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    River Creek & Lansdowne
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Happenings on Memorial Day weekend
    While the origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War and have taken many forms, Saturday, May 23 will hail the beginning of the summer season.

    At Lansdowne on the Potomac, the outdoor pool will open for local residents. The Lansdowne Resort will cater to its patrons by opening its swimming pools; likewise, the Harper Clubhouse at Lansdowne Town Center will offer residents a chance to swim or relax by the side of the pool for the first time since last year.

    Plans are underway at River Creek for a poolside barbecue buffet from noon to 4 p.m. with a DJ, dancing, games and prizes in addition to the food. Then later on at 8 p.m. as the sun descends, there will be a movie called "Big Hero 6" shown at the pool.

    "Big Hero 6" comes out of Disney Animation and features Baymax, the huge inflatable character who looks like a cross between a snow man and a dirigible. It’s a family movie that can possibly keep everyone awake after consuming measures of barbecue and side dishes.

    In the midst of the festivities, it might be well to remember that Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day when families laid flowers at the graves of American war dead. And there has been a strand of evidence that Warrenton was one of the first places to do so on June 3, 1861.

    Lecture at Janelia

    One of the activities many have been privy to is the free lecture series at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Campus on the edge of Lansdowne. They are scheduled quarterly and the subject matter, while highly technical and scientific can be educational, interesting, entertaining and the venue with all its trappings is an architectural delight.

    Last week, Dr. Shirley M. Tighman delivered a discourse on “The Wild and Wacky World of Epigenetics.” She presented the case for the studies on genetics stemming from the 19th century father of genetics Gegor Mendel.

    Tighman delved into the complexities of genes that can be “expressed” or “remain silent” and terminology: DNA, genomes, cellular structure, inherited genetic code, etc. One example showed was how humans enduring a famine gave birth to offspring who were obese.

    Dr. Tighman, scholar in molecular biology, was elected president of Princeton in 2001 after serving 15 years on its faculty.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: A picture book
    Photo of a sunrise at River Creek by Tom Lewis
    River Creek resident Tom Lewis has focused his camera on sunrises that spread their dazzling display across the Potomac River. He collected a number of them and has had them published in a 22-page book that came out last month. You would think that a continuum of sunrises would become repetitive, but given the change in seasons, the variation in cloud cover and misty scenes, each one tells a different story that has been recognized and recorded by Lewis.

    Lewis is a native Virginian who has as his constant companion his iPhone or iPad to take his photos.

    “I will always find time to shoot a few photos for the world to enjoy,” he said. And he hopes that you find something you like in his first book and that it makes you feel good about life.

    You can get in touch with Lewis to purchase a book at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). And his work will be on display at the annual River Creek Art Show in the fall at the River Creek Club. Also you can see them at http://www.facebook.com/SunrisesAtRiverCreek.

    Snackbar Jones

    The Lansdowne on the Potomac Club will be starting its concert season on Sunday, May 24 at 7 p.m. The opener for the coming season will have Snackbar Jones on stage in the outdoor amphitheater. This group of four musicians, according to their stated repertory, can do rock, hip hop, country, classic rock and oldies, among others. For more information call 571-333-1212. This entertainment is for residents of Lansdowne on the Potomac.

    Packing for travel

    Recently while preparing for a trip I asked myself the question: Why is it that the female gender can pack a suitcase neatly, whereas the male species has difficulty? My wife can fold a shirt in less than five seconds and it will be perfectly square with the buttons in a straight line in parallel with the two sides of the shirt. After over three minutes of folding and refolding finally I have only one sleeve sticking out; the button line in a zigzag pattern with the edges of the shirt uneven. The collar is turned up and the bottom of the shirt protrudes out of the top. After packing my suitcase its contents have all the earmarks of a mid-term rummage sale. Meanwhile hers looks like a display at Lord and Taylor.
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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Operation Homefront Golf Tournament helps wounded warriors
    Nathan Jakubisin, a wounded warrior who lost part of his right leg in Afghanistan, participated in the golf tournament. Times-Mirror/Joe Motheral
    A host of volunteers and officials came together on April 27 from Operation Homefront (OH), the organization that's been indispensable in supporting military families and golfers, including several wounded warriors in the annual golf tournament at River Creek. The event has functioned effectively as a fundraiser thanks to sponsors, a silent auction and golf fees, all used to provide emergency aid for service members and their families.

    “We have 20 sponsors this year,” said OH Metro Chairman Bill McFadden.

    Jeff Jamison of the Whitlock Co. said his company provided breakfast.

    “I discovered Operation Homefront through their Christmas program some three years ago,” Jamison said. He’s been a devoted supporter since then as has the other sponsors.

    It was a cool and gusty day but the golfers were undeterred as if on a mission. Dark rain clouds formed in the west and began to move in a threatening manner. The Doppler showed that rain was on its way. But as if by divine providence, not one drop fell on the golf course as the clouds dispensed their moisture in surrounding areas.

    I met Nathan Jakubisin who was wounded in Afghanistan where he had lost part of his right leg. At age 26 he did have a good job and was in good spirits. He described Operation Homefront as “pretty amazing.” He has been a patient at Walter Reed and his main reason for being at the tournament was, “too support Operation Homefront. Also I like activities.”

    He was quite open about the after effects of serving in Afghanistan and having been the victim of an IED explosive. He is a graduate of Colorado Technical College, having taken courses online.
    “I have anxiety, sometimes get paranoid and my anger occasionally flairs,” Jakubisin said. When I asked him if he had ever been helped by OH, he indicated that he hadn’t and that sometime pride stands in the way of getting help.

    I spoke with OH staff members Roseanne Coleman and Cyndi Lucas. Coleman in a way corroborated what Jakubisin had said. She and Lucas cited examples – past due rent rather than next month’s rent – an indicator of OH being the party of the last resort.

    “We get a lot of food assistance; most requested,” she said.

    OH Metro Chapter president Vivian Dietrich commented that all-in-all it was the best tournament ever.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWN: Syfy, etc. at Rivercon
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Tarzan of the Apes
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Operation Homefront golf outing
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Punjabi in Lansdowne
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Weekend Easter celebrations
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Operation Homefront
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Bunny rabbits and egg hunts
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Portrait of a citizen scholar
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: New golf pro at River Creek
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Dialogues of Discovery
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