Family, others feels a sense of community during Clear Spring's Independence Jam

July 03, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK |
  • The fireworks display begins with multiple bursts of red at the Plumb Grove Mansion Independence Eve event in Clear Spring Wednesday.
By Colleen McGrath / Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING, Md. — But Wednesday night, Marty Woods, 41, and her family were in attendance at Clear Spring’s eighth annual Independence Jam, where they were surrounded by the community that supported them when they needed it most. 

Woods’ two-story home on Big Pool Road was destroyed Dec. 22, 2012, as a result of a fire that stared in a clothes dryer.

Five family members who lived in the house were displaced at the time, according to earlier reports from The Herald-Mail.

“And that’s when we really felt the support of the community,” Woods said of herself, her husband, Steve, and their 4-year-old son, Dewey.

The family, which rented a house before Christmas Eve, has plans to purchase a permanent home soon.

“We didn’t have things we had as a family for 13 years, but ... we had memories,” Woods said. “We had each other, so that’s what was important.” 

Woods said she was hoping to see some of the firefighters who battled the blaze at the Independence Day eve celebration hosted on the 15-acre grounds of the historic Plumb Grove Mansion.

By Wednesday at 6 p.m., it appeared that the prayers of Lori Divelbiss, one of three committee members who organizes the yearly celebration, had worked.

Sprinkles teased the several hundred people in attendance, but the forecasted thunderstorms threatening the fireworks display were nowhere in sight.

Divelbiss expected at least 1,000 people would be present by the time fireworks began cracking the sky after dusk.

The fireworks display scheduled for Wednesday at Shafer Memorial Park in Boonsboro was postponed until Friday due to the forecast of rain and thunderstorms.

Chris Woodward & Shindiggin, a Three Springs, Pa., band, entertained the sea of people in lawn chairs with tunes such as Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”

Ryan Grove, 29, and his wife, Danielle Grove, 29, brought their 5-year-old, 4-year-old and 18-month-old children to the festivities for the first time Wednesday.

The family recently moved from Hagerstown to Clear Spring.

“I just like the small-town feel of it,” Ryan Grove said as his children munched on hot dogs.

The sentiment was echoed by Joe Kinzer of Clear Spring, and his girlfriend of 17 years, Sherry Longerbeam of Martinsburg, W.Va.

“They’re pretty tight,” Kinzer, 67, said of the Clear Spring community. “We got good people.”

Longerbeam, 61, agreed, noting she comes to the annual celebration for the music and the friendly familiar faces.

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