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Mt. Gretna Newsletter

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

No. 118                                                                    May 1, 2011

It's May, it's May!

In a town with a more than eight decades-long tradition of live theater, the lyrics have a familiar ring: "It's May, it's May . . .that lovely month when ev'ryone goes blissfully astray."
Mt. Gretnans may not, as the tune from Lerner and Lowe's "Camelot" suggests, frolic and "make divine mistakes," but they certainly do know how to have a good time. And May is the month that proves now's as good a time as any to begin.

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Ms. Jones

It's a month when stars like Shirley Jones (inset) drop in at the Playhouse (click here for Broadway World's preview )

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Welcome, snowbirds

. . . when the Summer Premiere (inset, right) welcomes returning snowbirds who swap "what-we've-been-up-to-stories" with Mt. Gretna's year-rounders 

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A run for those who can't

. . . when 600 triathaloners pour into town  to run, swim and cycle their way to a goal of athletic achievement and raise maybe $30,000 for disabled athletes . . . .and when those who spin the web of summer programs, Grand Illuminations and assorted other seasonal celebrations shift into high gear.
It's also when Mt. Gretnans will begin making plans to hop aboard buses this summer to save gas and sample out-of-town treats like
Verdi's Requiem at the Baltimore Symphony or take in the Chagall exhibit at Philadelphia's Museum of Art.
In an era of $5-per-gallon gas, many will find it convenient this summer to stick close to home, dining at nearby restaurants with offers like the sumptuous 
four-course Italian dinner Le Sorelle plans this month, or the Timbers Dinner Theatre's rousing "Show Biz Tonight" musical production that runs from mid-July to Labor Day. Other favorites for both locals and out-of-towners include the Hideaway and Tony's Mining Company, each with their own specialties. 
Then, to get things rolling, there's the return of those Monday night soul-and-spirit-lifting Bluegrass sessions at La Cigale starting May 2. Topping off things at the end of the month Saturday May 28 is a neighbor-friendly sausage-and-pancake breakfast

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Coming July 4: A Grand Illumination

where you can meet practically everybody in town at the firehall.
A blockbuster beginning? Perhaps. But it's really just the start of a summerful of satisfying experiences that lie just ahead. Most of them are chronicled in this issue; others are slated to burst forth in the coming weeks and months.
Yet all of them demand an unprecedented need for volunteers to again energize the engine that makes it all go. In this issue, we list opportunities (many which didn't even exist a decade ago) to contribute to the experience and enrich the memories you'll carry away when Labor Day weekend finally arrives.
But let there be no doubt. Ready or not, we're perched on the edge of another summer... a time when all of Mt. Gretna is, as the song says, brimming with fun.


 

Where you're needed this summer:

Opportunities for Mt. Gretna Volunteers

Without volunteers, 90% of what goes on in Mt. Gretna each summer probably might never happen. And as proven over more than a century, what happens here each summer has a way of enriching lives, lifting values along with spirits, and enhancing the memories of children and grandchildren.

Whether you're a newcomer or have lived here 30 years, you'll find that everyone listed below will again welcome your offer to help this season:

Art Show: Linda Bell, 964-3270, Director, e-mail:
MtGretnaArt@comcast.net
Art Show coordinators of volunteers: Saturday admission gates: Sam Bonacci 964-3111. Sunday admission gates: Joe Shay, 964-2209; Office staff: Doug Leiby, 272-8871. Kids' Art Show: Faith Mummau, 964-2212. Exhibitor traffic control: Fred Seltzer, 964-3763. Soldiers' Field and Philhaven area parking: Bob Dowd, 964-1106. Booth sitters: Stacey Margut, 964-3366.

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Mt. Gretna Tabernacle


Bible Festival: Don Zechman 653-8588
don@MtGretnaTabernacle.org or Bruce Gettle 964-2319

Bird Club: Sid Hostetter and Evelyn Koppel
mtgretnabirdclub@hotmail.com. Tel. 964-3412. The group meets every Friday at 9:00 a.m., Chautauqua parking lot.

Buzzard Busters: (Active November -March)
Max Hunsicker (
click here to e-mail). Max's band of stalwarts ("The few, the proud, the Buzzard Busters") needs volunteers who can encourage migrating turkey vultures each fall to choose other roosts.

Campmeeting Playground:
Organizers need volunteers to help with various projects, including the annual carnival June 11, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call Rachel Schmalhofer, 606-9845.

Chautauqua Playground:
Kim Beiler is this summer's playground coordinator. Telephone: 964-1830.

Chautauqua Summer Programs:

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Mt. Gretna Playhouse

Kathy Snavely, 964-2191; email: info@lightkeeper.net

Cicada Festival
:
Rhoda Long, 964-3394 or 304-0248

Concession Stand at Playhouse:
Gary Shrawder, 272-2284 or
gshrawder@comcast.net, says he needs added help this year for all performances

Fire Company:
Karen Lynch, 964-3505
klynch@cornwelldoor.com, or Joe Shay, 964-1106 joseph@mtgretna.com

Gardening Volunteers:
Who makes the grounds throughout the Campmeeting, Chautauqua and Mt. Gretna Heights burst with color each

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Campmeeting Garden

year?
Lots of folks, all of whom love gardening, love their communities, and love to share their passion with others.
Around the Playhouse, Peg Smith and Betty Miller (with mulching and watering help from Peg's husband John) carefully landscape the grounds. Tending to plants around the post office are Bill Care and Linda Bell. Shirley Miller and Louise Doney nurture flower boxes at the Information Center and also help with those hanging baskets around town. Carol Morgan maintains the Fairy Garden, located between the Jigger Shop and Playhouse.
In Mt. Gretna Heights, Charlie Harris (
click here to e-mail) often organizes volunteer gardening projects. And in the Campmeeting, Deborah Hurst (email) coordinates gardening volunteer efforts. Debra Barnhart and Jane Zellers care for the Butterfly Garden between First Street and Markwood Avenue. Like to join them? Contact Peg, 964-2101, send her an email; or contact one of the others by email, as noted above.

Governor Dick Environmental Center:
Opportunities available throughout the year, including trail maintenance and Adopt-a-Garden volunteers. Janie Gockley 964-3808
governordick@hotmail.com

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Coming: A July 4th Celebration







Grand Illumination Night (July 4)
A community-wide celebration of the nation's birthday, as only Mt. Gretna can do it! Karl Gettle, 964-2292 or
gettle@comcast.net


Gretna Music
:
Carl Kane, 361-1508, or online at
http://www.gretnamusic.org/volunteer

Gretna Theatre:
Renee Krizan, 964-3322

Heritage Festival:
Pat and Mike Allwein, 964-2352

Historical Society:
Fred Buch 1-800-242-3901, e-mail: buchorgan@dejazzd.com; needed are volunteers to serve as museum docents Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Pat Pinsler (
email, or 964-3858) who coordinates volunteer activities, welcomes people who'd like to serve on the society's committees.

Library:
Deborah Hurst,
mtgretnalibrary@aol.com

Mt. Gretna Tour of Homes:
Suzanne Stewart 361-1510

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Fundraiser for the disabled

Mt. Gretna Triathlon: (May 21)
See
http://www.gotthenerve.org/volunteer.html; Needed are volunteers to help with pre-race setups May 20 (12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.) and post-race cleanup, starting 11:30 a.m. Mt. Gretna residents especially needed to help direct traffic during the morning hours when Lakeview Drive will be closed temporarily.

Music Under the Stars: (A fundraiser at the lake Aug. 27.) Rhoda Long, 304-0248 or 813-3880.

Organ Recitals:
Rhoda Long coordinates refreshments at these recitals at the Hewitt-McAnney Princeton Avenue residence; tel. 304-0248; or
longrentals@verizon.net; contributions appreciated.
Rails-to-Trails:
Mike Dissinger (949-2367) schedules trail clean-up days; John Wengert posts e-mail bulletins (
jbweng@comcast.net) for other volunteer tasks -- including public relations, fundraising, and trail development. Also needed: volunteers to staff the Root Beer Barrel in Cornwall, Saturdays and Sundays from May through October. Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails meets the first Wednesday of each month at Cornwall Borough Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Summer Premiere (May 28)
Jessica Kosoff,
edandjess@verizon.net and Debbie Clemens, 304-3915

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Information Center



Visitors' Information Center:
Kathy Snavely 964-2191,
info@lightkeeper.net;
Note: Prospective volunteers may also check in with a summer intern, who is expected to be at the center this season.


Winterites: (October - April)
Donna Kaplan  964-2174.

 

 

As a Good Idea Fades, Hope Rises for a Rebirth

Mt. Gretna's popular Saturday attraction, the French Country Market, won't be back this summer.
Adding sparkle to Mt. Gretna's Saturday morning spirit, the market drew small but enthusiastic crowds to the food stands outside John Mitchell's La Cigale gallery of French Provencal tablecloths for the past two years.
Entrepreneur Juanita Forbes (inset, far right) lit the creative spark to lure sh

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Exotic breads attracted loyal, but too few, buyers

oppers from Mt. Gretna and surrounding areas into town each week. What brought them was a splendid array of exotic breads from Philadelphia, fresh vegetables from an organic farm and a tempting assortment of specialty meats.
The offerings attracted customers who were loyal, but too few.
Their numbers simply weren't large enough to sustain the pioneering effort, particularly when out-of-town vendors -- however much they loved doing business in Mt. Gretna's friendly atmosphere -- had other markets to choose from, all with greater numbers of prospective customers in areas with larger populations. Being small sometimes has its advantages, but not always, it seems. Especially in business.
Combined, those factors helped Juanita decide to suspend the enterprise this year, a decision also influenced by long-held plans to put her hillside Chautauqua home on the market. She's now done that and expects to move elsewhere at some point. Just where, she doesn't yet know. But she nevertheless considers her experience here a good one.
"Mt. Gretna has been wonderful for me, a place of healing and growth" says Juanita, a businesswoman who is also a photographer, artist and holistic food coach. "But I think it's now time for me to move on. I know there'll be people who will miss the Saturday morning market, so maybe the idea will resurge again."
What might help re-ignite the move to establish a weekend farm market here?
Perhaps a La Cigale gallery coffee sh

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Organic vegetables anyone?

op, which Juanita thinks would be a good way to attract customers to the site. And to sustain a farmers market, she believes there should be some core magnet, one that might help lure not just local residents but others from surrounding areas.
"Selling bread is easy," she says, adding that it's possible to make anywhere from $100 to $200 a Saturday by selling bread that's delivered to local drop-off points by a consortium of Philadelphia bakeries. She thinks that idea might even have potential as an ongoing fundraiser for a Mt. Gretna non-profit group.
"I'd be willing to share with them what I learned," she says. "The breads may be on the expensive side, but my customers -- people from Philadelphia especially -- really liked them and were willing to pay a little extra because you just can't find them around here."

 

The little church that just keeps hoppin'

After the 8:30 and 10:00 Sunday morning services are over, you're in for a big surprise if you think not much happens at the little church in the middle of Mt. Gretna's Campmeeting grove.
From one end of a busy week to the other, what goes on at Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church probably surprises even Pastor Michael Remel, who landed here about two years ago after serving rural churches in the midst of Amish country in southern Lancaster County.
Pastor Mike (inset, left) has now perfected the ability to hop nimbly from serious matters (such as studies of such things as "Church Dogmatics," which were part of his seminary training in Philadelphia) to what he calls "Hotdogmatics."

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Mastering hotdogmatics


Coming up May 28 is the annual yard sale, when the church will have donated items to sell inside the church, baked goods laid out on tables outside the door, and roasted hot dogs in the parking lot starting at 10 a.m.
Hot dogs for breakfast? "Heavenly hot dogs," says Pastor Mike. "They're part of the tradition." He adds, with divinely inspired confidence, "If you're planning to have one, you'd better hurry over. We'll probably sell out before 11 a.m."
This year, veteran grilllmasters such as Bob McCullough and Bray Brunkhurst (inset, right) are laying in additional supplies for the wiener roast, now one of the most popular stops for bargain-hunters who traipse through the Campmeeting and Chautauqua during the community-wide porch sales that have become a part of Mt. Gretna's Memorial Day weekend.

Adding to the swirl of events taking place at the church this month will be those which unfold at the nursery school, now in an advanced stage of spring fever, says the pastor. Under the guidance of director Joanne Gingrich, they're planning such wind-up-the-year events as Box Day, when a class of 4-year-olds plans to build a robot; a Mother's Day program on May 6; a special reading by Pastor Mike of Billy Goats Gruff, and Messy Painting Day. The month (and the nursery school year) winds up with picnics May 25 and 26. What follows? Registration for next year's classes, which Ms. Gingrich (964-2208 or 964-2218) is already planning.

 


IN OTHER NEWS:

Last month, fire company volunteer Laura Feather, who lives atop Conewago Hill, dispatched an e-mail exhorting neighbors to help out at the fire company's annual book sale: "Once it stops raining, you might feel like opening up the windows and doing a bit of spring cleaning. The Mt. Gretna Fire Co. sub and book sale is June 11. At a book sale, they sell books. Isn't that a novel idea! So the fire company needs books to sell. Circle your calendar. Crawl into your attic or under your bed, and look for books."
A few minutes later, back came a wily response from Bob McCullough, who lives over the hill in nearby Timber Bridge: "I just crawled under my bed. I have a question: When is the Fire Company Pet Animal Sale? I found some Dust Bunnies."

* * *

If you've noticed signs in the post office recently to make sure your P.O. Box Number appears on letters and magazines you receive, there's a reason. "Delivery Point Sequencing," a system to speed mail delihttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/1023.jpgveries, is near at hand.
What DPS means to Mt. Gretnans is the promise of speedier mail deliveries. When it's fully operational, DPS mail will arrive in the morning already sorted in exact numerical sequence -- from Mailbox No. 1 to Mailbox No. 696. Steve and assistant Cathy Dugdale will no longer have to spend the first three hours or so sorting the mail by hand.
The DPS deliveries are scheduled to start within the next three weeks.
Meanwhile, Steve would like us all to prepare by asking those who send us bills, magazines and letters to include our box numbers in the right position (just above the city, state and zip code).
Properly addressed DPS mail, says Steve, should look like this:

Mr. John Q. Public

204 Smith Street

P.O. Box 607

Mt. Gretna, PA 17064

If the mail you receive is addressed like that, says Steve, it'll already be in your box before you've finished your first cup of coffee.

* * *

Well, the coins are all counted, and the totals are good. That "Dimes in a Bottle" campaign the fire company just finished? It raised $2,788.26, says president (firefighter, mayor and computer wizard) Joe Shay. He's delighted with the results. "We'll do it again next year," he says.

* * *  

Join Gretna Music's Sunday bus trip to Baltimore and a performance of Verdlís

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Requiem at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, accompanied by friends on a bus that includes a gourmet boxed lunch, a pre-concert talk en route and snacks for the return trip. All for $99 in a fundraiser to benefit Gretna Music June 12. Reservations needed by May 12. Call 361-1508 or order tickets online at www.GretnaMusic.org.

                                           * * *

When the newly refurbished Campmeeting playground holds its third annual carnival next month, there'll be more to celebrate than simply new swings, climbing equipment, a gazebo and landscaping. What will lie at the heart ofhttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/1024.jpg this celebration is the spirit that brought the revitalized playground together. (We'll have a story on how it all happened in our June issue.)
For now, however, the first priority is getting volunteer energies to pull the carnival together. Rachel Smallhoffer, a mom who moved here several years ago and helps coordinate the carnival, needs your help. "It takes a lot of people to run all the games, cook and serve the food" she says. "Getting enough volunteers is always a challenge."
The carnival is set for noon to 2 p.m., June 11, and everyone in Mt. Gretna is invited to attend and use the playground at any time.
To lend a hand in preparing for the carnival,
click here to send her an email or call 606-9845. If you'd like to contribute funds to help keep the park going, mail your check to Mt. Gretna Campmeeting Heritage Park, P.O. Box 428, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
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How many people use the rail-trail each week? Currently, nobody knows for sure. But that's likely to change this summer. Rail-trail leader John Wengert, a local resident who helped get the trail started in Lebanon County and elsewhere, says plans are underway to install infrared counters at various entry points. Likely to be among those locations is the Mt. Gretna spur. "I believe the first reports will be completed this fall. That should generate some interesting and useful information," he says.

* * *

How does organ impresario Peter Hewitt find soloists for his distinguished recital series, now in its 14th year? Daniel Umholtz was in the audience to hear Mt. Gretnan Ryan Brunkhurst last summer at a Music at Gretna concert. Afterward, at a reception in the Hewitt-McAnney home, Umholtz slipped behind the keyboard and began to play. "He was amazing," says Peter. Before the evening ended, he had signed the Hershey Theater organist for a recital this season, July 14.

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Royer

                                         * * *
Mt. Gretnan Matt Royer leads a tree-planting expedition Saturday, May 7 on behalf of the Tri-County Conewago Creek Association and affiliated groups. To join in the effort to help prevent stream bank erosion, attract native wildlife and help control floods and stormwater runoffs, email the assocation at
conewagocreek@yahoo.com.

 


Sometimes, what seems a good idea doesn't turn out that way

When a red-tailed hawk turned up on the ledge of a window outside New York University's president's office last month, the resourceful folks at The New York Times set up a webcam. Day by day, readershttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/994.jpg everywhere (who probably should have been working) tuned in to watch the mother hawk patiently sitting on the nest day after day to hatch her eggs. Thousands of readers tapped into the online experience.
Well, we thought, drawing on years of experience in the sometimes ditzy world of PR, if the Times can lure thousands of readers to an event on the web, building readership around the world with an unfolding bird drama, why can't the Mt. Gretna Newsletter?
We turned to the local bird club for help.
"Find us a bird, any bird," we asked -- "one we can build a story around . Heck, in a pinch, even a chicken will do." At left is their response. They sent this photo just before Easter.
It may not be much of a story, but it might be the most practical use anyone's found to date for a stuffed Turkey Vulture. (Which reminds us: See the Volunteer Opportunities listing in this month's newsletter if you'd like to help out with Max Hunsicker's buzzard patrol this fall.)


 

Connections

Want proof that the "Six Degrees of Separation" theory is alive and well?
Two names in the news recently both have ties to Mt. Gretna people you probably know.

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Colette's USA Memory Champs


Colette Silvestri (inset, right), coach of the Hershey High School team that just won top USA memory honors for the fourth consecutive year -- an accomplishment that earned
front-page coverage in The New York Times -- is the daughter-in-law of Timber Hills residents George and Pearl Parsells. Colette is also a playwright; one of her works was selected several years ago for presentation at Mt. Gretna's play reading series.

Colleen McCullough, a 29-year-old Texan named by

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Conductor Tilsson Thomas & Colleen

famed conductor Michael Tilsson Thomas as the concertmaster of the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia, is the niece of Timber Bridge resident Bob McCullough.

All of which inspires an idea for a new Mt. Gretna Newsletter column we hope to launch sometime: "Connections."
From time to time we'll run brief, noteworthy items about people in the news who are friends, relatives or associates of folks around the world who enjoy this newsletter. While we're cautious about honoring privacy concerns, there are nevertheless times when it's just plain fun to share the achievements of those closest to us. Whenever that turns out to be the case, send your contributions to "Connections" at
mtgretnanews@gmail.com.

 

Questions Readers Ask

[] For the Grand Illumination celebration this Fourth of July in Mt. Gretna, I've read that Liberty Bells will be the theme of decorated porches throughout the community. Where can I get more information? Can we use colors other than red, white and blue?

<> Karl Gettle, who heads the Grand Illumination committee, says that people don't have to use red, white and blue. And they can create their own bells of any size or shape they prefer. "We just ask that they make a Liberty Bell the centerpiece of whatever decorating scheme t
https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/1022.jpghey use on their porch."
Karl's committee will distribute flyers with additional details; he invites anyone with questions to call him at 964-2292.
Shown here are two designs created by artist Barb Kleinfelter, who will be leading classes every Tuesday in June from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy to assist people with decorating their bells.
Although the committee will be selling undecorated bell shapes at the Summer Premiere May 28 as well as outside the post office every Saturday morning in June, residents are invited to make bells of their own.
Proceeds from the sale of bells the committee offers as a convenience to residents will be divided between the Mt. Gretna Fire Company and the Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society.

 

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS THIS MONTH:

Monday, May 2: Bluegrass music nights resume at La Cigale, every Monday from 6:30 p.m.; musicians & spectators welcome (no admission charge). 

 

Saturday, May 7:

 

Block Shoot with hot dogs, ham & bean soup, prizes, Firehall, 12 to 4 p.m.

 

Thursday, May 12: Deadline, June 12 bus trip to Baltimore Symphony's Verdi Requiem, Tel. 361-1508 or www.GretnaMusic.org.  

 

Saturdays, May 14 & 21:

Fire Company's sub sale orders taken outside the post office.  

 

Saturday, May 21:

 

Triathlon, 600 competitors raise funds for disabled athletes; at lake & surrounding roads, trails; 8 a.m. to about noon.

 

Shirley Jones at the Playhouse, 7:30 p.m. (Click here for the Theatre's 2011 season preview in Playbill

 

Saturday, May 28:

 

Pancake and Sausage Breakfast; Firehall, 8-10 a.m.   

 

Porch sales: Chautauqua and Campmeeting, starting at 8 a.m.

 

Summer Premiere, Hall of Philosophy, starting at 4 p.m.  

 

FREDERICK C. LOUDER (1920-2011)

Fred Louder, 90, a longtime resident of Mt. Gretna Heights where he and his late wife Eunice raised thhttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/1003.jpgree children, died in York, Pa. in March. An Army veteran, he was wounded in combat in Normandy during WWII. From 1947 to 1982, he worked as a mechanical engineer at the Bethlehem Steel Company. A licensed pilot, he was a member of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Distelfink Aero Club. He was also a former treasurer of Cornwall UMC and lived for a time at Cornwall Manor before moving to a retirement home in York where his two daughters now live. He is also survived by a son, in California, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

JOHN R. BEAR (1930-2011)

John Bear, 80, who with his wife Sally had owned a Chautauqua cottage on Lehigh Avenue for the past 12 years, died at his home in Lititz April 9. A Korean War veteran, designehttps://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/999.jpgr of mosaic tiles and for 30 years an elementary and junior high school art teacher, John remained active after his career in education by becoming district sales manager for a swimming pool distributor in Lancaster. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati who also studied at Franklin & Marshall College and earned his master's degree in education from Millersville University, he and Sally, who also retired as an art teacher, kept busy in retirement with two restoration projects--one at their home in Lititz, the other at their 1910 cottage, "Bruins Lair," selected for display during last year's Mt. Gretna tour of homes. In addition to his wife of 47 years, he is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.

JOHN D. WITMYER  (1926-2011)

John Witmyer, 84, who lived with his wife Florence on Brown Avenue in the Chautauqua from 1994 to 1995 and returned from Maine in 2002 to live the next six years at https://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs093/1102118090537/img/1004.jpgTimber Hills Apartments, died April 13 at his home in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
He was a graduate of the Milton Hershey School (which he entered at age 10 following the death of his mother). According to his  obituary, a commemorative brick placed at the school in his honor attests it was there that he "learned hard work pays off." Following service as a Marine in WWII (when he was injured in the battle for Iwo Jima) and a 42-year-career at Educators Mutual Life Insurance Company in Lancaster, he operated a campground for seven years in the Amish countryside. Having spent many winters in South Carolina, the Witmyers retired there permanently in 2008. In addition to his wife, to whom he was married 53 years, he is also survived by three daughters and four grandchildren.

 

 

DETAILS

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, model airplane building, or fishing might be for others. It produces no income, but a great deal of personal satisfaction, mainly because it keeps us in touch with so many people who have come to be such very good friends.
We send it by e-mail to anyone who asks, without charge and with no expectation of anything other than 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 insights. Our bias is toward the upbeat, keeping in mind that people may not remember what we said, but they will never forget how we made them feel.
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. We also depend mightily on our readers to alert us to news, including local obituary notices, relating to present and former Mt. Gretnans.
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 value the practical wisdom of Rotary International's Four-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or Do: "Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?" It's a good guideline not only for writing a newsletter but also for conducting a life.
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 priority. 
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., New Cumberland, Pa. 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 spirit."
Kindest regards,

Roger Groce

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