Supporting families of the fallen

By: Helen O’Neill

Joyce Johnson remembers the drums beating slowly as she walked with her girls from the Old Post Chapel, behind the horse-drawn caisson carrying the flag-draped casket of her husband.She remembers struggling to maintain her composure as she stared at his freshly dug grave, trying not to dwell on the terrible sight in the distance — the gaping hole in the Pentagon where he had so... READ MORE

When grown kids move back in

By: Carol Sorgen

Unlike many "empty nesters," Sharon and Craig Gendler were happy to send their two daughters out into the world and have their house — and their life — back to themselves."We liked it," said Sharon, 54, a former retailer who is now a legal assistant for her husband’s law practice. "We didn’t feel empty in the least."But today —... READ MORE

Old friends are best (at least once a year)

By: Bob Levy

Forty-eight years ago, I grasped my diploma, shook the principal’s hand and graduated from high school.It was a sun-splashed day in June. It felt as if sun would always splash.I said goodbye to my classmates and said I’d see them again soon. With a handful, I kept my promise. With most, I floated away — to another city for college, then another for most of my adult life.I... READ MORE

Sex, drugs and HIV after 50

By: Barbara Ruben

Ron Swanda turns 65 in April, a milestone birthday he never thought he’d celebrate.Diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago, the gay District of Columbia resident expected to die of AIDS long ago. But the advent of antiretroviral medications has kept the disease at bay.Ann Jones, 53, found out she was HIV positive just last February. Jones (not her real name), a resident of Landover, Md.,... READ MORE

Accidental innkeepers’ success

By: Carol Sorgen

For those who have harbored a secret fantasy of opening a quaint bed and breakfast (does the TV show “Newhart” ring a bell?), innkeeper Anne Pomykala gently offers these words of advice: “It’s alot of work. It’s not as romantic as you think.”That being said, the 72-year-old owner of the Gramercy Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Greenspring Valley, as well... READ MORE

Dance that breaks all the rules

By: Delia Sava

It is frequently said that modern dance “breaks all the rules.” Among those it apparently likes to break is the one that says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”How else to explain that not one, but two local modern dance companies — Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and Jane Franklin Dance — incorporate older dancers into their performances and even... READ MORE