The positive and uplifting words shared by many made this mass seem more like a celebration of life than a mourning of her loss. And we’re sure Mrs. Dorothy would have preferred it that way. So in the spirit of this celebration, we dedicate this segment of Top Guns to Mrs. Dorothy Maskell. The 7 Natural Wonders of Baltimore (in no particular order)
1. The Steamed Crab ~ What would a summer in Bawlmer be without those hot crusteceans smothered in Old Bay and littered all over The Sun on a picnic table. The Steamed Crab is as synonymous with Baltimore as Cal Ripken, Jr. The Steamed Crab and its long-time companion Natty Boh ~ two of the reasons why we call this area of ours "The Land of Pleasant Living."
2. The Chesapeake Bay ~ One might argue that the Bay and its ultimate reach right into the heart of Baltimore is the very reason for our city’s existence. For its abundant riches that fuel our seafood industry and for the recreation it enables, The Chesapeake Bay is clearly one of Baltimore’s 7 Natural Wonders.
3. William Donald Schaefer ~ Industry has fallen dramatically in this town in the last 25 years. However, tourism has helped to pick up the slack. The visionary largely responsible for that is our former Mayor and Governor and current State Comptroller, Willy Don. Where would B’more be today without Harborplace? Without Harborplace would there be an ESPN Zone, a National Aquarium, Power Plant Live, or even our sports teams? Thank you Mr. Schaefer for sharing your dream with Baltimore; for having the ambition and determination to make your dream a reality; and for being Baltimore’s greatest ambassador.
4. Camden Yards ~ This field of Willy Don’s dream remains the benchmark for all stadium designs. As Della Rose’s Sea Bass has often said regarding Camden Yards, "always copied, never duplicated." And to think that some supported tearing down the warehouse. What a mistake that would have been. This Yard as is, is a gem!
5. Cal Ripken, Jr. ~ On the night that Cal broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record, there was not a dry eye at Camden Yards. As Cal jogged around the ball yard shaking the hands of many fans, everyone watching live and on TV could appreciate, admire and take pride in this Natural Wonder of B’more. Cal’s values and work ethic instilled by the late Cal, Sr., are attributes that stand out and make him a great role model for children not only today, but for years to come.
6. Fells Point ~ Because of its charm, its quirkiness, its eclectic nature, its atmosphere and its history, Fell Point is essentially a microcosm of all that is Baltimore. Where else can you listen to a handful of acoustic bands, pierce and tattoo any body part, indulge in dozens of microbrews, party in 18th century bars, enjoy the site lines of a seaside port and dine at several fine dining establishments, all within a few blocks? Fells Point has and always will feel like home to a true Baltimorean.
7. Johnny Unitas ~ Prior to the emergence of this NFL icon, Baltimore was never much more than a pit stop between Philly and DC. Johnny U helped to put B’more back on the map. With that mighty Golden Arm and an unwavering leadership, John directed the Colts towards their first World Championship. On that December day in New York a hero was born and in B’more. Johnny U will forever be a hero and a Natural Wonder in Baltimore.Honorable Mention
Chuck Thompson ~ for his classic cliches like "GO TO WAR MISS AGNES" but mostly for that distinct Hall of Fame voice that is the hallmark of sports’ broadcasting. Chuck will always be the voice of Baltimore sports.Barry Levinson ~ a Baltimore sports fan, native and an Academy Award Winning Director who has provided a huge boost to the Maryland film industry. Diner is a film classic that told the world about the heart and soul of our city during the heydey of the Baltimore Colts.