Who says lightning doesn't strike the same place, or person twice? It struck Desiree Keating twice.

She was Miss District of Columbia in 1984's D.C. competition for the Miss America pageant, the first here since 1962, though she didn't win the ultimate prize in Atlantic City. Now, selected recently from among 14 contestants, she is Miss District of Columbia in the 1986 competition for the title of Miss U.S.A., to be decided May 20 in Lakeland, Fla.

As one can imagine, Keating turned more than a few heads when she visited the Post news room to deliver her picture, seen to the right.

She's 23, an undergraduate student in dance therapy at George Washington University, a native Washingtonian who grew up on Ingraham Street NW and moved with her parents to Silver Spring, where she graduated from Montgomery Blair High School.

She's also a member of the family, so to speak -- her father, Norman Keating, has been a Washington Post distributor for 18 years. But he and his wife weren't here to savor their daughter's triumph. Norman Keating had won a dealer incentive contest and was enjoying a sojourn to Rio de Janeiro. Speaking Clearly

Speaking of lightning striking twice, Jean Elizabeth Mackin of Immaculata Preparatory School has won the D.C. American Legion speaking contest for the second year in a row. Now 18 and sponsored by State Department Post 68 of the legion, she beat out eight other entrants, according to Charles McAleer, a veteran reporter for the old Washington Star who serves as adjutant of the Legion's National Press Club Post 20.

Other winners: Sean Coleman, St. Albans School, second, Alexandra Boer, National Cathedral School, third, and Roger Baskin, Coolidge High School, fourth. Regional finals will be held April 14. Subway Celebrator

What was that man doing, getting off the Blue/Orange Line subway at Metro Center, walking up the escalator to catch and ride a Red Line train to Rockville, all the while holding a strand attached to six multicolored gas-filled balloons surrounding a large gray one?

He was sharing his office birthday party with his family, not to mention a few hundred Metro riders.

Richard Genter, a section head in the computer office at the Library of Congress, was away from his cubicle when wife Jan showed up to tie the balloons above his desk. Then there was cake and festivities. Jan left, with Richard having to take the balloons home.