Advice offered in quest for birth mother


December 19, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

Wednesday's story about Amy Fischer-Abbott's desire to find the mother who abandoned her on a Pimlico playground in 1966 provoked numerous comments and telephone calls - many of them from readers who have been involved in adoptions, but none so far from Fischer-Abbott's long-gone mother or anyone connected to her.

The most interesting reaction came from a 37-year-old Baltimore woman who asked only to be identified as Toby. She offered a personal tale, some observations and warnings that could benefit Fischer-Abbott in her quest. I think her experience makes compelling reading for all of us.

"When I was 9, my parents divorced and for a short while my two younger sisters and I lived with our mother," Toby e-mailed "Nine months later my father came one day on our way to school and told us we were going for a ride with him. That was 28 years ago. We never saw our mother or heard from her in all those years, though we had a relationship with her father and sister, and my mother had opportunities to contact us if she chose to.

"We always fantasized about what it would have been like to have our mother in our lives. This past summer, after so many years, my mother came to Baltimore for the unveiling of her father's headstone.

"After meeting her, I realized that it probably would have been better had I not seen her again. What can this person say to make up for so many lost years? ... I realized that my fantasy was indeed a fantasy. She never would have been the mother I envisioned - like the mother I am to my kids, always there for them, no matter what.

"The hug and the kiss she gave me seemed empty and shallow. I felt no bond or feelings for her. She was just someone I hadn't seen in many years. We exchanged addresses and phone numbers in July, but I haven't heard from her. I'm not surprised. ... How anyone can let a day go by without knowingly seeing their children is beyond my comprehension.

"I leave this final thought for Amy. Sometimes what we find in people is not what we imagined or would have liked. It's disappointing, to say the least. I wish Amy luck and hope she gets her answers. There is peace once you find that the life you had without them was much better than it would have been with them in your life."

Musings on Martick's

T. B. Alfriend of Pasadena says the recent column about Morris Martick's restaurant in Baltimore brought back a lot of memories. "One story about old Martick's concerns a hole in the wall of the men's room," Alfriend tells us. "The hole had been covered by a square of cardboard, which over time had become weathered and water-stained. Someone - Morris? - thought the resultant design unique, framed the cardboard, entered it in a local art contest, and it won a prize. It's typical of the funny, strange and wonderful things that went on at Martick's during those years." ... The mad poet Tom DiVenti just mailed us a copy of Carl Watson's not-for-everyone "Beneath the Empire of the Birds" (Apathy Press Poets) and said he didn't see us at the Martick's reunion. "Was I that blotto?" Tommy wants to know. No, pal, just misinformed. ... Happy birthday, George Figgs! The Orpheum Cinema owner, film maven and Poe-death scholar turns 50 and plays the blues tonight at The Lodge in Highlandtown.

On a high note

Kudos to that modest but fearless member of the eight-man a cappella group, Jones Falls Express, for his dramatic tackle of a shoplifter of compact discs from a store in Towson Commons last week.

"The guy was obviously a music lover," says the singer, who had just finished a caroling gig when he nabbed the wrongdoer. "So I'm going to make him a copy of the new JFX CD when I go for the trial in February. He'll love the title, 'All Sales Final.' "

Hotel stories

First District City Councilman Nick D'Adamo, quoted by the East Baltimore Guide during a recent debate over the Wyndham Hotel proposal: "Politically the Bread Man [bakery millionaire John Paterakis] is good to me and good to my colleagues on the council floor." (That Nicky! Tellin' like it is!) ... Opponents of the Big John Hotel should get a cynical laugh out of the city Planning Department's mission statement, as it appears on the World Wide Web: "To guide the harmonious development of the City by coordinating development so that it complements and improves upon the appearance of the City while meeting standards set by zoning and existing plans." (All except for the existing plans for Inner Harbor East!) ... "The whole controversy that's come out of this hotel matter," a businessman of considerable stature whispers to TJI, "is the fruit of a poisoned tree, the mayor selecting the Inner Harbor East site against the recommendation of [the Baltimore Development Commission staff]. All questions about height and funding would never have come up had he chosen the [old News American] site, as recommended."

On the trail

Clarence and Mildred Faries have lived on Sunbrook Avenue in Northeast Baltimore for 45 years, and they've had a vegetable garden in the back most of that time. Last month, the man of the house discovered a ring there. "Somebody's class ring from Herndon [Va.] High School, Class of 1962, with the initials A.V.J. or A.V.T.," says the woman of the house. "It's small; it might be a girl's ring. It's a complete mystery how it got here. I think it would be remarkable to find the owner."

Contacted yesterday, Herndon High officials discovered a female student with the initials "A.V.T." in the 1962 yearbook. They're going to try to contact her through alumni who still live nearby and organize reunions. The trail is warm. Watch this space.

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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