Well, when the plastic bunny deflates, it can plug that leaking roof


April 01, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

Attention, lovers of folk art, holiday decorations and visually overwhelming tackiana. The more-is-more spirit of decorating has spread from Christmas to Easter. Check out German Hill Road in greater Dundalk, just east of Merritt Boulevard, across from the three cemeteries. Egg trees, inflatable bunnies and colorful plastic lawn ornaments have blossomed in front of about six rowhouses. If you're near Dundalk this weekend, do the detour.

Laughter despite illness

Stu "Professor Kool" Kerr, veteran TV personality and one of our most beloved characters, was diagnosed with bone cancer seven years ago, and he continues treatments for it. I visited him the other morning, and will tell you this: The illness hasn't stopped the laughter. I left Stu's house amazed at his vitality, aching from all his jokes and gags.

If the roof leaks, beware

Ingmar Burger, our Remington correspondent, has a girlfriend in Highlandtown, and this girlfriend has a roof problem, which is the kind of problem you hear people around Baltimore squawking about all the time. Problems with roofs, problems with roofers and their ways.

"She had some work done on her house by this company, one of the many quality roofing companies we have in this town," Ingmar tells me over a quality turkey-salad sandwich at Rallo's in Locust Point. (Normally we meet at Roman's in East Baltimore, but Ingmar was taking a Roman holiday.)

"Upon completion of the work," he continues, "she mails a check for the balance to the roofer. After a little while, the roofer calls and says he didn't receive it, so she sends another check. Presto! The first check shows up and he cashes both of them.

"After giving her the runaround for a few days, he sends her a refund check that's still bouncing. So what's my girl do? She goes to this guy's office with a friend. He threatens to throw them out! Then he realizes this little game is up, and he forks over the money. All's well that ends well, right? Wrong! Why? I'll tell you why! The roof leaks!"

That was sweet, Lou

Last week in Annapolis, the House Judiciary Committee killed a gay rights bill that would have prohibited job and housing discrimination based on sexual preference. After the vote, Lou DePazzo, delegate from Dundalk and Marine Corps veteran, asked that his nay vote be carefully recorded so his constituents would know where he stood. Curt Anderson, a Baltimore delegate who supported the bill, razzed his colleague about his concern. "You afraid someone might give you kiss on the lips?" Anderson asked. He then took DePazzo's silver-haired head in his hands and gave him a big smooch on the cheek.

A picture to remember

A picture of modern life. . .

Towson District Court, afternoon session. Front bench full of jocular Baltimore County cops awaiting conference with prosecutor. Officer in suit and tie walks in. At his side is adorable 3-year-old daughter in bright running suit. She's carrying two stuffed animals. Dad carries a children's book with his police paperwork. Dad and daughter take seats on the hard wooden benches of the courtroom. He reads to her -- we're just guessing, "Berenstain Bears Go To Court"? -- while everyone waits for the judge. "I got these for Christmas!" she says of her stuffed animals. The girl is unafraid, and good as gold, until Dad finishes his court duty and the two of them leave for -- we're just guessing -- Chuck E. Cheese's.

4 Samaritans and an angel

We're closing today with a couple of Good Samaritan stories from the gone-but-not-soon-forgotten winter of 1993-1994.

Gwen Mason's tale of woe goes back to Christmas night, snowy and icy and a horror for motorists. Just before midnight, Gwen's car went kaput in the left lane of the Beltway outer loop near Towson. About 15 minutes later, another driver stopped and tried to get other motorists to push Gwen's Honda to the shoulder. But none would oblige. The woman handed Gwen a hand-crocheted comforter and left. "I thanked her over and over and even offered her money," Gwen says. "She wouldn't take it but tried to assure me that someone else would stop and help." Someone did. It was a man in a van. "Are you all right?" he shouted across traffic. By now, Gwen was shivering. The man beckoned to his two sons, and the three of them pushed the Honda off the road. "Then they drove me to my mother-in-law's house in Pikesville and waited until I was safely inside," Gwen says. She doesn't know the name of the woman who gave up the comforter, but it was a family by the name of Finn in that van. Thanks to all, Gwen says. "Christmas 1993 could have ended badly, but through their kindness the memory will be a little warmer."

T. Guy Nichols thinks he saw an angel in a snowstorm. His longtime friend, Bob Miller, was driving him from Clarksville to Columbia Medical Plan to "pick up medicine for my 78-year-old heart" when the car broke down along Route 175. A young woman in a Toyota pulled over in the storm and offered to drive the gents to a towing service, then home. Her name was Tina Welch. Guy and Bob recently treated her to lunch. "We told her what a great, charitable person she is and how thoughtful she is of older people," says Guy. "We were just a couple of bedraggled old fellas in need of assistance, and as God's helper Tina put on her wings."

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