THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Vietnam veterans, Little League baseball, water, sewer and more

Ben Thomas Jr., Greencastle mayor

So it’s another beautiful Sunday afternoon! A great time to find some shade for some porch or back yard sittin’. Grab some ice tea and join me. So, remember my question from two weeks ago? How many water and sewer customers are served by Greencastle? Are there more water customers than sewer customers or vice versa? Stay tuned.

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

At Saturday afternoon ceremonies July 24 at the American Legion events center, 18 Vietnam veterans joined other Vietnam vets and were honored for their service between 1959 and 1975. The commemoration program was conducted by the Greencastle American Legion Post 373 and is an annual event. One of the 18 veterans was Army nurse, 1st Lt. Wendy Tomczak, who served at various locations in South Vietnam. The guest speaker was John Kurash of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, and his program included a video he produced interviewing veterans who served in Vietnam. Vietnam Gold Star wife Cindy Stancliff of Mercersburg pinned Vietnam Service Pins on the veterans’ lapels.

Gold Star wife Cindy Stancliff presented a Vietnam Service Pin to Army nurse Wendy Tomczak at Greencastle American Legion Post 373's ceremonies honoring Vietnam veterans on July 24.

I issued the following citation:

"On behalf of the citizens of the greater Greencastle Community we extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for your MILITARY SERVICE to the United States of America during the Vietnam War.

"During this period over nine-million men and women served in the ARMED FORCES. You did not return to a welcoming committee or parade, however, you returned and continued to serve this Nation as Great Americans.

"I THANK-YOU for your service and WELCOME HOME!"

The 11- and 12-year-old G-A Little League teams have represented the community well this summer. The A team, on the right side of the picture, placed second in the Pennsylvania state tournament. The B team, at left, also has had a good season.

Meanwhile, how about those 11- and 12-year-old G-A Little League baseball players (both A and B teams)? Congratulations to the A team as you represented G-A well in state tournament play, coming in number two in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You made memories that will last your lifetime and you brought back great memories for me. I remember playing Little League some 57 years ago with some black-and-white photographs to prove it. Some fields were just getting lights so we could play games after dark. Yes we had electricity back then! Fifty-seven years from now you’ll be grandparents enjoying those summer memories of 2021. Great job players, coaches, parents and families. Thanks for the memories. 

Greencastle, like many towns, was founded around water — Moss Spring at the one end and McCauley Spring at the other. In 1908 Greencastle went into the water business with plans to replace a small earthen reservoir along Reservoir Road with a modern 13-million-gallon reservoir that still serves the community along with various springs and reserve wells. The “new” reservoir would supplement Moss Spring that flowed through town. The Consumer Water Company was formed in 1895, when you may have paid an annual fee for a “yard hydrant.” Today there are 2,400 water customers and 1,770 sewer customers including homes, businesses and industries. The sewer system primarily serves connections in the borough with a few exceptions. The water system expanded into Antrim Township in the mid-1960s to promote more businesses and industries while improving fire protection. The system is blessed with reserve capacity from the expansive springs and wells to an aggressive leak detection system and main water line replacements. One example of this is the recent replacement and expansion of the main water line under North Carlisle Street.

Play ball: Greencastle 11/12 players reach Elite Eight in state Little League

Open again: Participants find fun, food and fellowship at Greencastle Senior Activity Center

Speaking of North Carlisle Street, you’ll soon see lots of activity there as the contractor awaits materials. Yes there’s even a supply shortage for storm water pipes, etc.

So I’m making plans for some Sept. 11 commemoration events on that day and weekend. Activities will be published in the Echo Pilot and will be announced on WRGG radio in the near future.

So many are saying “Summer’s about over!” No it’s not. We have August and most of September! You know what will be happening one year from now? Yes indeed ... Old Home Week. The planning meetings will soon begin. My best wishes to the officers and directors of the upcoming 41st triennial to be celebrated Aug. 6-13, 2022.

Speaking of summer, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sharon Baumbaugh’s recent articles about the State or Gem Theater and the drive-in movies at the large outdoor theater in State Line. No ... I never got in the trunk of a car and snuck in to see movies. Writing about outdoor theaters, I recently attended the walk-in outdoor movie at the Jerome R. King Playground at the bandshell. Thanks to the sponsors for helping fund the movies that are free of charge. Lon Barkdoll counted over 200 boys and girls and their families along with three dogs that were well behaved ... the dogs, that is, and the children, too. The playground volunteers served up ice cream, popcorn, of course, and other goodies. The next movie night will be Aug. 16 at the playground. There will be early treats for children at the Nelson Pavilion starting at 5 p.m. Again, there is no charge to see the movie. Just bring a lawn chair or blanket.

So I’m a little old-fashioned this lazy Sunday afternoon. A wonderful breeze traverses the side porch while a major league baseball game is on the radio. It’ll be soon time for a bicycle ride. We live in a great community and are so, so blessed!