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James Rada, Jr.

It only took Dr. Alan Carroll a week to realize Emmitsburg was the place where he wanted to live and raise a family. When he died on May 17, 2018, he had resided in Emmitsburg for more than forty years, raised his family of seven, and become a part of the town.

Alan initially thought he would be a priest. He entered a seminary program and attended Loyola University in Chicago. Sometime during his years there, he began thinking life had another path for him to walk.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, but then spent another year taking science classes so that he could apply to medical schools. He was accepted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Before he left for Maryland, though, he met and fell in love with Rita. The two were married in 1969.

He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1974 and completed a residency in Family Medicine there in 1977. Part of the third year of his residency involved his working with a doctor in private practice for two months, or two doctors for one month each.

He was recommended to Dr. George Morningstar in Emmitsburg, and Alan planned on working with him for one month before moving onto another doctor.

“After Alan had worked with George for a week, he came home and said, ‘I hope I can work with him for two months. It’s really wonderful there,’” recalled Rita Carroll.

Dr. Morningstar allowed Alan to work with him for two months and then invited him to join his practice. When the Carrolls moved to Emmitsburg, they had to get used to living in a small town.

“The day we moved up here in July, there were no street lights on South Seton,” Rita remembered. She also remembers the town being very dark and quiet at night.

Because of his work with Dr. Morningstar, Alan had already started to fit in.

“Alan had already met a lot of George’s patients, and he really liked them,” Rita said.

They rented a house on South Seton for four years, but then had to move when their growing family became too cramped in the house. They moved out to Keysville Road for a while, and when Dr. Morningstar died in 1988, Alan purchased the doctor’s home and practice. This meant there was minimal disruption for the patients.

Alan enjoyed his work. He liked working with the sisters in the nursing home across the street from his practice, and he liked living in a small town where he got to know everyone.

“His dad was in the Air Force, and they moved around a lot when he was younger,” Rita said. “He was looking for a quiet, good place to raise his family and do his work. He thought he found it here.”

After serving Emmitsburg for forty years, Alan closed his practice in mid-February. Rita said that he felt that it was time to close, and the changing nature of medicine and insurance made it unlikely that a single doctor would want to take over the practice.

He died on May 17 at the age of seventy-one. He left behind his wife and seven children: Sarah, John, Eric, Brendan, Peter, Amelia, and Ruth.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs called Alan a “wonderful doctor for our town.” He said during the June town meeting that Alan had served many generations of residents in town. “It means so much when you lose a person like that.”

Dr. Alan Carroll, served Emmitsburg for forty years and loved every minute of it.

Theresa Dardanell

Thurmont Regional Library Administrator Erin Dingle (pictured right) has lots of things to keep her busy after her retirement. She is looking forward to spending time with her family—babysitting her two grandsons, who live in Silver Spring, and attending sporting and school events with her two grandsons in Baltimore. She also plans to travel farther than Maryland, as she attempts to continue her goal of visiting all fifty states. Her passions include reading and gardening, which she will enjoy while her already-retired husband plays golf.

Dingle is also working on a research project about the Maryland State Sanitorium in Sabillasville, which opened in 1908. Because her father worked there, she grew up on the grounds of the facility. Her research includes original documents and oral histories from nurses and patients. The future of the research project might be a book one day.

Dingle started working at the Thurmont Library in 1987, when it was located on Water Street.  At that time, she lived near the library and walked to work for the evening shift. She reintroduced the children’s storytimes, as well as other programs.  When Margaret Bruchey Krone retired as branch manager, Dingle was promoted. She earned her Master of Library Science degree and became the regional library administrator when the new library opened on Moser Road in 2008.  When looking back over the last thirty years, she’s seen lots of changes: the card catalog was replaced by the computer system, the new library has a literacy corner in the children’s area, there is now a beautiful deck for everyone to enjoy nature, as well as study rooms, artwork on display, and an agricultural history room.  Many community programs have been added over the years; Dingle always looked for ways to increase community involvement, but she also gives credit to her “fabulous” staff for coming up with ideas and implementing them. She will miss the staff and the patrons who have become her friends. “I’ve loved every minute surrounded by books. It was just the perfect job for me.”

I asked Mayor John Kinnaird about Dingle’s contribution to the community. He replied, “Somewhere, there are everyday, run-of-the-mill librarians, but not here in Thurmont! Erin Dingle has played an important and integral part of the lives of the residents of Thurmont since taking her position thirty years ago. In the course of her career, Erin has been the only librarian many of the last two or so generations of youngsters have known. I drive by the library regularly and am always surprised to see how many people are there at any time of the day or evening. Under Erin’s leadership, the Thurmont Regional Library has become a central part of life for residents in and around Thurmont, with many well-attended programs and events suitable for all ages. The Thurmont Regional Library is recognized as one of the best libraries in the state; this recognition is due, in large part, to the efforts of Erin Dingle. Thurmont has benefited from having an outstanding librarian these past thirty years, and on behalf of the residents of Thurmont, I want to wish Erin a happy, healthy, and long retirement.”

James Rada, Jr.

Eliza Phillips took one last look around the Emmitsburg pool on May 26, 2018, and then climbed onto her lifeguard stand and blew her whistle to signal the new Emmitsburg pool was open. Her father, Hamblin, was the first person to jump in.

“The water’s not even cold,” he smiled. “This is nice.”

He explained that the water used to be cold because there was always a hose running into it to keep it filled since the old pool constantly leaked.

He was soon joined by adults and children who waded in from the shallow end or jumped off the diving board. Summer had arrived.

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners had decided last year to replace the pool after a pressure test showed that it could not be repaired. Also, the beams beneath the pool were damaged and needed to be replaced. Over the pool’s forty-five-year life, no significant work had been done on it. Because of the work being done to restore the pool, it was not open last year.

Although the new pool’s official grand opening was June 2, it actually opened for use on May 26.

Besides a new pool, the pool house has a fresh coat of paint and the pavilion was treated to remove the bees. The parking lot was repaved and repainted. The new pool’s depths range from one foot to ten feet. The new pool is expected to be less expensive to run, primarily because water and chemicals won’t be leaking from the pool.

“I’m impressed with the parking lot,” Phillips commented. “You used to come close to bottoming out your car.”

RSV Pools is managing the pool. The company is also introducing its SWIMSAFE Program, designed to help identify unsupervised “non-swimmers.”

This year marks Eliza’s third year working at a pool. She began her first year as a gate guard for the Emmitsburg pool. This is her first year as a lifeguard. Eliza said that compared to her first year at the Emmitsburg pool, the new pool looks cleaner and won’t have as many issues.

“This is so much nicer than other pools,” Eliza said.

The pool will be open through Labor Day, noon until 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please call the Town of Emmitsburg at 301-600-6303 or email

The Fuse Teen Center isn’t actually a “center.” It will be a transient teen center,  comprised of a group of parents and concerned citizens hoping to provide activities for teens in the Thurmont area. Fuse is based on Christian principles; however, it is not affiliated with any particular church.

The founder of Fuse, Susan Crone, had been long considering how to provide a group for teens. As a response to several events in which teens were lost to suicide or overdose, Susan decided it was time to step out in faith. In February of this year, a group was formed, a core group of members were identified, and a mission statement was accepted by the core. The group originally called themselves “Abandon,” but after a reorganization of the core, Fuse was born.

Crone has been a teacher in Frederick County Public Schools for thirty years. “I have worked with many students touched by the death of a friend or a loved one who is struggling with depression or addiction. The number of my actual students who have died is so sad to me. I have to do something. I can’t just sit by anymore and let ‘no’ be the answer anymore. If Fuse fails, we lose nothing but our time. But if we do nothing, we fail for sure—and the cost is our teens. Someone has to do something, so I’m doing it,” stated Crone.

Other members of the Fuse team include Buddy Summers, Carly Crone (high school teen rep.), Liz Yingling, Emily Little, Thomas Treat (middle school teen rep.), Bryan Riffle, Rachel Hubbard, the members of RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation, Doug Mongold, and many others.

The goal of Fuse is to build relationships—relationships between teens, relationships between teens and adults. So many relationships today are made and maintained over social media. Fuse hopes to give teens the opportunity to meet face-to-face in a positive envirnoment.

Fuse hosted its first event on May 5, 2018: a Cinco de Mayo-themed evening of games, talking, and tacos. Taco Bell and Food Lion provided donations for a spectacular buffet. A visit from “Tessa” the guinea pig made the evening complete. Fuse welcomed eighteen teens, thirteen volunteers, and another ten adults who came along for the ride. The event was held at Trinity United Church of Christ in Thurmont. Fuse extends its gratitude to the church for its willingness to take a chance on the group.

Fuse’s second event was a “School’s Out” picnic, held at Thurmont Community Park on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Fuse greeted the start of summer vacation with twelve teens and nine volunteers, along with many adults who stopped in to see how things were going.

The biggest undertaking for Fuse has been the negotiation with Trinity United Church of Christ in Thurmont to offer a “coffee house,” meeting twice a week through the summer, from 6:00-8:30 p.m.—one night for middle school teens and one night for high school teens. Two rooms of the church will be used to allow teens to gather for food, fun, and “Fuse-ing!” All teens are welcome.

Fuse Teen Center has joined RJ’s Lasting Foundation. RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation, Inc” is a 501c(3) non-profit whose mission is to combat the heroin epidemic in Frederick County by spreading awareness and educating the community on the disease of addiction and overdose deaths. Fuse Teen Center activities fit in with its prevention goals. Fuse has also partnered with the Thurmont Addictions Commission under its prevention pillar, which is chaired by Mike Randall. These partnerships will allow Fuse to be visible to more people.

Fuse does not have funding. At this point, it is operating on the generosity of places like Food Lion, Taco Bell, Mountain Gate Restuarant, Shuff’s Meat Market, and friends and family. Donations of snack items are greatly appreciated. Monetary donations would also be appreciated and can be made out to RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation – Fuse Teen Center. Monetary donations will be used to fund items that teens at the center request. Currently, teens have requested a projector to show movies and games on the wall, and a bowling game!

For this venture to prosper, Fuse is eager to have volunteers who are willing to commit to at least one night this summer. If someone would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Susan Crone at 301-676-1183, at , or at

Have you ever noticed the amount of trash that is strewn along Emmitsburg’s streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parks? Some of this loose trash can be attributed to wind storms blowing trash, waste, and recyclable items out of garbage cans, dumpsters, and recycle bins. Unfortunately, some of it is the result of littering. The Town of Emmitsburg would like your help cleaning it up. The litter is not only unsightly and unsanitary, but it can also be hazardous to humans and pets. The town has agreed to sponsor a Volunteer Community Clean-Up Day to help remove loose litter, paper products, plastic containers, bottles, cans, and so forth, throughout Emmitsburg. The town is planning to have these Community Clean-Up Days on the second Saturday of each month, beginning in July and running through October.

The town will supply the garbage bags and tools as necessary, but will be relying upon enthusiastic volunteers to help collect the trash, so it can be disposed of properly. The town will be divided into numbered sections, cleaning one section of the town each month. Depending on levels of participation, the volunteers will work in different parts of the same section, in groups of five to ten, under a team leader who will coordinate with the other team leaders. Team leaders will carry first aid, cleaning supplies, and water bottles. Volunteers will meet at a designated location within the section, where they will be assigned to a team leader and given clean-up supplies. Although team leaders will have a limited number of spare gloves available, volunteers should plan on bringing their own gloves. Team leaders will help remove the full garbage bags and drop them at a central location in each section, where the town will pick them up. The town will take before and after pictures of the sections to help promote the Community Clean-Up Day project, as well as group pictures of all the volunteers to help recognize their hard work. A light breakfast will be provided and bottled water will be supplied for all volunteers, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Team leaders will assemble their volunteers to begin working at about 9:00 a.m., finishing at noon.

The Town of Emmitsburg is hoping to have a great turn out to help clean up and beautify the community.

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) proudly placed into service its new “Ambulance 69” (A-69) with Amber Zimmerman and Chad Zimmerman running the call. A-69 replaces a unit that was over eleven years old. VHC Chief Umbel stated, “At a cost of over a quarter million dollars, the vision to begin setting aside funds for the new ambulance goes to the former officers and members of the former Ambulance Company who started the process of saving for a new ambulance several years ago.”

During this past year, the joint merger of the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company into the Vigilant Hose Company took place. Months of planning and coordination between the organizations and partner agencies allowed for the full process to be effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2018.

Following its arrival here, it took just over six weeks to get A-69 fully outfitted with all its life saving equipment, including radios and a range of items needed to obtain a ‘Seal of Excellence’ designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and, very importantly, training response personnel to be familiar with the various technologies utilized onboard the unit.

Chief Umbel added, “Mounted on a Ford F-550 Chassis, the new ‘Type 1’ ambulance was manufactured by Road Rescue of Winter Park/Orlando, Florida, whose local dealer Atlantic Emergency Solutions of Manassas, Virginia, was very responsive to our particular community’s needs.” The cost of new A-69 exceeded over a quarter million dollars. One key feature is the Stryker Brand ‘Power-LOAD’ powered cot loading and fastener system improves patient and First Responder safety by supporting the cot throughout the loading, unloading, and transportation processes.

During the recent May 23rd ‘EMS Open House” event, held in recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, the new unit drew great interest from visitors, just as it has since its arrival. On behalf of the Town of Emmitsburg, Mayor Don Briggs presented VHC with a $6,000 check to help offset costs of EMS delivery locally.

A permanent plaque will soon be affixed to the unit, dedicating A-69 to all members of the former Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company who worked so hard to raise funds that allowed for the purchase and outfitting of equipment being carried. Those who have yet to see the new A-69 will get the opportunity to do so during Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day on Saturday, June 30, which begins with Breakfast at the Fire Station on West Main Street.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs (standing, center) presents a $6,000 check to VHC President Frank Davis; looking on is ‘Sparkey,’ Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and VHC Auxiliary President Tina Ryder; kneeling are members of VHC’s EMS Committee, Jim Click, Chad Zimmerman, Amber Zimmerman, Alyssa Cool, and Dave Stonesifer.

Over the years, Caroline Clark of Thurmont has seen many of her friends participate in a very special contest, with a unique prize awarded, at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. This contest, run by the Youth Conservationist Program (YCP), is open to all interested in raising and preserving special breeds of sheep. Winners get the opportunity to experience the joys and responsibilities of raising and conserving heritage breeds of wool sheep that may not be common in certain areas of the United States. It’s made possible by breeders who are willing to mentor youth, donate a yearling ewe, and assist the youth with establishing their own flock. This year, Caroline entered the contest and won a wonderful award.

As part of the contest, youth are required to submit an essay, outlining why they want to preserve a heritage sheep breed. Each year, the breeds change and the youth can review what might be available before deciding to enter. Caroline became interested in the YCP program several years ago, but waited to enter until the right breed came along—the Leicester Longwool. In 2018, Caroline learned a Longwool ewe might be available, and she decided to enter. She had already started her flock, so it was very exciting waiting for the essays to be evaluated. A few days before the start of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, Caroline received the phone call she had been waiting for: Her essay had been selected, and she would be receiving a registered yearling Leicester Longwool ewe. Her ewe would be from Stillpoint Farm, donated by Carol McConaughy. Carol and her husband, Tom, have a lovely farm near Mt. Airy, Maryland, where she raises Leicester Longwool sheep and boards horses. Caroline bought her very first Leicester Longwool ewe from Carol and became attached to the breed instantly.

Leicester Longwools are very calm and are excellent mothers. They are also known for their beautiful fleeces, which are prized by hand spinners. According to the Livestock Conservancy, the Leicester Longwool was highly prized in America, especially for its use in crossbreeding to improve “native” stock. During the 1800s, however, the breed lost favor to the Merino and other fine wool breeds. After 1900, the breed fell into decline and was likely extinct in the United States during the 1930s or 1940s. A very small population remained in Canada. In 1990, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, a historic site in Virginia, reestablished the breed in North America by importing sheep from Australia. Several conservation flocks have now been established, and the population of Leicester Longwool sheep in North America is increasing. This is important, given that the breed remains rare globally. Caroline’s new ewe, Bonnie, has a beautiful white fleece.

Caroline is no stranger to raising sheep. She is just twelve years old and has fourteen ewes in her commercial flock and four Leicester Longwools. She is a proud five-year member of the Rocky Ridge 4-H Club and the Frederick County Beef, Sheep & Swine Club. Her projects include market lambs, breeding sheep, sewing, crafts, cooking, and field crops. She has been very active in 4-H Fashion Revue, Skillathon, Livestock Judging, and Shepard’s Line Lead events across the local and state level. Caroline is a third-generation farmer, taking care of all the needs of her growing flock. She gets up early in the morning, prior to school, and tends to them when she gets home from school.

So, not only will Caroline be preserving a heritage breed, but also the art of hand spinning. Caroline was bitten by the wool bug when she was taught how to process her own fleece into roving and then to yarn. At first, she borrowed a spinning wheel from a local artisan—who is a wonderful teacher to the local 4-H youth—Patty Sanville of Jefferson, Maryland. She spent a day educating Caroline on the wheel and how to spin properly. Just a few months later, Caroline had made lots of skeins of beautiful cream colored 2-ply yarn, which will soon be transformed into something spectacular. Caroline has even participated recently in a spinning demonstration, in conjunction with an event held at Rose Hill Manor in Frederick. She sat with local spinners and educated the public on the beauty and versatility of wool.

This year, you may be able to see Caroline and her flock of Leicester Longwools at one of several shows: The Wills Fair, The Great Frederick Fair, and The Maryland State Fair. The YCP program can open up opportunities for youth who are interested in preserving heritage sheep breeds. If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Elaine Ashcraft at


Caroline participates in the Shepard’s Lead Contest with Bonnie, receiving a second place award. The entire outfit and scarf the ewe is wearing was made from wool by Caroline.

Caroline receiving her new registered Leicester Longwool ewe from Stillpoint Farm at the MD Sheep & Wool Festival

Courtesy Photos

Catoctin High School (CHS) has formed a 50th anniversary planning committee. The committee members are looking for memorabilia from the last fifty years that can be photographed, scanned, and/or displayed in the school for the 2018-2019 school year. The lobby will be “rejuvenated” this summer to display items from each decade. This is a GREAT opportunity to share your fondest memories from your high school years with the current generation!

In addition to the above, families where multiple generations have graduated from CHS, visit to find out how to contribute to this celebration this year!

The Student Government Association of Catoctin High School will present several activities to celebrate the anniversary. Look for a 50th anniversary table and display during the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show in September 2018. On October 5, 2018, a reception will be held for alumni in the school’s cafeteria before the CHS Homecoming football game. On this evening, CHS alumni will receive student-priced admission to the Homecoming game.

The CHS Sports Boosters will also host activities to commemorate the anniversary. Stay tuned for details about these and more upcoming events and activities that commemorate the school’s anniversary.

The annual Thurmont High School Alumni Banquet was held June 2, 2018, at the Thurmont Event Complex. Alumni president, Don Dougherty (Class of 1969) served as the master of ceremonies. Audrey Ecker Coe, Class of 1940, was the oldest in attendance. She first attended alumni banquets in 1933 at the age of nine. She would tap dance and sing. Ironically, Audrey’s great, great nephew received a scholarship.

Scholarships are an important part of the alumni’s purpose: supporting continued education. This year’s recipients were Edison Hatter (grandson of Mayor James Black), Keren June Ott (related to Kenneth Ott), Hayden Spalding (related to Mary Fraley Lawyer, Robert Abraham, Barbara Bittner Abraham, Donald Spalding, and Joan Lawyer Spalding), Nikita James Miller (related to James E. Miller, Sr. and James E. Miller, Jr.), and Casey Ecker (related to Larry Ecker).

Gayle Slezak was in attendance representing former teachers. Former alumni officers were recognized and thanked. Those who served in the military were recognized and thanked.

Addison Eyler sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” and Larry Freshman read a poem he wrote about growing up in Thurmont.

Honors classes were 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, and 1968. Fred Addison came the farthest, traveling from Texas. Thanks to the many businesses who donated door prizes for the banquet. Next year’s banquet will be held Saturday, June 1, 2019. Anniversary class years end in a 4 or a 9.

Pictured from left are Nikita James Miller; Edison Hatter; Jeff Ott, excepting for his daughter, Keren June Ott; Casey Ecker; and Hayden Spalding.



Thurmont celebrated its first Greenfest on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Thurmont Regional Library. It was an event where “people could learn new things, share information, and have fun,” according to Thurmont Green Team Member Cindy Poole.

The event was held at the Thurmont Library, with tables and stations set up in front of the library, in the lobby, in the meeting rooms, and on the patio. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, local companies, and local organizations manned the tables to educate attendees about protecting the environment and about green living. There were even activities for kids to do and giveaways of foot-tall trees, ready for planting.

Bob Allen of Rocky Ridge came to the event to recycle a printer, but he also checked out all of the tables to collect information about things he was unfamiliar with.

Carol Haag of Thurmont also came to the festival to recycle electronics and stayed to look around. “I wanted to see what the Green Team has been doing, but I have also been interested in solar energy for a couple years,” she said.

Some local farms showed off their organically grown goods. Visitors could find out about geothermal energy, recycling, and the environment around them. Events even included guided walks and bike rides along the Thurmont Trolley Trail.

The festival was a culmination of the efforts of the Thurmont Green Team. “The Green Team said ‘let’s combine the things that we do, and let’s do a festival,” Poole said.

Thurmont Commissioner Bill Buehrer said that the team’s accomplishments were “immeasurable.”

At the beginning of the festival, Becky Wilson with the Maryland Forest Service awarded Thurmont its second Tree City USA Award. To earn this award from the Arbor Day Foundation, Thurmont needed to meet four standards: (1) Have someone responsible for the care of town trees; (2) Enact an ordinance to protect trees; (3) Dedicate at least $2.00 per capita to tree forestation; and (4) Have an Arbor Day proclamation.

Greenfest was sponsored by the Thurmont Green Team, the Town of Thurmont, and the Thurmont Regional Library.

One of the vendors at Green Fest explains electronics recycling to a young girl.

Becky Wilson with the Maryland Forest Service presents Thurmont CAO Jim Humerick and Commissioner Bill Buehrer with a Tree City USA Award for Thurmont.

It’s time to be thinking about your entries for the 62st annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, being held September 7-9, 2018. Exhibits may be entered on Thursday night, September 6, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and/or Friday morning, September 7, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 9, between 3:00-6:00 p.m.

There will be changes made to some of the department classes. Most notably, changes will be made to two adult departments:  Dept. 12 – Arts, Paintings & Drawings; Dept. 13 – Crafts as follows:  (1) All painting and drawing entries must be framed, must be ready to hang for display, and must be the exhibitor’s original work (no prints or copies); (2) No nude or distasteful entries will be accepted.

By early August, the Community Show premium books will be available at local businesses, and the Community Show website ( will have the entry exhibits listing and the schedule of activities.

So that exhibitors can begin preparing their entries, the following are the class listings for Dept. 12 – Arts, Paintings & Drawings and Dept. 13 – Crafts:


Dept. 12 – Arts, Paintings & Drawings

Arts: Calligraphy • Sculpture • Wood Burning • Other, not listed.

Painting: Acrylics • Mixed Media • Oil • Paint Night Painting • Decorative Painting, China • Decorative Painting, Fabric • Decorative Painting, Wood • Decorative Painting, misc. • Tole Painting • Watercolor • Other, not listed.

Drawing: Charcoal • Colored Ink or Pencil • Computer Created Technical Drawing/Graphics • Pastel • Pen and Ink • Pencil • Other, not listed.


Dept. 13 – Crafts

Basketry • Ceramics • Collage • Dried Materials (framed or in a container) • Decorations, Door (a. Wreaths; b. Misc.) • Decorations, Holiday (a. Christmas; b.  Easter; c. Fall; d. Halloween; e. Thanksgiving; f. Misc.) • Fiber & Textiles • Furniture (a. Handcrafted, Small – 2 ft. or less in height; b. Handcrafted, Large – more than 2 ft. in height; c. Restored, Small – 2 ft. or less in height; d. Restored, Large – more than 2 ft. in height) • Jewelry • Leather Craft • Metal Craft • Model • Recycled Materials • Stained Glass • Scrapbooking • Stenciling • Wood Craft (other than furniture) • Other, not listed.

Anita DiGregory

Are you a struggling mom? Do you feel like you are failing? Do you feel like your efforts are never quite good enough? If so, local mom and author Colleen Duggan has some practical and spiritual advice for you. On April 29, 2018, in honor of Mother’s Day, the Seton Shrine hosted a “Chat with an Author,” featuring Duggan and her book, Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom, which has a 5-star Amazon rating.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born U.S. saint, faced many struggles in her life. Because Mother Seton was a young wife, mother, and resident of Emmitsburg, the Seton Shrine was thrilled to invite Duggan to share her message with the community. The event, which was well attended, included a talk, a question and answer session with the audience, a book signing, and refreshments. The free event was the third in the series, with the next talk (featuring Thirty-Three Breaths: A Little Book on Meditation author Father Jack Lombardi) scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on August 19, 2018.

Duggan, a wife and mother herself, was happy to meet with the community and share her personal “confessions” on imperfect motherhood. In a refreshingly humble and honest manner, Duggan shared stories from her life and the lessons she has gathered along the way. As a woman who has struggled with the challenges of trying to be the “perfect” wife and mother, Duggan communicated the hopes, fears, joys, and sufferings of her journey thus far.

With the honesty of a best friend, Duggan invites her reader into her life. With all of her “confessions” as separate chapters (including I Don’t Know How to Master Motherhood, I Don’t Always Take Care of Myself as I Should, I Don’t Know How to Keep My Kids Catholic, I Don’t Like Watching My Children Suffer, and I Sometimes Compare Myself with Other Parents), Duggan tackles each heart-wrenching subject with a humble and honest approach, interspersing advice from spiritual advisors, counselors, and saints.

In addition to sharing her stories and lessons with the reader, she has questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. Another unique element of the book is that each chapter ends in a heartfelt prayer for moms struggling with that particular “confession.”

Duggan adds, “Maybe you feel like everything is up to you, that you have to get everything right or you’ll destroy your kids’ lives. Maybe you think creating perfect Catholics, who stay Catholic, is something you can control. Maybe you struggle with doing everything “right” but know the ill effect of this approach to life.  If so, this book is for you.”

Those looking for helpful, friendly advice on motherhood can also reference Duggan’s blog at In addition, you can find her photography and a free, downloadable group study guide for Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom on the site.

Colleen Duggan discusses her book, Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom, at Seton Shrine Chat with an Author Series in April.

Devon Griffin

Summer is around the corner and that means the return of local farmers markets. In Frederick County, farmers markets are held periodically throughout the week. With a wide variety of produce and vegetables, there is something for everyone. What people may not understand is that buying local benefits the consumer and the environment in many ways.

Transportation is a hidden economic and environmental cost when it comes to industrialized food production. Food is hauled hundreds and thousands of miles in order for it to reach its destination. That is a lot of fuel, whether it be by truck, train, or airplane. All of that fuel being burned adds to the growing concern surrounding air pollution. Fossil fuels, like gasoline, contribute excess carbon dioxide to the atmosphere when burned. With farmers markets, the food is local and doesn’t have to be trucked in from unknown locations. The mystery of where the food came from is reduced, while assuring the consumer the food is fresh and hasn’t been aging during tractor trailer transport.

Most consumers do not have knowledge of how their food is produced. Grocery store shelves are stacked high of packaged, processed foods that potentially have harmful effects on the body. Much of the food seen today is treated with unhealthy chemicals during the production phase. With locally grown food, you don’t have to worry about it coming from a large processing plant, hundreds of miles away.

A huge benefit of local farmers markets is that the farmer receives the money made from his personal crops. He doesn’t have ties to a contract associated with an industrialized company. Money stays circulating in the neighborhood and community with farmers markets. According to an article published in The Washington Post, “For every dollar consumers spend on food, only 7.8 cents goes to farmers…” (Caitlin Dewey). The large industrial companies are receiving around 92 cents per dollar off the farmer. A lot of crops may be grown, but 8 cents doesn’t compare to the time and money spent working towards their harvest. Farmers markets ensure that profit will be reinvested into producing next year’s crops.

In Frederick County, the amount of farmland is diminishing as urban sprawl takes over. Before we know it, the distinguished individual towns will merge and become part of Frederick. Supporting local farmers markets will help prevent disappearance of farmland, while preserving Frederick County’s rich agricultural history. As long as our farmers can continue to provide for themselves and the community while making profit, we can help preserve the rural areas.

Through buying farmer’s products, we are giving them feedback and showing our appreciation for their work. The more support received, the more likely the farmer is to return the following year.

The largest benefit of local farmers markets is the quality of the food. Produce and fruits are picked right in season, and you don’t have to worry about whether it is fresh or not. Fresh produce usually tastes better and provides more nutritional benefits. Frozen veggies do not compare to fresh veggies purchased at a farmers market.

I encourage you to find your nearest farmers market and check it out! Farmers Markets have a kid-friendly atmosphere, so bring the whole family. In addition to cash and credit cards, some farmers even accept SNAP and WIC benefits.

Some nearby farmers markets to consider visiting this summer are: Emmitsburg: Fridays, June 22-September 21, located at 302 S. Seton Avenue, 3:00-6:00 p.m.; Thurmont: Saturdays, June 2-September 22, located at Municipal Parking Lot, South Center Street, 9:00 a.m.-noon; Frederick Farmers Market at Eveready Square & Shab Row: Thursdays, May 31-September 27, located in Downtown Frederick, 113 North East Street, Church Street & East Street, Frederick, 3:00-6:00 p.m.; Field Fresh Farmers Market: Saturdays, April 28-November 17, Holiday Markets: December 1, 8, 15, located at the Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick Street, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

James Rada, Jr.

The Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum on South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg now has a three-panel glass etching, featuring a 1920s fire engine. Until recently, the artwork hung in the window of the office building that was the old Independent Hose Company in Frederick.

The etching, which was created by designer William N. Cochran of Frederick, shows a 1920s fire engine, leaving the old Independent Hose Company on West Church Street. Cochran is well known for his public art projects and wall murals in Frederick.

The Independent Hose Company was organized in 1818, and it is the oldest volunteer fire company in Maryland still in continuous operation. The building near the courthouse on West Church Street was the company station from 1846 to 1878.

The etching was created in 1988. “Thirty years ago, the building owner, who had purchased the property from IHC, commissioned Mr. Cochran to do the etching to commemorate the history of the fire company presence at one time on the site,” said Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs.

The etching is made up of three panels that have a combined weight of 1,500 pounds. It is more than 15 feet tall and over 8 feet wide. Emmitsburg Glass Company transported the panels to the museum on March 28, 2018.

According to Museum President Susie Nicol, “Emmitsburg Glass employees, including their President Dan Reaver, have all been terrific during the months of planning and coordination to include getting all its parts here completely intact.”

Plans are still being made for how to display the etching, but once in place, there will be a grand unveiling.

“We’re going to do everything possible to display it outside, lit up, and protected,” stated Briggs.

The Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum is open on weekends, April 14 through October 14, from noon-4:00 p.m.