That’s ‘Life’ Mystery photo revealed

By on July 10, 2013


STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff

, Staff Writer

When we posted a photo on our Facebook page from a Fourth of July held long ago, a few Record Express readers remembered the old spritzing tradition at Lititz Springs Park.

"Water wars at the big spritzer in the park. Gotta be the ’50s," commented Glenn Knight.

"Wow, I forgot about the old fountain! Any idea what year it disappeared?" said Wendy Diller.

"I forgot about the fountain also," chimed Deena Rhodes. "What good memories!"

"I always had to get a drink at this fountain when I was a kid," added Sheilah Worrell.

The photo actually part of a Life Magazine feature published in July of 1943. America was at war, and the Lititz area had just lost its first soldier, Sgt. Richard L. Wentling of Owl Hill.

Wentling was in the U.S. Army Air Forces and was killed June 25, 1943 in a plane accident near Merryville, La.

Less than a year later, World War II claimed its first Lititz Borough resident. William H. DeWald, a 21-year-old Army Private, was killed in action in Italy. He was wounded May 11, 1944 and died July 12.

While our nation was at war, the cherished traditions of our communities continued. That element of life in 1943 was highlighted, mostly through photographs, in the iconic magazine’s piece titled "Life Goes to ‘The Fairyland of Candles.’"

The article opens with, "A few weeks ago the Pennsylvania Dutch people of Lititz, Pa. celebrated an old Moravian ceremony of rare impressiveness and beauty."

It talked of 10,000 candles flickering in the damp night air, and how Boy Scouts raked the stream afterward to collect precious wax drippings for the wartime salvage campaign.

The photo of the spritzers that we posted on Facebook is described as an "unscheduled activity" at the park, water-fighting known as spritzing by the Pa. Dutch, which apparently comes from the word "sprinkle." The boys in the photo were not identified.

Does anyone recognize them?

Check out our Facebook page each day for new topics of discussion and old photos from memorable moments in Lititz history.

More LIFE IN LITITZ, page A14

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