In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
by Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Surratt House displays seasonal decor, antique dolls and toys

Enjoy the holiday season as the country binds up its wounds after four long years of the Civil War. The Surratt House invites you to visit and enjoy the period decorations, the charm of antique dolls and toys, refreshments, and interaction with folks in period attire.

Receive a holiday discount in the excellent museum shop and sample cider and cookies.

The House will be open for tours Tuesday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 13 (except Dec. 7 and 8). Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: adults, $3; seniors, $2; and children $1.

The Surratt House Museum is at 9118 Brandywine Road in Clinton. For information, call 301-868-1121. The House will close for the season Dec. 15 through Jan. 15.

Santa comes to town

Morningside is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 12, 9 a.m. at the Town Hall (Santa arrives about 10:30). Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee.

Registration and payment ($3 per person) will be accepted at the Town Hall Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No one will be admitted without a reservation, as seating is limited.


Hazel Ball, of Skyline, is training to master a cane after a long period of being in a wheelchair and dealing with prosthesis. Part of her left leg was amputated some time ago. Say a prayer that she gets really good on that cane.

County Executive Baker delivered seasonal remarks at National Harbor’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 14.

Condolences to the family of Steve Ferralli, teacher and coach, who died Nov. 14 while awaiting a donor heart. I’ll pay tribute to him in next week’s column.

Oxon Hill Library closed for “facelift”

Oxon Hill Branch Library will close from Nov. 22 through Dec. 21 for new carpeting and other renovations. The email I received calls the closure a facelift.

Christmas with U.S. Army Concert Band

The Army Band will perform at the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting, 100 East Capitol Street N.E. in Washington, on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.

The Band will also perform at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. Tickets are free and available online at

Other things to do

The Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro will be open Nov. 27 to Jan. 1, 5:00 to 9:30 each night. Admission is $5. The multi-visit pass is $10; mini-bus or limo, $15. Free Christmas Day. When you go, bring canned goods for local food banks.

Winter is about ice-skating and ice hockey. Head for the Tucker Road Ice Rink. It offers public skating, classes, adult pick-up hockey, youth hockey teams, birthday parties, a warming room, and more. Call 301-265-1525 for information.

ICE! is back at National Harbor. It offers 2 million pounds of colorful ice sculptures and two-story ice slides. Also, Santa and scenes from a holiday classic come to life in this walk-through winter attraction. The Frostbite Faction has a live ice-carving zone. Tickets start at $28 for ages 12 and up; $20 for ages 3 to 11. Info: 301-965-4000.

Changing landscape

A granite memorial was dedicated, on Nov. 6 at Walker Mill Regional Park in District Heights, to the victims of a 2008 medical helicopter that crashed, killing four and seriously injuring another. The deceased were pilot Stephen Bunker, Trooper 1st Class Mickey Lippy, volunteer emergency medical technician Tanya Mallard and 17-year-old Ashley Younger who had been injured in an auto accident. The survivor is Jordan Wells who was in the auto accident with her friend Tanya. She attended the dedication along with family members of the victims. The site of the accident is a marked a short distace from the memorial.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, on the Mall, celebrated the completion of its exterior by turning its outside walls into a giant movie screen two days last week. The movie flitted from the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in 1865, to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The new museum will open to the public in about a year.

Weatherman Topper Shutt predicts we’ll have between 10 and 15 inches of snow this winter and the first measureable snowfall will be Jan. 17. Enjoy.

A sad time for the Colandrea family

Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, Andrew Colandrea and his family lived on Morgan Road in Morningside. He was a baker for Wonder Bread and a beloved coach for the Bowie Bulldogs. In fact, he had a fatal heart attack during coaching practice Sept. 27, 2007. His first wife, Peggy, had died in 1975.

His second wife, Carol, 73, died on Oct. 13. She lived in Lyons Creek, Md., and was retired from NASA. Survivors include nine children and stepchildren, and grandchildren.

Then on Nov. 1, his daughter-in-law, Janie Colandrea, 44, died of brain cancer.

Survivors include her husband David; three children, Jessie, Johnie and Devin; and two grandchildren. Janie was the sister-in-law of Holly Jean Nichols, formerly of Morningside.


Happy birthday to Arthur Rose, Nov. 27; Thomas Shipman, Sr., Nov. 28; Devin Kane Blade, Nov. 29; Karen Windsor, Alexis R. Paige, Ramona Britt and Patricia Branch, Nov. 30; Mary Doyle, Susan McKay and Jon Foster, Dec. 1; John Anthony, Jr., Vonn Branch and Tyonda Simms-Taylor, Dec. 2; Louise Lantz, Mary Straud and Sen. Mike Miller, Dec. 3.

Happy anniversary to Gary and Ivy Kline on Nov. 28.


A Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!


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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


Old Maryland Farm is an educational farm located in Watkins Regional Park at 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Call 301-218-6770; TTY 301-699-2554 for information to schedule birthday parties.  The farm also offers curriculum-based school programs for kindergarten thru grade 12, hayrides and farm programs.  The Park has year-round livestock displays donkey, ducks, rabbits, goats, chickens, cows, ponies and llamas.


New Hope Fellowship Parish Cancer Care Ministry, Rev. Constance C. Smith invites you to attend a Praise Service “In the Midst of a Storm” on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 4:00 PM.  The program will include New Hope Fellowship Choir, The Mighty Wonders, Special Guest Choirs, New Hope Fellowship Liturgical Dance and a Spoken Word of Cancer.  Light refreshments will be served.

Cancer Care Ministry Praise Service will be at our South Campus: Christ United Methodist Church, 22919 Christ Church Road, Aquasco, Maryland 20608.  There will be a free will offering.  For more information contact Shonnita Lee (202) 527-8598.  Email: nhf cancer care ministry @  Website: Hope Fellowship Md.


Audition to be part of the 2015 seniors on Stage Show being held in the spring at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts.  Please call for details or to register to audition.  Auditions are scheduled every 15 minutes.   Ages 60 & better; free at Prince George’s Ballroom.  Call 301-446-3400; 301-446-3402.


Friday November 27 thru Friday, January 1, 2016 from 5:00 PM-9:30 PM (Daily) come and see the spectacular holiday drive-through event at Watkins Regional Park.  This year there will be more than one million lights.

Fee is cash only, $5 for cars and vans; $15 mini-buses and limos; $25 buses; $10 multi-visit passes for cars and vans.  There is no cost December 25.  Please bring a canned good to donate to local food banks.  Visit for details.  Telephone number is 301-699-2456:  TTY 301-699-2544.


CAFÉ NEW HOPE Nottingham Myers Campus celebrated their 148th church anniversary  (“Growing Forward”) on Sunday, November 15, 2015.  Narrator was Alicia Johnson; Liturgist was Bridgette Contee Simons.  Guest speaker was Rev. Dr. Walter Middlebrooks, former Pastor of Nottingham Myers.  Musical selections by New Hope Fellowship Choir.  We also had the pleasure of having Senator Mike Miller of Maryland, friends and family members to attend our anniversary service. 

Nottingham Myers United Methodist Church is an out-growth of the “Old Salem’ meeting house which sat on the banks of the Patuxent River at Nottingham during the early to mid-1800s.




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