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End of an era: Samuel V. Tompakov,...


End of an era: Samuel V. Tompakov, a doctor who made 0) house calls, retires

When Samuel V. Tompakov first began practicing medicine, patients paid $2 for an office visit and $3 for a house call. Now the family doctor, who has cared for thousands of Baltimoreans during 47 years, has retired.

The 78-year-old general practitioner, who also specialized in internal medicine and cardiology, first set up shop in the 3400 block of Park Heights Avenue. For the past 24 years, he has worked out of an office in Upper Park Heights.

He built up a practice that extended beyond the office doors. "I would put my snow tires on and trudge through the snow to make house calls. I made eight to 10 house calls a month," Dr. Tompakov recalls.

"It was different back then," he says. "People loved their doctors. They would invite me to weddings."

Dr. Tompakov, whose son and son-in-law are physicians, is looking forward to spending more time on his hobbies.

"I'm having fun," he says. "I am keeping socially active. I play the violin, and I enjoy attending the symphony and the opera."

But Dr. Tompakov can't quite make a clean break from the medical profession. Among his favorite activities, he says, is attending medical


@ By her own admission, Marsha Reeves Jews is clumsy, pigeon-toed and capable of bumping smack into her own desk.

Not exactly the description you'd expect of the executivdirector of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland.

No matter. If her feet fail her at times, her words make up for it -- conveying the power of dance and her passion for it.

Ms. Jews became hooked after watching Ailey dancers perform at the Baltimore City Jail in 1991.

"I was scared walking through the place and listening to the doors clang," she says. "But there's something about the Ailey dancer -- a magic that knocks down walls between people. At the end, they [the inmates] were all in tears."

The dancers will turn their attention to homelessness when they perform a ballet about the subject during "Empty Bowls," a fund-raiser for the Maryland Food Committee on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

"For me, the most satisfying thing is watching the audience applaud," she says. "The most difficult is trying to raise the money."

When Ms. Jews, 41, needs time to recharge, she retreats to the Lutherville home she shares with her husband, William L. Jews, the president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland.

@4 She says, "I just sit and lose myself in books."

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Mary Corey

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