In depicting Washington, the producers of movie and television entertainment films almost always have seemed to be on another planet. Not since James Stewart played in 1939 in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," it would seem, has our town been accurately depicted.
Stewart, cast as a newly elected senator from a western state, passed through the doors of Union Station with a realistic view of the Capitol dome in the background. To me, it was memorable because that was the first vista of Washington I had a few years later.
In 1951, Hollywood pulled a marvelous boo-boo in the otherwise great film "Born Yesterday," which had Broderick Crawford shacked up with his girlfriend, played by Judy Holliday, in a suite ostensibly in Washington's Statler (now Capital Hilton) Hotel. Across the street one saw the Capitol dome -- miraculously transported 20-odd blocks northwestward to serve the needs of Hollywood's directors.
So now comes a letter from Richard Lobb of Annandale calling attention to a recent episode of "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," ostensibly with a Washington setting and involving fictional CIA activity, on CBS Television and carried locally on Channel 9. I missed it, but Lobb asserts that "the producers obviously don't have a lot of familiarity with the D.C. area."
Last Monday night, he wrote, "some of the action sequences took place at a general aviation airport, which, judging from the rugged surrounding terrain, was actually somewhere near Los Angeles. "But it was supposed to be suburban Washington, so the sign read, 'Silver Springs Airport.' Has anyone on the other coast ever heard of Silver Spring?"
Or, for that matter, has anyone on this coast ever heard of an airport at Silver Spring? College Park, perhaps.
"The same goof showed up, as I recall," Lobb continued, in one episode of 'The Winds of War,' when Pug Henry met FDR's train at the 'Silver Springs' train station. Maybe they saved the sign!"
Perhaps. On a factual level, it's not impossible that President Franklin D. Roosevelt may have debarked at some time at the B&O station in Silver Spring, but it's highly unlikely. For security reasons, FDR's cars were kept -- and the president normally embarked and debarked -- on a spur track now used by coal cars adjacent to the Bureau of Engraving off 14th Street SW. One Car Cleared
Chalk up another victory for those seeking to eliminate overtime-parked or wrecked cars from city streets. Hardly had yesterday's paper hit the streets -- about 8 a.m., according to Laverne Bridges -- when a city tow truck showed up in the 1500 block of Potomac Avenue SE. It removed the car we fingered as standing in a two-hour zone in front of Bridges' home since being damaged in a Jan. 4 accident.
"Now what can you do to get the street cleaned?" Bridges asked. On that, we claim no clout.