Backward on time's winged chariot


HERE are some of the anniversaries to be marked in 1994, after the bells ring Friday night, and the whistles blow and the confetti flies and the ball drops:

* Forty-four years since they tore down the Guilford Avenue El. You got on at Guilford and Chase and rode it downtown to the House of Welsh restaurant -- still there today.

* Twenty-two years since Bickford's ("No. 10 Downing Street"), east side of Calvert between Baltimore and Fayette, closed and changed the dynamics of local politics.

* Seventeen years since the famous Horn and Horn all-night restaurant, Baltimore Street between Guilford Avenue and The Block, closed.

* Twenty-seven years since the statue known as "Black Aggie" was removed from Druid Ridge Cemetery, depriving a generation of teen-agers a scary visit as the highlight of a Saturday night date.

* Sixteen years since the referendum on Harborplace. It passed, but not by much.

* Twenty-five years since the Gayety burned down. Winnie Garrett was the featured dancer that night.

* Thirty-six years since the B&O;'s Royal Blue made its last run to New York out of Mount Royal station.

* Twenty-five years since the last "Art in the Park" show around Druid Hill Park Reservoir.

* Eight years since the News American folded.

* Twenty-four years since the last Rice's Bread truck delivered its famous "Louisiana Rings" door-to-door.

* Thirty years since Ford's Theater closed. The last show was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," with Jerry Lester.

* Forty-seven years since the first Baltimore television broadcast. It was the sixth race at Pimlico, telecast on WMAR. Jim McManus, now Jim McKay, was the announcer.

* Fifty-six years since the great 1938 match race at Pimlico when the mighty Seabiscuit beat the equally mighty War Admiral.

* Thirty years (hard to believe) since the Beatles visited Baltimore in 1964 at the Civic Center. Thousands of teen-agers stormed the Holiday Inn downtown when they learned the Beatles were staying there.

* Fifty-six years since fire destroyed Brown's Grove, the only beach open to blacks in those days of segregation. It was served by its own excursion steamers.

* Thirty-nine years since the city installed its first parking meters in 1955 (at Sam Smith Park, where Harborplace is today).

* Forty-three years since "Tunnel Joe" Holmes tunneled his way out of the Maryland Penitentiary.

* Twenty-seven years since the grand opening of the Mechanic Theater. Betty Grable played the lead in "Hello, Dolly!"

* Fifty-eight years since Emerson Drug Co. (makers of Bromo Seltzer) took down the famous bottle from the top of its tower on Lombard Street.

* Ten years since Robert Irsay took his Colts to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. The team has managed to get into one playoff game (which it lost) in the decade since it left.

But come New Year's Eve, you will undoubtedly have anniversaries of your own to think about or celebrate.

Please do, and Happy New Year from . . .

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