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Mt. Gretna E-Mail Newsletter No. 21, Wednesday, November 13, 2002


At The New York Times, they never have problems like this.

Here in the newsroom of the Mount Gretna Gazette, however, not much is happening.

The drought emergency has ended, thanks to 7.9 inches of rain in October. The vultures have returned, as usual, and our conscientious volunteers are organizing to chase them away, just as they did last year. And before finally dropping from the trees, Mount Gretna’s leaves lingered a bit longer than usual this year.

Our readers—most living in other cities, states or countries—will rightly conclude that in Mount Gretna it’s been a lazy fall. Not much to report. Even the car-deer accidents are way down. Nobody knows why exactly. “Maybe,” opines Cornwall police secretary Shirley Trimmer, “the deer are getting smarter.” Whatever the reason, motorists are hitting fewer deer nowadays. That’s probably a big relief to PennDOT, which, in a celebrated incident a few years ago, paved right over a deer carcass.

So there’s not much news to report, and that’s too bad, especially since this issue (the 21st since we began publishing it nearly two years ago) is our first to be posted on the Web. You’ll be able to read this edition, plus several others that Keith Volker has kindly placed on our new website, just by clicking on


Those are the headlines, as they say. Now the details:

Bill Care says the leaves are coming down later than usual. That’s a surprise, since most folks thought the summer’s drought and heat would nudge the trees into shedding their autumnal cloaks faster than ever. Just the opposite is true, however. More color, lasting longer, than ever before.

Bill says borough crews will extend the leaf pickups if necessary. Currently, the second leaf collection is scheduled to begin next Monday, Nov. 18.

Leaf pickups continue this month in the Heights and Campmeeting. No sticks or branches, please. No walnuts either, pleads West Cornwall Twp’s. amiable Carol McLaughlin. “To leaf mulching equipment,” she says, “walnuts are lethal.”

Across Rt. 117, residents of Timber Hills, Conewago Hills and Timber Bridge must dispose of their leaves themselves. “We’ll probably do leaf pickups someday, but not now” says South Londonderry Township's congenial Rosemary Kays.

Residents received a letter last week outlining plans for this year’s buzzard relocation campaign, Part II. The plan is an aggressive pursuit, starting tonight, to drive the birds out of town, probably with more consistent (if less intensive) efforts than last year, says volunteer coordinator Max Hunsicker.

And the drought emergency? It’s now officially a “drought watch,” meaning that mandatory restrictions are lifted --- with a plea to reduce water use by five percent.


Les Miller says some neighbors were surprised to discover him with a jewelry exhibit at last summer’s Mount Gretna Art Show. Of 283 artists from all over the country, Les (who lives just up the hill on Lebanon Avenue) had only a short distance to travel. A retired teacher, he’s now fully engaged as a jewelry designer. Even several neighbors didn’t know that.

All of which prompts a question: How many artists live in Mount Gretna? (“Living in Mount Gretna” means, for this purpose, within walking distance of the post office.) Counting full-timers and part-timers, professionals as well as gifted amateurs, has anybody ever put together a list?

No? We’ll try.

Here, with more than two dozen entries, is our First Highly Unofficial and Probably Woefully Incomplete Mount Gretna Artists’ Registry. We’ll update it with additions and corrections once we hear about all the folks we missed:

1. Barbara Acker (pastels, watercolors); 2. Glen Acker (digital and film photography, photo restoration); 3. Arline Althouse (folk art); 4. Shelby Applegate (mixed-media); 5. Eva Bender (watercolors); 6. Jerry Boltz (carvings); 7. Andy Boucher (watercolors, oils); 8. Russ Burke (stained glass); 9. Rodney Cammauf (photography); 10. Art Clagett (photography); 11. Kate Dolan (multimedia); 12. Amy Dove (textiles); 13. Barbara Fishman (watercolors, acrylics, oils); 14. Ryan Fretz (clay and porcelain); 15. Madeline Grey (photography); 16. Dale Grundon (stained glass); 17. Juanita Hetrick (photography); 18. Marian Herr (watercolors, oils); 19. Larry Lombardo (watercolors); 20. Les Miller (jewelry); 21. Floss Russell (pottery); 22. Eleanor Sarabia (watercolors, oils); 23. Pegge Shannon (stained glass jewelry); 24. Peg Smith (stained glass); 25. Sharon Teaman (jewelry); 26. Fred Swarr (multimedia); and 27. Royal "Tuffy" Travitz (stained glass).

Send us your corrections and additions. And, whenever new artists join our community, be sure to let us know.

IN BRIEF (45 Words or Less)

[] Carol singing, organ music and hot mulled cider follow the annual Mount Gretna Christmas Tree Lighting Saturday, Dec. 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the home of Peter Hewitt and Walt McAnney, 1 Princeton Ave. Everyone’s invited.

[] Area chefs serve their signature dishes at Cornwall Inn’s Dec. 8 fund-raiser 4:00 to 7:00 p.m, with proceeds benefiting Rails to Trails. Artworks, tastings, gift certificates, wine eggnog and holiday punch last year attracted 140 people. Cost: $15. Early reservations suggested: Tel. 306-6178 or

[] Borough crews installed curbs, conduits and lampposts last month to nearly complete the Carnegie Ave. project. Final paving in the park area will be done next spring, when garden club volunteers will also add their touches. For the latest photos, see Http://

[] Http:// also displays pictures from last month’s block shoot, pig roast, fall foliage and other notable events about town. The Halloween Parade, alas, was mostly rained out, but that didn’t stop revelers from enjoying post-parade hot dogs at the firehall.

[] Site work bids came in a bit higher than expected for the Governor Dick Nature Center. Officials may have to cut back on some planned landscaping to keep the project within the original $450,000 grant. The log cabin center, they say, will open next spring.

[] Volunteers will set up a Governor Dick Park website to help communicate plans for the park and its Nature Center. They’re part of a support committee headed by Mount Gretnans Chuck Allwein and Keith Volker.

[] Bethlehem’s Bach Choir performs Dec. 9 at Gretna Music’s Elizabethtown College site. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. holiday concert, reportedly “selling fast,” are on sale at or 964-3836.

[] Chicago Symphony cellist Brant Taylor opens Gretna Music’s Master Recital series Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3:00 p.m. in Elizabethtown College’s Leffler Center. Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang accompanies him in works by Bach, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff.

[] Porch and Pantry Café will serve Thanksgiving Day dinner (with breakfast until 10:30 a.m.) Among final events before closing Dec. 22 is an Oldies Night Nov. 23 and a caroling buffet Dec. 20. Schedules, menus and reservations at gacker@paonline or tel. 964-3771.

[] ”Women, Power and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace,” Lois Herr’s new book, will be published next month by Northeastern University Press. A frequent Mount Gretna visitor, Lois, who worked 26 years at AT&T, is now director of marketing and public affairs at Elizabethtown College.

[] Former residents Ann Good and Bob White, now in Florida “but with hearts still soft on Mount Gretna,” set up a new website for anyone wanting to buy or rent in Naples:

[] Deb Vollmar appreciates those empty “Pace” brand salsa jars people have begun placing on her porch at 103 Lancaster Ave. She’ll use them for dining table flower arrangements at next year’s Art Show.

[] Melora Groff, who grew up in Mount Gretna, married Billie Hartman Nov. 2 at the home of Debbie and Tom Clemens. Melora and Billie will live in San Antonio, where she is attending school and he is serving in the Air Force.

[] Emily and Jack Shelley will celebrate their 10th anniversary with a Caribbean cruise this Christmas. They returned to their winter home in Virginia Beach Oct. 27 and report that, already, they “miss Mount Gretna.”

[] Tickets go on sale soon for the fire company’s Jeep Wrangler X raffle, with a drawing scheduled at the block shoot next October. The fire volunteers hope to sell 4,000 tickets at $10 each to help pay for our new fire truck.


40°15'N 76°28'W Mount Gretna’s exact location (to GPS enthusiasts)

0.16 Land area, in square miles, of Mount Gretna borough

8 Members (so far) of the Red Hat Society --- all women over the age of 55 inspired by the poem “Warning” (When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn't go. . . ) See Trish Myers, Arline Althouse and Reenie Macsisak have details about their next luncheon Dec. 7, when they’ll gather at the Hotel Hershey “for no purpose other than fun and friendship, trying not to discuss politics or religion, and ignoring the stares of fellow diners.”

4 Cars entered by vandals during October --- a reminder, say Cornwall Borough police, to keep cars locked at night.

2 Mount Gretna women making motor home adventures a part of their lives starting next January. Venerable volunteer Evelyn Duncan will hold an open house for her new motor home soon --- before she leaves around Jan. 2 to make life on the road a permanent pursuit. Veteran Pat Pinsler has been “motor home wintering” for many years.

7 Cities scheduled on that Jul. 8-17 tour of Switzerland by Rev. Dr. David and Elaine Pierce, now living full time at 412 Lancaster Ave. Want to walk on a glacier, see cheese-making, and visit castles? Call David or Elaine at 964-2301. Or e-mail:

22 Inns in Pennsylvania honored with a Green Seal Award by the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association. Among those cited in the association’s December magazine: The Mount Gretna Inn, for “setting the bar in demonstrating environmentally responsible” standards, says association vice president Chris Weidenhammer.

33 Artisan’s works displayed last week at Pegge Shannon’s Open House benefit for Mount Gretna’s fire company. A former Art Show exhibitor, she bought the 314 Pennsylvania Ave. cottage last year. Pegge previously owned The Artisans’ Porch in Neffsville. What she loves best about Mount Gretna: “the quiet, the atmosphere, and the shade.”

2d Oldest continuously operating theater in America? Ours, of course. And the oldest? The Walnut Street Theater, which opened in Philadelphia in 1809.

28 Artist studios opening to the public this weekend (Nov. 16-17), including Mount Gretna’s Shelby Applegate and Barb Fishman. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Details at

6,940 Mount Gretna references on the Internet, according to the search engine Google. Time it takes Google to count them? 0.15 seconds.

80,000 Amount (in dollars) raised last month at Gretna Theater’s 75th anniversary gala and auction. Shows planned next season (with no increase in ticket prices for the fourth straight year) include “Elvis, The Man, The Music,” “The Guys” (“a moving piece on 9/11”) and “Crimes of the Heart.”


"Quality is the result of intelligent effort." -- John Ruskin


Dorothy Parker once described Los Angeles as “seventy-two suburbs in search of a city.” Even with far fewer numbers, the same might be said of Mount Gretna.

Linda Bell, who runs the Art Show and keeps life on an even keel for the Mount Gretna borough, the Mount Gretna Authority and the Mount Gretna Chautauqua, says she gets many calls from people who think they live in the borough.

Often as not, they don’t.

Sometimes the callers are from Timber Hills or Conewago Hills. They live, therefore, in South Londonderry Twp.

Other times the calls are from folks living in the Campmeeting. In that case, they should direct their requests to the Campmeeting Association, or perhaps to West Cornwall Twp. Or, depending on the nature of the inquiry, to the Cornwall Borough Police (which serves borough residents as well).

Rosemary Kays says South Londonderry Twp. residents living near Mount Gretna sometimes feel “detached, like they’re left out.” She hears that often at the township's office (located in Campbelltown).

A few years ago someone suggested that all the communities in “Greater Mount Gretna” get together. The idea died quickly, however. People here seem to like things just as they are.

Still, the confusion over who lives where can, at times, be confounding. But does it make a difference?

Few of us, if any, really understand who lives where, what controls what, and how things get done. But they do. Better than in most places. With more zest, energy and enthusiasm than anywhere else we know of. And with more warmth, goodwill, and positive results than most places on this earth can lay claim to.

So our confusing sense of place is more a cause for celebration than consternation, a source of mystery and pride, and somehow it all works.

As Marlin Seiders says, “Mount Gretna is not a place, it’s a spirit.”

With kindest regards,

Roger Groce, 213 Stevens Ave., Tel. 964-2205