Mary and Andy

Mary Watters and Andy Ridenour

Mary Watters

I’m a native West Virginian, but I left the hills for grad school at Catholic University to study theatre. I planted myself in this area, spending most of my adult life in Mt. Rainier, MD, a sweet and homey town on the DC border. All my life I have been blessed with good people around me, good friends. I didn’t search for community – I stumbled into it. I was already in the oh-so-small theatre community of early 1980’s Folger Theatre, which was great fun. But marriage and a baby led me to seek a better paying job. Not long after, I was searching for a good pre-school and stumbled upon a new Montessori school near me that had just opened. That’s where I met people from Sojourners community, which changed my life. Later, I participated in the rich life of Circle Community Church (which included many folks formerly with Sojourners) and now am entering into this Shepherd Village — populated by many of those same friends, back in my native state!

I take great pride in my two sons, and I welcomed a wonderful daughter-in-law to our family. I’ve been working in communications/writing-creative direction for about 30 years, currently working for a nonprofit research organization. I’ve always kept a part of my life in the theatre, doing “Shakespeare for kids,” and finally going back to being a playwright, something I started in grade school. I’m a member of the Playwrights’ Gymnasium, and have had a number of musicals for children and families produced, as well as plays for adults. I love music, play the piano and directed a chamber opera and two musical reviews. Gardening and just being outdoors gives me joy and relaxation. So that’s where I was in 2011 when, much to my great surprise, I reconnected with my college sweetheart, Andy Ridenour. We married in October 2012, and now my family includes two stepdaughters and a stepson-in-law! We have merry times together! I am so grateful to participate in this growing circle, bringing more new people who have become new friends into this venture, Shepherd Village.

Andy Ridenour

I am a native son of Washington, DC, but I spent most of my adult life in West Virginia until I retired in 2011 from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. I was executive producer of the live performance music program, NPR’s Mountain Stage. It was shortly thereafter I reconnected with my college sweetheart, Mary Watters, and moved back to DC. I was then introduced into her Circle of friends. About the time Mary and I decided to marry, some of her friends had the idea of developing a creative and thoughtful community of cohousing. That is how I have the good fortune to be able to become a member of Shepherd Village.

These days I spend a few hours a week volunteering at WAMU’s music channel (, where I also host a three-hour Americana music program on Thursday afternoons. I am the proud father of two daughters, a son-in-law,  and two step-sons. I am an avid golfer, music lover, crossword puzzler, enjoy good movies, theatre and restaurants, and happily am an inductee into the West Virginia Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame!