The recounting of Ronald Reagan's movie career in the Style section Thursday, the president's 75th birthday, evoked a special memory for one Metro Scener. During the 1980 campaign, he said, he was able to tell Reagan that "we made a movie together years ago" but never met.
The recollection is that of John B. Willmann of Annapolis, the now-retired real estate editor of The Washington Post, who encountered candidate Reagan in 1980 as he was passing through our office lobby on his way to lunch with top editors and political reporters.
The movie, released in 1940, was "Knute Rockne, All American," in which Reagan played George Gipp ("The Gipper"), an ill-fated football player for Notre Dame University. Some scenes were filmed at the South Bend, Ind., campus using students as extras, Willmann among them.
"I stopped Reagan with the line that we had 'made' a movie . . . together . . . but had never met," Willmann recalled. Actually, Reagan said he never visited the campus during the filming -- the star, Pat O'Brien, did -- and "he almost apologized" for that fact, saying "he made it later." Made it, one might say, in more ways than one. Taking Real Estate License
When a press release from the Washington Harbour project in Georgetown arrived in our financial news department the other day, out fluttered an attractive small hankie bearing an artistic rendering of the capital's landscape. Washington Harbour is, if anything, more prominently visible than the neighboring Kennedy Center or the White House and Capitol.
But what caught my colleague's eye is that Roosevelt Island, across the main channel of the Potomac River from Washington Harbour, is labeled "Francis Scott Key Park."
How come? We called Frankie Welch, the Alexandria couturier who designed and produced the 8-by-8-inch hankie -- "a pocket square," she called it -- for Washington Harbour's developers. "Artist's license," she replied. As a former chairman of the group that proposes to develop the small Key Park near the Georgetown End of Key Bridge, she thought it appropriate to include -- but there was no place to put it on the hankie, other than where the island should be.
There's another anomaly. Shown spanning the river are what are labeled "Memorial Bridges." Practically every Potomac bridge in Washington is a memorial to someone or something, but only one -- technically called the Arlington Memorial Bridge -- is referred to as Memorial Bridge. A Report With a Twist
To readers wondering what happened to Metro Scene's recently promised report on Washington's dangerous, ankle-twisting sidewalks that caused my own painful, but not severe, fracture: The project is still in the works but has been delayed until the ankle heals more fully.