Here's to 1997

December 28, 1997|By Peter A. Jay

HAVRE DE GRACE -- Toot them horns and ring them chimes! These are oh such festive times! Candles, elves and funny hats! Traditions ancient, and ersatz. How could any lad or lass fail to love -- Kwanzukkahmas?

Gather round the wassail bowl, but do not mention, please, your soul, or lawyers from the CLU will swiftly serve a writ on you. In public places, they've averred, secularity's preferred. Buy your gifts, or sell your wares, but don't get caught committing prayers. That's not culturally diverse, and it could get you fined, or worse.

Verbal bouquets

So put away that moral compass. Come along, let's join the rumpus. In the old year's final hours, what say we toss some verbal flowers? Let's single out and celebrate the best and worst from our small state, like those who for some deed they've done achieved their moment in The Sun. In addition, if we choose, we'll toast a few whose names weren't news.

Roses, then, for all the folk who owe their jobs to Mayor Schmoke. Pin a pink carnation on the wide lapel of William Don, a former mayor of renown; save one too for Earle P. Brown, and while we're at it, what the hell, set one aside for Lawrence Bell.

Now the party's getting jolly. Remember Boutros Boutros-Ghali? (Oops, I deserve a reprimand. He's got no ties to Maryland.) Deliver several lush bouquets to state policeman Charles H. Mays; to Sharon Weber, kindy teacher; Rory Harris, who's a preacher; Patuxent warden Archie Gee; Delegate R.A. McKee.

Here's to Janice Piccinini; retired jurist Robert Sweeney; Ray Miller and the boys of summer (less Randy Myers, what a bummer); the Clarence Mitchells, Three and Four; my friend the former Irna Moore, now mostly known as Irna Jay. For Jack Lapides, shout ''Ole.''

Recognize as well Mark Decker; Howard County's nice Chuck Ecker; good ol' boys like John M. Glynn, Ronald Guns and Albert Wynn; from small Kent County, Daniel Brook; labor lawyer Samuel Cook; George L. Russell; Alfred Truitt; Worcester County's Margaret Pruitt.

Please make sure you don't retire without saluting Eric Zeier. Eric's Vinny Testaverde's sub. He helped, this fall, our football club. So did P. Boulware, a rooke. (We beat the 'Skins of John Kent Cooke.) Ring your little New Year's bell to bring good luck to Art Modell.

Now, turning from the Daddy Raven, here's to Marilyn McCraven. (The Sun's McCraven -- does she dread it? -- gets the stuff from Jay to edit. That's harder work, I'd guess, by far, than handling prose by Rascovar.)

A racetrack czar

Take note of Morgan's Burney Hollis; retired newsman Robbie Wallis; Maryland Treasurer Richard Dixon; Montgomery County's Diane Nixon; booming broadcaster Tom Marr; and Joe DeFrancis, racetrack czar. (That reminds us, pour some wine for hometown trainer Sonny Hine. And wow, is Edgar Prado hot. Three thousand winners, that's a lot.)

Songs are waiting to be sung about the famous Larry Young. Does he dine on haute cuisine while gliding in his limousine? What's it cost (no, no, just kidding!) to get a contract without bidding? Are sources leaking red-hot skinny to the staff of Jervis Finney? We'll find out soon, but not quite yet. The fun's not over, I would bet.

Sing ''Auld Lang Syne'' for William Jews, and sing again for Harry Hughes. The latter, asked if he would please investigate a fish disease, responded to the public's need and did the job with grace and speed. (He headed up a special group. Its well-hedged verdict: chicken poop.)

A new judge

New Year's cheers to Robert Berry, the state law library's Cindy Terry, Delegate Nathaniel Oaks, Howard Denis and Carl Stokes; also new judge Allen Schwait; Ron Smith, whose show the lefties hate; Lenny Webster, Alex Doyle, Patricia Cushwa, Caryn Coyle; Bob Somerby, who roomed with Gore; and Davey Johnson, shown the door.

Hurry now, or you'll be late to board Train 1998. It's pulling out soon. All aboard! Oh good, here's Ross Peddicord, and yet another well-known face. Louis Goldstein, take your place! What Louis says, perhaps I should: ''God bless you one and all real good.''

Peter A. Jay is a writer and farmer.

Pub Date: 12/28/97

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