News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flashback Monday: Don't Try This In This Day and Age

shorties on lake anne.jpg

Given last week's cold snap and the current Lighticydrizzlegeddon (tm), we thought this exciting photo from way back in February 1973 was a propos. Entitled "Children Ice Skating on Frozen Lake Anne," it depicts children ice skating on a frozen Lake Anne. It also confirms one of two things: 1) winters used to be colder, or 2) in the days before helicopter parents began obsessively micromanaging every aspect of their kids' lives, life as a child in Reston was like something out of the Lord of the Flies, with danger around every corner and ice skates and fuzzy hats replacing the conch shell and handmade spears. Those ducks in the background never suspected what was coming, the end.


  1. Seems to me that I recall a child breaking through the ice at Lake Anne and drowning also during the late '60's or early '70's. Considering the rather large unfrozen hole in the mid-ground, it seems foolhardy to be out on the ice.

    1. I recall that incident, however you cannot find anything about that incident. If memory serves me correctly it took place in February 1973, it was a small female child (about 3 years old). They didn't recover the body for a while (until the spring). I was roughly the same age when it happened, my mother wouldn't allow me to walk over the crates/manholes at Lake Anne and going swimming that summer was out of the question. As I search the internet, however, the only recollection on the incident is individual recalls of the event - nothing official. Why is Reston Association covering up the incident? I realize this took place before the days of internet but for me it's personal as if I have a kinship to the deceased. I visit the lake often and I recall the drowning with each visit. To the family, they have my deepest sympathy and just like them I never forgotten their loss. One Love!

    2. It happened in early 1966. Unfortunately a skin diver went in to recover the body and died himself. The only reason I know is that I was working in the Fairfax County morgue @ the time when they brought in the skin diver (Navy I believe).

      Tim Mosher (current Reston resident)

    3. I remember an incident in the mid to late 60's when a child broke through thin ice on Lake Anne and the mother who was evidently nearby jumped into the icey water to try to save her child but could not and I heard she also nearly drowned and got cut up by the thin ice. Divers came on scene and found the child drowned under the ice.
      I was a young boy at the time and we were ice skating near the bridge area when we noticed all the commotion over on the lake near the shops. That incident always haunted me, thinking about that mother desperately trying to rescue her child like that under the ice.

  2. My kids discovered the bubbles in the ice were methane. Ice pick and a Bic led to satisfying explosions and burned-off eyebrows.

  3. I remember skating on Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau. In fact, I used to walk across the frozen Lake Thoreau to commute to both Langston Hughes Intermediate and South Lakes High School before I had a driver's license.

  4. The drowning incident of the small child (age 2.5) occurred on 1/8/1968:

    "Allegra Shuldiner was a 2½-year-old girl who fell through the ice and drowned in Lake Anne in Reston on January 8, 1968. Allegra's mother Margot also fell through the ice, but was rescued by two bystanders.
    While searching for her body, 30-year-old Fairfax County fireman Earl W. Kane became separated from his dive buddy and died in the lake. Allegra's corpse was finally found on February 3, 1968.

  5. It was my honor to know Paul and Margot and the other children after they moved from Reston to DC. What a sad incident, felt by the new residents at Reston and folks around the DC area.


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