Pieces of column too short to use . . .
Quote of the week comes from Sadie Popolo Bell, Korean War-era veteran and retired Veterans Administration nurse: "Paul Tsongas doesn't have much of a personality but Bill Clinton has too much."
What I heard all week long I heard again yesterday in Highlandtown over the splendid $6.95 German luncheon special at Eichenkranz: "I don't know who to vote for." With the primary next Tuesday, Maryland Democrats acknowledge that the race is between Bill Clinton and Paul Tsongas, a thought that elicits either yawns or high anxiety. "Is this all we get?" a pal asked while knifing through a pork chop, and he wasn't referring to the size of the cut. Clinton is carrying baggage that could provide desperate Republicans with ammo for a negative fall campaign. (Have we really heard the last from Gennifer?) Tsongas is the nice guy of this field, the lovable underdog. But can he win the big one? Bob Kerrey. What happened to Bob Kerrey? The guy was hot a few months ago -- a darling among young Democrats -- but he hasn't paid much attention to Maryland. Tom Harkin -- great guy, but probably not the ultimate nominee. "I'd love to vote for Harkin, but it would be a waste," a friend said. Jerry Brown -- a lot of people say they like his flat tax idea, but they probably won't vote for him. It's a dilemma. "It's dreadful," said a librarian, who apparently doesn't think any of these men can beat the namby-pamby George Bush. "The Democrats really had a shot at the White House this year."
The Easter candy has arrived at Jeppi Nut Co., but they're still pushing some Valentine's Day treats with the following pitch: "Buy a one-pound bag of Valentine's Day candy for your wife, get a one-pound bag of Valentine's candy FREE for your girlfriend." . . . The big news in Govans: "Beauty and the Beast" is playing the Senator!
Shelagh Smith first arrived in Baltimore in the late 1970s and she fell in love. She loved the city. "It's funky and fun," she says. She loved the mayor. "He was a great character, always boosting Baltimore." Even when a promotion took her to a new job in Bethesda, Ms. Smith decided to keep her house in Northwood and commute each day. But when her husband got a job in Iowa last year, it was time to leave Maryland. They went reluctantly. "Webster City, Iowa, population 8,000," Ms. Smith laments. "There was one dry-cleaner, one movie house. It was so cold the cats wouldn't go outside. The tree limbs froze and broke and fell on our house. Only when it got up to 10 degrees could they get the motorized lift working to go up and cut the limbs. The power was out in some counties for five days. . . . They call this an ice storm. It happened on Halloween. It was terrible. The wind howled and blew right through our house. Everything's flat out there, so there's nothing to stop the wind but the houses. The tree limbs were falling everywhere. A limb fell on a car and killed someone. The police told everyone to stay inside." Ms. Smith had enough of Iowa. After only three months, she came back to Maryland -- her husband returns in May -- and immediately wrote a letter to William Donald Schaefer. "I called him Mayor Schaefer and told him how happy I was to be back." And Schaefer, starved as he is for affection, wrote back an enthusiastic thank-you and invited Ms. Smith to dinner. She attended a reception at the Governor's Mansion Wednesday night. The place was full of old friends and people who, like Ms. Smith, had made the downtrodden governor smile. "He hugged me and thanked me," Ms. Smith says. "He was a lot chipper than you'd think he'd be. He was upbeat, ebullient and even cute." Cute?
Spiro Malas, Metropolitan Opera singer and native of Baltimore, has received rave reviews for his Tony Esposito in what sounds like a spectacular Broadway revival of one of the most underrated musicals of the last 50 years -- Frank Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella." It's playing at the Booth. Malas "delivers a deeply touching performance," wrote Frank Rich in the New York Times. Malas attended Baltimore Junior College, and was a student of Blanche Ford Bowlsbey. . . . Remember Mickey Light, the terrific Sinatra impersonator? His act has legs. The Mickster did some Chicago radio recently and he has a gig coming up in the Windy City in May. Good to go, Mick!