Minutes of the Flower Mart herald hats, hair, horses, heart

April 04, 2003|By DAN RODRICKS

PROOF THAT LIFE goes on, and that Baltimore springs eternal: The 2003 Flower Mart is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14, at the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon Square, beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding after an evening concert at 8. All who volunteer for civic events, fund-raisers or nonprofit groups - and all who hold precious the traditions of this bruised but obstinate old city - will appreciate excerpts from the minutes of the recent meeting of the Flower Mart committee:

"The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. by Carol Purcell, Flower Mart Director, who congratulated everyone on their hard work.

"A `Fantasy Hair Contest' flier was passed out to all in attendance. Carol asked that each person's hairdresser/barber receive one, in order to find out if the salon would like to participate. They must be returned by April 10, according to Harry Zepp.

"Jennifer Campion reported on the Grand Hat Contest. Hecht's is out for the year, we should let them know by Dec. 31, 2003, for next year. She will try to get Chanel to contribute prizes, which need to be more diverse due to the participation of men.

"Fred Bierer requested 15 food vendor passes from the Traffic Chairman, plus five neighborhood passes for incapacitated Mt. Vernonites. ...

"Fred tried to enlist vineyards in the Mart, but they turned us down. Carol asked if Tio Pepe would sell just sangria at the Mart; Fred will check.

"Richard Hooper said that Flower Mart and city personnel need to meet in the Storm Control Center at 620 Fallsway. The Department of Sanitation should be there to be informed of their cleanup duties of the mounted horses, a new feature this year. All Flower Mart members are invited.

"Carol reported that Carolyn Simmons had requested 50 free Just Desserts tickets for her Booth-Decorating Contest judges, but the Junior League can afford only 15. Carol thought that the judges, who get there early in the morning, would not be sticking around too long.

"Phil Baty has a couple of boxes of ugly ties [for the Ugly Tie Contest] which will be available to the public in exchange for a donation at the Information Booth. ...

"Carole Barney should call Sherry Benson about the inclusion of the Hilda Mae Snoops Art Contest winner in the Preakness Parade.

"Harry Zepp found a printer who will charge us only $1.40 per program.

"Russ Margo will get a steel drum band. ... Duffy is trying to get a garden club to work the Information Booth. ... Carol reported that Balloon Bouquet will do the arch at the South Plaza opening. Vita described the balloons as very nice - 2 feet high in red, yellow and green.

"Joe and Carol agreed that the mounted police horses should arrive at the Mart at around 10 or 10:30. They will participate in the parade from 11:30 to 12 noon. The horses should stay for about three hours.

"Vita reminded Carol that both the horses and dogs need shade.

"The meeting was adjourned at 2:41 P.M."

Oh, say! Can you see?

Anne Pamfilis and friends arrived late at the Lamplight Bar in Reisterstown to find the place crowded and rocking, in the karaoke sense. "We were out of our element," Anne says. "This is obviously some serious karaoke community."

While she was at the bar, Anne noticed a guy, bearded and a little rough around the edges, in biker leathers. He was sitting two barstools away, absorbed in the karaoke tunes book. "He pored over the song choices with his face no less than 3 inches away from the page," Anne says. "He was searching that book for the perfect song for what seemed to be an hour. I found it amusing."

She wondered what song he'd finally pick, and her imagination went to Steppenwolf and maybe Lynyrd Skynrd.

It was getting late, and the bartender announced last call.

The bearded biker dude took the karaoke microphone and, in a gravelly voice, sang the first bars of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"Immediately," Anne says, "everyone in the bar rose to their feet, hand over heart, and sang along with him. It was quite a goose-bump moment. We all had something in common, after all."

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