Who, exactly, is a Baltimorean? First, let's go hear the Colts Band

MICHAEL OLESKER

September 22, 1991|By MICHAEL OLESKER

Baltimore's 22nd annual outdoor group-therapy session, also known as the City Fair, continues on 33rd Street today.

The City Fair is our annual chance to celebrate our identity as Baltimoreans. But who, exactly, is a Baltimorean?

Here are a few clues:

You know you're a Baltimorean when, as a music lover, you can't decide between the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra or the Baltimore Colts Marching Band.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you can't believe all those students protesting William Donald Schaefer's speech at Morgan State University last week. Don't they know they're each going to get an angry letter from the governor?

You know you're a Baltimorean when you still wish Hyman Pressman would stick around to count the pennies.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you spend $8 for a jar of dirt from Memorial Stadium. The stadium's owned by the city. If you live in the city, it means you're spending $8 to buy a clump of dirt that's already yours.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you complain endlessly about the politicians at City Hall -- but somehow don't manage to vote on Election Day.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you know how to use ''hon'' appropriately. Such as, not when you see a guy named Attila.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you boast of the City Fair's charming neighborhood booths and its delicious ethnic foods, but head straight for the tacky carnival rides and never get off.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you hope Tom Clancy brings a pro football franchise here. It's not just that the Cold War spy novelist has warm memories of the Colts. It's that, when his team throws the bomb, they throw the bomb.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you turn on the radio and keep hoping Johnny Walker will turn up somewhere along the dial.

You know you're a Baltimorean when, no matter what street you're on, there's always some public works crew tearing it up. It's a great city. Will somebody wake us when it's finally finished?

You know you're a Baltimorean when, a year ago, you were telling everybody that Cal Ripken was strictly a good-field, no-hit shortstop.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you can't understand all the talk about Kurt Schmoke running for Paul Sarbanes' U.S. Senate seat. When Sarbanes retires, Schmoke will have to get in line with Kweisi Mfume and Ben Cardin.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you watch city school kids marching into history classrooms and hope they learn Afrocentric history better than they learned Eurocentric history. It might help to have teachers who realize history is about people and not merely lists of dates.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you see Vice President Dan Quayle come to town and extol the White House's contributions to education, and you courageously resist the impulse to shove a few reading and math scores under his nose.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you still miss the News American, even though you still call it the News-Post.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you listen to the radio and it's not really sports without Charlie Eckman delivering it.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you hear George Bush talk about economic recovery and wonder if he's noticed bankruptcy filings here have gone up 49 percent since a year ago.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you hear the words Droodle Park, Pratt Liberry and Habberdy Grace and don't need simultaneous translation.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you know this place is called The City That Reads -- as long as you don't expect to get your reading material from a bookmobile.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you're still hoping Leonard ''Boogie'' Weinglass will become the first major league baseball owner with a pony tail.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you notice squadrons of meter maids cracking down on parking violators. If the cops were this successful with real criminals, we could walk the streets safely.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you attend the Preakness in spite of the animals -- not those on the track, but those in the infield.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you hear Republicans boast of the fresh young blood that's reinvigorating the party, and then you hear the name Sam Culotta.

You know you're a Baltimorean when you say they can call the new ballpark anything they want. The one we call home is still the old girl on 33rd Street.

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