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

Morningside-Skyline Columnist Mourns Staff Murdered in Capital Gazette Shooting

I’m a newspaper person. I “published” my first newspaper columns on tablet paper when I was in 7th grade and I edited both my high school and college papers. I wrote a neighborhood column for the

Mill Valley paper when we lived in California.  And I’ve been reporting on Morningside, Skyline and beyond for Prince George’s weeklies since 1976.

I spend at least an hour every day with the Washington Post. I love newspapers. I love the dedicated people who make them possible.

I’m heartbroken over the Thursday, June 28 shooting at the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper that’s a descendant of the seventh news­paper to be created in colonial America, in 1727.   This atrocity must be the worst the paper has suffered in its nearly 300-year run.

I didn’t know them personally, but I grieve for Rob Hiaasen, assistant editor; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; John McNamara, sports editor; Wendi Winter, community beat; and Rebecca Smith, sales assistant. I’m sad for the staff they left behind, who somehow—because they are newspaper people—published a paper on Friday.


Marcus Smith, 27, of Piscataway Landing Drive in Clinton, died June 30 when his motorcycle was involved in a collision in the 10300 block of Piscataway Landing Road. This is the 5th or 6th motorcycle fatality, in South County, that I’ve had in my column in recent months. What’s needed? More education? More alert drivers?

The Knights of Columbus, in Forestville, honor a Knight each month for their service. Nolton Davis was named Knight of the Month for May; Jim Tarleton for June.  Families of the Month were Robert and Cathye Weiler for May, Nolton Davis Family for June.

The Morningside Independence Day Parade was perhaps the best in recent years, and, as always, lots of fun. I enjoyed meeting up with Jim Behr again; he comes from Oxon Hill to see the Parade. I’ll tell you more about the parade next week.

Coming Up at the Surratt House

The Civil War Through an Artist’s Eyes, Saturday, July 21, 4:00 PM at the Surratt House Museum in Clinton. Free. Info: 301-868-1121.

John Wilkes Booth Escape Route Tours resume in the fall.  They leave from the Surratt House on Saturdays, Sept. 8, 15 and 22 at 7:00 AM and return at 7:00 PM.  They follow the trail of President Lincoln’s assassin from Ford’s Theatre in Washington to his death near Port Royal, VA. The $85 payment is required in advance. Info: 301-868-1121.

Coming Up or Continuing

Universoul Circus, “One circus, one tent, indivisible, with unity and fun for all!” continues at National Harbor through July 23.

The next Morningside Town Meeting will be Tuesday, July 17, 7:00 PM.

Night Out Against Crime gatherings (with food, music & fun) will be held at both Morningside and Skyline on Tuesday, August 7.

Changing Landscape

The Vietnam Pilot and Crew-member Memorial was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery on April 18.  It’s in Section 35 along Memorial Drive, not far from the Tomb of the Unknowns.  It honors the nearly 5,000 helicopter pilots and crew members who were killed during the Vietnam War.

Kiddie Cavity Care & Orthodontics is having its Grand Opening at 3743 Branch Ave., Suite A in Hillcrest Heights. Dr. Ephraim L. Altmon is a specialist in pediatric dentistry and a life member of the American Orthodontic Society.

The parking lot for the little Skyline shopping center, corner of Suitland and Randolph Roads, has been repaved and lined.  Looks good. 

Morningside Memories: 1958

The Women’s Civic Group of Morningside hosted a Spring Fashion Show. Sylvia Devey was commentator. Musical entertainment was by Lynn Nichols, Nan Lollis, Cathy Smith, Mrs. Hooper, Judy Conlon, John Thornton, Sandra Schaub and the quartet of Leonard Gardner, William Gilmartin, Dallas Bragunier and William Schaub, accompanied by Barry Richardson and Elmer Hicks on guitar.

Fashions provided by the Bo Peep Shop were modeled by Lou Ann Donaldson, Jackie Langford, Faith Tickell, Gail Spaid, Kathleen Jennings and Kathy Gaddis. Fashions from the Darling Dress Shop in Coral Hills were modeled by Barbara Bauer, Katherine McLauglin, Virginia Rosch, Dolores Short and Sue Loveless.

48 Years at the Patent Office

Sarah Frances Goodall, 74, of Skyline, who retired in 2014 after 48 years with the Patent and Trademark Office, died May 24. 

She was born in Brightwood, VA to Plas and Mary Weaver Goodall and graduated from George Washington Carver High School in Culpeper. She earned degrees from Strayer and George Mason University and was a nurse’s aide before she went to work as a mechanical engineer with the Patent and Trademark Office.

In the 1980s she moved to my corner, and later moved further down Skyline Drive. She opened her door and heart to everyone she knew. And she loved to play bingo.

She was predeceased by parents, three brothers and a sister.  Survivors include children Krista, Brian and Robert; three sisters and two brothers; nine grandchildren and six adopted grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Services were at Pope’s with Elder Curtis Whitehead officiating. Repast followed at the VFW in Morningside.


Happy birthday to Kenard Simms, July 13; Laverne Peggy Simms, Krista Lanehart and Laura (Thompson) Hoffmann, July 14; Dessirae Johnson and Helen Jurney, July 15; Norma Wright and Gary Lewis, Jr., July 16; my granddaughter Claire Mudd, Michael Busky, Mike Fowler Jr. and former Morningside Chief Stephen Armhold, July 17; Allyssa Frederick, former Morningside Councilman Russell Butler, Mike Fowler Sr. and Eddie Hall, July 19.

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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


Bowie State University National Alumni Association, Inc. Prince George’s Chapter held their Annual Benefit Dinner Dance June 24, 2018.  BSUAA Citation Awards and special recognition were presented to Alumni Alveta S. Jones and Alumni Ruby Gross for their dedicated service.

Alveta S. Jones

Alveta S. Jones was born in Nanticoke, Maryland Wicomico and was the fifth of six children.  Once she finished High School, Alveta attended Bowie State Teacher’s College.  She graduated in 1946 and started her teaching career on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

After marriage, her husband Fred Thomas, served in the U.S. Army which took them overseas, where she taught in Istanbul, Turkey.  Upon her return to Maryland, she took a teaching position with the Prince George’s County Public School System.   She became a Resource teacher in the County.  In this position she helped recruit and mentor new teachers. 

Once retired, Alveta joined the Prince George’s Public School Retirement Association and continues to be an active member.  Because of her knowledge and expertise, she has been President twice, Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee for 8 years and inducted in the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame while serving.

Alveta is a member of the Ardmore Citizens Association, former Vice President and President of the United Methodist Women’s Association and the Lay Leader for the Washington/Baltimore Conference of the United Methodist Church.  She is the proud mother of two daughters, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  “We are so proud to say that Alveta continues to support our BSU Prince George’s Chapter and attends our Annual Dinner Dance yearly.”

Ruby Pinkney Gross

Ruby Pinkney Gross started at Bowie State Teachers College in 1945.  In early 1948 she married the love of her life, Peter A. Gross, Sr. and had five children.  She returned to Bowie State University after all her children were in school.  Determined to make her dream of becoming a teacher a reality, she graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

During her professional career she taught at Malcolm Elementary School in Charles County; Orme Elementary, Clinton Grove Elementary, and Surrattsville Elementary School in Prince George’s County.  She retired after 30+ years of service.  Two of her children attended BSU and her granddaughter graduated from BSU in 2016.

Ruby is an active member of the BSU Prince George’s County Maryland Chapter. Each year, Ruby usually has the most tables, patrons and family members at our Annual Scholarship Dinner Dance.  Monthly when our chapter meets her granddaughter makes sure she is at the meeting.

She is a long time member (over 65 years) of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Baden Parish in Brandywine, Maryland.  On numerous occasions she served on the Vestry.  She was elected Senior Warden, Secretary and worked on various committees at the church.  She is still an active member of the Choir and Altar Guild.  She has been a member of the Order of the Eastern Star (Columbine #46) for over 40 years.  She has served as the Worthy Matron for a total of four years. 

After retirement, Ruby volunteers twice a week at the neighborhood Pantry, Feed My Sheep Program at her church.  She is the CEO of the Peter A. Gross, Sr. Scholarship Memorial Fund, Inc.  She loves to travel and has been to Africa, Panama, Hawaii, Jerusalem, Guam and on numerous cruises.  She loves her spare time solving crossword puzzles and Word Search.  Ruby resides in Brandywine, Maryland and is extremely proud of her children and grandchildren.  “We, the members of the BSU Prince George’s County Chapter, are proud to have Ruby as one of our most dedicated members.”



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