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…she shows up Monday night at her usual booth, built lower to the ground than the others, especially for her, in a corner of Mama Ayesha’s.

Looking pretty much alive in a pink brocade suit, not exactly her usual color, the red-dress dean of the Washington press corps has been a regular at the Middle Eastern restaurant on Calvert Street NW for something like 86 years.

Seeing her reminded me I once had lunch with Thomas about 10 years ago when I was a reporter in Erie, Pa., and she was a keynote speaker at one of the area colleges. What I remember now is how very similar her eating habits are to the current governor of that fine state, Ed Rendell. Which is to say: Don’t get too close. I did to both of them at one point and got little chewed-up souvenirs for my trouble.