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Tri-State area residents say goodbye to summer

September 02, 2013|By DON AINES and JENNIFER FITCH | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Mackenzie Torreyson, 2, had water poured on her head by her friend, Sydney Jenkins, 9, rear, and her sister, Alyssa Torreyson, 10, Monday afternoon on the Potomac River in Williamsport.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Astronomically speaking, summer’s end comes with the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22, but in many people’s minds, it ends with the Labor Day weekend’s last round of picnics and pool visits.

Monday was still very summer-like, with the air muggy from a drenching Sunday night rain, mostly sunny skies and temperatures creeping to about 90 degrees in the early afternoon.

“Good weather for pools. Bad weather for corn mazes,” said Clarence Horst, who was hosting both at Celebration Farm on Garden View Road near Hagerstown.

Horst, the ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery, said representatives from several states for the faith-based, 12-step recovery program were there for a pool party and cookout.

The weekend was also the launch of the corn maze, a major fund-raiser for the ministry, Horst said.

Lynn and Deb Michalsky of Waynesboro, Pa., had just completed two of the three mazes.

They started the day with some shopping for a swing set for their grandchildren before navigating through the corn.

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Hagerstown resident Jeff Byard brought his children to Northside Pool in Waynesboro. The pool was one of the family’s frequent destinations over the summer.

“We went to Chincoteague,” said Avery Byard, 7, noting that she saw ponies on that trip.

Her brother, 4-year-old Cooper Byard, enjoyed visiting Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster County, Pa., over the summer.

Still, both children are looking forward to fall because it holds a special commemoration — their birthdays.

Abigail Mitchell, 9, of South Mountain, Pa., also is looking forward to her birthday, which is in October.

She and her friend, Kaylen Ardrey, 9, of Quincy, Pa., recently started fourth-grade at Mowrey Elementary School north of Waynesboro.

“Once you get there, it’s kind of fun,” Kaylen said of the school year starting.

Meanwhile, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Williamsport was busy with people walking, jogging, biking and taking photographs.

Lisa Bowers of Bedington, W.Va., said she and her daughter, Kelsey, saw two deer bucks during their walk, but Kelsey was more fascinated by another wonder of nature.

“We saw this big, ugly caterpillar about this long,” Kelsey said, holding her fingers about 6 inches apart. “It was really ugly. I never want to see it again.”

A few yards down the towpath, Mauricio Pena of Martinsburg, W.Va., and sons, Kevin and Justin, were fishing in a pond off the canal.

“They’re the ones that woke me up this morning and said, ‘Let’s go fishing,’” Pena said of his sons.

“It’s fun. It’s quiet,” he said.

Pena said he works in construction, so the quiet part of the fishing was particularly welcome.

“Everyone else is having fun, and we’re going out and torturing ourselves,” said Donnie Kelbaugh of Marlowe, W.Va.

He and wife, Charlene, were about to start a three-mile jog along the towpath.

Kelbaugh said his wife actually enjoys running, but he does it “because I need it.”

The couple also had plans for after their Labor Day run.

“Labor,” he said. “We have to work on our garden.”

He was also going into work later in the day, Kelbaugh said.

Family traditions

At Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport about 40 people were lounging, playing, chatting and eating at the Smith family reunion.

“We just restarted having it in the last few years,” said Sharon Mason of Falling Waters, W.Va. “We used to do it every year, but stopped for about a decade.”

Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, corn, fruit, several cakes and other staples of an American summer picnic were arrayed on tables under the shade of a park pavilion.

The Geesaman family from Gettysburg, Pa., helped to serve others food at the Quincy Ox Roast in Pennsylvania.

Volunteering is a family tradition, and this year, it capped off a summer full of activities that included a cruise to Nova Scotia.

Jay Geesaman, 14, played baseball in a state tournament for youths. Now, he’s back to classes.

“It’s going good,” he said of school. “It’s not as good as summer.”

Fresh Air Fund participant Jailyne Castillo, 15, visited the Geesamans, as she has for eight years. The Brooklyn resident said she enjoys the countryside.

“It’s just so different from the city. Most people would want to go to a resort, but I like plain and simple,” Jailyne said.

Goodbye summer

Fairfield, Pa., sisters Shawnna Green, 15, and Jessica Green, 14, spent a week over the summer with their grandmother. They baked, swam and built projects at Lowe’s.

“It was fun and exciting,” Jessica said.

But Shawnna said she’s looking forward to relief from the hot weather.

“There are a lot of things about summer I’ll miss,” said Mary Thomas of Greencastle, Pa.

Thomas said her children bonded on a trip to Florida, and her 5-year-old daughter, Josie, who has been diagnosed with autism, made progress in her development over the summer.

However, the academic year provides Thomas with time to tackle some projects while her children and husband, who is a teacher, are in school.

Back at the corn maze, some volunteers, Anne Corfman of Funkstown and Barbara Williams and Chris McIntire, both of Hagerstown, had some final thoughts about summer.

“Quickly,” Corfman said when asked how her summer went. “We got a break in the weather. Till the end of August, it didn’t feel like August” she said of the relatively cooler weather last month.

“I am, just a little,” Williams said when asked if she felt any sense of melancholy at summer’s passing.

“Melancholy, no. Sadness yes,” McIntire said.

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