A name jumped out from our obituary column yesterday, that of Robert Tupper Barrett, 86, a retired banker and resident of Alexandria. The obituary editor, J.Y. Smith, told me the source of information for the article quite reasonably stuck to the basic facts of Barrett's life. That suited the obituary department, which is not fond of recounting space-consuming genealogy.
But oldtimers in Old Town Alexandria, without doubt, spread word that a third- generation member of one of the port city's first families had passed on. Barrett was a grandson of the Rev. Robert Barrett, an Episcopal priest, and Kate Waller Barrett.
Of the two, his mother was probably the better known -- a locally born medical doctor who, incredibly, never practiced medicine, and who became a founder of the National Florence Crittenton Mission. That was a chain of homes that gave compassionate care and maternity services to unwed mothers. In its early days, the movement was perhaps more controversial than today's legalized abortion. She lived at 408 Duke St.
At her death in 1925, she was the first woman honored by a flag being flown at half staff over the State Capitol in Richmond.
Barrett's father, Robert South Barrett, was from 1911 to 1916 the editor and publisher of The Alexandria Gazette, and he became a leading philanthropist, giving the funds with which Alexandria's main library, the Kate Waller Barrett Library, was built.
Two schools in Northern Virginia also bear the family name. Barrett School on North Henderson Street in Arlington is named for Kate Waller Barrett. And Charles Barrett School in the Parkfairfax area of Alexandria is named for an uncle of the man who just died, Maj. Gen. Charles D. Barrett, a Marine officer who died in the South Pacific on Oct. 8, 1943. Reckless Wheeling
What is there about springlike weather that not only brings out the bicyclists, but also provokes the worst in their driving habits?
On Tuesday, within a six or seven minute period, two bikers -- apparently couriers -- were observed running red lights downtown and obviously scaring the daylights out of motorists whose paths they crossed on intersecting streets; a third was going the wrong way on a one-way street, while a fourth streaked down a sidewalk -- which is illegal in commercial areas.
An aside to Police Chief Maurice Turner: Could you spare manpower for a special detail to prowl the streets and aggressively ticket these pedal monsters -- and publicize the results? We'll hope for an answer. Tourist Alert
A tip to the wise: Vivian Deuschl of the Commerce Department's U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration recently returned from an international travel trade show in Berlin. She reports that the downward international adjustment of the dollar's value is leading to the heaviest European bookings to this country in five years, with Washington second only to New York City as the destination of choice.