Days after the merger of the Anne Arundel Trade Council and the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce, a tinge of confusion was evident at the combined group's Severna Park office.
Answering the phone on Monday morning, organization spokeswoman Heather Buck said, "Anne Arundel I mean,
Chamber of Commerce. Gosh, I still can't get it right."
It's just after daybreak the morning before Christmas and Lt. Joe Direnzo, a Severna Park High graduate, is skippering his Coast Guard cutter, the Jefferson Island, out of Curtis Bay on the way to its home port in Portland, Maine, and telling stories.
He and his crew were on patrol in the Gulf of Maine on Thanksgiving Day when a storm blew in, knocking the 110-foot cutter around in huge seas, he says. He decided to head for port.
"It was getting really nasty. We were rolling like this," he says, holding his right hand out flat, palm down, twisting his wrist from side to side and waving his arm from right to left.
"It's times like that you say a quick novena and promise an extra $20 at the next Mass."
Money no object
"Anybody in line to just buy stamps?" one of the overworked clerks in the Glen Burnie post office asked the Christmas Eve crowd. Hah.
She got nary a taker. The people braving this long line were nearly all loaded down with boxes and bags they'd waited until the absolute last minute to send.
"Those are not going to arrive by Christmas," one line-sitter told a woman toting two huge bags of beribboned presents.
"Oh yes, they will. By 3 p.m. tomorrow," the woman told her back. "I called and they said, yeah, they could do it."
"Really? How much will that cost?"
"I didn't even ask," the woman said. "It doesn't matter just so long as they get their presents."
Pub Date: 12/27/98