'Spud' no dud in laugh department


There was lots of excitement at the Walters Art Gallery the week after Christmas. Not only was it a record-setting week for visitors, but a crew from NBC Sports spent several hours in the museum's 1904 building filming a two-hour sports special. Scheduled to air Jan. 14 will be Baltimore performances by well-known figure skaters. Additional footage showing international stars Kurt Browning, Katerina Witt, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Paul Wylie, Sergei Grichoch and Katia Platov in the Renaissance Sculpture Court and the Medieval and Renaissance galleries will be used to introduce various segments of the NBC special.

What you won't see on television is most of the skaters sitting on the marble floor of the Renaissance Sculpture Court in a circle entertaining a crying child with Mr. Potato Head. The Russian skaters, Sergei and Katia, had their 2-year-old daughter, Daria, with them, and no one could get her to stop crying -- until Walters' graphic designer, Teresa Segreti, brought out her favorite office decoration, Mr. Potato Head. Soon everyone was laughing.

What a great way to begin the New Year! Dwayne McCoy, the man who runs the engines at the B&O; Railroad Museum, was thrilled to be featured on "Good Morning America" this week, even if it did mean arriving at the museum by 4 a.m.

The occasion touted Channel 2's new affiliation with the ABC network, and Channel 2's morning team of Rudy Miller and Norm Lewis was on hand to yuk it up with ABC weatherman Spencer Christian. (Actually it was more like a reunion for Rudy and Spencer, who once worked at WBAL-TV together.)

Something new has been added to this year's Hollywood-themed Casino Ball to benefit the Baltimore Museum of Art. Linda Georgian, widely known for her role in Inphomation's Psychic Friends Network, will be on hand to make predictions for party goers.

A few of her predictions for 1995 include: Tonya Harding bares it all in Playboy, Brooke Shields gets married, not to Andre Agassi; and for my son-in-law who just shaved his mustache off -- mustaches are in.

Linda sees good things for Channel 2's Mary Beth Marsden, celebrity co-chair of the ball. She says Mary Beth's here to stay, will get a promotion, have two children, is fascinated with shoes, and should have her tires checked. If that rings true to you, call (410) 235-0100 for tickets.

Paul Brodeur, author and lecturer, will be at St. Paul's School's Ward Center for the Arts on Jan. 15. He'll talk about the health hazards posed by exposure to electromagnetic fields given off by high voltage and high current power lines.

It's his opinion that the electric industry and the federal government try to cover the extent of this hazard from the people. He was invited by the Friends of the Ridge, a group that has been fighting the expansion of a BGE substation in Baltimore County. The lecture begins at 4:30 p.m. and a $5 donation is requested.

Awilda Marquez, founder of Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore and one of the winners of the 1994 Maryland JC Penney Golden Rule Volunteer Awards, went on to become one of Penney's National Golden Rule winners. That honor brought Ms. Marquez, chief counsel of the Economic Development Administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, $10,000 for her organization. The deadline to nominate Maryland volunteers for the 1995 awards is March 4. To get a nomination form, call (410) 298-8100.

South Africa's ambassador to the United States, Franklin A. Sonn, will make what is being described as his first major U.S. address, at Beth Tfiloh Synagogue Jan. 12.

Mr. Sonn, an educator and businessman, will outline President Nelson Mandela's plans for a new day in South Africa and the opportunities for group and individual partnerships between the United States and South Africa. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free to the public.

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