Douglass-myers Museum


Birthday Bash

August 12, 2007|By SLOANE BROWN

This was a first birthday party with "proud parents" galore. The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum teemed with folks who had some part in its creation last year. That meant renovating and adding onto the oldest industrial building on Baltimore's waterfront to honor two of the city's most famous 19th-century African-Americans.

"This took a tremendous team effort," said Living Classrooms Foundation's president and CEO James Piper Bond, whose organization is affiliated with the Douglass-Myers.

"It is a baby of ours. It's all about Baltimore," said Cindy Collins, whose husband, Woody Collins, is Living Classrooms' board chair.

Among some of the other "parents" were the party's honorees, including: Pat Bernstein, Eddie and Sylvia Brown, and former Baltimore mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and his wife, Dr. Pat Schmoke -- all big supporters.

"It's exciting to see this blossom from a concept to a ... program that makes a difference," Bernstein said.

"We are all so proud of this building, this project. If you come out here and see the vitality of this city, the water, it's invigorating and relaxing at the same time. And, to know that people actually worked here, walked here," Pat Schmoke said.

ONLINE Sloane Brown takes you to the party with a calendar of upcoming events and video reports at / scene



Tom Matte played football for the Baltimore Colts from 1961 to 1972. He lives in Glen Arm with his wife, Judy, and works as a radio and television personality and business consultant to the Port of Baltimore.

Do you ever get tired of being identified as a former Baltimore Colt?

No. It's part of Baltimore and being an ex-Colt means you're part of the history of this town. ... A guy by the name of William Donald Schaefer once said if you play in the community, you should stay in the community. I've always enjoyed Baltimore. I'm more highly identifiable today than before because I'm one of the last of the old Colts.

So what are you up to these days?

I'm still very active. Judy calls me "Nine Jobs." I have nine different jobs. ... I'm an avid golfer. I still do an enormous amount of charity work. And [fellow former Colt] Bruce Laird and I have set up a [nonprofit organization] to help veteran NFL football players who are physically in trouble, mentally in trouble or financially in trouble. It's called the Baltimore Football Club.

What's your ideal way of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon?

At my beach house in Fenwick, Del... I read. I love David Baldacci, James Patterson, [Tom] Clancy. ... It's a place I can relax. I don't have to worry about being the good guy.

Do you feel you always have to be "on" in Baltimore?

You really have to. Not that I'm a goody-two-shoes normally. But people expect you to be gracious. Down there, I can let my hair down and have a good time. Up here, I'm always on guard because as an athlete you have a responsibility to set a good example.

What is your weakness?

I love good restaurants that have good Italian food. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Cleveland.

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