PICKING UP WHERE we left off ...
Several readers called to confirm the story (TJI, Jan. 27) about the stranger who took it upon himself to clean up after the horses when the Baltimore Police Department's mounted patrol marched by Saratoga Street during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
As reported in this space, many people apparently gave the fellow money for his good deed, but he used it to buy a large quantity of cotton candy for children along the parade route. Five readers said they witnessed all or part of these events.
The man still has not been identified, which means he's not seeking credit for his voluntarism -- or for his spontaneous generosity toward the kids -- and that's just fine.
An inspired action
The story about Don Price, the Pennsylvania man who recently sent a note to the Baltimore Police Department to thank a traffic cop for a good deed nearly 50 years ago (TJI, Jan. 17), prompted this confession from a TJI reader we'll identify only by her lovely first name, Colleen:
"I stole someone's license plate 30 years ago -- youth, stupidity, and drunkenness -- and recently searched for him and found him (thanks to the Internet) and made restitution. It was good.
"I wish I could go back and undo all the wrong things I've done, but the ability to make amends is a wonderful gift in itself (a gift to me!)"
Error bred of haste
Reference was made in this space Friday to Annapolis lobbyist Gerry Evans' service on behalf of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Referring to this group as "horse breeders" was sloppiness on my part. While some members of the group are horse breeders, the group has as members primarily horse owners and trainers. I gave the impression that Evans works the schmooze circuit for a distinct group, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The son of the former Rose Popolo regrets the error.
A TJI reader in Ocean Pines, Worcester County, agrees with Bobby Governor's stand against slots at Ocean Downs, but not because it might soil the "family atmosphere" of Ocean City.
"I'll fight it to my last breath," says Jeff Thorssell. "How the hell do they expect to get people there?"
"Routes 50 and 589 [Racetrack Road] are busy even now, and during the summer they're bumper to bumper. Add to that the Giant that's going up on 50 and the Riddle Farm development going up behind the track, and it'll be gridlock. No way you can get all the cars for gambling in there."
Local fall of Rome
You used to be able to hear Jim Rome's national sports-talk show on a Baltimore AM station in the middle of the day. Now you can only get it on a Washington, D.C., station (980 AM) while traveling either through downtown or along the southern side of the Beltway, in Howard or Anne Arundel counties. Too bad. I was getting into Rome-speak and his "clone" callers who, while sometimes hyperacidic in their assessments of American sports personalities, contributed sharp, informed commentary.
The station that carried Rome's show dropped it during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, usually Rome's best broadcast week, and replaced it with unbearable blather.
An impression of Baltimore from David Pickeral, a former resident, now in Virginia, visiting the city for one day:
"Baltimore, the sliver I saw of it, has gotten just a bit cleaner -- fewer plastic bags at least -- and perhaps a bit more spruced-up to the extent of restored buildings beyond the Inner Harbor, a few more fixed streets [and more in progress] and the fact that the destination signs on the MTA buses by and large work now. I saw fewer homeless wandering the streets, and the ones I did spot seemed better cared for. Above all, the unique, eclectic atmosphere that is Baltimore whomever puts their name on the door was there as always, reminding me to come back."
Sign at last month's peace rally in Washington: "Saddam Hussein Didn't Cancel My 401-K Plan." ... Bumper sticker on car outside Rotunda: "Jesus Is Coming. Quick, act busy."