Thanks to the involvement of people like Marvin Bush, President and Mrs. Bush's youngest son, and Rolf Benirschke, former place kicker for the San Diego Chargers, people are finally talking publicly about ileitis and colitis. These are devastating, life-threatening diseases of the bowel for which there is currently no cure. But there is help.
Bush and Benirschke both were afflicted and have become spokesmen for the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis (NFIC). This past week, Bush was the guest of honor at a party at the Sheraton Inner Harbor, sponsored by the Maryland Chapter of NFIC. "Just think," gushed one of the committee members, "this ballroom is filled with people who paid $1,000 to shake his hand, have a drink, eat a couple of hors doeuvres and raise money for NFIC."
Indeed, the room was filled with many business people, thanks to the efforts of two Baltimore businessmen who co-chaired the event -- Willard Hackerman, developer and owner of the Sheraton Inner Harbor, and Alan Hoblitzell, former CEO of Maryland National Bank. (Hoblitzell's sudden departure from the bank that very day had people buzzing all evening.) Others I spotted at the party were Pimlico's Joe DeFrancis and Lynda O'Dea; BG&E;'s George McGowan and his wife Carol, who was telling me about their lovely new home on the Eastern Shore; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rosenberg, Crown Central Petroleum; Mrs. J. Jefferson Miller; Mr. and Mrs. H. Lee Boatwright III; Mrs. Clarisse Mechanic; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lansburgh and Baltimore City States Attorney Stuart Simms.
I hear radio station B-104 has found a slot for Johnny Walker if he's interested. The station got such good feedback from Walker's morning guest appearance several weeks ago that they are talking about a more permanent arrangement. The callers also loved the performance of Walker's guest Hollywood reporter, Harry Horni (a.k.a. WCAO's Ron Matz), but don't count on hearing him on B-104 again, because I understand WCAO's GM Roy Deutchman was approached and the answer was a resounding NO. Somehow I understand his position.
Speaking of radio: Much to my surprise, WCBM-680 has hired the controversial Les Kinsolving. Although I knew his buddy Tom Marr -- WCBM's conservative afternoon host -- had encouraged the station to hire Kinsolving, I heard that Joe Lombardo, WCBM's morning talk show host, was absolutely against it.
But in the end, it was station GM Mike Plumstead's decision and he signed Les to bring "uninhibited radio" back to the airways Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. In his 1 1/2 years on WFBR, Kinsolving made some loyal friends and some powerful enemies, so his return is should be interesting.
Kinsolving's background includes being a priest in the United Episcopal Church, former newspaper syndicated columnist, 15 years of covering the Washington scene and a veteran talk show host in five metropolitan markets. He says that none of those cities mean as much to him as the "bewitching city" of Baltimore. Welcome back Les, I think!
Did you know that 28 local museums and organizations have banded together as the Baltimore Council of Historic Sites, Inc.? The group, which is led by the Baltimore Zoo's Mike Szimanski, is planning "HistoryFest" for Oct. 14 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can see and participate in dozens of activities that tell the history of Baltimore. Storytellers will narrate living history presentations, Ft. McHenry will have musketry drills, the zoo's Zoomobile will be there as will the Oriole Bird, who will have a pitching game with former O's pitcher Dick Hall.
There's also a Pumpkin Bake-Off, and since I'm a judge, please bring some tasty entries. If you have a good pumpkin recipe, call the Flag House and 1812 Museum at 837-1793. Yours truly will be joined by WBAL radio's Alan Walden (who is also president of the Patriots of Fort McHenry) and 6th district Councilman Joe DiBlasi to judge your pumpkin treats. Admission to HistoryFest is $5 for adults and $3 for children over 6 and seniors over 65. See you there.
*Sylvia Badger's column appears Tuesday in the Accent section of The Evening Sun.