The Big Story of 2011
is the time of year when most editors run their annual "Top 10
Stories" list. Here at The Mt. Gretna Newsletter,
that tradition always gives us pause. Most years, we don't have 10
stories, or even one, that qualifies for top billing.
that suits most folks just fine. After the whirl of summertime
activities -- which by most standards is extraordinary for a place with
only about 1,500 or so full-time residents -- we welcome those periods
when the pace slips back to how it was before the summer began, back to
a tempo that founder Robert H. Coleman probably had in mind when he
first sketched out his dreams for Mt. Gretna.
chord of permanence? A yen to keep things the same in a rapidly
changing world? Maybe. Yet those were precisely the thoughts that
resonated a few years ago when we talked with a woman who was then in
her late 80s, but as a young girl, had roller skated down Mt. Gretna's
concrete highway in 1917, part of the 28th Division Highway system,
among the first paved roads in Pennsylvania.
the road Army engineers laid down in the early 1900s along what is now
Route 117. They specified thick slabs of concrete to bear the weight of
heavy military vehicles, including the forerunners of modern tanks,
that traveled throughout the area during the National Guard's
PennDot ordered the highway resurfaced a few years ago, they discovered
that the concrete highway is still there, a formidable bedrock that
probably will last forever. A comforting thought, somehow.
the woman grew up, she moved to California where she spent most of her
life. Yet, as often as she could, she returned to Mt. Gretna for visits.
Year after year, whenever she came back, she was delighted to discover
that Mt. Gretna had, thank goodness, remained pretty much as she
remembered it. "Not much has changed," she said.
How many people who live into their 80s and 90s can say that about the
places where they spent their teenage years? Do shopping centers,
Starbucks and giant parking lots actually constitute progress?
thoughts reverberated as we mulled over events that might find their
way into an end-of-the-year summary of 2011. Changes? There was, of
course, the sudden and unexpected request last summer to rezone a
90-acre parcel of land opposite the Heights and Campmeeting. Although
it was withdrawn by early fall, the request nevertheless had a
beneficial effect: It awakened divergent neighborhoods throughout the
community to their shared heritage and unified stake in the future of
Mt. Gretna as a whole. It also reaffirmed the commitment of earlier
planners who designated residential forests as land which needs
protection to "preserve its environmental integrity for future
generations," a pledge that homeowners had taken seriously and in
good faith when they made decisions to buy property here.
Other candidates for a "Top Stories List"
Built in 1892, the
Playhouse was carefully recreated a century later.
the remarkable contributions that newcomers to Mt. Gretna now make.
Activities that promote culture, recreation and neighborliness
increasingly trace their origins not simply to residents of the
Chautauqua or the Campmeeting, but also to those who live in Timber
Hills, Conewago Hill, Stoberdale, Timber Bridge and Mt. Gretna Heights.
Their combined energies now transcend municipal boundaries, traditions
and artificial restraints of "the way it's always been done."
The spirit of Chautauqua -- a spirit of curiosity, sharing, personal
growth and renewal -- pulses along both sides of Route 117 with
Gretnans? They are everywhere, in every neighborhood, from Mt. Gretna
Heights to Timber Bridge. Some are newcomers and have been here only a
few years. Others are in their 70s and 80s. A few have lived here all
their lives. Young or old, all contribute to Mt. Gretna's intrinsic
value. And in nurturing that value, nearly all seem to understand that
civility, cordiality, cooperation, support to neighbors in times of
need, and a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude are essential
Big Story of 2011 in Mt. Gretna? Tiny in size yet generous in spirit,
Mt. Gretna once again remained pretty much as it has always been. An
unduplicable treasure awaiting future generations.
Bears in 'Downtown' Mt. Gretna?
Newspaper Lady Says She Saw 'em,
sure, there are bears around here. Somebody saw one a few years ago
along Route 117, near the point where it intersects with the northbound
and southbound lanes of Route 72.
And veteran hunters have spotted, er, well, bear scat on the ridge
south of Mt. Gretna. Sometimes, there's incriminating evidence to prove
they've even roamed near homes along the top of the mountain, on Mt.
Gretna's southern perimeter. Overturned trash cans and the like.
But, say the pros, a mother and her cubs? They'd never wander so far
from their dens as to turn up in "downtown" Mt. Gretna. Such
things just wouldn't happen. Mother bears and their young would never
stroll into the midst of Mt. Gretna -- even if it does have a pizza
parlor that serves breakfast.
Or would they?
Yes, says June
newspapers were a bit late one morning.
who knows better and, in her 66 years of living, has learned a thing or
two about wildlife, including bears. When she lived in Maine, she once
encountered a 2,000-pound moose tall enough to drive a small car
between its legs.
And when it comes to spotting bears in unusual places, nobody's better
able to do that than June, who makes a 142-mile round trip each morning
in the hours between midnight and 4:00 or 5:00 am delivering newspapers
for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, Sunday News and Reading
Eagle. If you want to spot bears, that's the time to do it.
In fact, June's seen bears in these parts before. But they were roaming
in Governor Dick Park, just far enough off the road to be seen, but not
to frighten anybody.
When she arrived in Mt. Gretna on an early November morning shortly
before last Thanksgiving, however, she could barely believe her eyes.
As she walked over to fill the newspaper rack opposite the pizza shop,
at the corner of Timber Road and Route 117 directly across from the
post office, there they were. At 3:15 am on a chilly morning, a mother
bear and her two cubs wading in the stream not 15 yards from the
vending racks where June was about to deposit her newspapers.
"I had my keys ready to put into the machine, but then that mama
bear stood up. I tell you, she was bigger than me. So I said,
'Okaaaaay.' She was close enough that I didn't want to tangle with her,
especially when she had babies that were maybe 140 or 150 pounds each.
I got in my car and decided I'd come back when it was daylight,"
she says. "The papers were a little late that day."
After delivering newspapers for some 28 years, there's not much that
scares June. She drives in the wee hours and sees all sorts of
wildlife, some of them that fall into the category of homo sapiens. But
she comes equipped with a big voice, a strong backbone and maybe a
weapon if the occasion calls for it. She's never been threatened by
humans, but she's had to warn some a time or two when she felt she was
Still, it's a career she enjoys. "I wouldn't have it any other
way," she says. She moved here a few years ago to take care of her
mother, who has since passed away. But she remains here and is happy to
be living nearby in Lebanon. "I love Maine," she says,
"but I also think Mt. Gretna is one of the nicest places I've ever
been. The people here are so friendly."
The people, maybe. But Mt. Gretna bears? They probably aren't likely to
cause harm, but June thinks it's wise to be cautious. When bears are
roaming outside, inside your car or home is a good place to be.
Where do you find a Halloween Parade led by Super Pumpkin, a
special free hot dog celebration to herald the arrival of Big Junk Day,
or a zany-spirited citizen who once
Tom Mayer photo
to place artificial shark fins in the chilly waters of Lake Conewago?
Probably in the same place that, on Christmas Day, sprouted a
Santa-propelled kayak merrily gliding across that lake, happily
finishing up his delivery rounds late on the morning of December's 25th
Who was that bearded stranger? A Fed Ex delivery man embarrassed that
he couldn't get finished in time amid all the narrow streets and
walking paths of Mt. Gretna? A UPS driver whose truck ran out of gas?
Or maybe a merry Mt. Gretnan, inspired by the still unfrozen waters and
hoping to stimulate a little extra Christmas spirit? No one's sure.
Just chalk it up to another in those happenings that, although they
could happen anywhere, are far more likely to happen in Mt. Gretna.
No, it's not exactly a Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house, but
by golly it fits perfectly in the offices of Gretna Computer Consulting
-- the place to which nearly everybody in Mt. Gretna turns when their computer
coughs or sneezes.
Joe Shay (left) -- Mt. Gretna's mayor, volunteer fire company president
and all-around good guy -- "does so much for the community,"
says friend and admirer Max Hunsicker, who created this replica out of
keyboard keys, floppy discs and assorted wires and filaments of the electronic
age as a gift that arrived just before Christmas. It likely will have a
spot year-round in the tiny computer shop next to Mt. Gretna's
It's the spot where Joe and partner Bob Dowd -- who serves as the Mt.
Gretna Fire Department's chief -- have been fixing computers between
fire calls for the past dozen years.
Have a computer that needs repairs? Give them a call at 964-1106. Even
if your computer's not ailing, stop in to see the electronic
gingerbread house. It even lights up!
Bob Gingrich (inset) has lived in Mt. Gretna since 1976, and
last month he became the first Mt. Gretnan to work at the post office
since Joyce Boltz was the postmaster 18 years ago. Before Joyce, Betty
and Herb Dissinger, also local residents, manned the office.
Bob, perhaps best known as an avid tennis player, worked for a
Coca-Cola bottler in Cleona over 28 years. For several years he also
headed Lebanon County Prison's work release program. As for tennis,
it's a passion that spurted quickly after he took up the game just 10
He and wife Joanne, who heads the Mt. Gretna Nursery, have two sons --
one a search and rescue helicopter pilot assigned to the Pentagon, the
other a graphic artist who graduated from Lebanon Valley College in
2010. They now live in Timber Hills, as next-door neighbors to
architect Roland and Joyce Nissley.
If the face seems familiar, there's a reason. Playwright,
singer, keyboard player and composer Larry McKenna (inset) has been
coming to Mt. Gretna for two weeks every summer for the past 60 years.
"My family made Mt. Gretna their special
vacation place, and we consider it one of the most special places on
earth," he says.
Recalling a time nearly five years ago when he walked with his mother
past the Playhouse, McKenna says he told her that someday he'd have one
of his shows play there. "Little did I know that she would pass
away only eight days later."
This summer, he'll fulfill that promise. His popular hit "Burt and
Me," including songs like "What the World Needs Now,"
"Walk On By," and "Say A Little Prayer for You,"
comes to the Playhouse July 12-15.
"Am I excited? That's an understatement," says McKenna, who
expects family members from Hawaii, Florida, Maine, Illinois, Colorado,
New York, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, Maryland and
Pennsylvania will come to see the show.
Coming to Mt. Gretna is a long-standing family tradition. They
absolutely love it here, says the playwright. So this year, Mt.
Gretnans will again welcome him as a summertime neighbor and also get a
chance to not only see his show but also meet dozens of McKennas from
around the USA -- including wife Kathy, their four children and three
When the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce sought last month to
kick off a
program that would honor volunteers who have helped lift the cultural
environment and quality of life locally, they chose as one of their
first Community Builder Award recipients Music at Gretna founder,
neurologist and musician Carl Ellenberger (inset).
Ellenberger created the music festival here in 1976. It's been running
ever since from the Mt. Gretna Playhouse, now with concerts presented
during August and September, and during the winter from Elizabethtown
College, where the year-round series is now headquartered. He was also
among the founding members of the Mt. Gretna Arts Council in 1987.
First, there was the news that Steve Roach (inset, right), who
moved to the Heights last summer had just been promoted to the rank of
CW4, which, if you're in the military is a big deal. It's next to the
ranking in that category, an honor Steve earned as a helicopter test
pilot and instructor currently assigned to Ft. Indiantown Gap.
into Tim Wolshire (inset, left), having dinner at the Timbers last week
with Julie Shearer. They own a home on Village Lane. Tim, it turns out,
is also a CW4. He too flies helicopters. Although there are
scores of Blackhawk pilots moving in and out of the Gap, Steve and Tim
know each other.
Two Blackhawk helicopter pilots living in Mt. Gretna, pop. 1500? Nope,
actually, there are three, said Sarah Ellis, who's a crackerjack in
many realms including one of our standout volunteers on this
Bob Oburn, she told us, lives around the corner from Tim on Timber Road
and has been flying all sorts of choppers, including Blackhawks, for 28
years. Until he retired in 2009, he was a helicopter simulator trainer,
a job he loved but probably not quite as much as actual flying, which
stopped in 1999 but left him with fond memories that included lifting
heavy towers and air conditioning equipment onto the roof of the
Pentagon with his specially designed helicopter, called a Skytrain. And
guess what? Bob (left) also retired as a CW4 and has now swapped his
Blackhawk for a Harley.
CW4 (Ret.) Oburn
what attracts helicopter pilots to Mt. Gretna? "We knew nothing
about it when we moved here with our two dogs last July," says
Steve's wife Annie, a substitute teacher who helps John and Nancy
Mitchell sew custom tablecloths at La Cigale when she's not in the
classroom. Annie says she and Steve fell in love with Mt. Gretna,
especially since it gives them the chance to ride their mountain bikes
on the Rail-Trail. "Whenever I walk around town, I feel like I'm
on vacation," she says.
Maybe that's a clue to what makes this place so appealing. No matter
how much you love flying, nothing beats a vacation. And take it from
these chopper pilots who've had a chance to get a bird's- eye view of
the whole countryside, no place beats Mt. Gretna.
Glimpses into the past through the
eyes of postcard photographers
may be the largest collection of Mt. Gretna postcards ever assembled by
a single collector. Certainly it ranks among the most complete
collections in existence.
month, in a special presentation by the Mt. Gretna Area Historical
It's what the post office was like in 1906. Scenes like this from Mt.
Gretna's earliest days will be shown at the fire hall Jan. 29
Morris Greiner, whose father once ran the Mt. Gretna telegraph station,
will present "Old Mt. Gretna Through the Eyes of a Postcard
Greiner, Mt. Gretna is more than the focus of a lifetime search for
postcards relating to this area. It is a captivating probe into his own
heritage. His father first began working for the military here, and Mt.
Gretna is where he spent his childhood years. His collection now
includes hundreds of colored postcards, most in perfect condition and
many with personal inscriptions written more than a century ago. Except
for three that are copies, all of the original postcards of Mt. Gretna
ever printed are now part of his vast collection.
talk will be illustrated with Power Point slides that include some of the
most compelling scenes of Mt. Gretna's early days, including the one
above, taken in 1906 and showing the "new" post office at the
entrance to the Chautauqua grounds.
Sunday, Jan. 29 program begins at 2:00 pm at the Mt. Gretna fire hall
and is open to everyone. Contributions to help
defray program costs are appreciated.
In a campaign that never ceases
Most Applaud Efforts to Scatter the Birds
The turkey vultures have returned. Bless 'em, these unlovely creatures
prove year after year that no living thing on this earth is truly
Ugly, with vile habits that don't endear them to most of us, they
nevertheless have their fans. "I've lived in Mt. Gretna 30 years
and they never bothered me," one resident complained recently. She
sent a note stating that she was unhappy about the noise that
volunteers sometimes make while rousting the birds from their nighttime
perches. Usually, that process is one required to safeguard the rooftops,
automobiles, shrubbery, porches and patios below that otherwise would
be splattered with white splotches the next morning.
Yet for every admirer who objects to efforts to shoo the birds away,
dozens of others send out calls for help. They beseech the volunteers
to come to their neighborhoods and scatter the birds.
For the volunteers, who doubtlessly value serenity as much as anyone,
it's a sticky wicket -- one requiring them to do their task effectively
but with as little disruption to community life as possible. It's a
goal they pursue with minimal disturbance, especially when compared to other
communities confronted by similar problems.
Bill Shoals photo
Mt. Gretna's turkey vulture swarms have been returning to the area for
nearly 30 years, but they're now down to probably less than a third of
their peak numbers a decade or so ago (when over 600 birds swirled
overhead in a scene that Alfred Hitchcock would have loved). USDA
officials credit Mt. Gretna's relocation effort as one of the most
successful in Pennsylvania.
But if the volunteers are persistent, so are the buzzards, which
sometimes live 25 years or more. They have long memories and keep
coming back to the haven of their youth.
Max Hunsicker, who leads the community-wide effort to chase the
vultures away, knows the noise bothers some residents and passes on
their complaints to his volunteers as well. His advice is always the
same, year after year: "Please try to keep noise levels
reasonable," he cautions volunteers. "Also remember, the most
effective time to shoot (and use lights) is about 30 minutes before
His volunteer corps is loyal, but their ranks are thinning as age,
relocation and infirmities take their toll. He needs more volunteers.
To be part of the campaign, send Max an email (email@example.com),
telling him you'd like to help out. He'll be pleased to hear from you,
and so will all (or nearly all) of your neighbors.
An Audubon Society program Jan. 25 presents Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
research biologist David Barber, currently studying migration patterns
of North American Turkey Vultures. The program starts at 7:30 pm at the
Lebanon Valley Home, 550 E. Main St., Annville.
Coming up: Another "Meet the
Neighbors" Mid-winter Gathering
It's the second annual Night at the Timbers Restaurant,
a purely social affair that has as its primary purpose helping
neighbors in the vicinity of Timber Hills get to know one another
The informal event takes place Friday, Jan. 20 starting around 5:00 pm
(or "whenever it's convenient for you to get there," says
volunteer Patsy Oburn).
To join in, simply make your own reservations (call the Timbers at
964-3601), order from the menu and pay your own bill.
"Everyone's invited, so tell your friends and neighbors so we can
celebrate the new year with each other," says Esther Mefferd,
another volunteer organizer.
Last year, the "Timbers Night" was a social highlight of the
winter season as close neighbors who didn't really know many folks in
the neighborhood discovered lots of new friends and started
relationships that blossomed into outdoor gatherings throughout the
summer and early fall.
Questions? Call Esther or Ted Mefferd at 964-3123.
for a taste of pasta and meatballs like Jason Brandt used
to make at the Hideaway? Guess what? Jason will be back -- putting this
year's Italian Night Dinner together on the Mt. Gretna Fire Company's
new stove in a fundraiser that kicks off the 2012 season Saturday, Jan.
gala event begins at 4 p.m. and continues through 7 p.m.
salad, Italian bread and mouth-watering desserts, it's likely to draw
another record crowd -- just as this popular event has done every year
since 2008 when fire company volunteers first came up with the idea.
find generous offerings in an eat-what-you-want, pay-what-you-want
extravaganza that Joe Shay, Karen Lynch and their team hope will give
everyone who attends extra incentive to make a donation earmarked with
the note "Kitchen" to qualify for matching gift status in the
campaign to refurbish the fire company kitchen. As reported elsewhere
in this issue, each kitchen pledge will be doubled, up to
Those Winterites know a good thing when they see it. And they just
turned their 2011 contribution of $1,000 for a new fire company kitchen
a gift that's suddenly worth $2,000. They submitted their check with
the note, "FOR KITCHEN." That's all it took for a donor's
matching funds pledge to take effect.
who meet every first Tuesday (except January) in the fire hall, liked
the idea so much they also voted to do the same with their contribution
again this year.
Financial gifts earmarked for the new kitchen will be matched by an
anonymous donor, up to $15,000. Gifts can be in cash or stock, since
the fire company has now opened a brokerage account to accept stock
donations, a practice that many financial advisors recommend to their
of separation? Nope, not even that. When Batdorf Avenue resident Jean
Healy's name appeared in the Mt. Gretna Newsletter more
than a year ago, Wini Gay (Jean's elementary school friend now living
in Laurinburg, N.C.)
Small photo brings
big reunion. With Jean, right, are maj jong friends Cindy Myer, Jane
Anderson and Linda Gettle in the October 2010 newsletter.
her sister-in-law, Valley Road resident Donna Kaplan.
all Donna needed to hatch a surprise dinner. So when Wini and husband
John drove to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving last November, Donna
invited Jean over as a surprise guest.
Even after more than 50 years, they recognized each another
immediately. Jean and Wini had both grown up on East Pershing Avenue in
Lebanon, along with Mt. Gretnan John Feather.
"It was wonderful to get reacquainted and talk about our lives
then and now," says Jean, who has traveled throughout the world
even more than she has in the USA. A former Cedar Crest High School
English teacher, Jean returned to Mt. Gretna in 1968, after living in
Turkey. She has since lived in the Heights, at Timber Hills Apartments
and for the last eight years on Batdorf Avenue in the Campmeeting. Now
retired, she stays busy with book clubs, mah jongg, bridge and tap
Tap dancing? At age 68? "Sixty eight and a half," says Jean.
"It was on the list of things that I always wanted to learn."
Organists already lined up for the 2012 and 2013 organ recitals that
will take place each July at the Princeton Avenue home of Peter Hewitt
and Walter McAnney. "That's the earliest you've ever been given a
scoop," says Peter, who unfailingly keeps this newsletter at the
forefront of his impressive recital schedule. Among this year's artists
will be Mt. Gretnan Ryan Brunkhurst (now studying at the top-ranked Jacobs
School of Music at Indiana University) and Tyler Canconio, winner of
the Harrisburg Region Young Artists 2011 Competition.
Diversion Schemes: 'Tis the Season
to be Wary
Cornwall police chief Bruce Harris does a good job of alerting folks to
mischief makers in the area. So if you own property here, it's a good
idea to subscribe to his email alerts. They'll help keep you abreast of
things to watch out for. Drop him a request (firstname.lastname@example.org) to add
your name to the mailing list.
One recent bulletin described the exploits of a trio who showed up at
the Cornwall home of a 97-year-old woman to make repairs on her roof.
She hadn't called for roof repairers, but one of the men quickly
scampered onto her roof while the other two barged through the front
door to "check for leaks." One went into the living room,
another straight upstairs where she kept her safe. As a safe cracker,
however, he flunked. The woman reported that nothing was
missing, but her son later reported that the safe door handle had been
cocked and its combination dial was now jammed.
A "diversion scheme," said Chief Harris. "Older
residents are most frequently targeted," he says. Perpetrators
claim they're checking property lines for such things as tree removal,
fence installations, utility line construction or roofing and chimney
repairs. Their aim, however, is to divert the owner's attention, get
them outside the home and allow co-conspiritors to slip inside. Using
phones or radios, they alert one another to the owner's movements. What
to do if several unidentified "workers" stop by your home?
Call 911 immediately, says the chief.
Keep this number handy:
outages occur, call Met-Ed:
gives top priority to outages affecting the greatest numbers of people.
Your call not only helps pinpoint the scope of an outage but may also
speed repair crews to Mt. Gretna.
the call even though your neighbors might also have reported the
outage, advise company officials. Each call nudges Mt. Gretna a little
higher on the priority list.
extreme cold weather, the Mt. Gretna Fire Company provides emergency
shelter in power outages lasting more than three hours. Bring
medications and medical equipment; a sleeping bag or blanket and
pillows; food for yourself and family members; books, games and other
materials to help pass the time and, if the stay is likely to be for
several days, a change of clothes. Sorry, no pets.
News that's not quite fit to
miscellaneous notes pour in just as our deadline approaches, but they
don't seem to fit in any particular category. Yet, they're often just
too good to pass up. So here they are -- notes that didn't fit anywhere
else, in our folder called "potpourri":
a butcher block island? Put your bid in on a 6' x 3'
butcher block island the fire company would like to sell to the highest
bidder. With cast iron supports, it's heavy and sturdy with a lower
shelf and a partial raised shelf on top. Opening bid is $200, but it
could be worth more to someone with a workshop or catering business,
say our sources. Interested? Give Joe Shay a call at 964-1106.
Gretna Artists: Planning a wintertime event you'd like
newsletter readers to know about? A "First Friday" exhibit in
Lancaster or Lebanon, or a "Second Friday" opening in Lititz?
Send a note to Jennifer
(Jennifer@mtgretna.com), who'll post your announcements on the new Mt.
Gretna Arts Council online calendar. The calendar website (http://artscouncil.mtgretna.com/) lists
events taking place both here and out-of-town. It's specifically for
notices about exhibits and performances by musicians, writers and
others who have ties to Mt. Gretna.
Also note: Even if your event is months away, Jennifer will see that
it's posted online now. All notices she receives get transferred
automatically to editors of the Summer Calendar, who include in the
printed edition events that will take place in Mt. Gretna during the
reminder for February in our January letter: Residents
of Timber Hills, Conewago Hill and Timber Bridge, put it on your
calendar. South Londonderry Township's supervisors will hold the first
of their traveling meetings to outlying areas this year in Mt. Gretna
-- at the Timbers Wednesday, Feb. 15. The session begins at 7:00 pm.
it like right now in the "other" Chautauqua? Click
for a live webcam view of Bestor Plaza, at the Chautauqua Institution
in New York.
R. Mateer 1934-2011
Known to neighbors as "a guy with a big smile, a big cigar and a
friendly wave," Jim Mateer died unexpectedly
of natural causes Dec. 1 in the Temple Avenue home he had shared with
Evelyn, his wife of 24 years. A native of Mt. Joy, he worked for
over a quarter century as a Yellow Freight driver in Lancaster. He and
Evelyn moved to their Chautauqua home here about six years ago.
A Navy veteran who enjoyed motorcycles, he was a member of the Germania
Band Club, the Elstonville Sportsman's Association and the Navy Club of
America. Memorial contributions are being accepted by the Lebanon
Veterans Administration Medical Center. A complete obituary appears online.
D. Jones 1924-2011
Daniel Jones, known to his friends as "Ki,"
died of a rare form of cancer at his Valley Road
residence Dec. 29. Born in Indiana, Pa., he, like
his father and two brothers, spent his entire
life in the furniture business. After selling
his store in the 1970s, he was a manager at Levitz
Furniture and eventually retired from the J. C.
Penney Co. A Navy veteran who served in both World
War II and the Korean War, he maintained a lifelong
interest in naval and maritime history and, in
his 30s, developed a passion for small boat sailing.
His son Michael, a furniture craftsman now living
in Mexico, describes him as a voracious reader
of history whose "dry wit and intelligence
won him friends and admirers throughout his life.
He maintained that sense of humor into his last
days, and those who knew him valued his friendship
and counsel in matters great and small."
He is also survived by a daughter, Meredith Frost,
and a brother Harry Jones. His wife, Jean Snow
Jones, passed away in 2000. Alison Snow Jones,
his eldest daughter, preceded him in death last
January. A memorial service will be held at 2:00
pm Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Mt. Gretna United
newsletters of interest:
Mt. Gretna Updates -- Issued
as warranted to alert local residents to such matters as temporary road
closings, utility repairs, shelter advisories for adverse weather and
other conditions affecting people who live in the seven neighborhoods
served by the Mt. Gretna post office. Send an e-mail request, with
"LOCAL UPDATES" in subject line, to
This Week in Mt. Gretna -- Issued
during summer months; a week-by-week listing of local events, sent by
e-mail on request. To add your name to the mailing list, email@example.com
Mt. Gretna Arts Council Newsletter -- Now
available only online (no mailed copies). Updated to include news
concerning groups dedicated to the arts in Mt. Gretna, Calendar of
Events, Summer Premier and Arts Council scholarships.Click
Music bulletins -- E-mailed updates on concert events,
schedule changes and other news. See "Join Our Mailing List"
Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society
Newsletter -- Online at http://www.mtgretnahistory.org/newsletter.php
Mt. Gretna Bible Festival Newsletter -- Mailed
in the spring and fall without charge. Send request to Bible Festival,
P.O. Box 408, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
Governor Dick Park Newsletter -- Online
and by e-mail. See
Police Department E-Mail Bulletins -- issued as warranted to
update residents on events of community interest, including crime
alerts. To add your name to the mailing list, e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Londonderry Township Newsletter -- of primary interest to Mt.
Gretnans in Timber Hills, Conewago Hill and Timber Bridge; online at
Campmeeting Newsletter --
mailed to residents.
Mt. Gretna Heights Newsletter --
e-mailed to Heights residents. Address inquiries to Michelle Shay,email@example.com
friend who retired early in his career once gave us the best definition
of retirement we've yet discovered. "It's doing what I want to do
when I want to do it," he said. Now in our ninth year of
retirement, we don't know of a better definition.
newsletter is purely and simply a retirement hobby, one that keeps us
in close touch with good friends here and around the world. It has no
particular attachment to any group or organization, nor any political
or commercial ax to grind.
send this letter only by e-mail to anyone who requests it, without
charge and with no expectation of anything other than a gentle prodding
when we err -- a bracing tonic that can ward off the rigors of
advancing age. All of us need to be reminded from time to time that we
can be mistaken.
don't cover everything. Some topics are better left to daily
newspapers, TV and others with greater skills, resources and insights.
speaking, we try to cover things that you may not have already read
elsewhere, and we focus like a laser beam on stories that have specific
ties to Mt. Gretna. Since the vast majority of our readers live in
other places, we sometimes summarize stories that appear in local
newspapers. We also depend on readers who alert us to news, including
obituaries, about present and former Mt. Gretnans.
preparing each issue, we like 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?" A good guideline for writing a newsletter? Yes, and
also for conducting a life.
been writing this newsletter since January 2001, usually once a month
unless we're traveling, ailing or attending to duties that, in the
interest of domestic tranquility, take a higher priority.
thank the many people who help us gather the news, take the photos,
then edit, fact-check and proofread this newsletter. They include
people with special skills and knowledge of Mt. Gretna who live both
here and in places like New York City, St. Paul, Minn., New Cumberland,
Pa. and Hilton Head, S.C.
you have difficulty reading or printing the newsletter, please click on
the online version appearing at
to our friends at Gretna Computers, you can always find back issues of
this newsletter on the
online archive sometimes proves helpful to people planning to move here
who want to know more about what goes on in a community which, as the
late Marlin Seiders had observed, "is not a place, but a
We use Constant Contact to help keep up with the growing numbers of
people around the world who enjoy reading about Mt. Gretna. To help
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E-mail addresses on theMt. Gretna Newsletter mailing
list are not sold, rented, shared or traded with anyone, ever.