Currently viewing the category: "Columns"

On Saturday, May 25, 2024, the Monocacy Valley Memorial VFW Post 6918, located in Harney (Taneytown), will host its annual Memorial Day Observance at the Community Cemeteries at 3:30 p.m. The program will begin at the Post at 4:30 p.m.

Post Commander Larry Harris said, “Memorial Day is a time to pause, to reflect and recognize the challenges and sacrifices of Veterans who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country in the United States Armed Forces.”

Members of the Monocacy Valley Memorial Post 6918 have embraced the Post Memorial wall with names of our fallen comrades. The name on the memorial will be read during the program, followed by the Hanover Young Marines ringing of the bell in honor of each deceased Veteran.

At the conclusion of the program, Post Commander Harris and the VFW President of the Auxiliary will participate in the laying of the wreaths at the post memorial.

Veterans of the Post are pleased to have the Hanover Young Marines participate in the program by raising and lowering the flag at half-mast.

Distinguished members of the Harney VFW Post 6918 Honor Guard will give a 21-gun salute to honor all of our Veterans and the playing of “Taps” by young Grace Green in honor of our deceased Veterans.

The public and all Veterans and their families are invited to attend the program and to participate in this special occasion.

Following the Memorial Day Observances, the Harney VFW Auxiliary, the Harney Lions Club, and the Harney Fire Department will host their annual Good Old Days celebration in the pavilion at 5:30 p.m.

For further information, contact Frank M. Rauschenberg at 240-367-6110 or call the post at 410-756-6866.

How Much Sugar Per Day Is Too Much?

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

Sugar is in almost every packaged food you pick up at the grocery store, and there seems to be a sugar addiction epidemic in the U.S.

If you don’t see the word “sugar” in the ingredients list, there is likely another form of it that you simply do not recognize.

Our taste buds have adapted to the desire to have sugar, and if our food has not been sweetened with it, it doesn’t taste nearly as good to many people.

The good news is that taste buds can adapt, so you don’t crave all that sugar.

How Much Sugar Per Day?

The American Heart Association recommends most American women consume no more than six teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar per day. For men, it’s no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.

Children should not go beyond three teaspoons of added sugar per day, which equates to 12 grams.

Did you know that one cup of Fruit Loops contains 3.75 teaspoons of sugar? That’s over the recommended amount for kids; and who only eats one cup of Fruit Loops?

Research indicates that some forms of sugar are better than others. Subjects were evaluated after a 90-minute swim or a 24-hour period of fasting. The results showed that fructose is not the best choice for replenishing. But, by using both glucose and fructose, glycogen is more rapidly restored in the liver, which can help repair overworked muscles and help an athlete to be more prepared for the next workout.

Sugar Consumption in the U.S.

There are two types of sugars found in our diets. Those that are truly natural and come from foods like fruit and vegetables, and then there are added sugars and artificial sweeteners (such as white sugar, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners, and chemically manufactured sugars like high fructose corn syrup).

Added sugars are in foods like soft drinks, fruit drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, sweetened yogurt, and grains like waffles, many breads, and cereals.

Some common names for added sugars or foods with added sugars are:


Brown sugar;

Corn sweetener;

Corn syrup;

Fruit juice concentrates;

High fructose corn syrup;


Invert sugar;

Malt sugar;


Raw sugar;


Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose); and


What about naturally occurring sugars from fruit? That is a better choice, but some are very high in sugar, so you still want to keep that in mind if you’re diabetic or suffer from some sugar-sensitive diseases.

  It’s better to have the whole fruit, but choosing the right fruit is important. A medium-sized orange contains about 12 grams of natural sugar. A cup of strawberries contains about half of that. 

Dangers of High Sugar

While not having enough sugar can cause hypoglycemia, you can also have too much sugar. That’s called hyperglycemia, and it may cause serious complications, such as:

Cardiovascular disease.

Nerve damage, known as neuropathy.

Kidney damage.

Diabetic neuropathy.

Damage to the blood vessels of the retina, diabetic retinopathy, which could cause blindness.

Cataracts or clouding in the eyes.

Problems with the feet caused by damaged nerves or poor blood flow.

Bone and joint problems.

Skin problems, including bacterial infections, fungal infections, and non-healing wounds.

Infections in the teeth and gums.

Diabetic ketoacidosis.

Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome.

There are more dangers of high sugar, which is why it’s vital to know how many grams of sugar per day you should consume.

1. Heart Problems

The JAMA reports that, in some cases, nearly one-third of calories consumed per day come from sugar. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathered information that helped identify issues with too much sugar. The results indicate that most U.S. adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet, resulting in a higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

2. Diabetes, Obesity and

Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes is probably one of the most common problems with excessive sugar, and it is happening at a staggering rate across the U.S.—and beyond—due to dietary changes, such as more ultra-processed foods, refined sugars, and less daily activity.

When we consume too much sugar, the liver does all it can to convert the sugar into energy, but it can only do so much. Since it cannot metabolize all sugar that it receives in excess, insulin resistance develops, which can result in diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.

3. Teeth Issues

According to the American Dietetic Association and the Surgeon General’s report on oral health in America, what you eat greatly affects your mouth—teeth and gums included.

Too much sugar can cause bacterial growth, resulting in decay and infections of surrounding tissues and bone.

4. Liver Problems

A diet high in sugar may cause problems with your liver, according to the American Diabetes Association. When you eat a moderate amount of sugar, in any form, it’s stored in the liver as glucose until the body needs it for various organs to function properly, such as the brain. But if you have too much sugar, the liver simply cannot store it all. What happens? The liver is overloaded, so it turns the sugar into fat.

While sugar from natural sources, such as fruit, is far better than the fake, processed version, the liver doesn’t know the difference.

Additionally, a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may be caused by excessive consumption of sugar, which develops insulin resistance and increased oxidative stress to the liver.

5. Potentially Cancer

According to a study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, there is a link between insulin and its effects on colon, prostate, pancreatic, and breast cancer. It seems that sugar can even get in the way of cancer therapy, causing it to be less effective.

By consuming more nutrients and less sugar, regularly exercising, and reducing stress, it may be possible to lower the risk of cancer and developing tumors.

How to Reduce Sugar Intake

Reducing sugar intake is not as hard as you think, but if you’re addicted, it can take some practice and commitment just like any change.

1. Increase Your Fiber Intake

Fiber moves through the body undigested, helping keep you feeling full and satisfied to kick sugar cravings to the curb. Not only that, but dietary fiber also helps keep blood sugar levels steady, preventing a drop in sugar levels and side-stepping some potential negative effects of sugar withdrawal.

 A few healthy high-fiber foods include vegetables, nuts and seeds,  and legumes. Remember to drink more water if you’re upping your fiber intake to prevent unpleasant digestive side effects, such as constipation.

2. Eat More Protein

Protein is great for reducing hunger and sugar cravings. Not only does protein lower levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, but it also helps maintain normal blood sugar levels to prevent several sugar withdrawal symptoms.

Good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, lentils, wild fish, black beans, organic chicken, and eggs.

3. Stay Hydrated

How many times have you felt your stomach grumbling, only to drink a glass of water and have the hunger disappear? Thirst is often confused with hunger, and sometimes all it takes is drinking a bit of water and staying hydrated to squash cravings.

Next time you catch yourself eyeing a sugary candy bar or dessert, try drinking a glass of water, waiting half an hour, and seeing if you are hungry or just feeling thirsty. If you are hungry reach for a healthy snack like walnuts or an avocado.

4. Pack in Some Probiotics

Eating plenty of probiotic-rich foods helps increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Not only does this have far-reaching effects in terms of digestive health and immunity, but some research has even found that it could support healthy blood sugar levels and support a healthy appetite.

A few examples of nutritious probiotic foods include kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and natto. Remember to always read the label and opt for the one with the least amount of sugar.

Aim for a few servings per week to give your gut health a boost and minimize sugar cravings.

5. Up Your Intake of Heart-

Healthy Fats

Fat, much like protein and fiber, can promote satiety while warding off sugar cravings. This is because fat is digested very slowly, so it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should load up on the greasy burgers and fries to reduce your sugar cravings. Reach for healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts and seeds, or coconut oil.

6. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Without Sugar

Just because you’re giving up extra sugar doesn’t mean you have to give up all things sweet forever.

In fact, there are plenty of easy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without piling on added sugar by the teaspoon full.

Fruit, for example, contains natural sugars, but it also contains loads of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that make it a much healthier choice. Berries are a great choice.

Additionally, stevia is a natural, no-calorie sweetener that can sweeten up foods without the negative health effects of sugar. Try it in your baked goods or drinks you want to sweeten. Look for green leaf stevia, the least processed form of stevia.

Remember…If you are diabetic or have any symptoms that suggest you may be diabetic, have a heart problem, cancer, or any disease, sugar, among other things, can make matters worse. Additionally, sugar can cause liver problems (NAFLD) and obesity.

Consuming a diet rich in nutrients and less sugar can offer amazing benefits to your health.

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.

Check out the website at

Let us help you make positive changes in your diet by limiting sugar and adding nutrient-rich foods.

by Kristen Bodmer

Graduation season is here. We would like to congratulate all of the 2024 seniors. What a huge accomplishment! We want you to know we are so proud of you. Always dream big, and you will go places. 

“If you never dream, you will never know the endless possibilities of what you can become.”~ Annette White

We would like to take a moment to remember a dear friend of the Thurmont Senior Center: Helen Deluca. Helen was instrumental in the Senior Center becoming independent from the county. She has been a long-time supporter of the center, and she will be terribly missed. Her loving family donated a beautiful bench to the center that Helen had painted flowers on, and it is placed right as you come in our door.

We had a wonderful surprise from the Thurmont Elementary School (TES) third-graders. They made beautiful handmade cards for the seniors. We sent a card to all of our seniors who receive a delivered meal and to all the seniors who came into the center that day. It truly made our day.

June is full of activities. Take the opportunity to take a look at the calendar of events we have scheduled. You can find our calendar on the website at, on Facebook, or come into the center and ask for one. Check the Community Calendar in this issue for June event dates and times. Don’t forget, we serve lunch every day at 12:00 p.m. If you are not able to stay to eat lunch, you can pick up your lunch. We have quite a few people who pick up lunch from the center now. Just remember to call the day before or call the morning of by 9:15 a.m. 

We would love for you to join us for a free balance and strength exercise session daily on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, beginning at 11:00 a.m. We play games on Tuesdays and Thursdays,  and we also play Bingo every first and third Wednesday of the month (if we have a fifth Wednesday in a month, we have a Special Bingo). Bingo is always a fun time, full of laughter and special homemade treats for halftime. I can’t forget to mention our coffee! We are told it is the best, so come in and have a cup with us. Just to let you know, we have a whole corner dedicated to exercise. We have two treadmills, a stair climber, and a recumbent bicycle for use during our hours, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; there is no charge to use this equipment. Just a reminder that some activities may have a minimal cost but to join the center is absolutely free.

We had a birthday party rental at the center last month, and the Thurmont Little League used the center for pictures. We really love having the community use the center; there are so many different possibilities. The price is very affordable. Call the Thurmont Senior Center to rent for different activities, such as a baby shower, a birthday party, or a bridal shower.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 301-271-7911.

Crafting fun with Pauline’s Pals, Verna Radcliffe, Joan Schaper, Geri Foster, and Irene Mathews.

In loving memory of Helen Deluca, her daughter, Carol, donated this bench to the senior center. Helen painted the flowers on the bench; her granddaughter painted the “In loving memory…”

Thank you TES third-graders for the wonderful cards: Doris Ryan, Ruth Heaney, Pam Zimmerman, Frank Valentine, Linda Haynes, Jenny Dorsey, Nancy Popejoy, Karen Younkins, Pat Alexander, and Marie Williams.

BY Caitlyn Kirby

June is here, and it’s time to get in tune with your summer socialization with crafts, games, exercises, and educational activities and opportunities at Emmitsburg 50+ Center!

There is video exercise that includes wonderful professionals that guide moderate exercise to facilitate great health and mobility. If there are unguided activities you would like to organize, we also have open gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Unrulies pickleball players play for fun and exercise on Wednesdays. 

For those looking to enjoy some summertime fun with crafts, we have new and returning interests. Creative expression gifts us with new ways to communicate with the world and each other. This also greatly aids neuroplasticity, which essentially allows our brain to adapt and overcome some of the many changes in our lives.

On Monday, June 17, our very talented Dorothea Barrick will return to guide a capturing of the essence of summer with a “Beach in watercolors.” We will also have an “at your leisure” paint by numbers on canvas every Tuesday. Also in June, there will be a diamond art coaster craft and painting and water guns! Come and have some fun!

We have returning games every day, with Texas hold’em on Tuesdays and dominoes on Wednesdays, as well as a Trivia in June. We will also host a coffee hour for Veterans and their families on Wednesday, June 12. Check out the Community Calendar in this issue for dates and times of activities at the Emmitsburg 50+ Center.

Additionally, please note that some craft activities come with fair fees, so if there is interest, please call, come in, or go online to register! Our number is 301-600-6350 and the website is 

by Tricia Bush, CPA, CFP®, Partner, Bestgate Advisors

Gone are the days when a pension was the golden ticket to a secure future. With the evolving landscape of employment and the diminishing prevalence of pensions, the responsibility for retirement savings has shifted to the individual. One of the most common ways for individuals to save is through their employer 401(k) plan.

Understanding The Basics

In a 401(k) plan, you decide how much of your earnings you want to set aside for retirement, and your employer takes care of moving that money straight into your 401(k) account. It’s like having your own personal piggy bank, but with rules—like you can’t dip into it until you reach retirement age without facing penalties, though there are some exceptions.

The best part? You’re in control of how your money grows over time. Within your 401(k) account, you’ll find a menu of investment options to choose from and pick the right mix of stocks and bonds, ensuring you have some stocks for growth but the appropriate amount of bonds for stability. Typically, younger people will have a higher stock allocation and those closer to retirement will have a more balanced stock-to-bond ratio. You get to tailor your investment strategy to suit your goals and risk tolerance.

Most employers also provide a matching or profit-sharing contribution. This is money from your employer, so not out of your paycheck, that gets put into your 401(k) account. It’s like getting a bonus with every paycheck, except this bonus goes straight into your future. Typically, there are vesting schedules before the employer contribution is considered yours, meaning you’ll have to work at the company for a certain number of years before you can run with the money.

Now, if your company matches, you’ll want to make sure you’re putting enough of your own contributions in to get the full match. If you don’t, you’re leaving free money on the table. Most plans will auto-enroll you in a 3% match. But, if for example, your company offers a 5% match, you’ll want to be sure to update your contribution to 5%. Be sure to discuss with your employer what your options are so that you’re getting your full benefits. Some plans allow you to change your contribution percentage at any time while others may restrict it to one to two times a year.

Planning note: You’re not restricted to only the matching level in your 401(k) either. While it’s a great start, if you can work your way up to setting aside 10-15% by steadily increasing your contribution by 1% to 2% a year, you’ll have saved what is typically needed for a successful retirement. Just don’t go over the maximum limits you can contribute to your 401(k). For 2024, the contribution limits are $23,000 for those under 50 and $30,500 if age 50 or older. This does not include employer contributions.

Taxes: Roth vs. Traditional

You used to only have a Traditional 401(k) option, but in today’s increasingly complex world, there is both a Traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k). The difference between the two is how they’re treated for tax purposes. Below are the highlights.

Traditional 401(k)

When you make a contribution, it reduces your taxable wages by the contribution amount.

   In retirement, when you make a withdrawal, the withdrawal amount is fully taxable.

   You can take penalty-free distributions after age 59 ½.

Roth 401(k)

When you make a contribution, it does NOT reduce your taxable wages.

   In retirement, when you make a withdrawal, the withdrawal is tax-free, mostly (see five-year rule below).

   You can take penalty-free and tax-free distributions after age 59 ½, as long as you’ve had the account for at least 5 years. If you do not meet the 5-year rule, then earnings in the account will be considered taxable.

Making the Decision: Factors to Consider

Which plan is right for you? Everyone’s favorite answer: it depends. Determining which type of 401(k) plan is best suited to your needs involves a degree of crystal-ball gazing. Considerations such as current income tax rates, projected retirement income, and future tax legislation all play a role in the decision-making process.

Age and Career Stage: Younger individuals and those early in their careers may opt for Roth contributions, anticipating future income growth and potentially higher tax rates. Conversely, individuals nearing retirement or at the peak of their earning potential may lean towards Traditional contributions to capitalize on immediate tax savings.

Tax Diversification: Just as diversification is key to a well-rounded investment portfolio, spreading retirement savings across both Roth and Traditional accounts can provide flexibility and hedge against future tax uncertainties. This is a great option for those individuals who are in the middle of their careers and unsure if tax rates will be higher or lower in the future.

Employer Contributions: It’s worth noting that employer matching contributions are typically made to Traditional 401(k) accounts. As such, individuals may choose to allocate their own contributions to a Roth account to achieve tax diversification. Although, be sure to check with your employer; recent legislation has allowed employers to also make Roth contributions.

Seeking Professional Guidance

While the decision between Roth and Traditional 401(k) plans may seem daunting, it’s not one that needs to be made alone. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights tailored to your individual circumstances and financial goals. An advisor can help navigate the complexities of retirement planning, ensuring that your chosen strategy aligns with your long-term objectives.

Conclusion: Building Your Retirement Future

In closing, the choice between Roth and Traditional 401(k) plans represents a pivotal decision in the journey toward retirement security. By understanding the nuances of each option and considering factors such as current and future tax implications, individuals can make informed choices that optimize their retirement savings strategy. Whether you opt for immediate tax savings with a Traditional 401(k) or prioritize tax-free withdrawals with a Roth account, the most important step is to start saving early and consistently. Remember, the key to a comfortable retirement lies in proactive planning and disciplined saving. So, seize the opportunity to invest in your future self today, and embark on the path towards a financially secure retirement.


Observations from the Woodpile” is a collection of essays bundled together and given as a birthday present for my wife, Nancy, in 1997. Twenty-seven years have passed since the collection was given. The two main subjects of the essays, my sons Justus and Jacob, have grown into men with families of their own.


I buy my firewood logs from a fellow with a small logging business. There is seldom a log that has much value as a saw log. For the most part, the logs I get are knotty or forked or have other imperfections that downgrade the value to pulpwood or firewood. That’s okay by me. I’d hate to see any wood that could be used as lumber go up in smoke.

The downside to this is the difficulty in cutting and splitting around the knots and other imperfections. Splitting a knot by hand is not easy. The grain of the wood twists itself around in every direction to where it looks like it has tied itself into some sort of a sailor’s knot. However, there are ways to get around splitting the knot.

When sawing a log into firewood lengths, I try to get as many clear, knot-free pieces as possible. The boys love to split those. They yield so easily with just a few whacks. Sometimes, I cut the log from both ends to isolate the knot somewhere in the middle. This sometimes leaves me with a short chunk that will fit into the stoves without splitting. By the time all the logs are split, I end up with about half of a pickup load of these pieces. They don’t stack as well, but they burn just fine. I usually pile them up in a corner of the barn—like lumps of coal—and burn them along with the regular wood throughout the winter.

Sometimes, the knot or fork is a little bigger. I try to split as much away from the knot as possible. This usually leaves a piece of wood that’s a little larger than the rest. I scatter these pieces through the stacks in the woodshed. Doing this makes them available every so often as I work through the stacks of wood. They tend to burn slower and are particularly good for those brutal, cold nights. 

My favorite trick is to measure out my cuts so that one of the cuts falls directly on a knot. By doing so, I have made two half-knots. Two half-knots are easier to split than one whole knot. A military history buff will recognize this trick as “defeat enemy in detail.” Napoleon was a master at the tactic. Stonewall Jackson employed it in his successful defense of the Shenandoah Valley. And there’s a little taste of victory whenever I defeat a knot.

At the end of a wood-splitting day, there’s always one or two pieces left that just aren’t going to split. I call these the Gordian knots. The solution to these is the same as Alexander the Great’s—just cut them. I don’t like doing that because it’s that much more wear and tear on the saw, but it’s the only way some wood will split. If I didn’t do that, over time, I’d end up with a pile of wood I couldn’t use.

Occasionally, I get a piece of wood that is just not worth the effort and expense. The log might be just one big, twisted knot or there might be some metal object embedded in the wood, waiting to tear my saw apart, or some other anomaly. These logs are dragged off to the corner of the property and used for campfire wood.

I don’t have much real use for campfire wood just a few hundred yards from my house. Having this derelict wood provides an excuse for a campfire, though. Some twilight winter evenings when the wind is not too brisk and cabin fever has caused the walls to close in, I’ll build a fire along an old stone wall. I tell everyone I’m burning some brush. After all, sitting around outside would be crazy. The boys usually join me after a while and poke sticks into the fire. Pyromania must be primordial.   Sometimes, we talk. Sometimes, we stare, mesmerized by the dynamics of the flames and coals. No television. No phone. No radio. Just us and our thoughts. Something about a fire nurtures contemplation.

When contemplation is about problem-solving, the solutions are not much different than handling knots. Some just need to be cut around until they are minimized away. Some need to be broken down into smaller, more manageable problems. Bigger problems need a direct approach, requiring considerably more energy and resources. They are particularly wearing, but a successful outcome is worth the effort and expense. Some problems are best left alone. Walking away is sometimes the best solution.

The wisdom and the clarity to discern what kind of problem you have is the issue. That’s the time when there’s nothing better than the hypnotic dance of a campfire to sort out the knots.

Massive Manhunt

by James Rada, Jr

to Catch a Chicken Thief

In 1908, a crime wave hit Adams County. Residents would rush to their windows at every sound. They would peer into the dark, searching for lurking figures in the darkness. It didn’t stop until a shootout and a massive manhunt ended with the capture of Ambrose Dittenhafer.

With his crime spree ended, chickens in Adams County were once again safe.

Yes, chickens.

Dittenhafer was a chicken thief. The 53-year-old Dittenhafer had had run-ins with the law for years. Some involved animal cruelty. One was an assault on a police officer, but it was the nighttime wholesale chicken business that sent him to jail for a significant amount of time.

However, in the late fall of 1908, chickens started disappearing from hen houses around the county. No one knew who the thief was, but they had their suspicions.

On election night, Straban Township resident, Martin Harman, had to go to Hunterstown for some reason. His wife followed him later in the evening. As she headed to Hunterstown, she saw Dittenhafer walking along the road. Something about the situation and Dittenhafer made her suspicious, and she told her husband what she had seen when she met up with him.

Harman borrowed a gun, made sure it was loaded, and headed back to his farm. He passed Dittenhafer on the way back. Harman turned off the road early to mislead Dittenhafer. Then Harman tied up his horse and hurried across a field to his property. Once there, he hid in his barn to wait.

A few minutes later, someone whose identity was hidden in the shadows entered the barn.

“The dark figure selected some fat pullets roosting on the barn yard fence and hurriedly placed them in a bag which he was carrying. Next he made for a willow tree near the Harman farm watering trough. Some well fattened Spring chickens were found slumbering here and Ambrose was in the act of selecting the choicest of those when Mr. Harman commenced action,” the New Oxford Item reported.

Harman fired at the thief twice. The shots, which were probably rock salt, hit the thief. Unfortunately, Harman learned later that his shots also killed several of the chickens in the bag.

Dittenhafer shouted, “Don’t shoot again!”

As Harman approached him, Dittenhafer dropped his bag and ran off. “It is said that in his efforts to escape, Dittenhafer divested him of all his clothing possible and cast aside all unnecessary possessions,” the New Oxford Item reported.

For some reason, Harman remained at large for more than a week. Then, he entered the Lower Brother’s Store in Table Rock on Nov. 20 and was recognized. Justice of the Peace H. B. Mears issued a warrant that Constable John F. Wolf of Butler Township served on him at the store.

“With a vigorous denial he made a dash for the door, Constable Wolf hanging on to his coat and urging the men about to help him hold the man who was fast making his exit,” the Adams County News reported.

Dittenhafer grabbed the club he always carried and fled out the door. He ran across a nearby field “making decidedly uncomplimentary remarks about Constable Wolf on the way,” the Adams County News reported.

Three days later, a report came in that Dittenhafer was going to return to his home.

Detective Charles Wilson, County Deputy Fred Kappes, and Constable Morrison of Straban Township surrounded Dittenhafer’s house and remained in hiding through the night when they thought they saw him sneak into the house.

“Detective Wilson at once rushed in and was confronted by the man’s wife who had a shot gun leveled at him. Not dismayed he hurried through the various rooms after the man, being met in one of them by one of Dittenhafer’s sons armed with a gun. No harm was done,” the Adams County News reported.

However, Dittenhafer wasn’t found. He had managed to escape into the foggy night.

The law officers then organized a large posse of citizens and set off on Dittenhafer’s trail. They followed him for three miles through the fog, only rarely catching sight of him. When he was seen, the posse would fire shots at him, apparently without hitting Dittenhafer. He managed to double back and he returned to his house. After six hours of pursuit, the posse managed to surround him.

“Here the man realizing that his chances for escape were rather slim made a desperate fight and armed with a razor and his “big stick” was ready for a hand to hand combat. Shot after shot fired into his hiding place and he finally emerged to be met by Detective Wilson whose pistol was pointing straight at his head. Realizing that all was up he surrendered,” the Adams County News reported.

Dittenhafer begged to be let go. He said that he would leave the county if Wilson let him go. Wilson’s answer was to handcuff him and transport him to the county jail.

On February 1, 1909, Dittenhafer pled guilty of “larceny of chickens.” Dittenhafer said that he would leave the county if the judge wouldn’t sentence him to jail time. Instead, Judge Swope sentenced him to one year in Eastern State Penitentiary. Rebecca Dittenhafer pleaded that her husband be allowed to serve out his time in the county jail.

Swope was unmoved. He told her, “If you were to stay here she might feel that she ought to bring some food to you at the county prison and thus spend some of her energy which will be necessary for the support of the family while you are serving your sentence,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Dittenhafer behaved well in the penitentiary and was released a couple months early. Things did not improve for Dittenhafer as a free man.

“Nobody will give me any work and I do not have sufficient money to support my family,” Dittenhafer told the Adams County News. “It is right in the middle of the Winter and I cannot raise any produce with which to earn a living. No one will give me a job or lend me money, and there you are. If I steal, down the road I go. I want to lead an honest and honorable life now but it’s pretty hard times.”

During his time in prison, his wife and children had been living in the county poor house. Dittenhafer had gotten a new suit and $10 on his release from prison. The money disappeared quickly, though. He had $3 stolen from him after he paid for car fare home from prison, and with the remainder, he bought his son, George, a new set of clothes.

By March, it was reported that Dittenhafer had finally not only left the county, but the state. He was said to be managing a farm in Maryland.

“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier

Come One, Come All, to L’Hôtel Des Insectes!

Bonjour, and welcome to L’Hôtel Des Insectes! At this hotel, we have first-class service for some of the least valued workers in the world: bugs! Find solace in its many rooms. You can try the temperate brick room, the rustic twig room, the soft hay room, or the shielding bark room. Dine on the finest dried leaves, the freshest larvae, and perfectly aged plant matter. Rooms are free, as long as you, my guest, continue pollinating and munching away at other harmful creatures. A vacation you needed from the hustle and bustle of urban development.

All descriptors aside, bug hotels provide permanent residences to some of the most important insects and pollinators, such as bees (not all live in beehives), spiders, beetles, and ladybugs, all coexisting to get rid of pests. Now, are you ready to provide these guests with a luxury suite?

Bug Hotel

Base/building: This will hold all the shelves, plant matter, and your guests. Try reusing materials such as:

Birdhouses (reuse if possible!);


Thick picture frame;


Gallon Jug;

Large soda bottle (can serve as one room);

Palettes (make a brick base and pile palettes on top).

For more handy gardeners, you can make your own by making a shadowbox out of untreated wood. Glue or drill four-foot-long boards (width: 4+ inches.). Add a backplate, drill in some shelves, and you have a shadowbox!


Next, you want to add in rooms:


Cardboard rolls;

Bricks/cinder blocks;


Layered palettes;

Untreated wood.

Interior Design

Now that your hotel has been constructed, it’s time for some interior design! There is lots of plant matter for you to choose from to attract different insects. Please make sure all plant matter is untreated by chemicals. Here’s the insect guestbook as to “room” preference:

Bees: Bamboo/Reeds, Logs with holes drilled in;

Beetles and centipedes: Logs/bark;

Rove beetles (get rid of slugs!): Twigs;

Spiders: Any material;

Ladybugs love: Leaves, stems.

Other materials possible:


Ripped-up cardboard;

Bricks (holes facing out);

Broken pottery, such as from flower pots;


Overall Tips

Do not paint; your guests just adore the natural decor (and it is healthier for the ecosystem).

If placed on the ground, put a layer of bricks under your hotel first. It is ideal to hang or post bug hotels further up on trees or posts (but isn’t the easiest to employ).

Ensure your hotel is protected from hazards such as rain, wind, children, and pets.

Other ideal conditions include a warm spot near flowers and other flora. Also, don’t make your guests complain about the sounds and smells of the highway! Make sure to place the hotel at least ten feet away from the road.

If you haven’t already, make a (non-painted) sign to name your hotel, so your guests know what to look up in GPS.

Finally, bug hotels do not require much maintenance, as you do not want to disturb your insect guests. So, let the “cash” (aka improved garden conditions) flow in and enjoy!

May 1924, 100 Years Ago

Thurmont Light Plant Cleared $38.01 in Year

That the financial condition of Thurmont is sound and on a firm basis is shown by the following statement of receipts and expenditures including the condition of the corporation finances and the municipal electric light system. The corporation statement is for the fiscal year ending April 15 while the municipal election light statement is for the fiscal year ending April 1.

The cash on hand for the electric light system totaled $38.01.

                                – Frederick Daily News, May 18, 1924

Gets Road Job

The contract to construct nine-tenths mile of State highway east toward Rocky Ridge was awarded to L. R. Waesche & Son, of Thurmont, on Thursday by the State Roads Commission. The bid was $29,770. This stretch of highway was among those recommended by the County Commissioners to be constructed by the State.

                                – Frederick Daily News, May 23, 1924

May 1949, 75 Years Ago

Roads Commission to Correct Seton Ave. Curve

After many months of negotiating by both the State Roads Commission and St. Joseph’s

Catholic Church, correction of the dangerous curve in front of the church on N. Seton Ave. is about to be accomplished. Recently the church donated a strip of its land 9 feet wide and 182 feet long to the State for the purpose of diminishing that traffic impediment.

A major factor in accomplishing this project was the work of Mayor Thornton Rodgers and a committee of church members who have been dickering with the Commission for a lengthy time…

…The chief engineer indicated the approximate cost of the job to be $2,700.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 6, 1949

Pinball Machcines Expected to Bring $10,000 to County

Revenue from the Alexander pinball machine licensing bill which becomes effective in Frederick County June is expected to produce in excess of $10.000 per year. The fund, under provisions of the bill, is to be divided equally between capital improvements at Emergency Hospital and the county general fund….

Mr. Alexander estimates there are at least 250 machines at present in operation in the county each of which must be licensed at a fee of $50 per annum. A $500 license fee is imposed by the new law on operators who are described as persons owning three or more such machines. At present, Mr. Alexander says, it is believed that at least four operators fall within the bill’s category.  

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 13, 1949

May 1974, 50 Years Ago

Mandel Speaks At Mt. St. Mary’s

A crowd of about 200 were on hand to greet Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel when his helicopter landed on the campus of Mount Saint Mary’s College at noon Monday. Governor Mandel was on campus for an informal question-and-answer session open to the public as well as Mount Saint Mary’s students and faculty.

The governor answered a variety of questions ranging from President Nixon to taxes to state aid to higher education. Asked his reaction to the conviction of Dale Anderson and the investigation of corrupt practices among other state officials, Mandel said, “There is no investigation as far as this administration is concerned. We’re not involved in investigations in any way, shape or form. A great disservice has been done to the State of Maryland by the news media who use the State of Maryland in connection with the investigations.”

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 9, 1974

Scouts Complete Inner Tube Trip

“We all made it”, said the seventeen member contingent of Emmitsburg’s Boy Scout

Troop 284. In spite of cool weather, slow water currents and other natural hazards, the scouts completed an 8 mile trip down the Monocacy River in inner tubes, on Saturday,

May 25. “It was a strange looking crew that assembled at Mumma Ford Bridge”, just south of Emmitsburg, said Scoutmaster Jay Dickinson.

Inner tubes of various sizes, covered with canvas, life preservers, and canoe paddles, were all the equipment that was taken on the trip. Lunches were packed in plastic bags to help keep the Monoccacy River where it belonged.

Only one inner tube went down. The unfortunate scoutjoined another on his inner tube to complete the journey.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 30, 1974

May 1999, 25 Years Ago

Emmitsburg Town Deputies

Emmitsburg has a new deputy in town: Officer Willie 011ie. Deputy 011ie will be working with Deputy John Chance to patrol our town. The deputies are concerned about traffic enforcement and the juvenile problem Emmitsburg is having. With warm weather upon us the deputies have been working on plans to curtail curfew violators and vandals.

Emmitsburg has a Dupties Willie 011ie (I) and John Chance juvenile curfew that is in effect from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.(Ordinance .12.040). The deputies have also been working with radar to slow some of the speeders through town.

                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, May 1999

Flowers for Main Street

The Town of Emmitsburg and Silver Fancy Garden Club will be planting flowers in the Bradford Pear tree wells along Main Street on May 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. This is a tremendous undertaking and we need many volunteers.

We will meet in front of the town office at 8:45 a.m., give  explanations of what, where, and how to plant, and allocate areas. The town crew will help with additional dirt and mulch. Each volunteer should bring gloves, clippers, shovel, and a trowel. If you do not have these please come and the necessary items will be provided.

            – The Emmitsburg Regional, Dispatch, May 1999

“The Old Adage” From The Emmitsburg Chronicle, January 1, 1972

by Buck Reed

Old Bay…It’s a Maryland Thang, Hon

Maryland and, more importantly, the Chesapeake Bay has firmly established itself as a kingdom of seafood. We are known for our oysters, shrimp, and, of course, our Maryland crabs. And, what real Marylander doesn’t know that crabs are firmly linked to Old Bay seasoning? I would wager that every local home that boasts a real cook in the house will also have a can of this spice blend in the kitchen. Let’s face it, the stuff is a Maryland staple.

It all started in the late 1930s when a German immigrant, named Gustav Brunn, came to Baltimore with the clothes on his back and a spice grinder under his arm. Being a spice merchant before the politics of his homeland forced him out, he quickly established himself as a good business man and secured a loan to open a spice shop in the Market Place in Baltimore, which was a hub for purchasing fresh seafood. The Baltimore Spice Company was ideally situated with plenty of German customers, and they introduced a blend of 18 spices that was dubbed Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning. It took some time and persuasion, but Gustav was finally able to convince one crab monger to try his spice. Once they did, it took off like wildfire. Suddenly, everyone wanted it for their home kitchen. Later, it changed its name for a passenger ship that traveled from Baltimore to Norfolk, called the Old Bay Line, which was a shorter name and eventually became a household brand.

As most Maryland cooks know, this spice blend is great on crabs, shrimp, and most any seafood. Yet, we also understand that this product can go on just about anything, and most likely will.

Roasted chicken is one of my favorites, and if you are ordering wings, there is almost always an Old Bay option on the menu. I would also say it is a pretty good substitute for a steak blend that comes from Montreal. You can season hash browns or roasted potatoes with it, and more than a few vegetables are pretty tasty with this stuff. Think grilled corn on the cob with Old Bay.

Using it to flavor a compound butter or mayonnaise might also step up your game. Also try it on fresh popcorn or French fries. It will also add some zing to your Bloody Mary, or if you dare, order your next Martini with Old Bay.

Maryland crab soup must include Old Bay, as should crab cakes. I would also add it to any chowder that is found in New England. Salads also work well with this spice, and not just the ones with seafood.

There really isn’t much that you cannot use Old Bay in or on. Can you imagine that there are a couple of Old Bay ice cream products out there? If you cannot find them, just sprinkle some Old Bay onto your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Today, Old Bay is owned and produced by the McCormick Spice Company, with the same recipe as the first day it was sold. Yet, it doesn’t really matter who is selling it or where it is sold, Old Bay will always find a home in the Maryland pantry.

by Maxine Troxell

Got a ham bone leftover from the holidays? Lucky you. Put it to good use in this comforting ham and bean soup. The soup was one of my favorites. My mom used to make this soup with rivels. She always made it in a pot on the stove. This recipe uses a slow cooker, which makes it easier to make.


1 large onion, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 tbsp. margarine

1 ham bone

2 (32 ounce) cans Great Northern beans

For Rivels

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 raw egg

1 pinch salt


In a large pot (stock pot), a little more than half full of water, add 1 large chopped onion, 2 or 3 stalks of chopped celery, and the ham bone.

Cook until celery is cooked down.

Remove ham from the bone, discard fat, and return ham to pot.

Add both cans of Great Northern beans.

Bring to a boil.

Turn heat down to medium and let it boil until the broth does not look watery, stirring often to prevent sticking (1-2 hours).

Combine the flour, raw egg, and salt in a small bowl.

Stir together till crumbly with a fork (may have to use your fingers).

Take parts of mixture and crumble over bean mixture in pot with fingers, stirring a little after each.

Dump any loose leftover flour from mixture into the beans to help thicken broth and stir well.

If you want more rivels, repeat the steps for making them.

      Lower the heat to simmer, uncovered, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

                Cover and cook 5 minutes more.

Larry Thomas Brent

Died in Vietnam

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Larry Thomas Brent was born on May 10, 1946, in Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, to parents Logan Brent and Susan Moore Brent.

Brent had seven brothers and five sisters “surviving” him at the time of his death, according to an obituary published in the January 18, 1968, The York Dispatch

Brent graduated from Gettysburg High School as a member of the Class of 1965. Subsequently, he served for six months in the National Guard before entering the Army in June 1966. Brent undertook his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Brent, who had achieved the designation of SP4 (Specialist 4) was assigned to the 6th Battalion, 77th Artillery.  According to, on October 15, 1966, the “6th Battalion, 77th Artillery was activated at Fort Irwin, California, as a towed-105mm howitzer battalion.”

“Towed” 105mm howitzers are lightweight field artillery that can be towed by another vehicle into action.  According to, the “105MM howitzer was the mainstay of every firebase and used in nearly every major battle of the Vietnam War.” The gun-type generally employed a crew of six for operating it.

The battalion, along with Brent, arrived in Vietnam on May 22, 1967, and “was assigned to the II Field Force, the 6/77th Artillery, and was attached to the 25th Division and based at Cu Chi,” stated.

During October 1967, Vietnam was subject to severe rain and storms.  “By the end of September and during the first weeks of October, the monsoon season had made for rough combat conditions,” according to 

October saw more than attacks from a fanatical enemy. On the home front, while the American soldiers weathered the storms, both in the form of lightning from the tempests and the bullets and incoming rounds from their artillery of the enemy, the “first national demonstration” against the war had been launched in opposition to the war, which included the Pentagon Riot of October 21, 1967.

Nevertheless, combat continued, despite supply lines having been disrupted by the severe weather. It was during the October deluge that Brent had been hit by enemy fire.

The York Dispatch reported in a story published on January 19, 1968, that Brent had been previously hospitalized during October 1967, in Vietnam, as the result of his having sustained a shrapnel wound. The newspaper noted that, after his recovery, “He returned to duty before Christmas with Battery A, Sixth Battalion, Seventy-Seventh Artillery.”

The Gettysburg Times reported on January 18, 1968, that “recovering from the October wound, he was given a rest and recreation leave over Christmas and then returned to duty.”

Regardless of when he had returned to duty, Brent was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of his injury. His mother was informed of his having received the medal in November.

Nothing out of the ordinary seemed to have made its way into the media or the public eye until the New Year, when, on January 18, 1968, The Gettysburg Times published a story under the headline, “Larry T. Brent Dies in Action Tuesday (January 16) in VN.” 

According to the story, Brent “has been killed in action in Vietnam…  Officers from the Army ROTC unit at Gettysburg College conveyed the message to the mother Wednesday evening.” 

The York Dispatch also reported on January 19 that Brent had been “killed in action (on January 16).”

However, military records seem to dispute the claim that Brent was “killed in action.” His cause of death is listed in U.S., Vietnam War Military Casualties, 1956-1998, as having been classified as “Non-Hostile – Died of Other Causes.” 

SP4 Larry Thomas Brent was laid to rest on January 24 in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The Gettysburg Times reported that, “An honor guard and pallbearers were provided by a military unit from the Carlisle Barracks.” The newspaper also noted that Brent was buried “with full military honors.”

SP 4 Larry Thomas Brent

American Legion Post 168, Thurmont

April showers bring May flowers! I just hope it didn’t drown them all!

Speaking of flowers, May is Poppy month. The last Friday of May is National Poppy Day! Wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation’s uniform. Don’t have a Poppy to wear? Stop by the Legion or the following Thurmont businesses will have Poppy’s available: Main Street Thurmont, Marie’s Beauty Salon, Kountry Kitchen, Criswell Chevrolet and Criswell Chrysler, Bollinger’s Restaurant, Gateway Candyland, and the last two weeks of May at Scenic View Orchards. We are hoping to add some more businesses, so if you see a Poppy Can and a basket of Poppies, please help yourself. We do not charge for them; we just ask for a donation that goes to our Veterans.

May is also the time to celebrate Mother’s (May 12) and National Military Appreciation Month with the last Monday (May 27) of the month celebrating Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a holiday that commemorates men and women who died while in Military service to the United States. It also is a signal that summer is on the way and barbeque season is opening. What better way is there to celebrate our brave heroes, who have died serving our Country, than dusting off the barbeque, gathering family and friends, and celebrating with a wonderful barbeque platter and all of the trimmings.

Although we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May, May 30 will be the Memorial Day program at the Thurmont Memorial Park, starting at 6:30 p.m. Please join us for this moving event.

The Easter Egg Hunt on March 30 was a huge success. We know it is a year away,  but hopefully, you will mark your calendar for next year!

Attention Auxiliary Junior Members: Dues for 2025 (starting July 1, 2024) will be increasing to $12.00.

We have a lot of events coming up soon, so stay up to date with our Facebook page: The American Legion Post 168.

The Americanism Essay winners read their essays and were given their certificates and monetary prizes by Americanism Chair Alice Eyler. The topic of the essay was “What Does Freedom Mean to Me?” Pictured are Taylor Zais, Lily Tankersley, Tansy Loughry, Eli Yocum, Julia Marl, Ella Rose, Brynn Eyler, Ryan Werner, Blake Necciai, and Matthew Cox, with Americanism Chairperson Alice Eyler. Not pictured are Kalee Hull and Peighton Rhinehart.

Kids enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt at the Thurmont American Legion on March 30.

What Is An Aneurysm?

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

An aneurysm is a weak or expanded part of an artery, like a bulge in a balloon. Your arteries are large blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from your heart to other parts of your body. If an area in an artery wall weakens, the force of blood pumping through can result in a bulge or aneurysm.

Aneurysms usually aren’t painful. You might not know you have one unless it ruptures or bursts. If it does, it can be very dangerous or even fatal.

Different Types of Aneurysms

An aneurysm can form in any of the arteries in your body. Aneurysms can occur in your heart, abdomen, brain, or legs. The location determines the type of aneurysm.

Aortic aneurysms are by far the most common. They form in your aorta, your body’s largest artery. Your aorta carries blood out of your heart. Aneurysms that develop in arteries other than your aorta are called peripheral aneurysms.

Types of aneurysms include:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA): These aneurysms may form where your aorta carries blood into your abdomen (belly).

Cerebral aneurysms: Also called brain aneurysms, these aneurysms affect an artery in your brain. A saccular (or berry) aneurysm is the most common type of cerebral aneurysm. It forms as a sack of blood attached to an artery. It looks like a round berry attached to the artery.

Thoracic aortic aneurysm: These aneurysms form in the upper part of your aorta, in your chest.

Carotid aneurysm: These aneurysms form in your carotid arteries. These blood vessels bring blood to your brain, neck, and face. Carotid aneurysms are rare.

Popliteal aneurysm: These develop in the artery that runs behind your knees.

Mesenteric artery aneurysm: This type of aneurysm forms in the artery that brings blood to your intestine.

Splenic artery aneurysm: These aneurysms develop in an artery in your spleen.

How Common Are Aneurysms?

Unruptured brain aneurysms affect 2 to 5 percent of healthy people, and about 25 percent of them have multiple aneurysms. Most brain aneurysms develop in adulthood—but they can also occur in children—with a mean age of detection around 50 years in adults. Many brain aneurysms don’t rupture.

Aortic aneurysms become more prevalent with age.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are four to six times more common in males than females.

Who Is At Risk of An Aneurysm?

Different types of aneurysms affect different groups. Brain aneurysms affect females more than males. Aortic aneurysms more often affect males.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur most often in people who are:


Over the age of 60.


White, although they affect people of any race.

What Are the Symptoms of An Aneurysm?

In many cases, people don’t know they have an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures (bursts), it’s a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Call 911 if you or someone you’re with shows signs of a ruptured aneurysm.

Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm come on suddenly. You may feel:


Rapid heartbeat.

Sudden, severe pain in your head, chest, abdomen, or back.

Sudden loss of consciousness following a severe headache.

   When an aneurysm causes symptoms, the signs depend on its location. You might notice signs of shock, such as a drop in blood pressure, feeling clammy and “out of it,” and having a pounding heart. Other symptoms of an aneurysm can include:

Confusion or dizziness.

Difficulty swallowing.



Nausea or vomiting.

Pain in your abdomen, chest, or back.

Pulsating abdominal mass or swelling in your neck.

Rapid heart rate.

Vision changes.

What Are the Complications of An Aneurysm?

If an aneurysm ruptures, it causes internal bleeding. Depending on the location of the aneurysm, a rupture can be very dangerous or life-threatening.

An aneurysm in your neck can cause a blood clot that travels to your brain. If the clot cuts off blood flow to your brain, it causes a stroke.

When a brain aneurysm ruptures, it causes a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Some people call this type of stroke a brain bleed. Typically, people have what they call the worst headache of their life and then develop other symptoms like limb weakness, headache, and trouble speaking.

What Causes An Aneurysm?

In some cases, people are born with aneurysms. They can also develop at any point during your life. Although the cause of an aneurysm is often unknown, some possible causes include:

Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

Family history of aneurysms.

High blood pressure.

Injury to your aorta.

How Is An Aneurysm Diagnosed?

Many aneurysms develop without causing symptoms. Your healthcare provider may discover it by accident during a routine checkup or other screening.

If you have symptoms that may indicate an aneurysm, your provider will do imaging tests. Imaging tests that can find and help diagnose an aneurysm include CT scan, CT or MRI angiography, and Ultrasound.

How Will My Healthcare Provider Classify An Aneurysm?

Your provider will classify an aneurysm by how large it is and how it forms. The different classifications include:

Fusiform aneurysm bulges out on all sides of your artery.

Saccular aneurysm causes just one side of your artery to bulge.

Mycotic aneurysm develops after an infection (typically in your heart valves) has weakened an artery wall.

Pseudoaneurysm or false aneurysm occurs when just the outer layer of your artery wall expands. This can occur after injury to the inner layer of your artery called dissection.

How Is An Aneurysm Treated?

If your provider discovers that you have an unruptured aneurysm, they’ll monitor your condition closely. The goal of treatment is to prevent the aneurysm from bursting.

Depending on the aneurysm’s type, location, and size, treatment can include medication or surgery. Your provider may prescribe medications to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, or control cholesterol. These treatments can help slow aneurysm growth and reduce pressure on the artery wall.

Large aneurysms at risk of bursting may require surgery. You’ll also need surgery if an aneurysm bursts.

How Can I Prevent An Aneurysm?

Unruptured aneurysms are common. You can’t always prevent them. But you can reduce your risk of developing an aneurysm by maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

Eat a heart-healthy diet.

Exercise regularly.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Avoid or quit smoking.

What Is the Prognosis for People With An Aneurysm?

Ruptured aneurysms are a life-threatening emergency. Without immediate treatment, it can be fatal. If you get treatment right away, the outcomes vary. Many people recover well with rehabilitation and other care.

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

Spring has sprung, and all of the April showers certainly brought the May flowers. I hope you all are taking the time to enjoy the beautiful weather and beautiful scenery we have all around us. We would love for you to stop into the Thurmont Senior Center for a visit just to see what we have going on.

Did you know that we have provided 4,269 meals, with 1,578 of those being delivered this fiscal year July 2023-March 2024? We are excited about the number of meals that we have been serving at our center and delivering. Did you know that we offer free delivery within six miles of the center? You can also pick up a lunch if you are not able to eat here with us. We really are blessed to have the fantastic restaurants in Thurmont providing our meals. We really have a fun time sharing meals together. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, we could always use delivery people or someone to drive seniors to the center or to appointments. Please feel free to reach out to see where you can help. We love our volunteers.

May is full of activities. Take the opportunity to take a look at the calendar of events we have scheduled. You can find our calendar on the website at, on Facebook, or come into the center and ask for one. We will happily get you one.

We would love for you to join us for a free balance and strength exercise session on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, beginning at 11:00 a.m. We play pinochle on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. We have Bunko on the second Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m., and Farkle on the fourth Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Thursdays are for dominoes at 12:30 p.m. We also play Bingo every first and third Wednesday of the month. If we have a fifth Wednesday, we hold a Special Bingo. It is always a fun time, full of laughter and special homemade treats for halftime.

I can’t forget to mention coffee—we are told it is the best! So, come in and have a cup with us. On Fridays, we have Zumba. We also offer Poker and 500.

Just a reminder that while some activities may have a minimal cost, joining the center is absolutely free.

Just to let you know, we have a whole corner dedicated to exercise. We have two treadmills, a stair climber, and a recumbent bicycle for use during our hours, 9:00-3:00 p.m.—there is no charge to use this equipment

We had two different rentals last month. There was a baby shower and a two-year-old’s birthday celebrated here. Each person said how much they enjoyed the facility. Call the Thurmont Senior Center to rent for different activities, such as a baby shower, a birthday party, or a bridal shower.

As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call the Thurmont Senior Center at 301-271-7911.

Catoctin Furnace Historical Society has won a $7,500 grant from Americana Corner to restore a 19th century bellows.

CFHS was one of 171 historic preservation organizations across the country to receive a grant in honor of George Washington’s birthday.

The restored bellows will be used in the blacksmithing demonstration program held in Catoctin Furnace’s newly constructed blacksmith shop.

The bellows was manufactured circa 1875 to 1885 by J. C. Onions company in Birmingham, England, the preeminent bellows manufacturer of the day. The giant bellows measures five feet by three feet and is constructed of wood, tin, and leather. Blacksmiths use bellows to deliver a constant supply of oxygen to the fire, allowing for the high temperatures, which are required to heat iron to the point that it can be worked.

With the addition of the bellows, Catoctin Furnace has a full complement of 19th century blacksmithing tools.

Just as iron was arguably the most critical industry in the development of the early United States, blacksmiths were essential to the production of equipment and supplies, such as nails, hinges, hooks, wagon parts, and tools.

Late 18th and early 19th century blacksmiths in Catoctin Furnace were primarily enslaved and free Africans and African Americans. Research into the African American owned Moses Jones (1787-1868) blacksmith shop in Carroll County and the Felicity or Oakland Mills blacksmith shop in Howard County informed the design of Catoctin Furnace’s new blacksmith shop.

With the addition of this restored bellows, the blacksmith shop will become a platform to honor the contribution of blacksmithing to our history, revive the practice of the craft, and educate visitors about its importance. In addition, it will become an essential part of Catoctin Furnace’s Heritage at Work program geared toward work skills training for at-risk students.

Catoctin Furnace Historical Society shares the history of ironmaking through special events throughout the year, including an annual commemoration of black history month’s “In Their Own Voices,” an autumn performance of Spirits of the Furnace, now in its 21st year, and the Maryland Iron Festival.

The 6th Annual Maryland Iron Festival will take place on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, 2024, in the village of Catoctin Furnace, and throughout Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain Park. For more information, contact

by Tricia Bush, CPA, CFP®, Partner, Bestgate Advisors

Hi, I’m Tricia Bush, CPA, CFP®, and I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned from working with successful retirees to help lead you to your financial and retirement goals.

One of the overriding themes I’ve seen of those who have been successful is that they have developed a financial plan themselves or have worked with a financial advisor to create their financial plan.

So, how do you get started?

In the realm of financial planning, there’s no shortage of advice and strategies. From Dave Ramsey’s rapid debt payoff method to the notion of leveraging debt for investment—the options are endless. But amidst this sea of information, how do you determine what’s right for you? The answer lies in understanding your own financial goals and priorities.

Take a moment to reflect on what truly matters to you and your family. Are you feeling overwhelmed by credit card debt? Perhaps you’ve recently come into an inheritance and are faced with new investment decisions. Or, maybe retirement is looming, prompting a shift in your financial mindset. Each circumstance calls for a customized financial plan, tailored to your specific needs.

Once you’ve identified your priorities and envisioned your financial destination, the next step is to assess your current financial landscape.

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon to have accounts scattered across various institutions and platforms. While this setup may offer convenience, it can obscure your overall financial picture. Listing all these accounts in one place can provide a clearer view of your overall financial health. By calculating your net worth—total assets minus liabilities—you establish a baseline for progress.

With your financial baseline established, it’s time to examine your cash flow, commonly referred to as your budget. This serves as the bridge between your current situation and your financial goals. Maybe you have some discretionary income each month; yet, without a budget, it’s easy to fritter it away without a second thought. While the occasional splurge at Starbucks for that Venti Caramel Macchiato with the extra shot of espresso might seem harmless, aligning your spending with your priorities can lead to greater financial security.

For instance, if your top priority is saving for your child’s college education, earmarking those funds for a 529 plan can set you on the right path. A common theme I’ve seen with the successful retirees I’ve worked with is that they had a good handle on their budget.

One of the greatest benefits of having a financial plan is the peace of mind it brings. Knowing that you’re on track to meet your retirement savings goals, or not pulling too much out of your retirement accounts, can alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy life’s pleasures without any guilt. However, just like sticking to an exercise routine, some individuals may find it challenging to stay motivated on their own. If financial planning feels daunting or you struggle to stay the course, consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor.

Contrary to popular belief, financial advisors aren’t just for the wealthy or the Wall Street elite. They come in various specialties, each focused on helping you achieve your unique financial objectives. Whether your goal is retirement planning or debt management, finding the right advisor can provide invaluable support and expertise.

Whether you choose to go it alone or enlist the help of a financial advisor, the important thing is to take that first step toward securing your financial future. By crafting a financial plan tailored to your needs and aspirations, you’re taking control of your destiny and setting yourself up for success.

In closing, I hope this article serves as a catalyst for action, inspiring you to embark on your financial planning journey with confidence. We will continue to dive into more detail about different financial planning topics in future issues, but as you are working on your financial plan, if some topics or questions come to mind, send them to The Catoctin Banner at, and we’ll see if we can answer your questions in a future issue.

Remember, regardless of where you are on your financial path, it’s never too late to start planning for a brighter tomorrow.


Observations from the Woodpile” is a collection of essays bundled together and given as a birthday present for my wife, Nancy, in 1997. Twenty-seven years have passed since the collection was given. The two main subjects of the essays, my sons Justus and Jacob, have grown into men with families of their own.

The Right Tool for the Job

Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few devices for splitting wood. I’ve been tempted to try them all. Sometimes, I’ve been weak and fallen for promises of wood falling into nice uniform pieces with just one whack of this tool or that. After several seasons of trial and error, I’ve ended up with a basic set of tools: a splitting maul, two or three wedges, a chainsaw, and an instrument called a cant hook.

A splitting maul is a cross between a wedge, an axe, and a sledgehammer. It looks like a wedge with a handle. The chainsaw is noisy and otherwise ineloquent, but I don’t see how folks got along without them. My hat is off to the old-timers who felled the giants of the ancient forests with cross-cut saws.

Except for the cant hook, all these tools are necessary for getting the job done. The cant hook isn’t at all necessary. It’s one of those tools that make doing a job pleasurable or, at least, less of a burden, by taking some of the drudgery out. It’s a stout handle with a hook that pivots about a foot from the end. You use it to lift and turn logs by the principle of leverage. It has, no doubt, saved me from an irreparable back injury.

Being properly equipped for a task is often quite a balancing act. Not enough of the right equipment paralyzes a project. With too many tools and gadgets, too much time is spent on tools and not the task.

Properly equipping children with the right tools for their lives’ tasks is the quintessential purpose of parenting. The tendency is to equip them with too much hardware, too much stuff. It’s easy to throw money and hope it’s the right thing. So, what is the right list of tools?  Well, just as every job is different, so is every child. It takes a bunch of trial and error and that means a bunch of time. 

When Less Than Sharp Is Best

More than once, the boys have commented about how dull the splitting mauls are. They constantly want to file them to a knife edge. I explain to them that for the kind of work the mauls are designed to do, extra sharp is not best. Something very sharp is more easily blunted and dulled. The mauls are continually being driven into the ground and hitting rocks and such. It just doesn’t pay to keep them razor sharp.

Several years ago, I ran a planing mill in a cabinet-making plant. Every day, I replaced the huge planer knives with ones that had been sharpened the day before. Before finishing, I passed a special stone across the knives to take a tiny bit off the edge. I asked the fellow who sharpened the knives why that had to be done. He explained that if the knives were too sharp, the constant friction would cause them to burn up. They would not last through the next shift.

That’s a principle I’ve seen before. Very precise instruments require an extraordinary amount of maintenance. High performance cars spend a lot of time in garages. Sharp, intense people often can’t make it over the long run. They’re too sharp to resist the constant friction, and they simply burn up.

The two boys are too young to comprehend this observation, and I don’t want them using it on me as a way of avoiding their schoolwork. Someday, they’ll be grown men with careers and families and a thousand other responsibilities. I hope they will understand then to take a little of the edge off, so they can last the long run.

On a Sunday afternoon in March, the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick was bustling with families, grandparents, and local community members, who were all there to see the talent of the budding young artists who are part of Frederick County Public Schools.

The Delaplaine Arts Center once again hosted the Frederick County Public School Youth Art Exhibit, from March 2 through March 25. Art teachers from each school across the county selected up to three of their student’s artwork to be displayed during the event.

The gallery rooms were filled with vibrant colors, displaying over four hundred pieces of artwork in a variety of mediums and even included three dimensional pieces. 

The following students from the Catoctin Feeder Schools were featured in the exhibit:

Catoctin High School: Arianna Calhoun (12th Grade), Leyna Durrschmidt (10th Grade), Kaitlyn Eyler (9th Grade), Kaitlynn Grimes (12th Grade), Lillian Holden (11th Grade), Rebekah Manahan (9th Grade), Abby Nichols (12th Grade)

Emmitsburg Elementary: Dani Beall (3rd Grade), Amilia Luyo (Pre-K), Alexa Sosa Torres (5th Grade)

Lewistown Elementary: Natalie Collins (5th Grade)

Sabillasville Environmental School: Hunter Steele (1st Grade), Julia Marl (6th Grade)

Thurmont Primary: Prairie Brown (2nd Grade), Iris Burdick-Grumphrey, Olivia Roecker (K)

Thurmont Elementary: Ava Burdette (4th Grade), Sydney Grimes (5th Grade), John Irons (3rd Grade)

Thurmont Middle: Garcelle Hinson (6th Grade), Payton Reid (8th Grade), Amelia Rice (7th Grade)

Mixed Media by Cobalt Wivell at Catoctin High School, Art Teacher Laura Day.

Scratchboard by Garcelle Hinson at Thurmont Middle School, Art Teacher Stephanie Strenko.

Collage by Olivia Roecker at Thurmont Primary, Art Teacher Jennifer Riggs.

Oil Pastel & Watercolor by Natalie Collins at Lewistown Elementary School, Art Teacher Cenica Korrell.

Oil Pastel by Leyna Durrschmidt at Catoctin High School, Art Teacher Laura Day.

Watercolor and Cut Paper by Hunter Steele at Sabillasville Environmental School, Art Teacher Destyni Cecil.

Paint and Marker by Ava Burdette at Thurmont Elementary, Art Teacher Jill Dutrow.

Stoneware and Clay Oxide by Arianna Calhoun at Catoctin High School, Art Teacher Valerie Pickett.

Tempera Paint by at Emmitsburg Elementary Alexa Sosa Torres, Art Teacher Heidi Hench.

by Helen Xia, CHS Student Writer

Have you heard about the basins detected on Mars? Already, experts are devising ways astronauts could utilize this newfound resource. For instance, not only could this be used to discover more about Mars’ history, but it could also be used more directly, such as for rocket fuel. Something else, however, emerged from the finding of water on this extraterrestrial mass: questions about whether intricate life can one day be found on Mars—or, better yet, could life from Earth ever be transferred there in the future?

The answer is uncertain for now, but one thing’s for sure: Humanity thriving on Mars is no easy feat. From high radiation levels to bitter cold—approximately negative 81 degrees Fahrenheit, to be precise—lack of oxygen is not the only factor preventing us from abandoning our home on Earth.

All of that was a convoluted way to say that Earth is our only definite home. There is no guarantee we’ll have a “second chance” to migrate to another body in space if Earth becomes uninhabitable. Hence, some critics question, “Why expend so much time and resources tapping into Mars when those efforts can be used to preserve where we currently live?”

Fortunately, amongst extraordinary discoveries beyond Earth’s atmosphere, there is a day designated for understanding the struggles here on Earth and appreciating what our home has to offer: Earth Day.

Despite not being an official national holiday, Earth Day is celebrated by more than 1 billion every year on April 22. It is often regarded as the origin of the modern movement for environmental conservation. The environmental discussion—more prevalent now than ever—arose decades ago. The first Earth Day materialized in 1970, amid copious amounts of leaded gas emissions from automobiles and the soaring of industrialization. Back then, there was scarcely any legislation combatting these harmful practices, if any.

Junior Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin recognized this unsustainable conduct and employed the powerful voice of youth to amplify his message. Inspired by the anti-war protests occurring during this period, Senator Nelson wanted to incorporate students’ vigorous demands for change into the environmental debate as well. To accomplish this, he organized teach-ins on college campuses with Denis Hayes, who left his academic career at Harvard Law School to pursue environmental advocacy. This explains the seemingly random date of Earth Day: To maximize student participation, Senator Nelson and Hayes purposefully selected April 22, which falls in between college students’ spring break and final exam season.

The event quickly escalated beyond merely college campuses and saw remarkable success. On April 22, 1970, about 20 million people throughout the country—roughly 10 percent of the nation at the time—gathered in various cities and protested against the damage done by careless, uncontrolled industry. Since the first Earth Day, the United States government has formed the Environmental Protection Agency and passed several laws dedicated to environmental conservation, including the Clean Air Act.

Don’t worry, environment-centered initiatives don’t need to be as large-scale as the ones described previously to be effective. An example of a force for environmental good is right in our community: At Catoctin High School (CHS), Brian Brotherton’s Catoctin Conservation Club (CCC) is committed to advancing sustainability within the school and beyond. To accurately illuminate the notable achievements of this club, I interviewed CCC’s incredible president, Gina Lin.

For starters, what is CCC all about? “The Catoctin Conservation Club has been working toward sustainability since its founding in 2019. Although it’s gone through a series of name changes, the goal of CCC stays the same: increasing environmental awareness at CHS and implementing ambitious sustainability practices in various forms,” explained Lin. “To say that the club is juggling a few tasks is an understatement. We worked diligently and submitted the Maryland Green School Application before its deadline in early March. CHS used to be Green School certified. The dawn of CCC was full of momentum, but soon after came the pandemic, erasing much progress, one of them being the expiration of the Green School’s Application. There is a certain set of criteria schools have to meet regarding student-led action, community partnerships, and sustainable school systems [to qualify].”

According to Lin, some highlights of CCC’s hard work consist of partnering with National Park Services to organize a successful on-campus tree planting; applying for and receiving the Maryland State Department of Education’s School Waste Reduction and Composting Program grant; arranging a school-wide recycling movement, titled Recycling Battle Royale, and educating students on proper recycling habits; having a few members of the club—including Natalie Hoyt, Keelyn Swaney, and Lin—attend the Frederick County District 5 Budget Hearing to advocate for more sustainable practices around the county; and welcoming the Frederick County Public Schools’ Sustainability director and operations manager to CHS to discuss next steps with the club.

The CCC is, evidently, a treasure at Catoctin! I can attest that the organization’s positive influence can be regularly felt all through my school.

Managing the numerous dynamic components of CCC requires much dedication and endurance. A problem as extensive as the climate crisis may seem overwhelming, but from her experience, Lin urges, “The most important lesson [I’ve learned] is to just try. Even if you can’t get everyone on board with your ideas, the best you can do is try and influence those who actually demonstrate interest. You never know the full impact of your actions. Communication is so important—I cannot stress this enough. You need to be a good communicator and not afraid to put yourself out there in order to get things going.”

Hopefully, this article left you feeling hopeful or at least taught you something about our planet and the efforts to protect it. Everyone is capable of uniting and outputting good in this world we share.

I will leave you with the following message of encouragement from Lin about conservation: “Every bit of action is significant and will be meaningful in the long run. We can’t be indifferent to the things burning in front of our faces. One less piece of plastic that ends up in the Chesapeake and feeds into the Atlantic is one more marine organism saved. Our actions are what causes eutrophication, the difference between critically endangered and extinct, and the amount of property destruction in coastal areas. The climate crisis is an indisputable issue and one I wish wasn’t politically charged. This is the future of humanity we are saving.”

Littlestown Man Dies of Fright

John McCall of Littlestown, Pennsylvania, was one of the oldest engineers working on the Northern Central Railroad in 1909. He had worked for the railroad for over 30 years and even lost a leg eight years earlier in an accident on the railroad.

So, what could a man who had probably seen everything—good and bad—having to do with the railroad have seen that literally scared him to death?

The Northern Central Railroad ran from Baltimore to Sunbury, Pennsylvania. It had been completed in 1858. The railroad’s claim to fame was that President Abraham Lincoln rode on the railroad to deliver his Gettysburg Address in 1863, changing trains in Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania. Then, in 1865, the Northern Central Railroad carried Lincoln partway on his final journey to Springfield, Illinois, where he would be buried.

On December 3, 1909, McCall was working on the Frederick Branch of the railroad, east of Stony Brook, at the York Valley Lime and Stone company quarries, near Hallam, Pennsylvania. He backed Locomotive No. 4134 onto a siding at the quarry and unloaded the coal with which it was filled.

After coming off that siding, he reversed the locomotive to back onto another siding. The brakeman applied the hand brakes to stop the locomotive along the siding, but it began drifting backwards down the steep grade.

“When the brakeman realized that he was unable to hold the car, he shouted a warning to McCall, who may or may not have heard it. A moment later the heavy steel car side swiped the locomotive cab, tearing the right side entirely off and throwing McCall to the track, where he was pinned between the parallel bars and driving wheels of the locomotive,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Men nearby rushed to his aid, but McCall was trapped. In order to free him, McCall’s rescuers had to saw off his wooden leg, “which was fastened under the engine in such a way that it was impossible to move the man otherwise,” according to the Gettysburg Times.

His injuries from the accident were considered slight. McCall had a slight gash on his forehead and a broken left thumb. The most serious of his injuries was the amputation of his left index finger. These injuries were indeed slight, considering that McCall had previously survived the loss of his right leg around the turn of the century.

The accident had occurred around 5:45 p.m. By 6:30 p.m. that evening, McCall was dead. Dr. W. F. Bacon pronounced McCall dead due to shock and not his injuries. The York County coroner, J. E. Dehoff, later agreed with Bacon’s pronouncement.

John’s son, Carter McCall, also lived in Littlestown. He was a member of the freight crew on his father’s train. He was notified of his father’s death so that he could claim the body and return it to his family in Littlestown.

“The accident is the most peculiar known on the railroad, and a similar accident could not be remembered by any of the oldest engineers on the road,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Resourceful Rain Gardens

Good day to you, readers! I’m sure you’ve done all the Earth Day activities before: picked up trash, potted a plant, or enjoyed nature. Those are all great, yet, if you find yourself with that time and energy this Earth day, consider making a rain garden for more lasting aid to the planet. You’ll be carrying on a Maryland tradition since the first rain garden was started right here in Maryland by Dick Brinker of Prince George’s County. It was created as a new way to mitigate water pollution in a newly built neighborhood in Somerset.

The installation of one rain garden per house was quite effective: stormwater runoff decreased a whopping 75-80 percent as it was absorbed and filtered by the garden. Even its use at the University of Maryland, College Park, resulted in transparent water (many pollutants, bacteria, and other materials were captured and filtered successfully). Rain gardens are designated depressions or ditches where water and other sediment can drain into. You can find a completed rain garden at Heritage Farm Park (Walkersville, by the baseball fields), accompanied by a sign about its design and implementation. Rain gardens are important, successful, and downright cool! So, are you ready to learn how to make your own?


You’re going to be digging into your yard, so call 811 to make sure you don’t hit any important sewage utilities or the like.

First, test your dirt to see if it will drain quickly enough to prevent stagnant water. Start by digging a hole six inches deep by six inches wide. You can check to see if the spot is just right by filling the hole with water and seeing if it mostly drains within 48 hours. If it does drain, begin widening the ditch. The Groundwater Foundation recommends 100-400 square feet for most homes, but you can certainly make it smaller to meet your landscaping needs

Plan to make the garden in a relatively flat area that does not have stagnant water after the rain. Try to place near areas in which pipes, drains, and driveways release excess water.

Make sure the garden is 10 feet away or more from your home’s foundation and 50 feet from a septic system.


The deepest part of the garden should be about six inches, with the middle and outside edges forming a slight slope to make a small depression in the ground.

Use excess dirt to line the side farthest from the source of water (for you gardening nerds, you’ll be making a berm to hold leftover water that flows in).

If you’re having trouble getting water to your rain garden, dig a shallow trench from the water source to the garden. Place landscape cloth or tarp on top with stones on the sides to make a waterslide!


Select native plant varieties based on the water level they need. The trench’s deepest part must consistently tolerate wet to moist conditions, while the outer edges should tolerate dry conditions.

It is essential to use native plants for this garden. Native plants are adjusted to the water cycle and will appropriately absorb water, so there is no excess pooling.

Some good materials to line the deepest layer include: Blue Sedge, Wool Rush/Grass, Little bluestem, blue wood aster, groundsel, spicebush, growing summer sweet; middle layer: Black-eyed Susan, Alumroot, black chokeberry, hillside blueberry; outskirts: Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly milkweed, inkberry holly.

After planting, water the entire garden and add a layer of mulch. Keep watering until rain occurs. Continue to weed until after summer (and you can use your energy on harvest season instead). The only maintenance you’ll need after that is cutting down old growth.

And there you have it! A beginner’s guide to making your own rain garden. If you’re confused about any details, the Environmental Protection Agency website has several resources on how to make the garden and continue upkeep. Further, the Rain Garden Alliance has a free and easy-to-use calculator to create the dimensions for your garden.

Some other benefits of a rain garden you may experience include lovely pollinators, less flooding in your basement, and feeling like a good Samaritan.

Best of luck to you readers, and thanks for saving the Earth!

Credit to: Les Engles from The Spruce, Jeanne Huber of This Old House, James Steakly of Almanac, Viveka Neveln from Good Housekeeping, the University of Maryland Extension, The US Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Stormwater Network, Davis et. al 2001 of University of Maryland Rain Garden Study, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Groundwater Foundation.

by Buck Reed

Food Rants. PERIOD.

Okay, I have been writing this article for a while now, and I normally am a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy. For well over six years, I have been sharing my thoughts on a variety of food topics without any malice or thought toward any specific subject and usually with a little humor (some might say with as little as possible). But, now that we appear to be out of the pandemic, and things are getting to be a bit more normal, I want to share a few pet peeves I have with what is going on in the food service industry.

First, cauliflower is as good as it is going to get. Yes, you can cook it two or three different ways, and that’s about it. It makes a wonderful soup if you match it with something, you can boil it and serve it with butter, and, if you can tolerate the smell, you can roast it. Stop putting it in pizza crust, making “rice” out of it, or making “vegetarian macaroni and cheese” out of it. The last dish is not clever or new. When we made it back in the day, we called it Cauliflower Au Gratin. You either like cauliflower or you are normal.

I understand that the pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the restaurant business and that it might take a few years to get things back to normal. And, I know I am old and might be looking at this one through the eyes of someone who longs for yesteryear. Wait staff need to step up. That means simple things like knowing the menu of the establishment you are working in. Being able to answer simple questions about the ingredients and preparation of each dish is going to make you look more professional and make your job much easier.

I would say that in my day, if you mentioned to a good waiter or waitress that you wanted them to forego tips in favor of a flat hourly rate, you might have a mutiny on your hands. Being a server is a noble profession that requires a lot of skills, including sales, customer relations, and multitasking. Almost every server I have ever worked with made bank, or at least knew they would make it up on the weekend. Once they accept a flat rate, that will be all they will be able to make, as tips will disappear as fast as the menu prices go up.

Being in the food service industry as long as I have, it is easy for me to spot a dirty establishment. If the dining room is a bit disheveled, unorganized, or dusty, then I guarantee the kitchen is as bad. A dirty bathroom is a sure sign that the staff is not keeping up. Further, damage to the furniture and the carpet or cracked tiles is an indication that management is not paying attention to their establishment. I don’t mind seeing mouse or rat traps outside a business; most places have this problem. At least they are doing something about it. But if you see the trash dumpster or used oil bins, and they have bags or buckets that cannot fit in the receptacle, then that establishment has a problem, and I can assure you that it is a big one.

Finally, let me say as a lifelong cook that there is most definitely a proper way to cook almost all foods. Let’s start with hand-cut or boardwalk French fries. Some might even call these fresh-cut fries, which is actually not the case at all. These fries need to be cut from a variety of baking potatoes, then blanched in the fryer once, stored cold, and then refried to produce a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, product that is delightful to everyone. To just fry a fresh-cut potato and serve it is just a hot mess next to your burger. The same goes for chicken wings. Seriously, I think any bank that is dealing with the food service industry needs a chef consultant to look over the cooking methods of any new establishment to make sure they are doing it correctly. There is actually a chain of wing places in Frederick that believes they can change the tried-and-true wing cooking method developed in Buffalo and put out a good product. (They don’t even have blue cheese dressing!)

Okay, suffice it to say, I got it out of my system. Please note, I have not mentioned any names concerning my rant; however, if you know of someone committing any of these transgressions, leave a copy of this article in their view. I will take the hit. Next month, I will be back to my wonderful self as I butcher the English language while describing the varieties of wild mushrooms available to you and your kitchen.

by Maxine Troxell

I come from a family of good bakers. I remember my grandmother making pies and all kinds of cookies. My Aunt Pauline was famous for her cream puffs. My Aunt Ermie was a grand champion baker at the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Show and other local fairs. I want to share one of my favorite recipes from my Aunt Erma’s cookbook. This coconut cake won at least one Grand Champion ribbon. This is a pretty easy recipe, so I hope you enjoy it.

Grand Champion Coconut Cake


3 cups sifted cake flour

1½ tsp. salt

6 tbsp. sugar

1½ cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 cups shredded coconut

4 tsp. baking powder

5 eggs whites

 23 cup Crisco

11⁄3 cup milk

1 tsp. coconut extract


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, twice, set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 6 tablespoons sugar slowly and beat until mixture stands in soft peaks.

In another bowl, cream Crisco and add 1½ cups sugar, gradually. Cream until light and fluffy. Add flour alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating well after each addition. Add beaten egg whites and flavorings, beat for about 1 minute.

Pour batter into two greased and flavored 9-inch cake pans or 3 8-inch pans. Bake 30-40 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. Remove pans from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and let cool. When cool, frost with your favorite frosting. Sprinkle coconut on top and side of cake.

Veteran Spotlight

Frank W. Albaugh

KIA Lorraine Campaign

Frank W. Albaugh was born on December 26, 1923, in Thurmont, to Maurice, World War I Veteran, and wife, Margaret Albaugh. He and his parents’ address was given in the 1940 Census as simply being “Main Street,” Thurmont; also seen elsewhere as having been “31 West Main Street.” 

Albaugh’s father’s place of employment was stated as having been Woodsboro Savings Bank, where he worked as a banker.

The 1940 Census also stated that Albaugh had a younger sister, Mary C Albaugh, who was 11 years old at the time of the census, and Albaugh was 16 years old.

Albaugh was a graduate of Thurmont High School, and at age 18, he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942. At that time, he had already been enrolled in the University of Maryland and had been attending classes there for two years when he entered into the military service on February 12, 1943, at 20 years of age.

His statistics at the time of his enlistment were recorded as his having been 5’8” in height and weighing 193 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a “ruddy” complexion.

Albaugh enlisted as a private. He had achieved the rank of staff sergeant before meeting his untimely death on the killing fields of France in 1944. 

Albaugh was dispatched to Europe as a member of the Army’s 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, which landed on Ohama Beach during D-Day operation, deploying on July 7 through July 9. 

As the 137th Infantry Regiment pushed through France in pursuit of a retreating German Army, Albaugh was wounded by enemy fire in August 1944, in which he was “slightly wounded,” treated, and was then permitted to “immediately” return to his unit, according to the August 15, 1944, edition of The (Frederick) News

The newspaper also noted that Albaugh was issued a Purple Heart for his wounding, which he had subsequently sent home to his parents.  The (Hagerstown) Morning Herald more specifically reported on August 16 that Albaugh had “suffered a slight flesh wound in one leg.”

Fast-forwarding to the engagement that ultimately cost Albaugh his life on the evening of September 9, 1944. The 35th Infantry Division was ordered to assail the German line on September 11, in the area of the Moselle River, and to capture the high ground west of the Moselle River, southeast of Nancy, France, according to

The action was part of the Lorraine Campaign, which historians have described as “one of the most sensational campaigns in the annals of American military history,” and the campaign against the Germans was launched as the result of allied military having discovered “top-secret interceptions known as Ultra revealed that the Franco-German border was virtually undefended and would remain so until mid-September,” according to The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September-December 1944, by Dr. Christopher R. Gabel.

On September 11, the 137th Infantry Regiment was directed to attempt to cross the Moselle River near Crevechamps.

Describing the German defenses, which the 137th had faced, wrote on that website that, “The crossing proved difficult, as the Germans had blown all bridges across the Moselle from Flavigny south, and they held strong positions on the east side of the river, with machine gun emplacements on the steep bluffs overlooking the river, and artillery positions to the rear. The canal running parallel to the river’s west bank was an added barrier… ”

It was on September 12 that Staff Sergeant Frank W. Albaugh fell mortally wounded by enemy fire. Marylanders as a whole did not learn of the death of Albaugh until November 8, 1944, when The (Baltimore) Sun published a story, headlined “20 Maryland Men Killed in (European) War Action,” in which Staff Sergeant Albaugh was cited as having been one of those killed in action. 

Albaugh’s mortal remains were never brought home, and he is still interred in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France.