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 


  March 2019 Meeting 

RSVP Reminder

RESERVATIONS:  Please make your reservations by noon on Friday, March 15th. The club needs to inform the restaurant so they can assure sufficient seating.


Let Mindy Marsden (jim.mindy@myactv.net ) know if you will attend the dinner meeting on Tuesday, March 19th at Nick's Airport Inn. The meeting will begin with a social at 6:00 p.m. Remember to wear your torch pins. 

Ed Maliskas is scheduled to present “From John Brown to James Brown.”  His presentation will explore the significance of the historic Brown Farm during its ownership by the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World from 1950 to 1966.  The property during this time became a stop for African-American musicians including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.

Ed Maliskas has a bachelor’s degree in History from University of Illinois, a master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a doctorate’s degree from Knox Theological Seminary.  He is the author of “From John Brown to James Brown.”

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.