Join the club — so many options in DC

By Margaret Foster
Posted on September 06, 2022

When Mano Malayanur first moved to America from India three decades ago, he struggled to meet people. Then he learned about a new club at the time, the Northern Virginia Hiking Club, which organized group hikes in the area. He joined one hike and has been a member of the club ever since. “It’s been fantastic. For me, as an immigrant to the U.S., when I joined the club, it helped me... READ MORE

Nonprofit helps clients succeed

By Catherine Brown
Posted on August 23, 2022

While working as a fashion consultant two decades ago, Howard County resident Jeannette Kendall had a realization that transformed her life. Her clients had clothing they no longer wanted. At the same time, people in crisis were struggling because they lacked professional clothing and the skills needed to get a job. With that a-ha moment in 2001, Kendall launched the nonprofit Success ... READ MORE

From war coverage to thrillers

By Robert Friedman
Posted on August 22, 2022

Baltimore-area spy novelist, Dan Fesperman, worked for 21 years at the Baltimore Sun as a reporter. During those years, he mostly covered Europe and the Middle East, traveling to 30 countries and covering three wars. He retired in 2005, after “I did all I wanted to do” in journalism, he told the Beacon, and turned his full-time attention to writing novels of intrigue and... READ MORE

Pianist not held back by stroke

By Stuart Rosenthal
Posted on August 01, 2022

Classical pianist, teacher and composer Haskell Small has an impish sense of humor. Visitors to his home in northwest D.C. may find what appears to be a small ice cream cone melting atop his piano’s keys, dripping off onto the floor. It’s a plastic party trick, but it frequently fools people. That sense of humor helped keep Small going through arduous physical therapy after a stroke... READ MORE

Survivor and self-taught painter

By Robert Friedman
Posted on July 19, 2022

Al Biegel escaped the Nazis in Vienna, where he was born, joined the U.S. Army, rose to the rank of colonel while engaging in combat during the Vietnam War, retired from the military after 25 years, then went on to serve another quarter of a century in the national intelligence community. Now 84 and an artist-teacher, Biegel is displaying several works from his “plein air” (outdoor... READ MORE

How stories help doctors, patients

By Robert Friedman
Posted on July 18, 2022

In a conference room at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, a group of doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists and other crucial caregivers take time out of their day to listen to a poem by W. H. Auden. The poem, “Surgical Ward,” is often recited by Lauren Small, a novelist, essayist, editor, teacher and assistant professor of pediatrics at Hopkins. The reading is part of... READ MORE

Senior Olympians go for gold

By Margaret Foster
Posted on July 05, 2022

Alexandria retiree Eva Sorensen, 98, and her daughter, Peg Moyer, 76, made an athletic pilgrimage together last spring. As they’ve done for the past decade, the two traveled to the National Senior Games — held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this year — and returned home with some shiny medals. “We’re pretty modest,” said Moyer, who with her softball team, the Fairfax-based... READ MORE

Recounting a TV journalist’s life

By Robert Friedman
Posted on June 20, 2022

Dear Mrs. Pagnotti,           Thank you for the recent letter informing me about your son Tony who is on TV in Asheville, North Carolina. I am sure, as you stated, he is a talented, hard-working and handsome reporter. However, there are no appropriate job opportunities for him at CBS at this time. I wish him the best of luck. Regards, Walter Cronkite, September 1976 In spite... READ MORE

Lawyer works to restore Chesapeake Bay

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on June 06, 2022

Peggy Sanner lives “in the woods” in Henrico County, but her heart is in the Chesapeake Bay. Sanner is the executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Virginia operations, headquartered in Richmond. She supervises 25 employees who work in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and Eastern Shore. (CBF’s main office is in Annapolis,... READ MORE

Write your memoir — with help

By Margaret Foster
Posted on May 31, 2022

Maryland teacher Dotty Holcomb Doherty never considered writing a book until her friend was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. “I don’t want to disappear, and I want my story to help someone else,” her friend told her. “Will you write my story?” Doherty, who had written for several area publications, started writing the story of her friend’s life and then, thanks to a... READ MORE