Ripken bio due in July


July is shaping up to be a banner month for the Cal Ripken Jr family. Rumors are that it's the month Kelly and Cal are expecting their second child, the All-Star Game will be played at Camden Yards, and now Lois Nicholson's biography, "Cal Ripken, Jr." will be released in July.

Nicholson, a media specialist who teaches first through eighth grades for the Kent County school system, got the idea of writing about Ripken from her students, who were constantly asking for books about him. She says today's children do not have many heroes and that the Orioles' superstar shortstop is a perfect example of what a hero should be.

She contacted Cal's agent, Ron Shapiro, and when he gave her the green light, she began her interviews. Cal's mom, Vi, was very cooperative and lent Nicholson most of the pictures used in the book. Others who were helpful were Rex Barney, who wrote the foreword, Larry Sheets, Tim Norris (a friend and minor league teammate), Jimy Williams, (Cal's minor league manager in Charlotte, N.C.), Donnie Morrison (Cal's Aberdeen High School coach) and Johnny Oates.

Tidewater Publishers in Centreville is publishing the hardback book, which is geared to readers of junior high school age and up. Who knows, maybe they'll publish the other bios Nicholson is writing about George Washington Carver, Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey.

Some of Maryland's best skeet and trap shooters were treated to a first-hand look at how well "Annie Get Your Gun" star Cathy Rigby handles a gun.

Last weekend, Rigby and her co-star Brent Barrett stopped by the Women's Invitational Shoot at the Loch Raven Skeet and Trap Club on Dulaney Valley Road. Although the shotgun was almost as big as Rigby, she managed to hit a few clay targets. As did Barrett.

Then the stars watched as 10 of Maryland's top skeet and trap shooters put on a shooting exhibition. The skeet team was made up of Mollie Brake and Gloria Creighton from Cambridge, Coast Guard Lt. Col. Trish Darcy from New Jersey, Mel Frenkil and Tucky Dinning. Trap shooters included Jean Greb, Joanne Hughes, Laura Weldy, Bernie Sheppard and Mary Prime.

John Ballard, coordinator of the exhibition and a member of the Loch Raven Skeet and Trap Club, wants everyone to know that the club is open for public use. Call (410) 252-3851 for information.

Two tons of Maryland seafood were delivered to more than 150 tour operators and other dignitaries at a humongous crab feast at the Vienna Hilton in Austria last Tuesday.

Maryland's Tourism Office, Airtour Austria and Maryland's crab cake ambassadors, Faidley's Seafood at Lexington Market, threw the party, which consisted of hard crabs and lump crab cakes washed down with National Premium beer. Each guest left with a spicy Maryland memento -- Old Bay seafood seasoning.

Congratulations to Elizabeth "Beth" Tuohy and Bernard "Buzz" Murphy, who were married at the Admiral Fell Inn on St. Patrick's Day. Buzz is director of legislative reference for Baltimore, and Beth works for the city solicitor's office.

Debra Diamond, former fund manager and vice president at T. Rowe Price, has taken her expertise to the airways. On Friday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., "Trend Watch with Debra Diamond" is on WPGC-AM radio, Washington's all-financial news station.

People are talking about the success of the Key West Cafe and Club in the Perring Park Shopping Center. Business is booming at this two-story eatery, which tries to feature something for everyone.

McDermott's Upper Deck draws a younger, sports-type crowd, while the downstairs area caters to the more mature crowd. The restaurant specializes in seafood and offers a few beef dishes. And there's dancing -- high-energy music downstairs, Deejay up. Just ask for Jerry Sadler, who'll be happy to show you around and perhaps introduce you to the owner, Timothy Bennett.

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