Revisiting Washington

After 27 years as a Metro reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, Courtland Milloy is retracing his steps, revisiting many of the people he's written about and updating their stories.

Although not a native Washingtonian, Milloy came to feel that he was an adopted son of the city. When he arrived here in 1975 from the Miami Herald, Walter Washington was mayor, the great 'home rule' experiment was just getting underway and concern was starting to build over the effects of gentrification. Nightspots like the Foxtrappe Club and W.H. Bone were taking the place of older, more well-known venues such as the Bohemian Caverns (which has made a comeback, but it's just not the same).

Milloy's first column—marking Marion Barry's inauguration as mayor—appeared Jan. 5, 1983, and he has been writing ever since, finding people and places that illuminate the real Washington, D.C. Over the next several months, Milloy will be trying to find many of the people he wrote about, updating their stories.

He's especially interested in what happened to the youths he wrote about—those who were at a crossroads in their lives, hoping to get to college but not knowing where the money was coming from; those who were coping with broken families and other hardships.

Milloy will make occasional appeals to readers to help him find subjects of his column who otherwise seem to have disappeared. This is especially true of youngsters for whom only a name and age were given. If Milloy has written about you, and you have more to add to the story, please e-mail him at milloyc@washpost.com.

Milloy is also interested in hearing from readers about their own recollections of life in Washington from the early 1970s to the present. Call it a people's history of the place as it underwent one of the most monumental changes since the great black migration of the 1940s.

Share your comments with him via e-mail and check regularly at this Web site for more about the series.