Category Archives: Memories

Collington – Veterans and their stories

Collington residents have many stories to tell of how military service impacted their or family histories.

John Geron is encouraging folks to share their stories. Read the initial submissions – a young girl lies about her age to join the British Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps; A WWII vet goes on to a career as a journalist and later and academic; military careers are forged through hard work and opportunities.  Consider submitting your own history to John to expand the collection.

The collected stories, Military Histories submitted by Collington Residents, are listed on the Resident Directories page.

Also note that at the bottom of the Collingtonian page there are special issues from 2000-2002: We Were There: Collingtonians and WWII.

A Brief Memory of Justice Marshall

The announcement of the film “Marshall“, to be shown in the Collington auditorium on Monday, reminded me of the one time I was lucky enough to even be in the same room with him

When I was in law school, our teacher Tony Lewis, arranged for us to hear a Supreme Court argument, and then to meet with the Justice.

Before we met Marshall, we were reminded that we should never, ever, ever, mention the pending case, or the argument, with him. So Marshall, inevitably, with his impishness and lack of respect for decorum, walked into the room and asked, “So that was a pretty bad argument, was not it?”  (He was right, of course.)

The most important think I remember, however, is that he talked with some deeply felt irritation at the superficiality of the press, recounting specifically when a journalist asked to see him when he was Solicitor General, and how so he prepared with every possible question — and the jornalist came in with “Could you speak at my son’s graduation.”  As we were leaving, I said something to Tony Lewis about how Marshall could see the press clearly and yet still be such a powerful advocate for the First Amendment.  I will remember Tony Lewis’ simple reply all my life.  “That is greatness.”

Marshall told some hysterical anecdotes, such as the time he espied his wife in the gallery watching an abortion case, and had a US marshal deliver a note that said something like:  “Why are you worrying about abortion?” and her sending back the reply “May I remind you that it takes two to tango.”

A great man who never forgot his humanity — and ours.

P.S. Nancy Lively just emailed me  legal bio of Marshall, adding her own personal note:

The law case cited in Anne Arundel County (our neighboring county to Prince George’s) was won by Marshall in 1939.  The man bringing the suit for equal pay for Black teachers was the father of a close friend who is also the pianist in our church.  Her mom and dad were both school principals when we moved to Annapolis in 1968 and we got  to know Valerie in 1972 if memory serves me. This victory was the first in the USA to gain equal pay across race lines and 14 other states quickly followed suit. An elementary school where Mr. Mills was principal is named for him.  Thurgood Marshall made a big impression in Annapolis and is memorialized by a magnificent statue in the most prominent location in town with adoring children across from him also as statues looking with love at his statue. It is located near the place where he often argued cases.

Every time I see Valerie which is weekly I recall her father, his bravery in bring suit and Marshall for the courageous stands this young lawyer took right before the year I was born.  Nancy Lively

The Hats We Wear

Collington women have shown us the way of the world just by sharing their hats.  From an Admiral’s hat to traditional nurses caps to hard hats to church hats to pussy hats, this year’s Women’s History Clocktower Exhibit displayed our unique places in the world.   Colorful and diverse and observed and commented by residents and visitors alike the exhibit was changed out some, mid-month to accommodate all hats donated.  Fun and fascinating and successful!  Whatever shall we do next year???

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Hats w1Hats w2Hats w3Hats w4Hats w5Hats w6

Meet Mrs. ​Davenport – 104 Years Young!

Mrs D3

On Thursday, March 8, International Women’s Day, the residents of Collington and members of Mrs. Davenport’s church met in “conversation.”   It was quite fitting since she initiated a celebration of International Women’s Day in her church.  Mrs. Davenport lived in accordance with her favorite hymn, “If I Can Help Somebody.”  This was demonstrated over and over again as Mrs. Davenport described her life!  Watch below.

photo and video by Lois Brown

Ainslie Embree, An Ultimate Collingtonian – Memorial Events Now Scheduled

ATE Portrait May 2009

On July 29 (Saturday) at 2 PM, there will be a traditional Episcopal Book of Common Prayer service in the chapel here at Collington to mark the death of Ainslie Embree.  At 3 PM there will be a reception in the Auditorium.  It is understood that some may wish to attend one of these events, and others both.

There seems indeed for me a special need to mark the death, after an astonishingly full life, of Ainslie Embree, perhaps the ultimate Collingtonian.

Ainslie brought a combination of dignity, warmth, intelligence and humility to Collington.  He and his wife Sue quickly became some of our earliest and closest friends.  As one of the internationalist generation, it turned out that we knew surprisingly many in common. His wide knowledge of the world, and of people in it, and his humane wisdom about everything, made every conversation an adventure, which also provided deep reassurance about humanity.

I can not resist sharing two stories.  Outside the dining room, there is a wall festooned with photographs of Collingtonians with heads of state.  (As our son remarked, if you are a head of state, and want to get on that wall, you have to get to know someone at Collington.)  One is of Ainslie talking to Indira Gandhi.  Ainslie pointed out the strange look that the person standing next to him is giving him, and told us that he had asked the man, a missionary, why he was looking at him that way.  According to Ainslie, the man replied, “Because you were being such a suck-up.”  (I wonder how many of that set of photos have similarly ambiguous and fascinating back-stories.)

On another occasion, we were having dinner with Sue and Ainslie and overheard someone at the next table ask, “Are you in Who’s Who?”  After appropriate quiet snickers, we all tried to come up with the perfect come-back.  Ainslie won, hands down with, “Isn’t everybody?” and an immediate return to the topic at hand.

When resident Doris Ball died, I asked Ainslie to use the occasion to draft an appreciation of Dorothy and her husband Robert.  His contribution, which because a much broader appreciation of several of other residents (including, with particular relevance to today, Elliot Richardson), appeared under the heading, Thoughts on Robert Ball, Social Security and Collington’s Unsung Heroes of American Governance.

Collington  has had the good fortune to be the home of many outstanding citizens, with many  of them entitled to belong to the category of what has been called  by  Professor Mashaw  of Yale Law School, “unsung  heroes of American governance.”  Four who come immediately to mind, without selective judgment, are Admiral Bill Crowe, Elliot Richardson, Senator Chuck Percy and Robert Ball.  Each of them, as Kipling put it, walked with kings, but did not lose the common touch, exemplified in their fondness for small parties with fellow residents in their own homes or in those of other residents.

As so often, the appreciation he wrote could have been a mirror held to Sue (a giant in her own right) and himself, although they would be the last to have realized it.  Ainslie’s Wikipedia entry, with all the details, is here. Please read it.  Here, also, is a Unniverity of California TV interview of Ainslie.