This Sunday is Mother’s Day. The first Mother’s Day in the United States was observed at a small church in West Virginia in 1908. I could fill the entire column with the history, but I won’t, but it’s an interesting read if you want to give it a shot. Like most everything, you can find it online. Contrary to what some believe, Mother’s Day was not created by Hallmark as a money making scheme. Millions will be spent on cards, candy, flowers, and other gifts this weekend to show appreciation for the millions of moms who not only brought us into the world, but turned grey raising us. I’ll miss my mom again this year; she would have been 103 last month. I had a great loving childhood and learned a lot from mom. She along with help from my dad taught me respect, values, and ethics, sometimes missing in today’s culture. She also taught me life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, and how to separate the whites from the darks when washing clothes. She also taught me hiding Playboy magazines under the bed was a poor choice of hiding places. Not a week goes by I don’t think about mom, she’s been gone for 20 years but I still remember her calling my name. It’s funny; I could always tell by just the inflection in her voice whether her calling me was going to be a good experience or bad.

I could fill a book with great mom stories, and I’m sure many of you could as well. One story came to mind last week when I heard of the death of Baltimore Colts legend and Hall of Fame member Gino Marchetti. He was often called one of the greatest defensive ends in the game. Being from Baltimore, mom loved her Colts, Orioles and the men who played the games. It was a time in the early 60s when pro-football was still a game and not big business. Many of the players lived in Baltimore during the off season, often working other jobs to supplement their incomes. It wasn’t unusual to run into players at restaurants, drug stores, or even the grocery store. I remember accompanying mom and dad to the local Food Fair grocery store as a sophomore in high school. She picked the groceries, dad paid, and I carried. It was a weekly ritual. On one trip, Gino Marchetti was making a promotional appearance at the Northwood store and greeting customers. Now mom was barely 5 feet tall and Gino was six-four, just picture the contrast. Mom got so excited when she saw him, she began hugging him and shaking his hand, and as she did she popped one of her new hard contact lenses from her eye onto the store floor. The scene that followed with mom, Gino, and me scouring the cereal aisle on our hands and knees for at least 10 minutes was burned into my memory forever. Yes, Gino found it before anyone stepped on it. I’m sure many of you have funny and loving memories of your moms as well. For those of you who still have your moms with you, I envy you. My mom will be in my heart forever, but for those of you planning on celebrating Mother’s Day with yours this Sunday, I say “If you’ve got em, hug em.”

Gettysburg Borough Manager Charles Gable tells me those who are concerned about PennDOT’s proposal to relax regulations on truck traffic traveling through the borough should sign the “Haul No” petition now available on the borough’s website. This proposal would allow even larger trucks while current truck traffic is damaging roads, causing building foundations to weaken, and endangering pedestrians and regular vehicular traffic in our historic Town. You can find the petition at; on the home page. Click on the news link to find the petition.

Just an observation: Destination Gettysburg will be promoting Tourism Week. They are seeking volunteers to clean up the streets of Gettysburg. For years a group of volunteers called “From the Ground Up” has been cleaning the streets every Monday morning. They’ve been doing a great job! Since it’s my understanding Destination Gettysburg, as the tourism bureau, serves the entire county. Why not clean up some of the major roads coming into Gettysburg like Route 30 or at least coordinate your effort with the “From the Ground Up” group? There appears to be plenty of trash to go around, and all of it isn’t in the borough.

I chatted briefly with Adams County Commissioner Randy Phiel last weekend. He was on his way to some meeting. I will say this, in the seven and a half years I’ve covered this Board of Commissioners, there are few major public events they miss. They move faster than ants on sugared strawberries at a picnic. Between commissioner forums and what I call the “rubber chicken circuit” (banquets) to organizational speaking engagements, they have risen to the occasion while running county government as well. With weekends included at times I would call it more than a full-time job. I would view it as more of a “full time and a half job.” They don’t miss much.

Commissioner Phiel also told me the county will buy its new voting machines from the same company that currently maintains the county’s machines. He says numerous other counties are buying from the company as well. Although they will not be in place for the Primary Election in two weeks, they are expected to be ready for voters in November.

Let’s head Around Town:

For more than 20 years the Mason Dixon Chapter of ABATE has been holding their Mother’s Day “Give Mom the Bird” Chicken Barbecue. This year it will be held at Faloon’s Mini Market off Route 116 in Bonneauville on Sunday. Chicken will come off the grill beginning at 11 a.m. until sold out (and they do sell out). Half a chicken, baked potato, apple sauce, roll and butter are just $9. All proceeds go to the Pete Kuhn’s Christmas for Kids Fund providing toys for disadvantaged children in both Adams and York counties during the Christmas season. Remember to get there early.

The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra will present its May Concert this Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Seminary Chapel. This professional ensemble will perform two major works: a symphony by Haydn and the Double Concerto by Brahms. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information call 717-334-5508.

It’s almost time for the gigantic annual spring Outdoor Gettysburg Antique Show, Saturday May 18 from 7 am until 4 p.m. More than 120 vendors will be displaying their treasures in the downtown area. Because of the show, the Gettysburg Farmers Market will not be held on the 18th. It will be back on the Square Saturday, May 25.

Gettysburg United Methodist Church located at 30 West High Street is having a Yard Sale on Saturday, May 18 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tables are just $5. For information call 717-334-3032.

The Adams County SPCA will hold their 29th Annual Loyalty Walk at Oakside Community Park on Table Rock Road in Biglerville Saturday, May 18. It’s the ACSPCA’s largest fundraiser of the year aimed at supporting the shelter and the homeless pets residing there. This is a pledge walk for people and their dogs. And you can choose to walk a half mile, one mile, or 3 miles. It’s up to you to get as many sponsors as you can. You can get a free tee shirt for $50 dollars in pledges and a free sweatshirt for $200 dollars in pledges. Pledge forms can be downloaded from the ACSPCA website at Plenty of food and activities including a costume contest, raffles, vendors and dog demonstrations. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., activities at 9 a.m., and the walk is at 10 a.m. at the Oakside Park Pond. Check their website for more information or call 717-334-8876.

If your non-profit club, group, or organization has an upcoming event, be sure to let me know about it. My contact information appears at the end of the column. Please allow at least two weeks prior notice of the event.


Who says pigs can’t fly? A 46-year-old Tampa, Florida woman will not be prosecuted after assaulting her 54 year old boyfriend with a frozen pork chop. The incident occurred during an argument when she threw the pork chop at the boyfriend causing a large laceration above his eye. She was arrested following the incident. The boyfriend decided not to prosecute after telling the state attorney he did not want her to face trial because they planned to be married. No date has yet been set for the nuptials and no word if pork barbecue will be served at the reception.

That does it for this week. Stay safe and I’ll be back next Tuesday.

Fred Snyder is a Gettysburg Times columnist. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Contact Fred at or 717-334-1131, ext. 2850. “Around Town” is published in the Gettysburg Times every Tuesday.

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