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

Morningside honors Boy Scout Troop 1237 for beautifying the Town sign

Boy Scout Troop 1237 came to Morningside the evening of Nov. 15 to receive Certificates for their work on the sign in front of the Municipal Center.  Each Scout was presented a Certificate.  An additional Certificate was given the Troop, to be posted in their Scout meeting room. 

The Matthew P. Rosch Municipal Center sign was designed and erected by Morningside Council Member James O. Ealey in May 1998.  On Oct. 1, 2022, the Town rededicated the Center to Matt and his wife Virginia.  Plaques bearing “In memory of Matthew & Virginia Rosch for their contributions to the Town of Morningside” will be attached to benches near the memorial.

For Brian Doyle’s Eagle Project, the Eagle Scouts Troop 1237, of Clinton, took on the task of sprucing up the area.  They added mulch, flowers and two benches.  The plaques will be added later.  

Matthew Rosch is honored for his years in the Town as Councilman, Mayor and Police Chief.  He was Chief the night he died suddenly in 1976.  Virginia was active, too, especially with Mrs. Smith’s Morningside Kindergarten and with the Boy Scouts.

Drive by the town hall, 6901 Ames Street, and admire their handiwork.


Town of Morningside

Breakfast with Santa is coming up Saturday, Dec. 10, starting at 9 a.m. at the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department.  There’ll be a pancake breakfast, entertainment, Santa Secret Shop and a visit and gift from Santa himself, all for $7.00 per person.  (Santa Secret Shop is not included in admission, but all its items will be $2 each.)

Morningside is sponsoring a Food & Toy Drive to support three local families in the area.  If you wish to donate a non-perishable food item, new toy or a cash donation, you can bring it to the Town office Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Dec. 21. 

Hall rental at the Morningside Municipal Center is booming; if you want to reserve, call soon to the town hall.  Their rental contract is being revamped and they will not be accepting reservations from January through March 2023.  For more Morningside information, call 301-736-2300.


Neighbors & other good people

Clara Cole Drumming, 96, of Suitland, died Nov. 3.  Survivors include her daughter Pamela Chesley, six grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; her sister Izzetta Callahan and brother Steward Cole.  Visitation was at Marshall-March Funeral Home with burial at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Suitland.

In response to my story on our local VFW, Jody Nyers wrote, “I remember VFW Post 9619 fondly as we marched along Suitland Road when I was a Morningside Majorette oh so many years ago.”  

I was pleased to hear from Ella Ennis, a good friend from our days when Ella and Bob and Jack and I worked with County Exec Larry Hogan Sr.  She told me their daughter Robyn Ennis Riddle is in her 6th year as a District Court Judge in Calvert County.  She closed with, “I miss my Bob every day as I am sure you do Jack, but we were all blessed with long and happy marriages and many, many memories.”  She’s right.

My son Mike McHale and his wife Sandy did indeed come to town.  You might have seen them taking their daily mile-long walk around Morningside.  By the time this column is published, they will have collected their dog Juno at son David’s house in Denver and will be back home in El Paso, Texas.


Places to go and things to do

Hand dancing at VFW 9619, Morningside, is over for this year, but will resume in January, Sundays at 4 p.m.

ICE! is back at the Gaylord National Resort Nov. 25 after a two-year hiatus.  This beloved holiday tradition at the Gaylord uses more than 2 million pounds of ice to tell the amusing holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.”  The event runs through Dec. 31.  Fees vary; for information call 1-301-965-4000.


Changing landscape

Peace Cross was built in 1925 to honor local servicemen who died in WWI action overseas.  It has endured lightning, flooding, and battles over ownership and location.  But it still stands in Bladensburg, in the middle of a busy highway median at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Bladensburg Road.  It has been restored and wrapped with new pink marble, and on Veterans Day it was rededicated, remembering the 49 fallen soldiers from Prince George’s County whose names are inscribed. 

The Chesapeake Bay may soon join the list of America’s most treasured parks and natural landscapes under a measure backed by two members of Congress (Sen. Van Hollen and Rep. Sarbanes).  The legislation would ease the way towards federal funding to conserve the body of water, promote tourism and expand public access.


Animal Report

At the U.S. National Arboretum in NE Washington, Mr. President, Washington’s most famous bald eagle, has had a busy love life.  But he’s getting ready to try fatherhood again after First Lady flew the coop.  His new Lotus (or Lady of the United States) has started rebuilding their nest way up a 100-foot tulip popular tree just off New York Avenue.  If they’re successful, eaglets could hatch in the spring.

If you’re interested in those two Cheetah cubs born Oct. 3 to mother Amani at the National Zoo, you can follow their progress on the Zoo’s Cheetah Cub Cam. 

During November, you can adopt a dog with the special adoption rate of only $10.  View adoptable dogs at or call 301-780-7200.  For dogs that require spay or neuter services, the price is $125 plus the $10 pet license fee. 


Remembering movies at the Biograph

Back in the golden days when I was a regular at the small artsy theaters in Washington, my favorite was the Circle Theatre, on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Almost as good was the Biograph in Georgetown.  I remember seeing Jean Renoir’s “A Day in the Country” (in French), “Fantasia” and “Casablanca” in the days when there were no videos and not many TVs. 

The screens were small, the house lights dark, the Deco style trimmings crumbling, but we had an usher.  The popcorn was good, and cheap.  Those theaters were popular haunts for older and foreign films. 

All those movie hours were recalled by the obit in The Washington Post for Alan Rubin, co-founder of the Biograph.  He died Nov. 6 at his home in Delaplane, Va., at the age of 85.   Mr. Rubin, thanks for the memory.



Happy Birthday to Julie Koch-Michael and Darryl Moss, Nov. 26; Arthur Rose, Nov. 27; Thomas Shipman, Sr., Nov. 28; Stephanie White and Devin Kane Blade, Nov. 29; Karen Windsor, Alexis R. Paige Ramona Britt, Patricia Branch, Kimberly White, Mary Doyle, Susan McKay and Jon Foster, Dec. 1; John Anthony, Jr., Vonn Branch and Tyonda Simms-Taylor, Dec. 2.

Happy Anniversary to Gary and Ivy Kline on Nov. 28.


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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


President Joe Biden and first Lady Jill Biden came to Bowie State University on the eve of the election Monday evening to support Wes Moore and other Maryland candidates on the ballot in Tuesday’s midterm elections.  Biden warned the crowd of over 1,700 that democracy was at risk and they must vote for candidates who will protect it.

Moore won his contest and will become Maryland’s first African American Governor when he takes the oath of office in January with incoming Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, the first Indian American to hold office in Maryland.  Students who attended the rally were a part of university history.

“It was a totally difference atmosphere,” said Darryl Thorpe, president of BSU’s NAACP chapter.  “Wes Moore has been on campus before, but this was monumental and historic with President Biden visiting Bowie State to support Moore, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Anthony Brown, Angela Alsobrooks, and other candidates on the ballot.  The good news is that all the candidates at the rally seeking office won their elections.”

The candidates spoke about protecting democracy in the election and consistently made appeals to the students to vote.  BSU President Aminta Breaux reinforced the appeal and rallied attendees to vote.  “We’re voting tomorrow, right?” said Breaux.  “Your vote is precious, almost sacred. “I feel optimistic about the future of Maryland due to the election results,” said Thorpe.  “I believe that Wes Moore will stay true to the campaign promises of supporting women’s right to choose to have child, increasing education accessibility from kindergarten through 12th grade, and his emphasis on lowering the crime rate in Baltimore City and across Maryland”. 

Governor-elect Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, Afghan war veteran, a best-selling author and will become the state’s 63rd governor. 

MEDIA CONTACT:  David Thompson,, 301-860-4311


Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774, Friday, November 25, 2022–Sunday January 1, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  All ages. Price:  $10 per car/$15 at gate, $20 per van/limo.  Watkins Regional Park brings a little twinkle to the holidays with a drive-thru event featuring dazzling displays of more than 2.5 million lights throughout the park, culminating in a giant, 54-foot LED musical tree.

The festival is free for Prince George’s County residents on Christmas Day.  Canned good donations for local food banks are encouraged.  Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5–9 p.m., with two slots per hour.


On Saturday, December 24, 2022 “Christmas Eve” at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Baden, 13801 Baden Westwood Road, Brandywine, Maryland let’s celebrate Christmas together with Rev. Tyrone Johnson.  It is a community event.  “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

We will be having Holy Eucharist Service at 10 a.m. You, me, the children, and all.  Followed by Brunch with Christmas music, movies, family pictures, games, fun and cheer. RSVP with numbers for eating and for food accountability to 301-888-1536.  Come on out and have fun with us.


Highlighting the Field House at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex is the 200-meter, Mondo SuperX Performance, 6-lane, indoor track.  The facility sponsors a number of All-Comers meets throughout the year.  One of the few indoor track and field venues in the region, the Field House boasts the highest quality space and equipment for all indoor track and field events.

The Field House is designed to make track meets and practices easy to manage, participate in, and watch.  An indoor throwing cage gives participants a chance to refine their techniques, and multiple areas for high jump, long jump, and pole vault allow field events to run  quickly.

Spectator seating for 3,000 gives an unobstructed view of the entire venue.  The open, indoor area of the 75,000 square-foot Field House lends itself to non-track events.  Overhead netting can be dropped down to partition off the infield from the track.  The Field House is also a great space for exhibits and trade shows.

The Field House regularly hosts beginner and intermediate track classes that promote skill development.  Youth track camps are offered throughout the summer.  The Field House is a great location for other events including grappling, cheerleading and ROTC/ drill competitions.


Congratulations to my husband Robert Owen Johnson, Jr. for receiving the University of Maryland National Alumni Association Alumni Service Award (2021–2022 Membership Year).

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone





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