Last week marked the start of our seventh year running the Inn and living in Shepherdstown, this small but surprisingly cosmopolitan town on the Potomac in West Virginia. I grew up in a small town in PA, and always thought the atmosphere of everyone knowing you was too stifling for me. Sunday night, I had a chance to revisit that thought, as I witnessed the support of this town for one of its own, injured and needing love. The Clarion hotel was packed – over 400 people, easily – with folks coming out for the Musicians for Mason benefit. Young, old, overalls, Hermes scarves, long hair – every walk of life in Shepherdstown was represented. People donated silent auction items, paid for raffle tickets, bought calendars and put change in the Mason jars on every table, all the while dancing, clapping and singing along with the Speakeasy Boys, the i-steadies and the Love Machine as they took turns playing for Mason Ellsworth, badly injured in a car accident in July and still in a coma at a rehab hospital in Bryn Mawr.
Everyone knows someone in the Ellsworth family – if not Mason himself, a recently-graduated high schooler, then his mom Sylvia – a caterer always involved in the fun activities in town – or his dad Brian and Uncle Pat who run Ellsworth Music Store. I met Sylvia within my first month here in Shepherdstown, when she still lived about 1/2 block away and we got to talk about cooking for a crowd. Syl and Brian frequent the restaurants and shops in town in support of local businesses and Sylvia manages the restored Train Station and its events.
If Mason can be healed by the collective good will of an entire town, I have no doubt that he will be on the road to recovery soon.
Jeanne at the
Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B in Shepherdstown, WV