John McCaslin

"Absolutely beautiful; absolutely perfect," Joanne Newton told Inside the Beltway after her late husband's ashes were spread atop the Chesapeake Bay on a crystal-clear Saturday afternoon.

Hugh C. Newton, the well-known Washington public relations expert, who ran the Heritage Foundation's acclaimed communications shop for more than a quarter of a century, died of cancer in June.

Known on most weekends as "Captain Smasharoo," the boating enthusiast and skipper of the "Jolly Jo" and "Esprit Noir" wished for his ashes to be dispersed by family and friends, including longtime PR colleague Herb Berkowitz, near his favorite Chesapeake Bay refuge: Red Eye's Dock Bar on Maryland's Kent Island.

Not fun

Who says Washingtonians aren't fun? Worldly travelers who visit our city, that's who.

Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN's "Headline News" asked travelers to rate the top 25 urban destinations across the country in nearly 60 different categories. Washington, for whatever reason, ranked dead last for "fun people." (No wonder President Bush goes to bed at 9 p.m.)

On the other hand, the nation's capital was tops on the list for architecture and notable buildings, historic sites and monuments, and museums and galleries.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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