Ruth Sanford is turning 95! And she has lived most of her life in the same house in Morningside.

I checked Morningside Directories: “Ruth Ferguson” was at 503 Allies Road in 1952. “Ruth Sanford” was at that address in 1955. “RM Sanford” was at 4503 Allies in 1993. “Ruth Sanford” was at 4503 Allies in 2011.

Ruth was born in Burke’s Garden, Va., daughter of Oscar and Beulah Lambert. When she was four, the family moved to Loudon County where she graduated from Herndon High School.

In 1944 she married James Ferguson; three years later they moved to Allies Road in Morningside. They became parents of four, Richard (decd.), Linda, Margie and Janet. In 1951, James died in a fiery car crash. The tragic accident made page 1 of The Enquirer-Gazette.

Ruth later married Arthur Sanford who brought two children to the marriage, Ray and Judy. Later they had son David (decd.). Arthur died in 1964.

Ruth was a housewife and babysitter for her neighbors until she went to work for Amtrak. She retired in the early ‘90s. She was an excellent seamstress, enjoyed writing poetry and attending Morningside Senior events. She frequently called me with family news.

She was a loyal member of Morningside Baptist Church (now, Suitland Road Baptist) where she sang in the choir.

Every year, come Morningside elections, she was an Election Judge. They’ll miss her service this year.

In May 2017 she moved to an assisted-living home in Boonsboro, Md., in Washington County, at the foot of South Mountain, near Frederick County and Antietam National Battlefield. Population, 3,336.

According to her daughter Linda Sandoval (who provided her mom’s story), Ruth is doing remarkably well for 95. And, she still enjoys reading and crocheting.

Happy birthday, Ruth! I miss your phone calls.

Neighbors & other good people

Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam has been waiting for weeks to return to Eritrea, in eastern Africa, where he is Head of the Eritrean Catholic Church. Flights in or out of Eritrea are currently not allowed. In the meantime, he is staying at the guesthouse of the convent of the Daughters of St. Anne in Skyline.

Jimmie Dean Salvatore, long-standing faithful member and handy man at Bells U.M. Church, died July 1 in College Park. He was 66.

Azanaa Hutchison of Camp Springs and Yolande Thompson of District Heights have been named to the Dean’s List at Hood College, in Fredrick, Md., for the spring 2020 semester.

Email me ( with news about your graduates.

Missing pet ads on “Nextdoor Town of Morningside”

Paula Anderson, of Hillcrest Heights, wrote “My dog Mars has been missing now for 3 months. … I will always hope that he comes back home where he is really loved.” The item includes a photo of Mars.

Paula Anderson, of Silver Hill, responded, “I completely understand. I pray he is returned to you. I too am missing my orange Tabby cat for well over a month. A pet is a part of your family and it hurts when they come up missing.”

Changing landscape

Hovermale’s, in Fort Washington since 1954, is now open Tuesday through Sunday. Get your soft vanilla-and-chocolate swirl cone now!

The National Zoo is now open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Panda House is closed, although Tien Tien and Mei Xizng might be visible in their yards. Visitors 6 & up must wear masks. Admission is free. Timed-entry passes required but can be reserved through the Smithsonian’s website ( up to 30 days in advance. A limited number of walk-up passes may be available after 1 p.m.

Bengies Drive-In Theater is open for business and they show triple features. They are located in Middle River, Md. Go online for COVID-19 rules, movies and phone number.

Thefts from vehicles, County’s #1 preventable crime

Thieves are stealing phones, purses, gym bags, sunglasses, tools and more from your car while you gas up. Prevent theft by locking your car. Take with or hide your stuff. And call 911 if you see something.

Margaret Harden, worked for Census

Margaret Ann Harden, 68, who had a career at the Census Bureau, died June 12. She graduated from St. Patrick’s Academy in Washington and worked at the Navy Yard before Census.

She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph W. and Kathleen M. Harden, formerly of Hillcrest Heights. Survivors include siblings Joseph, Patrick, James, and Kathleen Harden and Mary Foster, niece and nephews, aunts Mary Margaret McMahon and Sister Rose Marie Canty, CSC. Services were at Kalas in Oxon Hill Milestones

Happy birthday to Carolyn Dade, Aug. 1; Chris Webb, Cornel Gotshall, Samantha Wade, Aug. 3; Victoria Levanduski, Laura Cook and Sallee Bixler, Aug. 4; Miss Bailey Sparks, GeGe Feeney, and my granddaughter Rose Seidman, Aug. 5; Markeyce Herring and Connie Kimbles, Aug. 6; and Mary Dean, Aug. 7.

Happy anniversary to Denis and Donna Wood on Aug. 7.