Fond memories of Maryland's beloved tax collector, Louis...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

July 11, 1998

Fond memories of Maryland's beloved tax collector, Louis 0) Goldstein

A feeling of sadness befell me when I learned that Louie Goldstein had died. He was a sensitive man who genuinely cared not only about state finances, but many other issues, especially those dealing with young people. I learned that from my personal experience.

Back in 1980, when he learned from an article in The Sun about the Bragg Nature Study Center, which my brother and I had developed for Baltimore City Public Schools, he wrote me a cordial letter thanking us for "bringing to the city children of Baltimore a little bit of nature and natural things."

Mr. Goldstein was a humble and honest man and, I am sure, he touched the hearts of many people like me who never met him.

Wolodymyr C. Sushko

Baltimore

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Who ever heard of a tax collector whom everyone loved? But we all did. Higher praise than this is impossible. We will miss him.

Georgia L. Miller

Ellicott City

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Only one Louie. For many years, those of us who have had the privilege of working with, fighting with and deeply caring for this singularly committed servant of the people's trust will remember his legacy. He would be your friend, but if you came unprepared to his Board of Public Works meeting, he would take the skin off your back.

His most recent work with the new Maryland Prepaid Tuition Trust will permit us to have an outstanding educational savings program built upon sound investments that Marylanders can be proud of.

We worked closely to construct a program for Maryland families to save for college, which he so firmly believed remains the solution to long-term social equality.

Edwin S. Crawford

Adelphi

The writer is chairman of the Maryland Prepaid Tuition Trust's board.

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There are a lot of people who have a Louie Goldstein story, and I am one of them.

I ran into him in College Park at a Maryland lacrosse game, and he was livid. It seems he was locked out of his state car by his driver, who was nowhere to be found. It seems Mr. Goldstein had a roast to get to and then a speech after that.

He was priceless; cursing softly under his breath while only men were around. When some women came up to shake his hand, he was Mr. Charm and the Calvert County gentleman he was so famous for. When his driver appeared, he flushed red but kept his tongue. He "God blessed each one of us real good," and got in his car. We could hear him laying the poor driver out as they drove away, and then someone waved at him and he smiled and rolled down his window to say hello.

That was Louis L. Goldstein, one of the most unique men in the history of Maryland.

They should have had the most glorious state flag in the country, that of the great state of Maryland, on his casket. This was one time that "state's rights" really should have taken precedent. Mr. Goldstein was the quintessential Marylander.

Randall Miller

Bethany Beach, Del.

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Several years ago, Louis L. Goldstein was on the Washington College campus for a two-day board meeting when a blizzard began to blanket Maryland.

By the time dinner was over, 2 feet of snow was on the ground, with another 12 inches on the way.

The roads leading from Chestertown to the Goldstein home in Southern Maryland were nearly impassable, so we were all stunned when Maryland's comptroller and our chairman of the ** board announced it was time for him to leave.

Louis didn't want Hazel, his wife of 49 years, to spend the night alone. He made the treacherous three-hour trip home, but was back on campus the next morning to chair a breakfast meeting.

It was vintage Louis Goldstein, reflecting his determination always to do his best. He was a faithful husband, a loving father, a gung-ho Marine, a loyal alumnus and, of course, a brilliant and tireless public servant.

He was our role model in everything he did.

John S. Toll

Chestertown

The writer is president of Washington College.

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Since Louis Goldstein's death, the papers have printed glowing stories about this man's life of service to the state and the people of the state. In the July 6 edition, there was a brief reference to the fact that he had been a volunteer firefighter.

I believe that the papers have missed recalling a moment in his life that transcends all of his other contributions and by itself entitles him to an eternal place of honor in the memories of not only every Marylander but every equality minded American.

It was the night of rioting following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and the black section of a small Maryland town was in flames. The State Police and the National Guard refused to allow firefighters to enter the area "for their own safety."

Louie Goldstein jumped in the cab of the first firetruck in line and yelled out to those blocking his path something like "get the hell out of my way or I'll drive over you!" They moved, firefighters followed and part of the black community was saved.

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