May 2012

G8 & The GREAT FREDERICK FAIR - History old and new


The G8 Summit and the accompanying protests have come and gone. While many have already forgotten this past weekend’s events, if indeed they even understood them, most have already moved on in search of the next “news” sound bite du jour or celebrity scandal. It is certainly hard to believe much in the world will change as a result of a one day meeting in the mountains near Thurmont when there is so little concern during the other 364 days of the year. More likely all that will be remembered by the attendees is a political photo op, fine dining, and just possibly a start to further discussion but all this at great cost to the taxpayers.

Here are some photos of the event - pre, during, and post - which will give you some idea of what the actual protest was like on Saturday. It’s easy to see the entire event was confined to the immediate area of the town square and spread out only a few yards from there. Other than the noise created by the protesters chanting or singing through a loudspeaker system it was relatively quiet. Overall the event was not as noisy as the constant background noise of thousands of ColorFest visitors every October. It should also be noted the news reports commented on the fact the protesters cleaned up the area when they finished. By Saturday evening there was no evidence anyone had even been there...


G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square and Mechanicstown Park the day before the protests.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, protests,
A scene along U.S. Route 15 near Lewistown, MD Saturday morning.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests, Thurmont Town Square shortly after the protests began Saturday.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square shortly after the protests began Saturday.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square, heavily guarded shortly after the protests began Saturday.



G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square, heavily guarded by riot police shortly after the protests began Saturday.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,

(above & below) Thurmont Town Square, heavily guarded shortly after the protests began Saturday.


G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,


G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square after the protests began Saturday. Sheriff Chuck Jenkins is seen in the brown uniform.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Media and law enforcement document everyone else while being documented themselves. Thurmont Town Square.

Thurmont Town Square, more law enforcement personnel than civilians. G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square & Park during the protests on Saturday.

Thurmont Town Square during height of the protests on Saturday. G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square seen during height of the protests on Saturday.


Residents photographing the protests on Saturday. G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
Thurmont Town Square - A law enforcement show of force during the height of the protests on Saturday.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests, Residents photographing the protests on Saturday.

Protesters display their demands painted on a white cloth sign.... G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,
....while law enforcement officers in riot gear observe the protesters.

G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, Riot Police, protests,



Despite media reports to the contrary the protest was actually rather small and quite orderly. Protesters chanted and sang, others supported the main group by peacefully walking around in Ethiopian garb while carrying signs of protest or requests for change.


G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, protests,

The park on the town square on Sunday morning. A look around shows no trash and everything looks the same as it did on Friday.





G8 Summit, Thurmont, MD, Camp David, protests,




All is quiet on Sunday morning in front of the bank building where the main protests took place on Saturday.








While it may not be as flashy as a G8 Summit but likely of more importance in the Big Picture
The Great Frederick Fair is celebrating it’s 150th Anniversary this year. Kicking things off with a two day celebration this past weekend the Frederick Fair Grounds was home to numerous demonstrations, some great music, exhibits of historic farm equipment, and the showing of some great looking draft horses.

The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, Frederick County Farm Bureau, hand churning butter,
Ladies from the Farm Bureau demonstrate the process of churning butter by hand.


The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, antique fire equipment, hand pumped fire truck,
Explaining the operation and parts of an early hand pumped fire truck.


The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, music, banjo, guitar, upright bass
Some great music played well!! The fellow in the blue shirt and black hat teaches banjo and guitar. The girl playing the banjo is 12 years old and one of his students. Her playing was outstanding!




The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary,  Sunday carriage, horse drawn

The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, horse drawn, sickle bar mower, farm equipment

A display including a fancy buggy (above) and a horse drawn sickle bar mower (right) were among the everyday transportation items and tools commonly found on Frederick County farms during the early to mid 1900s.

The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, draft horses, exhibit

Above & Below - Draft Horses on display.

The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary,  Draft horse,



The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, draft horse, harness, horse collar,

The Great Frederick Fair, 150th Anniversary, draft horse, sulky, hitching horse for work



Above and at left - Demonstrating how a draft horse is harnessed for use in pulling a small sulky.








If you live in Frederick County or the surrounding area you owe to yourself to visit and support The Great Frederick Fair in this 150th year of operation. Numerous events will be taking place throughout the year and the annual Fair will be held from September 14-22. For additional information start with the 150th website
here.


All Photographs & Text © Russell C. Poole




OF G8 AND GEOTHERMAL (and maybe some cabbages too!)

Thurmont, MD, G8 Summit
This weekend marks the arrival of the G8 conference to Thurmont, MD. Despite numerous road closures and an increase in security measures in anticipation of any protests the mood of folks in town is calm. The town decorated the small park at the town square with flags representing each of the countries participating in the Summit and American flags of all sizes have sprung up overnight at local businesses and homes.
Thurmont, MD, G8 Summit Thurmont, MD, G8 Summit

Signs of the times...

Thurmont, MD, G8 Summit, Buddhist monk,
A peaceful man spreads his message near Thurmont’s Memorial Park.

Thurmont, MD, G8 Summit
Elsewhere, bank pens are safe from the little old ladies who absentmindedly swipe them...


Artist, Frank DuVal, Thurmont Library, MD, Jane Dunsmore, Virginia Kane, Jean Frank
(l) Frank DuVal and one of his wonderful images (r) Jane Dunsmore, Virginia
Kane, and Jean Frank discussing the artwork.

Artist, Frank DuVal, Thurmont Library, MD,
Last Saturday, May 12, 2012 marked the opening reception of an exhibit by Artist Frank DuVal at the Thurmont Library on Moser Road. The library has a great separate display area, well lit with plenty of wall space, and Frank’s work is displayed there as well as throughout the main library. If the number of patrons seen throughout the building are any indication the current stories about books and the written word becoming passé are anything but accurate! If you haven’t yet taken the time to visit this great library make it a point to do so and take in some very unique original artwork at the same time.
Artist, Frank DuVal, Thurmont Library, MD, Virginia Kane, Jean Frank, Linda Postelle, Cindy Poole,
Frank discusses his work with guests while (l-r) Virginia Kane, Jean
Frank, Linda Postelle, and Cindy Poole greet each other.


garden, strawberries, fruit, red garden, produce, Broccoli,
Strawberries ripening and.... a head of Broccoli the size of a dinner plate.

Spring has finally settled in though some days it’s still a toss up as to wether it is here or we’re really in either summer or late winter... At least temperatures have moderated to the point where wildflowers are in bloom, the garden is growing well, and the many flower beds are becoming colorful.
Pontiac Red potato, potato blossom, MD Pink Lady Slipper, native wildflower, Orchid
Pontiac red potatoes in bloom and a wild Pink Lady Slipper Orchid

Local farm fields are looking better than we’ve seen them in the last couple of years and there is an abundance of new young wildlife. Here’s hoping for a “normal” summer season without torrential downpours or excessive drought!
peony, yellow, backyard, peony, backyard, pink, yellow,
Two varieties of Peony growing in the backyard.

WaterFurnace, geothermal heat pump, heating, cooling,
On the home front it has now been a number of months since the geothermal system replaced our ancient oil furnace and outside air conditioner system. The months of November & December were tricky to calculate since there was enough (too much!) indoor and outdoor Christmas lighting to guide the Mother Ship to a safe landing. Couple this with the nearly constant opening and closing of doors to accommodate the many friends who visited and the extended use of the stove / oven along with multiple other kitchen appliances, all of which skewed the accuracy of the power consumption numbers, it had been difficult to determine accurate costs.

Having now had a few months of more or less average normal use we can begin to see the benefits of the switch to geothermal heating & A/C far more accurately. We have monitored energy usage since moving into this house and only two things have changed in the last year - the purchase of a chest freezer in July 2011 and Cindy’s switch to full time telecommuting in June 2011. We needed to establish the effect this had on our normal usage in order to adjust our figures.

Belkin, Energy use monitor,

The key to analyzing energy use was the purchase of a Belkin Energy Use Monitor which allows you to input the specific cost of electricity per kWh in your area. Similar to the Kill-A-Watt monitors this unit has the advantage of a 5’ cord between the plug and the display, a definite boon to us older folks who have problems crawling under furniture to read the data! After the Belkin monitor has been plugged in for at least 45 minutes it will display kWh use and an average operating cost.

Having established the increased cost per month for the freezer & the office we could adjust the monthly bill accordingly to compare to 2011. We “guesstimated” the cost of electricity to operate the fans, compressor, etc. to be similar between the geothermal unit and the oil furnace. Subtracting last years kWh used and the increased expenses mentioned above left a figure we categorized as “fuel” for heating. This averaged $1.03 per day to heat the house as compared to a fuel oil cost of $21.00 per day during 2011 - a savings of over $2300.00 for this heating season!

It is important to note that while using geothermal the house is warmed to a constant temperature 24/7 while with fuel oil the temperature was reduced by 10-12° from 9:00 P.M. to 6:00 A. M. each day. It should also be noted we kept daily records of high/low temperatures during 2011-2012 and, when averaged, the two winters varied by less than 2° despite claims of 2012’s winter being exceptionally warm... While this is not in any way a scientific evaluation it does serve to illustrate the huge savings gained from switching to geothermal heat along with a reduction of both the resources consumed and the pollution spewed into the air by a fossil fuel system. Now it only remains to be seen how effective it will be during the summer cooling season. We will post that data once there is sufficient information to determine operating costs, probably in late summer.

reclaimed area, geothermal, early spring,
After dealing with conditions from overly dry to heavy rains the area disturbed by the drilling was finished off with a new flower bed and grass seed on the lawn. The effort is finally beginning to show some promise.
reclaimed area, geothermal, late spring,


Virginia Kane, ZipCar, Thurmont, MD, blue
Our friend Virginia Kane recently told us Frederick is now in the ZipCars™ network. The vehicles are located at Hood College and you can find more information about the ZipCar™ service here. If you aren’t a student or staff member just click on the link for “community members” on the right side of the page. For those of you living in town and wanting to get rid of the hassles of car expenses this could be a viable option and the Frederick bus lines run to Hood for convenience. Check it out! Virginia Kane with the ZipCar™ she rented for the day.


cabbage, red,

Last, but not least we did hint at the possibility of cabbages
(but no Kings) so here they are.
cabbage, green,


All text & photographs © Russell C. Poole