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Stories of What It’s Like Returning Home After 25 Years

by dave ammenheuser

Thanks, Thurmont.   

A year ago, as I was struggling to comprehend what had happened in my life, I chose to return to my childhood home. My father died in September 2020; my mother died in December 2020. I made the decision to sell my house in Nashville and to retire from my beloved profession, so I could return to Thurmont to settle my parents’ estates.

I was apprehensive.

It was a difficult decision. But the right one.

I hadn’t been home regularly in more than 30 years. Growing up here in the 1970s meant picking up subs at The Red Door, buying banana splits at The Market Basket, picking up groceries at Super Thrift, having special dinners at the Shamrock and Cozy restaurants, picking up a sweet breakfast at The Donut Shoppe, and getting gas at Myers’ Shell Station after stopping to pick up a baseball at The Western Auto Store.

Those establishments (and so many others) are no longer in our community. But the welcoming humanity of our community remains.

My year-long journey brought me back in connection with Norm Feldser, my scoutmaster and mentor as a teen; with Larry Freshman, my Little League coach, who may have unknowingly ignited my interest in sports journalism. From Art Harpold, Scott Michael and Barry Burch, to Stacey (Weller) Marlow, Lisa (Filler) Rice, and Glenna (Marshall) Unglesbee, and so many others, the decision to return home allowed me to re-open face-to-face communication that Facebook and other social media platforms can’t unlock.

Former classmate, Wes Hamrick, is now a town commissioner. We chatted briefly this summer while he was selling sandwiches to benefit the Lions Club.

My childhood best friend, Rick Wastler, still lives in town and still owns the same ’66 Chevelle he had when we were teens. We spoke several times over the past year, picking up a friendship that started when we were trading baseball cards and playing backyard football.

Jimmy Rickerd is one of dozens of my 1980 Catoctin High classmates who remained in town after graduation. Despite a few health setbacks, he is still doing what he loves: playing rock music.  Nobody is more loyal than his family, friends, and hometown.

Being back allowed me to meet Mayor John Kinnaird, who bought things from my parents’ estate, but also gave me the perfect suggested location for my parents’ Celebration of Life event. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about the Thurmont Historical Society, to which I made a donation in my parents’ memory.

It allowed me to introduce the area hiking trails—the same ones that I hiked as a youth—to my beloved wife who helped me through the traumatic year.

This completes my 12-month assignment with The Catoctin Banner. I’m grateful to publisher Deb Spalding for giving me this space over 2021. It’s given you a peek into what it’s like for someone to return home after more than three decades away. It’s given me a therapeutic outlet.

In 1978, as a junior at Catoctin High School, I wrote my first published article about the Catoctin Cougars basketball team for The Catoctin Enterprise. That submission helped spark a sports journalism career that took me across the globe, covering sports for many different publications, finishing my career as the sports editor of USA TODAY in 2020.

Thus, it’s only fitting that my journalism career go full-circle: starting and ending with my hometown newspaper.

Thanks, Thurmont, for welcoming me back home. And although I plan to live my retirement years in Bethany Beach, Delaware, Thurmont will also be my prideful home that I plan to visit regularly.

You can reach Dave Ammenheuser via email at (above)

David and Maura Ammenheuser and their parents on their wedding day in 1996. It’s the only photo of all six of them together. All four parents are now deceased.

Maura and Dave Ammenheuser at the Thurmont Community Park earlier this year.

by Valerie Nusbaum

It’s that time of year again. Some would say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Andy Williams certainly felt that way, but then he sold over a million copies of his recording and was dancing all the way to the bank.

The holiday season is filled with traditions, and we all seem a bit obsessed with making meaningful memories, don’t we? We wear ourselves out with decorating, shopping, baking, wrapping, entertaining, and all the other things associated with making the holidays perfect for ourselves and our families.

Randy and I have had a long-standing tradition of doing at least one thing out of the ordinary every year at this time. Sometimes, it’s a simple thing and sometimes it’s a bit more involved, but we always make the effort to have a special outing of some sort. It helps us to de-stress and gives us an opportunity to have some fun while we’re making those memories. Plus, it usually doesn’t require either of us to cook, clean, shop, or do any of that regular stuff.

My hubby loves the story of A Christmas Carol. He says he can identify with Ebenezer Scrooge, but I know he’s an old softie. I’ve seen him with a tear in his eye more than once while we’ve watched a performance of this play. We’ve seen it at The Maryland Theatre and at The Weinberg. I think one version was a musical. Whenever we could do it, we invited Randy’s parents and my mom along, too. Randy and I both fell asleep during one show; but in our defense, we were tired from all the holiday preparations and the theater was dark and warm. Grab a nap whenever you can, I always say, especially now.

Randy fell asleep during a performance of The Nutcracker at The Weinberg Center, too. I didn’t mind that he slept while the show was going on. He’s not a big fan of ballet. However, when he didn’t wake up at intermission, and started snoring loudly, sliding off his aisle seat as people were walking past to use the restroom, I did get a little embarrassed.

We went to the Cowboy Christmas dinner and show twice, once on our own and once with our parents. It was well worth it to take the older folks because seeing three 80-year-olds throwing sock balls at a bandit was very entertaining. When the star of the show accidentally fell off his horse onstage, my mother-in-law couldn’t stop laughing. We even took a family photo to commemorate the occasion.

My mom and I took a bus trip one year to the Reading outlets and Cabela’s, and we also visited Koziar’s Christmas Village. I have no idea where that was, but it was a fun side trip. There were a bazillion lights and shopping and hot chocolate. I enjoyed it enough that I took Randy back there, and he liked it, too.

Many years ago, Randy and I invited our parents, including my dad, to join us for dinner at The Cozy in Thurmont. There was to be caroling and the lighting of the decorations and trees, and I think Santa may have been there, too. The parents grumbled about us making them stand outside in the rain, and our server told us such a hard-luck story that her tip was enormous, but it was still a nice evening. The Cozy was always a fun holiday outing, and we had breakfast with Santa there more times than I can count.

Another annual tradition for us has been a visit to Eyler’s Valley Chapel for a candlelight service, as well as services at other local churches. There have been parties and get-togethers too numerous to mention. Once, Randy insisted that we host a party for twenty friends and do a Yankee swap. It didn’t go well. No one understood what to do, and my friend Cheryl was upset when I took her cookies.

Randy and I enjoy taking one or two shopping days every year, and we especially like going somewhere we’ve never been before. We’ve tried every outlet center in four states. One of our repeat places is the Utz factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania. There’s something to be said for a factory tour and/or an outlet store where we get free stuff and samples.

We love going to tree farms to buy a Christmas tree and fresh greens. I especially like the farms that sell hot chocolate and have restrooms. A carriage ride is always a good idea, too, unless the horse has been eating something disagreeable. We’ve done the holiday house tour; driven through light displays at Crumland Farms; and a few years back, we took my mom and spent Christmas at The Dunes Manor in Ocean City. It was a tough year for us and it was good to get away, see the ocean, and have a delicious dinner that none of us had to cook.

This year, Randy and I are doing something we’ve never done before. We’re setting up as vendors at the Holiday Shoppers Fair in Ocean City, Maryland, during Thanksgiving weekend. We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in Ocean City once before, but this year we’ll be working and have no idea what to expect, especially with COVID still out there. At the very least, it will probably give me something to write about next year.

Whatever your traditions, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season.

by James Rada, Jr.

December 1921, 100 Years Ago

Lookout Tower At Pen-Mar

The joint contract between the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake and Potomac Company of Maryland and the forestry departments of the two States for the equipment and use of Mt. Quirauk, near Pen-Mar Park, as an observation forest fire tower and for the connecting of the two telephone systems mentioned has been signed and an order given to the Waynesboro exchange to proceed at once with the line construction.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 1, 1921

Want New State Road

Residents of Hauvers and Mechanicstown districts want the State Roads Commission to take over the road running from Thurmont to Blue Ridge Summit. Delegations from these districts appeared before the Board of County Commissioners yesterday and urged the members to use their influence in having the road made into a state highway.

Dr. Morris Birely, Thurmont, and Dr. Victor Cullen, of the State Sanitarium, Sabillasville, spokesmen for the delegation, urged upon the commissioners the importance of the highway. It is part of the main highway from Washington and Baltimore to Pen-Mar and also to the State Sanitarium, it was shown. It is used very largely, especially during the summer months, by tourists from Washington and Baltimore traveling to and from Pen-Mar or the State Sanitarium, is was claimed.                                         

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 15, 1921

December 1946, 75 Years Ago

2 Gunmen Stage County Holdup

Two gunmen held up the Grand View service station about midway between Thurmont and Emmitsburg, around 11 o’clock Friday night and escaped with approximately $40 in cash. State Police were informed.

                                          – Frederick Post, December 23, 1946

Dog Bites Boy

Little Joey Harbaugh, young son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Harbaugh, Thurmont, had the misfortune to be bitten in the eye by a neighborhood dog while visiting his aunt, Mrs. Louise C. Kelly, recently. He was given immediate first aid by Mrs. Kelly while awaiting the arrival of Dr. M. F. Birely. It was found that the sight was not injured, but several stitches were necessary to close the wound around the eye.

                                          – Frederick Post, December 16, 1946

December 1971, 50 Years Ago

Cub Scouts Sing For Senior Citizens

Cub Scouts from Den One and Den Two had a fun-filled evening on Tuesday as they sang Christmas carols to local residents and then stopped for a visit at the Senior Citizens Center, where the traditional holiday dinner was under way. As the Senior Citizens continued to enjoy their delicious meal, the young Cubs sang some of their Christmas favorites.                                            

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 21, 1971

Tourist Council Discusses Program

The Catoctin Mountain Tourist Council held its monthly membership meeting at Charnita on December 16. After a very delightful meal, Council President Don Currier called the meeting to order. Mr. Currier’s main topic of discussion was the Council’s proposed program for 1972.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 30, 1971

December 1996, 25 Years Ago

Streets and Transportation Committee Presses for Solution to Intersection Hazards

State Highway Administration representative John Concannon met with the Streets and Transportation Committee November 20 to discuss the results of the recent SHA traffic survey and steps to a solution to the perceived hazards at the Silo Hill Road and Route 140 intersection.

According to Concannon, traffic volume through the intersection only partially meets the SHA mandated criteria for the installation of a traffic signal.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, December 1996

Residents Give Commissioners an Earful at Town Meeting

“I think it’s ludicrous” and “You’re opening a can of worms” were some of the phrases heard at Monday night’s Town Meeting during the spirited discussion concerning the proposed Noise Ordinance 96-11.

Following the discussion, Mayor Carr said he felt the mandate was clear and recommended the council withdraw the ordinance. The commissioners voted 3-0 in favor of withdrawing it. Commissioner Gingell abstained. He told the council he was sorry he ever brought up the idea of a noise ordinance, which he hoped would help curtail truck and vehicle noise. “We started 5 years ago and we haven’t gotten anywhere with it. Truck and vehicle noise is not even mentioned in this latest ordinance.”

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, December 1996

Buying or Selling in Today’s Market

By Elle Smith, J&B Real Estate, Inc. Realtor

It’s no secret that the real estate market in our area has been in a strong sellers’ market. And, it’s no secret that Frederick County is a desirable area. I’ve been blessed to call this area home my entire life, and I would not want to live anywhere else. So, I can understand why our area is so popular. Whether buying or selling a home, it’s never too early to start preparing.

During the holiday season, the market tends to slow down. This year is no exception. While the market is still healthy, we have seen a slowdown in activity. This makes it the ideal time to prepare to sell. If you have been considering selling, take this time to get your home ready for the spring selling season.

When I go on listing appointments, the number one question I get asked is “What do we need to do to prepare to sell our home?” The biggest thing you can do is declutter. The less clutter, the more spacious a home will feel. This may involve boxing things and putting them in storage. Make sure all appliances and major systems are in good operating condition. Touch up paint and drywall—neutral colors are always an excellent choice. Enhance the curb appeal: keep grass mowed, leaves raked, snow shoveled, and make a welcoming entrance. Remove or minimize personal items and photographs. Finally, clean your home top to bottom. Try to view your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Think about what would make it appeal to you if you were seeing it for the first time. Updated bathrooms and kitchens will get more interest from potential buyers. And, with the increase in working from home and virtual school, home office areas are increasingly important. Outdoor living spaces—patios, decks, sunrooms—are also a big draw for potential buyers.

Selling your home during the holiday season can be challenging, but do not let it deter you from listing now. There are advantages to selling your home this time of year. Traditionally, there are less homes on the market, and therefore, less competition. Some buyers want or need to buy a home before the end of the year for job reasons. Even if you are waiting for spring to put your home on the market, it is never too early to start preparing your home for sale.

Buyers, don’t let the term “sellers’ market” scare you if you have been wanting to buy a home. With interest rates at record lows and rental prices at record highs, this is a good time to buy a home.

Depending on the property, you could pay a monthly mortgage payment that is less than a monthly rental payment. And, with the lack of rental properties in our area, buying a home is a realistic option.

When writing an offer on a home in this market, you want to be a competitive buyer. So, always be pre-approved with a mortgage lender before beginning your home search. A pre-approval will tell you how much house you can afford and will give you a summary of cash you would need at settlement. Meeting with a real estate agent is also one of the first things you should do. Maryland encourages all parties to have representation, so having an agent represent you as a buyer is in your best interest.

A buyer’s agent will meet with you to discuss your needs and wants. They can create a search for you that will alert you to “coming soon” and “active” properties on the market. They will represent your best interests in the home-buying process. Looking online is great, but sometimes the home you love may be under contract before you see it online. A buyer’s agent can send you alerts the minute a property hits the market.

 Buying or selling a home can be an exciting, yet overwhelming, step. Having a professional there to help you along the way can make it less stressful.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.

by James Rada, Jr.

The Mount During the Civil War

In the years leading up to the Civil War, Mount St. Mary’s College enjoyed prosperity. The college celebrated its golden anniversary in 1858, and student enrollment was around 200 young men.

“The Mount was thriving, as was most of the South thriving before the Civil War,” Father Michael Roach, said on the DVD Mount St. Mary’s: The Spirit Continues…

This changed with the outbreak of war in 1860. The school lost student and faculty who were sympathetic to the southern cause. The college had to support southern students who stayed behind because funds from their parents could not make it north. The college’s expenses increased while its income fell. In the 1859-1860 school year, Mount St. Mary’s had 173 students, not including the seminarians. Two years later, the enrollment had fallen to 67 students, its lowest number in 50 years.

Mount President John McCaffrey was known for his Confederate sympathies and refused to let the U.S. flag fly. “When Lincoln was shot, Federal orders were issued ‘for every house to display some sign of mourning. An officer visited the college, but there was no sign visible,’ until Dr. McCaffrey produced ‘a small piece of crepe’ on a door which had been opened back so that it would not be visible until closed,” according to the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

McCaffrey may have represented both the prevailing sentiment of the campus and the county. Steve Whitman, associate professor of history at the Mount, said on the DVD. “McCaffrey eventually, and some of his professors, were monitored, observed, by President Lincoln’s loyalty police. These were men appointed all over the country to keep an eye on folks who might be or were suspected of being Confederate sympathizers.”

It should not be surprising that the prevailing sympathies on campus were predominantly southern, since more than half of the students before the war had been from the South.

Though Confederate in his sympathies, McCaffrey was not hostile to the Union. A Pennsylvania officer wrote, “Two miles from Emmitsburg we passed Mount Saint Mary’s and taking advantage of a moment’s halt a party of three or four rode up to the main entrance… We were cordially received by the president and with characteristic hospitality a collation was in preparation for us.”

After the battle of Antietam in September 1862, six of the seven seniors remaining in the school slipped away to visit the battlefield. When they returned three days later, McCaffrey expelled them. However, within a month, he changed his mind and reinstated them.

In the spring of 1863, Union soldiers arrested Mount student Maurice Burn for sedition. Burn, who was from Louisiana, had written his father and expressed his southern sympathies. Burn was jailed when he refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the Union. McCaffrey wrote Lincoln pleading Burn’s case, and the youth was released to McCaffrey’s custody.

That year, the college also held an early graduation in order to get the students away from the area. A troop build-up had been seen, and the faculty believed the students would be safer with their families. The battle turned out to be Gettysburg.

Three students were killed during the war, according to Mount St. Mary’s: The Spirit Continues… One of those young men was Maurice Burn. Those young men were buried at the college cemetery on the mountain.

Picture shows the student body at the Mount in July 1863.

  by Ana Morlier, The Crazy Plant Lady

The Crazy Plant Lady’s Gift-Giving Guide

Now that we’ve gotten our first taste of connecting with relatives over the Thanksgiving Day holiday, it’s time to prepare for round two! As the 25th of December draws near, we all find ourselves scrambling to find presents for those family members who can’t decide on what they want for Christmas or are hard to buy for. So, why not buy them the gift of kin? In the cold season of exterior plant decay, give them an indoor plant to keep them warm all year. ‘Tis the season of gift giving, and here is my guide to bring cheer to you and the gift recipient. Here are my top favorite plant-related gifts! Some items on my list may or may not be a subtle hint of my Christmas list for my own family.

Best Homemade Gifts

Who says garden stakes are just for the outdoors? Create your own with markers or paint; draw animals, fun designs, or even memes!

Flower pots are the best gift to personalize! Color the exterior with markers, paint, duct tape, or other mediums. Personalize it with a kind message or drawing.

Create a magical scene using succulent plants to act as shrubs or trees! Materials you may need include a large container (such as a stockpot or plastic tub), dirt, succulents (the more colorful the better), small furniture, fairies or toy figurines, gravel, pebbles, sand, and other accessories of your choosing!

My Favorite Practical Gifts

Spray bottles. A backup spray bottle is always helpful. I have a spray bottle for plants on each level of my house! Spray bottles disperse moisture much better than traditional watering cans do and present ease of use.

Plant Scissors (regular scissors will do as well). These are nifty for deadheading flowers or decayed leaves. Gardeners will be less likely to accidentally deadhead lilies with their pizza scissors!

Gloves. Everyone could use more garding/planting gloves.

Potting Soil. Potting soil is perfect for gardeners who like to buy new plants for projects or start new seedlings.

Composter. These can get pretty expensive, so shop with caution.

Hedge clippers. Every gardener’s must-have.

Self-watering planter. A self-watering planter is perfect for all gardeners, no matter their experience level. Even experienced gardeners need a break from watering their plants!

Gift cards to local nurseries. These can help support plant life and local businesses while letting gardeners purchase the new plants they want.

Plant subscription boxes. Plant subscription boxes expose gardeners to new plants that might not be common at the local plant store. Succulents Box is the best subscription for those on a budget, and The Sill provides plants and resources for budding gardeners.

My Favorite Plants…That Thrive Even In the Care of a Non-Green Thumb

Mother of Millions. Mother of Millions is a prosperous succulent that grows quickly, looks impressive, and can grow despite neglect.

Fern. Ferns are elegant plants and survive well in low-light conditions.

Calathea plants. Calathea plants prosper in low light and are unique with their striped leaves (sometimes tinged with white or pink) that look festive no matter the season.

Aloe plant. Aloe is an extremely tough plant to harm. It appears chic in any container you put it in and helps soothe burns, acne, and itchy skin.

Spider plant. Spider plants are luscious, decorative plants that produce many seedlings in a short span of time. I’ve found that they are easy to revive if neglected (just by watering normally) and survive even in the colder temperatures of one’s house.

Air plants. Air plants can be found by themselves or in whimsical containers at most gardening stores. These plants scarcely need any water or much attention and look funky in any decorative container you put them in.

Bamboo. Lucky bamboo requires only a container, rocks (as a base), distilled water, and low light to survive. They make lovely table centerpieces and ship on Amazon.

Now that you are armed with this list and a budget, I hope your gift-giving is successful! Another wonderful present to give to others is your presence. Take time to celebrate the season not just for the gifts, but for each other’s company—now that we can all appreciate it again. May your Christmas be filled with joy, kinship, and, most importantly, PLANTS!

Credit to Dacey ORR of The Spruce, Kayla Fratt of PlantSnap, and Lauren Ro of The Strategist. Thanks to the staff of The Catoctin Banner and the readers for this one-year anniversary of my first article!

A humble fairy abode is pictured surrounded by succulents.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy December! Christmas is coming, and with it, the creation of many delicious pastries. Cookies-galore colorfully accent dessert trays and plates. Rich chocolates hide in tins and wrappings, and gingerbread fills many a kitchen with delectably spicy aromas. Today’s pastry, however, is unlike any other traditional Christmas pastry: angel food cake!

Light, airy, and simply flavored, angel food cake is a great alternative to the predictable and rich cookies and candy. However, it can still be decorated. It’s light color allows it to easily be changed by food dye (cool swirl effect with red and green dye, anyone?) or include colorful candies or sprinkles (crushed candy cane, gumdrops, or cut up pieces of the fabled sugar plums). No heavy icings needed; a simple glaze or drizzle elegantly flavors the outside of this cake.

Though making this cake involves great care (lots of whipping is needed), it will ensure that St. Nicholas will soon be there in your kitchen wanting a bite (the whipping incorporates air, which allows for the cake to be light and airy).

With a festive name and a versatility graced by delicate lightness (no cookies weighing your stomach down), angel food cake will soon become one of your Christmas favorites! Have a happy holiday, everyone!

Heavenly Angel Food Cake


1 ¼  cups egg whites at room temperature (about 10-12 eggs)

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup cake flour (can be substituted with 1 c.- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted together)

1 ¼  tsp. cream of tartar*

¼  tsp. salt

1 tsp. almond extract (you can use different extracts, if desired)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

*Cream of Tartar stabilizes the egg whites, ensuring that the cake does not collapse


Preheat oven to 3500. Measure and set out egg whites. In 1 bowl, sift cake flour 2 times. Next, measure out and combine cream of tartar and salt. Combine with flour. Set aside.

Once egg whites are room temperature, put in another bowl. Whip egg whites until whites are frothy. Add extracts and mix.

Add sugar bit by bit, mixing well after each addition.

Whip until soft (going on stiff) peaks form.

Sprinkle small amounts of the flour mixture on top of the egg white mixture, folding with the spatula after each addition to incorporate. Repeat 4-5 times, eventually incorporating all of the flour (make sure not to overfold).

Fold in desired colors or sprinkles.

Pour into angel food cake pan or cupcake pan (Do NOT grease). Shake the pan slightly to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.

Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.

Once cooked, take out and immediately flip the cake onto a plate (this is essential; it prevents the cake from collapsing). Let cool for 1 hr.

Garnish; cut with a serrated knife and serve.

Tools Needed

2 large bowls, fine mesh sieve or sifter, liquid and dry measuring utensils, beaters and mixer, spatula, angel food cake pan or cupcake pan.

*With credit to Amy Finley’s Gougeres recipe on and Chef Liddick of CTC.

Raymond Sanders

by Deb Abraham Spalding and James Rada, Jr.

Photo by Richard L. Dougan, Jr.

When Raymond Sanders first came to Sabillasville, it was because his family was growing and they needed space to expand. They found a two-story home at the end of a dead-end road and set down roots.

“It’s a nice place to live”, Sanders said. “The dead end road was good for the children, and my wife’s father and stepmother lived nearby.”

His children started attend Sabillasville School when it was still in the building that is now Walkersville Christian Fellowship Church. At that time, local students up to grade six all fit into a four room school. For high school, the students were bussed down the mountain to Thurmont High.

“I didn’t worry about them going down to Thurmont,” Sanders said. “People were careful on the road, and there were no accidents.”

Sanders was born December 11, 1923, in Iron Springs, Pennsylvania. He is one of eight children to Lloyd and Ruth Gertrude Riley Sanders. His family moved to Fountaindale, Pennsylvania, when he was six. From there, they would eventually move to Charmain, Pennsylvania, and Highfield, Maryland.

Although his military service would take him far from Catoctin Mountain, all of his homes are no more than a 10-mile round trip.

“I’ve been working since the time I was twelve,” Sanders said.

His early work was with Mr. Leisinger on a huckster truck hauling and selling vegetables, but he has also been a fruit picker, worked at the pipe and nipple factory, Landis Machine, and Frick Company. His longest lasting job was as a heavy engineer equipment mechanic at Fort Ritchie. He worked there for 22 years, retiring in 1975 because off a back injury. He said, “They wouldn’t give me another job and I couldn’t work anymore because I couldn’t pull wrenches.”

Instead, he wound up retiring at age 52. He was also a member of the Maryland National Guard and was able to continue his service for five more years before he needed to retire from that as well. Together, his service in the National Guard and in the Army, Sanders served 33 years in the military.

Sanders is also a Veteran of World War II. He was never drafted. His son, Larry, explained. “He didn’t get called up for the draft while his friends and brothers were being called. His mom took him to Hagerstown to ask why and they couldn’t find his records. Turns out he was in the dead file – they would never have called him up.”

He enlisted in the Army on March 18, 1943, and trained with the 8th Armored Division. However, when he shipped out to Europe, he was sent as part of the green troops, being sent to replace the soldiers who were dying in the war. Once in Europe, though, he never saw combat. “I was close to being called up a couple of times, but it never happened,” said Sanders.

He mustered out after three years and returned home, which at the time, was in Highfield. About his service, he said, “It has done me a wonderful good.”

The following year, he “really met” Betty Jane Fox. He had first met her when she was 10 and he was 15, but that was just in passing because he was friends with the boys in her family. 

Sanders was in Waynesboro one time with Betty Jane’s uncle, when her uncle tried to convince Sanders to come to Frederick with him to a dance. Sanders wanted to go, but said he didn’t have a date. Betty Jane’s uncle then fixed her up with Sanders and the two hit it off. They were married on September 13, 1947.

Together, they raised seven children (Debbie, Rita, Becky, Larry, Mary, David, and Jim), and one grandson (Jeffrey). They also have 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, 2 step-grandchildren, 5 step-great-grandchildren, and 5 step-great-great-grandchildren.

“When we had family picnics, we would have 45 to 80 people show up,” Sanders said.

Raymond tells a humorous story about delivering a bowling ball to his grandson, Jeffrey, who was stationed in Germany while in the military. Jeffrey told Raymond that he could bowl a better game if he had his own bowling ball from home. Raymond hopped a military transport plane in Dover, Delaware, and flew to Jeffrey with the bowling ball. Raymond said, “Oh, he was surprised!”

Raymond has always enjoyed living in Sabillasville and says that he has pretty much anything he might need nearby. He attends church at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Blue Ridge Summit. He belongs to the Cascade American Legion, Waynesboro VFW, and Knights of Columbus.

“I think we have the nicest people that any community could have up here,” expressed Sanders. “They make great neighbors.”

Betty Jane passed away in 2016, and while Sanders now lives alone, he still has plenty of family looking out for him and plenty of memories.

He clearly remembers, “I have a good family and I’ve had a good life!”

Raymond was honored at a recent Veteran’s event at the Cascade American Legion where he was a founding member. Following his military service in addition to Jeffrey, mentioned above, are three grandchildren who are also war Veterans. Raymond was the recipient of the Legionaires Award at the Veteran’s Day event at the Cascade American Legion


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

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins around your anus or in your lower rectum. There are two types of hemorrhoids: the external hemorrhoid and the internal hemorrhoid. 

Hemorrhoids are normal in all individuals from birth. These vascular structures or “cushions” help regulate bowel movements at the end of the rectum. People who experience the discomfort of hemorrhoids are often dealing with enlarged hemorrhoids.

Many people are reluctant to talk about their problems with hemorrhoids, but this is a common issue and can cause challenges for many people’s quality of life.

Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women, equally, and affect about 1 in 20 Americans. About half of adults older than age 50 have hemorrhoids.

Are There Complications from Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids sometimes cause complications, including blood clots in an external hemorrhoid, skin tags (extra skin left behind when a blood clot in an external hemorrhoid dissolves), and an infection from a sore on an external hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid can also become strangulated when the muscles cut off the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid that has fallen through.

Symptoms and Causes of Hemorrhoids

The symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on the type you have. If you have external hemorrhoids, you may have anal itching, one or more hard tender lumps, and an ache or pain, especially when sitting.

Also, be aware that too much straining, rubbing, or cleaning around that area may make your symptoms worse. For many people, the symptoms of external hemorrhoids go away within a few days.

If you have internal hemorrhoids, you may have bleeding from your rectum (bright red blood on stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement) or a hemorrhoid that has fallen through the opening, called a prolapse. Internal hemorrhoids that are not prolapsed most often are not painful. Prolapsed internal hemorrhoids may cause pain and discomfort.

Keep in mind that although hemorrhoids are the most common cause of these symptoms, not every symptom is caused by a hemorrhoid. Some hemorrhoid symptoms are similar to those of other digestive tract problems. For example, bleeding from your rectum may be a sign of bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or cancer of the colon or rectum.

Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids

You can try treating your hemorrhoids at home for a week by making some lifestyle changes. Try adding foods high in fiber to your diet, or take a fiber supplement such as psyllium. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, and stop straining during bowel movements. Also, do not sit on the toilet for long periods and avoid regular heavy lifting.

If your hemorrhoids are painful, you can try sitting in a tub of warm water (called a Sitz bath) several times a day to help relieve the pain. You can also try applying over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or ointments made for hemorrhoids, which may relieve mild pain, swelling, and itching from external hemorrhoids.

Also, maintaining a healthy digestive system is one of the simplest ways you can prevent and treat uncomfortable hemorrhoids. Increasing oral fluids is one of the first lifestyle changes recommended to patients struggling to find relief from their hemorrhoids. Optimal hydration improves lymphatic drainage and has total body inflammation-reducing effects.

Straining the abdomen and pelvic floor muscles while having a bowel movement may be easily treated by avoiding constipation. Hydrating throughout the day with purified water is a great way to loosen stool, making bowel movements easier.

Our toilets may be one reason that people suffer from hemorrhoids. Once you find your way to the toilet, do not sit, but rather squat. One tip on doing so is to have a step stool nearby your toilet, on which you can then place your feet.

Squatting is common in undeveloped countries and is a natural position to go to the bathroom. Doing so removes strain off the rectum while relaxing muscles, which better allows the passing of a bowel movement and prevents bleeding from swollen veins. Furthermore, when you have the urge to use the bathroom, allow your body to have a bowel movement immediately rather than waiting, thus avoiding problems like constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids.

Following are some more helpful tips to help you avoid hemorrhoids. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration and constipation. Avoid both unhealthy fats like fried foods and processed foods and certain spices, which can irritate and worsen hemorrhoids. Eat well and add fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to improve digestion and decrease the transit time that stool sits in the colon. Eliminate any known allergens from your diet that can cause constipation: common triggers include gluten, eggs, dairy, and shellfish. Include fermented foods into your daily meals to maintain healthy gut bacteria and improve stool evacuation from the digestive tract. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a common risk factor that is associated with hemorrhoids. Exercising regularly increases the likelihood of having a regular bowel movement. Do not wait for a big urge to use the bathroom. The bowel not only loses its softness from water being taken back up into the body, but it also allows toxins to be absorbed as well, so try to train your bowels to evacuate by squatting on the toilet the same time every day. Try to limit being seated for long periods; doing so puts pressure on the veins, the same as if you were sitting on a toilet for too long.

Foods You May Want to Avoid If You Have Hemorrhoids

If you have hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend eating more foods that are high in fiber and avoiding foods that have little or no fiber, such as cheese, chips, fast food, ice cream, processed meats, microwavable dinners, and prepared packaged foods and snack foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, and so forth.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Better yet, come to our Free Nutritional Seminars held on the third Wednesday of every month. Call us for the time of the class. Dr. Lo will demonstrate Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body and determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at


Stories of What It’s Like Returning Home After 25 Years

by dave ammenheuser

Sitting on top of Haleakala in Maui in late October, it was the perfect place to reflect on the craziness of the past year and what lies ahead in the future.

As I’ve chronicled here throughout the past year, I quit my life-long sports journalism career last October, sold my Nashville house, and moved back East to take care of my parents’ estate. My father died in September 2020; my mother passed in December. The tragedy trifecta began when my father-in-law died in July 2020.

After spending a year clearing my father-in-law’s Delaware home and my parents’ Creagerstown home, then selling both houses, it was time for a much-needed vacation to finally let the absorbed emotions of the past year release. It was finally time to shed a tear or two.

My wife and I planned the trip to Hawaii for several years. It was our gift to each other for our 25th wedding anniversary. And, geesh, did we need it.

Unwinding in Hawaii, the one common theme that constantly came to my mind was family. Simply put—as I’ve stressed to my own two children over the past two-plus decades—nothing is more important.

Growing up in Thurmont, my childhood was not perfect. But, as I aged and lived in eight different states, becoming friends with thousands, I’ve realized that nobody’s family is perfect. All families come with their own quirks, many of which remain private and out of the public eye.

I have also become keenly aware of the need for planning for the future. Prior to leaving for Hawaii, my wife and I spent many hours preparing important legal documents: our will and trust, health directives, and power of attorneys. It’s something we always talked about doing but never got around to completing, until last month.

Thankfully, my father-in-law and my parents had their wishes written down in a legal format. That’s the good part.

The bad part is that we rarely talked about them until they became terminally ill.

Over the past year, I’ve reunited with many of my childhood and high school friends. If there’s one bit of advice that I can give each of them (or anybody reading this column), it’s this: If your parents are still living, spend some quality time and sit down with them and talk about their future. It’s important to know what they want their care to look like as they age. You can’t fulfill those wishes if you don’t know what those wishes are.

My mother died of breast cancer that spread to other parts of her body. My father died of congestive heart failure. My father-in-law died from metastasized melanoma cancer that spread to his brain.

My father died instantly; my mother and father-in-law slowly declined over a period of months.

All had completed health directives. My parents (albeit surprisingly) did theirs a few years ago. My father-in-law needed a lot of prodding from my wife and her brothers before he completed his shortly after his terminal diagnosis.

The entire past year would have been more difficult and painful if any of them had not completed the simple form.

Death isn’t a fun subject for any aging person with a challenging diagnosis. Heck, death is the last thing that they want to think about. However, the document is important if your loved one, due to declining health or a medical accident, is unable to cognitively make decisions for his/her own care. It’s a roadmap and guide with legally binding instructions for healthcare providers. You can search online for free fill-in-the-blank forms.

After the healthcare directive is completed, it’s important that you discuss the document’s contents and its location with other loved ones, especially siblings. This is important because some of the information may surprise you (for example, I had always thought my mother wished to be buried, but she relayed to me later and included in her health directive that she wished to be cremated).

A Last Will and Testament is equally important. Your parents don’t need to share the contents of the will with you (my parents’ will certainly had a few surprises), but it’s important to know where important estate documents are kept, so you can access them when the time comes. 

After being away from Thurmont for 25 years, I’ve spent the past year writing funny and heartful anecdotes about my return home. But none of those words are as important as the 700 on this page.

David and Maura Ammenheuser and their parents on their wedding day in 1996. It’s the only photo of all six of them together. All four parents are now deceased.

Dave Ammenheuser reads The Catoctin Banner’s October issue while relaxing on the beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in North Kona, Hawaii.

Rule of Thumb

by Valerie Nusbaum

Last week, our friend, Diana, stopped by. Randy and I spent some time catching up with her, laughing about old times. Diana mentioned that she enjoys reading my column every month, and she said that she especially enjoys reading about Randy’s antics. I regretfully replied that Randy hasn’t been doing anything “column-worthy” lately, and I’ve been at a loss for material.  Then, yesterday happened.

It was Monday, and Randy was off from work. We had planned to do my mom’s grocery shopping, pick up her prescriptions, and do odd jobs at her house. Mom wanted us to have lunch together as an early celebration for Randy’s and my 27th wedding anniversary. It sounded like a good, albeit busy, day. 

Randy realized that he needed to run down to the hospital to have his blood drawn in preparation for a doctor’s appointment next week, so he hurried out and took care of that first thing in the morning. The lab, of course, was backed up, and Hubby ended up having to wait quite a while. He said that he caused a ruckus at the lab. The techs there assign every patient a number.  Randy’s number was L28. You know how it works: The tech comes out and calls out a number, and the appropriate patient goes back to be poked and prodded. Randy heard a whole list of numbers being called:  L16, M33, P72, etc. He thought it would be funny to yell out “Bingo.”  That was met with frowns from the staff, and several of the waiting patients were outraged because they hadn’t been offered playing cards.  Luckily, L28 was called and Randy got away safely.

After the lab experience, we headed to Brunswick and the grocery store, which, in and of itself, is always an adventure. Groceries in hand, we arrived at Mom’s on time and proceeded to have a nice celebratory lunch, complete with cake and presents. Randy and I did our chores and errands and headed back to Thurmont.

I was tired, but I still had things to do, so I headed to the treadmill to walk off that big lunch, and I started doing some work in my office.  Randy advised that he’d be out in his woodshop if I needed him. I walked, worked, and decided to take an early bath. I was in the bathroom undressing when I heard footsteps on the stairs and Hubby’s voice outside the door.

“Don’t be mad. I need to go to the doctor,” Randy said.

My first thought was that he was having chest pains or other scary symptoms. I grabbed for my clothes and went out in the hall, asking what was wrong. By that time, Randy was in his own bathroom, and I could hear water running.

“I cut my hand,” he said. This is not an unusual occurrence, but Randy doesn’t usually require a doctor’s visit, so I was a little scared to see what was going on in the bathroom. I peeked around the corner and saw Randy’s hand wrapped in paper towels and blood everywhere.

“It’s my thumb,” he sort of moaned. “Deep. Might need stitches.  Can’t stop the bleeding.”

I grabbed my shoes and purse and said, “Let’s go.” He was in some pain, and the blood was still seeping through the towels. I got out some gauze pads and taped his thumb as best I could, and we rushed out the door. Being stubborn and manly, Randy wanted to drive himself to the emergency room, so I didn’t argue too much. I figured that driving might distract him, and I’d be in the truck in case it got dicey. I suggested we try an urgent care facility instead of the ER, as it might be quicker. So, I started looking for the one closest to the hospital, just in case. At that point, I really had no idea how bad it was, but what I could see was nasty.

It was evening rush hour around Frederick, so we took the first exit and sneaked in the back way to the urgent care facility. I offered to go inside with him, but Randy thought I should stay in the truck in the parking lot so that I could call the appropriate people and garner him some sympathy. I knew that he really didn’t want me with him because I can be demanding and pushy. So, I stayed out of it and let him go in alone. I say alone, but he texted me the entire time he was inside, updating his progress every ten minutes. “Still waiting.” “Waiting for nurse.” “Waiting. Bleeding has stopped. I can just leave.” Ummm…no. That was not an option after we’d made the trip down there.

Finally, after an hour and a half, Randy came back. He’d gotten a tetanus booster, and his thumb was cleaned, glued, and bandaged. He could have gotten stitches, but the consensus was that it would be easier for him if he opted not to. He felt better about things until I asked what he wanted for dinner, suggesting that he choose something he could eat with nine fingers.

This morning, Randy and his bandaged thumb went off to work.  I think he was anxious to get away from me after I told him that his rapper name is now 9-Digits. I even wrote a song about it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

by James Rada, Jr.

November 1921, 100 Years Ago

All Hallows’ Eve Party

Mrs. Luther Rouzer, Mrs. William Stoner and Mrs. Wm. M. Martin gave a surprise party Tuesday evening at the home of Mrs. Stoner for Mrs. E. B. Sefton, who will leave in a few days for her new home in Hagerstown. The spacious rooms were beautifully decorated with ferns, pumpkins, lanterns and candelabra, and the ghosts of departed spirits floating around were very much in evidence. The witches, too, were abroad and used their brooms to good advantage. The ladies were all in costume suitable for an evening spent with the prince of darkness, his imps and the spirits of the visible and invisible worlds, and this added much to the mysteries and weirdness of the occasion.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 3, 1921

New Engine

The new oil burning engine for the electric power plant is being placed in position. The transfer of the engine from the railroad to the power house was a well executed piece of work. It weighs ten tons, and it was taken from the car, loaded on a truck, hauled to the power house and deposited on the ground in three hours without the slightest mishap or near-accident. The work was done by Mr. Chas. A. Collins of Frederick City, who furnished the truck and superintended the moving, with the help of seven men.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 3, 1921

November 1946, 75 Years Ago

Gray Brothers Have Bad Week-End Along Highway

It was a bad week-end for Roger and Martin Luther Gray, brothers of near Thurmont.

Roger, said by State Police to have been slightly intoxicated, wandered onto Route 15 near Hoover’s cabins, south of Thurmont, about 8:30 o’clock Saturday. Brought to the Frederick City Hospital with scalp injuries and a possible skull fracture, he was discharged Sunday to return home.

Sunday night, brother Martin Luther Gray was treated at the hospital for a scalp injury and placed in jail to await trial on drunken driving and failing to keep to the right of the highway charges.

                                          – Frederick Post, November 4, 1946

Thurmont Man Badly Injured

Master Sergeant Edward Maurice Baltzell, of Thurmont, is recuperating at the Army Medical Center, Carlisle, Pa., from serious injuries sustained November 9 when the automobile he was driving was struck by another car about four miles north of Emmitsburg. M Sgt. Baltzell suffered a punctured lung, six broken ribs and multiple cuts and bruises. He will probably be hospitalized two months.

          – Frederick Post, November 19, 1946

November 1971, 50 Years Ago

Thurmont Colts Win League Title

The Thurmont Colts became the Champions of the Mountain Valley Midget Football League last Sunday by beating Ft. Ritchie 6-0 in the Halloween Bowl at Catoctin High School field. Each team had won its respective division title before the playoff. The winner was presented the Dr. Thomas Love Memorial Trophy before a crowd of about 900 people.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 4, 1971

Three School Plans Offered For Study

The three plans for the development of the Emmitsburg Elementary School and Community Center site discussed last week by the Citizens Advisory Committee, working with the Frederick County Board of Education, were presented Wednesday at Winchester Hall to the Frederick County Commissioners, the Board of Education and Emmitsburg Commissioners. George Bushey and Jack Burry, Hagerstown architects, presented the plans with estimated costs of each. Plan 3 was estimated at 1.7 million, plans 1 & 2 were estimated at 1.62 million. The advantages and disadvantages were discussed and questions were raised. No decision was reached.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 18, 1971

November 1996, 25 Years Ago

Ambulance Company Plans For The Future

The Emmitsburg Ambulance Company is looking at ways to plan for the increased demands for their services.

According to Tom Topper, chief of the company, the number of calls have doubled in the last year, putting more and more miles on their mobile units and requiring the purchase of a new vehicle.

Mandates required by federal agencies, such as changes in procedures and facilities to handle infectious diseases (i.e., shower facilities) must be met, and facilities to accommodate the increasing number of women now serving with the company must be considered.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, November 1996

Former Resident Deputy Returns to Emmitsburg

Emmitsburg has received a new resident deputy from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department. DFC Denny Derry is the town’s new deputy but is familiar to most residents in town because he was assigned to Emmitsburg four years ago. DFC Derry said he wanted to come back to Emmitsburg because he loves the people and the town. DFC Derry replaces DFC Dave Hunter, who was reassigned when promoted to corporal with the Sheriff’s Department.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, November 1996

Our Region’s Real Estate Market

By Sandi Reed Burns, Climb Properties Realtor

Over the past year, across the country, the real estate market has been booming, with the market favoring sellers rather than buyers. Our communities of Thurmont and Emmitsburg have also experienced this trend. Homes that went on the market sold quickly, and our builders have not been able to keep up with the demand for new home construction. The pandemic has people looking for less densely populated and more affordable places to live. Our communities offer both, along with the scenic Catoctin mountains and national state parks.

With all our area has to offer, it is no wonder that generation after generation has chosen to stay here. I have been able to proudly call this area home since 2008, and there is nowhere else I’d rather live. I have pulled the data from residential sales for our area as of October 19, 2021, so you can get an idea of just how popular our area has become.

Thurmont (data source: Bright MLS)

Coming Soon & Active Listings—17 homes (3 are new builds, not all completed yet); price range: $140,000 to $565,000.

Active Under Contract—6 homes

Pending (going to close)—21 homes

Closed in the Last 30 Days—20 homes; price range: $150,000 to $950,000

DOM (days on market): Averaged 14.45 days.

Emmitsburg (data source: Bright MLS)

Coming Soon & Active Listings—10 homes (6 are new builds, not all completed yet); price range: $209,900 to $935,000.

Active Under Contract—1 home

Pending (going to close)—11 homes

Closed in the Last 30 Days—5 homes; price range: $215,500 to $605,000

DOM (days on market): 1 to 9 days.

If you are looking to buy in this market, my advice to you is to make sure you have a pre-approval letter that is based on actual documentation you provided to your lender, rather than a verbal pre-approval. Sellers want to know that your financing is solid before they agree to your offer. I also advise not to buy emotionally. You need to look beyond the seller’s pretty furniture, countertops, and appliances, looking instead under the cabinets for leaks, checking the age of the HVAC and roof, and inspecting the grounds for water runoff patterns.

If you are selling in this market, I advise you to keep your holiday decorations to a minimum. This allows the buyers to see their own decorations in the space and not feel as if they are just visiting your home. The seller’s market that we have been experiencing is now starting to show signs of slowing. If you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time to list. Until next time, enjoy this fall weather and our beautiful communities!

by James Rada, Jr.

More Accomplishments of HARNEY UNIVERSITY

Note: This is the third in a series about the “achievements” of Harney University.

While Harney University achieved legendary status in just about every field of study in the early 1900s, things didn’t start off that way.

The faculty, which included Jacob Turner, Jerry Overholser, Daniel Shorb, Sterling Galt, and Bill Snyder, wasn’t always known for their professorial skills. However, even before Harney University became famous, the group of men who met regularly at the Slagle Hotel in Emmitsburg were showing off their storytelling skills in the pages of the Emmitsburg Chronicle and planting the seeds for the future university.

Uncle Bill’s Column seems to be the forerunner to Harney University and boasts the same mock seriousness that the university would come to use. The column, “Uncle Bill,” answered such curious questions and requests as: “Please give in, in the Aztec language, a portion of Mrs. Roosevelt’s remarks about Mr. Harriman,” and “What noted fish are found in the Hongaloonbink River?”

In a 1909 story in the Emmitsburg Chronicle, Dan Shorb, Bill Snider, Ed Brown, and Nathan Hoke added to the Frederick County legend of the snallygaster monster by recounting their encounter with the beast. The men fought with it for hours, chasing it to Carroll County. It was described as having “ghost-like wings,” bristles that stuck from its snout, and “its hide was the color of the down side of a catfish.” It could also breathe fire.

“Bill Snider says it sounded for all the world like Flat Run at high tide where the waters rush over the rocks at Whitmore’s Wharf, only more so,” the Chronicle reported. “The air was charged with some peculiar smell, rather loud too for it wakened the man in the signal tower at Dry Bridge.”

During 1910, a number of articles talked about the airship that Dan Shorb built. It was 130 feet long and 16 feet wide and carried “two auto-magneto-bi-sparking generators, a cogless centripedal concussion plane and three wireless rudders,” according to the Chronicle. It had an 87-horsepower engine, fueled with horse mint oil. Its maiden voyage was to include dignitaries who would accompany the inventors “on this, the initial, and most likely, the final trip,” according to the Chronicle.

While that flight apparently went smoothly, one that followed two months later did not. Shorb admitted there was an explosion during the flight. “He had just fed his airship and put it in his stable and was about to take the gears from his clothes’ horse when a snow burst full of robins (some of which escaped to Leitersburg) collided with the gyroscope and ignited the spaker in his silo which exploded with terrific force, and as the wind blowing in an easterly direction, it struck the fodder and carried the shock to Westminster by way of Thurmont,” according to the Chronicle.

By 1912, Shorb was beginning to be called a doctor in the newspaper, a hint at what was to come. In May, the Chronicle ran a short piece about him proclaiming that he would not run for the presidential nomination of either political party.

The following piece ran in the Chronicle in September 1912. Although it doesn’t mention any of the typical members of the Harney University faculty, it definitely has the feel of one of their stories.

“After many months of careful experimenting and the expenditure of $16,547 in real stage money, Drs. Herr Van Mueller and John E. Davidson have perfected a flying apparatus, called by them the Gyro Scutoplane. It is propelled by an eight-cylinder hexagonal engine using monkey feathers for fuel and is capable of attaining a speed of 85.6 miles a minute. A diagram and full particulars of this invention may be seen in the current issue of the Pallbearer’s Review. Decorations have been given to both the scientists and each has received a medal of the Order of the Plush Ladle, conferred by the Sultan of Slush.”

By this time, Harney University had already started being mentioned in the pages of the newspaper, and a legend was born.

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

Courtesy Photo of the front of a postcard

  by Ana Morlier, The Crazy Plant Lady

Living Centerpieces

Happy Thanksgiving month, everyone! Whether you’re hosting or attending a Thanksgiving feast, it’s important to thank others and encourage the festive Thanksgiving mood. Centerpieces fully set the tone of your Thanksgiving feast. Consider this: Would you rather display thoughtful decorations that invite your guests with cozy yet elegant vibes or decorations that will make you feel like you are sitting at the kid’s table again? Relatives will quickly regret their previous comments over the state of your garden with the stunning living centerpieces listed below. Succulents, bursting with color, will present their vibrant colors and extraordinary shapes for much longer than wilting store-bought flowers. A quick Pinterest scroll may inspire some ideas, but the picture-perfect versions are much harder, in reality, to put together. Here are three easy centerpiece ideas that will perfectly charm your guests and start your Thanksgiving out beautifully. They also make great gifts!

Pumpkin Planters


A pumpkin (with seeds and pulp removed)

Your favorite succulents (For fall colors, use Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’, ‘Golden Sedum’ Echeveria ‘Orange Monroe’, Desert Cabbage, Stick on fire, Jellybean plant, or Red Burst)

Plant succulents (and dirt) in a container, then place the container in your pumpkin. You can hide the empty space with leaves or shrubbery you find outside. A plastic or ceramic pumpkin/turkey-shaped planter works just as well. Simply plant succulents in the planter, and you’ve got yourself a centerpiece!

Turkey Table-Toppers


Metal tin or can (or another container that hot glue, regular glue, or tape can adhere to)

Wide Popsicle stick (It should look like a peanut, but regular popsicle sticks work too. You can also cut out a larger peanut shape from cardstock)

Large, spiky succulents that can easily fill the top of your container (such as Aloe vera, Haworthia, Echeveria, and Agave succulents) with dirt

Hot glue or tape


Googly eyes

Insert dirt and plant your succulents in your selected container. Next, hot glue your googly eyes to the popsicle stick, drawing on a beak and a gizzard underneath the eyes. Hot glue or tape this stick to the front of your container. Now you have yourself a turkey centerpiece!

Rustic Burlap Planter


Glass jar

Twine (ribbon works just as well)

Burlap (other cloth can be used)


Hot glue gun or tape

Red air plants and succulents such as Echeveria agavoides ‘Lipstick,’ Dragon’s Blood Sedum, Sempervivum ‘hens and chicks,’ Sticks on Fire euphorbia, or the jelly bean plant

Add dirt and plant your succulent in the jar. Cut burlap so that it covers the circumference of the jar. Hot glue the cut burlap to the jar. Tie on twine or ribbon. There you have it! An elegant, yet homey, fall centerpiece.

I hope these ideas will inspire you to create other homemade decorations. Your imagination is the limit! Remember to not only thank the special people in your life, but also the seedlings, growers, and workers that make your Thanksgiving meal possible. Stay warm, happy, and healthy, and thank YOU for reading my column!

From: Marcel Iseli-Plantophiles, Balcony Garden Web, Kat McCarthy-The Succulent Eclectic, Succulents Box, Jacolyn Murphy, Lindsay Hyland-Urban Organic Yield

by Buck Reed

Pork Chops

Form Follows Function

Chop: a thick slice of meat, especially pork or lamb, adjacent to and often including a rib.

For four-plus years, I have been writing this column, and more often than not, I have talked about learning your cuts of meat. Mostly, because different cuts of meat require different cooking methods to get the best results. And, just as I think I am finished with this line of thinking, someone gives me a meal from the crock pot with the totally wrong cut of meat in it. I can only hope they will read this article. The term “pork chop” is a marketing term. That means the butcher can take any cut of pork and label it as a pork chop. Right now, there are about six different cuts of pork that can legitimately be labeled as chops. They are all good cuts of meat, and they all can make a dent in your wallet. So, it stands to reason that learning to recognize them and mastering the cooking method for each one is well worth your time.

Rib Chop AKA Bone-In Ribeye Chop, Rib End Cut

This is the Cadillac of chops. Cut from the lower loin, it is expensive, but easy to cook. Treat it like a good steak, and cook it hot and fast. Pan roasted, broiled, or grilled works well with this cut.

Center Cut Loin Chop AKA Porterhouse Chop, Top Loin Chop

Like the porterhouse beef steak,  this cut is made up with the loin and the tenderloin divided by a bone down the middle. It can be tricky to cook, as the loin and tenderloin cook differently from each other. Look for a thicker cut, brine if desired, lightly season, and cook it hot and fast. Pan roasted, broiled, or grilled works well with this cut.

Loin Chop AKA Pork Loin End Chop

This cut can be compared to the T-bone steak. Cut from the upper loin, it has the bone shaped like a “T,” with a large loin and little to no tenderloin. This chop will benefit from the use of a brine. It can be cooked the same as the center cut loin chop but can also be breaded and pan-fried, which would be my favorite.

Sirloin Chop AKA Sirloin Steak

Cut from below the loin section, it is easy to see that it is different cuts of meat held together by connective tissue. When preparing this chop, it is best to use a marinade or brine to give it flavor, as well as to break down those connective tissues. Another method may be to pound it gently with a meat mallet, bread it, and pan-fry it. Yet, your best bet is to simply braise this chop.

Boneless Loin Chop AKA America’s Cut, New York Chop

This is the chop from the loin without the bone and is very lean. This is your choice if you are interested in a stuffed chop. Marinading will also give you good results.

Shoulder Chop, Also Known as Blade Chop, Pork Shoulder Steak

This chop is cut from the shoulder or Boston Butt. Loaded with connective tissue, this is a tough cut of meat and is best marinated and/or braised.

If you have any questions about the chop you are purchasing, ask the butcher to help you. Also, if you are going to brine or marinate your chop, choose or modify your recipe to use little or no salt to keep your chop from drying out. As with everything in life, the culinary arts can be enhanced with a little research and applying your knowledge to the task.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

I’m also thankful for Thanksgiving as a holiday. It’s a great way for beginners to learn from the masters, cooking-wise.

A variety of cooking techniques and flavors ensure everyone can contribute and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast to the fullest.

Today’s recipe is unlike the traditional dishes and side dishes of Thanksgiving and integrates a unique cooking technique: gougères.

Deluxe in nature, gougères are a great Thanksgiving accompaniment. Elements of gruyère and black pepper provide richness, while the puffy nature of the pâte à choux allows the gougères to be deliciously delicate and airy (not weighing down your stomach like most dinner rolls).

Additionally, the base of the gougères  (called pâte à choux) is easy to make and is utilized for many pastries (such as cream puffs and eclairs). It is the key element in ensuring that the gougères are soft but delicately crunchy.  Your in-laws will be impressed and begging for more! Enjoy your Thanksgiving deliciously, and have fun cooking up a storm!



1 c. water

1 stick butter

2 tbsp. sugar

1 c. flour

3 eggs, pre-cracked in separate bowls

¾ c. grated gruyère (can add more if preferred)

1 tsp. salt

½  tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat water on medium heat in the pot until warm. Add butter and cook until melted.

Once melted, add flour and mix well. It should form a clumpy paste. Cook 1-2 minutes in order to cook out the flour.

Move mixture to the bowl. Mix with a mixer in order to cool the mixture down for about 1-2 minutes.

Once cooled, add eggs one at a time. Mix well after each addition.

Add grated cheese, salt, and pepper to the mixture; mix until well incorporated. Intermittently scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Layer the sheet pan with parchment paper. Pipe or spoon 1-inch rounds onto the pan, 2 inches apart.

Put in the oven and let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.

Take out of the oven and put on the cooling rack. Cut open with a serrated knife while warm. Let cool and serve.

Tools Needed

Medium pot, (optional) cheese grater, solid and liquid measuring utensils, mixer and beaters, bowl, fork, piping bag or 2 spoons, small bowl, parchment paper, large sheet pan, serrated knife, cooling rack.

*With credit to Amy Finley’s Gougeres recipe on and Chef Liddick of CTC.

Are You Dealing With Constipation?

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

Constipation is a condition in which you may have fewer than three bowel movements a week; your stools are hard, dry, or lumpy; they may be difficult or painful to pass, or you may have a feeling that not all stool has passed.

Constipation is not a disease, but it may be a symptom of a medical problem and can last for a short or a long time.

How Common is Constipation?

Constipation is common among all ages and populations in the United States. About 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation, and it rises to about 33 out of 100 for adults over the age of 60.

Certain groups of people are more likely to be constipated, including women, especially during pregnancy or after giving birth; older adults; non-Caucasians; people who eat little to no fiber; people who take certain medications or dietary supplements; and people with certain health problems, including functional gastrointestinal disorders.

What Causes Constipation?

You may be constipated for many reasons, and constipation may have more than one cause at a time. Causes of constipation may include slow movement of stool through your colon; delayed emptying of the colon from pelvic floor disorders; colon surgery; functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome; and certain medications and dietary supplements.

Certain medications and dietary supplements that can make constipation worse are antacids that contain aluminum and calcium; anticholinergics and antispasmodics; anticonvulsants; calcium channel blockers; diuretics; iron supplements; and medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, depression, and ones used to manage pain.

In addition, life changes and changes to your daily routine can cause constipation. For example, your bowel movements may change if you become pregnant, as you get older, when you travel, when you ignore the urge to have a bowel movement, if you change your medications, and if you change how much and what you eat.

Certain health and nutrition problems can also be a cause of constipation, like not eating enough fiber; not drinking enough liquids or dehydration; not getting enough physical activity; celiac disease; and disorders that affect your brain and spine, such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord or brain injuries.

Conditions that affect your metabolism can also cause constipation. Conditions such as diabetes; conditions that affect your hormones, such as hypothyroidism; inflammation linked to diverticular disease; as well as intestinal obstructions, including anorectal blockage and tumors and anatomic problems of your digestive tract.

What Helps Get Things Moving?

Oftentimes, there are many things you can try at home for constipation.

Try changing what you eat and drink. This can make your stools softer and easier to pass. Try eating more high-fiber foods and make sure you drink plenty of water. Adults should be trying to get 25 to 31 grams of fiber a day. Reducing your consumption of caffeinated and sugary beverages throughout the day may be your first battle in getting proper hydration. These drinks can offset the osmotic balance of the gut and inhibit gut motility.

Increase your water consumption to include drinking a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces daily and three-quarters of your body weight in ounces during the summer. Drinking 16 ounces of water when you first wake up is a great way to support healthy bowel activity.

Increasing the amount of physical activity you perform daily will also help treat symptoms of constipation. 

One movement that is particularly effective for stimulating bowel activity is rebounding off a small trampoline. This light bouncing motion helps to stimulate intestinal contractions and move fecal material. 

Exercise has countless other health benefits, including combating fatigue, relieving stress, reducing signs of depression and anxiety, lowering pain sensitivity, as well as improving the frequency of your bowel movements.

Try to train yourself to have a bowel movement at the same time each day to help you become more regular. For example, try to have a bowel movement 15 to 45 minutes after a meal, because eating helps your colon move stool. So, sit on the toilet 15 to 45 minutes after you eat if that is convenient for you. If that is not, then find a time that will work for you every day.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to have a bowel movement and use the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to go. Try to relax your muscles or put your feet on a footstool to make yourself more comfortable. Our ancestors used to poop in a hole in the ground. In many cultures, the toilet is much lower to the ground than the traditional western world has it. Squatting down deep is not only very good for our back and legs, but it also helps to open up the colon in such a way as to get a better release of fecal material.

This process has been shown to relieve the tension from your intestines and allows for a much easier elimination process. 

If you think certain medications or dietary supplements are causing your constipation, talk with your doctor. He or she may change the dose or suggest a different medicine that does not cause constipation. Do not change or stop any medicine or supplement without talking with a health care professional.

The body demands fat for the optimal functioning of our organs and cellular processes. Fat helps regulate hormone function and is partly responsible for intestinal motility. One clinical study showed that consuming a high-fat diet for only three days decreased the period for which food remained in the stomach. Good fats to consume include coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocados, olives, and olive oil.

Salt is a life-sustaining nutrient that promotes thyroid function, adrenal health, and electrolyte balance. Alterations to these life processes very easily can create symptoms of constipation.

Research supports that you should be consuming a minimum of 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day. You can consume the sum of the salt you need from natural sources, such as beets; carrots; spinach; turnips; fish; and sea vegetables like kombu, kelp, and dulse.

Most people with chronic constipation have very low stomach acid levels. Stomach acid is important for triggering the entire digestive system by properly breaking down proteins and stimulating the release of bile from the liver and gallbladder, as well as pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas.

Stress depletes our ability to produce adequate stomach acid, which then causes poor digestion and inflammation in the gut, worsening stress and inflammation in the body. 

Increase the healthy bacteria in your gut by consuming fermented foods and beverages. Fermented foods contain live and active cultures of bacteria, which support intestinal health. Add fermented veggies like sauerkraut, kimchi, and homemade pickles into your diet, as well as coconut water, kefir, and kombucha.  You do not need much. Start with one to two tablespoons per day and see how you feel. Try to work up to a half-cup, daily.

Magnesium is one of the most popular supplements used to treat constipation for its ability to relax the muscles, encouraging the movement of stool. Increasing your uptake of magnesium-rich food sources can help you overcome constipation.  Excellent plant sources include green veggies, nuts, and seeds.

The signs you would be getting too much magnesium would be loose stools, light-headedness, or leg cramps, in conjunction with high-dose magnesium intake. 

Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia, and flaxseeds, are excellent sources of fiber in your diet. Combined with increased water intake, chia seeds swell and form a gelatinous substance, which easily moves through the digestive tract.

Flaxseeds exhibit much of the same laxative activity as chia seeds and can be easily added to your foods.

Pumpkin seeds are a nutrient-dense food source and contain minerals that promote digestion. 

You may want to try an over-the-counter laxative for a short time. There are fiber supplements, osmotic agents like milk of magnesia, stool softeners, lubricants, and stimulants.

If you have been taking laxatives for a long time and can’t have a bowel movement without taking a laxative, reach out to your practitioner.

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 in Frederick. Check out the website at

*Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and https:

Written by Terry Pryor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Little Doreen grew each year and many new things unfurled,

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

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

SOME THING came slithering, creeping and crawling

and hatched its ancient scheme.

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

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

FEAR comes calling and changes lives forever;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Beginning

by dave ammenheuser

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

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

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

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

Sometimes life can go full circle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was my father sending me a message?

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

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

My father was a firm believer in the afterlife.

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

Pretty Good Things

by Valerie Nusbaum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a pretty good thing.

by James Rada, Jr.

October 1921, 100 Years Ago

New Ice Machine

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

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

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 27, 1921

Large Pepper

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

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 20, 1921

October 1946, 75 Years Ago

Rites For Admiral Waesche To Be Held Monday Afternoon

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

                                          – Frederick News, October 18, 1946

Better Mail Service For North County

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

          – Frederick News, October 27, 1946

October 1971, 50 Years Ago

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

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

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

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 7, 1971

Break Ground For New Store Here

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

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 14, 1971

October 1996, 25 Years Ago

Town Meetings To Be Held At Community Center

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

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, October 1996

Renovation Of Community Center About To Begin

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

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

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, October 1996

More Accomplishments of HARNEY UNIVERSITY

by James Rada, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spooky Succulent Garden

by Ana Morlier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potting Soil;

Cardboard or paper;

Hot glue gun or duct tape;

Your favorite Halloween music (Thriller, anyone?).

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

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

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

May all your plants protect you this Halloween!

by Buck Reed

Bread: Will It Kill You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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