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Morningside-Skyline column for Aug. 22

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Mary McHale

Published on: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By Mary McHale

Morningside VFD and County Fire Department clash over ambulance issues

The Morningside Volunteer Fire Department has been in the news this past week for a disagreement with the Prince George’s County Fire Department. I’ve even had a call from a reader asking me what’s going on — as if I would know.

Well, I got some information from a high-ranking county officer, and I read the excellent report on the Morningside VFD website. For those who are really interested, go to and you’ll get their story.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor will meet with Volunteer Chief Michael White to discuss the ambulance and staffing issues. This was announced Monday.

As for me, and most of us in the Morningside/Skyline community, we are grateful to have such excellent fire departments to help keep us safe. Years ago, Morningside firefighters showed up to put out a kitchen fire in my house. And once I was taken by ambulance, as was my husband Jack at another time, to Southern Maryland Hospital. In both cases, the ambulances came from other departments.

Baby Hay

Robert and Suzanne Hay, of Auth Village, have a grandson, James Robert, born Aug. 12 to Bobby and Megan Hay, of Alexandria. Not-so-little James weighed in at 10 pounds, 11 ounces, and is the brother of 3-year-old Anabella.


Former Morningsider Rose Hoffman registered her mother, Helen E. Pumphrey, in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc. when it was first organized and opened in 1997 at the western end of Memorial Drive at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery. Helen was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve Force from Sept. 3, 1918 to Sept. 2, 1920. 

Doug and Connie Sorensen, who are retiring as Directors of Music at St. John’s in Clinton, will be honored at St. John’s on Sept. 7. For information call the rectory at 301-868-1070 or Mary Ann King at 301-906-3228.

Get well wishes to Chester Lanehart.

Coming up

One of my favorite things, a retreat at Loyola on the Potomac, will be Sept. 13-15. Loyola is on a bluff overlooking the Potomac, surrounded by 235 acres of rolling woodland. I will be there. But not only Catholics attend these silent weekends, with time for reflection and inspiration. For information, contact Mike Stine at 301-868-4227 or Bill Malkowski at 301-423-0584.

Bells Church invites you to a Car Wash and Fish Fry on Aug. 31 sponsored by the United Methodist Men. The car wash begins at 8 a.m. and the fish fry at 11 a.m. For information about the fish fry, call Marlon Richardson at 301-437-7181.

Changing landscape

The Ranch House Restaurant, a popular and longtime fixture on Oxon Hill Road, has closed. I am mourning the loss of the last place I can get liver and onions. My husband loved their chocolate and key lime pies. If you have memories of the Ranch House, email me at

A new McDonald’s will be opening next to Cheddars in Brandywine Crossing.

The old headquarters at Joint Base Andrews has been demolished and is now replaced by the William A. Jones III building. The headquarters was built in 1946 and was home to many commands over the years.

May they rest in peace

Jane L. Cowan, 80, longtime resident of Morgan Road in Morningside, died May 31. She met her husband, Richard Cowan after she moved in around the corner, to Marianne Drive, in 1958. Richard, who had retired after 32 years in the military, helped establish the Air Force Sergeants Association on Auth Road. He was a weatherman for several TV stations and reported “from Morningside” for several TV stations. He died in 2004 after he and Jane had been married 33 years. Jane was the mother of two sons. I received an email from her daughter-in-law, Susan Becker, who told me about the memorial held for Jane in July at the Morningside Town Hall.

Harry Alexander Guy, Jr., 81, resident of Larches Court in Morningside and a sheet-metal mechanic with Dwyer, Inc. in Alexandria, died May 9. He served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1958 and was a member of the Waldorf Fire Department, Moose Lodge and Waldorf American Legion. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Bessie Padgett Guy, and his wife, Dorothy Linkous Padgett. He is survived by his sons Craig and Harry Guy; daughters Susan Simpson and Tina Kemper; sister, Betty Jameson; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and his companion, Ella May Cantrell. Burial was at the Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham.


Happy birthday to Joseph R. Maiden, Jr., on Aug. 23; my son Brian McHale, Aug. 25; Edith Hull, Aug. 26; Shirley Holmes, Chris Busky, William Fowler and twins Anthony and Avery Simmons, Aug. 27; and my daughter-in-law Michelle McHale, Aug. 29.

Happy 65th anniversary to Aubrey and Annetta Pridgen on Aug. 27.

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