Author: Charlie Clark

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Our treasured Arlington National Cemetery is still itching to expand its boundaries to accommodate more graves. That’s the word from Kim Holien, the former Ft. Myer historian who shared hard-unearthed facts about the base during a Nov. 8 talk to the Arlington Historical Society. Before the expansion that’s now underway, […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

County board member Erik Gutshall heard the big news of Amazon’s coming on a Monday night, via a call from County Manager Mark Schwartz, the night before the Nov. 13 announcement confirming the long-trickling rumors. Schwartz had been told by Gov. Ralph Northam. When word reached me via old-fashioned newsprint, […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Nearly 150 of us bundled up on this chilly Veterans Day Sunday to pack the sliver that is Clarendon Park for Arlington’s marking of the 100th anniversary of the end of the “war to end all wars.” Somber reflective remarks and rituals combined with light lyrics of “Over There” sung […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

It’s a drizzly gray Saturday morning in October, and a squad of eight volunteers have “invaded” the South Arlington home of Hattie Johnson, age 99. They’ve come armed not with weapons but tool chests, handyman know-how and personal commitment to something larger than themselves. Their t-shirts show they’re part of […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Competitive sports, unsurprisingly, were central to the historic desegregation of Arlington schools. On Oct. 11, a roster of players from both realms of that 1960s drama reunited to blend glory-days of athletic feats with sometimes-painful memories of tough social change. I heard humor, camaraderie and confessions at the panel arranged […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Tales of history and ghosts often show up on the same page. Hence the Arlington Historical Society is offering an evening “ghost tour” of its 18th-century Ball-Sellers house Oct. 27. And a recent write-up of the Birchwood Cabin for sale on N. 26th St. mentions 19th-century spectral inhabitants. But few can […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

You arrive at the candidates’ debate hoping for tough questions that knock the pols off their rehearsed scripts. A bit of such authenticity shown through in answers from county board incumbent John Vihstadt and Democratic challenger Matt de Ferranti during their umpteenth face-off, held Oct. 10 at the Arlington Committee […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Arlington’s history also repeats itself. In the mid-1960s, a fuss was made over neglect of a “negro cemetery” being moved from the corner of Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd. In 2018, many of those same, relocated, graves have fallen into disrepair out in the Alexandria section of Fairfax. Alarm was […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Years before there was Whole Foods and 11 farmers markets in Arlington, there was the Arlington food co-op. That volunteer health-food buying project birthed in the mid-1970s became the “Uncommon Market.” It assembled 2,000 members and a colorful cast of dedicated counterculture activists, many of whom played (and continue in) […]

Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

Bold prediction: Last week’s arrival of the autumn solstice will bring spectacular colored leaves. They eventually will turn brown and swirl to the ground. And be chased away by roaring suburban leaf-blowers. Handy modern convenience or threat to our health and tranquility? Arlington joined the brewing national debate this spring […]