Karen Lindquist-Williams, from left, Ryan Hicks, Randy Albright and Deputy Lee Potter at Indian Head Town Hall.
Karen Lindquist-Williams, from left, Ryan Hicks, Randy Albright and Deputy Lee Potter at Indian Head Town Hall. (From Randy Albright)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where we live shapes us, and we shape where we live. Here's what area residents have to say about where they live. An occasional Page Three feature.

A Neighbor by Any Other Name

My wife and I arrived here from Chicago in November 1971, moving into a three-level raised ranch on Quarter Charge Drive in Annandale. I had been reading about the art of remembering names, and I was determined that I would really try to remember those of my new neighbors.

The first neighbor I met lived next door, and his name was Charlie Boettcher. I had no problem with Charlie, but I just couldn't remember Boettcher. He told me to think of the TV program "You Bet Your Life," and sure enough, I never again forgot Boettcher.

The neighbor across the street was Bill Canzanelli. I had similar trouble until he told me to think of "cans of jelly." Same result. I never again forgot Canzanelli.

The neighbor next to Canzanelli was Bill Bowser. He had no suggestion. I thought for a while and remembered that Bowser was a name sometimes used for a dog. I would remember his name by thinking of a small dog. I kept that in mind the first time I had to introduce him. I remembered the small dog and said: "I would like you to meet our mutual neighbor, Bill Beagle."

With that, and a red face, I gave up the remembering-names campaign.

-- Charles W. Craig, Annandale

Small Town Has an Expansive Reach

Indian Head is our small town, with the ambiance of yesteryear but the sprawl of today. Our town continues to come together and share, as a unit, celebratory news and, with equal passion, the grief of the passing of a longtime resident. Understandably, one does not see the big-box stores or the glamour of city lights, but what is seen is the carnival of activities on the Pavilion Grounds: National Night Out, the Fourth of July, flea market stands, concerts and a safe Halloween.

With the naval weapons warfare base as our neighbor and consorted supporter, Indian Head has survived the many threats of base closures and budget cuts. Together, we bask in our rural surrounding, where neighbors continue to wave at the unknown passerby, support our Town Council and expand our heartfelt support to all in need.

As we each have recognized, Indian Head is a town driven to, not driven through.

-- Randy Albright, Indian Head

Where Children Draw Social Circles

In South Four Corners in Montgomery County, youth often leads. Children seek each other out, and their adults follow, getting acquainted from front porches close enough to each other to carry on conversations. For 18 years, my husband and I have thrived in our starter home, raising two kids there. Thanks to a finished basement and a converted attic, our living space never seemed crowded. Children commandeered the house while parents circled lawn chairs to share laughs as we swapped stories. As our children grew, their paths diverged. But we oldsters remain, and our friendships have ripened with time.

-- Gloria Condelli, South Four Corners

© 2006 The Washington Post Company