Heat leave among the frozen fish sticks looks very appealing


June 17, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

That settles it. I'm taking heat leave, just as the guys in the Baltimore Housing Authority did last year. If the temperature reaches 100 degrees by noon, look for me in the frozen food section of your favorite supermarket. I'll be the heat-crazed geek dark glasses, tank top and cutoffs, opening the glass doors of freezer compartments, comparing the prices of fish sticks and taking my merry ole time about it. See you there.

Hunting Helen

When I think of Helen Delich Bentley's low-profile campaign for governor, I see the grin of Robert De Niro in "Cape Fear," and I hear his southern accent: "Come out, come out, wherevuh you ah."

Dove still flying

"Whatever happened to Ronnie Dove?" my friend Charlie from Reisterstown wants to know. "I used to hear him at a place on Charles Street years ago."

"That would have been The Spa," Ronnie Dove said when I got him on the phone Wednesday morning. "Yeah, I used to play there, and a place near the Inner Harbor called Elmer's. Oh, Elmer's. What a place. Lots of bikers and merchant seamen."

Ronnie Dove is still around and so are his fans, Baby Boomers who remember his songs and the splash he made in the early 1960s, BTB (Before The Beatles). Ronnie lives in Virginia, and he travels through several states, singing rock 'n' roll oldies with local bands. Around Baltimore, he performs with Joey and the Jammers. As a matter of fact, he's performing at Joey's, on Riverside Drive, Essex, this Sunday afternoon. "Two years ago I got a computer," Ronnie said. "And I never dreamed I would become one, but I'm a computer freak now." He uses a computerized mailing list to send out notices of his appearances each month. "I get names and addresses of people wherever I work -- Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, around Baltimore," he said. "I stay pretty busy, working clubs, a lot of Moose and Elks, American Legion. I'm at Joey's two or three times a month."

@4 Hey, Charlie, I hope that answers your question!

Mancini's genius

Until I read a list of highlights from his composing career, I hadn't realized Henry Mancini wrote the excellent score for "The Thorn Birds," the miniseries from the early 1980s that remains one of the most popular in television history. (Great performance Barbara Stanwyck; and America's first, long look at Rachel Ward.) By the time "Thorn Birds" reached the little screen, Mancini had written so much music for so many films and television shows that it's no surprise his name might have been missed in the credits somewhere along the way. The music from "Thorn Birds" might top my list of personal Mancini favorites. (My palooka pal, Joey Amalfitano, claims that Mancini's best work was in "Creature From the Black Lagoon.") The theme from "Days of Wine and Roses" -- strictly the instrumental version -- would finish a close second on my list. I cannot hear that poignant melody without seeing Jack Lemmon's quietly despairing face in a hotel window, the picture and the music perfectly matched. And wasn't that Mancini's genius? In an appreciation of the composer this week, Charles Champlin, arts editor emeritus of the Los Angeles Times, wrote: "I've always believed Henry is an unabashed romantic whose soaring melodies and full-bodied sounds create an irresistible inspiration positive thinking, defiant hope and a warming sense of well-being that says the world can't be too bad with such richness and talent in it."

Outlook improving

His colleagues and friends are throwing a dinner party for Fred Davis, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service's BWI regional office, tomorrow at the Comfort Inn near the airport. After a quarter-century in the forecasting business here, Fred sets sail for retirement later this year. You might see his outlook emblazoned on the back of his boat: "BONNIE WEATHER."

True touch

Sign spotted this week among the many beggars who line the sidewalks leading to Camden Yards: "Really, REALLY homeless."

Horse rustlers?

The Orioles-Yankees series here begs the telling of a story related by a reader named Suzan Powell. Seems a group of Bronx firefighters came to town by bus to root for the Yanks. One of the Bronx boys struck up a conversation with a man from Anne Arundel County. Nice city, the firefighter remarked. Downtown Baltimore looks great. The new ballpark is very nice.

"Where you from?" the firefighter asked the man in front of him.

"Annapolis," the man said.

The firefighter scowled and snapped, "Youse guys are the ones who stole the Colts!"

Seeking Melissa

If your name is Melissa and you're 19 years old, and your father's name is John and he lives near Palmer, Alaska, please give me a call at 410-332-6166. Your father telephoned here wondering if I could get the two of you in touch for Father's Day. He says he hasn't seen you in 13 years, since you and your mother left Alaska after your parents were divorced. He says you apparently no longer live with your mother on the Eastern Shore. He thinks you now live in the Baltimore area. It's none of my business, Melissa, but if you want to call the man, but don't know how, I'll tell you.

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