Colony South Hotel in Clinton has changed hands. On behalf of the Chiaramonte family, President Michael Chiaramonte wrote a letter thanking the community, guests and employees “as we sell the Colony South Hotel.”

He gave some background for the sale: “A few years ago when MedStar Health acquired Southern Maryland Hospital, they expressed interest in completing their health campus by purchasing the Colony South Hotel.” This transfer took place back in February 2020.

He continues, “We have been honored to serve our fellow Prince Georgians, as well as guests from the greater Washington area and beyond for the past 30 years. We feel especially privileged to have celebrated so many milestones with so many fine people.”

Over the years, I’ve attended some of those special milestones at Colony South, including the wedding reception of our daughter Sheila and John Mudd. I’ve enjoyed many Surratt Society banquets as well as good lunch buffets and dinners in the Wayfarer Restaurant.

The new owner, Capital Plaza Hotel, has big shoes to fill.

Neighbors & other good people

Congratulations to Prince George’s County’s State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy on receiving The Daily Record’s 2020 “Leadership in Law” Award.

Father Michael Moran, SMA, has been appointed administrator of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Seat Pleasant. He comes to the position from Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation, Chillum.

Jack Flaherty is graduating from the Maryland State Police Training School and will be stationed in La Plata. He’s the son of Terrence and Cherry Flaherty and the grandson of Jill Flaherty, formerly of Elmendorf Drive in Skyline.

Changing landscape

I made one of my rare (because of the virus) trips into Suitland last week and saw the beginnings of Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center, a 25-acre neighborhood just across Suitland Road from the Census Bureau, NOAA and other federal buildings. The master plan calls for residential, retail, a cultural arts building and a walking trail. The trail will be a loop of the sidewalk system, shaded by canopy trees and connected to the three or four planned parks.

St. Barnabas Plaza, 3650-3676 St. Barnabas Road, has made improvements: new storefront framing, new roof, new 5-ton HVAC system, parking lot resurfacing, exterior light fixtures, new store front signage, exterior painting of store front and new landscape bed and planters.

B Thrifty shop has opened at the former Value Village site in Allentown Mall. To deliver donations, take your turn around the left side of the building.

Reopenings

The Museum of the Bible, 400 4th St SW, is opening for the first time since March. “Thou shalt wear a face mask” is one of the Museum’s “Covid Commandments.”

The International Spy Museum, 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, has also reopened. The Museum provides a “spy gadget,” or stylus, for use with touch screens, elevator buttons and any other surface that might spread germs.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, is now allowing visitors to explore the farm, gardens and outbuildings. The museum is open but the mansion and theaters remain closed.

Outdoor swimming pools opened July 1 in Prince George’s County. A Parks Direct account is required to make a reservation. Info: https://bit.ly/2YIUDuN.

Request for baby boy clothing

More boys have been born here lately and the Forestville Pregnancy Center, at Marlow Heights, has issued a request for boys’ clothing. The Center reported that most clothing they’ve been receiving have been “really cute girl clothes.” Boys’ togs are needed for newborns to 6 months. If you can donate, call 301-423-0042. “Our babies thank you for your generosity and so do we!”

Remember WPGC-AM Morningside?

It was the call name for radio station WPGC when we moved here in 1958. I kept looking for its transformer, or something.

The truth of the matter is, when the Federal Communications Commission licensed the station in 1954, “Morningside” was added to the call numbers. According to an article by Judy Colbert in the now defunct Prince George’s Magazine, “The long-forgotten person, who was granted this license, broadcast from a garage on a hill off Suitland Road. He needed a city for the application and Morningside was the closest.”

WPGC licensed its FM station in 1959 and by that time the transmitter had been moved to District Heights.

Lou Coppola played for 9 presidents

Louis “Lou” Coppola, 82, an accordion player and Air Force chief master sergeant who led The Air Force Strolling Strings ensemble, died April 20 at his home in Falls Church.

I well remember attending banquets at Andrews and dining to the sweet sounds of the Strolling Strings. And I remember the Coppola Accordion Studio on Piscataway Road in Oxon Hill.

Lou played for nine presidents and, on the side, ran his own strolling band, The Stereo Strings. For 44 years, he played weekly at Fort Myer Officers’ Club.

He’s survived by his former wife, Rose-Marie Bruno Coppola, sons Kevin and John and three grandchildren.

He said he wasn’t sure he even wanted to play the accordion. “It was only because my mother told me if I didn’t like the accordion after a month, I could quit. The only problem was, I forgot to stop.”

Milestones

Happy birthday to former Morningside Councilman Kevin Kline, Nicole Wade, Dee (Curcio) Brown and Dave Williams Jr., July 11; Kenard Simms, July 13; Laverne Peggy Simms, Krista Lanehart and Laura (Thompson) Hoffmann, July 14; 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 of Police Stephen Armhold, July 17.

Happy 45th anniversary to Dave and Carolyn Williams on July 11.