Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am saddened to pass on the news to you of the death this past Saturday of our dear, dear neighbor Reggie Thomas of 138 U Street NW.
Reggie and his wife Jeannie were married for 32 years and lived together at 138 U that entire time. But Reggie himself had ties in Bloomingdale even before that. So he was a part of this neighborhood for many decades. He participated in Orange Hat Patrols during the time when putting on an orange hat made you a target and required a police escort. He often went out on all-night tours of Bloomingdale and surrounding neighborhoods as far as Edgewood. The group would go out about 7:00 p.m. and come back at 5:00 a.m. to a neighborhood breakfast and then sleep. That is dedication to this neighborhood, what it was and what it could be again. We all owe a bouquet of thanks to Reggie Thomas and to others like him who were the foundation stones for the rebuilding of Bloomingdale.
But Reggie was so much more than that. He was at heart a great guy. He was the first person I met when Acacia and I moved here. He came over with a big smile, an open heart, and a bottle of wine. I savored them all over the next eight years. Reggie was everything I could have ever asked for in a neighbor: friendly, good with a story, ready to watch your house, convivial at gatherings, a pleasure to catch on the street. And he was never, ever without that smile that no doubt captured Jeannie`s heart over 30 years ago.
And he loved the sea. He and Jeannie vacationed each year in their beloved Maine. The rest of the year he stayed close to the sea by building models of any kind of boat you can imagine. Amazing full scale, detailed models of 30-foot sailboats to four-masted schooners and ocean liners, but his specialty was recreating your boat in miniature. And he had the most immaculate workshop in their basement at 138. But for all his meticulous care and organization, Reggie was never hesitant to lend any of his tools.
In short, Reggie Thomas was the best. I loved the guy and will miss him dearly.
His Memorial Service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday at All Souls Unitarian at 16th & Harvard Streets. A repast will immediately follow the service at All Souls.
Jeannie and the family has also asked that in lieu of flowers, if anyone wishes to honor Reggie, please make a donation to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Feel free to drop a check by my house (131 U) and I`ll collect the checks and give them to Jeannie for her to present to the school. Music was another love of Reggie`s; he and Jeannie were regulars at Westminster Presbyterian`s Friday night jazz concerts. Acacia and I will be donating at least $100 in Reggie`s memory; join us if you can.
Please share this with anyone you know who might have known Reggie. We need to give him a full-bore Bloomingdale send off and give our full support to Jeannie, as fine a neighbor in her way as Reggie. But that`s why they were a great couple and example of committed love.
John T. SalattiVice President, Bloomingdale Civic Association
(202) 986 - 2592
``Together, Building a Better Bloomingdale``