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By K. Diane Bowers, realtor, GRI

J&B Real Estate, Inc.

What is going on with these interest rates? Let’s discuss the impact of the “higher” interest rates on buyers and sellers.

Why Did the FED Increase Interest Rates?   

The FED (Federal Reserve) scheduled interest rate increases in an attempt to battle inflation. In layman’s terms, to try to calm down higher prices. When it comes to real estate, to slow the crazy high appreciation on housing that is caused by very low inventory. When this happens, it’s been a common practice by the FED to increase interest rates in an effort to eventually balance prices and re-ignite a competitive buyer’s market.

What Do I Think of This Strategy?   

I need to preface this by saying that my response is based solely on MY OPINION of what I am experiencing in the current market versus my 20 years of expertise. Based on the competitive market conditions over the last couple of years, things were not sustainable, so increasing rates to slow the market, I support. My biggest issue with this rate increase schedule was the dramatic impact it had on my hard-working buyers in a very short period of time. It was not fair because it hurt those already hurting from high inflation prices on everything else: the working class!

In reality, there are a ton of cash investor buyers in the current market; interest rates have practically no impact on them (some use lines of credit outside the transaction that are short-term impact). Therefore, I am not sure the increased interest rates will have the final resolution the FED expects.

How Has This Impacted Buyers?

I touched on this above, so let me give you an example. I have been working with a young family since January who are looking to buy a small home in Frederick County. They are pre-approved with a lender for roughly $360,000 (depends on taxes, etc.), but have been “outbid” on so many homes due to the low selection of homes available in their specs. Now, on top of getting pushed out of more and more homes due to drastically increasing prices, they are saddled with outrageous increases in their interest rate.

A house in March of this year at $325,000 had a mortgage payment of roughly $1,732 (PITI 3-3.5%); that very same house this summer had a mortgage payment of roughly $2,311 (PITI 5-6%)—that is a $579 monthly difference! I have several buyers that have decided to put their home ownership on hold until the economy cools down. This part makes me very sad. One of the most important reasons I do what I do is for the pride in home ownership. It is hurting the wrong people and is very frustrating for me.

How Has It Impacted Sellers?

It hasn’t had as much of an impact on sellers, but it will very soon.  Sellers will need to be more cautious with their pricing, condition of home, inspections, flexibility, etc. This is not the time to “test the market,” so trust your Realtor! If they recommend $350,000, do not list for a dollar more! Any home listed longer than 30 days gets snubbed by buyers (unfair I know, but it’s true). That home will most likely take a little longer to sell, and they most likely will not get 10-20 offers like their family/friend did six months ago. Sellers may even need to have price reductions. Showings will be fewer. Prior to May, I would prep my sellers to leave Saturday and Sunday due to the overwhelming number of buyers (20-40) scheduled to see their home. There are still plenty of sellers getting multiple offers within the first 24-72 hours on market, but to be quite honest, there sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. We still have limited inventory. Yes, it’s slightly better than it had been, but nowhere near a healthy level. There have been more buyers canceling contracts than ever before, so don’t bank on anything until you are walking away from the settlement company with a check.

Overall, Are They Bad?

Absolutely not! It’s just sticker shock like everything else since the pandemic. Still, it makes me mad to buy something at the store that is now $6.00 that was only $3.00 just two years ago—but, I’m still gonna buy it.

I bought my first house in 1999 at roughly 7% interest rate, which is still a good rate. It is all about perspective. I advise all of my current buyers to plan to refinance in two to three years when the economy and pandemic aftermath have calmed down. There are three more FED meetings scheduled for 2022, with expected rate hikes. Just prepare your budget accordingly. To be honest, what’s the alternative? The rental market is even more outrageous and competitive. Purchasing real estate is always a great investment!

by Buck Reed

What Did The Queen Eat?

If a person eats well and enjoys their meals, one might consider themselves royalty. Although there are many differences between the way you live your life and how the royal family lives theirs, you might look at how Queen Elizabeth II dined at her table and wonder just how different people are.

First of all, we are talking about her regular daily eating habits here. Obviously, state functions are filled with over-the-top food prepared in numerous courses by “artisan” chefs we commoners can only dream of. Yes, I have cooked for Presidents and various governors and even baseball team owners, but nowhere in my mind do I believe I have the skills to prepare or even stand in the kitchen of one of these functions. And although she ate very simply on a daily basis, she still had the same talented people in the kitchen preparing her daily meals.

Anyone who knew the Queen could tell you she enjoyed a cocktail almost daily made with gin. In fact, her various homes in Buckingham Palace and Sandringham House produced their own gins made from ingredients grown in the gardens there. Her two main cocktails were a Gin Martini and Gin and Dubonnet. Maybe that’s why she lived so long.

Queen Elizabeth started each day with Earl Grey Tea which she sipped with milk, no sugar. She is credited with helping keep it the fifth most popular tea in the world and is most certainly associated with being the choice of royalty because of her affection for it. She also enjoyed the tea with a breakfast of toast with marmalade.

Queen Elizabeth also observed the British tradition of Afternoon Tea and enjoyed tea cookies, scones with jam and clotted cream as well as tea sandwiches. Her Majesty’s favorite sandwiches were made with cream cheese and smoked salmon and served with the crust removed. It might be a good time to see if your kids are in line to be the next monarch of the British Empire, Charles III cannot last forever!

A well-known sportswoman most of her life, Queen Elizabeth was fond of venison, wild game birds and other game. She often dined on a hamburger made with venison. For the most part she enjoyed these evening meals with a simple vegetable and almost never had a starch served with her meal. She was not keen on garlic or dishes made with too much onion.

As far as snacks, she carried the same purse with her all the time which was large enough to hold her Penny Jam-style sandwich. This was a simple sandwich made with butter and jam.

At the end of dinner, she never skipped dessert, after all she was Queen. Her favorite dessert was Tea Biscuit Cake which was always available at her table. This was tea biscuits crushed and bound together with a ganache made with eggs and covered with chocolate. The recipe is easy enough if you want to give it a go.

We all marvel at her extraordinary life, taking and serving office since she was 14, her service during WWII (she actually drove a truck for the war effort), serving under, over, or with (I don’t know how it worked) 15 prime ministers and 14 presidents and cannot help but wonder how she kept the whole Royalty phenomenon moving into modern times. But how she lived her everyday life should be made note of as well.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy October! These increasingly cold temperatures call for warm, hearty dishes to satisfy both the body and the soul. Today’s dish will provide just that with its creamy, savory flavors: Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese! A few techniques in this recipe may seem a little strange, but they give an added depth of flavor. Here’s an explanation of a few of them. While it may seem odd to steep the half-n-half with shallot and clove, this step will provide an extra flavorful component to the Béchamel sauce (a cheesy, rich sauce that will coat the noodles). Adding breadcrumbs to the top of the dish provides a deliciously crunchy contrast to the soft and gooey texture of the Mac n’ Cheese. Finally, the recipe involves parboiling the pasta and shocking it. Cooking the pasta until a little bit before al dente will prevent the noodles from being overcooked in the oven. Shocking the pasta (putting the pasta in a strainer that is then placed in an ice bath) will effectively stop the cooking process and allow the noodles to finish cooking in the oven.

Though it seems much harder than cracking open a cardboard box of Kraft, this Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese recipe will be sure to warm your body and satisfy your taste buds with its richness and depth of flavor. Enjoy!

Gourmet Mac N’ Cheese

Ingredients

2 c. pasta (mini shells or penne)

4-6 c. water

Ice water

2 shallots

1 whole clove

2 c. half-and-half (can use regular milk if needed)

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

4 slices American cheese

½ c. cheddar cheese

1 c. gruyere cheese

1 c. fontina cheese

2 c. panko breadcrumbs

Note: reserve a handful of the assorted shredded cheeses for the top

Instructions

Preheat oven to 3500. Start boiling water: bring 4-6 c. water to a boil in a large pot. Be sure to salt the water. Once it has reached boiling point, add pasta and allow to cook for 5 minutes. While it is cooking, prepare an ice bath (fill a large bowl halfway with ice and cold water).

Once the pasta has finished cooking (and pasta still has a slight bite/firmness to it), strain with a colander and place in the ice bath. The pasta should be fully immersed in the water. Add oil to the pasta and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Once time is up, lift the colander from the ice water (making sure all water is drained) and place pasta in a bowl. Oil well.

Prepare the Béchamel sauce: in a medium pot, combine half-and-half, whole clove and shallot. Allow to steep 10 minutes or less on low heat. Can be slightly steamy but should not boil. Once it has steeped, remove the shallot and clove and set aside (you can either drain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, or you can get them out with a spoon).

Start a separate pot with tall sides on medium-low heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Finely mince shallot and add to the pan.

Cook the shallots on medium low heat, making sure they don’t develop any color (about 2-3 minutes). Set shallots aside for later use.

Make the roux: In the same pan, add 2 tbsp. butter and allow to melt. Once melted, add flour and whisk well. Allow roux to cook for about 2 minutes, or until the roux develops a nutty smell. The roux should be bubbly.

Add the shallots back in. If half-and-half is done, add to the roux. Mix well with a metal whisk until roux is well combined with the half-and-half.

Add in cheese: starting with the American cheese, add cheese to the mixture in small portions, mixing well after each addition. Make sure to mix immediately after each addition of cheese so that the cheese doesn’t sink to the bottom and burn.

Once all the cheese is added (the mixture should be quite thick), add pasta to the mixture. Fold in gently. Once the Béchamel sauce has been fully incorporated into the pasta, add to a well-greased casserole dish. Smooth out the top with a spatula.

Add breadcrumbs and reserved handful of cheese to the top evenly. Put in the oven and allow to bake until the breadcrumbs are light brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes (if you’re pressed for time, set the heat to broil and cook for less than a minute, or until the breadcrumbs are browned).

Take out and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Dish and serve.

Dana French

45 Years in the Navy

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Note: Priscilla Rall contributed various materials for the purpose of writing this article.

Dana French of Frederick County served aboard and/or commanded several Navy vessels over the course of the 45 years he served in the United States Navy, from 1955 through 1990.

Raised in Newburyport, Massachusetts, French decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Navy at age 17. After French signed on with the Navy, he qualified to attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), in Bainbridge, Maryland.

French attended the academy as a sailor, and then graduated in 1961 as an ensign. He chose to pursue a career in the naval surface (non-submersible ship) service, as opposed to air or submarine services.

His first shipboard assignment came a month after he graduated, when he was assigned to the destroyer U.S.S. Coontz, which was then sent along with ships accompanying the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger to the Middle East for two seven-month deployments.  French served as the assistant 1st lieutenant in charge of the deck force, then became gunnery assistant at the end of the deployment.

French was then ordered as an executive officer in 1963 to report to the wooden minesweeper U.S.S. Whippoorwill during the Korean war. The minesweepers were wooden while metal alloys were employed wherever necessary—then to keep from triggering magnetic mines. The ships were responsible for cleaning mines from harbors for use by United States’ forces.

In the wake of the Tonkin Gulf incident (which technically triggered the Vietnam War), the minesweepers were sent on a “secret mission” to the Tonkin Gulf to screen a harbor for mines, rocks, and debris that would prevent the proposed port from being used.

In 1965 French was ordered to the U.S.S. Koka, an auxiliary ocean tug as Commander (the first such rank assigned to his academy class).

French said one of the more interesting incidents was when his ship was ordered to tow a “floating bomb” out to sea where it could be detonated to test how far around the world the detonation could be detected via deep sea sound channels. The “floating bomb” actually was a “Liberty” ship, made of concrete.

French was tasked with towing it, along with a second tug, to a desired location for detonation, which “seemed like a simple idea, except the weather turned bad. The weather really turned awful.” As the vessels approached to drop-point, the tow lines gave way, and the “floating bomb” was then loose. French was able to recapture the “Liberty” ship and begin towing it, but the scientists present decided to blow up the ship where they had it, rather than risk further issues trying to tow it to the original designated location.

During 1968, French was again heading back to Vietnam for seven months, this time in command of the guided missile destroyer U.S.S. Robison. He and the Robison became part of an operation deemed “Giant Slingshot,” a plan to ambush Vietcong attempting to cross two parallel rivers, using the cover of night, leading from Cambodia into Vietnam. 

The Robison and other Navy ships under French’s command, joined by several riverine combat ships, were concealed during the day until nightfall, and then to rush the two river crossings and take out as many enemy combatants as they could, then fall back before Vietcong artillery could get a fix on their ships’ locations.

French was subsequently assigned as a weapons officer on the guided missile cruiser U.S.S Leahy in 1970, when the ship was sent off with its sister ship and an aircraft carrier to Gibraltar and then Jordan to counter a Russian move in that area, resulting in a stand-off and the retreat of the Russian ships.

After his services at sea, French had also subsequently developed a number of programs addressing officer leadership and enlisted men and organizational effectiveness. After his retirement from the services, he began a career as a self-employed organization development consultant and trainer, based in Frederick.

For additional information regarding Dana French, visit elementalimpactsolutions.com/dana-french-bio.

Gallstones

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

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that stores bile and is located in your upper right abdomen, below your liver.

Gallstones are hard, pebble-like pieces of material, usually made of cholesterol or bilirubin, that form in your gallbladder. They can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. The gallbladder can make one large gallstone, hundreds of tiny stones, or both small and large stones.

When gallstones block the bile ducts of your biliary tract, the gallstones can cause sudden pain in your upper right abdomen. This pain is a gallbladder attack, or biliary colic.

However, most gallstones do not cause blockages and are painless, called “silent” gallstones.

The two main types of gallstones are cholesterol stones and pigment stones.

Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green in color and are made of mostly hardened cholesterol. In some countries, cholesterol stones make up about 75 percent of gallstones.

Pigment stones are dark in color and are made of bilirubin. Some people have a mix of both kinds of stones.

The Biliary Tract

Your biliary tract, which is made up of your gallbladder and bile ducts, helps with digestion by releasing bile.

The bile ducts of your biliary tract include the hepatic ducts, common bile duct, and cystic duct. Bile ducts also carry waste and digestive juices from the liver and pancreas to the duodenum.

Your liver produces bile, which is mostly made of cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin. Your gallbladder stores the bile until needed. When you eat, your body signals your gallbladder to empty bile into your duodenum to mix with food. The bile ducts carry the bile from your gallbladder to the duodenum.

How Common Are Gallstones?

Gallstones are very common, affecting 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population—almost 25 million people.

Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing gallstones than others.

Women are more likely to develop gallstones than men. Women who have extra estrogen in their body due to pregnancy, hormone-replacement therapy, or birth control pills may be more likely to produce gallstones. As you age, the chance of developing gallstones becomes higher. People with a family history of gallstones have a higher risk.

American Indians have genes that raise the amount of cholesterol in their bile and have the highest rate of gallstones in the United States. Mexican Americans are also at higher risk of developing gallstones.

In addition, people with certain health conditions are more likely to develop gallstones, especially if you have one of the following health conditions: cirrhosis, a condition in which your liver slowly breaks down and stops working due to chronic or long-lasting injury or infections in the bile ducts, which can also be a complication of gallstones; Crohn’s disease; high triglyceride levels; low HDL cholesterol; metabolic syndrome; diabetes and insulin resistance.

Those who are obese or have had fast weight loss, been on a diet high in calories and refined carbohydrates and low in fiber, are also more likely to develop gallstones. 

Symptoms

If gallstones block your bile ducts, bile could build up in your gallbladder, causing a gallbladder attack, sometimes called biliary colic. Gallbladder attacks usually cause pain in your upper right abdomen, sometimes lasting several hours. Gallbladder attacks often follow heavy meals and usually occur in the evening or during the night. If you have had one gallbladder attack, more attacks will likely follow.

Gallbladder attacks usually stop when gallstones move and no longer block the bile ducts. However, if any of your bile ducts stay blocked for more than a few hours, you may develop gallstone complications. Gallstones that do not block your bile ducts do not cause symptoms.

A gallstone attack may cause pain in your abdomen, lasting several hours; nausea and vomiting; fever—even a low-grade fever—or chills; yellowish color of your skin or the whites of your eyes, called jaundice; tea-colored urine, and light-colored stools.

These symptoms can also be signs of a serious infection or inflammation of the liver or pancreas.

Possible Causes & Preventions 

Gallstones may form if bile contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin, or not enough bile salts. Researchers do not fully understand why these changes in bile occur. Gallstones also may form if the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough.

Healthy food choices may lower your chances of developing gallstones.

Experts recommend that you eat more foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and peas, as well as whole grains, including brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread. Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and less sugar. Eat healthy fats, like fish oil and olive oil, to help your gallbladder contract and empty on a regular basis. Avoid unhealthy fats, like those often found in desserts and fried foods. In addition, lose weight safely if you are overweight or obese; try to maintain a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

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

*Sources: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

by James Rada, Jr.

September 1922, 100 Years Ago

Presented Bat

Mr. Russell Rouzer and Dr. E. B. Sefton, of Hagerstown, yesterday presented the Thurmont Baseball Club with a new bat to aid in the defeat of Woodsboro.

By the way! The new bat was broken during the game; Ed and Russell say there will be another to take its place next Saturday.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, September 14, 1922

Cut The Corner Again

Last Sunday evening, a car coming south on the State Road at the northern edge of town came to grief by “cutting the corner”. At the sharp turn on the road at the Lohr homestead the driver crossed to the left side of the road to make the turn to the left. As frequently happens in these times there was another machine on the road, and in order to avoid this unexpected apparition, he was compelled to suddenly “get back where he belonged,” and in doing so struck a culvert and was wrecked. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, September 21, 1922

September 1947, 75 Years Ago

Funeral Rites This Afternoon

Omer J. Dubel, Mayor of Thurmont, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, late Friday evening following an illness of several months, aged 49 years.

He was a son of the late Tyson and Amanda Delauter Dubel, of Myersville. Mr. Dubel was very active in community affairs, having at the time of his death been serving his third term as Mayor of Thurmont and fire chief of the Guardian Hose Co., of which organization he was president for a number of years.

                                          – Frederick News, September 22, 1947

Woman Beaten By Holdup Man At Thurmont

State Police early today were maintaining roadblocks on all principal highways in this area in an effort to apprehend the man who slugged Mrs. George Kline in her place of business near Thurmont shortly after 11 o’clock last night and fled the scene with the cash she was counting when knocked unconscious.

Mrs. Kline remained under a physician’s care at her home as State Police broadcast descriptions of the assailant that the victim was able to supply.

                                     – Frederick News, September 27, 1947

September 1972, 50 Years Ago

St. Joseph College Announces Plans To Lease Campus And Facilities

Plans for the disposition of the St. Joseph College campus property following its closing in the summer of 1973, are proceeding on schedule according to Sister Margaret Dougherty, president of the 163-year-old Emmitsburg college for women.

          …

The college plans to lease the 200-acre campus and its facilities. “Under an ideal set of circumstances, sale of the property may be considered,” Sister Margaret stated, “but at the present time, that option is highly unlikely.”

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, September 7, 1972

Coffee House To Open On Square

A new thing is happening in Emmitsburg. Beginning September 23, a coffee house, the “House of Shalom”, will be co-sponsored by the Emmitsburg Council of Churches and Christianity on the Move. This FREE coffee house will be held in the Senior Citizens Center on the Square for the youth of the area every other Saturday.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, September 21, 1972

September 1997, 25 Years Ago

State Highway Officials Agree To Move Speed Sign

At a public workshop held August 21 at the VFW officials from the State Highway Administration agreed to adjust signs at the intersection of Silo Hill Drive and Route 140 to slow down traffic entering Emmitsburg. They will relocate the 25 mph sign, now located west of the intersection, to a spot east of Silo Hill Drive where drivers will see it soon after crossing the Route 15 overpass.

That decision was made even though the officials don’t think it will work. “People ignore signs and pushing the 25 mph sign out of the overpass will not solve it,” said Robert Fisher, District Engineer for SHA. “They will still come in at 40 mph. You can’t set unrealistic speed limits.”

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, September 1997

Proposed Equestrian Center Focuses on Emmitsburg

Owners of a proposed equestrian center have made inquiries about locating in the Emmitsburg area.

The Emmitsburg site is considered convenient to horse-related activities in Northern Virginia, Central Maryland, and Southern Pennsylvania. Its close proximity to the Gettysburg National Battlefield, ski resorts, and family-oriented recreational areas make Emmitsburg a desirable location.

Bart and Pamela Bartholomew, owners of the Whispering Hollow Equestrian Center, Forest Hills, Md., and the proposed Emmitsburg Equestrian Center see the center as a place that will have “everything a horse person could want and then some.”

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, September 1997

1896 – too much Married

by James Rada, Jr.

Sigmund Freud once said, “If you want your wife to listen to you, then talk to another woman; she will be all ears.”

If that’s true, just imagine how attentive Phoebe Stouffer was in 1896 when she saw her husband talking to his other wife, Mary Stouffer. Actually, it was just as much a surprise to Aaron D. Stouffer of Smithsburg to find out he was married to two women.

Stouffer had first married Mary A. McPherson of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on October 9, 1877. Rev. Jacob Ohler performed the ceremony. The couple lived near Smithsburg for a year before they separated.

Mary then married Aaron Speake of Smithsburg in 1880. Two years later, “she executed before Justice Oswald an instrument in writing purporting to be a contract of divorcement from her husband,” according to the Emmitsburg Chronicle.

Whatever Mary had, it was not an act of divorcement. However, Stouffer believed this meant he was divorced. The following year, he married Phoebe Hovis in Waynesboro. Rev. F. F. Bahner performed the ceremony.

Stouffer and Phoebe were happy together, even more so as their family grew.

“For thirteen years Stouffer believed he was divorced from his wife,” the Chronicle reported. “Someone told him he was not and that he was guilty of bigamy, a penitentiary offense.”

Aaron was so overcome with guilt and worry about his situation that he went into State’s Attorney Charles D. Wagaman’s office in Hagerstown and “accused himself of bigamy and saying he was ready to go to jail,” according to the Chronicle.

He wept while he explained to Wagaman what had happened. His first wife, Mary, was still alive and not legally divorced from him. Wagaman believed Stouffer was sincere and offered clemency. That state’s attorney even filed a bill in the Court of Equity on Stouffer’s behalf for a divorce.

The Maryland Legislature granted equity courts jurisdiction to hear divorce applications in 1842. Before that, it required an act of the legislature to divorce. Wagaman may have used a combination of adultery and abandonment as the grounds to get the divorce approved. However, this was not the most common reason for a divorce at the time, according to Georgetown University Law Library. “Divorces from bed and board, under which the couple was still legally married, were granted for cruelty or desertion. Most petitions were for divorce from bed and board, perhaps because cruelty and desertion were the most common complaints.”

Once granted, it required that all parties involved would have to remarry and, hopefully, live happily ever after.

By elle smith, realtor

J&B Real Estate, Inc.

Wow! Can you believe summer is almost over? In the real estate world, we are preparing for our fall season. A lot of people think spring is the selling season, but, traditionally, fall is also a busy time of year in real estate. It’s also a good time to plan for winter projects. This month, I want to focus on what type of repairs and home improvements bring the most return on your investment.

Per the National Association of Realtors Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report, millennials make up the largest share of buyers today and are looking for move-in condition properties. They want to avoid the expense of significant repairs. To appeal to the most buyers, there are some specific home improvement projects and repair projects that will give you the highest return and will increase your home’s value.

Focus on your curb appeal. Make sure your siding is in good condition. Power wash your sidewalk, porches, decks, siding, and windows. Make it shine. Spruce up your landscaping, trim bushes, weed, mulch, and mow and edge your lawn. Replacing siding, garage doors, windows, and exterior doors provides the greatest return on investment, per Remodeling Magazine.

Everyone knows the kitchen is the heart of the home. The kitchen is also what sells a house. If a complete remodel of your kitchen is not in the budget, there are some cost-effective things you can do. Replace old faucets and fixtures. Make sure all drawer pulls and cabinet hardware match. Upgrade the lighting fixtures. Paint the cabinets a light color to make the space feel larger. Replace or refinish the flooring to make it shine. And never underestimate how much a fresh coat of paint can improve any room—remember to patch and sand any drywall damage or nail holes prior to painting. 

Along with kitchens, improving or upgrading your bathrooms is a great investment. If adding a bathroom or a complete bathroom remodel is not in the cards, focus on the same things as the kitchen. A fresh coat of paint, some new fixtures, and even a new vanity are inexpensive items that have a huge return. If you can, upgrade the flooring with luxury vinyl plank or ceramic tile. You can never go wrong with upgrading or improving kitchens and bathrooms.

A few other areas that add value and have a good return on the investment are new flooring; luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is popular, but hardwood never goes out of style. Adding decks or patios is always a good addition. Upgrade your lighting fixtures throughout your home. Fresh paint is always a good idea.

Finally, there are things you can do that cost nothing but will help your home sell better. Declutter and organize as much as you can, steam clean the carpets, clean the windows on the inside and out, replace broken blinds or screens, and update curtains and blinds. It’s never too early to get your home sale ready.

The market is changing. There are 25 properties for sale in the Catoctin High feeder district. There are 14 properties in the Walkersville High feeder district. Per the BRIGHT multiple listing service, days on market has increased to 11 days. Frederick County has 712 new listings in June versus 642 in May.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a property in Maryland or Pennsylvania, please give me a call.

by Ana Morlier

Natural Crafts

Happy autumn, readers. As we settle into this cozy month of natural beauty, let’s make the most of what we have! Rather than visiting expensive craft stores, you can simply use surrounding flora and fauna to make stunning accents to your home. All projects here are family-friendly, so grab your kids for some decorative fun. Here are my top favorite (and relatively easy to make) natural crafts!

Pinecone Rose Bouquet

You’ll need: pinecones; twigs (sturdy enough to hold the weight of one pinecone on top of it); paint; hot glue gun and glue; newspaper/spare paper (to be used as a protective surface when painting the pinecones).

Before painting, ensure excess seeds are removed by blowing on the pinecone. A hair dryer can be used for any particularly stubborn seeds, and it’s not a big deal if there are some present when you paint. A flat paintbrush will be the most helpful to cover more surface area and any nooks and crannies that are easy to miss. Since you’ll be working with an outdoor object, try to use an older paintbrush, as the pinecone will wear out some of the bristles of any kind of brush. Cut the twigs as long as you need to fit the vase, 7-9 inches works best for most vases. You can paint the twigs green or keep them the same color. Once all paint has dried, hot glue one end of the twig to the base of the pinecone. Repeat to make a bouquet.  Deposit in a vase and enjoy! (Visit Creative Green Living for visual reference.)

Leaf Lanterns

You’ll need: leaves; parchment paper; base: cardstock box, the bottom half of a soda bottle, the bottom half of a milk jug, or any other base; glue (preferably liquid, like Elmers); tealight candle.

Collect leaves that will fit your jug, and rinse and dry before using. Dry the leaves by putting them between sheets of newspaper for better absorption. Try to compress the papers together by placing books on top of the papers for at least an hour. Once dried and compressed, staple or hot-glue the parchment pieces to the exterior of your cardstock box. Cut out two sheets of parchment paper that will wrap around and fit your base. Cover one sheet in glue dots. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as the leaves you’ve collected will securely hold to the adhesive. Place as many leaves as you’d like on the glued sheet. Try to make sure they don’t overlap, as it is more aesthetically pleasing and lets more light through. Add a thin layer of glue dots to the top of the leaves or other areas that are lacking adhesive. Then place the second parchment sheet on top. Flatten the whole sheet with books and let dry overnight. Once dried, wrap and hot glue the leaf parchment sheet to the base you chose. Place tealight inside the base and voila! You have yourself a beautifully-themed lantern. (Visit Kids Craft Room for visual reference.)

Maple Seed Dragonflies

You’ll need: maple seed wings: helicopter-like seeds; small twigs (3-5 inches); paint; paint brushes; hot glue gun.

Make sure maple seeds are dry before painting. You can stick with a solid color paint scheme for the wings. Or for a realistic, stunning effect, go with a multicolored color scheme (ex. Light blue, purple, navy). Paint on newspaper or parchment paper to avoid any paint spills. Let dry, then select two pairs of maple seed wings. If the seed pods have split in two, simply hot-glue them back together. Place a glue dot on the twig’s upper part, leaving enough room for the second set of wings (that will be glued under and above this first set) and a head. Let dry. Place a new glue dot on the back of the glued-on wings, connecting it with the twig (the wings will overlap slightly). And your craft is finished! You can glue them on planters, place them in your plants, suspend them as a mobile with a fishing line, string, or twine, or glue them together on cardstock and hang them on the wall. (Visit Church Street Designs for visual reference.)

I hope you attempt and enjoy these crafts! They provide the perfect opportunity to spend time with family, making unique, autumnal crafts. Enjoy some nice cider in the presence of your romantic, homemade lantern, or brag about your everlasting bouquet. Celebrate fall in all its glory with those you love!

Want to re-read any of my old articles? Visit https://crazyplantladybanner.weebly.com/ for archived articles or to suggest topics for me to write about.

by Buck Reed

Raw Fish

Nearly every culture that eats seafood lays claim to a fish dish that is not put to a traditional cooking method that involves the use of heat. Many of these dishes are embedded into the culture and were perfected centuries ago, so certainly, with so much practice, there are rules and customs involved in their preparation. Unless you want to put some study and practice into a dish, it might be better to leave these dishes to the experts.

Here is a list of dishes that are served raw or cured for your consideration:

Sushi Sushi — Sushi is one of the more popular and well-known dishes that can contain raw fish. It’s often served on or wrapped in a special rice from Japan and seaweed.

Sashimi — Also from Japan, this dish can be considered deconstructed sushi.

Ceviche — This is a raw fresh fish dish from Peru that is marinated in citrus juice, usually lime, and served with onions, aji peppers, and coriander or cilantro. The lime juice actually cures the fish, rendering it safe to eat.

Crudo — This Italian dish is raw fish dressed with olive oil, salt, and whole pieces of citrus fruit. This is a refreshing dish, usually served as a starter or appetizer and is well known for being light and palate-cleansing.

Gravlax — This Nordic dish is made by curing salmon with salt, sugar, and dill. It is then sliced very thin and served with a mustard and dill sauce with bread as an appetizer.

Poke — This Hawaiian salad is made with raw fish, traditionally made with Skipjack tuna or octopus. Although it went through many changes over time, it is now served as an appetizer or meal, dressed with green onions, soy sauce, seaweed, and sesame oil. It can also be found on the menu with a variety of elaborate sauces and dressings.

Koi Pla — This salad from Thailand has finely chopped or minced fish, finished in a spicy sauce. This dish is very popular in Thai culture but is considered very dangerous for its transmission of pathogens.

 Obviously, there are some precautions that must be observed when considering ordering and consuming raw fish. People with compromised immune systems should take this into consideration when eating raw or undercooked foods, in general. Pregnancy is another issue in this undertaking. Also consider the establishment that is preparing the dish for you. Assuming they know what they are doing, could be a mistake (think gas station sushi or a McCrudo Happy Meal)!

But do not let this deter you from taking a leap of faith and trying something you thought was exotic and new. These dishes have been around for long enough that anyone who claims to know what they are doing probably does.

Did you like this article? Do you have a favorite raw fish dish or an idea for an article? If so, tell me about it at RGuyInTheKitchen@aol.com.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy September! Fall is a wonderful season. High summer temperatures have abated, the harvest provides a plethora of delicious vegetables, and the changing leaves render the mountains covered in beautiful hues of amber, gold, and scarlet. Today’s dish incorporates the fruits of the harvest, elements of color, and delicious flavor all in one place: frittatas! An Italian take on the traditional omelette, the frittata is a baked egg dish that (similar to an omelette) can have a multitude of fillings. However, the frittata is different from the basic omelette. It is much thicker (at least 1-2 inches thick) and requires a different cooking process (the egg is poured onto the filling, mixed, and agitated/slightly scrambled to develop texture, then finished in the oven). Sounds hard? The frittata is much easier to make than a french-style omelette, thanks to its thickness (no folding needed!). Once done, simply cut and serve. Enjoy this flavorful frittata!

Herby Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

6 large eggs

6 leaves of fresh basil

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

½ lb. yellow squash

½ lb. zucchini

6 oz. red bell peppers

4 oz. cremini mushrooms

½ c. green onion

3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Preheat broiler. Wash vegetables; measure out spices, oil, and cheese (respectively). Set aside.

Chiffonade-cut the basil: on a cutting board, place leaves of basil on top of one another. Once stacked, roll the bottom of the leaves to the top (making a small roll). Make thin, vertical slices on the log (should result in thin strips of basil). Set aside.

Roughly chop the parsley. Set aside

Cut the pepper: Cut out the top of the pepper, remove stem and seeds; cut the pepper into four sections. Stack the sections on top of each other and cut vertical, thin strips from the stack.

Cut the zucchini and squash: Cut the stem from the squash; cut in half lengthwise down the middle. Place the flat side of one half on the cutting board; cut thin pieces from the half (creating thin half circles). Repeat with the remaining squash; repeat the process with zucchini. Set aside.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables: peel and mince the garlic; thinly slice the green onion; thinly slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

Heat pan on medium heat. In a bowl, beat together eggs, basil, parsley, salt and pepper; put in the refrigerator for later use.

Cook the vegetables: pour oil in the pan and swirl to coat. Put squash, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and green onions in the pan; toss to coat in oil and let cook (making sure the vegetables are evenly distributed across the pan). Let cook until tender, about 4-8 minutes.

Stir in garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.

Pour egg mixture into the pan; mix with vegetables and gently agitate the eggs (scraping the sides of the pan and the middle for about a minute. Let cook 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are firm (but wet).

Evenly sprinkle goat cheese on top (making sure the entire surface is covered) and place in the oven (making sure the pan is 5-7 inches away from the broiler). Let cook until golden brown and firm throughout (about a minute).

Take out and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut and serve.

Tools Needed

Dry measuring utensils, several knives, several cutting boards, small bowls (for holding cut vegetables), medium bowl, medium oven-proof pan, spatula, knife, plate (for serving)

*With credit to The American Egg Board’s Vegetable Frittata Recipe on incredibleegg.org.

by Maxine Troxell

I think I have all of the recipe books containing the Pillsbury Bake-Off winners. This Oats and Honey Granola pie was one I made one year for the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show and won 1st prize.  This pie was a winner in the 2004 Pillsbury Bake-Off.  It’s fairly easy to make. You should try to make it for the upcoming Community Show!

Oats & Honey Granola Pie

Ingredients

½ cup butter

¾ cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate baking chips

1½ cups packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup quick cooking or old-fashioned oats

4 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches from 8.9 oz. box)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pie crust in 9 inch pie plate.

In a large microwavable bowl, microwave butter on high 50-60 seconds until melted. 

Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended.  Beat in salt, vanilla, and eggs. 

Stir crushed granola bars, walnuts, oats and baking chips into       brown sugar mixture.  Pour into crust-lined pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. 

During the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. 

Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Lehman & the U.S.S. Barb

The Sub That “Sunk” a Train

The World War II submarine U.S.S. Barb (also known by its naval designation SS-220), was said to have compiled “one of the most outstanding records of any U.S. submarine in the war,” sinking more than 96,600 tons of Japanese ships—a total of 17 Japanese ships, including an aircraft carrier.

Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Eugene “Lucky” Fluckey, the Barb’s commander earned the Navy Cross and Medal of Honor, and the ship and its crew were awarded four Presidential Unit Citations and a Navy Unit Commendation with eight battle stars.

The late John Lehman, born in Reed (near Hagerstown), ultimately became a resident of Frederick.

Lehman joined the Navy in the wake of the Korean War as a trained radio operator, having attended the Bliss Electrical School in Tacoma Park. He joined the Navy before he could be drafted into the Army, wherein he received additional training, notably in the field of radar.

He was subsequently sent to London, Connecticut, to attend classes on submarine-specific radar.

Following the completion of his education in Connecticut, he returned to Mare Island, California, where he was assigned to the crew of the U.S.S. Barb.

Initially, the Barb was dispatched to the North Atlantic under Captain John Waterman, where the submarine sank only a single German ship.  The Barb was then assigned to Pearl Harbor, where Fluckey assumed command.

With Lehman manning the radar, the Barb sank four Japanese ships, including an aircraft carrier in the East China Sea, off the coast of China, before making its way up to a Japanese-occupied port on the China coast, where the crew of the Barb took on a Japanese sitting duck convoy of 30 anchored ships.  About that raid, Lehman stated, “(sneaking into the harbor) was the easy part… Getting out of the harbor safely into open water was the tricky part,” adding that upon escape, the submarine was forced to remain on the surface in order to safely negotiate mines and rocks.

For this daring assault alone, Fluckey was awarded the Medal of Honor, and the crew of the Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation.

The Barb also participated in a rescue operation when an unmarked Japanese ship—designated the “Hell ship”—transporting Australian and British prisoners of war was tragically sunk. The crew of the submarine rescued 14 of the POWs.

But one of the Barb’s more notorious ventures began on July 19, 1945, when the ship sailed close to the Japanese shoreline, and the crew noted a railroad that had been constructed with the apparent intent that it be used for transporting military supplies. The submarine sat idle for several days to allow the crew to observe the arrival and departure of the supply trains.

Then on July 23, the submarine closed in on the shoreline, followed by eight of the ship’s crew, launching themselves in a small boat to gain access to the beach. According to warhistory.com, the team then crawled through high grass, across a highway and a ditch, and then began to lay pressure-sensitive explosives along the train tracks.  Lehman said he tried to volunteer for the mission, but the commander was not about to send his primary radar operator into the attack.

In a little over an hour, after the assault team was back on board the sub, a supply train triggered the explosives and blew up, and the rest is history. The attack became the only ground combat assault carried out upon Japanese soil in the war, and the Barb became the only submarine with the image of a train sewn onto their battle flag.

Fluckey described Lehman as one of the best radar men with whom he had ever sailed, citing Lehman several times in the lieutenant commander’s book, Thunder Below.

Lehman passed away in Frederick in 2021, the last surviving crew member of the Barb under Fluckey’s command.

As to the fate of the U.S.S. Barb, it was decommissioned and loaned to the Italian Navy, who renamed it the Enrico Tazzoli. Still in Italian hands, the ship was sold in 1972 for scrap for $100,000, according to warhistory.com.

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

Are You Taking Care of Your Lymphatic System?

Your lymphatic system is crucial for your immune system and for protecting you from inflammation and illness. If your lymphatic system is congested, it cannot protect you as effectively and can make you prone to infections and disease. Keeping your lymphatic flow smooth and free from lymph congestion can be critical to your health.

What Does Your Lymph System Do For You?

Your lymph system is a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes working together to carry fluids from your tissues to your blood and vice versa. It is your body’s inner drainage system.

You can find lymph nodes in your throat, groin, armpits, chest and abdomen.

Besides your lymph vessels and nodes, your lymph system includes several organs such as your tonsils, spleen, thymus, and adenoids.

All of these play a critical role in fighting infection, recovering from illness, and healing wounds. They recognize harmful organisms and trigger the creation of infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Your lymph system also helps to keep bodily fluids in balance and takes care of fluid buildup or swelling due to injury or health issues.

Ways Your Lymph System Can Become Congested

Being under a lot of stress can lead to lymph congestion. When you are under stress, your body creates stress-fighting hormones, which result in free radical waste products that can lead to a variety of health problems.

Chronic illness may lead to lymph congestion, because when your body is fighting microbes, your body is creating more white blood cells to fight them and may fill up your lymph nodes, backing up the system, and creating swelling.

Another reason for lymph congestion is digestive imbalance. Digestive imbalances may irritate the intestinal villi causing lymph congestion because a majority of your lymphatic system surrounds your gut.

Not drinking enough water and lacking physical activity can result in your lymph fluid slowing down. Your lymph system relies on pressure from muscle movement and breathing to move fluids around. A sedentary lifestyle or chronic dehydration may slow and congest your lymph system.

In addition, nutrient deficiencies may lead to lymph congestion as well. Iodine, magnesium and vitamin C are all important to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental toxins and to support your lymph system in protecting your body.

Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System

Exercising daily may be one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the health of your lymphatic system. Whether you are lifting weights at the gym, dancing around your home with your kids, or going for a jog with the dog you are encouraging the health of your lymphatic system and improving immune function.

Another excellent way to purify the lymphatic system is through the practice of rebounding. Rebounding is a low impact exercise, which involves jumping on a trampoline. It promotes the flow of lymph through the body and is believed to increase the drainage of toxins from organs and muscle tissue.

Use Stress Reduction Techniques to encourage the flow of lymph through your body. Some of these techniques may involve yoga, Pilates, deep breathing exercises, stretching, and maintaining good posture. These practices relieve congestion and stimulate the circulation and detoxification of lymph through the body.

When lymph becomes stagnant in extremities, a buildup of pathogenic substances, inflammatory markers and cellular debris can wreak havoc on the immune response leading to a decline in health.

These stress reduction techniques encourage the contraction and relaxation of muscle, which push debris out of organs, and decreases the likelihood of debris buildup and becoming stagnant. A simple stretch upon waking up is an easy way to initiate the circulation of lymph fluid throughout your body.

The rib cage is a major lymphatic pump in our bodies, which is essential for increasing lymphatic flow. So take in deep breaths throughout the day if possible.

One key mechanism by which our bodies remove toxins is through perspiration. That can be through exercise or using an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas offer a non-invasive form of light therapy, which heats internal muscles and organs thereby pushing toxins into circulation for their removal from the body.

The Ayurvedic practice of dry brushing boosts circulation and therefore boosts lymph flow and detoxification. Dry brushing helps to remove dead skin cells and toxic waste as well as stimulate sweat glands by opening pores and promoting underlying lymphatic circulation.

This practice is as simple as using a coarse bristle brush and moving the brush along the skin towards the heart.

Consuming a diet of anti-inflammatory foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, helps to hydrate the body and promote an alkaline environment.

Some of the best foods that detoxify the lymphatic system are red fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, cranberries, beets, cherries and raspberries. These foods boost lymphatic function and help thin bile, which is a major component to the regulation of the immune response in the gut. Consuming a diet rich in omega-3s is also critical to fighting inflammation and fighting infectious agents. 

Hydration is key to the proper function of the lymphatic system as it is primarily made up of about 95% water. Sipping on lemon water is a great detoxification strategy because it not only hydrates the body but it also encourages an alkaline environment.

Your clothes may be restricting lymphatic vessels, which may hinder the adequate flow of lymph fluid, so choose your attire appropriately.  Try not to wear tight-fitting undergarments which can cause the inability for fluid to be drained from the breast, arms and chest into surrounding lymph nodes. It is also recommended to never wear tight-fitting clothes while sleeping.

Getting a massage can also help. Connective tissue massages such as shiatsu massage can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. Therapeutic self-massage treatments can be found online and offer techniques for increasing the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body.

Patients who suffer from the most common lymphatic disease known as lymphedema can benefit from a type of massage called the Manual Lymph Drainage technique performed by specialized practitioners.

Chiropractic care may also help remove anatomical disruptions, which block the flow of lymph fluid. Chiropractic care assists to remove these obstructions and relieve tension from the lymphatic vessels stimulating detoxification.

Lymph congestion can affect your entire body. Symptoms of lymph congestion may include fatigue, stiffness, muscle and joint pain, bloating, holding onto water, breast swelling during your cycle, itchy and dry skin, brain fog, headaches, weight gain, swollen glands, cold hands and feet, chronic sinusitis, colds, sore throats, or ear issues, skin problems and cellulite.

So using some of the above techniques can be a good way to help the lymph system stay decongested.

Your lymphatic system is essential for your immune system and for protecting you from inflammation and illness. Keeping your lymphatic flow smooth and free from lymph congestion can be crucial to your health and well-being.

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.

Teachers and students are beginning a new school year. Every parent sending their children off to school may ask about the best way they can reassure a healthy and successful year for them.

Starting the day with a nutritious breakfast can provide a great start. The brain needs fuel to think, and the body has functions that require nourishment. Studies show that students who eat a healthy breakfast before school have improved concentration, better test scores, increased energy, improved comprehension and memory, and healthier body weight.

Try preparing food for breakfast the night before. Have an idea of what you’re planning on eating each day during the week. It’s amazing how this small tip may eliminate the chaos and rushing of a school day. If oatmeal is your breakfast choice, measure the ingredients and set out the utensils and the toppings the night before. A favorite breakfast drink, green tea, can be ready quickly, using the individual packets. It gives you a natural, energized lift to start the day. Some other make-ahead ideas to prepare the night before are breakfast bowls, protein mini-pancake bites, fruit and yogurt parfaits, peanut butter and cereal breakfast bites, and freezer-friendly breakfast quesadillas.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is an abundance of quick and easy ideas to serve for breakfast. Try searching “Quick Breakfast Ideas” online. Even I am finding some new and easy breakfast meals to prepare.

Building a healthy and successful school year requires renewed attention to important routines, such as starting off the school day with a healthy breakfast. This is an important, healthy routine that can be shared by both students and parents. Kick-start your brain and your body each morning by making breakfast a priority!

Trees & Other Things

by Valerie Nusbaum

It’s mid-summer, and since we had a rather wet spring season, things around here have been growing like mad. Randy and I like to have our mature trees pruned every couple of years for safety reasons, and since neither of us likes heights or is much of a climber, we hire a tree service to do the job for us. We use a licensed, reliable local service and have been very pleased with the work we’ve had done over the years.

The other evening, Mike, the owner of the tree service, stopped by to take a look at the work we wanted to be done so that he could give us an estimate.

Randy walked Mike through our yard and talked with him about the various stuff growing here. Mike pointed to the English walnut tree beside our house and commented that it looks very healthy, surprisingly so since those trees don’t always do well in our area. Randy mentioned that the tree had come to us in a tiny flower pot from my dad many years ago. Randy expressed his disappointment that the tree has never borne nuts. We weren’t sure if we need a second tree in order for the two to cross-pollinate, or if the army of squirrels and the bevy of birds living with us have been pilfering and plundering.

Mike laughed and said that it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever see walnuts on that tree since it’s a white ash. Well!

That reminds me of my mother-in-law, Mary, who had a way with all plants, vegetables, and flowers. Hers were always taller, bigger, and stronger than anyone else’s. Her gardens were prolific, so she was constantly digging up things and toting the plants up here for me to plant and, ultimately, kill. Mary handed me several green, leafy, kind of stinky things and pronounced that she was gifting me with mint plants.

I dutifully planted those things in my herb garden and around our deck because I’d read that mint repels mosquitoes and other insects, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t kill the stuff. I will say this about that: the “mint” may have repelled insects, but it sure did attract cats.  It finally dawned on me that the mint was actually catnip the day I found the neighbor’s cat passed out on my garden bench from over-indulging. My mother still laughs about the day Ol’ Jasper got up off the bench and staggered home, high as a kite.

Moving on from plant material, here’s a moral dilemma for you:  You go to a fast food restaurant drive-thru and order food and drinks. After you pay, your order gets passed to you through the pickup window in a bag, so chances are you give it a cursory look-see to make sure it’s all there and then you go on home. Once you get home and start to divvy up your takeout, you discover that the restaurant has given you six chicken nuggets instead of the four you ordered. What do you do?

Do you let it be? You’ve likely been to that same restaurant and gotten home to find that something was missing from your order. It all balances out in the end.

Do you drive back to the restaurant to pay for the extra pieces? It’s several miles from your home, and your food is getting cold.

Do you, the next time you go to the restaurant, tell the person at the drive-thru that you got extras last time and offer to pay the difference?

The way in which you would handle that situation says a lot about you, your morals, and your character. I’m just messing with you. The nuggets weren’t for me, and I had no idea how many were actually in the box until Mom told me later that she’d put three of them away because six were too many. What?  She’s 90 years old, and if she wants a chocolate milkshake and chicken nuggets for lunch, she can have it.

Randy and I ran into a former classmate of his one day while we were in Dollar Tree. Shirley, let me assure you that Randy is mostly clueless when it comes to recognizing people. It wasn’t you.  Now, I’m pretty sure that you and I have met before, maybe in that same store, and maybe more than once.  I remember having a conversation with you in the past. I don’t always recognize faces, particularly these days when we’re wearing masks half the time. And, my nouns tend to escape me, so I’m not great with names either. But, other things do trigger memories. 

As I told poor Shirley after she’d introduced herself to my oblivious hubby, he tends to think every actress with dark hair is Sandra Bullock, who, by the way, is his hall pass.

Whatever Randy’s shortcomings, he is a good guy. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m very lucky to have him. He usually recognizes me when he sees me, and he doesn’t care that I have a whole list of hall passes. He knows I wouldn’t follow through, even if Justin Hartley gave me the go-ahead, which he wouldn’t. I’m not so sure about Sandra Bullock, though. She might be smart enough to know a good thing when she sees one.

Maybe I should tear up Randy’s pass.

by James Rada, Jr.

August 1922, 100 Years Ago

Want Bank At Summit

A movement to start a bank at Blue Ridge Summit near the Frederick and Washington county line has been launched by certain business men of the vicinity, including a number of Baltimoreans who have homes at the resort during the summer, and a meeting for the purpose of starting the preliminary organization was held Friday evening. Dr. Stanley, of Baltimore presided over the meeting and explained the project.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 31, 1922

“Booze Powders” Declared Frauds

Home brewers and anti-Volsteadeans, beware the “booze powder”, is the warning sent broadcast by the Post Office Department in a recent circular. For stemming a tide-of “dehydrated” alcoholic beverages of reminiscent names is a steady job of the fraud section of the department.

Using the reputation of German chemists certain German concerns have distributed hundreds of thousands of circulars in the United States, offering for “one dollar only, Rhine wine, Moselle, Sherry, Port, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tokay, Munich beer, Pilsner, Porter ale, etc.,” in a dried form say the Post Office Department. From the powder a gallon or two of the beverages indicated on the package can be made, the spurious circulars claim.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 31, 1922

August 1947, 75 Years Ago

Family Reunion Is Held At Mt. Tabor

On July 27 the Conrad Smith reunion was held at Mt. Tabor Park, Rocky Ridge, for the second annual meet since 1940, which recessed due to war conditions at that time. There were 138 members present.”

                                          – Frederick News, August 5, 1947

Many Jobs Of Roads Board Under Way

Federal aid construction jobs are progressing rapidly and L. R. Waesche and Son have completed the LeGore-Rocky Ridge road while the M. J. Grove Company is making rapid progress on paving the road that will connect Johnsville with New Midway.

                                     – Frederick News, August 29, 1947

August 1972, 50 Years Ago

Mount Saint Mary’s Readies For Coed Opening; Has Record Enrollment

Mount Saint Mary’s College, with 128 women comprising a large segment of a record enrollment, will begin its first year as a coed college next week.

According to Registrar Guy A. Baker, Jr., over 1,200 students are expected to register for the 1972-73 academic year, surpassing last year’s all-time high of 1150. Of this total, 98 women will be living on campus, making this the first resident coed enrollment in the Mount’s 165 year history.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 24, 1972

Lions Discuss Town Mail Delivery

The Emmitsburg Lions Club held its regular meeting Monday, August 14, with Acting President Norman Flax presiding. The club discussed the feasibility requesting door to door mail service in Emmitsburg. It was pointed out that such service is dependent upon having sidewalks throughout the town and correct house numbers.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 24, 1972

August 1997, 25 Years Ago

Garden Club Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The Silver Fancy Garden Club celebrated 40 years of membership in the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland with a luncheon on July 17 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Taneytown.

The club, whose members are from the Emmitsburg-Taneytown area, was organized in 1954 and federated July 18, 1957. Today it has 20 active members, six associate members, and two honorary members.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, August 1997

Dot Davis and The Palms Reunited

The Palms Restaurant recently welcomed the return of co-owner Dot Davis to its busy kitchen. Ms. Davis, a well known resident of Emmitsburg, stated she is happy to be involved again in the day-to-day operations of the business. The restaurant has been in existence for thirty-five years, making it a landmark of the downtown area. The Davis family has maintained ownership in the restaurant since 1962.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, August 1997

1921        Thurmont School’s First 7th Grade Graduation Ceremony

In 1921, the Thurmont community had two school graduations: one for the high school students and one for the grade school students.

“For the first time in the history of our schools, a Seventh Grade public commencement will be held in Town Hall, this place,” the Catoctin Clarion reported at the beginning of June 1921.

The high school and grade school were both in the same building on East Main Street, but they taught different curricula. The two operations had originally merged into a consolidated school in 1910; but after a severe windstorm damaged the building in 1914, a new school was constructed on 1916.

By 1921, the staff had decided that the grade-school students deserved a ceremony to mark them moving from grade school to high school. The first grade school commencement was held on June 4 at 8:00 p.m.

Although primarily for Thurmont students, students from other schools were allowed to take part. The seventh graders graduating included 31 students from Thurmont, 4 from Sabillasville School, 3 from Grove Academy, 3 from Foxville School, and 2 from Catoctin Furnace School.

The program was under the direction of L. D. Crawford, a teacher at the Thurmont School.

“Mr. Crawford is a teacher loved by every student who enters his classroom and is one who gets results in whatever he undertakes,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

All the students sang “Sailing” as the opening song for the ceremony. This was followed by student Isabel Shaffer welcoming everyone. Mary Roddy then shared the class vision, and Virginia White explained the reason the class chose green and white to represent it. The student chorus then sang “Over the Summer Sea.” Ethel Creager presented the class motto: “To thine own self be true,” and Nellie Bowers explained why the daisy was the class flower. Gladys Creager then read the class poem, “The Night Brings Out the Stars.”

Isabel Shaffer played an instrumental solo. Kathleen Weddle, Maude Spalding, Dorothy Weller, Updike Cady, Earle Lawyer, Russell Young, Ruth Eyler, and Lillian Baxter performed a playlet titled, “Under Sealed Orders. All the students then sang “Merrily, Merrily Sing.”

Professor Elmer Hoke, head of the Department of Education, Hood College, addressed the class. The diplomas were then presented to the seventh graders.

Class President Edward Foreman and Professor R. X. Day then spoke to the class. Finally, the students sang “Dixieland” and Gertrude Creager gave the valedictory address.

“To use the slang, we believe the crowd was ‘tickled to death’ with this seventh grade class and the program rendered by them,” the Catoctin Clarion reported afterward.

Thurmont High School under construction in 1915.

Photo Courtesy of Thurmontimages.com

“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier

Unforgettable Garden Getaways

Happy summer, readers! Summer is quickly waning, and for many others like me, only two weeks of sweet summer freedom are left. If you’re like me, then you’ve been anxiously pondering how to make the most of the rest of your summer. I realized that vacations don’t always have to be far-flung tropical destinations with sandy shores or rustic mountainscapes. The same relaxation or thrill of a new place can be found closer than you think, and without the stress and extra cash needed to travel far. Today’s article is a roundup of my favorite garden vacation spots that can be enjoyed in a day! Each one promises adventure and enjoyment for all through a myriad of unique attractions (depending on the garden). Give yourself some clarity and fun through the haze of back-to-school shopping and scheduling by treating yourself to a trip to one (or all!) of these four family-friendly gardens.

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA

Though the trip can be a bit long (about 2-3 hours), the destination is worth the journey. The gardens feature a wide variety of attractions. The extensive conservatory hosts a variety of tropical plants that burst into colorful life in immersive landscapes. Parallel to the conservatory, large water fountains provide a spectacle to watch, especially during nighttime shows that see the fountains awash in light and synchronized to music. Longwood is also home to vast wildflower fields, natural treehouses (that are sure to delight children and kids-at-heart), topiaries, seasonal landscapes, a museum-house, and even live music. And that’s only naming a few features of this immense garden! Don’t worry about packing a lunch. Longwood offers a variety of delicious food, from wood-fired pizza and gourmet seasonal dishes at the cafe to high-brow cuisine at the 1984 restaurant. Want to do an adult night on the town? Longwood also features a beautiful beer garden, brimming with fine spirits and beautiful plants. There is truly something fun for everyone to enjoy. Tickets are a little pricey: general admission is $25.00, but the gardens are sprawling and endless, a perfect place to enjoy nature in all its glory. You can even bring a bit of Longwood home with you at the decently-priced gift shop that offers live plants. Longwood is open most days: Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD

This beautiful 22-acre topiary garden is only two hours from Thurmont. Not only do the gardens feature ornate topiaries, but also include a nature trail, fountains, sculpture gardens, lily ponds, and a historic mansion museum. No need to power through the gardens until your feet are sore; the gardens feature a multitude of beautiful benches and chairs to stop, relax, and take in the sights. Other amenities include a butterfly house, yoga, camps for younger children, and informative presentations on plant life. To stay updated on these and other fun experiences, be sure to check the event schedule on Ladewgardens.com. General admission is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for those 62 and older, $4.00 for ages 2 to 12, and free for children under 2. You can plan a visit anytime, Thursday through Tuesday (excluding Wednesday), between 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

You can find a variety of gardens in this 50-acre estate, featuring an “Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk… a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden.” In addition, they also have two large conservatories, according to the website (montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens/visit/). Not only is admission free, but it is only an hour away from Thurmont! Donations are encouraged in order to keep these beautiful gardens for all ages well-maintained. Explore the outdoor gardens every day of the week, from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m, and enjoy the conservatories from 10:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

Lilypons Water Gardens, Adamstown, MD

These beautiful ponds are only a 30-minute drive from Thurmont and include free admission! The many ponds feature a plethora of local aquatic nature, including massive lily pads, wide varieties of lotus and lilies in stunning bloom, and beautiful birds specific to the aquatic habitat, as detailed by signs along the trails. A fair warning: Not all the trails are made of gravel or mowed, so wear galoshes, pants, or long socks to protect yourself from ticks and scratchy, long grass. Koi, aquatic plants/flowers, and other fish are available for purchase if you are especially inspired by the gardens. Most trails are generally unoccupied, so visiting offers a serene walk with lovely, lively lily pads to keep you company. Discover all that Lilypons has to offer, Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 I hope you take the time to visit at least one of these exquisite gardens! Each one is sure to provide stunning natural beauty, tranquility, and delight from discovery, no matter what age you or your loved ones are. Or, stay local and support the National Parks here in Maryland by visiting and donating. Want to re-read any of my old articles? Visit https://crazyplantladybanner.weebly.com/ for archived articles or to suggest topics for me to write about.

Why Should I Use A Real Estate Agent to Sell My House?

By elle smith, realtor

J&B Real Estate, Inc.

I thought we would switch things up a bit this month. I usually go over the market and focus on what the industry is doing. Don’t worry, I will still share a market update. But first, let’s talk about the benefits of using a real estate agent to sell your home versus doing a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). Having been in a crazy seller’s market the past two years, a lot of people wonder why they need to hire a real estate agent to list and sell their homes. What does a real estate agent actually do, anyway?

Let’s start with numbers. According to Keeping Current Matter, an FSBO typically sells for on average $60,000-$90,000 LESS than when listed with a real estate agent. However, the time it took to sell an FSBO compared with a home listed with a real estate agent was about the same. So, if the amount of money you could get from listing with an agent isn’t enough motivation to hire a real estate agent, let’s talk about some intangible reasons.

Your agent acts as a buffer for you. Selling your home is an emotional journey, and negotiations can become challenging. An agent will give you a buffer when answering tough questions or negotiating on touchy topics such as price. Part of the negotiations is understanding all the terms associated with selling a home. Agents are trained to understand all parts of the transaction, including the offer/counter, the contract, contingencies, and closing schedules. They help explain the entire process to their clients and are there to research and answer questions throughout the transaction.

Your real estate agent knows the market and knows how to price your home appropriately. They have access to a wealth of data on prior home sales, features of those homes, length of time on the market, and if the price has been adjusted. Real estate agents have access to a Multiple Listing Service, an MLS. This system is the database all agents use to list homes to other agents. It is not available to the public. Only licensed real estate agents have access to this MLS system. When an agent lists a home, they put all the details of the home into the MLS. All of the features, benefits, remarks on the property, and tax information are included in the MLS listing. This is then available to all agents, and they can set up searches that automatically notify their buyers of new listings.

Real estate agents are the experts on trends and how and where to market a property. They can make suggestions and give you tips on what to do to prepare the house for selling. A lot of agents pay for professional photos, brochures, and flyers. They know what publications to advertise in to get the most visibility. They know which social media sites to post to and when to post them for the most views. Real estate agents know buyers who are looking, and they have access to an entire pool of buyers’ agents whose clients are searching for a home.

The bottom line is that hiring a real estate agent to sell your home is beneficial to you. They are the experts in the market and, statistically, will get you more money for your home. Hiring the right agent is important. Make sure to find one that understands your market, one that you click with, and one that will make selling your home a priority.

As promised, here is a quick market update. The market seems to be correcting itself and has been slowing for the past few weeks. This is typical of the summer months, with people going on vacation. But, we are seeing fewer offers over asking, fewer multiple-offers, higher interest rates, and homes on the market for an average of six days versus two days. We are still seeing multiple offers and over-asking price offers, just not as many as we had three months ago.

If you have been thinking of selling, it is still a great time, as our inventory is still lower than average. Talk to your agent about the market and what to expect when you are ready to list. Contact me if you have any questions about selling your house in this market. I’m always here to answer your real estate questions.

by Buck Reed

Too Many Tomatoes

If you are an amateur gardener, you know the joy of planting and tending to a plant that will provide you with something to eat. Just the idea that you tilled the soil and tended the plant yourself makes the fruits and vegetables from your garden taste so much better than anything you can buy in the store. However, the two words that will haunt you will happen if you do this long enough: bumper crop (an unusually abundant harvest from a particular crop). Sometimes, the gods smile down on you, the planets align, and your hard work yields far more of something from your garden that you find just too overwhelming a task to consume it all. That’s when you need to exercise your cooking muscles and expand that creative mind to use up all of what you planted in your garden, which I believe this year—as in most years—is tomatoes. Tomatoes are the most popular and number one grown vegetable in the world.

So, what to do with all those tomatoes that will appear this August. Let’s start with underripe tomatoes or what is referred to as green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes is everyone’s go-to, and even have a book, play, and movie by the same name. Just harvest a few green tomatoes from the vine, clean them, and slice them thick or thin. Then, dredge them in seasoned flour, butter, milk, and some kind of crumb. I like Zatarain’s, but any seasoned bread crumb or corn meal, or combination of the two will do. Pan fry them until crisp and the tomato is cooked through (cooking time depends on how thick you cut the tomato). Once done, it makes an excellent appetizer or side dish to any entrée. Also, use them on your next sandwich and you will see why it is a favorite.

Next, there are soups. Obviously, cream of tomato is at the top of the list, and it is easy enough to make. Just get the seasoning correct and you are home free. Also consider gazpacho, which is begging for all of your excess peppers, zucchini, squash, and herbs to pair with your tomatoes, resulting in  a delicious, fresh cold soup for the hot days of August.

Salsa is another gardener’s favorite and can be served throughout the year in a variety of meals. Start with fresh salsa for your grilled fish or chicken recipes. Cooked salsas are also perfect for freezing, for when you need a reminder in the cold months of how good a horticulturist you are.

Now is the time to break out that dehydrator you got from your aunt as a wedding present and work its magic on your harvest. Slice the tomatoes and follow the manufacturer’s instructions till the tomatoes are dry but still flexible. Keep in a plastic bag and freeze until needed. These go great in salads, sauces, or just eat them like candy.

Okay, I did make a prediction about your crop this year. And even though it looks like I went out on a limb, you have to trust me. If you keep sticking plants in the dirt, you will get to a year you have way too much of something. You can try to give some of it away, and people will be grateful, but making good use of your produce is really what a good cook would do.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy August! Feeling bored and want a gourmet dish to try? Try making today’s recipe: crepes! Simple, easy to customize, and delicious, crepes are a favorite of many. They can be sweet or savory, allowing them to be enjoyed by many for both mealtimes and desserts. Savory crepes marry together salty goat cheese, tangy tomatoes, and herby basil in the filling to create a rich, well-balanced flavor in the crepe. The addition of a balsamic vinegar drizzle (if preferred) can help introduce a sweet and tangy flavor, further enhancing the flavor of the tomato. Impress friends and family alike with this world-renowned favorite. Enjoy making (and eating) these savory crepes!

Savory Crepes

Ingredients

For the Crepes:

2 large eggs

¾ c. milk

½ c. water

1 c. all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. melted butter

¼ tsp. salt

fresh basil

For the Filling:

1 oz. room-temperature goat cheese

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. minced fresh basil leaves

garnish (optional)

– fresh basil leaves

– balsamic vinegar

Instructions

In a blender, combine the ingredients of the savory crêpes. Blend 7-10 seconds on high.

Put in fridge and let chill for 1 hour

Meanwhile, set out goat cheese in order to allow it to reach room temperature. On a cutting board, cut tomato into very thin slices with a serrated knife. Working on the other side of the cutting board, thinly cut the basil leaves (you can also shred the basil by hand to save on dishes). Once finished, put the tomatoes and basil in the refrigerator for later use.

Make the crêpes: On the stovetop, set a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Add butter to coat the skillet when the skillet is warm.

Pour ¼ c. batter onto the middle of the skillet. Swirl batter around the skillet so it coats the entire surface of the skillet. Continue moving the batter until the crêpe is thick.

Set the skillet on the burner and let cook. Flip the crêpe when the edges of the crêpe curl inward. Once flipped, let cook for 10 seconds, then set on a plate. Place a paper towel on top, then cook the next crêpe. Repeat until all of the batter is used. Note: The first crêpe will not turn out well, and that is okay!

Once the crêpes are done, begin assembling the savory crêpe: spread room-temperature goat cheese across the surface of the crêpe with a butter knife. Put tomato slices on half of the crêpe and sprinkle on basil. Fold the crêpe in half, putting the top over the tomatoes. Take the top edge of the crêpe and fold over to make a triangle. Continue to fold over to make 1 large layered triangle. Cook folded crêpe in the skillet until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes per side.  Garnish as desired, drizzling on balsamic vinegar, if using, or sprinkle on fresh basil. Serve.

Tools Needed

Dry and liquid measuring utensils, blender, medium non-stick skillet, serrated knife, chef’s knife & cutting board, spatula, plate, spoons.

*With credit to the Video “Alton Brown Makes crêpes 3 ways l Good Eats l Food Network” by Food network on youtube.com; Erin Alderson’s Gluten Free Oat crêpes with Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat cheese recipe on naturallyella.com;, and “How to Fold crêpes” by wikihow staff on wikihow.com.

by Richard D. L. Fulton

The Day Georgie Peach Helped Save 3,800 Prisoners

Walkersville may very well remember George Fisher, Sr. as a life member of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company or his having been an active member of the United Methodist Church, the local Lions Club, or the Woodsboro American Legion Post.

But some 3,700 to 3,800 civilian prisoners being held by the Japanese Army in Manila during World War II might remember him for an entirely different reason: the day Fisher, aboard his tank, Georgia Peach, stormed the prison camp and helped liberate the prisoners from their brutal Japanese Army captors.

When Fisher joined the United States Army in Spring 1942 as a drummer in a regimental band with the 8th Armored Division, the raid to liberate Allied civilians being held as prisoners by the Japanese in Manila was three years away. He received his basic training at Fort Knox. A month and a half later, Fisher was sent to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to assist in forming a regimental band as part of the 12th Armored Division. He remained there as a drummer in the regimental band and in the show and dance band.

But the frivolity, as such, was about to come to an end. In September 1943, the band was reduced in size, resulting in Fisher seeking reassignment, which landed him in the 44th Tank Battalion, a unit within the 12th Armored Division. In November, the 44th Tank Battalion was detached from the 12th Armored Division and, in March, was sent to Vancouver to prepare for deployment to the Pacific, a move that was executed in March 1944.

“We… boarded the Dutch ship S.S. Kota Baroe on March 22 and sailed unescorted for a period of 51 days before reaching our destination at Fanshawe, New Guinea,” Fisher stated in an interview.

The war officially commenced for Fisher in January 1945, when the 44th Tank Battalion was deployed along with the armed forces being sent to San Jacinto, Philippines, at the opening of the Luzon Campaign—making it the largest campaign in the Pacific war, involving more than 10 U.S. divisions.

General Douglas MacArthur, then commander of the Southwest Pacific, had become impressed with an ongoing prisoner rescue attempt and immediately ordered the formation of the “Flying Column,” with the orders to, “Go to Manila! Go over the Japs, go around the Japs, bounce off the Japs, but go to Manila! Free the prisoners at Santo Tomas…”

Fisher had been assigned to an M4 Sherman medium tank, which the crew had dubbed Georgia Peach, no doubt influenced by the fact that the tank’s commander was Sergeant Marvin Herndon, of Georgia, when orders were received to roll with the “Flying Column.”

As the column (a mere 700 men and their equipment) neared Santo Tomas, the bullets and shells began to fly, as Japanese resistance began to stiffen. Fisher described the ensuing chaos as seemingly “all Hell breaks loose, with the appearance of a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.”

Fisher stepped outside of his tank during a presumed lull and was immediately struck in the back by a fragment of shrapnel.  Regarding the injury, he said, “It was red hot, and that’s why it hurt so much, but it was a clean cut,” so the tank crew “just put on a bandage,” and he resumed his position in the tank.

The troops received word that the Japanese may well have been preparing to execute as many of the civilian prisoners as they could before they could be liberated, which further hastened the American column forward. Upon orders to charge the prison compound gates, the Georgia Peach and four other tanks broke into the compound, and the fight to free the civilian captives was over… except of course, the “Flying Column” and its thousands of liberated prisoners now themselves had to escape.

The column encountered a major Japanese fortified “roadblock” while executing their withdrawal, but in 20 minutes, reduced it to rubble, and the road “home” was cleared of resistance.

Fisher was awarded a Purple Heart, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal, and an Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, and served as a president of the 44th Tank Battalion Association of WWII.

Fisher, a Bedford, Pennsylvania-born, life-long resident of Walkersville, and an honorary member of the Bay Area Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War, which had been bestowed upon him as a result of his participation in the 1945 rescue of the 3,800 civilians at Santa Tomas, passed away at the Montevue Assisted Living in Frederick, on July 11, 2000—23 days after his 100th birthday.

Corporal George Fisher, Sr. Courtesy of Family

George Fisher, Sr. and Georgia Peach. Source: Citations Magazine

Thurmont American Legion Post 168, Thurmont

We would like to thank all the supporters and volunteers that participated in our Golf Tournament. It was a success, and we can’t wait to have another one to support the Veterans.

The Thurmont Legion is forming a Legion Riders group. Don’t ride a motorcycle? No worries. You can enjoy the rides in your vehicle, while still supporting the cause. Applications are available at the Legion. To join, you must be a member of an American Legion, any Post. Be on the lookout for some fundraising raffles to support the Legion Riders.

The Auxiliary will be having its members’ picnic/meeting on Monday, August 15, at 6:00 p.m. Any Auxiliary member planning on attending is to bring a side dish or a dessert. We would love to see you there. The Auxiliary also has T-shirts for sale (they are very patriotic)! Send an email to thurmontlegionaux168@gmail.com if you would like to see a picture of the logo on the front and on the sleeve.

August will start our new year with new officers taking their positions in the Legion. The Legionnaires officers are: Commander—Nick Middendorff, 1st Vice Commander—Carie Stafford, 2nd Vice Commander—Debra Middendorff, Adjutant—Rick Hall, Finance—Gary Spegal, Chaplin—Alvin Hatcher, Judge Advocate—James Mackley, Sergeant at Arms—Allen Middendorff, Post Service Officer—Brian Burdette.

The Sons of the American Legion officers are: Commander—George Albright, Vice Commander—Danny Hurt, 2nd Vice—Donnie Etzler, 3rd Vice—Ed Culb, Adjutant—Lou Perrotti, Finance Officer—Brian Glass, Chaplin—Robbie Maze, Tony Cornejo—Sergeant at Arms.

The Auxiliary Officers are: President—Marsha Ridenour, 1st Vice—Tracey Burdette, 2nd Vice—Melissa Kinna, Secretary—Lisa Reed, Correspondence—Palma Willard, Historian—Joyce Glass, Chaplain—Bernadette Wurdarski, Treasurer—Alice Eyler, Sergeant at Arms—Tracey Burdette.

Once again, summer has gone way too fast, and the children will be returning to school. We would like to wish all the students a healthy and successful school year. If you are a junior or senior at Catoctin High School, check in with your guidance counselors periodically for scholarship information and other programs that the Legion has to offer.

The membership picnic will be held on Sunday, September 11. Tickets will go on sale after August 15. In order to attend the picnic, your 2022 dues must be paid and you must be 21 years of age.

Remember to check us out on Facebook: The American Legion 168. You will find kitchen specials and other events and happenings at the American Legion.

Francis X. Elder, American Legion Post 121, Emmitsburg

Submitted by Kevin Cogan, Commander Post No. 121

Hello and greetings from the Emmitsburg American Legion. We are in the process of updating and repairing our WW2 monument that stands out in front of the Post. If you know of any names on the monument that have been misspelled or were not added at the time the monument was placed, please inform the Post, so we can make the corrections and give Honor and Respect to our Veterans of that era. Thank You for your help with this project! Call the Post at 301-447-2274.

Richard D. L. Fulton

The multi-decade Veteran of the Maryland Army Reserve National Guard (MDARNG) addressed the attendees at the Monocacy Valley Memorial Post 6918-07, Harney, on May 28, concerning the significance of Memorial Day.

First Sergeant (retired) William Rosier told the individuals attending the Veterans of Foreign War Memorial Day Observance that millions of men and women have “given all” in the line of duty in service of their country since the American Revolution—up to and including the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.

Rosier noted that the first Memorial Day was held in the wake of the American Civil War in the South only a month after the end of that war.  Similar commemorations began to be held in other states as well. 

The special day received its first official name of Decoration Day, as ordered by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) General John A. Logan in 1869, because it had been a day when, traditionally, individuals placed wreaths and flags upon the graves of those who had died in the service of their country.  The GAR was an organization of former Union soldiers and sailors. The day was not officially known as Memorial Day until 1967 and became widely celebrated by that name in 1968.

Rosier also discussed the meaning of coins, often seen having been left on the headstones of Veterans. The first sergeant noted that the pennies seen were left by general visitors who stop by the graves. Nickels are left by Veterans who had trained in the same boot camp as the deceased. Dimes are left by Veterans who had served together with the deceased in some capacity. Quarters are left by those who were present when the deceased was killed.

In closing, Rosier said the number of those who have died in the service of their country is not just a number, “each one of those numbers was a person, a husband or wife, a son or daughter, a brother or sister, an uncle or an aunt, a friend or a neighbor,” adding, “They all had their dreams and hopes for a future never to be realized.”

Rosier, a Veteran of the Global War on Terrorism (having been assigned to Iraq), served in the Navy from 1970 through 1972. After a five-year break in service, he entered the MDARNG, Battery “A,” 2nd 110th Field Artillery, in 1977. He subsequently retired in 2010.

Post Commander Larry Harris presided over the observance services.  Opening and closing prayers were presented by Pastor Peter Naschke. Wreaths were subsequently posted at the Memorial Monument. The Post Honor Guard then fired a 21-gun salute, and bugler Kate Irwin played Taps.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Harney Post Commander Larry Harris (left) and First Sergeant (retired) William Rosier (right) at the recent Memorial Day event at the Monocacy Valley Memorial Post 6918-07.

Photo by Richard D.L. Fulton