I love Washington. For years I visited the Capitol, sat in on hearings, admired the sculptures in the Rotunda, dropped by various offices, took the trolley to the Senate dining room or the tunnel to the House offices, excited to be at the pulse of the Nation. I Marched for Life — and for other issues — around the Capitol. One time Joan Baez was sitting on the Capitol steps, singing with us.

There was even a time when I could park in the lot, right at the back door.

I attended the Inaugurals and the Inaugural Parades for several years — Democrat and Republican. I was saddened when Kennedy’s Parade had to be rescheduled to the new Capital Centre because of freezing weather.

But on this January 6, I sat in horror, watching a mindless, vindictive, treasonous mob jamming balconies and stairways of the Capitol, breaking windows, rampaging through offices, strewing government papers, pilfering, cheering, yelling, waving banners and proudly taking pictures of their mayhem.

The cost of repairing their crusade will be immense. In terms of the cost of making repairs? Yes! But more important, the cost of making the Capitol a fortress. I’ve already noted the tall fence encircling the Capitol grounds. Will it become permanent?

At 91, of course, I’m not attending the Inaugural this year. I’ll be watching from the quiet of my couch as President Joseph Biden of Delaware and Vice President Kamala Harris of California are inaugurated. Thanks to the virus, I assume there will be no parade. We are changed forever, and not for the better.

Neighbors & other good people

Anita Cook, formerly of Morningside, was driving Brandywine Road recently when a deer ran into the car, totaling it. A few days later she and Dean Woods, also of Morningside, had someone swipe their loner car on Rt. 5 at the Woodward Rd. overpass, damaging it beyond repair.

Tom Ferrell, who grew up on Larkspur in Morningside until moving across Suitland Road to Reamy Drive in Skyline, has gotten in touch with me. I’ll tell you more about him in next week’s column.

Tom’s sister, Kathy Hartle, recently moved from Shepherdstown, W.V. to Mechanicsburg, Pa.

My four daughters, other family, and four dogs visited Quiet Waters Park in Anne Arundel County. They all enjoyed it. As one reviewer wrote, “The park overall is super nice, two dog parks as well as a nice overlook and an off-leash beach.”

Msgr. Francis Kazista, a veteran priest of the Washington Archdiocese, died Nov. 2. Among his many assignments was as parochial vicar at Mount Calvary Parish in Forestville.

June Herrity Cowles, 88, Census Bureau retiree, died Dec. 17. She was born in Washington and was married to Fred Dupre Cowles. They became parents of seven and made their home in Forestville. Eleven grandchildren and three great-grands also survive her. Mass of Christian Burial was at St. Francis Assisi Church in Triangle, Va. Burial is at National Memorial Park.

I received an announcement about the death of Oliver W. Gaskin, “The Lawnmower Man.” Can someone email me more about him?

Changing landscape

A spending bill Congress passed last week includes authorization for two new Smithsonian museums, one on American Latinos and the other on American women. Both will be on or near the Mall. The Latino museum might be housed in the historic Arts and Industries Building next to the Smithsonian Castle.

A new Lidl store opened December 9 on Livingston Road in Oxon Hill.

Virus vicissitudes

Maryland report: through 5 p.m. Jan. 6, a total of 292,904 cases, of which 3,146 are new (in one day!). Also, we’ve had 6,132 die of coronavirus, 50 in the last day.

State data show Prince George’s has given out just 4.3 % of its vaccination allocation, the third lowest in the state—and has the highest infection rate in the state. At 91, I’m being very careful, and looking to get that shot.

Did you see it? Call police

A pedestrian was stuck and killed by a vehicle Jan. 6 about 4:30 a.m. at Allentown and Suitland roads, near Andrews. The man was found lying in the road and pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not release his name. Roads in the area were closed for several hours. The accident is under investigation.

Danny Fluhart, Dr. Mudd House President and beekeeper

Danny Morris Fluhart, 79, FBI cryptologist and former President of the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House, died at his home in Waldorf on Aug. 27.

As many of you know, I am the great-granddaughter of Dr. Sam Mudd, the Southern Maryland doctor who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth as he escaped after fatally shooting President Abraham Lincoln. I believe he didn’t know it was Booth or that he knew about the assassination. He was, however, arrested and sentenced to prison at Florida’s Dry Tortugas Island, became a hero for treating yellow fever victims, and was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson after four years. He returned to his home and medical practice. He died Jan. 10, 1883.

His house near Bryantown is one of the most-visited historic sites in Charles County and is open for guided tours (though closed right now). Danny Fluhart headed the Dr. Mudd House for nearly 15 years. He knew everyone and how to handle anything.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Herberg in 1965 and settled in Maryland. He was an FBI cryptologist for 36 years before taking on the Dr. Mudd House. His memberships included the Southern Maryland Beekeepers Association, U.S. Genealogical Society, Historical Society and Riverview Grange. He enjoyed gardening, growing cactus, studying genealogy and entering items in the County Fair.

He’s survived by his wife of 54 years, Margaret, seven children, 16 grandchildren and sister Mary Patricia Thomas. A traditional Catholic Latin Mass was celebrated at St. John Francis Regis Church with burial in the church cemetery.

The Dr. Mudd House is seeking docents. For information, contact Kate Taylor at 230fallriver@gmail.com.

Milestones

Happy birthday to Robert Koch, Jan. 15; Dolly Wood (VFW), Jan. 16; Nikial M. Boston, Jan. 17; Dennis Seaman and former St. Philip’s School Principal Linda Cullinan, Jan. 19; June Nicholson, Jan. 20; Gina Glagola Hull, Jan. 20; and my step-grandson Jason Shearer, Jan 22.

Happy 66th anniversary to Frank and Sharleen Kelly Cappella, on Jan. 15.