Despite Tangier rejection, Paul Newman keeps date

This Just In...

March 25, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

His movie might have been spurned by Tangier's born-again Christian elected leaders, but that didn't keep Paul Newman away from the Chesapeake Bay island. The famous leading man had been booked for a private tour of Tangier on Thursday, apparently in anticipation of the filming of a PG-13 movie called "Message in a Bottle." Despite the Town Council's March 9 rejection of Warner Bros.' proposal to film some scenes on the island, Newman kept the date.

Charter boat captains in Crisfield, Keith Ward and Curtis Johns, gave the actor a ride to the island and escorted him to the hardware store. Newman wore a cap and dark glasses and didn't have much to say. He then toured the island in a rented golf cart and left after about two hours, declaring Tangier one of the most beautiful places he'd ever visited.

The Tangier Town Council had said thanks, but no thanks to Newman, his co-star Kevin Costner and more than 130 cast and crew members who would have worked on the island throughout the spring. The council objected to language and sex scenes in the script.

So why was Paul Newman still knocking around the docks?

"No one knows," says Barbara Thomas, who books tour boats to the island from Crisfield. "Maybe he was just curious. The reservations had been made for at least a month for him and for Kevin Costner. Costner didn't make it, though. It's a shame."

"A shame," says Wallace Pruitt, who runs Shirley's Bay View Inn with his wife on Tangier. "I was sitting there Monday night, looking at the Academy Awards on the television, thinking someday that could be Tangier they're talking about or showing. But we'll never know now, will we?"

Pruitt says he's heard the film's producers are looking at locations in Somerset County, on the Eastern Shore.

"Oh, and I almost forgot to tell ya," Pruitt adds, "Pat Robertson's people were down here the other day, working on a story for 'The 700 Club.'" Sure enough. The daily Christian Coalition show is expected to air a report on Tangier's rejection of Hollywood immorality this week. "The 700 Club" airs locally on Channel 45 weekdays at 10 a.m.

Hour drive for a deal

From a TJI reader in Anne Arundel County: "My father-in-law recently died in Texas. My husband and his brother drove over an hour into nearby Austin - an hour being 'nearby' in that part of the country - to a casket manufacturer. They bought one wholesale and put it in the back of the Suburban and delivered it to the funeral home in Flatonia. They saved their mother $2,000!"

Been me, I woulda bought two.

Trout tips

With trout season upon us, I thought I'd pass along a few fishing tips.

Tip No. 1: Go to a tackle shop for your Maryland fishing license. If the shop happens to be in an area with metered parking - Set's in Towson, Tochterman's in Fells Point, for example - make sure you put enough change in the parking meter to cover at least an hour. You might think getting a fishing license is a quick, in-and-out thing, but we of the angling arts tend to lean on counters and yap our yappers and flap our flappers no end. Before you know it, that Maryland fishing license has cost an extra $18 in parking fines. I know. Been there. Done that.

Tip No. 2: Always keep the night crawlers and the cottage cheese in different and distinct containers, on separate shelves of the refrigerator.

Tip No. 3: Keep a hunk of Velveeta handy. When the worms run out, there's nothing that'll attract a stocked rainbow trout better than a little yellow Velveeta ball on a hook. (OK, maybe a piece of leftover ravioli, rolled and dunked in anchovy oil, works better, but the difference is really marginal.)

Tip No. 4: (Seriously, you guys) Don't fish with Velveeta balls, minnows, worms or hot dog bits in places where signs clearly say: "No Bait." Don't take trout out of streams, such as the upper Gunpowder Falls, that are posted: "Catch And Release Only."

Tip No. 5: If you fish on the West Virginia side of the north branch of the Potomac River, avoid making eye contact with other anglers.

Tip No. 6: Don't pan-fry trout while naked.

Tip No. 7: If you're tired of pan-fried trout, mix in a box of Trout Helper.

Tip No. 8: Remember the words of English philosopher John Locke: "He will not miss the hunter's satisfaction; every moment of his pursuit will reward his pains with some delight, and he will have reason to think his time not ill-spent, even when he cannot much boast of a great acquisition."

Or, as my pal Bush Hog James used to say: "Fishin' ain't catchin'."

Paperwork production

Jack A. Gullo Jr., mayor of New Windsor in Carroll County, recently received an invitation to testify before a congressional committee on small business. He addressed about a dozen members of the Subcommittee on Government Programs and Oversight and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Paperwork Reduction.

But it looks like the federal paper reducers might need to reread their mission statement. Two days before the hearing, they asked Gullo for 50 copies of his resume and 50 copies of his three-page speech.

This Just In appears three times a week. Dan Rodricks can be contacted by post at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, by telephone at 410-332-6166, or by electronic mail at

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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