All Blog Entries by Abbott Klar Real Estate

Found 311 blog entries published by Abbott Klar Real Estate.

Bipeds of Brookland: Jeremy Vera
Jeremy Vera


Born in Buffalo. Moved back to Puerto Rico. Hopped around California and Arizona as a high-schooler. Took a college internship in South Africa, then a Peace Corps stint in Guatemala. Finally, in August 2008, a permanent job in Washington at the Latin American Youth Center.


Jeremy Vera’s journey to Brookland is the definition of multicultural.


And it continues now, where he and his partner, Brian, host high school foreign exchange students through the Ayusa program.


“When I was sixteen, I met my first foreign exchange student, who became one of my best friends,” Jeremy recalls. “I started seeking out foreign exchange students as friends because I thought they were so interesting. I had

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Bipeds of Brookland: Sandy Hassan
Sandy Hassan
Sandy Hassan was born in Washington DC. “The first school that I could not go to, which was across the street from my house, was Phillis Wheatley, named after a black poet, and black kids couldn’t go there.” Instead she traveled by bus to get to another school at age 5. At the age of 10 she was finally allowed to go to Wheatley, thanks to the Supreme Court decision.

She served as a marshal at the March on Washington in 1963.  Unfortunately, her duties placed her far from the stage, but she did get to usher Malcolm X to the front. She was also member of SNCC  at Howard University‚Äč, and in the 1960s went with integrated groups to Virginia to see if they would be served in restaurants. “We never got served.”

She was a dancer

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Bipeds of Brookland: Daniel Ramos Durand
Daniel Durand

As a young boy in Lima, Daniel Ramos Durand had a habit of disappearing at parties.

“My family would ask, ‘Where’s Danny?’” he recalls. “And I’d be off playing with dogs in the backyard.”

In 1999, Danny came to the United States to work as a chef in the D.C. area. In 2004, he moved into a house on Irving Street where he currently lives with his wife, Elizabeth, their two cats, Luna and Sheba, and their black lab, Kala.

“The restaurant business burned me out,” he recalls. “I was working fifteen- and sixteen-hour days. My wife would only see me at night. So that’s when, in 2007, I began to follow my other passion, which is animals.”

Danny started out as a part-time dog walker for a company in Dupont

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Bipeds of Brookland: Frances Kim Walters
Frances Kim Walters

Frances Kim Walters started her professional life as a teacher but says “I realized I liked playing with 3rd graders more than I liked teaching them.” So she went to Michigan Law School, where she met her husband, and after graduating they came to DC to work for law firms. Frances found she was more interested in working with wrongly convicted prisoners, and now works for a nonprofit organization, which relies completely on donations.  “I’ve been with Mid Atlantic Innocence Project for 3 years now and I absolutely love it and I can’t see doing any other kind of work.”

Her office gets over 500 letters a year from prisoners who say they are innocent and have no money to appeal their conviction. “For the very,

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Bipeds of Brookland: Rusty Hassan
Rusty Hassan

Rusty Hassan remembers listening to radio as a kid in Greenwich Connecticut. “Back then, Louis Armstrong would also get on top 40 radio.”  He was in the 7th grade and making a model airplane when he listened to a Benny Goodman Concert recorded at Carnegie Hall. “So, it was the first LP that I bought from Woolworths.”

Rusty listened Jazz all through high school, and “I took my collection, small collection then, to DC when I went to college at Georgetown.” There he discovered the Bohemian caverns where he saw John Coltrane and Miles Davis among other great jazz performers.  As a student he took over a radio show on WGTB and has been broadcasting jazz music on the radio and educating DC about the history of Jazz since

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Bipeds of Brookland : Maurice Saylor

Maurice Saylot

Some composers are satisfied with just trumpets and violins. Not Maurice Saylor. Instead, this Brookland-based composer champions theremins, bass accordions, toy pianos, washtubs – instruments, in his words, “reviled by society at large and ejected by people of good taste and common sense.”

Born in Neptune, New Jersey, Maurice moved with his family to Washington, D.C. at age 6. A music major at The Catholic University of America, he worked at the university’s music library after graduation, eventually holding every position there.

Two years ago, after 35 years in The Catholic University Music Library and coasting toward retirement, Maurice took a plunge. He chose to dedicate himself full-time to music.

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Bipeds of Brookland: Fr. Fred Close
Fr. Fred Close

Fr. Fred Close, the pastor of St Anthony Catholic Church, grew up in Washington, DC and worked 25 years for the Justice Department before he was called to explore the priesthood.

Fr. Fred worked for the Foreign Agents Registration Section, where anyone working for foreign clients doing political fundraising or political advertising had to register with the attorney general. “It was a wonderful education into world politics.” He had an injury which led to an adult conversion “which reoriented my life entirely.”  Fr Fred was ordained a priest in 2001 and appreciates the differences of this career. “You have mercy and forgiveness as the connecting point for all the people who fall short of the demands of the law.  It is

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Bipeds of Brookland: Gwen Foster

Bipeds of Brookland: Gwen Foster

Gwen Foster visited family in DC in 1979 and told her parents she wanted to move here, they replied, ‘You must be crazy!” She was raised in a family of teachers in Charleston, West Virginia. After graduating from West Virginia State University and teaching for ten years, she moved to DC, soon got married and was eventually hired at Francis Scott Key Elementary. She taught fourth grade there until her husband became ill and she retired in 2009. She cared for him for six years until he passed away.

After retirement “I wanted to do something that would help the neighborhood, and be involved.”  She became a volunteer at HSC Pediatric Center.  “I do morning with the group. (SenseAbilities Program) That’s my love,

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Bipeds of Brookland: Robert Malesky
Bipeds of Brookland: Robert Malesy

Robert Malesky has always had an abiding passion for local history. But it was only in 2007, after retiring from a 20-year career as a senior producer for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, that Robert could devote himself full-time to exploring the storied past of the neighborhood he calls home.

“I wound up having heart surgery a month after I left NPR,” Robert recalls. “Part of the recovery was walking for a good bit every day. I’d go over to Catholic University [where he used to be a student along with his wife, Kee]. I knew a lot of the stories but, as I walked by these buildings every day, I kept wondering more about them. So I’d start stopping by the library after my walks, just to look up a couple things.”

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Bipeds of Brookland: Njambi Wynn

Bipeds of Brookland: Njambi Wynn
Njambi Wynn has taken DC public school students to perform in Senegal, Ghana, and South Africa. “The children loved it. We had a fabulous time. The children stayed with host families.  Living with a family is key. I raised money, I sold t-shirts. I asked everybody I knew, and every day I sold popcorn at lunch. You know you just try to come up with ideas to facilitate the trip.”

Njambi loves dance but “When I went to college there was no such thing as dance as a major, so I had to major in physical education.” While she was a PE teacher, a DC administrator developed a plan to integrate arts into the academic curriculum. “I did the dance movement component and we went into the elementary schools and we would train the

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