cook: Cook food to the right temperature according to the meat thermometer; (4) Chill: Refrigerate food promptly.

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

Jeanne Angleberger

2019 Recap of Healthy Tips

Well, I hope 2019 had many highlights for your health. Committing to a healthier lifestyle is a choice! Let’s recap some of those choices yours truly shared throughout the year.

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. They are low-calorie and provide a rich source of antioxidants. Aim to consume two to three cups daily. Variety is the key!

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. You can lower your risk by: quitting smoking; monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol; watching your weight; getting active and eating healthy.

Essential oils offer many health benefits. An aroma spray can revitalize the mind, body, and spirit.

Sprouted grain breads are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. These breads do not contain added sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients and may be easier to digest.

Boost your health in the summer time by eating a nutritious diet, wearing eye protection, and applying sunscreen.

Chia seeds are filled with fiber, antioxidants, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You may find them in your favorite muffins, energy bars, and breakfast cereals.

Celery is a low-calorie, nutritious, and antioxidant-rich vegetable and snack.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, K, and beta carotene. Serve it raw with your favorite hummus or steamed as a side dish. Read the top eight health benefits of cauliflower at

Remember, nutrition is for everyone. Take a healthy step now.  Your body and mind will thank you.

May you and your family be blessed with healthiness and happiness in 2020.

Rescued: Furry and Furever Loved

Michele Tester

Pam Ryan of Thurmont has adopted from shelters many times before, but she had never adopted through a rescue organization. That is, until Josie. The main difference between shelters and rescue groups is that shelters are usually run and funded by local governments, whereas rescue groups are funded mainly by donations and most of the staff are volunteers.

“These people, like all the other organizations, save so many animals from overcrowded shelters, as well as those that have been lost, abandoned, and abused. There are groups that fly the animals in from shelters all over the United States and beyond, as well as groups that arrange for transports state by state until the animals arrive at their destinations to hopefully find good homes. The volunteers work very hard in whatever spare time they have and operate through donations to give these animals the good care they need until, hopefully, they find their loving and forever homes,” said Pam. 

Josie, a dilute calico, approximately a year old at that time, came to Pam from Sarah, who is the owner of Furever Love Rescue in Hedgesville, West Virginia. Josie was a stray that showed up one day at the rescue, sitting on top of their fence. She was brought inside with the other cats and dogs that were up for adoption. Sarah considered keeping her, but Josie was very rambunctious and a pest to all the other animals, many of whom were older and wanted no part of this exuberant cat. So, Sarah decided that Josie would be better off in a loving home of her own.

“Let me just say…..she is a real pest and very mischievous, and, luckily, her dog sister Lexi puts up with her!” laughed Pam.

A home visit was made to see the environment in which Josie would be living. Pam’s loving home passed, and the adoption went through. Josie was brought to live with Pam the following weekend. 

“Josie was a perfect fit and has been with us for almost three years now. My dog, Lexi, and her are best buddies and play together all the time. I think Josie thinks she’s a dog. She chases us through the house and fetches her little pom pom balls, just like a dog would,” said Pam, smiling, “Josie doesn’t let Lexi out of her sight, and vice versa. They are truly best friends. She is very vocal and loves to talk, purring loudly. I would say she is a very happy cat and loves her home.” 

Pam has always adopted through shelters and now through a rescue. “I’ve had some amazingly wonderful cats and dogs over the years. I truly believe that just because an animal ends up in a shelter, it doesn’t mean that they have something wrong with them or can’t be loved. I believe they are all so very special and seem to know that you saved their life and gave them the loving home they so deserve. They love you unconditionally.” It doesn’t get much better than that. 

by Buck Reed

Apple Season

Although apples are now readily available year-round because of the voodoo science has provided for us, we tend to look at apple season as being in November. This is because, traditionally, apple picking starts in July and, depending on the climate, ends about now. So, November is when we take the last of the apples and start the traditional work of preserving them into apple butter or sauce or prepping them for storage for the winter.

This time of year, apples are traditionally sorted and then wrapped in paper before placing them in a crate or basket and storing them in the cellar where it was cool enough to keep the apples from spoiling. The paper was used to keep a bad apple from coming into contact with the others and ruining the rest. As the Osmonds taught us, one bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch. Is there nothing a 1970’s Mormon family pop group cannot teach us?

Today, apples are picked before they are ripe and stored in rooms with higher levels of carbon dioxide to keep them from ripening. When the apples are needed for sale, the room is flooded with oxygen and the apples ripen naturally. And, if they need the apples sooner, ethylene gas is used to super ripen the fruit. This method ensures that we will have fresh, crisp apples all year round.

 This modern method also ensures that apples do not lose any of their nutritional value, which, of course, we all know “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.” One apple has about 95 calories and provides a good source for soluble fiber, which will help lower your cholesterol as well as blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Eating an apple with the skin will also provide ursolic acid, which will activate a calorie burn in the body and help fight obesity. Although apples do contain carbs, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, the fiber in apples can actually help stabilize sugar levels in diabetics.

Since we now know apples are good for you and they are readily available all through the year, why not cook with them more?

Baking with apples is a no-brainer. Apple dumplings, apple turnovers, apple crisp, and of course, the all-American dessert, Apple pie, easily come to mind. But why not change it up with something different like a new spice or seasoning. I am finding ground cardamom to be a nice new ingredient to add to my baked products and would encourage anyone looking for something new to give it a go. Of course, baked or sautéed apples would make a fine side dish to almost any entree, and adding sliced apples to a stir fry might add a pleasing surprise. If you have a food dehydrator, slice the apples thin and make some apple chips for a quick snack.

With an ingredient packed with so much nutritional value and an all-year availability, why not keep a bag in the pantry?

Challenge yourself to eat one apple a day and give the doctor the day off.

Around the House

by Valerie Nusbaum

I have a new appliance/gizmo that’s guaranteed to make cleaning a breeze, giving me all sorts of free time. It’s called a Clorox Scrubtastic, and Randy gave it to me for my birthday. Now, ladies, before you get all incensed about my husband giving me a cleaning tool for my birthday, know that I asked for it. In his defense, he was only doing what I requested. He also gave me a beautiful piece of jewelry, so it’s all good. 

Anyway, this gadget came in a big box and has several attachments. It has to be assembled, and, when fully extended, is about three-and-a-half-feet long. It has a charger and several brushes, depending upon the job to be done. I forgot to mention that the day Randy ordered it, there was a “buy one, get one free” deal, so I have two of them. That’s not a bad idea in our house, as I tend to break things.

I was a little wary about trying it out on my own since the thing is so big and kind of heavy, but what the heck? I’ve never run away from a challenge, so I decided to use it on my bathtub. Normally, I scour the tub with a cleaning pad, and I do a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. Well, I applied some bathroom cleaner to the tub, made the brush a little wet and turned on the Scrubber. Did I mention that it has a very powerful motor?  It was all I could do to hold onto it as it scooted around my slick bathtub. I finally got a good grip on it and held on for dear life, but I do believe that my own elbow grease does a better job on the tub since I had a hard time holding the brush at the proper angle. Maybe with practice, I’ll get the hang of it. I have to say, though, that the Scrubber did a fantastic job on my bathroom floor.

When the time came to scrub Randy’s shower stall, I gave him the honor of using the scrubbing tool and I stood outside the bathroom to observe, and to hopefully have a good laugh. I wasn’t disappointed.  Randy applied the spray cleaner to the stall walls and floor and turned on the motor. It was hard to hear all the bad words coming out of his mouth because the motor is pretty loud. Just as well. We both started cracking up and neither of us could decide if the Scrubber worked as well or better than our previous cleaning methods. Maybe we’ll stick to using it on the tile floors and find some other uses as well.

We’ve also been redecorating our living room. Ten years ago, we thought it would be a great idea to paint two of the living room walls a deep forest green since the décor in there was rustic. At that same time, I bought some lined drapes for all the windows (there are five and one of them is a big bay) in a red, gold, and green plaid fabric. We moved the green area rug from the dining room into the living room, and we were happy with the look. Well, I was happy for about a year. At that point, I was tired of the drapes and sick of the walls. Life got in the way of my decorating plans, and I lived with that color scheme for another nine years.

Finally, in September of this year, I could take it no more. We looked at paint samples and decided to go with a greige (grey/beige) color on the walls. Randy really liked a floral-patterned drapery fabric, so I agreed to his choice and I matched the drapes with a new area rug as closely as I could. We did all the taping, painting, and touch-up in one weekend, and I’m happy with the transformation. The room is a little more elegant now and not so rustic or North-woodsy.

The kitchen still isn’t finished. Two of the bathrooms could use new floors and fixtures, and the basement needs a total makeover, especially since Randy has an office down there now. Do you ever look around at your home and feel overwhelmed with all the jobs to be done? I sure do.

We’ve been cleaning out and trying to downsize, because after twenty-five years here, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Randy and I had our first Colorfest weekend yard sale, and we did manage to get rid of a lot of things that other people said they could use. I even sold my Karma Chameleon plaid drapes. (Get it?  They’re red, gold, and green.) I was happy to see some old friends at our yard sale, too. Kathy Myrick and her daughter, Amy, stopped by, and I got to chat with Sharon Baker. Sharon’s dad, Jimmy Danner, I’m told, is a Banner reader!

That’s what we’ve been up to. Owning a home is a never-ending series of projects and jobs. It’s exhausting, hard work, and a lot of expense. Things break or wear out (I know just how those appliances feel), and I’m always itching to change something.

When it gets to be too much, Randy looks at me and says, “Pack a bag. We’re getting out of here.” I think he’s trying to save himself.

by James Rada, Jr.

November 1919, 100 Years Ago

Mt. St. Mary’s Items

The annual procession of St. Anthony’s parish to the old cemetery on the hill was held Sunday after the 10 o’clock Mass. The procession was largely attended. Rev. Father Wheeler of Thurmont gave a very beautiful sermon at the cemetery upon the arrival of the procession.

Forty hours devotions begins at St. Anthony’s on Nov. 16th and will terminate on Tuesday evening.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 13, 1919

Lad, 16, Patents Device

Waynesboro can probably qualify as having the youngest inventor in the State. Allen J. Gardenour, 16 years old, has just been granted letters patent upon a combination electric lock system. The invention relates to an electric switch, controlled by a combination, the primary object of which is the prevention of closing of the circuit by any other then the authorized person. The combination device does away with all need of keys and is especially adaptable for automobile ignition systems. He expects to have it placed on the market.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 20, 1919

November 1944, 75 Years Ago

Awarded Air Medal

Sergeant Harvey Eiler, 19, of Thurmont, Md., radio operator and gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress has been awarded the Air Medal at this Eighth Air Force base in England. Sgt. Eiler is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Newton E. Eiler of Route No. 1, Thurmont.

Prior to entering the Army Air Forces in March, 1943, Sgt. Eiler was graduated from the Frederick High School. He received his gunner’s wings in March, 1944, at Fort Myers, Fla.

                                          – Frederick News, November 24, 1944

Mother of 24 To Give Her Ninth Pint of Blood Monday

Mother of 24 children, 12 of whom are still living, Mrs. Charles H. Clarke, Sr., Thurmont, will donate her ninth pint of blood to the Red Cross Monday when the Mobile Blood Donor Unit returns to Frederick. Mrs. Clarke, who manages a 17-room house, and helps her husband farm their six-acre tract, had already become a member of the Gallon Club of Baltimore. She says she expects to go on giving her blood “as long as the doctor says it is okay.” This despite the fact she had undergone five operations.

                                          – Frederick News, November 25, 1944

November 1969, 50 Years Ago

Thurmont Bridge To Be Erected

Work on relocated U.S. 15 in Frederick County has moved forward as the State Roads Commission received bids on construction of a bridge on the highway over Maryland Route 81 at Thurmont, Regional Commissioner John J. McMullen said this week.

The 3-span bridge, totaling nearly 170 feet, will be built on a site approximately 200 feet north of the existing intersection, Mr. McMullen said.

Apparent low bidder, he said, was Wolfe Brothers Construction of Myersville with an offer of $247,332.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 7, 1969

Softball Champs To Be Honored

St. Anthony’s Parish Softball Team, champions of the Thurmont Church Softball League, will be honored at the annual banquet of the Thurmont Church League, Friday, November 28, 6:30 p.m., at the Cozy Restaurant, Thurmont. Jim Palmer, pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, will be the guest speaker.

The St. Anthony’s team will receive the league’s first place trophy and the Weller United Methodist Church of Thurmont will receive the second place trophy.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 14, 1969

November 1994, 25 Years Ago

For 25 Years…Seton Center Serves the Needs of People

In the beginning, when Seton Center opened its doors a quarter of a century ago, there were 20 pre-schoolers enrolled.

It was a very small beginning. Some people said, “No matter. There’s really not much need for day care in the Emmitsburg area.”

Last year the center provided 23,822 days of care for nearly 300 youngsters age 2 to 12.

There was a need for day care and for more than day care. Seton Center grew rapidly. Adult education classes got underway. Day care expanded to include both before- and after-school and full-day summer programs for older children. The Thrift Shop, the food bank and the outreach program all began in the ‘70s and are flourishing today.

                                          – Frederick News-Post, November 2, 1994

Exhibitors Win at All-American

Fairhill Enhancer Song-ET was named the grand champion Holstein female and the All-American supreme champion during the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show recently held in Harrisburg, Pa.

… Mark Valentine of Thurmont exhibited the grand champion Ayrshire in the junior show with Vales-Pride Olympic Rose.

                                          – Frederick News-Post, November 29, 1994

Hunting a Killer Across the Country

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is the second of two articles about the murder of Leo Creager and the pursuit of his murderer.

While trying to escape from Frederick and the robberies they committed there on October 18, 1923, Clarence Wallace and George Williams rode the trolley to Thurmont, planning to take the Western Maryland Railroad to Baltimore. However, law enforcement was watching for them.

Dep. Sheriff C. W. Lidie arrested them, but Williams managed to escape, but not before shooting and killing Leo Creager, who had been trying to help Dep. Lidie catch the fleeing Williams.

Frederick County Sheriff Charles Klipp placed guards on the bridges over the Monocacy River to watch for Wallace. He hid in honeysuckle near the bridge and saw the guards. Wallace supposedly evaded them by swimming and wading across the rivers and creeks so that the guards and other searchers wouldn’t see him. They didn’t realize this, though.

The next morning, the sheriff had two bloodhounds brought in from Virginia to track Wallace. They could find nothing. It was later learned that the posse had been close to him several times during that first day, and if the bloodhounds had been on the scene the first day, he probably would have been caught.

The Frederick County Commissioners offered a $1,000 reward for Williams’ capture, dead or alive.

Meanwhile, Wallace traveled at night so he was less likely to be seen, and walked more than 70 miles to Highlandtown on the east side of Baltimore City. He and Williams had rented rooms in a boarding house run by Mrs. Thomas J. Graft.

When Wallace reached the house, he met Florence Graft and asked her if she had read about Leo Creager’s murder in the newspapers. She told him she had, and she thought it was horrible. Wallace then admitted that he was the murderer.

“She informed him that she intended to tell the police at once, at which threat he drew a revolver and made her go upstairs and stay in the room with him while he shaved himself,” the Frederick Post reported. “While he was shaving, he had the revolver laying on the bureau in front of him, and told her he would use it if she uttered a word.”

He ate some food from the kitchen, gathered his things, and left. Graft called the police and told them what had happened. Police were able to identify Wallace through a watch he had left behind at the house and had pawned twice in the past. Baltimore Police tracked the address on the pawn ticket and verified that Clarence Wallace had been living at the house. Baltimore Police then circulated his picture.

He was originally from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, but he had been living in Baltimore for work as a pipefitter. He had previously helped build one building on the Hood Campus and Thurmont High School. However, he had also served a term in Eastern Penitentiary in Philadelphia for robbery.

Wallace then disappeared for two months, but this did not mean the police stopped looking for him.

Police eventually traced Wallace to Santa Barbara, living under the name H.P. Dailey. However, they could not find him within the city. Finally, detectives mailed him a letter via general delivery and advertised it in the newspaper for several days. The detectives then staked out the post office when it was open and waited for Wallace to come for his letter.

When he did on December 15, the police confronted him as he left the post office. Wallace resisted arrested and tried to run. The police shot him three times, killing him.

His body was sent to Baltimore for identification, and justice finally came for Leo Creager’s murderer.

by Anita DiGregory

The Importance of Patriotism

I have vivid childhood memories of proudly standing with my class each morning and reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. It was part of my elementary school’s morning ritual.  Back then, there was no controversy surrounding it; no one questioned it.  We all stood proudly and respectfully, placed our hand over our heart, and promised: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which is stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

I may have been a child, but I believed in and whole-heartedly supported every word. I still do. I believe in our country, I believe in our “one nation under God,” and I believe in liberty and justice for all.  This heartfelt belief is patriotism.

Fast forward many, many moons to today and my children stand each morning and recite the same pledge.  I hope that these words are as important and meaningful to them. 

Over the years, the words have not changed. The meaning has not changed. But somewhere along the line, for some, the interpretation has seemed to change.

In fact, even the term patriotism has earned a negative connotation.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines patriotism as “love for or devotion to one’s country.”  Patriotism is not racism, hatred, or blind love. Wordnik further defines patriotism as “Love of one’s country; the passion which moves a person to serve his country, either in defending it from invasion or in protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions.” 

This country from its very inception has brought together people of different nations, cultures, and beliefs. America is not perfect; it is as imperfect as those who make up this country. Seeing as we are all imperfect, it is only logical that no place this side of Heaven will be truly perfect. But throughout time, we have seen heroes who go above and beyond, inspire change, and make a difference.

William Bennett wrote, “When I was a boy, adults I knew went to the trouble of helping me find a few heroes.  At first, the ones I admired most were not people I knew personally, but figures who nonetheless possessed qualities of human excellence worth striving for:  baseball and football players who persevered on and off the field, famous explorers from the pages of history who dared to face the unknown, cowboys from Hollywood Westerns who rode hard and stood up for what deserved to be loved and protected.  As I grew older, I learned that heroes could be found closer to home, too – neighbors, friends, and members of my own family.  In all of them there was a certain nobility, a largeness of soul, a hitching up of one’s own purposes to higher purposes – to something that demanded endurance or sacrifice or courage or compassion.”

America has experienced much in its relatively young life:  celebration, sadness, success, sorrow, victory, anguish, achievement, and rebirth.  We need to unite to celebrate our country, independence and freedom, sacrifice and service, equality and diversity, family and friends:  patriotism, and we need to share this with our children.

There are many ways we can help instill a love of heroes and of our country in our children. Children learn more from what they see and experience than what they are told. Modeling patriotism helps our children to take pride in their country. Not only voting, but educating our children about the absolute privilege of living in a country where we can vote is also important. In addition, we can lead by example by getting involved in our community.  Hanging the flag outside our home, teaching our children about American symbols and how to honor them, visiting historic sites, and reading to them about our country, its history, and its heroes is also helpful. 

Remembering our veterans is also vitally important. We can take the opportunity to talk to our children about those who have served and continue to serve our country. We can visit a veteran. This Veterans Day, we can even have our children write a thank you letter or make a card or gift and help them deliver it to a relative or neighbor who has served our country. We can visit a memorial or even take a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.  Additionally, as parents, we can visit our church and light a candle or say a prayer for our country and those who have sacrificed for freedom.

Our children are the future. Teaching our children about America, its history (the good and the bad), its leaders and heroes, and instilling in them a love for our country is of vital importance. It helps them to appreciate the sacrifices made, inspires them to uphold the ideals of faith, justice, equality, and freedom, helps them not to repeat the same mistakes of history, and motivates them to become contributing citizens.

Last month, I had the absolute honor of attending two local events: The 38th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service and The Annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services. As I listened to the stories, observed the men, women, and children in attendance, and took part in these celebrations of faith, courage, honor, love, and hope, I had a flashback of that little girl reciting the pledge, and I wished that everyone had the opportunity to experience tributes such as these.  

by Priscilla Rall

Military Intelligence Service at Camp Ritchie

When WWII began, it was apparent that the United States did not have plans to train intelligence gatherers, which would be vital for our armed forces. One intelligence organization that was soon formed was the Military Intelligence Service (MIS), and it took over Camp Ritchie from the Maryland National Guard in early 1942. The men recruited for this organization were immigrants to the United States from Europe, mostly Jewish, whose native language was German, Hungarian, or French. They became known as the “Ritchie Boys.”

Henry Marcus was a Ritchie Boy who was born in Vienna in 1915. His father fought in the Austrian Army in WWI and was injured several times. His mother was born in Czechoslovakia.

Henry watched as the Nazis invaded Austria and saw Hitler several times at rallies. After six months in the Austrian Army, he got a passport and a one-way ticket to Baltimore, where his aunt and uncle lived. Fortunately, he met Mr. Rosenstock, a lawyer in Frederick, who helped him travel to Frederick and introduced him to the vibrant Jewish community there. He eventually met Rebecca Sclar and her family, and he and Rebecca were married in 1942. Together, they had one son, Ralph.

Henry joined the Maryland National Guard in 1941 and worked as a cook for Col. Markey. Instead of going with the 29th Division on the Carolina Maneuvers, Col. Markey asked him to go with him to Camp Pickett in Virginia. He was there six months when MIS recruited him and sent him to Camp Ritchie. He recalled the intense instructions on photo interpretation, deciphering, interrogation techniques, the German Order of Battle, and even classes on close combat and silent killing.

Just before D-Day in Normandy, the first group of Ritchie Boys was sent to England. Many of them went to France on D-Day, and one even made a drop with an airborne unit, although he had never jumped before. Si Lewen used a megaphone to broadcast propaganda and convince Germans to surrender. Guy Stern improved the army’s propaganda leaflets that encouraged the enemy soldiers to surrender.

Henry travelled to France in September 1944, where he worked with the Army Air Corps interpreting aerial photos and identifying the locations of German gun emplacements. Later, he was assigned to the 8th Armored Division with the Third Army. He gathered intelligence for the Battle of the Roer River, and later his team directed the entire division across the Rhine River. According to his discharge papers, he worked with the Counter Intelligence Corps in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Some of the men spent three months in Aachen, and then they were sent to the Hurtegen Forest area. According to the Ritchie Boys, they had clear evidence of a large build-up of enemy troops and went to corp headquarters to report the danger. No one believed them, but that night the Nazis attacked in what is now called the Battle of the Bulge.

Most of the Ritchie Boys escaped, but Germans captured Philip Glaessner. He spent three months in Stalag 9A. The enemy soon located the headquarters of the MIS unit called the IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War). In a rage, the Nazis murdered them all. Because many of the Germans were passing themselves off as GIs, the Ritchie Boys were often stopped, and because of their foreign accents, had trouble explaining themselves. One was killed although he gave the correct password. It was assumed he was German because of his accent.

SSgt. Marcus’s most dangerous mission was when he was sent to gather intelligence from the Germans for an upcoming Allied offense. He had to don a German uniform and listen to the Germans in their nearby camp. This is something that the government told him never to disclose, as it is against the Geneva Convention, but after 60 years, he felt it was time to tell his story, which he had never shared before his interview for the Veterans History Project. When asked what he said when in the middle of the enemy encampment, he replied, “Not a damn thing!” The most-difficult part of his mission was returning to the American lines. He was stuck in a large shell hole for two days before he could safely return with his hard-won intelligence.

The OSS (Office of Strategic Services) is better known, eventually becoming the CIA, but few Americans know anything about the MIS and its training center in the Catoctin Mountains. Barney Kandel, Henry’s brother-in-law, told me I should interview Henry, and I am very glad I did. Henry Marcus died in 2006, three months after his interview. The Jewish immigrant Ritchie Boys willingly returned to Europe at the risk of their lives, gathering intelligence vital to the Allied victory. They deserve to be recognized as the heroes they all were.

If you are a Veteran or you know a Veteran who is willing to tell his or her story, you can contact the Frederick County Veterans History Project at

Henry Marcus and his wife, Rebecca.

Trinity United Methodist Church, Emmitsburg

by Theresa Dardanell

“When they hear about a need, these folks move mountains to try to figure out how to take care of that need.  In very many real and tangible ways they are taking the gospel of Jesus Christ and making it real in the community here.” That’s the way Pastor Richard Baker described members of the Trinity United Methodist Church. In cooperation with the Seton Center, they have helped find homes for homeless individuals.  Sleeping bags and tents have been provided for people in the homeless community who prefer not to go to a shelter. They recently participated in a rally against racism along with other churches and government officials of Thurmont and Emmitsburg.  Food as well as financial contributions are given to the Emmitsburg food bank. Ruth’s Harvest (Fairfield school district) and Food for Kids (Frederick County Public Schools) regularly receive financial donations and food for weekend backpacks for children.  Funds from a generous donation provide four $2,000 Jay Long scholarships to students at Catoctin High School and the Fairfield School district annually.  

Fran Eyler added that prayer is another form of community outreach. Members pray for those in need during Sunday services and the prayer chain offers additional prayers for anyone with special needs in the community.  A prayer shawl ministry makes shawls which are prayed over and then delivered to anyone who is experiencing a devastating illness.

As a visitor to the church, I received a warm welcome from Gene Eyler before the Sunday service; all visitors can expect a similar greeting.  The 9:00 a.m. service begins with announcements, prelude, lighting of candles and a welcome. The service continues with prayers, sharing of joys/concerns, the gospel message and a sermon.  The musical praise group, the Soul Seekers, leads the congregation in uplifting music with accompaniment by organist Rachel Olson. The children participate in children’s Sunday school during the service but return after the closing hymn to find small musical instruments on the altar which they use to “raise a joyful noise to the Lord.”  Communion is offered on the first and third Sundays. Adult Sunday school, led by Merri Sayler, begins at 10:30 a.m. 

If you are looking for a delicious dinner and good company, join them for a free meal on the last Wednesday of every month from September through June.  The parishioners cook a different meal every month and everyone is welcome. The Thursday evening Bible Study with Pastor Richard is also open to the community; each session runs for 5-6 weeks. 

Social and educational activities are held throughout the week.  Children ages 3-11 are invited to join the group “Rock Solid” which meets every other Sunday evening for Bible study and fun activities.  The M & Ms (Mature and Methodist) group for those over age 50 meets at local restaurants on the third Tuesday of each month at Noon; food, fellowship and a short devotional program are the highlights. 

Trinity UMC celebrated 200 years of ministry in 2005.  The original church, known at that time as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Emmitsburg, was dedicated in 1833.  A new building in the current location was dedicated in 1897. In 1968, the church became known as Trinity United Methodist Church.

Trinity UMC is located at 313 W. Main Street in Emmitsburg.  Everyone is always welcome to attend services and events. Upcoming events include the free community meal on November 20 at 5:30 p.m. (due to the Thanksgiving holiday, it will be held in November on the third Wednesday ).  When you visit, make sure to take a walk along the side of the church through the beautiful memorial garden with its quiet meditation area. 

A special program, sponsored by the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, will be held on November 9 at 9:00 a.m. at Trinity UMC.  The Sheriff’s department will present “Active Shooter Training” to educate members of the community on how to recognize signs of potential violent behavior, how to react during an active shooter situation and how to provide aid.  It is open to everyone in the community.

Pastor Richard Baker and members of Trinity United Methodist Church.

by Christine Maccabee 

I listen to C-SPAN on the radio, though some people watch it on TV. It is a great station that invites all sides of issues to be discussed, and even though I do not agree with every opinion expressed, I try to keep an open mind.

However, one issue I am passionate about is climate change, or disruption as I prefer to define it. I believe, after all the information I have read and heard, that many of the problems we see devastating the Arctic ice—and, yes, now the Amazon rainforest—are man-made. You may disagree, or not even want to think about it. However, I believe the vast majority of people do care and want to make changes that will improve quality of life on our planet.

Back in the 1970s when I lived and worked in Baltimore, my parents were actively advocating for improved air quality in that polluted city. The Better Air Coalition held hearings in order to let the peoples’ voices be heard, and they came by the hundreds to speak and to listen. I had just written a song called “Nature, I Apologize,” one of my first songs ever. My heart was thumping wildly as I went up to the mic with my guitar and boldly sang that song instead of speaking. The result was a standing ovation and an invitation to come back in two weeks and sing it again so it could be aired on national news, which it was. Those were the days, my friend…

Now, these days may be worse. From what I am learning, large corporate interests are, and have been for decades, expanding their profit-making interests into the rainforests of the world, not just the Amazon. Most consumers do not know that 80 percent of the Malaysian rainforests have been decimated, slashed and burned, in order to grow palm oil plantations. Going through a local grocery store with a friend, we made a survey of products with palm oil in them, and easily half of the products use palm oil, palmitate, or palm kernels. Palm oil is a huge business, and sadly all the rainforest animals and plants are being killed in the worst possible way, by fire and bulldozers. In addition, indigenous people are being driven off their land and some are being used as poorly paid workers, basically slaves. The icing on this cake is horribly polluted air and water.

So, now that the planet is losing precious habitat for a wide diversity of animals, plants, insects, and birds, and depleting Earth’s essential oxygen output, what are we to do? Many folks are following the lead of the well-spoken 17-year-old from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, who practices what she preaches, traveling to America on a sailboat in order to speak before the UN and rally others who care. Then there is Pope Francis, who has been a long-time advocate of taking care of our precious planet Earth (God’s Creation, not ours), our “only home.” Millions of children and adults around the earth are speaking out in large and small ways by changing their consumer habits. Some are advocating for real political change, for maintaining and improving pollution regulations, which sadly are presently under attack.    

The issues of clean air and water, and preservation of ecosystems, is a consumer issue, is it not? We all eat, drive, use paper products, etc. So, in late 1900s-style, here is a short list of things we all can do to make a difference:

•    Plant trees and native plants on your property or in your yard, creating habitat and oxygen for all of us.

•    Try to eat lower on the food chain since methane from beef and pork is a potent greenhouse gas. Also, holding ponds of excrement overflow into creeks and rivers that is toxic to aquatic creatures.

•    Buy recycled paper products, which are rare in local stores, so let managers know of your interest. A good source is the Common Market in Frederick.

•    Use less gasoline by combining shopping trips to various stores, and going 55 mph on open road.

•    Use less electricity by turning off unneeded lights and your computer and TV when not in use.

•    Use your consumer power by checking ingredients in food you buy, boycotting anything using palm oil. Write to companies explaining your stance and share information with a neighbor.

•    Discontinue use of pollinator killing herbicides and pesticides.

•    Practice regenerative and permaculture gardening techniques (contact me for more information).

•    Take more time to be quiet in nature, cultivating a deeper relationship with the natural world. As you do, you will be more inclined to care for it.

I heard a fellow on C-SPAN expressing his feelings of helplessness about the fires burning out of control in the Amazon. I believe doing nothing is not an option, for helping to preserve the goodness of the Earth for future generations is all our job, every day. Be glad that you are doing something, and know that you are not alone in your efforts. We are all in this together!

Ask Dr. Lo: Why Can’t I Sleep? ‘

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. If you have insomnia, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, you may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. You also may not feel refreshed when you wake up.

Is My Insomnia Acute or Chronic?

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) or chronic (ongoing). Acute insomnia is common and often brought on by situations such as stress at work, family pressures, or a traumatic event. Acute insomnia lasts for days or weeks.

Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or longer. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means it is the symptom or side effect of some other problem. Certain medical conditions, medicines, and substances can cause secondary insomnia.

In contrast, primary insomnia is not due to medical problems, medicines, or other substances. It is its own distinct disorder, and its cause is not that well understood. Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia, including long-lasting stress and emotional upset.

Digging Deeper into Secondary Insomnia

Secondary insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem. It is often a symptom of an emotional, neurological, or other medical disorder. Some examples of emotional disorders are depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Examples of neurological disorders are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Many other disorders or factors can cause insomnia like conditions that cause chronic pain, conditions that make it hard to breathe, an overactive thyroid, as well as gastrointestinal disorders, stroke, restless legs syndrome, and sleep-related breathing problems.  Menopause and hot flashes can also cause insomnia.

It can also be a side effect of some medicines like certain asthma medicines, allergy and cold medicines, and beta-blockers.

Commonly used substances like caffeine, stimulants, tobacco, alcohol, and sedatives can also cause insomnia.

Treating the underlying cause of secondary insomnia may resolve or improve the sleep problem, especially if you can correct the problem soon after it starts.

Primary Insomnia

Primary insomnia is not a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. It is its own distinct disorder, and its cause is not well understood. Primary insomnia usually lasts for at least one month.

Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia. It may be due to major or long-lasting stress or an emotional upset. Travel and work schedules that disrupt your sleep routine also may trigger primary insomnia.

Even if these issues are resolved, the insomnia may not go away. Trouble sleeping can persist because of habits formed to deal with the lack of sleep.

Who is Affected by Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common disorder. It affects women more often than men. The disorder can occur at any age. However, older adults are more likely to have insomnia than younger people.

People who might be at an increased risk for insomnia include those who have lower incomes, work at night or have frequent major shifts in their work schedules, and those who travel often across time zones and have an inactive lifestyle.

Young and middle-aged African Americans also might be at increased risk for insomnia. Research shows that, compared with Caucasian Americans, it takes African Americans longer to fall asleep. They also have lighter sleep, do not sleep as well, and take more naps. Sleep-related breathing problems also are more common among African Americans.

Sleep History

To get a better sense of your sleep problem, your doctor will ask you for details about your sleep habits. Before your visit, think about how to describe your problems. Some things to think about is how often you have trouble sleeping and how long you’ve had the problem, what time you go to bed and get up on workdays and days off, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you are wake up at night, and how long it takes to fall back asleep. Also, think about whether you snore loudly and often or wake up gasping or feeling out of breath, how refreshed you feel when you wake up, and how tired you feel during the day and how often you doze off or have trouble staying awake during routine tasks, especially driving. 

To find out what’s causing or worsening your insomnia, your doctor may ask you more questions. Are you worried about falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep; what do you eat or drink and do you take medicines before going to bed; what routine you follow before going to bed, what the noise level, lighting, and temperature are like where you sleep; and what distractions, such as a TV or computer, are in your bedroom.

To help your doctor, consider keeping a sleep diary for one or two weeks. Write down when you go to sleep, wake up, and take naps. (For example, you might note that you went to bed at 10:00 p.m.; woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not fall back asleep; napped after work for two hours.) Also, write down how much you sleep each night, as well as how sleepy you feel throughout the day.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have insomnia, you may want to avoid substances that make it worse, such as caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants. The effects of these substances can last as long as eight hours.

Be aware of certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines that can disrupt sleep. Know that an alcoholic drink before bedtime might make it easier for you to fall asleep. However, alcohol triggers sleep that tends to be lighter than normal. This makes it more likely that you will wake up during the night.

Try to adopt bedtime habits that make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Follow a routine that helps you wind down and relax before bed. For example, read a book, listen to soothing music, or take a hot bath. Try to schedule your daily exercise at least 5 to 6 hours before going to bed. Try not to eat heavy meals or drink a lot before bedtime.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Avoid bright lighting while winding down. Try to limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pet. Make sure the temperature of your bedroom is cool and comfortable. Your bedroom also should be dark and quiet.

Go to sleep around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning, even on weekends. If you can, avoid night shifts, alternating schedules, or other things that may disrupt your sleep schedule.

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

by Jeanne Angleberger, Shaklee Associate for a Healthier Life

Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Have you heard about the amazing health benefits of cauliflower? Yours truly has! This cruciferous vegetable can be cooked and served in so many delicious ways.

Cauliflower offers a range of nutrients that are advantageous to our health. One of its best nutritional bangs is its high amounts of Vitamin C, as well as K, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and beta carotene. It is full of antioxidants and supports healthy digestion. Sulforaphane, another compound found in cauliflower, contains antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can read more about the top health benefits of cauliflower online at

There are many ways to serve this white vegetable. The flavor is scrumptious no matter how you prepare it.

Here are a few ideas you can try: serve it raw with your favorite hummus or dip; serve it as a side dish or salad; mash cooked cauliflower is a new version of mashed potatoes; use cauliflower rice for pizza crust; add some to your favorite smoothie. You can search for delicious recipes online.

Look for pure white, firm heads of cauliflower with green leaves. To keep it fresh, yours truly cuts the flowers from the head as soon as it’s purchased. Wash thoroughly. Drain well. Store in an airtight container or zip plastic bag. It will keep up to seven days refrigerated.

Cauliflower is another vegetable you can add to any meal.

You’ll know it’s healthy and can be served in various ways.

Introduce this tasty veggie to your family today. Hopefully, they’ll be glad you did.

by Buck Reed

If you were to make a list of iconic American dishes, you would find meatloaf nestled somewhere between hot dogs and apple crisp. A staple in almost every Yankee Doodle kitchen, meatloaf has been put through the grinder as our country went through its trials and tribulations. From Tuesday night dinner to the Blue Plate Special, meatloaf has been following us throughout history.

Meatloaf finds its roots as far back as the 5th century in Apicius, which is the oldest collection of recipes written in Rome. This recipe called for meat scraps to be mixed with fruit, nuts and seasonings. After that almost every cuisine adopted some form of finely chopped meats mixed with a form of bread or grains and bound together with milk and eggs. It was an excellent way to use up scrap meat as well as leftovers of all sorts. More importantly, it gave us a dish that helped us use up underutilized parts of the animals we relied on for sustenance and stretched a limited amount of protein into a full meal.

In America, it was the Germans who brought the idea of a meat starch mixture to the Colonial era in the form of scrapple, The first recorded recipe for the meatloaf we eat today was in the late 1870s and called for any cold meat you had around mixed with bread soaked with milk and eggs and salt, pepper and onions. But this meatloaf was strictly for breakfast, not dinner. By the 1890s meat production hit high gear and ground beef was available to every household. Although meatloaf gained a major foothold in America, it was quickly surpassed by that new up and comer—the hamburger. We Americans do love throwing over yesterdays star for a younger, prettier one.

The Depression made meatloaf, with its time-tested ability to stretch a limited amount of meat into a meal for everyone, even more popular. In 1958, a sensible time that gave us movies like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and songs like Volare, we got a cook book called 365 ways to Cook Ground Beef which included over 70 recipes for meatloaf. How sensible they were remained to be seen as some called for the addition of mashed bananas and peach halves filled with ketchup. By this time, packaged ground meat was available in almost every market.

My personal brush with greatness did cross once with this dish in the form of a meatloaf sandwich, which was grilled leftover slices finished with barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s) and provolone cheese on a Kaiser roll. Proving the rule that simple is good, I got a spontaneous standing ovation for that one. Which shows that even an everyday standby might yet become a superstar dish.

If you want to tell me about your meatloaf experience or have an idea for an article, please send me a note at

by Valerie Nusbaum

You Know You’re a Local…

Randy and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on October 15. I’m telling you this because our anniversary also marks the number of years we’ve lived in Thurmont. I moved here two weeks before our wedding, and Randy finished bringing in all of his stuff last week. We love it here. 

Thurmont and its residents were very welcoming to us right from the start, but as with any relatively small town or city, it takes a while to become known as a “local” or a fixture. A local is defined as an inhabitant of a particular area or neighborhood, a recognizable fixture. In recent years, Randy and I have been seeing signs that we’ve achieved “local” status. Below are some examples.

You know you’re a local when you not only know the names of all the guys who work at Direct To You gas station, but you also know all their nicknames and the names of their kids.

You know you’re a local when the sign no longer makes you giggle since you now know a junglecock is a bird.

You pull up to the Wendy’s drive-thru and Nina’s or Bev’s voice comes over the speaker saying, “Hi Valerie! Do you want your usual?”  That’s how you know you’re a local.

Randy used to walk into Brown’s Jewelers and it reminded us of when Norm walked into Cheers. If you’re a young person, you won’t understand that reference. It’s from the days when we watched those big screens in our living rooms and there were only 30-or-so channels. Anyway, Mr. Brown’s voice would come out of the back of the store yelling, “Randy!” Barb greeted Randy warmly, and everyone waved from behind the jewelry counters.  We’ll miss the store, and the friendship of the Browns and the lovely ladies who worked there.

I ran into my old friend Harlene Fogle the other day, and she mentioned reading about my life here in The Catoctin Banner. If that doesn’t qualify me as a local, I don’t know what does.

We’re both known regulars at Wendy’s, but Randy is also a McDonald’s frequent flyer. He may not know everyone there by name, but he comes home from buying a Diet Coke and describes all the people he has engaged with. Recognizing other locals might mean that you’re a local, too.  Sometimes locals can get away with a head nod or finger point.

You know you’re a local when you know which specials are served on what nights at Mountain Gate.  I love meatloaf, and I can get that on Friday night. Speaking of Mountain Gate, the locals know that Saturday and Sunday are the days when all the tourists go to the restaurant, so we locals try to avoid going then. However, the turkey special on Sunday can be ordered as takeout.

You’re definitely a local if you understand that on Catoctin Colorfest weekend, there are two choices: participate or get out of town.

You know you’re a local if it takes more time to chat with people you know than it does to buy your groceries when you go to the grocery store.

True locals get excited about winning a ribbon in the Community Show, and we give serious thought to what we should enter next year.  Locals attend as many community events as possible.

In the summers, we locals plan our week around what food we’ll eat on which nights at the carnivals.  Locals know the best places to park, too.

Locals fondly remember The Cozy, especially during the holiday season. Remember that display of lights? Heck, I can remember all the way back to when crab legs were on the menu.

Chances are if you’re a local, you know where Camp David is.  Did I ever tell you about the time that Randy and I were having an impromptu picnic at the nearby public picnic area? We were grilling hamburgers and minding our own business when a helicopter went flying overhead with several uniformed soldiers hanging out and aiming weapons at us. I guess we were deemed to be harmless, and I’m sure we’re not the only locals this has happened to. We can also identify the Secret Service vehicles around town, even though they’re usually marked otherwise. It’s a local thing.

It’s a great feeling to live in a place where we can be a part of the community.

We participate in trick or treat every year, handing out candy and treats to more than 300 costumed invaders, even though we only know a handful of the kids. Randy usually has to run in the door and turn off the porch light because we’ve run out of candy…again. He’s a good sport about it when the kids pick on him, too. It’s all part of being a fixture.  Why, some of the kids even have a nickname for Randy!

In any event, we’ve been here for 25 pretty good years, and we’re looking forward to many more.  Try as you might, we’re not easy to get rid of.

And I’d like to wish a very happy anniversary to my dear husband—aka Cranky Old Dude on the Corner, as the kids call him.

by James Rada, Jr.

October 1919, 100 Years Ago

Killed on Railroad

Delman and Charles Rice, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Rice, of near Creagerstown, this county, were caught on the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge over the Monocacy river between Harmony Grove and Walkersville, on Wednesday of last week. Charles was hurled from the bridge and thrown into the water and drowned, and Delman thrown from the bridge and landed on the bank. The train was stopped, the crew picking up the boy and hurried him to Frederick City Hospital. It is reported that he is improving and will soon be able to go home.

The body of Delman, aged 6 years, was recovered from the river, and it was found that he had an ugly cut across the top of his head.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 30, 1919

Thurmont Holds Homecoming Program On Behalf of Boys Who Served In Army and Navy

After many weeks of preparation for the celebration of the homecoming of the soldier and sailor boys who participated in the defeat of the Huns in this country and abroad, the event was finally staged on Saturday of last week. That the weather was good and gave us one of the grandest days for the occasion is now well known, and this in a great measure aided in making the celebration a most glorious one.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 18, 1919

October 1944, 75 Years Ago

Soldier Wounded For Second Time

Pvt. Richard H. Rosensteel, 31, was slightly wounded in action in France September 18, for the second time, a war department telegram informed his wife, Mrs. Pauline Rosensteel, Emmitsburg, this morning.

Private Rosensteel was wounded the first time the latter part of July and his wife received word from the war department in early August that he was convalescing in a hospital in England. No further word was given in the telegram today.

                                          – Gettysburg Times, October 5, 1944

Phone Books In Emmitsburg

Emmitsburg’s new telephone directory is being delivered to more than 400 subscribers, according to a statement made by Melvin W. Ambrose, manager of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Baltimore.

Information in the directory tells how to make emergency calls, how to get repair service, space for important telephone-numbers, helpful guides in the proper use of the telephone, information on out-of-town calls, and how to use dial telephone.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, October 26, 1944

October 1969, 50 Years Ago

Fire Razes Charnita Home Monday

A pair of Mt. St. Mary’s College students escaped injury when they were forced to jump from a second-story window during a fire at their frame seven-room cottage at Charnita Monday morning.

Fairfield Fire Chief Lawrence Eversole estimated damage to the two-story structure at $25,000. The fire gutted the cottage overlooking a small lake and the Fairfield-Zora Road.

The two students, Mike Maloney and Dennis Mottley, told firemen they were awakened by a “cracking noise downstairs” shortly before 7:45 a.m.

They said they went to the stairway and saw the first floor was engulfed in flames.

Trapped on the second story of the structure, they were forced to jump eight feet to the ground from their bedroom window.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 3, 1969

New Officer Assumes Duties

The newest addition to Emmitsburg’s Police Dept. is Richard V. Etzler. Officer Etzler is 28 years of age and has had five years of service with the Maryland State Police as a dispatcher. He has served at the Waldorf, Rockville and Frederick Barracks.

The new officer is married and presently resides in Walkersville but intends to move to Emmitsburg as soon as he can find adequate accommodations. He is a member of the Maryland National Guard and is assigned to Hagerstown company.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 10, 1969

October 1994, 25 Years Ago

Thurmont Lions Celebrate

 Clement F. Kusiak will be the featured speaker Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Thurmont Lions Club’s 65th charter anniversary celebration at the Cozy Restaurant in Thurmont. The banquet will take place at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by a social period beginning at 6 p.m.

The Thurmont Lions Club was organized on Oct. 23, 1929 and the club was chartered at a meeting on Nov. 1, 1929. The club began with 21 members and was sponsored by the Frederick Lions Club. The Thurmont club currently has 44 members and meets twice monthly at the Cozy Restaurant. Over the years, the club has been instrumental in spearheading and lobbying for major road and recreational improvement projects in the area.

                                          – Frederick News-Post, October 21, 1994

Catoctin Choral Fest

The Vocal Music Dept. of Catoctin High School will present its sixth annual Catoctin Community Choral Fest on Monday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Participating in this event will be the choruses of Emmitsburg, Sabillasville and Thurmont elementary schools, Thurmont Middle, and Catoctin High. All voices will join together in a grand finale “We’re The Future of Tomorrow.”

Frederick News-Post, October 31, 1994

Note: This is the first of two articles about the murder of Leo Creager and the pursuit of his murderer.

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is the first of two articles about the murder of Leo Creager and the pursuit of his murderer.

In the early morning hours of October 18, 1919, Clarence Wallace and George Williams went on a crime spree. They broke into four Frederick businesses in the dead of night, stealing whatever valuables they could find. They came prepared, too, because when they encountered two safes that promised hidden valuables, they used nitroglycerine to blow the doors off and raid the contents.

Then, as the day was dawning, the men boarded the trolley at Montevue and headed out of town. As this was the first trolley of the day, it went only so far as Lewistown. The men had to disembark and wait for a trolley going through to Thurmont, where they hoped to catch a train out of the area.

“During the interval of 20 minutes, the news of the burglaries at Frederick had reached Lewistown, and the two men were suspected, but not until the last minute did any person take courage enough to report to Frederick that two suspicious characters had arrived there,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

When Frederick County Sheriff Charles Klipp heard the news, he called Dep. Sheriff C. W. Lidie in Thurmont and let him know to watch out for the two robbers arriving on the trolley. Lidie also had to deliver and pick-up the mail off the eastbound Western Maryland Railroad train.

Lidie met the trolley first and saw the suspicious men. He approached them and told them they were under arrest. “They evidently had heard the same story before, as they paid little attention to the information,” the Clarion reported.

The Western Maryland Railroad train arrived. Lidie put Wallace on board and ordered William Harbaugh to watch him while Lidie got Williams from his car. “In the meantime, the other fellow [Wallace] started to run, Lidie firing several shots at him, but the shots made him run the faster,” the Clarion reported.

Lidie called for help. Leo Creager, Samuel Vanhorn, and William Foreman were nearby and sought to help. The men got in Creager’s car and tried to cut Wallace off as he ran across a field, as Charles Spalding pursued the man on foot.

Lidie started to pursue on foot, but he turned back to take control of the remaining prisoner, so he wouldn’t make a break for freedom.

Wallace stayed ahead of Spalding and reached Apples Church Road, where he could run easier. When Spalding reached the road, he jumped on the running board of Creager’s car, which had reached the road taking a longer route. Creager sped up, attempting to overtake Wallace. Seeing the approaching vehicle, Wallace jumped to the side of the road. The car tried to follow and slid off the road into a ditch.

Wallace ran into a peach orchard with the men pursuing him on foot.

Creager had nearly reached him when the “the latter [Wallace] suddenly stopped and fired directly at Leo, the bullet striking him in the left side below the heart and he fell to the ground,” reported the Clarion.

As Creager fell, he called out to Spalding. “Get him, Charlie. He’s got me!”

Among Wallace’s pursuers, Spalding was the only one with a gun. He drew it and fired at Wallace, but the gun misfired. Wallace pointed his pistol at the men holding them off. It gave him time to put distance between himself and the other men. At some point, he turned and ran off. The others didn’t pursue, but instead, went to help Creager.

Dr. E. C. Kefauver was called and arrived on the scene. He tried to treat Creager’s wound, but the man died within a half hour of being shot. His body was taken to his mother’s house.

Wallace was last seen heading north across a field where the undergrowth was so dense that cattle couldn’t penetrate it.

“As soon as the news of the shooting reached town, almost every man and boy grabbed a gun, rifle, and revolver and went into the woods, but to the best of our knowledge, neither sheriff, his deputies nor citizens ventured in the briars and bushes,” the Clarion reported. The crowd was even starting to call for a rope to lynch Williams with.

Lidie, who still had Williams in custody, grew nervous with the angry crowd. He drove Williams into Frederick and turned him over to the sheriff. The sheriff opened the small valise that Williams had carried with him and found it was full of burglar’s tools, dynamite, and nitroglycerine. It was also embossed with the name of one business Williams and Wallace had robbed.

Sheriff Klipp placed guards on the bridges over the Monocacy River to watch for Wallace. The next morning, the sheriff had two bloodhounds brought in from Virginia to track Wallace. They could not find anything.

The Frederick County Commissioners offered a $1,000 reward for Williams’ capture, dead or alive.

Creager was the second son of the late J. Wesley Creager. He ran a coal and lumber business in Thurmont. He also ran the Gem Theater for a time.

Creager was no stranger to heroism. Years before, he had worked as a telegraph operator when thieves attempted to rob the business. Creager had “remained at the key long enough to summon help and his assailant was caught before leaving the office,” according to the Clarion.

He was survived by his wife and mother, both of whom lived on Lombard Street.

Funeral services were held at Creager’s home on Monday, October 20. Rev. W. C. Waltemyer of the Lutheran Church was in charge of the service. Rev. Strohmeier of the Graceham Moravian Church and Rev. Dr. Heimer of the Reformed Church assisted. Creager was buried in the United Brethren Cemetery.

A pair of thieves used the Thurmont Trolley as a getaway vehicle. They left Frederick and tried to reach the Western Maryland Railroad in Thurmont in 1919.