These are uncommon times -- just ask anybody

This Just In...

January 30, 2002|By Dan Rodricks

ANYBODY KNOW where the Glendenings are registered? I want to get them something nice.

Anybody notice the tears on national television this week, shed by Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots and Linda Lay of the Houston Lays? Bledsoe cried over the Pats' stunning, unforeseen win in a big football game, and we were kind of touched. Lay cried over Enron's stunning, fourth-quarter losses, and we were kind of grossed out.

Anybody feeling sorry for Linda and her husband, former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay? I mean, besides the pool boys at their three multimillion-dollar houses in Aspen. The Lays are going to lose the Colorado properties, and they'll only be left with their $5.7 million condo in Houston. Hand me my Scotties!

Anybody see the teary-eyed Linda on the Today show? She defended her husband by saying he was a good guy who just - gosh darn it! - didn't get the memo. And now they're in ruins. "It's gone. There's nothing left," Linda said. "Everything we had mostly was in Enron stock." These people have obviously not been listening to Julius Westheimer all these years, and we're supposed to feel sorry for them?

Anybody heard or seen of late the guy who plays those "unique" arrangements of jazz and pop standards on trumpet outside the Dunkin' Donuts on 41st Street? I want to catch him there one night and see if he can cover that old Beach Boys tune, "Donut Worry, Baby."

Anybody else think it's a ridiculous for the administration of Western Maryland College to pay someone $200,000 to come up with a new name for the school? I thought there were a lot of really smart people in that college. You mean to tell me some professor and a couple of grad students - locked inside the Westminster Best Western conference room with a weekend supply of pizza, doughnuts, coffee and some over-the-counter stimulant - couldn't, like, pull an all-nighter or two and come up with a new name? You know what I'm saying?

Curling sweeps nation

Anybody around here curl? It's that strange sport in which men and women with long-handled brushes sweep ice in front of a heavy stone sliding down a rink toward a target - like shuffleboard played with squashed bowling balls by armed Merry Maids. (If I was a person who took curling seriously - and apparently such people exist; it's an Olympic medal sport, after all - I'd have had it up to here by now with newspaper boobs trying to describe my sport.) Turns out there are active curlers throughout Maryland and Virginia and a club, the Potomac Curling Club of the National Capital Area, opened a new rink last week at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. Congratulations, curlers. Now, if any of you know where a fella can sign up for a two-man luge club, please give me a shout.

Parental guidance?

Anybody out there seen Black Hawk Down ? Joey Amalfitano, our cultural correspondent, did. "I went to the 3 o'clock show at Snowden Square 14 in Columbia," he says. "A full house waited to see this incredibly intense, bloody, violent war movie. As the theater filled, a group of several women, one carrying an infant's car seat, the other a child no more than 2 or 3, entered to sit in the rear. Are these people crazy? When I was 5, I closed my eyes at The Wizard of Oz, the part where Dorothy couldn't get in the storm cellar and the tornado was coming."

And what about the wicked witch's flying monkeys? That was traumatic, but, we agree, Pooh-ish compared with 143 minutes of full-metal warfare.

Local expert needed

Anybody seen my copy of Exit by Robert K. Headley? It's only the most informative book on Baltimore's bygone movie theaters ever written, a cherished reference long gone from bookstores and even flea markets. (The Sun library doesn't have it, and the Pratt's only copy is in the Maryland Room and does not circulate.) Mine is long gone. Like a fool, I lent it to someone years ago, thinking -- Ha! -- that it would come back. Headley published Exit in 1974 - two print ings totaling 1,600 copies - and sold out. He's moved to College Park since then, wrote a book on movie houses of the District of Columbia since then. (His other book credit is a Cambodian-English dictionary.)

Now Headley plans to come out with a revised edition of Exit, but needs some help completing his re search. As this man has performed a noble public service by lovingly creating a fine history of Baltimore bijoux, I am obliging him with some space in TJI in the hope that he'll find what he seeks.

To help Headley, one needs knowledge of the 800 block of N. Howard St. in the 1940s - or one needs a relative with knowledge of Howard Street in the 1940s. It would be even better if the relative had knowledge of Howard Street in the 1930s or 1920s, and better still if the relative were still alive and lucid.

Anybody out there ever heard of the Hindenburg? Not the zeppelin, but the Baltimore movie theater that showed German films until the FBI closed it down in 1940. Headley's research has resulted in some conflicting information about the location of the Hindenburg. He needs similar information about the Three Arts Cinema and "the old Lehmann Hall," both also on Howard Street.

If you can help, contact him at 301-927-5480 or If you come through for the guy, he might give you a copy of his book. If he does, can I borrow it? is the e-mail address for Dan Rodricks. He can also be reached at 410-332-6166, or by post at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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