Bipeds of Brookland

Found 74 blog entries about Bipeds of Brookland.

Bipeds of Brookland: Monica Fitzgerald
Monica Fitzgerald

Monica Fitzgerald grew up in Minnesota, “I was the first in my family, the third of seven kids, to go to college. I went to Augsburg College. I was able to borrow and work and pay for it myself.”   After teaching at a Catholic high school, she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Guatemala, where she hiked to villages to give “charlas” (lessons) to children about health. Upon returning to the US, Monica completed a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations at Lesley College in Massachusetts. She then took a job with the Justice Department and spent a year living in the refugee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, interviewing and processing “balseros, people who had left Cuba on rafts and were picked up by…
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Bipeds of Brookland: David Brown

Bipeds of Brookland: David Brown

David Brown was “born and reared in Washington DC.”  He recounts fond memories of a city where “people spoke to each other. Men gave the ladies a tip of the brim. I would have never made it to 15 years old if I had not learned to tip my hat and say ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘Yes, ma’am.’ DC was made up of a lot of Southerners and they brought their habits, their manners… When you respect people you respect yourself, and I’ve never forgotten that to this day. 73 years old and I love being nice, it does everything a pill will never touch. It makes you feel good.”

Mr. Brown has enjoyed living in Brookland for many years. “This is a neighborhood where everybody knows everybody. . . When I moved in, people had a picnic for you.

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Bipeds of Brookland: Dr. James Loewen 
Dr. James Loewen

Dr. James Loewen grew up in the Midwest. While studying at Carlton College in MN, he decided to investigate segregation in the rural south. “I spent part of my junior year abroad in Mississippi.” While at Mississippi State, he sat in classes for three days at the Tuskegee Institute.

“I think I was actually the first white student at Tuskegee.” He also visited Tugallou College, a historically black college where he later became a professor.  Dr. Loewen later taught at the University of Vermont and left in 1996 to move to DC where he had previously lived while doing research at CUA Law School and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. His work at the Smithsonian led to the publication of the book, Lies My

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Bipeds of Brookland: Lois and Doris Richardson
Lois and Doris Richardson

Lois and Doris Richardson, the “babies in the family,” graduated from Essex County High School in Virginia in 1966 and applied to work at the Defense Intelligence Agency when recruiters came to their school. They both moved to DC and worked at a cookie factory in Mt Rainier, MD, “until our security clearances came through.” They began rooming with a couple on Jackson Street who didn’t have children. “We became their children.” They now own and still live in that house.

It took about an hour and a half by bus to get to work. Lois analyzed aerial photography. “My area of interest was North Korea and China.” She later moved to Bolling AFB and worked on IT, writing ‘how to’ manuals for computer systems. “It

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Bipeds of Brookland: Deandre Howard
Deandre Howard

Deandre Howard met Dr. Alice Lawrence about 9 years ago. He discovered they shared a dream he had since his late 20s: to open a non-alcoholic jazz club. Dr. Alice wanted to provide people with the opportunity to feel like they were in their living room, and yet to share the space with live musicians. Dr. Alice owned the building on 12th Street, Deandre had the skills as a contractor to fix it up and the connections as a musician to book “straight ahead jazz." Together, they opened Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, a nonprofit organization, two years ago.

“I’m not trying to get rich, I do this for the love of music… I am blessed. Alice is blessed. How many people get to live their dream? This is so much fun. When

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Bipeds of Brookland: Zack Poimboeuf

Bipeds of Brookland Zack Poimboeuf

Zack Poimboeuf was born in Louisiana but, “I always kind of wanted to live in DC. Ever since I was a little kid when I came up here for the National Scout Jamboree in 1985.” Both of his parents were social workers, and he followed in their footsteps, graduating with his MSW and going on to provide direct counseling at a center for low income families. “I taught parenting seminars, and I started a program in a local jail for incarcerated fathers so they could visit their kids.”

However, Zack began to get restless, and decided to apply to the Peace Corps. In 2002 he began serving as a community health agent in Niger. While he already spoke French, growing up in Louisiana, he “needed a lot of language instruction

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Bipeds of Brookland: Astrid Jöhnk
Astrid Jöhnk

In more ways than one, Hamburg-native Astrid Jöhnk has roots in Brookland.

In 1998, Astrid arrived in America from Germany to pursue a career in hotel management with Marriott. In 2009, she moved into the Brookland home she bought with her now-wife, Shani.

And that’s when the gardening and landscaping started.

“Growing up, I never lived in a house with a yard,” she says. “I never had the space to do any gardening. It just happened that, with our house in Brookland, I wanted to do something with the small front and backyard space we had.”

It helps that Astrid’s neighbor is the headquarters of Casey Trees. One of their tree planting team leaders, Astrid spends much of her free time (when she’s not working as

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Bipeds of Brookland: Carmen Torruella-Quander

 Carmen Torruella-Quander

Carmen painting a portrait of her great grandmother, who was an indigenous Taino Woman in the Dominican Republic.

Carmen Torruella-Quander  grew up in a Dominican family in Adams Morgan and remembers coming to the Franciscan Monastery with her mother for mass in Spanish before it was available in other churches. “Back then, to come from Adams Morgan to Brookland was a good hour and a half or two hours… by bus and a street car.” Brookland always seemed a small town… outside of the city…There were cows at Old Soldiers Home.”

Along with her brother and her now husband, she was one of the first students to integrate Sacred Heart School in 1950.  “We had kids from all over the world and we’re still

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Bipeds of Brookland: David J Nolan,

 

DJ Nolan
(DJ and Helen with Ray Bowlding Jr)

David J Nolan known to most as DJ, came to DC to work for Catholics for Choice in 1999 after emigrating to the US from Ireland through London, where he had met his wife, Helen Searls. He is now the Director of Communications for the American Academy of Actuaries.

 

DJ spends a lot of his free time each summer at PG Pool.  When their two kids were young, his wife took them for ‘Toddler Swim’ and “fell in love with PG Pool…. We’ve been members since 2003; it is an incredible resource.” He joined the board after being “volunteered” by Helen and became president a few years ago. DJ explains that while membership was very low when they first joined, it is now full and is

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Bipeds of Brookland: Bethlehem House
Bethlehem House
Left to right- Dominique, Dolores, Tom, Helen, Colleen

Bethlehem House was opened by Dolores Wilson in Brookland in 1986, after she had been a Catholic Sister for 37 years, and had worked at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, near Providence Hospital, teaching children with disabilities.  She first taught in a regular Catholic school but, “I had in my heart a desire to work with children with special needs and lo and behold the Kennedy Family came to build the Kennedy Institute.  In 1959 the Kennedy Institute was blessed and opened. I was there for 25 years.”  She recalls “Eunice (Kennedy) Shriver was our best friend, at the time we couldn’t afford to pay a physical fitness teacher so she came for two years, once

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