Baltimoreans celebrated Columbus Day in a variety of ways. For some, like former federal Judge Norman Ramsey, who retired to return to his former law firm Semmes, Bowen and Semmes as general counsel, and his wife, Tucky (owner of the destination management company Presenting Baltimore), it was a good excuse for a party.
About 250 people attended their annual Columbus Day bash at the Engineers Club, an elegant site for a black-tie party.
It was a gathering of movers and shakers that included U.S. Attorney Dick Bennett and his wife, Jane; Mary Ann and Peter Saar; Frances Booke; Judge Bob Watts and his wife, Jackie; Judge Ellen and Rich Hollander; Judy and Danny Brewster; Floraine and Leroy Applefeld; Lois and Howard Shofer; Rita and Tom Cinnamond; Willard and Lillian Hackerman; Kip Mandris; Barbara Blum; Doris and Nathan Patz; Rudy Miller and Chuck Allen; Brenda and Stuart Brooks; Joanne and Jim Miller; Sen. Barbara Mikulski; Clarisse Mechanic; Judge Mary Arabian; Rose and Richard Cernak; Sen. Paul and Christina Sarbanes; Marsha and Bill Jews; and Irene and Roy Kirby.
Swing Central's music was the perfect accompaniment for a party filled with good food and good conversation.
I didn't go to the Columbus Day parade, but I did manage to rise at the crack of dawn to attend the groundbreaking Monday for the Columbus Center at Piers 5 and 6. I was amazed to see hundreds of people for an 8 a.m. breakfast of coffee and buns.
The groundbreaking also attracted an impressive political lineup, with six members of the Maryland congressional delegation there -- Barbara Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes, Steny Hoyer, Ben Cardin, Tom McMillen and Helen Delich Bentley -- as well as Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who admitted it seemed strange that his favorite restaurant, Connelly's, was no longer there; Mayor Kurt Schmoke; and former Mayor Tommy D'Alesandro, who played a big role in all the Columbus Day activities, including getting Joe DiMaggio as the grand marshal of the Columbus Day parade.
Mikulski, referred to as the Isabella of the project, had some of the best lines. She says she had the last fish sandwich served at Connelly's and got the first federal dollar for its replacement -- the Columbus Center -- which, she said, is being built just off the coast of Little Italy.
Among the people in the crowd were Eamonn McGeady, Santo Grillo, Nick Brown, Sita Culman, Kathy Cloyd, Rita Colwell, Walter Sondheim, George McGowan, Mark Wasserman, Bob Keller, Lynette Young, Osborne Payne, Honora Freeman, Don Langenberg, Tom Marudas, Stanley and Betsy Heuisler, Henry Knott Jr., Bob Embry, Dan Zaccanini, Nancy Brennan, Mary Lou Baker and Tom Chmura, who is leaving Maryland to join former UMBC president Michael Hooker, who is president of the University of Massachusetts systems.
The Nature Company's landmark store at Harborplace has launched a new fund-raising partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Mayor Schmoke was among the 300 people who attended a recent benefit party, along with Chesapeake Bay Foundation president William C. Baker; the Nature Conservancy's state director, Wayne Klockner; and Nature Company president Roger Bergen . . .
Congratulations to Michael Gimbel, director of Baltimore County's Office of Substance Abuse, who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary of being drug-free.
Teaching people with disabilities to work with computers is the goal of a new, non-profit organization called LINC (Learning Independence through Computers Inc.). LINC is having its first fund raising Oct. 28 in conjunction with the Baltimore Film Forum at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Linda Segal is chairing the committee, which has chosen the movie "Dominick & Eugene" for a special screening at 7:30 p.m. It is a touching story about two brothers, one a medical student and the other a mentally handicapped garbage man.
Tickets are $15 and a reception will follow the film. Call Winnie Levinson, (410) 653-3513, for more information.