Saturday, January 19, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Local Hero

Rock Creek
Library of Congress - Public Domain
by Peggy Robin

While you are enjoying the snow on the ground and anticipating the wintry mix we're supposed to get tonight and/or on Sunday, here’s an important safety reminder: When trying to take a photo of an icy creek from a slippery, snow-covered railing, do NOT try to cantilever yourself over the edge to get a better shot, or you might end up in the drink. Well, if you do -- just make sure there’s a heroic person ready to leap into the creek and pull you out!

And as Dave Barry likes to say, “I am NOT making this up!” For proof, play both the audio and the two video pieces  available at this link:
[or go to if the long link above is broken]
The second video toward the bottom of the screen is of a long joint interview with the rescuer and rescuee (is that a word?).

I just hope there’s a local organization that gives out Hero of the Year awards. Although it’s only one month into 2019, I think in Dave Dildine, we already have our winner!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, Jan 17 - 24, 2019

We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv     

Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18 at 6:30 PM, and Saturday January 19 at 1 PM, Seussical Jr - Alice Deal's First Ever 7th Grade Musical. You won't want to miss this wacky, wonderful, family-friendly Seussical show, featuring all your favorite characters from Dr Seuss, and a wonderful musical score. Get your tickets today before they sell out - $12 adult; $5 student at: students need to be accompanied by at least one adult. In the Alice Deal Middle School auditorium at 3815 Fort Road NW.

Friday, January 18 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites Lecture: Highland Broadsword. British military historian and armaments specialist Paul Newman discusses a Highland broadsword, the iconic weapon of the Highland Scots in the eighteenth century. This example was used during the Revolutionary War by Nicholas Ruxton Moore, an officer in the Fourth Continental Dragoons and the Maryland militia. It is featured in the current exhibition, A Revolution in Arms: Weapons in the War for Independence (at Anderson House through March 24, 2019). The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the sword. Free. At The Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info: 

Friday, January 18 from 5 - 7 PM, Southern Border Advocacy Trip Debriefing. UDC Law alumni and students will report on their experiences providing legal services to refugees and asylum seekers at the southern border over the winter break. Our advocates served in legal observation and preparing refugees for their credible fear interviews at various settings including the port of entry at Chaparral/Ped West, shelters, safe houses, and encampments. They also provided charlas/clinics on asylum law and what to expect during the asylum process or “the deportation conveyer belt,” as some of the advocates called it. With some additional money they raised, our advocates provided necessary food, feminine products, chairs, tables, and towels to the unaccompanied children's shelter where there are about 50 unaccompanied minors. The reality of the refugees was heart-wrenching, the human right violations were outrageous, the service was humbling, and leaving was the hardest part. To learn more about the trip, please come to this public event at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Room 515, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, Free, but please register at: #presente #equitywarriors #brownadvocates

Saturday, January 19 from 2 - 4 PM, The Future of the Arts and Society - Facilitated Dialogue and Deliberations. Please join us for music performances on violin and cello and  participate in facilitated round table discussions about the future of arts and society. Organized by Ieva Notturno, Facilitator, Interactivity Foundation and Michelle Kim, Founder, Culture Saves. For ages 18 and older. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Sunday, January 20 at 4 PM, The Apollo Orchestra will perform the Beethoven Symphony (No. 7), works by Respighi (Suite in G for organ and strings), Dvorak Slavonic Dances, and Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme. Featured artists include organist Julie Vidrick Evans and cellist Michael Balas. At Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, One Chevy Chase Circle NW. A reception to meet the artists will follow the concert. Neither reservations nor tickets are required for this free concert.

Monday January 21 starting at 12 noon, DC’s MLK Day Parade. DC honors the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. with this annual parade that brings the entire community together on the holiday that celebrates the Civil Rights leader. Community activists, performers and civic leaders will all be on hand for this event that aims to prolong Dr. King’s legacy and everlasting message of peace. The parade will begin at 12 PM at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE and Good Hope Rd SE and proceed south on Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE through downtown Anacostia, concluding at the campus of St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair at the Gateway Pavilion, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. Free. More info:

Tuesday, January 22 from 10:30 AM - 12 PM,  Winter Wonders Family Discovery Day by DOEE Aquatic Resources Education Center. Join DOEE fish and wildlife biologists for family-friendly winter-themed activities at the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) in Anacostia Park - featuring a Snowy Survival aquarium tour with feedings, Coldwater Critters aquatic animal presentation, and wintry crafts and activities. Come discover what winter is like underwater and how aquatic animals make it through the snowy season! Advanced registration is required and participants must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Please submit only 1 registration per family/email address - go to: All AREC programs are FREE, but space is limited. The Aquatic Resources Education Center is located in Anacostia Park next to the Skating Pavilion at 1900 Anacostia Drive. Questions may be directed to doee.arec @ or 202-727-7400 or visit

Tuesday, January 22 from 6 - 8 PM, House History Workshop by Washingtoniana. This hands-on workshop will teach people how to research the history of their DC house using primary sources in Washingtoniana. Researchers will learn to use building permits, historic maps, city directories, newspapers and other resources to find out about the building and the people associated with it. Class size is small to allow everyone an opportunity to use all the materials - once the class is full join the waitlist to be first in line for the next class! Register: Free. At Washingtoniana at Van Ness, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Wednesday, January 23 from 12 - 1 PM, 62nd Anniversary of the Frisbee. In celebration of this historic date, slackers and their dogs all over the world can take a break around lunchtime to go out to the nearest field and toss a Frisbee around for an hour. No, this is NOT the Weekly Fake Event - it's a real annual celebration (see the attention it got two years ago, on the 60th anniversary: and, serendipitously, it's also National Pie Day ( The Frisbee was invented by college students on campuses in New England, where the Frisbie Pie Company was a popular seller of pies, and the students discovered that the empty pie tins made excellent flying discs.

Wednesday, January 23 at 2 PM, Why We Make Art with Rogelio Maxwell. Rogelio Maxwell is a multimedia artist who fuses on painting, drawing, sculpture, and music with performance art, film and video. Join us for this eight week series as Maxwell discusses why we make art, a brief look at the path some of us take to make art, and how art affects and defines our culture through architecture advertising, fashion, and design. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, January 24 at 6:30 PM, Lecture and book signing: Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America. President George Washington was determined to secure the Old Northwest—the region extending from the Ohio to the Mississippi—for American settlers, but a powerful Indian confederacy barred the way. Two successive military expeditions to take control of the region had ended in expensive and bloody disasters. Then Washington chose Anthony Wayne—a headstrong Continental Army veteran with a reputation for heavy drinking, womanizing and recklessness on the battlefield—to lead a new army into the western wilderness. In Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America (Yale University Press, 2018), Mary Stockwell introduces us to this remarkable man and this extraordinary moment when the reputation of the president and the future of the West was at stake. The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. At The Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,      

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Snow Day

by Peggy Robin

A light snow has started now. All of you with school age children who have been doing the snow dance while wearing their pajamas inside out and backwards – good job! But you know, of course, that you made it come down on the wrong day! A late Saturday to mid-Sunday snowfall may not get you a day off from school, you sillies! All you may get is some good sledding on Sunday.

On the other hand, it’s possibly you may have called in enough of the white stuff to make traveling too difficult for teachers, not just tonight and tomorrow, but through Monday morning. I just checked with Capital Weather Gang and they’ve upped their prediction from 3-5 inches to 4-8 inches, mainly on Sunday afternoon through evening (see After that, I gave Free Weather Call a ring, and the weatherman on the line told me it’s possible that we could get up to TEN inches before 6 PM on Sunday. 

If we get that much snow, here's what else will come our way: Surge pricing on Uber at four times the usual rate. People raiding the stores for milk, bread, and toilet paper. And any number of pratfalls (funny word, but the thing itself is not funny!) caused by unshoveled sidewalks and icy steps. You will have to think ahead and take care each time you step outside. But when you do, you will find yourself in a glistening white world, where everything is covered by a soft, all-encompassing blanket, where each footfall causes a satisfying crunch under your snowboots, and you breathe in the crispness of the freezing air and exhale the steam of your breath and feel all around you the picture-perfect wintriness of a snowy day in DC. 

Enjoy it till it melts!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, January 11 - 17, 2019

Galette des Rois
Photo by Roozitaa (Creative Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, January 11 from 7:30 - 9:30 AM, WABA's Coffee Hour at the Book Bike Library Takeout Vehicle. The Washington Area Bicycle Association in conjunction with DC Public Library's new Library Takeout Vehicle, the Book Bike, will be hosting  a Friday morning coffee hour on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. We'll have giveaways, books for checkout and can accept returns if you want to bring along that overdue book! Free coffee provided by Qualia Coffee. Come say hi on your ride to work, school or play! Free. At 4th and S St. NE,

Friday, January 11 at 12 noon, Oral History Panel: Government Shutdowns of Yore - Those were the days! Furloughed federal workers, are you looking for something to do this Friday? If you are too young to have lived through any of the TWENTY previous US government shutdowns, come and hear a panel of veterans tell what it was like back in the day. We’ll have tales going all the way back in time to the 10-day shutdown under the Ford administration (Sept 30 - Oct 11, 1976), through the multiple, repeating shutdowns of the Reagan years, to the 3-day blip under George H.W. Bush, to the longest one of all (so far), the 21-day marathon during Bill Clinton’s first term, started by Newt Gingrich in a snit because he thought the President had ignored him on Air Force One (see for an account). In the unlikely event that the government reopens before this event takes place, please check in at our website to see if this event has been cancelled.   

Friday, January 11 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Galette des Rois. Whilst you may learn a lot about the Galette des Rois by browsing on the web, there is no way it will be as much fun as learning about this very French tradition with AFDC’s very own Communication Coordinator, aka Raphaela! These delicious Galette des Rois will please all palates while Raphaela will entertain our soul... A merry and savory event is on its way. This event will be in English, and French after drinking Sophie's cocktail! Tickets: $10 for AFDC members; $15 for the general public - online at or at the door by credit card, check, or cash (exact change only). The AFDC cannot make change at the door. At the Alliance Française de Washington DC, 2142 Wyoming Avenue NW.

Saturday, January 12 at 10 AM, NSO In Your Neighborhood: Family Program and Instrument Petting Zoo. Bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green take a break from the NSO to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Stay after the program for a musical instrument “petting zoo”. This free program will be located in the Children's Room on the 2nd Floor of the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW - entrance  on Lamont St.,

Saturday, January 12 at 4 PM, An Afternoon with Simba Sana. Simba Sana is the best selling author of “Never Stop: A Memoir,” and the former CEO and Co-Founder of Karibu Books, the largest and most successful black owned independent bookstore chain in the country. Following a day of fun and reading for DC Public Library Winter Challenge, join us for a discussion with this leader from the world of books at Martha’s Table at, 2375 Elvans Road SE. More info:

Sunday, January 13 from 10 AM - 5 PM, France Day at KID Museum. Join KID Museum and Alliance Française DC to explore French culture through creative, hands-on projects, stories, and traditional foods, including: Pierrot puppets, building French castles, creating silhouette art, learning about the invention of the hot air balloon by the Montgolfier brothers, making La Tour Eiffel pop-up cards, story time with Madeline, Light Up French Map, music and story time with Achille, food from Crepes Parfait food truck, and more! General admission: $12 (includes 1 child and 2 adults), KID Museum Members: free. KID Museum is at 6400 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, 301-897-5437, info @ kid-museum dot org,  

Monday, January 14 at 6 PM, MLK Movie Screening: "The March." Witness the compelling and dramatic story of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. This watershed event in the Civil Rights Movement helped change the face of America. Recount the events of 250,000 people coming together to form the largest demonstration the young American democracy had ever seen. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Tuesday, January 15 at 7 PM, Tuesday Talks: Julie Kent. Julie Kent will talk about her storied career, including 30 years at the American Ballet Theatre, and her decision to move back to her hometown to guide the Washington Ballet artistic repertoire. This is the first talk in a six part monthly series presented in partnership with the Cleveland Park Business Association and the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. (For the complete list of speakers, visit Admission is free, but please register at to reserve your seat. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Wednesday, January 16 at 7 PM, The March on Washington: a discussion with Jamie Stiehm and Clarence Page. Jamie Stiehm and Clarence Page will discuss one of the most extraordinary days in memory: the March on Washington in 1963 when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us about his dream. Covering national politics and history, Jamie Stiehm writes for the Creators Syndicate. Clarence Page is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune, based in Washington. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, January 17 at 6 PM, Saving Family Treasures: Personal Archiving Workshop. Are you interested in preserving family treasures? DCPL Washingtoniana Special Collections staff will lead a workshop on preserving digital and physical personal archives, including photos, letters, newspapers and other material objects. Participants will receive information that will help them maintain their family records. Free. At UDC, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW. Questions? Email wash.dcpl @ or visit

Thursday January 17 at 6:30 PM, Poor People's Campaign Teach-In at Shaw Library. Celebrate the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Shaw Neighborhood Library with a teach-in by the local chapter of the Poor People's Campaign. In December 1967, Rev. Dr. King announced the plan to bring together poor people from across the country for a new march on Washington. This march was to demand better jobs, better homes, and better education. Named the Poor People's Campaign, Dr. King's full vision for this project was not fully realized due to his assassination. However, in 2016, Reverend Dr. William Barber revitalized the mission of the Poor People's Campaign and they have been active across the country pushing for policies to better the lives of the poor in America. The local chapter of the Poor People's Campaign will hold a teach-in at Shaw Neighborhood Library and provide information on the history of the organization, their current activities, and how you can get involved and help make change in our community, city and country. Free. Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW,

Thursday, January 17 at 6:30 PM, Debut performance of Seussical Jr - Alice Deal`s First Ever 7th Grade Musical. You won't want to miss this wacky, wonderful, family-friendly Seussical show, featuring all your favorite characters from Dr Seuss, and a wonderful musical score. Get your tickets today before they sell out - $12 adult; $5 student at: All students need to be accompanied by at least one adult. If you can’t make this show, there are two more performances, a Friday evening show at 6:30 PM on January 18 and a Saturday matinee at 1 PM on the 19th. In the Alice Deal Middle School auditorium at 3815 Fort Road NW.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Twenty Nineteen and Counting

Blood Moon
(Wikimedia Commons)
by Peggy Robin

This first Saturday of the new year is a good time to look ahead and see what 2019 will bring us in the way of historic anniversaries, astronomical events, and quirks of the calendar.

And now for the thirtieth, fiftieth, seventy-fifth, one hundredth, two hundredth, and nine hundredth time…

On February 20: Sing Happy 200th birthday to Frederick Douglass! And perhaps this will be the year that “DC” turns into “Douglass Commonwealth”(?) (If you don’t get the reference, see to decrypt the new meaning proposed for our DC postal code.)

On June 4: It’s the Centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote nationwide. Look at how far we’ve come in 100 short years…or for glass-half-empty folks, look at how far we still need to go after 100 long years.

On June 6: We will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

On July 20: It’s been 50 years since that first “small step for a man” on the moon. Hope the Air & Space Museum is back open before then!

On August 15-17: It’s been half a century since Woodstock! “And everywhere was a sound and celebration. And I dreamed I saw the bomber jet planes riding shotgun in the sky turning into butterflies above a nation,” sang Joni Mitchell, still the best at summing it all up. Want to be there for the Golden Anniversary Concert on August 16-18? Keep checking this site for tickets to go on sale:

On November 11: It’s been 30 years since throngs of joyous East and West Germans took sledgehammers to the oppressive Berlin Wall and allowed people to move freely through one city. Although the destruction of the wall was not completed until 1991, November 11 is the date to celebrate (see

And sometime during 2019 – we’re not sure of the month, let alone the exact date – we can celebrate the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Knights Templar. You have probably heard of this order of crusaders from historical thrillers and movies like The Maltese Falcon, National Treasure, and The Da Vinci Code. The forbidden order of knights figure in some way in every grand conspiracy theory ever advanced by crackpots of the past 900 years. Their leaders and members were wiped out, on the order of the King of France on Friday the 13th of October 1307 – which has given Friday the 13th a bad name ever since.

So – for those of you who believe that Friday the Thirteenth is an unlucky day – here are the two mornings this year you may not want to get out of bed:
September 13th and December 13th.

The year 2019 gives us two palindrome dates (the numbers are the same, read forwards or backwards). The first one is the palindrome date expressed in American date order (month, day, year): September 10, 2019 – 9 10 2019. The second is the palindrome date in international date order (day, month, year): 9 October 2019, or 9 10 2019.

And now for the Countdown Date of 2019:
20 19 18 17 16 15 – which is to say: 2019 January 8 (2019/1/8) at 17:16:15 (5:16 and 15 seconds  PM).

Next, we will go wind the clock forward to see what the heavens have in store for us in 2019 (with descriptions from, and National Geographic Science Astronomical Events 2019

January 20-21 - Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse. Late on the 20th, Earth's dark shadow will creep over the full Wolf Moon, turning the silvery orb blood red during the year’s only total lunar eclipse. By cosmic coincidence, this full moon will also be especially close to Earth that night, making it a so-called Supermoon.

January 22 - Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible on January 22. The two bright planets will be visible within 2.4 degrees of each other in the early morning sky. Look for this impressive sight in the east just before sunrise.

February 19 – Biggest supermoon of the three supermoons of 2019. adds: “By the way, that bright star accompanying the February supermoon is none other than Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.” (  

March 21 - Full Moon, Supermoon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear. This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon. This is also the last of three supermoons for 2019. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual. [From]

May 18 - Full Moon, Blue Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. Since this is the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon. This rare calendar event only happens once every few years, giving rise to the term, “once in a blue moon.”

November 11 - Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Earth and the Sun. Viewers with telescopes and approved solar filters will be able to observe the dark disk of the planet Mercury moving across the face of the Sun. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only once every few years. The next transit of Mercury will not take place until 2039. This transit will be visible throughout all of South America and Central America, and parts of North America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The best place to view this event in its entirety will be the eastern United States, Central America, and South America. []

If I’ve missed anything important, by all means send in your entries to round out this catalog of hot dates for 2019!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, January 4 - 10, 2019

Public Domain
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv 

Friday, January 4 at 4 PM, Got Games? Do you feel competitive? Board games are a great way to develop and maintain cognitive skills while having fun. We've got games. Grab a friend and challenge them to a board game. You will be glad you did. Stop by on Friday and let's play. This program is free and open to the public. At the Capitol View Library, 220 49th Street SE, 202-645-0755,

Friday, January 4 from 5 PM - 3 AM, Friday at The Park with Friends by @MamboRankin. Love to Eat? Enjoy Great Music? Join Mambo Rankin this Friday at The Park at 920 14th Street NW. Unwind with the sounds of latest Hip-Hop + R&B + Afro-Beats + Reggae and much more as our Food, Cocktails and DJ’s keeps you rocking from dinner to the late night. Please note that attendees must comply with all Park rules (see for rules about appropriate dress; intoxicated persons will not be admitted). Free admission until midnight with RSVP:

Saturday January 5 at 10 AM, Kids’ Galette du Roi in the Library. Who wants to become King or Queen for the day? Join us in the Alliance Francaise Library to learn more about this quintessential French pastry, grab a slice of the galette, and hopefully find la fêve inside! Galette slices will be available for $3 for AFDC members and $5 for non-members. Questions? Email Adeline D’hondt or Kelsey Hammer at children @ francedc dot org. Buy tickets at Alliance Française de Washington DC is at 2142 Wyoming Avenue NW.

Saturday, January 5 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Teen Night at the US Botanic Garden. Ever wanted to explore the Conservatory after hours? Ever wondered what plants do after dark? Join the US Botanic Garden Education Team for an evening of exploration and discovery! Spend the evening wandering through the Conservatory and learning about the USBG plant collection through hands-on science stations. Please note: This program is intended for those aged 13-17. No adults may enroll without registered teens. Doors will open at 6:15 PM. p.m. Please note: The US Botanic Garden is open as scheduled, having been funded for the current fiscal year. Free. In the Conservatory - pre-registration required: In the Conservatory of the US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW.

Sunday, January 6 from 2 - 3 PM, Fiesta de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day). This year, 2019, due to funding and permitting challenges, GALA cannot offer its complete Three Kings Day program as in past years. Instead, the Magi will greet children in the lobby and gifts will be distributed. We appreciate your understanding and will return to the larger event in 2020. Free. At GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St NW. For more information, email info @ galatheatre dot org. Website:

Monday, January 7 at 7 PM, Poetry Workshop - Poets on the Fringe. The Poets on the Fringe (POTF) are local poets who meet every Monday from 7 to 9 PM at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library to read and critique one another's poems. Please bring one of your own poems with copies for the group to read and workshop. For more information, please call 202-727-0232. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Tuesday, January 8 at 10:15 AM, Elvis’s Birthday Bash. Celebrate the 85th birthday of the King. The party starts on Graceland's north lawn where fans from around the world will gather to sing "Happy Birthday" to Elvis and enjoy an epic birthday cake. Can’t make it to Tennessee on Tuesday? You will feel like you are there when you live-stream the event at Because this is such an awesome real event, we thought there’s no need to make up the Weekly Fake Event.

Tuesday, January 8 at 4 PM, Explorer's Club: Marble Mazes. Join us as we explore all things STEAM (that's science, technology, engineering, art and math; something for everyone!). This month, come create your very own marble maze! Marbles will be provided. One marble per maze while supplies last. Recommended for children ages 4-12 and their caregivers. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Wednesday, January 9 at 7 PM, Board Games / Trivia Night for Grown Ups. Join your neighbors and friends at the Chevy Chase Library the second Wednesday of each month at 7 PM for an adult board game and trivia night. Themed games, strategy games, cooperative games and every-player-for-themselves games—we’ll have a board game that makes you want to play. We will alternate between trivia night and playing the board games. For ages 18 and older. Free. At the Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, January 10 at 7 PM, The Nathalie V. Black Book Discussion Series: American Autobiography: From Colonial to Contemporary Times, led by resident scholar, Philip Burnham, associate professor in the English Department at George Mason University. The series looks at how the style and themes of American narratives have evolved over the span of several centuries. The January 10 book discussion topic is “Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions,” by John Fire Lame Deer. An outspoken Lakota Sioux medicine man from South Dakota, John Lame Deer does not fit the usual profile of a “great American.” But this ‘community autobiography’ breaks the mold of the genre as we know it. By turns reverent and profane, amusing and grim, eager and disparaging, Lame Deer calls into question many of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” assumptions so common in American writing. Free and open to the public. There is no need to have attended previous programs in the series. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday January 10 at 4 PM, Snowflake Craft. Design and cut out unique snowflakes for winter! This craft is for children ages 5-12 and will involve cutting with scissors. Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street NW,   

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Still Life with Robin: And Now....The Winners of the 2019 CP Listies (part 3)

Photo by Bill Adler
by Peggy Robin

Drumroll, please! It’s time to announce the winners of the 2018 Cleveland Park “Listies” – the outstanding posts on the Cleveland Park Listserv in 2018, in each of four categories: Best Query; Most Helpful Advice; Best For-Sale or Giveaway; Best Long-Running Discussion Thread – followed by the overall BEST POST OF 2018. If you missed last week's nominations, you can find them on our sister blog, All Life Is Local here:

In the category of Best Query, the winner is “ISO Metal Detector.” Gail’s November 10th post seeking a metal detector to help find her husband’s wedding ring, which disappeared while he was cleaning up after their dog, had everything you could possibly want in a query – romance, animals, mystery, human yearning for a lost key to the past…..and best of all, it was followed up by the perfect happy ending. All in just two brief listserv posts!

In the category of Most Helpful (or Most Creative) Advice, Chuck wins for his real-time account of life on the Hamilton tickets online queue, beginning at 10am when he was number 50,657 in line and detailing the countdown clock, then running at 20 sales per minute, going on to 11am when he’s moved up to number 47,812. His initial post sparked nine messages in the thread, all informative and useful to others trying to navigate the tricky online process that would ultimately result in a phenomenal night of theater. (Stay tuned, as we'll have a bit more to say about Chuck later on in this column.)

When it comes to Best For -Sale or Giveaway, the winner is not the one who listed the strangest item (that would be Vicki’s Antique Sawmill Blade for sale on May 26) but the one who wrote the most poetic reason for taking the offered-up objects – and that would be Randy, who, on July 17, described a typewriter and some old-fashioned (that is, non-digital) cameras and lenses this way: “Free 20th Century Stuff. Tired of the 21st Century? Email and selfies! Type a love letter, send an analog photo of a sunset! I am passing on a portable typewriter (Smith Corona), and cameras and lenses (Konica and Minolta).” This kind and charming offer was swiftly followed by the heartwarming proof that there were plenty of people who still like to do things the old-school way: all items were gone in a flash!

Now for the hardest category to decide – Best Long-Running Discussion Thread. We almost threw our hands up and declared a tie, torn as we were between two very different kinds of discussions: the serious, well-reasoned subject matter of “Why Vote?” (producing 9 excellent on-list arguments) and the 15-message string of posts about our playful little friend, the “Red Fox.” Well, our furry friend has squeaked out a win over our hard-won right to vote. Maybe it's just that the foxes’ survival in our urban world is a joy to see, and voting rights, while more important to the fair functioning of society, is just not as much fun to see in action.

Before going on to reveal the winner of Post of the Year 2018, we’re going to slip in a whole new award, not previously announced. It’s Poster of the Year. We realized we needed this category after seeing one poster’s name appear THREE times – twice nominated for Most Helpful (or Creative) Advice – and once for Post of the Year for his Marcia Van Ness post, part of his series of Springland Farm History Notes. Indeed, any one of this poster’s Springland History series could have taken a nomination. So for poster of the year, by acclamation, the award goes to the the Memory Keeper of Springland Lane: Chuck Ludlam.

And now…..for the Cleveland Park Listserv Post of the Year 2018, the winner is:
“Summoned by a Snow in Spring” by Tim Phelps, posted on March 21. Here’s a short clip:
“Slipping into the park itself, I was greeted by a cheerful snowperson, also smiling, on the Western Ridge Trail. Birds, a dove, a tree sparrow, a bright red cardinal, flew about, apparently confused by the disappearance of their habitat. But the slate grey and white juncos, the birds of winter, hopped about confidently in the snow.” You can find the post in its entirety here:

And as we say goodbye to 2018 we thank EVERYONE who contributed to making the Cleveland Park Listserv a helpful, sharing, often funny, and occasionally poetic virtual community. And wishing you all even more in 2019!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, December 27, 2018 - January 3, 2019

US Botanic Garden
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv      

Thursday, December 27 from 6 - 8 PM, Holiday Concert Series: Capital Accord Chorus. Join us for live seasonal music in the Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden. Capital Accord Chorus is a women's chorus performing four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. Their fun and engaging repertoire range from jazz to pop, through standards and show tunes -- they sing it all. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 PM. Free, no pre-registration required. United States Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, 202-225-8333. This event is on despite the US Government partial shutdown, as noted on the website at “The U.S. Botanic Garden is open as scheduled, having been funded for the current fiscal year.”

Thursday, December 27 at 7 PM, Shutdown PrognosticationFest. At this special event we invite all who claim to possess powers of prognostication, divination or augury to come prepared to answer several questions about the current government shutdown, including: What parts of the government will be open? What will be closed? Who will be working without pay, or for delayed pay? And most important of all: When Will It End? Please bring any tools or props you need - Ouija board, chicken entrails, tea leaves, Tarot cards, your CNN special policy analyst/punditry contract - to help you arrive at the answers to these questions. When the shutdown ends, prizes will be sent to the person who was most accurate in predictions. To see the complete list of questions and register to participate in this public ProsnosticationFest, go to: 

Friday, December 28 at 10 AM, Ceremonial Wreath Laying on President Wilson’s Tomb. You are invited to the Washington National Cathedral to watch as representatives from the US military services lay a wreath on President Wilson’s tomb on the 162nd anniversary of his birth. Following the presentation of the wreath, the Woodrow Wilson House will honor First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson with a special floral tribute commemorating the anniversary of her death which falls on December 28th as well. Edith Wilson, a lover of orchids, inspired Chadwick & Son Orchids to develop an orchid named for her that will be included in the spray. This event is free and open to the public. Please note: This event begins at 10 AM, when doors open to the public. If you plan on attending the wreath laying, please arrive in advance and look for signs directing you to a before-hours entrance that will be open from 9:30 AM. The Washington National Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW,    

Friday, December 28 from 5:30 - 8 PM, Holiday Jazz at the St. Regis. Get into the holiday spirit with holiday inspired live jazz music, sip on festive cocktails or hot cocoa, and cozy up by the fire. Free. RSVP: The St. Regis is at 923 16th St NW at K St.

Saturday, December 29 at 12:30 PM, Carillon Recital. Cathedral Carillonneur Edward M. Nassor plays a recital.- free and open to the public. The Washington National Cathedral is a Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW,   

Saturday, December 29 at 1 PM, Game Day at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library. All are invited to a Game Day over the winter break. We will spend the afternoon playing all types of board games. Bring your own or choose from the library's game collection. All ages are welcome to join the fun. Free. The Georgetown Neighborhood Library is at 3260 R St. NW, 

Sunday, December 30 at 12 noon, Tots’ Noon Year’s Eve at Tudor Place. Ring in the New Year with your little one at this special holiday with Tudor Tots! Enjoy a festive counting-themed storytime, then count down together to 12 PM. Celebrate the noon-year with noisemakers, confetti, a sparkling craft, and toast 2019 with juice. For ages 2 - 4. Parents/caregivers remain with children. Member Child: $5; Non-member Child: $8; Adults: Free. At Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, 1644 31st Street NW, 

Monday, December 31 from 10 AM - 1 PM, Noon Yards Eve. Ring in 2019 with the Noon Yards Eve balloon drop! Family-friendly activities for kids of all ages, including trackless train rides through The Yards, inflatable moon bounces, glitter tattoo artists, balloon artistry, music, and more! The event will culminate with a countdown and celebratory balloon drop at noon to ring in the New Year! Free. Yards Park is at 301 Water St. SE. More info: 

Monday, December 31 at10:30 AM, Noon Year's Eve Party. Ring in the New Year with your kiddos at our Noon Year's Eve party. Make a festive party hat, sip sparkling cider, get a glitter tattoo and share your new year's resolutions with us. Festivities begin at 10:30 AM and will culminate with a countdown and celebratory balloon drop at noon to ring in the New Year! Free. At Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW, 

Monday, December 31, 7 PM - 12 midnight, Big Night in the Little City of Falls Church. The Big Night spans a 4 block area of downtown Falls Church that begins on the 100 block of West Broad Street, which is closed to traffic that evening. Lots of live music, interactive amusements and activities, inflatables, and more. Highlights include: Free Tours of the Historic Falls Church with costumed guides begin earlier this year from 5 - 7 PM; 6 live bands; Roots Music; 19 piece Orchestra with Swing Dancing; Karaoke; Free Popcorn, Hot Chocolate, and Soup while supplies last; Rock Wall Climbing 32′ high; Adrenaline Rush Obstacle Course; Fire Rescue Obstacle Course; Tiger Belly Moon bounce for small children; Caricaturist; Balloon artist; Puppet shows; Fire pits and Fireplaces for warming; New Year’s Eve Novelties (retail); Food and snack carts; Walking Watch Night Menus; Free balloons for hats and countdown wave. ALL FREE, FAMILY FRIENDLY, and OPEN TO ALL. Free Shuttle Bus every 30 minutes from East Falls Church Metro Station to all venues, running from 7pm - 1am.   

Tuesday, January 1 from 10 AM - 12 noon, Mayor Muriel Bowser's 5th Annual Fresh Start #FitDC 5K. All ages are invited to join Mayor Muriel Bowser and hundreds of DC residents in the scenic Capitol Riverfront for the #FITDC Fresh Start 5K. Whether you want to run, walk or just cheer folks on, this will be a fun event for all! Please take advantage of pre-event packet pick-up opportunities at the VIDA U Street location on Thursday 12/27 from 6-8pm and the VIDA Yards location on Friday 12/28 from 6-8pm. Same-day registration and packet pickup begin at 9:00am and the Fresh Start 5K begins at 10:00am. Capitol Riverfront, Parcel A, at the intersection of M St and New Jersey Ave SE. Registration: 

Tuesday, January 1 from 3 - 4 PM, Tour the Highlights from the Conservatory Collection with a USBG Volunteer Docent. Want to visit a desert, a tropical paradise, and the Mediterranean? Want to travel back to the US Exploring Expedition and the Jurassic period? Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide who will connect the exotic plant world to everyday life. You might see bananas, cacao, and coffee ripening on the tree or learn about the next big breakthrough in medicinal plant research. Tour meets in the Conservatory Garden Court. Free, no pre-registration required. Visitors' note: “The Botanic Garden is open and all activities are funded for the current fiscal year.”

Wednesday, January 2 at 4:30 PM, Kid's Chess Club. This program is for children of all ages who want to learn to play or improve their chess moves and play in tournaments. Our chess instructor will teach the chess players how to think and plan their next move and use their brain power to win. Come and join our chess group and learn to make a risky move, check and have fun. This free program is made possible by the Friends of the Cleveland Park Library. The Cleveland Park Library is at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, 

Thursday, January 3 at 12 noon, Chamber Music at Noon. The DC Public Library, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut of Washington, presents a free chamber music series, open to all (formerly titled the Brown Bag Chamber Recital). Performers include internationally known, local musicians Ralitza Patcheva and Vasily Popov, as well as special-guest performers. At the Goethe Institut of Washington, next door to Library Express, at 1990 K St. NW (entrance is located on 20th St. between Eye and K Streets),     

Friday, December 21, 2018

Still Life with Robin: The CP Listies, Part 2 – The Nominations Are In!

Red Fox, Photo by Alan D. Wilson
(Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

Last week we asked for your nominations for “The Best of the CP Listserv 2018,” or “The Listies,” as we’ve dubbed them. And now the nominations are in! Not a great quantity, but to quote Spencer Tracy in that screwball classic, “Pat and Mike”: “What’s there is cherce!” The number has been increased considerably by our own favorites, which, with the significant advantage of foresight (that is, knowing from day one of 2018 that we’d be announcing the candidates for best posts at the end of the year), we’ve been diligently collecting over the past twelve months.

We were even blessed by a few mid-December posts that made the cut.

And so without further introduction, here are the nominees in the following five categories: Best Query; Most Helpful (or Most Creative) Advice; Best Sale or Giveaway; Best Long-Running Discussion Thread; and Post of the Year.

And the nominees are:

1. ISO Toto (Dog Actor). On January 25 Sarah posted a message seeking talented dogs to audition for the role of Toto in “The Wiz,” at Ford’s Theatre. And the best part of the post: “This role will be cast shape-blind.” We can only wonder if a Great Dane could take the part traditionally assigned to a toy-sized terrier. That would be so awesome. Only wish we knew if a Cleveland Park canine won the audition!

2. ISO Metal Detector. On November 10, Gail asked if anyone could lend her a metal detector to aid in the search for her husband’s wedding ring, lost while he was cleaning up after the dog. This intriguing premise was later capped off by the best news possible: detector supplied, ring found, happy ending!

3. Names for the new hockey team in Seattle? On December 5 Laine asked for suggestions for names for the new hockey team being organized in Seattle. You would think such a request would stimulate some creative thinking and a rash of clever team monikers posted on-list -- but alas there was just one that was sent reply-all; still, it was a good one: The Seattle Nerds! We can only hope that a passel of private replies included some great contenders.

4. ISO Old Basketball for `Silly` Art Piece. On December 16, Henry was looking for a few things for an unusual purpose – but we’ll let him describe it in his own words: ”The orange basketball will represent the one who shall not be named. As for his Cabinet, our dog has already brought home the carcasses of two deflated soccer balls. The two roundish ball parts have been placed on 3’ tall pedestals in our front yard. But the remaining pedestal is empty. Can the CP listserve save the day?” 

And the nominees are:

1. Queue for Single Performance Tickets to Hamilton. On February 28, Chuck L. kicked off a long thread on how to snag tickets to the mega-hit Hamilton, by writing of his continuously improving position in the online queue. He writes: “10:00 this morning when the queue was set, I was number 50,657. No, that’s not a typo. They are kind enough to show you a countdown so you can see how you’re progressing in line. Initially it seemed to be running at about 20 sales per minute. At 11:00 my number in line was 47,812….” The message was both a practical lesson in how to navigate the experience, and an amusing little slice of Washington, DC life, told in real time.

2. Re: ISO Tips for trip to London. (Various posts between June 29 – July 2.) This isn’t a single-message nominee but a 22-message thread. Nearly two dozen posters weighed in, offering tips as specific as instructions to get from Heathrow to Paddington, to recommendations for slightly less crowded but fascinating places to visit (e.g., Freud’s house, Churchill’s wartime bunker) and worthwhile day trips (Salisbury Cathedral). Well done, you well-traveled CP Listers!

3. Mail Complaints and Compliments. On January 20 Mark R. reported on the Cleveland Park Citizens Association’s forum on mail problems in the neighborhood. This post was just loaded with solid, useful stuff – names, job titles, and contact information for the postal officials who should receive the complaints. Plus names and contact information for the people at the CPCA (with Mark himself stepping up to the plate) and elected officials who will continue to track and follow up on neighbors’ complaints. Real action for a real problem. Can’t ask more than that!

4. Tips on DC Driver License Renewal - Real ID. On November 15, it’s Chuck to the rescue again….this time on the subject of how to apply for a “Real ID” drivers license at the DC DMV, and actually walk away with it after the first try. Best lines in this necessarily long and detailed post: “Read the requirements for a Real ID 5 or 10 times. No fewer times. The clerk at the DMV said that more than half of those who show up at the DMV don’t have all the documents they need.”

And the nominees are:

1. Free George Forman. OK, I must confess that there’s a small but crucial difference between the version of this post as it arrived at the pending messages folder, and the version that was posted on the listserv on July 5. The subject line, when I first saw the pending message, did not read at all like a giveaway, but like a call for activists to rally around someone who’s been jailed for a crime he did not commit. On reading the actual message, I discovered it was quite a bit more mundane: Someone was giving away a George Foreman grill. So, just to make it clear what was being offered to some lucky list member, I added the word “grill” to the subject line before putting it through. (Forgot to correct the spelling, though – Grillmaster Foreman spells his name with an “e”!) Now I wish I’d kept it “as is” – because it’s that original, more memorable imperative sentence that merits inclusion as one of the CP Listies of 2018.

2. Free 20th Century Stuff. Randy’s offer of July 17 was briefly stated but still full of charm and romance: “Tired of the 21st Century? Email and selfies! Type a love letter, send an analog photo of a sunset! I am passing on a portable typewriter (Smith Corona), and cameras and lenses (Konica and Minolta).” With an offer like that, not surprising to hear how quickly the items were snapped up!

3. Antique Sawmill Blade For Sale. This was sent in by Vicki on May 26. She says it would make a creative piece of “yard art.” If it can now be found in a Cleveland Park yard as part of a sculptural composition, gotta hope there’s some sort of protective shield around that blade!

4. FF: 200oz of frozen breastmilk. This one certainly can be described as the most generous (not to mention nutritious!) free offer of the year. Who knew that breastmilk went for $6/ounce! That makes this a giveaway with a market value of $1200. And without doubt it’s the one involving the most intimate, personal action on the part of the giver. It came in just last week, an early Christmas present for someone’s baby – we hope!

And the nominees are:

1. Dog waste incident. What are dog walkers supposed to do with a bag of poochie-poop? Can they toss it in someone else’s supercan? And if you catch someone in the middle of throwing a bag of poop onto your property, can you toss it right back at him? This real-life scenario churned up more reaction than any previous year’s consideration of the oft-discussed dog-do dilemma  – 22 messages over 3 days (March 1, 2, and 3). Not all of the posters had a “dog in this fight.” As one poster wrote: “Although I will in no way endorse the catapoolt, thanks for the entertainment!”

2. The Connecticut Avenue Service Lane. We had just one person nominate this thread. She said she likes the fact that each time it comes up, it gives the people who love the service lane a chance to restate how much it helps them visit shops, helps the merchants, helps the elderly. I have to add, the repetition of these arguments (and to be fair, the repetition of the arguments on the other side) is exactly what many list members hate about this topic. And every time it comes up, we get a few direct-to-the-moderator complaints along the lines of “This again?!” and “Enough!?” But it was nominated, so we’re presenting it here.

3. Re: ISO of advice in convincing a reluctant voter to vote in DC election. Just before the election, on November 4 and 5, Natasha asked for advice on this topic, and received 9 answers, all well-written, some compelling, and a few even impassioned. Margery’s November 4 response was a stirring battle cry: “People died for the right to vote. Do not complain about anything to do with the city unless you vote. Not voting is in-American. Cowards don’t vote!”

4. Missing Mail, Anyone? Under that subject line the listserv hosted a thread of 15 messages from October 2nd – 6th. And under different subject lines (including “Mail Complaints,” “Missing Package,” and “The Post Office Ran Over My Package with a Truck,” this topic was addressed on the listserv in TEN separate discussion threads – the first one at the start of the year on January 23 and the most recent go-round on December 13. We’ll let the opening lines of Kathy’s December 9 post serve as a sample for the entire woeful bunch: “It's the holiday season and time for the usual ‘we attempted delivery’ shtick: I got an email that USPS tried and failed to deliver a package to me this evening (Sunday) but that ‘a notice was left because no secure delivery location was available.’ Not very credible when I live in a building that has a front desk that's staffed 24/7. (And the delivery is just an inexpensive parcel, not requiring signature or special handling.) No notice, either. A notice would've required the carrier to, y'know, set foot inside the building…..”

5. ALERT: Red Fox Seen in Cleveland Park - 13 messages from December 18 to 20. Wily, noisy, nocturnal…and beloved! Many list members have spotted them – and hope to keep on doing so as long as they live in the neighborhood. Here’s Diana’s post of December 19: “When I first moved to Cleveland Park (I live abutting Melvin Hazen woods), I heard these horrible, not too loud, screams at night. I thought at first that it may be a hurt deer or another animal caught by something. A neighbor told me that, instead, it is the cry of a female fox in heat. Wonderful now.”

And now for the all-important POST OF THE YEAR 2018:

1. Post Office ran over my package with a truck. What made Bronwyn’s October 5 post so compelling was the attached photo of a mailing tube with USPS truck tire tracks all over it. But given the state of Yahoogroups dysfunction, the attachment did not come through at the time of posting. Now, with this nomination, we have righted that wrong. The photo, worth the proverbial thousand words, can now be found at this link: 

2. Summoned by a Snow in Spring. Tim, posting on March 21 after the unusually late March snowstorm, wrote of the beauty of a  snowy walk through Rock Creek Park. Some of the lovelier lines: “Birds, a dove, a tree sparrow, a bright red cardinal, flew about, apparently confused by the disappearance of their habitat. But the slate grey and white juncos, the birds of winter, hopped about confidently in the snow….. The creek was bubbly and filled to the brim, rushing to its destination in the river and the bay…. But the wet brown/black branches of the oaks and the beaches, lined with zebra stripes of thick wet snow, were company enough. Even the green leaves of climbing ivy had dollops of snow clinging to them…..”

3. Sheep at 36th and Ordway. This is a two-person effort, begun on October 31, by Sue, who knew there had once been sheep living at 36th and Ordway, but wondered if anyone had a photo. The follow-up came from Sabrina, who supplied an old clipping from the Washington Post (January 23, 1953), which included a grainy photo of the elderly shepherd alongside two of his flock. Under the headline, “Mary Louise returned home after capture by police,” we’re told the story of a ewe on the lam (that’s Mary Louise), until, at last, according to the reporter: “The squad car shepherds lassoed her near the National Cathedral.” To see the original clipping, best to visit it via the Cleveland Park Historical Society’s Facebook post:  [The clipping originally appeared on CP Listserv as an attachment in .PDF format, but now when you go back to it and click on it, you get an error message. Things are not what they should be in Land of YahooGroups.]

4. Springland Farm History Note: Marcia Van Ness. Here’s another post from Chuck, making this third(!) appearance in the nominations for this year’s listies. It was hard to choose which was the best among his “Springland Farm History Notes” series -- each one telling tales of some of the more colorful people behind familiar street names, like Van Ness, Upton, Tilden, and Reno. But we’re going with the Marcia Van Ness story (posted on September 11). It had a bit of everything: George and Martha Washington, the purchase of the National Mall, the Lincoln Assassination, a cholera epidemic, a haunted house, and six headless white horses on a ghostly gallop. It even had the Hamilton-Burr duel thrown in. How long till we get “Van Ness – The Musical!”?

5. How Everything Has Changed. Anytime someone asks what was in “X” storefront before it became “Y”?, we can count on Eleanor supply the answer -- and to keep going back in time covering the changes of ownership and purposes, fifty years, sixty years, sometimes right back to the ancient, misty beginnings of Cleveland Park. Among her many such posts this year, we choose her August 21 message, which covered things as they used to be, from what was once a grocery store at 3412 Connecticut Ave (now vacant but for many years the site of Ireland’s Four Provinces) up to the corner of Connecticut and Porter (now the Immediate and Primary Care Clinic). Along the way she covers the Young Playways Toy Store and its owner, Mr. G, who “would not sell guns or Barbie dolls”, the uniform store with mannikins “wearing waitress outfits right out of diners on Route 66,” and the coin dealer next to the Uptown, who “would probably still be there but he had the misfortune of fencing stolen goods including things that had been stolen from CP homes only hours before. The victims of the burglaries found their stuff right down the street and the coin dealer was led away in handcuffs.” At the end of the message, Eleanor says, “I’m going to stop now, who wants to read through all this? Hardly anyone.” But in point of fact, her memories of bygone days were the most nominated posts of the CP Listies.

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, normally on Saturdays, but posted this week on Friday to get ahead of the pre-Christmas weekend rush.