Giving thanks Some years, the holidays seem to hold special meaning, deeper poignancy. We asked several Marylanders who are particularly thankful this year to share their experiences

Sharing home with children

For the first time in her life, Thanksgiving will be genuinely peaceful, Barbara Deluty says.


In July, she and her husband Robert Deluty adopted David, their second child. Laura, now 4 1/2 , was adopted in 1988.

"Both of us feel now that our family truly is complete," Ms. Deluty says. "We really feel so fortunate to be able to say that. It's been a very long haul for us."


Before deciding to adopt, Ms. Deluty, a psychologist at Springfield Hospital, suffered at least one miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy that was nearly fatal.

After these tragedies, adoption itself seemed a risky proposition. What if something went wrong and they were again left without a child? "We couldn't suffer another loss," says Mr. Deluty, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

There was also ambivalence. Could they love an adopted child as well as a biological child?

But having a family was something "I always wanted," Mr. Deluty says. The son of Holocaust survivors, he, like his parents, views children as "extraordinary miracles."

After taking a course for those considering adopting international children, "It became more clear it was the right decision," Mr. Deluty says.

Through Catholic Charities, the couple applied for the adoption of a Korean-born child. In less than a year, there was Laura. It took longer -- three years -- to adopt David, also Korean born.

Any ambivalence quickly vanished when their children arrived. "They are magnificent," Mr. Deluty says.

"Life is wonderful now," Ms. Deluty says. "It's the best it has ever been for me."


It had never happened before in the 22-year history of the police helicopter unit. But on October 18th at 9 p.m., a helicopter went down. Two officers in the 1,900-pound, year-old Schweizer 300-C aircraft had just assisted with a car theft arrest when things began to go very wrong.

For still undetermined reasons, the aircraft plummeted about 200 feet crashing near the intersection of Clifton Ave. and Dukeland Street in the Walbrook area.

On board was Baltimore Flight Officer John W. Rennie, the pilot, and Officer Charles M. "Mike" Crocker, the aerial observer.

Now when Officer Rennie looks back on that night, he gives thanks for being spared more serious injury -- and reflects on the reason why.

Only a few months before the crash, Officer Rennie saved a life.

"I spend a lot of time thinking about that," he says. "In August, a little girl was drowning in a pool. I was there to get her out and save her. Maybe someone felt they owed me one for that."


Although still recuperating from three fractures in his back, the veteran pilot has every intention of going back to the job he has held for 21 years. His colleague, Officer Crocker was treated for a broken leg and fractured vertebra.

While his doctors deserve credit for healing him physically, it was the outpouring of kindness from strangers -- including the 100 or so letters from school kids -- that kept him emotionally intact days after the accident, says Officer Rennie. "It helped tremendously."

Sandra Crockett Ann Macdonald was in the dark when she started her own business. Literally.

"The power went out. I was cooking by candlelight on a gas

stove," Ms. Macdonald said of her first catering job.

But it would take more than a mere lack of electricity to stop her.


"At first, my mother said she'd liked to see me have a more reliable job. I was laid off three times last year -- what is reliable?" said Ms. Macdonald, 30, who lost one secretarial job after another to the recession and began catering at the end of last year.

Trained as an artist rather than a chef, the Catonsville resident had no savings and didn't want to take out any loans, but managed to start Rendez-vous Catering by asking for 50 percent of her fee for jobs upfront.

Now she can live on what she makes but has bigger plans for the future: She'd like to open a chain of gourmet shops and make enough money to channel into community causes.

Tomorrow will be like a day off for the caterer who has handled events for as many as 400 -- she's responsible only for dessert for her family's gathering.

"I'm grateful I got laid off. It was the push I needed out the door," she says.

Jean Marbella


Out of school, into a job

In a harsh economy when many college graduates consider themselves fortunate to find any job, Carolyn Becmer, class of 1992 at Towson State University, has the first job of her dreams: She's an investment services representative for the T. Rowe Price investment firm.

"This is a great entry-level position to see how the market goes, a great way of learning about the business environment itself and also about how different people are and what they're looking for," she says.

Best of all, this job really suits her, the Cockeysville resident says.

"I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for as a first job when I got out, but I think this is great. I like everything about it."

Linell Smith


Rediscovering teaching

As Dr. Robert Y. Dubel neared the end of 16 years as Baltimore County school superintendent this summer, friends warned him of the sometimes difficult and long transition from hubbub to retirement.

He says it didn't quite work out that way. "I think it took me one day."

Now, after more than 60 years in the county system from student toteacher to administrator, Dr. Dubel, 67, is into what he calls his "new station in life." That isn't complete retirement. Maybe half.

dTC The other half is a part-time faculty position in the University of Maryland College of Education, working with "mid-career" students in the doctoral program. "I'm enjoying teaching again," he says.

He's thankful for many things in 1992, "a pretty great year for me," he says.


And with a less hectic work schedule, Dr. Dubel says he is having more time for golf. "My scores are improving, so I guess I'm thankful for that, too."

Wayne Hardin

Decent sales for first novel

When Brent Wade's first novel, "Company Man," was published inFebruary, he had low expectations: Perhaps 1,000 would be bought, he thought. But "Company Man," about a man caught between the conflicting worlds of white corporate America and his own black culture, ended up selling about 15,000 copies, a very respectable figure. Mr. Wade, born in Anne Arundel County, was featured in Newsweek, People and Fortune magazines.

There have been more developments this year. He moved from Glen Burnie to a home near Annapolis and changed jobs twice -- he now commutes an hour to Northern Virginia for his job in project management for an AT&T; computer group. Then there was the birth in April of a second son, Clay.

It's a lot to absorb, but Mr. Wade, 33, isn't complaining. "Yvette [his wife] and I are very blessed."


He is working on a second novel, which he hopes to have published in 1994. The paperback of "Company Man" will be out in March, and Mr. Wade has been heartened to hear from college professors who use his book in their classes. "For me and for the type of book it was, I'm ecstatic," he says.

Tim Warren

He's got nothing to kick about

Just four months ago, Kenny Cooper was out of a job and Baltimore was out one professional soccer team, thanks to the July collapse of the Major Indoor Soccer League and the 12-year-old Baltimore Blast. But on the eve of Thanksgiving 1992, the energetic Englishman again paces the home bench at the Baltimore Arena as coach of the new Baltimore Spirit.

"I have two loves in my life: my family and soccer. And sometimes I say the team is almost as close as my wife," said Mr. Cooper, who emigrated to the United States in the late 1970s.

The new indoor soccer team began its season this month, playing in the National Professional Soccer League and boasting many former Blast players on the roster.


"This will be a little bit of a special Thanksgiving for my family," Mr. Cooper says. "In July, we really didn't have a job."

Steve McKerrow