It felt good to be one of nearly 1,000 people who took a nostalgic trip down memory lane Wednesday evening at Martin's West. The occasion was a fund-raiser for the Door, an inner city ministry founded by former Colts tackle Joe Ehrmann.
And what a reunion it was, as nearly 80 former Baltimore Colts greeted each other and adoring fans. The players were here, at their own expense, for the half-time show at Thursday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins and to attend Ehrmann's fund-raiser. Jan Braase, wife of former Colt Ordell, described the atmosphere at the party as a room filled with love. And indeed it was.
Crab feast tidbits: John and Sylvia Mackey were the center of attention, thanks to John's recent election to the Football Hall of Fame and his decision to have his public celebration in Baltimore, not Indianapolis. One aside is that when Mackey was notified of his election, he wrote to all his former teammates, thanking them for making him look good. . . . Former Colt turned Baltimore dentist Dr. Sam Havrilak did a great job emceeing and introducing all the players to a very noisy crowd . . .
Bert Jones, who's from Louisiana, said he left his wife and family in a storm shelter and flew up for the party. . . . Eddie Hinton hasn't aged at all. He looks so young that his daughter said he's often mistaken for her date. . . . More than $60,000 was raised for the Door . . .
Leonard "The Big Wheel" Burrier, who led Colts fans in the C-O-L-T-S cheer from 1975 until the team was moved, led cheers at the party and at the game. . . . Two of Baltimore's potential NFL team owners -- Boogie Weinglass and Joan, Joel, Ed and Bryan Glazer -- attended the crab feast . . .
President of Colts Corral No. 21 Joanne Miller and her husband, Bruce, told me there are 80 active members in their corral and they still hold monthly meetings. . . . Matt DeVito, chair of this successful fund-raiser, treated Joe Ellis, manager of club operations for the NFL, and Ken Saunders, chief financial analyst for the NFL, to two Maryland traditions, a crab feast and the Colts. Hope they got a good taste of how Baltimore feels about a football team. . . . Jane and Earl Morrall came from Davie, Fla., where Earl, the city's former mayor, is running for the House of Delegates . . .
Another highlight was when former Colts player and coach, now head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Don Shula, stopped by the party with his very handsome son, Mike, who is on his coaching staff. . . . Gino and Joan Marchetti, whose Gino's restaurants were bought by Marriott, spend most of their waking hours fishing in Pennsylvania waters. . . . Jan and Ordell Braase -- he's a member of the Maryland Racing Commission -- were excited about their horse, Via Hawaii, which was racing Thursday (and won) . . .
Doug Nettles lives in Silver Spring and is a marketing specialist for Zimmer Medical Supplies. . . . After the football festivities, George and Betty Preas -- he's in real estate -- went to Washington to see old friends, Gen. Thomas and Meredith Richards. He's head of the FAA and recently led the investigation of the 1988 Pam Am accident in Lockerbie, Scotland. . . . John and Sandy Unitas were spotted as he was signing a pair of his old football pants. . . . Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks left Miami Springs without knowing what, if any, damage Hurricane Andrew had done to the Kendall Golf Club, which he owns . . .
Lenny Lyles looked spiffy in his black warm-up suit, which he probably got at the shopping center he owns in Louisville, Ky. . . . Sam Ball lives in Kentucky and conducts inspirational seminars. . . . Champion field goal kicker Jim O'Brien, a real estate contractor in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and his wife, Pam, used this occasion to bring their boys, Kasey and Kelly, to visit Baltimore and Washington . . .
And last, but never least, Bubba Smith was a smash hit and caused lots of excitement when he made his entrance.
He said his time with the Colts was a "special time," as was his time acting in the "Police Academy" movies. He talked about John Unitas, Lenny Moore and Gino Marchetti, who were his heroes when he was younger. It's important for kids to have heroes, he said, and that's why he came to town for his friend, Joe Ehrmann, who does so much to help children.