Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Mt. Gretna, Pa. "Not a place, but a spirit."
Marlin Seiders (1927-2008)
September 1, 2013
From an enduring art show, a few
lessons in how things ought to run
America's top business schools should probably
pay a visit sometime to the Mt. Gretna Art Show. Without multiple layers
of management and endless committee meetings (only two, in fact), the
show runs smoothly and seamlessly with neither hassles or panics, nor a
trace of pandemonium.
Tomorrow's artists and audiences start here
No, that's not simply because the art
show has run for nearly 40 years.
Mainly it's because the people in charge don't
concern themselves with anything other than making sure that the Mt.
Gretna Outdoor Art Show is an event that people will want
to come to.
And again this year, they did -- despite
unexpected rains which turned away maybe 50% of the usual Sunday crowds.
In ticket sales, it was a near record -- just
$8,000 shy of last year's all-time high when, under two consecutive days
of sunshine, 16,731 people swarmed through the gates. This year, even
with a 25% drop in overall attendance to 12,547 (but a $2 increase
in the price of admission) the 2013 art show brought revenues of
Generating record sales, however, is never the point
of the Mt. Gretna Art Show.
The funds merely provide fuel to cover next year's
startup costs and give a welcome boost to the Mt. Gretna Fire Company,
Lawn ambulance crews and other local emergency teams that depend on them.
They also support community projects in Mt. Gretna's seven distinct
neighborhoods, which are the primary source of more than 200 volunteers
who work throughout the two-day event.
Most noticeable this year was a buoyant bounce
in the number of children who came, not only to the playground but also
the Playhouse where they and their parents could watch a play at no extra
Like Pied Pipers, Stacy Pennington (of Mt. Gretna
Meghan Winslow (of Splat Family
Art Studio) and the production folks at Gretna Theatre wove a spell that
entranced and entertained. "We want children," said
chairwoman Linda Bell, the show's top volunteer for the past 17 years.
"They're our next audience."
The governor's wife also came. Susan Corbett brought friends from
Harrisburg to browse, buy artwork and sample fare at the food court.
"I do shows all over the
country," said one exhibitor, "and Mt. Gretna's has the best
food." Such comments please Ms. Bell, who strives to make the food
as good as the art.
Over 200 amiable volunteers like attorney Tim Nieman help make the show fun -- even on a
Earl Lennington photo
After the show, exhibitors flooded her with
compliments. Their emails conveyed warm comments on how well the show is
run, its cheerful volunteers and deft touches (such as warm water to wash
their hands outdoors) which made the artists' lives easier.
Many reported their sales thrived despite
Sunday's unpredicted showers.
Photographer Madelaine Gray, a Mt. Gretnan who exhibits throughout the country, says her
Saturday sales topped all records -- better in a single day than in
multiple-day shows elsewhere during the past 27 years.
Other lessons of note: Rain may
discourage those who come to look, but it has almost no effect on those
who come to buy. As they packed up to leave Sunday night,
exhibitors were not disappointed. One who came with a tent filled with
paintings on Friday had only three left when the show closed on Sunday.
Also was a certain wisdom Ms. Bell imparts by
gentle example: Give people a task to do and leave details of how to do
it entirely in their hands.
Thus, on Art Show weekend, good ideas
that probably ought to be stressed at Harvard Business School get put
into practice just off Harvard Avenue in Mt. Gretna.
really good idea
Call it the "Unsinkable Mt. Gretna."
Like Broadway legend Molly Brown, Mt. Gretna somehow always manages to
find a trump card. Especially among people with a penchant for relaxed
True, the economy still seems stuck in second
gear. But here, where Robert Coleman founded a hillside summer retreat
for fashionable Victorians, cottages for rent -- a hidden gem in
America's battered real estate market -- are experiencing a rebirth
As rentals, Mt. Gretna's century-old cottages
suddenly are more popular than ever. For short-term stays, they have
become inexpensive alternatives to modern hotel rooms.
The approximately 40 cottages available here as
rentals fill a role once served by large inns and hotels.
The Chautauqua Inn, built in 1898, and
the 125-room Conewago Hotel built on a hill
overlooking the lake in 1909 may be gone, but there's a growing need for
places to spend a week or two or maybe a month.
According to Brenda Wentzel
of Penn Realty, who specializes in
short-term rentals, more people asked about rental cottages this summer
than ever. But not just for vacations.
Although relaxed stays in a spot that has
for decades catered to people seeking brief respites from a hectic world
still top the list, today's cottage renters are likely to arrive with
Brenda Wentzel: Cozy Victorian
cottages often top motel rooms as the choice for short-term rentals.
Complete with their relaxing front porches,
kitchens, dining and living rooms, Mt. Gretna cottages offer attractive
advantages over sometimes cramped single-bedroom motels. Moreover, they
often cost the same or less.
That makes them especially desirable for people
attending weddings and family reunions, visiting high school or college
friends, staying close to relatives undergoing surgery or treatments at
Hershey Medical Center or the Veterans Hospital, or even attending the
newly established Mt. Gretna
School of Art, which launched its first six-week intensive studies program
here this summer.
One of Ms. Wentzel's
recent clients rented a cottage as a kind of base camp while the family
scouted area colleges where their daughter might apply for admission.
"Why not turn college visits into a family vacation," says the
veteran realtor, who has spent the past two decades renting and selling
Mt. Gretna cottages.
Other families rented cottages for out-of-town
relatives and guests who came to see their sons and daughters with roles
in "The Wizard of Oz" at the Playhouse.
Long-term rental cottages are also
popular, especially among young professionals who have landed jobs nearby
and plan to look around for a year or so before they decide whether to
buy a home. But year-long cottage leases get gobbled up quickly, says Fred Schaeffer, a Mt. Gretna
realtor for the past 31 years. "Most people buy cottages as second
homes for their own enjoyment, not as investment properties," he
says. That makes long-term rentals scarce.
Following last year's countywide reassessments,
short-term rentals may be a partial solution to offset higher costs for
owners. Yet so far, the available inventory of rental cottages hasn't
changed much from that what Ms. Wentzel saw a
decade ago. A few weeks of rental income usually defrays but
doesn't eliminate the full impact of higher taxes, she says.
Music at Gretna founder, musician and writer Dr. Carl
Ellenberger , fresh from sorting through the rental cottage maze
while a guest speaker at the New York Chautauqua, likes their idea of
clustering all rental properties online, including spots at the 200-room
hotel (where a single night's stay costs over $300). "Thousands of
rooms for tens of thousands of renters," he says. Although most
online sites require deposits -- with no refunds for cancellations made
one to three months in advance -- he estimates that 90% of the rentals
were booked by January. Dr. Ellenberger thinks everyone in Mt. Gretna
might benefit from a similar central website with links to Gretna Music,
Gretna Theatre and the Pennsylvania Chautauqua as well as property rental
services and individual owners.
Meanwhile, the long-proven ability of Mt.
Gretna to bounce back continues. Through good times and bad, always there
are fresh ways to make the most of enduring assets Mr. Coleman discovered
more than a century ago. A secluded respite, Victorian-style -- for
travelers seeking to avoid look-alike motel rooms -- is one of them.
EASTERN Enterprises president Dr. Gene Otto last month asked South
Londonderry commissioners to change a proposed Conservation designation
for 55 acres his company owns in the township. "None of the
criteria... for a conservation zone exist" on 40 of those acres,
he wrote in an Aug. 12 letter to the supervisors. The remaining 15
acres -- with a 10-acre lake and adjoining streams and wetlands -- are
already protected by state and federal laws, he said. Dr. Otto
requested that the zoning be changed to Low Density Residential.
The request appears to have caught
township officials by surprise.
In a "thorough face-to-face
discussion" held this spring involving Dr. Otto, planner Henry
Roth and township manager Tom Ernharth,
"the planning commission believed the Conservation designation was
agreed to by all parties," says Mr. Ernharth.
It benefited "the individuals and protected the environment"
in ways consistent with the land's current use. It also allows
"future opportunity for other uses," he said.
A spokesperson for the environmental protection group Preserve Mt. Gretna says the proposed change could threaten water quality in
the Conewago Creek. Low density residential
zoning, says Marla Pitt, would disperse water quality protection among
multiple land owners. Others in the township have also expressed
concerns about water quality if the Low Density Residential zoning
change is approved.
Having received Dr. Otto's letter, the commission is now
reviewing the facts and will take up the matter in its regularly
scheduled session Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 pm in the municipal building,
20 W. Market St., Campbelltown.
THAT LONG-DELAYED project to build a water park and hundreds of
homes just five miles from Mt. Gretna is now hung up at Penn DOT, the Lebanon
Daily News reported. At issue, apparently, is a small parcel of land the size
of a tennis court which developers need to provide direct access from
Route 322 to the proposed nearly 600-acre project.
Until the matter is resolved, "our hands are
tied," says Paul Callahan of Haines and Kibblehouse,
developers of the proposed Preserve at Historic Cornwall.
MEMO to wobbly catbirds with a tendency
to slam into plate glass windows: Be sure to pick a friendly landing
This baby bird ran smack into a window at the home of Sid
Hostetter (left) and Evelyn Koppel, the
Valley Road couple that a few years ago organized the Mt Gretna Bird
Seconds after Ms. Koppel took these photos
last month, the dazed bird took off, apparently none the worse for
To discover more about birds, join the
club's Friday morning hikes in and around Mt. Gretna. Call 964-3412 or
drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIOLOGY and science may seem divergent
paths for a poet, but that probably hints at why Fred Spangler made a
serendipitous choice when he moved to Mt. Gretna in the early 1970s. Before he retired 14 years ago as a teacher of science,
geography and history at Northern Lebanon High, his days often included
walks through the trails behind his home in Timber Hills, blending the
mystical beauties of nature with a setting he treasures for its
Over the ensuing years, he captured those
impressions in an original poem, "Will the Sparrow Sing?"
chosen as one of 20 winners in the Lebanon Community Library's 14th annual poetry
contest. "I spent quite a lot of time working on improving
the poem up to the last minute before the contest," he says.
The library published a hardbound book of winning entries and
invited authors to read aloud at an awards ceremony. "I asked the
librarian to read my poem," says the shy 72-year old. "I
guess I didn't quite have the courage to do it."
Since his wife died four years ago, Mr. Spangler has
lived alone amid his German fraktur,
paintings he has done, classical music (he enjoys the Chautauqua organ
recitals and was himself once an organist), books, and time to create
along a continuing path of self discovery.
"I find that I am now more into creative things than the subjects
I studied in college," he says. He is now at work on a new poem
about five crows that frequent Soldiers Field, just in front of his
IT TAKES ONLY A TINY TOUCH OF ELEGANCE
to transform the Mt. Gretna Hall of Philosophy into a charming
Victorian tea room.
Call it the magic of Marian Miller,
proprietress of Lavender
Patch B&B. She has been recreating this exquisite event every year
for nearly a decade.
"It's a salute to the era in which Chautauquas were created," says summer
programs director Kathy Snavely.
At center stage in this annual event is the sole remaining
china from the Mt. Gretna Women's Auxiliary -- a tea set.
"We keep it under lock and key," says Ms. Snavely.
Presentations such as this year's topic -- the history and
usage of gazing balls (which now are enjoying a resurgence in America's
gardens) -- have now made the tea a fixture on the Pennsylvania
Chautauqua summer schedule.
In the middle of an August afternoon,
this foursome debated whether to take in a Timbers matinee or go for
a dip in the lake. After mulling over their choices, one of them
apparently suggested the al fresco salad bar at Soldiers Field.
VOLUNTEERS gathered to help set up the art
show entertainers' stage last month, and Tom Schaeffer (inset)
raised his hand.
A former middle school teacher, Mr. Schaeffer was one of
about a dozen guys who got into the spirit of things early for the art
show. He signed up to help build the temporary stage that becomes the
focal point for musical performances throughout the weekend.
Veteran contractor Terry Miller headed the three-hour
construction project. He's lived in Mt. Gretna over 40 years and has
lots of experience working with eager volunteers. Mr. Miller
arrived with a truckload of tools already marked with explicit
The photocopier's gone but few have noticed, says
EVERY now and then, someone drops in to the Mt. Gretna post office on
an urgent mission to photocopy official documents, keepsake memos or
other memorabilia they want to share or preserve.
Guess what, asks Postmaster Steve Strickler:
The photocopier -- long a familiar fixture in the post office lobby --
has been removed.
"They took it away than 14 months ago, but most
people think it's still around," he says. The copier didn't
justify its rental fee.
Just how many people still haven't noticed it's missing --
despite daily visits to pick up their mail -- would make an interesting
psychological study. An informal survey suggests it's probably
more than 80% of us.
The space once devoted to the seldom-used copier now is
empty, save for a "junk mail" box, which, says Mr. Strickler, turns out to be even handier than a
When the power goes out
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.
Make the call
even though your neighbors might also have reported the outage, advise
NOTE: In extreme weather conditions, the Mt. Gretna Fire Company
provides emergency shelter during power outages lasting more than three
hours. Sorry, no facilities are available for pets.
Questions Readers Ask
 Jerrie Wolverton, who now lives in Mt.
Joy but during the 1950s worked at the lake's refreshment stand --
under the watchful eye of "Poppy Gene" Otto -- wonders
whatever happened to two of her friends, brothers Jack and Bill Weaver
from Harrisburg. Ms. Wolverton lost track of
them after college (Jack at Ursinus, Bill at
Yale). Together with other Harrisburg friends Betsy and Bootsy Whatley, they were part of the gang from
"those wonderful teenage years," she says. If anyone knows
where they are today, drop her a note at email@example.com.
 Scott Deibler (firstname.lastname@example.org) wants to learn more
about the history of the Mt Gretna brick quarry located behind the
trail off Butler Rd. "I have Googled it
but nothing comes up," he says. "As a child, I lived not far
from there on Mine Rd but never knew when or how it was started or when
it was abandoned. I'd appreciate any information anyone could give me.”
William H.G. Warner
Bill Warner was in his mid-50s when he
decided to move to Mt. Gretna and leave behind a career in trust and
estate planning in Philadelphia. Yet more than 40 productive years lay
ahead -- as a business law instructor at Lebanon Valley College, a
champion of pro bono work among his fellow lawyers throughout Pennsylvania, and a
lawyer in solo practice until macular degeneration forced his
retirement late in life.
He and Charlee,
whom he had met when both were in college, quickly became immersed in Mt.
Gretna life. She had been a student at the Philadelphia Museum College
of Art while he was at Haverford. He later enrolled at the University
of Pennsylvania Law School but voluntarily interrupted studies there
when he sensed the looming outbreak of war. He was, in fact, at
the U.S. Navy Officer Training School in Great Lakes, Ill. on Dec. 7,
1941 when he wrote a letter to his parents, "See, Mom. I was
right." For the next few years, he served as a gunnery officer
aboard destroyer escorts plying dangerous seas in both the Atlantic and
Pacific theatres. Although he likely saw combat, he, as did many others
who served in that and other wars, seldom spoke about his experiences.
But he faithfully attended reunions with his Navy colleagues, only
seven of whom remained at the last gathering he attended four years
like his parents before him, bought a cottage in the Campmeeting, which they enjoyed in summer months.
He had once served as an officer of its Association. But it was not
until 1972 that they moved permanently from Philadelphia to a home they
built on a two-parcel lot along Timber Road.
Afterwards, their lives soon took on a whirl
of community activities. He was a founder of the Mt. Gretna Rotary Club
and became its president. She was an avid bridge player and joined the Winterites. He became fully immersed in building a
baseball field and developing the nearby Horseshoe Trail. She was an
artist and joined exhibitors to display her paintings at the first Mt.
Gretna Outdoor Art Show. And together the Warners
opened their home to visitors at the first Mt. Gretna Open House in
A lawyer who
practiced business law from an office he maintained in that home, Mr.
Warner championed pro bono work among his colleagues both in Lebanon
and throughout Pennsylvania. He headed the Lebanon Bar Association's
Pro Bono Division. After his wife died in 1985, Mr. Warner built
another, smaller home in the adjacent lot and moved next-door. He
remained there until 2001 when he moved to Lititz to be with a daughter
with whom he spent his final years. He died Aug. 13 at the age of 95.
An official obituary appears online.
Robert P. Krause
(1930 - 2013)
Although he was born in Lebanon and
numbered among those relatively few graduates of the former Cornwall
High School, Bob Krause probably never really wanted to be anyplace but
After he had served two terms as a Mt. Gretna Borough Councilman and it
finally came time to move from their home in the Chautauqua, he and Mary Ann
opted to relocate less than a mile away, across the highway to an
apartment in Timber Hills. He loved the sight of Mt. Gretna from a
different perspective, the sun coming up over the mountain in the
morning, and the chance to walk down to the pizzeria where he could share
breakfasts occasionally with his friends. Some included people he had
worked with as a tool and dye maker at
Bethlehem Steel. Others he had met at Mt. Gretna Rotary, Quentin Riding
Club and the Central Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. At one time or
another, members of all three of those organizations had chosen him as
After graduating from Cornwall in 1948 he had gone on to Lebanon
Business College and during the Korean War served in the Army. The
father of seven children, he had helped coach the Cornwall Little
League for many years.
Sports, in fact, occupied a central spot in his life. He held tickets
to Penn State football games for 50 years and counted himself among the
most avid fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Eagles and
Hershey Bears. An enthusiastic golfer, he had served as manager of the
Fairview Golf Course for 30 years. He was also a hunter and enjoyed
camping with Mary Ann in their motor home, which he kept until near the
end of his 82 years. An official obituary appears online.
Robert Hoffsommer, Jr. (1929 - 2013)
Robert Hoffsommer, who had
resided in Mt. Gretna before moving 56 years ago to Metuchen, NJ, died
August 13 at age 84. He was a native of Cornwall and had graduated from
Lebanon Valley College and Penn State with a masters in organic
chemistry. Before his retirement in 1985 he had been a research chemist
at Merck Co.
A cottage known as The Hoffsommer
House on Sixth Street in the Campmeeting has
been occupied by the same family for three generations. A complete
obituary appears online.
Updates & Stuff to
Darlene Kegel pottery at Penn
Realty for First Friday exhibit
Also at First Friday: a Barbara Acker painting to
benefit The National Parks
End of the Season Picnic starts 4:30 pm at the Hall of Philosophy.
Bring an entree, salad, vegetable or dessert to share and join the fun.
Everybody in Mt. Gretna -- from Timber Bridge to Mt. Gretna Heights --
Bluegrass Music on the Porch: Gov. Dick Nature Center, 1 to 4 pm
Music at Gretna presents the Momenta Quartet with pianist Charles Abramovic
and guitarist Allen Krantz in a concert
featuring Boccherini's Guitar Quintet, a piano quartet by Mr. Krantz, and Elgar's Piano Quintet. 7:30 pm at the
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6: First Friday in Mt. Gretna, 5 to 9 pm,
with reception and exhibit opening for guest artist Barbara Acker at
The Gallery at La Cigale. Wine tasting
from Waltz Vineyards plus music on the porch by folk
instrumentalist and singer Patsy Kline.
A First Friday painting at 3Summer
Musician and noted guitar-builder Travis Stevens will perform at 3Summer Arts Studio, displaying Patricia Reichenbach
paintings like Valerie Rose (inset, right).
Other works include the pottery of Darlene Kegel
(inset, left) at Penn Realty as well as others at Hickey Architects and the Timbers.
Will First Fridays continue? Sponsors hope so. They say frankly that
success depends on whether enough browsers become buyers so they can
cover expenses and attract top artistic talents.
The Momenta Quartet
SUNDAY, SEPT. 8:
Music at Gretna presents the Momenta Quartet and Friends in a
performance of music by Enescu and Beethoven,
7:30 pm at the Playhouse.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 14: Annual Pig Roast, one of the Mt.
Gretna Fire Company's biggest fundraisers of the year. Former Hideaway
owner Jason Brandt takes a break from his new Lancaster restaurant (the
Station House Tavern on Fruitville Pike) to
roast a pig that usually weighs in at 260 lbs. or more. Combined with
corn, baked beans, cole slaw, baked potatoes
and pineapple filling, that usually satisfies everyone, from 4 to 10
pm, at the fire hall, along Boulevard Avenue.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 15:
Everyone's invited to the Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church picnic
immediately following a 10 am worship service at Gretna Glen campground on Old Mine Road. Please bring a dish to
share. To cover campground rental, a $5 per adult donation is
requested, no charge for children.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 18:
Wacky Wednesdays begin. Crafts, light snack and games like "Drip,
Drop, Splat," Table Top Ring Toss and "Water Balloon
Whack." Open to all K-6th graders, Mt. Gretna UMC, 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 21:
Garden Party for residents of Timber Hills, Timber Bridge and Conewago Hill at the home of Laura and Joe Feather,
13 Conewago Hill Dr.
Visit with neighbors old and new. Bring your own beverage and a treat
to share. 4 to 7 pm. RSVP: email@example.com.
Cast Iron Cooking demonstration by Friends of Cornwall Furnace, 11 to 3
pm on the furnace grounds. Ham and hot donuts over an open fire, maybe meatloaf
and pineapple upside down cake, too.
Horseshoe Trail Hike, 9 miles, from Pumping Station Rd. to Gov. Dick
Nature Center. Also Bouldering Class. See website for details.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 22:
Wildflower and Bird Walk, Gov. Dick Park Nature Center.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 25:
Place, a monthly fellowship luncheon at Mt. Gretna UMC, resumes at
12:00 pm. Everyone invited; free will offering.
Smalll Works (12" and under) Group Show
at Lebanon Frame and Fine Art
Gallery features 80
artists, 17 with ties to Mt. Gretna: Susan Kenney Afflerbach,
Eva Bender, Margaret Ellis-Seidenberg, Luise
Christensen-Howell, Art and Michele Clagett,
Reed and Casey Dixon, Barbara Fishman, Emily Hitz,
Pat and Dan Hottenstein, Beth Leonard,
Ruthann Santry, Doris Jean Silva, Betsy Stutzman and Jean Zaun.
Opening reception Friday, Sept. 6 (5-8 pm); exhibit continues
throughout the month.
new year-round calendar appears
online, a service of
the Mt. Gretna Arts Council. Send updates to Jennifer Besse: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other 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, e-mail 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
Gretna Music bulletins -- E-mailed updates on concert events, schedule changes and other
news. See "Join Our Mailing List" at http://gretnamusic.org/ FOUNDER Carl Ellenberger's blog (worth reading): Check for updates online at
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
Governor Dick Park Newsletter -- Online and by e-mail. See
Cornwall 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 http://southlondonderry.org/
Available online and mailed to residents.
Mt. Gretna Heights Newsletter -- e-mailed to Heights residents. Contact
Michelle Shay, email@example.com
THIS community newsletter is a retirement pastime,
with no attachment to any group or organization nor any political or
commercial ax to grind. It produces no income. I write it simply
because it keeps me in touch with interesting people, many of whom have
become good friends.
Much as I'd like to, I don't have the time or energy to
cover everything. Some topics are better left to daily newspapers, TV
and other media with greater skills, wisdom, and resources. I try to
write about things that people have not already read. Yet since the
majority of readers live outside Mt. Gretna, I sometimes summarize
topics already covered by local newspapers. I focus almost exclusively
on Mt. Gretna and depend on readers to alert me to news, including
obituaries, of interest to people with ties to Mt. Gretna.
In preparing each issue, I like to keep in mind the
late Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas,
who felt listeners had invited him into their homes. I also value
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?" While that's probably not practical for ordinary
journalists, I find it useful as a guide for writing a community
I strive to get this newsletter out on the first day of each month
unless I'm traveling, ailing or simply swamped by family
responsibilities that take higher priority.
People who help me write the news, take photos, then edit and proofread
this newsletter are invaluable. They include people with special skills
and in-depth knowledge of Mt. Gretna who live both here as well as New
York City, St. Paul, Minn., and Camp Hill, Pa.
Should you have difficulty seeing the pictures or adjusting text size
to fit your screen, click on the "click here" hyperlink just
above the masthead or click on the online version -- http://mtgretna.com/news -- which
appears through the courtesy of friends at Gretna Computers.
That online archive sometimes proves
helpful to those who plan to move here and want to know more about a
community which the late Marlin Seiders
called "not a place, but a spirit."
With kind regards,
P.S. This newsletter uses a commercial
distribution service, Constant Contact, to send email copies to about
2,000 people around the world.