The Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Mt. Gretna, PA "Not a place, but a spirit."
March 1, 2015
Early on a morning in the middle of February, Ken Narehood
stood outside on his snow-covered deck along Lakeview Drive and aimed a
Sony DSC-H9 at the tiniest of attractions poised on a frosty branch
about 15 ft. away. In his viewfinder was one of the season's youngest
bluebirds, a fluff of color and part of a small flock that began
showing up a few days before. Surely amid even the repeated blows
of winter, this signals that spring cannot be far off. For photo buffs,
Mr. Narehood captured the moment through a 78 mm lens, set at f/4 and
1/160th of a second. A picture perfect result and example of how Mt.
Gretna's year 'rounders draw upon their surroundings and talents to
make the most of a winter's day.
More on what
makes Mt. Gretna special
dispatching this newsletter's December issue, I promised on my website I'd be back before
the first robin appeared in Mt. Gretna.
Narehood's bluebird photo arrived a few days ago -- an exquisite
reminder that I'd better get busy. This month's issue is a scramble to
catch up with where I left off.
it's been a tough winter for Mt. Gretna's year-rounders, the glad tidings
of March are that spring lies merely the wisp of a wing away.
the respite has been welcome. A little time off now and then gives the
soul a chance to rest, travel, read, and catch up on some
household duties that get shuttled aside when the newsletter is running
at full tilt.
Yes, even a hobby that's a labor of love takes more time than I
sometimes realize. But nothing is more satisfying. Not golf, travel or
even a Parker's barbecue
sandwich topped with slaw on our trips through North Carolina. This
letter is a way of connecting with friends who share my fondness for
of them I discovered this year down in Sarasota, Fla., where photographer Madelaine Gray
has now taken up full-time residence. She invited all Mt.
Gretnans in Florida to a gathering in January. A surprising
number turned up in her new living room.
Sarasota has a birds-of-a-feather appeal to Mt. Gretnans. It's one of
America's leading arts centers. Several exhibiting artists who
were there one weekend in January have also been exhibitors at the Mt.
Gretna Outdoor Art Show.
like Mt. Gretna in mid-summer, the whole town bustles with concerts,
lectures and talented folk, a cultural cornucopia.
travels also reinforced another truth: When Marlin Seiders noted
more than a decade ago that Mt. Gretna isn't a place but a spirit, he
also helped identify its powerful pull on our heartstrings. To be sure
the lure is an amalgam of sparkling assets -- the hills, trees and
cottages placed on the hillside with almost a jeweler's delicate
touch. Yet it's also a cluster of kindred spirits, magnetically
drawn to this setting. Take away its inhabitants and their
spirited constellation of artistic endeavors and you're left with
wooden cottages in a nearly silent forest. The magic of a Mt. Gretna
absent its inhabitants suddenly subsides by half.
about Mt. Gretna's people engenders an energy you can feel the moment
you touch down here, something that transcends ordinary measurements.
It is not merely professional or academic laurels or trappings of high
achievement of its inhabitants. Genuinely good people -- our talented
neighbors -- radiate a special quality.
Whether they sing, or sculpt or paint or sew, all who are
drawn to Mt. Gretna share the heart and soul of artists. They respond
instinctively to its bright beacon. And whether we are gone for a day,
a week or a month, it is a glow that says to us all once we return,
"Welcome home" as nothing else can. --
Photographer Jane Mourer stayed out late on a
wintery night in mid-February to capture this ethereal glimpse of the
Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church steeple.
Her picture captivated historian Tom Meredith, who sees it
as symbolizing "the spirit of the congregation that first met in
the Tabernacle for year-round Sunday worship in 1944, led by Lebanon
Valley College student Marlin Seiders."
The Mt. Gretna worshippers organized first as a United
Brethren Community and in 1952 as a United Methodist congregation. Ten
years later, they erected the present church with its steeple, standing
out in this photograph "white against the cold and icy sky, an
enduring beacon in the darkness," says Mr. Meredith.
Ms. Mourer used a Panasonic DMC FZ 200 camera with a 27.4
mm lens set at f/2.8 for 1/6 (0.167) of a second. The result was a
photograph that also attests to the seemingly relentless grip of the
Winter of 2015
Now, an informational hub to encompass all
Mt. Gretna communities
a remarkable ability to adapt to changing circumstances, even in
traditionalist Mt. Gretna. Changes do indeed come slowly here, but
maybe at a pace that's just right. Much to the delight of nearly
everyone who prefers life in the slow lane.
for the first time in recent memory, folks from every sector of the
community -- all seven of the diverse neighborhoods that make up the
distinctive geographic enclave that most outsiders regard as "Mt.
Gretna" -- have formed an organization made up of residents from
the Campmeeting, Chautauqua, Mt. Gretna Heights, Stoberdale, Timber
Hills, Timber Bridge and the tiny 16-home community of Conewago
The idea was sparked by long-time resident Karl Gettle,
whose roots go back to the days when inspectors opened refrigerator
doors in the Campmeeting to assure nothing untoward was going on inside
those early days in the 1950s until now, each of Mt. Gretna's
neighborhoods kept pretty much independent of each other, for reasons
both practical and traditional.
that is changing, however. A recent string of burglaries in
mostly vacant homes has sent up a need for closer communications,
proving that even ill winds can bring value.
Gettle has arranged for designated representatives in each neighborhood
to meet once a month and share experiences, ideas and problems needing
the wisdom, counsel and collaboration of close neighbors.
sessions began last month in the meeting room in back of the Post
Office and will continue on fourth Tuesdays of every month, says Mr.
Gettle, who formerly helped set up the Mt. Gretna Art Show and was a
school superintendent in Baltimore County and then directed the
Maryland Center for Career and Technical Studies before retiring to Mt.
Gretna 16 years ago.
Appointed as neighborhood representatives who will serve as contact
Rhoda Long (Timber Bridge); Greg Pappariella (Conewago Hill ); Evelyn
Koppel (Timber Hills.); Chuck Allwein and Alan Feldman (Chautauqua/Mt.
Gretna Borough); Max Hunsicker (Mt. Gretna Heights); and David Lloyd
(Campmeeting). Pending appointment of a Stoberdale representative, residents
there may contact Mr. Gettle directly (964-2292).
Residents who need phone numbers or email addresses for their
neighborhood contact may contact Evelyn Koppel at 717-964-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips to Give Your Home a Lived-In Look
* Have snow shoveled
* Bring in trash cans
* Keep lights on
timers (which must be re-set after power failures)
* Ask a neighbor to
make occasional checks inside your unoccupied property.
The idea is not just to
deal with the rare break-ins that have suddenly appeared, says Ms.
Koppel. "We'd like to serve as a clearing house for ideas
that can boost the enjoyment of Mt. Gretna in every neighborhood.
We want to know about ways to protect our trees and the environment,
ideas to curb noise and promote tranquility in this community, and
other measures that can enhance everyone's enjoyment of this special
Where to look for spring
Mt. Gretna's a
good place to start
As he grew
into his 90s, legendary Mt. Gretna historian Jack Bitner often
surprised people in Timber Hills by showing up on brisk afternoon walks
more than a mile from his Chautauqua home.
approached 89, Pete Light sometimes startled his Conewago Hill
neighbors by plowing snow down his driveway on the coldest days of
winter, sitting atop his tractor and happily smoking a cigar.
former Mt. Gretnan Tom Meredith,
now 93 and once again quoted in this month's issue, regularly chimes in
with contributions to this newsletter with penetrating insights into
Mt. Gretna life that few others can match.
people cast long shadows, an influence that even they themselves may
never have realized.
have all helped inspire "Spring Chicken," the latest
book of journalist Bill Gifford, who divides his time between Mt.
Gretna, New York City and globetrotting assignments for leading
"I'll never forget the time I ran into Jack Bitner, well past 80,
on a trail deep in the Governor Dick reservation," he says.
Gifford's interest in the subject of aging and the possibilities that
scientists are now discovering to slow down that process was
stimulated, in part, by the examples he found in Mt. Gretna. "I have
a long list of role models here," he says.
obviously a bit of an older community, and it's been inspiring to see
such a critical mass of fit, sociable, intellectually-engaged and
community-minded older people working together here," says Mr. Gifford.
those he admires are "people 20 years older than me who still give
me a hard time on our bike rides."
He described some of the breakthroughs of science in his new book
during recent appearances on shows such as Dr. Oz and NPR's Fresh Air.
Published last month, "Spring Chicken" has already jumped to
a No. 1 best-seller spot in Amazon's Gerontology Social Sciences
need this book," says "Born to Run" author Christopher
McDougall. "I grabbed it
like a life preserver. It leaves you with the good news that by
adopting a few easy-to-understand discoveries, you might just
deactivate the time bombs in your fat cells... and follow in the
successful aging of a 92-year-old pole vaulter."
Another bestselling author, Daniel Coyle, called it "a whip-smart
guide to living a longer and healthier life."
Gifford, together with Harper's Bazaar design director Elizabeth
Hummer, is now remodeling the Muhlenberg Avenue home once owned by Jack
and Jeanine Bitner. He describes the book as "a kind of personal
investigation into the science of aging." It raises some
"intriguing possibilities" of how to slow the process, he
says. Developments he's uncovered might turn out to be "as
significant as penicillin," adds his publisher.
Confident he's onto
something, Mr. Gifford has more than science to back him up. His
grandmother, Doris, is nearly 100. He's determined to get there, too.
Sarasota's magnetic Mt. Gretna attraction was evident soon
after the harsh Winter of 2015 began.
Even before the snows began piling up at
home, a gathering that attracted folks from Mt. Gretna who were
spending time in Florida in mid-January drew a small crowd.
Clockwise from left, seated: Doug Lorenzen, Pam Bishop, Evelyn
Koppel, Carol Groce and Marcia Judd. Standing: Lee Ellis and Mary Ann
Gray (son-in-law and daughter of Dorothy Gray, seated), Julia Phillips,
Bruce Judd, Geri Benseman, Ed and Patsy Landis; Shirley and Terry
Miller. Seated, right: Sid Hostetter, Larry Phillips, Roger Groce and
Sarasota's newest resident, Madelaine Gray (who will still be a Mt.
Gretna Art Show exhibitor this year).
Jeff and Deborah Hurst are the Mt. Gretna Community
Library sparkplugs who energize the fascinating programs that take
place there each summer.
Even as snowflakes swirled around the library last month,
the Hursts were out looking for more volunteers to propel this summer's
Needed are people to read aloud in four children's
programs and provide suitable age crafts. (Expenses for supplies
are reimbursed.) A perfect assignment for anyone who loves to
teach children. Contact the Hursts at email@example.com.
Call Met-Ed after EVERY
Met-Ed gives top priority to outages affecting the greatest numbers of
people. Your call helps pinpoint the scope of an outage and may help
speed repair crews to Mt. Gretna.
Call even if
your neighbors have also reported the outage, says Met Ed.
NOTE: In extreme
weather, the Mt. Gretna Fire Company provides emergency shelter during
power outages of more than three hours. Bring medications and medical
equipment, sleeping bag or blanket, food for yourself and family
members, books, games and other materials to help pass the time.
No facilities available for pets.
Recent Obituary Notices
Earl Donald Besch (1926 - 2015)
Earl Besch, age
88, died February 1, 2015, at Harrisburg Hospital. Born in Lancaster, Pa. on
September 15, 1926, he was the son of Earl C. and Mary Mowery Besch.
Earl was a 1944
graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School. He left school in March, 1944, to
enlist in the Army Air Force. He was assigned to Gettysburg College and
then to further training in active duty. After being discharged in
1946, he completed his education and earned a B.A. degree from
Gettysburg College in 1948. While in college, he was an active member
of Sigma Chi fraternity, and he also was elected a member of the
honorary organization Pi Lambda Sigma.
graduation, Earl moved back to Lancaster and became a purchasing agent
with Armstrong Linoleum Company. He later accepted a sales position
with Nabisco Company. After many years working in sales with health and
beauty products, he formed his own business, Besch and Associates, as a
manufacturer's representative, and continued working in this role until
predeceased by his parents, and is survived by his high school
sweetheart and beloved wife of 66 years, Nancy Adams Besch; a sister,
Dorothy Grim, and her husband, William, of Lancaster; a son, Donald
Besch and his wife, Ursula, of Dallas, TX; daughters, Kathy Hamilton
and her husband, Robert G., of Camp Hill, Susan Pera and her husband,
Albert E., of Camp Hill, and Diane Gombocz and her husband, John, of
Mechanicsburg; two granddaughters, Katrina Besch Tufaro and her
husband, Edward, of Houston, TX, and Kristen Besch Bierschenk and her
husband, David, of Bartlesville, OK; two grandsons, Robert B. Hamilton
and his wife, Laura, of Camp Hill, and Mark W. Hamilton and his wife,
Brandy, of Camp Hill; eight great-grandchildren, Christopher, Maria,
Caroline, and Sophia Tufaro, James and Emily Bierschenk, Elle Hamilton,
and Grace Hamilton. He is also survived by several nieces, a nephew,
Earl was very
active in his church and community. He was an ordained Elder and Deacon
at Camp Hill Presbyterian Church and at Market Square Presbyterian
Church in Harrisburg. He served as a Republican Committeeman for many
years in Camp Hill. He was also a supporter of numerous community
projects in Camp Hill. Most recently, he was a supporter of the Plein
Air Arts Festival in the Borough of Camp Hill.
Earl and Nancy spent their
summers at their cottage in Mt. Gretna. There, Earl was a member of the
Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, and he served as
President of the Board for many years.
Above all, he
treasured time with his family and his many friends. His warmth and his
love will always be remembered by all whose lives he touched.
A celebration of
life was held Feb. 14 at Market Square Presbyterian Church in
Harrisburg. Myers-Harner Funeral Home in Camp Hill handled the
Earl always had a
soft spot in his heart for children in need. Memorial contributions may
therefore be made to the Camp Hill Lion Foundation, care of the Earl
Besch Memorial Fund, 2627 Chestnut Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011, or to
The Joshua Group, 1442 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103.
Jeanine Bitner (Died Dec. 22, 2014)
94, formerly of Mt. Gretna, passed away Dec. 22, 2014 at Country
Meadows of Lancaster. Born in Galesburg, IL, she was the daughter of
the late Hubert and Helene Berquist Stephenson. She was the wife of the
late John D. "Jack" Bitner, who passed away in 2008.
Jeanine was a
graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she met Jack. They
lived in Baltimore, where she was a fifth grade teacher at the Friends
School in Baltimore and earned her Master's degree in education from
retirement, they moved to Mount Gretna, where Jeanine was able to spend
more time enjoying horseback riding and painting.
She is survived by
a son, Robert, husband of Carol, Elizabethtown; a daughter, Joan, wife
of Tom Brown, Lancaster; 3 grandchildren; and a sister Mary Lee
Hagelin, CT. She is preceded in death by her husband and a sister
A memorial service will
be held at a later date.
Marie A. Brubaker (Died Jan. 10, 2015)
93, of Lancaster, died Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at Willow Valley
Retirement Communities. She was the widow of John H. Brubaker, Jr., who
died in 1995. Born in Lancaster, she was the
daughter of the late Jacob F. Aierstock and Blanche Christ Aierstock.
She graduated from
McCaskey High School, Linden Hall Junior College, Pembroke College of
Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design.
A lifelong artist,
she exhibited her work at the Marion Art Center, Lancaster Galleries,
the Lancaster Library, the Mt. Gretna Art Gallery and other locations.
She directed the art department at Conestoga Valley High School in the
1960s. She was instrumental in starting the county's Scholastic Art
Awards program and the Mt. Gretna Art Show.
She was active in
a variety of community activities in Lancaster, Bird-in-Hand and Mt.
She is survived by
three children: John H. Brubaker III, husband of Christine C. Brubaker,
Manor Township; Judith Brubaker Veser, Boca Raton, FL; and Barbara B.
DiFrank, wife of Jeffrey M. DiFrank, Manheim Township.
grandchildren survive: Jennifer V. Besse, wife of Timo Besse, Mt.
Gretna; Jonathan B. Veser, husband of Victoria Veser, Phoenixville; Lee
C.B. Hicks., wife of Joseph Hicks, Mt. Rainier, MD; J. Nicholas Veser,
husband of Dawn Veser, Boca Raton, FL; M. Roger Brubaker, husband of
Denise Silfee, Eugene, OR; Julia K. Veser, Lancaster; Katie E.
Shickman, wife of Mark Shickman, Manheim Township; and Emily C. Korzon,
wife of Andrew Korzon, Manheim Township.
great-grandchildren survive: Ryan N. Veser, Parker J. Veser, Vivian C.
Veser, Beatrice L. Hicks, Bennett M Shickman, and Henry E. Shickman.
She was preceded
in death by three sisters and a brother: Beatrice A. Sharrocks, J. Paul
Aierstock, Betty A. Moore, and Barbara A. Aierstock.
A memorial service
was held at First United Methodist Church in Lancaster with the Rev.
William Lentz, Jr., officiating; interment services were conducted
later at the Bird-in-Hand United Methodist Church. Contributions may be
made in Marie Brubaker's memory to Hospice and Community Care, PO Box
4125, Lancaster, PA 17604
Al Fishman (1932 - 2015)
Alvin Fishman, 82,
Cornwall, formerly of Mt. Gretna, passed away January 7, 2015 at his
residence. He was the husband of Barbara Sterling Fishman. He was born
in Vineland, NJ on December 17, 1932, son of the late Harry and
Elizabeth "Bess" Freedman Fishman.
He was raised in
Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University and University of
Pennsylvania Veterinary School. He was a Korean Conflict Army Veteran.
In 1968 he purchased the Palmyra Animal Clinic and loved taking care of
pets for over 35 years. He was an accomplished clarinet and sax player,
playing with the Chopped Liver Band, Lancaster. He was an avid runner
and had participated in several triathlons and a marathon. He was a
member of Congregation Beth Israel, Lebanon.
In addition to his
wife he is survived by children, Debbie Gordon, Cleona, Stuart, husband
of Robin Fishman, Nemo, SD, Eileen, wife of Jeffrey Freedman,
Pittsburgh, 6 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was
preceded in death by sister, Pearl Brownstein. A graveside service
attended by family and friends was held January 9 at Beth Israel
Cemetery, Lebanon with Rabbi Louis Zivic officiating.
Elizabeth S. Flocken (1916 - 2015)
Betty Flocken was born and grew up in Lebanon, and began
coming to Mt. Gretna as a summer resident in 1926, when she was ten
years old. Her parents, John A. and Mae L. Berger Saylor, first rented
a cottage in the Campmeeting (Pine Breeze on Mills Avenue), but her grandfather had just bought
a new cottage in the Heights and named it Saylors' Harbor; after two
years he sold this cottage to Betty's father, who ran Saylor's
Drugstore in Lebanon. Between 1928 and 1990 Betty and her family never
missed a single summer on the porch at Saylors' Harbor. In 1991, Betty
winterized the cottage and moved in permanently, living there until her
death last month at the age of 98.
Betty was the center of gravity for an extended family
that included five generations. She was a social worker for Dauphin
County Children and Youth Services for 26 years, and her concern for
and delight in children extended to every aspect of her life, including
her poetry. She travelled extensively in Europe and across the United
States, always in connection with visiting family, grandchildren, and
Though she loved to travel, she was always glad to come
home to her beloved Heights cottage. Family, neighbors, colleagues, and
friends of all ages have shared card games, amateur dramatics, writing
critiques, birthday cakes, lively conversation and of course the
occasional bourbon on her welcoming front porch.
Betty was the wife of the late Karl R. Flocken. Betty and
Karl had three daughters, Carol, Susan, and Kate. She is lovingly
remembered by all her family, now including seven grandchildren, ten
great-grandchildren, and one great-great. "Gram," as she was
known to so many generations, will be dearly missed.
William Lock Harrington (1931 - 2014)
peacefully in his sleep after years of living with a severe heart
condition. He was a man with a passion for living who fought to stay
with his family for as long as he could. He was happiest when
surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
Bill had many
talents. A graduate of Harvard and Wharton, he enjoyed classical music
and the arts but was a shrewd businessman as well. Having grown up in
the Great Depression, it was very important to Bill that his family be
financially secure. In 1966, he and Dick Edgerton -- who lived in Mt.
Gretna for many years, until his death some time ago -- became partners
as Burger King franchisees. They built a thriving business filled with
long-time, loyal employees. Bill was grateful when his son Alan took
over the business in 2010. Shortly before his death, the business was
sold, bringing Bill a great sense of satisfaction knowing his family
had the security he desired.
Bill and his wife
Leane found Mt. Gretna when looking for new locations for restaurants
and fell in love with it right away. In 1970 they decided to rent a
home in Chautauqua for a month. They soon bought this same house for
$10,000 and had great pleasure in attending flea markets and local
auctions to furnish it. They raised their three children in this home
and Carrie, Alan and Lia still love to visit whenever they can.
For years, Bill's
greatest joy was playing tennis at the Mt. Gretna Tennis Club and going
to the lake every afternoon to swim and sit talking with friends under
the trees. He loved going out to dinner with the Beach Bums every
Sunday night, often at the Hide-A-Way, and also greatly enjoyed dinner
at The Timbers.
Bill never much liked cold weather, and so he opted to
spend winters in Florida. Each spring, though, thoughts of Mt. Gretna
called him back to his favorite of all places.
Helen Bowers Hoelbinger (1925 - 2015)
Hoelbinger, a longtime resident of the Campmeeting who moved to
Elizabethtown about eight years ago, died January 9. She was born
January 11, 1925 in Maytown to the late Lau and Florence (Zinn)
Tressler. Her official obituary notes that "she had a wonderful
life and was first married to Dave Bowers who passed away in 1982. She
then married Otto Hoelbinger in 1985; they had a happy life together
and he was by her side at the time of her passing." She is
survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Earl and Molly Tressler.
Friends in Mt. Gretna recall she was an excellent
craftsperson who made and sold ceramics at shops in Lancaster. With
their Mt. Gretna friends Larry and Sandy Hall, they traveled to shows
at Dollywood in Tennessee, at Kempton, and at the Gratz Fair in
Both she and her husband loved Southern Gospel music.
Funeral services were held January 17th at St. Paul's
United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown. Memorial contributions may be
made in her honor to Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway,
Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
Straub, Sr. (1935- 2015)
"Frank" Straub, Sr., 79, passed away unexpectedly at the
Hershey Medical Center Jan. 30. He was predeceased in 2013 by his loving
wife of over 56 years, Patricia A. (Henning) Straub. Together they had
managed the Mt. Gretna Roller Rink where he loved to skate.
A proud U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict, Mr.
Straub worked for Smith Dairy in Palmyra and retired from the Hershey
Medical Center where he worked as a security officer for over 17 years.
He attended Lebanon Valley Bible Church and is survived by two
daughters, two sons, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and
two sisters. He was predeceased by a daughter, Sherry L. Straub.
Funeral services were held Feb. 4 in Palmyra with Pastor John B. Hunt
officiating. Burial was at the Campbelltown United Christian
the Mt. Gretna Arts Council calendar online
dinners at the former Hotel Conewago haven't been served for at least
85 years, but these five visitors seemed ready for supper when they
arrived last month. A familiar sight to neighbors, they showed up in
the Conewago Hill backyard of Val and Eleanor Sarabia, whose home was
erected on grounds once occupied by the stately hotel's famed
iPod photo by
Sunday, March 1:
Mt. Gretna Fire
Company Breakfast, a not-to-be-missed event that everyone looks forward to
every year. Especially this year, as the Winter of 2015 recedes
slowly into distant memory. Is this annual event a harbinger of
Yes, perhaps even better even than robins: Out come the eggs and
pancakes, sausages and coffee, fruit cups and fixings galore. All
inside the warmth of the Fire Hall, amid people you know or want to
know. Starting at 8 am and continuing until noon.
Music by the Fire, a bluegrass jam to warm you up. Gov.
Dick Nature Center, 1 to 4 pm.
Mt. Gretna Pizzeria is open for business following a brief,
but welcome, mid-winter vacation for operator Damien Orea and his whole
team. Now back in Mt. Gretna from his hometown in Mexico, they have
resumed their Tuesday-Sunday wintertime schedule, open for breakfast at
7 am and serving luncheon with Italian specialties until 2 pm
Tuesdays-Thursdays. Open 7 am to 8 pm Friday-Sunday. For takeouts:
resident Bernie Yohn captured this photo of a stately Eagle outside
his home in January.
Friday, March 6:
Morning Bird Walk every Friday with Sid Hostetter. Meet
at the Chautauqua parking lot, 9 am (followed by lunch, usually at Le
Sorelle). Newcomers welcome.
First Friday at the Timbers with this month's displays
by the late Susie Afflerbach, a noted local artist. Sales proceeds will
be donated to the Lebanon Humane Society and Twisted Whisker Farm
Sanctuary by her husband Gregg Afflerbach. Featured also will be the music of Andy Roberts, Scott
Galbraith and Bart Briody. Opens 5:30 pm; music 6 to 9 pm. Tel. 964-3601.
regulars seem to know to ask about off-menu items like lima beans, ham
and cheese wraps, roast duck or bacon cheeseburgers which are sometimes
available but not on the regular menu. "Just ask for it,"
says chef Rachel. . . kind of like being at home, with the coziest
fireside in Mt. Gretna, downstairs.
Mt. Gretna artist Fred Swarr paints to music at Seasons Lancaster's
silent auction, 36 West King St., 6 pm. Click here for details.
Gretna Theatre local auditions Equity Performer and
Non-Union auditions, Movement Laboratory, Lebanon, Pa. 10 am to 6 pm.
Click here for details.
Ultralight Backpacking Clinic Bob Ardner shows how to lighten the
load on overnight hiking trips. Gov. Dick Nature Center, 1 pm.
Monday, March 9:
Borough Council Meeting, Mt. Gretna Boardroom (at the Post
Office), 7 pm.
Meeting West Cornwall Township, Municipal Building, 73 S. Zinns Mill
Rd., 7 pm (governs local areas including Mt. Gretna Heights,
Campmeeting and Butler and Mine roads).
On a day in late February in the Timber
Hills back yard of Sid and Evelyn Hostetter, a hungry pheasant drops
by to see what's up. . . or down -- under their newly installed bird
Bethlehem Steel Mining The first of this year's Friends
of Cornwall Iron Furnace lecture series, based on materials assembled
by a Cornwall Mine engineer who worked at the site for more than 35
years. Freeman Hall, Cornwall Manor, 7 pm.
Supervisors Meeting South
Londonderry Twp. at the Municipal Building, 20 W. Market St.,
Campbelltown, 7 pm (governs local areas including Timber Hills,
Conewago Hill and Timber Bridge). Tip: Be prepared to speak early
and briefly on topics of concern. Supervisors ask residents to submit
topics in advance for discussion at a "Public Input" session
when the meeting begins. Afterward, opportunities for comments while
other matters are discussed (in what's called a "Good and
Welfare" session near the meeting's end) are sometimes limited.
of Managers Meeting, Open
to all Chautauqua residents, Mt. Gretna Borough Conference Room, back
of the Post Office, 7 pm.
Friday, March 13:
St. Patrick's Day celebration at the Timbers with Irish
food specialties and music by "The Bogtrotters" (Andy
Roberts, Dale Dourte, Bart Briody and Scott Galbraith)
Workday for Volunteers Helping to do odd jobs and get ready
for another season at Gov. Dick Park, 12 to 3 pm.
Winterreise Schubert's final completed song cycle
at Music at Gretna's winter venue, Elizabethtown College. A pre-concert
lecture begins at 6:30pm. The concert, by the Munich Henschel Quartet and
American Tenor Theo Lebow, starts at 7:30 pm.
Fitness Hike Fast-paced four- or five-mile hike at
Gov. Dick Park. 9 am.
Summer Calendar Patron Ads are due today for the
calendar, the best-read, most-frequently-referred-to pamphlet in Mt.
Gretna -- where over 170,000 visitors come every summer for a day, a
week or a month or more.
Monday, March 16:
Deadline for Gretna Music Internship 2015
applications. Click here for details.
Open House Saturday sponsored by realtors serving the Mt.
Gretna area. A good time to explore inside several homes and cottages
now on the market.
Narrow Gauge Railroad Walk Meet at the Gov. Dick Nature
Center to carpool to the start of this five-mile-walk if weather
conditions and limited group size permit. 12 pm.
Junior Naturalist The first of eight monthly programs
begin for a Gov. Dick Park Junior Naturalist patch (must attend at
least six programs). $15. 2 pm.
Dinner at the
Timbers and Live Entertainment for all in Mt. Gretna (including a cluster of Timber
Hills friends and neighbors who were already planning to be here). To
make it a grand "goodbye to winter" send-off for the whole
town, Mt. Gretnans Ceylon and Karen Leitzel of Leitzel's Jewelry
offered to underwrite this event with the appearance of entertainer
Erica Lyn Everest and her band. The affair begins at 6 pm; payment
required in advance. Call the Timbers, 717-964-3601, or send full
payment to the Leitzels at P. O. Box 202, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
(Click here for details: Cash bar. Sumptuous dinner buffet ($23
per person) includes roast beef, turkey, breaded veal or ham; seasonal
potatoes, three hot vegetables; salad and soup, pasta or potato salad;
fruits, bread, dessert bar, coffee, tea and gratuity. Please specify if
you'll be seated with the Timber Hills group.
Sunday, March 22:
Winter Weeds Walk Look for new spring growth and
identify seed heads of various plants. Gov. Dick Nature Center, 2 pm.
The Gathering Place meets today in Fellowship Hall, Mt.
Gretna United Methodist Church. Freewill offering. Noon. Tip: Here's
where you can meet new people and renew old friendships. The gatherings
are popular among residents of Cornwall Manor who formerly lived in Mt.
Mid-week Lenten Service for Lebanon County worshipers.
Fellowship Hall, Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church, 7 pm.
Easter Egg Dye fun at Mt. Gretna United Methodist
Church, 6:30 pm
Webelos Naturalist Pin workshop Limited
group size, $5 per scout. Gov. Dick Nature Center, 10 am to 1 pm.
Easter Egg Hunt at the Chautauqua Playground 11 am
Sunday, March 29:
Palm Sunday Services at Mt. Gretna United Methodist
Church, 8:30 and 10 am.
Unplug! Put your gadgets aside and go for a
walk through familiar landscape to discover what you've been missing.
Gov. Dick Nature Center, 3 pm
coming to dinner? Forget the bird seed, says this newcomer to the
Hostetters' backyard. Squirrel soup should be on the menu any minute
Maundy Thursday communion services at Mt. Gretna United
Methodist Church, April 2 at 7 pm
Good Friday services at Cornwall Manor April 3 at
noon with the Rev. Nathaniel Gadsden, former Poet Laureate of the City
Easter Sunday Sunrise service at the Campmeeting
Tabernacle ( 7 am, with dogs and owners welcome) and 8:30 and 10 am
services at Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church.
The Colemans and
Communities of Mt. Gretna, Cornwall
and Colebrook A special program of the Mt. Gretna
Area Historical Society with Jim Polczynski. April 12 at the Fire Hall,
Inner Harbor Bus Trip A Fire Company fundraiser coming
up Saturday, April 18. Leaves Mt. Gretna at 8 am and Inner Harbor at 6
pm for the return home. Tickets ($40) now on sale by fire crew members.
Gala Lite! A Gretna Theatre spring fundraiser Sunday, April 26 at The Timbers, 2 pm.
Silent auction and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Call 717-964-3322.
information, see the Mt. Gretna Arts Council's calendars in both print
(summer) and online (year-round) versions. Also available by
email during the summer is This Week in Mt.
The Mt. Gretna Newsletter
Winner for the past six years. . . with no official status, commercial
interests or political ax to grind.
It produces no
income but abundant pleasure and friendships for a retired guy who'd
otherwise be underfoot in the kitchen.
To the many people who proofread, submit photos, edit and
prepare this letter for distribution to readers around the world with a
fondness for Mt.Gretna, thanks for helping in this venture.