The barn itself may date to the early 1900s. It was once the Democratic Club. It was also a casino with blackjack and roulette on the first floor and slot machines on the second.
George Perry purchased the property in 1943 and officially established The Village Barn, Inc., which became the oldest operating country music establishment in the DC area featuring house bands, such as The Cimarrons, The Jimmy Case Band , The Campbell Brothers Band and others. . The last to play there was The Young Country Band.
But Morningside lost a major landmark when a fire engulfed The Village Barn on the night of April 3, 1993. The town also lost one of its major charity fundraisers.
The Village Barn has worked hand in hand with the Morningside Sportsman’s Club, Morningside Volunteer Fire Department and VFW Post 9619 in a number of charity fundraisers. The most successful was for Nicky Goode, a local boy who needed a liver transplant. The Barn raised much of the $90,000 that made the transplant a success.
In addition to country music, the barn offered food and drink. Tom Alexander sent me a menu (date unknown) from which you could order a Fried Shrimp Dinner for 85¢, a Bud for 30¢, and The Village Barn Deluxe Pizza for $2.00.
But two tragic shootings have occurred at The Village Barn:
In 1972, a furious husband shot his wife dead on the dance floor, directly across from the bandstand, while she was dancing with another man. (Does anyone know who the shooter was and what kind of time he served?)
In 1987, on the eve of New Years, someone fired a gun through the back barn window into the celebrating crowd. The bullet hit Jeanette Marie Fowler. She died two weeks later, on January 14. As far as I know, his murder is still unsolved.
Now the site of The Village Barn on Suitland Road, next to the VFW, is vacant, fenced and brushy land. And it can become a car wash.
Maybe the car wash should be accompanied by country music. City of Morningside
Upcoming Morningside meetings in April: Work Session, April 12, and Regular Town Meeting, April 19, both in the Municipal Building, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, call 301-736-2320.
Mark your calendar for the Bunny Breakfast & Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be more on that in next week’s column.
Neighbors and other good people
Anthony G. Puzzilla released a new book, Hope Triumphs over Chaos, The La Plata Tornado April 28, 2002. If you remember that horrific event, you’ll want his book. It can be pre-ordered starting March 23, purchased on Amazon starting April 2, or at Martin’s gas station, 209 Charles Street in La Plata.
Carl Desmarais, formerly of Barto Avenue, emailed: “We live in Vienna, Virginia but often when we travel to Prince George I take my family to all the places/friends houses and their say again and again how awesome it was at Camp Springs.
Bee Duncan, who lived for years on Auth Road, died on February 27. She was an active parishioner at St. Philip and among those who received the St. Philip the Apostle Service Award in 1997. Her husband M.Sgt. John W. Duncan USAF (retired) died in 2010. Survivors include his sons Skip and Gregory and his grandchildren.
I want to honor our graduates by listing them, their school and their projects. Call or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your graduates. I will perform them in May or June.
I had a fun birthday weekend when I turned 93 on March 12. His daughter Sheila and husband John Mudd hosted a gala at their West Laurel home on Saturday night, and ten of us hit the Kennedy Center on Sunday for Jesus Christ Superstar.
The Senate voted to end DST, by unanimous consent. But he still needs to pass it through the House and be signed by President Biden.
Maryland moved its gubernatorial primary three weeks later to July 19 to allow time to resolve a legal challenge.
DC officials joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in unveiling a statue in the Capitol of the architect who designed the Federal District, Pierre L’Enfant – giving DC two statues in the building, like all states.
The National Capital Planning Commission is reimagining Pennsylvania Avenue, America’s main street, to be taller with fewer car lanes, more parks, pop-up markets and cafes, art exhibits and lively events all year round. It could be our own Champs-Élysées.
The landscape really changed in 1987
While researching, I pulled out my January 15, 1987 column, Enquirer-Gazette. Among the stories I wrote about this week were the closure of Morningside School and Benjamin D. Foulois, both of which became magnet schools. I also reported that the Lamp Post Inn, a long-standing establishment on Suitland Road, had been demolished and the land cleared “for what might be a small shopping centre”. And the Suitland Branch Library on Silver Hill Road closed “to be replaced by a large new library on Old Silver Hill Road near Shakey’s”. Well, the big new library is here. But Shakey is gone.
Leon Glaze, was chased by a bear in Yellowstone
Eldie Leon Glaze, 87, of Temple Hills, who ran Central Sterile Supply in Andrews, died on March 7.
He was born in Nauvo, Ala. After graduating from Miami Edison HS, he worked as a fingerprint classifier for the FBI before joining the Air Force in 1954. He served all over the world, including Newfoundland, Canada, where he met his wife, Fay. They were married on August 30, 1958. He retired as an MSgt with 22 years of service, eventually settling in Temple Hills.
Leon, as she preferred to be called, returned to work at Malcolm Grow Medical Center where he ran the hospital’s Central Sterile Supply. After retiring for good, he volunteered once a week at Andrews’ pharmacy. He loved vacations and traveling with his family. He was chased by a bear in Yellowstone, narrowly escaping, and saved his son Michael from a rattlesnake in the Badlands.
Leon and Fay were married 60 years before his death in May 2019. Survivors include his son Michael, daughter and son-in-law Wendy and Jeff Martin and two grandchildren. Visitation and service took place at Lee Funeral Home with interment in Cheltenham.
COVID report: Prince George’s can be proud!
“Thanks to the teamwork of residents of Prince George’s County, our community level of COVID-19 is low and our immunization rate is among the highest in the country,” said Dr. Ernest Carter, Chief Health Officer. Prince George County. Demand for tests and vaccines has declined, but both are still readily available at locations around the county. For information or updates, go to health.mypgc.us/Coronavirus.
Happy Birthday to Morningside Code Enforcement Officer Gina Foster, March 26; Walter Dimes, March 27; Robert Hay, Jr. and David Righter, March 28; Ben Surratt and Kimberly Smith, March 29; Akwete Bedewi, March 30; Sylvia Barbour and Mark Cummings, March 31.
Happy birthday to Terry & Gina Foster, March 26, and to Antoinette & Charles Mattison, March 29.