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Our Town with host Andy Ockershausen - Homegrown History

Updated 22 days ago

Business
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News
History
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Homegrown History

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Homegrown History

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
1
0
0
0

Ourtownwithandyockershausen

By Margo Jurgensen - Oct 11 2017
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This show brings back the old and new. Names that make or made living in Washington so interesting.

New favorite!

By Morgan Vekeman - Nov 23 2016
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Super cool to get an alternate perspective of how DC has evolved!! And it's not political :)

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
1
0
0
0

Ourtownwithandyockershausen

By Margo Jurgensen - Oct 11 2017
Read more
This show brings back the old and new. Names that make or made living in Washington so interesting.

New favorite!

By Morgan Vekeman - Nov 23 2016
Read more
Super cool to get an alternate perspective of how DC has evolved!! And it's not political :)
Cover image of Our Town with host Andy Ockershausen - Homegrown History

Our Town with host Andy Ockershausen - Homegrown History

Latest release on Dec 17, 2019

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Homegrown History

Rank #1: Monique Samuels – Real Housewives of Potomac and Not for Lazy Moms

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Monique Samuels on being the only one on Real Housewives of Potomac with babies~

"I can't wait for someone else to have a baby on this cast. I can't be the only one because it is very difficult trying to navigate, just making sure that your family feels whole and they don't feel like they're being left out and then trying to give your all to the show as well. I've never had a nanny until I joined the show. So I had to spend more money. Get somebody to take care of my babies while I'm off filming and doing other things that I need to do. So it's been a transition for our family but I think we're handling it pretty well."

Monique Samuels - Real Housewives of Potomac and Not for Lazy Moms founder - with host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, Andy Ockershausen with the unique Monique Samuels. Monique an absolute super pleasure for us to have you as part of Our Town.
Monique Samuels: Thank you, I'm so excited to be here. I'm so honored to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: You have your television show, you have a career that's so important to Our Town because you put us on the map and we know about Potomac but you've made it bigger than that.
M Samuels: Ah, thanks.
Andy Ockershausen: But to see your star is rising in the ten years you've been doing the show. Has it been that long?
Monique Samuels: No. Not this long for the show. The show, let's see, this is year four for the show; year three for me.
Andy Ockershausen: That's it.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Growing up in Pleasantville, New Jersey
Andy Ockershausen: Monique you're so unique and I use that word and you're not from Washington D.C. I found out in your resume you're from Pleasantville New Jersey.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: I think I know ... Isn't Pleasantville close to the bridge?
Monique Samuels: Yep. It's right outside of Atlantic City.
Andy Ockershausen: And it's wonderful in that part of New Jersey, right?
Monique Samuels: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I'm not mad at it, it raised me pretty good.
Andy Ockershausen: But that's important, it's your roots.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: In New Jersey and Pleasantville.
M Samuels: Small town.
Andy Ockershausen: Now why would a woman with talent obviously looking for help want to go to Pittsburgh to Duquesne?
College | Pittsburgh, PA | Full Academic Scholarship | Duquesne University
Monique Samuels: Yes, so I wanted to be a lawyer and Duquesne had a great law program where you could do your undergrad in three years and your fourth year of undergrad is your first year of law school. So that was my plan. I got a full academic scholarship to Duquesne University, that was another reason why I went.
Andy Ockershausen: That's a good reason.
Monique Samuels: Oh, yeah. They paid for everything.
Andy Ockershausen: They paid the full scholarship? That's great.
Valedictorian to Salutatorian, Senior Year High School Because of Unexpected Rule Change
Monique Samuels: Yeah, full academic scholarship. I graduated from Pleasantville High School, I was the Salutatorian ...
Andy Ockershausen: First time I've ever seen that word in writing. Does that mean your second in your class?
Monique Samuels: Yes. Which is interesting story ...
Andy Ockershausen: Tell me that.
Monique Samuels: I was really the Valedictorian all four years of high school I was always number one. My senior year, they normally lock in the ranks after the first semester, because you know you have two semesters. So after first semester they lock in the ranks. My guidance counselor told me, he said, "Well, you technically only need one class so that you can just be enrolled for the second semester ...

May 07 2019

35mins

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Rank #2: Arthur Cotton Moore – Architect, Master Planner, Author – Washington DC

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Arthur Cotton Moore on the Metro and one of his pro bono publico ideas ~

"I'm talking about the homeless because it's a big issue in Washington, and they [Metro] have these cars that they're now throwing away. The 4000 series because they don't have the right propulsion . . .the cars are being thrown away . . . they're paying a salvage company in Baltimore 1.3 million dollars to chop them up. So, they have really negative 1.3 million dollars. I did a drawing, and that's in the book, on how they would make two very nice one-bedroom apartments."

Arthur Cotton Moore - Architect, Master Planner, Author - Washington DC, in studio interview with Andy Ockershausen

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and I'm just so grateful today to have an opportunity to talk to a man who is ... I don't want to say he's an icon, because he's too active.
He is a very important part of Our Town. He helped build it. Arthur Cotton Moore was a graduate of Princeton University. He grew up in the city. In fact, he's sixth generation. He's known as all the buildings he's put together, all the things he's done.
He has been an architect for over six decades. As an owner of the Chloethiel Smith firm, he has excelled in such phenomenal projects as his book in which he wrote, "Here is a man with so many accomplishments." It's hard to believe that one person can do this much, but he's done it. And he's such an important part of Our Town. What he has done is unbelievable. And Arthur this is your capital and our nation's capital, but it's Our Town. Welcome to Our Town, Arthur Cotton Moore.
Arthur Cotton Moore: Well thank you very much. I'm very happy to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: We know you so well and have watched you. I say we. That's a collective "we". What you have done for Our Town is unbelievable and some of your projects. But the basic part I remember about you, you always look ... When I wanted somebody to be an architect, I'd call central casting and if I did they'd send Arthur Cotton Moore. He looks like an architect, am I right? He walks, he talks like it.
Arthur Cotton Moore: I didn't bring my T-square.
Andy Ockershausen: When I grew up, first in broadcasting in the community, Bud Doggett who you know very well I remember-
Arthur Cotton Moore: Right.
Andy Ockershausen: Not with us anymore, but he was very instrumental in getting me involved with the Board of Trade with a man named Leon Chatterley.
Arthur Cotton Moore: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: Do you remember that name?
Arthur Cotton Moore: Yes I do.
Andy Ockershausen: And I didn't know he was an architect but he always looked like a million bucks too. He had his own business after a while.
Arthur Cotton Moore: Right. He did, yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: I know he passed away but he was a very important part of Our Town.
Arthur Cotton Moore: Right.
Andy Ockershausen: But nobody's done what you've done, Arthur. From St. Albans, you Mastered in fine arts and architecture at Princeton. A lot of my people, and I say my people, the Evening Star, own this company, WMAL, and the Star family, almost all of them were Princeton graduates. They grew up ... the Kauffmanns and the Noyes and so forth.
Arthur Cotton Moore: I didn't know that.
Andy Ockershausen: Big part of Our Town, the newspaper people.
Arthur Cotton Moore: Yes, indeed. Yes, I remember The Evening Star was the paper for a long time, and then Times Herald was a scandal sheet, and then it morphed into the Post.
Andy Ockershausen: It's so wonderful that you remember that the demise of The Star was caused mostly by television because the afternoon delivery became impossible,

Apr 06 2018

52mins

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Rank #3: Al Koken – Capitals Reporter and Host, NBC Sports Washington

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Al Koken on what started his career ~

"All because I jumped out of an airplane."

Al Koken, Capitals Reporter and Host, NBC Sports Washington, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is a special, special treat to me on our podcast, a man, and I know that's a cliché and I'm going to say it anyway, needs no introduction, but he likes it. So I'm going to introduce you to a wonderful, wonderful great broadcaster, Smokin' Al Koken.
Al Koken: We're using my biblical name then? Is that what we're doing?
Andy Ockershausen: Who came up with the "Smokin'"?
Glenn Brenner and a True Badge of Honor - "Smokin'Al Koken"
Al Koken: It was given to me, and I wear it with a true badge of honor, by the late great Glenn Brenner.
Andy Ockershausen: Glenn did that?
Al Koken: When I was working with him at Channel 9, it was back in the day. Remember when the third-string quarterback held the clipboard, as opposed to being inactive? Glenn called me the clipboard guy. If he was on vacation, Ken Mease would go Monday through Friday, and I'd fill in for Ken Mease. I was kind of their third guy. Back in the day when the Redskins were on CBS as opposed to Fox, after Redskin home games they would do a Redskin post-game show with Glenn in the studio, and I would be down at RFK Stadium interviewing players. During one of the broadcasts, we come back from commercial, they're going to come down to me, and I'm going to interview a player. Glenn comes back and says, "All right, let's go back down to RFK Stadium and rejoin," and he paused. I'm thinking, did he forget my name? He goes, "Smokin' Al Koken." I kind of laughed, you know.
Andy Ockershausen: First time you heard it?
Al Koken: Yeah. Of course, the next day, because it was given by Glenn Brenner, people, "Hey, Smokin' Al Koken. Smokin' Al Koken." That's how it stuck, but because it was given to me by somebody who I respect and love so much-
Andy Ockershausen: Everybody. Everybody loved Glenn.
Al Koken: Yeah, I treat that like a real badge of honor.
Andy Ockershausen: One of the things, and, this isn't at all for you, Koken, but it's important. One of the things Janice and I would really look forward to, because they were friends, was the Redskins show on Saturday night. Well, they taped it on Thursday, but John Riggins and Sonny, of course, and George. Before that it was Glenn. It was all those guys. It was about fun. It was a fun show. Stuff I'm watching now, not fun.
Al Koken: Right, and directed by our great friend, Ernie Baur, and produced by Ernie Baur. He was a guy who always made sure that the best of what Glenn did, which was off-the-cuff, ad libbing, as you said, having fun, that had to shine through. You couldn't sit there with John Riggins and Sonny Jurgensen and ask serious questions and get people to watch for 30 minutes. You had to have fun with it, and the more off-script they went, the better the show.
Andy Ockershausen: You were right, and it doesn't happen anymore. But Al, you are a Missourian. You're from Missouri, but you've gotta be shown. St. Louis. I remember you, we're trying to get you on the phone. They said, "Don't call him during the World Series. He's in St. Louis." That's was the first time I knew you were connected by a lot of things to St. Louis.
St. Louis, Missouri Fan - Baseball, Football and Hockey
Al Koken: Grew up in St. Louis, and obviously I was a huge St. Louis Baseball Cardinal fan, football fan, St. Louis Blues. That's where I really fell in love with hockey, seeing the St. Louis Blues for the first years of expansion. They came in 1967, and I remember my uncle had some season tickets, and going down and seeing the games, and just mesmerized. I tell everybody-
Andy Ockershausen: You lived in the city?
Movie "Back to the Future" Based on University City
Al Koken: Lived just on the edge. It's called University City. In fact, I'll give you a very quick story about University City.

Jan 24 2019

36mins

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Rank #4: Wendy Rieger – NBC4 News Anchor

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Wendy Rieger, NBC4 news anchor, is host Andy Ockershausen’s guest in this all new episode of Our Town. Wendy recalls stories and experiences during this interview that will give you good insight into who she is, and how she got to be where she is today.
Andy and Wendy talk about how Wendy came to live and work in Our Town. Although not a native Washingtonian, Wendy says she “always says I feel like I'm from here because I came here when I was 22 from Norfolk Virginia. I went to school at American University . . .that's what brought me here . . .I was finishing up my school.” Wendy goes on to tell Andy about how it was she decided togo to American University’s School of Communication. This journey included dropping out of Old Dominion in her sophomore year, and taking up acting much to her Mom’s dismay.

Wendy’s interest in news started because of a job she held to make money while acting. She started doing the news on FM 99 because they needed to do news on Saturday and Sunday morning for the FCC. Wendy wasn’t a newsperson but needed the money and auditioned for the position “as an actor being a newsperson”. She got the job, did it for a year, and fell in love with news. That is what got her back into college. To this day, Wendy refers to this positive experience in her life when speaking with friends whose children are suddenly veering off course.

Wendy Rieger interned at WMAL and that’s where she and Andy first met. He knew right away that she “would go places”. She went on to work at 88.5FM. There she learned a lot, and at 26 became the local host of Morning Edition. She “learned about writing and long format radio and the use of ambient sound”. She tells Andy that she listened everyday to NPR writers, who she calls “magazines writers”, and that they unknowingly mentored her. She used them as examples of what she needed to be. She names Bob Edwards and Susan Stamberg as just a couple of those she admired. She felt lucky to be in an environment she considered “fertile ground” for her new career.

Wendy and Andy go on to talk about CBS and WTOP. Wendy tells Andy that WTOP was a whole different ballgame than NPR. WTOP was like the Indy 500 and NPR had a certain spa-like quality, in that it was just relaxed and much more thoughtful. WTOP was fast and furious, and she recalls the frenzy she experienced covering her first Right to Life march on Washington. She and Andy laugh as Wendy recalls wrestling with the phone booth phones and the alligator clips she had to use to file her stories.

Before getting a call from WRC-TV (NBC4), Wendy spent a short time at local CNN and that’s where she got her feet wet in television. She tells Andy “that was a whole ‘nother kind of mixing bowl explosion because now you have to add video to it so you had to be concerned about your video” as well as write your story. Wendy recalls her early years at WRC-TV (Channel 4) “during the drug wars” where it was normal for there to be four people executed inside a house just every other night. Wendy recalls Pat Collins and others who were part of the hierarchy of old street reporters that you could learn from and watch. She advises students “to study your job . . .study the people around you” to learn what you need to be good at your job. She goes on to tell Andy that she did that very thing for the first four days of her Olympic coverage. Even though she has been in the business for 36 years she had never covered the Olympics so she studied and quietly watched all the sports reporters who were in her area to figure it all out.

Wendy looks back when the competition was “at a wonderfully high rolling boil” and “it was about the story . . . you were in the trenches. . .” not like today it is all about ‘tweeting and social media . . . it really was meaty and you had great fistfuls of news back then. . .” Wendy was a trailblazer, and was so at a time when she had little support because the station was being...

Dec 06 2016

28mins

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Rank #5: John Matthews – WMAL News Director

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John Matthews, WMAL News Director, on the benefits - all of these years - getting up and being at work by 4:30 in the morning at the latest~

"I don’t know what morning drive traffic is like and I don’t know what afternoon drive traffic is like and I consider that a blessing. I love the hours that I work. And that’s when decisions are made. The decisions except for breaking news, the decisions on stories that you’re hearing at 6:00 at night were made at 5:00 in the morning."

John Matthews, WMAL News Director, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, Andy Ockershausen with a special guest who's really not special. He's a big part of the woodwork here at WMAL, he's a big part of the station and it's success, a big part of my life because I've known him since he was a kid, and I hired him at WMAL, it's maybe one of the biggest mistakes I ever made, but I lived with it for years and all of a sudden John Matthews became a star. John, welcome to Our Town.
John Matthews: Oh my goodness. You are really blowing it up this morning.
Andy Ockershausen: Your skirt, blows your skirt up. Whatever blows your- John, what a great thing though that you came here as a kid, a young man out of school. Why did you pick Syracuse to go to school?
Education - Syracuse University
John Matthews: Well there's a couple of reasons. Number one they had a great broadcast program, but number two my sister went there before I did.
Andy Ockershausen: Your talented sister.
John Matthews: My talented sister, Julie. She was there before I went and being she's a couple of years older than me, I really hadn't toured a lot of college campuses, so when she went there, one of the only college campuses I'd ever seen was in Syracuse, New York, Syracuse University, so I ended up going there and they had a great broadcast program too.
Andy Ockershausen: Where did you grow up, in Washington or Frederick?
On Growing Up in Our Town
John Matthews: I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh you did? Right here?
John Matthews: Oh yeah. Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: Your dad was a builder and lived here.
John Matthews: My dad was a builder. He built the first house that he ever owned, he built in Silver Spring. And I grew up-
Andy Ockershausen: What was your relationship to Frederick? Your grandma-
John Matthews: My grandparents lived in Frederick.
Andy Ockershausen: That's what I thought.
John Matthews: Lived in Frederick, Maryland. And my dad grew up in Gallipolis, Ohio. And-
Andy Ockershausen: I know it well.
John Matthews: Yeah. He grew up in Gallipolis, Ohio, and moved his family here, moved us here.
Andy Ockershausen: Were you born in Ohio?
John Matthews: No. I was born in Richmond, Virginia. I was born in the-
Andy Ockershausen: That's on the way to Ohio, of course.
John Matthews: He had a construction job down there. And he was a builder and he had construction work down there. He had my two sisters and I and shortly after I was born, I was less than a year old, we moved up here to the D.C. area and we lived in Langley Park and Takoma Park in apartments. We moved to a house near downtown Silver Spring and then my dad built a house in the White Oak, Hillandale area of Silver Spring and that's where I grew up.
Andy Ockershausen: John, that's great to hear you, think I've known your dad for 40, 50 years, I didn't realize all these things. I knew he was a local guy, and I consider Frederick Our Town because we had more listeners in Frederick than Frederick stations had at one time.
John Matthews: Sure.
Andy Ockershausen: There was a reason for that, our signal. But John, you've had a great experience in Our Town. The moves, obviously you learn things, you knew things, and did you try any other school before Syracuse?
John Matthews' WMAL Internship
John Matthews: Not for college. I went to Springbrook High School and then I went to Syracuse and then I got my internship at WMAL.

Feb 07 2019

38mins

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Rank #6: Ray Benton – Mr. Tennis – CEO of JTCC

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Ray Benton on the current state of Tennis~

"A lot more to be done. We've gotta rebuild the base of our sport. I mean, tennis participation's been going down in the United States for 40 years. It's ridiculous."

Ray Benton - Mr. Tennis - CEO of Junior Tennis Championship Center (JTCC)

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and this is Our Town. I'm welcoming an old friend who's not old. He's a young man. He's the CEO of the Junior Tennis Championship Center in College Park, Maryland, but before that, he was Ray Benton and will always be Ray Benton, Mr. Tennis, to me. Ray, welcome to Our Town.
Ray Benton: Thank you Andy. Great to see you.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you know, you've done so much, Ray, in your career and realized that you're from Iowa. I keep wondering, how did you get connected with all the people you got connected with in Washington? You went to school there. You were born there in Iowa?
Ray Benton: No, but I lived there since I was eight years old.
Andy Ockershausen: Is that it?
Ray Benton: I wish you'd say Iowa with a bit of respect. You're very degrading.
Iowa Undergrad and Law School | Vietnam | Wharton Business School
Andy Ockershausen: I remember State Fair was a great movie about Iowa. Now how did you get to Pennsylvania, to Wharton?
Ray Benton: Well, I grew up in Iowa City, where the University is, of course. My parents were actually professors there.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow.
Ray Benton: And so I went to undergraduate and law school there, and then I decided that I'd rather not go to a place called Vietnam. So I went to business school at Wharton and got drafted right out of there.
Andy Ockershausen: Did your time anyway.
Ray Benton: I did my two years.
Andy Ockershausen: But the war was winding down, I'm sure.
Ray Benton: No, no, no, no.
Andy Ockershausen: It was still hot when you-
Ray Benton on serving in Army as Legal Clerk in Alabama during Vietnam War
Ray Benton: I was on orders for Vietnam as an infantry rifleman in 1967, which is like a death sentence, but I was very fortunate I had been working as a legal clerk in the legal office at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.
Andy Ockershausen: Alabama, yeah.
Ray Benton: And I was waiting for my commission in the JAG, and all of a sudden, pending my security clearance, so all of a sudden I was on orders as an infantry rifleman, which I had just taken advanced infantry training. And my commission to JAG came through, which had been four years, and I said, "I really don't wanna spend four years, and I really don't wanna go to Vietnam as an infantry rifleman." And my boss, who was the judge advocate said, "God, I'd like to keep you." I said, "Why don't you make me a legal clerk?" 'cause I was an infantry rifleman just-
Andy Ockershausen: That was your MOS, right?
Ray Benton: My MOS, and 11B10. And I was just waiting for my order to become an officer.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Ray Benton: And so he looked in the Regs, and he found 90 days on the job training, I can make you a legal clerk. And I had been there four months. So he made me a legal clerk, which got me off the orders, and I dropped my commission.
Andy Ockershausen: Did you ever get the commission?
Ray Benton: No, no. I dropped it because I didn't wanna spend four years. So by then, I'd been in for, what? Four, eight months, so I can get it out as a enlisted man for another 16 months.
Andy Ockershausen: And you did?
Ray Benton: I had a great time.
Andy Ockershausen: In Alabama, or they move you around?
Ray Benton: No, no. I was in Alabama the whole time. I'd go to work at five in the morning, be done at one in the afternoon.
Andy Ockershausen: And play golf.
Side jobs while in Army in Alabama - Tennis Pro and Subsitute Business Law Professor
Ray Benton: And after one o'clock, I was the varsity tennis coach at Jacksonville State University. I was the head Tennis Pro at the Anniston, Gadsden Country Clubs and a substitute Business Law Professor.

Mar 05 2019

35mins

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Rank #7: Dave McConnell – Capitol Hill Reporter – WTOP

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Dave McConnell on women in politics ~

"They have gotten a raw deal in politics, in the Senate, in the House, for a long, long time and I'm glad to see things are changing."

Dave McConnell, Capitol Hill Reporter for WTOP and host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: I'm Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town and I'm getting a wonderful, wonderful, opportunity to talk to an old friend. He's really not old but he's been around longer
than I, almost as long as I have, Dave, which is pretty spectacular. Dave McConnell, the star of WTOP, the number one reporter on the Hill. You've been there longer than anybody.
Dave McConnell: I probably have by now on the radio television side. I think there are a couple of print guys that have longer times in than me.
Hill Reporting | Joe McCaffrey
Andy Ockershausen: You have ingrained yourself so much into that Hill, and I have been a fan of yours since. Thank God you got that good WMAL training before you went out on the street and work with a lot of professionals. And all these years you work with a lot of pros. It helps you, David.
Dave McConnell: It does.
Andy Ockershausen: It keeps you on your toes.
Dave McConnell: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: I'm sure you remember it was our friend, Joe McCaffrey.
Dave McConnell: I do indeed.
Andy Ockershausen: He got into the newspaper business and we lost track of him. I don't know. He died or whatever. He was down in Virginia somewhere.
Dave McConnell: When I first came to the Hill I used to see Joe, yeah. He was still there.
Eddie Gallagher | Mark Evans
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah. Well, I think he got out of the army here and didn't leave. WTOP, one of my favorite sounds. I remember when it was WJSV. I remember the lineup was Eddie Gallagher. Who was following them? The morning man was, oh God. Well Eddie did that moonlight show. What was it called? Dreams or something?
Dave McConnell: Well, there was-
Andy Ockershausen: Mark Evans!
Dave McConnell: Yeah, that's right. Mark Evans. Housewives protectively.
Andy Ockershausen: HPL, right?
Dave McConnell: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: I was a CBS guy and I was at his funeral and had a chance to talk about him a little bit. Jim Gibbons, who had been working for us along with. But WTOP was such a powerhouse with that 1,500 signal and nobody could compete with that. Then FM came along. Then FM was made by WTOP-FM, by switching at FM station. They bought the station, right?
Dave McConnell: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: WGMS.
Dave McConnell: Our original FM station, we gave away to Howard University.
Andy Ockershausen: And Mrs. Graham?
Dave McConnell: Well, Katherine Graham, Larry Israel, was running the station then I'm thinking.
Larry Israel | WTOP Went All News and WMAL Made Deal for Games
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah. I was talking about Larry, paying him a compliment because I got to know Larry quite well because it was a small town then, Dave. Ain't that way anymore.
Dave McConnell: No.
Andy Ockershausen: You knew everybody, everybody knew you. Management, talent, whatever. We were all together, you know the hangouts were the same; the Dancing Crab, or Duke's Restaurant, or whatever it was. It doesn't exist anymore, the camaraderie. But Larry Israel called me one day and said that they were broadcasting Maryland football, and he said, this is like 1968-70, said, "We're going all news and I'm not gonna be able to do any more play-by-play because you can't do both. You can't be all news and do play-by-play." It was his theory.
Dave McConnell: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Andy Ockershausen: And I supported that because he's right, you can't have a baseball game on and say you're doing all news. And he couldn't have a football game. So, he tipped us and we called over there and made a deal to take the games off of WTOP. And that's when people were close, I don't think that exists in radio anymore. Lot of competitiveness, but work together.
Dave McConnell: Well, yeah,

Nov 27 2018

40mins

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Rank #8: Bob Milkovich – CEO of Rand* Construction Company

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Bob Milkovich on the good fortune to have have worked for top-notch "Flagship" companies~

"I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have come here and worked and met people like you, and Ernie Fears, and Tony Renaud at WMAL. And then I went to work for Oliver Carr Company. And then I was able to go and work for Goldman Sachs. Then from that I went to First Potomac Realty Trust and now I'm with Rand* Construction and Linda Rabbitt."

Bob Milkovich, CEO of Rand* Construction in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, this is Our Town, and this is sort of like nostalgia day for me and for Janice and for Ken, because, one of our great, great, I mean that, great, great friends, from the early days of the success of the greatest radio station in the world was a man named, a young man named Bob Milkovich, who I had heard of and discovered when he was a quarterback for the University of Maryland. Len Klompus told me about him. At the same time he had us hire Ken, not Ken, Ken Beatrice. He came down from Boston, and Bob Milkovich, welcome to Our Town.
Bob Milkovich: Well, thank you Andy. Thank you Janice. It's so good to be here and I feel so welcomed. I'm back in a place that I called home back in the early '80s when I first came here as a college intern. And I-
Andy Ockershausen: From the University of Maryland.
From the University of Maryland to WMAL
Bob Milkovich: University of Maryland. I actually was introduced to the station by Johnny Holliday so there's a, you know, a-
Andy Ockershausen: We're all in this thing together. Before that there was ... What's his name from University of Maryland?
Janice: Tim Brant?
Andy Ockershausen: Timmy. Tim came here but the athletic director-
Bob Milkovich: Russ Potts was a big promotion guy.
Andy Ockershausen: Russ Potts. He was a promoter wasn't he?
Bob Milkovich: Russ Potts.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh my God.
Bob Milkovich: He was a big promoter and, you know, he always had promotional campaigns well ahead of his time. Some of the people we were talking about earlier, Andy.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh my God.
Bob Milkovich: Everybody was kind of ahead of their time.
Andy Ockershausen: I kept asking how he got to be an athletic director but Dick Dull, all those people were friends of ours, Bob. But Milkovich is here that's because we're so excited, he has become and just been named the President of the Rand* Company, which for Washingtonians, that those of us that know about it, is great, great position, and great for Bob Milkovich to run this company.
Bob Milkovich - New Position as CEO of Rand* Construction
Bob Milkovich: Yes. Thank you, Andy. I'm honored. Linda Rabbitt-
Andy Ockershausen: She's a wonderful, wonderful woman, Bob.
Linda Rabbitt, Chairman of Rand* Construction
Bob Milkovich: She is and I enjoy working with her, and she is so talented, and her community involvement is above everybody's standard.
Andy Ockershausen: I started with Linda ... She went to college with some friends of mine that went to University of Michigan and they were all in the same sorority. So I go back to her with the early '80s. About your time as a matter of fact, when she worked for Steve Harlan. She was Steve's assistant well before she got into the building trades. But Linda is a magnificent example of a female that really made it big. And she was doing it back in the early '80s when not many other females were doing what she was doing.
Bob Milkovich: That's right. That's right. And, you know, back at-
Andy Ockershausen: Starting her own company, Bob.
Bob Milkovich: She did, and after I left radio I actually went to work with the Oliver Carr Company which I'm sure you know Oliver well.
Andy Ockershausen: Oliver T.
Bob Milkovich: Oliver T. Yeah, he's very civic-minded and quite a visionary.
Andy Ockershausen: Ollie, great guy.
Bob Milkovich: And, you know, interestingly enough, the intersection of all of us. Linda, actually,

Jan 23 2019

42mins

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Rank #9: Cathy Hughes – Media Mogul – Founder and Chairperson Urban One

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Cathy Hughes, the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded company and voice for Black community in Our Town, tells Donald Graham what she learned from her "Take It Back" protest in 1986 against the Washington Post for its disrespect of the Black community with its choice of the first Black person for its Sunday magazine cover~
"But let me tell you something that I've learned from this demonstration. It is not your job to tell the story of me and my people. It is my job to tell the story of the Black community." I said, "So I thank you." I said, "Because throughout this demonstration, the best thing that was learned was that to have my own voice for my own people is the most important thing I could do."

Cathy Hughes, Media Mogul, Urban One and host Andy Ockershausen, in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. I don't know how this has come about, but this lady has been the most important person I can think of in the broadcast world for many, many years. And being part of that world has been so important to me, to know her, to watch her, to get so much excitement from her, who started a radio company, a world of her own, Cathy Hughes. As they say, "Mrs. Hughes is in charge." Welcome to Our Town, Cathy Hughes.
Hughes and Ockershausen - Mutual Admiration and Respect
Cathy Hughes: Andy O. Now, the part you forgot in the introduction was that during those formative early years, you helped train me. You were my advisor. You were my mentor. You were my, "Let me call Andy O. and see what his opinion on this would be."
Andy Ockershausen: You bring tears to my eyes because to see what you have accomplished, to be a part of it even from an outside, Cathy. But I recall your complaint to me, and you were right at the time. "We've got to be careful with AM, because FM is eating us alive."
Cathy Hughes: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: You thought WMAL, because of the power of the AM station, could help bring people's attention to WOL at 1450.
On Buying WTEM AM980 and Unhappy Washington Football Fans
Cathy Hughes: Yes, absolutely. It's so interesting now, because we just bought an AM, WTEM 980. All right. I was like, "Alfred, did you read the articles?" Okay. But it's such an institution.
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely, Washington Redskins means so much to both of us, Cathy.
Cathy Hughes: If they go back to being a team. Did you happen to see Sunday there was no one in the stadium. I've never seen that in all-
Andy Ockershausen: That's a message.
Cathy Hughes: Oh, my God. All these years I've been in Washington, D.C., even when they were losing before, the fans-
Andy Ockershausen: There's a big difference.
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, the fans would go there and drink beer and eat vinegar french fries. They would be happy, unless we won, but they certainly did not desert the team. But Sunday, you could have shot a cannon up in that stadium and not hit anybody. They wouldn't be happy, unless we won, but they certainly did not desert the team. But Sunday, you could have shot a cannon up in that stadium and not hit anybody.
Andy Ockershausen: Cathy, it's been building up, and it may have come to a head now. There's something that strategically, drastically wrong with that organization. Where fish always stinks is at the top.
Cathy Hughes: That's true.
Humble Beginnings in Omaha, NE
Andy Ockershausen: And this top brings down whatever has brought it down. I don't know what can be done about that. But you have proved what the top can do and that is the top. A poor little girl from Omaha, Nebraska. When I found that out, I couldn't believe you were from Omaha. I said, "What is that girl doing here in Washington?"
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, yeah. Grew up with the Fondas. The whole Fonda family's from there.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, big, big time.
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, the whole Fonda and also Marlon Brando's mother ran the ...

Feb 28 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #10: Richard Wiley – Chairman Emeritus Wiley Rein LLP | Former FCC Chairman

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Richard Wiley on what's next in high def TV ~

"Ultra high definition is great. Then there's an even ... double that, coming up in Japan. Super high vision. So, it's just going to keep going. The only problem is, there's only so much that the human eye can absorb."

Richard Wiley Chairman Emeritus Wiley Rein LLP and Former FCC Chairman, with Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen, and we're introducing to our podcast one of the more famous regulators in the history of broadcasting. The man was a Commissioner, he was a General Counsel, he became Chairman of the FCC. He is one of the most important people in the history of broadcasting, and we're so delighted to have Dick Wiley here in Our Town.
Richard Wiley: Andy, thank you. It's a pleasure and a privilege to be with you once again! And we're still clicking, you know?
Andy Ockershausen: You're clicking, I'm clicking, thank God Janice keeps me clicking. But Dick, you've had such an illustrious life, career, and everything, before you went to straight-when you left the government. But you were such an important part of the growth of broadcast to me, and Our Town, and in the world. And what you did as Commissioner, and if you remember the days that I would call on you with Dick Chapin-
Richard Wiley: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: ... from Nebraska. We were always interested in what the Commission was doing, and what you were doing. And it helped our industry tremendously.
Richard Wiley and others at Federal Communications Commission Worked to Eliminate Outmoded Regulations in the 70s
Richard Wiley: Well, we were trying to eliminate some of the old, outmoded regulations. The industry had changed and grown, and prospered, and the regulations remained the same. So, you and Dick were bringing in good ideas to try to make some changes.
Andy Ockershausen: And before you would make them, Dean Burch was trying the same thing-
Richard Wiley: Absolutely. Absolutely. He was my predecessor.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, well he was your predecessor-
Richard Wiley: Great guy.
Andy Ockershausen: But he was never General Counsel like you are.
Richard Wiley: No.
Andy Ockershausen: I remember when you were the General Counsel-
Richard Wiley: I was his General Counsel.
Andy Ockershausen: That's it. That's correct. That was quite a team at the time, because you were on the same team, everybody's trying to get rid of these ridiculous restrictions. In addition ... Restrictions are good but when they're ridiculous, they're awful.
Richard Wiley: Well, as life goes on, the industries change, technology changes, the regulation can't stay the same. And I think that's what we started. They've certainly gone much beyond where we were in the '70's. This was the '70's, Andy-
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, I know! I remember that. Oh my God. But there was such a growth period in the industry in the '70's-
Richard Wiley: Really was.
Andy Ockershausen: ... was incredible, with the networks and-
New Technologies Entered Market in the 70s | Satellite | Cable | Internet
Richard Wiley: And other technologies were coming in at the time. Satellite, you know-
Andy Ockershausen: We didn't know what they were.
Richard Wiley: ... television, and cable, you know - nobody wondered whether cable was going to do anything, became of course, a very dynamic industry. And now we've got the internet, which has changed everything.
Andy Ockershausen: Just the modest changes that we made in radio at the time, because everything was on a little disc and we had no tapes. It was ancient. Now all that is gone, Dick. Everything is gone up here somewhere, and we don't know where it is, but it works. We could watch a tape in a tape recorder, but we can't watch it now.
Richard Wiley: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: But Dick, tell me now, you've had such an illustrious career,

Jan 31 2019

27mins

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Rank #11: John Lyon – Retired Announcer and WMAL Swingman

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John Lyon on finding his way after WMAL ~

"For two years . . . I floated around . . . It wasn’t the same, what I’m used to all these years being here. Strangely enough, I connected with Montgomery County to work in the Victim Assistance Program. I was on the air at WGAY on a Sunday morning. . . I picked up this card and the card said, 'Volunteers needed for the Victims Assistance Sexual Assault Program of Montgomery County.' . . . put that one in my pocket. The next day I called the number on the card . . ."

John Lyon, Retired Announcer and WMAL Swingman, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This Andy Ockershausen, and what a pleasure and what an extreme, extreme happiness for Janice and I to be with the original WMAL Swingman. We call him The Swingman 'cause he could swing on every show on WMAL. John Lyon, welcome to Our Town.
John Lyon: Thank you very much. I've been looking forward to this.
Andy Ockershausen: I first remember that people said, "It's not Lyons."
John Lyon: That's right.
Andy Ockershausen: John Lyon, and when he came . . . I was at WMAL. I'd been there so long I was part of the furniture or the fixtures. When John first came as a young man, but he left as an old man, but he never really left. I'm sure he's got WMAL in his heart.
John Lyon: Oh sure. Sure.
Andy Ockershausen: Like we all do, John.
Channel 7 - Lyon's First Audition in DC
John Lyon: It's ... I came here in 1967. Auditioned after three years at a station in Peoria, CBS station there. The odd thing about that was the guy that I replaced in Peoria was the same guy I replaced here. I'd been there three years and I said to the boss ... His name was Bob Beneke, I don't know if you remember.
Andy Ockershausen: I remember the name.
John Lyon: Bob Beneke. When he left here, he got out of the business. He went into some financial dealings and stuff.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you were hired as an announcer, correct?
John Lyon: I was hired-
Andy Ockershausen: Not as a talent and not as a performer but an announcer?
John Lyon: I'm not sure now.
Andy Ockershausen: Well ... That's where ... Jack Weaver and Frank started as announcers on WMAL.
John Lyon: Yeah. We had a TV audition, Channel 7 audition and Frank Ford maybe-
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely.
John Lyon: Was the Director-
Andy Ockershausen: He's our guy.
John Lyon: It was me and like six other guys for this audition and I had to borrow some dough to come out here. I had to borrow money to come out here. I had four kids back in Peoria, that I said to the boss, "Look, I've been here two or three years now. I'm kind of getting to the end of the scale, you know?" I said, "Is there any chance you can give me some more dough?" "No, that's it," he said, "You've come to the end of the road." He said, "That's how we kind of do it here. We're a medium-sized market."
Andy Ockershausen: It's a market price.
John Lyon: We got a chance to do a lot of stuff there. Did TV, nighttime radio program, and he says ... I said, "Well, okay. I'll be honest with you. I'm gonna start looking for work." He says, "Okay, good luck." I put audition tapes out to all the stations where I thought I could fit in, mainly in the Midwest 'cause that's where I was.
Andy Ockershausen: Sure.
John Lyon: I went to WGN Chicago, WCCO Minneapolis -
Andy Ockershausen: Powerhouse.
Fate? - Lyon Intended to Work in Midwest, DC Never Crossed His Mind
John Lyon: KMOX St. Louis, WOW Cincinnati, 'cause I thought, "I know these stations and I think I could work there." Well, I didn't hear anything from any of 'em. Somehow a tape ended up out here in Washington, D.C. I had no idea where Washington D.C. was. I said, "Point to the east and keep going." That's what I did and I think it was Harold Green called me and he said, "We're gonna have auditions", on whatever the date was. I said, "I'll be there." I made arrangements and I went and got a few bucks together and came out...

Mar 08 2019

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Rank #12: Tyler Balderson – Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist, Bartlett Tree Experts

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Tyler Balderson, Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist at Bartlett Tree Experts, on the importance of knowing your trees~

"Being a board certified master arborist, the most important part is to be able to identify the tree. Each tree has either its mechanism of growth, or its concerns that I need to identify for the client, but there's also bad trees, there are trees we don't want on your property, and we call those invasive species. . . they can impact the health and growth of a tree that we do want."

Tyler Balderson - Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist, Bartlett Tree Experts and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, and this Andy Ockershausen. And I'm just so excited to welcome a very special guest, my favorite tree hugger. And I use that term in all affection. This man is a very, very famous forester. He's famous because I think he's famous. We found him as the local manager at Bartlett Tree Experts about probably 15 to 20 years ago, Tyler. It's been a great relationship. Tyler Balderson, welcome to Our Town.
Tyler Balderson: Thanks for having me.
Andy Ockershausen: Isn't this a great town to have Our Town?
Tyler Balderson: It's a great town.
Andy Ockershausen: Even though we're familiar with you with Anne Arundel County, that's part of Our Town. We've always considered it that. Odenton where you had some ... that's where your office is, in Odenton.
Tyler Balderson: That is correct.
Andy Ockershausen: But you're a local yokel.
Tyler Balderson is Homegrown, A Local Yokel
Tyler Balderson: I'm a local yokel. Born and raised.
Andy Ockershausen: In Bethesda.
Tyler Balderson: In Bethesda, yep.
Andy Ockershausen: Went to the school in Bethesda, and your family ... and your father, Andy, is a business man in Bethesda, he had your company before you were born, I would imagine.
Tyler Balderson: He did. He's a landscape architect. He's been practicing it for over 40 years now.
Andy Ockershausen: And he decided that you'd be a tree person, but you're not an architect, you're a forester.
Balderson is a Natural Born Tree Hugger
Tyler Balderson: That is correct. Yeah, I was born and raised in a nursery, where he founded our house, and so born and raised around trees. Naturally, I'm going to take care of them.
Andy Ockershausen: Did you cut down trees to build your house?
Tyler Balderson: No. I'm a tree hugger. I don't cut trees.
Andy Ockershausen: You did just the opposite. You would've loved George Washington, right, he cut down a tree and his parents put him in trouble.
Tyler Balderson: That is correct.
Andy Ockershausen: That's part of Our Town, too, Mount Vernon, you know.
First Professional Gig - Elm Trees at Mount Vernon
Tyler Balderson: Mount Vernon, we take care of the trees at Mount Vernon.
Andy Ockershausen: Is that right?
Tyler Balderson: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: Your company does?
Tyler Balderson: Yep, I personally have been injecting those elm trees for years before, when I got started in tree care, so I personally had taken care of those trees for Mount Vernon.
Andy Ockershausen: When you were in Bethesda?
Tyler Balderson: Mm-hmm (affirmative), Bethesda, yep, when I first started out.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you've always lived in Bethesda before you went to college, correct?
Tyler Balderson: Correct.
Our Town Legacy - Three Generations
Andy Ockershausen: And the family is back, and your grandfather was born in the city, correct?
Tyler Balderson: Correct, yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Within the city limits.

Mar 14 2019

29mins

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Rank #13: Caroline Carter – Founder and CEO, Done in Day, Inc. | Author, Smart Moves

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Caroline Carter, Author of Smart Moves, and Founder and CEO of Done in a Day, Inc., on the process of transitioning from home to home~

"But the reason I wrote the book was to allow people to say, okay, I get it. We all dread this process but we don't have to. Okay. There is a way that we can go through this and make very solid emotional, financial and physical decisions that will affect us over time."

Caroline Carter, Founder and CEO, Done in Day, Inc. | Author, Smart Moves with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town and this is Andy Ockershausen to talk to a friend of many years who has shocked me beyond belief because I lost track of her, what, 10, 15 years ago in our neighborhood and now she's turned out to be a fabulous writer, I think. Caroline Carter, welcome to Our Town.
Caroline Carter: Thank you, Andy. I'm pleased to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: It is unbelievable what you have done in this book. Like you're new to me and yet you're not. You're ... we're friends for many years, but you've established a life about moving and everybody in the world eventually is going to move.
Smart Moves - Demystifying the Moving Process
Caroline Carter: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: So everybody's a potential client or potential to need your help and your book is fabulous.
Caroline Carter: Oh, thank you. I'm so glad. Thanks.
Andy Ockershausen: I'm not anxious to move because the problem of doing it, it's scary, but what you have written and for me to understand, man, it's terrific. Just terrific, Caroline.
Caroline Carter: Well, I appreciate that. I think that the purpose of writing the book was to demystify this process. You know, when you say to someone or when you look at this statistic, for instance, that the US Census Bureau says that the average American moves 11 times throughout their lifetime and that's a lot of moving.
Andy Ockershausen: That's just average.
Caroline Carter: That's just average but Americans move more than any other culture.
Andy Ockershausen: I saw that.
Caroline Carter: And if you say to someone, you know, what do you think about moving? Well, the first thing they say is, I dread it. I absolutely dread it. So part of the reason why I wrote Smart Moves was to demystify the process for people.
Andy Ockershausen: And showing the mover how to save time and money while transitioning your home and life.
Caroline Carter: Exactly.
Andy Ockershausen: Now that's important. The life thing.
Caroline Carter: Sure.
Andy Ockershausen: You've almost been, and in a lot of your work and your career, you've done some marriage counseling too.
Caroline Carter: Oh, well no, no doubt about that. No doubt about that because everybody ... this is a very emotional process.
Andy Ockershausen: It's always a strain on marriage, isn't it? A strain?
Moving is a Strain on the Entire Family
Caroline Carter: Well it's a strain actually on the entire family, including the pets and I say that because selling your home, okay, preparing it to sell and moving is one of the most stressful life changing events that a family can go through and everybody acts out because they don't know what to expect. They don't ... it's like being on a roller coaster, right? You kind of do in general know what to expect, but every ride is different and we all will go through this packaging of our homes to sell if we want to sell it at top dollar right, and then moving. But the reason I wrote the book was to allow people to say, okay, I get it. We all dread this process but we don't have to. Okay. There is a way that we can go through this and make very solid emotional, financial and physical decisions that will affect us over time.
Andy Ockershausen: One of the not surprises because I can understand what you do after reading the book and the fact that you're not in the sales business, you're not trying to help somebody sell their house. You're having to get them ready to sell that.

Oct 23 2019

32mins

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Rank #14: Steven Portnoy – CBS News Correspondent

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Steven Portnoy, CBS News Correspondent covering the White House, on WMAL's influence in Our Town while under host Andy O's direction~

"But it speaks to the influence that the radio station had in this marketplace. I mean this radio station was listened to inside the White House. Harden and Weaver were part of, I’m sure, Ronald Reagan’s morning."

Steven Portnoy - CBS News Correspondent and host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town and I've been ordered to do a great intro for this man, but he doesn't need a great intro because he's a great broadcaster and a great radio guy and I'm so delighted that one of the WMAL graduates has made it big, big, big time is Steven Portnoy of ABC. That's the American Broadcasting Company, which is now Disney. Welcome to Our Town, Steve.
Steven Portnoy: Thank you sir. It's good to be with you. I should amend that. I was with ABC for many years and now I'm with CBS.
Andy Ockershausen: What?
Steven Portnoy: So now I've worked for two networks.
Andy Ockershausen: You dumped our network? We're still ABC people here. I don't know why, but we are. We go along with the flow of course, but Steven, you've had a great, great career both, while you were here and why you left here and now you're with CBS. But you can look back and think of the great days of WMAL because you were at the tail end of it, but you were here never the less.
Steven Portnoy's Connection to WMAL and Other WMAL Alumni
Steven Portnoy: Well, I feel like I was saying earlier to the lovely Janice here. I feel like I've come back to college because I spent my formative years in our business right here in these studios here at WMAL Radio. Actually, talking through these same Sennheiser microphones.
But I was here for about three and a half years for WMAL Radio news department and then, made the move to ABC network news and was on this radio station still for another 11 years or so. So I have a pretty long connection with this station, and it is-
Andy Ockershausen: You moved down to downtown with another WMAL graduate in charge of news.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Robin Vierbuchen Sproul
Andy Ockershausen: Robin Vierbuchen Sproul started right here in that news room right behind you.
Steven Portnoy: Robin Vierbuchen Sproul. Charles Gibson also another-
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah, Charlie.
Steven Portnoy: ... very famous voice who rose through the ranks from WMAL to ABC News.
Andy Ockershausen: Let me tell you how important I was. I'll fly in a red eye from Los Angeles and I needed somebody to give me a ride and pick me up. So the news director sent Charlie Gibson. Giving me a ride from the airport. He never forgot it. He loved it. He talks about it now and he remembers the good old days. People love to help each other.
Steven Portnoy: Sure. Well, I mean, very famous names have passed through these halls. I mean, we can talk about the legends of WMAL radio. We just lost one, Bill Mayhugh in the last couple of weeks.
Andy Ockershausen: I know, so sad. But Bill hadn't been well for a while and Shirley had died before him. But we were just talking with the chief of police at Montgomery County about Johnny Holliday. Another one of our guys out of this studio and working with Janice in the morning. They're still around, thank God.
Steven Portnoy: Well, Harden and Weaver. We had Trumbull and Core. Big names. Janice mentioned that I came in sort of at the tail end of that epic era of WMAL Radio.
Andy Ockershausen: Era, right.
Portnoy Begins His Career at WMAL at the Tail End of Station's Epic Era | From General Mass Appeal to Narrow Interest Level
Steven Portnoy: When I first joined,

Nov 29 2018

54mins

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Rank #15: Tom Quinn – FMR Director, Federal Air Marshals Service and Ret. Secret Service

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Tom Quinn on the service provided by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation ~

"So whenever today, if you’re a Navy Seal, or Army Special Forces, or Ranger, or Air Force Combat Air Control, or a Marine Special Ops, you know that you have our enduring promise that we will educate your children if you don’t come home. And it gives them a great deal of confidence going in to the hotspots that they go into."

Tom Quinn - Former Director, Federal Air Marshals Service and Ret. Secret Service with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, this is Our Town, and I have a great pleasure to talk to the great Tom Quinn today. For those of you who don't know, he is a man, the first one started with the Air Marshals. Tom Quinn led that effort to put air marshals on airplanes. Is that right, Tom?
Tom Quinn Re-enters Government to Head Up New Federal Air Marshal Service
Tom Quinn: That's right, Andy. I came back into government to stand up the Federal Air Marshal Service as a federal law enforcement organization, based on the National Transportation Security Act that was passed after 9/11.
Andy Ockershausen: And so you had to start from scratch to hire people, to provide protection on American aircraft. Did you do any foreign aircraft too, or just US?
Mandate to Grow Service from 33 to Several Thousand Security Officers
Tom Quinn: Just US-flagged air carriers and there was a small federal air marshal contingent that was ... they were security officers in the FAA, very small number. On 9/11, there were 33 and that's all.
Andy Ockershausen: In the whole flying industry, 33 marshals.
Tom Quinn: 33. And the mandate was to create a Federal Air Marshal Service of several thousand to provide a deterrent on US-flagged air carriers, both domestically and internationally. It still is a robust organization today.
Andy Ockershausen: How many marshals would there be today?
Tom Quinn: The number's classified, but suffice it to say, there are several thousand operating from field offices that we created, all over the country. And their mission is essentially to promote confidence in federal aviation through the deployment of federal air marshals to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts on aircraft, airspace, and airports.
Andy Ockershausen: It must be one of the more successful ventures ever attempted by the federal government because, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't recall any hijacking since these marshals have been in place.
Monumental Task - Six Months to Get the Job Done
Tom Quinn: Well, there certainly hasn't been any hijackings. They are a significant deterrent along, with the rest of what TSA does in terms of the screening. None of us like it, but it is a fact of life if you're going to fly. And the Federal Air Marshals really is the law enforcement component of that.
But if you can imagine standing up an organization with a time certain. The commitment to that was made to the president, President Bush, 43 at the time, was that they would be stood up by the end of July of 2002. So from the time TSA was created, the Federal Air Marshal Service was essentially being stood up. You had roughly six months to select, hire, train, and deploy several thousand into offices that didn't exist around the country, with no leadership to speak of in terms of the numbers of-
Andy Ockershausen: Nobody's ever done it before, correct? You didn'tt have any model to follow.
Tom Quinn: And, you know, how do you go about ... Most federal law enforcement agencies, the Secret Service, for example, the FBI, if they had a thousand agents to hire in a year, it would be a monumental task for an established organization. We were a new organization with little or no management,

Feb 12 2019

36mins

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Rank #16: Mahan Tavakoli – Servant Leader, Strategic Leadership Ventures and Leadership Greater Washington

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Mahan Tavakoli on connecting and networking in Our Town region~

Leadership Greater Washington . . . brings people from different backgrounds, different industries, and different parts of our region together. But there's also a connection to meaning . . . All of us want to connect and network, want to do good and have meaning in our work lives, in our networking. So Leadership Greater Washington allows for the senior leaders in the region to address those issues and have meaning in terms of their involvement.

Mahan Tavakoli, Servant Leader, Strategic Leadership Ventures and Leadership Greater Washington, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town, and I have the opportunity to talk to a wonderful, wonderful man who means so much to this community, to Our Town. He was one of the leading business executives in my estimation. Mahan Tavakoli, welcome to Our Town.
Mahan Tavakoli: Andy, thank you very much. I am super excited to be here with you as your guest.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, yeah, I know you've been telling me that and I am so flattered because you're an important man, Mahan. You've made a tremendous impact on this town. So let's talk about pre WMAL, and pre Washington D.C. What was Mahan doing? Are you a native of D.C.?
Mahan Tavakoli - A Washingtonian from Iran
Mahan Tavakoli: Yeah, so Andy, my parents are from Iran and the first few years of my life I actually lived in Iran.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, you did?
Mahan Tavakoli: I did. Yes and-
Andy Ockershausen: Of all these years, Mahan, I never knew that. I never knew that. That's wonderful, I think for your parents.
Mahan's Dad - A Servant Leadership Attitude
Mahan Tavakoli: It is. It is. And we settled. My Dad traveled a lot for his work, but we settled right here in Bethesda on Wilson Lane.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow, a thoroughfare. What business was your dad in?
Mahan Tavakoli: He was with ITT when ITT was more of a telecommunications company. So he-
Andy Ockershausen: ITT Worldwide.
Mahan Tavakoli: They were worldwide. One of the best that eventually lost some traction. I tend to believe post my dad, they lost some traction.
Andy Ockershausen: I heard a story about the man that was the president of ITT used to drive himself to work and brought his lunch. That's when he made that company great. I'll think of his name, very famous name, head of ITT, International Telephone and Telegraph. Nobody has a telegraph anymore, do they, Mahan?
Mahan Tavakoli: No, they don't and Andy, what you mentioned is actually one of the things that had a big impact on my life. My dad also had a servant leadership attitude with respect to the role of the leader to the organization. So I think that had a big impact for me, as I ended up getting into the business community, I try to emulate a lot of what my dad had done.
Andy Ockershausen: What a great role model though. Listen Mahan.
Andy Ockershausen: When did you move to D.C.? You spent the first four years of your life in Iran?
Mahan Tavakoli On Growing Up in Our Town
Mahan Tavakoli: Yes. So right about middle school, right before middle school moved to D.C. Went to Washington International School right out there on Macomb Street.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah, that's right.
Mahan Tavakoli: From there to Whitman, Maryland, Georgetown. So-
Andy Ockershausen: A real local guy.
Mahan Tavakoli: Absolutely. I said I'm not moving anywhere else for the rest of my life. I love it here.
Andy Ockershausen: All these years I've known you, I never knew that, but I know you were involved in everything. So your dad must have taught you that to get involved and you have done that to a fare thee well. You brought so much to the table.
Our Town Business Leaders Espouse Responsibility to Give Back to Community
Mahan Tavakoli: Yeah, there's a big sense of responsibility, Andy, that I have. There is a great privilege that all of us have living in this region,

Nov 05 2019

27mins

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Rank #17: Deborah Marriott Harrison – Global Cultural Ambassador Emeritus Marriott International

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Deborah Marriott Harrison on Marriott's culture of putting people first~

And my grandfather started it by making a sign he put over the kitchen doors in the Hot Shops that says, "If you take care of the employee, the employee will take care of the customer and the customer will come back again and again." And we really pride ourselves in taking care of our associates.

Deborah Marriott Harrison, Global Cultural Ambassador Emeritus Marriott International (r) and host Andy Ockershausen (l) in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. And I'm so delighted to have in one of the most important people in representing the families and I could probably, the number one family in Washington was the Marriott family, and I'm so delighted to have Debbie Marriott Harrison on Our Town. Welcome to Our Town, Debbie.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Thank you Andy. I'm delighted to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, our relationship, my relationship personally goes back to Marriott for many, many years before you were born, probably. Because being a big part of Our Town growing up at WMAL and Channel 7 and the Washington Star is my background, and you know what the Star was like when you were growing up in Our Town and-
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yeah, my brothers used to deliver the paper.
Andy Ockershausen: I say, right. It was Our Town. It was a small town. What's happened now has been an explosion. But thank you for remembering that there is a WMAL that was in Our Town and thank you for what you have done for the Marriott Corporation and particularly when you worked at ... your story was working at the Key Bridge Marriott?
Marriott's First Two Hotels - Twin Bridges and Key Bridge Hotels - A Bit of Our Town History
Deborah Harrison: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: How many years?
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Oh, just one summer after I had finished my freshman year.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, you just did it in the summer time.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yes. I just did it for the summer and that was our second hotel and it is still our oldest hotel in our portfolio because the first hotel was the Twin Bridges Hotel.
Andy Ockershausen: Do I remember that well.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yeah. Opened in 1957 near the 14th Street Bridge and we sold that in the late 80s and there's nothing on that lot right now. It's an empty lot.
Andy Ockershausen: The Windjammer Club.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yes, The Windjammer Club. And-
Andy Ockershausen: It was a bottle club I remember that well.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Sirloin and Saddle, the restaurant.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, the motel opened up where it used to be a national airport and before national airport there was another field there-
Deborah Harrison: Right. Hoover.
Andy Ockershausen: Were Marriott had a catering business.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yup. Hoover Field. And the Pentagon is, and the Pentagon is there now.
Andy Ockershausen: And yeah. Right. And so that was the beginning of the catering business, but the hotel business, your grandfather opened that hotel, I remember it had a sign. It was the only sign I've ever seen on the 14th Street Bridge and the Washington signs, at the exit to get to the Marriott Hotel. Can you ... you were too young to know that.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: I don't remember that. You're right. I don't remember. That's really neat.
Andy Ockershausen: There was some political pressure to get that done. But it was done. The only motel that was highlighted on the bridge leaving town, was the Marriott Twin Bridges. And there were twin bridges and then Marriott got into the hotel business and then opened up in Rosslyn. Was that your next big hotel?
Deborah Marriott Harrison: The next one, two years later was the one was Key Bridge in Rosslyn overlooking Georgetown and the river.
Andy Ockershausen: And it was a real, a motor hotel. It was a small structure.
Marriott Started Out in the Hotel Business with Motor Hotels

Oct 29 2019

23mins

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Rank #18: Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. – Expert, Greater Washington Regional Economy

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Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. on Amazon and future job and economic growth in Our Town~
They worked together to make this happen, and it will benefit the region broadly, but it isn't the final, it isn't all that is coming. This is just the beginning. We expect there to be almost 400,000 new jobs in the next 15 years and this is just 25,000 of them.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. and Our Town host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. I have been so excited to know that we could talk to this man and we could talk to him away from his usual role as the head of some meeting or group because I have been following him through the Washington Board of Trade since he first worked for GW. It was way back in the '60s I guess. Steve Fuller, welcome to Our Town.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Pleasure to be with you.
Andy Ockershausen: You know, we think Our Town and we created the show - my Janice recreated it. We had a television program on channel 50 called Our Town. So Janice dug it up three years ago and said, "Why don't we do it again?" about the people that have impact in Our Town and we think Our Town is Upper Marlboro, it's Vienna, Virginia, it's as far north as Baltimore, it's as far south as Richmond. That's Our Town. We go all over and Steve Fuller, you've had such an enormous impact on that geographical selection, Our Town.
Rutgers and Cornell
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Well, I've been studying it for 50 years and I try to share some of my knowledge. So this is a great opportunity.
Andy Ockershausen: I love your resume. I love your background. You grew up in New Jersey, I would take it. You went to Rutgers.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I did go to Rutgers.
Andy Ockershausen: That's a state school, isn't it?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: A state school. It's the sixth oldest university in the country.
Andy Ockershausen: It's older than Princeton.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: 1766, Queens College, it was then.
Andy Ockershausen: Queens College. Well, wasn't William and Mary King's College at one time in Southern Virginia? I think it's something like that. There were only one of each, I know that. And you graduated from Rutgers in '62, but then it took you seven years to graduate from Cornell.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Well, I worked, I went out and worked.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, it didn't say that.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I took a few jobs.
Andy Ockershausen: The way I read your resume, you graduated in '62 and then went to Cornell, high above Cayuga's waters, right?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: That's right.
Andy Ockershausen: And that launched you into a career by going to Cornell. Was that a special school for you?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I went there to get a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Economic Development, and I was there just for two years. Then I came to Washington in 1967, because I lucked out to get some financing from a small agency to fund my dissertation research on rural redevelopment.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow!
On Coming to Our Town
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: So I came down here with the promise of one year paycheck to do my research and write my dissertation, and then they hired me to stay on for a year and after that I went to GW in '69.
Andy Ockershausen: And you became whether you planned or not, you became part of Our Town, a big part of Our Town.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I did.
Andy Ockershausen: And you had had all the training to better urban development and training about how to judge markets and growth and so forth. So you were prepared to help at GW. Were you're the first one in that category at George Washington?
George Washington University Opportunity - New Urban Regional Planning Department Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: There was a new department at George Washington that offered a master's degree in Urban Regional Planning, and it just started up in 1968 and they needed a third faculty member,

Oct 08 2019

35mins

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Rank #19: Peter Abrahams – Publisher, Washington Business Journal

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Peter Abrahams on a priority for him right now in his new role as Publisher of the Washington Business Journal~

"I'm on a listening tour, really, talking to a lot of the business leaders in the city. Trying to get to meet with our clients, our stakeholders, really understanding what's important to them. I have some ideas . . . "

Peter Abrahams - Publisher, Washington Business Journal and Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: Well this is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen with an old friend. He'll never be old, and he's a wonderful friend. His name is Peter Abrahams, he's just taken over the job at head of the Washington Business Journal, but I knew him when he was selling magazines here in the studios of WMAL. Peter, welcome to Our Town.
Peter Abrahams: Thanks Andy. Good to be here. And by the way, you said I'm an old friend, let's just be clear. I'm not that old.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, I've been around a long time. Peter I've had some people that are older than me, believe it or not, in this business.
Peter Abrahams: I do believe that. You're not that old.
Andy Ockershausen: I'm not going to be either, Peter, but I'm so happy to have you and have you back at Our Town, but we met long before I found out that you were an important guy, through a mutual friend that grew up with you in Boston. Is that correct?
Peter Abrahams On How He and Andy Met
Peter Abrahams: You know, as I was thinking about seeing you today, we have known each other for so long-
I'm trying to remember how we actually met the very first time because I didn't, but it's been 25 years. I mean you were one of the very first people I met when I landed here. My first time here was in '89 and I can't even remember, but through the years, it never goes about a month or two months without seeing you running around somewhere. I mean running, you don't walk, you tend to move pretty fast so, and I have short little legs, so it was always hard to catch up with you.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, but you make an impression everywhere you go, Peter. I always was so impressed, Scott Langerman went to-
Peter Abrahams: Oh, was it Scott? Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: School with him and then Longwood somewhere up with the rich people in the Boston area. I knew that.
Peter Abrahams: Yeah, Chestnut Hill, Baker Elementary.
Andy Ockershausen: Isn't that something? It's incredible and then you run back into him in the Capitol, but Peter, having you and seeing you operate because I went to a lot of things, as you did, and that was so important, you made an appearance in Our Town, and people knew Peter Abrahams. And you have represented an important part of Our Town with your publication.
Peter Left Our Town, But Not Actually
Peter Abrahams: Yeah, you know it's funny, people always ask me that and they ask me, I didn't actually leave. I was still here, but I was never here. I was spending about three days a month here over the last couple years. I was-
Andy Ockershausen: Kept your home here?
Peter Abrahams: Kept my home here. But I really wasn't here and so a lot of people have welcomed me back. I didn't leave, but it's interesting because when you talk about the impression, for me, this area has always made an impression upon me. So, I feel fortunate coming back because I've been welcomed back, which was surprising, and you know, I am going to take that people think I physically left. It's great, because they're buying me coffees and they want to see me.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh wow.
From Boston to Washington, DC - Abrahams Instantly Felt at Home
Peter Abrahams: But, you know, when I moved here, I was in Boston, it was shortly after school. I ran my own business, which failed, I was bankrupt. Got in my friend's car and we drove down here.

Mar 12 2019

31mins

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Rank #20: Reverend Monsignor Salvatore A. Criscuolo – Pastor and Chaplain

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Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo, St. Patrick's Catholic Church Pastor and DC First Responders' Chaplain, on his experience at the historic church in Washington DC ~

"It's been an amazing experience and to this day, I have been there since 2004. I will work around in the church every so often by myself and I look around and I look after the heavens, and I say to the good Lord I still can't believe you put me in charge of this. So he has a great sense of humor. "

Reverend Monsignor A. Salvatore Criscuolo and host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town and this is our first opportunity to talk to this gentleman on the air, and I'm so delighted, because the Reverend Monsignor Salvatore is
today with us and he is the head man, I say the head man, the head priest from St. Patrick's. I think St. Patrick's could be the oldest Catholic church, is that correct?
St. Patrick's Church - Washington DC
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: It is, Andy. It is the first church established in the federal city, goes back to 1794.
Andy Ockershausen: It's just an incredible history of St. Pat's.
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: It is.
Andy Ockershausen: It was a celebrity church too, for awhile. A lot of people got married there, but I guess they moved to new parishes and so forth, but I've known St. Pat's ... I'm from Northeast Washington. My grandfather was here, he was a baker. I never knew him, but someplace at 5th and G, and I think his parish might have been St. Patrick.
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: 5th and G, it probably would have.
Andy Ockershausen: That's close, isn't it?
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: Very, very close.
Andy Ockershausen: There wasn't a lot downtown in those days, and there wasn't much to downtown. But Sal, we're so delighted to have you and to talk to you. In addition to your work with the clergy. You are the chaplain for the police and fire departments of the greatest city in the world, Our Town, Washington, DC.
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo - Chaplain to DC's First Responders
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: I am. I've been very blessed for the last 32 years to serve the First Responders in the District of Columbia, as well as some of the federal agencies that are here.
Andy Ockershausen: Do you do work, any county work? Do you help out if they need you?
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: I don't do anything in the county. There's enough going on in Our Town. But I work with Metropolitan Police, is when I first came on, back in 1986 as their chaplain and then it's expanded over the years where I work with Capital Police, the Park Police, Secret Service, do some work with ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Andy Ockershausen: You've got a lot of people depending on you in bad times. Because that's when they call for you mostly, in bad times, correct?
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: Well, thank God, they don't only call in bad times. They call-
Andy Ockershausen: I know that. You're an entertainer, I know that.
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: ... when there's graduations and when there are promotions. They also call when they want to get married, they call when they want to have their children baptized. So it's a parish, it's just it's a unique parish.
Andy Ockershausen: The whole departments are your parish.
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: Right, right.
Andy Ockershausen: And the same thing with the Fire and Rescue people?
Ordained in 1978 and Assigned to Our Lady of Sorrows, Takoma Park, MD
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: Correct, yeah. So it's an amazing ministry that when I was ordained back in 1978, never thought that I would be doing this kind of ministry. In my first assignment in Takoma Park, the volunteer fire department in Takoma asked me if I would come and be a chaplain to their fire department.
Andy Ockershausen: Did you have a parish out there?
Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo: I did. I was brand-new,

Nov 22 2018

29mins

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Matheos Mesfin – Founder and Executive Director of IEA Councils

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Matheos Mesfin, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for East African Councils, on IEA Councils' mantra for their work~

"I always say that the mantra for our work is that there's no growth in comfort, and so the more concentration you have with the same kind of people, the more your comfort zone will cement. So we interject and we take them out of that comfort zone and say, "Go to school in rural Massachusetts."

Matheos Mesfin - Founder and Executive Director of IEA Councils with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and this is Our Town with a very special conversation with a young man that I happened to... I mean literally this was an accident. I was at an affair in the city and Our Town about Washingtonian of the Year and Donald Graham, who has been a friend for 50 years, says to me, "There's a young man here that's being recognized today I want you to meet. He is going to make a huge impact on parts of Our Town." When Donald asks, we all react. I don't care what we do because he's such a big part of Our Town and a great guy and a wonderful man.
I said, Donald, okay, what do you got?" He said, "This young man is from East Africa. He's a resident of the United States now, and he's got a program that we're rewarding here today at the Washingtonian." Matheos Mesfin is a young man who's well dressed. He looks like a million dollars. He's getting an award that day. I said, "Donald, when you ask, I can't refuse," and he introduced us. I was so overwhelmed by your presence because you make a great impact, a great presentation as a wonderful guy. Without even knowing you, I thought we had some good vibes, and with Donald involved I couldn't avoid it. So Matheos, welcome to Our Town. You're making an impact, and we love it.
Matheos Mesfin: It's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you for taking your time inviting me, and I hope that we'll make this presentation worth it. Thank you so much.
From Ethiopia to Our Town to Grinnell College in Iowa and back to Our Town
Andy Ockershausen: You're from Ethiopia.
Matheos Mesfin: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: You were born in Ethiopia. How long have you been in Our Town?
Matheos Mesfin: I immigrated here in 2007, end of 2007.
Andy Ockershausen: That's no time at all. It's 12 years.
Matheos Mesfin: That's no time at all, absolutely, and so 12 years. Spent three years at a DC public school before I settled in Iowa for undergrad.
Andy Ockershausen: The Grinnell College.
Matheos Mesfin: The Grinnell College.
Andy Ockershausen: That's a very famous school.
Matheos Mesfin: Famous for its hipsters and its very liberal views. I settled there four years, came back, and I got my first job in DC in higher ed, and the rest is history. So I've been here ever since.
Andy Ockershausen: You're the director at IEA Councils.
Matheos Mesfin: Yes, yes. I-
Andy Ockershausen: Did you create the position?
On Founding the Institute for East African Councils on Higher Education
Matheos Mesfin: I did. I did. I established the Institute for East African Councils on Higher Education. It is a mouthful, so the abbreviation's what we commonly refer to as IEA Councils. It really stemmed from the idea that this area as hub for a lot of East Africans. It has hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians, a very robust Eritrean, Somali, Sudanese students and just diaspora all together. So we have seen that these students have created these cultural enclaves and they're not really reaching their full potential because they're limited to what their communities say or how their communities define college and school all together. With that in mind, I saw my transition to Grinnell as a very unique opportunity, and with that came the obligation to make sure that these wonderful students also reach their potentials by matriculating to top notch schools.
Andy Ockershausen: That is a wonderful, wonderful... I hope it's going to work through fairly well,

Dec 17 2019

19mins

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Jimmy Lynn – Entrepreneur, Servant Leader and Georgetown Professor

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Jimmy Lynn on what went into his decision to stay in Our Town after grad school ~
"When I was coming out of AU after grad school, a couple mentors pulled me aside and said, you think you might need to move to New York or LA? I wasn't sure. And they said, you might be a small fish in a big pond. Why not stay here in DC where you can be a big fish in a medium sized pond."

Jimmy Lynn, Entrepreneur, Servant Leader and Georgetown Professor and host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. And this is such, I say this in all sincerity, a great, great opportunity and a pleasure to talk to a friend for many, many years. At one time, a big part of WMAL radio. Things have changed, Jimmy. The big days that you and I grew up are gone. But to have you in this studio to me is special and Jimmy Lynn, welcome to Our Town.
Jimmy Lynn: Thank you, Andy. It's so great to be back to see you. To see Janice. To be back at the studios from back in the 80s when WMAL and Q107 were the kings of media.
Andy Ockershausen: Jimmy, at one time we were the kings of media and we're still ... And Janice is the queen of media now.
Jimmy Lynn: We know that.
Andy Ockershausen: But Jimmy, if you recall, and I know you do, you got started in the business here. You were fortunate at the time as I was, because I started as you did. I started at the bottom and worked my way down. And you have done so much with your life and I want to talk about it but your DC career, to me, is special. You're a local guy that grew up here and made something out of being a local.
Doing Business in Our Town – Big Fish, Medium Pond
Jimmy Lynn: Yeah. No, that was very important to me. When I was coming out of AU after grad school, a couple mentors pulled me aside and said, you think you might need to move to New York or LA? I wasn't sure. And they said, you might be a small fish in a big pond. Why not stay here in DC where you can be a big fish in a medium sized pond. And you and Charlie Brotman told me the importance of networking and relationship building, shaking hands, and once you look someone in the eye to do business.

So they said stay in DC. You're going to make friends. You're going to business together. You're going to celebrate together. You're going to go to funerals together. You have a chance to become the old boy network which you and Charlie were.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, Jimmy, you're so right. And I had an opportunity yesterday to talk to a bunch of young people in something called Leadership Greater Washington. I happened to be one of the founders of the organization in 1986 and '87 was our first class. Nothing has changed, Jimmy. That's over 30 some years ago and it's still networking, getting around, connect the dots. There's no secret to be a success. Show up. Return your phone calls.
Andy O, Jr.
Jimmy Lynn: I don't think I've told you this but a couple of people have told me, Jimmy, you have one of the top five or top 10 rolodexes in the DC business community. And people used to call me Andy O, Jr. I always took that as a big compliment because you were the most connected guy in town.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, because, I still use the old Rolodex. I can't use this thing that you have, Jimmy. And Janice does it. Ken does it. But I'm a dead duck. I can't do it. But my Rolodex is important to my life because I pop up names on there that I haven't talked to in years and suddenly there they are in my Rolodex.
And people use me for references and I appreciate it so much. But Jimmy you learned the lesson. But learning it is one thing, executing it in which you did, your career, I never understood what a double alumnus is.
American University Communications and Marketing
Jimmy Lynn: I went to American University. I have my Communication degree as undergrad and then MBA in Marketing.
Andy Ockershausen: I went to American University myself when I was an intern at WMAL.

Dec 10 2019

28mins

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Phil Hochberg – Former “Voice of the Redskins” and Lawyer

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Phil Hochberg on revenue generation in Major League Baseball today ~

"Well, interestingly, Major League Baseball is now suffering attendance losses over the past few years, but Major League Baseball is making more money than it ever had because of the media rights and everything . . . everything has just changed so much. It is no longer just radio. It is no longer radio and television. It is not radio, television and cable. It is the Internet. It is the streaming services. It is just everything."

Phil Hochberg - Former Voice of the Redskins and Lawyer with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. In a conversation with not only a friend, but I would say a world known friend from doing his work as the public address announcer for so many of Washington sports teams that they could hear you all over the world because of the coverage.
Welcome to Our Town, Phil Hochberg.
Phil Hochberg: Thank you Andy. Thank you very much.
Andy Ockershausen: And a local guy that made good.
Phil Hochberg: Well, I don't know if I made good, the old Frank Sullivan line, the Frank Sullivan picture with the Boston Red Sox. He said, "I'm in the twilight of a mediocre career." So I don't know if made good is the right word, but, thanks a lot.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, I had a friend said that but a difference is, I'm in the top three of the mediocres, you know, so I can live with that. But Phil, you went to high school here at Wilson?
Wilson High School | American University | Syracuse | George Washington Law School | Federal Communications Commission Career Start
Phil Hochberg: I did. I did.
Andy Ockershausen: And I had thought you had gone and switched to the University of Maryland, but you didn't.
Phil Hochberg: No. I went to Wilson and then one semester at American U, and then I transferred to Syracuse. Graduated from Syracuse, came back here, went to GW law school and began practicing law in 1965 with the FCC.
Andy Ockershausen: TC or CC.
Phil Hochberg: FCC.
Andy Ockershausen: The Federal Trade?
Phil Hochberg: The Federal Communications Commission.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, federal, I know it quite well.
Phil Hochberg: Your friend Dick Wiley.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah. We had a ton of friends on the FCC that was involved. Dean Burch.
Phil Hochberg: I guess you did. Harry was a communications lawyer himself.
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely. But Phil, I had really never knew about you in those days because my very relationship with you has always been through the sports world, not through the legal world, but you've had quite a career in the legal world as both a rep and an adviser, correct, to leagues and sports teams?
Practicing Law 54 Years | Member of Firm to Sole Practioner | NFL, NBA, NHL, Nascar
Phil Hochberg: I have represented, and still do represent the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, NASCAR in a very limited area dealing with communications and cable, satellite, copyright, very limited.
People ask me when I'm going to retire, been practicing now for 54 years, and I say that right now I'm looking at 2021 so that I can be able to say I've represented the National Hockey League for 50 years.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow.
Phil Hochberg: Which is a pretty good relationship with the client.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, wait a minute. It's a good relationship anytime. That is great Phil. You obviously have delivered a service that they appreciate. It's been 50 years.
Phil Hochberg: Yeah. Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: But you are representing them as a agent or representing them as a lawyer?
Phil Hochberg: As a lawyer representing the league.
Andy Ockershausen: The league, right.
Phil Hochberg: In terms of regulatory and administrative issues and legislative issues affecting the National Hockey League and some of the other leagues too.
Andy Ockershausen: But you operate as a member of the firm. Correct?

Dec 03 2019

31mins

Play

Lisa Baden – Traffic Reporter and Radio Personality

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Lisa Baden on internal conflict of the overwhelming desire to be first to report, and the discipline to verify before:

So I had to confirm it and I was like chomping at the bit. We're calling M Dot. We're calling Transportation. We're calling the police. Well finally we got confirmation. Yes. A tar truck just turned over and that was hours of cleanup. I mean hours but so although I would love to be first, I desire accuracy more.

Lisa Baden, Traffic Reporter and Radio Personality, with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. It's Andy Ockershausen and what an absolute treasure and pleasure it is for Janice and I to welcome a very, very famous person in our life and a life of broadcasting. Miss Lisa Baden.
Lisa Baden: Aw. Thank you.
Andy Ockershausen: Lisa, you know to see you in the flesh after all these years of watching you on camera, because I grew up in the business as you know and to see what you had you matured and all the good things you had done. I had the opportunity to hear I traffic reporter in Chicago and a policemen riding around in a helicopter. And I thought that would be a great idea. And it came back and with our program director we started, we got a policeman out of the DC police department, a sergeant, in the traffic division and put him in a helicopter. We paid for the helicopter. The city provided the cop and we did airborne traffic in like 1962 or 63 can you believe that?
Lisa Baden: Really?
Andy Ockershausen: That is many years ago. It's 55 years ago. We were doing it and it started the whole traffic war because after we did it, Captain Dan came along.
Lisa Baden: That's right.
Andy Ockershausen: You remember Captain...
On Captain Dan
Lisa Baden: Captain Dan. Sure. He landed his helicopter at my elementary school. And I'll never forget it.
Andy Ockershausen: Was he great?
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: That was the beginning of your career. You said that's what I want to be when I grow up.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, he originally was in a helicopter and then we had him in a fixed wing, he had his own airplane. But we always believe Lisa, when we could afford it traffic and how important it is. And you've epitomized the importance. You did yours, your big stick here at WMAL WTOP. I mean, the call letters are magic. So Lisa, we're so happy to have you live and in color.
Lisa Baden: Thank you. It's an honor to be here. Really is.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you grew up in the business and you've been at it a long time and the changes you have incurred are unbelievable to me. And I'm a native born raised or maybe you're not raised, but it's certainly a native. The city is exploded now. I hate to go out and traffic cause there's traffic everywhere.
On Evolution of Traffic Reporting in Our Town
Lisa Baden: Yes, it is everywhere. It's a matter of fact. The thing I hate the most about my job is what pays my mortgage. And that's the traffic. It's just crazy.
Andy Ockershausen: And there's no drive time. We had a drive time in radio, it was between seven and nine when it was really...and no, no, now it's between five and 10 now.
Lisa Baden: Right.
Andy Ockershausen: Or more. And you've seen it.
Lisa Baden: That's true. As a matter of fact, I was the first overnight traffic reporter in Washington, DC and that was for WMAL. Because they had the forethought. Thinking wait a minute we're missing the boat here. Because
not everybody works nine to five. And there's a lot of people who work overnight shifts, in the government and everything. And it was amazing. So they started with overnight and I remember doing that for WMAL years and years...
Andy Ockershausen: Was Bill Mayhugh still here? Was that what you were doing?
Lisa Baden: Yes. Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: Because when Bill first started, I found out through the grapevine, his popularity was with the military because there's so many people work all night in a greater Washington area.

Nov 26 2019

39mins

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Marianne Haney Brennan – Etiquette Coach, Mrs. Brennan’s School of Etiquette

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Marianne Haney Brennan on the importance of manners today ~

"We need to get back to being kind to each other. . .we're in a sad state of affairs right now and it breaks my heart. And that's why I teach etiquette from A to Z. I don't care. You know what? Time goes on but manners don't change. Manners are manners. Whether they were the 1800s or they're the 2019."

Marianne Haney Brennan, Etiquette Coach, and host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town speaking and I wanted to explain to her, this is not an interview. We are having a conversation. Marianne Brennan, welcome to Our Town.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Andy I am so just excited to be here and honored. I can't tell you anything else other than that.
Andy Ockershausen: Well I'm afraid to say Haney because nobody will know what that mean.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Oh no, I love it call me Haney.
Andy Ockershausen: But you know, Marianne Haney. Marianne is local, a local girl. As a matter of fact, she's fifth generation Washingtonian and her daughter is now six generation. I'm only third and I feel like a newcomer. Haney, it's amazing to see you and you look great.
Marianne Haney Brennan is Fifth Generation Washingtonian
Marianne Haney Brennan: Oh my gosh.
Andy Ockershausen: And I've have known you for so long and follow your many different careers. But this one now is made for you, etiquette.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Etiquette. It is.
Andy Ockershausen: And you have a class in Georgetown. Where do you teach?
Etiquette Coach | Custom Classes for Schools and Corporations
Marianne Haney Brennan: No, actually I go all over. I custom make my classes. I'll do anything that parents want me to do. I've actually in the last six months been called in to places like Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney to talk to the young guys.
Andy Ockershausen: To the guys.
Marianne Haney Brennan: About proper dressing, shined shoes, all that good stuff that has seemed to be lost in the shuffle.
Andy Ockershausen: I don't think so Marianne. Because guys need help too.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Oh totally.
Andy Ockershausen: As you well know, this etiquette is not just important to the young ladies, but I found it's true that most men are very rude and they need etiquette. And these companies you mentioned are big, big companies.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Big companies, yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: So you don't travel to school, you travel you.
Epidemic of Undisciplined Children
Marianne Haney Brennan: Well because I'm sort of connected in the Catholic school system, being a Catholic graduate, I know a lot of people in that realm. I was trying to get into some of the public schools, but it's a little tougher to get in there. There's so many rules and regulations and they all need it. Listen, we have an epidemic, epidemic of undisciplined children. And I don't want to sound negative or anything but-
Andy Ockershausen: No it's not negative. It's important.
Marianne Haney Brennan: I was sitting and having some yogurt around the corner here before I came over, and I'm watching people who are sitting with each other having lunch and they've got headphones on and they're not even in conversation.
Andy Ockershausen: You're preaching to the choir with me. They don't pay attention.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Not at all. No. And part of the problem is we're all moving too fast. We're moving too fast. We've got too many electronic things going on. Nobody wants to take time out to say hello or smile or be considerate.
Andy Ockershausen: You know, I'll tell you my story in a minute, but we were just talking to Tom Davis who has been a congressman and did a great job for northern Virginia, talking to the fact that social media is really, the culprit has changed our world, forever.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: I don't think we'll ever go back.
Marianne Haney Brennan: Absolutely.

Nov 20 2019

30mins

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Tom Davis – Retired Congressman and Rector, George Mason University

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Tom Davis on politics today in Northern Virginia~

They've done it to themselves because they've emphasized these social issues, in an area that's becoming much more widely diverse, instead of focusing on the bread and butter and the economic issues that basically decide the success or not of every jurisdiction. They just priced themselves out of the market. So even where they were right on a number of issues, you had young people, people of color, just pushing the mute button when you had the Republican label.

Tom Davis - Retired Congressman and Rector, George Mason University and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town and this is Andy Ockershausen and we're so fortunate to have a friend for many, many years who sort of disappeared part of our life, but thank God, not totally. Congressman Tom Davis, welcome to Our Town.
Tom Davis: Andy, it's great to retire from my life of quiet anonymity to come on to your show.
Andy Ockershausen: Tom, I can't tell you Tom, how much I miss you and seeing your career and being a part of your life, whether you like it or not, WMAL was because-
Tom Davis: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: And I was involved with the Alexandria Group there and the good old days when we elected people, but you can't get a Republican elected in Alexandria now with a search warrant. But Tom, you've done so well. 14 years in Congress?
Tom Davis - 29 Years of Public Service | Former United States Congressman and Fairfax County Board Member
Tom Davis: Right, and I was 15 years on the County Board in Fairfax before that.
Andy Ockershausen: You were? That's 29. That's half your life.
Tom Davis: 29. Yeah, I know. Well it was more than half-
Andy Ockershausen: The Arlington County board?
Tom Davis: I mean, less than half my life now.
Andy Ockershausen: That was the ABC guy?
Tom Davis: No, this was the Fairfax County.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, Fairfax County?
Tom Davis: Yeah, yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: I remember my friend Bob Peck was on the Arlington Board for a while.
Reminiscing - Local Political Races
Tom Davis: Oh my goodness. I remember all those races, because I grew up on those races in Arlington.
Andy Ockershausen: You're an Arlington guy, right?
Tom Davis: In Arlington, yeah. I remember Hal Casto. Do you remember Hal Casto? He was on the Board.
Andy Ockershausen: Very well. I remember the name.
Tom Davis: Ned Thomas, they owned the cemetery. He was on the County Board.
Andy Ockershausen: The cemetery? He lived on the cemetery?
Tom Davis: He did. He did.
Andy Ockershausen: He and his wife lived on a cemetery?
The Cemetery Story
Tom Davis: In fact, we ran a registration drive there one year on the cemetery, and we get to this really old tombstone to get it appropriately registered and we couldn't read the name. We're putting the flashlight on. We're trying to put a paper over it and engrave it, and figure out what's the name. Somebody comes and says, "Davis, we gotta get outta here. The cops are going to be here in a few minutes." I said, "Wait a minute. This man has just as much right to vote as everybody else in here."
Andy Ockershausen: He's one of us, the good Republican. You couldn't find one now with a search warrant, I'll guarantee you. Tom, but you're a local guy. You grew up in Arlington.
Tom Davis: Right.
Andy Ockershausen: And that's a big part of your life is Northern Virginia. It's been there your whole life, your whole college career was in Northern Virginia.
On Growing Up | Family and Education | Full Scholarship to Amerherst
Tom Davis: Except for army, college, and basically law school. Yeah, that's it.
Andy Ockershausen: Where was college?
Tom Davis: Amherst, in Massachusetts.
Andy Ockershausen: Amherst, a good school. Wow!
Tom Davis: They gave me a full scholarship. It was not a hard choice.
Andy Ockershausen: Amherst is one of the schools for the, you know, the silver spoon.
Tom Davis: I was lucky.

Nov 12 2019

27mins

Play

Mahan Tavakoli – Servant Leader, Strategic Leadership Ventures and Leadership Greater Washington

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Mahan Tavakoli on connecting and networking in Our Town region~

Leadership Greater Washington . . . brings people from different backgrounds, different industries, and different parts of our region together. But there's also a connection to meaning . . . All of us want to connect and network, want to do good and have meaning in our work lives, in our networking. So Leadership Greater Washington allows for the senior leaders in the region to address those issues and have meaning in terms of their involvement.

Mahan Tavakoli, Servant Leader, Strategic Leadership Ventures and Leadership Greater Washington, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town, and I have the opportunity to talk to a wonderful, wonderful man who means so much to this community, to Our Town. He was one of the leading business executives in my estimation. Mahan Tavakoli, welcome to Our Town.
Mahan Tavakoli: Andy, thank you very much. I am super excited to be here with you as your guest.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, yeah, I know you've been telling me that and I am so flattered because you're an important man, Mahan. You've made a tremendous impact on this town. So let's talk about pre WMAL, and pre Washington D.C. What was Mahan doing? Are you a native of D.C.?
Mahan Tavakoli - A Washingtonian from Iran
Mahan Tavakoli: Yeah, so Andy, my parents are from Iran and the first few years of my life I actually lived in Iran.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, you did?
Mahan Tavakoli: I did. Yes and-
Andy Ockershausen: Of all these years, Mahan, I never knew that. I never knew that. That's wonderful, I think for your parents.
Mahan's Dad - A Servant Leadership Attitude
Mahan Tavakoli: It is. It is. And we settled. My Dad traveled a lot for his work, but we settled right here in Bethesda on Wilson Lane.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow, a thoroughfare. What business was your dad in?
Mahan Tavakoli: He was with ITT when ITT was more of a telecommunications company. So he-
Andy Ockershausen: ITT Worldwide.
Mahan Tavakoli: They were worldwide. One of the best that eventually lost some traction. I tend to believe post my dad, they lost some traction.
Andy Ockershausen: I heard a story about the man that was the president of ITT used to drive himself to work and brought his lunch. That's when he made that company great. I'll think of his name, very famous name, head of ITT, International Telephone and Telegraph. Nobody has a telegraph anymore, do they, Mahan?
Mahan Tavakoli: No, they don't and Andy, what you mentioned is actually one of the things that had a big impact on my life. My dad also had a servant leadership attitude with respect to the role of the leader to the organization. So I think that had a big impact for me, as I ended up getting into the business community, I try to emulate a lot of what my dad had done.
Andy Ockershausen: What a great role model though. Listen Mahan.
Andy Ockershausen: When did you move to D.C.? You spent the first four years of your life in Iran?
Mahan Tavakoli On Growing Up in Our Town
Mahan Tavakoli: Yes. So right about middle school, right before middle school moved to D.C. Went to Washington International School right out there on Macomb Street.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah, that's right.
Mahan Tavakoli: From there to Whitman, Maryland, Georgetown. So-
Andy Ockershausen: A real local guy.
Mahan Tavakoli: Absolutely. I said I'm not moving anywhere else for the rest of my life. I love it here.
Andy Ockershausen: All these years I've known you, I never knew that, but I know you were involved in everything. So your dad must have taught you that to get involved and you have done that to a fare thee well. You brought so much to the table.
Our Town Business Leaders Espouse Responsibility to Give Back to Community
Mahan Tavakoli: Yeah, there's a big sense of responsibility, Andy, that I have. There is a great privilege that all of us have living in this region,

Nov 05 2019

27mins

Play

Deborah Marriott Harrison – Global Cultural Ambassador Emeritus Marriott International

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Deborah Marriott Harrison on Marriott's culture of putting people first~

And my grandfather started it by making a sign he put over the kitchen doors in the Hot Shops that says, "If you take care of the employee, the employee will take care of the customer and the customer will come back again and again." And we really pride ourselves in taking care of our associates.

Deborah Marriott Harrison, Global Cultural Ambassador Emeritus Marriott International (r) and host Andy Ockershausen (l) in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. And I'm so delighted to have in one of the most important people in representing the families and I could probably, the number one family in Washington was the Marriott family, and I'm so delighted to have Debbie Marriott Harrison on Our Town. Welcome to Our Town, Debbie.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Thank you Andy. I'm delighted to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, our relationship, my relationship personally goes back to Marriott for many, many years before you were born, probably. Because being a big part of Our Town growing up at WMAL and Channel 7 and the Washington Star is my background, and you know what the Star was like when you were growing up in Our Town and-
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yeah, my brothers used to deliver the paper.
Andy Ockershausen: I say, right. It was Our Town. It was a small town. What's happened now has been an explosion. But thank you for remembering that there is a WMAL that was in Our Town and thank you for what you have done for the Marriott Corporation and particularly when you worked at ... your story was working at the Key Bridge Marriott?
Marriott's First Two Hotels - Twin Bridges and Key Bridge Hotels - A Bit of Our Town History
Deborah Harrison: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: How many years?
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Oh, just one summer after I had finished my freshman year.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, you just did it in the summer time.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yes. I just did it for the summer and that was our second hotel and it is still our oldest hotel in our portfolio because the first hotel was the Twin Bridges Hotel.
Andy Ockershausen: Do I remember that well.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yeah. Opened in 1957 near the 14th Street Bridge and we sold that in the late 80s and there's nothing on that lot right now. It's an empty lot.
Andy Ockershausen: The Windjammer Club.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yes, The Windjammer Club. And-
Andy Ockershausen: It was a bottle club I remember that well.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Sirloin and Saddle, the restaurant.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, the motel opened up where it used to be a national airport and before national airport there was another field there-
Deborah Harrison: Right. Hoover.
Andy Ockershausen: Were Marriott had a catering business.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: Yup. Hoover Field. And the Pentagon is, and the Pentagon is there now.
Andy Ockershausen: And yeah. Right. And so that was the beginning of the catering business, but the hotel business, your grandfather opened that hotel, I remember it had a sign. It was the only sign I've ever seen on the 14th Street Bridge and the Washington signs, at the exit to get to the Marriott Hotel. Can you ... you were too young to know that.
Deborah Marriott Harrison: I don't remember that. You're right. I don't remember. That's really neat.
Andy Ockershausen: There was some political pressure to get that done. But it was done. The only motel that was highlighted on the bridge leaving town, was the Marriott Twin Bridges. And there were twin bridges and then Marriott got into the hotel business and then opened up in Rosslyn. Was that your next big hotel?
Deborah Marriott Harrison: The next one, two years later was the one was Key Bridge in Rosslyn overlooking Georgetown and the river.
Andy Ockershausen: And it was a real, a motor hotel. It was a small structure.
Marriott Started Out in the Hotel Business with Motor Hotels

Oct 29 2019

23mins

Play

Caroline Carter – Founder and CEO, Done in Day, Inc. | Author, Smart Moves

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Caroline Carter, Author of Smart Moves, and Founder and CEO of Done in a Day, Inc., on the process of transitioning from home to home~

"But the reason I wrote the book was to allow people to say, okay, I get it. We all dread this process but we don't have to. Okay. There is a way that we can go through this and make very solid emotional, financial and physical decisions that will affect us over time."

Caroline Carter, Founder and CEO, Done in Day, Inc. | Author, Smart Moves with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town and this is Andy Ockershausen to talk to a friend of many years who has shocked me beyond belief because I lost track of her, what, 10, 15 years ago in our neighborhood and now she's turned out to be a fabulous writer, I think. Caroline Carter, welcome to Our Town.
Caroline Carter: Thank you, Andy. I'm pleased to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: It is unbelievable what you have done in this book. Like you're new to me and yet you're not. You're ... we're friends for many years, but you've established a life about moving and everybody in the world eventually is going to move.
Smart Moves - Demystifying the Moving Process
Caroline Carter: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: So everybody's a potential client or potential to need your help and your book is fabulous.
Caroline Carter: Oh, thank you. I'm so glad. Thanks.
Andy Ockershausen: I'm not anxious to move because the problem of doing it, it's scary, but what you have written and for me to understand, man, it's terrific. Just terrific, Caroline.
Caroline Carter: Well, I appreciate that. I think that the purpose of writing the book was to demystify this process. You know, when you say to someone or when you look at this statistic, for instance, that the US Census Bureau says that the average American moves 11 times throughout their lifetime and that's a lot of moving.
Andy Ockershausen: That's just average.
Caroline Carter: That's just average but Americans move more than any other culture.
Andy Ockershausen: I saw that.
Caroline Carter: And if you say to someone, you know, what do you think about moving? Well, the first thing they say is, I dread it. I absolutely dread it. So part of the reason why I wrote Smart Moves was to demystify the process for people.
Andy Ockershausen: And showing the mover how to save time and money while transitioning your home and life.
Caroline Carter: Exactly.
Andy Ockershausen: Now that's important. The life thing.
Caroline Carter: Sure.
Andy Ockershausen: You've almost been, and in a lot of your work and your career, you've done some marriage counseling too.
Caroline Carter: Oh, well no, no doubt about that. No doubt about that because everybody ... this is a very emotional process.
Andy Ockershausen: It's always a strain on marriage, isn't it? A strain?
Moving is a Strain on the Entire Family
Caroline Carter: Well it's a strain actually on the entire family, including the pets and I say that because selling your home, okay, preparing it to sell and moving is one of the most stressful life changing events that a family can go through and everybody acts out because they don't know what to expect. They don't ... it's like being on a roller coaster, right? You kind of do in general know what to expect, but every ride is different and we all will go through this packaging of our homes to sell if we want to sell it at top dollar right, and then moving. But the reason I wrote the book was to allow people to say, okay, I get it. We all dread this process but we don't have to. Okay. There is a way that we can go through this and make very solid emotional, financial and physical decisions that will affect us over time.
Andy Ockershausen: One of the not surprises because I can understand what you do after reading the book and the fact that you're not in the sales business, you're not trying to help somebody sell their house. You're having to get them ready to sell that.

Oct 23 2019

32mins

Play

Tom Sherwood – Analyst, WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Politics Hour and Former WRC TV Politics Reporter

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Tom Sherwood on what he tells journalism students when asked about making Journalism a career:

I tell every journalism student intern that I meet that one thing about being journalist, it opens doors to everything and anything that you want to see or do. I mean, I've been places and seen things . . . I never would have access to had I not fallen into the news business."

Tom Sherwood, Analyst, WAMU's Politics Hour and Former WRC TV Politics Reporter and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen, starting part of what we hope will be a long fifth season. We are especially, especially... I mean this because I've been trying to get this guy for two years, and he finally agreed to do it, to be part of Our Town, because he's such a big part of Our Town. That's my friend, and ex-neighbor, and a guy I've admired for so many years. Welcome to Our Town, Tom Sherwood.
Tom Sherwood: I see you had to read my name, so, so much for that introduction.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, I could have called you Tom intro.
Sherwood: Well, that's true. Yeah, Intro Tom.
Andy Ockershausen: Intro Tom.
Tom Sherwood: Thank you very much for having me. I'm sorry I couldn't come. I was busy in TV, but I'm happy to be here today.
Atlanta and South Carolina | Tom Sherwood's Southern Family
Andy Ockershausen: Now, he was a TV guy and he's still a TV guy as far as I'm concerned, because they miss him. Tom has a new life, and I'm so delighted that he stayed in our town, because he could have moved on. Tom, you're a media guy. You grew up in a lot of media. How did you ever get an accent, like a southern accent?
Tom Sherwood: Well, having my mother give birth to me in Atlanta helped. I'm a southern family, through thick and thin. Family members came from South Carolina. I think they were indebted people from England, who came over to America to-
Andy Ockershausen: To pay off the debt.
Sherwood: To pay off the debts.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah.
Tom Sherwood: And some of them... My great-
Andy Ockershausen: Was it Oglethorpe, or something like that.
Sherwood: Yeah, it wasn't any name like that. It's Sherwood. But anyways, yes.
Andy Ockershausen: Sherwood Forest.
Tom Sherwood's Distinct Voice
Tom Sherwood: I have nothing to do with my voice. My brother, he's a year older. He has a completely different voice.
Andy Ockershausen: People recognize the voice, Tom, of course because you've been in broadcast air for years, and years, and years.
Sherwood: Yes, I would never rob a bank-
Andy Ockershausen: With a TV career.
Tom Sherwood: The police will say, "Just go pick up Sherwood," because they would know what the voice was.
Andy Ockershausen: Why would a young boy from Atlanta, Georgia... How did you end up here? You went to high school and college in Georgia?
On Growing Up in Atlanta, Georgia and Working for the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Sherwood: Well, I went to high school, and I kind of went to college. I think I was a freshman for six years at Georgia State. It didn't really work out.
Andy Ockershausen: That's in Atlanta, right?
Tom Sherwood: Yeah, we have very similar things. You got your start as an intern, or an office clerk at WMAL?
Andy Ockershausen: I got started at the bottom.
Sherwood: Right. Well, right out of high school-
Andy Ockershausen: Right out of high school.
Tom Sherwood: I worked as a copy boy-
Andy Ockershausen: Eastern High School.
Sherwood: For The Atlanta Constitution.
Andy Ockershausen: There you go, a great, great newspaper.
Tom Sherwood: Yes. I saw an ad in The Atlanta Constitution, "Copy boys wanted," they didn't hire girls. I was a department store called Richs, which is like Woody's here in town. I looked up, and I could see The Atlanta Constitution sign. I thought, "This is kind of cool. I'll go see if I can work at the newspaper." They said, "Can you start tonight?"
Andy Ockershausen: That is incredible.

Oct 15 2019

27mins

Play

Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. – Expert, Greater Washington Regional Economy

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Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. on Amazon and future job and economic growth in Our Town~
They worked together to make this happen, and it will benefit the region broadly, but it isn't the final, it isn't all that is coming. This is just the beginning. We expect there to be almost 400,000 new jobs in the next 15 years and this is just 25,000 of them.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. and Our Town host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. I have been so excited to know that we could talk to this man and we could talk to him away from his usual role as the head of some meeting or group because I have been following him through the Washington Board of Trade since he first worked for GW. It was way back in the '60s I guess. Steve Fuller, welcome to Our Town.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Pleasure to be with you.
Andy Ockershausen: You know, we think Our Town and we created the show - my Janice recreated it. We had a television program on channel 50 called Our Town. So Janice dug it up three years ago and said, "Why don't we do it again?" about the people that have impact in Our Town and we think Our Town is Upper Marlboro, it's Vienna, Virginia, it's as far north as Baltimore, it's as far south as Richmond. That's Our Town. We go all over and Steve Fuller, you've had such an enormous impact on that geographical selection, Our Town.
Rutgers and Cornell
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Well, I've been studying it for 50 years and I try to share some of my knowledge. So this is a great opportunity.
Andy Ockershausen: I love your resume. I love your background. You grew up in New Jersey, I would take it. You went to Rutgers.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I did go to Rutgers.
Andy Ockershausen: That's a state school, isn't it?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: A state school. It's the sixth oldest university in the country.
Andy Ockershausen: It's older than Princeton.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: 1766, Queens College, it was then.
Andy Ockershausen: Queens College. Well, wasn't William and Mary King's College at one time in Southern Virginia? I think it's something like that. There were only one of each, I know that. And you graduated from Rutgers in '62, but then it took you seven years to graduate from Cornell.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: Well, I worked, I went out and worked.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, it didn't say that.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I took a few jobs.
Andy Ockershausen: The way I read your resume, you graduated in '62 and then went to Cornell, high above Cayuga's waters, right?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: That's right.
Andy Ockershausen: And that launched you into a career by going to Cornell. Was that a special school for you?
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I went there to get a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Economic Development, and I was there just for two years. Then I came to Washington in 1967, because I lucked out to get some financing from a small agency to fund my dissertation research on rural redevelopment.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow!
On Coming to Our Town
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: So I came down here with the promise of one year paycheck to do my research and write my dissertation, and then they hired me to stay on for a year and after that I went to GW in '69.
Andy Ockershausen: And you became whether you planned or not, you became part of Our Town, a big part of Our Town.
Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: I did.
Andy Ockershausen: And you had had all the training to better urban development and training about how to judge markets and growth and so forth. So you were prepared to help at GW. Were you're the first one in that category at George Washington?
George Washington University Opportunity - New Urban Regional Planning Department Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D.: There was a new department at George Washington that offered a master's degree in Urban Regional Planning, and it just started up in 1968 and they needed a third faculty member,

Oct 08 2019

35mins

Play

Our Town Podcast Season 4 Wrap Up and Who’s Next

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Our Town podcast Season 4 through a millennial's eyes. Liz Bubes shares her views on Season 4 of Our Town podcast interviews~

"Well, as a millennial and for someone who had never heard of a vast majority of these people but learned way more than I thought. . . I think that the highlight of Our Town podcast for me was having Monique Samuels on and getting on the Real Housewives of Potomac. . . Getting all the cameras all set up, and getting mic’d up and you know, being near a celebrity."

Our Town Season 4 Wrap Up - Andy and Janice Ockershausen in studio, Looking Forward to Season Four

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town podcast and unfortunately this is the last of our Season 4. Our Town, we'll be starting Season 5 sometime in this late Summer, early Fall. But this has been a wonderful, wonderful ride for us, especially since Janice has been in charge of the whole program. But to have Liz Bubes take over and work with us as sort of our finding producer. It's just been a great, great Season and I'm so glad that the three of us . . . the four of us with our extraordinary producer Ken.
Ken Hunter: Can't forget me, that's right.
Andy Ockershausen: We've been trying to forget you, but it still works. But Lizzy, thank you for being here and Janny you're the best, honey.
Highlights - Season 4 Our Town Podcast Guests
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Yeah, so what we wanted to do is we wanted to do a Season wrap up, and during this wrap up we just wanted to give our impressions, all of us, Liz, Andy, Ken, and I, about what was meaningful and what we learned in this Season, Season 4. So, I just wanted to start with Liz because she had a great impression...
Andy Ockershausen: What was that great impression Liz, in Season 4?
Monique Samuels
Liz Bubes: Well, as a millennial and for someone who had never heard of a vast majority of these people but learned way more than I thought. . . I think that the highlight of Our Town podcast Season 4 for me was having Monique Samuels on and getting on the Real Housewives of Potomac, Andy, that was definitely a thrill. Getting all the cameras all set up, and getting mic'd up and you know, being near a celebrity.
Andy Ockershausen: All of us being on Bravo was a big hit, it was amazing.
Liz Bubes: I kept waiting for that episode to come out.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: I remember that day because they brought their camera crew and they took over the studios, both studios.
Liz Bubes: We had to get a bigger studio, just for Monique Samuels.
Andy Ockershausen: And her part.
Liz Bubes: And her 9 producers who flocked along with her.
Andy Ockershausen: And the amazing thing about Monique, she's not the biggest celebrity. You would think so because of Bravo, but her husband is a much bigger celebrity. But nevertheless, she was so great and great to have and Janny who impressed you in the beginning of this thing?
Steve Buckhantz
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: A couple of people that stand out because we're in the broadcast business and they're friends, but I remember Steve Buckhantz. I listened to Steve occasionally when he was doing the Wizard's games, what was most impressive was his personal journey, the journey he went from town to town as he was developing..
Liz Bubes: I agree he is a very inspiring person.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Yes...
Andy Ockershausen: He worked to get where he is at.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: He certainly did...
Liz Bubes: And now he kills it at what he does.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: But he's a good storyteller, so when you hear the clips of him talking about the Wizards game, it's play by play, that's something else. But he as an individual storyteller was excellent.
Liz Bubes: Right.
Al Koken
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Al Koken is another example, hard working guy, worked his way to Washington, has got a great role now.

May 30 2019

22mins

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Monique Samuels – Real Housewives of Potomac and Not for Lazy Moms

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Monique Samuels on being the only one on Real Housewives of Potomac with babies~

"I can't wait for someone else to have a baby on this cast. I can't be the only one because it is very difficult trying to navigate, just making sure that your family feels whole and they don't feel like they're being left out and then trying to give your all to the show as well. I've never had a nanny until I joined the show. So I had to spend more money. Get somebody to take care of my babies while I'm off filming and doing other things that I need to do. So it's been a transition for our family but I think we're handling it pretty well."

Monique Samuels - Real Housewives of Potomac and Not for Lazy Moms founder - with host Andy Ockershausen in studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, Andy Ockershausen with the unique Monique Samuels. Monique an absolute super pleasure for us to have you as part of Our Town.
Monique Samuels: Thank you, I'm so excited to be here. I'm so honored to be here.
Andy Ockershausen: You have your television show, you have a career that's so important to Our Town because you put us on the map and we know about Potomac but you've made it bigger than that.
M Samuels: Ah, thanks.
Andy Ockershausen: But to see your star is rising in the ten years you've been doing the show. Has it been that long?
Monique Samuels: No. Not this long for the show. The show, let's see, this is year four for the show; year three for me.
Andy Ockershausen: That's it.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Growing up in Pleasantville, New Jersey
Andy Ockershausen: Monique you're so unique and I use that word and you're not from Washington D.C. I found out in your resume you're from Pleasantville New Jersey.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: I think I know ... Isn't Pleasantville close to the bridge?
Monique Samuels: Yep. It's right outside of Atlantic City.
Andy Ockershausen: And it's wonderful in that part of New Jersey, right?
Monique Samuels: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I'm not mad at it, it raised me pretty good.
Andy Ockershausen: But that's important, it's your roots.
M Samuels: Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: In New Jersey and Pleasantville.
M Samuels: Small town.
Andy Ockershausen: Now why would a woman with talent obviously looking for help want to go to Pittsburgh to Duquesne?
College | Pittsburgh, PA | Full Academic Scholarship | Duquesne University
Monique Samuels: Yes, so I wanted to be a lawyer and Duquesne had a great law program where you could do your undergrad in three years and your fourth year of undergrad is your first year of law school. So that was my plan. I got a full academic scholarship to Duquesne University, that was another reason why I went.
Andy Ockershausen: That's a good reason.
Monique Samuels: Oh, yeah. They paid for everything.
Andy Ockershausen: They paid the full scholarship? That's great.
Valedictorian to Salutatorian, Senior Year High School Because of Unexpected Rule Change
Monique Samuels: Yeah, full academic scholarship. I graduated from Pleasantville High School, I was the Salutatorian ...
Andy Ockershausen: First time I've ever seen that word in writing. Does that mean your second in your class?
Monique Samuels: Yes. Which is interesting story ...
Andy Ockershausen: Tell me that.
Monique Samuels: I was really the Valedictorian all four years of high school I was always number one. My senior year, they normally lock in the ranks after the first semester, because you know you have two semesters. So after first semester they lock in the ranks. My guidance counselor told me, he said, "Well, you technically only need one class so that you can just be enrolled for the second semester ...

May 07 2019

35mins

Play

Tyler Balderson – Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist, Bartlett Tree Experts

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Tyler Balderson, Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist at Bartlett Tree Experts, on the importance of knowing your trees~

"Being a board certified master arborist, the most important part is to be able to identify the tree. Each tree has either its mechanism of growth, or its concerns that I need to identify for the client, but there's also bad trees, there are trees we don't want on your property, and we call those invasive species. . . they can impact the health and growth of a tree that we do want."

Tyler Balderson - Tree Hugger and Arboriculturist, Bartlett Tree Experts and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, and this Andy Ockershausen. And I'm just so excited to welcome a very special guest, my favorite tree hugger. And I use that term in all affection. This man is a very, very famous forester. He's famous because I think he's famous. We found him as the local manager at Bartlett Tree Experts about probably 15 to 20 years ago, Tyler. It's been a great relationship. Tyler Balderson, welcome to Our Town.
Tyler Balderson: Thanks for having me.
Andy Ockershausen: Isn't this a great town to have Our Town?
Tyler Balderson: It's a great town.
Andy Ockershausen: Even though we're familiar with you with Anne Arundel County, that's part of Our Town. We've always considered it that. Odenton where you had some ... that's where your office is, in Odenton.
Tyler Balderson: That is correct.
Andy Ockershausen: But you're a local yokel.
Tyler Balderson is Homegrown, A Local Yokel
Tyler Balderson: I'm a local yokel. Born and raised.
Andy Ockershausen: In Bethesda.
Tyler Balderson: In Bethesda, yep.
Andy Ockershausen: Went to the school in Bethesda, and your family ... and your father, Andy, is a business man in Bethesda, he had your company before you were born, I would imagine.
Tyler Balderson: He did. He's a landscape architect. He's been practicing it for over 40 years now.
Andy Ockershausen: And he decided that you'd be a tree person, but you're not an architect, you're a forester.
Balderson is a Natural Born Tree Hugger
Tyler Balderson: That is correct. Yeah, I was born and raised in a nursery, where he founded our house, and so born and raised around trees. Naturally, I'm going to take care of them.
Andy Ockershausen: Did you cut down trees to build your house?
Tyler Balderson: No. I'm a tree hugger. I don't cut trees.
Andy Ockershausen: You did just the opposite. You would've loved George Washington, right, he cut down a tree and his parents put him in trouble.
Tyler Balderson: That is correct.
Andy Ockershausen: That's part of Our Town, too, Mount Vernon, you know.
First Professional Gig - Elm Trees at Mount Vernon
Tyler Balderson: Mount Vernon, we take care of the trees at Mount Vernon.
Andy Ockershausen: Is that right?
Tyler Balderson: Absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: Your company does?
Tyler Balderson: Yep, I personally have been injecting those elm trees for years before, when I got started in tree care, so I personally had taken care of those trees for Mount Vernon.
Andy Ockershausen: When you were in Bethesda?
Tyler Balderson: Mm-hmm (affirmative), Bethesda, yep, when I first started out.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you've always lived in Bethesda before you went to college, correct?
Tyler Balderson: Correct.
Our Town Legacy - Three Generations
Andy Ockershausen: And the family is back, and your grandfather was born in the city, correct?
Tyler Balderson: Correct, yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: Within the city limits.

Mar 14 2019

29mins

Play

Peter Abrahams – Publisher, Washington Business Journal

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Peter Abrahams on a priority for him right now in his new role as Publisher of the Washington Business Journal~

"I'm on a listening tour, really, talking to a lot of the business leaders in the city. Trying to get to meet with our clients, our stakeholders, really understanding what's important to them. I have some ideas . . . "

Peter Abrahams - Publisher, Washington Business Journal and Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: Well this is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen with an old friend. He'll never be old, and he's a wonderful friend. His name is Peter Abrahams, he's just taken over the job at head of the Washington Business Journal, but I knew him when he was selling magazines here in the studios of WMAL. Peter, welcome to Our Town.
Peter Abrahams: Thanks Andy. Good to be here. And by the way, you said I'm an old friend, let's just be clear. I'm not that old.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, I've been around a long time. Peter I've had some people that are older than me, believe it or not, in this business.
Peter Abrahams: I do believe that. You're not that old.
Andy Ockershausen: I'm not going to be either, Peter, but I'm so happy to have you and have you back at Our Town, but we met long before I found out that you were an important guy, through a mutual friend that grew up with you in Boston. Is that correct?
Peter Abrahams On How He and Andy Met
Peter Abrahams: You know, as I was thinking about seeing you today, we have known each other for so long-
I'm trying to remember how we actually met the very first time because I didn't, but it's been 25 years. I mean you were one of the very first people I met when I landed here. My first time here was in '89 and I can't even remember, but through the years, it never goes about a month or two months without seeing you running around somewhere. I mean running, you don't walk, you tend to move pretty fast so, and I have short little legs, so it was always hard to catch up with you.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, but you make an impression everywhere you go, Peter. I always was so impressed, Scott Langerman went to-
Peter Abrahams: Oh, was it Scott? Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: School with him and then Longwood somewhere up with the rich people in the Boston area. I knew that.
Peter Abrahams: Yeah, Chestnut Hill, Baker Elementary.
Andy Ockershausen: Isn't that something? It's incredible and then you run back into him in the Capitol, but Peter, having you and seeing you operate because I went to a lot of things, as you did, and that was so important, you made an appearance in Our Town, and people knew Peter Abrahams. And you have represented an important part of Our Town with your publication.
Peter Left Our Town, But Not Actually
Peter Abrahams: Yeah, you know it's funny, people always ask me that and they ask me, I didn't actually leave. I was still here, but I was never here. I was spending about three days a month here over the last couple years. I was-
Andy Ockershausen: Kept your home here?
Peter Abrahams: Kept my home here. But I really wasn't here and so a lot of people have welcomed me back. I didn't leave, but it's interesting because when you talk about the impression, for me, this area has always made an impression upon me. So, I feel fortunate coming back because I've been welcomed back, which was surprising, and you know, I am going to take that people think I physically left. It's great, because they're buying me coffees and they want to see me.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh wow.
From Boston to Washington, DC - Abrahams Instantly Felt at Home
Peter Abrahams: But, you know, when I moved here, I was in Boston, it was shortly after school. I ran my own business, which failed, I was bankrupt. Got in my friend's car and we drove down here.

Mar 12 2019

31mins

Play

John Lyon – Retired Announcer and WMAL Swingman

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John Lyon on finding his way after WMAL ~

"For two years . . . I floated around . . . It wasn’t the same, what I’m used to all these years being here. Strangely enough, I connected with Montgomery County to work in the Victim Assistance Program. I was on the air at WGAY on a Sunday morning. . . I picked up this card and the card said, 'Volunteers needed for the Victims Assistance Sexual Assault Program of Montgomery County.' . . . put that one in my pocket. The next day I called the number on the card . . ."

John Lyon, Retired Announcer and WMAL Swingman, and host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This Andy Ockershausen, and what a pleasure and what an extreme, extreme happiness for Janice and I to be with the original WMAL Swingman. We call him The Swingman 'cause he could swing on every show on WMAL. John Lyon, welcome to Our Town.
John Lyon: Thank you very much. I've been looking forward to this.
Andy Ockershausen: I first remember that people said, "It's not Lyons."
John Lyon: That's right.
Andy Ockershausen: John Lyon, and when he came . . . I was at WMAL. I'd been there so long I was part of the furniture or the fixtures. When John first came as a young man, but he left as an old man, but he never really left. I'm sure he's got WMAL in his heart.
John Lyon: Oh sure. Sure.
Andy Ockershausen: Like we all do, John.
Channel 7 - Lyon's First Audition in DC
John Lyon: It's ... I came here in 1967. Auditioned after three years at a station in Peoria, CBS station there. The odd thing about that was the guy that I replaced in Peoria was the same guy I replaced here. I'd been there three years and I said to the boss ... His name was Bob Beneke, I don't know if you remember.
Andy Ockershausen: I remember the name.
John Lyon: Bob Beneke. When he left here, he got out of the business. He went into some financial dealings and stuff.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you were hired as an announcer, correct?
John Lyon: I was hired-
Andy Ockershausen: Not as a talent and not as a performer but an announcer?
John Lyon: I'm not sure now.
Andy Ockershausen: Well ... That's where ... Jack Weaver and Frank started as announcers on WMAL.
John Lyon: Yeah. We had a TV audition, Channel 7 audition and Frank Ford maybe-
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely.
John Lyon: Was the Director-
Andy Ockershausen: He's our guy.
John Lyon: It was me and like six other guys for this audition and I had to borrow some dough to come out here. I had to borrow money to come out here. I had four kids back in Peoria, that I said to the boss, "Look, I've been here two or three years now. I'm kind of getting to the end of the scale, you know?" I said, "Is there any chance you can give me some more dough?" "No, that's it," he said, "You've come to the end of the road." He said, "That's how we kind of do it here. We're a medium-sized market."
Andy Ockershausen: It's a market price.
John Lyon: We got a chance to do a lot of stuff there. Did TV, nighttime radio program, and he says ... I said, "Well, okay. I'll be honest with you. I'm gonna start looking for work." He says, "Okay, good luck." I put audition tapes out to all the stations where I thought I could fit in, mainly in the Midwest 'cause that's where I was.
Andy Ockershausen: Sure.
John Lyon: I went to WGN Chicago, WCCO Minneapolis -
Andy Ockershausen: Powerhouse.
Fate? - Lyon Intended to Work in Midwest, DC Never Crossed His Mind
John Lyon: KMOX St. Louis, WOW Cincinnati, 'cause I thought, "I know these stations and I think I could work there." Well, I didn't hear anything from any of 'em. Somehow a tape ended up out here in Washington, D.C. I had no idea where Washington D.C. was. I said, "Point to the east and keep going." That's what I did and I think it was Harold Green called me and he said, "We're gonna have auditions", on whatever the date was. I said, "I'll be there." I made arrangements and I went and got a few bucks together and came out...

Mar 08 2019

Play

Ray Benton – Mr. Tennis – CEO of JTCC

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Ray Benton on the current state of Tennis~

"A lot more to be done. We've gotta rebuild the base of our sport. I mean, tennis participation's been going down in the United States for 40 years. It's ridiculous."

Ray Benton - Mr. Tennis - CEO of Junior Tennis Championship Center (JTCC)

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen, and this is Our Town. I'm welcoming an old friend who's not old. He's a young man. He's the CEO of the Junior Tennis Championship Center in College Park, Maryland, but before that, he was Ray Benton and will always be Ray Benton, Mr. Tennis, to me. Ray, welcome to Our Town.
Ray Benton: Thank you Andy. Great to see you.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, you know, you've done so much, Ray, in your career and realized that you're from Iowa. I keep wondering, how did you get connected with all the people you got connected with in Washington? You went to school there. You were born there in Iowa?
Ray Benton: No, but I lived there since I was eight years old.
Andy Ockershausen: Is that it?
Ray Benton: I wish you'd say Iowa with a bit of respect. You're very degrading.
Iowa Undergrad and Law School | Vietnam | Wharton Business School
Andy Ockershausen: I remember State Fair was a great movie about Iowa. Now how did you get to Pennsylvania, to Wharton?
Ray Benton: Well, I grew up in Iowa City, where the University is, of course. My parents were actually professors there.
Andy Ockershausen: Wow.
Ray Benton: And so I went to undergraduate and law school there, and then I decided that I'd rather not go to a place called Vietnam. So I went to business school at Wharton and got drafted right out of there.
Andy Ockershausen: Did your time anyway.
Ray Benton: I did my two years.
Andy Ockershausen: But the war was winding down, I'm sure.
Ray Benton: No, no, no, no.
Andy Ockershausen: It was still hot when you-
Ray Benton on serving in Army as Legal Clerk in Alabama during Vietnam War
Ray Benton: I was on orders for Vietnam as an infantry rifleman in 1967, which is like a death sentence, but I was very fortunate I had been working as a legal clerk in the legal office at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama.
Andy Ockershausen: Alabama, yeah.
Ray Benton: And I was waiting for my commission in the JAG, and all of a sudden, pending my security clearance, so all of a sudden I was on orders as an infantry rifleman, which I had just taken advanced infantry training. And my commission to JAG came through, which had been four years, and I said, "I really don't wanna spend four years, and I really don't wanna go to Vietnam as an infantry rifleman." And my boss, who was the judge advocate said, "God, I'd like to keep you." I said, "Why don't you make me a legal clerk?" 'cause I was an infantry rifleman just-
Andy Ockershausen: That was your MOS, right?
Ray Benton: My MOS, and 11B10. And I was just waiting for my order to become an officer.
Andy Ockershausen: Right.
Ray Benton: And so he looked in the Regs, and he found 90 days on the job training, I can make you a legal clerk. And I had been there four months. So he made me a legal clerk, which got me off the orders, and I dropped my commission.
Andy Ockershausen: Did you ever get the commission?
Ray Benton: No, no. I dropped it because I didn't wanna spend four years. So by then, I'd been in for, what? Four, eight months, so I can get it out as a enlisted man for another 16 months.
Andy Ockershausen: And you did?
Ray Benton: I had a great time.
Andy Ockershausen: In Alabama, or they move you around?
Ray Benton: No, no. I was in Alabama the whole time. I'd go to work at five in the morning, be done at one in the afternoon.
Andy Ockershausen: And play golf.
Side jobs while in Army in Alabama - Tennis Pro and Subsitute Business Law Professor
Ray Benton: And after one o'clock, I was the varsity tennis coach at Jacksonville State University. I was the head Tennis Pro at the Anniston, Gadsden Country Clubs and a substitute Business Law Professor.

Mar 05 2019

35mins

Play

Cathy Hughes – Media Mogul – Founder and Chairperson Urban One

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Cathy Hughes, the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded company and voice for Black community in Our Town, tells Donald Graham what she learned from her "Take It Back" protest in 1986 against the Washington Post for its disrespect of the Black community with its choice of the first Black person for its Sunday magazine cover~
"But let me tell you something that I've learned from this demonstration. It is not your job to tell the story of me and my people. It is my job to tell the story of the Black community." I said, "So I thank you." I said, "Because throughout this demonstration, the best thing that was learned was that to have my own voice for my own people is the most important thing I could do."

Cathy Hughes, Media Mogul, Urban One and host Andy Ockershausen, in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. I don't know how this has come about, but this lady has been the most important person I can think of in the broadcast world for many, many years. And being part of that world has been so important to me, to know her, to watch her, to get so much excitement from her, who started a radio company, a world of her own, Cathy Hughes. As they say, "Mrs. Hughes is in charge." Welcome to Our Town, Cathy Hughes.
Hughes and Ockershausen - Mutual Admiration and Respect
Cathy Hughes: Andy O. Now, the part you forgot in the introduction was that during those formative early years, you helped train me. You were my advisor. You were my mentor. You were my, "Let me call Andy O. and see what his opinion on this would be."
Andy Ockershausen: You bring tears to my eyes because to see what you have accomplished, to be a part of it even from an outside, Cathy. But I recall your complaint to me, and you were right at the time. "We've got to be careful with AM, because FM is eating us alive."
Cathy Hughes: Yes.
Andy Ockershausen: You thought WMAL, because of the power of the AM station, could help bring people's attention to WOL at 1450.
On Buying WTEM AM980 and Unhappy Washington Football Fans
Cathy Hughes: Yes, absolutely. It's so interesting now, because we just bought an AM, WTEM 980. All right. I was like, "Alfred, did you read the articles?" Okay. But it's such an institution.
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely, Washington Redskins means so much to both of us, Cathy.
Cathy Hughes: If they go back to being a team. Did you happen to see Sunday there was no one in the stadium. I've never seen that in all-
Andy Ockershausen: That's a message.
Cathy Hughes: Oh, my God. All these years I've been in Washington, D.C., even when they were losing before, the fans-
Andy Ockershausen: There's a big difference.
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, the fans would go there and drink beer and eat vinegar french fries. They would be happy, unless we won, but they certainly did not desert the team. But Sunday, you could have shot a cannon up in that stadium and not hit anybody. They wouldn't be happy, unless we won, but they certainly did not desert the team. But Sunday, you could have shot a cannon up in that stadium and not hit anybody.
Andy Ockershausen: Cathy, it's been building up, and it may have come to a head now. There's something that strategically, drastically wrong with that organization. Where fish always stinks is at the top.
Cathy Hughes: That's true.
Humble Beginnings in Omaha, NE
Andy Ockershausen: And this top brings down whatever has brought it down. I don't know what can be done about that. But you have proved what the top can do and that is the top. A poor little girl from Omaha, Nebraska. When I found that out, I couldn't believe you were from Omaha. I said, "What is that girl doing here in Washington?"
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, yeah. Grew up with the Fondas. The whole Fonda family's from there.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, big, big time.
Cathy Hughes: Yeah, the whole Fonda and also Marlon Brando's mother ran the ...

Feb 28 2019

1hr 10mins

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Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD – Chief Medical Examiner, Washington DC

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Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD on hope, and why becoming a minister is so important to him ~

"It's not enough for me just to speak to families. It's extremely important for me to be on sides where we can really promote hope in a way that frees people so that we can make the best choices in this city."

Roger Mitchell, Jr., MD, Chief Medical Examiner, Washington DC, with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. I say this from the bottom of my bottom heart, it's so delightful to have Roger Mitchell on Our Town. Do you realize Roger
that you are one of the most important persons in the city of Washington? You're the Chief Medical Examiner for the Capitol City of the United States if not the world. What a title.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: Listen, I made it to Our Town and the word on the street is if you can make it to Our Town, then you might very well be an important person. I'm excited about being here, Andy.
Andy Ockershausen: This program's so important that we don't have any commercials, but we do have some, but these are people in Our Town but Roger, you have such a career. What you've done is amazing to me because you're a learned man and you paid the price to learn what you're doing. But that is a great title, Chief Medical Examiner.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: Yeah, Chief Medical Examiner. I'm a young chief, too.
Andy Ockershausen: I bet you are.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: There's not many young chiefs out here and it's just good. I've been here about five years now.
Andy Ockershausen: But you're not a native. You didn't grow up here of course, but you went to Howard University.
THE Howard University and New Jersey Medical School - Smart and Lucky
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: I did go to Howard, THE Howard University.
Andy Ockershausen: You went to New Jersey for medical, are you from Jersey?
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: I am from Jersey, born and raised. New Jersey Medical School is a state school. It's Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. It's fantastic.
Andy Ockershausen: Fabulous institution, Rutgers, too, right? Gotta be smart.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: You gotta be smart or lucky.
Andy Ockershausen: It's a tough school. You're both!
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: I think on the bottom of my certificate, it might've said lucky but we won't look at the fine print.
Andy Ockershausen: Luck follows speed, Roger. That's something I learned many years ago. You gotta be fast in this world.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: That's it.
Andy Ockershausen: But, you have a background in forensic medicine which, to me, is so impressive and you continue to do it today.
OJ Trial Takes Forensics to New Level - Mitchell Becomes Interested in Forensics as a High School Junior
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: I started forensics early. You remember the OJ trial, right?
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: The infamous OJ trial, right?
Andy Ockershausen: Oh my, yeah.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: And so, forensics really, in this Country, was catapulted into the forefront.
Andy Ockershausen: I believe what you're saying.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: This Country really wasn't thinking about blood stain pattern and proper evidence handling really until the OJ trial. And so, when I was, I think I was in my junior year-
Andy Ockershausen: In medical school?
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: No, it was in my junior year of undergrad at Howard University and I was doing-
Andy Ockershausen: Our Town.
Roger Mitchell, Jr, MD: Washington, D.C., yes, your town.
Andy Ockershausen: Great,

Feb 20 2019

37mins

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Mary Gavin – Chief of Police Falls Church Police Department

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Mary Gavin, Chief of Police Falls Church Police Department, on what's it's like to work in law enforcement ~

"Once I got into the profession, I tell you I loved it. It's like the front seat of life you see people at their very best. You see a lot of people at their very worst, but the camaraderie within the profession, is very real and genuine."

Mary Gavin - Chief of Police Falls Church Police Department with host Andy Ockershausen in-studio interview

Andy Ockershausen: This is Our Town, Andy Ockershausen, and I have the pleasure today to talk to a wonderful lady who is a cop. I used that term in admiration. She's a wonderful, wonderful example of somebody that really worked hard to get what she's got. She's the Chief of Police for Falls Church. Mary Gavin welcome to Our Town.
Mary Gavin: Thank you, Andy. Thank you for that nice introduction.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, it's so incredibly important that we try to be diversified in our life and we try to diversify with our podcast and you know we had Chief Newsham on and we had Tom Manger and I said, we got to have a female because that's the right thing to do. Lo and behold, there you were with WRAP. And, I found you through the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which I was one of the founders of when we started the thing 40 years ago. Can you believe that? It's been a great effort and WRAP has done a good job, Mary.
Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) Saves Lives
Mary Gavin: WRAP has done a phenomenal job. WRAP saves lives and we just had our recognition back last week, last Friday.
Andy Ockershausen: Yup. It was a breakfast and I didn't go ...
Mary Gavin: It's one of the most meaningful award ceremonies we have.
Andy Ockershausen: Maggiano's.
Mary Gavin: Yep. Yep. Maggiano's and we get to celebrate as a region. All of the successes of the effort against the- in the fight against drunk driving and we also get together with those that have lost loved ones and reflect on the lives of those in this region that oh so tragically have been taken from us. But the best part of it is actually the camaraderie between all of the departments, the Chiefs, in recognizing the young officers that are out on the front-line every day making arrests and making people safe.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, it's an incredible organization to bring all these people together and yet knowing it and being a part of it for all of these years. I've been lucky to know all these people. We still have an enormous problem with drunk driving. It just drives me crazy, but I don't know how you stop it. It's just incredible people still get in a car drunk.
Takes Commitment from Every Discipline to Drive Drunk Driving Numbers Down
Mary Gavin: You're right and it takes the whole town, the whole region ...
Andy Ockershausen: Everybody.
Mary Gavin: And from every discipline, from the entertainment world to like Lyft has come into this, Uber has come into this, Budweiser, Miller, Coors. There's a lot of entities that are involved and that's what it takes. It takes every discipline to kind of think through what's their responsibility in driving the numbers down and creating ...
Andy Ockershausen: It's incredible.
Mary Gavin: A safety net .
Andy Ockershausen: Mary, I'll give you a little trivia. Our first real sponsor of drunk driving was Anheuser Busch. They jumped in it with both feet in the early 70s and they knew it was in their self protection to protect themselves with this drunk driving thing. But Mary, I'm so interested in you because not only are you a female and a cop, but you're an important person. You're Chief of Police and you also served in other jurisdictions. So you really have an overview of Our Town. And I think that's fortunate. You went to school here. You went to grammar school and high school. Correct? In Virginia?
Mary Gavin - Fairfax County, Virginia, Born and Raised
Mary Gavin: I did. I grew up in Fairfax County, born and born in Fairfax Hospital and raised in Fa...

Feb 14 2019

30mins

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Ourtownwithandyockershausen

By Margo Jurgensen - Oct 11 2017
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This show brings back the old and new. Names that make or made living in Washington so interesting.

New favorite!

By Morgan Vekeman - Nov 23 2016
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Super cool to get an alternate perspective of how DC has evolved!! And it's not political :)