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Owings Mills: Cousin to Curly keeps tales of Three Stooges alive

By Norma Bosley

11:02 AM EDT, October 4, 2011

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The Three Stooges are a part of comic history. Love them or hate them, they made people laugh with their silly antics which they showcased in movies and 197 shorts. Recently, Curly's cousin, Art Drager, entertained a crowd at the Reisterstown Senior Center. Although he was only 2 when Curly died, his family has kept the stories alive. Curly Howard had two daughters, Marilyn and Janie. Marilyn lives in California while Janie lives in Westminster. Md. Curly was one of five brothers, with Moe Howard probably being the most recognizable. Curly suffered a stroke in 1946 and died in 1952. In 1955, his brother Shemp died, yet Moe lived until 1975. Larry Fine, with the out-of-control red hair, was a friend they brought into the act.

Drager remembers seeing Moe Howard at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park and also at the Hippodrome Theatre many years ago. Calvin Freeman, of Owings Mills, was in the audience at the Senior Center, and he also remembers seeing Moe at Gwynn Oak. In fact, his son's nickname is Moe, although he doesn't share that recognizable hairdo.

The crowd was treated to a short film of the Stooges' pie-throwing abilities but the fun didn't end there. Judy Finifter and Mike Schneider (past and present directors of the center) donned ponchos and waited for the throwing of pound cake with whipped cream. Timid at first, the seniors soon got into the act and the treats were flying — with the exception of those that were eaten instead.

Drager wrapped up by telling the group about the Stoogeum, a museum dedicated to all things Stooges. Located in Ambler, Pa., the three-floor, 10,000 square-footmuseum was opened in 2004 by Gary Lassin, who was the president of the Three Stooges Fan Club and married to a grandniece of Stooge Larry Fine. The museum is only open once a month and contains the largest collection of Stooges memorabilia. In fact, every April in Fort Washington, Pa., there is a Stooges convention for those loyal fans who keep The Three Stooges alive even now. Check out the museum website at http://www.stoogeum.com

There is a new hotel in town:the Hampton Inn on Red Run Boulevard has had residents watching its construction progress for months and months, and they were not disappointed when the inn opened Sept. 22.. Nick Mangione Jr. of Mangione Family Enterprises, told the crowd that with nine siblings, his family has been hands-on in the development of many properties, such as the Pikesville Hilton and the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center. After the ribbon cutting, there was a tour of the hotel. The hotel is tastefully decorated with spacious suites that look out onto awooded area. The door number is on a plaque, but incorporates a picture beside the number. For the hearing impaired, there is a flashing button on the door that lets them know someone is there. The pool has a chair that enables handicapped swimmers to enter the pool safely. Other amenities include an "On the Run" breakfast bag for those who don't have time for a sit-down hot breakfast. Lunch was served after the tour in the Perfect Mix Lobby and door prizes were awarded. It was a relaxing, fun event and a wonderful way to showcase this new property. The Mangione family has invested in Owings Mills, and their attention to detail and comfort is evident throughout the hotel. Congratulations on this new venture, and much success in the future.

The Freeman family, of Owings Mills, has had their share of birthday cake and candles lately. Erica celebrated her 26th birthday on Sept. 22, just in time to help her mom, Vivian, celebrate on the 23rd. Erica's dad Jeff celebrated his special day on Oct. 3 and this was the big 5-0! His friends and family would like to wish him a very happy birthday and welcome him to the "Nifty Fifty" club!

Irvine Nature Center welcomed Emmy-award winning Julie Bowen to its "Pumpkins on the Green" un-gala on Saturday, October 1. As part of the celebration, Bowen was on-hand for the opening of Irvine's Outdoor Classroom. There will be more about this in my November column.

Happy Halloween to everyone and be sure to call and share your special news.