The Washington Post - 13.08.2019

(Kiana) #1


ed the store on weekends dwin-
dled to a trickle.
The Brass Knob never quite
On some days now, only one or
two customers venture in.
George thought for years about
closing. Every time she came close
to doing so, a customer would
make a big-ticket purchase to tide
the store over. It also helped that
she owns the three-story building
near the intersection of 18th
Street and Kalorama Road NW
and was able to lease out the top
floor for additional income.
“Frankly, I think she kept it
going for us, so we would have
jobs,” said Kirk Palmatier, 64, who
has worked at the store for 30
years. “If I were in her position, I
don’t think I would have lasted so
The store tried to adapt,
launching a website and a Face-

book account. Those efforts have
not made much difference,
Palmatier said, in part because of
the larger existential challenge
facing the industry: People are
just not as interested in antiques
as they used to be.
Sheary, the museum curator,
said homeowners today are look-
ing to create minimalist interiors,
with ready-made pieces from
large retailers like Wayfair.
“For kids now, a doorknob is a
doorknob, as long as you turn it
and it opens,” he said.
According to a recent survey
from the online antiques market-
place 1stdibs, 75 percent of the art
pieces being used by interior de-
signers this year are in the con-
temporary/modern category. In
2016, New York’s famous Winter
Show removed its restriction on
how old items must be, allowing
objects from all time periods to be

Scott Evans, the owner of Euro
Treasures Antiques in Salt Lake
City, once the biggest antiques
store in the country, said business
has gotten so bad that he recently
gave away 85 antique bed frames.
Like George, he started his busi-
ness 38 years ago and expects that
he will have to close his shop
within the next year.
Saul Navidad, owner of Vintage
House Parts & Radiators in Chev-
erly, got his start in antiques
sweeping floors at the Brass
Knob. Since opening his own
store in 2012, he has received a
steady stream of client referrals
from George. He expects that
when her store closes, his busi-
ness will take a hit.
Even more concerning for Nav-
idad, though, is the loss of the
Brass Knob as a hub for antique
“When she told me what she
decided, I got chills,” said Navi-
dad, 48. “It’s a family here, so it’s
— it’s hard to explain. It’s very
Sheary agreed. “Even if I don’t
buy anything, I can go in and have
someone to talk to. That’s what I’ll
miss: that comradeship, that
One bright recent afternoon,
George sat at her usual position
behind the cash register, looking
over an invoice for a client who
wanted to rent a stained-glass
window for a photo shoot. Oppo-
site, behind a case of ornamental
doorknobs, Palmatier fiddled
with a piece of hardware. A speak-
er played Frank Sinatra.
Hours seemed to pass. Then
suddenly, the metal doorbell tin-
kled. Someone was here.

downstairs into its basement, to
find owner Donetta George’s
grander acquisitions, such as a
Victorian light fixture with mold-
ed glass jewels that is priced at
$12,950 and has sat in the store —
unpurchased — for more than 10
George can typically be found
behind the cash register, sur-
rounded by reference books and
an ever-growing collection of pre-
cious items that she has decided
to keep for herself and marked
“not for sale” — evidence, the
72-year-old said, laughing, of the
occupational hazards that come
with buying and selling beautiful
“I think we’ve done our best,”
she said the other day, after an-
nouncing the store’s plan to shut
its doors. “At some point, you just
have to fold your tents and move
Originally from North Caro-
lina, George opened the Brass
Knob with a partner, Ron Allen, in

  1. Business boomed in the first
    two decades but slowed in the
    early 2000s with the rise of online
    retailers such as eBay. When the
    Great Recession hit in 2008, the
    rush of customers that once flood-


disease — “Jurassic Park” style —
in mice and ticks preserved in
museums since the 1800s.
The real reason for the
increase in this stupid disease?
According to the CDC, there
are more ticks around to carry it.
Also, “the spread of Lyme disease
over the past several decades has
been linked to changes in land
use patterns, including
reforestation in the northeastern
United States. Suburban
development in these areas has
increased the spread of these
germs because people, ticks, deer,
and tick hosts such as mice and
chipmunks are in close contact.”
So, it’s the kind of stuff that no
one wants to talk about in
planning-commission meetings,
as opposed to the White House
Situation Room.
“Changing climate patterns
can alter the natural
environment and longstanding
ecological relationships,” the CDC
folks went on. “We don’t know
what those changes will be, but
we know that climate is only one
of several very important factors
that influence the distribution
and occurrence of vector-borne
Oops. Did they say “changing
climate”? Again, with the
conspiracy theories.
Twitter: @petulad

that (and remind my husband of
this daily). But the vast majority
of them are solved with a quick
course of antibiotics.
So as a weapon of war, Lyme is
a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Plus, one of the scientists who
has been studying Lyme since
1985, Sam Telford, wrote a
compelling piece in The
Washington Post over the
weekend knocking down the
conspiracy theory with a ton of
data. My favorite part explained
how he found evidence of the

web-spinning capabilities of its
arachnid carrier, and Spider-Man
was awesome.
But tick bites mostly make you
feel like a tired, headachy,
irritable, arthritic sack of goo
who binge-watched Netflix until
dawn. Like the superhero parody,
the Tick, whose head always
It’s not really the most efficient
way to vanquish your mortal
There are cases of Lyme that
are severe — I’m well aware of

Oh my. That’s quite a Peter
Parker scenario, the old infected-
bug-bites-human saga.
Smith was reading a book,
“Bitten: The Secret History of
Lyme Disease and Biological
Weapons,” when he came to
wonder about a conspiracy — an
old favorite among the tinfoil-
Author Kris Newby was bitten
by a tick in Martha’s Vineyard
and sounded as frustrated and
hobbled as I was while she tried
to get a diagnosis.
She followed biowar veterans
through interviews and archives,
and she delved into the work of
Swiss-born entomologist Willy
Burgdorfer, who gave the
bacteria its lesser-known name:
Borrelia burgdorferi.
Some of those folks suggested
that Lyme was developed as a
bioweapon that would be carried
by teeny-tiny ticks airdropped
into enemy territory. The ticks of
war. This is no anthrax or
mustard gas. No, these little guys
carry something much more
And yeah, that’s the real
problem with this whole
conspiracy theory.
That spider bite gave Peter
Parker the agility, strength and



Lyme disease yet another conspiracy? Of course it is.


Isaac Carrington, a 43-year-
old Baltimore police sergeant
shot while off duty last week, is
still confined to a hospital bed,
struggling to recover from
wounds that left him in critical
condition and required multiple
But he had something
to say.
“I love you all,” Car-
rington said in a You-
Tube video posted Sun-
day, speaking around a
medical tube threaded
through his nose. “I’m
10-8” — police code that
refers to an in-service
“I’ll be back,” he added.
The video is Carrington’s first
public appearance since he was
shot multiple times around
3:30 p.m. Thursday outside his
home in Northeast Baltimore.
Carrington, a 22-year member of
the department, was chatting
with a neighbor on his front
lawn when a car pulled up,
police said.
At least one man with a gun
emerged from the car and at-
tempted to rob Carrington and
his neighbor, police said. The
two neighbors sprinted in differ-
ent directions and the masked
man pursued Carrington, ulti-
mately shooting him several
times, authorities said.
Carrington was taken to the
Maryland Shock Trauma Center,
where he underwent at least two
surgeries. At one point, he had

to be placed on life support, a
hospital spokesman said.
On Saturday, officers took two
people into custody after find-
ing a car similar to the one used
in Carrington’s shooting, the
department said. But police are
still searching for the masked
shooter, said Baltimore Police
Commissioner Michael Harri-
son, who spoke in the YouTube
Standing by Carrington’s bed-
side, Harrison vowed that jus-
tice will be served.
“Now we all have to rally
around getting [Carrington]
healed and making sure
we find who did this to
hold them account-
able,” he said.
The Fraternal Order
of Police Lodge 3, the
union to which Car-
rington belongs, start-
ed a fundraiser for the
sergeant and his family
over the weekend.
“Due to the outpour-
ing of concern, anyone wishing
to make a financial contribution
to support the Carrington family
during this difficult time, is
welcome to do so!” the union
said in a tweet.
In the meantime, Carrington
is making slow but steady prog-
ress, according to Harrison and
hospital staff.
“He still has a long way to go,
but our prayers have been an-
swered,” Harrison said in the
YouTube video.
On Saturday, Carrington had
recovered enough to squeeze the
hands of hospital staff, the po-
lice union said. On Sunday, in
the YouTube video, he took it
one step further.
“Wave to them, Isaac,” Harri-
son said. And — although it took
visible effort — Carrington did.


Injured o∞cer speaks

out from hospital bed

A loss for





TOP: Brass Knob owner Donetta George helps a customer at the
Adams Morgan store last month. “I think we’ve done our best,” she
said. ABOVE: Old skeleton keys for sale at the shop.


Baltimore sergeant shot
while off duty says in
video, ‘I’ll be back’


A staffer for D.C. Council
member Brianne K. Nadeau (D-
Ward 1) was arrested over the
weekend and charged with firing
a gun outside a pop-up marijua-
na market in Northeast Wash-
ington, according to D.C. police
and court documents.
DaVon Lorenzo Fuller, 24, of
Southeast Washington was
charged with assault with a dan-
gerous weapon and possession of
a firearm outside a home or
business. He was arrested Satur-
day and ordered detained until a
preliminary hearing Tuesday.
The incident occurred Aug. 3.
Fuller’s attorney, Daniel K.
Dorsey, said his client fired in
self-defense during an attempted
robbery. Police said no one was
injured in the shooting. Another
man who was with Fuller also
opened fire, according to police,
and is being sought.
A spokesman for Nadeau said
Fuller has been put on adminis-
trative leave from his $55,000-a-
year job as constituent services
coordinator assisting residents
in Nadeau’s ward with navigat-
ing the city’s bureaucracy.
“We are shocked and sad-
dened by the situation, as it does
not reflect the colleague we have
come to know,” Nadeau said in a
The council member noted
that she has worked to pass
several laws designed to help

reduce gun violence.
“We know that easy access to
guns can turn petty arguments
into potentially deadly confron-
tations,” her statement reads.
Police said they think Fuller
and another man were at the
marijuana pop-up shortly after
6 p.m. Aug. 3 and were robbed
after they carried bags from the
trunk of Fuller’s BMW into a
warehouse in the 2200 block of
25th Place NE. Dorsey would
not comment on whether his
client was connected to the
marijuana pop-up, which was in
Ward 5.
Police said in an arrest affida-
vit that surveillance video shows
two men exiting a white Jeep in
front of the BMW and that it
appears they tried to rob people
police identified as Fuller and his
companion. The affidavit says
Fuller and his companion each
pulled out a firearm and fired at
least a dozen shots from 9mm
and .45-caliber handguns. The
two men fled in the white Jeep.
Police said they identified
Fuller through his vehicle and in
a later search of his residence
found a 9mm Glock handgun, his
D.C. Council employment card
and other documents.
The affidavit says Fuller had
registered the gun in the District
but had been denied a concealed-
carry permit, making it illegal for
him to take it outside his


Council member’s

staffer faces gun charges


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With so many conspiracy theories afoot these days, it’s easy to see
how the tiniest of enemies can be targeted by the tinfoil-hat set.

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EARN 5 POINTS: Find the answer, and then go to, Quizzes to enter the
correct response.

What the Heel: Free Blu-ray DVDs of A Dog’s Journey
Starring Marg Helgenberger and Dennis Quaid
Picking up where A Dog’s Purpose left off, Ethan’s (Dennis Quaid) beloved dog
with love and devotion as he and CJ experience joy and heartbreak, music and
laughter, and a few really good belly rubs. “[The movie is] destined to put a smile
on your face.” ( See details at,
Events & Contests.

Good for the Soul: Free Tickets to Freddie Jackson
on August 24 at The BIrchmere
The master crooner known for “Do Me Again” (1990) and “Rock Me Tonight”
(1985) dropped Love Signals last year, a mix of sensual slow jams and songs
that serenade. “For me, a great R&B ballad is one that comes from the heart
and soul. It has to have a great melody [and] a beginning, [a] middle and [a]
compelling end. And it needs to tell the story of love.” (Freddie) See details at, Events & Contests.

The tiny tardigrades, those indestructible little
creatures, that recently crash landed on the
moon are also known as:
A) Pillsbury parasites B) Water bears
C) Minute minions D) Lichen leeches
E) None of the above
(Hint: The answer is in today’s Health and Science section.)
Free download pdf