Not the kind of companion he was talking about


October 26, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Garrison Keillor says he's being stalked by a woman who sent him a petrified alligator's foot and dead beetles. Naturally, there's a Charm City angle.

When Keillor played the Hippodrome earlier this month, his allegedly overzealous fan came to town, too - all the way from her home in Hawkinsville, Ga.

Keillor claims that a woman named Andrea Campbell has shown up at his Minnesota home and sent him strange gifts and e-mails, including one that "graphically described making love to me," The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported this week. Keillor applied for a restraining order against her Oct. 12.

On Oct. 13, Campbell turned up at the Hippodrome for Keillor's show. The next day, she tried to get into the Enoch Pratt Central Library, where Keillor was doing a book signing. She was turned away from both places, said Pratt spokesman Roswell Encina. Campbell, who had long red hair and wore a prairie-style dress, was not arrested, Encina said.

"I could see her screaming," Encina said. "I'm just glad our security spotted her. He looked very concerned about it. And I guess he has reason to."

Campbell, a married, 43-year-old mother of five above-average children, acknowledged to the Pioneer Press that she had tried to see Keillor in Baltimore. But she also told the paper that it's all a big misunderstanding, that the weird gifts were a "joke," and that she loves Keillor but only in a "transcendental" kinda way.

Make your own fun

And now, for related wisecracks from

"You know, when I gave Mom that Hickory Farm "Petrified Alligator Foot and Dead Beetles" gift box for Christmas, she promised me she wouldn't regift it."

"That sound was me crossing Garrison Keillor's birthday off my calendar next year. Ungrateful."

"If that woman shows up at his house with a knife, he's a Wobegoner."

"When you do 30-minute improvs about Ludefisk, the freaks come out of the woodwork."

"Will Guy Noir be in charge of monitoring her whereabouts?"

And my favorite: "Wouldn't this just be the time for some rhubarb pie?"

She said, but he said, and then she said

Former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley called the other day to say 1st District congressional hopeful Robert Banks had inflated his political resume. "Young Banks was never my political director and never a special assistant," she said.

Banks was a volunteer on George H.W. Bush's Maryland campaign, which Bentley chaired, she said. But he never worked in any paid, official capacity on her campaign or in her congressional office, she said.

I asked Banks about that, and he produced W-2s from 1990 and 1991 listing his Bentley Re-Elect Committee earnings. He also showed me a congressional ID badge indicating that he was on her staff, a 1992 House of Representatives paycheck, plus a business card that said he was her special assistant.

And let's not forget the yellowed news clipping - Banks thinks it was from the Cecil Whig, but he wasn't sure - on the occasion of his receiving the 1990 William Paca Award for Outstanding Maryland Republican Youth. "He currently serves as special assistant to U.S. Representative Helen Delich Bentley," the article said.

He even turned up a photo of himself and Bentley, snapped in happier times, as she presented "young Banks" with some sort of plaque. (He was sporting slacks with little embroidered lobsters all over them, so his longtime preppy credentials check out, too.)

I called Bentley back, and just as you'd expect, the feisty ex-Rep was the picture of contrition. She acknowledged Banks "probably" worked for her. She added, "He was so insignificant that nobody remembers that he was there."

Banks' explanation: He said Bentley is "still harboring a grudge from 1994," when he worked on Ellen Sauerbrey's gubernatorial campaign. Sauerbrey beat Bentley in the Republican primary.

Connect the dots

Euro RSCG Baltimore, a marketing communications agency, has won a national "cool workplace" award, thanks to its annual Easter egg hunts, steal-a-gift holiday parties, softball and bowling teams, happy hours, and ice cream socials (the boss scoops!) and cook-outs. The Quest for a Cooler Workplace contest was put on by Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream. The prize was a month's supply of frozen treats. Dreyer's even provided the freezers. ... Father-of-the-bride Mike Miller called to correct himself. The Senate president's daughter isn't a special-education teacher after all. Amanda Miller is a speech pathologist. "That's how stupid fathers are," he said. ... State lawmakers who wander into Chick and Ruth's Delly looking for lunch next week will get an earful along with a mouthful. Ed Norris will broadcast his WHFS show from the Main Street landmark Monday, the day the special session starts, to protest Martin O'Malley's proposed tax package. "We're giving out tea bags," the former commish told me. "Our own tea party." ... William Donald Schaefer and the guy who put him out of business, Peter Franchot, are both expected at a ribbon cutting today, as Chimes School opens a new facility in Northwest Baltimore.

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