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No. 98 September 1, 2009

(Note to our online readers: Updated stories and hyperlinks to referenced articles and other features are available in the e-mailed edition of this newsletter, distributed without charge. Our readers’ email addresses are never shared with anyone, for any purpose. The Mt. Gretna Newsletter has no political or commercial aims; its only goal is to inform, entertain and occasionally amuse its readers and an aging editor who enjoys keeping in touch with the world. . . and, especially, with Mt. Gretnans near and far.  To add your name to the subscriber list, send your request to: mtgretnanews@gmail.com)

 

A Place to Come To
Affirmations echo as the season draws to a close

Mt. Gretnans who have often wished at this time of year that they could somehow magically extend the summer now have their wish granted. Inserted in the calendar between the art show and Labor Day this year is a full extra week -- seRediscovering trees and treasuresven additional days to savor before the crowds disappear, the Playhouse grows quiet, and the town eases closer to the transcendent grandeur of fall.

Forty percent of us soon will pack up and leave. Gone, too, will be the visitors (168,000 by our estimate) who typically come here for only a day, a week or simply a single lazy summer afternoon during the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Yet most will return, again and again. For Mt. Gretna nourishes something in the soul that no one,
Magic in the fairy garden thankfully, has yet successfully defined. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.

What most who come here affirm, however, is that we are the custodians of something special. Not many places with 1,500 or so permanent residents can stage a major national art show for 35 years running, a vibrant summer theater for over 80 seasons, and a month-long music festival that after more than three decades commands international respect. 

Added to those established traditions are new ones that have gained a foothold in the rich trove of cultural, recreational and entertainment treasures that make ours a place that others long to come to. 

It is no coincidence that tiny Mt. Gretna is now the home of an annual triathlon that attracts 600 top-conditioned athletes from throughout the world on Memorial Day weekend.  That a month-long organ recital series every July has, for more than a decade, attracted some of the best performers from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute and other leading music centers. Or that the Cicada Festival, powered entirely by volunteers, fills the Playhouse night after night with popular family entertainment priced at $11 a ticket.

Such gems
Campmeeting promenadejoin long-standing attractions that include the Heritage Festival, Chautauqua's bursting-at-the-seams summer programs, the renowned Bible Festival, and a summer dinner theater that thrives even as similar ventures elsewhere falter amid the worst global recession since the 1930s.

Chalk it up to "Mt. Gretna's 'ambiance'"? No, it is more than that. It's the spirit of engaged, imaginative and energetic people. Willing to try new things and eager to add their energies to ideas both old and new.

Among the intriguing initiatives launched this season were a French country market (below, left), spriMountain Music along Route 117ghtly "chess fests" with an interA Saturday morning treatnational chess champion from Scotland, a "cottage illumination" nightime journey recalling the history and traditions of the Campmeeting, and mountain music jam fests (right) on Monday nights -- which seem likely to take root and grow, adding to Mt. Gretna's ever-evolving appeal for those seeking fresh ways to renew their spirits.

As the visitors depart and summer residents prepare their cottages for long winter naps, some who remain may be tempted to utter, with an audible sigh of relief, "We've got our town back."

Yet even as they depart, the visitors of summer leave behind a valuable commentary, manifest in a clear, unmistakable and reverberating echo: "Something special stirs in this place."

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Coming this Saturday. . . for everybody in town.

If you love covered dish suppers, the grandest of them all is about to unfold right before your very eyes this week.

Everybody in town is invited -- from Timber Bridge to Mt. Gretna Heights and all points in between.

The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5 at the Hall of Philosophy (next to the Jigger Shop).

Barney Myer, creator of a legendary three-pound "no crumb left behind" meatloaf, is in charge of the affair. Rhoda Long, from Timber Bridge, will be there with her famed chocolate cake smothered in peanut butter icing. Ryan Brunkhurst, her grandson (the amazing 16-year-old church organist and choir director), will whip up his equally amazing tuna rice casserole. Kathy Snavely is bringing warm-from-the-oven blueberry crumb pie (with fresh berries that Larry Roush, we're told, sometimes gets up at 4:00 a.m. to pick). And Campmeeting resident Peggy McGuire, who usually brings a salad, says she'll "do whatever's needed."

To reserve your spot and let picnic planners know what you're bringing (salad, entrée or dessert), please call 964-1830.

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In Other News  

Honoring his father with the first memorial contribution and kicking off the  Mt. Gretna Fire Company's campaign to pay for its newly expanded fire hall, Conewago Hill resident Ed Phillips (inset, right) presents the first of five $1,000 contributions he's pledged over the next five years.
Ed's dad, Edwi
Honoring his father A Firefighter for 29 Yearsn Phillips of Beaver Falls, Pa., was himself a firefighter. "I have great respect for the fire company," says the retired Cornwall-Lebanon School District superintendent.
"My dad was a fireman for 28 years. He always had his boots right by the bed. When the siren went off, it was 'into the boots, pull up the straps, get in the car and go.' I know the anxiety that goes with being a fireman. He was in a fire where a sheet of glass came down on him, splitting his helmet in half. Without that helmet, he'd have been dead."
Accepting the gift, fire company president Joe Shay (inset, left) acknowledged that they'll need similar memorial gifts from others in the community to pay off construction and equipment-replacement debts approaching $400,000.

Why build a bigger fire hall? As 20-year-old fire engines must be replaced, the newer ones, built to national safety standards, don't fit inside the old facility, says Joe. Moreover, Mt. Gretna's narrow streets and neighborhoods where hydrants are limited or non-existent call for a variety of vehicles, both large and small, with greater water pumping capacities. 
Others wishing to join the fire company's Wall of Honor may initiate their five-year annual pledges (in amounts of $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000) with donations to: Mt. Gretna Fire Company, P. O. Box 177, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064. Tom Mayer has details (964-1987; e-mail
tcmtao@aol.com).

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The Cicada Festival's smash hit of 2009 will soon be available as a Coming as a CD  Cicada's Magical NightCD, a "first" for the popular summer series. Phil Dirt and the Dozers' combined performance of Beach Boys hits (with former "Beach Boy" Chris Farmer and players from the Hershey Symphony Orchestra) will re-emerge as a limited-edition CD in October.
Coordinator Ceylon Leiztel says he'll limit production to the actual number of advance orders. To reserve a copy, see the order form at
Cicada's website or send $20 to Cicada Festival, P.O. Box 637, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064, where Dick and Natalie Smith will be handling orders.

AFTER LENGTHY DELAY, AT&T FINALLY COMES TO TOWN

Dick Smith, on Muhlenberg Avenue, was first to notice it. Tom Baum, visiting friends in Conewago Hill, blinked when the bars on his AT&T cell phone suddenly lit up.  Bill Gifford chimed in a few days later, reporting that visitors to his Princeton Avenue cottage could, for the first time, use their iPhones. And Rich Montgomery made his startling discovery the next day at the Hideaway.
 
What happened?  AT&T finally decided to climb aboard the Mine Road cell tower owned by Verizon and already occupied by Sprint, augmenting the
ATTtopography-challenged antenna along Route 72 that the company had erected several years ago. By piggybacking onto the Verizon tower, AT&T's coverage all across Mt. Gretna is now strong and destined to get stronger.

Company spokesman Adam Cormier says more improvements are on the way. AT&T hopes to "roll out a new frequency across Pennsylvania" that will push cellular signals further and penetrate deeper into buildings. The company also will add network capacity to handle increased email and texting traffic. First priority, says Mr. Cormier, will be larger cities, but AT&T expects to have the entire state covered with such enhanced services by the end of next year.

Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of numerous books and a popular Mt. Gretna lecturer over the past two summers, continues to stir interest locally. 
The first of several regional discussion groups based on his teachings will gather at the Hall of Philosophy Sunday, Sept. 13, led by Miller
Bishop John Shelby Spongsville University chaplain Darrell Woomer.
Part of a covered dish supper, the event begins at 4:00 p.m. and reservations are required. (
Email Rev. Woomer, or call 717-838-3938.)
Among Bishop Spong's recent works is
The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Discover the God of Love.  The theologian describes himself as "a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply" but also recognizes "that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence."
Rev. Woomer, also known locally as the former Lebanon Valley College chaplain and "jazz reverend" at Mt. Gretna's annual Black Eagles jazz worship service in the Playhouse, hopes to form Spong-inspired discussions in Harrisburg, Lebanon and Lancaster counties.

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"Where's Doodle?" asked Joyce and Roland Nissley as they made their usual early morning stroll along Timber Road last week. "We haven't heard him since the art show." Dolly's back in town
Minutes later, the answer was clear: Fluffing up his feathers and  crowing with the triumphant exultation of a king whose treasure has been restored was Doodle, heralding the return of Dolly, the demure but intoxicatingly mysterious hen that had disappeared in July.  
There she was, back on Doodle's doorstep, with explanations neither given nor asked for. And Doodle, as the "Hello, Dolly" melody goes, was clearly glad "to have her back where she belongs." 

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YES, THE CONGRESSMAN GETS IT

Our item last month about the postal service's plan to look at cutti
Community central: The Mt Gretna post officeng out some 3,120 small post offices across the land brought a response from local Congressman Tim Holden.
As we noted, Mt. Gretna's facility, a vibrant "stand-alone" post office with revenues that more than offset its cost, is not among those slated for closing. Nor, if the congressman has anything to say about it, is it likely to be.
Here's his statement:
"In cities and small communities across the country, post offices play an integral part of local communities.  The Mt. Gretna Post Office performs a necessary and important role for the members of this community.  More than that, it is a mainstay in the town, a job provider, and a place where folks can cross paths on a daily basis and enforce the social ties within Mt. Gretna. 
I am grateful the United States Postal Service has once again decided this post office is worth maintaining, and I look forward to its permanence in the community."

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ALSO IN THE NEWS THIS MONTH:

Every smaBecky adds her magic . . . with a touch of seasoned saltll town in America has its "musts" -- de rigueur happenings that compel gatherings of neighbors, babies, politicians, and others who enjoy good food and good friends.
In Mt. Gretna, such an occasion crops up again this month when Chef-on-the-Go Becky Briody prepares a 240-lb. pig, ladened with Lawry's seasoned salt (and, for added flavor, a can of beer perched smack in the middle of a giant roaster alongside the guest of hoGood times, good friends, good food at the Fire Company's annual pig roastnor).
Four or five hours after lighting the fire, Becky (inset, above) begins sorting the succulent delights that will satisfy Mt. Gretna's multitudes and help raise much-needed funds for the fire company.

Growing in popularity every year, the annual pig roast is now as much a part of Mt. Gretna's fall season as the turning of leaves.
The celebrated roast (admission: $15) starts at 4:00 p.m. in the picnic grove adjacent to the fire hall, Saturday, Sept. 12.   (
Dale Grundon photos)

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Numbers
1%  Decline in Mt. Gretna Art Show attendance this year compared with average turnouts over the past seven years.
That's probably not bad in the midst of a recession and on a sultry weekend that ranked among the season's hottest. Crowds came early and many left with packages under their arms, satisfying exhibitors like Lancaster 's
Lynne Yancha, one of those reporting buoyant sales not only in Mt. Gretna but throughout the year.  "I think art keeps people hopeful," she said. 

Others reporting good results at the show included the two Mt. Gretna residents who won a judges' invitation this year:  international
photographer Madelaine Jeff White: 35 Consecutive Appearances at Mt. Gretna Art ShowGray (left) and painter Fred Swaar (right).Artist Fred Swaar

Over the past seven years, attendance at the two-day show has averaged 14,801.
This year's crowd (
see Patriot News' photos) of 14,646 -- down 5.6% from last year but up 6.2% over 2007 -- produced gate receipts totaling $91,337. That compares with last year's record-setting ticket sales total of $96,982 from 15,516 patrons.
Greatest art show attendance ever? That was in 2000, when 19,854 passed through the gates.

Art show funds, including approximately $110,000 from artist application and exhibitor fees, plus revenues from food vendors, benefit non-profits throughout Mt. Gretna and cover advance costs for future shows. Show coordinator Linda Bell seeks funding requests from groups that benefit the community. She also invites anyone who's curious about how art show proceeds are applied to stop by her office for a look at the books.

2% Of out-of-town envelopes that local postal patrons misplace in the slot designated for "local mail only" at the Mt. Gretna post office. Jeff White: 35 Consecutive Appearances at Mt. Gretna Art Show
Only 2%? We'd have guessed that the daily pileup of wayward envelopes might be a lot higher.
But postmaster Steve Strickler thinks Mt. Gretnans get it right because they're pretty smart. "A lot of them read magazines like The Economist, Nature, and Smithsonian," he says.
So which periodical tops Mt. Gretna residents' reading list? National Geographic, says Steve. But the Atlantic Monthly, Natural History, The New Yorker and Business Week are also favorites. (All of which goes to prove that you read stuff in this newsletter that you absolutely, positively won't find anywhere else.)

32  Deer per square mile in Governor Dick Park this year. That's up dramatically from 2008, when 10 deer per square mile were found in the 1,105-acre forest. Officials -- using the same measurement techniques for the past five years -- are mystified. One theory is that the population of coyotes, a natural deer predator, has dropped sharply.
In any case, last spring's surprising deer density survey prompted park officials to order another limited deer hunt Dec. 2-5. They'll draw names in a lottery, awarding permits to 100 hunters. Call the park for details, 964-3808.

35 Consecutive years at the Mt. Gretna Art Show: That makes Lebanon craftsman Jeff White the only artist chosen to exhibit here every year since Bruce Johnson and Jeff White: 35 Consecutive Appearances at Mt. Gretna Art ShowReed Dixon founded the show in 1974.
"I started with people like Eva Bender, Bruce and Reed, and have been coming here every year since," he says.
"Even when it rains, this show is very good to me. My customers are faithful. Some buy from me only at Mt. Gretna even though I also sell my work at a Lebanon gallery and at the Black Angus antiques market. But they come here to make an annual purchase."
Has his work appreciated in value over the years? "Over 700%," he says. "Especially the stoneware and porcelain, which I don't do anymore."
A single piece of pottery typically takes two weeks to finish. White says he works most days from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., "constantly moving back and forth" in his studio to transform the malleable clay into distinctive works of art.
90th Birthday celebrated by Marie Meredith Aug. 16, the same day that husband Tom observed his 88th birthday.
If you'd like to drop them a belated birthday greeting, the address is P. O. Box 625, Mt. Gretna, PA 17064.
Coming soon (Dec. 22), the 100th birthday of another elegant Mt. Gretna lady, who first came here with her parents. Mary Hoffman still strides across the Chautauqua grounds nearly every afternoon, just as she has done in summers spanning nine decades.

$415
in hot dog sales? When it comes to retailing, Conner and Cole Pennington, the 9- and 6-year-old sons of Gretna Emporium owner Stacey Pennington, have their mom's magic touch.
They set up alongside their grandmother's Campmeeting cottage during last month's house tour, then turned their revenues over to an astonished Joe Shay at the fire company.
It wasn't the boys' first entrepreneurial venture. Last November, they sold hot dogs and sodas outside
Resource Island, their mom's Palmyra store, to help make Christmas possible for disadvantaged youngsters after thieves broke into Lebanon's Toys for Tots center.

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So how, exactly, do they keep hanging baskets blooming in the ChautLindsey adds a nurturing touch to Mt. Gretna's distinctive hanging baskesauqua all summer long?
Lindsey Kresge (left), who joined the Mt. Gretna Borough crew two years ago, tends to the watering duties, among other assignments she shares with fellow staffers Scott Cooling and Joey Wise.
Lindsey lives in nearby Cornwall, where she grew up, and  loves her "first and only" job in Mt. Gretna, especially driving the trucks, bobcats and assorted other vehicles she's mastered while learning to tackle varied duties throughout the year.
Although the baskets are 15-ft. high, watering them is easy. Her portable wand is electronically controlled. Just press the button on a fob-like device, and the water spurts out automatically.

Biloxi, Miss. has its "blessing of the shrimp fleet," Los Angeles its "blessing of the bicycles" and dozens of cities have their "blessing of the animals." So why shouldn't Mt. Gretna have its "blessing of the backpacks," honoring students and teachers returning to school?
The special service, an innovation of United Methodist Church's new pastor, Mike Remel, takes place Sept. 6 at the Tabernacle, starting at 10:00 a.m.  
 

It's an annual event -- Scott McLeod's 'gift to the community' -- a pressure washing treatment for Mt. Gretna's historic buildings.An annual bath for Mt. Gretna's historic buildings
This year, it was again the Post Office's turn for a bath. Scott, "The Pressure Washing Guy," has also performed clean-ups on the Hall of Philosophy, the Playhouse, and other buildings around town during the past several years.
It's part of a self-made pledge to "do my part to serve the community," says Scott, a University of Delaware grad who switched from banking to power washing after being laid off by M&T Bank. Scott calls that "a blessing in disguise." Formerly a Mt. Gretnan, he now makes his home in Hershey with wife Janelle and their two daughters.

Play a flute? Tell a story? Build a castle? Carol Mather's nursery school class wants you! Call 964-3578 or the school office (964-2208). "Kids like to see somebody different," says Carol. School hours: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays, starting Sept. 8.

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 Sightings

Former Mt. Gretnan Bob Good (inset, left), in town last monthOriginal owner Bob Good visits current owner Lynn Phillips to visit friends and attend the art show. A retired advertising executive now living in Naples, Fla., Bob and his late wife Ann White built the Conewago Hill home now owned by Lynn Phillips (inset, right) and her husband Ed, a retired Cornwall-Lebanon school superintendent.  
During their years in Mt. Gretna, Bob and Ann operated White, Good & Company, which grew from a small firm created around the dining room table in Ann's Chautauqua cottage to a national advertising agency with offices in Lebanon, Westport, Conn., Bethesda, Md. and New York City. White, Good clients included Domino's Pizza, Plain & Fancy Kitchens, Alexander Julian Design, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Bob's visit with Lynn (former coordinator of Wharton's executive education program at the University of Pennsylvania who now heads Lebanon Valley College's board of trustees) marked his first return to Mt. Gretna in several years. He and Ann built this hillside home shortly after their marriage in 1984.
 
Along Mt. Gretna's northern territory (a.k.a. Timber Hills), he may be the most famous canine of them all. That's because Bo, like Michael Jackson, has made his iconic symbol a glove, which he carries
Bo . . . and his 5-fingerered quarrywherever he goes.
A former show dog, Bo is a four-year-old English Springer Spaniel that now lives with Tom and Joanne Honeychurch, who retired as computer specialists three years ago to their home at 224 Village Cove. (Joanne, a long-time Mt. Gretnan, spent summers growing up in the 5th Street Campmeeting cottage that was in her family for 50 years.)
What's so special about that glove? Tom, who grew up in Wilmington, Del., is not sure. But in Bo's world, it's a quarry to be prized. After their morning walks, Joanne must bribe him with cookies to get it back. "Otherwise, he'll hide it." 

Getting started on Campmeeting playground improvements following a successful fund
Jeff White: 35 Consecutive Appearances at Mt. Gretna Art Showraising campaign this spring, supervisor Merv Lentz and Ray Snyder (inset, right), the husband of artist Carol Snyder, tackle the first of several steps to refurbish the grounds. The aim is to make the playground family-friendly, so parents can get to know each other as their children play together.
How many people will use the new facility? "You'd be surprised," says incoming board member Sally Marisic. "When we held a children's play day this summer, about 200 people showed up -- including parents and grandparents," she said.  "Despite what the census reports show, if you really want to know how many children there are in Mt. Gretna, come to the Halloween Parade."

Vanity, thy name is. . . woman? Not necessarily. This new guy in town, a sandhill crane spotted last month by the
Newcomer makes a splash at the ice damMt. Gretna Bird Club, seems to be dyeing his feathers with mud, says club organizer Evelyn Koppel.
An ornithological expert who founded the club with Sid Hostetter a few years ago, Evelyn says this sighting, at Mt. Gretna's ice dam, just off Route 117, is rare.
"Sandhill cranes are seldom seen in Pennsylvania, especially during the summer. And this fellow is usually gray," she says.
So would it be making mountains out of molehills to suggest that this early bird is up to something?  No, but if making little sandhills is what he has in mind, his prospects look dim. So far, this slightly confused fellow is the only sandhill crane in Mt. Gretna.
The bird club meets every Friday morning at 9:00 at Governor Dick Park's Nature Center, just off Pinch Road. Their travels take them to nearby sites, as in this case, or sometimes to more distant settings a few miles away. Afterward, they often get together for coffee and conversation at members' homes. If you'd like to join them, e-mail
mtgretnabirdclub@hotmail.com for details.                                                                                                                                     (Andy Ohrman photo)

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Questions Readers Ask

[] "Where are all the butterflies this year? Have you seen any?"

<> Susan Wheeler, a Spring Hill Acres resident and butterfly enthusiast who helped create Governor Dick Park's butterfly garden, says that spraying for gypsy moths combined with unusually wet weather this spring greatly diminished the butterfly population. She believes that "When you spray Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), it attacks all insects  -- everything. We're just now starting to see some butterflies, but it's depressing. There are hardly any this year."
An
article in the Philadelphia Inquirer affirms that the butterfly population is down by about 50% this year and suggests that Bt pesticide may indeed have played a role. But the newspaper points out that fewer butterflies isn't just a local phenomenon. Entomologists from Virginia to Idaho are reporting the same thing.
Will the butterflies return next year? "I hope so," says Susan, who opposed both spraying and timbering in Governor Dick Park and the state game lands. "When you attempt to micromanage nature, you're just opening up Pandora's box," she says.

[] What is that new roadway entrance about three miles east of Mt. Gretna, along Route 117 near the Route 72 interchange? It looks as if it will ultimately connect to a new road, but to where?


<>  It's the first step in what will ultimately become a nearly mile-long connector road leading to Alden Place, a private retirement community Jeff White: 35 Consecutive Appearances at Mt. Gretna Art Showfor active adults 55 and older, located along Route 419 in Quentin. Some 445 homes and villas are planned for the community, and the first 100 have already been sold (including one to former Lakeview Drive residents Al and Barb Fishman).
Just when the new access route to Route 117 will be built depends on market demand, says developer James Graybill. But he estimates that the roadway should be completed within the next five years, making it easier for Alden Place residents to get to and from entertainment, restaurants and recreational activities in Mt. Gretna.

[] Who would I contact to hold a wedding in Mt. Gretna?
 
<> Weddings take place about 30 times a year in Mt. Gretna, sometimes beneath open skies, under the sheltered open air settings of the Tabernacle or Playhouse, and at Mt. Gretna's United Methodist Church or community buildings.
As a spot for marriages, receptions and rehearsal parties, Mt. Gretna's popularity is growing (see "
The Gretna Connection"). Also increasing is the frequency with which Mayor Joe Shay, who has performed nearly 50 wedding ceremonies so far, is called into service.
 
Here are some of the most popular settings, with contact names and numbers:  
Campmeeting Tabernacle: Campmeeting office manager Debby Erb, 964-3040
Chautauqua Hall of Philosophy: Kathie Erdman (interim coordinator) 964-3462
Mt. Gretna Heights Community Building:
Barbara Lauver, 964-3453
Mt. Gretna Inn: Harry S. Short, Jr. and Frank Romonoski III, 964-3234
Mt. Gretna Lake: Group Reservations, 964-2058
Mt. Gretna Playhouse: Dr. Tom Clemens, 964-3825
Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church: Pastor Mike Remel, 964-3241
Timbers Dinner Theater: Kathleen "Tap" Roberts, 964-3601

[] Pennsylvania forester David Henry was quoted in your April issue as saying he expected the state game lands along Pinch Road "to be a lush green area with plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities" by this summer. That st
For future generations a sign of hopeatement contrasts greatly with recent photos, including this one (right) taken last week. After they chopped down the trees, why didn't they remove all the debris? And isn't all that dead wood now a fire threat?

<> In an e-mail message last week, Forester Henry noted that the harvest areas "are growing, and the presence of new seedlings is very positive." He says that more seed from surrounding forests will be added this fall, leading to additional seedlings next spring.
"While not every inch of the harvest site is green with lush vegetation, the number of seedlings and rates of growth exceed what was expected," says Mr. Henry. Many seedlings have already grown a foot tall, he points out, and "within four to five years we'll have new trees six feet tall." By the end of next year, in fact, he expects to see "the entire site with green woody vegetation, including annual and perennial plants such as blackberry, raspberry and grape."

As for the logging debris (called "slash"), Mr. Henry says it returns minerals and nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, creates nesting places and wildlife cover, and affords a certain level of protection to seedlings from browsing deer.

With regard to fire hazards, Mr. Henry points out that rainfall this summer has "greatly diminished the potential for a fire," the scattered logging slash is "not contiguous," and the re-seeded skid trails serve as fire breaks, making it harder for a fire to spread. "While the fire danger is not zero, the fire danger at any given location is never zero," he concludes.

Editor's note: Additional views on this topic appear at: (http://mountgretna.blogspot.com/ )

[] A reader doing research on a family history project sends along this photo and wonders if anyone who was in Mt. Gre
Mystery Phototna during World War II might have known this army officer.
According to information the researcher has been able to piece together, his name may have been William (or simply "Bill") Williams. He is believed to have been here during the period between Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 1944.
Since Mt. Gretna's encampment period formally ended in 1935, when the military moved to Ft. Indiantown Gap, it is possible that he may have been attending a special program presented here, rather than being stationed permanently at Mt. Gretna.
Anyone who might know of programs in Mt. Gretna that were presented during that period, or who may have met him on another occasion, is asked to e-mail
teena@pa.net or call 717-789-3873.

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