Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Mt. Gretna, Pa. "Not a place,
but a spirit." Marlin Seiders (1927-2008)
April 1, 2011
Anybody up yet? Pennsylvania
Avenue's first 2011 visitors, checking in last
week. Dale Grundon
Brigadoon, it's Time to Wake Up
It's a miracle, annually recurring. A time
when one of the smallest towns in America--one so small that many of
its residents can't agree whether it's really a town or a
village--stirs from its wintertime slumber.
What makes that otherwise ordinary event special
is that this town, unlike others its size, annually bursts forth with
unbridled energy. For most of its 119 years, in fact, Mt. Gretna has
leaped into summer with an outpouring of creativity, culture and
competitive pursuits that dwarf communities 10 times its size.
Yet, like Brigadoon, it sometimes seems almost
hidden from view. And amid the flurry of everyday concerns that can
distract busy suburbanites in Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lebanon, Mt.
Gretna's abundant summertime offerings can sometimes slip by almost
"I always rediscover Mt. Gretna too
late," lamented one woman walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and
admiring the illuminated porches late one night last August, on her way
to the Playhouse.
It is a regret that this year's planners hope
to dissolve. Those who hone Mt. Gretna's cultural, recreational and
contemplative treasures are determined to help both visitors and locals
alike get a jump on the 2011 season.
A wake-up call? You might call it that.
They're hoping to alert folks to the fact that Mt. Gretna's triathlon
will get started a full week earlier than last year, that Gretna
Theatre's early-season fundraiser May 21 will star Academy award
winner Shirley Jones (stepping in for Mickey Rooney), and that there's
a summer ahead filled with entertainment and events sufficient to
satisfy nearly every palate.
...and a potluck supper
Previews at the Premiere...
Then will come not one but two community-wide
previews of what's in store this summer. One takes place at the grand
Summer Premiere May 28, another the following Saturday, June 4, at the
firehall, complete with a potluck supper as everyone enjoys an in-depth
presentation of what's coming up at the Playhouse, in the Hall of
Philosophy and at the Tabernacle this summer.
Along with Gretna Theatre and Music at Gretna
offerings guaranteed to fill seats ("My Fair Lady" [June
9-19], "Funny Girl" [July 21-31], and "The New Christy
Minstrels" [Aug. 25]) are also the budget-priced $12 tickets for
Cicada Festival shows (including the already sold-out Phil Dirt
performance Aug. 16).
Summer programs include a new TED lecture series, featuring
online presentations in the Hall of Philosophy from the famed
"ideas worth spreading" conference that brings together
experts from the fields of technology, entertainment and design.
There'll also be another University for a Day event and the
continuation of the popular Great Migrations series, this year focusing
on English settlers in America.
And, stretching the Summer Programs modest
$6,000 budget to its imaginative limits, organizer Kathy Snavely and
her committee hope to launch a New York authors' series (coordinated by
part-time Mt. Gretna resident and adventure writer Bill Gifford), a
miniature Mummers parade to the Fairy Garden, and a bus trip to the Chagall
exhibit at Philadelphia's Museum of Art.
All the while, she and others shaping the
summer are mindful of the oft-expressed view that sometimes there's
more on the summer schedule than most people can manage to take in. So
it's a delicate balance: The trick is to offer something for everyone,
but not too much at any one time. One way they hope to do that is by
reducing the quantity of offerings at the start and at the end of each
summer. Cutting back a bit on creative attractions and interesting things
to see and do? That's a problem unknown in most places. But then, most
places are unlike Mt. Gretna.
An Independence Day Salute with a
Distinctive Mt. Gretna Touch
If you thought hot dogs, fireworks and John
Philip Sousa marches were the only way to celebrate the Fourth of July,
get ready for a new Mt. Gretna tradition this year.
It's coming this Independence Day. The reintroduction of an
old idea: a Grand Illumination that will light up the whole town, from
Mt. Gretna Heights to Timber Bridge.
With lights, Liberty Bells and the imaginative
touches of individual homeowners, Mt. Gretna will set a new tradition
The idea is to illuminate porches,
cottages, windows and even entire homes with a Liberty Bell theme,
colored lights and lanterns to celebrate the nationís birthday.
with a little help from Gram
It's what planners hope will become a
distinctive Mt. Gretna July 4th celebration and an enduring
patriotic hallmark of the entire community for years to come.
Former Art Show chairman Karl Gettle heads a
committee of volunteers in neighborhoods throughout Mt. Gretna to carry
out the theme.
Homeowners can use Liberty Bell shapes the
committee will begin offering next month, he says. Or residents can
come up with their own designs. "All we ask is that everyone adopt
an Independence Day theme," says Karl. "And that doesn't
necessarily mean they have to use red, white and blue lights," he
The bell-shaped designs he plans to offer starting
in May will be made of wood and tempered Masonite, so they'll hold up
to weather in outdoor use. They can be painted to match the individual
preferences of homeowners for the Independence Day celebration. Artist
Barb Kleinfelter (inset, above right)
will offer bell-painting classes at the Hall of Philosophy in June to
help residents prepare their bells for display.
NEW TWIST ON AN OLD IDEA
No, this isn't really a new idea. Grand
Illuminations are long-standing traditions, not only in Mt. Gretna but
across the country.
Historical references to illuminated
celebrations date back to the 1890s in the annals of the Chautauqua
Institution in New York State.
Vineyard Camp Meeting Association photo
The largest single Grand Illumination Night in
the country today is one that started a century ago at Martha's
Vineyard Camp Meeting Association in Massachusetts. It's held every
August, with cottages adorned with lights and colorful Chinese and
Colonial Williamsburg has another huge
Grand Illumination display, held at the beginning of each
Many other communities--most tracing their
origins to camp meeting associations or the Chautauqua
movement--annually hold Grand Illuminations at various times of the
year. Such events take place in dozens of locations across the country,
from Colorado to Florida.
Indeed, even in the 1950s, Mt. Gretna cottage
owners often strung paper lanterns across the porches, Karl recalls.
And two years ago a group in Mt. Gretna's Campmeeting revived a
long-standing tradition called "The Illumination of the
Grove," when youngsters finishing their session at Church Camp
strolled through the streets singing hymns they had learned each
Karl's committee includes members from
neighborhoods throughout Mt. Gretna: Max Hunsicker in the Heights,
Joyce Ebright in Timber Bridge, Evelyn Koppel in Timber Hills, Bruce
Gettle in the Campmeeting, Laura Feather in Conewago Hill, and Bill and
Barb Kleinfelter in the Chautauqua. He welcomes others and expects to
begin displaying Liberty Bells outside the post office on Saturday
mornings in May. His committee also plans to show Liberty Bell design
ideas at the Summer Premiere and a community-wide potluck dinner at the
firehall June 4.
sundaes for everyone April 10:
Campaign Plans Grand Finale
The Mt. Gretna Fire Company's "Dimes in a
Bottle" campaign winds up this month in grand style.
Volunteers at the firehall Sunday, April 10
will have a Make Your Own Sundae spectacular set up between 2 and 4
p.m. for all who enter the hall.
No coins in your water bottle? No problem.
Stuff it with a check or folding money, just as Larry Roush did when he
came to last month's fire company breakfast with a bottle and rolled-up
$100 bill inside. Or bring a donation without a bottle. The
firefighters aren't fussy.
They need your help
The big payoff? Drawings for gift certificates
that fire company volunteers have rounded up for this event: They
include certificates for Segway Tours from former
Maddy Allwein and Nicole Roberts are putting dimes in their fire
company water bottles and urge you to do the same.
Mt. Gretnans Bruce and Trish Myers, footbath
treatments at Serenity Spa, treats at the Jigger Shop, admissions
to the Lake this summer, art lessons from one of Mt. Gretna's legendary
artists Barb Fishman, and more.*
Helping to remind everyone to stuff
coins in their water bottles over the past several months: Cedar Crest
High School co-eds Avery Dowd, Maddy Allewin and Nicole Roberts.
They're now making a final appeal to return with your dimes in a bottle
April 10, at the firehall, from 2 to 4 p.m. to turn in your bottle,
make your own sundae, and win some nifty gift certificates.
It's the windup for one of the fire company's
latest fundraisers. Another stab at putting a dent in the $400,000 goal
to "burn the mortgage" on a new addition to the firehall and
lay a firm financial footing for the engines and other equipment Mt.
Gretna's firefighters will need to protect homes, lives and property
here in the years ahead.
*Other Mt. Gretna-linked businesses pitching in with gift certificates:
Gretna Computers, Janice Balmer's Zumba Classes, Kathleen Wall's Senior
Caregiving Solutions, Stacey Pennington's (of Gretna Emporium) Resource
Island, Ken Shertzer's Le Sorelle, the Cicada Festival, Gretna Theatre,
Sue and Al Pera's Cornerstone Coffee House, Timbers Dinner Theater, Pam
Willeman's New Day Yoga and Nancy and John Mitchell's La Cigale.
star is needed, he knows how to find one
Gretna Theatre's producing artistic director
Larry Frenock may have just produced the biggest coup of his career.
When legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney
suddenly dropped out of a planned fundraiser next month to get Gretna
Theatre's 2011 season started, Larry pulled out the name of one of
Hollywood's all-time bests.
"Why, yes, of
Academy award-winning actress Shirley Jones
agreed to fill the May 21 date at the Playhouse and help Larry's team
fulfill a commitment as well as a key touchstone in the season's
fundraising plans. "Being the gracious star that she is, Ms. Jones
kindly came to the rescue," he says.
It could scarcely have been a better pick.
Best known today for her starring role in the TV series "The
Partridge Family," Ms. Jones is the only actress put under
personal contract to Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein after she
wowed them in her first audition. A Pennsylvania native, she starred in
their film versions of "Oklahoma" and "Carousel,"
as well as "The Music Man," and appeared in more than a dozen
other films including "April Love," "Elmer Gantry"
and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father."
Larry says those who purchased tickets to see
Rooney will be telephoned next week to receive a refund or switch to
the Shirley Jones performance, "An Evening of Stories and
Songs" at the Playhouse at 7:30 p.m.
Premium seat tickets (for the first nine rows,
center) are $95 and include a reception to meet the star after the
show. All other regular seats are $50 and may be purchased online at http://www.gretnatheatre.com or by
Conewago Hill resident Val Sarabia, who has
traveled to 58 different countries, just back from a 17-day cargo delivery
assignment for the U.S. in Haiti: "A year after the earthquake,
people still live in the most deplorable conditions I've ever seen:
More than a million still under tents and tarpaulins. People taking
baths in polluted water from street gutters, with food stands just a
few hundred feet away. Without choices, people do what they have to do.
Those who donate their time and efforts have hope and faith. Their
national cathedral in Port-au-Prince has collapsed, but they still
gather there to worship."
Woven wall hangings by Vivian Narehood, an
attorney who lives along Lakeview Drive, will be on display April 1-30
at the Weavings Ink Gallery
in Wrightsville. The exhibit, "Fiber: 200
Years in the Making," also features works by frequent art show
exhibitor Sylvia Lehman, designer of contemporary baskets, as well as
other creators of tapestries, quilts and wall hangings. A reception to
open the exhibit begins today (April 1), 5-8 p.m.
pivotal season, a preeminent role
For Mt. Gretna's only church, it is clearly
the busiest of seasons. A time when Easter egg hunts blend with sunrise
services, when solemn sacraments anchor a spirit of togetherness, when
joyous celebrations resonate from a small building in the Campmeeting
to echo throughout the community. Still to come are other fortifying
bulwarks of Mt. Gretna's spiritual life, the summer services of the
Chautauqua and Summer at the Tabernacle. So
as Easter dawns, a centering role falls to the
Mt. Gretna UMC worshipers
begin the Lenten season with a 7 p.m. service April 6 in Rexmont, part
of a community series involving several local churches. The Lenten
series shifts to Mt. Gretna April 13.
Then comes the "egg dye" April 14 at
6:30 p.m. "Some of our kids get very egg-cited," says Pastor
Mike Remel. "They end up dyeing themselves and their clothes, too.
Then, no yoke," adds the minister, a specialist in the fun of
puns, "it's the annual Easter egg hunt, Saturday, April 16 at 11
a.m." (Rain date: April 23).
Holy Week includes Palm Sunday services April
17, with special choir anthems at both 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. services.
The Maundy Thursday April 21 communion service at 7:00 p.m. is open to
all and includes a special "Service of Three Basins" in
addition to Holy Communion.
Good Friday's community service takes place at
the Chapel of Cornwall Manor at 1 p.m., with Evangelical Seminary
president Rev. Michael Sigman as guest speaker.
Easter Sunday's opening service begins at 7:00
a.m. on Soldiers' Field (bring folding chairs, suggests Pastor Mike),
followed by two regular services at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.
it comes to sustaining Mt. Gretna's organ recital
series, the single ingredient that tops the list is, undoubtedly,
Take, for example, the circuitous path that
led to Peter Hewitt and Walter McAnney's opening recital this year, on
Thursday, July 7.
They discovered the Julliard School's Raymond
Nagem (inset, right) at
a national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis
three years ago. The youthful performer was a featured soloist in the
convention's Rising Stars concert.
"We have always discovered great talent
at these conventions," says Peter. "Often, they are happy to
come to Mt. Gretna and concertize."
That's how Peter and Walter, founders of the
Mt. Gretna recital series -- itself now a "rising star" in
the realm of organ music -- also discovered (and booked) noted
performers Chelsea Chen and Ahrum Han, AGO convention standouts who
have also made guest appearances at an Allen R-400 Renaissance organ in
the McAnney-Hewitt home.
Nagem, who will launch the 2011 season, just
completed a concert at the Allen Organ Company's Macungie, Pa.,
headquarters. "He is making a name for himself," says Peter,
who inspired the series 14 years ago. Seating reservations for this
year's recitals (at the Hewitt-McAnney residence, where approximately
80 persons may be accommodated), will be accepted starting Memorial Day
weekend, tel. 717-964-1830, ext. 3. Free will donations are requested
for the recitals, which have become another in the series of Chautauqua
summer program offerings.
start with the judges
Perspectives: How a 35-Year-Old Show Stays Crisp
How to keep an outdoor art show fresh from
year to year? Start with those who judge the artists and their
"I always look for four different people
each year whose background, training and experience qualify them to
evaluate the work of other artists," says Mt. Gretna Art Show
director Linda Bell.
This year she's drawn on
suggestions from retired Millersville University art department head
Gordon Wise, a Lakeview Drive resident who recommended a woman who
serves on the MSU faculty and is herself a jeweler. Linda also profited
from guidance by Elizabeth Hummer, a part-time Mt. Gretnan who also
lives in Manhattan and won Pennsylvania State University's Integrative
Arts and Graphic Design award last year. Elizabeth, design director at Harper's Bazaar magazine,
not only volunteered to serve as a judge but also suggested a former
designer for O Magazine who now
works in Lancaster and another woman from the field of magazine design
with experience in interior design, art history and
The judging, an all-day affair, takes place
April 16 as judges review the entries of 400 to 500 artists who'll
submit their applications electronically before today's (April 1)
deadline has passed.
Toward Retirement Living? Series Offers Tips
As a retirement community, Cornwall Manor
attracts its share of Mt. Gretnans.
Jeanine Bitner, Willie Chase, Ethel Beittel,
Doug and Dawn Bedell, Jeanne and Gerry Boltz and Morry and Miriam
Albertson are among more than a dozen former Mt. Gretna residents who
have moved there
in recent years.
Located only about three miles east of the
Playhouse, the retirement village now plans a series of seminars to
answer questions for local residents, many of whom share historical
ties to an estate once owned by the family of Mt. Gretna founder Robert
Discussions in programs that start April 5 and
continue into the spring and fall months include downsizing, selling a
home, creating retirement plans, options for seniors and legal
documents required to make the switch to a retirement home.
For details, click here.
to Combine Emergency Communicators' Tasks
Mt. Gretna may consolidate its emergency
communications into a new western Lebanon County agency next month. The
unit would coordinate emergency call responses but not take over local police and fire
Fire company president Joe Shay said that
under the Homeland Security Act, each municipality now must have
an EMA coordinator to deal with large-scale emergencies. He and borough
manager Bill Care now have that assignment locally; Joe thinks
combining that responsibility with three or four areas is a good idea.
"When emergencies happen, I'm responding rather than doing the job
of a coordinator and working with Lebanon County's EMA, " he
The new plan would set up one person to
oversee emergency communications for Mt. Gretna, Palmyra Borough and
South Annville and South Londonderry townships . "It has nothing
to do with the Mt. Gretna Fire Company," he says. "It's just
a combining of three or four emergency coordinators into one."
Gretna artist Fred Swarr offers another "painting
to music workshop" April 9 at Patti Reichenbach's Summer Arts Studio in
Stoberdale. The five-hour class, with the theme, "Picasso
Guitars," costs $95 which includes canvas and use of brushes, with
Chroma Atelier acrylic paints available for purchase.
A portion of the proceeds goes to Mt. Gretna's
fire company, says Patti. Details: E-mail
or call 964-3330.
begins at the Mt. Gretna Men's Club April 2. Club president William
Brandt invites anyone interested in joining the club (with $50 resident
and $100 non-resident initiation fees) to call him at 964-3436.
Annual tennis memberships are
available for seniors ($80) and juniors ($15) as well as family
(non-tennis, $15) memberships for those who wish to use club
facilities including a picnic pavilion and shuffleboard
Among the club's activities are a tennis
clinic for 8- to 14-year-olds June 24, the annual Senior Men's
Tournament which begins July 31 and continues into the evenings of
early August (with volunteer-baked dishes including desserts -- as big
a treat as the matches themselves, which traditionally attract top
players from throughout the county) as well as the Art Show breakfast
fundraiser Aug. 20-21. The courts will remain open until Oct. 29.
Coming to Governor Dick Park:
Saturday, April 2, 11 a.m.
to 1 p.m.: Beginner Orienteering (finding your way around the woods
with a map. Now actually a competitive sport).
Sunday, April 3, 10 a.m.
to 1 p.m.: Orienteering for all skill levels. Map fee. Large groups
Sunday, April 3, 1:30
p.m.: The first in a weekly series of walks to see how the forest
changes as trees leaf out, flowers bloom, and tadpoles grow in a vernal
pool. Learn to identify over 40 types of plants and trees. Follow-up
walks set for April 10 and 17, at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 10: A
fast-paced four-mile hike for fitness buffs.
No admission fee. Registration required;
officials cancel sessions with fewer than five registrants. Details: email@example.com; tel.
"Pennsylvania German Barn Stars: Celestial Symbolism
in Folk Culture" is the next topic in the Cornwall Iron Furnace's monthly lecture series. Patrick
Donmoyer of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center will
present the April 12 lecture at 7 p.m. in Cornwall Manor's Freeman
Hall. No admission charge.
the documentary "Chautauqua: An American Narrative" when it
premiered on PBS earlier this year? It's now available on DVD from the
Chautauqua Institution Bookstore in New York.
The program describes the Chautauqua
movement's origins, traditions and contemporary activities. $24.95.
Provenance of Inspiration, a Wellspring of Output
For sheer volume of creative output, few towns
match Mt. Gretna's reservoir of artistic talent.
Of the exhibits that currently fill galleries
around the area, one of the brightest is currently underway at
Elizabethtown's Lynden Gallery. There
you'll find works by Mt. Gretna resident Lou Schellenberg and Eva
Bender (inset, right), a
long-time Mt. Gretnan who was among the resident artists at the first
Mt. Gretna Art Show 37 years ago.
Her latest exhibit, "Eva Stina Bender:
Vessels" opened March 25 and continues
EVA BENDER: Roses and Birds
In a blog posted last week, gallery director
Lisa Clemens captured an illuminating glimpse into Eva's life and works:
The watercolor exhibition unveils containers
both full and empty, yet all are repositories for "everyday tasks
from minor practicalities to letting go of what was," says Ms.
Following a visit with Eva, she quotes the
artist's reflections on the works displayed:
"I am dealing with loss, aging,
dispossession and re-orientation... I am not saying I have lived
through anything out of the ordinary. I have lost my house and
community, my family situation, my marriage and my mother. Grieving is
involved in all these events. . . . I don't feel all empty vessels and
containers are sad. Some hold air, some even joy, maybe just
possibilities of change."
Works by Lou Schellenberg, an
associate professor of art at Elizabethtown
LOU SCHELLENBERG: Night Wind
College, are a Front Wall Feature at the
Ms. Schellenberg's other exhibits this year
will include "Pennsylvania Landscape Artists" April 1 to May
2 at the Lancaster Museum of Art, "Women's Expressions" at
the Lancaster Women and Babies Hospital April 15, "Doshi Gallery
Artists" at the State Museum of Pennsylvania through June 20, and
"The Maine Event: Three Painters" June 2-30 at the Orange,
Va. Arts Center.
Her Mt. Gretna scenes at the Elizabethtown
gallery include "Night Wind," a scene inspired on one of her
solitary walks near her Campmeeting cottage. "My impulse to paint
comes most often while walking outside," she says. "Ordinary
subjects catch my eye: Shapes of sky framed by buildings, spaces
between structures, forms defined by snow, cast shadows, real and
artificial light. Most are night paintings of Mt. Gretna, done from
memory and invention."
Time, a Treasure, a Sense of Place
Summertime memories can cast long shadows for
youngsters who grew up in Mt. Gretna.
Nearly 80 years after Mike Moeslein (inset, age 10) had played with his
pals near his grandparents' cottage in the Campmeeting
along Pinch Road, those fond memories may yet play a role in finding a
home for one of his most prized possessions. Moeslein died last year in
Harrisburg at the age of 85. Yet his love of Mt. Gretna, together
with a sense of history that guides his former personal assistant who
now serves as executrix of his estate, may
help lead a 61-year-old gas-powered refrigerator to a home here.
The unlikely treasure is a BN800 Servel
refrigerator that has performed flawlessly since it was installed in
Moeslein's Harrisburg home in 1950.
Karen Peiffer, who lives in New Cumberland but
has, through her frequent visits here, come to love the area almost as
much as he, thinks the appliance would be perfect for someone planning
to remodel their Mt. Gretna kitchen with a 1950s theme.
It's an idea she got by attending a cottage
remodeling seminar held a few years ago at the Hall of Philosophy. Ms.
Peiffer loves historic architecture and history, and wants the
dependable refrigerator, which currently runs on natural gas but has an
adapter for propane, "to find a happy home." She
thought first of Mt. Gretna "because there's a concentration of
people who have a real appreciation of history," she says.
Their sense of history, she believes, may indeed match that of
Moeslein, who kept the 1950 bill of sale and owner's manual. Ms.
Peiffer intends to transfer both documents to the new owner.
With no moving parts and a reputation for
reliability, Servel refrigerators are often eagerly sought for
campsites and other remote locations.
The price? That's not as big an issue as
finding a suitable home says Ms. Peiffer, who regularly attends events
at Governor Dick Park, brings her niece and nephew to meet Santa at the
firehall and sometimes takes part in summer programs at the Hall of
Philosophy and Playhouse. "I haven't set a price," she
says. "I figured somebody would offer something. And whatever that
was I would smile and reply, 'That would be lovely, a donation to the
estate,'" she says. She may be contacted by email or 717-315-7700.
 I'd like to do some historical research in the Lebanon County
area and, as part of my studies, would like to visit the Mt. Gretna
Area Historical Society. Can you tell me when the museum is open?
<> The historical society, which looks like an ordinary
Mt. Gretna cottage but is now a fully outfitted museum, complete with
archival storage facilities and a fireproof cement vault, contains a
fascinating collection of Mt. Gretna memorabilia and is normally open
during the summer months on Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 to 4:00
And thanks to a recent announcement by the museum's committee chairman
Jeff Hurst, researchers are in luck! Starting June 4, the society's
headquarters at 206 Pennsylvania Avenue will be open on Saturday
mornings exclusively for persons doing research studies. Deborah Hurst,
who not only directs much of the Mt. Gretna Library's activities but
also serves as the historical society's archivist, will be on hand from
9:00 to 11:30 a.m every Saturday (except on house tour and art show
weekends) to assist researchers with their investigations. She'll help
direct them to the materials that now make up an impressive collection
of facts, photographs and publications concerning Mt. Gretna.
What tales lurk behind the 240-year-old estate today
known as Cornwall Manor, which traces its lineage to William Penn,
Peter Grubb and Mt. Gretna founder Robert H. Coleman? Public relations
director Stacia Layser, who also coordinates development and volunteer
activities for the retirement village, is the featured speaker at the Winterites'
season-ending meeting April 5. She will describe the estate's notable
buildings, including the Buckingham Mansion, Paymaster's Building, Bank
Barn and Carriage House. The session starts at 1 p.m. at the Mt. Gretna
firehall. All are welcome (guys, too).
a two-night lineup of Bartok's intricate quartets might
cause you to nod off? Not in the hands of the
Calder Quartet, which -- as a zippy press release from Gretna Music
points out -- has played "with some of the hippest bands that
parents love to hate" (including Airborne Toxic Event and Vampire
Yet this same group wins praise for their
classical prowess from the New York Times ("superb") and
London's Guardian ("insightful and moving").
Coming April 8 and 9 to Gretna Music's winter
venue at Elizabethtown College, the performance offers an optional
buffet outside the concert hall. Details, click here.
Christmas? It's never
too early to begin thinking about the holidays if you're raising money
for needy families. Stephanie Burris, who runs Cornwall Police
Department's Adopt-a-Family program, asks for your donations to the
annual yard sale (Friday and Saturday, May 13-14). Clean and usable
items, please, no clothing. Pickups begin May 1. Call (717) 274-2071.
wrong number: Organizers of an April 29 get-together for
residents of Timber and Valley roads say there was a misprint in the
reservations phone number printed in a leaflet circulated this week.
The number (for the Timbers Restaurant) should have been 964-3601
rather than the one shown, which reaches a private residence.
on the mountaintop. If you're in the mood for Bluegrass but
those Monday night sessions at La Cigale, head
over to Pinch Road on the first Sundays of each month. You'll find
zithers strumming, guitars picking and spirits soaring at the Governor
Dick Nature Center from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on May 1, June 5, July 2,
August 7 and September 4. Details: 717-202-9423.
Guitar and mandolin instructor Patsy Kline, inset, says the "Pickin' on
the Porch" sessions' first hour will be open to beginners
(including kids), with Bluegrass-style sing-a-longs. She also plans to
set up separate areas for bands, traditional, old-time, Celtic and
Meanwhile, Bluegrass nights at La Cigale will
likely resume next month. Organizer Dale Dourte is exploring format
changes and may switch to a night other than Mondays to make the
experience more enjoyable for players and listeners. He hopes to
announce details shortly.
small town editors love deadlines. The request struck a
familiar chord: "If it's not too late, here's an item for the April
newsletter," said a note that arrived six hours before yesterday's
Complete with a photo of Mt. Gretnans Jane Mourer, Bobbie Warshaw,
Linda Gettle, Kathy Wall and Barbara Hoffsommer, it was a press release
for the next Lebanon Sexual
Assault and Counseling Center fund-raising walk on the
Madelaine Gray, of the Campmeeting, and Susan Wood, of the Heights, are
team leaders. They hope to get 50 others to join them (9:00 a.m.
Saturday, May 21, at Cornwall's Sacred Heart Catholic Church).
Madelaine says you can
e-mail or call her (964-3118) for details.
But if she's in charge of things, why isn't she in this picture, taken at
last year's SARCC fundraiser?
For top photographers (her fine art photography is
world-acclaimed), anonymity is an occupational hazard. Madelaine was,
as usual, behind the camera.
James J. Dwyer (1935-2011)
Jim Dwyer, who lived on Third Street and had
served as treasurer of the Mt. Gretna Campmeeting Association for seven
years, died at Hospice of Lancaster County March 18. The husband of
Constance Ehrhart Dwyer, to whom he had been married 14 years, he was
an Ohio native and a graduate of Western Reserve Academy as well as the
University of Rochester. Following an early career in retailing, in
which he managed W. T. Grant stores in New York and Pennsylvania, he
opted to enter the field of human services "to do something more
meaningful for society," an obituary announcement stated.
From 1970 to 1999, he served as rehabilitation services coordinator for
Lebanon County Workshop, now Quest, Inc. Survivors also include four children
in Texas, Maryland and Florida and two grandchildren. Memorial
contributions may be made to Hospice of Lancaster County, or Chris 4 Life Colon Cancer Foundation.
This unofficial community newsletter has
neither any attachment to a particular group or organization nor any
political or commercial ax to grind. Mainly, it's a retirement hobby,
much like woodworking, crossword puzzles or golfing might be for
We send it by e-mail to anyone who asks, without charge and with no
expectation of anything other than friendship, conviviality and a
gentle prodding when we err.
We don't cover everything. Some topics are better left to daily
newspapers, TV and others with greater skills, resources and
Generally speaking, we try to cover things that readers may not have
already read elsewhere. Yet since the majority of our readers live
outside of Mt. Gretna -- in other cities, states and countries -- we
sometimes summarize local stories that appear in area newspapers.
In preparing each issue, we try to keep in mind the example set by
the late Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who felt as
if listeners had invited him into their homes.
We also try to adhere to the practical
wisdom of Rotary International's Four-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or
Do, one of the best standards of conduct we've
ever come across: "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, in the interest of domestic tranquility, take a higher
We thank the many people who help us gather the news, take the
photos, 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 here and 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
P.S. We use the distribution service
"Constant Contact" to help us keep up with growing numbers
of folks around the world who seem to enjoy reading about Mt. Gretna.
Therefore it's a good practice to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your e-mail address book to help your
Internet Service Provider (ISP) distinguish the Mt. Gretna Newsletter from unsolicited email messages.
policy: The Mt. Gretna Newsletter mailing list is not sold, rented, traded or
shared with anyone. Period.
Winner, 2010 Constant Contact All-Star Award