Just before the extensive renovation of the Guy Mason Recreation Center in 2011, a number of photographs were found, documenting activities in the early days of the facility.
The earliest of these photographs appear to have been taken around 1955, shortly after the building was given over to its new use. Others were taken in 1960, and a few in 1965.
Spanish Made Simple
Home Economics, 1960
International fashion show?
The last photograph in the series, taken on the occasion of a good-will visit tour of Washington community centers by a popular policeman and his service dog, is the only one in which the subject’s name is known.
William Tinsley was born in 1936 in the formerly Irish neighborhood known as Swampoodle, which was between G and K Streets, to either side of North Capital. As a boy Tinsley shined the shoes of servicemen arriving at Union Station during World War II.
Tinsley’s fondest memories of his career in the Metropolitan Police are those of the dog he trained and patrolled with, and to this day he has a picture of Bullet –– who once saved his life from hatchet-wielding burglar –– in his living room.
For a number of years Officer Tinsley and Bullet toured Washington, appearing at recreation centers all over the city, at half-time in RFK Stadium, and on the Maury Povich television show, to demonstrate Bullet’s training, but also his gentle character, to counter public misperception of the nature of police dogs. Wherever they went, Tinley readily admits, Bullet was the star of the show.
Officer Tinsley ended his career in Washington in charge of the tactical division of the 2nd District. In 1980, at age 44, he became animal control officer in the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department, from which he has now retired, after a total of 42 years in law enforcement.
Memories and photographs to share?