Baltimore BombersEamonn McGready's (letter, Oct. 26) on...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 22, 1993

Baltimore Bombers

Eamonn McGready's (letter, Oct. 26) on the photo accompanying John Breihan's Oct. 12 article "Baltimore Bombers" needs some clarification. The picture is not of a "North American" A-20, as Mr. McGready states, but of a locally manufactured Martin Baltimore A-30.

World War II A-20s were produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Hundreds were delivered to the British as Bostons and Havocs, not as Intruders.

Mr. McGready confuses the name Intruder with the Douglas A-26 Invader, a variant of the A-20, active during the latter part of the war and operational in Vietnam.

Although there were superficial similarities between the Martin A-30 and the Douglas A-20, the photo clearly shows a Baltimore. The exceedingly slim nacelle, the tall antenna and the straight-angled tail section are all characteristics peculiar to our Baltimores. The A-20 had, among other features, a truncated antenna, more upswept tail wings and less prominent air intakes.

A closer reading of the Oct. 12 article would disclose that it is not about the Martin B-26 Marauder, as Mr. McGready suggests, but a good story of Baltimore and its place in World War II aviation history. Grumman Aircraft produced the Intruder, a jet assault plane, the A-6, first flown in 1960, 15 years after the heyday of both the A-20 and A-30.

Robert Patrick Adams

Baltimore

The writer worked on the Martin Baltimore A-30 and the Marauder B-26 bombers between 1940-1942.

4 Lousy Lawyers

The four members of the Court of Appeals who have voted to delay the execution of John Thanos, against the will of the condemned man himself, have reiterated their arrogant disdain for popular government. They know perfectly well that the legislative intent, reflecting the popular will, behind the contested stay-of-execution statute is to expedite executions, not to impede them with new and pointless delays.

Robert M. Bell, Howard S. Chasanow, John C. Eldridge and John F. McAuliffe may see themselves as judicial heroes of mercy toward condemned murderers. In my view they are lousy constitutional lawyers who have betrayed their trust.

Hal Riedl

Baltimore

Gourmets

The Nov. 10 article, "Gala launches gourmet society," by Karol V. Menzie, is in error.

A spokesperson for the American Institute of Wine and Food, Martha Royal, is quoted as saying that AIWF is "the only organization around" that deals with both professionals and nonprofessionals.

To the contrary. The Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international wine and food society founded in Paris in 1950, has a very active Maryland chapter, counting as members some of Baltimore's finest chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and hotel food service personnel.

About 40 percent of its members are professionals.

While I wish the local AIWF great success, its members and its spokespersons should recognize the contributions other, established organizations, such as the Chaine des Rotisseurs, have made toward the cause of good food and wine.

I know for a fact that Bob Schindler, co-chairman of the new chapter, is very well aware of the long-standing activities of the local and international Chaine.

dward Goldberg

Baltimore

The Walters While Directorless

Although I might have hoped for a different headline than "The Headless Museum," your Nov. 12 editorial on the Walters Art Gallery represents, aside from an unkind cut or two, a fair evaluation.

The trustees acknowledge with regret that our exhaustive exploration of the art world has not discovered a new director.

As our former director Bob Bergman has observed, the search for museum leadership is a national problem: 15 major art museums are currently without directors. The root of our difficulties lies with the changed nature of museum management.

Twenty years ago the Walters, and most other art museums, were quiet, introverted places where directors doubled as curators. No longer. To achieve the high standards of exhibition excellence and community responsibility which you correctly identify as our proper mission, the director's job has changed dramatically.

Above all, the expanded mission requires him to raise money. Over the last 12 years we have completed three major capital campaigns and dozens of exhibition fundings, and each year we raise about 75 percent of our $7 million operating budget.

In the future, as you point out, we need to renovate the 1974 wing and to build endowment. The director must spend enormous time on fund raising and political advocacy.

In addition, he must build community relationships by spending time with people, attending committee meetings, speaking before community groups and working the crowds at civic gatherings.

Yet the Walters, and virtually all major art museums, still search for their directors among curators and scholars, people inexperienced, untrained and frequently unsuited for these demands.

Leadership talent in these ranks is hard to find. Thirteen years ago the Walters searched for 19 months before Bob Bergman took office. He was certainly worth the wait.

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