First down and out, then up to high society

"The bride is a great-granddaughter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt." That's the sort of gal who can expect to get her nuptials announced in Sunday's New York Times. Not the "former junkie" who'd once exchanged sex for drugs.

But it was Fran Boyd of Baltimore who got the big, two-picture spread in the Times' weddings section Sunday, on the occasion of her marriage to Donnie Andrews, a convicted murderer. Kathleen Roosevelt, the bride with the presidential pedigree and prep-school sweetheart, had to settle for a headshot and eight measly 'grafs.


Boyd, 50, and Andrews, 53, have turned their lives around and helped others do the same - Herculean accomplishments to be sure, but the type that usually escapes the notice of the nation's society pages.

The couple came to the Times' attention because, as the paper put it in a Page 1 story that preceded the wedding notice, "Their separate stories of decline into drugs and violence are nationally known: Mr. Andrews was the inspiration for the character Omar Little, a ruthless thug who stalks dealers on the HBO series 'The Wire.' Ms. Boyd was the protagonist of 'The Corner,' an HBO miniseries that chronicled her fall into addiction."


Bride and groom both got a kick out of making the Times' weddings pages.

"It was cool," said Andrews, who does anti-gang outreach for Bethel AME Church. "It's an experience, considering where I came from."

Said Boyd, who does street-level HIV intervention for the New Hope Treatment Center: "I loved it. I'm still trying to take it all in. Sometimes I just look at stuff like that and it just makes you flash back to how far you've come."

Their fortunes could improve further still. Since the news story appeared, several people have proposed books and movies about their lives, Andrews said.

Hasn't HBO already done that? Boyd was quick to disagree.

"That wasn't a story of my life," she said. "That was just a part of it."

We write about people; we're not written about

Andrews' best man was David Simon, the Wire creator and Corner co-author. I phoned Simon to see if he'd like to talk about his role in the festivities. The call did not go well. Weddings, it seems, are sort of a touchy subject for Simon.


He married best-selling mystery writer Laura Lippman back in October. Rumor had it that John Waters - the movie director and, it turns out, mail-order preacher - performed the ceremony, something that sounded just weird enough to be true. So I contacted Lippman, who, like Simon, is a Sun alum. No comment. Waters' name was right there on the couple's marriage license, a public document, so I wrote about it anyway.

I later heard through the grapevine that my courthouse snooping did not go over well with the newlyweds. So was Simon willing to chat about another wedding?

"No," he said. "You might want to look that up at the courthouse."


Stuck with the condo fees

Two and a half years after he put it up for sale, Ed Hale has taken his waterfront penthouse off the market.


"I'm going to wait till this all blows over," he said, referring to the down real estate market.

His Canton bachelor pad was first listed in February 2005 for $2.5 million. The price later dropped to $1.75 million.

"I thought it could get a pretty good price," Hale said. "I was wrong."

The market hasn't kept the 1st Mariner Bank CEO from moving out and up. He is already settled into a new penthouse, atop his 17-story Canton Crossing office tower.

But Hale is stuck shelling out for condo fees on the old place, to the tune of $1,061 a month.

"If somebody calls up the Realtors and wants to get a place with a great view, we'll show it to them. But now's not the time to sell anything."


Connect the dots

Martin O'Malley and a few members of his band, O'Malley's March, opened for the Saw Doctors on Monday night at Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis. I'm told he played three songs, kept his shirtsleeves on, then sat back and watched the show just like any other governor. ... The chronic campaign continues: Bob Ehrlich will sign autographs at the state fair. He'll be at the Maryland GOP booth Aug. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., according to a notice on the party's Web site. "Governor Ehrlich would love to see you at the Maryland Republican Party's booth at the State Fair," it says. "He will be on hand to sign copies of his legacy book or other keepsakes that supporters have collected over the years." ... The actual governor, O'Malley, will be at the fair Aug. 26 - Governor's Day - and Aug. 30. ... Times really are tough for Ed Hale. The banking exec who can't sell his condo will wash cars for money Friday at Du Burns Arena. He's raising money for a foundation named for his sister, Jane Hale Jones, who died last year of breast cancer. Starting at noon, Hale will wash your car for $50. Other "celebrities" - Blast players and Elvis impersonators - will do the job for $20.