On weekends, the good times rol

Seat: Just because he's not standing when everyone else is belting out `Y-M-C-A,' doesn't mean Ricardo R. Scott isn't having fun.

August 09, 1999|By Patricia Meisol | Patricia Meisol,SUN STAFF

Scott knew he was in the hot seat before we sat down. The photographer had already been to see him in the bleachers at Camden Yards, Section 96, Row N, Seat No. 14, the seat whose occupant The Sun has been profiling periodically all summer.

Scott had tried to switch with his wife, Harriet, a gregarious private-duty nurse, but he was too slow. When we got there, the pair's stifled smiles turned into laughter. This would be another detail to record in their summer journal of fabulous weekends, weekends so full that even recalling them is exhausting -- how ironic, for a change, she listened, while he talked!

Ricardo R. Scott, that's his real name, though everyone calls him Scott. He is very quiet. Shy. This former Marine is so quiet that Saturday night, when everybody around him was belting out "Y-M-C-A!" and grabbing into the sky for a T-shirt or hat from the Oriole Bird, he sat calmly in his seat, cracking peanut shells.

When Albert Belle fouled out, he only said say, "Umm, look at that." Baseball is too slow to watch on television. Aside from the three or four games he's attended this season, he follows the Orioles from afar. It took 45 minutes to get to Camden Yards Saturday from his condominium in Herndon, Va. -- no traffic. There won't be traffic home, either, not when you leave in the seventh inning.

They say people who are quiet are the ones to listen to. Ever observant, they can be particular, like Scott. He has to be. He inspects money. Our money, at the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving. Every night, there he is, he and three other guys, standing near a computer, ready to redeploy the machine when a batch of $1 bills comes out too white or a whole sheet of $100s is too dark.

His employer is busy printing a "whole lot of extra money" now in preparation for Y2K -- Uncle Sam will be ready if a horde of people descends on the banks as they did in the 1930s -- but Scott isn't worried. Think about it. Do you really think all the bill collectors won't be ready to get their money?

If the government is working overtime, Scott is not; after nearly 30 years, he has come to see that money isn't everything.

He's been looking at it daily since 1970 -- 32 years of government service if you count the two years after high school he spent in Vietnam lobbing mortar shells on the enemy until injury sent him home in 1969. Four more years until retirement.

This night is the eve of his 51st birthday, but not the party. The party is every weekend, rain or shine. He and Harriet party all the time. It's a play-by-ear thing. They both work nights, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. When they arise, around midday Saturday, they decide what to do.

The previous weekend, they'd stayed on a sailboat, a bed-and- breakfast in Annapolis. So far this summer, he and Harriet have gone to the theater in Alexandria, Va., and concerts and clubs all over Maryland.

This is the second marriage for each; he has a daughter, she has six children, grown now, and no guest room (she winks) in their condo; after 10 years of marriage they remain smitten.

"I know you are supposed to live for every day," he says, "but I live for weekends."

Pub Date: 8/09/99

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