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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
February 21, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 21, 2012

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Life SECTION  ,,?I!,, t Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Learning is doing Traci Davis had a problem in 2004, after her daughter turned two. See - C8 Calendar Check out the upcoming events in the Jefferson County area in the weekly community calendar. See calendar- C2 Please call, but don't call My best friend, Kate, was di- agnosed with esophageal can- cer in August. Every time I told someone, they gave me a face lips pursed together, a sigh of 'oh' and a sympathetic tilt of the head. I always got so mad when I saw those faces. They didn't know m3; friend. Yes, she has a tough cancer to beat but ,she will prove you wrong, I thought. Kate raised two outstanding boys on her own. As a reporter, she interviewed hardened crimi- nals and managed to charm even the meanest of the lot. Cancer? Please! She's got this ! I throughly convinced myself she was go- ing to make it. She just was. Period. End of story. Any other conclusion was just un- acceptable. I'm a can- Gina Gallucci- cer survivor White too, so she would just be joining me in the club. Kate fought so hard but when the disease got such a big head start, catching up was impossi- ble. Several weeks ago, we got word that her chemotherapy had been stopped and the doctors deemed her terminal. Even this news didn't shake me. Doctors can be wrong. She is going to make it. I can't even begin to describe how deep my denial was rooted. We are talk= ing about a woman who slept with her phone by her bed when I was nine months pregnant so if I needed a ride she would know. A person who offered invaluable advice at times when I needed it the most. Whenever I saw Kate. I always felt like even if the day was bad, I, at least, had one person on my side. A mutual friend got an e-mail from Kate's family saying how she had had a rough night and they thought she was going to pass. She didn't but it would not he long. I felt like I had been thrown into an icy lake. She really wasn't going to make it. The friend told me a line she had heard during afamily illness. Her family member was talking to God and said. "If you aren't going to heal her, take her." So I made the hard decision to prayfor her to go. I wanted her to be in a better place where she wasn't in distress. Not wanting to disturb her or her family, I started to carry the phone around everywhere mur- muting, "Please call, but don't call." I wanted my friend out of mise/'y but I didn't want the final call to come. One night, a couple days later, my phone rang, My heart thudded into my stomach as I answered. Turns out, it was someone want- ing to see if I had heard anything. I exhaled but shook for probably 10 minutes after the phone call. Several days passed but she continued to get worse. On Sat- urday evening, I was told her family thought she was not going to make it through the night. I took my phone to bed with me and placed it by a picture of me and Kate on my wedding day nearly four years ago. I tossed and turned constantly. Sleep nev- er really came. But, the final call did around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. She was gone. Her strength and courage have inspired me in ways I will re- member for the rest of my life. Kate always brought so much sunlight and joy wherever she went. She made my world bright- er but today the sun isn't shining as hard. -- Gina Gallucci-White writes from Frederick, Md. Heydo00, for 1t20 Humble molecule is on center stage Saturday in Berkeley Springs CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Special to the Spirit BERKELEY SPRINGS - Water may cover some 70 per- cent of the planet, but it's typ- ically not regarded as fodder for a festival. But Berkeley Springs, where George Washington famously bathed in Colonial days, for more than two de- cades has been making water the centerpiece of a town-wide celebration that draws locals as well as visitors from across the Panhandle and far beyond. It's billed as the globe's larg- est water-tasting showdown. The 22nd annual Berke- ley Springs International Wa- ter Tasting Festival happens Saturday downtown at The Country Inn, the hotel locat- ed alongside Berkeley Springs State Park "and its historic warm mineral springs. Starting at 1 p.m. Satur- day, "members of the public are invited to stop in as a team of judges - including travel writers from around the na- tion - works its way through samples of hundreds of wa- ters, from tap water to Texas rain water to sparkling water, mineral water and waters bot- tled in Tanzania and other ex- otic spots. Visitors will have a chance to taste-test waters from the audience as judges weigh the waters' taste, smell and' texture from the dais. Throughout the afternoon, there's also an opportunity to vote in the People's Choice Award for best water bottle packaging. Saturday evening, the.event concludes with a reception, the announcement of winners at 8 p.m., and then the Water Rush. a one-of-a-kind spectacle dur- ing which water lovers grab as many bottles as they'd like, in a flash dismantling the artful display of hundreds of bottled waters in from of the judges' stand. Over the years, the Berkeley Springs International Wdter Tasting has garnered all man- ner of media attention, includ- ing spots on National Public Radio, the BBC and CNN and in publications such as USA Today and Beverage Industry Magazine. Officials with Travel Berke- ley Springs note that water is only part of the attraction this weekend. "The town and surround- ing area are overflowing with fun and exciting activities, many organized especially for the weekend," said organiz- er Jeanne Mozier. "Spa baths are open for treatments. The town's Impressive collection of antique, craft, and special- ty shops are ready for busi- ness. Restaurants of all sorts guarantee water is not the only substance worth tasting. The historic springs flow into numerous pools and channels See WATER page C3 CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Special to the Spirit Panhandle's would-be '1( o1' 'fearless' in Hollywc 3d MARTINSBURG - Sixteen-year-old Christian Lopez's efforts to become this year's "Amer- ican Idol" may have ended, but his father Jamie Lopez has only good things to say about the reality show experience and his favorite would-be singing star. This year's efforts ended with Chris- tian's elimination, made public last week with the airing of the Holly- wood semifinals, where he per- formed with Four Girls And That Guy despite a bout with a nas- ty flu virus that left him vomit- ing and exhausted. None of the five advanced. Now Christian, a Martins- burg High junior who sings andplays guitar, piano,har- monica, drums, bass and mandolin, is free to con- tinue to perform across the Panhandle with his blues band, Joe And he can try out again for "American Idol" summer. Jamie Lopez, a native of Calhoun County who has worked in real es- tate and banking since coming to the Eastern Panhandle in 1991, shared with the Spirit of Jef- ferson some of the highlights that his family - in- cluding his wife, Martinsburg native Lesley Rob= inson Lopez, 'daughter Ana Aliscia Lopez and younger son Kennedy - experienced since Chris- tian's initial tryout for the show in Pittsburgh sev- en months ago. First taste of 'American Idol' "Lesley and I were with Chris the first day of auditions, July 15. It was about 100 degrees and we sat in the sun at Heinz Field for 13 hours. Af- ter all that time, Chris and I went down to the field and he stepped up to his judges' tent with three other contestants. They all went home but Chris got his first Golden Ticket. One of the judg-" es stopped me on the way to the next area and told me how great he thought Chris was.-He re- minded Chris to keep his eyes open and to loosen up when he's singing. He said if he did so, Chris would go, a long way in the competition. Chris listened and he made it all the way to Holly- wood. We were so proud!" On feedback from Jennifer, Randy "Watching the other singers audition dur- ing the celebrity tryouts was a real thrill for Chris. He got to hear some world-class talent and steel himself for his audition. Jennifer Lopez was impressed and called his rendition of 'Arms of a Woman' by Amos Lee, 'very soulful.' Randy Jackson said he could really feel his passion." See LOPEZ page C3 PROVIDED PHOTO Samples of more than 50 bottled waters entered in last year's Berkeley Springs International Water Tastifig Festival are on display at the annual water tasting event.