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Deb Abraham Spalding

At the Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont, apples aren’t just grown and sold, various varieties are studied, cultivated, and found! Congratulations to Robert (Bob) Black, of Catoctin Mountain Orchard, for earning the 2020 Apple Grower of the Year Award title.

The American Fruit Grower Apple Grower of the Year Award was created 31 years ago by the editor of American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines. It is presented annually and honors apple growers who have gone beyond the confines of the orchard and have, through their involvement and leadership, made a real impact on the apple industry due to their efforts in innovative production, marketing, horticultural, and management practices while being actively involved in associations and simultaneously taking a strong role in the apple industry.

Bob gives a lot of credit for this award to his father, the late Harry Black, who taught his children, Bob and Pat, the meaning of hard work at the orchard, leadership in the community, and cooperation and collaboration among apple growers with innovative growing practices.

Additionally, Bob gives credit to his family. He’s adamant, saying, “Yeah, I got the award, but basically, it belongs to the Catoctin Orchard family. I was just the one who traveled and took time to pursue other facets of the orchard business because my hardworking sister (Pat) kept things handled at home.” He explained, “This award went to me personally, but it really should go to our whole operation. It’s a team effort. All of my family and staff members do the work and make me look good…I’ve got to mention my family including my son, Christopher who represents the third generation along with Katlyn and Kylie the fourth generation who all help work this orchard.”

Bob feels that he wouldn’t be in the position to earn this award had it not been for a pivotal visit to the orchard from the University of Maryland’s Extension Specialist, Ben Rogers and University of Maryland Professor of Horticulture Dr. Arthur Thompson in the late 1970s where they suggested that Harry plant a relatively new variety of apple named Gala.

Many customers started shopping at the market for more Gala apples. Growing all those Gala apples is what led to an important discovery in 1995. To ensure top flavor all workers were advised to pick only the ripe apples leaving all green left on the trees. Three weeks after picking all the gala apples there was one tree that stood out. Bob was driving down the orchard road when he noticed one limb that had 60% red over yellow apples. “I thought we had picked everything down there, what the heck is that?”. It appeared to be a limb sport off of a normal ‘Gala’ tree that was clearly different and much later. Not only was this variety more red in color but it achieved the ‘noisy’ solid crunch with a sweet, crisp flavor. We contacted a well-known Nurseryman, Wally Heuser, to confirm that the Blacks latest discovery was in fact a new variety. The patent name was “Harry Black Gala” named after his dad, but the “Trade Name” was Autumn Gala which have planted all over the country. Unfortunately, Harry died in 1998 before the patent was issued.

To date, Bob remains involved with growing and experimenting with apples. He is a member of several professional organizations dedicated to orchards and growing fruit. He grafts and tests new varieties and shares his information for others to benefit.

Several of his peers commented about Bob’s impact in a Growing Produce article by David Eddy. “Mark Boyer of Ridgetop Orchards in Fishertown, PA, is a former chairman of the U.S. Apple Association, and the son of Dan Boyer, the 2006 Apple Grower of the Year. He said, ‘Bob Black has been a staple in the Mid-Atlantic fruit-growing region for decades. He has served on almost every board position available both in fruits and vegetables to social and community. Always the first to help and the last to complain.’”

If you’ve made any rounds to agricultural, school, or community service banquets in our area, or the State of Maryland for that matter, you will have noticed that Catoctin Orchard is often represented in the door prize or fundraising giveaways with several boxes of apples or gift certificates. Bob’s always sharing the gift of the growers.

Robert (Bob) Black, recently named Apple Grower of the Year, is shown in the apple orchard at Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont.

Pictured in this circa 1992 photo by Bob Black are University of Maryland Extension Specialist, Ben Rogers (left), Professor of Horticulture at University of Maryland, Dr. Arthur Thompson (right), with Harry Black (center), looking at Magnus Pear blossoms to detect if any pollination from insects or bees has taken place.

Pictured are Katlyn Robertson, Sage (dog), and Bob Black.

Catoctin High School has a new STEM educational experience for students in Northern Frederick County: FIRST Robotics Competition Team 686, Bovine Intervention. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to encourage and inspire students to pursue, and excel in, STEM-related careers.

Bovine Intervention comprises high school students from across Frederick County (currently Walkersville and Linganore high schools). It includes mentor support from high school alumni, parents, businesses, and Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) staff. Being new to Catoctin High School and Northern Frederick County, the team now invites students, as well as parents, businesses, and other mentors from these areas, to join their team.

Students will forge new friendships and learn valuable tradecraft skills in engineering, programming, project planning, business management, and decision-making processes, as well as compete against other FIRST teams in formal robotics competitions. The team also has opportunities for expanding leadership skills, video photography, newsletter writing, and communications.

Bovine Intervention primarily relies on community and corporate sponsors for funding to cover costs for materials, competition fees, and other resources. Students, family, and friends also support the team through their time and donations.

Operating within FCPS, Bovine Intervention now welcomes students to participate virtually and begin their STEM educational experience with training in engineering principles, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and programming skills. The team looks forward to getting back together, in person, during the 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition season, and will also plan additional activities to inspire the youth and increase team awareness in the community.

To join or sponsor the team, or be placed on its email list, please contact them at firstteam686@gmail.com.

To learn more about Bovine Intervention and FIRST, or for information and links to Facebook and Instagram sites, please visit the team website at https://sites.google.com/view/firstteam686/.

Students routing wires on the robot.

James Rada Jr.

It will definitely be a different year for education as schools work to balance education with coronavirus restrictions and parent concerns.

When school starts in Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) for student instruction on August 31, it will be without the usual pomp of parents taking first-day-of-school pictures and seeing children off on school buses. The Frederick County Board of Education decided in July that all students would learn remotely for at least the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. Also, all athletics and extracurricular activities are suspended for this semester.

While the spring may have been hectic and confusing for students, the board of education announced it used feedback from students, parents, and teachers to improve virtual learning. According to the board, the enhancements include:

•   Increased live virtual interactions between students and educators.

•   A single, digital platform for students and parents to access instruction, communication, and feedback.

•   Robust professional learning opportunities for educators to increase their skill set for teaching in a virtual environment, which includes on-demand professional learning videos and courses for educators.

•   Student training videos that will enhance their abilities to access and learn in a virtual environment.

•   Strategies to focus on individual student needs.

•   Continued efforts to ensure every child can connect digitally.

According to a press release from the FCPS, students “will engage in a combination of real-time virtual instruction, instruction on an individual schedule, and completion of assigned tasks. In addition to teachers and school counselors, online learning mentors will also support students, offering designated office hours.”

Also, the grading system will return to normal.

Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg is offering students the choice between remote and classroom instruction. Parents decided which way they would like to have their children educated in the middle of August.

This decision was made in consultation with the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in seeking recommendations from public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and our state and local health authorities. The school will reopen for instruction on September 8.

“For parents who prefer in-school instruction, recommended and appropriate safety measures are in place, including the wearing of masks, social distancing measures, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of the school and buses,” according to a release from the school.

Parents are not locked into their choice.

Principal Kathleen Kilty wrote in a letter to parents, “I understand that as the school year progresses, you may want to switch from in-person learning to remote learning, or from remote learning to in-person learning. One switch will be permitted. Additional switches will be discussed and decided on a case-by-case basis. It is important for the students and teachers to have consistency, and it is equally important that students participate in the best possible learning option.”

Both FCPS and Mother Seton School say they will reevaluate conditions as the school year progresses.

Gateway to the Cure Covered Bridge 5K

Register today for the Gateway to the Cure Covered Bridge 5K on September 15, 2020. Run/walk begins at 8:30 a.m. at Eyler Road Park in Thurmont. Social distancing guidelines will be in place. View the advertisement on page 17 for more details on how to register and how to get a T-shirt!

Thurmont Lions Club’s Sandwich Series

The Thurmont Lions Club is holding its popular sandwich sale at Bell Hill Farm on Rt. 15 in Thurmont on September 5, September 19, and October 10. Sale features pit beef, pork, ham, turkey, and ham sandwiches, plus fresh-cut fries, Lions recipe baked beans, drinks, baked goods, and more! View the advertisement on page 11 for more information.

Thurmont Community Ambulance’s Every Friday Night Bingo

Every Friday night, come and play Bingo at the Thurmont Event Complex on 13716 Strafford Drive in Thurmont. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with games starting at 7:00 p.m. Jackpot up to $1,000! Bingo features tip jars. Food and cash bar is available. View the advertisement on page 46.

6th Annual Gateway to the Cure

Get ready to turn on your pink in October for Thurmont’s 6th Annual Gateway to the Cure. Turn on your outside pink light every night in October, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., to support breast cancer awareness and treatment at Frederick Memorial Hospital via the Patty Hurwitz Fund. View the advertisement on page 23 for more information.

Town of Emmitsburg Election Day — September 29

The Town of Emmitsburg is holding its Election Day on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 22 East Main Street, from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. The last day to register to vote with Frederick County is August 28, 2020.

Registration applications can be obtained at the Town Office, located at 300A South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg or by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov. Candidates must file written application for candidacy and their Financial Disclosures with the Town Clerk no later than August 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. All candidates will be posted on the Town bulletin board in the order they are received. The write-in deadline is September 22, 2020, at noon. The Mayor’s seat and one commissioner’s seat are up for election.

For more information, visit www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call the Town Office at 301-600-6300. View the advertisement on page 20.

Indian Lookout Shotgun Shoots

Indian Lookout Conservation Club in Emmitsburg is holding its Shotgun Shoots on September 20, October 4 and 5, and November 1 and 15, 2020. Registration starts at noon; shoots start at 1:00 p.m. Masks and social distancing will be required. View the advertisement on page 13.

Fort Ritchie Bass Fishing Tournament

Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade is holding its Bass Fishing Tournament on Saturday, September 19, 2020, from 7:00-11:30 a.m. Event features cash prizes for adults, door prizes, raffles, and multiple age groups for youth. Maryland fishing license is required. Tournament is catch and release. View the advertisement on page 24 for more details and for ticket information.

First Baptist Church of Thurmont’s Annual Fall Festival

On September 20, 2020, the First Baptist Church of Thurmont is holding its Annual Fall Festival, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Come out and enjoy great food, 5.5 Band, The Puppet & Story Works, crafts, and games for the whole family! Everyone is welcome. View the advertisement on page 17 for more information.

Emmitsburg Lions Club Chicken Dinner BBQ

On Saturday, October 3, 2020, the Emmitsburg Lions Club will hold a Chicken BBQ at the Vigilant Hose Company Activities Building, located at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Dinners will be on sale from 11:00 a.m.  until they are sold out. So, come early to get a great chicken dinner! View the advertisement on page 16 for more information.

The First Annual Community Tribute to Americans Who Lost Their Lives on 9/11

The Thurmont Lions Club is hosting The First Annual Community Tribute to the thousands of Americans who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. The tribute will take place on September 11, 2020, at the Thurmont Memorial Park on Main Street in Thurmont at 6:00 p.m. The memorial will feature Color Guards from Scout Troop 270, American Legion Post 168, AMVETS Post 7, Sons of the American Revolution, patriotic music by the Gateway Brass Ensemble. This is a family-friendly event, and masks and social distancing will be observed. View the advertisement on page 21 for more details.

Celebrate Arbor Day in Emmitsburg

The Town of Emmitsburg is hosting a tree-planting event in the Emmitsburg Community Park on September 26, 2020, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Learn how to plant a tree by watching a demonstration by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, then help plant 15 new trees. Bring your own shovel. Face masks required. View advertisement on page 8 for more information.

Mt. Tabor Drive-Thru Festival

Don’t miss the Mt. Tabor Drive-Thru Festival at Mount Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge on September 26, 2020, from 3:00-6:30 p.m. Enjoy home-cooked food, soups, sandwiches, iced tea, and ice cream! Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please do not leave your vehicle and follow signs for flow of traffic. Masks are required when interacting with any greeters. Cash only, please. View the advertisement on page 16 for more information.

Yard Sale at the Thurmont Carnival Grounds

Thurmont’s Guardian Hose Company in Thurmont will host a huge Yard Sale on Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, 2020, from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Spaces (10’x14’) are available, and trailers can be accommodated. Bring your own tables. Food is available to purchase. Call Lori to sign up at 240-575-5469. View the advertisement on page 38 for more information.

Emmitsburg’s Evening of Dance in the Park

Escape the pandemic and come out for an Evening of Dance in the Park with Sticktime on Saturday, September 26, 2020, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., in the Emmitsburg Community Park, sponsored by Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day. Tickets are $10.00 and must be pre-purchased (tickets are limited). Food and drinks will be available for purchase. The Vigilant Hose Auxiliary will be selling ticket jars. View the advertisement on page 17 for more details and for how to buy your tickets today!

Slippery Pot Pie Take-Out

Lewistown United Methodist Church in Thurmont is holding a Slippery Pot Pie Take-Out on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 (chicken or country ham slippery pot pie by the quart), with pickup from 12:00-6:00 p.m. Advance orders only by October 16. Cost is $7.00 per quart. View the advertisement on page 36 for details on how to place your order today!

Graceham Moravian Church Holding Yard Sale

Graceham Moravian Church in Thurmont is holding a Yard Sale on Friday, September 25, and Saturday, September 26, 2020, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The rain date is October 2 and 3. You’ll find lots of items, including men’s,  women’s, and children’s clothing in all sizes; books; housewares; jewelry; furniture; and much more! All proceeds benefit the 2021 Youth Mission Trip. View the advertisement on page 8 for more information.

Emmitsburg

Voluntary Water Restrictions Continue

Despite recent rains, Rainbow Lake and town wells are still not back to optimum levels. However, it has allowed the restrictions not to be tightened by the Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners. The current phase 1 water restrictions will continue.

Sanitary Changes for Election

Working with the Frederick County Board of Elections, the Town of Emmitsburg has enacted changes to this year’s election to comply with the coronavirus restrictions. Rather than three elections judges, this year, there will be four. One judge will serve as a greeter to control the flow of voters into the town municipal building on East Main Street. The judges will wipe down the voting booths after each voter, disinfect pens, and periodically wipe down the ballot box and sign-in table.

Other changes include that masks will be required for entry into the voting room and suggested use of hand sanitizer upon entry. Only two voters will be allowed in the room at once, tape markings will be placed on the floor and ground to ensure social distancing, and the judges will wear gloves and face masks.

Election Judges Appointed

The Emmitsburg commissioners appointed Lynn Orondorff as the chief election judge this year. Charlotte Mazaleski and Tammy May were appointed as judges. Tracey Lewis was appointed as the greeter, and Deborah Arnold will be the alternate judge/greeter.

Contract for Sheriff’s Deputies Approved

The Emmitsburg commissioners approved the contract with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office for two community deputies. The contract is unchanged and will cost the town $272,614 for fiscal year 2021, which is $12,010 less than the current contract. The difference is due to a change in personnel.

Amendments Updated

The Emmitsburg commissioners voted to forward a subdivision amendment and a zoning amendment to the planning commission for review and comment. Town Planner Zach Gulden went through these amendments to clean them up, update them, and correct errors. The commissioners expect to hold a public hearing on the amendments and changes next month.

Green Street Project Moves Forward

The Emmitsburg commissioners approved a contract with Fox & Associates for the green street conceptual plan along North Seton Avenue. The contract is for $19,825. Most of this cost is covered by Chesapeake Bay Trust grant. The town will actually pay $2,287 for the study.

Hand Sanitizing Stations in Parks

Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in Emmitsburg town parks and along town trails to help ensure community safety. If you find a sanitizing station that is empty or has other problems, e-mail the town office with the issue at info@emmitsburgmd.gov.

Thurmont

Town Considering a Parking Deck

The mayor and commissioners are weighing the pros and cons of building a parking deck over the Thurmont Municipal Parking Lot. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick got a quote from a concrete manufacturer, so the council would have some actual numbers to work with as they consider the idea.

To build a deck over the current parking lot would increase the number of parking spaces from 42 to 98 and cost $1,481,000. This covers only the cost of a pre-fab concrete construction. Additional costs would be incurred for electrical, plumbing, and an elevator.

Mayor John Kinnaird said the information was “a great starting point.”

Although Commissioner Marty Burns wasn’t thrilled with the price, he said it was less than he thought it would be. He also sees having additional parking in town as an economic development initiative.

“This is the only thing that’s going to make business want to come to downtown Thurmont,” he said.

The commissioners now want to hear from residents whether the project is worth it and whether a single deck is what they want. Other variations include using the ground level for residential or retail space and adding an additional level to the parking deck.

New Officer Sworn In

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird swore in Nathan McLeroy as a Thurmont Police Officer. McLeroy comes from a law enforcement family. His father, Steve, was a Baltimore County Police Officer. Steve McLeroy gave Nathan the handcuffs he used when he began work as a police officer and told his son, “You’ve got a powerful duty, so don’t misuse it.”

Mayor James F. Black Scholarship Awarded

Elizabeth Anders received the 2020 Mayor James F. Black Scholarship. She plans to pursue dual degrees at Hagerstown Community College and Frostburg University in nursing, with the ultimate goal of earning her master’s degree and becoming a midwife.

Former Mayor Black’s family established the scholarship for Thurmont employees and their dependents.

Oil and Antifreeze Recycling Station Closed

The oil and antifreeze recycling station at 10 Frederick Road in Thurmont is closed for improvement. Please don’t set containers of oil or antifreeze at the center until it has reopened. You can also visit  https://frederickcountymd.gov/1753/Motor-Oil-and-Antifreeze-Recycling for other drop-off locations during this time.

James Rada, Jr.

When Tracie Stull-Miller was a young girl, her father operated a barbershop from the basement of his home in Yellow Springs. So, it is safe to say that barbering is in her blood.

Although her father is deceased, his picture still looks out over Tracie’s House of Hair in Thurmont, as if giving his nod of approval. Tracie opened her business in July at 7 Water Street in Thurmont. She offers a variety of services, including haircuts, beard maintenance, perms, coloring, keratins, and waxing.

“I always wanted a shop of my own,” she said. “Now, I’m living my dream.”

With 31 years of haircutting experience, Tracie last worked at a barbershop in Emmitsburg. However, the opportunity to go out on her own arose, and things “fell into place.” She signed a lease for the Thurmont location, and her husband built her workstations.

Since she would be spending many hours in the shop, Tracie decorated it with items of interest to her. In particular, it’s hard to miss the music theme. Instruments, some signed, are mounted on the wall, as are album covers and pictures of bands.

She chose the name Tracie’s House of Hair because it was neutral sounding. She believes barbershops skew more towards male customers, and hair salons skew more towards females. House of Hair doesn’t have any gender resonance. Also, the name is a tribute to the radio show The House of Hair, hosted by Dee Snider, who was a member of the rock band Twisted Sister.

It wasn’t the best time to open a barbershop because coronavirus had all the barbershops shut down at the time. Once they were allowed to open, though, Tracie found herself with plenty of business since many of her regular customers from Emmitsburg followed her to Thurmont.

“If they like you, they will follow you,” she said.

Some customers even brought Tracie flowers to congratulate her on her new business. She displays them in her store windows.

“You need to be a people person in this job,” she said. “If you care about people, it makes a difference.”

It certainly has for Tracie, as she is staying busy with both regular and new clients. She does take walk-ins, but she recommends that you call for an appointment at 301-556-6119.

Tracie’s House of Hair is open Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon.

On August 8, 2020, a team of more than 35 volunteers came together for the first “Ritchie Revival” event at the former Fort Ritchie Army Base property in Cascade. The event was organized by John and Joyce Krumpotich, who are in negotiations with Washington County to purchase and restore the property. 

Volunteers of all ages came out to help with beautification efforts at the Fort, including mulching, weeding, trimming, and trash removal.

John noted his appreciation at the large turnout, saying, “We are very grateful for the tremendous community support we have received. The community recognizes the significance of this great property, as well as the potential it has to be a centerpiece of the area. They genuinely want to be a part of it. The Fort has a rich history, and there is a real need and desire among the people of Cascade and the surrounding areas to restore and preserve it.” 

While legal delays have extended the timeline for the purchase of the property by the Krumpotich family, they remain optimistic that those issues will be resolved.

“We really appreciate the special connection the Cascade community has with the Fort, and we want to honor that and build upon it as we move forward,” Joyce noted.

Another community cleanup day is being planned. Anyone interested in participating in future events can visit the Ritchie Revival page on Facebook or call the Fort Ritchie Community Center at 301-241-5085 for more details.

Helpers of all ages participated in the first “Ritchie Revival” event on August 8 at Fort Ritchie in Cascade

Members of the Fort Ritchie Community Center can win a free T-shirt if they can properly guess their temperature upon entering the facility.

The Community Center has established a COVID-19 prevention protocol based upon guidelines from the CDC, State of Maryland, and Washington County. The protocol includes each member answering a series of questions related to their possible exposure to the virus, as well as having their temperature taken by a Community Center staff member.

“We came up with what we hope is a fun way for our staff to approach each member,” said Buck Browning, executive director of the Community Center. “It can be intimidating to have someone hold an infrared thermometer to your forehead, so we are trying to make it a little less awkward for both people,” he added. 

The Community Center features a fitness center, weight room, gymnasium, and multi-purpose athletic room, along with other amenities.  Equipment such as treadmills, stationary bicycles, and strength machines have been aligned so that they are at least six feet apart. Some machines have been closed off to improve the social distancing among members Browning said. 

The T-shirt initiative has been well-received by members. We had ten members guess correctly on the first day we offered the T-shirts,” Browning said. “I thought we might do this for a month or so, but at this rate, we will run out of shirts in a week or two,” he laughed. The initiative will continue while supplies last.   

The Community Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization, located in Cascade on the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army Post. In addition to the fitness center and weight room, the Fort Ritchie Community Center offers group exercise classes, youth programs, and a wide variety of community events, such as craft shows, holiday celebrations, and speaker presentations. 

For more information on the Fort Ritchie Community Center, please visit online at www.thefrcc.org.    

A Fort Ritchie Community Center staff member checks a member’s temperature upon entering the facility.

It’s been several months, but Thurmont Little League has finally returned to action, following the district approval of its Return to Play Plan. After the league was forced to suspend its spring season, along with all planned activities such as opening day, spiritwear sales, basket raffles, and its annual Hit-A-Thon, the league was uncertain of when baseball would return. After many meetings and conversations with county, league, and town officials, Phase 1 and 2 of the Return to Play Plan was approved on June 16, 2020. Phase 3 was approved on June 30, and the plan was amended on July 27 to include changes to certain restrictions. To view the current plan, please visit www.tllbaseball.com.

Baseball is not only resuming in Thurmont. After many years, the fields in Emmitsburg will be alive with activity as well. Thurmont Little League is lucky to be partnering with the town of Emmitsburg to use the wonderful fields that have been vacant for some time. Each division will be playing home games on these fields. They will also be utilized for team practices, as space is always limited during the season.

Activities officially resumed on June 30, with the beginning of a series of “sandlot style” pickup games for each age group. These games were open to the first 20 players to register online. The players were then split up and assigned to designated coaches who volunteered for each of the games. While no official scores were kept, it was a great way to get the kids back onto the field after several months of inactivity. Among the new restrictions in place during these games were enhanced safety measures, social distancing among players and coaches, mask mandates for coaches, umpires standing behind the pitcher’s mound, no use of dugouts or sharing of equipment, and extra sanitizing of balls and other items.

Registration for the extended fall season, running August through October, began in early July. Despite the pandemic, overall numbers were up this year due to the cancellation of other sports. The league ended up with two Major Division teams, four Minor teams, four Instructional teams, and four T-Ball teams. Practices began in the intense heat of late July, but that didn’t stop the dedicated players and coaches excited to be back on the field.

Thurmont Little League would not be possible without an amazing group of volunteers. From the board of directors, managers, assistant coaches, team moms, umpires, and down the line, nothing could be accomplished without this large cast of hard-working individuals.

Community service is a natural part of any youth organization. Because of this commitment, Thurmont Little League was happy to partner with the Potter Baseball Organization again this year, after a successful charity kickball game last summer. This group of young athletes, led by Coach and Author Jeff Potter, travels from town to town completing service projects and teaching about how baseball used to be played. On July 23, the Potter Baseball team arrived and helped volunteers from the town and league paint the Thurmont Food Bank exterior. Thurmont Little League was happy to provide lunch and snacks, with special help from Rocky’s Pizza and Thurmont Roy Rogers. The league is grateful to Coach Potter and his team and look forward to hosting them again in the near future. They will also be coordinating efforts along with the league to take a team of Thurmont youths to Cooperstown next year.

Prior to the season starting, Umpire in Chief Blaine Young held a clinic at the Thurmont Little League complex for managers and coaches to learn more about the rules and regulations for the upcoming season. There was also a focus on some of the additional restrictions and rule changes in place as part of COVID-19 and the Return to Play Plan. As mentioned, the league relies entirely on volunteer umpires. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the league website.

Finally, on Saturday, August 8, the opening day was held. Volunteers worked hard to adorn the complex with balloons, banners, and signs, outlining the new safety protocols. Basket raffles and spiritwear sales were held, and the majority of teams took part in their first official games. A successful, but hot morning was capped off with the sudden appearance of everyone’s favorite Kona Ice truck. It has been a long, hard road, but baseball is officially back at Thurmont Little League!

Q&A with Emmitsburg Mayoral Candidates

Why Should Residents Vote For You?

Don Briggs: I put my neighbor first, and I do what I say. I have had a business and/or have lived here over 25 years. I love the Mount. I am a former coach and graduate. While I’ve been mayor, taxes have been reduced 14 percent. The town has received $593,000 in grants to revitalize the Square, the “Foyer to all our homes.” Sidewalks were put in connecting the town for the first time. The pool was rebuilt, the dog park opened, Brookfield Drive onto Irishtown Road was opened, renewable solar energy was added, we switched to LED street lighting, and we purchased an electric car for the town. The Boys and Girls Club is also here.

Jim Hoover: Experience and knowledge. As mayor, I established several programs, events, relationships, and projects. I established the pool parties, farmers market, concerts in the park, BBQ competition, the After School Program, and a partnership with Mount Saint Mary’s University allowing town residents to attend University programs. Also during my time as mayor, we replaced the sewer and water lines on South Seton Avenue and Mountain View Road, relined sewer lines under Tom’s Creek and Flat Run, cleaned the water line from the town’s reservoir to the treatment plant, connected the town’s water service with Mount Saint Mary’s water service and secured a long-term agreement for emergency water service as needed, secured state grant funding of 74 percent of the total cost to replace the town sewer plant. The town needs a mayor that is proactive in protecting and planning for the town’s future.

Cliff Sweeney: I have 23 years of experience running the town of Emmitsburg. I have held every position on the board except mayor. I would like to take Emmitsburg to the next level to be the best small town in Maryland.

Why Should Residents Vote For You?

Don Briggs: I put my neighbor first, and I do what I say. I have had a business and/or have lived here over 25 years. I love the Mount. I am a former coach and graduate. While I’ve been mayor, taxes have been reduced 14 percent. The town has received $593,000 in grants to revitalize the Square, the “Foyer to all our homes.” Sidewalks were put in connecting the town for the first time. The pool was rebuilt, the dog park opened, Brookfield Drive onto Irishtown Road was opened, renewable solar energy was added, we switched to LED street lighting, and we purchased an electric car for the town. The Boys and Girls Club is also here.

Jim Hoover: Experience and knowledge. As mayor, I established several programs, events, relationships, and projects. I established the pool parties, farmers market, concerts in the park, BBQ competition, the After School Program, and a partnership with Mount Saint Mary’s University allowing town residents to attend University programs. Also during my time as mayor, we replaced the sewer and water lines on South Seton Avenue and Mountain View Road, relined sewer lines under Tom’s Creek and Flat Run, cleaned the water line from the town’s reservoir to the treatment plant, connected the town’s water service with Mount Saint Mary’s water service and secured a long-term agreement for emergency water service as needed, secured state grant funding of 74 percent of the total cost to replace the town sewer plant. The town needs a mayor that is proactive in protecting and planning for the town’s future.

Cliff Sweeney: I have 23 years of experience running the town of Emmitsburg. I have held every position on the board except mayor. I would like to take Emmitsburg to the next level to be the best small town in Maryland.

What Are Your Qualifications To Be Mayor?

Don Briggs: My experience in business and in local government. I love sports and education. I am an innovator, and I believe in God. I have coached football or rugby over a span of five decades. I have been awarded the Mount St. Mary’s University President’s Medal, and have been inducted into the Mount Athletic Hall of Fame. I served in the National Guard. I love our country and Emmitsburg.

Jim Hoover: As the previous mayor from 2002 through 2011 and as a town commissioner from 1998 through 2002, I have the relative experience and knowledge of the town government. Additionally, I have over 30 years of management experience. This includes project management, managing and overseeing over 400 employees, and managing multimillion-dollar budgets. I have over 30 years of work experience in state government, county government, and municipal government. I have and can create working relationships that benefit the town.

Cliff Sweeney: I have 23 years of service for the town, and 35 years working in water and sewer, storm drain, and road repairs. I have been president of the Lions Club, commander of the Sons of the American Legion, and president of the EOPCC. I devote all my free time and community service to the town.

Why Are You Running?

Don Briggs: People. We have more to do to provide innovative grant-driven, cost-saving services and activities for our residents.

Jim Hoover: I love living in Emmitsburg, and I want Emmitsburg to be the best small town to live and raise a family in. I’m concerned that the town is not properly maintaining or planning for the replacement of its critical infrastructure. I also want Emmitsburg to have a more user-friendly government.

Cliff Sweeney: I want to bring Emmitsburg to the next level with new businesses and more jobs for our town folks. I want to bring back our youth and community involvement with neighbor getting to know neighbor.

What Is The Biggest Issue You See Emmitsburg Facing?

Don Briggs: Infrastructure. We need to ramp up replacing decades of ignored work on underground pipes. We also need to do more for our children.

Jim Hoover: The town’s deteriorating infrastructure is not being addressed. For several months, the town has experienced brown water. The town needs to re-establish a short- and long-term plan to replace and upgrade the deteriorated sewer and water lines. In particular, the oldest sewer and water lines are on DePaul Street and North Seton Avenue. A plan needs to be put in place to make the funding and replacement of these sewer and water lines a priority.

Cliff Sweeney: Right now, COVID-19, repairing the old water and sewer lines, new pumping station on Creamery Road, the new water clarifier at the water plant for the lake water, finishing our developments out, and keeping our current businesses and bringing new ones to town.

What Are The Town’s Strengths?

Don Briggs: Seton Shrine, FEMA, the Mount, and Fallen Firefighter Memorial. We are an award-winning sustainable town. We are friendly people with a good work ethic. Emmitsburg is a great place to live, grow jobs, and attract tourism.

Jim Hoover: Community pride and character. Emmitsburg residents have a lot of pride in where they live. Many families have lived here for multiple generations. Emmitsburg is a town that still has that small-town atmosphere and character. While many cities and towns have seen a decrease in volunteering, Emmitsburg has seen an increase in volunteering, many being new residents and Mount St. Mary students. Seeing new residents and students from Mount Saint Mary’s University volunteering and getting involved demonstrates Emmitsburg’s pride and character.

Cliff Sweeney: Coming together in a time of crisis to help each other. Our first responders are the best in the state. I think we are the best small town in the USA.

What Is Your Vision For The Town?

Don Briggs: I want to keep the small-town feel and maintain our heritage. I want to add things to do using grants to make Emmitsburg a better place today and for future generations.

Jim Hoover: Improve the town’s infrastructure. Put a plan in place to update and replace town equipment and infrastructure as it ages, not after it fails. Work with other municipalities, counties, state and federal governments to obtain funding and programs to enhance Emmitsburg. Re-established more youth- and family-oriented activities.

Cliff Sweeney: I want to finish out all the empty development lots, to upgrade the water lines and sewer lines ASAP, especially the brown water ones, and to bring our youth activities and new businesses to town.

How Do We Get Back To Normal After COVID-19?

Don Briggs: Business is back, and new businesses are on the way. Ryan Homes is back in Brookfield. We need to protect our most vulnerable and children. Accept the new “normal,” take a deep breath, and play on.

Jim Hoover: The truth is nobody knows what the “new normal” will be yet. The full effects of COVID-19 are not yet known. We also don’t know the length of time it will last as we see it today. As a municipality, we must follow state, county, and federal mandates, but, at the same time, we need to do as much as we are legally allowed to do to provide the services and support to the Emmitsburg residents and businesses. The town is required to follow county, state, and federal mandates, but we’re not necessarily required to follow suggestions or recommendations. Suggestions and recommendations made by other government agencies need to be considered, but the best interest of Emmitsburg also needs to be considered before we apply any suggestions that are made by other government agencies.

Cliff Sweeney: Everyone has to follow the CDC guidelines. Wear a mask, social distance when possible, do what the doctors say, and we will get back to school and work and normal life sooner than later.

James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont Commissioner Marty Burns entered politics when he was elected as a Thurmont Town Commissioner in 1999. In August, the Maryland Municipal League recognized his 21 years as an elected official in Thurmont by inducting him into the MML Elected Official Hall of Fame.

The announcement came at the end of the town meeting on August 4. Inductions are usually made during the MML annual conference in Ocean City, but because this year’s conference was virtual due to COVID-19, the certificate was sent to the town office.

Mayor John Kinnaird nominated Burns for the honor and read the certificate into the record. At one point when Kinnaird said Marty was being recognized for his “long, exemplary service,” Burns jokingly asked, “Can you say that one more time?” Kinnaird replied, “Exemplary? That’s a typo.”

The back and forth joking and banter among everyone present showed not only how well the board of commissioners get along now—which at times during the past 20 years could get contentious—but that everyone present felt Burns deserving of the honor.

Former MML President Jake Romanell said that Burns receiving the honor shows, “Marty loves Thurmont, its residents, and his neighbors.”

Burns served two years as commissioner before serving three terms (12 years) as mayor. He has served as commissioner for the last seven years.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner also proclaimed August 4, 2020, as Martin Burns Day. In her proclamation, she noted some of the things Burns has accomplished during his time as an elected official, including creating the Charter Review Committee, overseeing a new town charter, getting a new police station built, helping the town become a Main Street Maryland Community, and forming the Thurmont Addictions Committee. Some of the people in attendance, including Mayor Kinnaird and Commissioner Bill Buehrer, pointed out that Burns was the person who pushed them to run for office.

As commissioners and audience members came forward to speak about Burns, jokes were made about his tendency to speak at length and to use Pentagon jargon, but they all praised his goal as trying to do what is best for Thurmont.

“You always have the best interests of our community at heart,” Kinnaird said.

“You certainly add balance to this dais and this board,” Commissioner Wes Hamrick told Burns.

Burns thanked his family for the sacrifices they had made to allow him the time to serve. He also said that his current term would be his last. He said it has been rewarding to serve on the board but also a burden because he has always tried to do the right thing. He thanked the residents of Thurmont for allowing him that opportunity.

“You saw through my flaws, saw all the bad parts of me, and still said, we want that person on the board,” Burns said.

Marty Burns, his family, and the commissioners are shown on August 4, Martin Burns Day in Frederick County.

Citizens and community officials gathered on East Main Street in Thurmont on Saturday, August 22, 2020, to dedicate the completed murals on the old H&F Trolley Substation building on East Main Street in Thurmont. The mural’s artist, Yemi, has done a masterful job of capturing Thurmont’s history and the many highlights most taken for granted that make our town a great place to live. This project was started several years ago by the Thurmont Lions Club as part of the Thurmont Trolley Trail improvements. Yemi brought his vision and talent to this community arts project.

The recent additions were made possible by: Delaplaine Foundation, Dan Ryan Builders, Gateway Orthodontics, Thurmont Lions Club, Market Research & Resources, Ausherman Family Foundation, Main Street Maryland, Maryland State Arts Council, Imagination Center, Church of the Brethren, Frederick Arts Council, Frederick Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, Rowland Glass Studio, Marlene B. Young and Mike Young, Catoctin Colorfest Inc., George Delaplaine, an anonymous donor, and The Town of Thurmont.

Pictured from left: front row) Donors: Thurmont Lions Club member Joann Miller, Lori Zimmerman and Dr. Jon Moles from Gateway Orthodontics, Catoctin Colorfest Carol Robertson, Yemi, Marlene and Mike Young, Lion Gene Long, Liesel Fennel from the Maryland State Arts Council, Sage Fagbohun, and Ryan Patterson from the Maryland State Arts Council; (back row) Thurmont Commissioners Bill Buehrer and Marty Burns, and Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird.

The Catoctin Area Livestock Sale will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at The Eyler Stables, managed by Wolfe Agricultural Auction, located at 141 Emmitsburg Road in Thurmont. 

The sale will begin with awards given out to exhibitors at 5:30 p.m., and the sale beginning at 6:00 p.m. The sale will take place inside Sale Ring Barn. There will be a small area for handicap seating, and chairs and bleachers for buyers and everyone else. Selling that evening will be beef, sheep, swine, and market goats, which will be exhibited by youth in the Catoctin Feeder Area.

The slaughter houses that will be used this year are Shriver Meats in Emmitsburg, Shuff Meats Market in Thurmont, and Stoney Point (Nell’s) in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. All animals will be sold by the head this year and not by the pound.

All prospective buyers/bidders will need a Bid Number, which will be available starting at 4:00 p.m. If you would like to leave an absentee bid, please call one of the following people: Cathy Little at 240-674-3476, Chip Long at 240-315-7973, Josh Ruby at 301-748-2924, or Tyler Fitzwater at 240-405-8455.

We will be practicing social distancing; masks are required if 6-feet distancing is not possible. Prospective buyers, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to attend and to support the youth and their livestock projects.

The Guardian Hose Company, Inc. has decided to cancel the James H. Mackley Golf Day that was scheduled for September 26, 2020, at the Maple Run Golf Course. The event is held to raise funds for graduating seniors from Catoctin High School who plan to continue their education in the emergency services field. This would have been the 10th year for this event. But, with COVID-19 and cases beginning to rise again, it was decided not to hold the event this year for the safety of our first responders and also the public.

The Guardian Hose Company is pleased to announce that the scholarship was awarded to Emma Ford this past year, and they were also able to renew scholarships for Lauren Ames and Caitlyn Naff again this year.

The Guardian Hose Company thanks all the businesses that supported this fundraising event, and all of the golfers that always came out to make this a fun-filled day. They are looking forward to holding the James H. Mackley Golf Day next September 2021 and hope to see everyone then.

The Thurmont Lions Club held a benefit breakfast for Luke Bradley (pictured right) on July 18, 2020, from 7:00-11:00 a.m., at Bell Hill, located just north of Thurmont.

Luke is the 10-year-old son of Dan and Tracey Bradley, and the grandson of Rick and Judy May. Luke and his parents were present at the breakfast to thank everyone who came out to support the family. Luke will be in sixth grade at Thurmont Middle School in the fall. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two years old and has suffered from many medical conditions. He has undergone numerous surgeries over the years, and he will continue to need more operations in the years to come.

The breakfast raised (profit from the breakfast and donations) over $4,000.  If you wish to donate to Luke’s struggle with his many health issues, you can go to www.thurmontlionsclub.com and make a donation. These funds are an enormous help to Luke’s family to pay for his medical expenses. 

Veterans Day is fast approaching. Join the Thurmont Lions Club in recognizing Veterans and saluting their service in all branches. Our country is great because of the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms.

The Thurmont Lions Club is a non-profit organization that wants to honor our Veterans, living and deceased, and those who gave their all in the line of duty. The Thurmont Lions Club wants to start a program to display a banner on the light posts throughout Thurmont for the 21788 zip code. These banners would include a picture of the Veteran, their name, rank, branch of service, date of service, and war era.

Applications can be picked up at the Thurmont Town Office, AMVETS, American Legion, Hobbs Hardware, Cousins Ace Hardware, Thurmont Lions Club’s website at www.thurmontlionsclub.com, or by contacting Lion Joyce Anthony at 240-288-8748.

If you have any questions, please contact Lion Joyce Anthony at jananny@comcast.net or 240-288-8748. This is just a small way to honor our Veterans and to show appreciation for each one. The Thurmont Lions Club looks forward to displaying a banner for your Veteran, whether a family member or a friend. The club anticipates honoring 60 living Veterans during November and 60 past Veterans during May.

Please have your form to the Thurmont Lions Club by October 1, 2020, so they can meet the Veteran’s Day date.

Please Vote!

This is the second consecutive year Thurmont has been selected as a nominee in the 10th Annual Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Adventure Towns contest in the Small-Town Category.

The contest runs until September 4, and winners will be featured both online and in the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors. You can vote at this link: www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/toptowns/

Virtually everyone can watch and enjoy selected Maryland State Fair Youth and Open Livestock Shows and more online. While the traditional Maryland State Fair was canceled due to the pandemic, approval was received to allow youth and open class exhibitors from Maryland to show their animals in livestock shows, following all proper protocols. Although these shows will not be open to the public, the Maryland State Fair will be livestreaming selected Livestock Shows, the Miss Maryland Agriculture Competition, the Maryland State Fair Youth Livestock Sale, and the Undeniably Dairy Celebrity Milkshake Competition. Additionally, fun agricultural education activities and more can be accessed online, from August 27 to September 7 and beyond, at www.marylandstatefair.com and at www.facebook.com/marylandstatefair

The Lewistown Ruritan Club awarded scholarships to the following students: Michael Staley, UNC School of Arts; Sabrina Poore, Shepherd University; Douglas Isanogle, American University; Allison Rippeon, Shippenburg University; William Ochs, Frederick Community College; William Anderson, William and Mary College; Aaron Matlock, Shepherd University; Sahel Kargar-Javahersaz, University of Maryland; and Allison Howard, Anne Arundel Community College. 

Due to the COVID-19, the annual picnic to award these scholarships was canceled. The funds for these scholarships were derived through Lewistown Ruritan fundraisers.

The Lewistown Ruritan will have two more chicken BBQs, scheduled for Sunday, September 13, and Sunday, October 4, for carryouts only, beginning at 10:30 a.m., near Lewistown on Rt. 15, northbound near the intersection of Fish Hatchery Road.

Starting Monday, August 31, Frederick County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services will provide “to-go” breakfast and lunch at 26 schools under the National School Breakfast Program (NSBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Meals will be provided based on a student’s eligibility. Students eligible for free meals will receive meals at no cost. Students eligible for reduced price meals will be required to pay the reduced price to receive meals. Students not eligible for free or reduced price meals will pay full price for their meals. Meals will be available to all children enrolled in a FCPS school.

Meal Service Schedule (11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.): Mondays—“to-go” breakfasts and lunches will be provided for Monday and Tuesday; Tuesdays—kitchens are closed; Wednesdays—“to-go” breakfasts and lunches will be provided for Wednesday and Thursday; Thursdays—kitchens are closed; Fridays—“to-go” breakfasts and lunches will be provided for Friday.

Meals will NOT be provided on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Kitchens will be open on Tuesday, September 8 to provide “to-go” breakfast and lunch for Tuesday.

In Northern Frederick County, meals will be available at Emmitsburg Elementary and Thurmont Middle.

It is not necessary for children to be present for a parent or guardian to obtain meals for them; however, a student ID number must be presented for each student.

Community members are reminded to follow social distancing and face covering guidelines when picking up meals.

Please visit www.fcpsnutrition.com for more details. For additional information, please call 301-644-5061.

James Rada, Jr.

6: The Angry God

One by one, the soldiers stopped firing their rifles. They ran toward the exit from the excavated chamber beneath Raven Rock Mountain. It led to a half-mile-long tunnel that led to the surface.

When all his men were gone, Maj. Henry Owens took a hand grenade from his belt. He pulled the pin and let the handle fly. Then he lobbed the grenade, so it landed in front of the fence and monstrous creature, and he ran.

He counted as he ran, and right before the explosion, he flattened himself on the ground to avoid any shrapnel. The explosion deafened him, and he felt a pressure wave sweep over him.

He rolled over and looked back. He couldn’t see anything through all of the dust. However, he heard an angry growl and more metal snapping.

Owens pushed himself to his feet and ran for the entrance. He could see his men parking trucks and Jeeps in front of the entrance to create a barrier. Machine guns were set up facing down the tunnel.

The men shouted and pointed. Owens glanced over his shoulder and saw a boulder flying out of the darkness.

He dove to the side as a rock the size of a footlocker hit the ground. It was heavy enough that Owens felt the ground tremble.

Owens made it to the parked vehicles as the creature appeared from the shadows. The soldiers fired at the creature. It stopped moving forward and roared. The bullets could stop its advance, but they weren’t killing the thing.

As Owens made it to the other side of the barricade, a private ran up to him and saluted. “Sir, two men are at the main gate. They insist on speaking with you. One of them said he was a worker here. He says he has information about the box.”

Anyone who knew the metal casket was in the cavern must have been down there.

“I’ll meet them. I want you to call up to Ritchie and get more ammunition sent down here. Also, have them send half a dozen men with grenade launchers,” Owens told the private. Maybe the grenade launchers would be more effective at stopping whatever was trying to get out of the cavern.

The private saluted and ran off. Owens jogged down the road to the front gate, where MPs kept all of the non-military people out. He saw two Indians standing with the MPs.

“Which one of you has information you think I need?” Owens asked.

The younger of the two men raised his hand. “I’m Jack Standing Bear. I was on the crew that unearthed the metal box. I recognized the inscription on the box and went to get this man. He is John Tamanend, an elder of the Susquehannock. They are the people who used to live in this area.”

“If you saw the box, then you know it is not Indian.”

Jack nodded. “The box is not, but the inscription was.”

“What did it say?”

“It was a warning saying the demon inside had been cast from the gods, and that the Old Ones, the people who lived in this land before the Susquehannock, managed to imprison it only at great cost. It should never be opened or the demon would be released.”

Owens could see calling the creature a demon. It fit the bill.

“Well, it’s too late for that,” Owens said.

The older man spoke, and Jack translated. “He says there is a story told among his people of a god who fell to earth in a ball of fire. The god was angry and demanded the Old Ones worship him. Most did, but some did not want to worship an angry god. They didn’t and they vanished, but their numbers increased as more people resisted the angry god.”

“How did they kill it?” Owens asked, looking over his shoulder back toward the entrance to the tunnel.

Jack translated and listed to the Tamanend’s answer. “They didn’t kill the god. You can’t kill a god.”

“Then how did they get it sealed in the box?”

“The warriors who fought the angry god tried many things. Arrows and spears could not kill it, no matter how many times they hit it. Many warriors attacked with knives only to vanish. In desperation, they ambushed the angry god, throwing oil on him and setting him on fire. This worked. Then the warriors took the bones and placed them in the metal box, in which he fell from the sky. They buried him as a god should be. He was placed in a deep chasm, where he could rest peacefully and not be so angry.”

Owens rubbed his chin. The firing started again. He knew it was only holding the creature at bay, but if the Old Ones could defeat it, so could the U.S. Army. He walked to the nearest soldier.

“Go to the camp. I need flamethrowers and cans of gasoline, as much as you can get a hold of quickly. Then get back here.”

The soldier saluted and ran off. Owens turned to a corporal. “I need cans of gasoline and empty bottles. Meet me at the tunnel entrance.”

Owens returned to the tunnel entrance as the firing slacked off. Then a boulder came flying out of the tunnel entrance. Then men scattered. The creature hid in the darkness and roared.

As the corporal and privates brought the cans of gasoline to Owens, he assessed his resources. He had 30 gallons of gasoline and a dozen empty pop bottles. The gasoline might be enough, but he needed more bottles. It would be at least an hour before he could expect the Jeep back.      

He had the bottles filled with gasoline. Men tore strips from their undershirts, soaked them in gasoline, and stuffed the mouths of the bottles. He had six soldiers take a pair of bottles and wait.

When the creature pressed again for the entrance, the soldiers lit their Molotov cocktails, ran forward, and threw them at the creature. Half of the bottles missed. Of the six that did hit the creature, two hit too early. The creature knocked them away before they exploded. The four that hit the creature exploded and lit it on fire.

It roared in pain and thrashed around, rolling on the ground to put out the flames. When it finally lay still, one of the soldiers slowly approached it.

“Get back here, private. We don’t know if it’s dead yet,” Owens ordered.

The man didn’t stop. Owens pointed to another private.

“Go bring him back.”

The private ran out and started tugging on the other soldier’s arm, but he wouldn’t stop walking toward the creature. Then the creature glowed blue.

“Get away!” Owens yelled.

The second private started to turn back. He stopped as his skin split and vanished. Then both of the privates faded away.

On the ground, the creature stirred.

And Owens was out of firebombs.

The creature pushed itself to its hands and knees, lifted its head and roared. It looked barely affected by the fire. It hadn’t been large enough, plus the two soldiers had aided its recovery.

He had to do something. It couldn’t be allowed to escape the tunnel. No telling what damage it could do before they stopped it.

Something Fishy’s Going on Here

by James Rada, Jr.

Marylanders are known for their love of crabs, but they also love fish. In May 1917, W. H. Killian of the Maryland State Conservation Commission “made the startling statement that more fish were destroyed than consumed for food,” according to the Hagerstown Morning Herald.

To fight this growing shortage, the Maryland legislature allocated funds to establish a fish hatchery in the state, where bass, trout, and perch could be raised. Members of the Maryland Conservation Commission began touring possible locations around the state to pick the optimum location. At the time, the state was importing live fish from Iowa and New Hampshire. This was costly, so having a hatchery would also produce savings to offset some hatchery costs.

Killian and Commission Chairman W. Thomas Kemp visited Frederick County in May. They spoke to members of the Frederick County Game and Fish Association during a luncheon. Association members also showed Killian and Kemp direction locations in the county where there were streams, rivers, and ponds.

Killian told the group, “What Maryland needs and must have is a general fish law which will protect this industry which, if properly conserved, would add untold quantities of food.”

The commission tested the waters around Frederick County. The members looked at the temperature and flow of Fishing Creek, the Monocacy River, Hunting Creek, and the spring at Fountain Rock across three visits in the county that ended in September.

J. T. Snyder, a fish culturist with the federal government, helped make the final decision.               

“I have been in the service of the government for years, and in all my investigation of the waters for the location of hatcheries, the place selected in Maryland near Lewistown is not equaled anywhere,” he said.

The state leased 15 ponds on Fishing Creek and Hell Run from C. J. Ramsburg. Seven acres of the ponds would be stocked with brood bass. The Lake View pond would be used to winter the brood bass, and two of the ponds would be used for bait fish.

“It will save fishermen from paying high prices that have been charged by the sellers of bait fish and will also save the small streams from becoming depleted of their stock,” the Frederick News reported.

Plans were also made to divert Fishing Creek across land David Devilbiss owned. A 40-foot by 60-foot building would be constructed on land Milton Ramsburg owned on Hell Run. The artificial hatchery was planned for the building.

Snyder envisioned the hatchery being able to produce 50,000 fish a year, which meant that the state would not only be able to supply its own needs, but it would be able to export fish to states that needed them. This would further reduce the costs of running the hatchery for the State of Maryland.

Construction on the hatchery began in late October with plans to raise trout, bass, catfish, crappie, bluegills, and bream. It was somewhat of a new venture for the state because the conservation commission was unfamiliar with raising crappie, bluegills, and bream. The bluegills and bream were fed beef liver while the bass and catfish were fed trout.

“They are to be distributed into fresh-water streams, and as each of these species are fish that readily take the hook and line, it will mean not only furnishing many pounds of food to the country generally, but will furnish devotees of the angling sport an unusual opportunity to ply their art,” according to the Frederick News.

The following February, with the hatchery in operation, it was announced that 200,000 trout had been hatched, and another 100,000 eggs had been sent to the hatchery.

By the summer of 1918, the hatchery was releasing black bass, bluegills, crappie, Mississippi catfish, and white catfish into Maryland’s streams. Pond owners could also get stock for their ponds for a small charge that covered the production costs.

The old Lakeview Pond, which was used by the state fish hatchery when it opened in Frederick County.

Like Father, Like Son

by Priscilla Rall

The first Baker, Henry, came to Maryland in 1742. He settled on a farm near Unionville, where his descendant, Wilbur Baker, farmed in the early 1900s. Wilbur only left the farm to serve in WWI in a supply company, driving a truck carrying supplies and sometimes the wounded in France. When he returned to the United States, he married Emma Glisan. They had two children: William Glisan Baker (born in 1923) and Betty Baker Englar. Betty’s husband, Donald, was a coxswain in a Higgins boat on D-Day in Normandy. William, or Bill, took a different route.

Bill grew up working on the home farm, milking cows by hand, making hay, and husking corn. He remembered the fun young people had at husking parties held at night under the full moon. Then they gathered ears of corn in baskets and threw them onto wagons to take to the corn crib by the barn. His mother was an excellent cook. Bill’s favorite meal was having breakfast after milking. It consisted of pudding and hominy, not the choice of many today. Emma really had her hands full at threshing time when she would have to feed about 18 thresher men.

Bill attended a one-room school, which eventually became the Linganore Grange Hall, and then to Linganore High School. In the fall of 1940, he began college at the University of Maryland, majoring in agricultural education.

Also, Bill’s uncle, Monroe Stambaugh, his cousin, Nevin Baker, and good friend, Warren Smith, served in the war. Warren was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and was a POW. He eventually became a well-respected educator in Frederick County. Nevin, after serving in the Marine Corps, went into banking.

At College Park, Bill enrolled in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. By the beginning of his spring semester in his sophomore year, he was told he was now in the regular Army. After a three-day visit home, Bill took the trolley to Union Station, and then on to Fort Lee, Virginia, where he went through basic training. Afterward, he was sent to Camp Lee for technical training and truck driving school. He was soon promoted to T-5, working in the mailroom. Tiring of this, he filled out forms to either enter Officers’ Candidate School (OCS) or join the paratroopers.

The camp commander, D. John Markey, a good friend of Bill’s father, strongly suggested that a rifle company was not the best place to be and urged him to return to Quartermasters’ School at Camp Lee. Bill took Markey’s advice and eventually was assigned to Camp Campbell with the 4332 Service Company as the 2nd Platoon Leader. The company consisted of four white officers and 212 African American soldiers.

First, they were sent to Fort Devan for two weeks, and then they were placed on a convoy that sailed from Boston in April 1943 to Amsterdam. There was still the danger of German U-boats, and the convoy was guarded by destroyers. After safely arriving in Holland, Bill and another officer had the choice of joining Graves Registration or a supply company for an armored unit. They flipped a coin for it, and Bill ended up in a truck supply company. They rode trucks filled with ammunition for howitzers and tanks. When they got to the Remagan Bridge, they had to wait a few days for the engineers to complete a pontoon bridge to replace the damaged bridge. One day, while staying in a German manor house in the center of town, Bill vividly recalled awaking to the tragic news that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died. Everyone wondered, “What would happen now?”

When in Leipzig, Germany, his company was tasked with taking truckloads of enemy guns, cleaning and repairing them, and then sending them off. The worst experience Bill can remember is when his convoy, carrying ammo, came to a crossroads. The MP there told them to go one direction…the wrong direction! Suddenly, they were confronted with a German howitzer…and quickly turned around. They ended up stuck in a ditch until they pushed the truck out and drove back to safety. Boy, did they give the MP hell for sending them in the wrong direction!

Once, when Bill’s company had crossed near the Remagan Bridge, he was in a foxhole with one of his men when a Messerschmitt flew up the river, shooting at the Americans. They were lucky that time. Usually, ammo convoys had little protection and were prime targets for the Nazis.

Finally, the war in Europe was over, and Lt. Baker was sent to Marseilles, where the troops were staging for the next offense: Japan. He was on a ship for one-and-one-half days, bound for the Pacific when they got a change of orders. They were going home. Bill returned to the shores of the United States, and after a 30-day leave, was eventually discharged in the summer of 1946.

Returning to college, Bill graduated in 1951 with a certificate to teach agriculture. He resumed his friendship with Marguerite “Weetie” Stitely from Woodsboro, who graduated from Hood College in 1947. She became a beloved librarian at Thurmont Elementary School for many years. Bill and Weetie were married in September 1947. They had three children: Bill Jr., Becky, and Katrina.

Bill began a long career teaching agriculture at Emmitsburg and then at Catoctin High School until retiring in 1980. Along the way, he attended an auctioneering school and continued auctioneering even after retiring from teaching. One of his proudest accomplishments was forming the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, which continues to this day.

No student who took agriculture from “Bulldog” Baker forgot him. He was one of a kind! As a neighbor of the Bakers for 25 years, I treasured their friendship. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2009, and then both Katrina and Weetie followed him in death. William Baker served his country like his father before him, and then spent the rest of his life serving his community. Truly a life well lived.

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is willing to tell his or her story, contact the Frederick County Veterans History Project at priscillarall@gmail.com.

Bill and Weetie Baker

by Christine Maccabee 

Tall Beauties and Late Bloomers

Where I live in upper Frederick County, I get to enjoy the various flowering plants blooming on our roadsides, truly making rides in our cars “scenic,” as many signs say along the roads. For me, it is not just the wonderful wide open landscapes of fertile farmlands and ancient mountains that make it scenic; it is the various wildflowers that bloom at their own pace, in their own time, some in early summer and others in late summer. Unfortunately, most are mowed down before they can bloom.

It is hard to believe we are in late summer with autumn soon to come. Meanwhile, the late-blooming Joe Pye weed and wild evening primrose are blooming here and there, attracting butterflies and bees with their wonderful, essential nectar and pollen. Just today, I saw some of these tall beauties along Hampton Valley Road, very near the Eyler Valley Chapel. It takes a discerning, and interested, eye to see them and appreciate them for what they are. They are mostly misunderstood and underappreciated, much like human late bloomers.

Being a late bloomer myself, I learned to love all the natural plants and animals around me at a young age. There wasn’t a day I did not go out exploring and observing. I was not a popular girl like many others. I was similar to wild plants, taking a long time to grow and bloom. Years later, at a class reunion, my neighbor, Bobby, told me that he and the other boys had admired me for my interest in turtles. I had a Turtle Town, as I called it, composed mostly of box turtles and some mud turtles. His words surprised me. If only I’d known the boys admired me back when…if only

Unfortunately, over the years, I have seen so many wild places destroyed, it makes my head spin. Healthy habitat for wildflowers, which bloom all the way until frost, is essential for our pollinators. So, when I see these wildfloweers cut down before they even get a chance to grow a foot tall, I get depressed. Many people get cut down before they have a real chance to bloom, too. However, humans, as well as plants, are resilient. In between the cracks, we somehow continue to flourish. The mowers cannot always reach beyond the ditch, so the wildflowers can flourish there. And, thankfully, there are also some caring people who nurture and appreciate us and keep us around!

Joe Pye weed and evening primrose will soon fade away for another year, another whole year! I will miss them, as will the bees and butterflies.

However, soon to come, and right on their heels, are the really late bloomers: the goldend rods and wild asters. In this area, there are several varieties of wild aster that I know of: the white wood aster, the panicled aster, small-flowered white aster, and the purple Canadian aster. Of the 16 varieties of goldenrods throughout North America, we have around 4 in Frederick County: the lance-leaved goldenrod, tall goldenrods, stiff goldenrods, and rough-stemmed goldenrods. I’m using the common names, not scientific names, as they are descriptive. I recommend getting a good identification book such as the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers for greater understanding of these, and other, important wild plants.

Did you know that the pollen of goldenrods is not the major allergy problem? Their pollen is too heavy to travel far. It is ragweed pollen that creates problems for people, with its inconspicuous blooms that develop at the same time as goldenrod. However, in the wild, ragweed seeds have oils that help wild birds survive throughout the fall and winter.

Everything has a purpose, even you and me. Let’s make sure we all honor one another during the trying days ahead. We need to appreciate the diversity of all living entities and their contribution to the health and wholeness of life on our precious planet, Earth, of which we are all caretakers.  

Late-blooming Joe Pye “weed” along Hampton Valley Road.

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Another tall beauty, late-bloomer: wild evening primrose in Christine’s garden.

The Sunshine Vitamin

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

Vitamin D, sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is essential for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body does not get enough vitamin D, you are at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults) or fragile bones (osteoporosis). Muscles need it to move, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily-recommended amounts are listed in micrograms (mcg) and International Units (IU). Life Stage Recommended Amount: Birth to 12 months—10 mcg (400 IU); Children 1–13 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Teens 14–18 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Adults 19–70 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Adults 71 years and older—20 mcg (800 IU); Pregnant and breastfeeding women—15 mcg (600 IU).

What Foods Provide Vitamin D?

Very few foods naturally have vitamin D. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in American diets.

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks provide small amounts, and mushrooms also provide some vitamin D. Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart, as are many of the plant-based alternatives such as soymilk, almond milk, and oat milk. Foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.

Can I Get Vitamin D From The Sun?

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun, and most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Cloudy days, shade, and having dark-colored skin cuts down on the amount of vitamin D the skin makes.

People who avoid the sun or who cover their bodies with sunscreen or clothing should include good sources of vitamin D in their diets or take a supplement. Recommended intakes of vitamin D are set on the assumption of little sun exposure.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Because vitamin D can come from sun, food, and supplements, the best measure of one’s vitamin D status is blood levels of a form known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. In general, levels below 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL) are too low for bone or overall health, and levels above 125 nmol/L (50 ng/mL) are probably too high. Levels of 50 nmol/L or above (20 ng/mL or above) are sufficient for most people.

By these measures, some Americans are vitamin D deficient, and almost no one has levels that are too high. In general, young people have higher blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than older people, and males have higher levels than females. By race, non-Hispanic blacks tend to have the lowest levels, and non-Hispanic whites the highest. The majority of Americans have blood levels lower than 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL).

Certain other groups may not get enough vitamin D. These include breastfed infants, because human milk is a poor source of the nutrient. Breastfed infants should be given a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Older adults, because their skin doesn’t make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when they were young, and their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form. People with dark skin have trouble because their skin has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun. People with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease who don’t handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed. Obese people, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood.

What Are Some Effects Of Vitamin D On Health?

Vitamin D is being studied for its possible connections to several diseases and medical problems, including diabetes, hypertension, bone disorders, cancer, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

As we age, millions (mostly women, but men, too) develop, or are at risk of, osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become fragile and may fracture if one falls. It is one consequence of not getting enough calcium and vitamin D over the long term. Supplements of both vitamin D3 (at 700–800 IU/day) and calcium (500–1,200 mg/day) have been shown to reduce the risk of bone loss and fractures in elderly people aged 62–85 years. Many men and women supplement vitamin D (and calcium) as part of an overall plan to prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Can Vitamin D Be Harmful?

Yes, when amounts in the blood become too high. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can cause confusion, disorientation, and problems with heart rhythm. Excess vitamin D can also damage the kidneys.

The daily upper limit for vitamin D is 25 mcg to 38 mcg (1,000 to 1,500 IU) for infants; 63 mcg to 75 mcg (2,500 to 3,000 IU) for children one to eight years; and 100 mcg (4,000 IU) for children nine years and older adults, and pregnant and lactating teens and women. Vitamin D toxicity almost always occurs from overuse of supplements. Excessive sun exposure does not cause vitamin D toxicity because the body limits the amount of this vitamin it produces.

Are There Any Interactions With Vitamin D That I Should Know About?

Like most dietary supplements, vitamin D may interact or interfere with other medicines or supplements you might be taking. Here are some examples:

Prednisone and other corticosteroid medicines to reduce inflammation impair how the body handles vitamin D, which leads to lower calcium absorption and loss of bone over time.

Both the weight-loss drug orlistat (brand names Xenical® and Alli®) and the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine (brand names Questran®, LoCholest®, and Prevalite®) can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and K).

Both phenobarbital and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®), used to prevent and control epileptic seizures, increase the breakdown of vitamin D and reduce calcium absorption.

Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.