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The Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Mt. Gretna, Pa. . . .'Not a place, but a spirit."
  -- Marlin Seiders (1927-2008) 

           No. 109                                               August 1, 2010 

Mt. Gretna in August: 
A Busy, Bustling Brigadoon 
To the casual observer thumbing through Mt. Gretna's thick summer calendar, it may seem as if the 575 listed events divide more or less evenly among the months of June, July and August.
Yet it is in the final full month of summer that Mt. Gre truly reaches its crescendo. Despite temperatures that mayoccasionally bump into the 90s and a recessionary chill that still hovers over the economy, August is the time when the lion's share of an estimated 168,000 summertime visitors and guests show up. 
And it is that salient fact which crowns August as the busiest month of all -- in a place that generations have known and thousands have come to treasure as their summertime haven.
That pattern will likely continue this month. For if Mt. Gretna is sometimes compared to Brigadoon, the mythical town that sleeps for a century, August is the month when it is most fully awake.
Lured by the outdoor art show, the tour of homes, Gretna Music's month of concerts, a Cicada Festival that packs the Playhouse, and attractions such as Elisabeth von Trapp, the Susquehanna Chorale and Bob Troxell's Dixieland Band at the Tabernacle, this is when the biggest chunk of summer visitors now arrives, many discovering the town for their first time.  
At least 14,000 of them -- maybe more -- come on a single weekend. It is an annual pilgrimage to Mt. Gretna's Outdoor Art Show, which next week will be named 98th in Sunshine Artist magazine's Top 200 ranking of the best juried art shows in the nation. The show has attracted in some years nearly 20,000 to the two-day event (which takes placethis year Aug. 21-22).
August also will welcome visitors to the annual House Tour,  featuring homes and cottages already previewed online in advance of this year's event, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 7. The tour will get a boost several days earlier from WGAL-TV when Doug Allen (inset, right) comes to town Wednesday, Aug. 4 for a "Backyard Weather" broadcast outside the Mt. Gretna Historical Society. Tour sponsor Gretna Music will offer light refreshments for those who stop by to watch the live telecasts along Pennsylvania Avenue, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
And that's just for starters.

Gretna Music, with advance ticket sales already up 25% over last year, opens its season tonight with a classical concert at the Playhous They'll continue with Celtic music on Tuesday, an organist with the verve of a rock musician on Thursday, jazz favorite Leon Redbone on Friday and wind up the weekend with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band on Saturday and Sunday.
Reviewing Gretna Music's jam-packed August-into-September schedule, a 
Lancaster newspaper called the month-long series "one of the region's most celebrated music events."
Also coming this month: the Cicada Festival, with almost every seat in its six-concert series already sold. Two possibilities for last-minute ticket-buyers: the 3 p.m. matinee Aug. 12 of The Grass Roots with the Mudflaps (already sold out for their 8 p.m. performance) and the 
season's sleeper, The Billy Price Band, which Cicada's Dick Smith says may be unknown in this area "but people familiar with Billy Price are coming from Philadelphia and New Jersey."

And before the windup of final summer programs will come the Campmeeting's "Illumination of the Grove" (see below) and the daily surge of crowds rushing to take one more dive into the lake.

Add to that the attractions of the Chautauqua summer programs, cascading toward a climax this month. That will come with a Labor Day weekend holiday that begins with a community-wide covered dish picnic (inset, right) on Sept. 4.
The picnic, the parties, the last glimpses of summer will be a welcome pause in a hectic schedule that impels, probably sometime around noon on post-Labor Day Tuesday, a collective sigh, echoing from one end of Mt. Gretna to the other: "Whew! It's over."
Over, but only for seven months or so. Then, with spring, will come the return of an irrepressible sweep of anticipation. A community known for its hospitality to visitors and guests will once again stir from wintertime slumber, resume its role as the most gracious of hosts, and beckon others to share once again in the joys, vigor and centering renewal of a Mt. Gretna summer. 



It started even before Mt. Gretna itself began
Rekindling a tradition that sparkles 

Echoes of early Mt. Gretna will return this month with "The Illumination of the Grove," a quiet observance in the Campmeeting.
Yet that occasion is stimulating another idea now gathering momentum for 2011 and beyond. are in the works for a "Grand Illumination" throughout the entire town next year on the Fourth of July. 

If all goes well, it could become another signature event for Mt. Gretna as a whole. 
The two observances are separate, but connected. What they share are a common theme, history and traditions that started in other Camp Meeting and Chautauqua settlements located across the country.
Yet both have local precedents as well. 
One draws from a tradition of the 1940s and '50s when church campers, as their season neared an end, strolled through the Campmeeting at dusk. As they walked along, the youngsters sang the hymns they had learned at camp. It became a favorite time for appreciative residents who listened from their porches. 
Borrowing from that idea, Mt. Gretna Library planners last year revived the  tradition with a modern twist: They invited everyone in the Campmeeting to light up their co for visitors and guests who strolled along the narrow streets and walkways. "It was wonderful. Most of the cottages were illuminated," said Paul Enck, whose ties to Mt. Gretna extend to the days of his grandfather, a Campmeeting founder. 
In part, last year's event also drew upon inspirations from "Grand Illumination" celebrations held elsewhere. A camp meeting association in 
Martha's Vineyard and Chautauqua communities located in Florida, Colorado and the Chautauqua Institution itself in New York have long held similar events, some dating back to 1869.
And it is that idea, a "Grand Illumination" observance throughout the entire community, which Karl Gettle and a committee sponsored by the 
Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society plan to launch next year.
Their goal: to start an annual celebration that will commemorate Mt. Gretna's early days along with the birth of the nation itself. 
"A Grand Illumination on the Fourth? Everybody's in town that day, so why not?" says Karl, a former Art Show chairman who is now actively seeking volunteers to join him. He recalls a time, perhaps 60 years ago, when residents strung paper lanterns across their porches. "They purchased them at Mt. Gretna's Straw Market (now the library) or the Oriental Shop (now "
Gretna Emporium"). But somehow, with the passage of time, the idea eventually died out," he says.
Karl envisions renewing the observance in a way that would allow everyone to participate -- from Mt. Gretna Heights to Timber Bridge -- whether or not they have a porch. He invites anyone interested in joining his committee to call 964-2292, e-mail, or write to him at P.O. Box 419, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
Meanwhile, this year's "Illumination of the Grove" will take place throughout the Campmeetin on Aug. 29, starting around 9 p.m. as residents light up their cottages for strolling visitors and guests. 
Some will carry handmade, battery-powered lanterns reflecting the creative guidance of instructor Chris Resch, who recently led a "design-your-own lantern" class at the church.  
Looking ahead to next year, could a Mt. Gretna "Grand Illumination" on Independence Day become another festive annual occasion to cap that patriotic music concert at the Playhouse? 

In a town solidly anchored by precedent and tradition, where artistic expressions give porches distinct personalities that blend into a colorful mosaic, it seems a distinct possibility.

Photography by Madelaine Gray


70 Percent mark. That's the stunning milestone Mt. Gretna Fir Company's fundraising campaign reached last month, less than a year after the drive to raise $400,000 began. 
Chairman Tom Mayer says that most of the money is pledged over periods ranging up to five years, yet well over $100,000 in cash has already poured in -- sometimes in sizable chunks.
The funds are paying off the mortgage on a major expansion project already completed. The addition was required to house larger firefighting vehicles that must meet modern safety standards and replace a 25 year-old smaller engine and other outdated equipment.  
Mt. Gretnans in spirit (but who now find themselves living elsewhere around the world) may help in the final push-toward-the-summit by sending their pledges and contributions to Mt. Gretna Fire Company, P.O. Box 177, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
25 Ferraris in one spot? Yes, they'll assemble this Saturday (Aug. 7) on the lawn of the Mt. Gretna Inn in the Heights.'s the annual Mt. Gretna stopover for the Pennsylvania-New Jersey Ferrari Club. 
The exotic cars, each of impressive lineage, will gather on the grounds of the historic inn around 6:30 p.m. Following dinner, club members will scoot over to the Playhouse to take in a performance of the New Black Eagle Jazz Band.
2 Number of years it'll take to build a new hotel and water park at "The Historic Preserve at Cornwall Village," located about four miles east of Mt. Gretna. 
If all goes as planned, the 250-room hotel and indoor water park could open sometime in 2012, says Paul Callahan (inset), who heads the project for Skippack, Pa. developer Haines & Kibblehouse, Inc. 
All that depends on successfully clearing the n hurdles: geotech studies over areas once heavily mined for iron ore, public hearings, and another favorable vote by Cornwall's Borough Council (which has already okayed a crucial zoning change).
With final approvals of the $350 million project now likely, however, the five-phase venture should soon begin. Over the next 10 to 15 years will come 590 homes, professional offices, shops and stores, and a marina for non-fossil fueled boats.
Developer H&K, a multi-faceted construction company with 84 subsidiaries, employs about 2,500 people and operates in five states.
H&K purchased the former Bethlehem Steel mining site in 2007 to use the quarry as a rock-crushing facility. When neighbors objected to quarry operations however, owners John Haines and Jack Kibblehouse, taking into account the site's 75-acre lake and natural beauty, opted to close down the rock-crushing operations and instead pursue plans for a mixed-use development. Their design includes sectors of age-targeted housing to minimize the impact on area schools.  
H&K plans to build a new entrance to the 570-acre site from Route 322. That should lessen traffic flow through Cornwall, Minersvillage, Burd Coleman and surrounding communities. The company also intends to preserve over 50% of the site's open space.


Vocalist Elisabeth von Trapp, coming Aug. 29
An artist returns to her favorite canvas

Through the eyes of performing artist 
Elisabeth von Trapp, Mt. Gretna's distinctly different cottages, all in varying colors, come together in a congruen

"I step into the Tabernacle and  feel like I am performing in a different place... 
a place of Grace"

t expression -- as if touched by an artist's brush.
"Everyone has a unique take on how they want their porch, with flags or banners," says Ms. von Trapp, who will appear here Aug. 29. "Everybody is distinctly different. And yet, even though they are such different colors, when you take a photograph, it all comes together, almost like an artistic expression," she says. 
The Tabernacle is her favorite venue, and 2010 will mark her fourth appearance there since John and Sue Loehr first convinced her, on a rainy afternoon 10 years ago, to consider adding it to her performance schedule. 
"There is nothing like standing on the stage and looking out, watching how people are enjoying the music. It's a true summer experience," she says. 

Summer experiences count for a lot in the world of  Elisabeth von Trapp, whose grandparents' wartime saga inspired "The Sound of Music." And those she has enjoyed at Mt. Gretna rank high. "I would say that if I would list one of my favorite summer experiences, it would be on the porch of one of the cottages in Mt. Gretna, with the lighting, the sound of the cicadas, the beauty of just being there." 

For Elisabeth, few performance venues can match the one in Mt. Gretna's Campmeeting. "The whole town was built around that Tabernacle. I can come and bring my music to it, but it already has its essence there. That is the tradition. When I step into the Tabernacle, I feel like I have stepped into another realm, and when I sing I feel like I am performing in a different place. . . a place of Grace.
"It is the tradition and sense of . . . (she pauses, searching for just the right words)  . . . the energy of being inspired, the 'aha' moments that happen there," she says.

She is grateful for the people she has met here, especially the Loehrs, who heard her at a Doneckers concert and convinced her to give Mt. Gretna a try. They are now close friends.  
She also treasures people like harpist Tom Herald, who often rents a Campmeeting cottage and hosted her last appearance here, joining her onstage for several songs. "What a wonderful example of the inspirational dialogue Mt. Gretna's community offers to their guests," she says. 

Elisabeth von Trapp (with Blue Train singers and players Peter Riley on bass and 20-year musician friend and recording collaborator Paul Asbell on guitar) appears Aug. 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Tabernacle's only ticketed performance of the summer. Tickets ($20) are now on sale following programs at the Tabernacle each Sunday evening and at 
Gretna Emporium. To order by e-mail, write or call 653-8588.




As amateur photographers know, it's surprising what you can come up with on a single morning or afternoon strolling around Mt. Gretna.
At the flower stand alongside Route 117, for example, Mary Hernley assembled four generations of her family on the same spot -- a site where she's been selling flowers for 44 years. her was her first great-granddaughter, three-month-old Elizabeth, her mom Rebecca and (in background) Mary's remarkable daughter Marci, the "cinnamon bun magician," whose works are usually the fastest Saturday sellouts at the flower stand.
Across town, "Mt. Gretna's Amazing & Versatile Grundon" was at work. Dale Grundon, who gained that appellation during his days in broadcasting both at York, Pa. and Washington, DC, is a artisan and raconteur who creates stained glass lamps and conducts nature tours with equal aplomb. Lesser known is his ability to peel and slice onions with nary a tear. In fact, says Dale, "I can't even smell them most of the time." That's why he's called to duty as the Jigger Shop's premiere onion peeler, an assignment he tackles with his u elan.
And over at the Pizza Shop, which most visitors are amazed to discover also offers breakfast, there was more to crow about. Not only has the shop added baked oatmeal and breakfast wraps to its menu, but there's also eggs Benedict -- an added attraction to the weekend menu. Breakfast starts there at 7 a.m. 
, the irascible uncatchable rooster, gets started even earlier, summoning breakfasters to the table anytime after 3:30 a.m., much to the consternation of neighbors who prefer to sleep with their windows open. 
Across the street, at 
Le Sorelle Porch and PantryKen Shertzer and company offer breakfasts Tuesdays through Sundays beginning at 8 a.m., making Mt. Gretna an increasingly popular spot for leisurely starts to summer mornings.  

He's been coming to Mt. Gretna every summer for more years than almost anyone we know. But this is the first summer that Paul Enck has been able to bask in the luxury of enjoying every single day without a mad Monday-morning-dash back to his job in Harrisburg.
This year, for the first time, Paul (inset, right, whose grandfather was a United Brethren minister and among the Campmeeting's founders) is enjoying the pleasures of retirement. 
He and wife Cheryl -- who gained fame a few years ago as the last couple in Mt. Gretna to finally equip their cottage with a telephone -- are making the most of it. 
With a new hydraulic-disc-brake-equipped mountain bike, Paul is sailing along Mt. Gretna's hills and byways -- especially the rail-trail and one of his favorite spots, Second Street in the Campmeeting. "I think it's one of the prettiest streets in town," he says. Mid-afternoons often find them on the spacious porch of their Pennsylvania Avenue cottage, which has been in the family for nearly 60 years. And, on summer evenings, they often stroll along streets they've walked a thousand times before. But each time, says Paul, "we find something different to appreciate."

Suddenly, outdoor shuffleboard is gaining renewed popularity in Mt. Gretna. With the addition of a newly ref court in the Campmeeting, plus the Men's Club court in Chautauqua, people like George and Chris Resch and Dave andDarlene Eckert (inset, left) have discovered yet another new way to enjoy the summer. 
At the Campmeeting, more than 20 couples have begun turning out regularly to enjoy the game. Although equipment is available on a limited basis, many bring their own cues and discs to the site, which next year will have an expanded storage building and rest room facilities, says Campmeeting supervisor Merv Lentz.
"I was never good at games, and I'm not really good at this," says Chris Resch. "But it's fun."  
Mt. Gretna summer resident and pottery artisan Nancy Rogers helped coordinate the campaign to revive the courts at the Campmeeting, which are open to all Mt. Gretna residents. For more information, contact her at (or call 717-503-6693).


In Other News

Sincerest form of flattery? 
Developers of a proposed condo project near Lititz say their designs for the 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot-units they'll build will be based on designs "inspired by Mt. Gretna," a Lancaster newspaper reported.


 A useful e-mail bulletin from the Cornwall Police Department alerts residents in Mt. Gretna and surrounding neighborhoods to occasional crime incidents such as burglaries and thefts. 
The periodic reports also contain timely announcements such as the sudden road detour during reconstruction of the Archway Drive tunnel last winter, National Night Out festivities and other items of interest.  
To join the mailing list, send your name, address and e-mail address to Chief Bruce Harris at
Chief Harris also urges residents to report immediately anything that seems out of the ordinary.  "People sometimes tell us a week or so after they've seen something suspicious, 'I was going to call, but I didn't want to bother you because I know you're busy.' Yet what they may have seen was a crime-in-progress," he says.


Free pancake breakfast 8 to 11 a.m. Aug. 14 at Lawn Fire Company. It's an opp to learn more about the Conewago Creek Initiative, headed by Mt. Gretnan Matt Royer (inset, left). 
The 52-square-mile watershed's headwaters start in Mt. Gretna and ultimately flow into the Susquehanna River. 
Matt's volunteers help establish practices to protect and improve water quality. "Everyone has a role to play in cleaning up our streams," says Matt, who coordinates the Initiative for Penn State's local cooperative extension.


Our last issue referred to "the first annual" Independence Day block party on Fifth Avenue, in the Campmeeting.
"Whoa," said Fifth Avenue resident Linda Campbell, who brought us a T-shirt to prove her point (inset, right). The enterprising folks on Fifth Street have celebrated the Fourth for at least 10 years.
True, that tradition has flagged a bit in recent times. But momentary lapses ought not blur stellar accomplishments. Particularly those with a distinguished lineage. 
Linda recalls times when neighbors Rob Marquette and Jess Henry filled a claw foot bathtub stored under a porch with cold foods, liquid refreshments and prodigious mounds of ice. Then they'd haul it out onto the street and start the celebrations. 
Five years after the block parties began in 1987, somebody printed a limited run of T-shirts proclaiming "The Fifth Fourth on Fifth Street."  
With the help this year of Mary Kopala, Dave Adams and neighbors Chuck and Paula Deppen, it looks as if the heralded tradition is back on sound footing. And the fun can be expected to continue.
Yet Linda's sprightly reminder serves as a cheerful shot across the bow. When you write a community newsletter -- especially in a town teeming with bright folks and sharp memories -- you've gotta be extra careful with your facts.



Starting an annual fundraiser is one thing. Sustaining it through economic times when budgets are strained and schedules are stretched is quite another.  
Ceylon and Karen Leitzel, a Mt. Gretna couple who've just moved across town, from the Campmeeting to Timber Hi, have done both. 
Their seventh annual "Music Under the Stars" Big Band salute this month will do more than raise money for charity. 
For many of the folks gathered under a pavilion at Mt. Gretna Lake Aug. 28, it will rekindle memories of music and dancing on summer evenings during the 1930s and '40s.
Helping the energetic Leitzels pull off this year's event will be Nitrophonic (a spin-off group of the Hershey Big Band), Twin Brook Winery, and a team providing snacks and tables for eight under cover in case of inclement weather. 
Advance tickets ($18) available through Music Under the Stars, P.O. Box 202, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064. Admission at the gate: $20. Proceeds from this year's event will be presented during the festivities to Mt. Gretna's fire company, Lawn Ambulance, and the American Lung Association. For details, call 717-964-1829 or 717-866-4274. Or e-mail : or


Starting Aug. 14: Mt. Gretna History Walking Tours
One Step at a Time

No, Jake and Ellie Mae (two of the best-known collies in town) probably won't be coming with them when they lead a history tour of the Chautauqua Aug. 14. But that won't stop Ron and Karrie Hontz. 
The suburban Philadelphia couple bought a summer cottage in the Campmeeting years ago and fell in love with Mt. Gretna. So much so they're anxious to share its history with others. Both love travel and history. And when they proposed the idea of Walking History Tours throughout Mt. Gretna, Historical Society President Fred Buch gave them a hearty thumbs up.
Their first begins at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 at the Information Center. 
They'll spend about an hour roaming through the Chautauqua, describing how it got started, its buildings and other facts that many may not know about. 
Next year, they hope to add tours of the Campmeeting, and, if there's sufficient interest, the Heights and other Mt. Gretna neighborhoods. 
"We're often surprised by how much our friends who come here, even neighbors who live here, don't know about Mt. Gretna's history," says Ron, an information systems analyst. Wife Kerrie, working in pharmaceutical marketing, shares his love of history and travel. 
If you'd like to join them, just stop by the Information Center (near the Jigger Shop) at 10 a.m. For details, contact them at
or telephone Ron at 610-409-0743.


Mt. Gretna native Spencer Seibert, who spent the first 25 years of his life here, just finished the grueling Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. He completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-mile run in 12 hours and 16 minutes.
By comparison, Mt. Gretna's triathlon last May was a snap: Spencer, 41, finished that event sixth in his age group with a time of 1:16:21. 
Now living in Annapolis with wife Kristin, he is a Sorin Carbonmedics medical consultant. He's also the son of Mt. Gretna 
realtor Peggy Seibert.


"Every kid should be allowed to play in a creek," says Mt. Gretna mother, grandmom, writer and artist Patty Z. Reichenbach, who teaches oil painting at seminars across the country. She lives in Stoberdale where she operates 3 Summer Arts Studio and writes a column for Quick and Easy Painting magazine
She took photo of youngsters frolicking in the stream last month near the newly refurbished Campmeeting playground. 
Patty takes her granddaughter to the playground every Tuesday morning at 10 (and sometimes on Thursdays, too), joining other moms and grandmothers in a gathering that's become a favorite get-together for children and adults alike. 
The youngsters go "from the playground to the basketball court to the creek," says Patty, a Mt. Gretna native. 
"I can't tell you how tickled I was to see that the moms let their kids play in the creek," she says. "When we were growing up, the creeks were so much a part of our lives. Crawling through the tunnel was the ultimate big dare. Let me tell you, it is MUCH longer than it looks!"
Patty is an authority on the joys of both childhood and painting: "When I was a kid, I played in that creek all the time," she says. "It seems that nowadays, parents don't allow kids to just play, explore and get dirty." 
An artist who also travels across the country at trade shows representing the Bob Ross (of PBS's "Joy of Painting" series) Company and other paint manufacturers, her artwork is also featured in PaintWorks, a magazine for decorative painters.


For kids. . . and adults who wish they were kids, it's the biggest National Night Out program in Lebanon County, wrapped with a small-town flavor unknown to big city folk. . . coming Wednesday night, Aug. 4, sponsored by Cornwall's Police Department (whose officers patrol the Chautauqua, Campmeeting and Mt. Gretna Heights). 
Name it, they'll have it: helicopters, bounce houses, antique police cars and race cars and drivers, kiddie trains and a balloon man, plus magic tricks, face painting, macaroni and cheese, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. in Cornwall. 


As settings go, this one is almost ethereal. Nestled between the Playhouse (with its productions of Peter Pan and other childrens' favorites) and the Jigger Shop (with its productions of mountain-sized sundaes) is the new home of the Mt. Gretna fairy garden.

The fairy garden: 
where memories are made

Princeton Avenue resident Carol Morgan is the fairies' executive secretary. She responds to the youngsters' written notes and says that many who never visited the fairy garden before have now discovered it.  
Making their wish, enchanted children place coins at the site. Their dreams become magical gifts, ultimately for groups such as Muscular Dystrophy, the March of Dimes, and the Salvation Army -- all with programs focused on children. 
Timber Hills resident Joe Macsisak founded the fairy garden 12 years ago. Since then, more than $2,000 worth of coins -- each with big wishes from tiny visitors -- have found their way to charities, including a shelter for abused women and children. 
Mt. Gretna's fairy garden has also been the scene of numerous proposals, one wedding, and countless courtships . . . sometimes by couples in their 80s.


 Printing tip: If you have trouble printing copies of this newsletter, click here for the latest issue. (Keith Volker usually has it posted on the Web within a few hours immediately before or after the e-mail version is dispatched.) Once you've opened the current online version, just press the "print" command on your computer. 

Photos not visible? Some readers solve that problem by right-clicking on the picture space and then selecting "Show Picture."  Another way to see the photos is to go to our Website: and click on the current issue.
Constant Contact, the commercial service which distributes this newsletter, also gives this advice to readers when pictures don't appear: Look at the top of the e-mail message for a button that may say something like, "Show images and enable links. Always for this sender." (That's AOL's wording; different e-mail services use slightly altered terminology. Yet the meaning is the same.) If you click on "Allow content from this sender," photos should appear immediately.
If you are still having problems, drop us a note. We'll forward Constant Contact's specific recommendations for the e-mail service you use.
Speaking of photos: Nan McKay, the Milton Hershey School botanist who spends most of her in a greenhouse where summertime temperatures can sometimes soar to sweltering heights, caught this scene (inset, left) just outside the front door of her (air-conditioned) Pennsylvania Avenue cottage. 
A day or so after Nan, a native of Canada, submitted this photo, mother robin safely, but resolutely, nudged her baby out of nest and into the world. At last report, the youngster was successfully fending for itself.
Evelyn Koppel, an avid member of the Mt. Gretna Bird Club, sent this photo (inset, right) of a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly on a Heliotrope plant in the front yard of her home on Valley Road.
"I thought you might like to know," she wrote, "Sid and I don't just enjoy birds."
Readers who have digital pictures of Mt. Gretna scenes, events or people likely to interest others are invited to e-mail them to
We're delighted to receive Mt. Gretna-related photos from readers here and around the world. We'll use them whenever possible.


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We send the Mt. Gretna Newsletter by e-mail to anyone who requests it. There's no cost or obligation.  This community newsletter is simply a retirement pastime, much as woodworking might be for others, with no political or commercial axe to grind. 
We don't cover everything. Some topics, we believe, are better left to daily newspapers, TV and other media. 
Generally speaking, we aim to report on things that our readers haven't read elsewhere. Yet since well over half of them live outside Mt. Gretna -- in other cities, states and countries -- we sometimes include condensed versions of stories affecting Mt. Gretna that appeared in local newspapers. 
In preparing our reports, we try to keep in mind (along with accuracy and fairness) the example set by the late Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who regarded his audience as people who invited him into their homes. That's a good standard, we think, for writers of community newsletters as well.  
We've been writing this newsletter since January 2001, usually once a month unless we're traveling, ailing or attending to household duties that (in the interest of promoting domestic tranquility) sometimes take on a higher priority.  
We thank the many people who help us gather the news, take the photos, and then edit, fact-check and proofread this newsletter before it starts out on its journey around the world. They include folks in Mt. Gretna, New York City and Hilton Head, SC.  
If you have difficulty reading or printing the newsletter, please click on the online version appearing at
Thanks to our friends at Gretna Computers, you can always find back issues of this newsletter on the Web. That online archive sometimes proves helpful to researchers and scholars, we understand. It's also consulted occasionally by people planning to move to Mt. Gretna who want to know more about what goes on in a community which, as the late Marlin Seiders once observed, "is not a place, but a spirit."
Kindest regards,
Roger Groce

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