Currently viewing the tag: "Gettysburg Pennsylvania"

by James Rada, Jr.

1922 – The marines Conquer Thurmont

More than a quarter of the U.S. Marine Corps arrived in Thurmont on June 25, along with the equipment to outfit an even larger group. They had been on the march for six days. Their ultimate destination was Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but first, they had to get through Thurmont.

They ran into a slight snag as they passed north along Church Street. The Western Maryland Railway passed over the road about three blocks north of the downtown square, and there wasn’t enough clearance for the trucks carrying the tanks to pass under the bridge. Heavy timbers had to be placed on the back of the trucks to allow the tanks to be unloaded. The trucks and tanks then passed under the bridge separately. On the other side, the tanks were loaded onto the trucks again.

By 2:30 p.m., the Marines marched into a clover field about a mile north of Thurmont and sat down. Camp Haines was erected on the Hooker Lewis Farm. The Baltimore Sun reported that thousands of visitors came out to the camp to watch the evening movies showing the Marines on their march and to listen to the Expeditionary Force Marine Band play. They also joined in singing the Marine Hymn at the end of the concert.

One of the visitors to the camp was Henry Fleagle, a Civil War Veteran who had fought in 26 major engagements with the Seventh Maryland Infantry and emerged unscathed. Fleagle saw that the Marines had to carry very little during their march and remarked, “It is hard to get used to the new ways of doing things. We had to carry everything with us when we marched.”

“But you didn’t have to hike around like this,” one Marine told him.

“Didn’t, eh? Once we did 30 miles a day, and at the end of it, we had to double time three miles to cut off a part of Lee’s army, Son, you don’t know what hiking is,” Fleagle replied.

He told them about fighting in the Battle of Laurel Hill in Virginia during the Civil War when all but four men in his company were killed.

“Once a bullet took my hat away and another time a spent bullet hit me on the shoulder, but it didn’t have force enough to go in. I hope you boys will be as lucky as that if there’s another war,” Fleagle told the gathered Marines.

He shook hands with many of the Marines and officers and told them that there were only nine Civil War Veterans in the county. Then he thought for a moment, and corrected himself, saying that there may have been only eight left.

By the end of the evening, five other Civil War Veterans had visited the camp: Jacob Freeze, “Dad” Elower, Will Miller, William Stull, and Henry Cover.

After eight hours of marching, some of the Marines willingly hiked back into Thurmont to eat a meal that wasn’t camp rations.

“Until late, they could be seen walking by the roadside, while many stood on running boards of touring cars whose occupants had honored the uniform and given the sea soldiers desirous of ‘seeing the town’ a lift to shorten the journey on foot,” The Washington Post reported.

While in Thurmont, some confusion needed to be sorted out between the Marines and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order for the journey to continue past the Mason-Dixon Line. The Pennsylvania State Highway Department had been told that the Marines were using cleated trucks and tanks that would tear up the road surface. Highway Department officials traveled to Thurmont to inspect the vehicles and make sure that they complied with Pennsylvania law.

As night fell, lights flicked on across the fields, breaking up the darkness. Men made their way back to camp before “Taps” was played. Then they turned in, except for officers who worked on the next day’s plans and night couriers on motorcycles who carried messages north and south.

The next morning, June 26, the Marines made their final 15-mile march through Emmitsburg to Gettysburg, settling in at Camp Harding near the base of the Virginia Memorial on the Gettysburg battlefield. Once there, they would be able to rest somewhat before returning to Quantico.

The morning started off badly when three Marines were injured near Thurmont. The truck in which they were riding went off the road into a ditch on its way to Emmitsburg. The most severe injury sustained among the three men was a fractured shoulder blade.

As the Marines passed through Emmitsburg along Seton Avenue, local Civil War Veterans—Michael Hoke, Jame T. Hostleborn, John H. Mentzer, Thomas E. Frailey, all of whom had served with the First Maryland Cavalry—stood with flags. Mayor J. Henry Stokes, who had three sons who had served in WWI, also greeted the Marines.

At the state line just north of Emmitsburg, the two Maryland state troopers who had been traveling with the Marines to clear the roads in front of them since they had passed into Maryland from the District of Columbia, turned over their duties to seven Pennsylvania state troopers. The Pennsylvania State Police then escorted the East Coast Expeditionary Force on the last leg of their journey on Emmitsburg Road to Camp Harding

Marine Encampment

Pictured from left are: (front row) Lions Nancy Echard, Dianne McLean, Gayle DiSalvo, Bev Nunemaker; (back row) Lions Marci Veronie, Joyce Anthony, PCC Bob Muchow, FVDG Nadja Muchow, PDG Paul Cannada, and CS Susan Favorite. Absent from picture: Lions Julie El-Taher, Doug Favorite, Donald Keeney, Jr.

The 2022 Multiple District 22 Convention was held April 22-24, 2022, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The convention was an outstanding event. The Lions Memorial Service, numerous seminars, District luncheons, meetings, candidate’s hospitality rooms and election of incoming officers were well attended.  Past International Director Steven Sherer from Ohio was the guest speaker. PID Sherer’s messages were very informative, full of stories about his wife, Lion Mary Ellen and himself were inspirational.

District Governor presented numerous awards to his cabinet members and throughout District 22-W. Lion Joyce Anthony was named to the District 22-W Honor Roll. This award recognizes Lions who have rendered outstanding service to their club and their community at the “grass roots” level over an extended period of time, who exemplify the spirit of Lionism through their unselfish dedication, and who are deserving of District-wide recognition for their efforts in support of Lionism. The Thurmont Lions Club had 13 members attending the convention.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Charla Acker (pictured right) is a professional in dress, demeanor, and presentation. She works out of her home office in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and often ventures out to appear at community events. She defines her profession as, “Service work. It’s hard work, but it’s very fulfilling.” She is committed to her profession and finds great joy in “seeing clients transform.”

Her clients’ transformation is often an emotional relief from grief or the reassurance that we are not alone in life, nor do our souls cease to exist after our physical bodies die. You see, Charla Acker is a psychic medium by profession. She admits, “We don’t choose this work, it chooses us. It’s a huge responsibility. It’s a life-long education.”

Charla explained that we all have some psychic ability; intuition at its least-developed level and psychic mediumship at a professionally trained level. About being a psychic medium, she added, “You’re already starting at a disadvantage in this profession because there are so many people out there claiming to be a psychic medium when they’re not. In this work, you’re called crazy and a fraud. As professionals, we need to bridge that perception.”

How to bridge the negative perception is through education. Professional psychic mediums don’t “fish” for facts. They present specific information. It’s called evidential information, and it leaves no doubt. “People should be at this professional level before calling themselves a medium. Those who don’t do more damage than good.”

Charla is skeptical and tough on spirit. For example, “Last week a father came through during a client’s reading, and I saw the strangest thing. I saw cases of creepy clowns. I looked at the client and said, ‘I have to tell it like I see it.’ I told her what I saw. Her face turned white and she started to cry. She said there were three people in the whole world who knew that her father was in a circus as a kid and collected creepy clowns. They are still in her parent’s attic.”

I first saw Charla when she presented a psychic gallery for charity at the Totem Pole Playhouse near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, last August. A friend offered me one of her tickets and I accepted, not because I wanted a reading nor did I expect one in an audience of 350 people. I told my friend that I would video when she got her reading. And, that’s what I did! I started to video as quickly as I could when Charla said, “I have ‘Tom’ here bringing through his daughter, ‘Ash.’” Charla named their names, no questions asked. She did that with every reading she gave that evening. I’d never seen a psychic who was so accurate with names, not even big-name celebrity psychics.

The second time I saw Charla was in March of this year. This time it was just me and Charla. The first thing Charla said during my reading, after explaining how it works and her role, was, “Who’s Diane?” After conveying the message that, “Diane has transitioned and wants everyone to know that she’s happy,” Charla went on to mention several other names throughout my reading that were significant to me.

Charla feels that she’s “just the radio” who brings through the message from the spirit realm frequency. She explained, “It’s the love that bridges the gap.” She describes her energy as being like a balloon. It starts out full of energy and with every reading, it deflates a little until it’s all gone.

Her advice to a client is to not have expectations about who will come through during a reading, stating, “It’s not 1-800-Dial-the-Dead! Whoever chooses to come through, comes through!” The spirit who comes through could be an uncle who’s been dead longer than you’ve been alive or a family friend who steps forward instead of your deceased mother. This can leave you scratching your head about things. Be assured that if the facts presented don’t make sense in the moment, they’ll usually make sense later.

Charla was raised in a church-going Protestant family in Ohio. In kindergarten, she remembers playing with spirit children on a memorial playground located on a former school site that was destroyed by fire in 1908: 172 children, 2 teachers, and 1 firefighter perished in that fire. She said, “As a child, you really don’t know what to do with that energy. It’s a lot to take on.”

As she grew older, Charla dabbled in the topic of energy as a hobby and furthered her knowledge. She got married and lived in Pittsburgh with her husband who was a criminal attorney. Then, at age 30, she had a stroke. “That’s when my ability exploded.” She had become spiritually heightened. The adage, “When the student is ready, the teachers will come,” was evident.

At a book signing for John Edward (he did the television show Crossing Over) he said to Charla, “Wow, you’re going to be doing this work. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!” After that, she met people with like interests, and she attended workshops and group development sessions. She couldn’t get enough learning about energy. Yet, although she was fascinated by the whole process, it was still just a hobby. She said, “You don’t grow up wanting to be a psychic!” She used to be like everybody else and battled with the perception of being different.

Regardless of her internal excuses, her talents expanded, and she started giving tarot card readings to her friends and then started to take on paying clients. One day, while giving a reading for a client, she started seeing visions and hearing voices (hearing comments in her head). This was the beginning of her mediumship development. She took every class she could to understand the process. It had become her mission, her purpose in life.

Charla and her husband moved to Gettysburg from Pittsburgh when her husband started a new career. Her business continued to expand. Her clients are doctors, lawyers, garbage men, and people from all walks of life. Today, Charla has a full schedule. She is accessible and affordable. She is reaching to impact many people because she feels that’s her calling.

For Charla, it’s about healing, clarity, and transformation. She assures us, “There is life after death. This isn’t all there is.”

Charla is certified through the Tarot Certification Board of America and is a member of The American Tarot Association & Forever Family Foundation. Charla is also an Ordained Minister with the Universal Life Church Ministries. She is certified in Usui Reiki Levels 1, 2 & 3 Master/Teacher. The wait time for a reading (in-person or on the phone) with Charla is currently one year.

Find out more about Charla or see some of the videos of her in action online at

by James Rada, Jr.

The Living History of Chuck Caldwell

Chuck Caldwell and his father, George, came to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the last day of June 1938 for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The town decorated with banners, bunting, and lights, and was so crowded that the Caldwells couldn’t find a room to stay in and spent their first night sleeping in a chicken coop. Chuck, who was fourteen years old, didn’t mind because he had made it to Gettysburg.

Chuck and his father visited the Veterans’ Camp, which had been constructed on the north end of Gettysburg College and some adjacent private property. Union Veteran tents were located on lettered streets, from Biglerville Road to Mummasburg Road. Confederate Veteran tents lined numbered streets, from Mummasburg Road to the Reading Railroad. Only about 2,000 Veterans had made it to the reunion, although tens of thousands more people were in town.

“It was a thrill to be able to see both armies together at one time,” Chuck said. “It was just too much. I would have walked from home to be there.”

When Chuck met a Veteran, he would get the man to sign his autograph book and write down his hometown and unit. Chuck also had his picture taken with the Veteran. Chuck later added some flourishes, such as a Union or Confederate flag. When he was finished, he had nearly fifty autographs in the book.

It’s a priceless piece of history that he still cherishes.


A Talent For Art

Chuck was born in Princeton, Illinois, in 1923. Because his father was a minister, the Caldwells moved from town to town each time he took a new job. Although both Chuck’s father and grandfather were clergymen, Chuck didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. That was obvious from a young age.

“I was a pew climber in church,” Chuck said. “I just wouldn’t sit still.”

With George preaching at the front of the church, it fell to Ellen Caldwell to keep her ears open to the sermon and her eyes on young Chuck, as he would crawl over, under, and across the pews, disturbing nearby churchgoers.

His mother finally stopped trying to make her son sit down. Instead, she gave Chuck paper and a pencil and let him draw, hoping to focus his attention elsewhere.

It worked. Chuck became so focused on creating something on the sheet of paper that the only part of him moving during the service was his hand. He still wasn’t listening to the sermons, but at least he wasn’t disturbing everyone around him.

Chuck won his first art competition at the 1940 Wayne County Ohio Hobby Exposition, with a diorama of the railyard scene in Gone With the Wind. The display featured four hundred different clay figures, in addition to the ones he had drawn into the background scenery. The piece was so popular that a local department store displayed it in their window to help attract customers.


Becoming a Marine

Chuck wasn’t large enough to play football, but he was a huge fan of the game, especially the University of Alabama team. Because of this, Alabama was his only choice for college when he graduated high school in 1941. He even became the freshman football team manager.

“I got picked on by the players because I was small. It was all right, though, because I was part of the team. I was part of the Great Crimson Tide.”

Chuck worked hard and long hours. Unfortunately, most of that time was spent with the football team. As Chuck grew skeptical about his chances of passing his classes, he decided that he needed a plan in case he wouldn’t be returning to the university after the Christmas break.

On December 1, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. All that was left for him to do was to pass his final physical. He arranged it so that he wouldn’t be inducted until after Christmas.

On Sunday, December 7, Chuck was actually studying when his roommate rushed into the room shouting that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Chuck was stunned. He knew from his roommate’s tone that something was wrong, but he wasn’t quite sure what.

“Where’s Pearl Harbor?” Chuck asked.

They had to dig out an atlas to locate Pearl Harbor.

As the realization settled on Chuck that the Japanese had attacked the United States and that the two countries were now at war, Chuck’s first thought was that he now had an excuse to do poorly on his exams. Then as he realized what he was thinking, he felt shame.

Chuck left school on December 15, without even taking his finals. It didn’t matter now. He headed home on the train to tell his parents that he was going to be a Marine.

The physical at the end of December was quick and basic. The minimum requirement for Marines at the time was that they weigh at least 120 pounds and stand at least five feet six inches tall. Chuck became a Marine by one pound and half an inch.

He made it through five weeks of basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and shipped out to New Zealand, knowing that he was going to be fighting in the war.

“I wasn’t scared,” Chuck said. “I was going to take part in real history.”



Chuck’s early months in the Pacific involved a lot of sailing, from one island to another, but then on November 2, 1942, he landed on Guadalcanal to reinforce a group of Marines who had been fighting the entrenched Japanese for weeks.

He spent the next five months on the island, fighting occasionally, and dodging bombs from almost daily air raids. Japanese bombers would fly from ships surrounding the island to drop their bombs. The goal was to destroy the runway on Henderson Field, in the hopes of keeping the Marines on the ground.

The raids kept the Marines’ nerves on edge, especially at night when they couldn’t see the planes coming.

Some mornings, they would find odd footprints from people wearing tabis in camp. These were Japanese tennis-shoe-type boots that separated the big toe from the rest of the toes. Chuck realized that the footprints meant that the Japanese had come through their camp unseen.

“It made me think that somebody was not guarding our camp too well,” Chuck said. “That’s when I started sleeping on my back with my K-bar next to me.”

On November 14, Chuck was awakened by nearby explosions, just after midnight. The Japanese ships had turned their large guns on the island and were shelling it.

“Coconut trees were splintered and falling everywhere.”

As the shelling continued, Chuck realized that it was too heavy to stay in the foxhole. He needed to get to the air raid shelter.

He started counting how long it was between the time a gun fired and when the shell hit. The time between firing from the ship and hitting the island was consistent.

When one shell hit nearby, Chuck took off running. Apparently, one of the shells came in quicker than expected. A coconut tree exploded near Chuck, sending wood splinters into his right knee, left chest, and wrist.

Chuck yelled as he hit the ground and rolled. He saw blood, but he wasn’t feeling pain at the moment. He couldn’t rest out in the open. He got to his feet and hobbled on. He would eventually receive a Purple Heart for this wound.

Chuck eventually got off Guadalcanal, but he was transferred to the Second Division Marines and sent to Tarawa a little more than a year after he had arrived at Guadalcanal. Although the fight there was shorter, it was just as fierce as Guadalcanal.

The Marines met heavy resistance as they landed at Tarawa. They reached the beaches, but could barely hold that position. Later waves of Marines took heavy casualties even before they reached the shore. Ammunition ran low, and the Marines had to scavenge ammunition belts from the dead.

The water was chest deep as Chuck started wading ashore. He held his rifle above his head. The Japanese peppered the water with bullets.

“We lost three hundred men in 500 yards,” Chuck said.

Chuck tried to ignore the men suddenly floating face down in the water around him. He dove underwater and swam, hoping to escape the bullets splashing around him.

His job at Tarawa was to offload the ships that made it to the dock with supplies. He and the other Marines carrying supplies were popular targets for the Japanese, because they were out in the open and couldn’t fire back.

Near the end of three days of fighting and almost no sleep, Chuck collapsed. It turns out that he had contracted malaria, most likely on Guadalcanal.

He returned home for a thirty-day leave in 1944, but after another bout of malaria, he wound up extending his time. While recovering in a Navy hospital, he met Jackie Murphy, a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) nurse, who would eventually marry him the following year.


Nuclear Bombs

After the war ended, Chuck earned his art degree and took a job in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, designing displays for the American Museum of Atomic Energy. He eventually transferred to a different department, doing technical drawings, which turned out to be very boring.

Anxious to escape his boredom, he volunteered to spend the summers of 1957 and 1958 in Nevada, setting up atomic bomb tests and collecting data after explosions. He saw dozens of bomb detonations.

Chuck was excited to see his first atomic bomb detonation. He expected an ear-shattering explosion.

“It wasn’t that noisy, but what happened afterwards is that this doughnut rolled out from the center and knocked you on your ass if you weren’t kneeling down,” recalled Chuck.

The doughnut was the concussive force of the explosion stirring up sand as it moved outward from ground zero.


On His Own

In 1968, with four children and a wife to support, Chuck decided to strike out on his own as an artist. He quickly found work, including selling miniatures to shops in Gettysburg. The Caldwells moved to Lake Dallas, Texas, in the early 1970s, where Chuck had the promise of steady work.

Things didn’t pan out quite as he had expected, and the Caldwells decided to move to Gettysburg in 1980. Chuck came first and got his small shop in the Old Gettysburg Village established. He had been visiting the town for most of his life and was excited to finally call it home.

Over the years, he has sculpted more than 15,000 miniature soldiers, musicians, and sports figures. This doesn’t even count the thousands of even smaller figures he crafted to fill the stadium models that he built.

Jackie died in 2007, after sixty-two years of marriage, and Chuck decided that it was time for him to retire. He still makes some miniatures from his home.

At age ninety-four, Chuck is still healthy and living on his own in Gettysburg. He still visits with friends and hosts holidays for his family, which has grown to include four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“Our gun crew around the gun after firing all day.” — Chuck Caldwell

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Lance Corporal Paul Joseph Humerick

U.S. Marine Corps

Born at Annie M. Warner Hospital in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in June of 1947, was a son to Paul E. and Ida G. (Brawner) Humerick. They named him Paul Joseph and gave him the nickname “Sonny.” Paul and Ida took Sonny home to Emmitsburg, where they resided in a house on North Seton Avenue. This is where Sonny spent his entire childhood. He said it was the best of all places to grow up. Right below his house ran Flat Run creek, where he and his friends could go wading and fishing, and there were nearby woods to hunt mushrooms. They had many fields to run and play in. All-in-all, Sonny had a very happy childhood growing up in Emmitsburg.

Sonny said he had two very close friends that he grew up with: Mike Shorb and Billy Weidner. Sonny had a part-time job during the summers mowing grass out by Natural Dam and helping his dad mow at the Sharpe farm. This gave him a little spending money, and Sonny, Mike, and Billy could hardly wait until the week’s end to go and listen to Wayne Sanders’ band play some rock and roll music. Wayne Sanders had a rock and roll band called “Dwayne and the Sounds” and was the hometown entertainment; they had a lot of local followers. When Sonny turned sixteen, he was at the Tropical Treat in Taneytown, where Dwayne and the Sounds were playing. There, he met Linda Wetzel; and, although he knew Linda’s brother, he did not know her. They hit it off that night, and that marked the beginning of a fifty-four-year relationship, married fifty-one of those years. They got married the April 15, 1966. Sonny says he kinda took a “liking to her” and she kinda took a “liking to him.” I would think it was kinda more like a “loving to each other.” What do you think?

In February of 1966, Sonny got a notice from the Draft Board to report to Fort Holibird in Baltimore. Sonny, Denny Staley, and Leroy Shealey were all on the bus to Fort Holibird. Leroy passed the physical, but Sonny and Denny did not. So, they put Sonny and Denny in a big room—about the size of two basketball stadiums combined—and a sergeant came in and walked up and down and looked them over and said, “I’m going to tell you right now, you have thirty days to take care of any business you have, because the Army has you.” Well, Sonny and Linda had plans of getting married in April; they also had a piece of ground cleared and were planning on building a house. When Sonny got home from Holibird, he told Linda and his mom and dad that he had been drafted and he was going in the Army; it wasn’t his choosing but that was the way it was. Sonny said that a few weeks later he received some papers from the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps that said “congratulations, you were accepted in the military.” He explained that the Marine Corps had a ninety-day plan, and that meant that if he joined, then he wouldn’t have to go for three months. That meant one thing to Sonny: he could still get married. So, Sonny and a friend of his, Johnny Eckenrode (who worked with Sonny at the Provincial House), decided to go to Frederick and join the Marines. The recruiter sent them back to Fort Holibird for another physical and, from there, they were sent to Gay and Lombard street to be sworn in. That was on the March 3, 1966, when he became a Jarhead, and he was going to wait to get married in April. Johnny didn’t want to wait, so he volunteered for Vietnam and went in right away. When it was time for Sonny to leave, he went from Baltimore to Georgia, and then arrived at Parris Island on June 2, at 2:00 a.m. The drill instructor got on the bus and was talking to the driver and then turned to Sonny and the rest of the recruits. Sonny said you never saw such a commotion, with forty-five guys trying to get out of that little bus door at one time. Sonny remembers thinking to himself “What in the world am I doing here?” He made it through boot camp and got twenty days of leave, so he went home. After his twenty days of leave at home, he was sent to Camp Lejeune for Infantry Training; in the meantime, he had a MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) as a cook. He was sent to Camp Gardner and went through cook school. Sonny was then shipped to Camp Pendelton in San Diego, California, where he spent his entire Marine career; he was Honorably Discharged from there. Sonny got to visit several of his friends and relatives while at Camp Pendelton: his cousin, Jerry Wagerman; friend, Johnny Knott; friend, Jimmy Wastler; and friend, Phil Mort. Sonny and Linda never had a honeymoon, and he really missed her and his mother and father, so he was very happy to be going home.

After he arrived back home, he went back to work at the Provincial House, where he worked before he joined the Marines, and remained there for forty-seven years.

Sonny is now retired, and he and Linda are still living on the mountain and are very happy with their family-life. They have two children: Stacy and Stephanie. Stacy has a son and a daughter, Zachary and Samantha; and Stephanie has a son, Riley. Sonny regrets that his parents didn’t survive long enough to meet their great-grandchildren; he lost his mother in 1972 and his father in 1992.

Linda and Sonny still go to the Rock and Roll dances at the Ambulance Building in Emmitsburg. They are active and love to get out and about! So, if you meet them at Jubilee or anywhere around the neighborhood, say “Hi” and thank Sonny for his service.

I really enjoyed the little chat I had with Sonny and Linda. I tried to get Linda to put her two cents worth in, but she was not having any of it.

They are the perfect example of a very happy couple and family, who stay positive and enjoy their lives together

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the U.S. Veteran, and God Bless You.

Lance Corporal Paul Joseph Humerick, United States Marine Corps.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Tina Marie Reeves
E-3 United States Marine Corps

tina-reeves-in-uniformBorn on August 31, 1958, to Edward and Shirley Ridenour, at Annie M. Warner Hospital in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a daughter they named Tina Marie. They brought their daughter back to their home on Kelbaugh Road, between Emmitsburg and Thurmont. Tina has two brothers, Tim and Eddie Jr., as well as two sisters, Valerie and Monica. Her first job was with Catoctin Mountain Orchard, owned and operated by the Black family, who Tina remembers were not only her employers but also felt like family. Tina attended Catoctin High school for two years, from 1972-1974; then she attended Francis Scott Key High School, where she graduated from in 1976. While in school, she played volleyball and helped coach the basketball team. Tina was on the honor roll all four years, and she really liked home economics class and typing.

Tina joined the Marine Corps in July 1976, when she was only seventeen years old (her parents had to sign for her). When she finished boot camp, she went to work for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Inspectors at Parris Island, South Carolina. Her job was checking on drill instructors and making sure the trainees were not being mistreated. Tina met her husband of thirty-nine years, Keith, at Paris Island, while walking with a friend. Two marines were walking behind her and her friend, and starting talking to them. Tina said Keith asked her out, but she was cautious because of the warnings females were given during training classes. Tina remembers that he asked to kiss her on their first date, but she said no; he asked her out again, and they hit it off. She figured he was meant to be the one for her. They got married January 4, 1977, and two days later, she had to be back on base. Keith was stationed in Hawaii with the air station as an air traffic controller. It was a whole year before they saw each other again. They lived in South Carolina, where Tina became chief of staff in recruiting for the rest of her tour. She left the Marine Corps in 1979; she also had her daughter, Kimberly, on November 27, 1979. They left South Carolina and moved to Amarillo, Texas, for a short time—that is where Keith is from. Keith got on with the Federal Aviation Administration and moved to Texarkana, Arkansas, for a while. From there, they went to Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were in Albuquerque from 1980 until 1990. In 1990, they moved to St. Louis, Missouri, for Keith’s job; they lived there for eight years. They then moved back to Albuquerque and have lived there up until the present time and consider that their home.

Tina was a legal assistant for seventeen years, working her way up from a clerk typist to running the law offices for several different law firms. While they were in Albuquerque, Tina, Keith, and Kimberly, got involved in hot air ballooning as a family activity to do together. Tina worked her way up to be vice president of National Federation of Balloon Flyers of America. She said that being a female she had to prove herself; aviation was considered a man’s world, as well as being vice president of this organization, and she wasn’t a pilot, but she got really involved in it and proved herself, working her way up the ladder. Tina also started a ballooning youth program that is still going on today, and from that, a balloon academy for kids was started to keep kids involved. Tina is part of that legacy and is very proud of it. She started it because her daughter and other kids were bored, and she thought that would give the kids something to do. She went to the national organization; it took them two years before they said yes, and that was in 1990. They flew their balloon for twenty-two years; they still have it, but don’t fly it as much because they got into riding motorcycles. Keith was stationed in Hawaii and Tina was stationed in Beaufort, South Carolina, and while in Hawaii, it was cheaper to ride a motorcycle, so Keith rode one. When he came back to the states and they had their daughter, Keith got out of riding motorcycles, until their daughter left home and got married. Then Keith got his motorcycle, and Tina rode on the back for about a year and a half. Then Tina and her daughter took riding classes and got their licenses together. The following month, Tina got her own motorcycle; they have been riding ever since. Tina sold Harleys for a couple of years and also sold racing bikes, and like aviation, she had to prove herself at that job.

tina-2Tina became president of several Harley Davidson bike clubs. She started a women’s riding group, American Women Riders, and it is still going today. Tina rides with the Patriot’s Guard Riders when they have missions, for instance, to escort homeless Veterans who need to be buried to honor them, and she likes doing that. She is Regional Commander for Nation of Patriots. There is one flag flown from motorcycle to motorcycle that hits forty-eight states in one hundred days. It starts in Milwaukee Memorial Weekend and ends up in Milwaukee on Labor Day Weekend. Tina is the only female Regional Commander to have done that from New Mexico to Arizona. Tina just finished the ride, and out of all the states, hers is the longest ride, and she has been doing it for seven years now (385 miles from Albuquerque to Flagstaff).

Tina had started a new job at Indian Motorcycle a week before doing the Nation of Patriots ride and will be returning to work there. When they hired her, she told them she needed three weeks off to do the ride and they said no problem. She will be doing marketing work for their new Indian motorcycle, but will still ride her Harleys, but if they give her an Indian, she will ride it, also. Albuquerque is their home since they have lived there for so long. Tina said that Thurmont and Emmitsburg are home, also, but her life is now in New Mexico. She said she still gets homesick and still wants to see her family, but she has been away from home since 1976. While here, Tina and Keith rode through the Gettysburg Battlefield, which was on her bucket list.

Tina said that people ask her why she joined the Marine Corps, and she tells them that she wanted to make her mom and dad proud, and she thought the Marine Corps was the best way to do that. Folks, I think she has accomplished what she set out to do. I knew and worked with her dad, and I know that he was very proud of her. I know her sister, Val, and I know she is proud of her, also. Val tends bar at Francis X. Elder American Legion Post 121 in Emmitsburg and also AMVETS Post 7 in Thurmont, and she does a fine job at both places. I hope some day all of you get to meet Tina Marie Reeves, because she is friendly, outgoing, intelligent, and most of all, loves her country and is a Marine Veteran. I am very proud and honored to have been able to meet and talk with her.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

Deb Spalding

Some of us buy our meat by shopping sales at grocery stores and buying what is available at the lowest price. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does open the door for fatty meats, unhealthy additives, and assembly-line beef that has traveled from far-off lands. The bottom line is this: To protect your body from toxins, it’s important to know where your meat came from and what the animal ate as it was raised. There is a ton of controversy about the short comings of store-bought meat, even in organic retail stores.

That is why the Stewart Family at Deer Run Farm in Emmitsburg recently opened a retail Red Angus meat shop on their farm. Their freezer meat is derived from registered Red Angus beef cattle that they raise on their farm. The cattle are forage-raised on a daily natural grass and fermented grass diet, balanced with a nutritious grain feed later in life. The cattle are not given growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. They’ve worked hard to insure that they are offering healthy meat with an incredibly satisfying taste. Their beef is processed at a USDA inspected facility. Freezer packs are individually labeled and dressed in white freezer paper for sale.

Ronnie and Annie Stewart, their daughter, Joanna, and son, Josh, established Deer Run Farm in 1996 when they purchased the, then, multi-purpose farm that had been a working farm since the early 1900s. The farm has transitioned through the years from dairy, to housing dairy heifers, to a horse farm, and now to its current use for crop and beef cattle. Their goal had been to purchase beef steers, raise their own feed, and market the freezer meat.

They started with multiple breeds of beef steers, but after a family vote, it was decided that Red Angus would be the farm breed. The first four registered Red Angus bred heifers were purchased from the late Truman Zepp of Westminster, Maryland, in the fall of 1996. At that time, Joanna and Josh were active in the 4-H program. They showed many calves at local fairs, as well as pigs and lambs. When Joanna and Josh left the farm for college, the pigs and sheep were sold to lessen the workload on Ronnie and Annie. With only the beef cattle left on the farm, the herd slowly grew to its present size of approximately thirty-six mother cows. “I never imagined that it (the farm) would get this big,” Ronnie expressed.

The farm is busy throughout the year since all forage and grain is grown on the farm. The cow herd grazes pasture throughout the warmer months and is fed corn silage and baleage during the winter. The majority of the calves are born in March and April and are weaned from their mothers, then fed for freezer beef or breeding stock.

The farm is a full-time job for Ronnie. Annie is a recently-retired teacher who handles farm financials and records. Joanna is a veterinarian, currently residing in New York City, but still actively gives advice for the farm and is busy preg-checking cows when she is home to visit. Josh is a project engineer with a regional general contractor. He helps maintain the crops and cattle throughout the seasons.

Josh and Allison Rostad are the business owners of the retail operation on the farm. Allison, Josh’s girlfriend, is from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and works in marketing and graphic design at a print and copy store in Emmitsburg. Allison was introduced to the farm two-and-a-half years ago and is the jack-of-all-trades around the farm, assisting with retail sales, marketing, signage, and sneaking treats and ears of corn to the cows.

With a great selection of tasty steaks, roasts, ground beef, bologna and jerky, stop by Deer Run Farm at 15131 Sixes Road in Emmitsburg or by the Emmitsburg and Thurmont farmer’s markets to purchase Deer Run Farm’s freezer beef. “Our goal is to provide a top quality product where the consumer actually knows where it came from and what it was fed,” said Josh.

You may also order by emailing [email protected] or by calling 301-639-1182. You can find more information about this product at The farm store is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 3:00-8:00 p.m.; Sundays, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., and by appointment. Order now for delicious beef from happy cows.
Allison Rostad, Josh Stewart, Annie Stewart, Nike, Ronnie Stewart, and Harley are shown at their new farm store.

Charles “Chuck” Caldwell has talked with Civil War soldiers, fought against the Japanese in WWII, and chased mushroom clouds after atomic bomb explosions. Now ninety-two years old, he had become part of the history that he loves so much.

His story is now the focus of a fascinating new biography by The Catoctin Banner’s contributing editor James Rada, Jr. Clay Soldiers: One Marine’s Story of War, Art, & Atomic Energy takes the reader on a journey from the Civil War to the age of the atom bomb and back again as it follows Caldwell’s adventures in life.

Chuck first came to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1936 on a family vacation and then again in 1938 to attend the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg as a fourteen-year-old boy. The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg was the last great reunion of Civil War Veterans. About 2,000 aged men gathered in the fields between the Peace Light Memorial and Gettysburg College. Caldwell was there to meet with as many as he could and ask them about the Civil War. To mark the occasion, he had an autograph book filled with pictures of him with the Civil War Veterans and their autographs, Civil War units, and hometowns. He even has the autographs of the men who turned out to be the last-surviving Union and Confederate Veterans.

Born in Princeton, Illinois, in 1923, Chuck spent most of his youth growing up in Orrville, Ohio. A Crimson Tide fan (still to this day), he was in his freshman year at the University of Alabama in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He joined the Marines and was sent to Parris Island for training in January 1942.

During WWII, he served in the Pacific Theater and fought at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Guam. He received a Purple Heart for wounds he received at Guadalcanal. That is also where he contracted malaria.

At the end of the war, he married Jacqueline Murphy, a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) he met in the hospital while recovering from a malaria attack.

After the war, Chuck went back to the University of Alabama on the G.I. Bill, and by the time he graduated in 1949, he had a job waiting for him in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The city had only been recently loosening its secret status to allow the public more access to the place where the first atom bomb was developed.

Chuck made displays and drawings for the newly formed Museum of Atomic Energy. He worked there about a year, until he was recalled to service for the Korean War. He didn’t have to fight in this war. When he returned home, he decided to switch jobs. He took a job doing technical drawings for one of the plants in Oak Ridge.

He spent the summers of 1957 and 1958 at the Nevada Test Site, setting up sensors in fake towns in the desert. When an atom bomb was detonated, he was part of the teams that would go back into those towns to try and find any of the fissionable material that they had set up for the test.

“I bet I am one of the few people still around who has actually been under an atomic explosion,” Chuck said.

In the early 1960s, Chuck became a full-time artist, sculpting miniatures for a variety of clients, including Major League baseball teams, the Franklin Mint, and the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum. Some of his miniatures were even displayed in the Knoxville World’s Fair.

Caldwell’s story is a fascinating one about an ordinary man who has been a part of so many extraordinary events in history. Rada’s narrative, based mainly on interviews with Caldwell and a review of his personal papers, captures the story perfectly.

Midwest Book Review called Rada “a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.”

Rada is the author of six historical fiction novels and nine non-fiction history books, including No North, No South…: The Grand Reunion at the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses. He also won a first-place award for local column writing from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association in May, 2016. The award was for his “Looking Back” column that runs monthly in the Cumberland Times-News.

Clay Soldiers retails for $19.95 and is available at local bookstores, online retailers, and his website at

Every year, Veterans from around the nation bike from Arlington, Virginia to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a way to build up their community and show their perseverance. Some riders have specialty bikes that allow them to bike even though they have no arms or legs. Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (UMC) in Emmitsburg started cheering them on a couple of years ago as they passed by on Sunday morning.

This year, the riders asked if Tom’s Creek UMC would be willing to take a deeper step into helping them on their long journey by providing a rest stop along their route with volunteers to help feed and care for them.

So, on April 24, 2016, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church will be canceling Sunday School and worship so that they can support the riders and cheer them on. They will also have a blue grass/gospel band coming from Calvert County to play patriotic music as part of the rest stop. Engine #6 from the Vigilant Hose Company will be on-hand with a huge American flag, waving from the tower.

They would like as many people from the surrounding community to come and cheer on these brave warriors, who have protected our nation and now need a boost to let them know their nation appreciates them!

The event is being held at Tom’s Creek UMC Promised Land property (off of Rt. 140, about three miles out from Emmitsburg), located at 10918 Taneytown Pike in Emmitsburg.

For more information about the bike ride organization, visit www.

James Rada, Jr.

It was touch and go some nights as to whether visitors would get rained on or not during this year’s Guardian Hose Company Carnival; but, by and large, anyone who wanted to enjoy fun rides and great carnival food could find a dry night to do it.

Of course, visitors still needed to tread carefully on the grassy areas, some of which had been turned into mud because of traffic and rain. The worst areas had been covered with mats and straw.

This year’s carnival ran from Monday, July 6 through Saturday, July 11 at the Thurmont Carnival Grounds. The crowds were steady and strong as people ventured out to ride the Ferris wheel, enjoyed a crab cake sandwich, or played bingo. On Thursday evening, they got an extra treat watching the annual Fireman’s Parade make their way through town (see pictures below).

Hannah Kaas, age fourteen, and Chelle Mills, age fifteen, both of Thurmont, came out to hang out with their friends and ride the rides.

“This carnival has a lot more rides and a lot more age-appropriate things,” said Kaas.

Penn Wood Amusements of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, provided the midway games and rides. An added bonus, families didn’t have to plan their week around heading to the carnival on the one night that “pay one price” wristbands were offered. The wristbands were offered every night, offering a great savings for people who enjoy riding the carnival rides.

Mike and Nikki Brown of Sabillasville came to the carnival with their daughter and her friend.

“I’ve been coming since I was a kid,” Mike said.

Hope Brown, age nine, and Skylar Smith, age ten, were anxious to ride all the fun rides while the Browns looked on.

“It’s a good family thing to do,” Nikki said.

“I’m just enjoying it now, because there will come a day when she (Hope) won’t want to walk around with us,” Mike said.

The live entertainment each night included Josh and Good Old Stuff, 5.5 Men, Lost Highway, Hard Swimmin’ Fish, The Cruisers, and Knight Brothers.

The annual carnival of the Guardian Hose Company is their largest fundraiser of the year.


Thurmont Grange Presents Community Citizen Award

Donna Voellinger, dedicated volunteer at the Thurmont Historical Society, was awarded the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award during a Grange dinner held on November 24, 2014, at the Grange Hall in Thurmont.  In addition to her commitment to the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna is a compassionate and dedicated individual who would help anyone in need, and does so in a variety of roles within her reach. The adage, “If you want something done, you ask a busy person to do it,” seems to fit Donna perfectly. She most often anticipates the needs of others in their time of illness, shut-in, hospital, doctor visits, or bereavement, offering assistance before being asked.  She is always ready to help at her church, especially with the food committee, by serving meals and making potato salad.

As a long-time member of the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna has most recently been serving as president.  Through her efforts and enthusiasm, the Thurmont Historical Society remains strong, and she continues to seek ways to expand its mission to preserve the rich history of Thurmont.  She is also involved with the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium, the Gale House, the Heartly House, Thurmont’s Halloween in the Park, Thurmont Main Street, the Frederick County Historical Society, and some local and state-wide political campaigns.

In earlier years when her children were in Thurmont schools, Donna was very much involved in Little League sports, SHOP, and Safe and Sane.  It was evident that many students and their parents felt comfortable working with “Mrs. V” in accomplishing whatever task was at hand.

It was noted humorously by several at the dinner that Donna has earned a reliable reputation for using her big snow blower to clean her neighbors’ driveways.  Deb Spalding with The Catoctin Banner said, “Donna and her husband were my CYA girls’ basketball coach in middle school. She had an early influence on several of us who earned state semi-final championships in high school basketball for three years.  Donna always smiles when she remembers the first practice, where stand-out Tammy Joy showed her abilities. Donna has had an impact in many areas and in many people’s lives.”

For more information about the Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104.

TM Grange Community Citizen of the Year

Donna Voellinger (center) is presented the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award on November 24, 2014, by Helen Deluca (left) and Rodman Myers (right).

Photo by Deb Spalding


EBPA Awards Portier its Extraordinary Service Award

James Rada, Jr.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) awarded Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier its annual Extraordinary Community Service Award on Friday, December 5, 2014, during the EBPA annual dinner.

“I can’t think of anyone else who has served this community more so quietly,” said Mayor Donald Briggs.

The audience of approximately fifty people gathered in Joann’s Ballroom in the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg.

Following dinner and entertainment provided by Knight Time Impressions and the Fairfield High School Show Choir, the audience watched a video of local residents talking about Dr. Portier. They spoke of her kindness and quality care and how she was a role model to those around her of how to serve others.

“People through service bind a community,” Briggs noted.

Portier runs the Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center (EOPCC) on West Main Street in Emmitsburg. The center has 5,700 patients visit a year, and one out of four of the patients seen at the Care Center have no health insurance. Portier also does all of her work at the Care Center for free.         

The EOPCC website notes that, “In 2008, EOPCC donated $29,000 in services for the uninsured alone. This does not include donated medications. Nor does this include services at severely reduced re-imbursements such as medical assistance programs.”

Portier, who was awarded the 2006-2007 Maryland Osteopathic Physician of the Year by the Maryland Association of Osteopathic Physicians, is a 1991 graduate of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore in 1995.

The EOPCC began in Thurmont in 1999, and expanded to a Gettysburg office two years later. The current and permanent site for the EOPCC opened at the end of 2005, where it continues to provide quality health care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

EBPA awards Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier with its Extraordinary Community Service Award during its annual dinner on December 5, 2014.


Photo by James Rada, Jr.

St. Mark’s Welcomes New Pastor

Spastor miket. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville welcomed its new pastor, Rev. Mike Simane, on November 1, 2014. Rev. Simane holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In addition to serving at St. Marks, Rev. Simane also works as a chaplain at Hospice of Washington County.

Pastor Mike, as he likes to be called, lives in Smithsburg, Maryland, with his wife of twenty-five years and two daughters. Pastor Mike enjoys reading and spending time working in the yard.

“There is a peace that comes when you’re mowing the lawn or tending the garden,” said Pastor Mike. Although, he jokes, “It’s not too peaceful shoveling snow.”

Please welcome our new pastor at St. Mark’s. Worship service is at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For more information, please visit

Officers Elected at Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet

An election of officers was held at the November 2, 2014, Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet.

The new officers for 2015 are: President—Ashley McAfee; Vice President—Margo Sweeney; Secretary—Lauren Schur; Treasurer—Ashley Ridenour; Reporters—Caroline Clark, Laura Dutton, Logan Long, and Karianna Strickhouser; Recreation Leaders—Nikita Miller and Jason Baust; County Council Representative—Olivia Dutton.

The Maryland Cooperative Extension Service’s programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, religion, age or national origin.