Over the years, the establishment went by many names, but most remember it as Crystal’s Skate Palace — a place where friends and family came together to let the good times roll. The rink was known for playing the best throwback jams, Go-Go music and current charting tunes.

And it is the largest roller-skating rink in Maryland!

It opened 37 years ago on the abandoned site of a closed department store. It’s been busy ever since for those who’ve skated for years and for the new skaters. And especially for the kids.

My next-door neighbors, John and Stacie Smith, longtime skaters, met at a rink in Waldorf or Clinton. But it closed; they got married and moved their skate nights to Temple Hills.

Here are a couple of reviews:

Kimberly J. said, “This rink is definitely retro. I felt like I was in the ‘90s. So nostalgic. The staff was friendly, the skates were in good condition, and the music was great.”

Amada B.: “ Literally nothing has changed. I feel like I’m in a time machine when I walk in.”

John and Stacy will have to move those skate nights to Seabrook Skate Center or Kalorama. But they’ll miss the Temple Hills Skate Palace. And what happens to the hundreds of kids who love it. Where will they go to use all that energy?

The Smiths are continuing to lobby to keep the Skate Palace open. They’d like to see Maryland Park & Planning get involved.

Town of Morningside

The Town will hold Election for two open Council Seats on Monday, May 3, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall.

The Annual Spring Clean-Up is coming up: Saturday May 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 16, 9 a.m. to noon. A free bag of mulch will be given each resident, while supplies last.

To have your church group, band, scouts, clowns, vintage fire truck or campaigner in the Morningside Independence Day Parade, contact Susan Mullins at 301-412-0135 or call the Town Hall.

McNamara invites you to golf

Bishop McNamara High School invites golfers to participate in the Mustang Cup Golf Tournament, Friday, June 18, at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville. Check-in 7:30, tee time 9. Food & drink included. For more information, go online to Mustang Cup Golf Tournament.

Also, they are seeking sponsors. Go to Melissa.AntonioHuara@bmhs.org.

La Reine High School due to be torn down!

But before the ball crashes into it, alumnae can attend The Last Chance Dance. Of the 3200 La Reine graduates between 1964 and 1992, the Facebook page has 1.2K members. Some will turn out on June 12 for the Last Chance Dance, which is not a dance, but a final opportunity to gather in the beautiful La Reine building before it’s demolished.

More about this unusual event in next week’s column.

They’re coming

The Washington Post says, “What is most important is what the cicada does not do. It does not bite or sting us, it is not poisonous to the touch, and it does not eat our plants, or give them disease, or cover our patios and outdoor furniture in foul secretions.”

What they do is make a lot of noise, and I look forward to their coming every 17 years.

Changing landscape

Make D.C. the 51st State? Some members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee spoke in a hearing on March 22, in favor of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s bill, which would do just that.

A two-story Silver Diner will open next spring on Half Street next to Nats Stadium, with an outdoor terrace overlooking Nationals Park. (I enjoy diners because they usually offer liver & onions and chicken-fried steak, two of my favorite dishes.)

uBreakiFix, an electronics repair shop in Brandywine, is open for business. They fix smartphones, tablets, computers, drones, hoverboards, game consoles—anything with a power button. Info: 301-782-4352.

A home on Maple Rd., in Morningside, just sold for $227,000.

Mary’s COVID-19 report

Seventeen more Marylanders have died of COVID-19, bringing the total of Maryland deaths to 8,303. And through April 1, at 5 p.m., the State has had 412,928 cases, of which 1,584 are new!

Gov. Hogan said all Marylanders 16 & up can soon register for an appointment at one of the State’s mass vaccination sites. He also suggested making an appointment at the first walk-up mass vaccination site in Salisbury, then do an Ocean City weekend!

May they rest in peace

  • Virgil Edward Click, 93, of Clinton, former owner of Virgil’s Sunoco Station in Suitland, died Sept 21, 2020. Survivors include wife Barbara, son Michael, daughter Bernidine, stepdaughters Joyce and Janet, grand- and great-children.
  • Francis Francois, 87, previously of Bowie, chief judge of the Orphan’s Court 1962-1966, member of the County Council 1971-1980, president of the National Association of Counties, Washingtonian of the Year, and a member of the Metropolitan Council of Governments, died of Covid Feb. 17 in Chicago where he had moved in 2013. His wife Eileen preceded him in death. He was the father of Joseph, Marie, Michael, Monica, and Susan, and a grandfather.
  • The Rev. Anthony “Big Tony” Lee, 52, former coach at Oxon Hill High and D.C. schools, and founder of Pillar of Truth Bible Church in Capitol Heights, died Jan. 4 of complications of Covid. He played football at Dunbar and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1991, worked for the D.C. Department of Employment Services and the United Planning Organization. But mostly he loved coaching. He and his wife Earline Lee have four daughters.


Happy birthday to Donna Wood, April 11; Darlie Fay Norton and Donald Brown Jr., April 13; Jean Osterkamp, Donald Brown Sr., Sarah Shipman, Autumn Williams and Fr. Jeffrey Samaha, April 14; Bill Ward, Eva Hay and Les Bornman, April 15; Tara Destiny Proctor, Edna Ducote and Wanda Brooke, April 16.

Happy anniversary to Chuck and Laura Smith Jenkins, their 45th on April 10; and to Tex and Rickie Beardmore, their 57th on April 11.