Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Celebration Of Life..And A New Beginning

Mrs. Vilma Dianne Bowie Peele, a GREAT lady, an exceptional teacher and the mother of my good friend, Mr. Bryan Brandon Peele, passed away on the morning of February 10, 2010 in Northwest Washington, D.C. Friends and family will gather for a celebration of Mrs. Peele's life on February 17, 2010 (later, today), at Northeastern Presbyterian Church, which is located at 2112 Varnum Street, in Northeast Washington, D.C.

For more details, please visit Mrs. Peele's obituary (here), as it was published in The Washington Post on February 15th and 16th.

It is also, with no small measure of regret, that I announce The PENN BRANGLER will break for TWO weeks, during which I will be focusing on a long, long list of pressing matters, ..not the least of which is the development of another blog. For me, this coming fortnight will be a time to honor some long-standing and much neglected commitments to myself, my friends and family. May this be, for all of us, a time to honor those, who have honored us, in bleak times and hopeful ones--as Mrs. Vilma Peele often did--with their unconditional friendship.

That's not such a far-flung ambition in the neighborhood I come from, ..and we, in Penn Branch, are blessed that is so.

Hasta luego, Brangler.

Mel Dyer

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Farewell To One Of Our Finest River East Teachers

The mother of Bryan, my best friend [I have a few.], passed away this morning, around 5 am at the Washington Home (headquarters of the Washington Hospice Centers) in Northwest Washington, DC. Bryan's mother had been a teacher for over thirty years at Anacostia High School and was much loved by the students of its various intra-curricular academies--forerunners to D.C.'s charter schools--for her nurturing heart, strong principles and old-fashioned discipline.

Bryan is one of a handful of close friends, who, at one time or another, have joined me for imported coffee and caramel macchiatoes at Crystal City Underground's Starbucks, in a corner of the shop we called the Rainbow Room, because of its STAINED GLASS WINDOW, plush armchairs and clubby feel. The Rainbow Room Mob loves this guy. My family loves this guy; I love him like a brother, and I consider his late mom a godmother to me. Bryan is handling this terrible loss in his own way, and is in the company of family members, many of whom are going through sheer hell to get to him in this blizzard.

In that spirit, please keep Bryan and his family in your prayers and understand my wish to protect their privacy, at this time. I will share more with the River East community, as it becomes appropriate.

God bless all of us, Brangler.

Mel Dyer