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The Mt. Gretna Newsletter


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


No. 159 

April 1, 2015

Snow geese, a sickle moon and in the far distant sky a glimpse of Venus: symbols all of winter's lessons.   Jane Mourer photo 

What winter can teach.

    Lessons worth pondering are often a legacy of winter's passage into spring. In small towns like Mt. Gretna, they sometimes stand out in sharp relief, like the sickle moon caught last month by Campmeeting photographer Jane Mourer as a faint, almost undetectable hint of Venus dissolved in the dimming sky.   
    Some of us rush toward warmer climates in winter, but those who remain are rewarded. A harvest of values emerges, familiarity and friendships mainly -- investments of time returned with compound interest.  
   Nothing beats the warmth of friends' greetings in a place like Mt. Gretna, where people call you by name and wonder about your latest joys or travails. They may know them all but are rarely too busy to stop and listen. Listening is one of the best gifts we give to one another.  
  Sometimes we're lucky enough to stumble upon grand occasions like the gathering with friends in their living room on the first snowy night of January. Someone pulls from the refrigerator a frozen chocolate-and-marshmallow-draped Jigger, sprinkled with secret Jigger Nuts, stowed on the last day of Mt. Gretna's boisterous summer season.
   Mary Jane and Kent Fox did that for years, unlocking memories we look back upon wistfully. Good times and good friends linger long. Nothing yet invented can replace them. Though technologies come and go, enduring memories -- impervious to technological change -- become magnified under a small town's microscope.
   Living in Mt. Gretna year 'round brings rewards that escape many snowbirds. No matter what others may tell you, sunning oneself under a palm tree -- as amicable strangers race to their early bird specials -- is no substitute for friends you have known for maybe 30 years, or the solitary warmth of a fireside with good books.
   The Wall Street Journal last month devoted an article to one reporter's discovery that small towns often have the best restaurants.  
   That should come as no surprise. People who live in a place know precisely where good times, good food and good friends are. Although newcomers are welcome, in towns like Mt. Gretna those havens take on the easy comfort of friendly and unpretentious private clubs. The people who run them already know what you want and how you like it prepared. Poached eggs over biscuits with creamed chipped beef or quiche stacked four inches high? Damien, who prepares pizzas in the afternoons and evenings, also has a magic touch in the mornings -- at perhaps the only pizzeria in America where you can get breakfast.  
   All are spots where regulars are embraced and everybody knows your name.  "Cheers," the invention of television writers, got that one straight on.
   In Mt. Gretna in midwinter, the silence of solitude gently slips into place. After nearly half of us go away comes the quiet, the thoughtful appreciation. Those who remain suddenly are immersed in the most precious gift that a busy world can offer.
   We who are attracted here are birds of a feather. Something enormously comforting emerges from that fact.  
   Many of us are gifted in ways that give rise to artistic expression. Almost all, we discover, have talents to offer, a stimulant in the daily mix that's essential.  
    A friend who enjoyed a successful career once described how he looked to find places he might want to retire to someday. After years of darting in and out of countries around the world, he hit upon his own personal test.
   If you want to take the measure of a town where you might want to live, he said, buy yourself a newspaper and sit down with a cup of coffee where the locals hang out.
   Don't get lost in the headlines. Instead pay attention to those who come in and out. Notice how they interact with their neighbors, and especially how they treat the waiters and waitresses who serve them.
  That was his yardstick, a trusted and reliable gauge. When it came time to retire, he turned to his list of "possibles," picked out those that ranked at the top and made his final decisions. There's a good chance you've met him.
   Yes, there's much to learn here in winter. Like a sickle moon, many of the lessons stand out in sharp relief. Others, like Venus, are subtle. Yet all will tell you that you've finally come to the right place.
                                                                                            --- Roger Groce

 On the last Sunday in March, a solitary robin and red winged blackbirds. They, too, know when they're in the right place.

Jane Mourer  photo



Top picks in a Summer Series par excellence


Spotting the favorites in more than 100 all-stars

  Although many don't seem to know it, the best part of a summer day at Mt. Gretna isn't the ice cream, concerts and plays or even an afternoon at the lake. It's under the trees of Mt. Gretna, where a lively Summer Programs series unfolds.

   With more than 100 different events to choose from, we asked those who created the series to pass along insider tips about their favorites.  It's a list readers may wish to keep handy.

    Practically everybody cited Mt. Gretna journalist Bill Gifford's talk on his New York Times bestseller,  "Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying)," which he'll discuss Friday, July 31 at 7:30 pm

   Other top picks of the Summer Programs Committee members:

   Susan Hostetter
  Chautauqua For a Day Saturday, July 11.
  The Writers' Series Saturdays in July, 10 am
   One Community's Effort to Control Genetic Disease, Aug. 26.

  Jane and Jack Anderson
  "The Horseshoe Trail: A Look Back," June 13.
 "Our Planets and Theirs" Solar system discoveries of planets around other stars. June 26.
 "Audrey Hepburn Retrospective,"  Wednesdays in July.
 "Tuesday Book Reviews" by Lebanon Valley College professors

Stacey Pennington 

"Flying Hunters: Hawks and Owls" with soon-to-be-Mt. Gretnan Jack Hubley, June 13 .
Family Movie Night: "Paddington" (with popcorn and all!)
"Flower Arranging with Mary Hernley." Who doesn't love the Flower Lady!

Kathy Snavely

"Mystics at Ephrata" Religious views of the Ephrata Cloister
 Fairy Tale Morning including a parade and (maybe) live fairies in the garden, July 4.
"Origins of Impressionism," linked to a Philadelphia Art Museum exhibit, July 29 and Aug. 5.

Patty Gokey
"The Evolution of Lionel Toy Trains," July 14.
"Ladies Night Out" with fashions on sale, Chef on the Go Becky Briody, Waltz Vineyards and Festoon. $25, Aug. 31.

   All this in addition to perennial favorites, including the July Organ Recital Series with a performance by Mt. Gretna prodigy Ryan Brunkhurst, yoga with Mt. Gretnan Stephanie Bost, and Pilates with another Mt. Gretna favorite, Annie Roach.

   Music at Gretna founder Carl Ellenberger will be featured June 19, speaking on the distinguished series' "First 40 Years." Campmeeting denizen Ron Hontz presents "Abe Kauffman's Grand Dream for Mt. Gretna," the music of Billy Joel and Elton John with perennial summer visitor Larry McKenna, and a Disney Musical Game with Nicole Roberts, just back from studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

   There's also the popular lineup of art lectures (open to the public) by the faculty of the Mt. Gretna School of Art, now in its third year.  (The series runs Wednesdays at 10 am, usually in the Hall of Philosophy).

   All in all a stimulating lineup, created with a budget of less than $10,000 that holds up remarkably well against other summer series sustained by multimillion dollar platforms. Mostly supported without admission fees, the programs and those who sponsor them will appreciate free-will donations. It's a cap-topping feather sustained in a community of only about 1,500 energized year-round residents.




Big plans at tiny church in Mt. Gretna


A campaign, catered concert, and Easter rites

For an innovative community and its congregation: an imaginative twist for a multipurpose new room

     Big time doin's at the Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church this spring. A breathtaking swirl of activities from a tiny church.
     First comes a Sunrise service just around the corner at the Tabernacle, followed by two regular services inside the sanctuary Easter Sunday.
   All three are open to everyone --- including those who've never before stepped inside.

7 am Easter Sunrise at the Tabernacle

     Then comes a super concert April 18, followed by a catered reception (see CALENDAR) with music by the famed Basic'ly Brass quintet. 
   Never heard them before? 
Click here
   "It's a bargain," says organizer Bobby Mac McCullough. a key fundraiser for the tiny church's ambitious capital campaign. The goal is an awesome $70,000, needed to repair, replace and refurbish a formerly abandoned area of the church. "Restore a Room in Crisis" says the campaign brochure.
    Once it's completed, the once empty room will be put to use in a myriad of imaginative ways: As a focal point for Bible studies and committee meetings, a multimedia

April 18 bargain: concert, catered reception

room, a church parlor and a haven where parents accompanied by children can still view the service via closed circuit TV. The link permits them to simultaneously keep watch over their youngsters while the religious proceedings are in progress.
    Getting a big bang for the buck?  There's even more, say fundraising organizers. The newly upgraded room will also be available for rental to community groups and wedding parties.
   Those church folk really know how to capitalize on opportunities in their midst.



Here comes the fire department's new tanker


New 3,000-gallon unit will replace a 22-year-old 1,800 gallon tanker.  Designed to fit on the narrow streets of Mt. Gretna, it's now being custom-assembled by a family-owned company in Northeastern Pennsylvania that's a chief supplier of fire engines to the New York City Fire Department.    Nesquehoning, Pa., a town about twice the size of Mt Gretna in northeastern Pennsylvania where the principal business is fire engines, is now at work on a 3,000-gallon tanker for us. 
   KME Kovatch, which makes most New York City fire engines, will soon deliver a new tanker for Mt. Gretna, one capable of providing water when and where it's needed, even if there are no hydrants close by.
  One of three bidders, the company was chosen because it offered "the best value for our money," says mayor and Fire Company president Joe Shay.  "It is custom-designed for our unique needs, which is why it is a bit more expensive than an 'off the shelf' tanker."
   He estimates that about 50% of the homes in the Mt. Gretna area are without hydrants. About 12% of the fire company's calls from those locations. He says the tanker will also supplement hydrants where they exist in other neighborhoods.
    The new tanker that carries

At 22, no longer economical to repair.

 3,000 gallons of water replaces a 22-year-old unit that holds only 1,800 gallons and is now beyond its normally 20-year useful lifespan.
     The new unit will pump 1,000 gallons per minute and will cost $315,000.
     After 22 years of service the old unit was prohibitively expensive to repair. The new unit is being built on a footprint not much larger than the older unit it will replace -- essential to getting around on Mt. Gretna's narrow streets.




   Because of price and popular appeal, every year in mid-August it's usually the hottest ticket in town. At $14 apiece, the Cicada Festival's 728 tickets for each of its six-performances generally get scoffed up soon after they go on sale.
  This year's acts are not yet announced, but the genre will be no surprise.  Nostalgia rock groups, national acts, and cruise ship favorites like Phil Dirt and the Dozers, Grass Roots, and Bronx Wanderers get top billing, wowing audiences from The Villages in Florida to county fairs and speedways in Ohio. The festival's performances will be held at the Playhouse this year Aug. 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th.
   Although the Dozers already have Mt. Gretna on their website for August 11, most other choices are known only to Cicada impresarios like Ceylon Leitzel and a handful of other volunteers sworn to secrecy.
  The big date for each season's grand announcement is planned with the painstaking precision of a military invasion. Envelopes sent to prospects on the mailing list get deposited in outlying post offices strategically --timed to arrive on Wednesday, April 15.
  That's also the date when the Cicada website goes "live," says Mr. Leitzel -- a Mt. Gretnan who ranks among the state's top jewelers -- the only one twice selected "Jeweler of the Year" by the Pennsylvania Jewelers Association. He's also an expert in the art of creating allure, like the mystique that annually envelops the Cicada Festival's highly sought-after tickets.
   Release of the 2015 schedule, however, won't set off a flurry of phone calls. That's because officials have in recent years established a rigid structure for ticket sales.
   All initial ticket orders must be mailed, not hand-carried, to the box office. Applications must be from those received in the mail or printed out from the
Cicada Festival website.
   Although orders for season and individual tickets may be mailed together starting April 15, only season ticket orders will be processed first, according to postmarked dates. Individual ticket orders will be processed starting May 1, with priority again going to mailed applications having the earliest postmarks.
   No phone call orders will be accepted until June 1.
   Officials say the first wave of season ticket orders usually scoops up about 65% of the festival's roughly 4,300 tickets.
   Although strictly adhered to, it's a formula they've found audiences consider efficient, practical and fair.
    Readers may already have noticed:  Mt. Gretnan Bill Gifford's new book "
Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever or Die Trying" zoomed to No. 8 on The New Times best-seller list last month.
    We'd like to do our own story and survey as a followup. Bill suggests that some of his neighbors served as inspiration for the book's basic themes, namely senior citizens approaching 100 with youthful energy and a point of view to match.
   Bill says that normally only about one person in 10,000 lives to be a hundred. Yet the percentage in Mt. Gretna seems much higher.  Is it the water, the surroundings or the sticky buns?
    Who are Mt. Gretna's spring chickens? We'd like to hear from you.  Tell us about friends and neighbors who are rounding the bend toward the century mark.
   That's all we need to get started on a sprightly series of articles later this year.
   Send your nominees to

   Gatherings of Mt Gretna neighbors, drawn from each of the community's seven distinctive neighborhoods, continued last month to explore topics that included a string of amateur break-ins, parking woes, and traffic as well as the continued annoyance occasioned by the buzzards' perennial returns.  All but the break-ins were familiar subjects that so far have eluded permanent solutions.
   Yet the idea of sharing ideas among people in different sections of the community, while not entirely new, nevertheless adds new emphasis which could lead to incremental improvements. That, at least, is the hope of people like former Art Show coordinator
Karl Gettle, who organized the group this winter.  It has held two meetings so far and intends to continue meeting throughout 2015.  Volunteers chosen from each of the communities (except Stoberdale, pop. 51, with 24 homes near the Hideaway restaurant) include Dave Lloyd in the Campmeeting, Chuck Allwein and Allan Feldman in the Chautauqua, Greg Pappariella in Conewago Hill, Evelyn Koppel in Timber Hills, Rhoda Long in Timber Bridge and Max Hunsicker in Mt. Gretna Heights. (Email addresses where available are embedded beneath names, above.)
   They invite neighbors to contact them with concerns, ideas and perhaps a long-awaited solution.

   A report that the Easter Bunny had hidden about 360 eggs at the Chautauqu

I know a bunny's here somewhere

a Playground sent Hunter Koppel (right) and at least 50 others on a search on the final Saturday of a bone-chilling  month, the 6th coldest March on record. 
   Even a cold, dreary day,  however, couldn't stop the 4-1/2-year-old son of David and Jennifer Koppel of Elizabethtown,  accompanied by Valley Road grandparents Evelyn Koppel and Sid Hostetter. Along with the others, Hunter lived up to his name and collected a bucket

A few hints, Mr. Rabbit, would
be helpful

of eggs (some real, some plastic filled with candy and tickets for prizes).
   All on a day when the weather was freezing and more snow was yet on the way. But led by parishioners Ron Jones and Sarah Ellis and pastor Michael Remel, the folks at Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church made sure that not only were the eggs in place, but so was a nattily attired full-sized rabbit. The hare's sprightly gait (er, hop?) seemed familiar, reminding some of Greg Pappariella, the recently retired sales executive for Peeps (makers of marshmallow candy chicks, pumpkins and rabbits) who lives on Conewago Hill, overlooking the lake.

   The Mt. Gretna Historical Society plans an Antiques Appraisal Day in the fire hall nest month.
   Terry Breidenstine, owner of All County Jewelry, Coins and Antiques in Lebanon, will offer appraisals from 9 am to noon Saturday, May 30. For a fee of $5 per item (large or small), the Society invites residents to bring up to five items for appraisal.
   "Now is the time to bring in those tchotchkes you've been wondering about," says organizer Susan Hostetter, who hopes the event will also support the Society's efforts to preserve Mt. Gretna history.  
   Questions? Call 964-1956 or contact her by email:

   It took three years for Mt. Gretna organ recital impresario Peter Hewitt to secure a commitment from organist Gregory Zelek, who recently performed with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Zelek and Thomas are pictured together in this month's The American Organist magazine.
   A Kovner Fellow at the Julliard School, Zelek performed with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall last year and was organist for the Metropolitan Opera's production of Faust.

   He'll be at the Mt. Gretna Series July 23, one of five programs in this Thursdays-in-July series.

   Another guest artist (July 16) will be Ryan Brunkhurst, who grew up in Mt. Gretna and following his graduation this spring from the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana, will enter graduate studies there in the fall.
   All performances in the Mt. Gretna recital series begin at 7 pm. Reservations may be made after May 28 by calling 964-1830.

   Artist Barb Fishman, who probably has more friends per square meter in Mt. Gretna than in any other spot on Earth, is back painting pictures, giving lessons and exhibiting in multiple locations. Her works are currently on display at the Le Sorelle Gallery and also this month and next at Trattoria Fratelli, one of Lebanon's most popular restaurants. She paused briefly in her whirlwind schedule last month to share a heartfelt message with our reporter: "I'd like everyone to know that I so much appreciate their cards and caring thoughts on the passing of my husband." Alvin Fishman, a veterinarian and accomplished musician, passed away last January at age 82. They had moved from Mt. Gretna to Cornwall a few years ago. But Barb remains a fixture on the tennis court and also in art circles here.


    Dick Brown, a retired science teacher and naturalist on Mine Road, will never forget. While he was watching a spring training game in Florida last month, the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates battled through seven innings to a 2-2 tie.
   In the eighth, the Pirates rallied to score three runs and Deibinson Romero slammed a foul into the ball park's mesh fence. The ball bounced and struck Dick on the shoulder but fortunately left him uninjured and smiling.
   A fan who caught the ricocheting ball then decided to make it a gracious gift to Dick, a Manheim Twp. Middle School teacher who retired 17 years ago. 
   He returned home with both a ball and a lasting memory, one that came on March 14, 2015, a date that translates to 3.1415 (the first five digits of Pi -- the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter).

   Baird Erb, grandson of the late Mt. Gretna mayor and fire chief Dave Long, makes his second theatrical appearance this month. He'll be starring in a home production of The Music Man at Trinity High School in Camp Hill. Baird, 18 and a senior, has grown up in Mt. Gretna, where his parents have lived for the past 26 years.
   The fourth of Kenton and Debby Erb's six children, Baird played the Lion in The Wizard of Oz last year.  His mom, who grew up in the Chautauqua and now serves as the Campmeeting Association's office manager, says she's thrilled. Tickets for the April 10-12 production are available

    What are the chances a bird that no one could identify would land smack in the backyard of folks who six years ago founded the Mt. Gretna Bird Club?
   Sid Hostetter and Evelyn Koppel were stumped by this late arrival last month, which at first glance appears to be a canary. "We decided to consult others who are better birders than we are," say Evelyn.
   Better birders? That's saying something, since Sid and Evelyn have been leading groups on bird hunts with fascinating narratives week after week.
   Upon further examination, they confirmed it as a Leucistic pine sisking, which is the technical name of a color morph.
   At any rate, a mystery that lingered into late March is now solved. A Leucistic pine sisking it is. 
   Mt. Gretna's Bird Club leaves for two-hour adventures every Friday at 9 am from the Chautauqua parking lot. Afterwards there's often a breakfast at Le Sorelle. All are welcome.




Robert (Bob) W. Aungst, Jr. (1937 - 2015)

   Robert (Bob) W. Aungst, Jr., 77, of Lancaster, passed away Feb. 8 at Lancaster General Hospital. He was the loving husband of Christina (Wentzel) Aungst, with whom he celebrated 55 years of marriage in January.

   Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Robert W. and Ruth M. (Martin) Aungst, Sr. Bob was a graduate of New Holland High School and attended Franklin & Marshall College. He worked in the custom cabinet industry for over 35 years enjoying the business and the great people with whom he worked. He finished his career as owner of Rich Maid Kabinetry, Myerstown. He served on the Lancaster Bible College Corporation, the board of Calvary Fellowship Homes and was a Deacon and Elder at Calvary Church. Bob loved serving the Lord through teaching the Bible to both young people and adults. Each winter, Bob and Tina enjoyed Florida. In the summer, Mt. Gretna was the place he loved playing tennis, birding, bike riding, and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
   Surviving in addition to his wife is a daughter, Cynthia L. Baker, wife of William G., of Fairfax, VA; two sons, Robert W. Aungst III, husband of Ann L., of Lancaster, and J. David Aungst, husband of Mindy, of Lancaster; seven granddaughters and two grandsons.
  A private interment followed funeral services held Feb. 13. Memorial contributions may be made to Global Ministries Fund at Calvary Church of Lancaster or the Lancaster Bible College Scholarship Fund.

Stanley Howard Templin (1928 - 2015)

   Stanley Templin, who ran the Mt. Gretna Tennis Tournaments for over 30 years, died at age 87 in Peoria, Az.  A graduate of Lebanon High School Class of 1945, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and again during the Korean War.      
   During his life, he worked as a machinist at Kercher's Machine Works, sold insurance for Met Life and retired from Weaber, Inc. at age 79. He was preceded in death by a brother, Willard, and wife Helen M. Feather.
  He is survived by a son, Keith, married to Peggy Emerich, and two grandchildren, Matthew A. and Kelly A. Templin.  He is also survived by current wife, Irene and four step children, Deb Bowman, Lea Shope, Charles Comins and Robin Unger.
   In 2013, Stan and Irene moved to Arizona. He was a 32nd degree Mason and had served as president and as treasurer of the Friendship Fire Company. He was a volunteer for five years at Hospice in the Lebanon VA Medical Center.
  His free-time love was tennis, which he continued to play well into his 80s. He began playing at age 14, and could usually be found practicing on the courts in Coleman's Park. He played in local hard court and clay court tournaments for over 30 years. "Temp," as he was known, was a member of the Green Hills Racquet Club and the former Mt. Gretna Men's Club.
    Interment will be at 9 a.m. April 3rd at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Refreshments and Remembrance at the Annville American Legion afterwards.
   Memorial donations in his name can be made to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation online ( or by mail to 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018


Jane Fickes (1921 - 2015)
    Jane Fickes, 93, who had come to Mt. Gretna every summer since she was born, passed away peacefully last month at Cornwall Manor where she and her husband Charles Fickes had lived for the past several years. Their home on Locust Street in Mt. G Heights had been a family haven ever since it was built by her father. The Fickeses, who first met and fell in love in Mt. Gretna, made it their summer retreat for many years. They had also once owned a home on Village Lane in Timber Hills.
  Born in Harrisburg in 1921, she graduated with valedictory honors from John Harris High School in 1938, and received her bachelors degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Gettysburg College. She earned a doctorate in biochemical bacteriology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1945 and was employed by the US Chemical Warfare division at Ft. Detrick, MD.
    Her other interests included working for Hospice of Central Pa during its formative years. A resident of Camp Hill, she was an active member at Market Square Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School superintendent and church elder; she was also a member of the Mt. Gretna Heights Association.

   A Girl Scout leader, active member of the New Cumberland Junior Civic Club, and a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Association and West Shore Country Club, she also served on the board of directors at Homeland in Harrisburg.  Known for her outstanding cooking skills and tasty gourmet dishes, she was an avid reader and loved animals, canoeing, swimming, golf, tennis, and bridge.
   She was preceded in death by a brother, Richard, and is survived by her husband, a son John of Mifflinburg, Pa., daughter Carolyn Hartman of Mt. Gretna,  three granddaughters and six great grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to
Child Fund International, 2821 Emerywood Parkway, Richmond, VA 23294.



This month's Calendar of Events


April's best bargain: a brass concert and catered reception

     Brass in the Sanctuary April 18, with guys who've spent the past 26 years honing their talents. The quintet includes performers who've appeared with The New York Voices, The Four Freshmen and in top European concert venues. Mt. Gretnan Al Stokes (center) is joined by Mike Jordan, Ken Kemmerer, Paul Breidenstine and Chris Campbell -- musicians and music educators all, some as leaders of school marching bands and symphony orchestras.  They'll be at Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church Saturday, April 18 at 7 pm for a concert and reception catered by "Chef on the Go" Becky Briody.
  With both concert and reception included in the price of admission, "It's a bargain," says Bobby "Mac" McCullough, the church's choir enterprising director and the spark plug behind this spring's key fundraiser.
   Tickets for the concert are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. To reserve tickets, call the church at (717) 964-3241 and leave your name, address, phone number and the number of tickets desired; or choose the appropriate voice mail box to leave that information.


Wednesday, April 1:

Gretna Music's 40th anniversary season tickets available online or by phone: 717-361-1508.

Saturday, April 4

Bird Watch Basics For anyone interested in birds.  Bring binoculars. Gov. Dick. 9 am.
Backpacking 101
Ultralight backpacker gives tips on lightening the load. Gov. Dick. 1 pm.

Sunday, April 5:

Easter Buffet at the Timbers: Oven roasted turkey, country

First Day of Spring. Really?

Lois Herr photo

baked ham and roast beef, sweet potatoes, filling and gravy, veal cutlet, three hot vegetables, garden vegetable soup, rolls and butter, salad bar, fruits, dessert bar and coffee. $18.95 Seatings 11:30 and 2 pm.

April 9, 14, 16 and 23

RADS Womens Defense Classes at Cornwall Elementary School; no fee but you must attend all four nights. Send email to register: 5:50 - 9:30 pm.

Friday, April 10:

Toddlers: Tracks in the Woods Ages 2 to 5. A craft follows the walk. Gov. Dick. 10 am.

The Music Man Baird Erb of Mt. Gretna stars as Prof. Harold Hill (see story above).

Second Friday at The Timbers.  Art by Mt. Gretnans Fred Swaar, jeweler Kate Dolan 6-9 pm.

Saturday, April 11:

What's in your Pack?

Create a "10 Essentials" kit for your hikes.

At least it was cheery indoors 

Lois Herr photo 

Gov. Dick, 10 am.


Volunteer Work Day at Gov. Dick.  Noon to 3 pm.

Bouldering   Learn rock-climbing on some of America's best boulders.  Gov. Dick, 1-4 pm.

Sunday, April 12:

Fitness Hike Fast-paced 5 to 6 miles. Gov. Dick, 9 am.

Honeybees Beekeeper Matt Libhart describes their fascinating lifestyle. Gov. Dick, 2 pm.

The Colemans and Mt. Gretna Jim Polczynski tracks the founder and his history here, at the Mt. Gretna Fire Hall, 2 pm.  

Auction Benefit: Mt Gretna School of Art at Lancaster Galleries (click here for details). "Take home some fantastic fine art and benefit the MGSOA," says founder Jay Noble. Includes works by Lou Schellenberg and about 30 other top artists. Proxy and telephone bidding (starting at 4 pm) adds to the excitement.  3 - 5:30 pm.

Wednesday, April 15:

Hands on Nature A program for ages 2 to 6. $5 per child. Gov. Dick 10 am - noon.

Cicada Website Opens Download ticket applications here and mail yours in.

Thursday, April 16:

Board Meeting  Gov. Dick Park board of directors, 7 pm.

Saturday, April 18:

Boating Safety Class Children 10 and up may attend with an adult. Gov. Dick. 10 am to noon.

Tennis Courts Cleanup  Bring a rake and work gloves in this "more-the-merrier" event.  9 am.
Bird Watching Tips for finding and identifying birds. Gov. Dick. 9 am.

UNPLUG!  Turn off your gadgets, bring snacks and take a walk around Gov. Dick Park. 9 am.

Jr. Naturalists Register and earn a patch, ages 5 to 10. Gov. Dick. 2 pm.

Basic'ly Brass at the Church for 7 pm concert followed by a catered reception.  (See above.)

Inner Harbor Bus Trip  Fire Company fundraiser; leaves 8 am for all-day visit. Tickets $40.

Sunday, April 19:

Wildflower Walk Enjoy the beauty of forest wildflowers at a casual pace. Gov. Dick. 2 pm.

Chautauqua Homeowners Meeting The National Register process -- what it means and doesn't mean, full details and opportunity to ask questions. Fire Hall  2 pm.

Wednesday, April 22:
The Gathering Place  Everyone's invited to this community event, with the fellowship of friends, neighbors, and new and former residents. Lunch is provided for a free-will offering, and the food is said to be tops.  Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church. Noon.

Saturday, April 25

Breakfast with the Birds Enjoy coffee and donuts on the porch and birds' serenade, Gov. Dick 5:30 am.  Yes, 5:30.

Bluegrass Jamming Class Gov. Dick. 1-4 pm.

Fire Company Chicken Dinner A scrumptious fundraiser: Chicken cordon bleu or stuffed chicken breast, with potato, steamed vegetables, applesauce, rolls, beverage and dessert. $10 for adults, $5 children.  Starts 4 pm and continues until 7 (or until it's sold out).

Sunday, April 26:

Bluegrass Jam Gov Dick, 1-4 pm.

Orienteering Event Gov. Dick, 10 am.

Gala Lite! at the Timbers. An afternoon cabaret with silent auction, heavy hors d'oeuvres,  and Tiffan Borelli (Lady Guinevere in last summer's Camelot) stepping in for Cabaret star Caleb Damschroder, just called for yet another Broadway role TBA.  2:00 - 5 pm.

Thursday, April 30:

Interacting with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Three Cornwall PD training sessions at Cornwall United Methodist Church.   Click here  for details.


Antique Appraisals  (a Mt. Gretna Historical Society fundraiser at the fire hall) May 30.

Summer Programs at Mt. Gretna Library Mondays at 7 pm (June 1 - Aug. 31).

Friday Night Ecumenical Series at the Tabernacle (June 5-26).

Mt. Gretna Bible Festival at the Tabernacle (mid-June to late August).



The Mt. Gretna Newsletter

P O Box 607

Mt. Gretna PA 17604



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