Home and Index

     Traditional Baltimore         Baltimore Unveiled

AND STILL MORE......BOURNE IN BALTIMORE

  Spiro Agnew. ....born Nov. 9, 1918, Dec.. 1996  President of School board, Governor of Md., Vice Prez. U.S. ,possible "crook". (Let's give Baltimore County credit for Mr. Agnew). Mr. Agnew was born in Towson, Maryland. (Remember when Gary Hart, trying a presidential run, got flack for changing his name from Hartline? Agnew was born Anagnostopoulos!)  His father was a Green immigrant who owned a restaurant where the food was supposed to be delicious.  Agnew attended Forest Park Sr. High School and Johns Hopkins U., later joined the Army. He made a meteoritic jump from President of a school board to Baltimore County Executive to Vice President of the United States (l/20/69-10/10/73) under Nixon.

 

 

  Agnew was a hard liner who coined such terms as "radiclib" (translation: radical liberal) and "nattering nabobs of negativism." He had a great propensity for putting his foot in his mouth, embarrassing his ticket  even as he and Nixon were running by referring to a Japanese-American news reporter as a "fat Jap." Presumably Nixon himself eventually saw Agnew's incompetence and wanted him off the ticket, but he didn't want to alienate the hardliners. Agnew blamed Nixon for releasing the "dirt" which forced the vice president's early resignation. The charges were tax evasion, money laundering and bribery. The plea was nolo contendere (no context). In his later life, Agnew was a successful international trade executive. Spiro Agnew died at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Md. The cause of death was leukemia, newly diagnosed.

 

  John Waters (seen here with Divine) was born in a North Baltimore suburb  April 22, 1946. His parents were conservative Catholics. John attended Calvert Hall (a Catholic high school) and went on to New York University, where he claims to have been expelled for smoking pot. (Is that likely?) Much more likely is his claim that he got kicked out of the Catholic Youth Organization for lewd dancing and taking LSD.  As a teenager, John was certainly counter-culture. His early underground filmmaking gained him many fans and much notoriety with the status quo. Almost everybody knew John's name by 1973 after his film Pink Flamingos, where his film crew followed a poodle along Read Street until doggy had to "do."

 

  John's boyhood buddy, stage name Divine, then ate the "do." John has made a career out of shocking folks. He said that he loves to ride the New York subways because he can look out the windows and watch rats. He is an amateur criminologist, in that he has traveled around the country attending notorious trials. He is also a consummate film artist. Hairspray (2 films and a Broadway play) has put him in the big leagues for good.
  Also "bourne in Baltimore", Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine, grew up as a childhood friend of John. He appeared in many Waters films as an outrageous, overweight transvestite. In the original Hairspray film  of 1988, Divine took the role of Tracy Turnblad's mother, Edna. On March 7, 1988, Divine was in Hollywood working on a production, but did not show up for work. Often tardy but never a no-show, friends went to Divine's hotel room, the then Regency, 7940 Hollywood Blvd. Sadly, Mr. Milstead had died in his sleep of heart failure.

  Edith Massey was born and died in California, (May 28, 1918 -  Oct. 24, 1984) but can not be excluded from the "bournes."  Edith was also a hit star in many of John Waters' films.  Waters had met her when she worked as a barmaid at Pete's Hotel. Toward the end of her life, Edith ran a cluttered store at the bottom of S. Broadway, Fells Point, called "Edith's Shopping Bag." She became a local landmark. Her shop contained much memorabilia of her movie days. Very late in life, Edith moved back to her native state. She actually opened a shop there as well, but died shortly after. R.I. P.

  Cass Elliott aka Ellen Naomi Cohen  -  Born in Baltimore, Sept. 19, 1941. Died July 29, 1974. "Mama" Cass attended the Baltimore City Public Schools, graduating from Forest Park High. She studied drama at American University, Washington, D.C. The name Elliott was taken to honor a friend who had been killed in an accident. Cass' father was a Baltimore restaurant owner. Cass moved to New York and actually competed against Barbara Streisand for the Miss Marmelstein part in the l962 play "I Can Get It for You Wholesale.  She was drawn to the hippie subculture and became a member of "The Mamas and the Popas." The group's first big hit was "California Dreamin'": You might remember some of the words:

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  

 

Cass sang larger than life. She was as chesty as a Wagnerian heroine, an attribute which gave her the great voice and also sadly contributed to her death. She had a fatal heart attack in 1974 at the Mayfair, London flat of Harry Nilsson, 12 Curzon Place.

  Cass was twice married. A 1963 marriage to James Hendricks was annulled in 1968. She Married Donald von Wiedenman in 1971 and was divorced from him the same year.

 

    
  All the leaves are brown                      
       And the sky is gray
     I've been for a walk
      On a winter's day

     I'd be safe and warm
        If I was in L.A.
     California dreamin'
     On such a winter's day

     Stopped into a church
    I passed along the way
    Oh, I got down on my knees
    And I pretend to pray....etc.