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The good, the strange and the congressman who ate a calendar


Sometimes I feel like the desk sergeant who's always answering the phone. (Ring) Yeah. You want to report what? A good Samaritan? What's your name, ma'am? Deborah Bradford. OK, what happened?

You were on I-95 southbound from the city. You got a flat. You had your 2 1/2 -year-old son, Christopher, with you. You pulled over and called for help on your CB. A guy pulled behind you in a truck. He got out and fixed your tire in the freezing cold. You offered him five bucks, but he turned it down. That's nice, Ms. Bradford. So you're amazed such a thing could happen in this day and age, and you want Alan -- is that his name, Alan? -- you want Alan to know you're donating $5 in his name to a charity. All right. Consider it done. Alan, you're a mensch.

(Ring) What's the name, ma'am? Sherry Katz? How's that? Oh, it's spelled C-h-e-r-e. You want to report a good Samaritan, too? OK.

You and your business partner, Barbara Schaner, were driving north on I-95 from Potomac. You were headed to BWI to catch a plane to Atlanta to show your antique button jewelry at a gift show. You were late. It was rush hour. You blew a tire. Where'd this happen, ma'am? Near Jessup? OK, continue.

You pull onto the shoulder. A guy pulls his station wagon onto the median strip and he runs across the highway to get to you. He what? He offers to drive you to the airport? You didn't accept, did you? You did?

What's that? Then you gave him the keys to your car? You flew to Atlanta leaving a stranger with the keys to your car? And you gave him the home phone number of your partner, whose daughter just happened to be home alone from college? And the guy drove to Potomac? And returned the keys to your partner's daughter, who arranged to have the car towed.

So this story has a happy ending. Nothing bad happened. And you want people

to know about it.

What's that? I sound like a cynic? Actually, I'm a sucker for good Samaritan stories. What's this guy's name? George Miller? And everyone calls him Buddy. All right, ma'am. I'll pass it along. Buddy, you're a mensch.

About those calendars

If any of Wayne T. Gilchrest's Eastern Shore constituents are rummaging madly for their 1994 congressional calendars -- "Hey, Millard! Wudja do with my new Congress calendar?" -- they should take note: The calendars never left Washington. To get one this year you have to send a check or money order for $8.90 to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Gilchrest says it's a costly expenditure, totally unnecessary, and he's through with it. Even so, the 1st District congressman has received "a few angry phone calls." But that should have been expected. After all, some folks just love to sit by the front door every winter waiting for their new congressional calendar to arrive. And when it doesn't, well, sir, it's like pulling up a crab pot and finding nothin' but chicken necks.

Finding the words

The most amusing thing about our search for the Pothole From Hell -- besides the volume of reports -- is the manner in which people around Baltimore have described their nominations.

"Rather bad" is how a woman calling from Charles Village described the pothole at 28th and Guilford.

"It eats hubcaps, check it out, man," is what the fellow from Elkridge said about the pothole at Cold Spring and The Alameda, while a woman named Minnie said of the same crater: "Looks like London after the bombing."

Meanwhile, "a real traffic stopper" can be found in the 1100 block of St. Paul, assuming the city's 1,000-potholes-patched-per-day juggernaut hasn't already found it. "A 17th-century cobblestone eruption" was how Bob Bristol described the mess at Central and Eastern. I hope the boys in public works are finding all this helpful. Call me on 332-6166 with your PFH nomination.

A true confession

Let it be known that Susan Hughes Gray is not the "finking Rodgers Forge correspondent" who reported those energy-wasting Christmas lights on Stevenson Lane during the Big Chill.

I make this declaration because someone has accused Ms. Gray of being the fink. Ms. Gray is no fink, and she doesn't even live in Rodgers Forge. She had nothing to do with the awarding of January's Loathsome Sluggard Award to the Forger who kept Christmas lights on while BG&E; implored us to save energy.

Ironically (and, I think you'll agree, oddly), the anonymous accusation -- in the form of a rude and unsigned note mailed to the Gray household after the Loathsome Sluggard Award announcement appeared in this space -- stunned Ms. Gray into an inadvertent confession.

It turns out she also kept Christmas lights on! "I guess I should feel deeply ashamed," Ms. Gray wrote on recycled paper. "But I know that [minilights] use a minimal amount of electricity and I thought they offered a bit of cheer to a rather gloomy few nights. For the record, I did absolutely no laundry during the time in question and I didn't use a dishwasher. (Of course, we don't have one, but I wouldn't have used it if we did.)"

Preparedness plank

At a recent candidates night for Annapolis' upcoming special election for Ward 1 alderman, frequent candidate and activist Louise Rothchild Meyers Beauregard presented the planks in her platform. Among them: She wants to raise City Dock to prepare for global warming. I'm with Louise. Why wait?

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