After an unfortunate streak of bad luck, the magic is back in the life of Dr. Hamid Towhidian.
A short time ago, the owner of the new Magic Dish, a family-style steak and seafood restaurant in River Reach on Ritchie Highway, would hardly have described his life as magical.
Just one month before the seventh anniversary of his first Magic Dish, in Pasadena, Towhidian had watched fire destroy it. Set by burglars to cover their tracks, the March 5 inferno caused an estimated $400,000 in damage.
But he had not always been in the restaurant business.
Sixteen years earlier, with his life savings in his pocket, the Iranian doctor had come to the United States from Tehran with plans to open a medical practice.
For the first three months in America, his days consisted of eight hours in the classroom struggling with the peculiarities of the English language.
His nights, in order to make ends meet, were spent as a doorman, standing on the sidewalk whistling for cabs from 5 p.m. until 2 in the morning.
As soon as he could communicate with the natives, he found a better job -- bartending.
In order to practice medicine in the United States, Towhidian had to repeat the last part of his medical training. He secured an internship at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and completed his residency at George Washington University Hospital in the district.
Specializing in internal medicine and family care, Towhidian today practices in Pasadena.
And, at the new Magic Dish, he's back in the restaurant business with his younger brothers.
"I can't cook at all," he says with a laugh, "so every day I am at the restaurant for lunch and dinner." He doesn't have to worry. His two brothers, Paris and Mohammad, both graduated from college in this country with degrees inbusiness administration and computer science, and are both trained chefs.
Sometimes, their mother, Shah, gives her sons a hand in the kitchen.
Instead of rebuilding the extensively damaged first restaurant, the brothers decided to buy the former Bolongo Bay restaurant on Ritchie Highway.
The Magic Dish is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and also breakfast on Sunday.
Times are toughfor everyone, but there is a service in Severna Park that can show you how to dig yourself out of your financial hole.
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) in the Monumental Title Building on Ritchie Highway is a non-profit community service offering individuals and families free budget counseling and debt repayment programs.
CCCS offers a realistic approach to money management and an alternative to those who do not want bankruptcy.
Supported by donations and the business community, CCCS has five offices in the Baltimore/Washington area. All are part of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit, located in Silver Spring.
For more information, call 544-9666.
Financial trouble is one factor leading to marital discord. If insurmountable problems have led to separation or divorce, there isa local support group that can help.
Single Again is an ecumenical program meeting on three nights at three locations. Because of new construction, the Tuesday group has moved from Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church to Severna Park United Methodist Church, 732 Benfield Road.
Single Again continues to meet every Wednesday evening at Harundale Presbyterian Church in Glen Burnie and every Thursday at Princeof Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton.
New member orientation begins at 7 p.m. at each location.
For more information, call the office at 721-2313.
If you're a young adult between the ages of 21 and 39, the Severna Park Jaycees would like to meet you.
You are invited to the Ice Cream Social at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Jaycee Center in Kinder Park off Kinder Road.
Children can watch videoswhile adults attend the 8 p.m. monthly meeting.
The Jaycees are too busy with personal development, leadership skills, community involvement, family programs and generally having a great time to worry about anything, except, maybe, how to earn more money to support their philanthropies.
For details, call 647-2771 or 768-9148.
St. Martin's-In-The-Field Day School on Benfield Road is accepting registrations for this fall's 4-year-old prekindergarten and 5-year-old kindergarten programs.
Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), St. Martin's offers language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as music, art, physical activities and field trips.
For additional information, please call the school office at 647-7055 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Severn School Headmaster Edson P. Sheppard announces theappointment of Louise McKenna Williams as Middle School head.
A professional educator with 27 years experience, Williams returns to Severn after a four-year absence. From 1980 to 1988, she was both a teacher and middle school administrator, receiving the Faculty Appreciation Award during that time.
Williams and her husband, John Page Williams, are residents of Arnold.