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Mt. Gretna E-Mail Newsletter No. 20, Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Never fear. When it reopens as “Le Sorelle Porch ‘n Pantry Café” early next year, those delicious sticky buns—the buns that made Mount Gretna famous—will still be there, says Stephanie Lamont.

The 22-year old Penn State graduate, who earned a degree in marketing with a minor in Italian last May, knows something good when she sees it. She and her sister, Tiffany, will run the café. (“Le Sorelle,” as everybody knows, of course, means “the sisters” in Italian.) They’ll serve breakfast and lunch Wednesdays through Sundays, maybe opening an hour earlier than previously, at 7 a.m., so “people can stop in on their way to work.” They’ll also plan theme dinners several nights a month and experiment with homemade bagels, cappuccino and other Italian coffees.

Meanwhile, Barb and Glen Acker will continue serving patrons as usual through their last day, Sunday, December 22. (If you’d like to keep posted on Porch ‘n Pantry happenings, ask Glen to send you the café’s e-mail bulletins listing times, dates and special events:


Design changes temporarily delayed construction on that new two-story design center along Rt. 117, site of the former Mount Gretna Creamery. Developer John Mitchell hopes to have the 4,200 sq. ft. building under roof “before bad weather sets in.” He says it will have a “Victorian look,” with a 10 ft.-wide front porch, scalloped siding or tongue-in-groove paneling, and a windowed gazebo that he hopes might someday become a coffee shop.

The building will also serve as headquarters for La Cigale, Mitchell’s import business. He sells French provincial materials and fabrics direct to specialty retailers and designers throughout the U.S. Mitchell hopes to lease space for offices, art galleries, antique shops and perhaps a small candy company. Lease commitments won’t be made until the building is finished, probably sometime early next year.

Mitchell says the popularity of French provincial tablecloths is growing. “People are surprised to see how colorful tablecloths can transform a simple meal into ‘an occasion,’” he says. “Color does something to the eye and to the soul. It brings the table to life. You can change the atmosphere of a café or a restaurant by changing the tablecloth. You don’t have to redecorate the walls or the floor. You just redecorate the table.” He now has over 2,000 different varieties, selling for about $50 to $68 each.


PennDOT will return next summer to put a “leveling coat” on Pinch Road. Their crews completed the Pinch widening project in late August. Next July, they’ll add an inch of blacktop “to level it up.” A final overlay will be added the following year. Why not do it all at once? Money, says supervisor Dale Good. There’s simply not enough of it to do everything in one year. Dale says they’ve scheduled a similar widening project next summer for Mine Road, from Route 241 to TV Hill. That’ll take place after July, either before or after (but not during) the art show. PennDOT says plans to work on Rt. 117 now have been postponed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, West Cornwall Township will be doing some road resurfacing on Pine Ave. and patchwork on Second, Maple, Fourth, Kauffman, Birch and Boulevard before the end of this month. Before the work begins, township crews will notify residents whose cars must be moved.


The campaign to chase to alternative roosting spots some 600 turkey vultures that over the years have grown to love Mount Gretna will resume next month. “We hope to be as unobtrusive as possible,” says volunteer coordinator Max Hunsicker. “Yet leaders in each of the communities here agree we must keep up the harassment efforts.”

The plan is to mount a “considerably less extensive” effort than last year, says Max. “It won’t be as vigorous, but our volunteers will probably be working over a more extended period.”

Last year’s campaign chased early arriving vultures away in an intensive two-week effort. But mild weather disrupted normal migration patterns, and other birds arrived after the early harassment was over. “Although that was frustrating, we need to remember that uncoordinated banging had been going on for years. Without a systematic effort, some individuals had limited success, but only in chasing birds to their neighbors. We want to chase them out of Mount Gretna altogether,” he says.

Residents will receive letters outlining plans for this year’s effort before the campaign gets underway.


Kerry Ann Morton, who once lived on Columbia and Brown avenues, reminds us of one of those things that help make life in Mount Gretna special.

She writes: “For a dozen years or so, I enjoyed my daily visits to the Mount Gretna post office. Being self-employed and working at home, on many days it was my only social activity.

“After moving to Pensacola in 1998, it was a shock to have to drive to the post office where there are six windows with attendants, none ever having any news to share with me. The worst part was that I did not know a soul and not a soul knew me. This has continued -- until last Thursday – when someone finally called out to me. Surely she had mistaken me for someone else, I thought. But no, she continued speaking. Finally I recognized her from a recent yard sale on my street. She even invited me to look at a sweater that had just arrived from L.L. Bean. I was so excited that I forgot to ask her if there was any street gossip.”


3 Siren blasts Mount Gretna fire company uses to summon its volunteers. (If their pagers are working properly, volunteers also hear fire calls direct from Lebanon County’s Emergency Management Agency. When pagers don’t sound off, firefighters radio EMA to determine what equipment they’ll need and where.)

60 Billion e-mail messages per day by 2006, the consulting firm IDC predicts. Up from 31 billion a day now.

344 Dollars raised at Cornwall police department’s yard sale to benefit this year’s Christmas Adopt-a-Family. “Without the help of generous residents, including those in Mount Gretna, we couldn’t have done it,” says Shirley Trimmer.

IN BRIEF (45 Words or Less)

[] The drought emergency persists. Recent rainfalls dampened the ground but didn’t do much to recharge the wells, says Linda Bell. “The ground is so dry it’s like a big sponge. We need a lot of rain or snow this winter, but no one’s predicting that.”

[] Leaf collections begin Nov. 4 in Mount Gretna borough. Crews will make a second sweep of the area on Nov. 18. They’ll collect brush separately, on Dec. 2 and 18. West Cornwall Township will pick up unbagged leaves only (no brush) daily from Nov. 1-30.

[] Collectors ask homeowners to rake their leaves to curbs, not out in the middle of the street as, in the past, some of us have been wont to do.

[] Carnegie Avenue renovations are nearly complete. Still to come are some curbwork and lampposts. And the Garden Club will swing into action with plantings next spring. See the latest construction photos at

[] Coordinators need baked goods for a cakewalk following the Halloween parade Oct. 25. Forming at the Jigger Shop at 7:00 p.m., the parade continues to the fire hall, where everyone comes to enjoy hot dogs and drinks. (Trick or Treat Night is Oct. 31.)

[] Mount Gretna fire company’s popular Block Shoot begins at Noon THIS Saturday, Oct. 19.

[] Driving to Mount Gretna from New York this Thanksgiving? A reader who lives in Manhattan would like to share the ride. Drop her a note at

[] Construction workers finished that unpaved road off Pinch (paralleling the power line along West Cornwall Township’s southern border, and just south of Governor Dick Park) for a soon-to-be-built privately owned cabin (NOT a cell tower as some readers had hoped).

[] Mount Gretna’s Bird, Tree and Garden Club has dozens of useful tips on fall bulb plantings to produce flourishing Crocus, Snowdrop, Daffodil, Tulip and Star of Bethlehem displays next spring. Call Sue Loehr, 206 Brown Ave., to join the fun. Tel. 964-2225.

[] Janice Balmer and Linda Allwein will join Wade Balmer in Disney World’s “Joints in Motion” half-marathon race walk next January for the Arthritis foundation. Sister-in-law Janice has information for those wishing to make tax deductible donations at or 964-3153. For details, see:

[] Deb Vollmar asks salsa lovers who enjoy those large containers of the “Pace” brand to place empty jars on her porch, 103 Lancaster Ave. “They’re perfect for our flower arrangements at the art show,” she says. Deb needs about 15 jars. Eat up, friends.

[] Artist Barb Fishman thanks John Davis, Ed Gill and other neighbors that last month searched nearly every square inch of Mount Gretna, including Timber Hills and Conewago Hills. They finally found Jake, her four-month-old collie, now with new gates and fencing.

[] Mount Gretna oboist Erin Hannigan appears with the New Texas Chamber Players in Gretna Music’s winter series March 22. The series opens Oct. 26 at Elizabethtown College’s Leffler Performance Center with an all-Viennese program featuring music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. For details:

[] Mount Gretna Art Show co-founder Reed Dixon presents “Flowers, Feathers and A Few Other Friends,” a solo art show, at Gypsy Hill Gallery, 47 E. Main St., Lititz. The show opens Sunday, Nov. 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and continues through Nov. 30.

[] Reenie and Joe Macsisak completed renovations at their “Remember When” gift shop. They’re staying open for business each Saturday and Sunday, from10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through Dec 15.

[] Temple and Lebanon avenue neighbors plan a chicken corn noodle/vegetable soup benefit for Mount Gretna’s fire company in January. They just finished their annual potluck supper, welcoming newcomers Juanita Hetrick, Ed and Nina Kemps, and Kirsten Erdman McClain with her one-year-old son Jack.

[] West Cornwall Township is displaying an architectural sketch of the new Governor Dick Nature Center. Site work bids will open Oct. 30. Construction bids go out after Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources gives final approval, probably next month.

[] Deer collisions will be increasing from now through mid-December says Pennsylvania’s game commission. During mating season, deer often step in front of cars, ignoring blaring horns, lights, even people. “That’s not normal deer behavior,” says a spokesman, “but in late November, it’s not abnormal either.”


“Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.” – “The Creed for Optimists” by Christian D. Larson


E-mail is fast, convenient, and cost-free. That said, it leaves a lot to be desired.

For example, we find that some readers of our newsletter receive the text scrambled. Others tell us that what shows up as four or five pages on our screen winds up as 15 or more pages when they attempt to print it on their machines.

Still others tell us they sometimes read the newsletter and then accidentally hit the delete key before their spouse has a chance to see it. (That, we hear, has caused more than a few minor domestic disturbances.)

So we have a plan.

Thanks to Keith Volker, we’ll soon be posting our newsletter on a website.

We’ll send out a short e-mail message to tell you when it’s ready and give you the exact web address. Then all you’ll have to do is point and click on the web site address, and your computer will automatically take you to the full text: printable, digestible, and easy to read.

Even better, Keith says we’ll be able to post back issues on the web site. So you’ll be able to look up past articles, and have full access to recent issues. . . including the ones your spouse accidentally deleted.

Meanwhile, whether you live here or halfway around the world, please continue your gracious practice of sending us your questions, news, notices and thoughts about all things great and small in Mount Gretna.


Roger Groce, 213 Stevens Ave.