How could it happen? Valentine’s Day has come and gone without Sharper’s! The family closed its doors after more than 100 years at the corner of Brinkley Road and St. Barnabas Road.

“To our valued customers” begins the announcement:

“Thank you for the privilege of your business for over 100 years.

“Your support and loyalty has allowed Sharper’s to service many of you and your family members for a lifetime. We are truly grateful to have been able to convey your well wishes, congratulations, affection and sympathy through flowers.

The time has now come for our family to retire and embark on a new journey. We wish all of you health and happiness and thank you again for your patronage over the years.”

Signed, “With love, the Sharper family.”

One of the Sharper ads: “John Sharper Inc. Florist is a family-owned and operated business dating back to the early 1900s. We are a full-service florist so we can deliver next door to your home, the other side of the country and around the world.”

The announcement had well more than 100 comments, such as:

Mary Ann: “When I lived in Fort Washington, Sharper’s was the place to go. My husband and my family have shopped there for at least three generations.”

Patrick: “I would drive by five florist shops to purchase from your establishment.”

Sherri: “Probably the oldest continuously operating business in Oxon Hill.”

Maria: “Where do we go now?”

And my personal comment: What will happen to the iconic Sharper’s sign?

Neighbors & other good people

Congressman Steny Hoyer graduated from Suitland High School in 1957. (I like to see local people make it big.) I appreciate seeing him on the floor of Congress these days. But, what I personally remember is that back in about 1980 he knocked on my door. He told me he was running for office and asked me to vote for him. And told me why. I’ve been here since 1958 and never had another candidate knock on my door.

Fr. Charles Luckett has transferred from St. Mary’s Church in Upper Marlboro to Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Chaptico.

Donna Reed Duckett, of Clinton, died Jan. 31. She grew up in Morningside, one of the seven children of Albert and Jean Reed, of Larches Court. Her parents and brother Dwight Reed predeceased her. Survivors include daughter Kellie, son John, and two grandchildren.

Condolences to Angelo Meoli, a longtime resident of Auth Village, on the death of his brother Dominic Meoli, of Berwyn, Pa., on Dec. 17. Ange had just suffered the death of his wife Marlyn in September. It’s been a hard time for him.

Changing landscape

Move FBI Headquarters to Maryland? That issue is back in the news. The current building was completed in 1975 and has, according to a Post editorial, a “crumbling façade, inadequate security, antiquated infrastructure and inadequate square footage.”. One of three new locations under consideration is the site of the former (and once glorious!) Landover Mall. Stay tuned.

The Washington Post Magazine has a featured story, “Is D.C. Finally on the Brink of Statehood?” They think so: “Maybe, just maybe, it could actually happen.”

Esperanza Chicken & Grill is hosting its Grand Opening in the Clinton shopping center.

Lent began Feb. 17. When I was a child I gave up candy. What am I going to give up now?

Is Valentine’s Day over?

It may be too late, but you could call 301-372-6690, and see. Because for Valentine’s Day, Ed’s Plant World in Brandywine was advertising their Be Mine Bundle for $27.95: 1 dozen roses, 1 box of chocolates, 1 balloon and 1 Valentine.

If it’s too late now, you might consider the offer next February.

Coronavirus report

As of Feb. 9, 5 p.m., Maryland had had a total of 365,529 cases and 976 new cases the day before. There have been 7,413 deaths, with 41 yesterday.

I’m still here and have had no bad effects from my shot last week. On Feb. 25 I’ll have the 2nd shot.

Maryland had administered 634,055 doses as of Feb. 6.

It looks like CVS and Walgreens in Clinton may be taking reservations.

Bill Hartman, Crossland grad

William “Bill” Hartman, 67, who grew up in Morningside, died Feb. 4 at his home in Columbia. He was the son of John and Mayme (or Mary) Hartman who lived at 6206 Suitland Road, according to the 1952 Morningside Directory. They were among Morningside’s earliest residents.

Bill was a 1971 graduate of Crossland HS where he played varsity baseball. In 1980 he married Joyce Zanelotti. He had a successful 26-year career in sales, many friends and hobbies. He spent countless days coaching on the field—especially for son Tim--or cheering in the stands.

After retiring, Bill and Joyce moved to Delaware to fulfill their dream of living at the beach.

Bill is predeceased by his parents and siblings John, Edward and Mary Hartman. He’s survived by his wife of 40 years, Joyce, son and daughter-in-law Timothy and Bridgid, three grandchildren, and sister Janet Farina. Services were at Sacred Heart Church in Glyndon, Md.

Mary Parks, one of eleven

Mary Schoenbauer (Hite) Parks, 98, of Camp Springs, died Dec. 23. She was born in Washington, one of 11 children. She was the beloved wife of the late Francis Schoenbauer and of the late Warren Parks.

She spent her later years at Charlestown Senior Living in Catonsville and was an avid bridge player well into her 90s.

She was the mother of Ron (deceased), John, Tom and Debbie, stepmother of Bill and Tim (both deceased). Grandmother of many. Survived by brothers Aubrey, Richard and Jerry and sister Nancy.

A memorial service will be held for Mary in Summer 2021. Donations in her name may be made to Children’s Hospital.


Happy birthday to Melissa Harnes and Paul Bornman, Feb. 20; Ray Short Jr., Feb. 21; Larry Miller, Feb. 24; Kevin Gray, Feb. 25; Angela Hutchinson and Thomas “TJ” Flaherty, Feb. 27.

Happy anniversary to Clifford and Nancy Lantz on Feb. 26. And Happy 20th birthday to Wikipedia. What would we do without it?