10/28/13 1:30pm

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“Dear PoPville,

Bryson was a good friend and neighbor; a Petworth fixture; a long-term resident who worked tirelessly to ensure that our block was populated by friends…and not acquaintances.

As DC loses residents such as Bryson Latimer and Larry Byrd, we’re certainly diminished, but hopefully their warmth, generosity, and spirit of community won’t be forgotten.”

Bill shares his tribute:

“Bryson Latimer was a Petworth fixture.

When we purchased our house in 2010, Bryson would take a stroll each time we came by to look at the property. After we moved in, we asked him about it, and he said, “I just wanted to make sure you weren’t assholes.” We felt exactly the same way, told him so, and laughed with him about it in the years that followed.

We called Bryson “The Mayor” because he knew everyone and everything that went on in our little corner of Petworth. You couldn’t come home any evening in summer and not find Bryson out on his porch. He taught us about “porch culture”, and when we had our own impromptu porch party, Bryson was the first person to come over.

Bryson’s family moved to Petworth in the early 1950′s, one of the first black families on a block of 2nd generation German and Italian Americans. Although he moved away in the 1970s, he returned to Petworth during some of its worst years and stayed on, retired, and cared for his elderly parents—living in the same house that he was raised in and that his family has owned for almost 60 years.

Bryson was a kind, wise, intelligent, and thoughtful man who not only helped us understand our new neighborhood and neighbors, but helped them to understand us. He helped us make new friends of which he was the first. My wife referred to Bryson as “…our gift with purchase.”

Bryson Latimer died the evening of October 19th after a short battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. He was 69. We miss him terribly. The neighborhood just won’t be the same without him.”

10/15/13 1:30pm

Byrd

Jeremy previously wrote about DC’s Best Wifi Network names.

I meant to write about Larry Byrd when I learned of his death in late June at the age of 90.

Larry was the first person I met when I moved into my former home on 4th St. NW, a few blocks east of the Convention Center, in February 2012. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said, seeing me lugging boxes up the stairs into the early 20th century row house I shared with several friends.

We chatted for a few minutes. To my surprise, our conversation quickly veered beyond small talk. He asked me about the masters program I was about to begin and my long-term career goals. He told me that he was legally blind, able only to see “orbs.”

He seems like a nice man, I thought. What I didn’t know is that Larry would become more than just a friendly next-door neighbor.

Well into his retirement, Larry spent his days perched on his steps or on a bench just inside his gate. As people walked by, he said hello and offered up one of his trademark phrases, telling people, “Have a wonderful day,” or, “Be good to yourself.”

And the neighborhood loved him. Not only was he a beacon of warmth and friendship, he was known for being a mentor to several men who battled drug addiction. (more…)

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Marlon Francisco Morales:

Officer Marlon Morales succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained three days earlier when he confronted a fare evader leaving the U Street-Cardoza Metro station in Washington, DC.

During the confrontation, the suspect suddenly pulled out a handgun and shot Officer Morales in the face. Officer Morales never had a chance to draw his weapon. The suspect then stole Officer Morales’ service weapon and two spare magazines of ammunition and fled the scene. Officer Morales was transported to a local hospital here he remained in critical condition for three days before succumbing to his wound.

The suspect was arrested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania several days after the incident when he was stopped by officers for a traffic violation. After a brief struggle with officers, he was subdued and found to have Officer Morales’ service weapon and the magazines.

On May 24, 2004, the suspect was convicted on seven counts, including murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on July 30, 2004.

Officer Morales was a Gulf War veteran and had been employed with the Metro Transit Police Department for 6 months. He is survived by his wife, infant daughter, and two young sons.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/15717-officer-marlon-francisco-morales#ixzz2W6jQKm7p

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01/31/13 11:00am


6625 Georgia Avenue, NW

I’ve driven past this sight probably 100 times. I finally walked past and was able to check out this incredible history.

From Wikipedia on the Battle of Fort Stevens:

The Battle of Fort Stevens was an American Civil War battle fought July 11–12, 1864, in Northwest Washington, D.C., as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 between forces under Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Union Maj. Gen. Alexander McD. McCook. Although Early caused consternation in the Union government, reinforcements under Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright and the strong defenses of Fort Stevens minimized the military threat and Early withdrew after two days of skirmishing without attempting any serious assaults. The battle is noted for the personal presence of President Abraham Lincoln observing the fighting.

From Wikipedia on the Battleground National Cemetery:

After the battle, Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs seized 1 acre (0.40 ha) of farm land to use for burying the dead. Under direction from President Abraham Lincoln and Meigs, forty were buried on the evening of July 12 on the battlefield site. That night, Lincoln came to the site to dedicate it as the Battleground National Cemetery.

Continues after the jump. (more…)