Be grateful ... Linda Tripp is not your phone buddy ...

November 26, 1998|By MICHAEL OLESKER

AND SO WE COME to that grand day when each of us, from Parris Glendening to Ellen Sauerbrey, from Daniel P. Henson to Susan Gaffney, from Thomas Frazier to Martin O'Malley, from Peter Angelos to Roberto Alomar, from Bill Clinton to Linda Tripp, from - ah, write your own darned comparison - gives thanks for our bountiful blessings.

So, somewhere between the first of the televised football games and the last of the turkey giblets and sauerkraut and Bromo Seltzer, herewith our 23rd consecutive offering of Things to Be Thankful For.

To wit:

Be thankful Daniel P. Henson wants to tear down public housing just as Washington officials want to investigate millions in overspent federal money for shoddy workmanship on some of that very housing. We used to have a phrase for this: destroying the evidence.

Be thankful Linda Tripp never telephoned you to say, "Just between friends, can we talk?"

Be thankful Parris Glendening and Ellen Sauerbrey spent a combined $12 million on their campaigns for governor. How nice to see all those consultants and image makers and TV commercial producers getting fat while bringing us a slum of a campaign.

Be thankful Peter Angelos wasn't expecting loyalty from Roberto Alomar. Angelos was the only man in America who defended Alomar after the Great Expectoration incident with umpire John Hirschbeck. And Alomar thereupon leaves town at the first chance.

Be thankful you're not Larry Young, waiting for the other shoe to drop in the Maryland prosecutor's office.

Be thankful you don't need personal seat licenses to attend state Board of Public Works meetings when Parris Glendening meets William Donald Schaefer and learns what city Board of Estimates meetings used to be like with folks named Hyman Pressman and Wally Orlinsky.

Be thankful for the delights of Washington Street in Havre de Grace, with the charms of Washington Street Books, the food and ambience of the Abbe Gallery, and the luscious deserts at the Ritz - not to mention, one block over, the pleasures of the city's waterfront.

Be thankful the University of Maryland wants to take over the ill-conceived Columbus Center. It's nice to see somebody find use for the place, which is not only the worst architectural eyesore this side of an Ocean City shopping mall but opened without anybody knowing why it was there.

Be thankful Kathleen Kennedy Townsend gave such a rousing acceptance speech on election night - except that it sounded like the first salvo in her own political platform four years off. Ask not what your lieutenant governor can do for you, ask what you can do to be the next governor.

Be thankful for last week's Baltimore Colts reunion of the '58 champions of the world. It recalled a simpler time when professional athletes settled in and became part of a community - 40 years later, Unitas, Moore, Parker, Mutscheller, Donovan, Braase and others are still here - and weren't looking for the quickest gravy ride somewhere else.

Be thankful if you've discovered the breads and desserts of the brand new Bonjour, at Falls Road near Lake Avenue. From the outside, it looks like a shack. Inside, your taste buds will sing hosannas.

Be thankful the Howard County Historic Commission voted down those townhouses for Ellicott City. Somebody must have realized: You don't blot a community's charms just to stuff the pockets of the real estate crowd.

Be thankful for the "Poetry of Autumn" ink paintings of Mu Jiashan at the Asian Arts Gallery at Towson University. They're moving and dreamlike, and a lovely insight into modern Chinese artistic sensibilities.

Be thankful for the entertainment value of those "Thanks, Maryland" slot machine commercials in the last political campaign. Problem is: They've probably made Governor Glendening more instransigent about his anti-slot machine stance - despite the loss of huge millions of dollars each year.

Be thankful for the Ravens-Colts game Sunday. Even if today's players are totally clueless about most of the bad-blood history, it'll enrich our souls to boo the ghost of Robert Irsay and all he represented in modern sports disloyalty. (Although, it sure will feel funny booing anybody in the familiar Colts uniform.)

Pub Date: 11/26/98

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