A stockholders' meeting at which the corporate fate of Woodward & Lothrop may be decided is scheduled for today. The locally owned store chain most of us now call Woodies may come under control of a Michigan investor.

Marion Holland of Chevy Chase is among the Washington longtimers who remember the store from childhood.

"When I was a small child (before World War I), a few of my mother's elderly friends still called it 'the Boston Store,' but I never found out why," until MetroScene recently described the New England roots of its founders.

"Everyone else called it Woodward & Lothrop's. 'Woodies?' Good heavens, No! Nobody would have dreamed of applying a chummy familiar nickname to that staid and sober establishment. . . .

"The [store's] polished horse-drawn delivery vans were a familiar sight on all the residential streets, clop-clopping along. They were a darkish, reddish color (maroon? mulberry?) and the driver, who handled the reins, wore a matching livery, and so did the 'jumper' on the seat beside him" who carried packages to the customers' front doors.

It was not until the 1960s, reader Holland writes, "that I first heard it referred to as 'Woodies,' and then by teen-agers who were too lazy to utter five syllables. And it was a long time after that before the store itself succumbed and began using 'Woodies' in its ads. As for me, I still say Woodward & Lothrop.