S'MALL WORLD DAYS: Razzle-dazzle in the shopping world. First, there was the VIP celebration of the renovated Eastpoint Mall, which attracted more than 700 people. Among those partying to a Nifty '50s theme were Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, Joe DiCara, Baltimore County Office of Economic Development; Buddy Fine, Buddy's Men's Shop, and Steve Silber, who has opened his second shop, Tops N Bottoms, at Eastpoint. Out-of-towners at the opening included Dorie Bell, Sears' nationwide fashion-show coordinator; Arnold Praever, Shopco Management Corp., which operates the mall; and Joan Berkowitz, Shearson Lehman. Joe Brocato, owner of Brocato's Restaurant, carried out the '50s theme in his catering, and many enjoyed root beer floats and raspberry lime rickeys while they listened to Gene Vincent and the Cadillac Cruisers as well as Mike El, a Baltimore County policeman turned professional Elvis impersonator.
Tuesday night, the spectacular new Towson Town Center opened with a splashy black tie fund-raiser for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "Towson Plaza" has come a long way since it opened in 1959! The renovations cost about $150 million, and the new mall offers customers hundreds of shops and services. The complex is anchored by Hecht's and Nordstrom, which opens next fall.
Volunteers from the foundation were on hand to greet arriving guests. I spotted Sherrill Nash and her daughters, Lydia and Abby, helping mom with one of her favorite projects. The foundation has to be jubilant today, because the event made them approximately $60,000 richer.
Others I spotted were Chris Schardt, mall manager; John Gilchrist, president of the Hahn Co, developer and manager of the mall; Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Mary Bell Grempler; Gordon Becker; Lenny and Phyllis Attman; Naz Velleggia; Buck Marshall; Jim Gede; John Appel; State Comptroller Louis Goldstein; Mel Mintz; Ernie Troia; Francis Reeves; Tom Koch and Carolyn and Vince Cerniglia, owner of the Wave Dancer surfing shops.
When you combine 2,000 attractive people, lovely paintings by Tom Everhart, music by Tony Berry & New Money, the Party Dolls or Mama Jama, and tables laden with delicious food prepared by Truffles Caterers, you have a smash hit on your hands.
SCENE ON THE GREENS: On Monday, Hugh and Joy McCormick, Jay and Dottie Alban, Chuck and Mary Meyer, Lyle and Joanne Schill, Bill and Vera Spencer-Strong, Bruce and Elaine Campbell, Clark and Andy MacKenzie and Carl and Julie Eastwick will tee off at the Chestnut Rige Country Club. They are playing golf to raise money for the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center, run by Dr. Chris Saudek, inventor of the implantable insulin pump. If you'd like to enter the tournament (lunch begins at noon, followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m.), call 377-0531 or 296-0806.
Virginia Baker has spent her life making work in the Department Recreation and Parks look like play. During the William Donald Schaefer years in City Hall, she involved thousands of people in her miniature golf tournaments, turtle races, hog calling or frog jumping contests at War Memorial Plaza. Since Kurt Schmoke has been in the mayor's office, she's been holding forth in Fells Point, where her daily activities are still popular with city youngsters. However, her latest project has to do with "Special Women of Maryland." She and a group of her friends are planning worthy causes which will be dedicated to the memory of women who have distinguished themselves through history or careers.
WEEKEND GLIMPSE: Don't forget the fabulous Fells Point Festival tomorrow. Radio station B-104 will have live music from noon to 7 p.m., but the one you shouldn't miss is the Smokey Robinson performance at 5 p.m.
Our Gal Friday
NAME: Virginia S. Baker
WORK LIFE: 51 years at the City Department of Recreation and Parks.
PASSIONS: Czechoslovakian potato dumplings and noodles.
CLAIM TO FAME: Founder of Special Women of Maryland, namesake of a Patterson Park recreation center.
HEROES: Ms. I. Pearl Williams, mentor and friend, and her brother, the late Dr. Frank W. Baker Jr.