Carroll Commissioner Donald I. Dell found three silk ties draped across his office chair when he arrived at work yesterday.
He knew immediately they were parting gifts from Robert A. "Max" Bair, who retired Friday after 31 years in the county's employ, most recently as zoning administrator and special assistant to the board of commissioners. All three ties were predominantly maroon, matching the upholstery on the commissioner's chair. They were just the fashion accessory that Dell, known for his eclectic tie collection, would appreciate.
"These were nice, attractive and kind of modern," said Dell, who feared Bair would abandon ties completely in his retirement, or worse yet, return to the pre-1980 variety his boss decried. "We always had a hard time getting Max to wear modern ties. He preferred the 20-year-old ones."
Pat Hill, executive assistant to the commissioners, inherited an item from Bair: a white hard hat with red velvet bull horns attached.
"Max had scratched out Bair and wrote Hill on the rim," said Hill. "He got the hat when he took the lead on construction of the new addition to the County Office Building a few years ago. I think he was telling me I had to take the bull by the horns now without him."