I've had a busy week catching up with old friends. It began with a delightful lunch at the Center Club with Susan Souders Obrecht, chairman and CEO of ESS Ventures Inc., best known for publishing Mid-Atlantic magazine and for the recent acquisition of Baltimore magazine, and Carolyn Bode, Gray, Kirk Vansant account executive.
I've known Susan since she worked for Ted Venetoulis, when he owned the Times newspapers. She's come a long way, which I knew she would, and is certainly the most eye-catching publisher in the country.
She's excited about the September Baltimore mag, because it's the first one published under the new regime. Look for lots of changes, such as design and new sections. There's little doubt in my mind that this lady will, one day, be the publisher of a daily newspaper.
Obrecht has agreed to be the honorary chair of the upcoming Looking Glass Ball to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Maryland Art Place. (Suzi Keats Sinex was host at a MAP invitation $H addressing party at her home last week, and Stiles Colwill, Fred Lazarus, Joyce Knox, Mary Ann Mears and honeymooners Fredye and Adam Gross showed up to help.)
I also lunched at Pat and Mike's on Kenilworth Drive with the former medical writer for the News American, Anita Hisley. She's the public relations director of Sheppard Pratt Hospital and is so knowledgeable about Baltimore's medical community that you always walk away knowing you've learned something.
Breakfast at Cross Keys is also interesting, regardless of the topic of the meeting. I met public relations pros Tracey Weinberg and Gregg Harris there this week, and between the three of us, we spotted Hilda Ford, Mendel Friedman, Tuckey Ramsey, Caroline Burridge, Barbara Krebs and David Kornblatt having breakfast.
And to top off the week, Variety 104's general manager Jim Fox took Edie Brown and me to lunch at Orioles Park, where we
watched the Orioles play the Seattle Mariners.
There's lots of hobnobbing going on in Houston, too. Greg and Lisa Barnhill, Nancy and Phil Smith, and Julia Martin Keelty were among the Marylanders invited to the president's gala luncheon on Wednesday. (Julia, who works at Gray, Kirk Vansant, is the daughter of Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin, who nominated President George Bush for a second term at the Wednesday night convention.) Others at the luncheon were the Bushes, Vice President and Mrs. Dan Quayle, Cheryl Ladd and Bruce Willis. The people menu was definitely an upscale treat.
When Baltimore artist Bennard Perlman had his first exhibit at the Rehoboth Art League 25 years ago, the painting he sold was titled, "Brooklyn Bridge." Earlier this year, he had a 50-year retrospective show at the same gallery, and the first sale among 60 works on exhibit was titled, "Along the Thames," a view of Westminster Bridge in London. Perlman's bridge work has managed to span a quarter of a century.
Caves Valley Golf Club is already well-known as the place to play golf on the celebrity circuit. I hear that John Denver, who was in concert at Merriweather Post Tuesday evening, played a few rounds at Caves Valley while he was in town.
Singer Neil Diamond has never forgotten that he was once a member of a boys club, which had a great impact on his life. I'm told that everywhere he goes, he makes a contribution to area boys and girls clubs.
After his recent concert at the Cap Center, he gave an $8,000 check to Abe McCauley, Kevin Cuffie and Gerald Cooper, representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maryland.
Great Occasions Caterers was selected to provide all catering services for functions held at the newly opened Galerie Lareuse. The new gallery, which offers original and rare works by Picasso, Miro, Chagall and Renoir, is located in a beautifully restored pre-Civil War building at 1016 N. Charles St. Its 14-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and sculpted marble fireplaces make it a delightful place to have a party.
Have you heard that our light rail has a new name? Riders are calling it the Light Snail.