Kind acts, loose language and Baltimore Ravens


Heads up, everybody. We are in National Random Acts of Kindness Week, and this Friday has been declared Random Acts of Kindness Day in Maryland by the governor. There now. Consider yourselves warned.

Long-distance support

A 7th District voter in the city tells of an intriguing phone call he received on behalf of the Rev. Frank M. Reid III, one of the 27 Democrats running for Kweisi Mfume's congressional seat. The woman making the call said she was a volunteer for Reid, though she did not live in the 7th District. "Where do you live?" she was asked. "South Carolina," she answered, then hung up.

What's up with that? Nothing sinister or terribly surprising, but something certainly interesting. Sources say Reid, pastor of the 10,000-member Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in West Baltimore, is getting serious church support, including phone banks in other states. It's the kind of organizational strength that makes Reid such a formidable contender.

Quoth the Raven

Name that team:

I like Ravens because I like ravens. They're scavengers; they pick at the dead. They're beautiful, and creepy. They're Hitchcockian. And, as a Friday caller to a radio show pointed out so eloquently: "There's, you know, that Poe thing." Not to mention, in our hunt for other local connections, that "Loch thing."

But until yesterday, when I reached page 496 of the Brooks-Rockel history of Baltimore County, I thought our metropolitan reservoir took its name from the flocks of black birds that had roosted there. I was surprised to learn that Loch Raven was named after one of the first settlers of the area, Luke Raven. (And I bet he had a son named L'il Luke.) I vote for Ravens. We're a city of birds.

Hunting alligators

A Baltimore firefighter named Dennis -- he didn't give his last name -- kept a list of malaprops heard around the engine house. Here's a sampling:

"The captain was really mad; I heard him in his office and he was rampin' and raven!" (There's that word again.)

"It is 3 degrees out tonight. I wonder what the windshield factor is." (I dunno, but cold enough to freeze any bugs that land there.)

"Someone in the engine house has been making allegations about me, and I intend to find out just who the alligator is." (And when I do, I'll turn him into luggage!)

Here's one a friend in Mount Washington passed along: "A devout workman told our baby sitter how lucky we are that God 'gave the world his only forgotten son.' "

And the kitchen sink

A-Good-Dog-Woulda-Been-Cheaper Department:

Howard County police report that burglars entered a home in the 10500 block of Stansfield Road, North Laurel, and used pillow cases from inside to haul off a videocassette recorder, a stereo, jewelry, rifles, handguns, compound bows, knives, and a chain saw.

Talk isn't cheap

Gripe Of The Day (or "I'll Be a Bolshevik in the Telecommunications Revolution"):

This friend calls me from Bibelot, which is not a province of France but a bookstore in Pikesville, and every three minutes I hear these beeps. Friend says, "Hold on, I gotta pump another quarter into this thing." The thing charges 25 cents for three minutes of chat! I think the total was $1.25 for a 15-minute local call.

Java jab

From Dennis Peddy, operator of The Ridge Store, Cockeysville: "I like going to McDonald's and complaining that the coffee isn't hot enough. That always gets them riled up."

Great food, but the decor

When was the last time you rang the doorbell for lunch or dinner at Martick's? I suggest this adventure. We had another good meal there the other day. Longtime restaurateur Morris Martick, spotted some months ago attending culinary lectures, still prepares fine French-inspired food and offers an eclectic menu. If, as always, you can appreciate the funkiness of the place -- I agree with Sun colleague Elizabeth Large that the dining room has become a bit too shabby of late -- you'll be happily sated.

And a pound of carrot salad

Remember Nikki Hopkins and her hunt for prepackaged pistachio ice cream? She couldn't find any, so she wrote to This Just In, we published her letter and more than 100 readers called us with answers to the mystery.

Now this: Ms. Linda Healey of Sykesville, and her hunt for carrot salad.

"When Montgomery Ward was located on Route 40 and Rolling Road, they operated a deli which sold carrot salad," she writes. "Well, they closed the deli and the carrot salad was gone. I have never tasted any as good as what they sold. I am hoping that you could find out who made it and if it's still available any place."

OK, Linda, you silly wabbit, I'm going to help, but just this once. You get one shot at using this column for personal gain, and this is it! I'm telling people to call if they have any information leading to Montgomery Ward's carrot salad. But don't call me this time.

Call Linda (795-1149) 'cause she asked for it.

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