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

In search of Sunday School picture, Easter 1962

William “Billy” Hammett showed up at my door several days ago with a plea: Could I help him locate a photo taken in April of 1962, outside Bells United Methodist Church in Camp Springs.

Billy grew up on Robin Lane, the son of Joseph and Peggy Hammett. He attended Camp Springs Elementary, Surrattsville Junior High and graduated in 1971 from Suitland High School. He retired when he turned 60 and now lives in Indian Head.

But when he was nine, he attended Sunday School at Bells. On Easter Sunday, April 22, 1962, he had his class picture taken. He has seen that picture but cannot find it and it’s important to him. The black-and-white photo features one teacher with ten children. He has visited Bells and other possible sources without luck.

Now he thinks someone will see this story and call him at 301-906-3695 if they have the picture or know where he can get it.


Prayers please: The Sisters who have a convent nearby, told me that eight Sisters of their order, the Daughters of St. Anne, were in a serious auto accident in Ethiopia last week. Four of the Sisters died. Two others are in critical condition.

County Executive Baker toured the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, in Church Creek, Md., on March 17.

My daughter Kathleen Shearer came from West Chester, Ohio, to spend a week with me. Among other special events during her visit: she made her signature chicken & dumplings.


The 89th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base Andrews has won the Air Mobility Command’s Large Terminal of the Year award for operations from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016. During that period it processed 75,000 passengers, 19 tons of equipment and more than 8,000 other SAMs.

Coming up

Community Outreach at Suitland Road Baptist Church, 6412 Suitland Road. Free food and clothing will be available to the community, Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Dr. Kelvin M. McCune, Pastor.

The Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum, in Waldorf, opens for the 2017 season on March 25. The house is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. For information, call 301-274-9358.

Morningside Election Day will be May 1, when voters elect two Council members.

Skyline’s annual Flea Market will probably be on May 20 at the Morningside Firehouse. More information to follow.

Changing landscape

County Exec Baker wrote a powerful letter (which was published in The Washington Post) about why the FBI building belongs in Prince George’s County. Landover and Greenbelt are the two possible locations. (The other is Springfield, Va.) However, the move is now on hold, due to the current government cutback.

The SunTrust Bank (once, Citizens Bank), on Branch Avenue at Beech Road, has closed.

Paisano’s Pizza, at the intersection St. Barnabas, Temple Hill and Raleigh Roads, has opened in the former Jerry’s.

Sardi’s Peruvian Chicken, 3443 Branch Avenue, has opened in the former Tender Rib next to McDonald’s.

Branch Avenue in Bloom has lost its funding. The office is closed and former director Jennifer Funn reassigned to a project in Baltimore County, effective March 1.

Thank you to John Scroggins for this information on the new and the gone in our greater area.

Morningside Memories

Boy Scouts of Troop 282 went on a weekend camping trip. With their packs, they hiked from Bells Church to Camp Shreve, the Clinton Troop’s campsite. They were welcomed by the Clinton Troop, set up their equipment, and the two Troops had an enjoyable camping experience in the snow, with the temperature about 20°. Boys from the Apache Patrol who made the trip were Leo Abernethy, Martin Miller, Jan Smith, Jay Smith, Robert Whipple and David Wilhelm. (Morning-Side-Lines, Jan. 1957)

Norris Pyles, owner of auto and truck dealerships, dies at 80

Norris C. Pyles, 80, a longtime resident of Temple Hills and Mechanicsville and a prominent Prince George’s businessman, died March 2 in Bradenton, Fla. He was the son of Carlton and Mildred Pyles and an Oxon Hill High School graduate.

Norris was a residential real estate developer and homebuilder in Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Charles and Kent County. He also owned two automobile dealerships in Maryland, a Pontiac and a GMC truck dealership in Waldorf and a Ford-Mercury dealership in Chestertown.

He was active in building and renovating churches in Maryland and Florida, served as a deacon in many churches and was a member of the Gideon Association and of the Southgate Lions Club.

One of his great joys in life was sharing with his sons their interest in skeet shooting, hunting and fishing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, twin sisters Marilyn and Martha Lee, and in 1983 by his son Richard C. Pyles, Sr. Survivors include Mary, his wife of 42 years, sister Janice Lucca, brother David Pyles, sons Alan Pyles and Steven Pyles, Sr., seven grandchildren and 13 great-grands. Funeral services were in Bradenton.


Happy birthday to Lewis Woods, March 24; Ken Kyser and Jay Rollins, March 25; Gina Foster, March 26; Walter Dimes, March 27; Robert Hay, Jr. and David Righter, March 28; Kimberly Smith, March 29; Akwete Bedewi, March 30; Sylvia Barbour and Mark Cummings, March 31.

Happy anniversary to Terry and Gina Foster on March 26; and Antoinette and Charles Mattison, March 29.

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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


The Women of Union United Methodist Church invite everyone to join us at our United Methodist Women’s Day 10:00 AM Worship Service Sunday, April 23, 2017. Our guest speaker will be Lay Minister Pearl E. Chase. The address is 14418 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Rev. Dr. KD Weaver, Pastor.


Join us for a week of fun from April 18–21, 2017 at District Heights Elementary School from 9:00 AM–4:00 PM. Paid staff is needed. Staff will have an opportunity to work with girls in Kindergarten through 5th grades as unit leaders and get paid having fun. Unit Leaders will participate in crafts, games, and traditional Girl Scout activities.

Camp Spring Fling is a community outreach camp designed as an introductory program for girls who are not currently Girl Scouts. The camp will be held at District Heights Elementary School, District Heights, Maryland. Activities will be held inside the school and outside (weather permitting).

Camp Honorarium: $225-$300, background screening will be required. To register as a Staff Member for Camp Spring Fling, or if you have questions or need more information, contact Astrid Myers,, or call 202-274-3334.


National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) College Fair will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 6:30 PM–8:30 PM. You will be able to meet face-to-face with college representatives. Audience to include students, parents and guardians.

The address is the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, Maryland 20785. Office of Professional School Counseling 301-567-8669.

Register free to receive fair details, avoid lines onsite, and share your contact information with your choice schools. Register on the website at


You are invited to come enjoy an evening of Downhome Gospel Music Saturday, March 25, 2017, 3:00 PM at New Hope Fellowship Cooperative Parish Family Life Center. The program will feature The Mighty Wonders, The Briscoe Brothers, Liturgical Dancers and many more performers. There will be a free will offering (proceeds will go towards the Family Life Center Building Fund). For more information, contact the church

at 301-888-2171 or e-mail: The address is 15601 Brooks Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772.


Join us at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School for our Southern Area Assessment Festival Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 AM–4:00 PM. The school is located at 12650 Brooke Lane, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. To obtain more information, please call Lionel Harrell at 301-333-0963 or e-mail him at



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