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“Pop Charming”

Way back in 1986, as a young Washington-based journalist, I flew to Florida to meet a room full of centenarians who were the guests of honor at a small town’s 100th birthday. One of the gents I interviewed and profiled had had a colorful life on the Panama Canal and was an outrageous flirt to boot.

“If you think Thomas J. Ebdon of Sarasota, Florida, has lost a step just because he turned 100 years old this January 24, then think again. Ebdon is sly as a fox and quick as one, too.”

Read the whole story here . . .

“Arts and Crafts Movement: Driving West Virginia”

In 1997, Travel and Leisure sent me on a long-weekend road trip in the state where I had recently moved with my husband. Fifteen years later, I still can taste the scallops laced with honey and white wine at Julian’s restaurant in Lewisburg.

“I enjoyed the best meals I’d eaten in ages and slept peacefully in an airy mountain B&B, in a great country inn, and in a room that (so help me) was once a cell in a women’s prison.”

Read the article here . . .

Charlotte Johnson Jones spent the 1980s and most of the 1990s as an independent journalist and feature writer based on Florida’s west coast and in Washington, D.C.  Under the byline C. J. Houtchens, she wrote for many regional and national publications including The Washington Post, Travel and Leisure, Harper’s Bazaar, and USA Weekend, and profiled such diverse personalities as Maya Angelou, Sissy Spacek, two Misses America, African princess Elizabeth of Toro, centenarians, saxophonists, political appointees, and the panda keeper at the National Zoo.  She holds the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington Dateline Award for Feature Writing and was honored by the American Association of University Women for her work. Her first book, Eldercare Is Making Me Fat, is available in print and for Kindle on