COMING HOME: Baltimore native William Bell (Bill) Sullivan, who plays the conniving Gary Swanson on CBS' long-running daytime soap, "The Guiding Light," will return to his elementary school, Grace and St. Peter's School, next weekend to kick off a fund-raising weekend to benefit the school's Playground Revitalization Project.
At a tea hosted by students and their grandparents next Friday, Sullivan will talk about the importance of reading in today's competitive world. Sullivan, who has appeared on CBS' "Designing Women" and in the film "Hunt for Red October" -- and dozens of other roles -- will be joined at the tea by his grandparents, Robert and Margaret Clark of Stoneleigh and Evelyn Stevens of Towson. On Saturday, June 1, Sullivan will be the keynote speaker at an alumni reception and dinner, where he will be joined by another Baltimore native and school alum, Frank Bond, a newscaster in Washington, D.C.
If you are an alumnus and would like to attend, call Mimi Piper at 539-1395.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: On Monday, May 27, a special tribute will be paid to Lt. James H. Love, Staff Sgt. Garland V. Hailey, 1st Lt. Thomas C. Bland Jr., Staff Sgt. Ronald M. Randazzo, Pvt. Timothy A. Shaw, Lance Cpl. James M. Lang and Spec. Charles L. Bowman Jr., the seven Marylanders who lost their lives during the Persian Gulf war. The annual observation of Memorial Day at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens begins at 11 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.
Gathered on the dias will be John Armiger Jr., president of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, who does so much for our fallen heroes; Rep. Helen Delich Bentley; Major Gen. James F. Fretterd, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard; Attorney General Joe Curran and Alan Walden, WBAL radio and president of the Patriots of Fort McHenry, who will give the keynote address.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Robert Vaughn, perhaps best known for his television role as "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," was in town last week to make a Harrah's Casino commercial. Vaughn, who has been in Baltimore several times, remembers that his first trip to Baltimore was with his parents, who were acting in a play here in the mid-1940s.
By the way, this was the first commercial filmed at Trahan, Burden & Charles' new location, under the direction of Allan Charles, of course. The advertising and PR agency just moved into its new digs at Charles and Chase streets, which includes a fancy filming studio.
Two outstanding Baltimore citizens, Walter Sondheim, who habeen at the forefront of Baltimore revitalization for four decades, and George McGowan, CEO of BG&E, received honorary degrees of doctor of humane letters yesterday at Villa Julie's commencement ceremony.
Among those invited to the festivities were Janet Sondheim and Carol McGowan, wives of the honorees; board members Rep. Helen Delich Bentley; Ted Herget, CEO of C&B Consulting Group -- Herget Division; builder James Keelty; Del. Tim Maloney; president of Villa Julie Carolyn Manuszak; attorney George Russell and District Court Chief Judge Bob Sweeney. Others who have an interest in the college are Robert Coppersmith, Maryland Casualty; M. Jenkins Cromwell, Maryland Capital Management; Bill Levasseur, Semmes, Bowen & Semmes; and Jan Rivitz, The Strauss Foundation.
WEEKEND GLIMPSE: The most important "happening" this weekend for yours truly is a News American editorial staff reunion being held at Joyce and Bill Stump's house in northern Baltimore County on Sunday afternoon. It was May 26, 1986, that the News said "So Long Baltimore." After five years, our staff is scattered all over the world, but from what I hear, we'll have a great turnout.
BIRTHDAYS: Pitcher Jose Mesa, Wednesday; Secretaryof Budget and Planning Charles Benton Jr., Monday; Baltimore City Del. Sandy Rosenberg, last Sunday.
Our Guy Friday
NAME: William Bell Sullivan
CLAIM TO FAME: He portrays Gary Swanson on the television soap opera "The Guiding Light."
WORK LIFE: Actor left his Baltimore home to pursue an acting career.
HOME LIFE: Bachelor, a few girl friends, but nothing serious.
PASSIONS: Soccer, lacrosse and tennis; loves to make people smile.
HEROES: "My family members -- I have always looked up to my family, they're my inspiration."