Welcome to The Hagerstown Torch Club

About Us

Who We Are


The Hagerstown Torch Club is a social organization for professionals from various backgrounds intended to promote friendship, conversation, and learning across disciplines.  Members present original papers on professional, scholarly, or timely topics in an open, tolerant, and friendly environment.

Our Vision


We take no particular political, philosophical, or religious view, but seek to provide a forum for members to share their knowledge, experience and interests, providing new perspectives and insights.  We do not avoid controversy, and when it occurs, present and discuss such topics with care and grace.

Our Values


We value fellowship, knowledge and curiosity, and enjoy sharing our perspectives and experience.  This includes both the challenge of writing and presenting papers, and the enjoyment of listening to and discussing the information provided.  We view club meetings as both social and learning events, and appreciate the efforts of presenters.

Meeting Schedule

The Club holds meetings  on the third Tuesday of each month from October through May at Nick’s Airport Inn by the Hagerstown Regional Airport.  Additionally, the club holds a summer meeting in July.  Meetings begin 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:45 p.m.  These are social gatherings built around an evening dinner and typically include four segments, happy hour, food for thought, my life in a nutshell, and the main presentation.  The dinner costs $25.00 per person (alchoholic beverages extra).

Meetings are open to non-members.  If you wish to attend, please make reservations by email at least 3 days beforehand using the following email address:  jim.mindy@mactv.net.  Pleases  include the names of you and your guests, if appropriate.

Dates, Speakers, and Main Presentation

Sep. 18, 2018

Kathy Powderly       

"ACEs and Building a Resilient Community”

Oct. 16, 2018

Mindy Marsden       "Museum Ethics and Looted Art”

Nov. 20, 2018

Paul Jozik,   

“Modeling Reality -- Physics and Phylosophy”

Dec. 18, 2018

Kyle Powderly       

“A Brief History of the American Christmas Holiday”

Jan. 15, 2019

Dan Duncan



Meeting Schedule (Continued)


Feb. 19, 2019

Larry Zaleski      

“Birding for a Captive Audiance”

Mar. 19, 2019

Nick Long      

TBD (on the nature of good and evil)

Apr. 16, 2019


May 21, 2019


Jul. 16, 2019

Mike Anderson

Summer Discussion Time




Hagerstown, Maryland 


May 2019 Newsletter 


MAY MEETING:  Mark your calendar today for Tuesday, May 21st when the membership will discuss the article “Free Will,” by Leland W. Robinson. The paper was published in the Spring 2017 Torch magazine. The online link to a PDF of the article is http://www.ncsociology.org/torchmagazine/v903/Robinson.pdf. 

Mr. Leland is a member of the Frederick Torch Club.  He earned an MA and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University, and then began a 30-year career as a sociology professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. 

RESERVATIONS:  Let Mindy Marsden know if you will attend the dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at Nick's Airport Inn. The meeting will begin with a social at 6:00 p.m. and reservations may be made by contacting Mindy at jim.mindy@myactv.net . Note:  Please make your reservations by noon Friday, May 17th. Remember to wear your Torch pins.

APRIL MEETING:  Pete Waters presented "Evolution, Creation, and the Day After Tomorrow.”  His paper presented a conversation about the many beliefs systems around the globe pertaining to evolution, creation and the day after tomorrow.  

BOARD MEETING:  The Board of Directors will meet at 8:00 AM on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at the Church of Holy Trinity, UCC, in Hagerstown, Maryland.  All club members are invited to participate.

Club Officers

Kyle Powderly



David Loy


First Vice President

Mindy Marsden



Jim Marsden



Papers and Publications


Defenders of the Alamo: Who Were They, and Why Did They Do It?

By:  Michael E. Anderson

Read this Paper

Isoroku Yamamoto: The Reluctant Admiral

By:  William T. Alexander II

Read this Paper

No Change, No Fowl: A Theory for the Birds

By:  Larry Zaleski

Read this Paper

The ABC’s of E-Learning

By:  Larry Zaleski

Read this paper


Papers and Publications (Continued)

  • Below are papers delivered by members of the Hagerstown Torch Club, which are published locally, and not in "The Torch" Magazine (the official journal of the International Association of Torch Clubs).  These papers may contain large numbers of photos or other features not suited to the Magazine.  
  • Please select the "Download" button to open the paper (download may take up to a minute).  

The US Tuna-Porpoise Program - Do Federal Environmental Programs Work -- By Larry Zaleski (pdf)


Another Look at March 1936 -- By Carl Pederson (pdf)


Scotlands Rustic Bards inluence on Whitman-Americasw Tribal Prophet -- By Michael H Parsons (pdf)


Homo Sapiens--Where Do We Go From Here -- By Phil Kelly (pdf)


Museum Ethics and Looted Art Mindy FINAL (pdf)


Birding for a captive audiance by Larry Zaleski (pdf)


Photo Gallery

Meetings are both social and learning events


Built around  and evening dinner and presentation, meetings are a great way to socialize and meet new people. 

October 2017


Ron Williams, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, presents a paper entitled "All Men are Created Equal - Founding Myth or Fact."

Food for Thought


Dr. Mike Parsons presents 'Food-for-Thought.' Sometimes serious, sometimes not. meals are often started with a 5 minute segment featuring an icebreaker topic for enjoyment and discussion.

Topics vary widely


In his presentation "The U.S. Tuna-porpoise Program: Do Federal Environmental Programs Work"? Larry Zaleski provides an overview of the Tuna-porpoise program and its impact.  Our presentations cover everything from current events, history and science to personal experiences and hobbies.  Our goal is to entertain and provide new insight on a variety of topics for the enjoyment of members and guests.  

November 2017


Dr.'s Kelli and Al Strauss present a paper entitled "Two Marylanders Become Royalty on an African Safari" detailing their unexpectedly warm welcome while visiting a boy that they sponsor in Kenya, and their African wildlife experience.  Presentations may include visuals or not as the presenter feels appropriate.