Newspaper Archive of
Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
June 13, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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June 13, 2018

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PAGE B2 Wednesday June 13, 2018 LIFE SPIRIT of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE CHRISTINE SNYDER e Back on June 2, 2009, I was working my regular shift at The Winchester Star, a daily newspaper in Winchester, Va. I'd used my dinner break to pick up a pair of prescrip- tion sunglasses and run some other errands, including getting a quick, cheap dinner from Wendy's - a baked potato. Back at my desk, I was mid-meal when the phone rang and I began catching up with a colleague who'd been away for Memorial Day. We were talking about Father's Day sto- ry possibilities when she said something that made me laugh. And I started to choke. In a flash, I felt a piece of the potato skin go flat across my windpipe - like someone's hand over the top of a vacuum cleaner hose. I could not breathe, and I felt a weird kind of calm cov- er over me - I knew absolutely that I had to fo- cus and get someone to save my life. There were only two people in the news- room at the time, and one stayed far away, fro- zen in place, as I waved my arms and pointed to my throat to signal for help. (When you're choking, you can't make any vocal sounds.) The editor at the desk next to mine did see that I needed help and picked up the phone, but didn'tmove toward me and didn't dial 911. And even if he had, I knew there was no way an ambulance would get there in time. Then my vision started to change, with big blocks of black on my left and right so that what was right in front of me looked like a tunnel. I knew I was running out of time, and I found myself thinking: I am going to die here on the concrete floor of The Winchester Star, and no one is going to even try to save me. And then the next second, I heard Rick Fos- ter, one of the paper's photographers, behind me saying, "I can't remember how I'm sup- posed to have my hands." He'd taken pho- tos of a Heimlich maneuver class years be- fore and remembered part of the training. He had his arms around my waist just like you see when someone in a movie or on TV deliv- ers the Heimlich. In that moment, I was hoping Rick would LEFT: Christine Snyder stands in front of Charles Town's new mosaic mural at the corner of Charles and Washington streets on May 26. It's a reminder that each of us contributes something important to our community. save my life - but I was also just grateful that he was trying. The next second, he'd figured out the Heimlich, dislodged that piece of pota- to, and suddenly I was completely fine again. Something like that stays with you of course. Nine years later, I think about all the things that would not have happened if Rick hadn't stepped in that day. I wouldn't have come to Jefferson County to work at the Spir- it seven years ago and wouldn't have gotten to work alongside my husband Rob; wouldn't have had my youngest daughter, Laura, who turned 5 last week; wouldn't have gotten to see my older daughters grow into teenagers; so much more. I can never thank Rick Foster enough, and thinking about the gratitude I feel every day gets me thinking about the people in our com- munity today who are struggling and need someone to intervene in their lives. There's life and death work going on today at the Blue Ridge Recovery Resource Center: Jefferson County inCharles Town. The new community outreach is small but growing, with more peer volunteers being trained and coming on board to offer powerful help in the form of listening, not judging and connecting people to resources that can help them move toward the kind of productive, fulfilling life we all need. We don't know what a person who gets the help they need today might go on to do- the difference they might make in their commu- nity and with the people they love and with the wider world. It's so important that we as a community do what we can to help them go on living and to connect with resources so they can have a better life. When I was thinking about what photo to use with this story, I chose a portrait of me that my 14-year-old daughter Gwen shot in front of the community mosaic mural on North Charles Street. It was taken on May 26, at the end of the first day of volunteers placing tiles on the wall with guidance from the talented, kind artist Isa- iah Zagar of Philadelphia. As you know if you've seen the finished mural, it's stunning and one-of-a-kind and a creation made possible only because so many unique individuals in our community came together. It's such an important reminder that each of us has a role to play - each of us mat i ters - and that our community functions best when we're all working together. - Christine Snyder is the managing editor : of the Spirit of Jefferson. She lives in Ranson Gardeners Exchange Group to meet Saturday morning countieSsaturdaysand beyond,get togethermeetSbeginsagain atthis9 weekend.a.m, with nthe ExChange G up and its a potluck breakfast at the Shepherdstown home Saturday meetifi g0 fi! ne to g e g org of Jane Blash, one of the coordinators of G-E-G. Jane Blas at 240 29The program, starting at 9:30 a.m will feature local Master Gardener Claudia Bentley s talk, "A Garden Discovery: Introduction to Heirloom SHEPHERDSTOWN - The Gardeners Ex- Flowers." change Group, the informal network of avid gar- Blash says the group is always welcoming new deners from Jefferson, Morgan and Berkeley members. "You may participate at whatever lev- el meets your interests and schedule. No previ- Jane Blash is shown at a Ranson Old Town ous gardening experience is necessary. You are Community Gardens event in 2017. welcome to simply show up; we have no mem- bership requirements." For Saturday's event, anyone is welcome "to bring a chair, breakfast food to share and any garden plants for exchange. Children are always welcome," according to Blash. G-E-G "brings together people who share an interest in the practical, hands-on challenges and pleasures of gardening. Members are young and old; men and women; professionals, retired and working people; master gardeners and beginners. The gardening interests of GEG members are just as diverse: wildflowers to roses, fruit trees to mushrooms, water gardening to Xeriscaping." WITt{ t ,min, u, WaL)Do.I for a Healthy Heart/ Walk[ ] Locally 0r ftd pott folk iCvAry, books, T-shirts and much more! 200 E. Washington St. in Charles Town Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday ALL SHOP PROFITS BENEFIT THE JEFFERSON COUNTY MUSEUM iii i i! i! i :! ii i! i iii ! iili!! i i !! !iil iii i:: ii !! ii i lii ! i i Now through June 30, start (or renew) your subscription to the pirit and you'll get a reward - your choice of a delicious handcrafted pastry from M Street Bakery R ! Call office manager Cara Young 304-725-2046, ext. 221 618 N. Mildred St. in Ranson 304-930-1 363 sure to visit our Shop 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to Saturday "Four African-American Artists from "Do-Re-Mi: Musical Instruments from the Collection" "Click! Clack! Ding!: Typewriters from the Collection" 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays