Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear never to smoke a cigarette again? The following people have not only so sworn, but have so lived. They are the latest inductees into the Super Stoppers Club, our collection of the gaspless, the odorless and the virtuous.
Yvonne Dickson of Northwest kicks things off by reporting that her friend, Barbara Cain, has kicked something herself -- a 30-year cigarette habit.
Mari H. Skender-Lockhart asks me to say it exactly this way (which I'm happy to do): "The family and friends of Peggy Lockhart of the Virginia Hills section of Alexandria congratulate Peggy, who is approaching her one-year anniversary after 30 years of smoking!"
Hooray to a few birds of a feather. Five folks who labor in the classified department of Montgomery County's Gazette newspapers have stopped puffing. They are Karen Rell (4 1/2 years), Nancy Garling (8 years), Nina Powell (2 years) and Janet Compton (1 3/4 years). My informant is Janet Reister (whose husband, Terry, gave up pipe smoking three years ago, nudged by the Reisters' son, Joe).
Chandra Guglik congratulates two quitters for the price of 22 cents. First quitter: Her grandmother, Julia Trusiak Guglik. Second quitter: Jack Smith, Chandra's sixth-grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School in Arlington.
Disbelieve it if you must, but Brenda Smoak has gone cold turkey, reports Larry Cirignano.
Marilyn Fraley of Fairfax is still amazed/delighted that her husband Gene quit on Dec. 26, 1985. Robert Sterling Knight joined the ranks of the "matchless" a couple of months ago. L. Clyde Groover Jr. is 15 months into the land of clear lungs, reports his daughter, Karen, of Alexandria. And another family affair: Nancy Montgomery salutes her daughter, Nancy Dickson, who just observed her one-year anniversary after 20 years of hacking and racking.
Another recent observer of the one year milestone is Bruce T. Smaldone of La Plata (his wife, Stephanie, played informant).
Don Cunningham of Alexandria started something in his family, reports his wife Nat. Don quit on Nov. 15, 1986. Duly inspired, Nat's son Skip Singleton quit on Nov. 15, 1987.
An entire office congratulates Chuck Hargrest. Chuck smoked heavily for 32 years, according to Susan Swand, a fellow toiler at CDSI-Department of Labor. But on Sept. 29, Chuck decided that his lungs and heart were laboring harder than they had to. Well done, good sir!
Phyllis Becherman reports the good news about herself and also about her friend, Linda Mintz. Colleen Cassidy of Seabrook says that husband Rick's smokelessness has brought great cheers from their two kids, Sarah and Brian.
Lil Meltzer (a reformed smoker herself) says the entire gang at The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is delighted that Elayne Smart has gone straight -- and stayed straight. And Rebecca Hamadock of Severn, Md., sends a long-distance rosebud to her mother, Stella, of Dover, Del. Stella has been trying to quit for 30 years. In December, she finally succeeded.
Ira Blount of Northeast and coworker Kim Burch took Smokeout Day literally. Rachel Kopel's friend, Susan Falkenstern, has passed the 4-month barrier and isn't looking (or sliding) back.
Steve Wall of Kensington gave the family great grins when he quit four years ago, says sister-in-law Debby Cooper of Bethesda. And Alice Mayhew of Hyattsville says it was her 15 grandchildren and two "greats" who finally pushed her into the halo-fitting room. "I'm healthy enough now to enjoy them all," she says.
Jim Lawyer and John McCamant report that Bernie Calure has made the U.S. Department of Transportation a less foggy place. Bernie kicked the habit in December, after 35 years.
Ruth Ann, Deborah and Ben Thrift of Franconia thought that husband/father Pete was April Fooling. Here it was 4/1/87, and Pete said he was quitting smoking. But as Ruth Ann writes, "the joke's on us . . . . We are so proud of him."
Never Too Late Dept.: Cathy Maire of Silver Spring clap-claps her mother, Clemmie Edwards, who quit at age 69 after more than 40 years of smoking.
Debbie Knowles of Silver Spring has the rare pleasure of saluting both of her parents. Gloria Knowles quit in October 1986, and Bob Knowles quit last December. Both were 40-year-plus puffers. "If they can quit," says Debbie, "almost anyone should be able to."
And finally for this batch, a tip of the Farecard to Mary Bucklew, whose name you have seen in this space many times. Mary is a spokeswoman for Metro. She was also a heavy smoker until a few weeks ago -- but no longer, reports her roommate, Joella Seale of Bowie.
Know a recent quitter who deserves congratulations? Mail full details to Super Stoppers Club, c/o Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.