by Priscilla Rall

Sniper Wings Seiss

The Seiss family had settled in the Frederick area in the mid-1700s. Born in 1925 in Graceham, Sterling Seiss was a descendant of these first settlers. The family home, where he now lives, was built in 1825, near what is thought to be an ancient Native American trail. Sterling found many arrowheads in the fields by the house. The original stone spring house near the old home still stands. Sterling had six brothers and six sisters, and he remembers that his grandmother kept butter and milk cool in the spring house. When the kids were sent to get milk from there, they were allowed to bring up one bottle of homemade root beer that was also stored there.

Sterling’s father worked as a barn builder for Ralph Miller, and also farmed. The children were kept busy with daily chores. Sterling gathered kindling and eggs, while his older brother filled the wood box. The other boys cared for the horses, Prince and Bob, as his father never owned a tractor. For Christmas, the Seiss children got hard candy, oranges, and sometimes a new pair of socks. They enjoyed the many church festivals nearby. Family was everything to the Seisses. Their cousin, Russell, had lost his mother at an early age and he often stayed with the Sterling family; it was not unusual for the children to stay with aunts and uncles or grandparents for a time.

Sterling left school after seventh grade and worked for a time at the Gem Laundry in Frederick, helping to pick up and then deliver the cleaned clothes. At this time, he lived with his brother in Frederick and earned $6.00 a week. When the laundry closed, he rode his bicycle back to Thurmont, where his parents were living. At that time, Thurmont was quite a hopping town, with a movie theater that charged 17 cents a ticket. Even Graceham had a store, a warehouse, a post office, and, of course, the Moravian Church.

However, as the Depression loomed over the country, it affected the Seiss Famly. They lost all of their savings when the Central Trust bank folded and, consequently, lost their farm. Sterling’s father took any job he could find, and they moved from one rented farm to another. Sterling remembers hobos who rode the rails and would split wood for a meal. At one point, Sterling worked for John Zimmer on his nearby farm. He also helped deliver milk on a horse-drawn wagon.

When he turned 18, although he could have asked for a farming deferment, he decided to join the Army. He was inducted in January 1944, and after training, he shipped out to New Guinea. There, with Company F in the 34th Infantry, they searched for any Japanese still remaining in a “mopping up” operation. They were warned to beware of snakes and “head hunters.” Sterling recalls thinking “that doesn’t sound very good to me!” Thankfully, they found no enemy soldiers, snakes, or head hunters. Then they sailed off for the Philippine Islands, landing in Leyte, where again they were in a “mopping up” operation.

On December 11, 1944, as the company was digging in for the night, Pvt. Seiss felt a stinging sensation in his left shoulder. When his buddy called for a medic, the captain quickly came; stripping off Seiss’ jacket, he found a bullet hole through his shoulder and a burn mark made by the enemy sniper’s bullet across his back. He was ordered to report to the field hospital, but he had no idea where it was! Just then, a young Philippino boy spoke up, “Me know.” So, Sterling left his company and reported to the field hospital, where the doctor told him that he was going back to the states. The doctor told Sterling how lucky he was—an inch lower or an inch higher and he would be dead. After his recovery in Georgia and then at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he was discharged in May 1946, with a Good Conduct Medal and Purple Heart.

Sterling had always loved working with animals, so it is no surprise that for the rest of his life he was involved in farming. He had a brief first marriage that produced a son. He then married the love of his life, Mary Jean Harbaugh, in 1952. Together, they had three children, and farmed, raising heifers and pigs. Finally, in 1972, he was able to buy the home place where he lives to this day.

In the 1980s, I was one of many who bought piggies from Sterling, and I remember seeing him in his red pickup filled with crates of outdated milk he got from local dairies to feed his hogs. Sterling Seiss is one of the dwindling number of the “Greatest Generation,” to whom our country owes a great debt.

This quiet hero survived a Japanese sniper to return to his beloved Frederick County, where he lives out the last of his life in anonymity, few realizing the sacrifices he made in WWII.

Eric Smothers thanks Sterling Seiss for his many years of commitment and service to Graceham Volunteer Fire Company, during the company’s annual banquet held on April 27, 2019.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Food allergies happen when your body’s defense system, called the immune system, triggers immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to bind with a food protein (the allergen). This activates cells throughout the body to release large amounts of chemicals such as histamine. Allergic reactions can occur throughout the body: the respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, eyes, ears, throat, or cardiovascular system. Reactions usually occur within a few minutes to an hour after eating the offending food. You may first feel itching in your mouth as you start to eat the food. Other symptoms include stuffy, itchy nose; swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other parts of your body; vomiting; diarrhea; sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; stomach cramps; red, itchy skin; or a rash. True food allergies usually begin in the first or second year of life; childhood allergies may be converted into other “allergic” conditions like eczema or respiratory illnesses. About four percent of adults and up to eight percent of children have a food allergy.

What Foods Commonly Trigger Allergic Reactions?

The foods that most often cause allergic reactions in adults are the same for women and men. They include shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans.

Food Allergies Can Be Life Threatening

For some people, an allergic reaction to a food is uncomfortable but not serious; for others, an allergic food reaction can lead to death. A life-threatening reaction caused by an allergy is called anaphylaxis.

For these people, even the smallest amount of exposure—eating a food or even touching someone who is eating the food—can be dangerous. If you have anaphylactic reactions to certain foods, your doctor may give you a prescription for injectable epinephrine. You need to carry this medicine with you at all times so that you or someone you are with can give you an emergency injection, if needed. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include hoarseness; throat tightness or a lump in your throat; wheezing; chest tightness or trouble breathing; rapid heart rate; dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or scalp; and clammy, grayish, or bluish skin.

Should I Stay Away from Certain Foods During Pregnancy?

Avoiding peanuts or other highly allergenic foods during pregnancy is not necessary, unless you are allergic to these foods. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, avoiding certain foods in pregnancy does not prevent food allergies in children, though breastfeeding may prevent or delay food allergies. Also delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond four to six months of age does not prevent food allergies. Some people have also thought that food allergies can be prevented if parents delayed giving their babies certain solid foods (such as fish, eggs, and milk). However, current medical research does not support this idea.

Babies can have a reaction to a mother’s breastmilk, but this is due to something the mother is eating. Babies who are highly sensitive usually react to the food within minutes. Babies who are less sensitive may still react to the food within 4 to 24 hours. Symptoms may include diarrhea; vomiting; and/or green stools with mucus and/or blood; rash, eczema, dermatitis, hives, or dry skin; fussiness during and/or after feedings; inconsolable crying for long periods and sudden waking with discomfort; wheezing or coughing.

These symptoms do not mean your baby is allergic to your milk, but rather to something you are eating. If your baby ever has problems breathing, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Are All Symptoms a Food Allergy or Could it be a Food Sensitivity?

You could be experiencing food sensitivities. Some health problems cause the same symptoms as food allergies, but are really food sensitivities. This can make it hard to know for sure whether you have a food allergy.

Food sensitivities can cause symptoms similar to allergies, but reactions are slower and milder. It can take hours or even days before symptoms appear. Immunoglobulins A, G or M (IgA, IgG, IgM) are often involved. Sensitivities may contribute to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, depression, sinusitis, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), rashes, lactose intolerance, and more. Inadequate digestion or digestive disturbances like inadequate digestive enzymes or damaged intestinal walls with increased intestinal permeability are often involved.

What is Food Intolerance?

If your symptoms come from a food intolerance, it means the immune system is not directly involved and reactions are not life threatening, though health and quality of life are usually affected. The symptoms of food intolerance can be indigestion, bloating, fatigue, migraines, memory problems, toxic headache, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Digestive symptoms usually predominate. A common intolerance is lactose intolerance: difficulty digesting milk sugar, resulting in symptoms like abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Insufficient lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose, is involved. Some people do not produce enough lactase. Pasteurization of milk destroys lactase and changes milk sugar into another form. Some intolerances are due to food additives rather than a food. Common culprits are sulfites (inducing asthma in some people) MSG, aspartame, other artificial sweeteners, preservatives, yellow dye No. 5, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. Reactions always arise from individual susceptibilities. While an allergic reaction is triggered by small amounts of a particular food, a food intolerance may occur only with a large amount of frequent consumption. Symptoms can be chronic or delayed by hours or a couple of days. Addiction to “offending” foods is common, as they sometimes relieve symptoms for a while. Far more people have food intolerances than true allergies. Most allergies involve the eight foods mentioned above, but intolerances can involve any food.

Do You Think You Have a True Allergy?

A study from Bastyr University has shown that a single person’s blood sent to a number of laboratories for food allergy testing had very different results, depending on the lab the blood was sent to. Unfortunately, this kind of testing can be inaccurate. Dr. Lo, at the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center, uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. Call 240-651-1650 for a free evaluation to see if you have a true allergy or not. We also offer free seminars held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at

Blair Garrett and James Rada, Jr.

Whether it’s in the grocery store, your local food chain, or volunteering for a charity in need, elders continue to pitch in and help the community around us.

Thurmont resident Margaret Reed, age eighty-seven, has put in countless hours over the years, working a variety of jobs. To this day, Reed still works. She aims to keep herself busy and moving.

“I love to work, and I always have,” Reed said. Her working career started off at a young age, back when it was necessary to have the whole family chip in to help. She began working at fifteen years old at Kresge’s 5 and Dime, making 35 cents an hour.

At sixteen, Reed moved on to Sagner’s in Frederick, sewing clothing, where she got a significant bump in pay to 50 cents an hour. “I thought I was rich,” she recalled.

That youthful attitude and determination was not age-relative for Reed, though, as she has carried youthful optimism throughout her life.

Reed flourished in a long career, and she had decided to enjoy retirement at sixty-two years of age. But after forty years of marriage and the passing of her husband, Reed got back into the workforce to get out of the house, where she took a job at the Carriage House Bakery.

She spent sixteen years there until her second retirement this past December. But even at eighty-seven, Reed couldn’t stay dormant for long, taking her current job, on-call, cleaning at the Super 8 Motel in Thurmont. Seeing her friends using walkers and oxygen is motivation for Reed to stay active, and keeping busy is the best way to maintain her independence.

Darlene Wastler is another example of perseverance and dedication. Wastler, age sixty-six, maintains a job at the Roy Rogers in Thurmont, where her smiling face is often the first thing new and old customers see when they visit.

She also works at the Thurmont Senior Center, offering help week after week. Wastler is a Catoctin local, born and raised. She graduated from Catoctin High School in 1970, and ever since, she has found her way in the workforce in the Emmitsburg and Thurmont area.

“I enjoy the people and the customers,” Wastler said. “If you can get along with your employer, they look out for you.”

Wastler has been a staple of Thurmont’s Roy Rogers, having worked there for more than a decade. “It’ll be eleven years Mother’s Day weekend,” Wastler said. “I got a pin for ten years.”

Despite spending much of her fifties and sixties balancing life’s stresses on top of two jobs, she doesn’t plan on stepping back any time soon. “I’m hoping to continue for a while.”

If dedication and longevity are the keys to becoming a huge part of a business or company, Don Stitely is the epitome of those characteristics. Stitely is a member of the Guardian Hose family, logging more than sixty years for the volunteer fire company.

Stitely still serves as the President Emeritus, playing a big part in the administrative duties at Guardian Hose as a volunteer. Stitley was honored at the annual Guardian Hose banquet with a certificate for his long-standing contributions.

On top of the various volunteer work Stitely has done over the years, he also works at Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, stocking the shelves on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At eighty years old, the motivation is built from a long career of putting in hard work.

“After people retire, they don’t last long if they aren’t on the go,” Stitely said. “I’ve slowed down a bit, but I like to keep moving.”

Stitely spent just five years in retirement before picking up a job at Walmart, and then finally at Jubilee. “I really just like meeting with people and getting out of the house a bit.”

After the last sixty years in the workforce, Stitely’s future appears to be the same as it’s always been. “I hope to stick around there for a while.”      

Regardless of where you go across Northern Frederick County, you will find many elders still active in the workforce and volunteering their services to the community. With the dedication shown here by just a few of our local elders, it’s easy to see how they continue to make an impact and how their value in the workforce is still undeniable.

At eighty-seven, Margaret Reed continues to push herself to stay active in the workforce.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

by James Rada, Jr.

March 2019 Meeting


Review of Sign Ordinance Changes Continues

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners continued its review of the proposed changes to the town’s sign ordinance. During the March town meeting, the commissioners heard about the proposed changes to what types of signs could be located in which areas of town. They also paid particular attention to lighted signage.

They reviewed off-premise signage, which Town Planner Zach Gulden told them is a “totally new and business friendly section” to the sign ordinance.

Gulden told the commissioners that the new ordinance brings the town up-to-date with new signage technology, into compliance with legal rulings that could lead to future court challenges, and adheres to the best practices recommended by the Maryland Municipal League and American Planners Association.

However, he reassured business owners, “We will not take any signs away if this is passed, unless it was currently not permitted and not legal.”

Town staff also said they planned on taking pictures of all of the signage in town that is non-conforming to the whatever sign ordinance is eventually passed. This will create a visual list to show what signs are grandfathered in under the new ordinance and avoid any new town staff in the future to cause a business owner problems because they have signage not allowed under the sign ordinance.

Commissioners Support Nature Trail Garden

The Emmitsburg Commissioners supported a project proposed by Sandra Adams and Wayne Slaughter to create a half-mile-long walking path surrounding the Community Park baseball field into a nature trail garden.

The project will use volunteers to remove debris and prepare the garden beds. The maintenance costs are expected to be minimal, and they hope to raise the amount through donations.

The commissioners voiced their support of the project, and Adams and Slaughter will start to move forward with it.

Emmitsburg Food Bank Looking to Move

The roof of the Emmitsburg Food Bank building is in need of $40,000 of repairs to stop leaks and mold mitigation.

“I don’t know whether it’s even worth it,” Food Bank Director Phyllis Kelly told the Emmitsburg Commissioners.

Kelly asked the town commissioners if they could help the food bank find a new location. The commissioners directed her to contact the town planner, who could help the food bank with its search.

Commissioners Put Off Passing a Cross Connection Control Program

Emmitsburg must pass a cross connection control program or face fines from the State of Maryland. However, they put off the decision for a month to better understand the ordinance that the state is requiring them to pass. The program is designed to protect the potable water supply from contamination by connecting backflow preventers to water lines. Once passed, businesses will have time to make the changes while residents will only need to make the addition to their home water lines when major changes are made to the home or it is sold.


March 2019 Meeting

Proposal to Extend the Trolley Trail

The .7-mile-long Thurmont Trolley Trail may not be long, but it is well used by residents. The H&F Trolley Association would like to see the trail grow and attract even more users.

Members of the association presented their plan to Thurmont Town Commissioners. The plan calls for extending the trail north to Eyler Road Park and south past the water treatment plant. The hope would be that it might eventually connect up with other hiking and biking trails.

The projected cost to extend the trail to be two miles long would be $190,102.

Donovan Named Thurmont Police Officer of the Year

Thurmont Police Officer First Class Brian Donovan was named the Thurmont Lions Club Police Officer of the Year. Donovan has served in the department for three years and performed many traffic stops. He has also administered Narcan three times to overdose victims, most likely saving their lives. He also serves as the lieutenant of the Guardian Hose Company.

Donovan received a gift certificate to the Shamrock Restaurant and will have a $400 donation made to the charity of his choice.

Commissioners Begin Compiling POS Wish List

The Thurmont Commissioners have begun compiling their wish list of projects that could be funded through Program Open Space grants. The division of funds will emphasize property acquisition. Among some of the suggested projects are to increase the size of Community Park and to create a pocket park in Catoctin Heights. The commissioners also expressed no interest in pursuing a skateboard park, which was on the town’s POS wish list last year, but dropped.

Subdivision Regulations to be Reviewed

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners will be reviewing proposed regulations to the Thurmont subdivision regulations at the regular town meeting on April 9. A public hearing will be scheduled for a later date.


 Mayor Don Briggs

Alas, April. Closer to warmer weather is our earnest hope. Earlier sunrises and later sunsets surely spurs the imagination. But to keep one grounded, and still encouraged, comes the timeless reminder, “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.” Then the tempering reality in the warning given to Caesar, “Beware of the Ides of March.”

As I write this, we’ve just passed the Ides of March with no ill effects other than the loss of an hour of sleep and waking up in darkness again for Daylight Savings Time.

That’s not all—how about Lent? Late start this year. Ash Wednesday fell on March 6. A shove, a prod, a nudge…whatever draws my attention that it is time for some moral calculus. Can I give something up that I really like and/or do something for others who are in need? Dauntless, I signed on. Took the ashes to the forehead with a hope that I can do a combination of both. We’ll see how well I did when Lent ends on April 18.

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, fell this year on Sunday. Guardedly, with some trepidation, I welcomed the fete with a tip of my hat to my Irish heritage, knowing full well the celebration brings with it flauntingly many offers of contraband to my Lenten season. At about the same time, I received the book, Lincoln and the Irish by Niall O’Dowd from my daughter. It recounts the key role Archbishop John Hughes of New York played during the Civil War in swaying the strong Democrat Irish support over to the Union cause under Republican President Abraham Lincoln. As if the Civil War did not pose enough trouble, there was still the simmering undertow of the Nativist anti-immigrant feelings in the North. John Hughes, once an impoverished Irish immigrant to our area, worked as a gardener/stone mason at the Mount. After some time, he applied for admission to the Mount and was initially turned down by the Rector Father John Dubois. It was only after the intervention of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton that he was admitted to the school and went on to graduate from the seminary.

On one snow delay day, I joined others from the community at Mother Seton School to be readers as a part of the celebration of National Education Association (NEA) “Read Across America Week.” I read to Mrs. Marr’s third grade class, where sat my beautiful granddaughter amidst other beautiful children. This year, I read a Dr. Seuss book featuring none other than the Cat in the Hat to take us step by step through what it means to live in a free country, and the responsibilities that are granted to, borne by, and gifted to us. Most importantly, to register and vote. It is always an honor and a grace to read with them. It’s the innocence in their eyes that “sticks the landing.” What a future we must build for them. A new pool, dog park, exercise trail, mountain multi-user trail are not enough. We have to lead by example and follow Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat lead to instill in them and preserve for them their freedom. They’re excited about living. Let’s make it so, to the best of our ability, a happening for them. I have always said that my grandchildren and their generation are a major part of my constituency.

We have a beautiful town. One that was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1992. I reference that because we want to protect its nuances, character, and even its quirky inconveniences. New technological changes in lighting capabilities and presentation methods bring almost assuredly that a new type of signage could threaten the historic ambience of our town. To this issue of public concern, the town is revisiting its sign ordinance. We want to get in front of it. Our sign ordinance has not been reviewed in over twenty years. I am familiar on several instances in the past that it seemed the interpretations of a signage request was handled by the town in a darn near arbitrary way. All signs, billboards, and small ones, the criteria is being revisited. I know there is a lot to be said for, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but it may well be broke. Nationally, things are changing. From the strong encouragement of the Maryland Municipal League (MML)—to which the town is a member, along with 156 other municipalities and two special taxing districts—has recommended that every municipality, big or small, revisit their sign ordinances. The American Planner’s Association (APA), of which MML and the town are members, has a tested model for municipalities that choose to protect its streetscape. The basic format is the one recommended by the MML. These ordinances are organic, living rules that need to be reviewed and updated periodically. Public meetings are scheduled. Please call the town office at 301-600-6300 or go to our town social media resources.

Spring, in case you haven’t heard, we’re pulling for ya!


 Mayor John Kinnaird

Spring has finally arrived, and with it, we will see warmer weather, and the coming months will be filled with lots of outdoor activities and events. As the weather improves, we will start seeing lots of kids out and about, heading to sporting events, playing, and visiting friends’ houses. Please keep an eye open for our youngest residents, as they may not always be aware of their surroundings. I have noticed that Little League has been holding practice as well as soccer, lacrosse, and other outdoor sports. I recommend that if you want to see some dedicated kids playing sports and having a great time, just visit any of our playing fields and see what is going on. The kids will appreciate that you have taken the time to watch them play.

 There are some exciting events coming up in Thurmont during the month of April, including the 2nd Annual Thurmont Green Fest and the Annual Thurmont Business Showcase. The Greenfest will be held at the Thurmont Regional Library on Saturday, April 13, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. There will be nature crafts, games, stories, a rain barrel raffle, composting information, planting instructions for trees and plants, and an electronics recycling drop-off. With the exception of CRT tubes in televisions or monitors, all electronics can be dropped off to be recycled. This event is for kids and adults, so be sure to bring the little ones along for a fun day of learning how we can all improve our environment. The Thurmont Business Showcase will be held at the Thurmont Event Complex on Saturday, April 27, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to find out what kinds of products and services local business and non-profits offer our community. There is always something new to see at the Thurmont Business Expo. Admission is free, and the Showcase is at the Thurmont Ambulance Event Complex, located at 13716 Stratford Drive in Thurmont. You are also invited to enjoy A Taste of Thurmont Restaurant Week, from April 5 through April 13. Visit any of the participating restaurants to enjoy special meals or discounts. Participating restaurants will be revealing their Taste of Thurmont Specials in the coming week.

The Board of Commissioners was recently presented with a plan of action to extend the Thurmont Trolley Trail, north from East Main Steet to Eyler Road Park. This extension of the extremely popular Trolley Trail will open the north end of Thurmont to a safe and well-maintained trail system for the use of walkers and bicyclists. The trail will connect not only to the existing Trolley Trail but also to the Gateway Trail we establish through a partnership with the Catoctin Mountain Park. This extension will also provide access to a planned bike trail between Thurmont and Emmitsburg. The final route of the north extension to the Thurmont Trolley Trail is still in the planning stages;  volunteers are welcome to contact the H&F Trolley Trail Association on its website if you would like to join the association or help with this community project.

I hope the nice weather gets us all outdoors for some much-needed sun and fun! As always, please contact me at 301-606-9458 (8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.) or via email at with any comments, complaints, or compliments.

James Rada, Jr.

It’s been six years since Bogley’s Chevrolet closed in Thurmont. Last month, Gene Bogley came out of retirement and opened Bogley’s Auto Sales of Thurmont at 906 East Main Street.

Bogley is a familiar automotive name in Thurmont. Bogley’s Chevrolet was on Frederick Road from 1981 to 2013. After selling cars for thirty-three years in Thurmont, sales was in his blood, and Bogley wasn’t enjoying retirement as much as some people.

“I traveled some, but unless you play golf a lot and have a lot of hobbies, you get bored,” said Bogley.

He wasn’t the only one missing his former dealership. He was hearing often from former customers, expressing that they hadn’t bought a car since his dealership had closed because new cars were just too expensive. According to Bogley, the average cost of a new car is now over $40,000.

“You can buy a car here for under $20,000 and trucks for under $30,000,” Bogley said. “I’m not selling anything over $30,000.”

He decided to open a new automotive lot and focus on selling quality, low-mileage cars. The new dealership is a small lot with forty vehicles that Bogley has purchased primarily from other dealer contacts that he has developed over the years.

“Every car I have out here, I hand-picked,” Bogley said. He is proud that every car also has a clean Carfax and required less than $200 to pass inspection.

Bogley’s employees are part-time workers and most of them are like Bogley, retired but still wanting to work.

“You won’t believe how different your outlook is on life when you have something to do,” Bogley said.

Bogley said he wants his new dealership to have the same reputation that Bogley’s Chevrolet had. He wants to be known for giving people good deals. Already, many of his former customers have been stopping by to see what he has for sale.

“If you treat people right and give honest deals, people will come back to you and tell others about you,” stated Bogley.

Buyers can also get financing and extended warranties through Bogley’s.

Bogley’s Auto Sales is open Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Gene Bogley stands in front of his new used car dealership on East Main Street in Thurmont.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Seton Center. What began as a day care center to meet the needs of local preschool children and their families has grown into a community landmark, a place of “Hope in the Valley” for our neighbors who aren’t simply looking for a handout, but are seeking a way to improve their lives.

To celebrate this legacy, Seton Center is hosting a “Welcome Home to Seton Center” party on May 4, 2019 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on the grounds of the new building at 226 E. Lincoln Avenue in Emmitsburg. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and see what a difference fifty years can make! This is a free event, with games and activities for children and adults, raffles, door prizes, and light refreshments.

It all started in 1969, when a small band of mothers advocated for a safe place to send their preschool-aged children, where they would be nurtured and given the opportunity to learn about God and caring for one another in the community. The Daughters of Charity answered the call. Over the years, the center grew to accommodate a thrift store and outreach office. While the “Blue School” ceased operations in 2013, having finished its faithful service, the programs established to meet the changing needs of Northern Frederick County community continue.

Come back and see that while some things may have changed—most notably, Seton Center’s new location—the most important thing hasn’t: the mission to work with its neighbors to build a hopeful future in the spirit of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Saint Vincent de Paul. Get information on the various programs offered by Seton Center, such as free Build Your Resources seminars, which give important tips like buying a car without getting ripped off, starting a savings plan, and caring for your mental health.

During the reunion party, the Seton Family Store will be open until 3:00 p.m. Browse the current selection of quality items and see how the support of the Family Store helps the outreach programs operate. Seton Center relies on the generosity of donors and funds from the store to continue helping our neighbors in need.

Seton Center has sustained for the past fifty years because of volunteers, clients, donors, and staff. It’s because of the determination of mothers like Cheryl Bushman, Nancy Cool, Elise May, and Marlene Springer that Seton Center got its start, and it’s the dedication of people like the Daughters of Charity who keep it going.

Please join in celebrating the past fifty years, and come be part of the next fifty.

Seton Center’s new location at 226 E. Lincoln Avenue in Emmitsburg.

James Rada, Jr.

Cunningham Falls State Park is a Thurmont treasure that all of Frederick County appreciates. This can be seen in the fact that the park recently won Best Place to Camp (Regional) and Best Place for a First Date (Non-Food) in the Frederick News Post’s annual “Best of the Best” contest.

During a March town meeting, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird called Cunningham Falls State Park “a great attraction for a lot of people who come to our community.”

The park isn’t resting on its laurels, as Park Manager Mark Spurrier told the Thurmont Commissioners during a recent meeting.

“We have a whole bunch of construction going on,” he explained.

The park has 300,000 to 400,000 visitors each year, with most of them coming to the lake to swim during the summer. Because many of the projects are targeted to improving the visit for these people, some inconveniences could happen during construction. The park service is trying its best to complete as much work as possible during the off season.

Some of the projects have already started. For some, it may be two years before they are complete. Many of the upgrades are needed since the park is over fifty years old.

Here are the improvements the park is making:

•    Dual lane entry and new contact station. Since nearly all of the visitors to Cunningham Falls head to the lake, the line to enter the park often backs up. Adding a new entry lane and pay station should speed things up.

•    Rehabilitated picnic pads. Forty picnic pads will have new tables and a grill all on a concrete slab. Some of the pads will be enlarged to fit more than one table.

•    Nature center. The former beachfront store, which had originally been a bathroom, will now become at 334-square-foot nature center with a canopy that will allow for classes to be taught in warm weather.

•    New bathroom. The bathroom near the boat rentals will be demolished and replaced with an entirely new facility. This project could cause headaches for visitors this summer because the materials being used in the new construction are taking up parking spots, which can be scarce in the summer.

•    New beach. The south beach will have a new beachfront that will be designed to better hold the sand on the beach and not have it wash away. This will also include better stormwater management for the area.

•    Museum of the Iron Furnace. The collier’s house at Catoctin Furnace will be rehabilitated and turned into a museum, with the help of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society. The museum will tell the story of the community built up around one industry.

•    Stabilization of the Iron Master’s House. The work to stabilize the Iron Master’s house has been going on since 2014. The work is being done as grant funding is available. So far, $75,000 has been raised.

•    Renovated camp store.

•    Smaller projects. Smaller projects, or projects not so obvious to visitors, include a new storage shed, new water plant, sewer line repair, minor dam maintenance, and replacing the culverts along MD 77.

Blair Garrett

Through rain, shine, sleet, or snow, first responders will be there in our time of need. The Thurmont Guardian Hose Company’s Annual Banquet was no exception, with several of the featured volunteers called away to combat a house fire on the Catoctin Mountain.

But, the show must go on, and the banquet didn’t miss a beat. 

The food was served, memories were shared, and the banquet got underway to celebrate and recognize all of the hard work the men and women of Guardian Hose Company puts forth day after day. 

A moment of silence and recognition for the dedication and accomplishments of five members of the Guardian Hose Company was held, whose passing in 2018 was felt by each member of the area’s fire and EMS community. Diane Oxendale, Elwood Riffle, Richard Kaufman, Marion W. “Bill” Rice, and Gloria Clabaugh were honored through their families with the lighting of a candle and Reverend James Hamrick’s blessing.

Guardian Hose Chief Chris Kinnaird was responsible for the minutes of the banquet, informing the public on the past year’s events and statistics, accolades for administrative and operational officers, and future plans for the fire company.

The Top 10 Responders for the year were highlighted for their loyalty and service: Larry Duble (102), Michael Beard (124), Stacy Stackhouse (147), Steve Strickhouser (163), Christopher Kinnaird (194), Terry Frushour (200), Mike Duble (254), Jared Snyder (261), Wayne Stackhouse (271), Brad Weddle (421).

The officers who were inducted for 2019 are Lieutenants Chad Brown, Brian Donovan, Will Gue, and Kevin Welch; Captain Blaine Schildt; and Assistant Chief Charlie Brown.

“I’m sure they will support me throughout the year, as they have done in the past. I thank them for stepping up to the plate and taking these positions,” Chief Kinnaird said.

It was a tremendously busy 2018 for the Guardian Hose Company, running nearly 700 calls in just twelve months. As a company that is depended upon day in and day out, entirely functioning on the efforts of volunteers, the dedication of the operational and administrative officers doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It’s amazing that you’re an all-volunteer fire company,” Mayor John Kinnaird said. “There are very few communities like ours that have all volunteer companies, and we really appreciate your service.”

Volunteer fire companies thrive on the shoulders of invested community members who aim to support and protect the public. The communication and teamwork among local departments is paramount to maintaining the safety of the Catoctin area.     

“I’d like to thank our neighboring departments who helped us out throughout the year,” Chief Kinnaird said. “We can’t do this job by ourselves. It’s not a one-company operation anymore. The whole department relies on everybody, and everybody always lends a hand.”

As President Wayne Stackhouse continued to acknowledge each member and their years of service and membership to the fire company, a few stood out among the crowd.

Donald Stitely and Richard Wilhide joined the sixty-year club, putting in more than a half century of service to Guardian Hose Company.

“I want to make note that William “Bill” Rice was our oldest member on record before his passing last year, and he had completed seventy years,” Stackhouse said.

President Stackhouse’s next award put a smile on everyone’s face in the room, but none bigger than the smile on committee member Linda Davis’ face. “This next award is kind of a special award,” Stackhouse said. “Linda is one of those members in the activities committee who goes way beyond what she needs to do, but she’s always there.”

Davis was presented with a framed certificate and a huge bouquet of flowers, and the emotion on her face was immediately apparent. The gifts weren’t done yet for Davis though, as she also received a lifetime membership, certifying that she will receive membership benefits and privileges for her hard work and dedication to the Guardian Hose Company.

The banquet ended with the official installation for the 2019 officers by Director of Volunteer Fire Services Director, Chief Kevin Fox: President, Wayne Stackhouse; President Emeritus, Donald Stitely; Vice President, Terry Frushour; Secretary, Lori Brown; Assistant Secretary, Tisha Miller; Treasurer, Chad Brown; Assistant Treasurer, Beverly Frushour; Trustees, Brian Donovan, Jared Snyder, Joe Ohler, Steve Yuengling, and Christopher Kinnaird. Operational Officers: Chief, Chris Kinnaird; Assistant Chief, Carroll Brown; Captain, Blaine Schildt; Lieutenants, Chad Brown, Brian Donovan, Will Gue, and Kevin Welch; and Chaplain, James Hamrick.

The Installation of Officers puts the Guardian Hose Company and its supporters in a position to be successful for yet another year. As a volunteer fire company, Guardian Hose is always looking for more help and dedicated volunteers.

For more information, contact one of the company’s officers or visit for more information.

President Wayne Stackhouse (center) acknowledges Richard Wilhide’s (left) and Donald Stitely’s sixty-years of service.

Vice President Terry Frushour is shown with Linda Davis, who receives a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as well as a lifetime membership.

The Town of Thurmont was recently recognized by the Maryland Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) and was presented the Best Program Logo award for populations serving under 50,000 people.

In the summer of 2018, the Town of Thurmont offered its inaugural summer parks and recreation program, based out of the Thurmont Community Park. The two-week program was entitled “A Day in the Park” and was a huge success. 

At the request of Park Program Coordinator Deb Abraham Spalding, Gracie Eyler from E Plus Graphics, Printing & Promotions, came up with an original logo that was used to brand the park program.

The logo was an immediate identifier for the program and was easily recognizable. It captures some of the activities provided during the two-week program, and also displays a large deciduous tree as the central focal point, reminding us that natural resources are vital to park programming. 

“This logo is a great resource used in branding our successful summer park program,” stated Mayor John Kinnaird. 

The award was presented to Gracie Eyler, Deb Abraham Spalding, and Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick at the Celebrating Excellence Marketing and Communications Awards Luncheon on February 28, 2019, in Laurel, Maryland.  This is the second consecutive year that Thurmont has received a Marketing and Communications Award from MRPA.

Jim Humerick, Town of Thurmont’s CAO; Deb Abraham Spalding, Day In The Park program coordinator; Gracie Eyler, E Plus Graphics graphic designer; and Carolyn Ryan, MRPA president.

National Make a Difference Day (MaDD) is an annual community service event that is held every year on the fourth Saturday in October. MaDD was created in 1992 by USA WEEKEND magazine and joined by Points of Light.  Together, they have sponsored the largest national day of community service for more than twenty years.

The Thurmont Lions Club (TLC) has been supporting the national day of community service since 2006. The Lions Club’s MaDD projects have been small to large, and the dedication of some major projects very close to the club member’s hearts. A list of projects were: (1) 2006—Collected food and monetary donations for various community needs (raised $10,000); (2) 2007—Recognized and honored businesses and projects in the community; (3) 2008—Collected food for Thurmont Food Bank and monetary donations for Ministerium, Clothes Closet, Operation Second Chance; (4) 2009—Supported our Troops with a huge military celebration with notable speakers; (5) 2010—Supported “Finding a Cure for Cancer” with a huge celebration with notable speakers; (6) 2011—Supported “We Help our Kids,” supporting Catoctin High and all feeder schools (raised $12,266); (7) 2012—Literacy Project; (8) 2013—“Beautify our Town” – Painted the old trolley car and unveiled a mural by Yemi; (9) 2014—Installed a kids water fountain and bench in the town’s Community Park; (10) 2015—Worked with other organizations to sponsor a clothing and food drive; (11) 2016—Planted three Wye Oak seedlings in a garden area along Park Avenue, planted thirty-six associated perennial flower plants and mulched, and planted fifty ground cover Vinca plants; (12) 2017—Variety of projects (collected blankets for the homeless, clothing for Clothes Closet, and food for Thurmont Food Bank.

In 2018, the TLC held a bake sale at the Tractor Supply in Frederick. Lion Melanie Keating presented a check to Rachel Hubbard to benefit the “Music is Medicine Foundation.” This organization provides resources and support to addicts and their families. The Lions Club, as well as many other organizations, work with a single purpose to improve the lives of others. The Thurmont Lions Club will continue supporting the annual National Make a Difference Day each October.

Sam Zanella (pictured right) is a 2014 graduate of Catoctin High School and the FCPS Career and Technology Center’s TV Multimedia Program. Sam is an employee with Creative Technologies, Inc. in Los Angeles, California.

Sam recently worked as an Audio Technician in the Press Room at the 2019 Oscars, working along with press from throughout the world and the 2019 Oscar winners. Sam now resides in Burbank, California.

Catoctin High School is selling limited edition, custom-made art prints to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Catoctin High School. The prints are of Thurmont High School; Emmitsburg High School; and Catoctin High School, as it looked when it opened fifty years ago.

The artwork was commissioned especially for Catoctin High School and created by talented artist Kim Flabbi. Kim is a long-time staff member of Catoctin High School, as well as a former coach and student. 

“I was very excited and feel honored to have been asked to create this artwork for my alma mater to celebrate this special anniversary,” said Flabbi. 

The school is selling fifty numbered and artist-signed prints, ready for framing. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Catoctin High School Distinguished Graduate program, which recognizes outstanding alumni.

To purchase a print, visit Catoctin High School’s main office between 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. If you have questions, call the school at 240-236-8100.

Kim Flabbi with a custom-made print.

Courtesy Photo

Members of Catoctin High School’s (CHS) Sports Boosters are fundraising for a new (or like-new) utility vehicle to replace the current one. The current Cub Cadet has been in use for almost ten years, providing the important function of transporting supplies, injured athletes, and Catoctin’s athletic trainer between the school and various sporting activities on the school property. Athletic Director Keith Bruck said, “This is an important piece of equipment. Often times, an athletic trainer needs to speed between sports on the property when multiple competitions take place at the same time.”

The price tag is approximately $7,500 for a new piece of equipment. To fill this need, financial donations may be mailed to: CHS Sports Boosters, 14745 Sabillasville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. The Boosters Club has also set up a GoFundMe account and donations can be made by going to<> and entering “Utility vehicle for Catoctin Athletics” in the search bar. The Athletic Department would like to have its new utility vehicle by the start of the fall sports season in August.