Romantic radiologist gets to the heart of the matter

This Just In. . .

April 18, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

I admire the man who puts a little effort into a marriage proposal -- you know, besides just thinking about it for a long time -- so today we offer David Glasser. He's 29 years old, in his final year of residency in the University of Maryland Medical System. His specialty is radiology; he sees a lot of X-rays. The young doctor has a girlfriend named Melissa Stein. She teaches second-graders with dyslexia at Jemicy School in Baltimore County. These two, they're a serious item.

One day last week, Melissa invites David to meet her kids and talk about X-rays. She thinks the Jemicy kids will find what he does interesting, and she's right. The kids are enthralled, especially when the doctor presents X-rays of human stomach cavities with foreign objects -- small toys and coins that ended up where they didn't belong.

The final X-ray in David's demonstration is a self-portrait. It shows his chest cavity, and it looks completely normal -- except for the small circle over his heart.

"What's that?" David asks, with his girlfriend standing in the rear of the classroom. "What could it be?"

"A ring!" the kids yell.

Of course a ring, Glasser tells the kids. And he reaches into his shirt pocket, pulls out a diamond engagement ring and calls for Melissa to come to the head of the class. He drops to his knee and proposes. The kids cheer. Melissa's parents, grandparents and aunts walk into the room. Tears fly. There's a cake. Outside there's a limousine to take the newly engaged to a fancy downtown hotel and a big dinner, a night of champagne and roses.

I like a guy who puts a little thought -- and high-energy photons -- into a marriage proposal.

The second time around

Speaking of marriage -- Delphine Bull and Jim Chenoweth are doing it for the second time this century. They were kids when they married in Baltimore in 1943. He was 18, she was 16. He went into the Army during World War II. Afterward, they weren't happy; they parted company in 1946. They both remarried and had children, both survived their second spouses. Delphine lived in Owings Mills, Jim in Selbyville, Del. One day this winter, he decided to call and find out what she was doing for the rest of her life. They talked, they went out. Soon they decided to do it all over again -- he at 72, she at 70. Who proposed? "We sort of asked each other," Delphine says. The wedding is Thursday in Ocean City -- 54 years to the day after they were first wed. Just about all their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be there, including Laura Ann Simmons, the daughter from their first marriage.

Mad Vac attack

The sidewalks and gutters along Greenmount Avenue, between 25th Street and North Avenue, have been strewn with trash for years. The "street dirt" guys from the Bureau of Solid Waste fought a long, losing battle. They couldn't seem to keep up with the mess. Then, the other day, I noticed something -- a transformation. There wasn't a lick of paper or plastic anywhere. I hardly recognized the place.

That's the work of Elbe Stevenson driving a Mad Vac 231D, a compact, four-wheel, diesel-powered unit with a long hose that arches over the cab and vacuums debris (and probably small dogs, if you're not careful) from the sidewalk and gutter. It also has a powerful sweeper. I know guys in Carroll and Harford counties who are deeply into state-of-the-art lawn tractors with multiple attachments; they'd drool if they saw a Mad Vac.

The city has four of them in operation, according to Charles McMillion of the bureau's maintenance division. Stevenson drives his unit along Greenmount, from 43rd Street all the way to North Avenue, each day. "And, if he has time, he tries to hit North Avenue as well," McMillion said. Other Mad Vacs clean streets in Pigtown/Washington Village, Park Heights and along Harford Road. Mad Vacs, acquired at $50,000 each by the city in the past nine months, also compress trash as they go. Each unit can handle between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds before the stuff has to be dumped.

Just too bad they have to be used every day to keep up with demand.

Another look at 'Avalon'

I watched Barry Levinson's "Avalon" again the other night and realized what he had achieved with that film -- not only a beautiful cinematic scrapbook of his Baltimore family, but one of the first serious commentaries on how the dramatic transformation of American society after World War II weakened the bonds between people and whole communities. He was pointing out something we haven't much stopped to think about -- the trade-off for moving to the suburbs and the scattered, even isolated, communities there. We spend a lot of time in cars, in front of television sets, and, now, in front of computers. We simply don't spend as much time talking to each other, and it's the music of words -- families and friends yapping, arguing, laughing -- that Levinson celebrates in "Avalon." It's a superb film worth seeing again.

Master the meatless moment

Credit cards offers -- they just inundate our mailboxes and turn up everywhere. The latest arrived the other day: "Introducing the new NO-ANNUAL-FEE Vegetarian Resource Group MasterCard."

Wonder if they'll take it at Ruth's Chris.

Pub Date: 4/18/97

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