The face of Establishment Baltimore sprouts a pencil-thin mustache

Calvert School touts famously naughty grad: John Waters

November 26, 2010

You know you're the face of Establishment Baltimore when you're on the cover of the Calvert School alumni magazine, even when that face belongs to John Waters.

The filmmaker, once regarded as terribly naughty, is featured on the fall issue of "Reflections," reminiscing about his days as a Calvert School elementary student, from 1952 to 1958.

This is John Waters on his very best behavior, mind you, talking in the magazine piece about the importance of learning to write in general, and learning to write thank-you notes in particular. ("Email notes are not acceptable," he is quoted saying.)

It's not the John Waters who turned up at the Mr. Leather Maryland 2010 event this month at Leon's new leather lounge, Triple L.

But Waters recalls a school that, for all its academic rigor and buttoned-down reputation, was warm and welcoming to the future "Pope of Trash."

"I don't remember [anyone] discouraging my interests," he said. "I don't remember any of the teachers there humiliating me there in any way – about being gay, about anything."

Of course, the interests Waters was allowed to pursue at Calvert weren't along the lines of, say, drag queens and dog waste. The edgiest thing young "Johnny" Waters seemed to have been up to back then: he only used his black crayons.

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At least somebody's hiring in this economy.

The Baltimore Grand Prix has been advertising for "Checkered Flag Girls." Applicants must be outgoing, friendly and at least 18 years old. Flat abs and knowledge of auto racing a plus.

When I talked to Grand Prix officials recently, they only had three applicants. They're looking to hire 15 to 25.

They started by adverting on Facebook, but then put out feelers to cheerleading coaches and dance instructors at local universities. They were hopeful that model-quality gals would soon send in resumes. ("Must attach a head shot and full body shot in order to be considered," the Baltimore Grand Prix Facebook page says.)

The checkered flag girls won't actually start the race, which takes place Labor Day weekend. They'll appear at promotional events, many of them "family oriented," which explains why the Grand Prix is recruiting at colleges instead of The Block. They want hot, but apparently not too hot.

The flag girl costume hasn't been created yet, but Grand Prix supplied a photo from another event. Compared to a Hooters outfit, it's downright modest, with a bare midriff but long pants, long sleeves and no décolletage.

"Ideally, that's what it's going to be like," said Paige Althoffat Baltimore Grand Prix. "We're not looking to go too Hooteresque."

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Otis Rolley, one of many people expected to challenge Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for mayor next year, would not be a newcomer to City Hall. He's worked under three mayors, from 1998 to 2007.

You can read all about it at OtisRolley.com, which provides a link to his Wikipedia page. Just don't expect a lot of detail about his work for Sheila Dixon.

Rolley was her chief of staff for 10 months, a gig that landed him on Baltimore magazine's list of the city's 50 most powerful people but merits just two sentences on a Wiki page that devotes a full nine to his high school career.

Is Rolley soft-pedaling his association with the disgraced Dixon?

"I don't see it as an issue, to be completely honest with you," Rolley told me. "I worked for [Martin] O'Malley for six years and the [Kurt] Schmoke administration for two years. There were countless administration officials -- Josh Sharfstein [Dixon's health commissioner, who went on to become No. 2 at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] – who did not get tarnished by what she did.

"And I left nine months before she was indicted. And for the record, they subpoenaed almost everyone and their mother and I wasn't subpoenaed. I wasn't called into question, I wasn't called as a witness. I have no shame in the fact that I served the 48th mayor of the city of Baltimore. I am very much proud of what I did. … I think for those 10 months, I did an excellent job."

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

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