Forrest and Dorothy Fischer Thoughts on Reston

When we moved to Reston in 1981, we thought it might possibly be our last move. Thirty years in the Foreign Service entailed many moves- all over the world. This beautiful townhouse with a view of the sparkling waters of Lake Anne, fabulous fall colors, walking paths, tennis courts, two golf courses, swimming pools, really good schools and all were close by.  

Dorothy was reluctant to move so far from the city center. She was oriented toward the District's many cultural and entertainment advantages. Then the toll road opened and I-66 came to provide quick and easy access to the City.  At the time we were considering the move to Reston, Dorothy was preparing to graduate from George Washington University. At the age of 53, she was among the oldest to graduate with a BA degree.  Forrest first visited Reston with a friend and months earlier Dorothy and Forrest had been to the home of a friend in Reston for dinner, but it was at night and it was too dark to see much. So in the light of day the openness and uniqueness of Reston was very appealing. The Center of Reston then was Washington Plaza-Safeway was there and Crestar Bank.  

The townhouse on Orchard Lane was occupied by the Arrizi's who had decided to live on a sailboat anchored in Annapolis. The house had a great view of Lake Anne.  From the outside the townhouse looked small, but it was a surprise to find the interior space ample and airy and full of sun light.

A view of the first dock. Note the Cluster name on the sign "Edgewater Townhomes"

A view of the first dock. Note the Cluster name on the sign "Edgewater Townhomes"


The dock below the house was very much an attraction. We have found through our 34 years that the dock is the heart of the cluster. It helps bring out the neighbors, a call of togetherness. The dock memorializes three people. A small plaque on the dock railing is in memory of Max and Lee Libman. On the back of the bench beside the dock gazebo is a small plaque in memory of Ben Smolian with the words that he found peace while viewing the lake from that bench.  We never knew the Libmans, but we recall meeting the Smolians as they strolled along the tree-arched walking path. They lived in Fellowship House near Washington Plaza.  

When we arrived the lake was trafficked by sunfish sailboats each brightly colored. In the following years the sailboats disappeared and were replaced by hobby catamarans. These ringed the lake shore with tall masts with a styrofoam ball on top. These came to be replaced by the pontoon boats of today powered by their car battery powered motors. They made evening cocktail cruises a new entertainment. 

Originally the dock had four fingers extending out into the lake providing additional docking slips for boats. Youngsters used these fingers for a water game they called Marco Polo which made use of the dock by all a bit unpleasant. The fingers were removed, but that problem soon was replaced with another, even more difficult problem-poopy Canadian geese. This challenge was met by a rope fencing which seemed to work. Of course, the dock provided swimming fun for every age.

The dock is a sort of social center where holiday potluck picnics provided opportunities to refresh neighborly acquaintances throughout the year. For us, as we leave Reston, it will be difficult to live where there is no fun place like the dock. We will miss the assembly of neighbors on the gazebo to  share food, watch fireworks on the Fourth,  swim and boat, and celebrate all there is to celebrate in Reston.