Keeping up my end of the conversation

By Bob Levey
Posted on December 14, 2021

How does a marriage stay aloft for decades? Is it money that gets beneath its wings? Passion? Shared history? An agreement to fight only every other day? Well into my fifth decade of wedded bliss, I’d say it’s all of those. But I’d add the ingredient that my wife and I often cite, and chuckle over. We call it The Lauren Bacall Test. In her autobiography, the famed movie... READ MORE

Ideas for gift-giving this holiday season

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on December 09, 2021

The Bibliophile These three visually stunning coffee-table books embrace beauty inside and out, man-made and natural. They make perfect gifts for interior design enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, art collectors, nature lovers and armchair tourists. Life Unstyled: How to embrace imperfection and create a home you love, by Emily Henson, photographed by Debi Treloar, 160 pages, Ryland... READ MORE

Undocumented families spur first novel

By Robert Friedman
Posted on December 06, 2021

As a longtime public-school teacher in Montgomery County, Adriane Brown of Chevy Chase often worked with children of undocumented immigrants. Brown remembers one bright Central American boy who learned English in kindergarten and by first grade was a strong reader. “Then, in second grade, everything started falling apart,” Brown, 71, recalled in an interview with the Beacon.... READ MORE

Missing grade-school English teachers

By Bob Levey
Posted on November 10, 2021

Ah, those younger generations. So spry. So attractive. So positive. So presentable. And then they open their mouths. Out come the equivalents of chalk screeching across a blackboard. “Me and him, we went to the movies.” “He has less people working for him.” ‘She’s reverting back to the same mistakes she used to make.” “Learn me how to paint.” “Where is... READ MORE

Local writer, speaker lives the creative life

By Catherine Brown
Posted on November 08, 2021

When Yemaja Jubilee was 16 years old, she discovered a gift: writing poetry. “I wrote my first poem [at that age], called ‘Where Have All the Good Folk Gone? They Sure Ain’t Gone to No Heavenly Home,” said Jubilee, now a poet, playwright, inspirational speaker and life coach who lives in Richmond. “I used poetry as a means of speaking what was not allowed for me to say growing... READ MORE

Cookbooks for Thanksgiving and more

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on November 05, 2021

The Bibliophile Preparing meals from scratch has become popular during the pandemic. These books provide welcome ideas to home cooks of all levels of experience. Friends: The Official Cookbook, by Amanda Yee, 176 pages, Insight Editions hardcover, 2020 This large-format cookbook contains recipes that might have been prepared and served in the television series “Friends,” the... READ MORE

The Nighthawks celebrate five decades

By Katherine Mahoney
Posted on November 03, 2021

Maryland musician Mark Wenner remembers taking the bus to downtown Washington, D.C., in the 1950s and 60s to see blues legends — such as Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and James Brown — perform at the Howard Theater for $1. “I was spoiled rotten,” said Wenner, now 73. As a kid growing up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Wenner was also “addicted to the radio…D.C. had three African... READ MORE

Howie Awards honor artists, supporters

By Catherine Brown
Posted on October 20, 2021

When poet, writer and photographer Linda Joy Burke first arrived in Columbia, she was a 17-year-old college student and fledgling artist. She soon thrived by connecting with other artists and launching a career related to the arts. Burke, now 65, received a Howie Award for Outstanding Artist from the Howard County Arts Council in early October. Howie Awards are presented to local artists ... READ MORE

Camellias bloom in your autumn garden

By Lela Martin
Posted on October 13, 2021

Although I’m an advocate for native plants, there are desirable non-native shrubs that do well in central Virginia. In my own back yard, I’ve planted three species of camellia, which are native to Asia: the Japanese camellia or Camellia japonica; sasanqua or C. sasanqua; and the tea camellia or C. sinensis. Why do I love camellias? They are large, long-lived, evergreen shrubs with... READ MORE

Old-fashioned LPs ride wave of nostalgia

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on October 12, 2021

Richmonder Mark Lipscombe has around 4,000 vinyl records (which he keeps alphabetized) and a machine that cleans them. He visits Plan 9 Music in Carytown at least once a week to sift through the bins of records there to find more to buy. Lipscombe is one of many Plan 9 regulars who shun today’s high tech music platforms, preferring to listen to music from LPs played on a... READ MORE