Charlie Brown to 'La Boheme': A Fanciful Halloween

(Continued from The Evening Sun (Baltimore) page)
      Mark Joseph, the city school board president is Charlie Brown. And Barnet Skolnik, the assistant United States attorney, is in tattered trousers and a smocked blouse with a plunging vent at the neckline. Mr. Skolnik is making believe he's tenor Luciano Pavarotti playing Rudolpho, the poverty-stricken garret-dwelling poet in the operat, "La Boheme," who lives for love, wine and verse.     
    "There goes my image as a somber prosecutor," says Mr. Skolnik.    
    Another side of the impression we have of certain public figures emerges when we learn who they would like to be if they could be someone else for Halloween. While the characters that some choose to portray reinforce the way we view them as professionals and personalities, others reflect their tastes, imagination, sense of humor or fantasies.
    The party is getting crowded now, and as often happens in the late stages of such gatherings, the guests have divided themselves into small groups. But even among those with professions in common, their newly assumed make-believe identities make strange bedfellows. 
    In one corner, where the educators are hanging out, Joseph is saying he's Charlie Brown so he can go back to school. Dr. John Crew, the city school superintendent, wearing spectacles, a tasseled cap and gow, says he is a "typical bedraggled old-time professor."
    He stares at the get-up the president of Johns Hopkins University is wearing: an Aussie hat "like a Texas Stetson with one side pinned up" and a bush jacket. Dr. Steven Muller is William Holden, you see, and feels "very dashing" in the outfit Holden wore when he blew up the bridge on the River Kwai. Why William Holden? "So I could play love scenes with Faye Dunaway. I loved her n 'Network.'" ("Play love scenes as opposed to make love to," he notes. "I'm married, you know.")
    Some of the legal types at the party share Dr. Muller's light-humored mood.
    Judge Liss says he decided to go headless because the legendary horseman of Sleepy Hollow "scared the death out of Ichabod Crane, who's a skinny-tailed guy," and since the judge weighs about 300 pounds and is 5 feet 9 inches tall, he thought it would be fun to scare some skinny people in the neighborhood.
    He likes doing fun things which he says is why once when he was attending a seminar at the Reno (Nev.) College of State Justices, he dressed for Halloween as one of the women at the Mustang Ranch, a legal house of prostitution in that state.
    Speaking of horses, nobody at the party seems to mind the intermittent whinnying as part of Police Commissioner Donald Pomerleau's costume. He's here as "a galloping Western high sheriff complete with steed, you know," in keeping with his Medicine Lake (Mont.) upbringing. 
    Another man who's used to a uniform is wearing one of a different sort. Brooks Robinson, the recently retired Oriole third baseman, is dressed as Gen. Erwin Rommel who he says was "the greatest general in the German Army and a secret idol of mine."
    Robinson, a World War II buff, says he admires the general because "he was very tricky, a master strategist."
    "I like Patton too. But I read about Rommel before I read about Patton." And "Desert Fox," he says, "the movie about Rommel came out long before Patton."
    Robinson chuckles as he adds that Billy Martin, manager of the New York Yankees calls him a German tank commander because he had the brim of his batting helmet cut off because it was bothering him. "It looks like the kind of hat a German tank driver would wear."
    Meanwhile, Mr. Skolnik is hoping someone will ask him to sing the great tenor aria from "La Boheme," "Che Gelica Manina," which means a cold hand, as he listens to Mary Avara, the only female on the three-member Maryland State Baord of Censors, who has arrived in a habit. She says she could never pose as a saint for Halloween. "I'm not that good, not with all the garbage I have to look at -- dirty films. We have films that were so upsetting that they made my secretary sick. The Censor Board member came as a nun because she is religious and "we need more religious people."
    Archbishop Borders is pretending he is "a symbol: Everybody's Grandfather." The Eve of All Saints is a time to relax he says, so he is wearing old clothes and "a benign tolerant mask."
    There are some "oh's" and "ah's" by the door. One of the guests is late which in some circles is fashionable and appropriate. She is Jackie Onaassis for Halloween.
    It's Blaze.
    Oh Babe.
    Baltimore's onetime queen of the strip tease and part-time philanthropist, Blaze Starr, is Jackie O-for-a-day, in a princess outfit, of course, with a diamond tiara and everything." If she could really be Jackie for a night, she says, she'd find a store that was open all night and spend some of her money.
    There is another full-length skirt swishing at this party. Representative Barbara Mikulski (D., Md. 3d) is wearing turn-of-the-century fashion: Madame Curie, she says, has been one of her "role models," because she did so much for humanity without profit, includng discovering radium. Besides she was Polish.
    One guest at the party doesn't need a wand to feel as if she's living a somewhat charmed life. Camille Lizard who was greeted by some 10,000 persons in Baltimore after she returned last summer from the Third International Ballet Competition in Moscow says she is Cinderella "because that's the best description of what's been happening to me lately and now is the ball part. It's kind of a little bit of magic."

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