How to know if you're from Baltimore

This Just In ...

September 30, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

I knew this would happen, and I'm a most happy fella because of it. Monday, I asked readers to fill in the blank: "You know you're from Baltimore if . . . "

Now look: A stack of mail the size and shape of Turkey Joe Trabert. In fact, the big, bearded, lovable beer-can collector and bon vivant of Batavia Avenue leads off.

You know you're from Baltimore if . . .

Turkey Joe: "You eat sauerkraut with your turkey on Thanksgiving. . . . You save extra-large frozen orange juice cans, cut out the tops and bottoms, and use them as hair rollers. . . . You went to the Baltimore Coliseum to see wrestling, roller derby, boxing, the old Bullets and jazz concerts. . . . You either had a Mr. Ray's Hair Weave or at least know what one looks like."

M. H. Storm: "You know you're from Baltimore if you can pronounce Hochschild Kohn without stammering."

Ron Kropkowski: "You refer to a relative or a friend who works 'down the Point.' . . . You're out of state, and you ask a grocer where the Old Bay is."

Nellie Nash: "You give directions using landmarks that no longer exist. ('Turn left where the News American used to be.') "

Glenn Small: "The last time you went to Harborplace was with relatives from out of town. . . . The last time you were in Washington, D.C. was for your sixthth-grade field trip to the Smithsonian. . . . You have at least one person in your family who insists on saying something like this: 'Betsy went down John Hopkins to get her foot worked on.' "

Mary Ames: "You call Hecht's department store 'the Heck company.' ('I got these slacks last week at the Heck company.') . . . You order a crab cake sandwich on a Saltine cracker."

! More later, kids.

Pieces of the Pikes

The old seats came out of the Pikes Theater over the weekend, and it was a sight for nostalgic eyes. "It made me kind of sad," said Richard Crystal, who drove by Sunday night. "After all, this was the place I first saw 'The Graduate' and 'My Fair Lady.' Isn't this supposed to be a new location for DiPasquale's?"

Correct. The expanding Highlandtown-based Italian deli moves in early next year.

As for the seats from the old Pikes, they landed in a good home. "We got 'em," says Michael Johnson, who took delivery at his Heritage Shadows of the Silver Screen Museum and Cinema, in the old Parkway, on North Avenue. Johnson has been raising money for his "celebration of black cinema." He can be reached at 410-528-8440.

Unfunny farce

Johnson also gives us a heads-up on a protest in Baltimore tomorrow over UPN's new situation comedy, "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer," about a black butler in Abraham Lincoln's White House. "Slavery is Not Funny!!!" said a sign carried by a demonstrator outside UPN's Hollywood studio last week. Johnson says a similar protest is planned at UPN's advertising office here. The show, which premieres Oct. 5, is a farce about a black servant and confidant to Lincoln. In a statement, the network said that the show satirizes contemporary politics, and that the butler "is clearly the smartest character on the show." Yeah, right. Sun TV critic David Zurawik says the pilot he saw for "Desmond Pfeiffer" was the worst of the new season. Maybe it will just die a quick death.

The Big Uneasy

Sandy Hillman and Pat Joseph are mothers of brides-to-be. Kippy Joseph gets married in October, her friend, Allison Hillman, in November. The two brides-to-be, their mothers and six friends flew down to New Orleans on Friday for a blowout in the Big Easy. Unfortunately, Hurricane Georges had the same idea.

By Saturday afternoon, Sandy Hillman stood in the Windsor Court Hotel, organizing an evacuation plan. "I looked and listened to everything, all the warnings, places being boarded up," she says. "They were evacuating everyone. I saw us spending three days inside the Superdome if we didn't leave."

So they left.

Problem was, the airport was closed. The Hillman-Joseph gang had to get to the airport in Jackson, Miss., 185 miles to the north, for flights home.

The resourceful Hillman, executive vice president of the Baltimore public relations and advertising firm of Trahan, Burden & Charles, negotiated with a fellow named Damon to drive her tTC party of 10 to the New Orleans airport. "There were no more rental cars at the hotel, and there were about two left at the airport," she says. "There were rumors that the drive to the airport would be 2 1/2 hours because everyone was evacuating. Damon got us there in 45 minutes."

After spending about two hours changing their airline tickets, the 10 women packed into two compact cars and headed for Jackson. They left at 7: 30 p.m. The traffic was heavy and steady. Hillman thinks she drove between 7 and 10 mph for hours. "But no one seemed to be panicking on the road," she says.

"We'd had these T-shirts made that said, 'Bawdy Bachelorettes in the Big Easy,' " Hillman says, laughing. "We'd expected to spring them on [their daughters and their friends] at an elegant meal in the French Quarter. We sprung it on them at a Shoney's."

There were no vacancies in motels along the way. But what luck: Jef Bauer, a former client of Hillman's, had moved recently to Hattiesburg, Miss. Hillman raised Bauer on her cellular phone. Bauer invited the gang to his house. They arrived at 2: 17 a.m. and crashed on couches and spare beds. Breakfast the next day was at Steve Scott's Do-Nuts. Steve's a big Orioles fan. He gave the women two dozen doughnuts for the road. They got to Jackson about midday Sunday. Everyone flew home.

Whew! We can't wait to see what the weddings will be like.

Pub Date: 9/30/98

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