Councilman gets 'whiffle cut' to settle bet

D'Adamo thought Dixon could stay as mayor

February 18, 2010|By Laura Vozzella

Baltimore City Councilman Nick D'Adamo figured Sheila Dixon could hang onto her office. We all know how things worked out for the ex-mayor.

And D'Adamo? He wound up with a "whiffle cut."

An old buddy of D'Adamo's from Archbishop Curley High School's Class of 1976 predicted that Dixon would be forced from office. D'Adamo insisted she'd finish her term. They decided to make it interesting.

If Dixon hung on, Frank Weber, now of Orange County, Calif., would travel to Baltimore and shovel snow. If Dixon was out, D'Adamo would get the sort of crew cut he hasn't sported since eighth grade - and keep it that way for as long as Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was mayor. He also agreed to go to California to get some sun on his newly exposed scalp.

Baltimore could have used Weber's help with the shoveling, but it was D'Adamo who had to make good on the bet. He did so Saturday at Rick's Barbershop on Eastern Avenue. (He couldn't face his usual stylist at Salon Giovanna.)

He ordered a "whiffle cut." (I'll confess I wasn't familiar with that term for a buzz cut. A search of The Baltimore Sun's electronic archives, which go back 20 years, turned up but two references, one spelled "wiffle," the other "whiffle." They were in stories bylined by Rafael Alvarez and Jacques Kelly, though, so I know it's legit Bawlamerese.)

"People look at me and don't know who I am," said D'Adamo, who'd long worn his hair in a curly white-guy 'fro.

But the councilman, who expects to make his California trip three or four months from now, has already adjusted to his new wash-and-go look.

"It's easy to take care of," he said. "Maybe I won after all."

The art of democracy
A City Council committee held a work session the other day to discuss banning or imposing a fee on those pesky plastic bags that litter the city. The Sun's Julie Scharper was shocked to find a packed house.

Then she noticed that most of the crowd was sketching. Warren Linn, a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art, had taken 18 students from his visual journalism class to sketch democracy in action.

"They go in and they see how democracy works and some of them come out, because they're 18 or 19, and they're appalled at how much conversation there can be about paper and plastic bags," said Linn, who's also taken students to sketch on the subway, in an empty Camden Yards and inside the Baltimore Boxing Club.

Whatever their frustrations at City Hall, the students did not take it out on their subjects.

"A very noble Bill Henry took form in the sketchbook next to me," Scharper reported. "He looks very statesmanlike, reminiscent of Washington crossing the Delaware."

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