The Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Mt. Gretna, PA "Not a place, but a spirit."
November 1, 2014
A question unanswered.
woods these are I think I know," said the poet. But even Mt.
Gretnans of long standing rarely had glimpsed anything like it. From
across Route 117 opposite 1st Street in the Campmeeting emerged a scene
that revealed precisely why the highway that makes its gently rolling way
through Mt. Gretna was a top contender a few years ago as a Scenic Byway
in Pennsylvania. Though the idea received a cool reception from
residents wary of greater influxes of tourists, the honor was duly noted.
The delightful vista that cropped up along the roadway last month
was the product of an almost perfect spring and summer, followed by a
bounty of unexpected beauty. There to capture it was photographer and
professional storyteller Jane Mourer, a Campmeeting resident with an eye
for the unusual.
A fall season more colorful than anyone could have expected?
After a winter like the winter past, who could have hoped for, much less
predicted, a palette like this?
"The rains came just at the right time," says Mary
Hernley, who ranks as Mt. Gretna's leading expert on how to grow
beautiful things. Her laboratory comes with the highest of credentials.
Her flower farm just to the south of Mt. Gretna was deeded to her family
on a sheepskin signed by none other than William Penn himself. For more
than half a century, Mary and her husband Peter have tended the farm that
supplies her flower stand along Mt. Gretna's main thoroughfare.
More than a stand, it becomes a center of culture,
conversations and weekend commerce from early spring until sometimes into
November, just so long as her flowers are ripe for cutting or for
dried arrangements that will last all winter long.
"I'll be back next year," she says, adding a
quiet "Lord willing" that passes almost unnoticed.
great-grandmother of five, one of whom she says is "already in
Heaven," she, like Robert Frost, still has miles to go before she
sleeps. Only three of her 19 grandchildren are married. She intends to
keep cultivating flowers until all their weddings are done.
The crowds gathering around her stand have
diminished somewhat in recent weeks, but the summer has been a good one
for flower sales. Regulars like architect Carol Hickey (inset,
left) help keep Mary, a study in perpetual motion as she heads toward 80
next July, constantly busy.
For many of those, like Carol, who remain in Mt.
Gretna all year, autumn is often the most meaningful season.
The days become suddenly quiet as the colors reach toward
their most vivid peaks, their tone and textures by waves more beautiful
in the days leading up to November.
The escape of those who, as if by habit, rush to distant
places leaves those left behind puzzled: "What's the hurry? Where
are you going to that is better than where you were?"
remain unanswered. Yet many find that as they get older, the less
inclined they are to trade places with anyone, anywhere.
These pictures hint at why.
Ssshhh. That is our secret.
Sometimes we discover steps that lead to a home.
Sometimes to a place of solitude amid nature. But always to somewhere a
human heart has been, and the glow of a human spirit. It doesn't matter
how many times you've walked through its streets. A stroll through Mt.
Gretna always yields bountiful rewards.
One may think they
know every inch of it. But turn the corner and they are surprised once
again. A scene never noticed suddenly comes into view. A perspective that
never before appeared. A window. A porch railing. A staircase.
Time seems suspended. You know you are in a special place. Walk further along
and the scene changes.
Also the feeling that comes as you walk past the homes and
cottages of different neighborhoods.
Each with its special treasures, part of a complex puzzle.
Pieces that somehow seem to fit
together. Timeless and precious. A treasure reserved for those lucky
enough to discover, understand and accord it its value. -- Roger
Mt. Gretna from the other side of the lake in mid-October: a
view that guests at the Conewago Hotel might have seen a century ago from its third floor.
Trees have since grown up over the spot where tennis courts once were,
and by this time of year the 125-room hotel would have closed for the season.
Even today, however, the view makes clear why they chose this site in
1909 for a grand hotel with "uniformed servants and chefs from New
York," ballroom dancing and rooms available for $1.25 a night. When
the Army moved to Ft. Indiantown Gap in the 1930s, the hotel was closed
permanently and torn down a few years later. Yet what remains is another
perspective, another vantage point from which to appreciate Mt. Gretna.
folks running the Mt. Gretna School of Art will need your help next
Most critical among their needs is housing for students.
Ideally, they'd like to hear from people with cottages available during
the six-week period from mid-June until the end of July. The idea would
be to offer cottages at no charge to the 501(C)(3) school in exchange
for tax credits.
The school functions best when students share both housing and
non-classroom experiences with fellow students under the same roof.
Next best would be individual rooms in nearby private
homes. (Meals would not necessarily have to be provided since the
school will be scheduling group meals on most occasions.)
Board member Jennifer Veser Besse, who grew up in Mt.
Gretna, is helping coordinate the housing project.
"At first I thought that it might be neat to have
students live with families in the community," she says. "But
now that I have seen the students interacting, I know that their living
together allows them to live, breathe, eat, and dream art."
She's working in close coordination with executive
director Jay Noble (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Details are available
online at http://www.mgsoa.org/.
Can't remember a time when there've been so many For
Sale signs in Mt. Gretna? There's a reason, say realtors.
While a surplus favors buyers and can stimulate sales, it
tends to depress prices for those selling their homes.
Realtor Joe Wentzel says that although peaks and valleys
are a normal part of his business, "this is the longest valley I
True, in part it's the lingering aftershock of that countywide
reassessment three years ago, the first in 42 years. The readjustment
sent taxes soaring 300 to 600% for many Mt.
Yet an even more important cause for the uptick in the number of
homes for sale may be the reluctance among home sellers to adjust to
the realities of today's real estate marketplace in Mt. Gretna.
Realtor Fred Schaeffer notes there has been a rush
in recent weeks among sellers to reduce their prices. "But it's
too late," he says. Mt. Gretna's prime selling season is in
So far this year, only 24 houses have sold. Last year, in
a bumper crop of homes sold that surprised even the experts, 38 homes
Mr. Schaeffer expects this year's total sales will probably wind up at
28 to 29 homes -- about on a par with the norms of six out of the last
The lesson is a familiar one. In times when it is a
buyer's market, sellers who hesitate will probably have to wait until
next year. Adjusting to marketplace realities, whether in Mt. Gretna or
on Wall Street, is probably the hardest lesson we humans have to learn.
Bill Gifford has an idea. "I saw you walking Winston along Rte.
117 recently, and it occurred to me that there should be a safe,
pedestrian walkway along that side of the lake. Many people walk or jog
around the lake as their daily exercise, and that section is downright
It wouldn't be hard to clear a path along Chautauqua
land on the south shore, he thinks. "The difficult part would be
that short section where there's a guardrail," says the
globe-trotting adventure writer who divides his time between Mt. Gretna
and New York City.
The answer would be some sort of bridge or boardwalk, just
the other side of the guardrail." It's an idea worth
It just could be the best
news of the month, maybe the year for chocoholics. Dr. Jeff Hurst, who
lives in the Campmeeting and has racked up a lifetime's worth of honors
as a scientist at The Hershey Company, has just finished a study with
his scientific colleagues that could prove helpful to Alzheimer's
Naturally, he's not making any such claims for the study.
He thoughtfully says any statements that "eating dark chocolate
may ward off the onset of Alzheimer's" would have to come from a
From a biochemist's perspective, he cautiously allows only
that "our paper presents some intriguing results from a natural
source that in my opinion might be worthy of further study."
All we can say is that we're rooting for the chocolate
experts. Their hopeful study appears in the latest Journal
of Alzheimer's Disease.
It's been two decades, maybe longer, since the last
competition at the Mt. Gretna quoit beds (inset
right), set up nearly a century ago.
Now there's a good chance quoits will be making a
Larry Bowman, center, recently retired head
of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce and a Mt. Gretnan with deep
roots in the Campmeeting, is spearheading the drive to re-establish quoits
as a Mt. Gretna sports tradition, like shuffleboard.
With the help of friends like Fred Swarr,
left, and Ed Neidigh, right, Mr. Bowman hopes to launch a new season of
quoits here next spring.
The refurbished clay quoit beds are ready and so is a new sign, created
by craftsman Dave Fake and Mr. Swarr, a recently retired corporate
design director who now devotes much of his time to painting at his Campmeeting
The new sign should help clear up a widely-held mistaken
impression: No, the historic site was always a quoit bed -- never
a bus stop.
It caught even organ recital impresario Peter Hewitt by
surprise. There in his mailbox last month was a copy of The American
Guild of Organists magazine for November with an ad for
"Bachstock: 30 Days of Peace and Music on WQXR" (105.9 fm) in
New York City.
The marathon will this month present the complete solo
organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by 20 of Julliard's
"The interesting part for Walter McAnney and me was
that, of the 20 artists, eight had performed here," at the July
recital series they host in their home opposite the Mt. Gretna post
office. "Not bad for a small hamlet in central Pennsylvania,"
Nan McKay, a Campmeeting resident and instructional
advisor at the Milton Hershey School's
Horticultural Center, needs your help. Each year her students decorate
mugs for the holidays, filling them with live greens, beeswax candles,
brightly-colored trinkets and repurposed materials to make special mugs
for Christmas. Though the specific need is for mugs with a holiday
theme, there's a larger purpose behind "The Mug Project."
Her students, some of whom don't have a home to go to at Christmas, need meaningful activity
shared with fellow students able to offer kind words, advice and
encouragement during a period joyous for some but sad for others.
If you have mugs or other decorative items to contribute,
drop her an emailed note (email@example.com)
or call 717-520-2250, ext. 2250. Click the inset right
for a video on The Mug Project. (Yes, sharp-eyed readers, she's Sasha's owner; see
Jane Zellers (inset) accompanying Honor Air veterans from Knoxville, TN
last month on a visit to WWII, Korea and Vietnam memorials honoring Air
Force, Army, Navy and Marine veterans.
The vets are flown to Washington, DC for the day,
amid water cannon firings and police escorts upon their arrival at
Reagan National Airport. Visits included a motorcade to Arlington
When they reached their service memorial, said Jane,
"if they were able to get out of their wheelchairs to have their
picture taken, believe me, they did."
Gretna Dog Social Register: Vol. 1 (A
Dogs of Mt. Gretna
So just how does it happen that we decided to launch an occasional
series devoted to "the Dogs of Mt Gretna -- and the people who
think they own them?"
The idea came from our readers, including Bobby Mac
McCullough who promised we'd "soon have owners eating dog biscuits
right out of our hand." He's probably right. Most of us are, after
all, known by the dogs we walk with down the street.
So this seems as good a way as any to fulfill our mission to
help people get to know their neighbors, which fits hand-in-glove with
one reason we started writing this letter in the first
Thus begins, with fingers crossed, the first installment of Mt.
Gretna's Doggy Social Register. We hope to have more installments from
time to time.
Our chronicle begins with Geri Benseman, who divides her
Sophie and Beau
between a cottage
in the Campmeeting and a home in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Both are favorite
haunts of Goldendoodle Sophie, 6, and Beau, 8, a Golden
Retriever, both "loving, gentle, smart and non-barking
creatures" that always are up for play dates, she says.
Sadie, 10, is Mt. Gretna mayor Joe Shay's
collie. All have had wonderful temperaments, he says. The park opposite
his Pennsylvania Avenue cottage is her favorite spot -- that and the
carpeted floor alongside his workbench at Gretna Computers.
Mt. Gretna Heights residents David and Susan Wood just
discovered their third Shetland Sheepdog at a rescue agency in
4, like the
others, is "beautiful, smart and just the right size," says
David, a retired CFO. "They're a herding breed," he says.
"Sometimes they herd people and other dogs, but they're very
protective of children."
Former AT&T executive, Congressional candidate and
author Lois Herr who now serves on the Mt. Gretna Borough Council,
says she picked out Moonlight, 4, on a friend's Facebook page
that was "filled with dogs." When she arrived at their home in
Chester County, "she picked me out, too," says Lois.
Moonlight's relatives are mostly agility champions. A Soft-Coated
Wheaten Terrier, her favorite haunts are the creek along Rte. 117 and
the couch on Lancaster Avenue. She loves playing with other dogs but
"has a mind of her own." So don't look for her at the
Halloween parade. The costumes scare her, says her owner.
residents Jennifer and Timo Besse discovered Earl, 12, at a
Florida rescue shelter when he was just 4 months old. He's a Florida
Bobtail Cur, used in herding cattle. "He didn't jump and bark like
the other dogs, but he promptly fell asleep on Timo's lap," says
Jennifer. "We liked how calm he was. He acted like an old man when
he was a puppy and still acts like one now that he is. But he takes in
the world carefully and doesn't miss much."
Jennifer says that when Earl watches sunsets, "I think he
composes poetry in his doggy head."
Char Dissinger and husband Todd,
whose children had
grown up and left the farm they formerly owned in nearby Manheim, have
just moved to the Chautauqua with Otto, an 11-year-old Jack
Russell. "He's a thinking dog and likes to have control of the
situation, especially when I go for a walk," says Char, a yoga
instructor. Todd works for the Bon-Ton department stores. They finally
moved to Mt. Gretna after many years of visiting here, drawn especially
by the Jigger Shop and Art Show.
Peggy McGuire and Hazel,
9, spend much of their time at Peggy's Campmeeting cottage where she
maintains a home office. But they like walking on the Rail Trail or
behind the Roller Rink. An Italiano Spinoni, Hazel "will do almost
anything for a treat," says Peggy, who teaches writing at the
Lebanon campus of Harrisburg Area Community College. "She also
loves play dates but is a little jealous if I pet another dog."
The rambunctious Max, 3, is a "Heinz
according to Sid Hostetter who says his "best trick is making you
fall in love with him." He and wife Evelyn live on Valley Road in
Timber Hills and discovered Max at the Lebanon Humane Society.
"There he was, a street dog in Lebanon for a long time, just stuck
in a cage next to giant pit bulls. Little Max, a Rastafarian dog, a
felon, brought in by the police. Not housebroken but a cute little guy.
How could you turn him down?" asks Evelyn.
Henry and May May
rescues more than Sarah Minnich, who lives along Princeton Avenue in
the Chautauqua. She has four of them, in fact. Henry, maybe 8,
is mostly chow chow and May May, perhaps 6, is a fun-loving pit
bull. Her favorite trick is grabbing the vines that hang from trees
along the Rail Trail. She swings briefly on the vines then puts herself
in a hula hoop spin, twirling in mid-air. Sarah, who works at odd jobs
including dog-sitting, has a cell phone video to prove it. You can
reach her for assignments at her cell (717-304-5393). Ask her to
show you the video
of May May 's Tarzan act.
Campmeeting resident Nan McKay loves Rhodesian Ridgebacks,
a breed she dreamed about as a teenager in Canada when she wasn't
allowed to have pets. So she was forced to read about them in a
"Ridgebacks like Sasha, 6, became my fantasy
dog," she says. Now a horticulture adviser at Milton Hershey
School's Greenhouse complex, Nan says Sasha, a ridgeback rescue, loves
other dogs but her busy schedule doesn't allow much time for
socialization. Maybe Sasha's listing in the Mt. Gretna Dog Social
Register will help fix that.
Want to include your dog in an
upcoming edition? Send us a photo of you and your dog (close-up head
shots, please, to fit in our tiny format) along with your name and best
times and phone numbers to reach you.
Include your dog's name, age, breed, favorite
tricks and haunts, what attracted you to the breed and anything else
you think people might be surprised to learn. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: Here's My Dog.
Five school buses, nearly 200 students and 40 faculty
members in Mt. Gretna on a rainy weekday morning in mid-October?
In anybody's book, that's a
sighting. So Barb Kleinfelter, looking out her front door, called The
Mt. Gretna Newsletter to see what it was all about.
Actually, it's an annual tradition at Linden Hall
School that dates back nearly a century to the days when students in
horse-drawn wagons came up to gather chestnuts.
"Gretna Day" at the 268-year-old school
for girls in Lititz is a best-kept secret "and we know how to keep
it," says a school official. Not even the teachers know
until the night before, but they can't breathe a word. Then, next
morning, comes the big announcement: "No school today. It's Gretna
Everybody drops what they're doing, changes clothes and
boards a bus to Mt. Gretna for an early lunch at the Tennis Club
pavilion and barbeque pit, a whirl on the merry-go-ground, then it's
off to the Mt. Gretna Roller Rink for an afternoon of skating, singing
and traditions created by generations of students at the nation's
oldest girls school.
A day off from the classroom at an institution like Linden
Hall? What do parents who are paying the anual tuition ($49,500 for
7-day boarding students) think?
so much more than class time, tests and homework," says assistant
head of school for academic affairs Beth Teske, a graduate of Wellesley
making her first visit to Mt. Gretna.
"School is also community, learning to be with each
other in celebration and learning how to be happy together and build
those communities. We step outside the classroom to learn all the other
aspects of life," she says, "whether it is through art,
athletics or a day like Gretna Day."
Ms. Teske, who grew up near Princeton, returned to the
northeast last July after serving 20 years at Saint Stephen's Episcopal
School in Bradenton, FL, where she was academic dean. "I have to
say, this time of year was one of the reasons I came back to this part
of the world. This weather, this cold, this foggy overcast and
beautiful atmosphere, this rain and crisp, clear air. I just love the
Every now and then, even on a rainy day, it's good to hear
from others what makes our part of the world special.
audiences will feel cooling breezes at the Playhouse next summer.
Three giant "Big Ass" fans were installed there last month.
Engineers say they'll do a better, quieter job of cooling temperatures
than the eight conventional fans they replaced. Such fans are said to
have replicated "tropical breezes" at venues such as
Washington, DC's Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center.
The fans were funded by a $20,000 grant from the Mt.
Gretna Community Trust to Preserve the Arts.
If the song "Time to Say Goodbye" came to
mind last month, it may have been evoked by the final turn of a key to
the door of an apartment on Valley Road.
For years, that apartment had been the tranquil retreat of
a woman who, as a youngster, had spent happy summers at the
Campmeeting. She had grown up in a cottage her grandfather built in 1936,
the year she was born. Ever since then, even after the family cottage
was sold, she cherished the apartment, drawn there by friends and happy
She had swum across the lake at age four, proving to her
parents that they needn't worry when she was in the water alone.
She sometimes swam alongside a neighbor who headed Pennsylvania's
Department of Transportation. Often she accompanied him as they circled
the lake's entire perimeter.
For Sally Stauffer Bures, Mt. Gretna has been a lifelong
touchstone. Her rewarding life includes many years of service at the
only job outside the home that she ever held. And only 11 years ago did
she finally retire as director of the Lancaster Parish Resource Center.
Yes, she intends to stay in touch with Mt. Gretna. It is,
after all, only a short hop from her permanent home in Lancaster. And
she has many friends here. Dave and Darlene Eckert, Ann Andrews, Pat
Hershock, and Nancy Besch among many others. She also has a son Ray and
daughter-in-law Leslie, who live along nearby Butler Road.
"I may be leaving physically but I could never leave
emotionally," she wrote in a note to us last month. Never is there
a doubt: Those touched by Mt. Gretna never truly leave.
Finally, a woman's
touch. Soon after they elected Sandy Moritz as the first woman
president in the 111-year history of the Mt. Gretna Men's Club, its
name changed to the Mt. Gretna Tennis Club. Other changes have quickly
As the tennis season neared its end this fall, work
was already underway to spiff up the surroundings.
With help from Borough staffers Lindsey Kresge, Joey Wise
and Scott Cooling, the renovations got underway to rebuild the entrance
onto the lower court, remove some concrete slabs and add red stones and
new steps to the courts.
Men may have founded Mt. Gretna. But it is the women who
have enhanced its joys.
Near the tennis courts along Chautauqua land
bordering the lake and also alongside a nearby stretch of
the Conewago Creek, Mt. Gretna volunteers Vicki and Don Kensinger and
Joan and Mike Sherman were out again last month planting trees as part
of the Penn State Greening
the Lower Susquehanna project. Their
group added 30 more trees and shrubs along riparian
areas to help wildlife and promote water quality and species diversity.
Mr. Sherman promises they'll be at it again next year.
Leesa Troy Crnogorac
funeral service in Harrisburg last month, several persons with ties to
Mt. Gretna were asked to speak. Among them was Gretna Theatre's Renee
Krizan, who recalled that Leesa, as she was known, became Gretna
Theatre's Leading Lady of the 1966 season. Soon afterward, she met her
husband and decided never to leave Central Pennsylvania, even though
she had appeared on Broadway in the original company of Camelot. "She
came to Mt. Gretna and never left," said Ms. Krizan.
her summer of performances here, rehearsing next week's play during the
day and performing another each night, she played starring or
supporting roles in Boing, Boing; Catch Me If You Can; Bye,
Bye Birdie; South Pacific; The Impossible Years and Any
A few years later, she consented to judge the Gretna Gala
Idol Competition and, recalled Ms. Krizan, "she was the perfect
judge, offering words of encouragement to the teens, all with the same
aspirations she had once had."
Ms. Krizan also recalls telling Leesa that she wanted to
be like her when she grew up. "I think I said that only a few
years ago," she recalls. "She merely laughed and replied,
'You should reach higher.'"
In online tributes, Mt. Gretnans Susan and David Wood
commented that "she was a vibrant, generous and lovely
person." Former Gretna Music executive director Douglas Blackstone
remembered her as a grand, classy lady, right up there with our best
and most memorable contributors and audience members." Her
complete obituary appears online.
Carl Oliver Stroud (1928 - 2014)
Carl Stroud, a native of Philadelphia, had spent his formative
years in Mt. Gretna, according to an obituary last month in a
Pensacola, FL newspaper. During his years of service with the Navy as a
Chief Petty Officer, he served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Mr.
Stroud later retired from the Pensacola Naval Air Station. His
complete obituary appears online.
our eye and
calendars listed below.
Saturday, Nov. 1:
Art Studio Tour (both Saturday and Sunday)
features nine Mt. Gretna artists at La Cigale Gallery and the private studios of Barb
and Glenn Acker, Betsy Stutzman (inset) and Fred Swarr. Resident
artists of the gallery will set up demonstrations of their work through
the weekend and display their latest works. Light refreshments will be
Gretnans Barb Fishman and Gerry Boltz will also be on the two-day tour.
November Nocturne "Heads or Tails" hike. A
tossed coin determines which way you'll go, with a Scavenger Hunt from
2 to 6 pm. Hot dogs, desserts and drinks available until prize drawing
at 7 pm followed by a hike to the tower.
Sunday, Nov. 2:
Buffet Breakfast In the
French sense of the word, it is a gourmand's* delight where the suggested
donation is $11 a person, but many patrons drop $20, $50 and even $100 bills into the
fireman's boot at the entrance. For this is, after all, a
get is more than scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon.
Or more than
baked oatmeal, fruit cups and beverages. The best part is the people,
like neighbors Pat and Mike Allwein (inset) and fire company
volunteer Laura Feather (above) dishing out the potatoes, chipped beef
and other delectables, from 8 am to noon at the Mt. Gretna Fire Hall.
with refined tastes in food.
Art Studio Tour
continues. (See above.)
Music on the Porch. Bluegrass a specialty. 1 to 4 pm at
Gov. Dick Park Nature Center off Pinch Road.
Tuesday, Nov. 4:
Election Day. Polls open 7 am to 8 pm at Mt. Gretna
Borough (for Chautauqua residents), Lawn Fire Co. (for Timber Hills,
Conewago Hill and Timber Bridge residents) and Quentin Fire Co. (for
Heights, Campmeeting and others in West Cornwall Township).
after-voting selection of raisin, apple, pumpkin and raspberry pies;
chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies; and cheesecake? The Lawn Fire Co.,
with ham-and-bean, vegetable beef and chicken corn soups in take-home
paks. Spaghetti sauce, too, and hot dogs with sauerkraut.
their kitchen after casting your vote. "You don't have to buy
anything, but there's plenty to look at," says Carol Stoffel, a
perennial Art Show volunteer with husband Bill, who adds,"Get
there early if you want a whole pumpkin pie."
Friday, Nov. 7:
Morning Bird Walk every Friday with Sid Hostetter, meets
at Chautauqua parking lot 9 to 11 am (followed by lunch, usually at Le
Breakfasts at Le
Sorelle Served all
winter long, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; lunches, too. 8 am to 1
Tip: The lines
are shortest on Fridays; breakfasts also across the street, at the only
pizzeria with pancakes, eggs any way, bacon and baked oatmeal.
First Friday Yes, it continues into late fall and
winter, at least at The Timbers where legendary Harrisburg jazz pianist
(formally, the Mr. Ronnie Waters Trio) appears as musical backdrop for
the works of landscape artist Ben Wilson and Kate Dolan's card and
jewelry designs, displayed in the downstairs dining area. Count on a
cheery fire, friends, and conversation with everything from burgers and
curly fries to salmon and Italian specialties.
Tip: Not on the
menu but available on request: Wiener Schnitzel and steaks seared
Pittsburgh Rare by Chef Rachel.
Saturday, Nov. 8:
Mosaic Nature Crafts
at Gov. Dick
Park, 10:30 am
Vendor Open House and bake sale. Vendors to include The
Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Thirty-One, Orgami Owl and Mt. Gretna
photographer Jane Mourer. At the Mt. Gretna Fire Company, which
benefits from proceeds. 11 am til 2 pm.
Hunting season reminder from Lizzy, Bill Gifford's redbone coonhound mix who turns
14 this Thanksgiving:
"Even if you don't exactly look like a tiny deer, wrapping
yourself in orange is still a good idea from now until Christmas,"
Sunday, Nov. 9:
Silent Auction begins at Mt. Gretna United Methodist
Church and runs all month, say organizers Melissa Warner and Sandy
Hall. The idea is to raise money for charities during the Christmas
season. Pastor Mike Remel invites everyone to stop by any morning from
now 'til the end of November to place their bids.
(Tip: Look for handmade items, gift
baskets and cards, and other items collected from Nov. 2 and added as
they arrive. Come often to see what's new.)
Jazz concert Music at Gretna at Elizabethtown
College: the Charnee Wade Quartet. 3 pm
Fitness Hike, Gov. Dick Park, 9 am.
Monday, Nov. 10:
Leaf Pickups begin in Chautauqua (brush pickups
follow in December, on the 1st and 15th). Campmeeting residents may set
their leaves out at any time. In the Heights, leaf collection (already
underway) will continue until Dec. 1. No leaf pickups yet available for
residents in Timber Hills, Timber Bridge and Conewago Hills, the
outlying sectors of South Londonderry Township. (Tip: Maybe a discussion topic for the
Supervisors? See below.)
Meeting, Mt. Gretna
Boardroom, 7 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 12:
Meeting of South
Londonderry Twp. at the Timbers, 7 pm (for the second of two monthly
sessions held annually in Mt. Gretna)
Friday, Nov. 14:
Toddlers in Tow Nature walk and crafts for
children ages 2 to 5, Gov. Dick Park, 10 am
Saturday, Nov. 15:
Competition 4th annual at
Gov. Dick Park, 8 am. Rain date Nov. 22.
Soup Cook-off at the Fire Hall. Officially, it's the
10th annual, but they've been saying that for the last three years. The
official slogan is "Challenge Your Pallet and Cast Your
Ballot," but our imaginative readers this year sent suggestions of
their own: "Give Yourself a Thrill As You Slurp Down The
Swill." "Grab a Cup, Get Your Spoon, Vote for the Soup that
Makes You Swoon" and
"Sip Some Soup and Give Us the Scoop."
"We've come a long way," says organizer Thatcher Bornman, who
recalls that a Road Kill Chili was one of the entrees at the first
cook-off. Last year's winner was Choco-Mocha Latte. With a $10
admission, the event has to date raised over $8,000 for the Mt. Gretna
Fire Company ($1,200 last year alone). Tip: Get there early. Sample all the
soups. Meet your friends. And cast your ballot for the top three soups.
Noon to 2 pm.
Wednesday, Nov. 19:
Place, normally held on third Wednesdays, has been POSTPONED this
month. The date will shift to the first Wednesday in December,
combining the November-December gatherings on Dec. 3 in Fellowship Hall
at MGUMC at noon.
Thursday, Nov. 20:
Meeting of Gov. Dick
Park, Nature Center, 7:15 pm
Friday, Nov. 21:
ExtraGive stretches your donations to Gretna Music
during this one-day-only event. Last year, it added $4,610 to Gretna
Music's treasure chest through a special Organizational Endowment fund.
Click here for details.
Saturday, Nov. 22:
Pumpkin and minced
pie sales at Lawn Fire
Company. Also potato filling plus soups and spaghetti sauce (see the
entry for Nov. 4, above).
Sunday, Nov. 23:
Suzy Afflerbach photo, Fall 2011
Breakfast at Mt. Gretna
United Methodist Church. Note, "It's a breakfast, not
dinner," says Pastor Mike Remel. Begins at 9:30 in Fellowship
Place combines its
November-December meetings on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at noon in Fellowship
Hall of Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church. A free will offering is
Dessert Buffet at Le Sorelle Friday, Dec. 5. Reservations required (717-269-3876).
Annual House Tour to benefit Cornwall Iron Furnace,
Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 day of
Christmas Tree Lighting and carol singing, Saturday, Dec. 6. An open house at the
Princeton Avenue residence of Peter Hewitt and Walter McAnney (opposite
the post office). Mr. McAnney, organist, will be joined by pianist
Thelma Strauss. All are invited to attend and bring food to share, 5:30
- 7:30 pm. Please email Rhoda Long for suggestions of what to bring.
Santa Breakfasts at Sacred Heart Church in Cornwall Dec.
6; he'll also be at Le Sorelle for breakfast and the Mt. Gretna Fire
Hall for lunch Dec. 13.
Christmas Music by the fire, Gov. Dick Nature Center,
Sunday, Dec. 7, 1 pm to 4 pm.
"looking ahead" reminder for Mt. Gretnans in Florida this winter. Photographer Madelaine
Gray will throw a "Mt. Gretnans in Sarasota" party at her new
home in Sarasota, Fla. on a Saturday evening, January 17. Drop her a note if you expect to be in the area. You can also reach her
at 717-304-8323. Please pass this on to your friends who like Madelaine
or Mt. Gretna or all the good memories wrapped up in that happy
information, see the Mt. Gretna Arts Council's calendars in both print
(summer) and online (http://mtgretna.com) versions. Also
available by email during the summer is This Week in Mt. Gretna.
Nobody knows exactly where they came from or how they
happened to choose Mt. Gretna as their landing zone. But wild turkeys
have descended on us in force this year and last. . . a
surprise to residents who've lived here for 30 years and never seen them
before. Just how many there are is unknown. But residents north of
the lake have counted as many as 24 at a time. They're showing up
along Timber and Valley roads and atop Conewago Hill. Maybe after all
those years as the featured attraction for Thanksgiving, they're
taking advantage of residential zoning laws and strutting past the
very grounds where their ancestors once wound up on dinner
Bill Shoals photo
The Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Five-Year All-Star Award Winner but with no official
interests or political ax to grind.
Just a pastime
for a retired guy.