The Marianne Kuta workout: family financial fitnessWomen...

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

August 01, 1993|By Sandra Crockett

The Marianne Kuta workout: family financial fitness

Women, keep your eye on your money, says Marianne Kuta, Baltimore's newest radio personality, who is co-host of a talk show on family finances.

It surprises the financial consultant that even in the '90s, too many women feel intimidated when discussing the family budget.

Women, she says, must make the effort to become involved with the family finances. "You never know what's going to happen," says Mrs. Kuta, who's been in the business of helping people with their finances for about 10 years.

"The advice that I give women is that anything can happen," she says. "You can become a one-wage earner, or you can have a spouse that dies."

Mrs. Kuta is betting that some women will feel more comfortable talking about their finances with another woman. So her husband's 3-year-old radio program, "On the Money with Gil Kuta," is now "On the Money with Gil and Marianne Kuta." The call-in program can be heard on WCBM radio (680 AM) Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

"We have a lot of female clients and a lot of family clients," Mrs. Kuta says of herself and her husband, both financial consultants at a Baltimore investment firm. "And we are the only husband-and-wife team [of financial consultants] on the air."

Mrs. Kuta says she offers "a softer kind of approach" in discussing family finances than a man would -- but no less informed. With her on board, the program will broaden its base from discussing estate planning to what she calls "family financial fitness."

That includes providing information on paying for children's education and "socially conscious investing" -- topics Mrs. Kuta says both women and men should learn about. But is it art?

Yes, and Elton Ensor has proof: His tattoo parlor has been declared a "residential art salon" by the Baltimore County zoning commissioner.

Tattoos, although they increasingly decorate such bodies beautiful as super models and actresses, unfairly retain their seedy image, Mr. Ensor says. "Some of the finest artwork being done today is being done on skin," he declares. "Your van Goghs and Rembrandts of today are tattoo artists."

Mr. Ensor, 46, admits his bias: He's been tattooing for about 20 years. And his tattoo shop in Essex, Gypsy's, had been in business for about eight years before he learned recently that tattoo parlors are prohibited in Baltimore County. Mr. Ensor found that the county does allow for something called a "residential art salon," or "a portion of a dwelling used for the display and sale of original art."

Given that Gypsy's is located in an Eastern Avenue building that also houses apartments, the only question was whether giving someone a tattoo was akin to selling a work of art, says Lawrence Schmidt, the county zoning commissioner. Yes, he decided.

For Mr. Ensor, a Vietnam veteran and grandfather who also does piercing, even "art" isn't a grand enough description of what he does. "You don't realize how intimate you are," he says, recalling customers such as a man who had the Cookie Monster tattooed on his chest for his son, who was dying of leukemia. "Usually, I think my job is as a commercial artist. But it's a lot deeper. It's spiritual."

Jean Marbella

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