Paul Palmer has been named to the 2018 class of the College Football Hall of Fame. He will join Kerry Collins (Penn State), Charles Woodson (Michigan), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), and Ed Reed (Miami) among others when he inducted on December 4th in New York.
Paul “Boo Boo” Palmer graduated from Churchill in the early 80s and went on to lead the nation in rushing yards his senior year at Temple University with 1,866 yards. In the same season, he broke Marcus Allen’s NCAA record for all-purpose yards with 2,633. He rushed for nearly 5,000 yards in his 4-year college football career.
Palmer went on to become the Kansas City Chiefs first round draft pick in 1987, drafted 19th overall. After two years with the Chiefs, he went on to play for the Lions and Cowboys, gaining over 1,000 career rushing yards in the NFL.
Former Temple Owls and Arizona Cardinals Head Coach, Bruce Arians, referred to Palmer as “pound for pound, the best player I’ve ever coached.”
Congratulations to MoCo native, Paul Palmer!
If you’re from MoCo, you’re likely familiar with East and West Gude Drive (pronounced Goo-Dee), but you may not be as familiar with the family the road is named for.
The Gude family business was A. Gude Sons Co. Nursery. It was located where Gude Drive and Crabbs Branch Way are today. Gude Drive cuts through where the family farm was located.
Gilbert Gude was born on March 9, 1923, in Washington D.C. He attended public school in Rockville prior to graduating from Woodrow Wilson in D.C.
Gude served in the Pacific Theater in World War II as part of the U.S. Army Medical Department from 1943-1946. He later earned his B.S. degree from Cornell University and his M.A. from George Washington University in 1948.
He was appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1953, elected to the House of Delegates in 1954 and served until 1958. He was elected to the Republican State Central Commiytee in 1958 and the Maryland State Senate in 1962 until 1967.
A Gazette article listed his most noteworthy achievement as being the chief sponsor of a House bill protecting the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from a highway on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, which led to the 1972 creation of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. It’s the narrowest National Park in the United States.
In the same Gazette article, his daughter (Sharon Gude) describes him as a “liberal Republican” that “voted the way his heart told him to.”
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After retiring from Congress in 1977, Gude became the director of the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service until 1985.
In 1986, he emceed Sidney Kramer’s installation as Montgomery County Executive just 12 years after defeating him in a 1974 congressional election. “He was very honest, very admirable.” said Kramer of Gude. “I came to admire him more than any other opponent I’ve ever met.”
Gilbert Gude passed away on June 7, 2007 from congestive heart failure in Washington, D.C., but his legacy lives on in MoCo.
By Peggy Montella
MoCo residents out walking in their neighborhoods this spring may be surprised to find painted rocks with inspirational sayings and beautiful designs hidden near walkways, lakes, and trees. I first came across a painted stone hidden on a fence while walking with my dogs in Montgomery Village. I joined the Montgomery Village ❤ Rocks (MV Rocks) Facebook page to see what this growing trend is all about and found that it is not just happening locally. The Kindness Rocks Project, founded by Megan Murphy of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, has inspired many groups to form. Kindness Rocks Damascus and Olney Rocks have also been busy spreading kindness and happiness in their communities.
Julia Naoui founded MV Rocks in July 2017 with members of her walking group. The group’s plans for the day were cancelled due to bad weather so they stayed inside and painted rocks instead. Since then, the group has grown to 345 members with new members being added daily. Kristen Nelson started Olney Rocks in June 2017 after seeing Kindness Rocks posts on her timeline and realizing that Olney did not yet have a group. Nelson said that performing random acts of kindness is very important to her family and it was easy to start the group with friends and neighbors. Olney Rocks now has over 750 members and has helped spread the movement to other local organizations including elementary schools and Girl Scout troops. According to its Facebook page, Kindness Rocks Damascus has 691members.
The common purpose of these groups is to bring joy to their communities. “Fostering happiness and kindness” is one of Olney Rocks’ goals, according to Nelson. She said it has been a very positive experience and the best part is “the happiness that it brings to our community.” The Montgomery Village Rockspage describes the group as a “way to connect our community, encourage art, and promote random acts of kindness.” Kindness Rocks Damascus believes “pictures and inspirational quotes can bring a smile to someone looking or to that lucky someone who stumbles upon a beautifully painted rock.”
Some rocks are intricate works of art representing the seasons as well as containing upbeat messages. I was assured that anyone of any age and level of artistic talent can participate and it is an activity that parents and kids of all ages can enjoy together. Julia Naoui even hosts monthly potluck painting sessions where beginners can get a start. Naoui said that people come to the event “as strangers and leave as friends.”
And it’s not just the fun of painting the rocks that gives this movement its joy. It’s also the thrill of seeing someone else’s delight when they find your rock. It is the icing on the cake, as MV Rocks co-admin Lori Guthrie describes it. Although they aren’t obligated to do so, many people post photos of the rocks they’ve found and either leave them where they are or hide them for someone else to find. Some people keep their favorites. It is entirely up to the finder. Naoui said she believes “rocks come to you for a reason” and encourages people to keep the first rock they find. She said many people are so pleased to find a rock that they are inspired to paint and place some of their own. All of the groups’ Facebook pages list helpful suggestions on how to get started and guidelines for placing the rocks safely in public places. The goal is to keep the positivity going and make MoCo a better community, one rock at a time.
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Sidney Hechinger opened his first hardware store in Washington D.C. in 1919.
In 1953, the company had grown to five stores. Sidney brought in his son, John Hechinger, and his son-in-law, Richard England, as partners.
By the early 70s, the company had doubled in size to ten stores. Hechinger and England took the company public in 1972.
John Hechinger Jr. became was named president of the company in 1986. He was the third generation of Hechingers to run the show and reincorporated the company in Delaware the next year. At the time, the company was up to just over 50 stores.
By 1995, there were 131 stores in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. That’s when the competition from Home Depot and Lowe’s forced Hechinger to close almost twenty stores, while reformatting a few others. It was the first major decrease in stores the company had ever seen.
The Hechinger company was bought by Leonard Green and Partners in 1997 for $100.2 million. Two years later, in June 1999, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and by September of that year, every store was closed and assets were liquidated.
The Hechinger name briefly came back in 2004 after Home Decor Products purchased it to use as an online tool retailer. That lasted 5 years until the site shut down in 2009.
There were MoCo stores in Glenmont, Gaithersburg, near Wheaton Plaza, near Montgomery Mall, and Rockville (possibly more).
Here is what the Rockville store looked like shortly after opening in 1957, courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.
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According to the press release below, Rockville has approved voting by mail for city elections.
Mayor and Council Approve Voting by Mail for City Elections
Rockville, Maryland, April 10 – Rockville residents will have the option of voting by mail during Mayor and Council elections under a process approved unanimously Monday by the Mayor and Council.
Voting by mail provides more and better options for voters by sending the ballots to voters, as opposed to getting voters to the polls. While voting by mail will be the main method of voting, the city will have an Election Day vote center, at City Hall, for voters who choose to vote in person, drop off ballots and interact with election officials. Early voting will be eliminated, as it will no longer be necessary. The city will maintain the option to vote by absentee ballot.
Encouraging more people to vote in city elections is a priority for the Mayor and Council this term. Rockville’s voter turnout has declined regardless of the number of candidates or ballot questions, from 16.94 percent of registered voters in 2011 to 16.51percent in 2013 and 15.87 percent in 2015.
Rockville elects the entire five-member Mayor and Council to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections during years when there are no county, state or federal elections. The next election is in 2019.
The city’s Board of Supervisors of Elections recommended the new voting process in a presentation to the Mayor and Council on Nov. 6. The Mayor and Council discussed the recommendations on Jan. 22 and held a public hearing about it on Feb. 5.
At least 22 states allow elections to be conducted by mail, including California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Maryland allows voting by mail in special elections and for absentee ballots.
Good news for those who love Starbucks on the go. The new Starbucks Drive Thru in Burtonsville should be open in about 3 weeks.
Until that’s ready, there’s a Starbucks location open across the street.
UPDATED AT 4:30pm to reflect a temporary closure due to a gas leak.
I received a tip about Greatest American Hot Dogs, in Derwood, closing permanently.
At 4:30pm on Sunday, April 8th, we received a photo of the note on the door (shown below) regarding a gas leak that is keeping the restaurant closed temporarily. Glad to hear they’ll be back!
I tried it out for the first time last summer and enjoyed it. Below you’ll see a couple photos of the hotdogs I tried and the locally inspired menu.
A sign on the door at Corned Beef King in Olney indicates that the location is closing permanently and relocating to Rockville, but the food truck will remain on site in Olney. The restaurant is being taken apart as we speak.
On March 1st we reported on the new Corned Beef King location at Liberty gas station in Rockville (Rockville Pike and Twinbrook Parkway), but the news of the Olney location closing comes as a shock to us.
Again, the food truck will remain on site in Olney.
Farah Diba married Shah Mohammed Reza to become the Queen of Iran in 1959.
In her early years as queen, she limited herself to a ceremonial role, but her fascination with the French culture led to a friendship with Andre Malraux, then the French culture minister. Due to this friendship, she arranged for the trade and exchange of cultural artifacts between Iran and France. The relationship between the Iranian and French museums and art galleries lasted until the Islamic revolution in 1979.
As time went on, Farah Pahlavi became more involved in government affairs. She was very instrumental in securing the attention of the Shah and securing funding for women’s rights and cultural development in Iran. She also focused on general cultural and social matters, as well as health and education issues.
She is credited with helping Pahlavi University (now Shiraz University) become the first American style university in Iran. Her work within the university was just one of the ways she attempted to improve the education of Iranian women.
Farah Pahlavi and Shah Reza Mohammed had four children.
Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi (10/31/1960)
Princess Farahnaz Pahlavi (3/12/1963)
Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi (4/28/1966 - 1/4/2011)
A memorial that was attended by thousands was held at The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda on January 23, 2011.
Princess Leila Pahlavi (3/27/1970 - 6/10/2001)
In 1979, dissatisfaction with the Imperial government had come to a boil. With riots, discontent, and unrest becoming more pronounced, the government enacted martial law in most major Iranian cities.
Farah Pahlavi and Reza Mohammed decided to leave the country in January of 1979 for Egypt. Soon after, the Revolutionary Government had ordered for the arrest and death of both the Shah and the Empress. They left Egypt and went to Morocco, followed by a few months in the Bahamas and Mexico City.
The couple came to the United States so that the Shah, who was battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma, could receive treatment. Due to hostile conditions between the United States and Iran, the family left after the Shah received treatment since many viewed their stay in the United States as ultimately leading to the Iran hostage crisis (the United States did not give the family permission to stay).
After some time in Panama, the family returned to Egypt, where the Shah passed away in July of 1980. The Empress stayed until October of 1981 when President Ronald Reagan welcomed the family to the United States.
After time in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Empress moved to Potomac in 2001, where her son Reza Pahlavi lived with his children.
Reza Pahlavi is the Crown Prince of Iran. He is the oldest child of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Farah Pahlavi and left Iran at the age of 17, in 1977, two years before the Iranian Revolution to attend training at Reese Air Force Base in Texas, where he completed the United States Air Force’s Undergraduate Pilot Training Program.
He then attended Williams College in Massachusetts for three years prior to being forced to leave due to the conflict between the United States and Iran. Pahlavi obtained his political science degree by correspondence from USC.
Reza Pahlavi married Yasmine Etemad-Amini in 1986. They have three daughters:
Noor Pahlavi, born 4/3/1992
Graduated from The Bullis School in Potomac
Iman Pahlavi, born 9/12/1993
Graduated from The Bullis School in Potomac
Farah Pahlavi, born 4/17/2004
Reza and Yasmine Pahlavi are very vocal supporters of the democracy movement in Iran. According to Iranian writer, Reza Bayegan, the Crown Prince is deeply attached to his Shi’a Muslim faith. When interviewed about religion, Pahlavi said, "That's a private matter; but if you must know, I am, of course, by education and by conviction, a Shia Muslim. I am very much a man of faith.”
Their daughters, Noor and Iman Pahlavi, were raised in MoCo. After graduating from The Bullis School (in 2010 and 2011) Noor attended Georgetown University, where she graduated in 2014. Iman graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015. Both currently live and work in New York. Youngest daughter, Farah, still lives with the family in Potomac.
Below you’ll see Noor and Iman Pahlavi giving their mother, Yasmine Pahlavi, a kiss from Noor’s public Instagram account.