She had won a string of beauty pageants — and was the original St. Pauli Girl of beer advertising fame — so Debbie Walker, a blond model from Washington, D.C., was accustomed to her fair share of attention.
But she'd never seen anything like the morning of July 15, 1981.
She had to wear a skin-tight, sequined costume with a 15-foot train for that gig. A team of frogmen carried her across a makeshift pond and placed her on a rock. And as cameras from media outlets around the world clicked, flashed and rolled, three seals swam over to pay her a visit, followed by an equally frisky mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer.
The National Aquarium was to open in three...