John and Sheila Mudd and their kids, Leah, Sam and Claire, were returning from the Mudd family reunion in Charles County the evening of Friday, June 28, when on the Beltway near Landover a speeding car slammed into the back of their Toyota Sienna minivan after sideswiping another car. The van went into a spin and smashed into the jersey wall.

They were all wearing seat belts, even Sam in the third seat in back.

Dozens (it seemed) of airbags activated. Three of the family members were unconscious. Sheila, my daughter, remembers nothing of the accident; she woke up at the hospital.

They were well treated at University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center, which was already working with victims of other accidents. Leah — who was celebrating her 25th birthday that day — suffered a cracked bone, and Sheila needed 10 stitches in her forehead.

They’re all home now, recovering from concussions, bruises and sore backs.

The speeder, who had to be extricated from his Toyota Camry, was hospitalized. I don’t know if he’s still there. I don’t know what he’s going to be charged with.

The Mudds’ van was totaled. I asked John what he’s going to replace it with. He said the same make and model of the Toyota Sienna — its safety features probably saved their lives.

Neighbors and other good people

Jim Behr of Oxon Hill and Wayne Gordon of District Heights were among the watchers at the Morningside Independence Day Parade. They are regular readers of this column, and it’s always good to meet my readers.

Darryl Kelley of Camp Springs was ordained a deacon at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on June 20. He preached and assisted at Mass for the first time at St. Philip’s on June 23.

Sylvia Green is president of the Oxon Hill Food Pantry. Other officers are Yvonne Davis, vice-president; Betty Cottrell, secretary; Brenda Garland, treasurer; and Therese Kince, assistant treasurer. The pantry is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

How can I go to bat for Mike?

Michael Polley grew up in Morningside, graduated from the University of Maryland, worked for the Smithsonian and headed the Morningside Recreation Council. He was one of my Cub Scouts when I was den mother and one of my husband Jack’s players when Jack coached softball.

Mike died of cancer at 25. We petitioned for the new park next to Skyline School to be named in his honor, and so it was.

Now I notice the sign on Suitland Road, directing you to the park, has Mike’s name misspelled: Michael Polly Park. I’ll do something about it. I have to go to bat for Mike.

Coming up

• A health fair — providing blood pressure screening, fitness workouts and other health information — is scheduled for Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Suitland Road Baptist Church. The Mama and Baby Bus will be on site providing basic maternal and child health services. All are welcome. Call the Rev. Kelvin M. McCune, pastor, at 301-219-2296, for more information.

• St. Philip’s annual Crab Feast will be held in the Social Hall at St. Philip’s, Aug. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call the Rectory, 301-423-4244.

• “I Spy” is coming July 24 to Aug. 15 at Darnall’s Chance Museum in Upper Marlboro. Kids, ages 6-12, can learn real 18th century spying techniques during a role-playing interactive spy mission for Gen. George Washington. They’ll find out how the Continental Army successfully outwitted the British with secret codes and other tricks to win American independence. “I Spy” is a 30 to 45 minute activity and will be held Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Info: 301-952-8010.

• The Surratt House is now taking registration for its September John Wilkes Booth Tours, Sept. 14, 21 and 28. Call 301-868-1121 to be placed on a mailing list to receive full details at that time.

Changing landscape

Marco’s Pizza has opened at 8809 Woodyard Road in Clinton. For information about hours, call 240-846-3630.

My great-nephew Robert was in town with his dad, Matthew Crowe, and the first thing he wanted to see in Washington was the new Fossil Hall at the Museum of Natural History. He declared it amazing and “the best.” It opened June 8 and has been very popular — you know, everyone loves those dinosaurs.

Locks loved the ‘The Golden Girls’ and the Redskins

Gladys Locks, 90, longtime Pentagon employee, died May 18. She was born in Newberry, S.C., the oldest girl of 18 children. She attended and played basketball in the Newberry County schools and came to Washington in 1948 where she began working in the food industry.

She married the late Andrew Locks and they had eight children, two of whom preceded her in death. Every year she traveled to family reunions and church homecomings in South Carolina.

She lived for some years in Skyline with her daughter, Joaquina, and attended the annual Night Out picnic at Skyline School. Five daughters, a son, 23 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, eight great-great grandchildren and three siblings survive her. Her funeral was at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church where she had been a member for more than 50 years. Burial is at Washington National Cemetery.


Happy birthday to Jean Ihrig and Timothy Hollowsky, July 5; Chrissy Bennett and Marie Golihew, July 6; Father Kevin Cusick, Charles “Tony” Haley, Sue Richards and the Rev. Kelvin McCune, July 7; Jimmy Gromen and Anthony Curcio‑Bobbitt, July 8; Karlyn Davis, John Anthony III and my grandson, Zachary Seidman, July 9; my daughter, Elaine Seidman, July 10; Kevin Kline, Nicole Wade, Dee (Curcio) Brown and Dave Williams Jr., July 11.

Also, 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 Police Chief Stephen Armhold, July 17; Allyssa Frederick and former Morningside Council Member Russell Butler, July 18.

Happy 44th anniversary to Dave and Carolyn Williams on July 11.