March 2014

Living Legends of Alexandria

April 2, 2014

In This Issue:

Spring2ACTion for Living Legends, 2014 Legends Portraits Installed at City Hall, Civil Rights Saturday

Prints Available

You’ve seen them exhibited at City Hall.
Now you can have your own Portrait of a Legend
(or give one as a gift).

Custom Framed Prints

Signed by the Artist

16×16 – $325; 11×11 – $250

Smaller print sizes and Gift Certificates Available.

Call 703-625-8191 for details.

Holy Cow Donations!

Remember to support Living Legends when get your burgers at Holy Cow Burger Joint, 2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue.

In an innovative partnership with ACT for Alexandria, 2014 Living Legend Mike Anderson gives back to more than 75 local nonprofits by donating $.25 for every burger sold at Holy Cow, Del Ray’s Gourmet Burger Joint. Living Legends is #045 on the list. And yes, they serve veggie-burgers.


March 1, 2014 – February 28, 2015

2014 Living Legends of Alexandria photos at Market Square lobby of City Hall

February – June 2014

Past Legends Exhibit, 3rd Floor, Alexandria City Hall

April 9, 2014

Meet the Legends Spring2Action (Alexandria’s Giving Day)

May 24, 2014

Civil Rights Saturday

2:00-4:00, Alexandria Black History Museum

2014 Gold and Silver Sponsors

Alexandria Commission for the Arts

Alexandria Toyota

Club Managers Association

Goodwin House, Inc.

Linda Hafer

Gregg & Monica Murphy on behalf of Senior Services of Alexandria

Nina Tisara


Board of Directors



Pam St. Clair

Vice President

Joseph Shumard


Mary Anne Weber


Rodger Stephens


Victoria Almquist

Pam Cressey

Audrey Davis

Charles “Tony” Gee

Linda Hafer

Bill Kehoe

A. Melvin Miller

Director Emeritus

Nina Tisara

Connect with us on Social Media

Follow us on Twitter @Alexlvnglegends

Find us on Facebook: Living Legends of Alexandria



Message from the President

Dear Friends,

This month my letter has to be one big thank you note! So many people worked to make the Meet the Legends event a memorable experience. It received rave reviews.

First, the planning team Linda Hafer (food coordinator with the experienced help from Jane Collins Hess who did it last year), Joe Shumard and Bill Kehoe (program and logistics coordinators extraordinaire) and Nina Tisara (who knew what all the jobs were and when and how to get them done).

Thanks to the Alexandria Town Crier, Ben Fiore-Walker. He kicked off the event in fine form. John Porter did his usual stellar job as MC. Mayor Bill Euille and Congressman Jim Moran (via video) offered their congratulations to the 2014 Legends and expressed their pride in how LLA brings the efforts of these special people to the attention of the whole community. The Legends told of their own reasons for contributing in a video filmed and edited by NOVA students Dario Baguena and Paul Shalonis. You can see it on youtube.

Steven Halperson, Tisara Photography, deserves special thanks. Not only does he take the “official” photos of the Legends, frame them, mount them for the traveling exhibit, manage the LLA website to be certain those photos and stories are posted and many other things connected to the ongoing project, he also takes pictures of the Legends and those who come to the reception to help celebrate. He also takes the group photo to document the annual gathering of Legends for each year. How he manages to get everyone to smile and have their eyes open all at the same time is a wonder!

The staff at the Patent Trademark Office are professional, accommodating and exceedingly patient and we appreciate them!

Valet parking was courtesy of Speck-Caudron investments.

The list of volunteers who do everything: checking people in, making sure people have something to drink, directing the Legends to the gathering spots, handing out the programs, is so long that I am not going to try listing them. I would surely miss someone. Everyone stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! A special group of Girl Scouts, Gianna and Alanna Varca, Margaret Casper and Cara Frey, did a great job of handing out programs and catalogs.

Marilyn Patterson and her crew of volunteers set up the silent auction which was quite successful. Thanks to all who donated goods and services. Please support these local businesses and individuals:

Abby Steinberg, Media Masters

Alexandria Gazette Packet

The Art League

BLT Shirt Printers

Bucket List Boutique

The Carlyle Club

Embassy Suites Alexandria

Gold Works

Hilton Old Town

Hooray for Books!

Lonnie Rich


Monday’s Child

Monica Murphy/Murphy Katz

Nina’s Dandy

Old Town Theater

Port City Brewing

Joe Shumard, Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association and Sales Lab, Incorporated

Taverna Cretekou

Tempo Restaurant

Virtue Feed & Grain

Westin Alexandria

Individuals who contributed items or services include Peg Bartel, Barbara and Hugh Barton; Pam Cressey, Julie Halperson, Barbara Holleb, Gregg Murphy, Mike Oliver, Nina Tisara and Mary Wharton.

Live auction items were contributed by Gold Works-David Martin Design, the King Street Gardens Foundation and Steve Wharton.

After the program everyone gathered to “Meet” the Legends and enjoy the food contributed by Alexandria Cupcake, Alexandria Pastry Shop, Asian Bistro, Bertucci’s, Dishes of India, Hard Times Cafe, Red Rocks Neapolitan Bistro, Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant and Sweet Fire Donna’s.

As always in Alexandria, a good time was had by everyone because all these people worked together to make it happen.

Pam St. Clair



Meet the Legends Reception

Over 270 registered for the 7th Annual Meet the Legends reception. From what we hear, the program was the best ever. A feature of the event was the “Highlights” video produced by Paul Shalonis and Dario Baguena under the direction of assistant professor Joseph Small at Northern Virginia Community College. The Legends were each interviewed and their stories taped. The stories were edited into a video that is now available on YouTube.

“Standing Room Only” crowd enthusiastically applaud the 2014 Living Legends of Alexandria.

Legends pose with Mayor Bill Euille. Pictured are: first row (l-r) Char McCargo Bah, Rose Berler, Donnie Wintermute, Bill Euille, Shirley N. Tyler, Tricia Rodgers, Ramona K. Hatten; second row (l-r) Tony Gee, Gregg Murphy, Mike Anderson, Lee Fifer, Connie West, Rick Glassco.

Photos by Steven Halperson for Living Legends of Alexandria.


2014 Living Legend of Alexandria — Shirley N. Tyler

By Alice Morgan

Photo by Steven Halperson/TISARA Photography

Photo Caption: 2014 Living Legend of Alexandria Shirley N. Tyler was instrumental in creating racial harmony during the redistricting of Alexandria City Public Schools.

For more than 40 years, Mrs. Shirley Tyler has been a community leader in Alexandria. Tyler has been a resident of Alexandria since 1965 when she, her husband, son and daughter moved to Arlandria. They were the first African American homeowners in their neighborhood. Tyler became involved in her neighborhood association because of the problems of flooding from Four Mile Run, rat infestation and drug dealing. There were three major floods in the area, the worst in 1972 after Hurricane Agnes. As a member of the Arlandria Civic Association, Tyler worked tirelessly to bring about what became the Four Mile Run Flood Control Project by the US Army Corps of Engineers. In the aftermath of the floods, the group worked to make sure the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided support for what, by then, had become a predominately African American and poor neighborhood. The group’s community efforts at resolving the problems with rats led to city rules requiring trash to be placed in cans with lids. Their efforts at curtailing drug traffic were ongoing and led to the establishment of a satellite police facility in the neighborhood. Also, as part of the Arlandria Citizens Association, she fought the intentional redlining by real estate agents where absentee landlords did not keep their property in good shape or illegally subdivided houses and apartments into multiple units.

Read More:




Charles “Tony” Gee Joins the LLA Board

The Board of Living Legends welcomes Tony Gee. We look forward to his enthusiasm for the program.

LLA President, Pam St. Clair noted when she announced his appointment at the Meet the Legends reception, “When Tony was called to say he had been selected as a 2014 Living Legend he said ‘Thank you’ in his first breath and ‘How can I help?’ in the second.”

At the same time that he was building his own business, the Snack Bar Restaurant, Gee was encouraging other local businesses to get started and to grow. While at his King Street location, he helped organize 84 Alexandria business owners and became the founding president of the Old Town Business Association.

Tony Gee

Pam St. Clair, Charles “Tony” Gee and Nina Tisara

Photo by Steven Halperson for Living Legends of Alexandria.

Getting Around

Women Legends of Alexandria Exhibit at Prudential PenFed Realty

Living Legends Louise Massoud, Carolyn Griffin, Marian Van Landingham, and Kathryn Brown were special guests at the opening of this wonderful exhibit.

Maxine McLeod Miller, Managing Broker, Prudential PenFed Realty, welcomed the crowd. Pam St. Clair thanked everyone for coming to support LLA and pointed out that we had gotten used to thinking of this as a “Nina Tisara Project” but that it was really a “Community Project” which would only continue if everyone supported it.

Monika Jones, Alexandria Commission for Women, thanked LLA for recognizing the contributions of so many women in Alexandria and announced that the Commission would include the exhibition on the Women’s History Tour to be held this Spring.

Michelle Reday Cook, president of Del Ray Artisans, noted that several works by women, including Kathryn Brown, were also part of this exhibit.

Marian described how Nina began LLA and turned this photo-documentary history project into a terrific way to support women in Alexandria. Nina pointed out that from its small beginnings this project had grown too big for her to manage by herself and that she was looking forward to working with many others to keep it going.

LLA thanks Barkley Square for their raffle donation of a lovely collection of pet treats which was won by Charlie White. Pam Cressey was the lucky winner of a selection of “human treats,” champagne and chocolate donated by an anonymous supporter.

The exhibition “Women Legends of Alexandria: 2007-2013” includes portraits of Mollie Abraham, Donna Bergheim with Mel Bergheim, Rosalind Bovey, Kathryn Brown with Marlin Lord, Rosa Byrd, Elizabeth Chimento with Poul Hertel, Lillie Finklea and Louise Massoud, Carolyn Griffin, Arlene Hewitt, Wendy McGann John, Vola Lawson, Alice Merrill and Linda Odell, Eula Miller, Joann E. Miller, Pat Miller, Lillian Stanton Patterson, Fran Redmon with Gant Redmon, Joan Renner with John Renner, Jane Ring, Debra Roepke, Gladys Seisler, Charlene Schiff, Patsy Ticer, Dorothy Turner and Gwen Menefee Smith, Marian Van Landingham, Lois Walker, and Betty Wright.

The exhibition may be seen at Prudential PenFed Realty, 300 North Washington Street, Suite 100 through June 27.

LLA President Pam St. Clair welcomes everyone to the opening of the exhibition.

Laura Mandala, Managing Director, Mandala Research, LLC and Camille Leverett, chair of the Alexandria Commission for Women

Legend Marian Van Landingham gets a laugh from the crowd

Photos by Steven Halperson/Tisara Photography

Coming Events

Spring2ACTion for Living Legends

What if we all gave on one day? ACT’s (Alexandria Community Trust) goal is to raise $1,000,000 for more than 100 nonprofits. Last year, nearly $660,000 was raised in one day benefitting 97 local nonprofit organizations. This year, Living Legends of Alexandria is one of the participating nonprofits!

Go to to donate. Make your donation any time between now and 11:59 p.m. on April 9 and your account will be charged on April 9th. As an incentive, founder Nina Tisara is offering $500 and Treasurer Rodger Stephens is offering $250 in matching funds — and — Living Legends is offering a gift golf shirt to donors of $75 or more!

Help Living Legends of Alexandria Grow and Thrive

What your dollars can do:

$ 10 Help fund a Family Legends Workshop

$ 20 Help fund the Legend video interviews

$ 30 Help fund writing the Legend and nominee stories

$ 40 Help fund photographing the Legends and nominees

$ 50 Help fund the Living Legends Catalog

$ 75 Help fund the Legend photo exhibitions. Receive a gift: Living Legends Logo Golf Shirt! See image.


This may be a good time to donate at the Platinum ($2,500-$4,999), Gold ($1,000 – $2,499), Silver ($500 – $999) or Friend ($100-$499) levels!

Every dollar helps support our mission to identify, honor and chronicle the people making current history in Alexandria.


2014 Legends Portraits Installed at City Hall

The 2014 Legend portraits were hung in the Market Square Lobby of City Hall on Wednesday, February 19th. They will be seen there for the coming year.


Civil Rights Saturday

May 24, 2014

Sponsored by the Alexandria Black History Museum and Living Legends of Alexandria/Family Legends Project

Nina Tisara, Howie Feinstein, author of Fire On The Bayou: True Tales From The Civil Rights Battlefront will talk about his book which will be available for signing. Audrey Davis will conduct a tour of the exhibition, “Sit Down and Take a Stand”, and Sushmita Mazumdar will guide a story telling and book making activity which encourages young people to tell a tale of someone they know who had an experience during the fight for civil rights in America. This activity is suitable for children 10 years and over.

Space is limited and participation will be limited to first 20 people who reserve. Info/Reservations: 703-746-4356.

Living Legends of Alexandria |
400 North Washington Street | Suite 300 |
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703.683.4035 |