Patriot parade in E. Baltimore may go to exile TTC

DAN RODRICKS

May 13, 1993|By DAN RODRICKS

Pieces of column too short to use:

Say it ain't so! The "I Am An American Day Parade" could shift from city to county, from East Baltimore to Dundalk! The parade, an outrageously patriotic September tradition that no aspiring political candidate can afford to miss, won't be passing by Patterson Park this year -- unless the city relents on charging the parade committee for costs associated with the event. The city wants more than $13,000, but the committee is $5,000 short of that.

"I can't imagine the Sunday after Labor Day without that parade. It was corny but it was ours," says Jacqueline Watts, editor of the weekly East Baltimore Guide, which broke the news on its front page today.

Mark my words: If Baltimore loses the parade, City Hall will take a lot of heat. The mayor will wish his office had an unlisted number.

*

Here's one for our Guilty-But-Mostly-Stupid files.

A 32-year-old Dundalk man was convicted of using his automobile to assault another motorist, a woman, on Holabird Avenue late one night in January. The man, apparently angered by a maneuver the female driver had made, rammed her car three times from behind. He then pursued the woman through an intersection and tried to run her off the road. The woman pulled over and jumped out of her car. The man came at her with a pipe. The woman drew her gun. She had a gun because she was an off-duty Baltimore County police corporal. When the man saw the gun, he fled, but police arrested him outside a bar within two hours.

At the man's trial last month, Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney John Cox concluded his questioning of the corporal by asking her to identify her assailant. "Is the person who tried to run you off the road in the courtroom today?" Cox said.

And, a few feet away, the defendant -- Duh! -- raised his hand. (Sentencing to come.)

*

It's happened to loads of parents. It finally happened to me. Wednesday, 7:21 a.m., I reached Barney Breaking Point. Now I join the legions of public television viewers who wonder why, of all dinosaurs, this purple one with the obnoxiously cute attitude had to survive. I'm Barneyed out. Tell you how bad this morning sickness is: I now find Bryant Gumbel comparatively pleasant.

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Here's how a recent letter from a Chicago-based public relations concern began: "Dear Dan: Environmental Biotech Inc. is about to release blood-eating bacteria designed for use in hospital drainage." Great. And I hope Jeff Goldblum hosts the infomercial!

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A stretch limousine was spotted yesterday outside the Wyman Restaurant, 25th and Howard, one of Baltimore's best little joints for breakfast or lunch.

"I heard it was Cher," said the guy who phoned in the stretch-spotting. "But it could have been John Houseman, except he's dead. Maybe it was Chick Lang."

*

During the annual spring arts festival at Cockeysville Middle School the other night, an eighth-grader knocked the house down with an original soft-rock ballad called, "What If There Were Dragons?" Kelly Smit is the talented student's name and she accompanied herself on electric piano. "It was tuneful, had a nice bridge and decent enough lyrics, considering her age," a member of the audience reported.

*

A recent fact sheet from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources listed the following "management goals" for the Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Area: "Providing public hunting opportunities for licensed hunters; demonstrating sound wildlife management practices; providing wildlife recreational opportunities." (my italics) The fact sheet was not specific about the kinds of recreational opportunities the state will be offering wildlife, but beaver softball and muskrat horseshoes should be popular.

*

This week's good-news-travels-fast rumor goes something like this: A certain landmark deli near Hopkins University might be sold soon to a couple of popular guys -- not Two Crazy Greeks -- who have proven they really know how to make beautiful sandwiches together. This kind of urban renewal the city needs!

Watch this space.

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