ALEXANDRIA, VA -While “Mango” Mike Anderson was growing up in Detroit in the ‘50s and ‘60s, his father, uncle, grandfathers, and just about everybody worked for automobile manufacturers. Mike worked for Ford Motor Company during summers and assumed that he would go back there when he graduated from Eastern Michigan University.
Under the pen name “Action Andy,” Mike wrote a customer help column for the Eastern Echo (college newspaper); his friend John Horshok wrote a sports column as “The Golden Kazoo”. When they graduated in 1971, Action Andy and The Golden Kazoo decided to go somewhere interesting for one year before starting their life journeys working for Ford.
They chose DC because the Nation’s Capital was exciting, had the lowest unemployment rate, and wasn’t too far from the ocean or Michigan. “But,” says Mike, “the killer was we’d heard there were seven girls for every guy in DC.”
On arrival, they drove around the Beltway looking for a place to stay, saw the Holiday Inn on Eisenhower Avenue, and took the Telegraph Road exit.
Over 600 concerned citizens and campaign volunteers piled into the auditorium at Mount Vernon Community School to watch a live debate between incumbent Mayor Allison Silberberg and her challenger in the upcoming June 12 Democratic primary, Vice Mayor Justin Wilson.
NBC4’s Julie Carey brilliantly moderated the back-and-forth exchange and kept a steady pace of provocative questions fired at both candidates for the full 90 minutes.
Filmed by a three-camera crew from Audio Visual Actions in Alexandria, the video was live streamed for the community by The Zebra Press, and in archived in perpetuity on their website.
Jeffrey Lee Yates, prominent businessman in Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully on February 22, 2018 in his Alexandria home, surrounded by family, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jeff was born on November 2, 1954 at Maxwell Airforce Base in Montogomery, AL to parents, Naval Officer John Godfrey and Lena Mary Yates. Jeff graduated from Oxon Hill High School in 1972 and continued his education at the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1976.
He went on to work for Seagram’s Distillery in Baltimore, MD and then became an internal combustion engine patent examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Crystal City, VA.
While growing up, Jeff was always involved in his family’s automotive business and worked many hours at Yates Gulf Service at 834 N. Washington Street in Alexandria, VA. His love for the family business and the automotive industry eventually inspired him to start his own business, Yates Auto Parts and Hardware, in 1977.
Jeff shared his love for the auto parts industry with his brother Jim, and eventually they grew Yates Auto Parts into a regional conglomerate. Having achieved this success, Jeff changed his course, leaving the auto parts business to pursue his passion for real estate.
Jeff embraced the real estate market and acquired many successful properties as owner-operator in the Alexandria area. He always had time for a friendly chat with customers and friends while working at some of his favorite businesses, especially Yates Car Wash and Detail Center on Henry Street and Table Talk Restaurant on Duke Street.
He made it his goal to both preserve iconic Alexandria properties and mentor dozens of decades-long employees to pursue their own successes.
Jeff will be missed by his many friends and employees, but especially by his family. Jeff is survived by his beloved fiancée, Connie Sofia, who was his partner in both life and business. He is also survived by his three children, Jacquelyn Marie Nevin of Darien, CT, Jeffrey Lee Yates, Jr. of Alexandria, VA, and Jessica Nicolina Yates of Delray Beach, FL; their mother, Mary Vanderberry Yates also of Delray Beach, FL; and his three beautiful grandchildren, Grace, William, and Olivia.
He is also survived by brothers John Godfrey Yates, Jr. of Waterford, VA, James Nicholas Yates of Occoquan, VA, Jason Allan Yates of Fairfax Station, VA; sister-in-law Virginia White Yates of Potomac Falls, VA; and many loving nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his brother Joseph Harding Yates and his parents John Godfrey and Lena Mary Yates.
Relatives and friends may call at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302 on Friday, March 2, 2018 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM and from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at the same location on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM. The interment will be held at Ivy Hill Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to support the Bladder Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. For more information please visit Everly Wheatley funeral home.
[Editor’s Note: This obituary is reprinted with permission from the Everly Wheatley funeral home website.]
NBC4’s Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey will emcee the Meet the Legends Reception on Thursday, March 15 at 6:00 pm.
Sponsored by Living Legends of Alexandria, the event introduces the 2018 Living Legend honorees and will be held at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts on the NOVA Community College Alexandria Campus.
Help Raise Funds for Del Ray Gateway and Park Honoring Nancy Dunning
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia cries out for its own defining entry, and the community leaders have put their heads together, canvassed the neighbors, and made a proposal to City Council to create what will be called the Del Ray Gateway.
The major improvement project, in PARKnership with the City, will transform the corner at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues into a beautiful new Gateway, which will include the Nancy Dunning Memorial Garden and a community Spray Park. Right now the Colasanto pool and a corner pocket park occupy the space.
To be in business for over 60 years in the same location, you must be doing something right. To hear Norman “Brad” Bradford tell the story, he makes it sound easy but, if you think about it, jewelry is not required for sustenance (well maybe for some!). In other words, customers are probably not shopping there as frequently as they might at a grocery store for example. So how has Brad been able to do it? By insisting on attentive customer service.
Cookies shaped like party icons are used in an unofficial tally.
By Mike Salmon
Alexandrians are always loaded with opinions when it comes to presidential politics, but there is a basket on the display case in Alexandria Pastry Shop and Catering at The Bradlee Shopping Center on King Street full of special cookies that are being used as a sweet barometer for the upcoming election.
And of course, they are shaped and colored to represent Republican elephants and Democratic donkeys, coated in frostings of red, white, and blue.
“This is a very political city,” says owner Tom Lally, who lives across the street in Fairlington. He is keeping a tally of the cookie purchases on a board above the cash register, and so far, more donkey cookies have been purchased, signaling a Democratic win could be in the cards or cookies in this case.
“We’re going to put out American flag cookies too, that’s for the undecided,” Lally added.
This is the fifth election for which Lally has used the cookie poll, and so far, “it’s been pretty accurate, except the last time,” he says. “That’s when President Trump won, and there were many that didn’t see that coming anyway.”
Margaret Shannon was down a few doors in the Bradlee Shopping Center getting her hair done when she learned about the poll.
“How clever,” she said when she heard about the cookies. “I’ll have to go in and get a dozen donkeys,” she added.
A mention of the cookie poll also tweaked the interest of Gabriela Hernandez at Potomac Paint. “I’d be curious if one tastes better than the other,” Hernandez said.
The election cookies are identical thick sugar cookies, but to tweak the flavor, “we put a little orange flavoring in them,” Lally said. To go with the colored fondant frosting, there are candy stars.
As with everything else in the world this year, COVID-19 has stepped in and made things tougher for all. At the pastry shop, Lally is finding that folks are staying in more and having in-house parties, where they may have gone out to celebrate in the past. He says the shop’s cake orders are reflecting that.
“The birthday cakes are a little more special,” said Lally.
Lally has been in business since 1988 and in addition to his cakes, muffins, and a variety of cookies and sweet treats throughout the year, he offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as prepared meals to take home. Right now they are taking orders for complete Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday dinners for small or large groups.
The election cookies are special though and are only available through Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3 this year.
Watch and learn the moving story behind ACT for Alexandria's creation
ALEXANDRIA, VA – John Porter, the former principal of T.C. Williams High School and the former executive director of ACT for Alexandria, was a guest on Z-TV LIVE!’s “The Virginia Amos Show” Sept. 10. During the interview, Porter discussed a number of topics, including the development of ACT, the creation of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, and how Alexandria residents have come together during the coronavirus pandemic.
The discussion, however, began with his recollection of 9/11. Porter, who served as principal from 1984-2006, shared how he heard about the attacks, his immediate thoughts, and how T.C. went into lockdown.
“It was a[n] interesting time, and I say interesting from the standpoint of trying to manage a school of about 2,000 kids, a staff of 250, and trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do,” Porter said. “At the same time, it was scary. We did not know what this meant. We didn’t know if the entire country was under attack and there was more to come or not.”
After a career as a dedicated educator, Porter became executive director of ACT for Alexandria. He held the position until 2018.
Under his leadership, ACT became a beacon in the community, with the goal of making Alexandria a better place for all. It is now known for its fundraising efforts, especially the annual Spring2ACTion event.
“We’re a very caring community, a very concerned community if you will, and a very giving community in so many ways,” Porter said. “Not just financially, but [through] volunteerism…trying to help others in our community that are in need.”
Take a moment to watch this interview. John Porter talks about 9-11 and how the world stood still in lockdown at T.C. Williams High School on September 11th when he was principal, as well as how an Alexandrian killed that day gave way to start ACT for Alexandria, the community foundation that has now given tens of millions back to Alexandria since 2004 when it was chartered..amazing interview also gives insight on the start of the @Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. Thank you Virginia Amos and John Porter.
Clint Hill Served Five Presidents and is Noted Author of "Five Days in November" and "Mrs. Kennedy and Me"
ALEXANDRIA, VA – For sale in Alexandria, Virginia is the home owned by retired famed Secret Service Agent Clinton Hill, who received the nation’s highest civilian award for bravery and is credited with saving Jaqueline Kennedy’s life during the tragic events leading to the assassination of JFK.
As First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s primary Secret Service agent, Hill was riding on the running board of the follow-up car on November 22, 1963, behind the presidential limousine in the motorcade through Dallas. As shots were fired, Hill raced to the back of the president’s car to shield President and Mrs. Kennedy with his body.
Hill worked at the White House with five presidents—Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. His Secret Service career spanned a turbulent time in history that included the U2 spy incident; the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy; the Vietnam War; the Civil Rights movement, riots, and burning of major U.S. cities; Watergate; the resignations of Vice President Spiro Agnew and President Richard M. Nixon. Through it all, Hill rose through the ranks of the Secret Service, retiring in 1975 as Assistant Director, responsible for all Protective Forces.
At the age of 78, he wrote Mrs. Kennedy and Me, a memoir of his four years with Jacqueline Kennedy that became a #1 New York Times bestseller. Two other bestsellers followed: Five Days in November, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and in 2016, Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford.
His Alexandria Home
Hill and his wife bought their mid-century Alexandria ranch house at 1068 Chambliss Street in 1967 and raised their family there.
'One of the primary challenges caregivers face now is the social isolation of their loved ones and themselves'
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Are you a caregiver for an older adult? If so, there is a virtual conference in November that will cover a range of topics. The 34th Annual Caregivers Conference, hosted by the Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium, is open for registration now.
From November 9-13, the conference, called “Grow With the Flow” will feature virtual sessions from 10 a.m. to noon. The free event will provide opportunities for family caregivers and others to communicate with and care for those with dementia.
“Past conference attendees have expressed appreciation for hands-on helpful information they can use at home to ease some of the burdens and improve the quality of life for their loved ones,” said Debbie Ludington, Long Term Care Coordinator with the City of Alexandria’s Aging and Adult Services. “They also appreciate the positive messages from presenters and meeting with other caregivers.”
Topics of discussion will include engagement and well-being activities, coping skills and tips, and scientific research.
Ludington pointed out that the pandemic has been especially hard for caregivers.
“One of the primary challenges caregivers face now is the social isolation of their loved ones and themselves.”
For more information about the event and the virtual sessions, view or download a flyer or brochure. To register for the event, visit nvdcc.com.
Conference organizers expect that the virtual format will allow for more people to attend. Fifty vendors will participate.
Deadline to apply for CARES Act benefit is October 15
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Economic Impact Payments (EIP), more commonly known as stimulus checks, are important and helpful to many people at this time. Did you know that you may be eligible for an EIP even if you haven’t filed taxes?
Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) wants to make sure that all residents who may be eligible for EIPs determine their eligibility. The deadline to apply for the payment, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, is October 15.
DCHS said in a press release that “most people who regularly file a tax return or receive federally administered assistance, like social security, were automatically sent their checks, but several million people have no tax filing obligation because they make too little income to file federal taxes.”
People who have yet to receive an EIP could also include those who have state and federal cash assistance benefits, are signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, participate in Medicaid, or are homeless.
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Still at home and looking for a way to occupy your time? Enjoy being creative? If so, there is a new opportunity right up your alley.
You can register for online art classes with The Art League School. Registration is now open for the courses, which begin Monday, September 21.
All skill levels are welcome. Select from more than 50 classes.and workshops. They range from basic painting and drawing instruction to computer-based digital illustration and GIF creation.
Classes meet via Zoom. In between sessions, students can stay in touch through Google Classroom or by email. And because classes are virtual, students do not have to be in the Alexandria area to participate. Simply connect to the Internet and you’re good to go.
Stating in a press release their belief that “interconnectedness is a vital source for creativity,” The Art League began offering online courses in April. These were seen as a safe alternative to in-person classes that temporarily closed because of COVID-19 safety guidelines. And the response to them has encouraged The Art League to continue offering online options.
Here are a few testimonials:
“I’m so glad that classes are continuing to be offered online. Although I live locally, I work with seniors and cannot take the risk of in-person classes at this time. This is a life-saver!”
“I’m a kid in a candy store! I can’t decide which [Art League] class to take first, so I’m taking two. Loving these online offerings, keep them coming.”
The Art League plans to continue online classes until further notice. Outdoor classes will also be held following social distancing protocols. Browse and register for classes HERE.
City of Alexandria reminds residents of upcoming flu vaccine clinics
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Flu season is near, and we are in the midst of a pandemic. This is uncharted territory. To help everyone learn what to expect this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information about how to tell the two illnesses apart.
While some symptoms can be similar, the are key differences. These include the duration a person is sick and the number of days before a person could exhibit symptoms. Read the entire webpage HERE.
While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, there is one for the flu each year. The flu vaccine usually treats four strains or types.
A drive-through clinic will take place on Saturday, September 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from T.C. Williams High School (3330 King St.). A walk-up clinic will be held on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Francis C. Hammond Middle School (4646 Seminary Rd).
Masks and physical distancing are required. Please do not attend if experiencing even mild symptoms of illness. The city asks that residents review details about flu clinics before attending.
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Is your small business struggling during the pandemic? There’s good news! Beginning on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 a.m., applications will be accepted for a second round of the Alexandria Back to Business (ALX B2B) grant program.
Interested parties can apply for a grant until noon on October 5.
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Food insecurity has been a concern during the pandemic. Regular food distribution events in Alexandria help residents in need. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is another resource. Recently, SNAP received a $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor.
The donation will support the Double Dollars program, per the request of the donor. This program permits SNAP users to receive up to $20 dollars in eligible food at area farmers markets. SNAP helps families who cannot afford to purchase food themselves
Double Dollars assists families in making heather food choices, and the program supports farmers markets.
If you would like to contribute, donations are still being accepted. For more information, call 703.746.5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on how to apply for the SNAP program, click HERE. The City of Alexandria encourages people to apply even if they were not eligible for other programs because every program’s rules vary.
Cats should not roam freely outdoors, dogs should remain at least six feet from people
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated information concerning pets and COVID-19. While the occurrence of coronavirus in pets is low, according to documentation, there have been a few cases where pets have contracted the virus after interacting with infected people.
As a result, the CDC recommends preventing pets from interacting with anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and people outside of their household.
Cats should not roam freely outdoors and dogs should remain at least six feet from people.
Do not attempt to put a mask on a pet. There is no evidence of contracting the coronavirus from fur, hair or skin, so do not wipe or bathe your animal with any type of disinfecting product.
There is no evidence of pets playing a significant role in the transmission of COVID-19 in this country. Still, the CDC recommends practicing good hygiene around pets by frequently washing hands – especially after handling their food, supplies or waste.
People are advised to talk to a veterinarian if a pet becomes ill.