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June 25, 2014

Packed in Containers

Dear Washingtonians:

In the Washington Business Journal, Michael Neibauer noted an unusual housing project, His report on a permit application, in full, was: “3305 Seventh St. NE: Demolition and foundation only for conversion of a single-family dwelling in Brookland to ‘four unit shipping container apartments.’ The property is owned by Brookland Equity Group LLC. A separate building permit will be filed for the construction — or, perhaps more accurately, the stacking. Shipping container apartments have popped up in Connecticut, in Brooklyn and elsewhere.”

Prefab shipping container houses can be made to look nice in architect’s plans. So can trailer parks. But I suspect that a few decades of wear will quickly turn them into slums. This is the sort of housing development, along with micro apartments, that our city planners hope to stuff us in.


There are a lot of things I know nothing about, and among those things country music rates high. That’s why I had never heard of the song “Farmer’s Daughter,” which was sung by Rodney Atkins, written by Marv Green, Rhett Akins, and Ben Hayslip, and released in 2010. But I do know barbecue. More accurately, I know eating barbecue; I’m no expert in barbecuing myself. So Dorothy and I went to Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel ( to try their well reviewed pulled pork.

While at Kloby’s, I heard “Farmer’s Daughter” for the first time, and was struck by the felicity of two of its lines, The singer gets a job on a farm and works hard on a hot day, but is glad he stayed on the job, “Cuz just when I thought it couldn’t get no hotter/ I caught glimpse of the farmer’s daughter.” He later characterizes his work days, “I’d be on the tractor she’d be on my mind.” Sheer poetry. Cole Porter’s lyrics don’t get more sophisticated than that.

And the pulled pork was good, too.

Gary Imhoff


Rational Explanation
Clyde Howard,

In response to Paul Basken’s “rational explanation” (themail, June 18), just let me say, “Good Night, Paul.”


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