Today at 2 p.m., Baltimore is paying a final salute to the late Al Sanders, WJZ-TV's news and anchorman for many years. The corner of Druid Park Drive and Malden Avenue will be renamed Al Sanders Place in memory of this delightful man who died of cancer in May.
And to make the salute complete, the city is moving Jerry Turner Way, from the 3700 block of Malden (which leads up to WJZ's studios) to the 3600 block so that it intersects with Al Sanders Place. Until his death from cancer in 1987, Turner co-anchored WJZ's popular newscast with Sanders.
Sanders' wife, Ruth, and their son, Brandon; Turner's son, Mac; and WJZ-TV general manager Marcellus Alexander, are among those expected to attend the ceremony.
Almost 10 years ago, then-Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer discovered Jim Widman on a fact-finding mission to Savannah, Ga., where he was gleaning secrets on how to use historic old buildings. One of the stops was Widman's 26-room historic inn, the Eliza Thompson House, which the mayor liked so much that he convinced Widman to come to Baltimore to work his magic.
The result? Widman, a self-professed wanderer who has lived in at least 20 cities, came to Fells Point to open the Admiral Fell Inn. That was nearly 10 years ago. Now, Widman's urban inn has reopened aftera three-year, $6.5 million facelift. Formerly a 40-room inn, the Admiral is now an 80-room luxury hotel, with rooftop meeting and event facilities. Quite a change for this 200-year-old building, which has seen duty as a YMCA boarding house and a bottling plant.
Widman and his partner, Matthias Eckenstein, a Swiss hotelier, have overseen the transformation, which includes two new restaurants. Pan Handle, a bistro specializing in pannekoeken (a Dutch crepe), is slated to open by mid-September and Savannah, which specializes in American cuisine with a Southern accent, is to open by the end of the month. These will be in addition to the inn's English Pub and Point Restaurant. All of the eateries will be under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Cindy Wolf, formerly of Washington's Georgia Brown.
Although Widman, the wanderer, has grown roots, I understand he is still an avid sailor who'll go "anywhere the wind is good," the only difference is that now he returns to Fells Point.
Loretta Garfinkle and her attorney husband, Alan, recently journeyed to Key Biscayne, Fla., where they were honored as the Epilepsy Foundation of America's Volunteers of the Year. For more than 10 years, the Garfinkles have been involved in all facets of the Epilepsy Association of Maryland and are best known for chairing the organization's very successful fundraiser "A Sweet Deal." It's a well-deserved honor for this twosome, who have personally raised more than $75,000 for epilepsy and never return from a vacation without exotic gifts to be raffled for benefits.
"Days of Our Lives" soap star Jaime Lyn Bauer made the presentations to all the honorees, including the Garfinkles and producer/director Jim Abrahams and his wife, Nancy, who were recognized for creating public awareness of epilepsy.
Call for events
In mid-September I plan to run a calendar of social events taking place in October, November and December. If you would like your event listed, please send a note, including date, time, cost, dress code, contact name and phone number, to my attention, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Fax: 783-2519.