News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flashback Monday: Pop Quiz!

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Woe betide the "sales-man" who had to try to sell property in Reston in the mid-1960s. Besides pitching such things as townhouses in an area where there was technically no town, they apparently lived in sheer terror of Bob Simon's pop quiz.

Among the questions proffered by Dear Leader:
  • "What is there in Reston for people over sixty?" (Answer: "All community activities are open to them.) Does that include key parties?

  • "Estimate how many women living in Reston found employment in Reston." (Answer: 47, which seems like a pretty specific estimate.)

  • "The responsibilities of Home Owners Associations." (Apparently the RA's predecessor initially charged $40 per member.)

  • "Responsibilities of the individual resident to each association." ("Participate in the decisions of the associations, abide by their rules, pay annual charges assessed.") Wow, have things changed!

  • "Discuss the transportation problems of a Reston resident." (Answer: crappy bus service and car pools -- but never fear, as a soon-to-be "dualized" Rt. 7 would provide "high-speed access to the Beltway.")

  • "Tell what churches are now operating here." (Answer: Methodist, Baptist and "Hebrew.") Sales-men were also expected to know the names of the ministers of all three congregations.

  • "Discuss the following statements: Reston is a self contained community." (No.) "Living in a New Town is different from living in a typical subdivision" (Yes.)
"Sales-men" also needed to know that square dancing was available, and that no county or state fishing license was required to troll Lake Anne for dinner, the end.


  1. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)October 19, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Wow! That "quiz" was really an eye-opener, and I tip my hat to you, mysterious webmaster, for digging it up! First of all, how can the quiz say Reston is NOT a "self-contained community" but then go on to say that Reston will have all amenities that one would need within walking distance? Isn't that the very definition of being "self-contained?" I also found it amusing that proximity to Washington, DC was boasted, even though a daily commuter bus leaving at 6:40 AM would take roughly an HOUR to get to the District. I had to chuckle when a comparison was drawn between the stately townhomes and rowhomes of Georgetown and the townhouses you see today in Reston---I would, with all due respect, NOT consider these two types of townhomes to be of the same "stature." Also, that answer about "What is available to people over 60?" was classic. Is the fact that Reston's amenities do not exclude the elderly somehow "unique?" Are octogenarians kicked out of the public pools in Bethesda or not allowed to sit at a picnic table in Leesburg? 80,000 residents by 1980? Why are we only at 65,000(ish) today? Also, if automobiles were seen as a "hazard" to community progression, then why are we working to further widen already wide roads through town today? Am I missing something?

  2. Where did Bob mention that Reston should allow homeless to sleep in our parks?

  3. I can’t understand this whole idea of Reston being a great place for old people. If there was a large number of elderly, why doesn't Reston have a single funeral home? The nearest one is in Herndon, that’s been there since 1880’s. You would think, that if Reston had a large population of 60 years and above there would be more people dropping dead.

  4. I need a maid. Can someone direct me to Mrs. Price at the snack bar?


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