Fresh studies show that the epicenter of the region's economic boom is Baltimore County, and with all the new jobs being created, certainly there must be one - even a part-time one - for Tara Ferstermann. But, it's complicated. Very complicated.
The person willing to give Tara a job will have to make a commitment to accommodate and train her because Tara is confined to a wheelchair, the victim of a brain-stem injury from a car accident in the summer of 1992.
Tara was only 16 when the car in which she was a passenger slammed into a tree less than a mile from her house in White Marsh, near Bird River. She was in University of Maryland Medical Center for several weeks - comatose for much of that time - then for several months at Kennedy Krieger Institute. In time, her parents, Bonnie and Fred Ferstermann, took her back home on Bird River Grove Road. They made some alterations to their house, and, of course, major alterations to their lifestyles.
Tara managed to graduate from high school only a year behind schedule. She got her diploma with the class of 1995 at Perry Hall High. She didn't, however, get to attend nursing school, as had been her dream.
Instead, she had to learn a new way to live. She got a lot of help with her disability through the Maryland Rehabilitation Center. Once no one could understand her when she spoke; her speech is much improved now. She is 21, lives with her parents and gets out of the house a few days a week for a few hours as a volunteer at the Baltimore County public library branch in White Marsh.
Her mother provides all of Tara's transportation because the Ferstermanns live too far from transit lines to be eligible for public transportation for the disabled. But that's not why Bonnie Ferstermann contacted TJI.
She wants to help her daughter get on the road to independence, whatever it takes. She looks at all the development and job creation in the White Marsh area, in particular, and thinks there must be some employer there who would give Tara a chance. It's complicated; Bonnie Ferstermann knows that. But, she says, an employer willing to give it a try can get some help adapting the workplace to accommodate a young woman in a wheelchair. Certainly, she says, there must be someone out there willing to give it a try.
Enrich your word power, 1
Corrections, clarifications, apologies and one "oy." I I kibbutzed when I should have kibitzed in Wednesday's column. A friendly, chatty department store salesman was said to have "kibbutzed." I meant kibitz, of course, as in what we do over great deli sandwiches in Attman's kibitz room: We sit, we talk, we laugh. According to Leo Rosten's "The Joy of Yiddish," kibitz means "to joke, fool around, wisecrack, socialize aimlessly." Kibbutz, on the other hand, is a cooperative settlement of farmers in Israel. Aware of the similarity in spelling, Rosten warns: "Do not confuse kibbutz with kibitz, even though every kibbutz probably has its kibitzers." I And another thing: I referred to John Waters being "nonplused" over the weekend after a woman suddenly started yelling at him at a book signing. That means, according to the dictionary belonging to TJI reader Leslie Wilson, that Waters was "so perplexed that [he could] not speak or act further." Which is the exact opposite of what I meant. Waters had a few words with the woman, then went on signing books. "Unfazed" would have been on the mark. Regrets, dear readers.
Enrich your word power, 2
And now I get to point out someone else's goof. This Just In: A recent memorandum circulated by management of the Kenilworth at Charles, Towson. "To: All Residents. It has been brought to our attention that someone is distinguishing their cigarette butts on the floor of the hallways. Please stop this immediately!" Distinguishing cigarettes? I get a picture of someone pointing at the floor, calling out butts by brand names: "Marlboro! And look, over here - Winston Lights!" What's the harm?
Hippodrome by night
Greg Glessner, Hampden guy and legendary Fells Point bartender, is as intrigued as I am about the proposal to turn the old Hippodrome Theater and other grand buildings on Eutaw Street into a new performing arts center. But he's not convinced it's a winner. "Perhaps we can convince our city planners to visit the Hippodrome site at a time other than noon on a Monday!" Greg says. "I bet they have never traversed the Eutaw, Paca corridor on a Friday or Saturday night at 11 or midnight. Since any entertainment facility is going to earn the bulk of its revenue on the weekends, and most shows don't let out till 10 or 11, wouldn't it be prudent to check out the area at a time the project is going to see its highest use? Rational thinking like this could have prevented wasting millions in The Fishmarket, The Brokerage and [in the 1980s] Power Plant debacles. But hey, it's Baltimore. Who's talking rational?"
More on this later.
I like freestyle skiing - it gets a "wow" out of me - though I'm not sure it belongs in the Winter Olympics. Snowboarding is fun - to do, not to watch - but does it deserve to be called Olympian? I think not. I share the view of my Sun colleague, Michael Hill, who recently made the less-is-more argument in the Sunday Sun Perspective section. Except for one thing. For the games at Salt Lake City in 2002, I think the International Olympic Committee should drop snowboarding and freestyle skiing and add one new event - two-man luge over the moguls!
Pub Date: 2/20/98