Ben Thomas Jr.
Mayor of Greencastle
Ben Thomas Jr.

So anyway, from one senior (citizen) to the Greencastle-Antrim senior Class of 2020 ... Congratulations!

Join me for this porch side chat in beautiful Greencastle. Tina and I enjoyed the seniors’ vehicle procession Saturday afternoon. Best wishes as you now take a break; plan for your fall college or trade school; begin employment; or enter military service. Golly, following my high school graduation a bunch of us from Mercersburg (Upton area) and Greencastle went to Chet Stenger’s cabin and Cowan’s Gap. Remember that JB rivalry? Yes, I still here about it on occasion. They were exciting times. Memories are still cherished.

As June 6 recently commemorated the 76th anniversary of D-Day I think about the students attending Greencastle High School then located in the first block of South Washington Street in the late 1930s and 1940s. Many left our community to serve in the military. Some left school early to serve. Others went to work at defense jobs that were prevalent in the region. I think of brothers Clarence and Ralph Keller who grew up in Antrim Township and would walk to Martin’s Mill Bridge from the California School House along Grant Shook Road. Well, the Keller brothers served in the United States Army, the D-Day invasion and movement through France. Both would be wounded and ended up in the same Paris hospital. The brothers recuperated, came home and helped make Greencastle a strong community for us.

Last week I sat down with neighbor Janet Williams for some side porch sittin’. She grew up on South Washington Street and told me about the many businesses that adorned the neighborhood. Next week, I’ll share her wonderful story. Could you image no Interstate 81? No Route 11 known as North and South Antrim Way? Route 11 was South Washington Street and North Carlisle Street. These streets and downtown were the center of commerce. Thanks, Janet, for sharing. I look forward to writing your marvelous story.

Come on governor! It’s time to reopen Franklin County to green. Last Friday’s announcement (June 5) was very disappointing not to get the green light. Franklin County’s COVID-19 numbers are high because of one municipality and it’s not Greencastle-Antrim. Citizens are going to Maryland and West Virginia for services. I am pleased that many of our businesses have reopened. Please support them as much as you can as they support this community. 

So, June 14 is Flag Day. Please, no matter the size, fly the flag of the United States of America this weekend. Do not let the current events overshadow this great nation and those who have sacrificed and continue to do so for our freedoms that are so taken for granted. And so ... we are blessed.