A smoky atmosphere surrounded the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and 1812 Museum as it commemorated the 186th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore. But the breeze bore the trademark scent of hamburgers on the grill rather than the acrid aftermath of burned gunpowder. Good thing. Conflict was the furthest thing from the agenda at the Flag House's first annual Bombardment of Baltimore Bash.
Some 250 folks enjoyed an outdoor picnic and toured the house where Mary Pickersgill sewed the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem. Guests could even chat with the songwriter himself -- or a facsimile thereof -- thanks to Alan Gephardt's acting abilities.
Among those cheerfully congregated: Olive Waxter and Jennifer Townsend, event co-chairs; Julie Kenny, Sarah Rhea, Nicole Imbach and Corrie Fleischer, event committee members; Skip Deeley, Flag House board president; Tim Naylor, Brian W. Brooke, Dyson Ehrhardt and Hall Worthington, board members; Sally Johnston, Flag House and 1812 Museum executive director; Pete Hofmeister, Flag House building committee member; John Waters, Fireline Corp. board chair; Dr. Jarrett Wicklein, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church pastor; Lindsay Hargrave, Lindsay's Southside president; Bill Sawers, IKON Office Solutions sales manager; Muffy Deeley, Cigna Healthcare case manager; Richard Karceski, Towson attorney; and Frank Napfel, Castle Security Group president.