Buying antiques to help families

SCENE & HEARD

Scene&heard

March 05, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

If every yin has to have its yang, then the vintage goods displayed at the 36th Annual Hunt Valley Antiques Show were perfectly balanced by the show's youthful event committee, the Auxiliary of Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland, which organizes and manages the show. The gorgeous group of 30- and 40-somethings once again gave the show's preview party its bubble.

"We've all been involved in this for years together," explained Paige Huddles, as she pointed to fellow committee members Heather Noyes, Melanie McCreadie, Erika Slater, Carrington North, Emily Baratta, Eleanor Hale and Eva Higgins. "We're the Forever Girls."

Event co-chairwoman Manda Riggs broke away from greeting guests with co-chairwoman Eileen Thompson, to joyfully hug the show's guest lecturer and family friend, furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and his wife, needlepoint artist Erica Wilson.

If it wasn't the old friends grabbing one's attention, it was the array of old treasures.

"There are too many things here that I like," exclaimed Margaret Preston, Mercantile Bank executive vice president. "I left the checkbook in the car. It's too tempting."

A DRINK WITH MICHAEL CRYOR

He loves the challenge of simplifying a crisis

Baltimore native Michael Cryor, 59, has worked as associate dean of student services at Morgan State University, special assistant to U.S. Rep. Parren Mitchell, and as a manager of several political campaigns. He is now president of The Cryor Group, a communications consulting company. He serves on several local boards, including the Hippodrome Foundation and the Baltimore Community Foundation. He and his wife, Erica Cryor, will co-chair the Associated Black Charities gala in June.

What do you do?

In layman's terms, I try to simplify how people or companies wish their issues to be communicated. People want to connect with their audience. It's more than public relations. Issues and ideas tend to be complex. People know what soap is. But they don't often know the value in, say, believing in the emerging success, growth, progress of a city. ... Part of what I do is framing the issues, conceptualizing the opportunity.

So, you're a spin master.

I'm a spin master.

Is it fun?

It is fun. I find the challenge very exciting. Like some of my clients' issues: trying to communicate the complexities of healthcare reform, which many people just can't get their arms around, reducing it to language and words that people can grasp. ... Also, when people have crises, what they find most paralyzing in the moment is figuring out what to do. ... So I give them the first three things to do that will get them beyond that. Often the solution is easier than what they think it is.

Did you ever expect this is where you'd end up professionally?

No. I thought I'd be a professional ballplayer.

You're kidding!

I was pretty good. I'm in the City College Hall of Fame. I played semi-pro ball. I'll never forget going to Oriole Camp. I remember Jack Dunn, a famous Orioles scout, hearing him ask, "So, are we going to give Cryor a contract this year?" Then hearing "Not yet. Give him another year. He's so damn skinny."... So, I kinda knew I wasn't the Willie Mays of Baltimore.

Do you like going to baseball games now?

I never go to ballgames. I hate it. It's the slowest game in the world. I love golf. Someone calls me and asks how I'm doing, and I say, "Oh, I'm so overloaded." Then, they say, "That's too bad, I was going to ask you to play golf." I say, "What time?"

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

How funny I can be; in business, I'm a different guy. [Also] I make a really good bed. My mom taught me how to make hospital corners and I practice them to this day. And I can iron. I take great pride in ironing my shirts.

SOCIAL CALENDAR

THURSDAY

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner

Benefits Towson University

Beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner. Honoree: Reg Murphy

Center for the Arts, Towson University

6:30 p.m.

Tickets $100

Call 410-704-3200

SATURDAY

2006 Annapolis Symphony Ball

Benefits Annapolis Symphony

Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, dancing

Loews Annapolis Hotel

7 p.m.

Tickets $200

Call 410-263-0907

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