After serving for years as a Trans World Airlines vice president for public relations in Washington, John Corris took early retirement and moved to the Gettysburg, Pa., area -- close enough to Washington to get this newspaper, bring in the Washington television channels and pay an occasional visit to the National Press Club.

But once a PR man, always a PR man. With his wife, he decided to organize the first (and, he hopes, annual) Eisenhower Memorial Golf Tournament on June 27 at the Gettysburg Country Club. The event honors the golf-loving late general and president, who lived near Gettysburg in his later years, with proceeds to go to the Hospice of Adams County.

In preparation, Corris reports, he wanted to read up on Ike's life in Gettysburg. On a visit to the Washington area, he stopped at a bookstore in the Seven Corners Shopping Center. He approached a young clerk.

"After turning the pages for a moment or two in search of the Eisenhower listing," Corris related, "she asked: 'Eisenhower -- how do you spell that name?' "

Sic transit gloria. Or, on second thought, whatever happened to history classes in school? Rah! Rah! Robinson

A few days ago, we reported on the disgust felt by a Washingtonian who saw discarded tires, appliances and beer containers on the drained bed of the C&O Canal in Georgetown. One day he passed the site and found that the mess had been cleared up. Metro Scene speculated that the job had been done by a National Park Service crew.

Not so. Here is credit where due: the National Honor Society of Robinson High School, in the Kings Park West area of Fairfax County.

Jill Gibson, treasurer of the society chapter, called to say that 50 to 60 members "went down last Saturday" and picked up all the junk between Wisconsin Avenue and the bridge a block to the west that links the Georgetown Park shopping mall with Conran's store.

Gibson gives primary credit for the project to Kristen Sheehan, president of the chapter, who, seeking a service project, called the National Park Service and was told of the need to remove the trash. The scholars waded into the muck and hauled the junk out. The park service trucked it away. Confusing Cars

Someone from out of town "would have been totally disoriented," Howard Schreier of Arlington avers, if he or she had been in the Federal Triangle Metrorail station a few minutes before 8 a.m. the other day.

A train arrived on one track with all of its destination signs displaying "Addison Road" on the Blue Line. Simultaneously a train arrived on the other track, going in the opposite direction, with all of its destination signs displaying the Blue Line destination "Addison Road."

Schreier wasn't confused. He was just getting off the train that really was going to Addison Road.