Posted by: A Part of the Solution | February 24, 2010

Alma Mater

Because of those six degrees,  I run into people from my past or connected to my past all the time. While living in Takoma Park, a small town on the edge of a big city, I expected to run into people I knew when I walked the dog, bought groceries, went to the post office, ate out &tc. Though I’m a private person, I’d worked at the Co-op there and written features for the Takoma Voice–this increased my visibility across town. And it was a facet of my daily life I gave up when I decided to leave town.

My political p.o.v. is far left of center. The farm manager impressed upon me that beyond ‘Berkeley East’ (also called Tacky Park, walk around and you’ll see why) my new neighborhood might take actual offense at my political views given the chance. I resolved to try to keep myself to myself in order not to stir up trouble we didn’t need in our new home.

Then our farm hunt brought us to this piece of land. The previous owners bought it to serve as a weekend getaway and eventually their first home in retirement. The name on the mailbox tipped me off. I asked if they’d had a child at Sandy Spring Friends School–where I’d graduated. Yes, they did. And in further conversation, they revealed they’d lived on Beech Avenue in Takoma Park (population 18,500)! This connection helped our offer and ameliorated the delays we experienced in sorting out the financing to buy this property. Yay for the hometown connection.

Last night, the farm manager and I were out having a bite to eat at the extremely quaint and historical and well-appointed and not overpriced Jean Bonnet Tavern–literal home of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. We’d been looking for furniture, and stopped in early when no one else was in the tavern. As we sat and sampled drafts from various taps (it’s a good selection), folks drifted in to lay the foundation of the evening rush.

We fell into conversation with a gentleman who sat down on our left. He had the Thomas Jefferson Ale (based on the great man’s recipe) and a bowl of onion soup. We talked some about the source of the Potomac and the Nittany Lions-Terps rivalry. Then he asked us what we were doing in the area. We explained we’d bought a place and were starting to farm and doing the hospitality thang. He asked where we’d come from to do this. We shared (Rockville and Takoma Park respectively).

And then it all went wahoonie -shaped. Our partner in conversation explained how he’d owned the photo gallery/antique shop on the main corner downtown in Takoma Park for the last thirty-something years! I try not to bring up my past, but it chases me around sometimes like a bad, stray puppy.



  1. Clearville, PA = Tacky Park North!

    • Could be. If I trip over one more expat, I’m going to start wearing tie-dye again!

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