Loyola loyalists swirl around De Francis at gala


Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the scene of a gala holiday party for members of the John Early Society of Loyola College. (These are Loyola's behind-the-scenes movers and shakers.)

Several hundred guests attended the party, with its host, tennis great Pam Shriver, who had little trouble booking the club level at Camden Yards, now that she's a part owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

One of the first persons I saw was city councilman Mike Curran, who had some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he's getting married. His fiance, Ellen Murdock, was sporting a good-looking diamond-and-emerald engagement ring. No date has been set for the wedding because Mike, who recently recuperated from open heart surgery, must have another operation.

As you can imagine, Joe De Francis, owner of Pimlico and Laurel race tracks, was the center of attention because of his negotiations with Jack Kent Cooke to sell land for a new Washington Redskins stadium. I could have sworn I heard someone say "Hell to the Redskins."

Others at the party were Margaret and Jim (McKay) McManus, Rita and Tom Cinnamond, Tina and Jim Doyle, Frank and Emma Favazza, Paul and Anna Feeley, Dal and Harry Ratrie, Gil and Shifra Rubin, Sam and Margot Shriver, Ted Herget and Teri Kelly, Frances Reaves and Tom Koch, Jim and Rosemary Lazzati, Clarisse Mechanic and Jim and Francine Sellinger, who were with Jim's dad, Frank, former president of Schlitz Beer and the brother of Loyola's late president Father Joe Sellinger.


Hot on the heels of being on "The Today Show" and in People magazine, Amazon rain forest guru Mark J. Plotkin will be at the National Aquarium today. He's here for a book signing/talk from noon to 2 p.m. in classroom 2 on Pier 4. I heard him on the "Today Show" and his story is fascinating.

Guests are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch to this free event where Plotkin will talk about his new book, "Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice," which documents his search for new medicines in the Amazon rain forest. Copies of the book will be available for $22 for non- aquarium members; aquarium members get a 10 percent discount.


Legislators, cabinet members and other government bigwigs were invited to a Holiday Open House at the governor's mansion this week. (This was one of a series of parties given this week by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and his hostess, Hilda Mae Snoops.) Entertainment for the legislative bash, was as usual, the Legislative Chorus, who stood on the hall steps of the mansion singing signature songs such as "Jingle Bells." According to the longtime chorus master, speaker pro-tem Gary Alexander, "The governor even took a turn conducting the chorus, which was the first time he remembers members of the legislature being in tune with [him]."

I'm told that Alexander had difficulty controlling the ire of some of his chorus members, when he pulled out the sheet music for "Hail to the Redskins," for the finale. After a quickie caucus, he was outvoted 14-12. I bet House Speaker Cas Taylor couldn't have garnered any more votes than Alexander on this issue.


Homebodies take note: Turn on the "Geraldo!" show this morning at 11 on WMAR-TV and watch as Channel 2 news anchor/consumer reporter Beverly Burke participates in a consumer-oriented show. The show is about Christmas cons and will feature tips on how to avoid being duped during the holiday season.


The Senator Theatre is offering several film classics this weekend. Tomorrow, there will be three showings of the 1939 film, "The Little Princess," starring Shirley Temple, and on Sunday there will be five showings of Frank Capra's 1946 masterpiece, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.

This is a two-day fund raiser for the Maryland Food Bank, so the cost of admission is $3 or $3 worth of non-perishable food items. Call the theater for show times at (410) 435-1118.

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