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Two Outings

by Valerie Nusbaum

When the letter arrived in the mail, my first thought was, “Oh, no.” My second thought was, “There’s probably a column in this.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) wrote to me and told me that I would need to round up five documents, proving that I am who I say I am, that I am a United States citizen and a resident of Maryland. Randy received one of those letters, too; in addition, he got a notice that he needed to renew his driver’s license as well.

My letter from the MDOT urged me to go online and schedule an appointment to make my visit there faster and more efficient.  What the heck? It was worth a try.  I told Randy that I’d schedule an appointment for him as well, and we could go in together. It took a while for me to figure out how to navigate the website, but I soon got it done. Strangely, I did this on a Sunday morning, and Randy and I were able to get appointments for the very next afternoon. We scurried around finding a birth certificate and passport, marriage license (because my name is different now), Social Security cards, old bills, and so on. We each had a folder full of papers.

The next day, I hurried to Frederick to meet up with Randy.  I’d been to my mom’s and to an appointment in Brunswick, and Randy was at home working.  We met and he drove us to the MVA office in Frederick. Our appointments started at 3:15 p.m., but we arrived at 2:45 p.m.  The line was very long. Randy then discovered that the line for people with appointments was in another spot, and there was only one person in front of us. After a quick check-in, we took our seats and settled in to wait for hours.  My number was called within two minutes, and as I was heading to my station, I heard Randy’s number being called. I gave the very pleasant clerk my documents, and we chatted about the weather, husbands working from home, and she told me that green is definitely my color. I was finished in five minutes. Randy’s visit took a little longer because he needed to renew his license, have his photo taken, and read the vision test. After another couple of minutes, he paid for his license and we walked out of there and climbed into the truck. The clock read 2:59 p.m. I kid you not. It was as though we were in an alternate reality.

I apologize, dear readers, that there wasn’t really anything column-worthy in that ordeal. It wasn’t even an ordeal. My only reason for writing about it at all is to let you know that it is possible to go to the MVA and come out smiling. I whole-heartedly urge every one of you to make an appointment any time you need to go there.

Our second recent outing was to Way Off Broadway dinner theatre, also in Frederick. We don’t venture far from home these days. Mom had given us two tickets to the theatre for a show of our choice. The tickets were a gift for our wedding anniversary, and we’d been looking forward to using them. We decided to skip going to the Christmas show last year, and we scheduled our “date” for the first show of 2020, which happened to be Little Women (the musical).

I had, of course, read Louisa May Alcott’s book when I was a young girl, and I’d seen at least one version of the book on film.  The film version I remember starred June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter Lawford, among others. Randy hadn’t read the book or seen the movie, so I felt obliged to fill him in on some of the key parts so that he wouldn’t be shocked. Frankly, I had a hard time imagining how a musical could be made from such sad material, but I was curious to see it. I told Randy about the four March sisters and their Marmee living in relative poverty during the Civil War. He was hooked when I mentioned the War. I explained that Jo was a girl and Laurie was a boy. And I told him that Beth died halfway through the story. Randy said that he felt sure that the musical would have been rewritten, and that Beth likely recovered because, after all, who could stand on stage and sing a song about something that sad?

Randy was wrong. Beth died.  Not only that, but the young actress who portrayed Beth in the show was also our server for the night. The poor thing passed away right after she brought us dessert.  I cried a little, and I think I heard Randy sniffle. It was scarlet fever, you know. Randy swore it was scurvy because he said he didn’t see a single piece of citrus in the March house. It was war-time and they were poor.

As if losing Beth wasn’t hard enough, Laurie had to go and fall in love with Amy after Jo rebuffed his advances. Randy was angry that poor Jo was left with only one option, the awkward Professor Bhaer.

Randy’s complaints aside, it was a nice evening out. So what if the theatre was so cold that we all had to wear our coats through dinner and the performance? Adversity builds character. Ask Marmee.

by James Rada, Jr.

March 1920, 100 Years Ago

Fire At E. C. Creeger’s Garage

On Saturday, March 13th, at 7 P. M., I am going to have a large fire in the rear of my Garage for the purpose of demonstrating the ANTI-PYRO FIRE EXTINGUISHER. Be sure to see this test of the WORLD’S GREATEST FIRE KILLER and you will be convinced that it will pay you to protect your Home, Store, Automobile or Garage against your worst enemy, FIRE, with this absolute Fire Protection.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, March 11, 1920

Pen-Mar To Have Big Hotel

A dispatch from Waynesboro says: Plans have been drawn for a large modern hotel at Pen-Mar to contain 100 rooms and to have all the appointments of an up-to-date summer resort. A large lot has been secured at Pen-Mar road and Monterey avenue.

The syndicate back of the proposition is composed of leading capitalists at Hagerstown, Waynesboro and Baltimore. The money has all been subscribed. It is intended to proceed with the building operation this season if the lumber can be secured. The plans and specifications are now in the hands of William Wingert, Hagerstown, president of the Pen-Mar Improvement Association.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, March 11, 1920

March 1945, 75 Years Ago

Local Youth Hostel Receives Charter

“Crow’s Nest,” Youth Hostel, here, today received the official AYH Charter for the current year from the National Headquarters of American Youth Hostels at Northfield, Massachusetts.

The charter was received by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gernand who will present it for the 6th time to the hostel. The houseparents are Mrs. J. E. Well and her brother, Joseph Gernand.

Open the year round, the hostel has accommodations for 6 girls and 6 boys in separate bunk rooms. Cooking is provided for with an ample supply of pots and pans as well as a cook stove. Hostelers come by bike or on foot and travel for fun, for health, and for a knowledge of the country–its people, its agriculture and its industries.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, March 16, 1945

Board of Education Urges New School Bond Issue

Thurmont must have a new school building at the earliest possible moment, according to a decision by the Frederick County Board of Education, which this week sent representatives before the Board of Frederick County Commissioners urging them to request State Senator John B. Funk to introduce into the current session of the Maryland Legislature an enabling act, authorizing the County to issue bonds for the purpose as soon as construction becomes practical.

The situation at the local school, under which teachers have been laboring, has now become critical. Prospects are that inauguration of the new, enlarged school program in the Fall, which will create automatically the need for more teachers and more class rooms, and which will greatly increase attendance because of the extra class to be added, will create an overflow which simply cannot be cared for with existing facilities.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, March 16, 1945

March 1970, 50 Years Ago

Eclipse Due Here Tomorrow

Serious damage to vision can result for any person who looks directly at the March 7 eclipse of the sun, cautioned the Maryland State Dept. of Health this week.

The danger of this particular eclipse is multiplied because it we (sic) on a Saturday and more people will likely watch it.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, March 6, 1970

Community Egg Hunt Set For Sunday

The annual Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by Memorial Post 6658, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will take place this Sunday afternoon. Commander Thomas F. Sayler says the hunt will be held at Community Field as usual, and that children will be divided into age groups in an effort to give all an equal opportunity to find their share.

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, March 27, 1970

March 1995, 25 Years Ago

Don Byard Humanitarian Award Created

Jack Hoke, president of the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company, announced at their annual award banquet in February the creation of a new President’s Award. The award is named in honor of Donald B. Byard who, Hoke said, “has unselfishingly served this community for many, many years.”

In presenting the award Hoke said, “Don Byard, for your many acts of charity and humanitarian ways to your community, it is with great pride and honor and a lasting friendship that I present you with the Donald B. Byard Humanitarian Award. It is a tribute to you and the work you have done. Thank you for all you have accomplished.”

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, March 1995

Hall Of Fame

Marcus, the only Olympic Gold Medal winner in these parts, now resides quietly in the Emmitsburg area as he has done for the past six years. He spends his golden years meandering in the meadows and although he doesn’t talk about it, as most of us probably would, he thinks back on his glory days as an Olympic athlete.

Marcus Aurelius is his given name—a noble name for a noble destiny. Despite his small stature Marcus possessed amazing strength and stamina that let him run and jump with the best, even better than most. His feisty and independent spirit coupled with his physical abilities carried him and owner Mary Anne Tauskey to a team gold medal in the Three Day Event as part of the United States Equestrian Team competing at Bromont, Canada, during the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, March 1995

The Year is…1896

An English Dutchess Born at Blue Ridge Summit

by James Rada, Jr.

When Alice Montague and Teakle Wallis Warfield were married in 1895, Alice was already pregnant, and Teakle was dying. He had tuberculosis, which is probably why they traveled to Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1896. Besides being a popular summer resort, it was also believed the fresh air was good for a person’s health.

The Warfields stayed in Square Cottage at the Monterey Inn in Blue Ridge Summit. It was the town’s largest hotel at the time, and featured not only a central building but also wooden cottages.

While staying there, Alice went into labor, and Bessie Wallis Warfield was born on June 19, 1896, seven months after her parents had been married in Baltimore.

Wallis would never remember her father, though. He died on November 15 of that year, before she was even five months old.

Wallis and her mother were taken in by Wallis’ uncle, Solomon Davies Warfield. He was the postmaster of Baltimore and a wealthy bachelor. They lived in a four-story row home on Preston Street.

Alice Warfield married John Freeman Rasin in 1908. Wallis was confirmed in 1910 at the Christ Episcopal Church.

Between 1912 and 1914, Wallis attended the most-expensive school in Maryland: Oldfields School. According to Charles Higham in his book, Mrs. Simpson, this is where she became friends with Renée du Pont, a member of the DuPont Family, and Mary Kirk, whose family founded Kirk Silverware.

Wallis married Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr., a Navy aviator, in 1916. The marriage was marked by long periods apart, as Spencer was stationed at different postings. She began traveling in Europe and China during the 1920s. She also began a number of affairs with men she met during her travels.

Higham wrote that an Italian diplomat said of Wallis, “Her conversation was brilliant, and she had the habit of bringing up the right subject of conversation with anyone she came in contact with and entertaining them on that subject.”

Not surprisingly, Wallis and Spencer divorced at the end of 1927. She was already having an affair with a shipping executive named Ernest Aldrich Simpson. He divorced his wife, Dorothea, to marry Wallis on July 21, 1928. They lived in England, which is where Wallis came to meet Edward, Prince of Wales, at different house parties hosted by members of the upper class.

It is believed that Wallis and Prince Edward began an affair in 1934, while his current mistress was traveling abroad. By the end of the year, he was deeply in love with Wallis, and she with him.

However, his family was against the pairing, primarily because of Wallis’ marital history. Things became even more complicated when George V died on January 20, 1936. Edward became Edward VIII, the king of England. He watched the proclamation of his accession with Wallis from a window in St. James’s Palace, which was a break from royal protocol.

Heavier attention now fell on his relationship with Wallis. Most of British royalty seemed against the relationship.

When it became apparent that Edward wanted to marry Wallis, it became a legal issue because the Church of England, which the British monarch headed, did not permit the remarriage of divorced people with living spouses.

To make matters worse, Wallis would be a two-time divorcee, since she had filed for divorce from her second husband on October 27, 1936.

As the English public became more aware of the affair, it became a scandal. Under pressure from the British government, Wallis announced that she was willing to give up her newest love, but Edward was not ready.   

He abdicated the throne on December 10, 1936, and his brother, the Duke of York, became King George VI the next day.

Edward addressed his country via radio and said, “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.”

He and Wallis stayed apart until her divorce was finalized in May 1937. She took on her maiden name and the couple reunited. They married on June 3, 1937, and the child born at Blue Ridge Summit became the Dutchess of Windsor.

Frederick & Washington Counties’

Lost in the Forgotten War (Part 2)

by Priscilla Rall

PFC Kenneth Lee Smith

In September 1950, while the United States was holding onto the southeast corner of South Korea by a thread, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was planning a surprise amphibious landing at Inchon along the western coast of Korea just west of Seoul. A shameless publicity hound, MacArthur’s PR men presented the invasion as “brilliant” and unparalleled in history except the plan was neither brilliant nor an extraordinary concept. It was standard army doctrine for peninsular warfare. In WWII, it was used at Salerno and Anzio. In fact, the Pentagon had produced plan SL-17 on June 19, 1950, that anticipated a North Korean invasion, a U.S. retreat to Pusan, and then an amphibious landing at Inchon! MacArthur’s headquarters requested 50 copies of SL-17 on June 26.

The invasion forces consisted of almost 70,000 men, including PFC Kenneth Lee Smith, from Cavetown in Washington County. who was a Marine with D/2/5. The amphibious attack began early Sept. 15. Lt. Col. Raymond Murray’s 5th Marines led the assault and landed on the northernmost Red Beach. After coming ashore, PFC Smith with D Co. marched inland. The next day, the 5th Marines were then ordered to drive through the southern section of Inchon. The 2/5 Marines led off that morning with D Co. Then, in the early hours of Sept. 24, the enemy began a counter-attack with their main effort aimed at the 2nd Bn.’s D Co. Unbeknownst to the Americans, they were facing 10,000 seasoned enemy troops. D Co. was hampered in their assault by a greatly diminished visibility caused by a combination of fog and smoke. Without warning, PFC Smith’s company came face to face with the enemy who soon had them pinned down. When D Company finally took the ridge, only 27 men of D Co. remained standing to savor their bittersweet victory. They had begun the battle with 206 officers and men. The fight had cost the company 36 KIA, 116 were wounded severely enough to require evacuation, including PFC Kenneth Smith, who died of his wounds two days later, on September. 26, 1950, after having been in constant combat since coming ashore at Inchon. He was buried in Rest Haven Cemetery in Hagerstown.

Cpl. Paul K. Carty,

Sgt. Roy Charles Delauter,

Cpl. Kenneth Lee Ridge

MacArthur was flush with victory after Inchon and taking Seoul and wanted to follow his victories up with an offense aimed to push out all of the North Korean troops north to the Yalu, the border with China. He discounted any intelligence which suggested that the Chinese were planning to join the North Koreans. With little thought, he divided his troops on the east and west side of the Korean peninsula with a high ridge of mountains between them. On the east was the large frozen Chosin reservoir. On its eastern shore were three soldiers with Task Force MacLean (later called Task Force Faith) from Western Maryland, Cpl. Paul K. Carty with the Headquarters’ Company, 57th Field Artillery Battalion; Sgt. Roy Charles Delauter with D/1/32; and Cpl. Kenneth Lee Ridge with M/3/31 who was born in 1930 in Hagerstown, the son of Melvin George and Mae Anna Funk Ridge.                                                                                                                 

Unbelievably, they had not been provided with wire, mines, or flares to create an effective perimeter with. At 9 p.m., a small Chinese patrol was discovered, and one enemy was captured. Col. Faith called a meeting of all of company commanders to review the offense scheduled for the next day.  While this was going on, the enemy attacked the 3rd Platoon of C Co. but were driven off.

At 8 a.m., the battalion took to the offense and managed to drive back the Chinese and recover most of the lost territory. During the day, Gen. Almond arrived by helicopter, and was told by Col. Faith of the Chinese attack. He discounted Col. Faith’s estimated size of the enemy forces saying, “Don’t worry. You’re only fighting remnants fleeing northwards.” About this time, the 3rd Battalion of the 31st Infantry with Ridge and the 57th Field Artillery Battalion with Carty reached their position four miles south of Faith’s 1/32. At 10:30 p.m., the Chinese again attacked. Sgt. Delauter’s D Co. held fast, holding back the Chinese. Finally, at 2:30 a.m., Nov. 29, the Chinese withdrew. Just one hour later, the battalion was ordered to withdraw south and consolidate with the 3/32 which had also been under similar enemy attacks.

As they struggled to ready the troops for the retreat, it began to snow furiously. The main withdrawal got underway at 5:30 a.m., Nov. 29. Soon MacLean was shot and captured; Col. Faith took command of the troops, now called Task Force Faith. They would need every ounce of faith to get them through to safety. He led his men in the attack of the unsuspecting Chinese encircling the 3/31. Finally, the Americans were together, hoping that they could fight their way south to Hagaru-ri. But the situation was dire. They were surrounded on three sides by the Chinese. Supplies were running low. The soldiers had been rushed forward with little preparation and few supplies. Their Medical Company had been destroyed in an ambush. As the troops were consolidated, Col. Faith’s drive and will-power strengthened the soldiers’ morale considerably. The Division Commander flew in to confer with Col. Faith. He was direct…there would be no help for Faith and his hardy band of men. They were on their own…written off by MacArthur’s high command. Worst of all, Faith did not know that the operation’s center of the 31st a few miles north of Hugaru had been hurriedly evacuated, without a thought given to Faith, who still believed that if they could get that far, they would find a haven of friendly troops.

Late on Nov. 30 at 10 p.m., the Chinese tried again. Then it began to snow, diminishing visibility and helping mask the American’s movements. Just after midnight, the Chinese penetrated the perimeter, and began to infiltrate many of the U.S. positions. Task Force Faith was fighting for its life. The medics were out of bandages and morphine. Few had eaten anything for two days. The cold was debilitating, particularly as the soldiers did not have cold weather gear. They had no first aid tents, so the medics slung a tarp over a railroad cut for shelter. They had no stoves to warm the wounded.

 While the Americans were finalizing their plans for the offense, Chinese attacked the Americans dug in around the inlet just after midnight, overwhelming K, L, and I Companies and the CP. Sgt. Roy “Bud” Delauter, with D/1/32, was at the northernmost point of Col. Faith’s position. From Wolfsville, he was the son of Roy and G. Rae Delauter and the husband of Shirley Viola Brown Delauter and was killed on Dec. 1 and is listed as MIA. His brother, Boyd was wounded at the same time, but recovered.

Cpl. Ridge and his Heavy Weapons Company was the only company that held fast throughout that first night. M Co. and a few small isolated units were not penetrated nor overrun. The Chinese withdrew at sunrise just as the battalion was near collapse. That night, the Chinese resumed their attacks. The next day, Col. Faith and his 1/32 joined the 3/31 and the 57 FAB. As Col. MacLean, who had been cut off with Faith, neared his position, he was wounded and then captured. Col. Faith took over the remaining troops. Faith led the soldiers through unrelenting enemy pressure south towards safety at Hagaru. The Army suffered terribly from the relentless cold, snow and winds. Unlike the Marines, the soldiers were not supplied with cold weather gear. From his heated headquarters in Japan, the army quartermaster decided in late October that “arctic items will not be necessary.” Contrary to the facts, MacArthur reassured the public that all those in the military were equipped with “suitable cold weather clothing.” In stark contrast, Gen. Almond on Nov. 17 wrote an urgent appeal for stoves and heated tents. “Soldiers are freezing for a lack of shelter.” On that day, the 7th Div. was short 6,700 mountain sleeping bags!     

As Col. Faith organized the final thrust to break through the Chinese blockades, the Air Force promised air coverage for the breakout beginning at noon, but they were one hour late. Just as the soldiers were setting out, the Marine planes came flying in, dropping canisters of napalm on the Americans! As many as 30 soldiers are believed to have been killed in this tragic act of friendly fire.

For the Ridge family, 1950 was a doubly tragic year. Kenneth’s older brother, Lauren Ridge, a Maryland State Trooper, was killed in the line of duty just four months before Kenneth died in Korea. TFC Ridge, an Army Air Corps veteran of WWII had survived Pearl Harbor, but died on the streets of Hagerstown, shot by a deranged man whom he was trying to disarm. TFC Ridge left behind a wife and 18 month-old son.

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

Kenneth Lee Ridge

Paul K. Carty

Photos Courtesy of Priscilla Rall

“R” is for Oysters

by Buck Reed

We have all heard and lived by various culinary rules/myths in our adventures in the kitchen. Cold water will come to boil faster than hot water, marinating meats makes them tender, and you should always rinse your chicken before cooking. Just for the record, the first two statements are false, and the third is neither right nor wrong. There are just as many reasons to rinse your chicken as not to. And, then, there is this one: only eat oysters in the months with an “R” in them. Clearly, at one time, this was sound advice, but it is no longer true today.

First, “R” is for: modern Refrigeration methods. Before we invented a method of making ice and keeping food cold, oyster consumption was at the mercy of the weather. Having oysters sitting on the dock in the hot summer sun was not ideal conditions for health safety and keeping them at peak flavor. Harvesting oysters from cold waters and keeping them cold was a major way to keep oysters fresh, plump, and tasty.

Then there was the next “R”: Reproduction. Most oysters reproduce in the summer months when the waters are warm. Unfortunately, a spawning oyster isn’t as plump or sweet as a benign oyster. Fortunately, most oysters are raised on farms and are actually bred to not reproduce. Think seedless watermelons, and you get the right idea.

“R” is also for Red tide algae. In the summer months, warmer water promotes the growth of algae, which can introduce toxins into the waters that oysters live. Although farm-raised oysters solve this problem easily enough, monitoring the waters of wild-caught oysters ensures only safe oysters are brought to market.

Following a few simple rules when purchasing and handling oysters will also go a long way toward keeping you safe while enjoying oysters all 12 months of the year. First, only buy oysters from a reliable source. Plan upon consuming your oysters as soon as possible. You can help keep your oysters safe by storing them in a bowl, covered with a towel or newspaper, and placing the bowl in the refrigerator. Check your oysters to make sure they are still alive before consuming raw. They are dead if the shell is open and the oyster cannot keep it shut. You do not know what killed the oyster, so you are better off to discard it.

Given today’s modern oyster industry technique, you can forget the final “R,” which is Risk. As in, you will have little risk when eating oysters whenever you wish.

Climate Change: A Hoax?

by Christine Maccabee

No matter where you stand on the subject of climate change, no matter how skeptical or how impassioned you are, I am sure there are many things we all can agree on. Of the many concerns I have, personally, the one that stands out the most for me is the future of our children and what kind of world, or earth, we adults will be leaving them—climate change or no climate change.

Everybody knows that our modern-day lifestyles have led to multiple problems such as plastics in our oceans, what to do with all our garbage and recycleables, oilspills, danger to wildlife habitat from development and toxic chemicals, and on and on. We are all aware of these problems through TV, newspapers, and the internet. Fortunately, the human being has been beautifully equipped with problem-solving abilities, which all of us must use each day with everyday problems, be it surviving a heavy workload, or jobs that do not pay enough to do little more than help us with bills, or a place to live and healthy food to eat.

By the time we get through dealing with our personal needs and challenges, who in the world has time to think about climate change?

In truth—and thankfully—many people do find the time, and are actively doing things to help solve this huge problem we are having as a human race on earth, our only home.

If you think I am being overly dramatic, well, think of it this way. Our precious baby is in the bathtub with the water running. Meanwhile, we adults are out in the hallway with the door closed, debating whether there is enough water in the tub and if it is too hot or too cold. Meanwhile, the tub is filling, the water temperature might be dangerous, and the child is suffering. It does not take much to open the door and check, making adjustments as necessary.

Here in Frederick County, we are very fortunate to have many individuals who care deeply about the future well-being of our planet and its inhabitants. It takes political engagement in a bipartisan way to make broader significant progress. Individuals in Sierra Club, the Multi-Faith Alliance group, and certain council members, are wanting to form a working group that will be actively problem-solving for one year and presenting their resolutions to the Frederick County Council. Their goal is to ensure that future legislation around development, agriculture, air, and water quality will be enacted, as seen through the lens of climate change and protection of our precious natural resources.

However, too much skepticism at this critical time will inevitably work against positive progress. With all hands on deck, perhaps we can steady this ship, and save the baby as well! 

Even if you are not involved in politics, there are still many things you can do to make a difference. Some things may seem inconvenient, like not buying water in plastic bottles or using cloth bags for shopping, or perhaps driving 55 mph (something my parents did throughout their lives to save on gasoline).

However, if we accept these small inconveniences as a way of life, they will eventually become less of a burden and more of a benefit, and a joy. For it truly is all about taking care of that precious child in the bathtub. No debate there.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the bronchial tubes. Your bronchial tubes carry air into and out of your lungs. When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen. The oxygen travels through your bloodstream to all parts of your body.

In people who have asthma, the lungs and walls of the bronchial tubes become inflamed and oversensitive. When people with asthma breathe in “asthma triggers,” such as smoke, air pollution, cold air, mold, or chemicals, the bronchial tubes tighten in response. This limits airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma triggers may be different for each person and may change over time.

Who Gets Asthma?

Before age 15, asthma affects more boys than girls. After age 15, asthma is more common among girls and women than among boys and men. Researchers believe the hormones estrogen and progesterone might affect women’s airways. Changing hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy and menopause may affect airways in women with asthma.

Some women are more at risk for asthma.

Asthma is more likely to affect Puerto Rican and African-American women than women of other racial and ethnic groups; also, women who live in cities, especially in low-income areas. Air pollution, indoor allergens (such as cockroaches), and tobacco smoke are more common in urban, low-income areas.

How Does Asthma Affect Women?

Women may experience more asthma symptoms than men. Women with asthma go to the hospital for asthma treatment more often and use more quick-relief or “rescue” medicines than men use.

Women with asthma report more trouble sleeping and have more anxiety than men with asthma have.

Women’s lungs are smaller than men’s lungs. This may make women more sensitive to asthma triggers and make it harder for women to breathe during an asthma attack.

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness are symptoms of asthma.

You may have only one or two of these symptoms, or you may have all of them. You may also get asthma symptoms only at night or in cold weather, or after exposure to allergens or other triggers when you have a cold or are exercising.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

Asthma can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, bronchitis, anxiety disorders, and heart disease. Your practitioner will ask what triggers your symptoms; they may also ask about your health history, do a physical exam, and ask about your daily habits. In addition, what types of allergens or irritants might be in your workplace or home.

Your practitioner may also do tests. Spirometry is a test, using a machine called a spirometer, that measures how much air you can breathe. It also measures how fast you can blow air out. Bronchoprovocation is when stress is put on your lungs while you are exercising or breathing, in increasing doses of a special chemical or cold air.

Your practitioner may want to also test for other problems that might be causing symptoms. These include sleep apnea, vocal cord problems, or stomach acid backing up into the throat.

How is Asthma Treated?

Asthma is a chronic disease. However, some people are able to manage asthma so that symptoms do not happen again or only occur rarely.

You can take steps to control asthma and prevent problems by working with your practitioner to set up and follow a personal asthma action plan and staying away from your asthma triggers.

What are Common Asthma Triggers?

What triggers one person’s asthma may not trigger another person’s asthma. Common triggers include tobacco smoke, animal urine, saliva, and dander. Dust mites, cockroaches, air pollution, mold, pollens, fragrances (including personal care products, lotions, and candles), physical activity, cold air, wood smoke, preservatives in alcohol called “sulfites,” and certain chemicals in cleaning products or other types of chemicals you might use at work or at home.

You may not want to use household products with chemical irritants and stick with “fragrance-free” products if fragrances trigger your asthma. Keep cockroaches away. Clean up food spills and clutter right away. Seal cracks that cockroaches and other pests can get through. Vacuum once a week. If you can, use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Dust with a damp cloth to trap dust mites. Stay away from pet dander. If pet dander triggers asthma, keep your pet out of your bedroom and regularly vacuum areas where they spend time. Do not smoke. Do not allow anyone to smoke inside your home or car. Wash off allergens or pollutants. Shower after going outside so that you wash off any allergens or pollution. Wash bedding in hot water regularly to kill dust mites.

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

jEanne Angleberger

Start the Day Off Right

A tasty and healthy breakfast fuels your body for the day. It is important to start your day on a healthy note. Having enough time to eat and enjoy your breakfast is a plus for everyone!

Today is the best time to share a Grab-’n’-Go breakfast! It’s Muffin-Pan Egg Bites, prepared in your kitchen and not at the closest fast-food restaurant!

You can meal-prep this one and stash it in the fridge or freezer! It is “Good Food Fast!” And, it’s easy!

Whisk 8 large eggs with 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide 2/3 cup each of chopped vegetables and protein (like cooked meat, tofu, or beans), 6 tbsp. cheese, plus a small sprinkling of seasoning (ie. herbs, salsa, or sun-dried tomatoes) among the muffin cups. Pour egg mixture on top. Bake at 325 degrees until set and lightly browned (20-25 minutes).

Vegetable suggestions are broccoli, onion, carrots, roasted red peppers, spinach, chives, and black beans.

Cool completely. Refrigerate airtight for up to three days or freeze for up to a month.

To reheat, just wrap two bites in a paper towel and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds.

What a healthy way to start your day: protein and antioxidants.

Give yourself a breakfast with good food fast, prepared with nutrition and love in your very own kitchen.

by Valerie Nusbaum

I begin each month wondering what in the world to write about in a new column. I need to write something that you might find interesting, but nothing too dark or controversial. My columns are meant to be light and entertaining if at all possible, with just a dash of something educational and a pinch of food for thought. There are many months when I’m completely at a loss for subject matter. Randy is a lot of fun and he makes me laugh constantly, but not everything is meant to be shared, and not all of his antics warrant nine hundred words.

I mentioned my quandary to my lovely hubby and, in typical man-fashion, he went into problem-solving mode. Randy bought me a book called 300 Writing Prompts.  It’s a journal-style book with a thought-provoking question at the top of every otherwise blank page.  Hmm…

It is my intention this month to open the book to a random page and do my best to answer whatever question is shown on that page, so here goes:

“As a kid, what job did you dream you would have as an adult?  What job do you have now?” 


“What is something you would like to see invented that would make your life easier?”

Dream Job

Well, as a kid I thought I wanted to be a secretary. Go figure. That’s the job my mom had held, and I wanted to be like her. I thought filing things would be interesting, and it sounded like great fun to take dictation and type correspondence. Little did I know. I studied typing and shorthand in high school and became very proficient; and, at seventeen years old, I went to work for the Department of Energy in Germantown. I could write 140 words per minute in shorthand, and I could type fast and accurately. I hated it with a passion, and since this was the mid-70’s, I also had to put up with being a very young woman in a workplace where men had the “important” jobs.  We “girls” were treated like servants and, as you can imagine, that didn’t settle well with me.

I held several other office jobs after that one. With each new job and every year of maturity, I learned to stand up for myself and I toughened up quite a bit. I learned how to get my point across without yelling or crying, and, eventually, I got the promotions I deserved.

However, after 20-plus years of working for others and making my bosses look good, I’d had enough.  Yes, I’d thought I wanted to do clerical/administrative work, but I didn’t enjoy it, and I’d given it more than enough time to grow on me. I was making decent money and had some authority and autonomy, but my love has always been art. 

It’s true that I did own and operate a photography business for five years. I photographed weddings, babies, and horses and did an album cover or two, along with some prize-winning commercial photos, but I was doing all this while holding down a full-time office job at a bank, attending banking school at University of Maryland, and taking college courses at night. I had no social life, so I gave up the photography and went back to being miserable.

My creative side had been stifled for way too long, and that’s how I wound up here. I quit working at the bank, but not before I’d met Randy and gotten married. Yes, we were an office romance. There. I said it. Think what you will. Anyway, after a few more jobs I didn’t enjoy, I started working for myself. Granted, I’m very fortunate to be able to do that, and it’s due in large part to the generosity and encouragement of my husband. I earn enough to support my habits, and I like my boss.

So, what did YOU want to be when you grew up? Did you change your mind a half dozen times? Did you eventually wind up doing the work that you thought you would? Do you enjoy it or is it a means to an end? Have I given you something to think about?

What Invention Would Make My Life Easier?

That would have to be a machine that freezes time, so I could take as long as I wanted to complete a task and still have the whole day ahead of me. Either that or a contraption I could stick my head into and my hair and makeup would be done automatically and immediately.

I suppose the purpose of the book that Randy gave me is to get me thinking about my life—the choices I’ve made and the aspirations and dreams I still have.  The book was a very thoughtful gift from a very thoughtful man.  I’m sure I’ll use it again.

Now for that Educational Tidbit 

Did you ever wonder why February only has 28 days (or 29 in a leap year such as this one)?  Blame it on the Roman king Numa Pompilius, who added both January and February to the existing ten-month calendar.  There’s a whole complicated explanation about him being superstitious and not wanting any months with an even number of days, but I’m out of space so look it up if you’re curious.

Happy Valentine’s Day to ALL my sweethearts!

by James Rada, Jr.

February 1920, 100 Years Ago

Big Snow Storm

Rain began falling in this vicinity early Tuesday night, the temperature being low enough to cause sleet to form. This continued all during the night, and Wednesday morning snow began falling and a brisk wind set in. This kind of weather prevailed all day and late into the night. At times the snow fall was very heavy. Considerable rain prevented drifting to any great extent. Blinded by the snow, the Jitney driver ran his car into a culvert head about a mile north of town Wednesday morning. Sleet caused an electric wire to break, but this was soon repaired. The H. & F. trolley line was tied up this morning (Thursday), cars being unable to get out of Frederick city.

The snow is about eight inches on the level, and is covered with a fairly heavy crust of ice due to rain falling this morning.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 5, 1920

Auto Slips From Road

On Monday last while traveling the State Road, Mr. Peter N. Hammaker accidentally got his Franklin limousine against a tree. The road was very icy and the wheels began to slip and before a stop could be made the side of the car struck a tree. A fender was damaged and one of the front glasses broken.

It is said that the matter of giving part of the road to a passing car is very dangerous because of the wheels skidding on the ice.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 5, 1920

February 1945, 75 Years Ago

“Brown-Out” Taken Too Seriously Here

Co-Operating with the “Brown-Out” orders of the WPB by turning off all outside lights, State Theatre was the subject of a rumor all last week that the theatre was forced to close from lack of fuel.

Noticing on Thursday night, when the order went into effect, that there were no lights outside at the theatre, some persons began speculating on the cause and since there was a lack of coal in some places, jumped to the conclusion that they had no coal at the theatre and had had to close.

Of course, such was not the case, for the theatre is operating on schedule as usual.

Business places all over town are co-operating with the “Brown-Out” order by eliminating all unnecessary lighting effects.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 9, 1945

Emmitsburg Woman Awarded $2,050 For Injuries

Mrs. Ida Pauline Stambaugh, of near Emmitsburg, was awarded a verdict of $2,050 by a jury in Circuit Court last Thursday afternoon for injuries sustained last March 31 when struck by the automobile of Ralph C. Putman, in Emmitsburg. A verdict of $231.50 was given her husband, Samuel E. Stambaugh, for medical expenses and loss of services.              

Mrs. Stambaugh, who sought $5,000 damages, contended through her attorney, William M. Storm, that she had crossed a street near the square in Emmitsburg and had one foot on the curb when she was struck by the car driven by Putman. She says she sustained a broken limb, bruises and abrasions, and was in a hospital for eight days and in bed and on crutches for months. The claim was made that she was thrown a distance of 40 feet after being hit and that Putman’s car skidded 20 feet before it could be stopped. The husband sued for $2,000.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 23, 1945

February 1970, 50 Years Ago

Council Votes Use Of Machinery To Local Residents

The local Library was given permission to erect a sidewalk book return box at the regular meeting of the Burgess and Commissioners of Emmitsburg held Monday evening in the Town Office. Chairman of the Board J. Ralph McDonnell presided with all members in attendance.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, February 6, 1970

Mount Teacher Trainees Observe Their Work On Television

Mount Saint Mary’s College students studying to be teachers are now seeing themselves as others see them, thanks to new television equipment obtained under a matching grant from the U.S. Office of Education. Student-teachers are videotaped while practice teaching in an electronic teaching laboratory. One camera is focused on the student-teacher. The other is aimed at the student audience. Afterwards, the student-teacher reads written evaluations from his fellows and compares them with what he sees and hears of himself and his audience in action on the TV monitor during a playback of the videotape.

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, February 20, 1970

February 1995, 25 Years Ago

Spotlight On Local Student

Emmitsburg’s Marianne Martin, the student representative to the Frederick County Board of Education, said in a recent interview with the Dispatch that she wants “to be a voice” during her term of office on the county school board. The Catoctin High School senior, selected last fall from among 13 applicants for the position, says she has written to the principals of each high school and middle school in the county asking to meet with a random sampling (two from each grade) of students. She feels this will give her a better understanding of what is on the minds of the students which will help her articulate their concerns and interests to the board.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, February 1995

Hall Of Fame

Mount Saint Mary’s College and Seminary will induct six alumni into its Sports Hall of Fame for outstanding career achievements as students and coaches.

The awards will be presented at the Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 18, as part of Winter Homecoming festivities. The honorees are: Dr. Christine Anderson Curley, C’84 (track and cross country); Rev. James Delaney, C’57 (women’s basketball coach); Richard Dohler, C’69 (basketball); William Harkins (posthumously), C’42 (basketball); Mark Landis, C’78 (track); and Joseph Reedy, C’84 (basketball).

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, February 1995

The Year is…1953

by James Rada, Jr.

Being a Good Neighbor on Catoctin Mountain

It’s nice to have good neighbors. It’s even nicer when the neighbor is the President of the United States.

Works Progress Administration laborers built the 22 camp buildings at Camp Greentop between 1934 and 1938. The log buildings were a mix of sleeping cabins, administrative buildings, and lodges. The plan was for Camp Greentop to look the same as Camp Misty Mount, but it was changed during construction so that the League for Crippled Children in Baltimore could use the buildings. According to the National Park Service, the camp was one of the first handicap-accessible facilities in the country.

Although the camp was built to house 150 children, 94 children—53 girls and 41 boys (ages 7 to 15)—were enjoying the outdoors there in June 1953. Most of them suffered from cerebral palsy or polio. On the morning of June 28, their neighbors, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, came to visit.

“Responding to an invitation sent to him by some of the children, the President turned up at the camp about 9:30 a.m.,” the Frederick News reported. “The children had not been told that Eisenhower and the first lady were coming, and they cut loose with squeals of delight as their distinguished guests drove up.”

The first couple had been staying at Camp David, the presidential retreat near Camp Greentop on Catoctin Mountain, and were on their way back to Washington, D.C.

The Eisenhowers spent a half-hour at the camp, meeting and talking with the children. Although the visit surprised the children, they gathered and sung a couple of songs for the Eisenhowers.

“Do you know what the President did this morning?” Mamie asked one little girl. “He got up and made hotcakes.”

One boy said to the President, “Hello, President Eisenhower, I saw you on television.”

Eisenhower chuckled and replied. “You ought to be looking at Gary Cooper on television.”

As the visit wound down, Eisenhower looked around for his wife, who had been led away by a group of children. “I think I’d better go and get my little gal,” he told the group of children near him.

He located Mamie and helped her into the car, but before they left, the President found Fred Volland, the camp business manager. He asked what the children’s favorite dessert was. Then he slipped Volland some money and said with a grin, “Give them the dessert on me.”

From Catoctin Mountain, the couple continued on to Washington, D.C.

Camp Greentop Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Photograph shows a pair of campers at Camp Greentop in 1937.

by Anita DiGregory

Tomorrow’s Heroes

What is a hero? The Webster Dictionary defines a hero as someone “of distinguished valor or enterprise in danger or fortitude in suffering; a prominent or central personage in any remarkable action or event; hence, a great or illustrious person.”

A hero is someone who sacrifices, and often suffers, for the welfare and well-being of another, often without any desire for repayment. With acts of altruism, courage, honor, and kindness, heroes inspire those around them.

So who are your heroes? Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Paul Rusesabagina, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman? Or maybe your parents, a teacher, a pastor, or a friend?

Our area is rich in its history of heroes. Mother Seton, a widow and mother to five, moved to Emmitsburg in 1809. Even after suffering the death of her husband, bankruptcy, and heart-wrenching public shunning due to her conversion, Mother Seton sojourned on. She founded the first American community for religious women, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, and she started the first Catholic girls school in the nation. Through harsh winters, the death of children, and continual hardships, she continued in faith and in service to others. In 1975, she became the first American-born saint.

Another hero with local ties is Stanley Rother. Rother attended and graduated from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. At his request, Father Rother was assigned to a parish in Guatemala. He studied Spanish and Tz’utujil (the indigenous language of the area) to better serve his community. He ministered to the people for 13 years. As violence surged there, faith-filled individuals within the community were tortured and murdered. Rother knew his life was in danger. He wrote, “This is one of the reasons I have for staying in the face of physical harm.  The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” On July 28, 1981, Father Rother was murdered, one of ten priests slayed there that year.

These are just some of the hero stories we know; think of all those we don’t know. I think of those moms sacrificing 24/7 for their children, those dads who rise to that alarm clock each morning to head to a job that may not be what they had always envisioned (but it pays the bills or provides the insurance for their family), and those single parents who struggle to be all things for their children.

I asked my eight-year-old what a hero was to him. He replied, “Some person who helps a person a lot…like police officers, men and women in the military, firefighters, people working in a hospital. There are comic book heroes like Superman, Iron Man, and Hulk. And, our parents can be our heroes and so can members of our families…like siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins…and friends. Many people who wrote schoolbooks are heroes ‘cause they are helping us learn. But, the most important hero of all is God because He made everything and everyone.”

The truth is heroes are different for all of us because the qualities that define heroism are as diverse as we are. The importance of heroes, however, is unquestionable, especially for our children. This importance comes not just in the physical act of heroism, but also in the role that heroes play in society and especially in the formation of our youth.

According to University of Richmond Professor of Psychology and author of Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them, Scott Allison, Ph.D., “Heroes elevate us emotionally; they heal our psychological ills; they build connections between people; they encourage us to transform ourselves for the better; and they call us to become heroes and help others.” 

Heroism is not to be confused with celebrity. In today’s world, with cheating sports team scandals, political leaders’ hostile public declarations, and singers and actors proselytizing their opinions or their hedonistic beliefs, celebrity is often the opposite of heroism, and instead is harmful to children.

Perhaps this is why now more than ever, it is so important to surround our children with true stories of heroism, to cultivate their souls with truth, goodness, and beauty.

Laura Berquist, author of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and founder of Mother of Divine Grace School, states, “As a parent and teacher, the time spent with your child is valuable. If he does not learn to read in kindergarten or first grade, it won’t finally make much difference in his life. But you should spend time reading to him during these formative years. The saint stories, the tales of noble actions performed by noble people, and the fairy tales, with their clear divisions between good and bad, will make a lifelong difference.” Berquist adds, “…stories often move the heart toward the good in a way the direct teaching of the truth, especially initially, and especially in the young, does not.  Since these truths are encountered in a concrete, incarnational format that engages both mind and heart, there is less inclination to reject the teaching. The reader is participating in the journey and learning with the characters, so he’s learning the lessons that life teaches.”

William Bennett, author of the bestseller, The Children’s Book of Virtues, writes, “[Heroes] come from every walk of life…They win our admiration by committing the sort of acts every one of us might be called upon to perform—by offering some unseen gesture of compassion, by taking a quiet stand for what is right, by managing to hang on just one minute longer, or perhaps by persevering through a lifetime of struggle and toil…believing in the heroic can help make each and every one of us a little bit better…If our children are to reach for the best, they need to have a picture of the best.”

So, let’s challenge ourselves to read stories of true heroism to our children. Let’s give them the knowledge and tools to become tomorrow’s heroes.

by Priscilla Rall

Frederick County’s Lost in the

Forgotten War (Part 1)

The Korean conflict is often called the “Forgotten War.” More than 36,000 men lost their lives in Korea, 27 from Frederick County. Seven thousand men are still missing, their remains in unmarked graves, many in North Korea where they died in POW camps.

PFC Harvey E. Luby

The first Frederick County native lost in Korea was PFC Harvey E. Luby. Born in 1930, he was one of the seven children born to John and Fanny Luby of East 5th Street in Frederick. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1948, he joined the Army. Harvey wrote his sister, Elizabeth, on June 22 that he had left Seattle in May and had arrived safely in Korea. PFC Luby served in the all-black 24th Regiment I Co., part of the 25th Division. The 24th was one of the first units to arrive in Korea. It was still a segregated unit, despite the proven ability of African-Americans to fight, amply demonstrated in WWII.

After landing at Pusan on July 12, this green regiment was put on the line almost immediately. By July 20, the 24th was at Yechon, where it was soon attacked by an overwhelming number of North Korean soldiers. In the opening month of the war, with little training, few working weapons, and dubious leadership, many Americans from many units retreated in disarray, including the 24th. With the U.S. forces retreating time and time again, the brass looked for a scapegoat for the Army’s poor performance. The 24th with its African-American troops was the natural choice of a prejudiced Army, and the only unit identified as leaving the field of battle. The masses of white soldiers “bugging out” were ignored. The Medal of Honor, awarded to the African-American, PFC William Thompson with the 24th, was conveniently overlooked.

On July 22, the 25th took up the position southwest of Yechon, where the NKPA soon dislodged them. But the 3rd Battalion 24th courageously held its position in central South Korea until July 30, when it finally fell back. This courageous stand cost PFC Luby his life on July 26, 1950, one of the 23 soldiers in the 24th lost that day. PFC Luby was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Frederick.

Sgt. Charles W. Barton, Jr.

Sgt. Charles W. Barton, Jr. of Hagerstown was the son of Charles Barton, Sr. and had five brothers and three sisters. He attended St. Mary’s High School in Hagerstown before enlisting in September 1948 and serving in Japan. By January 1950, Charles had been promoted from PFC to corporal in E/2/7 Cavalry. But when the Korean War began in June, Sgt. Barton’s 7th Cavalry was sent into combat in Korea. The enemy crossed the Naktong River on August 9, and the 7th Cavalry was ordered to push the enemy back across the Naktong, which they did. But the enemy crossed the river once again and were again met by the troopers of the 7th Cavalry. It was on the enemy’s third effort on August 14, that Sgt. Barton lost his life.

The Barton family endured hard times. In 1940, Charles Sr. was working with the WPA. He had only a sixth-grade education, and his wife had left school after the fifth grade. One of their sons, William, had died in 1934, only four months old. Now they had lost their eldest son, Charles Jr. His parents were notified by telegram on August 22, 1950, that their son was MIA. They received no further news from the government until a registered letter arrived in January 1954, informing them that Sgt. Barton Jr. had been declared dead. His body has not yet been recovered. Charles Sr. died one year later, in 1955, only 44 years old. One can imagine that his death was from a broken heart.

PFC Charles Clark Roberts

One Frederick County family lost two sons in two wars. PFC Charles Clark Roberts was born in Frederick in December 1932 to Forrest and Grace Roberts. His older brother, Sgt. Clarence Roberts, had survived Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal but was killed in 1945 in the Philippines. Charles left school to work on a farm in Walkersville before enlisting in the Army in February 1950. Pvt. Roberts was assigned to B/1/29, attached to the 24th Division. In the last letter received by his father that was written on June 28, Pvt. Roberts wrote he would soon be shipping out to Korea from Okinawa. The 29th landed at Pusan on July 23. Not only had they not had the promised 16 weeks of training in Japan, but after docking, the 29th entrained to Chinju. They were sent immediately into combat with none of their weapons zeroed in, and their machine guns still covered in cosmoline. Before bedding down in and around a schoolhouse, the soldiers were greeted by a mess. Sgt. Meeks and a good, hot meal. The next morning, the area was searched for any enemy forces, but none were found. The following day, July 26, the 29th loaded into trucks, and the convoy drove towards the front, passing the withdrawing 24th Division. Then, without warning, the convoy was ambushed and cut in half. B and C Companies were hardest hit and forced to retreat. They fell back to the small town of Hadong, where the fighting went on throughout the night. PFC Roberts was one of the 91 percent of B Co. that was lost during this action. It was the deadliest firefight of the entire war, and his body was not able to be recovered. PFC Roberts was only 17 years old and had been in Korea for just four days. He left behind his parents, who had now lost two sons in service to our country.

PFC Charles Austin Brandenburg Jr.

The South Koreans and the Americans were being pushed into the southeastern corner of Korea, in an area bound by the Netcong River. The battle at the city of Taegu was part of a huge enemy offensive, meant to drive the Americans into the sea. PFC Charles Austin Brandenburg, Jr., called “Autie” by his family and friends, hailed from Frederick. Just 18 years old, a machine gunner with G Co. in the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, he had come to Korea on July 18, 1950. Only four days later, the 1st Cavalry and the 25th Division were deployed in relief of the 24th Division. By July 29, the 1st Cavalry was forced to retreat. The huge enemy offense launched on September 1 hit the entire 1st Cavalry. PFC Brandenburg’s 8th Cavalry was ordered to take a mountaintop near Taegu. The ill-planned mission, setting out on a wet and foggy day, had no chance of success. PFC Brandenburg’s D Co. and E Co. were decimated, incurring 50 percent casualties. PFC Brandenburg was killed in this battle on September 3, 1950. His loss was mourned by his parents, Charles Sr. and Helen Baker Brandenburg and six siblings. His mother, Helen, lived to be 104, dying in 2017, almost 67 years to the day that she lost her son in the Korean War. PFC Brandenburg was buried in the Harmony Church of the Brethren Cemetery in Myersville.

Cpl. Norman R. Thompson and PFC George W. Boyce

The UN forces were stretched thin as they tried to cover the entire front along the Pusan Perimeter. Cpl. Norman R. Thompson and PFC George W. Boyce were with G Company, 9th Regiment, trying to hold the line along the Naktong River. Cpl. Noman Rudolph Thompson was born in Ijamsville in 1924. PFC Boyce was born in 1931 in Garrett County to James and Bessie Bernard Boyce. His father began working in the coal mines as a blacksmith, but, by 1940, he was working as a miner for the Johnstown Coal and Coke Co. in Vindex. Bessie died in 1944 when George was 13. Times were hard, especially with four brothers and four sisters in the Boyce family. It was not surprising that George, or “Skip” as his family called him, enlisted in the Army in 1948 when he was just 17. G Co. had seen fierce fighting in August. The enemy attacked all along the Naktong Bulge on September 1, and the 9th was hit hard, losing 144 men, including PFC George Boyce and Cpl. Norman Thompson.

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

by Buck Reed

What is life without whimsy? Adding a bit of fun into your everyday activities might just brighten the dreary month of February.

So, take a few moments to review the various days of February and let the National Food Boards dictate what you are going to eat on a given day. How can you not love a country where even tartar sauce gets its own day, which is February 28 this year. To help you remember next year, it is always on the first day of Lent.

Right off, the entire month of February is claimed by avocados, bananas, dry beans, fresh berries, cherries, and grapefruit, as well as star fruit. Snack foods, canned foods, hot breakfast foods, and great American pies are also celebrated. Also, take some time to observe National Fiber Focus Month.

We start out the month with National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day on the February 1. Try pairing yours with your favorite pancakes or French toast. Pretty sure ham and eggs are not going to work here. If you do not want to go to that much trouble, just sprinkle it with cereal. If you decide to skip it, then you can always have baked Alaska on the same day.

From the first to the seventh, we celebrate Solo Diners Eat Out Week, which is a little sad for those of us who practice that every time we go out. At least we can all enjoy National Pizza Bake Off Week during the second week. That one we can practice in the privacy of our own home.

The biggest conflict of the month is that National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend falls on the same week as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, February 23-29. Poor planning on someone’s part, but, fortunately, the rest of the month is uneventful. Even National Cream Filled Chocolate Day falls on St. Valentine’s Day, which shows a pretty impressive thought process. Unfortunately, Surf and Turf Day isn’t until February 29.

For those inclined to actually prepare something, February 4 is National Homemade Soup Day. The 6th is Chop Stick Day, so you have time to brush up on your skills. The second Monday, February 10, is designated Oatmeal Monday, and the 9th is National Bagels and Lox Day.

For baked goods, we have National Carrot Cake Day on February 3, National Cherry Pie Day on February 20, National Sticky Bun Day on February 21, and National Banana Bread Day on February 23. And, if you find yourself in Canada on February 24, do not forget National Cupcake Day.

You might want to drop into IHOP for National Pancake Day on February 25. Since they made it up, I am certain they have some kind of marketing scheme where you get a pancake with your meal.

I think one important aspect of the observance of these holidays is not to let ourselves get too carried away in the celebration. Let’s not start too early with the shopping, and, for goodness sake, let’s make sure we get our decorations down in a reasonable amount of time. We do not need any Charlie Brown specials or Black Friday situations developing around National Plum Pudding Day, which is on February 12. Hopefully, if the Grinch steals that day, he might do us all a favor and just keep it.

by Christine Maccabee 

Winter Musings: Seed Stratification

Through the many days and nights of this long, cold winter, trillions of seeds lay sleeping. They rest in their icy cradles of earth, awaiting the warmth of spring. Offspring of last year’s flowers, herbs, grasses, and trees, these seeds—though inactive—are preparing for change. Naked, these small capsules of life lay exposed to all the elements, without one word of complaint.

Yes, seeds of plants are in a state of dormancy, being prepared for germination by a process we humans call, stratification.

I have learned through trial and error that the germination rate of wildflower seed mixes is much higher if the seeds are sown in the fall or winter, or put in sealed containers in the freezer until late winter or early spring. Also, some vegetable seeds we save from the past year of gardening need a period of freezing, such as spinach. However, I find most vegetable seeds do quite well kept in a cool, dry place in sealed glass or metal containers to keep moisture and mice out. Mice will chew through plastic if desperate.

As humans, we experience many cold, sometimes difficult, times in our lives, perhaps a form of human stratification. Surely, out of struggle and depth of feeling have come some of our greatest symphonies, art masterpieces, writings, and other creative works. Even out of the depths of depress-ion, and through sheer determina-tion and inspiration, creative potential and genius are released through the cracking of a sort of protective epidermis.

I am thinking of Van Gogh’s prolific paintings, Beethovan’s music—in spite of deafness—and so many others whose flowering of inspiration inspire us all.

One of my favorite songs to sing is by Dottie Rambo, whose pain nearly drove her to suicide. Instead, she wrote a song called “Beside Still Waters,” a powerful song expressive of her pain, yet also of the faith and hope she had in order to overcome it. Human stratification…hmm.

Sitting by my window on this icy, cold day, I gaze out at the gardens, fields, and mountains, painted in shades of greys and browns. Difficult as it is, I must acknowledge my own need for this “down” time. For many of us, January and February can be too cold, too solitudinal, even depressing. To comfort myself, I reflect on the seeds out there of my favorite wild edibles, as well as medicinals for teas. Many of those wild plants depend solely on their seed progeny in order to come again in the spring. As I drink teas from the plants I dried last year, I find myself dreaming of spring, which cannot come soon enough.

Time passes all too swiftly, some say, so we must embrace the moment, finding joy beyond the sorrow. Even lonely, frozen days in January and February will pass more pleasantly if we contemplate the flowers to come, the potential within the soil, the seeds which are stratifying, and the potential within ourselves. All we need, like the seeds, is to weather the elements of our lives with patience and hope.

Spring is on its way! See you in March.    

& Nutritional Healing Center

Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s ability to remember, think, learn, and carry out even simple tasks. “Dementia” describes a variety of diseases and conditions that damage brain cells and impair brain function, which includes Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is often difficult to distinguish among the different types of dementias because some of the change processes in the brain are similar to other forms of dementia.

The terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” should not be used interchangeably. The two conditions are not the same. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.

Dementia is a broader term for conditions with symptoms relating to memory loss, such as forgetfulness and confusion. Dementia includes more specific conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and others with related symptoms. Other types of dementia are vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), mixed dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Huntington’s disease, and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. 

Cognition and Aging

Our brain health and our thinking and reasoning abilities, called cognition, may decline as we get older. Changes are gradual and vary from no change to small changes (mild cognitive impairment) or severe changes (dementia).

Most agree that the components of good brain health include: language, thought, memory, ability to plan and carry out tasks, judgment, attention, perception, remembered skills, the ability to live a purposeful life.

Some people never develop a serious decline in cognitive function, and not all who develop mild cognitive impairment develop dementia.

Possible Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss. According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience other symptoms such as memory loss that disrupts daily life, getting lost in a familiar place, or repeating questions. They may also have trouble handling money and paying bills; have difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure; have decreased or poor judgment; misplace things and are unable to retrace steps to find them; and changes in mood, personality, or behavior.

If you or someone you know has several or even most of the signs listed above, it does not mean that you or they have Alzheimer’s disease.

Some causes for these symptoms, such as depression and drug interactions, are reversible. However, they can be serious and should be identified and treated by a healthcare provider.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not currently known, but research suggests a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors may contribute and affect each individual differently. The most recognized risk factor for developing cognitive decline and dementia is advancing age. According to the National Institute on Aging, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years after age 65, and the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia increases dramatically after age 80.

Alzheimer’s Stages

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means the symptoms will gradually worsen over time. Alzheimer’s is broken down into seven stages:

Stage 1—There are no symptoms at this stage, but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.

Stage 2—The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.

Stage 3—Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.

Stage 4—Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but is still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks are evident.

Stage 5—Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.

Stage 6—At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.

Stage 7—This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

As a person progresses through these stages, they will need increasing support from a caregiver.

Who has Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias?

Experts estimate that more than 5.5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. More than 90 percent of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia cases occur in people age 60 and older. A small number of people, age 30 to 60 years, develop “early-onset” Alzheimer’s disease. This “early-onset” form of the disease often runs in families.

In American communities, only about half of the people who would meet the criteria for Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias have been diagnosed. In addition, there is a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among Blacks and Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050, with many more affected by other forms of dementia.

Prevention and Treatment

Currently, there are no medications that definitively prevent, treat, or cure these conditions, and medical professionals are unable to diagnose the disease before symptoms occur.

Scientists are evaluating whether strategies like exercise, changes in food habits, maintaining relationships with friends and family, or “brain games” can prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease or related conditions. These activities also could improve quality of life for the person with memory loss and the care partner. The medical field is still learning about this disease, and health professionals’ knowledge and understanding continues to grow as research, technology, and clinical practices evolve.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia addresses several different areas: helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease.

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 illness or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at

Cold and Flu Season Upon Us

Winter seems to be the season for colds and flu viruses. The thought may have crossed your mind more than once: How can I boost my immune system?

There are many healthy ways in which you can strengthen your immune system, including supplements, exercise, and eating healthy.

There are several dietary supplements that can be effective at enhancing your immunity. One of my favorites is Black Elderberry. It is available in a syrup or packaged as a drink mix and add water. Black Elderberry contains vitamin C and zinc. Most health stores will have it or can be ordered online.

Physical exercise is also an important step to a healthy immune system. Exercise may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, thus reducing your risk of contracting a cold, flu, or other illness.

Eating a nutritious diet is also a must. You can try adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement, which can create a boost to your immune system. FYI: Shaklee has four different formulas. They are based on clinical studies and packed with essential minerals, plus 100 percent daily value of all vitamins.

It makes sense to consume extra Vitamin C. You can accomplish this when eating lots of fruits, such as oranges, watermelon, grapefruit, and cantaloupe. Orange juice is a favorite, too.

Probably the best advice to avoid colds and flu viruses is to wash your hands frequently. Be sure to keep a distance from people who have a cold or some type of virus.

If you do not feel well, staying home will be a good decision for you and for everyone else. What is the sense of spreading what you have?

I hope these ideas are worth trying so you can have a healthy winter.

Remember to always consult with your health provider when making changes to your diet.

Feel free to email yours truly at with any comments or questions.

Better Days Ahead

by Valerie Nusbaum

Happy 2020!  To clarify, I’m talking about the new year and not my failing vision.  It’s too early to judge, but I’m hoping this year will be a great one for each and every one of you, and for me and my family, too.

Now, go stand on one foot.  Seriously.  This is an experiment.  Did you do it?  If you follow directions easily and didn’t stop to think about it, chances are that you stood on your non-dominant foot.  This means that if you’re left-handed, you stood on your right foot. This phenomenon is the brain’s way of helping you maintain your balance.  Randy and I tried it.  I am left-handed and I did, in fact, stand on my right foot.  He’s right-hand dominant, and he stood on his left foot without giving it a thought.  Then he did a little dance and fell over.  I’m kidding.  Don’t accuse me of picking on him.  He enjoys his role.

Randy’s theory is that one’s brain doesn’t hear, “Stand on one foot.”  It hears, “Lift one foot,” and therefore the dominant foot is raised so that a step forward will be on the right side (or left if that’s the way one leans).

This little exercise has no bearing on this month’s column, but it did give you something to ponder, and I got the chance to picture you standing up and looking like a flamingo. Well done!

Next, I would like to touch on the subject of shopping.  I’m guessing that we’ve all done our share of shopping recently with the holidays so close behind us.

Does it ever seem to you that going shopping has become both a mental and physical challenge?  Randy and I took a day off to go to Frederick to try to finish our Christmas shopping, and it seemed to take me an extra half hour to gather up all the things I needed:  sale papers, coupons, gift cards, membership cards, not to mention the shopping list.  I had a whole handful of paper to drag along with us, and found that I had to go through my stash at every stop because we needed the coordinating coupons and cards in order to receive our shopping discounts.  Remember when stores just had sales?

Having to drag along all this “stuff” necessitates my needing a large purse or tote bag, which I’m continually fishing around inside.  The stealthy store clerks don’t think I notice them watching me, in case I’m trying to pilfer a tube of lipstick or pair of socks and stash them in my huge bag.  And how many times has another shopper accidentally rammed a shopping cart into your shins?

I know, I know. I could have done all my shopping online. The problem with that for me is that there are some things I actually need to see and touch. If you’re able to buy shoes or slacks without trying them on, then you are one of the lucky ones! There are times when the whole shopping thing is too much for me. I’ve never been a woman who enjoys the experience of shopping. I’m not a looker or browser. I loathe trying things on, but I have to do it sometimes. My personal preference is to go to a store and be in and out in ten minutes. It’s all but impossible to do that these days. Maybe that’s why I love Dollar Tree so much. That store has what it has. It doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is, and I don’t need coupons or sale papers. I already know what the price of an item will ring up.  If only I could buy my underwear there, I’d be in heaven.

Enough about shopping. Let’s discuss something we all enjoy.  Eating. It’s a new year, and I’m betting that some of you have resolved to eat more healthfully and also to get more exercise. It’s the same here at the Nusbaum house.  Too many cakes and pies have wreaked havoc on my waistline, and too little time for exercise has made me sluggish and crankier than usual. Things need to change around here. I’ll have to subsist on the memory of that melt-in-your-mouth delicious flourless chocolate cake and all those other treats and goodies that popped up in our house during the months of November and December.

My mom will celebrate her 88th birthday on January 19, and I’m sure we’ll use that as an excuse for celebratory food and desserts, but I do plan to curb my enthusiasm for a tasty buffet. I’m resolving here and now to do better so that I feel better.

Did you make any resolutions?  Polls show that the number one resolution people make is to get more exercise and eat healthier.  Most people give it up by February, so we’ve got a few more weeks of this torture and deprivation ahead of us. I’m heading to the treadmill now. That oatmeal I had for breakfast is fueling me. It didn’t taste a thing like dessert, but with any luck, in a few months, I’ll be able to fit into the tiny little underwear for sale at Dollar Tree.  Dream big, I always say.
Happy New Year everyone; and a very happy birthday, Mom!

by James Rada, Jr.

January 1920, 100 Years Ago

Fine Auto Smashed

Last Friday night about 2 o’clock a,m a large Paige Touring Car, said to be about as complete as ever seen in this section of the county, smashed into the concrete side of the bridge over Owen’s creek on the State Road at Franklinville two miles north of Thurmont.

From what could be learned, the car belong to some party in Brunswick, everything done to conceal the identity of the owner. It is stated that there were three men in the car at the time of the accident, and all were injured.

A car following close was forced to turn from the road and plow its way through a bed of large stones near the bridge to avoid trouble.

From reports of those who live near and visited the scene, considerable blood was found in the car, and hat pins, hair pins, quart bottles, and other articles found in and about the wreck.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 1, 1920

Death Still A Mystery

During the past week officers of Carroll county have been trying to solve the cause of the death of Miss Mertle Marie Staub whose body was found along the B. & O. railroad at Sykesville, Carroll county, Md., on Wednesday morning of last week, her head and right arm being severed from her body.

Miss Staub for the last several months had been employed as a domestic to the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Hughes of Sykesville. It is stated that the girl was in very good humor all the day previous.

On Wednesday morning when the Hughes family arose they found that the girl was not about the house, and on going to her room found that she had not occupied her bed during the night.

Sometime later her body was found along the railroad.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 1, 1920

January 1945, 75 Years Ago

Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Hobbs Married 50 Years

Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Hobbs celebrated their golden wedding day last Saturday, Dec. 30, at their home on Water street.

The day was spent quietly with their children present throughout the day. In the evening the three-tier bride’s cake was served, with other refreshments to the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs received sixty cards and many beautiful and useful gifts as well as gifts of flowers and money.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs were married in Emmitsburg at St. Joseph’s rectory by Father White, and lived on a farm at Tom’s Creek until 1920 when Mr. Hobbs retired from farming and moved with his family to Thurmont.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 5, 1945

Severely Injured 12-Year-Old Girl

Janet, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin S. Lohr, north of town, is suffering from a severely lacerated scalp, sustained last Thursday morning in a sledding accident.

Janet and Betty Ross Smith were sledding back of the Smith home, on a crust almost as smooth as glass, when Janet’s sled headed for the turkey pen. Because of the speed which she was traveling and the smoothness of the ice, she was unable to guide her sled and she ran under the pen. As she did so, her head struck a plank above, which cut a gash across her scalp. Eleven stitches were required to close the wound.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 5, 1945

January 1970, 50 Years Ago

12-Inch Snow Paralyzes Area

Frederick County Saturday began the Herculean task of digging out a snowbound populace and several hundreds of miles of primary and secondary roads, some of which had drifted shut by a 50-mile-an-hour wind that piled up snow in some places 12 feet high. One-way traffic was maintained for several days on sections of county and state roads.

All state and county owned equipment was brought into service and several private firms were engaged to complete the task of digging out. One break in the “blizzard” was that power lines and telephone service remained practically intact.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, January 2, 1970

Four Homeless After Fire

A fire left four members of an Emmitsburg area family homeless late Saturday, when their two-story dwelling on Bull Frog Rd., four and a half miles east of Emmitsburg, was extensively damaged.

They were Douglas Soper, his wife, 12-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son. Soper rented the house from Archie Sipe of Kensington, Md.

Approximately 60 firemen, led by the Vigilant Hose Co. of Emmitsburg, assisted by Harney and Taneytown fire companies, responded at 4:40 Saturday afternoon with eight pieces of equipment.                                      

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, January 1970

January 1995, 25 Years Ago

Tower Truck Arrives

Fire service in the Emmitsburg area has been enhanced with the addition of the new tower truck recently purchased by the Vigilant Hose Company. Chief Frank Davis and several company members went to Wisconsin to bring the truck home.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, January 1995

Multi-Service Center Planned for Emmitsburg

The Town of Emmitsburg, Up-County Family Center, and the Frederick Community Action Agency are working together to build and operate a new Emmitsburg Multi-Service Center in downtown Emmitsburg, MD. Construction for this new building will begin this summer.

This facility will be built and operated by the Town of Emmitsburg. It will house a variety of nonprofit human service agencies including Up-County Family Center, Catholic Charities, an outreach office for the Frederick Community Action Agency, and others. The new Multi-Service Center will offer “one-stop shopping” for families. It will be the center of a wide range of services that address crises and emergencies. There will also be facilities for teaching preventative skills, adult education, and job training.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, January 1995

by James Rada, Jr.

Things That Go “Boom” In the Night

January 2, 1887, was a cold day in Frederick County. Thermometers hovered around eight degrees. Fireplaces and stoves were stoked with roaring fires to fight back the cold that was pushing its way through every crack and crevice of a home.

Several inches of snow, hardened with a covering of ice, covered the ground, and sheets of ice coated the roofs of buildings. Moonlight reflected off the frozen snow, giving it a slight glow even at midnight.

“A young gentleman returning home in his sleigh about this time, says the cracking of the ice on a roof, by which he passed, was so loud and forcible, that it scared his horse,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported.

Although few people reported feeling anything, doors swung open, and objects toppled over “as if burglars were doing the houses,” according to the Clarion.

Many more people described hearing sounds that sounded like explosions. The Emmitsburg Chronicle compared it to the sound of a well being excavated.

“But mostly the sounds were above, as some describe them—like unto the clatter of tearing off a roof,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported.

The Catoctin Clarion reported, “At this point the report was sufficiently loud to suggest to Mr. J. W. Weast, a merchant at that point, that his safe had been blown up and he hurriedly dressed himself and visited his safe, only to find it intact.”

Reports came in from all over Frederick County and parts of Carroll County. Westminster residents seem to have felt the earthquake and experienced damage.

The Frederick Daily News reported that because no one in Emmitsburg felt any tremors, no one actually considered it an earthquake.

The Emmitsburg Chronicle offered a scientific reason for the noises not being an earthquake, writing “to one suddenly awaking in the night, and considering that there have not been received any accounts of clocks being stopped, or household things displaced, as in earthquake manifestations, together with the simultaneousness of the occurrences at points, miles apart, we infer the who matter was purely electrical. Indeed a writer not long ago undertook to prove that seismic phenomena were but electrical manifestations, on the earth’s surface and not from the interior.”

Although the county is not prone to earthquakes and doesn’t sit on a fault line, it was an earthquake—albeit an unusual one—that hit the county that night. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, east of the Rocky Mountains, fault lines are a poor indicator of where earthquakes will hit. The USGS website states, “In contrast, things are less straightforward east of the Rockies because it is rare for earthquakes to break the ground surface. In particular, east of the Rockies, most known faults and fault lines do not appear to have anything to do with modern earthquakes. We don’t know why. An earthquake is as likely to occur on an unknown fault as on a known fault, if not more likely. The result of all this is that fault lines east of the Rockies are unreliable guides to where earthquakes are likely to occur.”

Whatever the reason for the earthquake, it was a disturbing way for Frederick County residents to welcome in the new year on January 2, 1887.

by Anita DiGregory

“A Tribute to Horrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Years”

Have you ever had one of those years when you literally could not wait for the clock to strike midnight, the ball to drop, and the year to be officially over?

Well, 2019 has unmistakably been one of those years for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were beautiful moments sprinkled throughout: sacraments made, memory-making trips taken, heartwarming firsts experienced, celebrations of children’s successes enjoyed. But even so, 2019 will definitely not go down in history as one of my favorite years. 

On top of all the regular stressors, the medical visits, the stacking bills, the unplanned car expenses, the children leaving the nest, we suffered the unimaginable loss of five close family members. I witnessed my faith-, family-, and life-loving cousin lose his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. I said goodbye to two beloved aunts and one gentle and kind uncle. And, then, shockingly, over Thanksgiving break, we suffered the tremendous loss of my brother-in-law, Sam. 

Only 55 when he passed away, Sam was outgoing, full of life, hardworking, and seemingly healthy.  He left behind a wife and two beautiful children, not to mention a mother, three brothers, three sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and many, many friends. Sam was the kind of guy who knew everyone, and everyone knew him. At his viewing, the funeral home remained packed with people waiting to pay their respects, the line often reaching out of the room, down the hall, and to the entrance.

I was only 16 when I met Sam. The new girl in town, I was happy to make a new friend. He had an infectious smile, and I’d swear he’d get this glint in his eyes when he was about to break the rules just enough to make things interesting for everyone. My friend, my co-worker, my brother-in-law, godfather to my daughter, beloved uncle to my children, and practically twin to my husband, how do you say goodbye when it is way too soon, completely unexpected, and hurts deep down in your soul?

So here I sit, trying to wrap my brain around 2019 and its tremendous losses. Forgive me as I think out loud, trying to make some sense of it all. This year has knocked me over the head and taught me some hard, painful, and priceless lessons.

During Thanksgiving break, when we learned of the passing of my aunt and then my brother-in-law, as we were all walking around in a teary daze, my children looked at me through their pain and asked that hard question: Why?

Why was this happening, and why even when they prayed? Why? Why? Why? This is what I said to them: I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t understand the reasons. But what I know deep down in the core of my soul is that I love my family, my children, with all of my being. Now, if I can love them so much that I feel it in every fiber of my being, so much so that it controls every single decision I make, and I am a very, very imperfect being, then how much more does the perfect God love each and every one of us? And, I know if God loves us this much, then He wants only the best for each of us. So I trust in that. I may never know “the big picture” or understand why things happen the way they do, but I trust in God and His perfect love for all of us. But, even with this, somehow in the thick of it, we still feel alone or abandoned.

Here again I fall upon that which I know…my role as a mother. One day, when my youngest was still quite little, he was attempting to climb the stairs by himself. I quietly tip-toed closely behind him as he teetered and tottered up the steep steps. I did not physically reach out or help him; in fact, he probably never even knew I was there. But whether he realized it or not, I was there, and the minute he needed me, I would have been there. About halfway up the stairs, I realized that this is how it is with God. No matter how we may feel, He is always there with us deep in the trenches…in the joy and in the sadness…guiding us and helping us.

British writer and lay theologian C.S. Lewis was no stranger to pain, having lost both his mother and wife to cancer. After losing his beloved wife, Joy, he fell into deep sorrow, which left him grappling with his perceptions. From the pit of darkness, his journal, later titled A Grief Observed, is raw and honest about his doubts, his fears, his pain, and his journey through grief. In it, he writes, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth of falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”

We aren’t promised the next tomorrow or even the next moment.  I know that. Still, I always somehow thought I would have the time to go back and dot all the I’s and cross all the t’s. This year has taught me that sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, you don’t get to say “I love you” one last time.

So, here’s to making 2020 different. Let’s make it a year to be intentional; to put what really matters most first; to work and play hard but to love and pray harder; to be kind; to say “I love you”; to go to church; to say “I am sorry”; to not put off until tomorrow what we should get done today; and to be thankful for all the beautiful, little moments. 

I pray that you and yours have a wonderful and blessed new year.

“Farm Boy to Combat Engineer”

by Priscilla Rall

Robert “Bob” Clifford Mount, the son of Clifford and Violet Mount, grew up milking cows by hand and plowing with a team of horses, named Dick and Queeny. He lived in a home without electricity, phone, or plumbing. Bob was a farm boy, born in 1931 in the Great Depression. He went to a one-room school and knew little about what was going on in the world, as the family could only use their radio when they charged its battery at his grandmother’s house.

In 1948, Bob left school when he turned 18 and joined the U.S. Army.

He went to Fort Belvoir for training at the Heavy Equipment Mechanic School. Then he was sent to Hawaii, where he was able to complete his high school classes and get his diploma. In June 1950, the Korean War erupted unexpectedly, and Bob was sent to Korea in July. His unit, the 72nd Combat Engineer Company, was in the Pusan Perimeter, where the Americans were desperately holding onto a patch of land on the southeast Korean peninsula. When the company was in review one day, the commanding officer asked if anyone could type. No one raised their hand. So, the commanding officer asked again, and this time, Bob raised his hand, breaking the first law in the Army: NEVER volunteer for ANYTHING!
Bob then raced to the camp’s office and yelled, “Does anyone know how to type?” He managed to get a book on learning to type, and he was ready in a few days to become the company’s regimental clerk! But, soon, the company was sent to make roads, sweep for mines, etc. They didn’t have a demolition man, and Pvt. Mount ended up with that job, too.

Once, when they were checking a bridge for explosives, they descended a ravine by the bridge and, without warning, became the target of North Korean snipers. The GIs promptly called for artillery, which quickly ended the snipers’ attack.

Another time, they were passing through a deserted village on a lane with stone walls on both sides when the enemy opened fire on them from behind the walls, resulting in several casualties. The danger was never far away, even in the Pusan Perimeter.

After the successful invasion at Inchon, near Seoul, the troops in the Pusan Perimeter broke out and headed north. Pvt. Mount’s company was part of the 5th Regimental Combat Team that worked with the Turks, the British, the Greeks, the South Koreans, the 1st Cavalry, and the U.S. Marines. Again, they were making roads and also building pontoon bridges. The troops were buoyed by the pronouncement from Gen. MacArthur that they would be “home for Christmas.” The soldiers made their way north with few difficulties until those in on the west side made it to the Yalu River, which divides North Korea and China.

It was mid-November and getting colder by the day. Bob remembers standing guard one night; in the morning, when he was relieved, he got to camp just as the chow truck got there with tasty hot pancakes—the best meal Bob claims he ever had!

Tragedy loomed as the Chinese crossed undetected into North Korea and attacked the Allied troops, just as the soldiers had finished savoring their Thanksgiving dinner. The soldiers located on the east of the Chosin Reservoir and the Marines on its west took the brunt of the enemy’s forces. The northernmost troops in the west were decimated as well. Frederick County lost Cpl. Paul Carty from Thurmont, Sgt. Roy Delauter, Sgt. Joseph Trail (who was captured and died in a POW camp), and Sgt. Norman Reid. Washington County lost PFC Herene Blevins, Cpl. Kenneth Ridge, and Marine PFC Daily Dye, all at the Chosin.

The Allied troops retreated in haste, and most of those killed in the north still lie in that frozen wasteland. Bob recalls that his general ordered a retreat even before MacArthur did. The 8th Army fled in confusion, as did all the Allied troops. His unit finally stopped in Seoul, and they built a bridge next to the destroyed one across the Han River. He could hear friendly howitzers firing north all night long. Ironically, another Maryland boy, Rupert Spring from Dickerson, was with a company illuminating the area to help the engineers building the bridge.

Finally, Bob was sent home and discharged at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, in August 1951. Unbeknownst to Mount or the military doctors, he had contracted a case of malaria that didn’t flair up for two months. Few local doctors were familiar with this tropical disease, and it was some time until it was properly diagnosed and treated.

Bob soon crossed paths with a beautiful young lady, Winnie, who he had known slightly before the war. They were married in March 1952 and had two children. The GI Bill helped them buy their first home. Later, they lived on Fish Hatchery Road. Bob realized that to get ahead in business, he had to get as much education as he could. With the help of the GI Bill, he took classes at several different colleges and eventually became the Senior VP Auditor with the Bank of America. Pretty good for a boy who grew up without even electricity!

Bob doesn’t regret his time in Korea. The GI Bill helped him in his career, and his ambition did the rest. Bob has been very active in the KWVA Chapter 142, and he and Winnie now live in Country Meadows, enjoying a peaceful retirement that they have both earned. Bob, thank you for your service!

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

Robert Clifford Mount

by Buck Reed

New Year, New Cooking

So, here we are again; we made it to a new year. And, if we can put politics behind us, we can go about the business of forgetting the past and looking forward to a new year. All we really have to do is make a proper New Year’s resolution.

Most people make the mistake of making their resolution too strenuous. We won’t talk about people who make it too easy. The important thing is to make your New Year’s resolution attainable. Instead of saying you are “going to cook every day,” which is a noble goal, try something like “becoming a better cook.” Assess your current skill-set and find a skill or some skills that will add to your culinary prowess.

Here are a few ideas of some skills I think every good cook should have.

Knife skills. Every good cook has a special relationship with their knives. Learning how to keep them sharp and storing them is a good start. After that, you should get comfortable holding your knives correctly and using them to make uniform cuts.

Make soup. Don’t learn how to make just one soup, but learn the techniques it takes to make any kind of soup. Making soups will help you experiment and use new ingredients, as well as help you to learn how to bring out the flavor in your finished dish.

Learn a new way to cook eggs. A chef’s hat, called a toque, has a hundred folds in it to represent the number of ways a cook can prepare an egg. Start with making a perfect omelet and work your way around the toque.

Cooking with a cast iron skillet. Although cast iron skillets seem to be challenging to deal with, once you get them set up, they can be a joy to work with. They are great for pan-frying, roasting, and even putting a new spin on your baking. The good news is that once you get your skillet seasoned, it is easily maintained with a minimum of work.

Bake a cake from scratch.  Taking the time to measure each ingredient for a cake carefully, and then mixing it all together correctly, can seem a tedious task, but it can teach you valuable skills. After that, learn how to decorate the cake without a pastry bag. Think of all the occasions you could use a made-from-scratch cake.

Prepare a hot breakfast. Preparing a morning meal in a timely manner can be an impressive skill for all sorts of situations (enough said).

Becoming a good cook isn’t about finding the perfect recipe, but rather mastering the techniques and expanding on those techniques to create good food.

If you put a little time and effort into enhancing your culinary prowess, it could be a tasty year.

MorningStar Family Church, Thurmont

by Theresa Dardanell

“Feeling welcome” does not begin to describe my visit to MorningStar Family Church.  I was greeted with hugs as soon as I walked in the door. As more members arrived, they also welcomed me warmly. During the service, the members unhurriedly spent time greeting one another with handshakes and hugs. 

Pastor Donna Sandridge and several members met with me before the service.  When asked what they wanted people to know about their church, everyone was eager to share their thoughts. 

Diana Wetklow said, “I love my church. It’s a place where you can come and be with everybody and know Jesus is there.”

Harry Wetklow considers everyone in the church as members of a family. 

Debbie Reckley said, “If you are sick or going through a hard time, let us pray with you and let us help you. When somebody comes here, we welcome them, we disciple them, put our arms around them, and help them anyway we can.” 

Dave Reckley added that the church demonstrates that God’s word is relevant in today’s world.

Mark Olson said, “We are a big family. We love people and are here to serve.”

Jamea Gouker talked about the thank-you cards and phone calls they have received from grateful people who have come to the church and felt so much better when they left. 

Rick Sanders, a member for 20 years, said that he loves the church because they are a family.

Pastor Donna said, “We are a loving, giving church. We endeavor to preach the word and reach the community to let them know that Jesus loves them and that we love them, and that this is a place that they can come and feel at home and feel welcome and feel loved.”

The Sunday service begins with songs of praise, led by a talented group of musicians, and continues with announcements by Pastor Donna. Everyone is then invited to request prayers for those in need or give thanks for blessings received. Songs of thanksgiving are followed by a scripture reading and a sermon.  During the sermon, the children move to another room to participate in children’s church with a Bible story, activities, and a snack. Everyone enthusiastically joins in the final song. 

Bible study, open to everyone, on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., is led by members of the congregation, with active participation by all. The Ladies Ministry meets on a Saturday once a month for a meeting, together with a brunch. Along with their charitable work, Diana Wetklow said that they “lift one another up and have a really good time.” Their annual dinner in the spring includes skits, music, and a fashion show. Once a month, everyone is invited to a fellowship dinner after the Sunday service.

Although the congregation is small, their generosity is abundant.  Local organizations that they support include: Catoctin High School Safe and Sane, Thurmont Food Bank, Catoctin Schools supply drive and summer lunch program, Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center of Frederick, Faith House, and the Thurmont United Methodist Church Clothes Closet. They also help individuals and families in need with food, gas, shelter, and home and vehicle repairs.  During the Christmas holiday, members deliver cookies, candy, gifts, and meals. The Annual Giveaway Day on the first Saturday in June is like a yard sale, but everything is absolutely free. 

International aid includes donations to several of the Samaritan’s Purse outreach programs:  disaster relief, wells for clean water, gifts of livestock to communities in need, and help for injured Veterans through Operation Heal Our Patriots.  Shoe boxes full of small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies are sent to Operation Christmas Child, which distributes them to children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine, and disease.  Several of the members create feminine hygiene products for Days for Girls International, a global project that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual health products to girls in over 100 countries where these items are not readily available. The church has provided support for mission trips to Russia, Venezuela, Philippines, Nigeria, Haiti, Belize, Portugal, Mexico, and Brazil, and financial aid to a considerable number of charitable organizations around the world.  Military personnel receive special care packages when they are deployed overseas and during the holidays. 

The church has an interesting history. The Reverend Wade Sandridge and Donna Sandridge began by preaching during a meeting in 1979 at the Blue Mountain Inn. As the congregation expanded, they met in many different locations, including a home, a tent, a schoolhouse, and a basement. The church was officially established in 1981. After the current property on Albert Staub Road was purchased, construction of the church began in 1996. The first service in the new building was held in 1999. After Pastor Wade passed away in 2005, Donna became pastor. 

MorningStar Family Church is located at 14698 Albert Staub Road in Thurmont.  Sunday morning worship at 10:45 a.m. follows morning prayer at 10:00. Everyone is welcome to attend services, Bible study, and all activities and events.

Members of MorningStar Family Church.

by Christine Maccabee 

Where Have All the Large Moths Gone?

I will begin this article by asking a question: Have you seen many large moths, such as the luna, cecropia or polyphemus, these days? I am starting to research moth populations in upper Frederick County, and I would appreciate knowing of your sitings of these beautiful, large moths, as well as the slightly smaller ones, such as the gorgeous sphinx in the family of hawk moths.

I guess you might say my research started in high school in my back yard, south of Baltimore. It was there that I discovered a few fascinating green caterpillars of large moths. I put them in gallon jars with appropriate leaves, resupplying with fresh ones as needed. I watched the awesome green caterpillars grow to full size until they spun their cocoons, and I was rewarded for my efforts by seeing them emerge from their large cocoons in the spring. Of course, the best part was freeing them to fly away, back into my yard and sky beyond.

Since then, my personal sitings have been quite rare. Smaller moths of many species—some with colorful patterns, others quite plain—have found sanctuary on my property, yet, no large moths. When I say large, I mean with wingspans up to six inches. Just this past summer, I did see evidence of the luna moth up here in the mountains, but it looked like it had been shredded by either a predator or a mower. Where there is one dead luna moth, there will hopefully be a few more live ones!
Last month, I read an article in the National Wildlife magazine about the importance of litter (meaning dried leaves), dried stem of plants, and general yard debris, for the ongoing cycles of a host of wildlife species. In her article, “Life in the Litter,” Emma Johnson confirmed my understanding by writing about the importance of leaving litter in our gardens, where many insects (including moth pupae) go into a hibernation-like state called diapause, lying dormant until the ground warms. “ I will add that it is likely a death sentence to heap up thick mulch around our plants and trees, possibly inhibiting the emergence of these moths.

Fortunate to own property way off the track, I don’t care if my gardens portray a littered look. Unfortunately, in a suburban or city environment, people feel they must rake up all the leaves and dead stems around their azaleas, trees, and so forth, to have a kept appearance, little knowing that they are likely bagging up more than leaves. I shudder to think of all the moth larvae that are bagged up as well. Doug Tallamy, an entomologist at the University of Delaware, says that 94 percent of moth larvae drop off the tree (or host plant) and immediately dig into the litter and soft soil to pupate.

I also have to wonder if the occasional spraying of the hills and ridges near my property, to control gypsy moths, has killed off other harmless moths as well. Even though I was reassured that the spray was specific for the gypsy moth, I am still suspicious. Did the spraying affect other moths and insects as well? 
    So, I continue to observe and to allow ample habitat on my 11-plus acres, no matter how scruffy it may look to critical eyes. My little offering to the health of ecosystems and endangered species may ultimately count for nothing, or it may serve as a tiny Noah’s Ark for the little-understood and unappreciated creatures under our feet and all around us in Natures litter. By this spring, I hope to see more moths of many species—that is, if I stay up all night with the porch light on!

If you have seen any of these large moths or have any other questions or thoughts about habitat, I welcome you to write to me at

Polyphemus moth is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. This moth is tan-colored, with an average wingspan of 15 cm; its most notable feature being its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings.