Confederate and Union soldiers filled the streets of Towson last night. They were among the more than 650 Civil War enthusiasts at the Towson Commons General Cinema complex for a screening of the new four-hour movie, "Gettysburg."
Everyone was thrilled that Martin Sheen, better known to the group as "The General" Robert E. Lee, joined them and brought his son, Charlie, with him. (Charlie is in town making "Major League II.") The majority of the audience appeared in the film and they saluted Sheen by stomping the floor when he took his seat.
Sheen's appearance was sheer luck. Earlier this week, Bruce Nelson, a Civil War re-enactor in the film "Gettysburg," was at Oriole Park at Camden Yards where scenes for "Major League II" were being shot. He mentioned to one of the film's production people that there would be a special preview of "Gettysburg" to raise funds for a Maryland monument on the Gettysburg battlefield. And, Nelson continued, wouldn't it be nice if "The General" could attend!
Others included Steve Bockmiller, a re-enactor and chair of the monument dedication committee; Courtney Wilson, owner of American Military Antiques; Ken Schwartz, Maryland Geological Survey, who helped find the 40-ton piece of Maryland granite that will be the pedestal of the 14-foot monument; Nathan Winslow, commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion; retired U.S. Army Col. Edwin Wolf; Transportation Secretary Jim Lighthizer; and Julie and Tom Mallonee -- he's an advertising exec.
Organizer Jim Holechek, a retired public relations man and a Citizens for a Maryland Monument in Gettysburg board member who also had a part in the movie, says there was so much interest in the benefit that he could have filled three theaters instead of two. But after last night's fund-raiser, the committee is still approximately $60,000 shy of what is needed to erect the monument, which will depict a wounded Confederate and Union soldier trying to help each other.
If words like spinnaker, mast, rigging, jib and port are part of your lingo, you'll feel right at home in Annapolis this weekend. Not only will our capital be the host city for the U.S. Sailboat Show, but the prestigious Columbus Cup races begin next week.
On Monday, an illustrious group of sailing captains participating in the races will hold forth at the Severn Sailing Association to explain how round-robin team racing works. On Tuesday, the races begin with skippers Jim Brady, Chris Larson, Brad Dellenbaugh, Kevin Mahaney, John Kostecki, Ken Read, John Cutter, Peter Evans, Bill Campbell, Dawn Riley, Paula Lewin and Hannah Swett at the helms.
After two days of racing in the Severn River, the boats come to Baltimore for Friday and Saturday racing. A great place to watch these races will be Fort McHenry. Gary Jobson, ESPN commentator, will cover the Baltimore races and will give a recap both days at the HarborView Marina and Yacht Club.
The audience at Baltimore's Comedy Club, located above Burke's Restaurant, had an unexpected treat recently when out of the shadows popped Tom Arnold. He was introduced as a guest, then proceeded to entertain the crowd for the next 20 minutes.
Everyone howled with delight as he did some observational humor about Baltimore, his career and his wife, Roseanne.
More than 80 people gathered at the Maryland Club to celebrate Philip Smith's birthday. And since it was the big 4-0 for Smith, a mover and shaker in the Republican party who also runs an Alexandria, Va., consulting firm, his wife Nancy decided to surprise him.
I hear the food was wonderful and Tony Berry and New Money kept people dancing most of the evening. Guests included Dr. Charles and Jane Cummings, Abby Nash, Lydia Weiss, Lisa and Greg Barnhill, Mike Lewin, J. Carter Beese, George and Pootah Rich, Richard and Freddie Struse, Kin and Sandy Yellott, Mark Fischer, and the Smiths' darling daughter, Maggie.