Carol Fritz sports an interest in old-fashioned athletic...


October 25, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Carol Fritz sports an interest in old-fashioned athletic wear

The gym uniform -- as flattering to many women as the plastic shower cap -- has found a friend in Carol Fritz.

The acting athletic director of Western Maryland College collects vintage fitness attire -- bloomers, blouses and tunics that hark back to the days when women were supposed to be ladies on and off the playing field.

"You dribbled a basketball and you ended up with it under your skirt," says Dr. Fritz, referring to the length of some outfits. "These were things we wouldn't play in today. Coaches would say that's ridiculous. But women weren't supposed to be competitive then."

After organizing a show of uniforms for a school celebration nearly a decade ago, she became interested in the history of women's workout clothes and traveled to colleges along the East Coast to do research.

Her collection, which shows styles from the 1880s, is now on permanent display at the college.

One former student even bequeathed her uniform to the school -- which she had preserved in pepper instead of mothballs.

"Another woman wrote to me and said, 'I wished I'd have saved my things. But during the Depression, I opened my bloomers and made a pleated skirt,' " says Dr. Fritz, who lives in Westminster.

The project has increased her respect for women athletes through the ages. It's also made her a more knowledgeable teacher, she says.

What is hasn't done, though, is improve her fashion sense.

Jeans and sweat shirts still sum up her style.

"I'm no fashion model," she says. "I'm not a person who wears girly things. That's just not me."

For Middleton Evans, the road to publishing his second book was paved with near misses.

While shooting thousands of photos, he was nearly trampled by horses, nearly nailed by a foul ball at Memorial Stadium and nearly run over by cars on Interstate 395.

Nearly four years later, his preseverance has paid off in "Baltimore," a 223-page book capturing the city at its best.

Alongside glossy pictures of the new stadium and the skyline are slices of real life -- children splashing in a Highlandtown pool, singles flirting on Water Street, customers waiting their turn at a West Baltimore carwash.

"I did a lot of exploring and . . . I learned Baltimore is a rich, robust city," says Mr. Evans, 28, who lives in Baltimore County.

A self-taught photographer, he maintained complete control over the project -- shooting the nearly 300 printed photos, designing the book, writing the captions and even publishing it through his family's Middleton Press Inc.

Mr. Evans, whose first book focused on Maryland, went to great lengths to get some shots -- returning to the same spot as many as 15 times.

He is unconcerned that his book captures only the best of Baltimore.

"I put no attention on the negative side," he says. "You get a full dose of that every day you read about murders and fires and crime and drugs. I wanted to show Baltimore in a positive light."


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