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by Buck Reed

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Valerie Nusbaum

You Know You’re a Local…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by James Rada, Jr.

October 1919, 100 Years Ago

Killed on Railroad

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

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

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 30, 1919

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

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

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, October 18, 1919

October 1944, 75 Years Ago

Soldier Wounded For Second Time

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

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

                                          – Gettysburg Times, October 5, 1944

Phone Books In Emmitsburg

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

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

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, October 26, 1944

October 1969, 50 Years Ago

Fire Razes Charnita Home Monday

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

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

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

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

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

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 3, 1969

New Officer Assumes Duties

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

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

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, October 10, 1969

October 1994, 25 Years Ago

Thurmont Lions Celebrate

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

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

                                          – Frederick News-Post, October 21, 1994

Catoctin Choral Fest

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

Frederick News-Post, October 31, 1994

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

by James Rada, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Take Any Wooden Bullets!

by Priscilla Rall

No doubt you have heard of wooden nickels, but have you ever heard of wooden bullets? Well, Lawrence C. “Abner” Myers learned about them the hard way. He was one of five children, born in 1920 in Unionville to Lewis and Evelyn Wetzel Myers. The family soon moved to Creagerstown.

Life was hard for the Myers family, as Lewis suffered from heart trouble brought on during his time in the military in WWI. When Abner was 13, he was “farmed out” to his aunt and uncle’s farm, as his parents could no longer care for their large family. There, he milked cows and drove a team of horses, plowing and cultivating the fields. He returned home every other weekend, and Abner remembers Creagerstown as a fun-loving community that had dances, picnics, and even boxing matches! Mr. Stull had a fine grocery store on the corner, and above it was Lewis’s harness shop. The community’s doctor, Dr. Birely, drove a spring wagon pulled by one horse and would drive to his patients’ homes when needed. There were bootleggers all around, and “you could get it anywhere,” according to Abner.

In July 1940, he joined the Maryland National Guard and trained every other weekend. That all changed in February 1941, when the National Guard was nationalized, and suddenly these fair-weather soldiers were in the 29th Division of the U.S. Army. Abner trained at Ft. Meade, and then at Ft. A. P. Hill in the “Carolina Maneuvers” under Captain Anders (whom he considered the best).

Soon the 29th was sent on the Queen Elizabeth for more training in England. Landing in Scotland, they soon entrained to Cardiff. From there, they could visit London, where Abner experienced the German Blitz, which killed thousands of British civilians. Then his regiment, the 115th, moved to Plymouth, where they stayed in an ancient castle and could watch the RAF planes constantly flying over.

As men, material, and machines crowded the small island nation, it came as no surprise that eventually an invasion of enemy-held France would soon begin. Abner was loaded on a troop ship on June 4, 1944, but the weather delayed the invasion until June 6. From the top of his ship, Abner could see the armada of ships, Allied planes, and barrage balloons strung from vessels to discourage enemy planes.

The 116th Regiment of the 29th Division went in first, and was decimated by enemy fire. The brass then moved the 115th planned landing area several miles to a more-protected area. Abner recalled with dismay seeing supposedly waterproof tanks circling, waiting to land. One by one they sank, taking their crews with them.

As his landing craft drew closer to Omaha Beach, Abner could see German soldiers running across the top of the cliffs and being felled by Allied guns. Only a few crafts were in front of his, but he could see the bodies of soldiers who had not made it off the beach. The water was red with blood. In this wave of 29th-ers were Donald Null, Henry “Pete” Ponton Jr., Richard Fox, Alton Schaff, James Marceron, and others from Frederick.

It was complete chaos, and Abner still marveled at “how we survived.” The men had to weave their way through a mine field, where scores of soldiers lay dead. At some point during his rush to get off of the killing beachhead, a wooden bullet fired from a German rifle struck Abner’s thigh. Finally off the beach, he rested in a German foxhole for the night, not daring to sleep. The next morning, his thigh had swollen up severely, but he continued on with his company. Someone told him that he had been hit by a wooden bullet, which he had never heard of. The wood splinters exploded on impact and caused massive infection and swelling. Apparently, as the enemy was short of ammo, they used wooden bullets for practice for the untrained soldiers dragooned from the countries that they had invaded.

On the third day, Abner was standing near a lieutenant colonel when a shell from an 88 mm hit the officer. He was instantly killed and Abner suffered a severe closed head injury, collapsing on the dead officer. Medics soon moved him to a field aid station, where doctors decided he needed to be evacuated by plane to a hospital in England; he stayed there for two weeks.

Instead of returning to his company, Abner joined Company C, 397th Railroad MP Regiment, marching into Paris as the Germans marched out. Later, he was sent to Holland and then Belgium. Eventually, he was assigned to the 794th MP Battalion before returning home on a Liberty ship.

PFC Lawrence Myers was discharged in October 1945.

Many men who had been in combat came home with both external and internal scars. Abner’s father had died at age 49 from the effects of WWI. His brother, Alton “Peanut” Myers, a machine gunner in the Philippines, never fully recovered from the trauma he experienced there. Abner also suffered from what we now call PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Fortunately, he received help from the VA at Martinsburg, West Virginia.

After WWII, it was tough to get a job, with so many ex-servicemen looking for employment. Abner worked as a mechanic at a lumber mill in Woodsboro, and after a time of unemployment, at Ft. Detrick.

He met Clara Dewees in Thurmont in 1945, and they were married in 1949. Together they had three children, eventually moving to Graceham, where he enjoyed his family, going to yard sales, and trips to the beach. Abner died peacefully on July 1, 2007.

So, take it from Abner, don’t take any wooden nickels and certainly no wooden bullets!

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 priscillarall@gmail.com.

Lawrence C. “Abner” Myers

Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church, Emmitsburg

by Theresa Dardanell

“Elias Lutheran is a praying congregation.”   During the Sunday service I attended, Pastor Jon Greenstone read aloud the names of those needing special prayers. The church newsletters and the Sunday bulletins include prayer requests for families in mourning, people in need of healing or encouragement, and those serving in the military. There is also a prayer hotline that Pastor Jon described as a “conference call.” It is available to anyone, anywhere, as long as you have a phone. It works like this: At 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, just dial 712-451-0767 and use the access code 812928 to join the group. After listening to a scripture reading and comment, you are free to join the discussion, ask for prayers, offer encouragement, or just pray silently. The Prayer Shawl Ministry is yet another way to offer comfort to anyone in need due to illness, bereavement, hospitalization, or distress; the shawl maker will knit or crochet a shawl while offering prayers for the individual who will receive it. Pastor Jon described the moments that people receive the prayer shawl as a very moving and powerful experience. Recipients are visibly comforted by the actual shawl and the prayers that accompany it.

When asked about community outreach, parishioner Connie Fisher said, “If somebody in the community is in need, we pull together and help.”

Pastor Jon agreed and added that although the focus of outreach is the Emmitsburg community, “the congregation is willing to reach beyond these geographical boundaries to the ends of the earth.” In cooperation with other Emmitsburg churches and community members, they participate in the Food 4 Kids program, which provides weekend food for eligible children at Emmitsburg Elementary School and Emmitsburg Head Start. Food and financial contributions are made to the Emmitsburg Food Bank. Working with the Catoctin school district guidance counselors, members of the congregation prepare 18 Thanksgiving baskets (containing a complete holiday meal) for families in the community. They also support the Angel Tree Project at Christmas; this Seton Center ministry provides gifts for families and children in need. In addition to helping with the church outreach projects, the Elias Women’s Group distributes fruit baskets to shut-ins at Christmas, serves food during funeral luncheons, and provides teachers and materials for the Bible Study classes. They also provide health kits, containing toiletries and hygiene items, to Lutheran World Relief, an organization that distributes the kits worldwide where needed. The church has also sponsored Pastor Jon on four missionary trips to Kenya. 

Fundraising events not only support church expenses and community service, they are a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends and enjoy delicious food. The annual yard sales/church suppers are held in the parish house on the first weekend in March and the first weekend in December. The suppers feature beef, ham, turkey, and all the trimmings, using recipes handed down from one generation to the next. Pastor Jon added, “Some folks come because the stewed tomatoes are so delicious. And the meat is provided by local farmers.” Residents at Lincoln on the Park and Seton Village greatly appreciate receiving delivery of the meals each year.

Church members make time for fun and fellowship. Family night in September features food and entertainment; everyone is welcome to bring a covered dish to share. The Elias Women’s Group meets for a luncheon, monthly. The annual Elias Men’s outing in August is a 60-plus-year tradition. Pastor Jon described the origin of the event, “It began as a fishing trip along the banks of the Monocacy River. The men had to catch their dinner.  Soon, one man brought corn and produce from his garden. When the fishing got bad, things went to burgers and hot dogs. Elias men give credit to wives who have supplied many delicious side dishes over the decades.”  If you like to dance or just listen to some great music, don’t miss the Dance Nights on October 19 and November 16.  

The Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church congregation was established in 1757 in the Toms Creek area near Emmitsburg. In 1797, a stone church was built on the current site in Emmitsburg. In 2007, after many renovations, improvements, and additions to the church, the members celebrated the 250th anniversary of the beginning of the congregation. 

The Sunday service begins at 10:00 a.m. and includes scripture readings, prayers, a sermon, and sharing of peace; Communion is offered on most Sundays. Inspirational music is an important part of the service. The voice choir, led by Cheryl Carney, sings traditional and contemporary songs; the handbell choir plays at most services. In addition to Sunday services, a brief Communion Service is held on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. The current Bible Study sessions are based on the book, A Woman God’s Spirit Can Guide

Everyone is always welcome to attend any of the services, Bible studies, fundraising events, and social activities. 

Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at 100 W. North Avenue in Emmitsburg. For answers to any questions, call them at 301-447-6239 or send an email to eliasluth@gmail.com.


Pastor Jon Greenstone (on the right) and members of Elias Evangelical Lutheran Church.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Ask Dr. Lo

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat is stored in your liver. This buildup of fat is not caused by heavy alcohol use. When heavy alcohol use causes fat to build up in the liver, this condition is called alcoholic liver disease.

The two types of NAFLD are simple fatty liver and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Simple fatty liver and NASH are two separate conditions. People typically develop one type of NAFLD or the other, although sometimes people with one form are later diagnosed with the other form of NAFLD. Experts estimate that about 20 percent of people with NAFLD have NASH.

Simple Fatty Liver

It is normal for the liver to contain some fat. However, if more than 5-10 percent of the liver’s weight is fat, it is called a fatty liver (steatosis). A simple fatty liver is a form of NAFLD in which you have fat in your liver but little or no inflammation or liver cell damage. Simple fatty liver typically does not progress to cause liver damage or complications. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults in the United States have NAFLD.

NASH

NASH is a form of NAFLD in which you have hepatitis—inflammation of the liver—and liver cell damage, in addition to fat in your liver. Inflammation and liver cell damage can cause fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver. NASH may lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Between 3 to 12 percent of adults in the United States have NASH.

Who is More Likely to Develop NAFLD?

NAFLD tends to develop in people who are overweight or obese or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides. Rapid weight loss and poor eating habits also may lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Researchers have found NAFLD in 40 to 80 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes and in 30 to 90 percent of people who are obese. In research that tested for NAFLD in people who were severely obese and undergoing bariatric surgery, more than 90 percent of the people studied had NAFLD.

NAFLD can affect people of any age, including children. Research suggests that close to 10 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 have NAFLD. However, people are more likely to develop NAFLD as they age.

While NAFLD occurs in people of all races and ethnicities, it is most common in Hispanics, followed by non-Hispanic whites. NAFLD is less common in African Americans. Asian Americans are more likely than people of other racial or ethnic groups to develop NAFLD when their weight is within the normal range.

What Are the Symptoms?

Both NAFLD and alcoholic fatty liver disease are usually silent diseases with few or no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include fatigue, weakness, weight loss and loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itching, fluid buildup and swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites), and mental confusion.

What Are the Risks?

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may cause the liver to swell (steatohepatitis). A swollen liver may cause scarring (cirrhosis) over time and may even lead to liver cancer or liver failure. Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver. Cirrhosis has four stages: Stage 1 is mild fibrosis without walls of scarring; Stage 2 is mild to moderate fibrosis with walls of scarring; Stage 3 is bridging fibrosis or scarring that has spread to different parts of the liver but no cirrhosis; and Stage 4 is severe scarring, or cirrhosis. Unlike healthy liver cells, scar tissue cells cannot self-repair or otherwise function. Because of this, fibrosis can reduce overall liver function and impair the organ’s ability to regenerate.

How is NAFLD Diagnosed?

   NAFLD is suspected if blood tests show high levels of liver enzymes. However, other liver diseases are first ruled out through additional tests. Often, an ultrasound will be used to confirm the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease diagnosis.

How is it Treated?

There are no medical treatments yet for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The first step is to treat the condition that is causing your cirrhosis to prevent any more damage. This could mean a few different things: Avoid alcohol if you drink. The goal is to protect the healthy tissue you have left. Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese. Control your diabetes. Lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly may help prevent liver damage from starting or reverse it in the early stages.

A study published online October 17, 2017, by Clinical Science, found that when healthy men, with a low level of liver fat, consumed at least 650 calories from sugar daily for 12 weeks, not only increased their liver fat, but also showed changes in their fat metabolism that are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This is just one more reason to keep your sugar intake in check.

Studies also suggest that people with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people who have either form of NAFLD.

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 www.doctorlo.com.

by Buck Reed

In cooking, there is a hierarchy of dishes, cuisines, and ingredients that most everyone can agree on. But, like most things in life, the simple pleasures are the best pleasures of life. For this reason, I suspect that the biscuit gets the entire month of September to itself.

Good bread is a staple at any meal, but a warm, tasty biscuit can take the spotlight anytime. Biscuits are relatively easy to make compared with bread. Once you learn to make them, they can actually be the most wonderful afterthought you can add to any meal. Good people cook, the best people bake, and I am not even sure you can consider yourself a good person if you can’t make a biscuit. All the great literary characters in Western novels made biscuits, and most considered it a higher calling. Augustus McCrae wouldn’t let anyone besides himself make the morning biscuits.

So, why a whole month dedicated to biscuits? I would suspect because even if it actually has a mixing method named after it—the biscuit mixing method— there are actually a number of ways to create a biscuit. Taking 30 days to explore and experiment with these methods may actually seem like a short time to dedicate to this undertaking. The ingredients are simple enough: flour, fat, salt, and liquid mixed together in the proper proportions, order, and technique, will yield a good biscuit. Of course, like with most simple things, you can complicate them with the addition of other ingredients. Cheese, ham, bacon, and fresh herbs can be added to make a unique addition to flavor. During the Civil War when flour was at a shortage, they made biscuits with sweet potatoes. And like most things made out of necessity, they soon found their way into our repertoire because they are just that tasty. 

The idea is not so much what you can do with a biscuit, but what a biscuit can do for you. Because they can be made so quickly, they have saved me on several occasions. Once, when the bread didn’t quite work out due to bad yeast, we threw together a cheddar biscuit just in time to save the meal. Another time, when the dessert wasn’t cutting it—and you gotta have dessert—a biscuit became strawberry shortcake. We do not use the word fail on the cruise ships.

A quick breakfast sandwich, an accompaniment at tea, an essential in biscuits and gravy, and a necessity for any stew, are just a few of the many uses for biscuits. In fact, you can make a biscuit every day this month and you might not have to serve them the same way twice. Try it!

And, if you want to talk about memorable, I would wager almost everyone can remember the best biscuit they ever had and who made it for them.

by Valerie Nusbaum

We see ourselves a certain way.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), that’s not necessarily the way others see us. Keep in mind that the public self we present isn’t always our whole self, or even our real self. We know what’s going on in our minds, but luckily, those who interact with us don’t. We can change from day to day or moment to moment, and we adapt differently to every situation.

For instance, the Valerie you read about and perceive from this column is only one part of the whole Valerie. In other words, I write about the things I’m comfortable having people read. The events you read about are always based in truth, but sometimes things are omitted or added for the sake of the story. Sometimes, my memory is faulty, and I have to wing it. I never, ever write about (and usually don’t discuss) my big problems, and I make it a point not to discuss touchy subjects like religion and politics. I write about my own life because telling stories about other people might cause hurt feelings. Sometimes, I say or write outrageous things about Randy, but I assume that people know I’m kidding. They don’t always. So…this is me, for sure, but not all of me.

With that being said, I recently set out to discover if other people see me the way I see myself.

As some of you know, in addition to writing, I also have a small art business where I sell my prints and jewelry online as well as at shows, exhibits, and shops. The big focus on sales these days is on “branding.” What is my brand?  Well, I tried to figure that out. The most recent study I read stated that in order to correctly label my products, I first needed to find out how others perceive me (i.e., I am my brand and my brand is me).

Armed with this information, I contacted my closest circle and asked each person to get back to me with three words they’d use to describe me. I asked for total honesty, but reminded everyone that I’m old and my ego is fragile.  Out of 15 people, only 1 didn’t respond. She has been demoted to Friend Tier #2.

Creative was the number one word people used to describe me, with variations of artistic and talented. Second was fun or funny, and tied for third place were friendly and generous. I’m also seen as loyal, honest, caring and thoughtful. One person used the word beautiful, one mentioned integrity and compassion, another said smart, and one person called me bossy. That was my mother. I can’t demote her. Both Randy and my mom gave me long lists of words because each of them said that three words weren’t enough.

This exercise was an eye-opener because I see myself as a strong person and no one mentioned that word. It’s because I don’t share my problems and worries with everyone. You won’t find me on Facebook posting about the bad things that happen in my life. I keep it to myself and am very selective about sharing.  People tend to think that I don’t have any problems and that my life is all unicorns and rainbows because they don’t see that side of me. I’m a very private person, but no one mentioned that either.

My friend Gail had a party a while back. I was there and met some of Gail’s other friends. At lunch afterward, Gail asked if I was interested in hearing how other people perceive me. Sure. Why not? Turns out that one of Gail’s friends had asked her who that very proper lady in the lavender sweater was. Gail said she had no idea because, “the only woman wearing a lavender sweater that day was Valerie, and she’s about the funniest person I know.” We both had a good laugh over this, but being seen as proper isn’t a bad thing. Another friend once told me that I remind her of Thelma Lou on the old Andy Griffith Show. I did not ask why. I was afraid of the answer. I cautioned her not to tell Randy that he reminded her of Barney Fife. She, very seriously, asked if he gets that a lot.

Anyway, I have always seen myself as organized, decisive, clever, private, intuitive, perceptive, and sympathetic, but those are only the good words I’d use to describe myself. I’m not going to tell you the bad ones because you don’t need to know about those. 

Did I figure out my brand?  Well, I guess my art is creative and it’s friendly and generous, too, because I’m often told that my prints remind the buyers of happy times in their lives. They evoke good memories, and while the pieces aren’t necessarily funny, they do make people smile. I didn’t figure this out on my own. Randy had to explain it to me, which might be why only one person said I’m smart.

My point in all of this is that we all might want to remember that there are many, many facets to every single person we know, and we likely don’t see all of them. It’s all a matter of perception. Just FYI: Randy is strong, nurturing, and thoughtful, and that’s only the beginning of all of his good qualities. My thoughtful, loving, and entertaining mother is bossy, too. I get it honestly

Murder or Suicide, An Unanswered Question

by James Rada, Jr.

Elmer K. Buhrman hadn’t heard from his son, Melvin Cletus Buhrman, over the weekend of January 19-21, 1923. It was unusual because Melvin’s house in Foxville didn’t have running water. He had to visit his father’s house regularly to fill buckets and bottles with water.

Elmer walked the 500 feet between the two houses and knocked on the door. When there was no answer, he tried the doorknob. The door was locked. He used his key to enter the house, thinking he would fill up the buckets with water to help Cletus.

Inside, he found Cletus sprawled on the floor dead from a shot through the chest. Elmer ran back to his house and called the police and a doctor. Dr. E. C. Kefauver drove up from Thurmont and examined the body.

Dr. Kefauver deduced that Buhrman had pressed the butt of a 20-guage shotgun against the wall and the barrel against his chest. Then he had used a stick to pull the trigger. Death was instantaneous.

Melvin had last been seen Friday afternoon on January 19, so he died somewhere between that time and the time Elmer found his son.

For the doctor, it was a clear case of suicide. Justice Robert Cadow didn’t even call for an inquest in the case.

However, rumors soon spread through Foxville. “While no evidence indicating that the young man had been murdered had been brought to light, persons living in the neighborhood of his home declare considerable mystery surrounds the circumstances of his death and the tragedy has been the sole theme of conversation in the mountain town since the body was found,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The fact that Elmer hadn’t heard the killing shot when he lived so close to his son made people suspicious.

Although Melvin was found in a locked room, doubters pointed out that a key was found on the ground outside of the house. The killer could have entered the home, killed Melvin, and locked the door behind him.

Despite the rumors, States Attorney Aaron R. Sanders said that no investigation of murder had been performed or even asked for. Sheriff James Jones was asked why he hadn’t investigated the death. He said the same thing that Anders had.             

Officials seemed to believe the suicide resulted from domestic problems. “It is thought that worry over his domestic affairs caused him to end his life,” the Frederick News reported.

Melvin had been living alone for the previous three weeks after his wife, Lillian, left him with their two children. He had married his wife six years earlier when she was just 13 years old.

The Frederick News reported, “Friday morning Buhrman went there [to his in-laws’ home] and choked his wife severely during a quarrel, in which he is said to have threatened her life if she did not return.” Lillian broke away from her husband, ran into the house, and locked herself inside.

While this supported the suicide story, it also provided a motive for anyone in Lillian’s family to have killed Melvin.

Melvin was buried in the Mount Moriah Lutheran Church Cemetery in Foxville. Meanwhile, the rumors lingered, although it never reached a point where the Buhrmans asked for an investigation or the sheriff felt the need to investigate.

Carry On, Brave Mother

by Anita DiGregory

Over the last few months, I have been blessed to have the opportunities to meet and talk with many moms from all across the country—new moms, seasoned (notice I didn’t say “old”) moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms. I have talked with moms who teared up as they shared how hard it is going to be this month as they drop their little one off at preschool for the first time…how heartbreaking it will be to walk away. And I have talked with moms who shared their stories about packing up and dropping off their children at college.

Through tears and smiles, these moms shared their fears and joys, sadness and pride, all those mom emotions that accompany packing up a child (who seems like only yesterday was toddling around trying to take first steps) and depositing them and their mounds of stuff on a college campus, and then somehow trying to say goodbye. I myself have had the pleasure (and sadness) this month to have two not-so-little ones spread their wings and head out to tackle their next adventure.

Being a mom is an immeasurable blessing, but it is also a miraculous paradox. It is forever holding on and letting go. It is multi-tasking a million different things in a day, while precisely focusing on the hearts in your care and trying to imprint little MOMents in your memory forever. It is being a powerful force in someone’s life and development and being invisible at the same time. It is smiling even when your heart is breaking. It is saying, “It’s all going to be okay,” to someone who really needs to hear those words, when quite honestly, you don’t really know if it will be. It is staying close enough to be there when they need you, but far enough away that they can make their own mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them.

Let’s face it: this mom club is pretty intensive. Unfortunately, there is no handbook, no “official how-to produce faith-filled, well-adjusted, happy, helpful, successful, caring adults” manual.  Believe me, there are times I would have happily paid all I had to flip to the back page of this life’s novel to make sure it all turns out okay.

Logically, you would think motherhood would get easier as they get older. In some ways, maybe it does. But honestly, for me, as my children have grown older and their struggles and challenges have gotten tougher, this motherly load has gotten heavier. 

Sometimes, I feel like a sponge, not the mysterious, colorful, intricate ones at the bottom of the ocean, but rather the old, smelly, porous thing that is pulled out every time there is a spill, and it still manages (despite its age and appearance) to soak it all up. 

I can actually feel myself just absorbing all the pain, sufferings, joys, and elations of those around me. Sometimes, it can feel really heavy. But did you know there is actually something known as a “mother sponge” in the baking process of sourdough bread. 

The mother sponge is actually the necessary, smelly, beginning process that allows the resulting sourdough bread to rise and produce its bold, unique taste. So, here we are in September with all the changes it will bring before us. I guess that is just a part of the exhilarating, exhausting rollercoaster ride that is motherhood: the sadness and tears, the worries and anxiety, the utter joy and celebration. 

For me, this rollercoaster has been quite intense these past few months. As I try to go forward after two more have left the nest, I must say it has been hard. This is the undeniable part of being a mother: to be a mother is to be a cheerleader, intercessor, consoler, crier, worrier, celebrator, confident, and resting place.

Whatever this season brings you, momma, fear not; know you are not alone; you are seen, and you are loved. “Breathe, sweet mom. Your kids need you. Not perfect. But you. With your worries. And your laughs. And your fails. And your try agains.  Your love. Your showing up.  That’s what matters. Breathe, sweet mom.”

                                ~Rachel Martin

Although Edward Bowman Coleman was born in Port Republic, Virginia, in 1924, he has lived most of his life in the Blue Ridge Summit and Sabillasville areas.

In the early 1920s, his father rented a farm in Virginia, earning $1.00 a month, two hogs, and a house to live in. Later, the family moved north and rented farms that the banks had foreclosed on during the hard times of the Great Depression. When the farm was sold, the Colemans moved on to another foreclosed farm. Once the Colemans lived next to the Browns, the mothers would do their Monday laundry together because Edward’s mother had a gas-powered washer! Edward did not notice at the time the Bowman’s 13-year-old daughter….but he would later!

Edward’s father worked at the Crown, Cork and Seal Co. until he broke his leg, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other. His father then moved to Baltimore to work at the Martin Marietta Plant and would return home to Sabillasville on the weekends. Edward attended the brick school at Sabillasville through seventh grade, and then went on to Thurmont High School, where he graduated in 1942.

Edward followed his father to Baltimore to work at Martin Marietta as well, but with war engulfing the entire world, the U.S. Army drafted Edward in February 1943. After training, he was assigned to Company A, 149th Infantry, 38th Division, nick-named the Cyclone Division. In January 1944, the division shipped out as part of a large convoy that traveled through the Panama Canal on its way to Hawaii. The wrecks of the ships the Japanese sunk on December 7, 1941, were still visible, and his company patrolled the beaches until they were sent to New Guinea for “mopping up” operations. Luckily, they did not encounter any enemy troops, but Edward did notice that the native women did not wear bras!

Then they traveled to the Philippine Island of Leyte, where the American troops first invaded the island nation. Ironically, Leyte is where a Japanese sniper severely injured Graceham native, Sterling Seiss. Before Edward arrived, they encountered a bizarre quirk of nature: a fine white powder that reduced visibility to zero suddenly engulfed their ship. Without warning, their ship beached on a coral outcropping just beneath the sea with no land in sight! Unable to get the ship off the coral, the troops boarded other smaller landing crafts. They eventually discovered a volcanic eruption miles away that caused the white cloud.

Once again, Edward’s company performed “mopping up” operations. The enemy had abandoned a strategic landing strip, and Edward’s company was there to protect it. Edward and a comrade dug a foxhole and two slit trenches to rest in while another soldier kept guard. They switched jobs every two hours. Edward had just finished his duty and was trying to get a little rest when a grenade exploded right in front of his buddy, killing him instantly. In the battle that followed, Japanese paratroopers attempted to regain the airstrips. They failed, but the Japanese killed 18 men in Edward’s company.

With Leyte finally secure, the 149th was loaded up and sent to Subic Bay in Luzon. Manila had finally fallen, and 100,000 Filipinos died in the horrific fighting there. Gen. Douglas MacArthur then declared the Philippines secure, neglecting to mention the thousands of enemy troops still in the mountainous north. Once more, Edward’s regiment was sent to “mop up” northern Luzon. They were still fighting when the Japanese surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of their battles on the Bataan peninsula, they are called the Avengers of Bataan.

After spending nearly two years abroad, Coleman was finally discharged in November 1945, having earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star. He returned home to meet his youngest sibling, a sister, born when he was in the Pacific.

Jobs were hard to come by after the War, and Edward worked at Fairchild in Hagerstown and at Martin Marietta. Then, using the GI Bill, he attended an aeronautic mechanic’s school. Martin Marietta rehired him, and he spent the rest of his career with the company, even moving to Orlando, Florida, in order to keep his job.

In 1949, he married the now-grown-up Doris Brown, whom he had met so long ago. They had three daughters: Denise, Donna, and Darlene.

When Edward’s father died, Edward bought his house in Sabillasville, where he now spends the summer enjoying the peace of the Catoctin Mountains. However, when the cool winds begin to blow, the family returns to their home in Orlando. In good health, Edward enjoys the mountains and still gardens with the help of his nephew. He revels in the love of his family that now includes four grandchildren.

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 priscillarall@gmail.com.

Mountain View Ministries Church of God

by Theresa Dardanell

Support of local, national and international missions and evangelism is important to the members of Mountain View Ministries Church of God, but Pastor Jeff Shaw said, “The number one outreach is leading people to Christ and then mentoring them in order that they may grow in the Lord.  One way we do this is through a 4-week discipleship program, which enlightens people to find the will of God for their life.” 

Their uplifting Sunday service begins with inspiring contemporary music led by Worship Music Director Sissie Jerrell and the Praise Team with guitar, keyboard and drum accompaniment.  Reverend Shaw continues the service with announcements and a call to pray for members in need. Pastor Shaw’s reading of Scripture and his accompanying message are met with enthusiastic calls of “Praise the Lord” and “Amen” from the congregation.  Once a month, the service concludes with Communion. Revival Sundays this year will feature guest pastors: Pastor Robert Redford on October 20 and Pastor Jerry Price on October 27. Christian song writer Willis Canada will be featured in concert during Revival Sunday on November 3. 

Locally, the church donates to Catoctin High School Safe and Sane and the Thurmont Police Department.  On the first Sunday of every month, the Pastor Shaw and members visit the residents of Moser Manor in Thurmont to provide a meal, a message, and fellowship.  They provide financial support to many of the Church of God ministries including Youth World Evangelism Action, Church of God International Women’s Ministries and the children’s home in Tennessee.  National and international financial support also includes Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, Kibera Kids center in Africa for AIDS orphans, and the Wycliffe organization which helps people translate the Bible into their own languages.

Everyone is invited to join in all events and activities.  The annual “Blessing Day” in July is like a yard sale with tables of clothes and household items set up in front of the church, but it’s even better because everything is free!  During the winter, families get together for movie nights in the church. A giant splash pad, basketball, ladder ball, and corn hole were the activites during family fun days this summer.  The annual picnic will be held this year on September 15 after the morning service; join them for food, fun and fellowship.

Pastor Jeff Shaw and Meredyth Shaw began their ministry, originally named Thurmont Church of God, in their home in 1992.  The church relocated several times over the years; the current church building was dedicated in 1997 and renamed Mountain View Ministries.  It began with 13 charter members. The congregation has grown since that time but Joe and Colleen Tumulty have been with the church since the beginning.   When I spoke to Joe Tumulty about the practice of adult baptism in the church, he explained the doctrine of “believer’s baptism” which is baptism for people who make the choice to receive the Lord as Savior.  They are then encouraged to seek the baptism of the Spirit.

Mountain View Ministries is located at 103 Apples Church Road in Thurmont.  They would love to hear from you; call them at 301-271-9088 or email mountainviewministries@yahoo.com.  You will find lots of additional information on their website, www.mountainviewministriesinc.com, including a calendar of events, a message from Pastor Shaw, a declaration of faith and the mission statement: “At Mountain View Ministries, we will be equipping believers and carrying out our vision by acceptance, prayer,  worship, Bible study, leadership, spiritual gifts and counseling care.”

Pastor Shaw (pictured in back row, with white shirt and tie) and members of Mountain View Ministries Church of God.

Study Shows Food Additives Alter Gut Microbes and Cause Diseases in Mice

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Our digestive tract is home to 100 trillion bacteria, collectively known as the gut microbiota. These bacteria help with metabolism and maintaining a healthy immune system. Changes in this microbial community can cause chronic diseases.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that a study on food additives (also called emulsifiers) promoted colitis and metabolic syndrome in mice by altering gut microbes. These emulsifiers—detergent-like food additives found in a variety of processed foods—have the potential to damage the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation and increasing our risk of chronic disease. Emulsifiers are used because oil and water will not mix until an emulsifying agent is added. Emulsifiers made from plant, animal, and synthetic sources are often added to processed foods such as mayonnaise, ice cream, and baked goods creating a smooth texture and preventing separation while extending shelf life.     

The findings of the study suggested that certain food additives might play a role in the increasing incidence of obesity and chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Findings appeared in Nature on March 5, 2015.

The research team lead by Dr. Andrew T. Gewirtz, professor of biology at Georgia State University, studied the thick layer of mucus that separates gut bacteria from the lining of the intestine. The team wondered whether chemicals that disrupt this mucus barrier might alter the gut microbiota and play a role in disorders associated with inflammation, including inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

“What we’ve been attempting to understand for the past several years is the increase in metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases that affect digestion,” explains Gewirtz. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. All these conditions, Gewirtz explains, “are associated with changes in gut bacteria.”

The recent, dramatic increase in metabolic-related diseases cannot be attributed solely to genetics, says Gewirtz. Human genetics haven’t changed in recent decades. Therefore, he and his colleagues set out to investigate environmental factors that might be responsible, including “modern additions to the food supply.”

Previous research suggested that emulsifiers could be implicated. For the new study, researchers fed mice emulsifiers in either their water or food. The experiment used polysorbate 80 (found in ice cream, sherbet, mayonnaise, and salad dressing) and carboxymethylcellulose (found in ice cream, dressing, cheese, icing, toppings, gelatinous desserts, infant/baby formula, candy, cottage cheese, and cream cheese spread) and found that it altered microbiota in a way that caused chronic inflammation. They tested the emulsifiers at levels below those approved for use in food and at levels modeled to mirror “what a person would eat, if they eat a lot of processed food.”

Mice with abnormal immune systems fed emulsifiers developed chronic colitis. Those with normal immune systems developed mild intestinal inflammation and a metabolic disorder that caused them to eat more, and become obese, hyperglycemic, and insulin resistant.

The inflammatory response prompted by eating emulsifiers, explains Gewirtz, appears to interfere with “satiety” (a state of being completely full, someone who has eaten enough) and can lead to overeating. The mice experiencing this inflammation developed more fat.

Gewirtz explains that the emulsifiers appear to disturb both the bacteria normally present in the gut and the gut’s protective mucus layer. The chemistry of the emulsifiers seem to change the microbiota and how these bacteria interact with the intestine itself. The combination, Gewirtz says, sets the stage for inflammation. He is quick to say that these food additives are by no means the “only cause of the obesity epidemic or inflammatory bowel disease.” However, emulsifiers may be a factor contributing to excess eating. The results showed that changes in the gut microbiota caused by dietary emulsifiers could drive inflammation and metabolic changes.

“We do not disagree with the commonly held assumption that over-eating is a central cause of obesity and metabolic syndrome,” said Gewirtz. However, these results suggest that modern additions to the food supply can interact with gut microbiota to influence inflammation, metabolism, and weight.

Probiotics are live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria) that are either the same as, or similar to, microorganisms found naturally in the human body and may be beneficial to health. If you picture the human body as a “host” for bacteria and other microorganisms, you might have a better understanding of probiotics. The body, especially the lower gastrointestinal tract (the gut), contains a complex and diverse community of bacteria. Although we tend to think of bacteria as harmful “germs,” many bacteria actually help the body function properly.

Probiotics are available to consumers in oral products such as dietary supplements and fermented foods, such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir. Because of how they are prepared, they contain microorganisms that boost the diversity of good bacteria, yeasts, and fungi living in our guts.

Probiotics also might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They also can replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria. 

Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There is some evidence that probiotics may be helpful for acute diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children.

Although studies are limited to large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60 percent, when compared with a placebo. More common than diarrhea is the opposite problem of constipation. Researchers have found that probiotics increase the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and probiotics help to soften stools, making them easier to pass.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease.  Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are trying probiotics before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they are using.   

Harboring a flourishing gut flora has been linked to lower obesity, fewer autoimmune conditions and digestion problems, longer lifespan, good brain function, and happiness in some studies.

It is important to be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any health claims for probiotics.

If you are struggling with some of the symptoms mentioned in this article or other 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 www.doctorlo.com.

Celebrating the Vegetable, Celery

Perhaps celebrating celery may be a little excessive. It’s a reminder that we should remember this nutritious vegetable. Celery is a low-calorie vegetable. It is nutritious and anti-oxidant-rich.

Two medium celery stalks (one serving) has just 18 calories. Choose large, firm stalks that are pale to deeper green, with leafy ends. This vegetable contains a list of other vitamins, too. Celery contains an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Based on 2,000 calories/day, celery provides 40 percent of Vitamin K and 10 percent of Vitamin A, supporting eye health.

It also contains dietary fiber (1.6 grams per cup), which helps curb cravings because it absorbs water in the digestive tract, making you feel fuller longer.

Organic celery is best, to reduce exposure to contaminants like pesticides. Be sure to wash thoroughly, whether grown organically or non-organically.

To keep celery for a week, store unwashed stalks in airtight plastic bag. They’ll keep fresh until ready to use. Also, the leaves can be stored in dampened plastic bag for future seasoning or dried.

Yours truly uses celery to season soup, salads, stuffing, casseroles, and main dishes. Also, the leaves are a clever way to garnish a dish.

Celery is a nutritious snack. Try topping it with peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese, or dipping the stalks in a variety of sauces, including hummus, cheese sauce, salad dressing, vegetable dip, and yogurt.

Next time you’re looking for a healthy snacking vegetable, go for the celery, with its low calories and various nutrients; also, it’s available year-round  It’s a winner all the way!

Predators

by Christine Maccabee

The first time I witnessed a large butterfly in the clutches of a “preying” mantis I was shocked. Within a couple minutes, the mantis had eaten the entire body of the helpless butterfly, its wings drifting silently to the ground. Silence and stealth are the trademarks of a predator. So much is happening in secret in the insect world, we could all call our gardens the “Secret Garden.’’ Earlier that same summer, back in the ‘90s, I had discovered many pairs of butterfly wings under various flowering plants, attributing them to natural deaths. However, after seeing this one instance of predatory behavior of that mantis , and reading up a bit about it, I knew better. In fact, I knew the war was on as I watched a mantis consuming a honey bee! Of all things!

So began my mission to capture every mantis I could find on my morning and evening “mantes (pl.)patrols,” grasping them with a gloved hand, putting them in a convenient container with a lid, and feeding them to my chickens—a bit of extra protein for my good birds. When fall and winter came, I went around the gardens where I would find mantis egg cases, cutting them in half with pruning clips or putting them underfoot. Each egg case of the mantis holds at least 100 babies, so I was able to control population by this simple method.

Thus, I had become the predator of the “preying” mantis. Mantis have few, if any, predators due to their sharp forelegs and fierce appearance, but they don’t scare me!

By the way, praying mantis are not praying, trust me. They are simply protecting themselves, or waiting to pounce in a flash on unsuspecting prey. That is why I refuse to refer to them by their official praying mantis name, instead always calling them “preying” mantis instead, in case you were wondering.

Now, I realize that many people love preying mantis. But why have a garden with flowers as a magnet for butterflies and bees only to have it become a death trap? Since the 1990s, when I first discovered my problem, I have clearly made a difference in the population of mantes in my gardens. However, now and then I see one, and …well, you know what I do. Even without chickens now, I dispose of them by other means. One can get fairly creative when it comes to predation.

This year, I ran into another problem having to do with other predators. I know there is a fine line between predation and survival, so I do understand when monarch caterpillars begin disappearing from my milkweed. However, this year I noticed an overabundance of predatory hornets and wasps.

Doing a little research, I learned that many of these insects do suck nectar and eat rotting fruit, so they serve a purpose when it comes to pollination and cleanup services. However, many of them are carnivorous as well, especially when it comes to their young. They will find a caterpillar or other soft-bodied insect and pre-chew it as food for their larva back in their nest.

So, of course, I brought as many monarch larva as I could find, along with their host plant, milkweed, into my house. As we speak, my second chrysalis is soon to open into a full-fledged adult, and there are two larva feeding safely on milkweed, soon to transform into their chrysalis. The ones that I cannot save are out there, on their own, such is the nature of life.

There are many other predators in our wildlife habitat jungles, too numerable to write about here.* I often contemplate about the difference between wild and supposedly civilized human predators, and must say, there is a huge difference. As we read and hear in the news, humans prey on other humans, whereas most insects and animals usually do not, seeking other species as their necessary food. Their actions are not mercenary or ego-driven; they hunt for their survival. As for human predation, that is a sad situation we are all concerned about, and the answer to that mystery is yet to be solved, if ever.

Keep the balance; do your part. That’s all we can do.

*Some common predators: assasin bugs, tiger beetles, ant lions, wheel bugs.

Capture and contain it with care. If you see a stray cat or dog, try to capture and contain the animal if circumstances permit. Always approach stray animals slowly and cautiously while speaking in a calm, gentle voice. You can also use food to coax a frightened animal into approaching you. Ideally, dogs should be secured using a leash or contained in a fenced yard. Most cats do not like to be held for any length of time, so stray kitties are best confined inside a cat carrier, secure box (with air holes), small room of your house, or temporarily in your car (as long as the car is well ventilated and not too hot).

Call the authorities. Never put yourself in harm’s way by attempting to capture an animal that is behaving aggressively. Call your local animal control or police department immediately. Be sure to give the dispatcher the exact street address where the animal was last seen.

Check for ID. Once you have contained the lost pet, check to see if the animal is wearing an ID tag. If so, you may be able to immediately contact the owner and return the pet to her or him.

Get the pet scanned for a microchip. If the pet is not wearing an ID tag, the best course of action is to either take it to your local animal shelter or call the animal control/police department to pick it up and transport it to the shelter. The shelter staff will scan the animal for a microchip.

Take pets with no ID to an animal shelter. If the animal has no ID tag or microchip, its best chance of being reunited with its owner is generally at an animal shelter. The shelter is the one obvious place where owners are likely to look for lost pets.

Post fliers. Whether you hold the lost animal yourself or place it in the custody of your local shelter, there are several ways you can help find the owner. If possible, take a photo of the pet and post fliers around the area where the pet was found. You can also place a “found” ad in the classified section of your local newspaper.

by Buck Reed

Stir Fry Guidelines

Stir-frying is a great way to prepare a quick main course or meal. These dishes are low in fat and taste fresh, and the textures are very appealing. However, getting them to turn out right can be a little challenging. Using the following guidelines and practice can help.

Equipment

Wok

A heavy skillet can do the job properly; you really should investigate purchasing a wok. The design of the wok helps to distribute the heat, which is needed to cook the ingredients properly and evenly. This shape also keeps the oil from splattering, and it prevents the contents from spilling over the sides as you stir or toss them. A wok can work well as a regular fry pan or even a deep fryer.

Wooden Spoons

Use wooden spoons to keep your ingredients moving in your wok. Using two of them will also help you pick up and turn the ingredients.

Ingredients

Oil

You will need an oil with a high “smoke point,” that is, one that you can heat to a high temperature without it burning. Peanut, sesame, safflower, vegetable, and even olive oil or a combination of any two, will make excellent choices. NEVER use butter or margarine as these will not work well under the kind of heat that you need to generate.

Vegetables

Choose vegetables that are fresh, and clean them under warm water. Cut each vegetable into the same size pieces so they will cook uniformly. Some canned vegetables are acceptable, such as water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, but try to stick to fresh whenever possible.

Meat

Most any kind of meat, poultry, or seafood can work well. Cut into a uniform size.

Preparation

Be Ready With All Ingredients

Since this is a very quick cooking method, make sure all of your ingredients are prepared and ready to go into the pan.

You will not have time to find that one essential ingredient as your stir fry burns away.

What to Add First and Last

First, add the oil to your heated wok. Pour it in so that it covers the sides. After the oil heats, add any aromatic ingredients: onions, garlic, ginger. These will help flavor the oil and transfer that flavor to the rest of your dish. Stir them around a few seconds, but do not allow them to burn.

Then, progressively add the other ingredients, starting with the ingredients that require the longest cooking time. Meats or poultry would probably be your first choice, as you will want to get a fast sear on them before they start to cook.

If you are cooking seafood, such as shrimp and scallops, you may want to sear them and cook them most of the way, then remove them. Add them back to the stir fry towards the end to heat them back up and finish cooking them.

Then, denser vegetables like carrots and celery should go into the wok, followed by softer things such as green beans, zucchini, and bell peppers. Then, you’ll want to add leafy vegetables, like spinach, near the end of the cooking time. Also, this is a good time to add any canned vegetables or nuts you may be using.

Finally, add any sauces or flavorings that the recipe requires, and, in some cases, thicken with corn starch. As you are cooking and adding your ingredients, use your wooden spoon to toss and stir them. You want to get every part of the stir fry into contact with the base as evenly as possible, so they cook properly.

All kinds of ingredients are good for stir fry, so do not be afraid to experiment. You can make a different one each time, experimenting with different sauces and vegetables and meats.

If you follow the guidelines and practice often, you will soon be making stir fry dishes that you and your family will thoroughly enjoy.

The Anger of Innocence

Story Written by James Rada, Jr.

Part 2: The Power

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

Sarah Adelsberger’s hand trembled as the 14-year-old reached for the bottle of Coca-Cola on her aunt’s kitchen table. She grasped the glass bottle with both hands and gulped down most of the soda until she thought a giant belch would explode from her throat.

Had she really seen thousands of birds attack another student from Thurmont Middle School? If not, then what had happened to Christine Weber? The birds had surrounded and covered her, and when they had left, Christine had vanished.

Sarah shivered and then smiled. It might be a terrifying image to recall, but Christine, her school tormentor, was gone.

A macaw landed on the table in front of Sarah. She jumped. It was just Francis, her Aunt Anna’s pet bird. Unlike any pet bird Sarah had ever seen, Francis wasn’t kept in a cage. He was allowed to fly around the house wherever he wanted. Amazingly, he always seemed to do his business in a sink or toilet. Aunt Anna insisted the bird wasn’t trained, but birds didn’t do that on their own, did they?

“Sarah, what’s wrong?”

Her aunt had stood up from the table to get herself a piece of apple pie. Now she stared at Sarah from the counter.

“I saw something today…I think it was horrible, but I’m not sure,” Sarah said.

“Tell me.”

So Sarah explained how she had followed Christine home after school to confront her and end Christine’s bullying. Sarah had been standing behind a tree, working up her courage to confront Christine, when the birds had attacked, and Christine had vanished.

“Marvelous,” Aunt Anna said when Sarah finished.

“Marvelous? Didn’t you listen? Christine vanished!”

Aunt Anna nodded. “I heard you. It was your power protecting you.”

Sarah shook her head. “My power? What power? What are you talking about?”

Aunt Anna pulled a chair near Sarah. She sat down across from her niece and held her hands. Anna Whitcomb was only 10 years older than Sarah, so they were more like friends than aunt and niece.

“I’ve been telling you that you have power. It runs in our family. If you have it, it makes itself known during puberty,” Anna said.

Sarah’s brow furrowed. This is what her aunt had been talking to her about since the school year had started? Sarah had just thought her aunt was a women’s libber, talking about the power of women in the 1970s.

But, this…this was unreal. Yet, Sarah had seen it happen.

“Christine was a bully,” her aunt said. “You told me so yourself.”

Sarah nodded slowly. “Christine had been picking on me again in school, calling me a cow.”

Sarah was pudgy, while Christine had hit puberty early and wore make-up so she looked like a high school prom queen. People said Sarah, her aunt, and Sarah’s mother all looked like sisters. Sarah only hoped that in 10 years she would look like her aunt with her shapely figure.

“Your power acted to protect you from Christine,” Anna said.

“But what about Christine?” Sarah asked. “All I found was a little bit of blood and a piece of her book bag.”

Sarah pulled the piece of blue canvas out of her pocket. She held it up for her aunt to see.

Anna smiled and nodded. “In that moment, you must have hated Christine for what she did to you, and your power worked through the familiars to take care of it for you.”

“My familiars?”

“Your spirit animal. Familiars can use our power to aid us when we need it. In our family, birds are often our familiars.”

Sarah glanced at Francis, who was still sitting on the table seemingly following the conversation. He even nodded when Sarah looked at him.

“But how?” Sarah asked.

Anna stroked Sarah’s hair. Their hair was the same color, but Sarah thought hers was stringy compared with her aunt’s lustrous, raven-black hair. “That doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that judging by the number of birds that responded to your need, you are very powerful, and that power will take care of any problems that threaten you.”

Sarah knew her aunt meant to comfort her, but the comment scared her.

When Sarah’s mother picked her up after she finished work, Sarah said nothing about what had happened to Christine. Aunt Anna had warned her that people who didn’t understand the power would not believe her or even fear her.

At the dinner table with her parents, Sarah stared out the window at the birds eating from one of the feeders that her mom maintained in the backyard.

“It’s late in the season for so many birds to be around,” her mother said when she noticed Sarah staring out the window.

“Is it?” Sarah said, barely paying attention to what her mother was saying.

“It’s November,” her mother said. “Most of them should have flown south to warmer places.”

“Why not all of them?”

“I guess they have a reason to stay. They’re lovely, aren’t they? I love to watch them fly. They are so free when they are in the air, gliding along on nothing but an air current.” Her mother sighed as she turned to watch three starlings hopping around on a bird feeder.

Later, after Sarah finished washing the dinner dishes, she put on a jacket and walked into the backyard to get closer to the birds.

She comes.

Sarah looked around but saw no one. “Who’s there?”

Will you make us act?

She realized the voice was in her head, but it wasn’t her voice. Then she saw a cowbird sitting at her feet. She held out her hand to the bird, and it flew up and landed on her palm. Sarah leaned closer and stared at the bird.

What would you force us to do this time?

“Is that your voice I’m hearing?”

Let us leave.

“Us? What? The birds?”

You are bad.

Sarah frowned. “What are you talking about?”

You force us.

“I don’t force you to do anything.”

You made us take the other one.

The other one must have meant Christine. She was the only one the birds had taken.

“I didn’t make you take her. The power did.” Sarah realized that she was arguing with a bird, but she couldn’t help it. She felt a surge of anger come from nowhere.

You are bad.

“Then go!” Sarah yelled. “If you want to leave so much. Go!”

The cowbird flew off of her hand, its wings flapping furiously. Sarah thought it would fly away, but it flew full force into the side of the house. She heard a sickening thud, and then the bird fell to the ground.

The anger vanished.

Sarah ran over and scooped up the bird in her hands. It didn’t move. She stroked its head gently.

“Don’t be dead. Don’t be dead.”

The bird’s head turned at an awkward angle. Its wings flapped, and suddenly it was standing in her hand.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

The bird stared at her, and Sarah realized that instead of black, the bird’s eyes were a smoky white.

Fly now.

Sarah heard the voice, but it wasn’t the same as the voice she had heard earlier. This one was deeper and sounded scratchy.

“It that you?” she asked.

Yes.

The bird flew off.

Had she brought the bird back to life? What was happening to her?

Poem by Francis Smith

In the gray-green glade

dappled by the morning sun

patchwork wilderness

Hemlock, dogwood, elm

grace the rapid woodland scene

pierce the plunging rocks

Little watery pools

reflecting the heaven’s blue

form in hollow rocks

Gray rock and green tree

every glimpse a vista

white sun on white waters

Lichen, moss, and fern

their tempting texture pleases

nature-lover’s eye

In the rocky wood

so many a tiny trickle

pours into a stream

Celestial solitude

captured in the gray-green rock

and falling waters

The Getaway

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy and I haven’t been able to do much traveling over the last several years, and we both miss our excursions and adventures, particularly the road trips to places unknown. Since we can’t take those long vacations any more, we made a bargain with each other to find new places to visit that are closer to home and can be reached in a few hours. Day trips can be fun and spontaneous, with no reservations required and no deposits to be lost if the trip has to be cancelled.

Not too long ago, we were spending a lazy morning having breakfast and reading the newspaper. I mean the actual newspaper, not the internet news.  We’re dinosaurs, remember?  Anyway, I saw an ad for Seven Springs Resort somewhere in Pennsylvania, and I was curious about it. This was a Saturday morning and still early, so we looked at each other and said, “Why not?” The ad I’d seen advertised a food truck festival and a grand and glorious fireworks display at dusk. Over 30 food trucks were promised and 3,000 brilliant explosions lasting forty minutes. How could we go wrong?

We got ready, grabbed our go-bags and some water bottles and headed out the door. We gassed up the truck, got some cash (again, we’re dinosaurs), and decided to swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru for some sustenance and Diet Cokes. I ordered the oatmeal and Randy got an Egg McMuffin, along with our drinks. We pulled up to the pay window and the nice lady said that our order had been paid for by the person in front of us. Wow! What a nice thing to have happen, and we’re very grateful to our unknown benefactor. Randy looked like a deer caught in the headlights, because he’d had a previous experience with the “pay-it-forward” thing and it hadn’t gone well. I nudged him and told him to ask the cost of the order behind us. It wasn’t much at all and we were happy to pay for it. An even better thing was that we recognized the folks in the car behind us. We don’t know them, per se, but we’ve seen them around town, and we were glad to do something for them.

The Nusbaums headed out of Thurmont feeling good about things and excited to be out and about.  I always enjoy being on the road with Randy because we have some of our best conversations during those times. We sight-see and we aren’t on the clock, so if we want to pull over and explore something, we can do that. I did remind him that the food truck festival started at 3:00 p.m., but we had plenty of time and the trip would only take three hours at most.

Seven Springs Resort is in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, not far from Somerset. That’s an area we’d wanted to visit anyway, so we took note of things that we’d want to look at in more detail on a possible future trip there.  Breakfast had been early, and we’d skipped lunch in order to be hungry enough to visit several of the food trucks. Don’t judge us. It was an adventure.

Along the way, we did notice a restaurant in Somerset called Eat & Park. The place was packed, and I’m sure we’ll stop there if we go back up that way again; but, it did beg the question: Shouldn’t the order of the name be reversed? I’d definitely park first.

We finally found the resort nestled way, way back in the mountain. We parked and went looking around. We found it to be a very rustic place, with lots of activities. Of course, the ski slopes weren’t in use, but the lifts were, and there were toboggan rides.  The weather was actually a bit chilly and drizzly, but it felt good to us after the heat wave we’d been experiencing.

We purchased our tickets for the festival, and were waiting at the gate with a lot of other hungry people at 3:00 p.m. It became a blur after that. The best empanadas ever—I’m still dreaming about them. Then, a chili-rice bowl and lasagna-stuffed eggrolls. The list goes on and on. We ate a s’mores crepe and then some pizza. Randy and I shared everything so that we could taste more dishes. I didn’t care for the smoked mac and cheese, and I’m still not sure what the Venezuelan platter was all about. I do know that the three meats were delicious, but I honestly don’t know if I ate plantains or French fries.

 Luckily, I had some Tums in my go-bag. Incidentally, old people carry go-bags when we take day trips. Extra underwear and a toothbrush are always a good idea.

The hours flew by, and since we had planned to see the fireworks, we decided to see if we could get a room for the night. Yes! We were pretty tired, so we sat on our balcony in our make-shift pajamas and watched the gorgeous display.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it, but I did point out that it only lasted twenty minutes—not the forty minutes we’d been promised. 

We went inside our room and stretched out on the bed. It was 10:00 p.m. We’d had a full day, stuffed ourselves, and we were tired. Then the second act of the fireworks started. We didn’t care.  We just opened the curtains and watched through the window.

August 1919, 100 Years Ago

Little Girl Killed

On Wednesday morning of this week an accident occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Layton Moser on the State Road south of Thurmont, that resulted in the instant death of their youngest child and daughter Olie, aged about three years.

Mr. Moser had brought home a load of fertilizer, and found it necessary to stop the team in order to remove something in the wagonshed before pulling in the wagon.

 Unconscious of the children being about he started the team and drew the load in the shed, and looking around saw two children just outside the shed, one then already dead, the left rear wheel of the wagon passing over the baby’s head and crushing it. The other child was so near the wheel that some flesh was rubbed from its leg.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 14, 1919

Lightning Strikes Barn

Monday afternoon last a heavy thunder, rain and wind storm coming from the west passed over Frederick county and did considerable damage to growing crops and property of various kinds. Reports are that a heavy wind accompanied the rain in a section north of Frederick city, and that the rainfall was very heavy.

The heavy portion of the storm passed to the southeast of Thurmont.

During the storm a large bank barn, with wagonshed and corncrib attached, on the farm of George Houck, near Harmony Grove, tenanted by Harry Green, was struck by lightning and totally destroyed. More than half of this year’s wheat crop, a quantity of hay, springwagon, four horse wagon, carriage, and a lot of farming implements were burned. The loss is estimated between $4,000 and $5,000, partly insured.

No live stock perished in the flames, the 20 head of cattle and 11 head of horses having been turned out to pasture.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 10, 1919

August 1944, 75 Years Ago

Charles W. Messner Dies As Result of Terrific Explosion

Thurmont residents were shocked on Wednesday when word was received here of the fatal injury, at Hanover, Pa., of Charles W. Messner, 28-year-old refrigeration engineer, of this place who for about three years past has been employed by the Frick Manufacturing Co., of Waynesboro, Pa.

The accident, the cause of which is undetermined, occurred at the Hanover plant of the R. H. Sheppard Co. where Messner was engaged in installing and inspecting a new refrigeration unit in the test room of the plant. A terrific explosion hurled the young engineer with great force against a wall, fracturing his skull, and at the same time seriously injured three other workmen. He was rushed to Hanover General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, August 4, 1944

Teaching Positions Are Filled

… Discussion of the disposal of the Rocky Ridge school property was also a major item of Board business. A decision was reached to advertise the property for sale at public auction in the near future.

                                          – Frederick News, August 15, 1944

August 1969, 50 Years Ago

Plan To Establish Day Care Center Here

The Community Aide for Emmitsburg has been working for the past four months on organizing low income mothers to work together on a day care center. The purpose of the center would be to give mothers the chance to work and add more to their present income. In the past, a lot of women were unable to pay the fees for babysitting because they would make no more than the minimum wage and could not afford a regular babysitter.

In the past few months there has been a lot of misunderstanding as to what part a day care center would play for Emmitsburg. A lot of people think it would put some people out of work who are babysitters now. The center is for people who want to work and can’t afford the fees of babysitters. Others think mothers can put children in the center just to go shopping or visiting or whatever they want, or to get rid of the children for a few hours.

The center will be set up on a basis to enroll a child to allow the parent to work. Parents will pay on a sliding scale according to what they can make and what they can afford.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 1, 1969

Catoctin High Names Principal

The Board of Education has announced the appointment of Harper Long as principal of Catoctin High School, effective Sept. 1.

Long, presently vice-principal at Catoctin High, will succeed Howard Goodrich, who is leaving Aug. 31 to become assistant superintendent of the Burlington, Vermont school system.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 29, 1969

August 1994, 25 Years Ago

10-year-olds Fare Well in Thurmont

A team of 10-year-olds from Gettysburg finished at .500 in a recent tournament in Thurmont. The squad defeated Emmitsburg, Md., and the Mighty Gs, and lost to Westminster, Md., and Frederick, Md.

                                          – Gettysburg Times, August 8, 1994

Montgomery Ag Fair Offers a Little Learning for Everyone

… Meanwhile, Polled Hereford beef cattle producers held their state show here on Tuesday. Winning the permier exhibitor banner were the Mullinix Brothers of Woodbine and Grandview Farm of Harwood was the premier breeder. The show was held in honor of Calvin E. Sayler of Thurmont. Mr. Sayler has been breeding Polled Herefords since 1965 and served on the board of directors for more than 20 years, serving as president for four terms and managing the state sale.

Supporting the youth has been a major concern for Mr. Sayler. He started the 4-H sale at the Thurmont-Emmitsburg Community Show and started a heifer project by donating an animal to a deserving youth with the understanding that after three years, an offspring of that animal be donated to another deserving youth.

Frederick News, August 24, 1994

The Year is … 1871

There’s Gold in Them There Hills!

by James Rada, Jr.

With the arrival of the railroad in Thurmont, you would have thought that attention would have been focused on how it connected Thurmont with the world and the economic development opportunities it brought with it.

“The sound of the steam whistle twice a day in the suburbs of our hitherto quiet little town has awakened everything up to newness of life, and a spirit of ‘go-aheadativeness’ which is quite refreshing,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

However, attentions shift quickly, and the same page of the March newspaper that printed the above quote also had three articles about mining and the possibility of finding gold in Catoctin Mountain.

One article headlined “Gold! Gold! Gold!” talked about the gold strikes in North Carolina, Georgia, and California in the early 1800s. The writer then noted that the place where gold had been found had been in California, “bears a strong resemblance to the Red Land curve beginning at the dividing sections near ‘Spitzenberger’s Tavern,’ and gravitating to near Graceham and Emmittsburg. —The question comes up can it be that gold may be found in this locality?”

The article noted that an old miner had noted this and other markers that indicated to him the high probability of gold in the area.

“Has the country from Fishing creek to Flat Run been thoroughly ‘prospected?’” the Catoctin Clarion asked.

If not gold, then the article suggested that there might be other useful metals, such as iron, copper, zinc, or silver.

A second article supported Maryland’s proposal to do a statewide geological survey, as this would be the best way to determine what mineral resources were in Northern Frederick County.

The editorial praising the Western Maryland Railroad even called for prospecting in the area. “We must develop the bowels of the earth.”

Yet another article talked about prospectors coming to the area. “As the snow disappears from the mountains, our active prospectors for valuable minerals, which are believed to be embedded in the hills and canons of the Catoctin base, will be on the alert in search of the rich treasures.”

Although no gold was found on Catoctin Mountain at this time, a gold mine was eventually worked on the mountain. It was located close to Braddock Heights in the 1930s. Samples from the mine assayed at .22 ounces of gold per ton. With gold trading at $35 per ounce (about $620 per ounce in today’s dollars), this meant that there was about $7.70 (about $136 in today’s dollars) in gold per ton of raw material. Gold was first found in Maryland in the early 1800s, but it wasn’t commercially mined until after the Civil War, according to GoldRushNuggets.com.

“The majority of the gold that has been recovered here is found in the northern and central parts of the state. Unlike much of the gold on the East Coast, which are limited to glacial deposits, there are actually lode gold deposits present here, with several dozen mines that have been worked since the original discovery of gold,” according to the website.

The state’s peak production was in the 1940s, and it was only 1,000 ounces of gold. Besides Frederick, gold in Maryland was found in the Catonsville area, the Liberty area, the Simpsonville area, the Woodbine area, and the Great Falls area.

The Heart of the Matter

by Anita DiGregory

The human heart is truly a miracle. It is one of the most complex organs in the body.  Beating nonstop, the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body.  Pumping continuously, it resides at the very center of the chest and the circulatory system. The entire rest of the body relies on the proper functioning of this hardworking muscle in order to perform and function properly. Unceasingly, the heart pumps blood into the arteries, assisting in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body. In order for the entire body to function and thrive, the heart is vital. 

The mother’s heart is a miraculous anomaly. Just as the heart lies at the center of the chest with all other parts relying upon it to do its job in order for them to function properly, so too resides the mother at the center of her family.  Unceasingly, she works for each member of the family as her role is vital to the proper functioning and development of each child.  However, to be a mother is to forever walk around with your heart outside your body. 

Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty said this of mothers: “The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honour of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can.

Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. . . What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this; to be a mother?”

To become a mother is to forever be changed; it is to no longer be one, but to forever be joined in this abundant and unconditional love with this miraculous little creation. Motherhood is MOMents of complete joy and utter sorrow.  It is sleepless nights, exhaustive days. It is sacrifice and hard work.  It is tears, frustration, and endless prayer. It is the hardest job there is.  But it is also the most rewarding. It is holding on and letting go.

Yet again, the time has flown by way to quickly. Those very long days evolved into lightening-speed years. And, here we are again. It is August. The month I have dreaded.  Unable to locate the Universal remote and stomp on the stop button or even slam on the slow down button, I have begrudgingly stumbled into the month I have avoided to even glance at to this point.

So many changes will happen.  Two little birds are spreading their wings and heading far out into the world. This is hard…so much to do, so many emotions. This mother’s heart is full. 

This isn’t my first ride on this “love and let go” rollercoaster.  One would think it would get easier. It hasn’t. And I certainly have not become immune to the pain that comes with letting go.  But, this is what we train them for, to be able to go out into the world to rise and to fall and to rise again, hopefully each time a little stronger, wiser, and more virtuous.

As a mom, you spend your life preparing your children for these moments.

You teach, you guide, you fail, you cry, you pray, you rise again. Dear moms, your jobs are crazy hard, but you are changing the world one soul at a time. Stay strong and keep the Faith. It isn’t easy to journey every single day with your heart walking around outside your body.

Respected CHS Shop Teacher Survived Korea and TB

by Priscilla Rall

Michael Massett immigrated from Italy with only a first grade education. He went to work in the coal mines of West Virginia living in Fairmont where he married Catherine Colorusso. Their first child, Dominick, was born in 1928 just as the Great Depression began its grip on our country. This was a time when the miners were striking for better wages and conditions. They were paid in script which was only good at the company store. Dominick went with his father to many of the strikes. Some of the workers became scabs or “yellow dogs” and helped hired thugs armed with rifles to break up the strikes. There were many accidents in the mines, and the Massett family lost several family members in them. In fact, his uncle was killed in one in the 1960’s.  Dominic felt like he was always going to funerals, either for men killed in the mines or for those who died from the effects of the coal dust. Times were tough for the families of the coal miners, and finally Michael was forced to go and ask for “relief.” The government worker there told him, “Go back to Italy and let Mussolini take care of you.” Michael resolved then and there never to ask for any assistance, and the family survived by raising a hog and a large garden. Dominick remembers being called “a hot-headed dago” many times. It was in great part due to the effort of Eleanor Roosevelt that conditions improved in the hills and hollows of West Virginia. Nearby CCC Camps employed many who were struggling to survive. Dominick started work when he was five, delivering newspapers and later at a bowling alley. Every penny he earned he gave to his mother. He also did a lot of hunting and fishing, furnishing the family with carp, suckers, groundhogs, rabbit and squirrel.

Dominick never saw his mother asleep. She was awake when he went to bed and awake when he woke up. First she worked at a restaurant, and then at Westinghouse. Theirs was a typical hardworking immigrant family. When his father finally became an American citizen he told his children, “Now we are Americans. We will no longer speak Italian.”

During WWII, Dominick’s uncle Tony, a medic, was listed as MIA, but he had been captured at the Battle of the Bulge and weighed only 96 lbs. when he was finally freed.  Dominick was determined to join the army, but at only 14, this just wasn’t possible.

At his high school graduation, the school charged $10 in fees to be allowed to cross the stage and receive your diploma. A friend learned that he did not have the necessary money and her father paid his fee allowing his proud parents to see their son graduate high school, the first in their family to do so.

After working a few different jobs, Dominick was drafted on December 7, 1950. Just days after finishing boot camp, his father died from a combination of black lung and heart failure. The Red Cross refused his request for a 10-day compassionate leave, finally giving him only three days. Then he shipped out to Japan and then to Korea, landing at Inchon. First he was assigned to a supply unit, trucking supplies north, then he joined a tank company, eventually becoming tank commander. The only training he had on tanks was from a WWII veteran tanker, “Arkie” (he was from Arkansas) who had served under Patton, but that was enough. Dominick named his tank for his sister, Antoinette. His tank company was detached and was sent to wherever they were most needed…Pusan, Taegu, Seoul, Chosen, the Kumwah Valley in the Iron Triangle and others. At one destroyed village, they found a number of small children huddled in an abandoned school house, most probably orphans. The tankers found five nuns to care and teach them, and would periodically send money to help.

Dominick was called “Biggun” due to his size and strength. Once a young lieutenant in a jeep pulled up to Biggun’s tank and ordered that he remove the small American flag flying from his tank’s antenna. He refused, and finally his captain radioed him to find out what was the hold up. When Biggun told him, the captain said, “Shoot the S.O.B. and pull out.”

Massett often saw wounded evacuated by helicopters to MASH units, tied into baskets on the sides of the chopper. Sgt. Wendell Murphy from Mt. Airy took a ride like that.

Finally, Dominick’s tour was up and he was discharged. He began working for the railroad. But one day, things went terribly wrong. Without any warning, he began bleeding profusely from his mouth and nose. He was eventually diagnosed as having TB, which should have shown up in the x-ray taken before his discharge. He spent two years in VA hospitals, going from 226 lbs. to 167 lbs. Rated as 100 percent disabled, he decided to continue his education, first at Fairmont College and then at WVA University with the goal of helping others in rehabilitation and PT. During this time, he married Janet, and in 1958, he landed a job teaching industrial arts at Thurmont High School. During his time at THS and then Catoctin HS, he worked with Ned Kerns (also a Korean vet), Bill Baker and Carlos Engler (both WWII vets). Dominick built the family a home in Thurmont on Radio Lane and the family increased with five children; Sabrina, Elisa, Myra, Robert and Matthew. Janet worked as a nurse for Dr. Morningstar in Emmitsburg.

Dominick now has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and rarely follows his doctor’s advice to take it easy. After a long life of service to his country and community, he has certainly earned the right to do as he pleases. We in Frederick County, salute you and honor you as a true hometown hero.

Courtesy Photo of Michael Massett