A Sunday Snapshot in the People section showed Doug...

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

December 26, 1993|By Wayne Hardin

A Sunday Snapshot in the People section showed Doug Chappel of Frederick hoisting a piece of plywood during a construction job for log cabin restorer William "Rocky" Stump. Mr. Stump was not pictured.

Mr. Stump is pictured above.

The Sun regrets the error.

Sticks and stones are name of the game for Rocky Stump

On top of a wooded hill in rural Washington County, Rocky Stump wrestles a log into place on the ground with an antique cant hook. When he lays a broad ax to it, the chips fly.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Given his activity, his beard and longish hair, Mr. Stump, of Boiling Springs, Pa., could be a character in a historical re-enactment.

But this is not play for Mr. Stump. It's his business. He dismantles log cabins or houses and rebuilds them around Maryland and Pennsylvania.

"In 1989, I decided to build my own log house," he says. "I bought a log house near Stewartstown, Pa., for $2,000 and one in Shrewsbury for $1,000, and took them apart for mine. I've been doing it ever since."

Before he carved out his present career, Mr. Stump, 43, sold firewood, founded a mail-order fertilizer business, was a landscaper and ran a fly-fishing shop in California. Then came logs.

"There's good timber in old barns and buildings. I'd rather recycle it and save a tree. I enjoy the work. It has a lot of history and heritage."

At his latest project, a two-story log manor house, he applies his skills to a log before the day warms up, and he and longtime co-worker Rob Grout get busy chinking the house.

And no, these names are not made up. When people hear Mr. Stump works with logs, they sometimes are bemused at the seeming name-occupation connection, he says. But it isn't an affectation. William Stump Jr. became "Rocky" as a youngster, nicknamed for former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano.

But he's had time to adjust to the "name calling."

"It was worse when I sold firewood."

Just dying to tell someone about your latest dangerous liaison? Whose business is going belly up? Who was spied signing on a dotted line over lunch?

Whisper it in Roland Goodwin's ear.

The concierge at HarborView condominiums has earned near-celebrity status for being tight-lipped about the gossipy goings-on around town.

Between serving prime rib to Lyndon Johnson, fried flounder to Desmond Tutu and stuffed chicken to Phil Donahue, he hasn't missed much in his 32-year career. But the local veteran of the hospitality business says discretion is part of his job description.

"In this job, you hear and you don't hear," says Mr. Goodwin, 45, who lives in West Baltimore. "You see and you don't see. You remember, 'It's not your party. You're not a guest,' so you forget these things."

Such restraint has made him a hot commodity. Before accepting the job at HarborView, he was courted by seven different caterers.

The seemingly gregarious Mr. Goodwin -- whose smiling face graces HarborView billboards and ads these days -- says chatting up CEOs, politicos and media types doesn't come naturally.

"By nature, I'm shy. I have to psyche myself up. I put on a big smile and give it all I've got."

For the moment at least, the secrets of celebrities seem safe. He has no plans to write a tell-all memoir.

"Everybody jokes that I should," he says with a laugh. "But some of these people are still alive. You couldn't tell their secrets. That would be a betrayal of the sacred trust."

Mary Corey

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