Homemakers celebrate 35 years of education

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Members of the Greencastle Homemaker’s 35th anniversary committee were, from left, front row: co-leader Shirley Freeman, Betty Lee Fisher, charter members Sally Bohn, Jean Zimmerman. Back row: Kitsie Hicks, Hilda Eshleman and co-leader Tena Karinshak.

The Greencastle Antrim Homemakers gathered Wed., Oct. 14 in the Church of the Brethren Fellowship Hall for a special meeting and anniversary celebration. The group marked 35 years since forming Feb. 20, 1974.

The late Lorraine Anderson and Vida Ruth Hickey were the first co-leaders of the organization, with 24 charter members. Three charter members were in attendance for the 35th celebration - Sally Bohn and Jean Zimmerman of Greencastle and Ellen Dilworth, currently a resident at Homewood, Williamsport, Md. Today, with 41 members and four honorary members (those in assisted living homes), Tena Karinshak and Shirley Freeman are the co-leaders for 2009-2010.

The club is sponsored by the Chambersburg Cooperative Extension Service, which is funded at the federal level by the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. State funding comes through the appropriation for Penn State. The aim of the Homemakers group is “better homemaking through education and training.” Extension provides workshops, leadership training sessions and informational materials to Homemakers groups in Franklin County.

Karinshak welcomed 32 members and seven guests. Zimmerman, chairman of the anniversary celebration, introduced the guests, which included notes of congratulations from Hickey, now of Burlington, N.C., and former leader Donna Miller. Other guests and former members were Betty J. Fisher, Helen Mullenax, Elaine Guthrie and Marie Eshleman. A welcome was given to retired home economists Nancy Hogg, who served the Greencastle group from 1974 to her retirement in 1987, retired home economist Eleanor Garris and  Darlene Kelso, assistant to the current extension educator Mary Ann Oyler, who was unable to attend.

Karinshak conducted the business meeting, which included the reading of September minutes by secretary Kitsie Hicks, treasurer’s report by Gloria Kimmel and a fall inspirational reading by Hilda Eshleman. The Sunshine report was given by Jen Robertson, which included up-to-date information on ailing members who received “thinking of you” cards from her. It was noted that a Homemaker’s display of pictures with captions, news articles, ribbons, the club’s two cookbooks and some craft items will be on display at the Besore Library during the month of October.

The program was “35 Years of Homemaking Reflection” which included a display of household items 35 years or older, that were or are still being used in the home. Zimmerman served as emcee for reflection time. Each item was noted and the owner told of its origin and usage. Some of the items were a 1974 mini Corning Family Day dish, attachments from an older Kitchen Aide mixer, small pie making tool to seal and crimp the crust, several wooden rolling pins and even one with only one handle, several wooden slaw cutters, aluminum double boiler to make rice, an aluminum egg poacher, Maid of Honor stainless steel cookpan with copper bottom used since a 1952 wedding and purchased from Sears Roebuck (and the bottom can be cleaned using ketchup).

More items were a Betty Crocker cookbook used since a 1962 wedding and two favorite recipes still used - German Chocolate Cake and a Butter Cake, a small avocado green hand mixer along with a much used small cookbook, a funnel for funnel cake but later Tole painted, a hand-crafted wooden bowl made by a man for his daughter’s 1967 wedding and now used for fruit or Christmas items,  a first set of good dishes bought at Montgomery Ward in 1949, Red Wing dishes, a Homer Laughlin set of dishes given by mother, an apron made by mother, a Searchlight cookbook, a small gravy or sauce ladle, a special toaster cover used “forever” and an ice cream scoop with water in the handle.

Over the years the Homemakers have been involved in a variety of programs, fairs, exhibits, trips and tours, provided a “Cooking with Roger Tappen” program, learned of gardening and flower arranging, preparation of nutritious and healthy meals, how to lower salt and cholesterol in the diet, microwave oven speed cooking and de-cluttering the house. The group has shared many talents with a variety of craft ideas: making Christmas angels, rag dolls, sweatshirt monogramming, recycling Christmas cards, braided rug making, Creative Memories of photographs, gift boxes from wallpaper, snowmen favors and window treatments. The group is continually learning and sharing in the art of homemaking through workshops, leadership sessions and on-the-job experiences.

The Homemakers have attended and participated in the County Christmas teas (Holiday Daze) which will be held this year on Tues., Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Chambersburg Fourth Street Church of the Brethren. This will be the November meeting for the Greencastle club. Reservations were taken by Kimmel and others may receive information by calling the Extension office at 263-9226.

On display at the October meeting were the three albums containing 35 years of programs, meetings, pictures, write-ups, trips, recipes and so on which have been collected and assembled by historian Zimmerman and currently by Hicks. Some interesting facts which will be included in the third album from the anniversary meeting and shared by Karinshak were: in 1974 Richard Nixon was president until he resigned in August and Gerald Ford then became president, a new house cost $34,900, a new car $3,756, gasoline 55 cents per gallon and stamps 10 cents each. Food prices were coffee, $1 per pound, bacon 89 cents per pound, eggs 47 cents per dozen and hamburger 68 cents per pound. The Godfather Part II won the Academy Award and life expectancy was 72.8 years.

The meeting closed with a luncheon served by the committee: Shirley Freeman, Karinshak, Hicks, Betty Lee Fisher, Eshleman, Zimmerman and Bohn, who also gave the invocation. Hicks also furnished all the fresh fall materials from her garden for centerpieces for the eight tables. The anniversary cake was baked and decorated by Holly NcNamee. Name tags were written in calligraphy by Freeman’s daughter Peggy Louder. The 1974 Homemaker’s banner created by Prudy Sacco was on display. She was unable to attend. New membership rosters were also given to members. Newcomers are welcome and may call Kimmel for information at 597-8371.

The other officers are assistant secretary Lucille Horst, assistant treasurer Jo Mowen, phone chairman Irene Porterfield, callers Nancy McIntyre, Evelyn Pensinger, Naomi Mowen, Louella Murray, Mary Kay Chaudrue and Merna Slabik, and publicity Zimmerman.

The next Homemaker’s meeting in Greencastle will be the Christmas meeting/luncheon on Dec. 9 in the Church of the Brethren Fellowship Hall with a program of “Make and Take a Gift Bag” with instructors Robertson and Horst.

Guests at the 35th Greencastle Homemaker’s anniversary celebration were, from left, Darlene Kelso, Nancy Hogg and Eleanor Garris. Kelso is assistant to Extension Educator Mary Ann Oyler, Hogg and Garris are retired home economists and Hogg assisted Greencastle Homemakers in getting established in 1974.