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Mt. Gretna at midwinter
A time to pause. . .
A specialist in
sociological trends among older Americans noted in an interview last
month that many people, as they age, tend to disengage from their
involvement with others. "Older people have the lowest volunteer
rate of any group in the country," said author, psychologist and
gerontologist Ken Dychtwald.
While many readers may
have zipped right past that revelation when it appeared in the paper, it
grabbed our attention like the 80-ft. oak tree which recently came
crashing down outside our window.
Volunteer energies not
only fuel 90% of what goes on in Mt. Gretna, but census studies also
confirm that more than 25% of us are past the age of 60. And since Mt. Gretna heavily depends on the
strength, enthusiasm and availability of volunteers, any warning signal
that our stream of willing workers may be drying up sets off alarms.
Although the volunteer
tradition stretches back over a century here, it's also true that in
recent years, appeals for volunteers have become more frequent, sometimes
more plaintive, and occasionally more urgent.
It was not always so.
A conversation last summer
with Tom and Edie Miller reminded us of differences that have occurred in
the space of just a few years. Before they retired to North Carolina, the
Millers -- together with friends Jane and Scott Zellers and Jay and Deb
Barhart -- launched an impressive string of notable endeavors: everything
from organizing a classic car show and establishing a butterfly garden on
the Campmeeting grounds to starting the Heritage Festival, the
collectors' coffee mug series, the fire company cookbooks and the annual
soup cook-offs -- traditions that, for the most part, continue today.
Indeed, the impact of
volunteers is manifest throughout this community: Dr. Carl Ellenberger,
launching the nationally renowned Music at Gretna festival here nearly 40
years ago, Dr. David Bronstein and Mary Hoffman nurturing Gretna Theatre
through trying ordeals that tested the theater's very survival, and
dozens of others, from those who run Mt. Gretna's sparkling summer
programs to the fire department volunteers who guard our lives and
property. From the capable managers of our art show and Cicada Festival
to those who invest their talents and energies in the community library,
the Mt. Gretna Arts Council, the Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society, the
Bible Festival and many others. All would utterly wither and die without
the life-sustaining energies of volunteers.
We may sometimes wonder
how it all happens, this cornucopia of activities flowing from a surprisingly
small cadre of contributors. Not merely financial supporters, but
particularly those who roll up their sleeves and do the work.
Occasionally, a disquieting thought arises: How -- maybe even whether --
will it always continue?
A dwindling stream of
volunteers as we age? Here in midwinter -- in this deceptively busy
season when plans pile high for yet another season ahead, it is a question that
deserves both pause and pondering.
Whether we are young or
old, whether we live in the center of town or in Mt. Gretna's outlying
neighborhoods, whether we are here year-round or only part of the time,
it is we who hold the future in our hands.
And if we are to preserve
the very qualities that first attracted us to this place, it is we who
must answer the question: If not us, who? If not now, when?
Mt. Gretna Wildlife Update
From the Bird Club comes a report that Mt. Gretna's two most famous fowls
are faring the frosty winter in fine fettle.
Ichabod, the misguided sandhill crane, whose GPS system somehow went awry
and brought him down for a landing last fall in unfamiliar territory at
Mt. Gretna's abandoned ice dam, still wonders where he took a wrong turn.
Nevertheless, he's "looking quite fine," reports bird club
member Evelyn Koppel.
On Ms. Koppel's return from a recent bird-seeking adventure, Ms. Koppel also spotted
Doodle, the street-smart uncatchable rooster, making his rounds outside
the pizzeria in search of cheese curls, his favorite, which waitress Rose
Bair often scatters outside the pickup window. (Mt. Gretna's bird club
meets every Friday morning at nine, at Governor Dick Park nature center's
parking lot, off Pinch Road. Email the club for details.)
Mt. Gretna's other celebrity? That's Penny, the Penn Realty groundhog.
She'll be out at her usual spot tomorrow, serving coffee, donuts, and good cheer
as she searches, once again, for a shadow before issuing her prediction
on just how much longer this winter will last. Icky, Doodle and Mt.
Gretna's Florida-hibernating snowbirds are waiting for that verdict.
(Ichabod photo: Barry Runk, Grant
In Other News
Plans for that new water park at Cornwall, about four miles from Mt. Gretna, continue
apace. Barring unexpected
roadblocks, construction on the $250
could begin as early as next year.
And if the vast complex goes forward as currently envisioned, in about 15 years the result would be nearly 600 new
homes, a marina, shops and offices -- plus the year-round indoor water park and hotel (inset, left)
that officials say would be included in the first phase of a five-stage
Last month, they outlined plans to confine construction vehicles to Route
322, banning trucks from Cornwall borough roadways, the Lebanon Daily
Traffic congestion would likely become the major concern for Mt. Gretna-bound
motorists if the 570-acre complex becomes a reality. One Allentown reader
who owns a Campmeeting cottage recently wrote to express fears that the development would create summertime traffic
problems like those surrounding Dorney Park, where his permanent
home is located. Other Mt. Gretnans have voiced similar concerns.
A spokesman for park developer Haines & Kibblehouse, Inc. last month
praised the Borough's ad hoc committee approach in clearing hurdles to
get the venture underway. "I've never seen a borough so transparent
with a project like this," said H&K coordinator Paul Callahan.
Meanwhile, Borough officials have begun posting meeting minutes
concerning the development, called "The Preserve at Historic
Cornwall Village," at their website.
Dave Turner's Armchair Adventure:
Discovering New Life in an Old Tree
The best entertainment is seldom on TV, says Dave Turner, who has lived
at the foot of Conewago Hill for the past 20 years. The best shows,
he feels, often appear outdoors, especially in the aging tree right
outside his living room.
Through his big picture window, he
sees birds such as Northern flickers (left), a hawk (right), plus a
veritable parade (below) of owls, bluebirds, squirrels,
raccoons and pileated woodpeckers that have taken up residence in the
tree over the past five years.
All that time, Mr. Turner has patiently focused his automatic camera on
the pageant unfolding outside his Lakeview Drive home.
The trick to getting good pictures, he says, is to keep his 18-power zoom
lens camera handy, ready at a moment's notice to capture events evolving
on the front lawn. "It's best if I can shoot right through the
window. Then, I'm not as apt to spook them," he says.
Capturing the digital images isn't easy, however. A magnificent eagle
that swooped down onto a limb got away before Mr. Turner could grab his
camera. Some turkeys also quickly vanished last winter, leaving only
their tracks in the snow.
And he missed getting clear focus on what would have been an engaging
close-up: a palatably disgusted owl glaring from his perch in a nearby tree.
Glowering at a raccoon that had just chased him from a comfortable
knothole where she planned to spawn her young, "that owl was
obviously mad," says Mr. Turner.
A former trade school teacher who taught electrical work to Dauphin
Technical School students for 27 years before retiring two years ago, he
now keeps busy doing part-time work for the State of Pennsylvania. He is
also the volunteer manager of Harrisburg's 1,200-seat Scottish Rite
Cathedral auditorium, at the Masonic organization where his wife
Linda manages the office.
For Homebuyers: The Best of Times
of real estate activity slipped last year to roughly half the levels of
five years ago as housing prices hit their lowest level in years. That's
good news for buyers, say three prominent Mt. Gretna
Mt. Gretna Realty's Fred Schaeffer (right), who compiles annual
statistics that include both private sales and those handled by realtors
through the official MultiListing system, thinks this is a "great
time to buy -- at the bottom before prices start going up, which they
most certainly will."
Real estate veteran Emi Snavely of Brownstone Realty agrees, adding that
in her view Mt. Gretna is one of
the best places to live in the United States. "First-time buyers are
likely to never again have a break like they have right now," she
And Penn Realty owner Joe Wentzel (below) points out that "buyers
today are in tune with what properties should be selling for, with the
information they need at their fingertips on the Internet."
Among prospective buyers' current advantages, says Mr. Schaeffer, are a large
inventory of available homes this spring and, for many, a 10% federal tax
credit on contracts signed before April 30.
All three local realtors, however, counsel sellers to have realistic
expectations. Says Mr. Schaeffer: "Be sure your property is in
move-in condition and priced right for the current market, or it will not
sell." Adds Mr. Wentzel, "The best advice I could give a seller
right now: Listen to your realtor. Do not overprice your home."
Last Year -- for the
First Time -- a 12% Drop in Mt. Gretna Home Prices
Source: Mt. Gretna Realty
Davis, celebrating her 40th birthday on New Year's
Eve atop Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with husband Tom Poremba.
For the Muhlenberg Avenue couple, it was the second ascent into the
stratosphere. In 2006, they scaled 14,400-ft. Mt. Rainier in Washington
with fellow Mt.
Gretnan Fred Schaeffer.
But for Ms. Davis, who has lived in Mt. Gretna for 10 years and grew up
traveling to distant spots around the world with her father, reaching
Kilimanjaro's 19,341-foot peak after a seven-day climb fulfilled the
dream of a lifetime.
Her husband describes the moment when they got to the top: "A wave
of emotion swept over us. My wife, along with several others, began
crying. The view, the sense of being at the summit was euphoric.
Everything had a silver glow," he said.
Active athletes who met while training for a Mt. Gretna Triathlon and got
married four years ago, they needed only about three months to get in
condition for their East African adventure.
When they're not traveling or hiking, she directs administrative
operations at a Lancaster law firm. He helps coordinate production
activities at M&M Mars in Elizabethtown. They are also the couple
that holds those famous "regifting" parties for about 40
friends every year after Christmas, an occasion where everyone exchanges
brightly wrapped gifts they don't want, can't use and would like to shed.
What's next on their list? Maybe a trip to the
Patagonia region of Argentina, or perhaps Mt. Everest. But only to the
Everest base camp. "I like having fun," says the 52-year-old
Mr. Poremba, "but I don't want to kill myself in the process."
Kilimanjaro summit at dusk: Tom Poremba
Growing weary of gray skies and
frosty temperatures? Take a midwinter break with this You
Tube video from "Palmyra Network
News," capturing a day at the Mt. Gretna art show last August, with
a cameo appearance by "Paris Hilton" and others you will
Chris Kaag, whose Mt. Gretna
triathlons have raised $160,000 for medical research over the past
six years, getting happily splattered in paintball competition last
The Marine veteran, unable to walk for the past decade, described the
experience in his blog, "Get
Up and Move."
A "no excuses" guy, Mr. Kagg not only believes there are no
limitations, he goes out and proves it. His favorite motto, which he
learned as a Marine: "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome."
When a friend invited him to join 60 others in good-natured paintball
combat, Mr. Kagg figured, "I can't walk, but I can still
shoot." So he became a sniper for his team.
"Crawling on the ground, getting dirty and shooting paintballs made
me feel like I didn't have any limits," he says. "There's
always something you can do. It might not be the same as you did it
before, but it's as good as you want to make it," says the young man
who last month told a Reading Eagle reporter that when it comes to
fitness goals, emotions are every bit as important as physical
His "Got the Nerve" triathlon in Mt. Gretna May 22 will likely
add another $20,000 to his totals for research into neuromuscular
diseases like the one that crippled him over a decade ago. But,
like Vince Lombardi, he believes, "It's not whether you get knocked
down, but whether you get back up."
March 19th won't be
the first time
that Gretna Music audiences have heard a performance on a night immediately before
the same group appears in Carnegie Hall.
Nor will it be the first time that a chamber orchestra has assembled on a
Gretna Music stage.
But it will be the first time that audiences here have heard an
outsized chamber orchestra with players whose concentrated
attention is so finely attuned to one another that they don't even want a
That, plus the appearance of cellist Alisa Weilerstein, just back from performances
last December with Venezuela's famed Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the White House, and the
Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras make this one of the most anxiously
awaited, and costly, events in Gretna Music's long list of notable
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concert will be presented at Gretna Music's
winter venue, Leffler Performance Hall at Elizabethtown College. Although
tickets to a pre-concert dinner are already sold out, a few remain for
the Annual Gala Buffet at the home of college president and Mrs. Theodore
To inquire about tickets for the buffet, concert or both, call
717-361-1508 or visit the Gretna
orders are advised.
Because of the unusually high expenses associated with this concert,
Gretna Music officials are applying a full-court press to assure that
this event will be another winter season sell-out.
Leave it to Nancy
Mitchell to come
up with another bright idea to raise money for Mt. Gretna's firefighters
-- just in time for Valentine's Day.
At La Cigale, the North American headquarters of the French Provencial
linens company she operates with her husband John along Route 117,
they're offering special scented candles that she discovered on a trip to
a Virginia candle factory.
WoodWick candles, with natural wicks made of organic wood that crackle
like a soothing fireplace, also yield $5 for every candle sold for the
fire company's current "burn the mortgage" campaign.
La Cigale is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Saturdays
and Sundays 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and other days by appointment
(964-3313). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Mt. Gretna artists Eva Stina Bender and Lou
appear in the current "Figure
Eight" exhibit at Elizabethtown College. They are among eight artists
chosen to participate in the showing.
Ms. Bender, one of the exhibitors in Mt. Gretna's first art show 35 years
ago, is also among 12 artists whose works will be featured in Lynden
Gallery's 10th year anniversary exhibition, "Figures, Chocolate and
Feb. 12-Apr. 10. Open to "accidents and surprises," she prefers
to paint "on the spot," completing a work in a single sitting,
notes a press announcement for the event. She is also exhibiting her work
at Lancaster's Demuth Museum, along with art show co-founder Reed Dixon and
other noted local artists.
Ms. Schellenberg, an associate professor of art at Elizabethtown who
often summers in Nova Scotia, says in an artist's
that she tries "to carry the viewer's eye through a painting as one
might navigate actual space." Among several places where her works
may be seen locally are Lynden Gallery in Elizabethtown and the Lancaster
Arts Hotel Gallery.
concerts in a five-day festival? Yes, that's because for the first time ever, the
Cicada Festival is this year scheduling both matinee and evening
performances on Aug. 12 for The
Grassroots featuring Rob Gill (a mid-60s group that sold 30 million records,
hitting Billboard's charts in 307 straight weeks). Opening both
performances will be Rock n' Roll oldies band, the Mudflaps.
The budget-priced entertainment series ($11 for all tickets) starts
Tuesday night, Aug. 10 with one of last year's sell-outs, Phil Dirt
and the Dozers.
The following night will be a new show, Pittsburgh's Billy
playing "all of Mr. Price's original music," says organizer
The five-day festival closes the following week with The
Aug. 16 and the Hershey
"Salute to Broadway" Aug. 17.
Order forms will appear online at a new
around Mar. 15, coinciding with mailings of the 2010 season brochure.
Although orders may be placed at any time, tickets will not be mailed to
buyers until May.
The festival has already received a 55-ticket order for the Aug. 12
matinee, suggesting that event will likely sell out quickly. Last year,
in fact, the Cicada Festival sold 97% of the 3,500 tickets available for
its entire five-day run.
Cicada's ticket office processes orders based on earliest postmark dates,
and volunteers encourage generous donations since, even with sold-out
performances, ticket revenues fall short of the festival's actual
Mail orders for the shows should be addressed to Mt. Gretna Cicada
Festival, P.O. Box 637, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
Gretna's buzzard patrol has its hands full once again and can use more
seem to have a substantial turkey vulture population again," says
coordinator Max Hunsicker, who has led a decade-long campaign to
encourage the birds to roost in places other than Mt. Gretna. Until this
year, that effort had been extraordinarily successful, one of the best,
in fact, ever seen by USDA veterans.
relentless effort by a small group of volunteers -- which the
jocular Mr. Hunsicker sometimes calls "The Few, The Proud, The
Buzzard Busters" -- pursued a carefully planned strategy to not
merely shoo the birds to another part of town but to chase them to
unpopulated areas lacking vulnerable rooftops, automobile paint and
Hunsicker says that although some people apparently want to help and are
now attempting to scare the birds away on their own, they are not part of
his campaign, which emphasizes coordinated efforts among trained
volunteers to produce the most effective results.
reports that areas where the turkey vultures have concentrated recently
have been in the Campmeeting pine belt, behind the Playhouse, west of the
lake between Conewago Hill and Timber Bridge, behind the Timber Hills
apartments and around the Mt. Gretna roller rink. He welcomes volunteers
and invites inquiries to join in the effort. Email: MHunsicker@comcast.net.
the watercolor "Mt. Gretna Canoes" suddenly turned up on
Painters of Pennsylvania website last month -- along with works by Andy
Smith and others familiar to Mt. Gretna art show attendees --
readers asked, "Who is Linda
A Carlisle resident who learned the "art
through music" concept under noted local instructor Larry Lombardo,
Ms. Young had, in fact, never been to Mt. Gretna before she and her
husband came to hear jazz artist Leon Redbone at the Playhouse last
Once here, however, she fell in love with the cottage-lined streets, the
laughter of children at the lake, and a colorful assortment of canoes
lying along the bank. "I wouldn't mind living in this
place,"she said to her husband (a champion hill
climb enthusiast and friend of Mt. Gretna hill climb racer and former
Millersville University art department chairman Gordon Wise).
She took several photos and last month finished this piece, part of a
"small works" project in a growing
since she began painting in 2004.
It may have been her first Mt. Gretna visit, but she intends to return.
"As I walked along the streets, realizing that this is where they
hold the outdoor art show, I said to myself, 'Someday I'm going to be
in that show.'"
Mt. Gretna's firefighters responded to
208 calls last year, about 5% more than the 198-calls-per-year they have
averaged over the past five years.
Fire company president Joe Shay says that although the number of calls
has generally been increasing over the years, that total actually
declined last year from 2008, when Mt. Gretna Station 38 answered 221
calls, the most ever in a single year.
In all, the 51 men and women of Mt. Gretna's fire company gave 6,530
hours of service to the community in 2009. That's like giving more than
two years of eight-hour days. They turn in similar totals each year --
fighting fires, assisting in medical emergencies, training to sharpen
life-saving skills or attending to duties such as fund-raising or
attending to administrative details. Fire chief Bob Dowd devoted 769
hours to his tasks, the equivalent of 96 eight-hour days, says Mr. Shay,
who is also Mt. Gretna's mayor.
Area residents curious about where emergencies are taking place may track
calls online at http://lebanonema.org/pager/html/monitor.html.
The fire company is currently in the midst of the largest fund-raising
drive in its history -- a $400,000 "burn the mortgage" campaign
to pay off the 2,300- square-foot addition needed to house larger
firefighting equipment modern safety standards require and also replace
older engines now nearing the end of their useful lives.
"No, the midst of a recession is not a good time to be asking for
extra contributions," admits campaign chairman Tom Mayer, "but
we have no choice. These needs could simply not be postponed."
He says that people throughout the country are being asked to consider
making memorial contributions in the names of loved ones or others that
helped create special memories here, often when they were growing up in
Mt. Gretna. "Many of those gifts will earn a place on our 'Wall of
Honor' (for gifts of $500, $1,000, $2,500 or $10,000)," he said.
Indeed, one gift totaling $30,000 was received recently, along with
others in the $5,000 and $12,500 category, nudging the campaign ever
closer toward its goal.
Tax deductible contributions may be mailed to Mt. Gretna Fire Company, P.O.
Box 177, Mt. Gretna, Pa. 17064. Information concerning bequests,
multi-year pledges and other large gifts is available from Mr. Mayer,
964-1987 or e-mail email@example.com.
6 Organ concerts in
Mt. Gretna's Thursdays-in-July organ recital series this year. That's
because there are five Thursdays in July, and the sixth concert will
actually take place in the Playhouse on Thursday, Aug. 1, rather than at
the Hewitt-McAnney home on Princeton Avenue, where the popular recitals have occurred since 1998.
Opening the series July 1: Harvard assistant organist and choirmaster
Christian Lane, who has also performed at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New
York City, St. John's College Chapel in Cambridge, England, and the
National Cathedral, Washington, DC. Before he was 21, Mr. Lane had won
four major American organ events, including the 2000 Albert Schweitzer
7th In that
end-of-summer-dance-party-at-the-lake series, "Music Under the
Stars." Now a modern Mt. Gretna tradition, it will be held this year
on Saturday, Aug. 28, with music by "Nitrophonic," a group that
event organizer Ceylon Leitzel describes as a spin-off of the Hershey
Advance discount tickets ($18 each for mail orders: Music Under the
Stars, P.O. Box 202, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064) are now on sale, with reserved
tables available for groups of eight or more.
Proceeds from the event annually go to Mt. Gretna area non-profit
organizations, which have included the fire and ambulance companies,
Heritage Festival, Bible Festival and Mt. Gretna's United Methodist
Church. For additional details, telephone 717-866-4274 or 964-1829, or
Art classes for four-
this spring? That's a distinct possibility, depending on how many
youngsters sign up for a Mt. Gretna Arts Council-inspired project this
spring with S.P.L.A.T., an organization of "Spirited
People Learning Artfulness Together."
Organizer Jessica Kosoff says that if there's enough interest, they will
hold classes at the Mt. Gretna fire hall Mar. 21 and 28; April 11, 18, 25
and May 9. For details, drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, it's another inspiration by Rhoda Long,
planning more events to raise funds for Mt. Gretna's firefighters,
and, in the process, give Mt. Gretnans and their friends a chance to
savor a spring day in Manhattan.
Her bus trip to see the Rockettes last December was such a big hit that
she promised to do it again.
This time, it's a "day on your own" excursion that will leave
from the Mt. Gretna parking lot April 24 at 7:30 a.m. and depart New York
City at 7:30 p.m.
Ms. Long says that she is still working out the details, but this and
future trips will all be fire company fundraisers: yet another way to
help "Burn the Mortgage" on that new fire house addition and
fill a spring afternoon with fun. The cost: $45. For details: e-mail email@example.com; (tel. 717-304-0248)
Photo: New York City Dept. Parks and
Apron collector Edith
off the 2010 series of Winterites meetings tomorrow (Feb. 2.)
Mrs. Lehman, an authority on vintage aprons and handkerchiefs, will show
items from her extensive collection at the meeting, which also happens to
be the Winterites' 60th anniversary. The session begins at 1:00 p.m. at
the Mt. Gretna fire hall.
In March, Chautauqua resident Kathy Snavely presents an illustrated talk
on her trip to the Canadian Rockies. Winterites meet on first Tuesdays of
each month, September through April (except January).
deadline for this
year's Arts Council Summer calendar: Mar. 12. Coordinator Jim
Burchik says rates remain unchanged from last year: $500 for inside
full-page ads, $750 for inside cover ads and $250 for half-page
listings deadline: Feb.
Forms for patron listings
($35), which each year help underwrite production costs for the 9,000
summer calendars distributed locally and to addressees on a national
mailing list, are available online at http://www.mtgretna.com/artscouncil/index.html.
For additional details,
telephone Mr. Burchik, 964-3834 (H) or 481-6006 (O); email firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions Readers Ask
 I have a question that I think about each time I take my
five-year-old to our Chautauqua playground. That is, what is
happening to the swings? We are down from five regular swings to
two, plus the red handicap swing. Can you please shed some light on
the missing swings' disappearance and any plans to replace them?
<> The playground equipment falls under the purview of Chautauqua's
buildings and grounds committee, which is meeting tonight (Feb. 1). Swing
repairs are on the agenda, and replacment funding is said to be in the
Meanwhile, the Campmeeting recently completed work on a fully equipped
playground which is considered a community playground. Parents and
children throughout Mt. Gretna are welcome there.
 What are the rules governing use of the tennis courts in Mt.
<> The courts are available to anyone wishing to join the Mt.
Gretna Men's Club. Membership is open to all Mt. Gretna residents for an
initiation fee of $50. Persons living outside Mt. Gretna pay a $100
initiation fee. Membership dues for both residents and nonresidents are
Mt. Gretna residents who do not play tennis but wish to have access to
the pavilion and shuffleboard courts pay membership dues of $15 annually.
Club president William Brandt invites anyone interested in joining the
club to call him at 964-3436. Court times are not reserved, but if both
courts are busy, courtesy rules apply: players simply finish their
set and yield to newcomers. The courts normally open in April and close
in October. Other club activities include a tennis tournament in July, a
tennis clinic for juniors and a breakfast at the annual art show in
J. Marisic (1946-2010)
It is the mark of a life well lived when it can be said of a man that he
always had good things to say about others.
John Marisic, who died at 63 last month
and had lived on Batdorf Avenue, was such a man. "He was a kind
person who embraced life," said neighbor Trish Lamont.
Jan Lasyer, another neighbor, recalls that "In 25 years, we never
heard him speak badly of anyone. He simply enjoyed seeing people happy
and would seize upon nearly any occasion to hold spontaneous neighborhood
parties" -- which sometimes included Bastille Day, the Fourth of
July, even Beaujolais Day (to celebrate the grape harvest in France.)
Shown above in a photo taken after a fundraising event last summer for
the Campmeeting's newly refurished playground, which he helped organize,
John Marisic was a native of Harrisburg, the husband of Sally Cox Marisic
and the father of their two daughters, both now living in Washington,
D.C. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of Vietnam and director of computing at
Elizabethtown College. He was also a director of the Mt. Gretna Area
Historical Society, to which contributions in lieu of flowers may be made
at 206 Pennsylvania Ave., Mt. Gretna, PA 17064. The Central
Pennsylvania Food Bank, 3908 Corey Rd., Harrisburg, PA 17109 is also
receiving memorial contributions in his honor.
Amateur photographers: If you have digital pictures
of Mt. Gretna scenes, events or people likely to interest others, please
send them along to Mtgretnanews@gmail.com. The more, the merrier. Thanks.
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For us, writing is like woodworking might be for other retirees, although
we try not to kick up as much dust so we can remain inside the house
rather than be banished to the garage.
We don't cover everything. Some topics, we believe, are better left to
daily newspapers, TV and other media.
We've been doing this for nearly ten years, usually once a month unless
we're traveling, ailing or attending to household duties that the
Secretary of Domestic Affairs deems a higher priority (read: Take out the
trash, Fix the bathroom light, or Get her car serviced).
Our hope is that others will enjoy reading this newsletter maybe half as
much as we enjoy writing it. And we thank the many Mt. Gretnans who help
us gather the news, take the photos, and (most of the time) stay out of
Thanks to the folks at Gretna
can always find back
issues of this newsletter on the Web.
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