Senate defining moment will come in Young vote

This Just In...

January 16, 1998|By DAN ROCRICKS

I heard a savvy guy from West Baltimore say: "What difference does this Larry Young thing really make to most people? Most people measure a politician by what they see and feel when they walk to the end of the front walk. 'What's the quality of life on my street?' That's it."

But that's not it. That's not all there is. Even in this cynical, scandal-weary, get-mine-and-get-over society we're living in, we can't let go of things that keep a democracy healthy - integrity, honesty, fairness, wisdom, leadership. Sounds like a lot of corny blah-blah, but it's true. Do we have standards or not?

Today, members of the full Maryland Senate get to answer the question. It's really a defining moment for them. They get to show us what they're made of and what they stand for, what they'll tolerate and what they'll reject in the behavior of their peers, what they think is just, what they think is unfair.

The rest of us will learn something about the Senate, and something about ourselves, from "this Larry Young thing." Today we find out, really, how serious we are about good government.

Wrong Colts

They've really done it this time. The cable shopping network QVC Inc. has been advertising a commemorative "Super Bowl Train," with the logo and team colors of each winner, from 1967 to the present, on the side of boxcars.

Fine, swell - except that the winner of Super Bowl V is listed as the Indianapolis Colts!

"Can you believe that?" says TJI reader Don Manser, who rolled off the couch when he saw the sacrilege Monday night. "I could not believe it."

We called QVC headquarters in Pennsylvania yesterday - as if registering a complaint/inquiry would make any difference - and explained the issue to a sympathetic Robin Blane, Maryland native and Towson State grad who works in the shopping network's public relations department.

Alas, she didn't get back to me before press time. More later, get it.

Jerry, Henry and Jeff

We had a late lunch buffet at New No Da Ji, 25th and Charles. The sushi was up to its usual standard, but so was Jerry Springer. The saurian host of America's most grotesque television show was on the big screen behind the sushi bar, and he was interviewing a pathetic and obese couple (combined weight, 1,200 pounds) in their bed. The husband wore only shorts. Springer asked the couple if they "have any intimacy." Not a pretty picture, folks, and not so good for digestion of raw fish, if you know what I mean. ... Merchants and a beat cop in Hampden tell of a local businessman who never stops combing his hair. "Never" is an overstatement, but apparently the fellow has had the comb in motion enough to secure a reputation. We'll be on the lookout next time we hit The Avenue. ... A snowbird tells me that some BGE workers on assignment to help restore power to ice-locked Portland, Maine, got a standing ovation from customers when they walked into the local Denny's the other day. ... Too bad about J.P. Henry's. All three deli-pub locations - Towson Commons, Charles Village and Bel Air - closed this month after more financial difficulties for personable owners Henry Pertman and Jeff Pressman. Way too bad. Those are good guys. They had a fine thing at the original Henry and Jeff's on North Charles Street, but never seemed to hit a stride after that. Whatever they do next, TJI wishes them well.

It's a long year

A special Bawlmer moment, overheard at Ollie's Bargain Outlet on Ritchie Highway by TJI reader Jamie Watson:

Daughter: Ma, this says 16-month calendar. I thought there were only 12 months in a year.

Mom: There's extra ones, ya dimwit!

Musically inclined

I'm happy to have the new Jones Falls Express (a cappella ensemble, once known as the Fox Heads) compact disc in my rack. It's another winner in a growing array of well-produced CDs by talented local musicians. JFX just might be the King Singers of Baltimore. Their arrangements of pop tunes are smart and interesting. The adagio "How High The Moon" is a sweet surprise. I Another surprise that just came my way - "Singer Songwriter Beggarman Thief," first album of Five Chinese Brothers, none of whom is Chinese and one of whom, Tom Meltzer, comes from Baltimore. What a melange - rock, country, blues, folk. You might call this "alternative country." Doesn't matter. It's good, original stuff, including Meltzer's "Baltimore," which makes a really sharp, funny, mature statement about growing up and moving out, and forgetting and remembering selectively.

"You know, we'll always trade what we've got for what we had before/ Everybody's a fool for something, I'm a fool for Baltimore."

The group has two other albums - "Stone Soup" and "Let's Kill Saturday Night." Five Chinese Brothers will play the Ram's Head (Annapolis) late next month. I New Baltimore band to add to the Canonical List of Weird Band Names (as seen on the Internet): Unprovoked Moose Attack. They should go between Universal Orgiastic Picnic and Unstoppable Kamikaze Idiots.

This Bud's for her

Five children gathered at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson for a class on preparing to be a big brother or sister were asked by the nurse-educator what items Mommy might be packing in her overnight bag for the hospital.

"A picture of me," said one girl.

"So she'll remember us," added her younger sister.

"Shoes," said another child.

"Clothes," said another.

"A beer?" said one little boy, about 3.

Pub Date: 1/16/98

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