In today's editions, a Sunday Snapshot article on page 4H...


January 01, 1995|By Arthur Hirsch

In today's editions, a Sunday Snapshot article on page 4H of the Today section incorrectly identifies Dr. Franklin Leslie, a physician who took up marathon running after his retirement.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Franklin Lane, retired and busy as ever

Having already given up marathon running six years ago, Franklin Lane was compelled in the fall to suspend his routine of running 25 miles a week because his knees were bothering him. It seems that time, which has had 78 years to catch him, is starting to gain on Dr. Lane.

He's not been inclined to slow down in retirement, during which he has maintained a schedule of running, tennis, graduate school classes, volunteering as an internist at a downtown clinic and attending Rotary Club meetings. When he retired in 1988, Dr. Lane simply preferred not to shift gears so radically from his working life as an internist in private practice and in affiliation with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Union Memorial Hospital.


"In my work, and this is not gilding the lily, I used to work 70 hours a week," says Dr. Lane, who graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1941. "I just couldn't stop and do nothing."

Soon after he retired he entered the master's in liberal arts program at Notre Dame College. He began classes the following year and finished the degree in 1991. A year later, he enrolled in the master's in professional writing program at Towson State University, where he is pursuing the degree one course at a time.

"I have no objective other than to enlighten and enjoy myself," says Dr. Lane, who lives in Towson with Mazie, 73, his wife of 52 years.

"I like to learn, I like to be among young people."

The year he retired, he ran his last marathon, at age 72, completing the 26-mile course through downtown Baltimore in about four hours, 20 minutes.

"Terrible" time, says the grandfather of three, adding, "I don't think I could run one now."

No, not after prostate surgery early last month and complications of an intestinal infection. He figures it may be another four weeks before he gets back to his schedule of singles and doubles tennis, and perhaps even a little jogging here and there.

"I don't think there's any reason why I shouldn't be able to get back to normal activities," says Dr. Lane. When one workday ends for Kenneth Harris, another often begins.

In his free time, the account representative for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland volunteers at WEAA-FM, runs the Glen Oaks Improvement Association in Northeast Baltimore, and is a mentor for young African-American males.

Finding time for these activities isn't difficult, he says. Getting youngsters -- and the public -- to listen sometimes is.

"There are so many negative images of African-American males," says Mr. Harris, 31, a father of two. "I'm not a multimillionaire or anything, but I think of myself as a positive role model. . . . I try to promote how important it is to have goals and be assertive."

During his school presentations, he sometimes impersonates Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to win over crowds. Once he has their attention, though, he focuses on more serious subjects, such as staying in school and drug abuse.

"The joy I get is that I'm able to actually have a chance to impact on their lives before the real world hits them," he says.

Growing up in Northwest Baltimore, the real world hit Kenneth Harris early. "The majority of the guys I grew up with are deceased, in jail or hanging out on street corners," he says.

He credits his mother, Sylvia, who was active in the PTA, with teaching him community activism. That involvement has brought recognition. Several months ago, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke awarded him a citizen's citation.

"My motto to kids is: 'If you change seeing, you can change being,' " he says. "If you see yourself being an executive, a doctor or an architect, you can wind up there."

Mary Corey

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