President Clinton's ears perked up yesterday when he heard that Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., chairman of the Parks Sausage Co., was in the room with Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
"Are you really at the Parks Sausage Co.?" Mr. Clinton asked. "I want you to send me some. I admit that I am hereby asking for my own pork."
It was the promise of a different kind of largess that drew the black-owned company to the Park Circle Industrial Park from its former location near the Camden Yards ballpark site two years ago.
The park received its first boost from then-President Ronald Reagan, who visited the location in 1982 "and said what a great place for an enterprise zone," Mr. Schmoke remarked yesterday before a conference call Mr. Clinton organized to announce a new economic development program.
"Well, they didn't put much money in, but the state did," Mr. Schmoke recalled.
It never was declared a federal enterprise zone, but Park Circle became one of 17 state zones, urban and rural, that state officials estimate have generated more than $200 million in investments in the past decade.
At Park Circle, about 60 businesses employ 1,400 people.