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BMancwtw Farming, Saturday, April 23, 1994
From The Ashes
NEW WINDSOR, Md. Just
a few weeks after losing his barn
and his livestock to a fire, all Joel
and Maura Jo Nupp can talk about
is the generosity of the community
around them. They are over
whelmed by the giving nature of
their Carroll County neighbors
and they want people to know that
there are still a lot of good folks in
the world. •
It is said that tragedy breeds
hope, and maybe that is so, but the
heartbreak that comes with
destruction can be the worst kind,
especially when that destruction is
a fanner’s bam. For the family of
Joel and Mura Jo Nupp of New
Windsor, Maryland, the big old
bank bam on their farm signified
everything they had dreamed of
for years. They had moved to the
Carroll County farm to fulfill a
dream of raising their children in a
farm environment as Jeol had
After purchasing the place in
Justin, Michelle, and Matthew, play with Big Mama, a -pout ..vied pig at.
some of their new piglets. The burned out foundation of the barn can be seen In the
The Nupp family poses with their new Jersey calf, Lucky, the Border Collie, Jasper,
and a new baby kitten. Parents, Joel and Maura Jo are proud of their children’s inter
est In the animals.
January, they began to fill the bam
with young livestock. 4-H projects
for their children, Justin. 8;
Michelle, 6; and Matthew, 3 y ears
old. The livestock was a sign of a
bright future ahead. Then on
March 9, their dreams went up in
“Maura Jo was going out to
bottle feed the baby lambs,” said
Joel. “At first she thought it was
snow, and then she saw it was
smoke.” After dialing 911 and
calling Joel at work, Maura Jo
dashed to the bam to try to save
the animals, but it was too late for
most of them. Five piglets, a calf,
two lambs, two cats, and a goat
perished in the fire, despite the
efforts of over forty firefighters
from surrounding communities.
The only animals to survive were
two horses and the children’s
pony. The Nupp family credits
their dog Jasper with saving them.
“When my wife opened the
door, the dog just made a beeline
for the bam. My wife unlatched
the gate and my old gelding came
barreling through. But then they
(the horses), kept circling the bam
and trying to run back in,” Mr
Nupp says. It was Jasper who
stopped (hem. Over and over the
dog herded the horses away from
the fire, until they gave up and
headed down the hill. Since them,
the Nupps have taken to calling
Jasper, “The Wonder Dog.”
By the time Mr. Nupp got home
his neighbors were already at the
farm. Beating the firetrucks in, it
was the neighbors who supported
a sobbing Mrs. Nupp. But that
support was only the beginning.
“After the fire, we were numb,”
Mr, Nupp recalls. “I sat on the
ground and bawled like a baby.
For days, we didn’t sleep, or take
calls.” Then, the Nupp family
found out that neighbor Laurel
Hummel had been taking then
calls.. many calls.
Donations began to poor in. The
Gunpower 4-H Club called and
wanted to give the Nupp family a
cash donation. Mr. Nupp, a proud
man, politely refused. But that
Elght-year-old Justin Nupp poses with a pot bellied pig
donated to them by Robert Heaton.
didn’t stop the 4-Hers. Instead, Nupp’s reply was “I don't know,"
they bought 82 bales of hay to fencing arrived. Robin Kessling
replace the hay the Nupp family donated a piglet. Then Nicki Rat
had lost They delivered it to the hff, director of the Carroll County
house, unloaded it and stacked it Humane Society called. They had
neatly before covering it with a a pig at the Humane Society that
tarp. How could Mr. Nupp say had been found wandering Route
"no?” 140 in December. No one had
I’ve learned that in Carroll
County, you have to learn to take
help. I’m not used to taking from
others,” Mr. Nupp added.
Tim and Candy Cole donated
two lambs to Justin and Michelle.
Dr. Kay Wagner and the Carroll
County Livestock Club donated
two $lOO gift certificates, one to
Tractor and Supply Company and
one to Southern States. Bob, Shir
ley from the Carroll County
Extension Center called to ask
what they could do. When Mr.
and neighbors donated after the fire.
claimed the pig, and the board had
voted unanimously to give the pig
to Justin. How do you say “no” to
a 250-pound pig named Petunia?
‘The pig is so big,” Justin says.
Now, the Nupp family has taken
to calling Peunia, Bib Mama.
“A man I didn’t even know. Bill
Franz from Linwood kept calling.
He was persistant that I have some
hay,” Mr. Nupp said. “I told him I
didn’t have any place to keep it.
So he brought a stock trailer,
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