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Meanwhile, Williams’ family in Clarksburg, Tenn., decided against holding a service. “It was just too painful. Nobody talked about it,” Williams’ 70-year-old niece, Kate Williams Beebe, was quoted as saying. “It was like a closed door. Grandma and Granddaddy wanted his body back, but they knew he wouldn’t be returning.”

Lopez’s family did hold a memorial service in Rhode Island in 1947, according to the aviator’s 42-year-old nephew, Ted Lopez, who keeps his uncle’s scrapbook that contains the Western Union telegram informing the family of his death. Mr. Lopez, interestingly enough, is the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine graphic designer.

Out of Africa

We had to laugh at yesterday’s official White House pool report surrounding PresidentBush’s travels in the African country of Ghana, which stated “the screeching you may have heard from the press conference apparently came from peacocks.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or