Plans for a new Suitland High School continue, especially now that the school system has an architect, Cox Graae + Spack Architects. Cox Graae is known for designing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and has worked on Eastern High and Washington Theological Union in D.C. and The Madeira School in McLean, Va.

As plans develop, Drew Freeman Middle School, adjacent to Suitland High, will be considered for options. The two schools are now considered one campus.

I remember when Drew Freeman was La Reine High School, which my four daughters attended. La Reine was a girls’ school, founded by the Bernardine Sisters of St. Francis in 1960. It closed, with falling numbers, in 1992 when Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville went co-ed.

By the way, I wonder if Suitland High has reunions coming up. Let me publicize them. Call 301-735-3451. Years ago, Suitland was the high school that teens in Morningside and Skyline attended.

Kids can learn about spying in the 18th century

“I Spy” is coming soon to Darnall’s Chance Museum. Kids ages 6-12 can learn real 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 available Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 24 through Aug. 15. Drop in between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations not required, but for information, call 301-952-8010. Darnall’s Chance is at 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive in Upper Marlboro.

Neighbors and other good people

The Rev. Charles McCann, former pastor of St. Philip’s and currently in residence at St. John’s in Clinton, was expected to fly June 30 to his native Northern Ireland. However, he has applied for U.S. citizenship and had an interview in Baltimore. With that green card he can easily come back and visit us yearly.

John and Emily Tierney, who’ve lived in Camp Springs since 1958, have moved to a senior community in Annapolis. They will be greatly missed here!

My son, John, and his wife, Michelle, have opened their home to eight exchange students over the past eight years. Now they are in Europe visiting four of those girls: Celine in Switzerland; Mimi in Milan, Italy; Gabi in Krakow, Poland; and Sarah in Munich, Germany. Traveling with them are their daughters Samantha and Sarah who are delighted to visit with their exchange friends.


John Chaplin Jr., grandson of Juanita and the late Emanuel Chaplin of Skyline and son of John and Nicole Chaplin, graduated May 31 from St. Charles High School in Waldorf. He plans to continue his education at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Call me at 301-735-3451 with news of your graduate.

Changing landscape

Work continues on the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services headquarters near the Branch Avenue Metro. It’s due to open in 2020.

The Surratts-Clinton Library has closed (sob! sob!) for a $5 million renovation, “turning it into a 21st-century facility.”

The 3.3 inches of rain that fell in a single hour on July 8 is the most ever measured in the Metro area. The deluge unloaded 3 billion gallons of water on Washington and caused major flooding. However, flooding was not a problem in my neighborhood.

I am seeing a lot of house sales in Skyline. Recent ones include two on Reamy Drive, and one each on Elmendorf, Maria and Skyline Drive.

Coming up

• A health fair — providing blood pressure screening, fitness workout and other health information — is scheduled for Aug. 3, 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 Dr. Kelvin M. McCune, pastor, at 301-219-2296, for more information.

• Morningside will celebrate Annual National Night Out on Aug. 6, beginning at 6 p.m. These evening picnics are an opportunity to build and improve the relationship between the police department as well as neighbor-to-neighbor relationships throughout the county.

• St. Philip’s annual Crab Feast will be held in the Social Hall at St. Philip’s, Aug. 3, 1 to 5 p.m. For information or to volunteer, email

• The Surratt House is taking registrations 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.

Morningside Memories: 30 years ago

VFW Post 9619, the Village Barn and the Morningside Sportsmen threw a fundraising extravaganza for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Aug. 27, 1989, on the grounds of the VFW and Village Barn. The afternoon included band concerts, dancing, face-painting, dunk tanks, an auction and plenty of food and drink.

Dave Williams, one of several chairman, thanked those who helped chair, including Roger Tillman, Andi Hutchison, Mary Frances Butler and Marshall Carson. More than $3,500 was raised.


Happy birthday to Mike Fowler Sr. and Eddie Hall, July 19; Donna Buchin, Dorothy Gessner and Tina Nichols, July 20; Mary Hay and Jeff Frederick, July 21; Ryan Simms and David Cook, July 22; Virginia Price, July 23; Angela Surratt, July 24; Bill Curcio and Tom DeGraba, July 25.

Happy anniversary to my daughter Sheila and John Mudd, their 29th on July 20; Percy and Barbara Crawford, their 47th on July 22; and Steve and Tessie Johnson, their 19th on July 22.