In Living Memory
In addition to being dedicated to the ancient ecology of Appalachia, this project was created in memory of Margaret Shifflet.
Margaret Eileen Eros Shiflet was born in South Korea in 1973, where she was found on a bus stop and put into an orphanage in Taegu. As a one-year old she was adopted by the Eros family of Elkins, West Virginia.
An especially spirited and creative child, she was known for her boldness and conviction from infancy, as well as her enormous compassion and deep capacity for empathy. While she was also something of a hellion (expelled from two high schools for Ferris-Beuler style behavior) she was a generous listener and sought to make peace among her friends and family. She did this despite being diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease as a toddler, which resulted in her being on dialysis and/or in the hospital for much of her childhood.
School & Adulthood
Margaret was confirmed at Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in Charleston West Virginia, and attended John Adams Junior High, Charleston Catholic High School, and George Washington High School. As a young teenager she was the grateful recipient of a kidney transplant, which gave her a new lease on life. After working in Columbus, Ohio for several months, she returned to West Virginia and earned her GED. She also graduated from James Rumsey Technical Institute, before becoming a sales representative at Sears in Martinsburg, WV. She briefly served as a waitress at the Old Pharmacy Café in Shepherdstown, WV in the mid 1990's, before being promoted to floor manager and then general manager. In 1998 she married her beloved boyfriend Bill Shifflet, head cook at the Old Pharmacy Café. Together they gathered capital and bought the restaurant, which they ran successfully until Margaret's death in 2001 from complications related to her kidney failure.
The Old Pharmacy Café
The Old Pharmacy Café hosted the Israeli and US delegations for repeated luncheons during the Syria-Israel Peace talks in Shepherdstown WV in January, 2001. This included President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Israeli first lady Nava Barak among others. Greeting these tired diplomats and the President after a long day, Margaret famously said, "Madeleine, you look exhausted. Come put your feet up right here."
Hobbies & Lifestyle
Marg was easy going, likely to say "whatever." She learned by living and she crammed a lot of life into her years. She was so tough, it had to be documented ("Margaret," 1990). A cat with nine lives, she cheated death more times than her younger brother could count, wore all black over her multiple tattoos, and was famously gorgeous (with Metallica T-shirts, black leather boots, and natural red highlights). Marg was proud that she chose to be expelled from high school, rather than be disloyal to a friend.
All of 4' 10" tall, Marg loved her Harley Davidson motorcycle, as well as her Jet Ski, which she rode on the Potomac river with friends and family. Marg attended most of the headbanger concerts in Charleston WV in the late 1980s, and loved her dog BB (Bad to the Bone). She was survived by her husband Bill Shifflet, her parents Jim and Mary Clare Eros, her brother Mike Eros, her brother Joe Eros (1971-2013), and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins on the Eros and McCormick sides including the artist Rachel Simonson, and her uncle filmmaker John D. McCormick, who over 8 years documented her quest towards a kidney transplant in his film "Margaret" (1990). Her friends and family across Appalachia remember and miss her to this day.
Margaret wore a peace sign necklace and bracelet all of her adult life. It was her favorite symbol. May peace be with you.