Aiming for fameAT A BREAKFAST meeting Tuesday in Linthicum...

Sometimes Scene in the County

December 07, 1997|By Cheryl Tan Vehicular faux pas, Part I

Aiming for fame

AT A BREAKFAST meeting Tuesday in Linthicum near BWI, 130 business executives gathered to discuss economic development in the Baltimore area, movie dollars and the film industry.

But at one table, Laurence D. Packer, a district sales manager for M/A-COM, which sells parts for electronic equipment, had something less weighty in mind.

Pointing to James Finnerty, a co-executive producer of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and one of the speakers that morning, Packer said he was eager to meet him.

"My father does TV commercials," he explained. "He was in furniture sales and just decided he wanted to do commercials one day. So he walked into a talent agency and he's been doing it for a few years now. I figured he would not be proud of me if I didn't try the same thing."

As soon as Finnerty finished speaking and left the room to head back to the "Homicide" set, Packer rushed after him.

Returning a few minutes later, Packer smiled broadly and whispered: "I gave him my card."

A RECENT TRIP down Ritchie Highway came to an abrupt and embarrassing stop when a Glen Burnie driver of impeccable reputation committed a vehicular faux pas in full view of an observant county police officer.

The light at Ritchie Highway and Aquahart Road was red. Sitting in the far right lane, our earnest driver caught sight of green and started to pull forward. Midway through the intersection she noticed the green light was actually an arrow for the drivers in the lane beside her to turn.

The county police officer directly behind her noticed, too.

Lights flashing, the officer followed the driver as she pulled over. Approaching the car he found her giggling -- embarrassed and feeling foolish. Her 14-year-old son attempted to slink down in the front seat.

The officer struggled to conceal a smile.

"I had to pull you over," he said. "Everyone in the other cars was watching."

Reaching out the car window, the driver poked/patted the officer's chest in an awkward display of apology.

"Now I'll have to arrest you for assault," he warned.

Using excellent judgment, the fine officer elected to send the driver on her way with a firm warning -- complete stops at the red lights.

And no poking the police.


Bonita Formwalt

Safety first

A WOMAN WAS leaving her Glen Burnie apartment Friday when a young man with a cute brown puppy at his feet called up from the basement stairwell: "Can you unlock the laundry room for me?" The man, who had a spray bottle tucked in a loop of his fatigue pants, explained that he needed to get into the laundry room to "get the water" and that he couldn't find his boss who had the key.

On any other day, it would have seemed a simple request. But the woman didn't recognize the young man, and her mind immediately jumped to reports of a serial rapist assaulting three women in Glen Burnie since April and suspected in attacks in Virginia. The scary part? The attacks occurred during daylight and two happened in laundry rooms.

So instead of being helpful, the woman told the man to get a key from the management office, two buildings over. He didn't protest, but he didn't make a move to leave either. So she reported the strange man to the management office. With a call on her walkie-talkie to another employee, the woman in the management office quickly determined that the young man was a legitimate worker and that his boss probably did have the laundry-room key.

That bit of news was reassuring, but it still leaves the larger worry of a rapist at large. Will it ever be safe to go back in the laundry room?

Tanya Jones

Newsletter on hiatus

NINE YEARS and 46 issues of the "Glen Burnieland" newsletter are enough.

The sitcom-on-paper about middle-class suburban life is going on hiatus so that its author and desktop publisher can try his hand at fiction.

The newsletter is the exaggerated family saga of Chuck Jones, native son of Glen Burnie who would move home, except that his wife, known to readers as Ms. Maggie, prefers Laurel. There, they raise their two children and explore such issues as why little boys are sticky and negotiating with the tooth fairy.

If you think such detail would interest only Jones' parents, guess again. He started with newsletters to 22 friends and relatives. Now he's got more than 1,000 subscribers around the world.

Still "Mr. Chuck" is calling it quits this month to try his hand at fiction.

"Glen Burnie is like any other town," he said a few years ago, which is why he named the newsletter "Glen Burnieland."

"No matter where I go," Jones said, "there's always a little bit of Glen Burnie in me."

Andrea F. Siegel

Vehicular faux pas, Part II

ALMOST EVERY morning in Odenton along Route 32 just before the Interstate 97 junction, a cop waits hidden in the shadow of a road sign. It's the perfect spot, right before the crest of a hill where the officer can see drivers' cars long before drivers can see the officer's.

The spot gives officers so much of a head start on cars that they flag drivers down by hand as they come up the hill.

Most commuters heading to work, however, seem to be catching on. Right before the turn that leads to the hill, a dozen brake lights flash each morning as motorists shift into the right hand lane.

There's always one car though, annoyed at the sudden slowing of traffic, that peels into the left hand lane and blazes ahead. Big mistake.

Sometimes several police cars hide in the shadows. Sometimes the officers sit in each other's cars and don't seem to be watching traffic at all.

And always, when they leave, newspapers, coffee cups and papers litter the grass.

Laura Sullivan

Pub Date: 12/07/97

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