Ever-changing artwork, powered by the sun

By Diane York
Posted on March 11, 2020

A friend of mine recently sent me a TED Talks video filmed in Vienna. It displayed gorgeous light studies in vivid shades of green, blue, red and yellow — very fluid, alive and ephemeral. I was amazed to learn they were created from sunlight and that they changed throughout the day following the movement of the earth. I was also surprised to find out that the internationally known... READ MORE

Late-life artist relishes challenge

By Margaret Foster
Posted on March 03, 2020

For most of his life, Allan Akman has dabbled in art. The 77-year-old Rockville resident spent his 33-year career as a military consultant, but on nights and weekends, he painted using watercolors and oils. When he retired in 2009, Akman had a long “bucket list” of things to do, books to read and places to visit. But he became captivated by one of the first items on the list:... READ MORE

Alice McDermott on life and faith

By Robert Friedman
Posted on February 18, 2020

On a gray afternoon this winter, novelist Alice McDermott paused for a pint of Guinness at the Irish Inn in Glen Echo, Maryland, to chat with a reporter about, among other things, life, literature and what it means to be an American. “What makes all Americans Americans, regardless of the hyphenation, is that they are from someone, or are someone, who left [their home], whether for... READ MORE

Changing the ways we think about aging

By Margaret Foster
Posted on February 17, 2020

What does it mean to age “successfully”? Does it mean remaining physically fit and bustling about the gym into our 90s? Being able to volunteer to help others around you? Does it mean you’re retired and surrounded by grandkids? Or simply that you’re happy to still be alive? These are the kinds of questions that concern Tracey Bobrowitz Gendron, associate professor and chair of ... READ MORE

Preserving local black history

By Glenda C Booth
Posted on February 05, 2020

The little half-acre cemetery with 75 graves, in the shadow of a five-story office building with shiny turquoise windows, is barely visible to drivers whizzing by on Fairfax County’s six-lane Beulah Street. Cement tombstones with hand-lettered inscriptions have been worn down by time. On one, the name “Moses Harris” is barely legible. Another, bearing a cross, notes the passing of... READ MORE

Facing a painful part of the past

By Ivey Noojin
Posted on January 27, 2020

Almost 90 years after a man was hanged by a mob in Maryland, residents of Howard County have begun an effort to remember the victims of lynching in the area. “The legacy still influences us,” said Will Schwarz, president and founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project (MLMP), which he established in 2018. The nonprofit is dedicated to remembering the victims of lynching and... READ MORE

Unique club’s place in history

By Ivey Noojin
Posted on January 27, 2020

Twenty-one years ago, a Vietnam veteran returned to his home of Baltimore to “give back” to his community. That was when Kaleb Tshamba, now 70, joined the Arch Social Club, first established in 1905. “Social clubs always build the community up,” said Tshamba, the club’s de facto historian, who is writing a book about its early history. For generations, the Arch Social Club,... READ MORE

Reinvigorating a historic cemetery

By Glenda C Booth
Posted on January 15, 2020

The dense, dark woods in Richmond’s East End are a jungly tangle of weeds, kudzu vines, English ivy, dead limbs and leaves. This untamed thicket is part of the city’s historic African American cemetery, Evergreen. Founded in 1891, when cemeteries were segregated by race, Evergreen was considered “equivalent” to Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery in the west end, where U.S.... READ MORE

Never too old to rock and roll

By Michael Doan
Posted on January 08, 2020

On a recent autumn day in Alexandria, a group of singers belted out the 1966 Motown hit “You Keep Me Hanging On,” swaying to the rhythm, bobbing their heads, smiling and shouting loudly at the end of the song. Is this a reunion of the Supremes? Maybe a young tribute band mimicking these great singers? Well, no. In fact, you see a few canes, hearing aids and lots of white hair among... READ MORE

Beloved waitress writes fiction

By Diane Carliner
Posted on December 30, 2019

Everyone in Baltimore, it seems, knows Peachy. Leonora “Peachy” DePietro Dixon has waited tables at Sabatino’s restaurant in Little Italy since 1974. (She received her childhood nickname for her peaches-and-cream complexion.) With a wide circle of friends from all over Baltimore and celebrity acquaintances, she is well known for her warm-heartedness. Among the famous people... READ MORE