It might not seem surprising that some 2,000 Baltimore football fans would pack the club level of M&T; Bank Stadium to see some of their idols. But the players weren't Baltimore Ravens. These were Baltimore Colts - those who had played 50 years ago in the 1958 NFL Championship game against the New York Giants. And none were more surprised by the huge turnout than the players themselves.
"Wow. I did not expect all these guys to be here," exclaimed Lenny Moore.
"It's like the Last Supper, or whatever. To see [Art] Donovan and Raymond Berry. ... There's no way I would miss this," said Lenny Lyles.
"It's nice to see old faces. But it's also a touch of sadness because there are only about 16 of us left from the '58 squad. But I'm thankful that we're all here and we're having a heckuva time," remarked Dick Szymanski.
Aberdeen Proving Ground program specialist Kristin Carven carried a football, getting players to sign it, with a little guidance from Dad - and 1958 Colt - Jack Call. "It's incredible, the stories that they have to tell," Carven declared.
Then, there were the tales the fans had to tell.
"When I was 10, I was at a Johnny Unitas All American football camp. And I actually caught a pass from Johnny Unitas," boasted Dr. Bob Peroutka, a Johns Hopkins orthopedic surgeon.
Former Baltimorean Kate Moran Shannon had traveled from Quincy, Mass., for the event, which raised money for the Brigance Brigade Fund benefiting the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, the Baltimore Football Club and the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation.
"It's too bad Johnny Unitas isn't here to see this," she said.
A final toast to Brasserie Tatin Who knew that dropping by the neighborhood eatery for a little post-holiday party respite would mean dropping in on another party? Turns out the impromptu soiree was a farewell fete for the restaurant that was Brasserie Tatin. The last night it was open, friends and fans of owners Gerard Billebault, wife Gayle Brier and Marc Dettori mobbed the place to toast the trio and wish them the best. Lots of laughs, a few tears and a bon voyage to Dettori. He told folks it had been several years since he had been back to his native France, so he was heading back there for a well-deserved, five-week vacation.
Holiday Bake-Off You think you had a crazy busy holiday? Check out Dina Klicos' routine. For about two straight weeks in December, she's up until at least 2 a.m. baking Christmas cookies. Each night, a different recipe - including several of her family's traditional Greek cookies like baklava. Each night, anywhere from 10 to 20 dozen cookies. Those cookies - each nestled in those cute little paper mini-cupcake liners and tucked into coffee mugs or piled onto holiday plates - are gifts she gives to friends and family.
Of course, she serves up a huge Christmas meal, but she's still not done. Two days after Christmas, she's up until 2 again, this time whipping up 11 loaves of vasilopita, a traditional Greek new year's bread that has a coin baked into it to bring good luck to the person who gets it. She's up again before sunrise to knead the bread and continue the baking process, which takes all of the next day, just like her grandmother used to do.
"It's no big deal. A lot of Greek women I know do this kind of cooking," she says.
That may be, but Dina works all this around her daily schedule; up each morning at 6 and off to her full-time job as director of major gifts at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
"I really do enjoy it. I love to cook. I like to give it to people. It's a tradition."
And her traditional method of recuperation?
"Ummm. A glass of good wine and a massage."
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