Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

I was born in Queens, NY. Spent my childhood running around the garden apartments of our Coop, where everybody’s Dad was a WWII Vet, and everyone’s Mom stayed at home. The men were firemen, cops and teachers. My Dad went to night school and became an electrical engineer. New York City might sound large and ominous but this was warm and welcoming place, a small town within a Borough.

Now I am a widow, mother and grandmother, retired graphic design professor, artist, and yogi. I have recently begun exploring plant-based eating and cooking. My late husband Bill Tchakirides and I raised our family in Central Connecticut just outside of Hartford.  When our son went off to college in Boston, we moved first to Greenbelt, MD and bought a townhouse in GHI (Greenbelt Homes Inc.) –yet another Coop experience. We enjoyed the community and convenience of walking to a grocery, restaurants, theatre, etc. It was designed so one could get to the town center without crossing a street.

Bill and I were early adopters of the idea of living off the land and being energy independent. We had built a small passive solar home on two acres in Marlborough, CT. So when we moved to Shepherdstown, we thought we would give the green life one more go, and eventually bought a house with a few acres. But after my Bill passed away, the homestead idea no longer seems attractive and I realized that I need much closer community… both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Putting down roots in the Shepherdstown area for the last 8 years has been a joy. Although I was working full-time when we first moved here, I found it easy to meet like-minded folks and immediately joined up with a group who were starting what was eventually called Sustainable Shepherdstown (now Sustainable Jefferson County). I have also found community with The Society of Friends and various yoga/meditation groups. One can truly enjoy a full social, spiritual and intellectual life here in our wonderful little town!