THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Coffee with a cop, education, Sept. 11 and flag disposal

Ben Thomas Jr., Greencastle mayor

So the porch sittin’ is on hold this Sunday afternoon. Why? The Little League World Series championship game is on! Michigan and Ohio are playing. Do you know who I’m rooting for? All of them. Could you imagine being an 11- or 12-year-old playing in Williamsport, PA? So, so exciting.

Shown at Coffee with a Cop on Aug. 27 are, clockwise from front left, Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., Robbin Beeler, Duane Schroyer, John Leck and Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy.

Thanks to everyone from G-A who attended Coffee with a Cop Friday morning at Sunnyway Diner. We covered a lot of topics in over two hours. We’ll do it again in the future as I forgot to explain what the term “COP” stands for. Retired New Jersey State Trooper John Leck joined us. He spent 32 years on the job, is a Vietnam veteran and resides in G-A. Chief John Phillippy and I are grateful to Audrey Clopper of Sunnyway Diner for providing the space.

Congratulations to the G-A Education Foundation Board of Directors and sponsors for the wonderful dedication and ribbon-cutting of the beautiful new multi-use building that serves as the gateway to Kaley Field last Wednesday. This gateway building will serve the school district for a variety of events along with the G-A community for lots of  activities including many just 11 months from now for Old Home Week.

There’s been a lot in the news over the past year and a half regarding our students’ education — from online learning to masks. Some reading this article may have attended one- or two-room schools that dotted G-A until “new” elementary schools were built in Shady Grove and South Antrim, opened in 1955, closing the one- and two-room learning institutions. Retired GASD Superintendent William P. Conrad authored “A Return to Antrim’s Schools” (circa late 1970s ). The book is full of photos of these schools as submitted by citizens. Dad photographed many more for Mr. Conrad that appear at the end of the book.

By 1900 there were 28 schools in Antrim Township, with all sorts of names like California, Paradise, Pleasant Retreat and Toad Eye. They were heated with coal-burning stoves. Like today, the schools were used by the local communities. Two outhouses at each school were used as necessaries. Learning and reciting poetry was very important. Students shared their home-prepared meals at lunch time with each other. You had two school districts being Antrim and Greencastle. By 1905 Antrim students were permitted to attend Greencastle High School in the first block of South Washington Street. The town’s population was 1,500 with 4,500 township residents.

It is true today as it was in 1900 — a quality education is an investment for the G-A community for our future successes. Knowledge gained will help every graduating senior with their chosen future education, occupations and life skills.

Twenty years ago: Greencastle remembers 9/11 attacks

Photo gallery: 9/11 20th anniversary exhibit on display at Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle

I hope you can participate in our Sept. 11 events. Our 9/11 remembrance walk that will begin at 8:30 a.m. from Eastern Avenue along the Baltimore Street sidewalks to Center Square; then to the veterans’ monument and memorial at 60 N. Washington St., where a brief remembrance ceremony will be held. Members of the Rescue Hose Co. will carry a rivet from the World Trade Center during the procession. You can walk with us or park along East Baltimore Street or Center Square to view the walkers. A retired New York City Seagrave fire engine will be stationed at the North Washington Street memorial.

I encourage you to fly the American Flag that weekend. Flags are sold at our local hardware stores so you may “shop local.” If you have an American flag that needs to be properly retired the Frank L. Carbaugh American Legion Post 373 and Boy Scout Troop 13 have a special container along South Carlisle Street where flags may be deposited. Grandson Grant Everetts and I replaced our front porch flag this past Friday. Three-year-old-Grant (fourth birthday is Sept. 4) then placed it in the red, white, and blue container for a future flag retirement ceremony by the Scouts.

Grant Everetts places a retired American flag in the box on South Carlisle Street provided by Frank L. Carbaugh American Legion Post 373 and Boy Scout Troop 13.

D&S Bluegrass Band will follow VFW and American Legion Presentations of the Colors with  patriotic bluegrass concerts at the Jerome R. King Bandshell at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sept. 11. Bring your lawn chairs.

So, have you ever observed the Greencastle map of 1868? What a small, thriving community. How big do you think Greencastle was back then? Stay tuned for my upcoming writing. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t write about the 13 service members, men and women, who paid the ultimate sacrifice last week while serving as peacekeepers in Kabul, Afghanistan. Please remember their families, friends and their fellow service men and women. Their efforts have kept this great nation safe for 20 years. Enough said. We are blessed!