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

           No. 112                                      November 1, 2010

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Summer's glide into fall brings a welcome respite for those who take time to briefly pause alongside the lake during a busy day. Mirrored in that moment, problems dissolve, cares shrink to manageable size and a restorative calm emerges from that indefinable essence generations have known as Mt. Gretna.

Yet even as the leaves of autumn surge to their final burst of color, the town's activities (enumerated in this issue) continue at a sprightly pace, albeit at a more leisurely tempo than in summer.
 
Should we call it a "town"?  As a reader recently reminded us, Mt. Gretna might more aptly be called a village made up of a collection of individual neighborhoods rather than a town. She has a point.  With a lineup that stretches from the Heights to Timber Bridge -- with Stoberdale, the Campmeeting, the Chautauqua, Timber Hills and Conewago Hill in between -- Mt. Gretna may appear to some rather like Dorothy Parker's famous description of Los Angeles as "72 suburbs in search of a city."

Yet viewed from a perspective shaped by chronicling the cavalcade of events that take place in Mt. Gretna each month, it is also evident that each of those neighborhoods plays an integral part in a larger whole. Each adds its distinctive historical, as well as uniquely modern-day, qualities. Each brings a supporting cast, without which the magic of Mt. Gretna would surely dim.
 
Talents may be widely scattered, but they remain essential in a matrix that resonates with our values, perpetuates an enduring appeal, and often stirs visitors to purchase property and live here, either part of the time or year-round.

Wherever we live, whether we are here all or part of the year, and whether ours is a village, a town or simply a community, we are all Mt. Gretnans -- with a stake in nurturing the artistic, historic and recreational assets that add value, richness and dimension to our lives. . . as we share the gifts that each season brings.

Following are some of the offerings of November: 

Mondays: Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29  Bluegrass Night at La Cigale No, ther

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Banjos, mandolins a specialty 

e's nothing formal about these Monday night gatherings. Simply  musicians who love playing, singing and sharing an hour or two with friends who come and go -- bringing their banjos, guitars, harmonicas, zithers and mandolins. Nor is there ever an admission charge. Sit for awhile, and relax as they play for your pleasure as well as their own. Stop in anytime, from 6:30 p.m. until 8, sometimes 9 p.m., as the spirit moves.

Saturday & Sunday: Nov. 6-7
 What makes 4,000 people roll out of bed on a November weekend and meander throughout Central Pennsylvania, from Hummelstown to Schaefferstown, and -- by the way -- stop off for a few hourhttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/754.jpgs in Mt. Gretna?

It's the annual Art Studio Tour, a chance to peek inside the inner sanctums of artists for a glimpse of how and why they create. This year's tour spotlights 32 artists, at least 10 of whom trace their roots to Mt. Gretna. Familiar names like Carol Snyder, Barbara Fishman, Madelaine Gray, Fred Swarr and Shelby Applegate are part of this travel-on-your own, stop-where-you-like, no-cost adventure.

"Look first at the things that really interest you," says tour coordinator Ruthann Santry. "Then go to something that's totally foreign. As you broaden your horizons, you'll begin to appreciate everything that's out there."

 

Sunday, Nov. 7:  The Fire Company's Breakfast Buffet, starting promptly a

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  Food, friends & fun

t 8 a.m. and continuing until noon. But don't tarry. The food will still be there in abundance, but the real treat is spending time with friends and neighbors.
Volunteer cooks scurry about, taking care of all who come to sample the fare: scrambled eggs,  strata, breakfast sausage, sliced potatoes, baked oatmeal, pancakes, fruit salad, muffins, juices, milk and coffee -- all for the pric

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  Why they do it

e of whatever you choose to give.
The idea, of course, is to give as much as you can, since everything goes toward the fire company's $400,000 "Burn the Mortgage" campaign to pay for their expanded fire hall and new firefighting equipment (to replace engines nearing the end of their 20-year useful life span).
If you're out of town and unable to drop in, you can always help by mailing your gift to Mt. Gretna Fire Company, P.O. Box 177, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.

Saturday, Nov. 13:  Annual Soup Cook-Off, Noon-2 p.m. Some folks simply make it their lunch. Others  come to see their friends. Still others to enjoy Scott Galbraith's music. Yet everyone who comes leaves fully sated with fulsome smiles.

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  Presentations dazzle

You might not think all that's possible at a soup cook-off. But it's  what happens when area cooks stir their pots using recipes they've honed to perfection over the past year.

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Scott sings 

 

The judges? That's you -- and everyone else who attends -- whetting your taste buds with steaming samples of anywhere from a dozen or more soups by some of the area's cleverest cooks.

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Mmmmm... good

Honors go not only to the "Best" and "Most Unusual" but to also the "Best Presentation," a category that often dazzles with as much creativity as the soup concoctions themselves.

Names like "Pumpkin Doodle Do" (last year's winner), "Caribbean Black Bean," and "New Mexican Green Chili and Chicken" emerge from simmering crocks topping the tables as cooks unveil their handiwork.

All for the price of $10 to enter, taste and fill up on some of the liveliest soups you're apt to find anywhere on the planet. At the Mt. Gretna firehall; proceeds benefit the firefighters.


Saturday, Nov. 20:  Gretna Music opens its winter season with the
Boston Brass, on the campus of No image? See Website http://mtgretna.com/news
Elizabethtown College, at 7:30 p.m.  Reserve tickets online at
http://gretnamusic.org/ or call 717-361-1508. A pre-concert buffet dinner is available just outside the concert hall. Call by Nov. 13 for dinner reservations.

Looking ahead to next month:

Saturday, Dec. 4: Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the home of Peter Hewitt and Walter McAnney (across from the post office), with carol singing, mulled cider and other refreshments. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 12: Holiday Open House at the Mt. Gretna Historical Society Museum, 2:00-4:00 p.m., followed by caroling from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

 

Sightings
"This is a special place, one that reminds me of Monhonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley of New York. . . built about the same time. It's sooo peaceful, so beautiful," said the visitor, seated on a bench outside Mt. Gretna'

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An eye for. . .

s Hall of Philosophy on a Sunday afternoon last month.
As he sat, he held a sketch pad in his hand, roughing out a drawing of the 100-year-old building.
Glenn White, it turns

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...the beauty of old buildings.

out, is a man with an eye for beauty. Particularly the beauty of "authentic buildings in historic settings." That's his business. He is development director of Downtown Carlisle, and before that he held a similar post in Harrisburg. He travels widely, and his Monhonk reference was to one of the nation's top ten resorts acclaimed by Travel + Leisure magazine.
"I don't know why someone hasn't come up to Mt. Gretna from Disney, taken a few pictures, and recreated a place like this in DisneyWorld," he said.

 

Mt. Gretna attorney Tim Nieman (inset) filed a friend of the court brief last month in a Supreme Court case weighing the right to privacy from public protests at a military funeral.

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Mourners have rights, too

Representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he argued that although groups may have a First Amendment right "to express their religious beliefs that others find unpatriotic, offensive and reprehensible," it does not permit "personal attacks targeted at private individuals during a time of mourning." One of only 100 visitors permitted into the chambers, the Heights resident said the justices wasted no time in "peppering the lawyers with [the most difficult] questions," the Lebanon Daily News reported.

 

It will come as no surprise to those who know him, but Gretna Music founder, musician and physician Carl Ellenberger is also an accomplished writer.

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Writer, musician, physician...& old salt.

During an odyssey through Turkey with wife Emi and some close friends last month, he displayed those talents in a frequent blog as they wended their way through the ancient, but surprisingly bustling, country by boat, taxi, bus and hot air balloon.

His photo-rich adventure provides fascinating, often offbeat insights such as this: "Walking [through Istanbul] is made treacherous by an almost constant flow of enormous modern tour buses roaring, creeping, and hissing down narrow cobblestone streets only inches wider than their side mirrors extend."

Amid a vigorous economy that seemed almost wholly 

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Aloft in a balloon

untouched by recession, the Heights resident marveled at a four-tiered shopping center whose food  court "makes Costco look third-world provincial."

After describing an ancient outdoor theater (which would allow an audience of 7,000 to enjoy even string quartets without electronic amplification), the physician-writer-musician displayed pictures of a famous mosque, with its intricately detailed floor-to-ceiling tiles, and commented, "I'd like to see an fMRI of the brains of those who lived surrounded 360 degrees by [this] for most of their lives." To follow the chronicle day-by-day, click here.

 

Clicking off another checkpoint on their list of "places I must see someday," Kathy Wall, Larry Bowman and Madelaine Gray

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  6,855 miles from Mt. Gretna

(left) hiked along the Great Wall of China last month, part of a whirlwind Chamber of Commerce tour that also included fellow Campmeeting resident Jane Mourer, Timber Hills residents Akbar and Sally Samii and others from the Lebanon Valley.

Stone steps along the Great Wall were challenging -- "knee-high length at times," said Madelaine -- a design strategy that had first-century marauders, not 21st century Mt. Gretnans, in mind.

 

An idea to help neighbors in need
Mt. Gretna's defining spirit often shines through in the actions of those who live here. Take, for example, a plan now gathering momentum throughout the community.

Organizers hope to launch an initiative that could help https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/782.jpgneighbors solve problems they didn't expect to face alone, without the help of friends or relatives.

They seek to develop a community network of volunteers who could lend a hand to single parents, for example, or older residents who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible.

Their idea is not to replace community services already organized for permanent assistance, but to help neighbors with short-term emergencies.

Evelyn Koppel, a member of the steering group now seeking ideas for the best ways to help neighbors in need, sums up their aims with a simple explanation: "When people face a problem they've never faced before, nothing beats the comfortable feeling of talking it over with a friend. That's what we have in mind -- ready access to a friendly neighbor who can help point others in the right direction, sorting through the many available services or lending a helping hand."

The committee seeks ideas from both those who might want to help or who may need help themselves. Contact: evelynkoppel@yahoo.com or 964-3412.

 

In other news. . .

Tax Repayment Plan Simmers.  Several area municipalities faced with the prospect of repaying $5.7 million in earned income taxes met last month to consider challenging that proposal.

At issue was the finding of a Camp Hill accounting firm which determined that Lebanon's beleaguered EIT Bureau had, amid other irregularities, misapplied tax revenues from 2004 to 2007. Four school districts and 14 municipalities, including Mt. Gretna, got more than they deserved, their report said. Not everyone agreed with their findings.

https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/783.jpgUnder a settlement based on the accountants' report, Mt. Gretna Borough would repay $221,000 over a 20-year period, without interest. A supervisor from West Cornwall Township, also in the allegedly overpaid category, opposed the repayment proposal, the Lebanon Daily News reported.

Mt. Gretna Borough resident Bill Barlow, who objected to the planned repayment, told the group, "We share your concern on this issue and would like to become involved."

As the Nov. 30 deadline for to accept or reject the proposed settlement moved closer, however, other municipalities in the allegedly overpaid category, including Cleona and Palmyra, said they would not challenge the proposed settlement. Mt. Gretna officials, who will vote on the matter Nov. 8, also appeared likely to go along with the repayment proposal to avoid a legal challenge that could prove both costly and risky.

 

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Andy Colwell Photo

Hoping to join that bus trip to New York next month?

Don't tarry. There's a distinct possibility that the trip may be canceled if too few people sign up for the Dec. 14 excursion. Organizer Rhoda Long has received commitments thus far from only 16 people. She needs at least 40 to reserve a bus, and 25 of those must also order tickets for the Radio City Christmas show. The trip costs $50 for those not planning to see the show. For those who will also see the Rockettes, the cost (including bus transportation) is $110. Thus far, 75% of those planning to go have also reserved show tickets.

Rhoda must reserve a bus by Nov. 15. If enough people sign up by that date, the bus will leave Mt. Gretna's parking lot near the Jigger Shop at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in New York City around 10 a.m. The return trip departs New York at 7:30 and should reach Mt. Gretna around 10 p.m. So if you're planning to go, Rhoda needs to hear from you -- soon. Call her at (717) 304-0248.

 

"Paint to music, release your creativity": It's the theme of Mt. Gretna artist

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 Attuned to art 

Frederick D. Swarr's Nov. 20 workshop for anyone over 16 who has worked with acrylic paint, at any skill level.

The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. session at Summer Arts Studio, 14 Park St., will share the $95 fee with Mt. Gretna firefighters, says organizer Patty Reichenbach.

 

Santa's reindeer on a CampmeetiNo image? See Website http://mtgretna.com/newsng cottage rooftop? Yes, that and more Mt. Gretna-inspired scenes leap from the pages of Kerry and Matt Royer's new children's book, "Nightbear and Lambie: A Christmas Ride."

The couple -- he's an illustrator (and environmental official), she's a freelance writer -- have just come out with the second volume in their Pottery Barn Kids book series. Based on bedtime stories that Kerry told their two sons about the adventures of their favorite stuffed animals, the series made its debut last year in Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide.

Their sequel, introduced last month, will again be sold through the specialty chain and directly from the authors, who plan a book party at the Mt. Gretna Inn Dec. 11 to celebrate the release of their second volume, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.; children welcome (for book readings and signings) with refreshments. 

To order a signed copies, send an e-mail request to kmroyer@verizon.net or call 717-964-1320.

 

 

No one's sure why, but Mt. Gretna's least-wanted visitors returned early this year. Bob McCullough was first to spot the  Turkey Vultures this year, circling over the rooftops of his Timber Bridge neighbors on Oct. 19.

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Early birds, darnit

Unloved and unwanted, they're nevertheless among nature's most remarkable creatures, say ornithologists.

"With its broad wingspan of nearly six feet, the turkey vulture is famous for its soaring ability to fly for over six hours without flapping once," says Jaymee Squires, graduate programs director at Colorado's Walking Mountains Science Center.

Even so, it's hard to adore the turkey vulture, which dines on carrion, vomits on predators and has several other habits that "contribute to its general repulsiveness," says Ms. Squires. 

If you'd like to read more about them, click here.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to help Max Hunsicker's buzzard-busting team that has successfully kept the birds under control throughout Mt. Gretna for the past decade,
drop him an e-mail note at mhunsicker@comcast.net. Volunteers are needed every year to take part in a community-wide coordinated campaign.

 

The Winterites -- those indomitable year-rounders skilled in finding enjoyable ways to make the most of Mt. Gretna's fall, winter and spring -- plan a "games day" Nov. 2: Form your own group and play bridge, canasta, pinochle, Uno or hearts until... well,  your heart's content... munching on snacks and dessert. Starting in the fire hall at 1 p.m.

 

Carol Snyder, painter of perhaps more Mt. Gretna scenes than any other artist, has just introduced another in her series of calendars.  The 2011 edition, with all new illustrations,

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  New year views

is her  fourth, and she's already at work on a fifth calendar for next year. The 2012 version will likely include paintings by other artists as well, she says.

Now on sale at La Sorelle Cafe, the 2011 calendar ($20) and eight-pack note cards ($16) are available by mail order from Spring Hill Acres Studio, 624 Aspen Lane, Lebanon, PA 17042. (Add $3 S&H.) Tel. 717-304-3753 or email cds624@comcast.net.

 

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Night glimpses

 

 

Climb illuminated stairwells up to the top of Governor Dick Tower (left), glimpse nighttime views of five counties with guides, then join a bonfire gathering with friends and refreshments in the November Nocturne at 7 p.m. Nov. 5. Call 964-3808 or click here for details

Amy Spangler photo

 

Numbers

2 Years after she retired and started painting lessons, Timber Hills resident Marcia Judd was selected last month to appear in the

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  Sprightly start

Pennsylvania Watercolor Society's annual show -- one of 100 artists chosen from more than 600 entrants. "It's a huge honor for someone of with my limited experience," says Marcia, who made her debut this year at the Mt. Gretna Art Show as an emerging artist. Focusing on watercolor realism, she draws inspiration from Mt. Gretna, horses, travels and imagination. Her works will also be displayed at La Cigale Nov. 6-7 during the Art Studio Tour.

 

10,000 Sq. ft. of architectural shingles. That's what it took last month to cover the sweeping circular roof of Mt. Gretna's Tabernacle. For over a

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Staff photo

 century, it has been the site of worship services and musical performances that, on at least one occasion,  attracted an overflow crowd of more than a thousand to its 750-seat amphitheater. 

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Madelaine Gray photo

 

Affixing shingles

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Staff photo

to an inverted cone is anything but your normal roofing job. Each individual tile must be shaped to fit in circular rows atop a roof 90 ft. in circumference. Then come the assaults of nature -- snow, ice, rain, pine needles and stubborn layers of moss -- held in check by only fleeting touches of nurturing sunlight. Combined, they put the entire structure, including its new shingles (designed to last three decades) to a severe test.  One that  calls for a maintenance regimen that includes frequent hand-shoveled snow removals in winter, three visits each year by exterminators, and an annual structural engineering survey that helps assure the 45-ft. structure (with its 23 roof supports of  American chestnut posts) remains intact.

It is, in fact, one of only two surviving buildings of its type designed more than a century ago by self-taught Lebanon designer and builder John Cilley, whose conical structures have been the subject of studies by Lehigh University engineers. Cilley also designed the original Mt. Gretna Playhouse (which succumbed to a heavy snowfall in 1994). At least three other outdoor theaters built according to Cilley designs, each with distinctive cone-shaped roofs, suffered the same fate.

Yet the Tabernacle survives, thanks in no small measure to the watchful eye of Campmeeting supervisor Merv Lentz, who calls in shoveling crews whenever snowstorms threaten the 111-year-old structure. He's arranged for the Annville firm handling this year's $34,000 re-roofing project to also provide snow-clearing services for the coming year. 

All that effort pays off for a building originally constructed in 11 weeks at a cost of $1,500 and today insured for around $700,000 . Even so, nobody knows how they'd ever replace those supporting chestnut posts. The American chestnut tree species was destroyed by a nationwide blight more than 70 years ago.

 

Emily E. Shelley, 1924-2010

Emily Shelley died last week at her home in Virginia Beach, Va. after a long battle with lung cancer. She was the widow of Jackson H. Shelley, who passed away in 2006. Together, https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/800.jpgthey had for many years enjoyed their cottage at 7 Muhlenberg Ave. until they decided in 2003 to live year-round at their Virginia home.

A "true Southern Belle" in the words of friend and Chautauqua neighbor Linda Wilson, Emily was a native of Savannah, Ga. She is survived by her daughter, Beth Groover Miller and husband David L. Miller; a stepson Jay Shelley and wife Gwen, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson. An obituary notice announced that memorial services will be held this Saturday in Virginia Beach.

 



Occasional Interim Bulletins:
MT. GRETNA
Local Updates

These special bulletins are intended primarily for people who live in and around Mt. Gretna. As occasional advisories issued when warranted, they usually contain news  about such things as temporary road closings, disruptions to municipal services, utility repairs, severe weather shelter availabilities and other items of local interest.
To avoid overloading the e-mail addresses of readers who live elsewhere in the world, we normally do not circulate such bulletins to the full Mt. Gretna Newsletter mailing list. They are, however, available to anyone who wishes to receive them, regardless of where they live.

If you would like to receive these interim bulletins, please send an e-mail request to rtgroce@hotmail.com with "Local Updates" in the subject line.  We'll add your name to the mailing list.

 

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: http://mtgretna.com/news and click on the current issue.
Constant Contact, the commercial service which distributes this newsletter, also gives this advice: 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:

Susan M. Afflerbach,
a wildlife and nature photographer who will be among the artistsNo image? See Website http://mtgretna.com/news appearing at La Cigale in this weekend's Studio Tour, sent this picture, which she calls "Autumn Angel."
Among 350 entries in the
Patriot-News "Backyard Friends" photo contest last month, it won second place.
Susan says that she discovered "this beautiful, gentle and completely deaf doe" in the woods outside her home in nearby Spring Hill Acres.


Readers who have digital pictures of Mt. Gretna scenes, events or people likely to interest others are invited to e-mail them to
mtgretnanews@gmail.com.
We're delighted to receive Mt. Gretna-related photos from readers here and around the world. We'll use them whenever possible.

 

A Small Town's Biggest Parade

It is a Mt. Gretna tradition that goes back at least 30, maybe even 35 years. Dave and Darlene Eckert, who several years ago made

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Not gridlock, but close

the shift from their cottage in Chautauqua to the apartments of Timber Hills, think it extends at least into the early 1970s.

Dale Grundon enjoys telling of the time when an eager sales crew from

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Spectators: Few, but effervescent

Gettysburg, hoping to find hordes of spectators willing to plunk down $5 apiece for their assorted novelties, came cascading down Pinch Road, their overflowing shopping carts filled with plastic pumpkins, flashing Halloween lights and glow-in-the-dark skeletons. . . only to find 10 -- maybe a dozen -- bewildered bystanders along Route 117. (Tom Mayer bought the only item they sold that night, a flashing streamer that he intends to donate someday to the Mt. Gretna Historical Society.)

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Bacon and Eggs


Smallest Halloween parade on the planet?

Yes, and that distinction remained intact

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  A Feather touch?

this year. Parade marchers again outnumbered parade watchers. But only by a nearly four-to-one margin, not the 10-to-one ratio of previous years. By any standard, it tipped the scale as Mt. Gretna's biggest Halloween parade ever.

Dozens of spectators -- perhaps five -- lined the roadway. They watched as police cars, three fire engines with flashing red lights, a snazzy golf cart, tractors and assorted other farm equipment spread goodwill (and sometimes bubble gum) in this "over-in-the-blink-of-an-eye" procession.

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No monkey business


Okay, so it wasn't exactly Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

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Yes, it's SuperPumpkin 

But it was big enough to trigger gridlock on Route 117, or the closest Mt. Gretna is likely to come to gridlock this year. The 45-second delay came as the colorful array of goblins, sprites and demons turned up Boulevard Avenue and made their way toward the fire hall and a post-parade celebration.

 

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Nicole and friends

Nicole Roberts was there -- the 16-year-old spark plug and saxophone player who helps organize Mt. Gretna's official Halloween Band, which made its musical sojourn along the parade route playing appropriately haunting Broadway tunes.

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Something for everyone. . . plus a pizza coupon


Also there were the volunteers -- some, like Laura Feather, dressed in eerie costumes -- with assorted baked treats, games and surprises -- including coupons for  pizza and cokes (the unexpected gift of an anonymous donor who wanted to make the occasion especially memorable for every youngster).

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Treats befitting a queen


Other adults pitched in to add memories of their own. Valley Road residents Sid Hostetter and Evelyn Koppel came as "Bacon and Eggs." Granddads held youngsters who tired soon after the 7 p.m. procession began. Ron and Karrie Hontz, a Skippack, Pa. couple who dash to their Campmeeting cottage nearly every weekend, brought their  "children" (two of the best-known collies in Mt. Gretna) dressed as Lassie. Sparky, the fire company's mascot, served candy to perhaps as many as 210 youngsters who crowded into the fire hall.

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Magic makers

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  Memories start here

How did Mt. Gretna attract 210 children to a parade when, on a typical school day, only five or six youngsters get on the school bus?  Answer: Grandparents.

Those who live here, those who grew up here, those who visited here as children and came to see their own grandparents.

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Thumbs up. Again

 

 

Sure, they know that bigger parades can be found elsewhere. But in terms of enjoyment, fun and satisfying memories, Mt. Gretna's Halloween extravaganza can't be beat.

Photos: Dale Grundon and Madelaine Gray

 

DETAILS:
This is an unofficial community newsletter, with no political or commercial axe to grind. It is mainly a retirement hobby, much as woodworking might be for others. We send this letter by e-mail to anyone who asks for it. There is no charge and no expectation of anything other than friendship, conviviality and gentle prodding when we err.
We don't cover everything. Some topics, we find, are better left to daily newspapers, TV and others with greater skills, resources and insights.
Generally speaking, we try to cover topics that readers haven't already read elsewhere. Yet since well over half of the folks who receive this newsletter live outside of Mt. Gretna -- in other cities, states and countries -- we sometimes summarize stories about Mt. Gretna that appear in local newspapers.
In preparing our reports, we try to keep in mind the example set by the late Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who felt as if people were inviting him into their homes. 

We also like the practical wisdom expressed in Rotary International's  Four-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or Do. . . a useful guideline not just for writers of community newsletters but for everyone:

Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
We've been writing this newsletter since January 2001, usually once a month unless we're traveling, ailing or attending to household duties that sometimes must take 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. They include folks with special skills and knowledge of Mt. Gretna who live not only here but also in places like New York City, St. Paul, Minn. and Hilton Head, S.C. 
If you have difficulty reading or printing the newsletter, please click on the online version appearing at
http://mtgretna.com/news.
Thanks to our friends at Gretna Computers, you can always find
back issues of this newsletter on the Web. That online archive, we're told, occasionally proves helpful to people planning to move to Mt. Gretna and others 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
 
Privacy policy: The Mt. Gretna Newsletter mailing list is not sold, rented, traded or shared with anyone, ever.

 

The Mt. Gretna Newsletter | P O Box 607 | Mt Gretna | PA | 17064