Highlights and lowlights, dim bulbs and bright stars -- the wattage kept changing during 1991.
Sometimes, it just made you want to pull the shades down and sit the year out in darkness. In case that's what you did, here's a rather twisted view of what you might have missed.
GO AWAY, ALREADY!
The men's movement
& Pregnant TV characters
COME BACK, WE MISS YOU ALREADY
Delta Burke. Without her, "Designing Women" is lighter by pounds, but by laughs as well.
"Mimi" DiPietro. Those Monday nights in the City Council room won't be the same now that voters have "throwed" this 25-year Highlandtown representative out.
Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel. But just think of the bedtime stories the angels are getting!
Magic Johnson. There have been multiple paroxysms of revisionist thinking since Magic announced that he is HIV-positive, but, hey, he's not the one who proclaimed himself a "hero" after the announcement. It's not his fault that some people feel more kindly toward him than others confronting AIDS, so, in the immortal words of Ann Landers, kwitcherbitchin.Taylor Branch. The historian won a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" -- and then, when asked if he indeed was a genius, had the modesty to say no. Plus, he lent his tuxedo to fellow Baltimore author Stephen Dixon after Mr. Dixon was nominated for a National Book Award and needed
something to wear for the ceremony.
"Northern Exposure." Gently weird, slightly mystical and altogether entrancing, this CBS series proves that comedy doesn't have to mean sitcom and drama doesn't have to mean
The released hostages. Need we say more?
Furloughing Baltimore schools because of budget cuts.
Furloughing the Baltimore Museum of Art because of budget cuts.
Closing Pratt Library branches because of budget cuts.
Comptroller Jackie McLean's taxpayer-funded $19,889 car.
Turning Memorial Stadium into a "Field of Dreams" of past and present Orioles after the last game. Thank yewwwwwww.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 75th an- niversary. A year's worth of grace notes began with a re-creation of the Feb. 11, 1916, concert that started it all and crescendoed with performances in June of the Cecil B. DeMille-sized "Symphony of a Thousand," Mahler's Eighth, which filled the stage with 500 performers and the seats with 2,250 listeners per show.
YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP
Arthur "Scud Stud" Kent
DATES FROM HELL
William Kennedy Smith
Pat on "Saturday Night Live"
COUPLES FROM HELL
Alan Simpson and Nina Totenberg
Chuck Robb and Tai Collins
Donald Trump and Marla Maples
Donald Trump and Carla Bruni
Donald Trump and Miss America Carolyn Suzanne Sapp
Nuu Faaola and Miss America Carolyn Suzanne Sapp
LANDLORD FROM HELL
William Zantzinger of Charles County, who pleaded guilty in November to collecting more than $64,000 in rent on slum properties that he hadn't owned for five years -- when they were seized by the government for non-payment of taxes.
Bea Gaddy. So she lost her election bid to the City Council. It's hard to imagine she could do more good on the council than she already does on the streets, feeding the hungry and blanketing the cold.
Boogie Weinglass. So he lives in Aspen, Colo., now. This guy is Bawlmer through and through. Give him a sports team, already. His heart and his money are in the right place.
"Roc." This new Fox TV series makes us feel a little more kindly toward those orange jumpsuited guys in their green trucks who rattle and holler down our alley at dawn. Played by local convict turned Tony award-winning actor Charles Dutton and based on his pal, real-life trashman John Wood, Roc is a sweet lunk of a working guy with a dream entirely understandable to us row house dwellers: a semidetached home.
Anne Tyler. With her 12th novel, "Saint Maybe," Baltimore's novel laureate continues her lyrical ramblings through our city -- this time the Govans neighborhood -- and its mismatched, oddly endearing people.
Barry Levinson. "Bugsy" not only is one swell movie -- the Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave it best picture and best director of the year -- but Mr. Levinson's latest movie also set the wheels in motion for the Warren Beatty-Annette Bening parenthood project.
Naming the new stadium Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Adding Rick Sutcliffe to pitching staff.
Finally giving Cal Ripken Jr., a Gold Glove. (Not to mention American League Most Valuable Player, Associated Press Player the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated "Living Legend" . . .)
THE SENSELESS DEATH OF TREES
"American Psycho," by Bret Easton Ellis. Often reading like a script for a snuff film, this graphically violent and sexual explicit novel was dropped by its first publisher, but ultimately published by another despite widespread protests by feminists nationwide.