We begin, because it's Christmas, with a happy ending: Some nice cosmetic surgeon in Montgomery County has started to remove (at no charge) the bulldog tattoo from the chest of Sally Dietrich's 13-year-old son. Sally is happy. Her son is happy, if only because his mother's happy. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward mom.
Back in September, Sally had a mild fit when the lad came home from a Dundalk flea market with the bulldog -- and U.S. Marine Corps initials -- under his shirt. How, she wanted to know, can minors get a tattoo without parental permission? (Since then, the Baltimore County Council, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and members of the General Assembly have tried to get answers. New rules, laws -- we'll see more of them this coming year.)
Sally and son have been "doing a lot of media" since they appeared in this l'il ole column. "Good Morning America" even flew them to New York for a chat with Charlie Gibson. A Bethesda doctor, who read about Sally and son in the Washington Post, volunteered free laser-removal of the tattoo; the first of many sessions took place last week. But, perhaps most important of all, a smart and caring Marine came to the Dietrich door with a message for sonny boy: Getting "USMC" tattooed to your chest against your mother's will is no way to become one of the few, the proud. Message received, sir.
Gentlemen, if you awoke to a Christmas gift of saddle shoes, what can I say? I warned you this could happen. From Howard to Harford, Arundel to Carroll, women have been overcome with some kind of seasonal flu that makes them get the black-and-whites for the men in their lives, thinking the men in their lives desire them. No foolin'. We've actually seen women buying them. While gift shopping at Hess Shoes in Towson Town Center last week, one of our far-flung TJI correspondents saw two women (late 30s, early 40s) grab the men's saddles ($155 pair), exclaim, "Yes!" and buy them. "And over the next 20 minutes," our spy reports, "three more women were looking with intent. It was scary. I had to get out of there."
Spielberg on location
I hear Stephen Spielberg, set to direct a movie about the bloody rebellion aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad in 1839, will be on location in Annapolis and New Castle, Del., this winter and spring. ... Dan Schiavone, 30-something Renaissance man and mover in the Fells Point Creative Alliance, has marked the old Moose Hall on Highland Avenue for what could become a Baltimore neo-bohemian hangout. A party Sunday with a jazz jam was packed with young and semiyoung revelers. ... Baltimore's Hollywood Diner (scenes from "Diner," "Tin Men" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were shot there) is featured in a great-looking 1997 calendar from Roadway Express Trucking. Look for the diner, which provides job-training for at-risk kids through the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, between March and May.
Sign on the door of a Towson-area dry cleaning store: "Open: Monday -- Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday, to pray for better hours."
Our chief cultural correspondent Joey Amalfitano reports: "Some your readers probably think all Maxine and I do is eat and a few other things. But we do have our cultural needs, and Saturday night we went to the Mechanic, Row M. The show, 'Smokey Joe's Cafe,' was a fast-moving, energetic tribute to the work of Jerry Leiber (a Baltimore native) and Mike Stoller, who penned lyrics for Elvis, Little Esther, The Drifters, Willie Mae 'Big Mama' Thornton, The Coasters, and Ruth Brown, to mention a few. Does that speak to their reach and brilliance?
"I hung out on the playgrounds and city street corners and consider myself an aficionado of doo-wop, rhythm and blues and plain old rock 'n' roll. The play was entertaining and the seven-piece band tight; we thought the performances were fun, but so-so. The bass singer, Ashley Howard Wilkinson, would probably sound better in 'The Phantom of the Opera.' Alltrinna Grayson could belt it out but lacked the smooth soul of the artists of that era. The sparkling moment of the show was Eugene Fleming singing Ben E. King's 'Spanish Harlem' accompanied in a breezy, dreamy dance routine with Reva Rice. Fleming could have sung lead or harmony in any of those great groups. And Ms. Rice was born for that song. Ms. Rice is nice."
Treat your feet
This Just In: Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center at Inwood Village, in recognition of the opening of podiatry services at the center, will sponsor a free foot screening by podiatrist Charles Boyd from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 13. (Great, but is it worth standing in line for?)
No free lunch
Noted (on a two-hour, two-mile walking tour of the General Motors Broening Highway plant): A sign reminding visitors to stay inside the yellow lines on the floor and "DON'T FEED THE AUTOWORKERS."
Good Samaritan Fund
Donations are still being accepted from anyone outraged by the lTC Mike Donlan story -- good Samaritan beaten unconscious by thugs -- and inclined to help the South Baltimore guy pay some medical bills. The address for the Michael Donlan Good Samaritan Fund is: P.O. Box 20131498M, Reisterstown Road, Baltimore 21208.
This Just In wishes y'all Happy Holidays. You can contact us by voice mail at 332-6166, by post at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, by electronic mail at TJIDAol.com, or through the World Wide Web at http: //www.sunspot.net. Shirts and shoes must be worn.
Pub Date: 12/25/96