A Tear, a Sigh, a Toast We Pour to All the Stars of '94

January 01, 1995|By PETER A. JAY

HAVRE DE GRACE — Havre de Grace. -- Maryland, I feel your pain. That drippy sound you hear ain't rain.

It's New Year's name-drop time once more for those who live near Baltimore. Names, and pigeon poop, go splat when dropped on newsprint . . . Bill. (Like that.)

You're partied out, the dawn's just breaking, and your fuzzy head is aching. Exhausted after last night's fun, you stagger out to get The Sun. It's lying damply on the loam, and inside is this dumb poem. You look and read -- and having read, no doubt return at once to bed. Perhaps, a-fumin' and a-cursin', you telephone the ombudsperson.

Your poet sings of days of yore, far back in good old '94, and fires off his odd salutes to those who've vanished down the chutes, as well as some who stayed alive to welcome 1995. Happy New Year, hiccups he, iambics dancing woozily.

His subjects include politicians, ophthalmologists, morticians, tootlers of the flute or sax, writers, editors and hacks, winners, losers, heroes, louts, celebrities (both Ins and Outs), oily lawyers hired to lobby, ex-debutantes who still act snobby, and assorted others whose surnames just might have made the news.

First, while new stars take their places, let's take note of absent faces.

A storm much like those known in Nature vacuumed out the legislature. Gone like smoke upon the wind are Ethel Murray, Richard Rynd, and 24 incumbents more. (All Democrats, if you keep score.)

The voters played a little rough with Anne Arundel's poor Ray Huff. They heaved out Senator Pat Sher, but kept Republican John Derr. Christine Jones they crisply tossed. Two Murphys won, one Kelly lost.

Montgomery's Larry Levitan, the tax-increasers' favorite man, got out of step with those he taxed. He was definitively axed. Now, and this is quite a stitch, he plans to lobby, and get rich. He'll prowl the Senate chamber, where he'll see Jean Roesser in his chair.

Paula Hollinger, the meanie, ate up Janice Piccinini in state Senate Dist. 11. Norman Stone still reigns in 7. Gerald Winegrad, prince of green, will depart the Senate scene. So will Harford's Habern Freeman; he'll have more time to water ski, man. It was the cruelest of Novembers for many legislative members, and worst of all, for certain folks, was the sting of sharp-edged jokes. Do missing members make you think of John Wayne Bobbitt? Have a drink.

That's sad, so sad, but life's still fun in Senate District 21, in beautiful Prince George's (hey, an oxymoron, by the way). There Senator Art Dorman works, assisted by a few young Turks, to keep the verdant local turf unspoiled by spreading urban scurf, and all the cognoscenti rush to shake the hand of Barbara Frush, a freshman legislator who belongs to Dr. Dorman's krewe.

Some counties chose their chief execs without a single thought of sex. Howard's Ecker blew away the well-regarded Susan Gray, but Harford's voters, just as firm, gave Eileen Rehrmann one more term. In Towson, Roger Hayden's out. (About his pension, there's some doubt.) Dutch Ruppersberger's now in charge -- a right-wing Democrat, size Large.

Some races were intensely fought. Some places, votes -- it's said -- were bought. Sauerbrey almost won, then sued; Glendening's lawyers called this rude. Sarbanes decimated Brock. Bob Ehrlich cleaned the Brewster clock. (The Brewster district, called 9-B, has tilted sharply GOP.) Roscoe Bartlett made some hay by catching White House lads at play. They'd gone a-golfing in a chopper; when caught they told the press a whopper. Roscoe now seems highly prized; he's certified White House Despised.

Howard's Margy Rappaport will be that county's clerk of court. Congressman Roy Dyson (ret.) returned from nowhere and was set, 'midst cheers, upon a Senate seat. St. Mary's County thinks Roy's neat.

Well, what's ahead? It's not auspicious. Election winners get ambitious. They can't get started soon enough. Activism, that's the stuff! They'd like to make us think in liters, ban our semi-automatic heaters, force helmets onto bikers' skulls, plug the holes in skipjacks' hulls, widen all the school-bus aisles to help out obese juveniles, preserve the precious family farm, make the summers seem less warm. (The antidote to all this woe is pretty simple. Just vote No.)

Some are frenzied, some serene. All, of course, are clean, and green. They don't take bribes, they love the Bay. They go to church, and while there, pray. They'll give us more and tax us less -- it sounds perplexing, I confess, but maybe there's no cause for fear. They do all seem to be sincere.

So, wish them well, and all the best. Urge them please to get some rest. We pray that they, and we, survive to see the end of '95. '94 at least is done. Happy New Year, everyone.

Peter A. Jay is a writer and farmer.

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