Here's a footnote to recent Metro Scene references to American-born Albert Fairfax, who went to Britain in 1908 to reclaim his ancestral lordship -- the one for which Fairfax County is named.

Wilson Miles Cary of Washington has made available an excerpt from the unpublished memoirs of his late father, Virginia state senator Hunsdon Cary of Richmond, a relative by marriage of the young lord-to-be who dined with him in London in 1912.

" . . . To effect his claim, he had to establish it by conclusive evidence before the House of Lords," the elder Cary wrote. "Our cousin Capt. Wilson Miles Cary of Baltimore undertook to collect evidence to perfect his claim . . . Lord Fairfax proved his title" and settled permanently in London, where his grandson, the current and 14th lord, now lives.

"It was a strange situation," Cary wrote, "that a title in the English nobility should have lain dormant in America for six generations and then was reestablished . . ." METRO SCENE A Small Death Notice By Jack Eisen Washington Post Staff Writer

There was a special poignancy yesterday in the "deaths" columns in this newspaper -- the paid notices in small print that include the sparse details of those, famous and little known alike, who depart this life.

One such was the notice headed with the name, "Stethem, Robert Dean," with unelaborated word that he had died "on Friday, June 14, 1985." It said the funeral and the burial will be held today.

The front page of the same edition was dominated by a picture of the family of the deceased, the 23-year-old Navy man from Waldorf who was so brutally slain by the hijackers of TWA Flight 847 on which he was returning from duty in Greece that was unrelated to the Middle East strife.

What drew my eyes to his death notice was the illustration aptly inserted into it: that of the American flag. Bridge Garbage

Hey, Metro, and hey, Conrail, there's good reason to send your paintbrush crews out to your parallel bridges across the Potomac River near the foot of 14th Street.

On a recent Yellow Line Metro subway ride across the river, I spotted some dreadful spray-painted graffiti on the adjacent Conrail bridge: "Race Mixing Stinks." An observant tipster, Mark Eisen of Alexandria, biking into town Tuesday, spotted swastikas sprayed onto the downstream side of the Metro bridge near the Arlington shore and apparently pro-Nazi references to "angel of death" Josef Mengele on the upstream side. Farecard Foibles

Speaking of Metro, a spokeswoman says the Farecard machine at the bottom of the Rosslyn station elevator has been back in service since Sunday following intensive efforts to repair it. (It wasn't working for a time on Tuesday.)

The machine had been out of whack for at least a month, and was the subject of Metro Scene items. The problem, we're told, was a broken fiber optic cable. Fairfax Family

Here's a footnote to recent Metro Scene references to American-born Albert Fairfax, who went to Britain in 1908 to reclaim his ancestral lordship -- the one for which Fairfax County is named.

Wilson Miles Cary of Washington has made available an excerpt from the unpublished memoirs of his late father, Virginia state senator Hunsdon Cary of Richmond, a relative by marriage of the young lord-to-be who dined with him in London in 1912.

" . . . To effect his claim, he had to establish it by conclusive evidence before the House of Lords," the elder Cary wrote. "Our cousin Capt. Wilson Miles Cary of Baltimore undertook to [collect evidence to] perfect his claim . . . Lord Fairfax proved his title" and settled permanently in London, where his grandson, the current and 14th lord, now lives.

"It was a strange situation," Cary wrote, "that a title in the English nobility should have lain dormant in America for six generations and then was reestablished . . ."