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All About Horses | Gazette.Net: Community Story Time Draws Dozens To Potomac Oak Center

Posted By: JR

Three Potomac area “oldtimers” shared stories of the early days of the community at an informal gathering on Jan. 28.

“Stories of Potomac Past,” featuring residents Robert Hanson, 87, Mary Charlotte Crook, 91, and Leonard Proctor, 81, took place at the Shanghai Cafe in the Potomac Oak Center on Travilah Road in Potomac.

Proctor, who worked at Mitch and Bill’s gas station at River and Falls roads from 1951 to 1995, said he first came to Potomac as a teenager.

“I would ride my bike out from Georgetown to visit my uncle,” he said.

His uncle was a horse trainer and taught Proctor all about horses. Eventually Proctor moved to Potomac full time, caring for horses.

“I liked that it was country and you knew everyone,” Proctor said.

He added that one of his favorite memories is of the annual Christmas Eve gathering at the gas station.

“All the neighbors would come in, it was really nice,” he said.

Hanson and Crook also shared their memories during the afternoon gathering that drew about 35 people.

Hanson told stories that pointed to the warmth and closeness of the community in the early days of Potomac.

Once, he said, he was trying to get home during a snowstorm and could not get through because of the deep snow so he went to the closest home and ended up staying two days, becoming life-long friends with the family who took him in.

Dana Semmes, an owner of Potomac Oak Center, organized the afternoon as a way to bring the community together, she said.

“We’re trying to make [this] a place where people can build memories,” she said.

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