Opponents quiver as love fills the air above the battlefield


January 13, 1995|By DAN RODRICKS

The Maryland Senate opened its legislative session Wednesday with the traditional flurry of bon mots, high-rite schmoozing and back-patting. Many of the comments were undoubtedly heartfelt, but when you get several dozen politicians in the same room before an audience of friends and family, they can lay the sweet rhetoric on with a trowel.

Or maybe a shovel.

At one time or another, the solons described each other, their guests or the Senate itself as "illustrious," "considerate," "compassionate," "caring," "special," "talented," "able," "dear," "dedicated," "enthusiastic," "beautiful," "distinguished" and "fine." (And this was opening day. You should hear what they say when they actually do something.)

Senators said they were "honored" at least 13 times, "proud" at least eight times, and "privileged" at least six times. On three occasions, they referred to the Senate as an "august body." On five occasions, they gave members standing ovations.

Love was in the air. Even longtime foes offered flattery. Take Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. He has disparaged Parris Glendening for years, feuded with him, competed with him for political power in Prince George's County. These days, they're getting along much better. "I want you to know," Miller told his audience in the Senate chamber, "that we're delighted to have our good friend, the former county executive of Prince George's County and the current governor-elect of Maryland, the Hon. Parris Glendening, join us." And wasn't that special?

Doctor in the House

Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a legislative freshman from Baltimore County and an emergency room physician, answered the call for a doctor twice on the opening day of the General Assembly. Security personnel pulled him away from the session to help a fellow delegate (nosebleed, nothing serious) and the wife of another delegate (abdominal pains, moderately serious). ZTC Morhaim, who won a seat in the 11th District in November, is on leave from his clinical practice at Franklin Square while the legislature is in session.

Here's to you

Hugh Sisson, who created Maryland's first pub-brewery at the family-owned restaurant in South Baltimore six years ago, is breaking out on his own, hoping to start a brewery of his own, and hoping to call it the Clipper City. Sisson's, whose Stockade ale became quite popular with natives -- "I buys it by the bucket," says a buddy of mine in mock Cockney -- has been working on his craft while running the restaurant. Now he wants to focus all his attention on brewing the lagers, porters, ale and wheats that have won him respect in the fraternity of local microbreweries and brew pubs.

Set 'em up, Joe

Speaking of beer, Turkey Joe Trabert, that lovable galoot who knows a thing or two about pouring a draft, will be working the bar at the Camden Pub tomorrow afternoon during a two-hour fund raiser for the Babe Ruth Museum (1 p.m.-3 p.m., 647 W. Pratt St.). Turkey, who was a saloonkeeper in Fells Point once upon a time, will be joined at the bar by Baseball Billy Jones and Matt "The Load" Dryer. All bartender tips and bucket donations go to the museum. Look for Barry Shetrone, the first Baltimore-born modern Oriole ("Number 40 on the scorecard, No. 1 in your hearts," says Turkey); John Miller, who pitched for the Orioles back in the mid-1960s; former shortstop Tim Nordbrook; and Susan Luery, sculptor of the bronze Ruth statue to be unveiled next month on the 100th anniversary of the Babe's Baltimore birth.

Verbal treasures

Overheard on local TV news report: "As you can see, Al, traffic down here is moving at a standstill." Overheard on New Year's Eve: "Some people drink too much. They drink themselves into Bolivia."

Pooch takes prize

Barbara MacLeod, who works for the state Department of Natural Resources, is one of those folk who has "never won anything." The lottery. Raffles. Door prizes. Nothin'. Her dog, a 3-year-old Benji-look-alike named Taggert, has all the luck in the family. Before Christmas, MacLeod entered Taggert's name in a drawing for a brand new mountain bike at Ledo's in Severna Park. "I've never won anything so on a whimsy I put Taggert's name down on the chit," MacLeod says. "Then, I found a message on my recorder that 'Taggert MacLeod' had won the bike.' I called Ledo's and told them it was a dog. The young man said, 'Your dog has just won a bicycle.'" Taggert hasn't tried the new bike yet. "It's still in the box," MacLeod says. "Taggert hasn't lifted a paw to assemble it."

More treasures

Gov. William Donald Schaefer had some lovely parting gifts for each member of his Cabinet at their final meeting with him yesterday: A diploma from the "Schaefer School of Government" and a gold "S," the kind high schoolers stitch to varsity letter sweaters. Maryland Public Television passed out VHS copies of its flattering documentary on Schaefer's tenure in Annapolis. The Cabinet gave Schaefer a small Waterford eagle.

Coming Monday in This Just In: The grand finale of the Don Donaldo Ring Cycle.

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