American Dime Museum


When it comes to party decorations, how can you beat a two-headed calf, shrunken heads and a real fake mummy? Then there's the ticket price of "at least one piece of folding money" requested at the door. Somehow, you're tipped off that the American Dime Museum's "Step Right Up" is no ordinary fund-raiser. But then, this is no ordinary museum -- featuring bizarre artifacts from old dime museums and carnival sideshows.

Naturally, the evening's food and entertainment followed the same theme. Guests gorged on corn dogs while performers Harley Newman and Dai Andrews went the low-calorie route -- ingesting fire and swords, respectively.

Mingling and marveling in the crowd of 250: Dick Horne and James Taylor, American Dime Museum co-directors; Dyana Neal and Kati Kershaw, WBJC disc jockeys; Tom Kosis, "Sideshow" Broadway musical associate choreographer; Walt Hudson, "Circus Report" writer; Michael Decker, Maryland Arts Festival producer; Philip Gallant, the Antique Circus owner; Sedonia Martin, Towson University publicist; Valerie Dearing, Linthicum Elementary School art teacher; Dr. Ira Kolman, Baltimore area audiologist; Marceline White, Women's EDGE global trade program director; Craig Coletta, National Association for Community Mediation coordinator; Catherine Rodgers, Mass Transit Administration procurement officer; Susan Evans, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra cellist; Anna Van Mantgem, EER Systems technical writer; Anne Leaver, Community Based Shelter assistant director; and Richard Kirstel, Baltimore actor.

The unusual admission price garnered $2,700 for the museum.

"Maybe [our guests] are not big spenders," co-director Horne explained, "but they had fun."

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