Today's guest contributor is the late Christian Hines, who in 1866, at the age of 85, wrote a slender yet fascinating memoir of the Washington he had known from his teens. At one point, his family owned -- at a purchase price of $100 an acre -- 56 acres of what is now the Adams-Morgan area centered on 18th Street and Columbia Road NW.

Hines' memoir has been reproduced by the Junior League of Washington, from which this is excerpted:

"My earliest recollections of Washington go as far back as 1796 or 1797. I then lived with my parents at the junction of High and Market streets today, Wisconsin Avenue and 33rd Street , Georgetown.

"Some of our people, I recollect, went to see the President's House the White House , which was then just rising above the basement story. My mother . . . took us into Kleiber's bake-house and bought some cakes for us. This bake-house, I think, stood a little northwest of the President's House in what is now the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue , and was a small frame building intended for the accommodation of the workmen . . . .

"In passing down the Pennsylvania avenue, from Georgetown to the President's House, I recollect having seen but one house on Pennsylvania Avenue (except the Six and Seven Buildings) on the north side of the avenue between 19th and 21st streets and that was an old frame building which stood on H Street , between 18th and 19th streets west . . . and which was surrounded by a grove of beautiful forest trees."

That was the neighborhood in which the World Bank stands today. Follow the Instructions

One of the more puzzling bits of instructions we've seen in a while comes in a National Capital Parks announcement of the program for the third annual Rock Creek Foliage Day, on Saturday in the park.

"Peirce Mill . . . will be the site for 'Testing the Waters,' a hands-on look at Rock Creek's flow and the effect leaves have on water quality . . . to be presented . . . at 1 and 3:30 p.m.," the announcement said, adding mysteriously:

"Be sure to bring a pencil."

But no paper? And is a ballpoint pen okay?

Anyhow, Foliage Day looks like a great family event that includes demonstrations of milling at Peirce Mill, a golf tournament and concerts ranging from bluegrass to Irish folk.

Free shuttle bus service will be provided from the also-free Carter Barron Amphitheater lot, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW.