Mt. Gretna E-Mail Newsletter
"A Bulletin For Folks Who Love Mount Gretna. . . Wherever They Happen to Live"
The Mt. Gretna
No. 69 March 6, 2007
WHAT MATTERS MOST
A brief news item in this month's issue reflects memories of Mt. Gretna in
an earlier time. Pat Attwood, who first moved here 72 years ago during the
Depression, recalls winters when snows piled high—blanketing trees,
cottages and roadways in mounding drifts—and creating breathtaking scenes
that Lebanon photographer Luther Harpel captured in postcards she'll display
in a presentation at the fire hall next month.
Most people, Pat tells us, are surprised to see just how much snow fell in
Mt. Gretna in those days—a time when snowplows were nonexistent and
ordinary snow shovels were the backbreaking norm. It was also a time when
power failures were almost a nonevent. In a world of kerosene lanterns and
wood-burning stoves, the flow of electricity—lighting an occasional,
solitary streetlamp—didn't much matter.
Mt. Gretna has changed, of course. But less so than most other places. One
reader, a woman in her 90s who moved to California but recalls days as a teenager,
skating down the 'concrete highway' today known as Rte. 117, says that whenever
she returns, Mt. Gretna appears much as she remembers.
We're more electricity-dependent, of course. Many of us now have generators
that kick in automatically whenever a power failure lasts longer than 60 seconds.
But in its essentials, Mt. Gretna's core values remain unchanged. "There's
something special about it," says Pat, who turned 80 last December. "Something
that draws people back. More and more of my friends who've moved away tell
me they want to return."
The allure seems almost mystical. No one we've met has yet been able to put
their finger on it. The late Marlin Seiders, a retired Navy chaplain, probably
came closest. "Mt. Gretna," he once said, "is not a place,
but a spirit."
Other stories in this issue also reflect that: A haven where writers, artists
and musicians find creative inspirations; a place where children will come
this summer to explore a world through the magic of music; a community whose
driving engine is the unbounded energy of volunteers; a setting that impels
us to preserve the best of our buildings, artifacts and traditions; even the
surrounding hills, which seem to thwart the cellular signals of modernity.
Technology-resistant? Not really. "Pro-spirit" is the term we'd
likely prefer—nurturing impulses that lift, inspire and soothe the soul.
Perhaps that's why, as years pass and the world grows increasingly complex,
those who've lived here yearn to return.
A PURSUIT TO PRESERVE TREASURES & TRADITIONS
The Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society, now mulling over plans for a capital
campaign, seeks to enlist the support of others not only in collecting artifacts
but also in making prospective cottage buyers aware "of the unique environment
of our community." The aim, says society president Fred Buch, is "to
preserve our way of life and the unique architecture of our buildings."
Located on Pennsylvania Avenue next to the Playhouse, the society's new headquarters
will both display artifacts and "make available renovation and restoration
materials to those wanting to find authentic architectural designs and materials
to use in their projects," Fred says.
"As far as the cottage is concerned, Ruth and I still own it. We are
optimistic that the funds can be raised to purchase it at our cost less our
contribution to the project. Therefore, we have been restoring and renovating
the cottage with the Historical Society in mind."
So far, workmen have lifted the home 12 ft., excavated a basement, and gently
set it back onto a waterproof cement block foundation. They've also built
a concrete vault under the porch and formed a room to house the heating and
air-conditioning system that will also provide humidity control for archival
When spring comes, says Fred, "we could use some volunteers to help with
backfilling ground around the foundation and doing some landscaping."
WHY NOT, PennDOT?
PennDOT engineers now say the Rte. 117 improvement project they've planned
this year probably won't include raised reflectors along the highway, blinking
lights at the edge of town reminding motorists to slow down, or lowering the
speed limit to 25 mph in areas where midsummer pedestrian traffic is greatest.
Why not? As for the reflectors (called Raised Pavement Markers), Mt. Gretna's
"crash records" don't fit PennDOT's standard criteria—meaning,
we suppose, that we haven't had enough accidents to justify the added expense.
And their conclusions about lowering the speed limit through town? They were
based on studies PennDOT conducted last month—in February.
We asked if they ever looked at traffic here during July and August? Whether
at least two fatalities involving pedestrians walking along Rte. 117 show
up in their records? Or if they ever stopped to consider that Playhouse audiences
are mostly seniors—discouraged from attending plays and concerts if
they must travel home along dark, twisting roads through state gamelands on
rainy, foggy nights? Not to mention, of course, that the percentage of Mt.
Gretnans over 65 is nearly twice the national average.
PennDOT engineers, apparently, took none of these considerations into account.
But so far, they insist on adhering to their conventional yardsticks, which
AN ONLINE GALLERY FOR MT. GRETNA ART
Mt. Gretna artists—and those whose works depict Mt. Gretna scenes—are
signing up to include their names, areas of art emphasis, and contact information
in the Arts Council's new online gallery, a service they'll offer at no charge.
Intended to list all the more than 40 (by our count) area artists with ties
to Mt. Gretna, the Web reference is now being assembled and should soon be
making its Internet debut.
The aim, of course, is to make it easy for art buyers to find, in a single,
convenient location, all the artists living or working here, as well as those
whose works reflect Mt. Gretna traditions, scenes and inspirations.
The Arts Council website won't sell artwork, of course. It merely will give
buyers a convenient, all-inclusive site to find painters, sculptors, jewelry
makers, weavers, potters and other artisans with ties to Mt. Gretna. That
should make it easy for anyone looking for that "perfect gift" for
friends and relatives who simply love Mt. Gretna, as well as those who—now
living elsewhere—enjoy surrounding their homes with reminders of a spot
where they, or their parents or grandparents, shared rich experiences and
Mt. Gretna Arts Council member Jessica Kosoff is heading the project and hopes
to sign up as many artists as possible. There's no cost to be included in
the online gallery, and council members want to display as many names and
varieties of art as possible.
If you're an artist, or know of someone whose works should appear in this
consolidated online listing, drop a note to Jessica at email@example.com.
Names and addresses—with links to artist Websites, when available—will
be added as they are received and updated as necessary.
ELUSIVE CELLULAR SIGNALS
The most reliable cellular services in Mt. Gretna, our readers report, are
Verizon and Sprint. That's because both have antennas stacked on that 160-ft.
tower just off Mine Road, sandwiched between hills that confound most other
Is it possible to use cellular services other than Verizon and Sprint? Apparently,
but it's not easy.
Chautauquan Jim Erdman has been struggling for over a year to get his Cingular
phones to work here. The company has been cooperative, yet insists that its
tower along Rte. 72 (near the RV sales outlet) provides all the coverage Mt.
Gretna needs. But, in Jim's experience, it rarely does. Searching for a solution,
Cingular has been letting him try different types of phones.
So far, nothing has worked. But Jim is not giving up. Especially since he
recently saw a visitor use her Cingular "Pentech" phone from his
own living room. "For over two hours, she carried on an uninterrupted
conversation with friends in Arizona," he marvels.
So with the right equipment, Cingular's signal into Mt. Gretna seems to work.
But finding that will-o'-the-wisp wireless combination—telephone equipment
precisely tailored to the carrier's signal strength—remains, for Jim,
Of course, cellular solutions are often slippery. Sprint, for example, has
a strong Mt. Gretna signal. But Nextel, which is now affiliated with Sprint,
does not. Engineers tell us that's because even though the two companies are
now linked, they use different a telecommunications protocol and can't share
antennas. Nextel users tell us their reception here is sometimes spotty.
Clearly, many folks are still seeking a cellular solution they can count on.
And for now, from all that we can gather, Verizon and Sprint remain the best
Warm praise greets that new book by Princeton Avenue resident Bill Gifford.
"Ledyard: In Search of the First American Explorer," was an "Editor's
Choice" selection at The New York Times Feb. 18. Glowing reviews have
also appeared in The Washington Times, the International Herald Tribune and
the Harrisburg Patriot News, among others. Meanwhile, Bill is making the rounds
of book readings and tours, when he's not in Mt. Gretna or New York, where
he is a magazine editor.
Never heard of Ledyard? Here's how The New York Times describes him:
"John Ledyard's first full-scale expedition would have persuaded most
men never to leave home again. As a 25-year-old sailor on the British ship
Resolution, which set sail in 1776 in search of the Northwest Passage, Ledyard
contracted venereal disease, was served a roasted human arm (and willingly
tasted it, as he had lately been reduced to eating "fricassee of rats")
and lost his captain, James Cook, when a group of angry Hawaiians ran him
through the back with a spear. These horrors were a fitting start to a strange
and exciting career — one that, like Cook's, would be cut short by a
lust for fame and a streak of bad luck.
"For a largely failed explorer, Ledyard has been the subject of an impressive
number of biographies. His life, however, merits the attention it has received.
At a time when most of his fellow countrymen were simply getting used to being
American, Ledyard set out in search of distant lands — and the other
side of his own mostly unmapped continent. His travels took him from the wide
Pacific to the bleakest stretches of Siberia to an untimely death in Egypt.
He was arrested as a spy by Catherine the Great and formed friendships with
the most powerful and influential men of his day. Ledyard was, as he once
wrote of himself, "damned to fame."
The Times calls Bill Gifford's work "an important contribution"
and says the author "paints a fascinating portrait…of this restless
American wanderer." See ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/books/review/0225bb-hardcover.html?_r=1&ref=review&oref=slogin)
STUFF YOU'RE UNLIKELY TO READ ELSEWHERE
 A new development initiative at Gretna Theater is being headed by Carol
A. Keating, whose credentials include 30 years' experience in raising over
$80 million for private foundations, school districts and universities. Her
firm, Hummelstown-based C.A. Keating Consulting, is associated with former
NBC vice president Peter A. Andrews, who has served as an adjunct professor
at Yale University's School of Drama. He is also a former senior vice president
of both MGM Studios and Columbia Pictures and now runs a Philadelphia-based
education management group emphasizing the arts. Their combined efforts should
help provide the underpinning needed to strengthen Gretna Theater's financial
foundation and better assure its future.
 Want to get the jump on Cicada tickets even before summer begins? The box
office doesn't open until June 1, but you can reserve tickets now. Orders
will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis according to earliest postmark
dates. (See http://mtgretna.com/cicada/).
Cicada's entertainment lineup this season includes vintage rock and rollers
Phil Dirt and the Dozers (Aug. 7), Hershey Big Band's Radio Show (Aug. 8),
Lee Alverson's tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John (Aug. 9), Bill Haley's
Comets (Aug. 13), and "Shades of Blue," billed as "one of the
best bands in the Mid-Atlantic region" (Aug. 14). All tickets are $8.
Mail orders to Cicada Festival, P.O. Box 637, Mt. Gretna, Pa. 17064. But don't
expect to hear from anyone until June.
 Mt. Gretna's Easter Egg Hunt starts promptly at 11 a.m. Mar. 31. "Parents
and grandparents should have their youngsters at the area behind the Jigger
Shop before 11 a.m.," Mary Blackburn tells us. That's because they blow
the whistle at 11 a.m., and the hunt is usually over by 11:05. ("Well,
maybe not quite that quick," she says, "but it does go fast.").
Ron Jones has been coordinating the event for the past dozen years or so.
Prizes go to children in five different age groups. Rain date: April 7, 11
 Like to volunteer at Mt. Gretna's Information Center this summer, greet
visitors and answer their questions? Jessica Kosoff is signing up folks to
do just that. She's looking for people who'd like to staff the Information
Center (near the gift shop and Jigger Shop) for a couple of hours during afternoons
or evenings. Let her know that you're interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Electronic applications from artists hoping to exhibit at the 33d annual
Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show Aug. 18-19 are now arriving at a steady clip,
via the ZAPP online application system officials began using for the first
time this year. Coordinator Linda Bell has received 220 applications so far.
That's up from about 150 at this point last year. The deadline is April 1.
Overall, judges will select about 285 exhibitors (including 2006's Judges'
Choice winners, who receive automatic invitations to exhibit). About 500 artists
Art show proceeds go to public service projects throughout the Mt. Gretna
area, fire and ambulance companies locally and other communitywide efforts.
 Mt. Gretna's volunteer firefighters, you may never have realized, don't
all come from Mt. Gretna. Many live elsewhere, drawn to service in this community
by friendships, family traditions, and a deep sense of commitment.
Lauren and Josh Thies, for example, live in Manheim. They recently welcomed
a baby boy to their family, adding to a team that also includes Lauren's father
and brother, Brad and Tim Yeingst of Timber Hills. "We're excited to
have a new little firefighter in the hall," says Karen Lynch, one of
many active volunteers who help keep things humming at the fire company.
 Readers looking over last month's list of books written by or about people
in Mt. Gretna reminded us of one we missed: Michael Schropp's "Mt. Gretna:
A Postcard History," published in 1977. Now living in California, Michael
is the brother of Jack Schropp, author of "Unbeatable: Live Your Life
As Extraordinary Using Secrets of a Navy SEAL."
Their mom, a Hollywood actress (the former Diana Gibson, who came to Mt. Gretna
and never left), is best remembered for her starring role in "Tillie
the Mennonite Maid," one of the most popular plays ever staged here.
 Dr. Patrick Thomas, a Hershey Medical Center professor and radiation oncologist—and
one of Mt. Gretna's newest residents—presented the prologue to the Sarasota
(Fla.) Opera Guild's recent performance of "Halka," by Stanislaw
Moniuszko. In the audience was the Campmeeting's Anne Shemeta, who sent us
a "small world?!" note.
Anne reports that Patrick, a British native, was first invited to Mt. Gretna
by Dorothy Gray, also a Campmeeting summer resident, who heads the Sarasota
guild's distinguished winter series. Patrick and wife Fran liked what they
found here and bought a cottage last year. An opera lover, he is a former
Philadelphia Opera Guild president, an education coordinator for Opera Volunteers
International, and, like Dorothy herself, often lectures on operatic and musical
SUMMER BOOK REVIEWS: TEN TUESDAYS @ TEN
Mount Gretna's widely acclaimed summer book series (Tuesday mornings at 10)
resumes June 26 with Gary Grieve-Carlson's review of Mayflower: A Story of
Courage, Community, and War, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Grieve-Carlson, a professor
of English at Lebanon Valley College, is coordinating the Chautauqua Hall
of Philosophy series.
Other books on the summer program: (July 3) Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of
Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, reviewed by Mark Mecham;
(July 10) Bruce Feiler's Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots
of Religion, reviewed by Paul Fullmer; (July 17) Alistair Horne's A Savage
War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962, reviewed by David Rudd; (July 24) Donna Leon's
Through a Glass, Darkly: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, reviewed by
Diane Iglesias; (July 31) Gordon S. Wood's Revolutionary Characters: What
Made the Founders Different, reviewed by Jim Broussard; (Aug. 7) Gyles Brandreth's
Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage, reviewed by Jean-Paul
Benowitz; (Aug. 14) Jeff Faux's The Global Class War: How America's Bipartisan
Elite Lost Our Future, and What It Will Take to Win it Back, reviewed by Mt.
Grentan Paul Heise, a retired LVC professor of economics and writer of a weekly
political column; (Aug. 21) Matthew Stewart's The Courtier and the Heretic:
Leibniz, Spinoza and the Fate of God in the Modern World, reviewed by Jeff
Robins; and (Aug. 28) Charles J. Shields' Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper
Lee, reviewed by Timber Hills' Howard Applegate, retired chairman of LVC's
OTHER NEWS TO KEEP YOU IN TOUCH
 Kindermusic Kamp, a new summer music series for children, will offer opportunities
for both parents and youngsters to "discover new ways to appreciate the
world's most respected music" at Chautauqua's Hall of Philosophy this
Depending on the age group, sessions will help youngsters learn about animals,
take imaginary trips to favorite spots, and explore dance, crafts and readings
from throughout the world – all with the aid of musical themes.
Starting June 1, the classes will be grouped by age: newborns to 18 months,
18 months to 3 years, 3- to 5-year olds, and ages 5 to 7. They will be held
on Fridays and Saturdays throughout June. Pre-register by May 18. For details,
 It's hard to tell which is more popular--the handcrafted earthenware crocks
introduced as a fire company fundraiser last year or those "postcard"
afghans displaying historical scenes from Mt. Gretna's past?
Year-rounders and summer visitors alike have snapped them up in record numbers.
Collectors will find several of those popular items still remaining at Gretna
Computers (next to the pizza shop). Stop in or call, 964-1106. All proceeds
go to our firefighters.
 The Georgia Guitar Quartet—offering "some really hot pickin'
and strummin'"—comes to Gretna Music's winter venue, Leffler Performance
Center at Elizabethtown College, Mar. 24. The concert "spans the gamut
from classical to jazz, bluegrass and world styles," says Gretna Music
impresario Michael Murray. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m., preceded by
a preconcert discussion at 6:30. Tickets: ($18 and $25, half-price for those
19-26 and $1 for everyone 18 and under). Call 717-361-1508.
 Even with Le Sorelle's two chefs expecting back-to-back babies during March
and April, the café intends to follow a normal wintertime schedule
(Fridays-Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) during most of the next two months. An
e-mail bulletin suggests there'll be only one weekend when they'll close temporarily
to "transfer the golden spatula" —probably sometime around
mid-April. Sisters Tiffany Lamont Winters and Stephanie Lamont Bost plan to
share kitchen duties on overlapping shifts as their summertime schedule (daily
except Mondays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) continues, starting Memorial Day weekend.
Since babies are not exactly predictable, we suggest you keep tabs on all
café events at www.porchandpantry.com.
 Finishing its production of Lucia di Lammermoor last week, Center Stage
Opera company now turns its attention to the June 2 performance of scenes
from Verdi's "Falsataff," at the Mt. Gretna Playhouse. The Harrisburg-based
group is returning to the Playhouse for its second consecutive year. Also
on the touring company's 2007 schedule (at other locations): Pagliacci and
Cavalleria Rusticana. See http://www.csopera.org/home.htm.
 Winter lingers, but ideas for summer fun are starting to pop up like crocuses.
Ceylon and Karen Leitzel report that orders for tickets ($18) to the Aug.
25 Big Band bash at the lake are rolling in, with many regulars already reserving
tables for eight. Wine tastings are planned. Patrons can also bring their
own food and nonalcoholic drinks. Proceeds go to Mt. Gretna nonprofit groups.
Details: 964-1829 or 717-866-4272.
 Billed as one of the best breakfasts around, Colebrook Trinity Lutheran
Church's annual feast is coming up Mar. 17. There, you'll likely find Mt.
Gretna neighbors enjoying the pancakes, sausage, ham, scrapple, scrambled
eggs, hash browns, chipped beef, fruit and pastries—including chocolate
cake with peanut butter icing—for which this annual event is famous.
It just doesn't get any better, declare breakfast gourmands John Hambright
and Dale Grundon, who last year awarded it their coveted five-fork rating.
Time: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
 Pat Attwood, who moved to Mt. Gretna in 1935, will be the speaker at the
Winterites' meeting next month. She'll show pictures that she first discovered
in the late 1940s, when the owner of Harpel's photography store invited her
to sort through his third-floor storeroom of photos taken during Mt. Gretna's
earliest days. "People are always impressed by the snow scenes,"
says Pat. "Mt. Gretna had a lot of snow in those days, far more than
today. And Mr. Harpel's pictures were beautiful. In the summer, he ran a little
photo stand near where the gift shop is today, selling film and inexpensive
cameras. Those where days when Chautauqua was a gated community, a nostalgic
time that brings back memories," she says. Pat will share her recollections
in a presentation that includes over 100 photos, beginning at 1 p.m. in the
fire hall April 3. Everyone is welcome to attend.
 South Londonderry Township's new website (http://www.southlondonderry.org/)
includes a PDF version of its latest newsletter. Among items of interest:
a neighborhood crime watch program Mar. 14. Police chief Jeff Arnold encourages
attendance at the 7 p.m. session, held at the township's building, 20 W. Market
St., Campbelltown. (South Londonderry Township encompasses the Mt. Gretna
neighborhoods of Timber Bridge, Timber Hills and Conewago Hill.)
 And lest you think we don't cover all the news. . . Sparky, who lives on
Yale Avenue with Tom and Carol Mayer, is a winner in the Lebanon Daily News'
"Pet of the Month" contest, which benefits the Humane League. "Thanks
to votes cast by the many friends he's made on his walks around Mt. Gretna,"
says Tom, Sparky—who placed eighth among 251 competitors—will
be one of 12 pets featured in the coming year.
QUESTIONS READERS ASK
 Any news on the wireless Internet service for Mt. Gretna? I thought it
may be up and running by now.
<> Gretna Computers' Bob Dowd says they're currently "struggling
with some programming problems in the software that manages the wireless service,"
and their supplier is busy working out solutions.
When the Wi-Fi system is finally ready, sometime this summer, it probably
will be used more by visitors than by full-time residents, he points out.
"If you want to be able to take your laptop around Mt. Gretna, it will
be worth buying some time, but it's not going to be a replacement for permanent
residents' home Internet connections," he says.
Bob tells people asking whether they should get DSL now or wait for this system,
"If you live here, you'll still need to have your own home Internet connection."
The Wi-Fi system "will not be as fast or as reliable as your home connection.
Instead, it will be similar to something you'd see at a coffee shop or Internet
café, but on a larger scale."
He's giving first priority to areas such as restaurants, the Playhouse, and
community buildings, and hopes to have coverage for "at least the lower
parts of Mt. Gretna by summer."
JOAN D. TALMADGE, 1932-2007
Few Mt. Gretnans may have noticed the obituary for Joan Talmadge, who died
Feb. 14 at the age of 75. Newspaper accounts listed her as a Millersville
resident, but some of her fondest memories undoubtedly resided in Mt. Gretna.
The wife of Fred Talmadge Sr., who preceded Bill Care as "Mt. Gretna's
caretaker," she lived here during the early 1970s.
Known as an excellent cook, Joan prepared breakfasts when they were offered
at The Jigger Shop. Her carrot cake was a favorite. She also was a mother,
a "woman of strong faith in her church," and active with Mt. Gretna's
Election Board, friends recall. She prided herself on near-100 percent election-day-turnouts.
Charlotte Allwein remembers sharing grocery-shopping duties with Joan during
the gas-shortage era of the 1970s. "We'd stuff my Volkswagen with groceries
for both families so we wouldn't have to return to Lebanon for two weeks,"
she says. That overstuffed Beetle "provided many laughs," says Charlotte,
recalling a "lovely lady whom I will miss." Joan is survived by
her husband, four children, 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
2 Conewago Hill resident Val Sarabia is holding on to second place in The
Wall Street Journal's Investment Dartboard contest. One of five national contestants,
Val is competing against the Journal's stock picks—all chosen by random
tosses of the darts. Usually, the darts win. But as of the Journal's last
report, Val's team was still in the lead. His pick: Conoco Phillips.
50 Mt. Gretna, Pa. turns up in Men's Journal magazine's 2007 listing of the
"50 best places" to live. Among the 49 others making that list --
and cited in the April issue, now on newsstands -- are Truth or Consequences,
N.M., Ojai, Ca., Basalt, Co., and Dahlonega, Ga.
190 Competitors signed up so far for Mt. Gretna's "Got the Nerve"
May 26 triathlon. Race organizer Chris Kaag (whose efforts over the past three
years have raised $64,000 for the Myelin Project's research into nerve damaging
disorders that have crippled young people such as himself) expects about 600
athletes will compete in this fourth annual event. Chris seeks Mt. Gretna
volunteers to coordinate the 500-yard swim, 14.8-mile bike race and five-kilometer
run. To help with pre-race setups, registrations, parking, and coordinating
the race itself, see www.gotthenerve.org
400 Miles driven through the streets of Mt. Gretna by two snowplows attempting
to cope with that rugged two-day winter ordeal last month. That's twice the
mileage those trucks normally rack up in a typical winter storm. But the Feb.
14-15 onslaught—which brought thick layers of snow, sleet and ice—was
anything but typical. A final layer of sleet, piling up five inches, froze
fast to the asphalt, making the plows useless. Over the next 48 hours, Bill
Care's crews put down 50 tons of salt, everything left over from their 2006
stockpile. Throughout the next several days and nights, with temperatures
hovering in single digits, Bill, Joey Wise and Scott Cooling switched to backhoes
and a Toolcat, chipping away at the frozen streets, but often stopping to
help Mt. Gretnans extract cars that had been immobilized in the ice. It was,
says Bill, "one of the most difficult storms I've seen in 30 years."
PEOPLE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Imagine having a neighbor who, noticing that you are likely to run short of
food for a party, magically stocks your refrigerator the day before your big
event. Or brings in free beer for a fundraiser. Or lends dishes, tables and
silverware whenever you're having a big group over to your place.
A neighbor who blows leaves away from your front door, supplies extra ice
when you need it, lends chairs and tables at the drop of a hat, and opens
your front door when nobody's home so vendors and contractors can deliver
Like to have a neighbor like that?
The Mt. Gretna Fire Company does. "He does many things we don't even
know about," says vice president (and firefighter) Joe Shay.
That's why, at their volunteers' party last month, top honors went to the
modest man few people really know, fewer still ever hear about—Mt. Gretna
Hideaway owner Jason Brandt, who, without fanfare, knows what it means to
"give back" to his community.
P.S. Our continuing appreciation to all who help us gather the news, forward
copies of this letter to friends and relatives around the world, and help
keep us on track with all that's going on here. Thanks also to Gretna Computers'
Bob Dowd, Joe Shay and Keith Volker who not only keep our equipment perking,
but also post back issues of this bulletin on their community website at http://mtgretna.com/news.
(We mention that so whenever your housemate accidentally deletes this letter
before you've had a chance to read it, you'll always know where to find a