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Hyattsville column for Aug. 15

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Peggy Dee

Published on: Wednesday, August 14, 2013

By Peggy Dee

National Night Out

The rain held back and a great time was had by all at Hyattsville’s annual National Night Out on Aug. 6.  The Positive Vibrations provided terrific Caribbean beats that got so many dancing. The fun-filled game of “dunk the police chief” seem to draw a lively crowd. Considering that the police chief takes part each year in the “January Plunge,” being dunked in August would seem mild to him.

The annual event was started 30 years ago and it was originally considered a “take back the streets from crime” night.  I remember vividly when it started and residents were asked to turn their porch lights on during that evening. The event has grown, and it is considered a national happening.

Summer block party

The residents of the 4200 block of Longfellow Street had an enjoyable time at their block party Aug. 3.  They hope to have it again next year and hope that more residents of the surrounding areas will attend.

Back to the gridiron

Best of luck to the DeMatha Catholic High School football team! The Stags were ranked high on a recent national poll.

The old 82 line streetcar

Thanks to everyone who called me regarding the video of the old 82 streetcar line. It was so much fun talking over old times. I grew up in Northeast Washington, D.C., and we took that streetcar out to Maryland. There was the 82 Mt. Rainier line and the 82 Branchville line. We came out to the old Cameo Movie Theatre on 34th Street in Mt. Rainier and rode the 82 to the terminal in Mt. Rainier, where the line ended, and walked up 34th Street to the Cameo.  The Branchville line came further out and ended on Rhode Island Avenue in College Park. The Branchville line traveled along the old streetcar right of way, which was below Route 1. We remember getting off the car and walking up to the old Hyattsville Movie Theatre on Baltimore Avenue.

Several callers, who worked downtown, used this line to get to and from work. It was called Potomac Park on the inbound. One family had five sons who all attended DeMatha Catholic High School. They rode the car to Madison Street and walked up the hill to school. I often think of walking down the hill to see the old streetcar right of way. However, I am sure that it is an overgrown wooded area today, with the tracks long gone, but for many of us, the old memories are still there.   

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