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Friday, April 15, 2016

'Annandale Bear' attacked but will be replaced

Bartholomew is propped against a tree after he was knocked off his pedestal.

The bad news about the bear: The iconic bear on the corner of Ravensworth Road and Davian Drive in Annandale has been vandalized and is too damaged to be fixed.

The good news: The bear will be replaced.


His name is Bartholomew, and he’s been delighting the community for the past 10 years or so, as his owners, Missy and Sid Jaffe of 7501 Davian Drive, change his outfits to match the seasons.  

He’s worn a ghost outfit for Halloween; a Santa hat for Christmas; a top hat for St. Patrick’s Day; bunny ears for Easter; a gown and mortarboard for graduation season; a red, white and blue sash for the Fourth of July; and even a hula costume.

Bartholomew has also been decked out for sports team gear, including the Redskins, Nationals, Capitals, and Annandale Atoms.  

That all ended, at least temporarily, sometime during the night on Sunday, April 10, when someone knocked him off his pedestal. The Jaffes discovered there was termite damage, too. “He can’t be put back up. He needs to be replaced,” Missy says.

The Jaffes got the idea for the bear statue when their children were small and they used to drive by a house on Loisdale Road in Springfield with a squirrel statue on a stump in the front yard. “The squirrel always had a hat or scarf on, and the kids always looked forward to going down that street to see the squirrel,” Missy recalls.

Years later, when a tree on their front yard was cut down, their son, who is now Father J.D. Jaffe and serves as the director of vocations for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, thought it would be a good idea to put something on the stump. He found a bear statue on eBay.

They decided to call him Bartholomew, after one of the apostles. The Jaffes began putting costumes on the bear, and some of their neighbors started following up. When Annandale High School asked them to dress up Bartholomew with Atoms gear at the start of the football season, that became an annual tradition. 

Drivers honked as they passed by Bartholomew, and “so many people have stopped by to say how much they love him,” Missy says. “People call him the Annandale bear.”

So now they’re now searching for a replacement. “The Spirit of Annandale” will be back, Sid promises. “Bartholomew II will be up as soon as the budget allows.”


  1. Time to start the collection!!

  2. Great idea, DCNOVA!

  3. I am in with that idea. I love that bear and have enjoyed looking at it for years.

  4. I'm on board.,what's the plan -- fund me, maybe

  5. I'm sorry to hear about your bear! My husband and I drive by and see him every time we are in the neighborhood, which is pretty much weekly. We live in Falls Church and my husband happens to be a chainsaw carver. He would be happy to help in any way, please feel free to give him a call at 703/919-4835 or email him at

  6. We love that bear. We'd be happy to donate too.

  7. The GoFundMe page is up. You can access it at:

    We are so glad that Bartholomew brought smiles to so many people!