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In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Winter’s here and it’s time to get back on the ice

My husband Jack grew up in Houston, Texas, where he was introduced to ice-skating by his high school teachers, who were Canadians.  A wealthy Houstonian took pity and built them a rink.  That’s where Jack learned to skate; he went on to letter in hockey.

When our kids came along, Jack insisted that they learn to ice-skate as soon as they learned to walk.  Well, we might have waited a year or two, but they all learned when they were young.  When we moved here, in 1958, any frozen pond was fair-game.  We also found rinks in Virginia, and a lot of our skating was on School House Pond in Upper Marlboro.

After some years, Prince George’s Parks & Recreation opened rinks.

On January 5, 2017, a fire broke out in one of them, at the Tucker Road Ice Rink, leaving their Tucker Road Ducks without a place to compete and the public without a place to skate.

After more than four years, the rink reopened on August 28, 2021—bigger and much better.  It has a standard National Hockey League-size ice surface, a warming room, locker room with showers, party/meeting-room rental, dance studio, WIFI Lounge waiting room, viewing bleachers.

The rink offers open and Free-Style Skating, private and group lessons, summer camps, youth and adult ice hockey pick-up.  And it’s open all year at 1770 Tucker Road in Fort Washington.  Info: 301-265-1525.

Jack would have loved it!


Town of Morningside

Morningside will host Movie Night on Saturday, Feb. 11, beginning at 6 p.m.  And it’s free!  “Matilda the Musical” is the featured film.  (It was just released in 2022, so substitution is possible.)  The movie will be shown at 6901 Ames Street, in Morningside.  Concessions (popcorn, candy, hotdogs, nachos, drinks and more) will be sold.  Cash only.

Seating is limited and on first-come, first-serve basis.  Reservations are required by Feb. 2.  To reserve or for more information, email or call 301-736-2301.

As far as I know, Morningside’s Fire Department didn’t have any big fires New Year’s Day 2023.  But New Year’s Day ten years ago was another story:

The Morningside VFD started out 2013 with two fires:  About 7:30 a.m., they were called to the First Wesleyan Church in Oxon Hill where they found two interior areas of the one-story building on fire, the blaze extending through the roof.  About 6 p.m. they were sent to a house on fire in the 8200 block of Student Drive in Clinton.  It took more than three hours to clear.

Thank you to the Morningside Volunteers for helping keep us safe!


Neighbors & other good people

Yvetta Sears has been my Washington Post carrier for more than 30 years.  The paper has always been early, and right under my front door.  No matter the weather.  But now, she has sent a note, with the announcement that she’s retiring.  She added, “I want to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity in letting me serve you over the past years.  I’ve made many friends along the way and you all will be missed greatly.”  But not as much as I’ll miss her!

Diane R. Addison Thompson, who died Dec. 24, was the first female to join Boulevard Heights Volunteer Fire Department and the first female President of the Progressive Fire Fighter Association of Washington.  Her husband Samuel Thompson predeceased her.  Survivors include children, Sean, Tia and Stephen, four grandchildren and four sisters.  Services were at VFW 9619, Morningside, on Dec. 20.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, celebrated 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 22, at Saint Philip the Apostle Church in Camp Springs.

Joseph Barbaro, 83, founder and owner of Regina Pizzeria died Jan 6.   I’ll always remember his amazing pizza on Allentown Way in Camp Springs.

In last week’s story about the sale of Iverson Mall, I mentioned some of my kids worked there years ago: Kathleen, Mike and Therese.  Now I’ve been reminded I left out my youngest, Sheila, who worked at Roy Rogers in the Mall.

Also, I asked for your memories about Iverson Mall.  Email me at


Changing landscape

The Smithsonian “Castle” is closing Feb. 1 for its first major renovation in more than 50 years.  The renovation is expected to last about five years.  The Castle was designed by James Renwick Jr., and opened in 1855 as the first Smithsonian building.  There’ll be a lot of changes, but the red sandstone exterior will remain unchanged.

After more than 10 years of planning, construction for the 11th Street Bridge Park is scheduled for this year.  The park, situated on the pillars of an old highway bridge, will connect Navy Yard and Capitol Hill with historic Anacostia and Fairlawn when it opens in 2025.

Two Suitland Road auto businesses (repairs, tires, etc.), near McKelden Drive, have been shut down.  I understand it’s because they were making repairs on the parking lot (not inside) and the exterior of the shops were unsightly.

A house at 5799 Suitland Road has sold for $210,000.  A house at Mildreds Lane, in District Heights, went for $688,742!


Catholic Schools Week

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has been the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.  It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which this year is January 29–February 4.   Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Mass, open house and activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

I have a special appreciation of Catholic schools because they have provided almost all my education: St. Agnes in Cincinnati, St. Andrews and St. Mary’s Cathedral in Saginaw, Mich., Our Lady of the Lake High School in San Antonio, St. Mary’s College Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and Catholic University in Washington.


Wordle report

Heather McHale, my granddaughter-in-law, has done it for the 2nd time—she made it in one move!

Meanwhile, daughter Therese Gallegos is protesting last Wednesday’s word, MUCKY.  It’s true, I’ve never used it in conversation (and I bet you haven’t either). but it’s in the Scrabble dictionary.  

Meanwhile, I’m still plodding along with lots of 4’s.  How are you doing?



Happy Birthday to Sister Zion, Jan. 29; David Call and Joanne (Clark) Bunch, Jan. 30; Donna Young and Robin Sawyer, Feb. 1; Skyline Citizens' President Stanley Holmes, Feb. 2; and Ashley Lee, Feb. 3.

Happy 73rd Anniversary to William & Betty Fitzpatrick, who were married Feb. 4, 1950.

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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


Join us Sunday, February 5, 2023, for our Annual (Pre-Big Game Spaghetti Sunday, immediately (10:45 a.m.) following our Worship Service. Dinner cost will be $5.00 for adults, $2.50 for children (5–10-years old.)  Dinner will include Spaghetti, French bread, and water.

Pre-orders with prepayments only. Points of contact are Shirley Ann, or Doretha Ann or Vivian. Call to pre-order at 301-888-1536. Checks to:  St. Philip’s Church, Cash App:  $stphilipsbaden. Benefit St. Philip’s Church Baden Parish.


The Black History Month themes are chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the organization founded by Carter G. Woodson.  In 1926, the noted scholar helped establish Negro History Week; it would later expand to the month of February.


Thank you loved ones and community sponsors for your continued support of Makayla. Our now first semester Chancellor’s list sophomore has a 4.0 cumulative for summer and fall semester. She has begun her college community impact in the E. Gwynn Dance Co. Coll of Ag. Aggie MANRRS (Event & Social Engag. Comm), Collegiate Women, Caribbean Club and inducted into the Council of Negro Women. #PGCPS#PGCPSProud, Friends of Frederick Douglass HS) #ibscholar. #TacoBellLiveMasScholar #ncatdowdyscholar, #PGCPS Excellence in Education Scholar.  Information received from Makayla’s mother Stephanie Eugene.

Makayla is attending North Carolina A&T, and is the daughter of Curtis and Stephanie Eugene, who resides in Brandywine, Maryland 20613.


Meeting Management:  The art of facilitating productive meetings January 31, 2023, from 10–11 a.m. The meeting is free and virtual, MD. Categories:  Human Resources. Contact Mary Ogan Email:, phone:  301-860-3455.  

Sitting through a long meeting where participants get sidetracked, and issues do not get resolved isn’t a good use of anyone’s time.  In this session, you’ll learn how to get results from a meeting.  Topics covered include:  the basics for effective meetings; keys to productivity; the functions of a meeting leader; how to develop and practice techniques for handling counterproductive behaviors.  Speaker:  Mary Ogan/Manager of Training & Development/Office of Human Resources.


Harbor to table, yours, or ours. Restaurant week at National Harbor February 6–February 12, 2023.  They are kicking off the New Year with a celebration of food and entertainment. Enjoy prix fixe menus, cooking demonstrations from chefs, and bartenders at National Harbor and of course the Capital Wheel.  Enjoy it all during February. Dinner Prix Fixe Menus, Brunch & Lunch Prix Fixe Menus. Learn from the Masters.


Join us and learn from local mental health professionals and participate in activities February 11, 2023 at Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, Maryland 20744.  The Prince George’s County Section of the National Council of Negro Women is hosting a mental health symposium that is free and open to the public.  The goal of this event is to promote awareness, share tools to cope, and help decrease the stigma associated with experiencing and seeking help with mental health conditions. 

THEME:  How Do You Really Feel? The symposium will feature:  Dynamic speaker panel of local mental health professionals, interactive audience activities, Mental Health First Aid. Presentations on health topics, good health WINs initiative presentation, exhibits from local organizations, FREE swag bag and refreshments for attendees (while supplies last).  Please register in advance to reserve your seat Facemasks are politely requested at venue.  Mental Health Symposium Tickets, Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 11 a.m./Eventbrite.

Media Consent and Release:  If you attend this event, you are entering an area where photography, audio and video recording may occur.  Your entry and presence on the event premises constitutes your consent to be photographed, filmed, and/or otherwise recorded and to the release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction of any and all recorded media of your appearance, voice, and name for any purpose whatsoever in perpetuity in connection with the National Council of Negro women and its initiatives, including, by way of example only, use on websites, in social media, news and advertising.

By entering the event premises, you waive and release any claims you may have related to the use of recorded media of you at the event, including, without limitation, any right to inspect  or approve the photo, video or audio recording of you, any claims for invasion of privacy, violation of the right of publicity, defamation, and copyright infringement or for any fees for use of such record media.




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