Lots of affection and insider stories highlighted the dinner honoring former University of Maryland Baltimore County coach Dick Watts. Although he's still teaching at UMBC and helping Villa Julie College with its athletic programs, he retired as UMBC's lacrosse coach. It was a group of his former players who wanted to pay tribute to "Pappy" Watts, who used to tell them his 80-year-old grandmother could run faster than they could.
WJZ-TV's weekend sports anchor Chris Ely, a longtime lacrosse official, kept the program moving. Among the toasters and roasters were Bob Scott, JHU athletic director; Carl Runk, TSU coach; Charlie Croker, UMBC coach; Jim "Snuffy" Smith, UMBC basketball coach; and Watts' former lacrosse players Ron Smith, Joe Gold, Kevin O'Neill and Joe Baldini. Dick's wife, Marcie, and her mom, Charlotte Russell, enjoyed the festivities, as did the Watts children -- Paige, Allen, Charmie, Bonnie, Ricky and David, along with Ricky's wife Emily and David's wife Nancy. Tables were also filled with close friends Barbara and Jim Stevens, Jack and Susan Bowden, Linda and David Long, and Charlie Edmunds and his daughter, Katie Reed.
It was a nice evening that ended with lots of presents, including a nice set of golf clubs.
Rumor has it that Maryland congressman Kweisi Mfume is dating actress Lynn Whitfield. Or maybe I should say they were together at the White House dinner for President of South Africa Nelson Mandela . . .
A friend of mine sat with John McEnroe's girlfriend, Patty Smyth, who once sang with the band Scandal, at the recent tennis matches at the Baltimore Arena. They got the message that it was her first tennis match when she reacted to one of the ref's calls by saying, "That wasn't his fault." . . .
Actress-director Jody Foster was spotted eating lunch at the Polo Grill with Maryland Film Commission folks on Monday. I hear she was in town just for the day on a scouting trip. Could this mean that she'll be filming here in the near future? . . .
Denise Koch, WJZ-TV anchor, and her husband, Jack Phippin, a theater director who also teaches the graduate acting program at Catholic University. After 17 years of marriage, they're expecting twins the end of January. Word is that they know for sure that one is a girl . . .
Judge Ellen Hollander, who was sworn in to replace Judge Diana G. Motz on the Court of Special Appeals for Maryland. A reception in the Governor's Room at the State House followed the ceremony, which was attended by friends and family. At her side was "Saint" Richard Hollander, her nickname for her husband, and their three children, Hillary, Craig and Brett . . .
Carolyn Donohue, president of Waverly International, who was awarded the 1994 Trail Blazer Award from the Business Women of Baltimore.
On hand to congratulate Donohue and to hear words of wisdom from Carolyn Burridge, president of CTB Associates, were Kate McDonald, Betsy Hayes, Caro-Ammon Platt, Kathie Herbst, Caroline Warfield, Pat Jones, Vicki Dawson, Tina Cromwell, Sue Hassell, Jill Heppinstall and Kay Garnish . . .
Bill Fogle, Maryland secretary of Licensing and Regulation, the man who is trying to blow the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel out of all public buildings. Fogle picked up not one but two awards last Wednesday. First stop was the American Lung Association luncheon, where he was presented with the 1994 Distinguished Public Service Award.
Later, at dinner, the American Cancer Society honored him for "his courageous leadership in efforts to protect state workers from involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke." . . .
Maria Brandenbaugh, whose Cajun Shrimp Scampi recipe won Obrycki's Taste-off Recipe Contest, landing her $500 and a slot on Obrycki's menu.