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THE MT. GRETNA NEWSLETTER

NO. 83 JUNE 2, 2008

A REVITALIZING TURN AS A NEW CENTURY UNFOLDS

A few years ago, we started to notice a gradual turn in Mt. Gretna’s century-old evolution. Along with the town’s vibrant cultural and religious roots began to emerge the vigorous pulse of robust outdoor activities: Athletes pursuing ever-higher levels of fitness, taking their place alongside Mt. Gretna’s artists, musicians and writers. All of them, of a piece, digging deep to bring out their best.

Nowhere was that more evident than in the Memorial Day weekend triathlon, which attracted more than 600 competitors.

Yet competition that puts physical limits to the test now shows up daily in the mantras of many who call Mt. Gretna home:

Alisa Pitt, who grew up on Pennsylvania Avenue, is the 2008 United States Adventure Racing Association collegiate national co-champion. She earned that honor last month after racing with Towson University teammate Josh LaSov for six grueling hours under the Texas sun—running four miles along ranch trails, mountain biking over a 12-mile course with roller coaster-like dips and climbs, and paddling an inflatable Sevelor K-79 boat four miles down the turbulent Colorado River. A triathlon competitor here last week, she’s now preparing for a 24-hour USARA race next year.

Robin Smith, a cyclist who moved to Lancaster Avenue a few years ago, has just finished training for the adventure of a lifetime—a grueling week-long, non-stop Race Across America—which begins June 11. (See “Final Countdown,” below.)

Bob Horlacher, the Campmeeting resident who at age 62 was ranked 12th among America’s white-water racers. And Mt. Gretna’s remarkable borough manager Bill Care, now one of the nation’s top competitive “55-59” cyclists, last year led the Men’s Master Road Race standings in Pennsylvania. Add to that list people like Kay Care, Linda Bell, and Ellen Holsapple, who routinely cycle a hundred or more miles a day.

Outdoor programs that whet the interests of young and old alike now abound at Governor Dick Park. More than a thousand people now pass through town every week on the rail-trail, many of them pausing occasionally to discover a place that thrives on culture, energy—and a growing appreciation for the active life.

It is an evolution that Robert H. Coleman, who set Mt. Gretna in motion more than a century ago, would surely smile upon.


WHERE COURAGE COUNTS—AND SHOWS

They came from Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado and Michigan. Twelve states in all. More than 600 of them Memorial Day weekend—seeking to compete in the “Got the Nerve” triathlon at Mt. Gretna.

By noon, it was over. They had completed their 500-yard swim in Lake Conewago’s 52-degree waters, biked up and down the hills in a nearly 15-mile race, and sprinted to the finish line at the end of a five-kilometer run.

Five Mt. Gretnans were among them—Shaun and Brad Ditzler, Adam Harlan and Alisa Pitt and her mom Marla, who finished second in her age group. All completed the circuit in well under two hours. Overall winner was Hempfield High athlete Andrew Yoder—a probable future Olympic contender—who turned in a time of 1:02:20.

But the winners—the real winners in the minds of many who watched from the sidelines—were two who ground their way to gritty finishes. Rodger Krause, a middle-aged CPA from Wyomissing who is paralyzed from the waist down, completed the first stretch of a relay by swimming the lake with a backstroke, then a sidestroke—whatever it took with floats strapped to his motionless legs—before finally crawling back onto the beach. Then came Gail Gaeng, a 15-year-old from Frederick, Md., riding a hand cycle as part of a family relay team. She is an alternate for the Beijing Olympics in wheelchair basketball.

At the end of the day, they had raised $35,000 for the Myelin Foundation, a research group that probes the mysteries of neurodegenerative disorders like that which a few years ago crippled the race’s inspired and inspiring organizer, 31-year-old Chris Kaag.

But Chris is too busy to worry about crippling diseases. He has a thriving fitness business to run in Reading. He’s also the founder of the IM ABLE Foundation, which aims to enrich the lives of disabled people by raising awareness of their physical fitness possibilities. (IM ABLE provided Gail’s special bike, for example.) Besides that, he’s already started planning for next year’s “Got the Nerve Triathlon,” an event that in 2008 won the community’s respect for organization, efficiency . . . and grit.

NEWS YOU WON’T READ ANYWHERE ELSE

[] Burkholder Paving crews now resurfacing Rte. 117 say they like being in Mt. Gretna. “The pizza is great. The people are friendly. Nobody’s in a hurry. Everybody seems to understand that we have a job to do,” a signalman said last week.
Just as scheduled, the 1.2 miles of repaving work through the middle of town finished up May 21. Crews have now moved eastward, toward Rte. 72. They’ll work there this week on new inlet boxes, base repair and joint repair to the old concrete road. Phase two paving operations should begin sometime after the fourth of July.
The underlying century-old concrete highway built during encampment days came as no surprise. “PennDOT does a good job of informing contractors before the bid," says Burkholder's Dave Powers. He expects to wrap up most of the third phase, from Mt. Gretna to Colebrook, around the second or third week of August. Although weather delays could force them to work on Saturdays, no road construction activity will take place during art show weekend.
Many now working on the $2.1 million project have never before been to Mt. Gretna. Most are from Eastern Lancaster County and the Reading area. They’re curious about the town, and the cottages, carousel legends and customs that make up its history.
They’re also impressed by our courtesy. "This is the only place where we don't see impatient drivers. People seem more relaxed,”said a crewman last week.
Expressing appreciation to everyone in town for their cooperation and understanding, Powers adds, “I’m sure our people wish that every area they work in could be like Mt. Gretna. But I guess that is what makes it such a special place.”

[] Nell Pontz, the shocking “Mt. Gretna bather” who exposed her bare forearms in postcard photographs at the lake a century ago, was surely beaming. For the third straight year, Lancaster banker Tom Jordan (her great-great-great nephew) finished first in the triathlon’s Clydesdale division for 40- to 50-year olds, posting his best times yet. Her 91-year-old son is probably happy, too. He now lives in New Mexico and, we’re told, enjoys reading the Mt. Gretna Newsletter.

[] We checked in with Stacey Pennington to see what the first week was like at Gretna Emporium.
“It must have been a pretty good opening,” we said, “Scott Zellers told us that you’d already sold a case of those new coffee mugs for the Mt. Gretna fire company.”
“We’re halfway through our second case,” Stacey said yesterday. “It’s been wonderful.”
Along with games that stretch and challenge imaginations are items with a distinctively Mt. Gretna flavor—postcards and posters are early favorites.
“We have something for everybody. One little boy came in with his tooth fairy money,” she said. “He left with a bagful of stuff. . . and a smile. That’s what it’s all about.”

[] If the Hall of Philosophy doesn’t look like it’s 98 years old, there’s a reason: It just got a bath.
Every spring, Scott McLeod (www.thepressurewashingguy.com) freshens up a few more of Mt Gretna’s historic buildings. Last year it was the Playhouse and the formerly moss-covered information kiosk. The year before, it was the post office.
Scott, who’s passionate about Mt. Gretna’s historic buildings, says it’s a “give back to the community” pledge he makes to himself.

[] Former Jigger Shop ice-cream scooper and now Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal oboist Erin Hannigan has a new CD out. See http://www.crystalrecords.com/newreleases.html.
“Our Valley Road neighbors often heard her practicing every summer out on the screened porch,” says proud father Tim Hannigan. She’s also been a guest performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

[] Swedish-born Mt. Gretnan Eva Bender, trained as a journalist but best known here as an artist, compares painting to writing. . . “looking for the right tone, the right word – perhaps one out of twenty paintings work out.” For the past 30 years, she’s written a column for a Swedish newspaper commenting on life in America. An exhibit of her latest paintings currently appears at Lancaster Arts Hotel Gallery. She’ll hold an artist’s reception June 6, from 5 to 8 p.m.

[] Barb Fishman, who's been teaching watercolors at her lakeside home and studio for more than two decades, will continue classes locally even though she and husband Al have moved to Alden Place in nearby Quentin. You'll find her at the Heights Community Building Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Call 228-8888.

[] When he returns as one of “The Three Phantoms” June 12-15, Kevin Gray will bring Mt. Gretna memories from 21 years ago. He was here in 1987 with John Pielmeier (who wrote “Agnes of God”) and Faith Prince (now starring in Broadway’s “A Catered Affair.”) Gray and Ms. Prince co-starred in Broadway's 1998 revival of "The King and I.”
Recalling her days in Mt. Gretna, Ms. Prince recently autographed an item for this fall’s auction gala—a poster from her current hit, autographed by the entire “A Catered Affair” cast.

[] Is the itch to act embedded somewhere in the DNA? Perhaps. It surfaces this summer in Mt. Gretna’s 13-year-old Jackie Kosoff, who’ll appear in “The King and I” July 17-27. Her father Ed Kosoff is a former movie actor (“Girl Interrupted”) and once co-hosted a 1980s Cable TV awards show with comedian Dennis Miller.

[] Add board games to Chautauqua’s brimming summer schedule. Newcomers Julia Bucher and William Barlow get things underway tomorrow night (June 3), with Scrabble sessions at the Hall of Philosophy. They’ve just moved here from Lancaster, where they formed a Scrabble club. “Board games pull generations together,” she says. She invites everyone to organize other games such as Monopoly or Blokus, starting at 6:30 p.m.

FINAL COUNTDOWN FOR WORLD’S TOUGHEST BIKE RACE

Robin Smith begins the toughest challenge in competitive cycling this month: a 3,000-mile Race across America. Riding in 30-minute sprints with three teammates, grabbing sleep in four-hour gulps as their RV rumbles along the highway, they’ll try to complete the California-to-Annapolis race in just seven days.
It is a test of human endurance that will take her across the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, over parched deserts and amid prairie winds, rainstorms and maybe tornadoes in a quest to raise $180,000 for local charities and fulfill deeply held personal goals.
The 46-year-old Lancaster Avenue resident has been preparing for the race over the past two years. She is one of 215 men and women competitors who’ll start racing June 11. Her teammates include another woman and two men, plus a support crew of RV drivers, a cook, and specialists skilled at fixing broken bikes and aching muscles.
While she’s racing, husband Shawn Harbaugh, a computer specialist, will follow her progress online at http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/. (Robin is “Cycle Smart” team Rider 414C.) He admires his wife’s determination and discipline—“You won’t find potato chips or Twinkies in our kitchen,” he says. “That helps keep extra inches off my waistline.”
When the team reaches Pennsylvania, he’ll join her as she sprints toward Annapolis. “That,” she says, “will be huge.”
If you’d like to contribute to the charities benefiting from Robin’s efforts, see http://www.active.com/donate/teamcyclesmart414C.

COMING IN AUGUST: THEATER WHERE AUDIENCES HAVE THE MAIN ROLE

If you’ve always thought of watching a play as simply a passive “buy-your-ticket-and-take-your-seat” event, Cicada’s staged play readings this summer offer an altogether different experience.

The Hall of Philosophy is a perfect setting for readings, says Mt. Gretna playwright Eton Churchill. He’s been presenting original works there for more than a decade. This year, his latest play, “The Lost Supper” premieres in a staged reading Aug. 28. Two days before, Cicada audiences will hear excerpts from “The Long, Long Journey to America,” a work in progress by British playwright, author and former Mt. Gretna resident Maureen Grape.

So just what is a ‘staged reading?” If you’ve ever left the theater wishing you could tell the writer, producer and director a thing or two, this is your chance. All three will be there—in a single person who’s eager to hear your reactions.

Staged readings give playwrights the feedback they can’t get anywhere else, says Eton, who recently retired as a Penn State professor. He’s had several off-Broadway productions, including ones that got their first public airing here. “Mt. Gretna audiences are not shy about telling what they like and don’t like,” he says. “It’s a valuable forum.”

Listening to audiences here helped him shape “History Lessons,” his most successful work, which wound up at the Polk, an off-Broadway theater. Others have found their way to Baltimore’s celebrated Playwrights’ Festival.

His advice for the audience: “Let your imagination go. Play readings work best when people forget there’s no scenery, no costumes—just people sitting around with a script in their hand. When it’s done right, that doesn’t matter. The imagination takes over, and people are fully engaged.”

The Hall of Philosophy performances start at 8:15 p.m. Afterwards, audiences share their reactions. That’s often the best part, he says. “Plays are not fixed. They exist in a culture, so the language is fluid. You get from live performances something you can’t get from simply reading a play. You hear the language and feel the characters. If the audience tells you that you’ve gone overboard, you know you have some work to do.”

NEWS THAT’S GOOD TO KNOW

[] Leave it to those amazing fire company gals to come up with yet another tantalizing fundraiser. Coming June 21: a “Book-Bake-and-Cheese Steak Sale”—offering Philly cheese steaks (with a secret spice sauce) and California-style (lettuce, tomatoes and onions) cheese steaks as well. They’ll be at the post office on June’s first two Saturdays—taking orders, talking about books and lining up baked sale donations they’ll need by June 20. All in the Mt. Gretna tradition . . . all to raise money for the single-most important organization in town.

[] Julia Bucher and William Barlow have just volunteered to coordinate booth sitter assignments at the art show (Aug. 16-17). To help out this year, drop them a note: buche_2@yahoo.com.

[] Who’s the fiercest predator in Governor Dick park? Audrey Manspeaker reveals the answer—exclusively for third through sixth graders—in this summer’s Explorer’s Camp (9 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 28-Aug. 1).
She’ll also give tips on how to tell frogs from toads, explain differences between millipedes and centipedes, and show a bird that nests in the park without actually making a nest.
Registration deadline: June 30. Volunteer teachers invited to join the fun. Details: call the Nature Center, 964-3808, or write governordick@hotmail.com.

[] Ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 10 a.m. July 5 will officially open the Mt. Gretna Historical Society’s new 206 Pennsylvania Ave. headquarters. Society members will get a preview June 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The group’s annual meeting (Heights Community Building) June 10 starts at 7:30 p.m. Cindy Myer (964-2384) has membership details.

[] Do music, wine and starlit nights at Lake Conewago ignite romance? Ask Phil Leer and Dawn Reese. They got married last month, less than two years after a first date at the Big Band bash in Mt. Gretna.
On Aug. 23, in what has become for them an annual rite, they’ll be back—dancing to Hershey Big Band tunes, savoring wines from a local vintner and probably ordering a tableside delivery from Mt. Gretna Pizzeria.
You can bring your own food and nonalcoholic drinks, says organizer Ceylon Leitzel, who turns proceeds over to Mt. Gretna nonprofits. To reserve your spot, e-mail: KBL555@Verizon.net.

[] Fixing up a cottage? Mt. Gretna’s historical society is compiling a list of contractors, drawings and photos that can help. Architects William Barlow and Roland Nissley join a panel at the Hall of Philosophy June 6 that will show designs, materials and colors that can heighten historic values. The program starts at 7:30 p.m.

[] Ever yearn to meet a great horned owl beak-to-beak? You’ll have a chance June 20 at Governor Dick’s Nature Center. The bird was rehabilitated by wildlife rescue volunteer Beth Carricato. Her program starts at 7 p.m.
Also at the center: An amphibian armada—frogs, toads and salamanders—June 6 at 7 p.m. A hike that wanders through wild flowers starting at 9 a.m. June 14. And Audrey Manspeaker’s imaginative Mission: Discovery program for children, starting June 21 at 10 a.m.
Details: 964-3808, or e-mail governordick@hotmail.com. Ask for the park’s free newsletter.

AN ACRONYM TO SPEED YOUR MAIL

Mt. Gretna postmaster Steve Strickler may not be your typical bureaucrat, but even he gets enamored with acronyms now and then. DPS is his current favorite. That stands for “Delivery Point Sequencing,” something Dilbert fans might love.
What it means to Mt. Gretnans, however, is the promise of speedier mail deliveries. DPS mail would arrive already sorted in exact numerical sequence—from Mailbox No. 1 to Mailbox No. 696. Steve and assistant Kathy Dugdale wouldn’t have to spend the first three hours or so every morning sorting it by hand.
Just when DPS might arrive isn’t definite. But Steve hopes it might come sometime this year.
Meanwhile, he’d like us all to prepare by asking those who send us bills, magazines and letters to include our box numbers in the right position (just above the city, state and zip code).

Properly addressed DPS mail, says Steve, should look like this:
Mr. John D. Dilbert
204 Smith Street
P.O. Box 607
Mt. Gretna, PA 17064

Mail addressed like that, Steve promises, will already be in your box before you’ve finished your first cup of coffee.

PAT ALLWEIN: DELIVERING SUMMER FUN, WINTER WARMTH

Heritage Festival coordinator Pat Allwein has signed popular Sea Isle City, NJ entertainer Larry McKenna for an appearance this year—his first here in over a decade. McKenna sings “everything from Jimmy Buffet to Sinatra tunes” and loves Mt. Gretna, where he vacations with his family every summer. But on Saturday nights, he’s usually entertaining Jersey shore crowds.

After he rented a place near Pat and Mike Allwein’s cottage on Second Avenue a few years ago, they began planning for a return engagement. Pat scheduled a rare Friday night concert at the Tabernacle July 18, the only one in this year’s festival.

Other groups she’s lined up (between assignments driving an oil delivery truck during the winter months—“I’m an athletic type and love working outdoors”): The Pastimes, a popular a cappella Doo Wop group (June 21); The Goose Creek Boys, gospel singers that can raise goose bumps on inspired audiences; the Sheey Brothers (July 19); and Lebanon’s Big Swing Band (July 26).


NUMBERS

9 Time slots remaining in the Information Center schedule. To volunteer for a few hours, greet Mt. Gretna newcomers and answer their questions, contact Jess Kosoff, edandjess@verizon.net

38 Copies left of Jack Bitner’s history Mt. Gretna: A Coleman Legacy. $30, plus shipping; Mt. Gretna Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 362, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064. See: http://www.mtgretnahistory.org/store.php. (Note: Once this supply is gone, copies will likely become prized on eBay, since we’re not aware of any plans to issue reprints. Sale proceeds benefit the society.)

45% Of Cicada Festival’s August tickets sold even before the box office officially opened June 1. A testament to affordable family entertainment? Yes, plus the energy and enthusiasm of an all-volunteer team.
Biggest seller: rock and rollers Phil Dirt and the Dozers. Biggest sleeper of the season, predicts volunteer Natalie Smith, may be the Philly Horn Band. “People who’ve heard them say they’re great,” she says. For the full lineup of play readings, old movies and budget-priced concerts, call 964-2046 or see www.mtgretna.com/cicada.

$3,018 Raised by 15-year-old organist Ryan Brunkhurst at a concert last month. It’ll help pay for that $300,000 addition to the Mt. Gretna fire company. Dedication ceremonies July 12 will likely kick off a community-wide capital campaign.

200,000 Brochures that La Cigale owners John and Nancy Mitchell have given to people stopping by their regional exhibits of French Provencal tablecloths (‘table art,” John calls it) over the past four years. So far this year, the Mt. Gretna couple has been at nearly 30 shows, including Atlanta’s Southeastern Flower Show, the Philadelphia Flower Show and Chicago’s botanic garden fair. People who’ve seen their items elsewhere often stop in at the sewing shop on Rte. 117, says Nancy.

QUESTIONS READERS ASK

[] I love Mt. Gretna and was wondering where I can get one of those MTG bumper stickers?

<> The classic oval labels, a fundraiser for the Mt. Gretna Historical Society, are now available at Gretna Emporium. Also benefiting the society are sales of a few remaining copies of Jack Bitner’s “Mt. Gretna: A Coleman Legacy.”
Fire company fundraisers you’ll find there include the popular “Mt. Gretna Eats” cookbooks and 2008 coffee mugs with artist Eleanor Sarabia’s pen and ink sketch of the Hall of Philosophy.

[] I discovered “Chautauqua Banners” in the Mt. Gretna Newsletter's June 2004 issue. We’re from Lancaster County and just love coming each summer to stroll around and visit the Jigger Shop. (Our goal is to retire there someday, but we still have a way to go until then.). Do you know if any banners are left? I’d love to hang one on our current porch as an inspiration.

<> John Smith still has a few double-sided banners on hand. The cost is $50. They display pine trees and the Chautauqua founding date, 1892. To place your order, give him a call (964-2101).

[] How did the pink flamingo come to be the symbol of Mt. Gretna Heights?

<> It wasn’t exactly “The Monster That Ate Cleveland,” but even Max Hunsicker probably has second thoughts about the fad he hatched 19 years ago. “It’s taken on a life of its own,” he says. “It’s now hopeless.”

Max unintentionally created the celebrated icon while thinking up ways to enliven a community newsletter in Mt. Gretna Heights, where the bird has now taken on the status of a monument, like William Penn atop Philadelphia’s City Hall.

In those days (like these), few people cared much what the Department of Environmental Resources had to say about private community wells, including the one that supplies water to the Heights. Then, as now, DER loved acronyms. And as regulations continued to gush forth in a deluge of alphabet soup, it simply became too much for Max, who figured a tall tale here and there might forestall MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) among readers.

He reported in 1989 that henceforth the Heights would be required to set aside "portions of our property" (or POOP) as waterfowl refuges (WRs). If a community lacked native waterfowl of its own, DER would supply imports. In the Heights’ case, it would be flamingos. Never mind that no flamingo had ever survived a winter north of Miami. Flamingos were what the DER had in oversupply. And flamingos, by golly, were what the Heights was going to get.

Less than 24 hours after he dispatched that report, equally imaginative neighbors began cooking up plots. A brilliant pink flamingo appeared on Max and Mari Hunsicker's lawn the next morning. In fact, bright pink birds began cropping up all over town—in trees, at entrance roads, in gardens. It was, says Mari, what would become known as yet another epoch in Mt. Gretna history: “The Flamingo Wars.”

The tradition continues. Vacationing residents who spot stuffed versions in their travels never fail to bring back their quarry to Max. Neighbors secretly wishing to have a flamingo planted in their lawns feel slighted if it doesn’t show up.

People tell Max that if a flamingo fails to appear, their grandchildren will probably cry. Even in his retirement work as a high school drama coach, students devise scenes where—for no apparent reason—a flamingo sighting occurs, usually before the third act.

“I’d hoped that after a few years it would die out,” says Max. He even planned to announce that a rare disease had swept over North America, obliterating every pink creature outside Miami. But the flamingo remains. And so does Max’ expanding fame.

ROBERT L. GRANOFF (1923-2007)

Bob Granoff, his widow Helyn informed us in a letter last month, passed away last September. She and her husband owned and enjoyed the cottage at 102 Brown Ave. It is the same cottage where Charlton and Lydia Heston had spent the summer of 1948, when he was still a struggling actor.
Although the Granoff’s permanent home was in Collegeville, Pa., Mt. Gretna figured prominently in their lives. It was here, at the lake, that they met. Six weeks later, they were married at a church in Harrisburg. “Our haste was mainly because Bob had enrolled in the former Philadelphia Museum School of Art,” she wrote. Later, he pursued a 30-year career as a sales representative for Hormel Foods Corp.
“The Berkshire,” their Mt. Gretna summer cottage, brought the couple expected pleasures and occasional unexpected notice—especially whenever a story about Heston appeared in the news. Along with Mt. Gretna memories and times here with her husband, Mrs. Granoff treasures a copy of Heston’s book—one that he autographed for her during a visit to King of Prussia.

FINALLY

They pass by 108 Lancaster Avenue like soldiers returning from the Peloponnesian wars, proudly displaying spoils and treasures: Discarded golf bags, charcoal grills once the centerpieces of memorable summer evenings, sofas yielding their stuffing.

It is American ingenuity on parade: The eve of Big Junk Day in Mt. Gretna, a day that Lancaster Avenue's Thatcher Bornman has fashioned into a celebration distinctively his own.

Big Junk Day's delights arise not from the day itself (June 16 this year), which is often anticlimactic, but from the preceding 48 hours. Junk-seeking safaris start on Saturday mornings as residents begin hauling their discards to curbsides throughout Chautauqua's narrow streets.

It’s the one time of the year when they can dispose of unwanted stoves, refrigerators and other items too big to fit into trashcans. And it’s an event that lures treasure-hunters by the scores.

Around 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, Thatch begins serving hot dogs—free—roasting them on a grill he discovered a few years ago on his own scavenger expedition. The guest list? Anybody who happens to stop by. Many are now regulars, for the celebration is in its 10th year. Others are astonished newcomers.

Thatch's carefree celebration startled a California couple last year. "This place is so friendly,” said the woman, a Hollywood screenwriter. Her companion was a retired professor from the University of Southern California, intrigued by that which in this part of the world constitutes cause for a celebration.

A few minutes later, Barney and Cindy Myer drove up, wondering whether they might be able to get curb service. But then, seeing the fun, they decided to just park and join neighbors Fred Seltzer, Rupert Mowrer, Madelaine Gray, Dale Grundon, and Earl and Becky Lennington. Everyone talked as the sunset, along with the charcoal embers, began to fade. It was, all agreed, a day that only could happen in Mt. Gretna.

Kindest regards,

Roger Groce

P.S. We are sending the Mt. Gretna Newsletter this month using a Portable Document Format, thanks to a tip from Gretna Theater producing director Larry Frenock. If all goes well, we’ll continue using PDF since it makes formatting easier and facilitates print-outs for all who kindly pass along copies to those lacking access to computers.
In addition to those who help distribute the newsletter to friends and family members, we’re grateful to the many folks who kindly answer our questions, provide details about happenings that captured our attention, and send questions (mtgretnanews@gmail.com) that invariably lead to insights others will likely find useful. All are part of a world of good people—who it is our good fortune to know.
Thanks also to our friends at Gretna Computers, who provide copies of back issues on the Web at http://mtgretna.com/news.