Weather perfect as Marylanders celebrate Bridge renaming gives veteran 'good feeling'

May 31, 1993|By Audrey Haar and Scott Shane | Audrey Haar and Scott Shane,Staff Writers

As three Huey helicopters flew over the just-renamed Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Patapsco River yesterday, Bill Tolson said, "I could almost smell the napalm."

Mr. Tolson, who served as an Army scout in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968, was in the color guard as the Hanover Street Bridge was dedicated on Memorial Day weekend to a war whose veterans have often felt ignored or unappreciated.

"It's a good feeling," said Mr. Tolson, who was born 47 years ago in a house three blocks from the South Baltimore bridge and now crosses it almost daily. "It was a long time coming. But I don't take it as an IOU, exactly. I take it as something the people of Baltimore are giving to us and to the fellows who died over there."


More than 600 people attended the dedication, where Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and City Council President Mary Pat Clarke spoke. A fireboat shot a plume of water into the air. And memorial plaques, paid for with $6,000 raised by local veterans, were placed at both ends of the 76-year-old bridge.

On a spectacular day weatherwise, the Pride of Baltimore II departed the Inner Harbor for a four-month tour of the Great Lakes. Barbecue smoke rose from many a backyard grill. And thousands of Marylanders basked on the beach, enjoying the unofficial opening weekend of summer.

In Ocean City yesterday, Mayor Roland "Fish" Powell surveyed the shortage of parking spaces around his house with satisfaction. Enough holiday weekend visitors had arrived to get the season off to a busy and lucrative start.

"When all the spots are full on St. Louis Avenue, where I live, that's a good indicator that they're here," Mr. Powell said.

The talk of the town at Rehoboth Beach, north of Ocean City, was the surprise visit of Vice President Al Gore, his wife, Tipper, and three of their children. The Gores were reportedly staying at a home in North Shores, a private beach community north of Rehoboth Beach.

The Gores had dinner Saturday night at Chez La Mer in Rehoboth. "The town is all a-tizzy that they're here," said the restaurant owner, Nancy Wolfe.

The vice president ordered swordfish, and his wife had soft-shell crabs, said Lauren McMahon, who served them. "They were very pleasant," she said. "They were having a nice family dinner."

Ms. Wolfe said Secret Service agents came a few hours before the Gores and selected a table for them and for the two agents who sat nearby. Additional security staffers were stationed outside the restaurant.

Out on the water yesterday, it was a quiet day for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, who patrol the waterways around Ocean City.

The operator of a 19-foot runabout was warned about speeding under the U.S. Route 50 bridge.

"Any luck?" Officer Arthur Windemuth called to anglers on Isle of Wight Bay as the patrol boat passed by. Those lucky ones who had catches in their buckets waited patiently as Officer Windemuth or his partner, Paul Carey, measured the catch to make sure that any flounders met the 14-inch minimum size.

"We got one -- anyone doing any better?" shouted one of the fishermen.

"That's the average -- one per boat," Officer Windemuth replied.

Police reported three fatal accidents on Maryland roads in the first two days of the holiday weekend.

The first fatality was reported in Baltimore County, where 35-year-old Orville Lee Edey of White Hall was killed in a head-on crash on York Road in Sparks early Saturday.

In Suitland, a man trying to cross Silver Hill Road was struck and killed by a car late Saturday in a hit-and-run accident, according to Prince George's County police.

The victim, Kenneth Ross Hyatt, 58, of the 3500 block of Terrace Drive in Suitland, had been in or near the crosswalk, police said, when he was hit about 11:55 p.m. by a 1991 Ford Thunderbird registered in Virginia.

Police said he was thrown 110 feet from the point of impact, near the intersection of Silver Hill Road and Maywood Lane. Mr. Hyatt was pronounced dead at Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base.

The 22-year-old driver, whom police did not identify, fled on foot and was being sought last night, police said. The driver left three passengers behind at the scene.

A Montgomery County teen-ager was killed and two companions were seriously injured early yesterday after their car went out of control and hit a tree in Potomac, according to county police.

The youth who was killed, who was driving a Mercedes 300, was Jairo Enrique Sanchez, 17, of the 7900 block of Van Gogh St. in Potomac. He was pronounced dead at the scene after the 2 a.m. crash in the 1900 block of Dundee Road.

His two passengers, Jimmie Lee, 17, and John Lee, 15, both of Rippling Brook Drive in Silver Spring, were taken to Suburban Hospital.

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