CELEBRATION TIME: Frank A. Gunther Jr., the first chairman of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, became involved in the aquarium project in 1976, after the city sold the old Friendship Airport to the state. Mayor William Donald Schaefer put some of that money aside for an unnamed capital project, which later became the aquarium. Housing Commissioner Bob Embry came with the idea after a visit to the New England Aquarium. The mayor visited the aquarium in Boston, liked what he saw and hired the same architects to begin work here.
Gunther was chairman of the board from 1976 to 1983, but his volunteer commitment to the aquarium has never stopped. While we were chatting this week, we agreed that it is hard to believe that the aquarium is celebrating its 10th anniversary. I remember so well that day in July 10 years ago, when Schaefer and Gunther donned old-fashioned '20s-type bathing suits and straw hats to go for a swim in the outdoor seal pool.
Schaefer was fulfilling a promise that if the aquarium didn't open on July 1, he'd take a swim, which turned out to be a real public relations coup that received national publicity. When the aquarium opened five weeks later, the place was packed. It has operated in the black since. So they have a lot to celebrate!
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: Maryland's official hostess Hilda Mae Snoops is expected to be in the hospital for several more weeks. No official word, but I understand she's recovering from a cracked vertebrae and a possible concussion. I'm sure everyone joins me in saying that we hope her recovery is speedy and that she's back in Annapolis real soon . . .
Congratulations to Baltimore Mag managing editor Kay Hudgens MacIntosh and PHH Fleet America's Bill MacIntosh on the birth of their son, William Pierce MacIntosh. Young William arrived on July 15, weighing in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces . . .
I lunched at Tabrizi's, a delightful Mediterranean cafe in Federal Hill last week, and I must say the food prepared by co-owner Michael Tabrizi will tickle your taste buds. It was also nice to eat outside in a pretty courtyard. They're open for lunch and dinner, but call, because I hear dinner reservations can be hard to get . . .
BIG WHEEL: Congratulations are in order for Wheeler Baker, president of the Kent Narrows Racing Association, who was the only local competitor to place first in last weekend's hydroplane races in the 1991 Kent Narrows Power Boat Challenge. Baker, who owns Baker's Liquor & Deli on Kent Island, beat out five competitors in his boat, Aqua Met. Way to go Wheeler!
CHARITABLE TEES: It's time to sign up for the Baltimore County General Hospital Foundation's 10th annual Golf Classic scheduled for Sept. 16. Dr. Jerome Slavitt and Lee Barrick are co-chairing this year's hospital benefit. They are getting lots of help from Alice Caltrider, Charles Gailunas, Wayne Horrell, Charles Jednorski, Joan Kahline, Sherrie Kreft, Jay Lessans, Nancy Lolli, Dennis Reitz, Larry Silverman and Phil Willen. Call 521-2290 for more information.
TIS THE SEASON: It could be called " 'C' What Maryland Has To Offer." Maryland cantaloupes, crab cakes, chardonnays and corn will be highlighted in restaurants throughout the state this month. At least 35 restaurants are working in conjunction with the Maryland Restaurant Association, the state Department of Agriculture, the Association of Maryland Wineries and the Old Bay Co. to call attention to "Maryland's in Season."
BIRTHDAYS: Orioles pitcher Bob Milacki, last Sunday; former Oriole Pat Kelly, Tuesday; former O's player and coach George Bamburger, Thursday; WPCO deejay Tony Girard, Monday.