By David Roffman
It was indeed a different era in Georgetown back in the early 1970s.
Most of the businesses in the community were run by people you knew. Neams Market at Wisconsin and P was run by Jack, George and Edmond Neam. Little Caledonia, a "tom thumb department store" was run by the Randolph sisters. W.T. Weaver & Sons Hardware was in its second generation of Weavers, with gentle Jim Weaver at the helm. At Wisconsin and O Streets, Harry "Doc" Dalinsky was holding court in hisvenerable Georgetown Pharmacy. Doc knew everybody. He introduced me to the "killer B's -- Ben Bradlee, David Brinkley, Art Buchwald and
Collins Bird -- at his on-the-counter top Sunday brunch.
A block away, at Wisconsin and N, Billy Martin III was serving cold brews and delicious crab cakes at Martin's Tavern. Across the street, Rick Hindin and David Pensky were opening a new men's store called Britches. Down on M Street there was Stuart Davidson's wonderful little Clyde's saloon. Wonder whatever became of that place?
And, at 31st and M Street, there were the Greenbergs, father, mother, son, who ran The Food Mart. One time they ran an advertisement in The Georgetowner ("Bring in this ad and get a free steak"). They ran out of steaks in an hour. Next door was Potomac Wines & Spirits, run by
one Scottie Feldman. And in my early days in Georgetown, Scottie too, was one of many in the community at the time, who made you feel welcome everytime you walked into his store. He was at once a mentor, a father figure, a friend, a confidant to me. I would bring him coffee every morning from Harold's Deli (another place of legend), and we talked sports, politics, news of the day. Her was so proud of his sons Stuart and Steve, and his wife Mims.
Through the doors of Potomac Wines & Spirits came construction workers, businessmen, Congressmen, Redskins (George Starke was a regular visitor), sports legends (Frank "Hondo" Howard), and Georgetowners galore. Scottie came to work very early and left very late every day. A few years later, his son Steve began working at the store, and Scottie was so proud to have him there. People came to buy liquor, beer, nouveau wine. They came to cash checks. They came to kibitz. A yearly event was lighting the menorah on the countertop to start the Jewish holidays. Paul Cohn of J. Paul's came every year for the occasion. I rarely made a decision running The Georgetowner without running it by Scottie first. It was different then.
So when we heard the news that Scottie Feldman had passed away, we were saddened. Another chapter in our book of Georgetown memories now has come to a conclusion. Another page in our very own life has been turned.