Anne Arundel real estate agents take a summer break from winter's woes

January 16, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

Sigrid Kingsbury and Sandy Saddler stuck pink flamingos and seashells in the snowdrifts near their office yesterday, broke out grills and lawn furniture and declared winter over -- at least from noon to 2 p.m.

The managers at O'Conor, Piper & Flynn's Glen Burnie office threw the year's first "Downey Ocean" beach party on the brick sidewalk out front. They threw on shorts and sandals, spread out beach towels, grilled hot dogs and turned the radio up.

"We want to get people's mind off the snow," said Ms. Saddler, as she grilled the dogs and bopped to "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees.

"We're just getting everybody back out instead of being cooped up in the house," echoed Ms. Kingsbury, who momentarily returned to reality when ice slipped into her sandals.

The party drew about 30 people, most of them real estate agents from the combined Glen Burnie-Pasadena office in the 7400

block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. But a few workers from other nearby offices stopped by for baked beans, cole slaw, pina coladas, potato chips and popcorn.

The agents, clad in everything from shorts to knee-high boots, offered food to passers-by, most of whom declined. Instead, they stared in disbelief at the scene: the picnic lunch -- complete with plastic ants -- set on top of a beach towel-covered table next to the door.

Some revelers tossed a flying disc while others practiced golf putting on the sidewalk. Near the grill, a shovel with plastic ferns attached to the handle was set up in the snow as a makeshift palm tree and agent Mary E. Smith lay on a blanket in the 2-foot drift, staking out her place in the snow.

"I'm getting a snow tan here," she said.

Passing motorists, including a county worker driving a snowplow, tooted their horns.

Ms. Saddler said the idea of the party was to lift people's spirits and to draw agents out of their homes and back to work. According to some, the plan worked.

"I wasn't coming in today until they called and told me about this," said Carmen Flynn. "I don't like this cold weather anyway. I said I need cheering up."

Don Jaron said he stopped by just to see if his co-workers really were throwing a party in the snow, and Purnell Mack ran out on the party to show a house.

Earl Stephan said he was just glad to be there.

"If I didn't know you guys when I rode past here I would've said, 'Look at those idiots out there. I wish I could join them,' " he said.

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