Supporting families of the fallen

By Helen O’Neill
Posted on March 09, 2011

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
Posted on February 16, 2011

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
Posted on February 08, 2011

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
Posted on February 08, 2011

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
Posted on January 24, 2011

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
Posted on January 07, 2011

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

Making those hairy decisions

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on December 23, 2010

Does your hair make you want to dye? Or wig out?Sure, there are worse things in life. But as we age — whether it’s thinning hair, graying hair or lost hair — those bad hair days just seem to multiply.The FDA says two out of five women color their hair. While there do not appear to be national statistics on men who touch up or dye their hair, a walk down any... READ MORE

Making their mark with body art

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on December 06, 2010

Once considered the domain of bikers and sailors on shore-leave sprees, tattoos have gone positively mainstream.And not just among the younger crowd. A 2008 Harris poll reported that about 20 percent of adults between the ages of 40 and 64 now have one or more tattoos.Why? People are just becoming more comfortable and curious about body art, say tattoo artists and researchers... READ MORE

Finding a job takes pluck, luck

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on November 19, 2010

When Andrew Der lost his job nearly two years ago, he was, understandably, devastated. "I'd been working professionally for 25 years," said the former director of environmental services for a consulting company in Shady Grove. "I felt horrible."After the initial shock and blow to his ego wore off, Der, then 55, didn't worry too much about finding another... READ MORE

Do-it-yourself publishing arrives

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on November 01, 2010

The brutal rape and murder of one of his students at George Washington University’s business school haunted Charles Toftoy.Because he couldn’t put the gruesome crime out of his mind, Toftoy wrote a thriller in which a fictional professor and part-time sleuth tries to solve the murders of four Washington, D.C. undergraduates.“I had never thought about writing... READ MORE