FUN, FACT AND FICTION: After 14 years on the Washington scene, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski finally attended her first state dinner at the White House Wednesday night. The occasion was a gala honoring Poland's president, Lech Walesa.
The senator told me she was getting "gussied up" in a long white designer gown that had a black and white knee-length jacket. And since Barbaras should stick together, our Barbara donned a three-strand pearl necklace ala Barbara Bush. Escorting her was her brother-in-law, Edward Liszewski.
The senator reports that she couldn't help but think as she drove up to the White House in her little white Chevy Celebrity in a long line of chauffuer-driven limos that Baltimore had indeed arrived at the White House.
Marylanders know that the senator spent many years in the House, but not the kitchen. So I'm delighted to tell you her culinary talents have been recognized. She was a celebrity cook in the Washington March of Dimes Gourmet Gala and won the Best American Regional Cuisine Award with her spicy recipe for Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes.
To be or not to be was the question at the Engineer's Club last week where WBAL-TV's pretty news anchor, Camilla Carr, actor/librarian Richard Hart and yours truly were judges at the English Speaking Union's Shakespeare Competition.
What a delight to work with Carr, Hart and Richard Tippett, the Loch Raven middle school science teacher who chaired the competition. Seven talented youngsters made judging difficult, but we finally came up with winners Jeanne Smith, Roland Park Country School, first place; Susan Roth, the John Carroll School, second place; and Sara Qureshi, Dulaney Senior High, third place.
These young ladies got stiff competition from Carolyn Stone, Dulaney Senior High; Andrew Levinson, Pikesville Senior High; Matt Horvitz, Gilman School; and Genevieve Horst, Catholic High School of Baltimore. The ESU will pay Smith's way to New York to compete in the national competition and, hopefully, on to Europe for the international competition. Following the competition, Duncan H. Mackenzie, president of the English Speaking Union, and his wife, Ann, held forth at a reception for the students and members of the English Speaking Union.
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: In case you hadn't noticed, WBAL radio's Alan Walden is in love with Maryland, so much so that he's signed another three-year contract with the station. And Maryland must love him too because this weekend he'll be in Ocean City where the Maryland National Guard is honoring him as its Outstanding Maryland Citizen.
Celebrating a birthday at Cafe des Artistes was none other than "Miss Nancy" Claster of "Romper Room" from days of yore, with her two children, John and Candy; and grandson, John.
The Howard University Alumni Club of Baltimore celebrated its 124th Charter Day last week with a brunch honoring the Rev. Vashti MacKenzie. Proceeds went to the Mamie Carroll Woodford Scholarship Fund.
KUDOS: to the talented twosome from Prince George's County, Delegates Gary Alexander and Tim Maloney. Not only did they write, produce, direct and act in the fantastic 1991 Legislative Follies, but they again have proved that laughter is the best medicine.
BIRTHDAYS: City Delegate Howard Rawlings, last Sunday; City Delegate Gerry Curran, Wednesday; Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles, Wednesday; Former Harford County Senator Cathy Riley, Thursday; WITH radio's Ken Jackson, Saturday;
And special birthday wishes to Grace Cave, who was born on March 18, 1884. Miss Gracie celebrated her 107th birthday in style at the Pikesville Nursing and Convalescent Center.