More sports should try concept of senior tour

This Just In ...

July 03, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

DESPITE THE grumbles of purists, who know more about the fine points than I do, I like the senior golf tour, visiting Hobbits Glen in Columbia this weekend. It's a great concept -- guys well past their peak years performing for a nostalgic public that still looks upon them with affection and respect. In fact, I wish more professional sports would try it. There could be senior circuits in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. And don't tell me the older guys from Major League Baseball wouldn't draw a crowd; the Orioles are still pulling better than 40,000 a game at Camden Yards.

Coda for Colts Band

Members of the Baltimore Colts Band -- bless 'em -- will do their annual hot-and-humid hustle tomorrow, marching in three Fourth of July parades in less than 7 hours. (No wonder a 5-member medical team travels with them. "If someone keels over, we just throw 'em in the back of the truck like a dead deer and keep goin'," quips band director John Ziemann.) Dundalk's holiday parade kicks off at 8: 30 a.m. After that, the band high-steps to Towson for the 10: 30 a.m. start of the big parade there. Then it's off to Catonsville for a 3 p.m. march. Sunday, the band graces Havre de Grace.

This will be the band's last Fourth in blue and white. Its last parade as the Colts Band will be next week for the opening of the ESPNZone -- say it fast and add a vowel, it sounds like an Italian restaurant: E'yes-pea-en-zone-ay -- at the Inner Harbor. After that, the band becomes Baltimore's Marching Ravens. Question: Will we hear the Colts Fight Song ever again? Answer: Probably, but not at a Ravens games. (And that's OK with a lot of people I know.) The Ravens deserve a song of their own, and I hear someone's working on it.

"We have great love and respect for the Colts of John Unitas and Lenny Moore, and the Colt song is their song," says Ziemann. "The song will always be in our repertoire and, when appropriate, we'll play it." It wouldn't be appropriate at the new stadium, due for an exhibition game Aug. 8 and for its first regular-season game Sept. 6, unless the tributes to Baltimore's football past continue in inaugural ceremonies. (I think we've had enough of that.) Ziemann says the band will be there, in new, splashy threads ordered and purchased by the Modell family.

Angels among us

We have a need to know about the good that people do, drenched as we are in bad news and the constant reminders that Western civilization is still more a concept than a reality. And so we come to two letters from readers who reached for pens after short walks on the brighter side of human experience.

Rose Wills of Rosedale tells of two members of her church, Harold and Louise Head, both in their 80s, who needed to take a bus to Erie, Pa., to attend a relative's funeral. The Heads made plans to catch an 8: 45 a.m. bus from the terminal on O'Donnell Street. When they presented a personal check for their fares, they were told it would not clear. And it was 8 a.m., too early for a phone call to their bank. The Heads dug deep for cash and found themselves $20 short. Just then, the man in line behind them, one David Levine, offered the $20 difference. The couple accepted the money and demanded the man's address so they could reimburse him. "After some discussion, he reluctantly gave them his address," Rose Wills reports. "The Heads were in Erie for a week and, upon their return, they sent Mr. Levine the $20. He's a person who truly renews our faith in the human race. There are still good, caring people in this world."

Other evidence of civilization comes from Gwynne Moore, who, in the faint accent of her native Great Britain, expresses amazement that a modern dentist and his staff would make a house call. "They came down the street in their green scrubs and set up all their equipment on my kitchen table," she says.

The dentist is Paul Vidziunas. "Dr. Paul's" is how his receptionist answers the phone. He went to Gwynne Moore's house in Armistead Gardens because her husband, Pat, has been immobilized by two forms of cancer, and neither of the Moores drives a car. Pat Moore had a denture problem. "His bottom partial plate broke, making it impossible to chew his food," his wife wrote TJI. "I called Dr. Paul's office and Darlene [Hartman, secretary] told me that Dr. Paul, Kim [Lawson, dental assistant] and the young man [Jason Watson, sterilization tech] would make a house call." In fact, they made three, repairing and refitting Pat Moore's dentures, wrapping up the job Wednesday, their patient's 73rd birthday. "Dr. Paul left his busy practice and office patients to spend an hour with my husband, and I think he deserves a 'Hon' medal," Gwynne Moore says in that lovely accent. "They did their work, then had a cup of tea with us. It gave me such a cozy feeling."

Something in the air

I rose very early Wednesday morning, around 4 o'clock, tickled awake by a breeze that crossed my room through the windows on either side. A brawny summer storm had punched out the lights the night before and, as I stepped outdoors, drawn by the cool air and a phantom whisper, I noticed the absence of street lamps and the presence of an odd glow in the sky. That breeze, coming after a storm kindled by two days of heat and humidity, was cool, soft and fragrant. I recognized it as the summer cousin of a breeze that had passed through on that day in May when, for reasons having less to do with climate than with the recent deaths of friends, I stood up from a chore and said: "This must be what heaven's like."

Pub Date: 7/03/98

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