More articles by Dan Rodricks

July 28, 2002

Bob Miller's bridge

Bob Miller once dreamed of designing great things, but his engineering career went neither quite that way nor quite that far.

November 19, 2001

Down and out in Vegas

LAS VEGAS - There was a buzz in the air, something faint and mysterious, as Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman came bounding out from their corners for the fourth round. The judges had given the first three to Lewis because he had landed punches to the face of his younger opponent from Baltimore. These attacks, and an uncharacteristic Ali-like dance in Lewis' movements, had excited the crowd and brought the movie stars and other big shots near the ring to their feet. But now the crowd in the Event Center at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino was quiet and attentive again, and there was this odd buzz, a sinister little vibration, in the big room.

November 6, 2001

Down for count, he's still fighting

EDGEFIELD, S.C. - This is where the long, hard fall of Reggie Gross ends - in a two-man cell deep inside a maximum security prison on the piney outskirts of Strom Thurmond's rural hometown. He hasn't had a visitor in seven years. He hasn't seen his daughters in 12. Parole is a distant cloud. "As it all shakes out," predicted one of the men who prosecuted Gross, "he'll die in prison."

October 17, 2001

A river in recovery

It might be some of the best money ever spent by the state of Maryland - $16,200 for Carrie Dixon's two old house-trailers, her trampoline-size satellite dish and one acre of bottomland on a section of the Potomac River that had been poisoned for a century, left for dead and forgotten.

July 22, 2001

Sobering emotions rule in Drug Court

Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

June 17, 2001

Stream of Consciousness

I can hear him now: "All that for that?" I can pretty much see him, too, in his khaki trousers and white T-shirt, over in the small clearing by the honeysuckle thicket on the little river I love. My father is watching me fish in the way I have chosen to fish in the years since his death: With a fly rod and tiny lures fashioned of feathers to look like the bugs that finicky trout eat. I can hear him now, as I stand knee-deep in the river and extend a small, delicate net for a trout that's all green, yellow and white with brown spots, about 10 inches of God's glory. I hold the trout in my hand for a moment so that my father might appreciate it. But he only laughs: "All that for that?" And when I ease the little fish back into the river, he laughs harder and disappears into the woods.

April 26, 2001

Prized fighters reap rewards

When Vincent Pettway, the handsome man and superb fighter, knocked out Italy's Gianfranco Rosi in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 1994, he became Baltimore's first world boxing champion in more than half a century. He made headlines, logged a fair amount of mug time on local television, received official citations and a nice pewter plate from the mayor.

April 10, 2001

200,000 miles not too far to chase an NHL dream

Thanks to Mel Halpern, we now know the distance from Maryland to the National Hockey League: about 200,000 miles. That's roughly eight times around the Earth, and only 38,000 miles short of the moon. That's how far Mel Halpern, mild-mannered government employee from Montgomery County, drove his 1987 Dodge Caravan so his son could play ice hockey and chase a dream.

February 21, 2001

Crazy for Carbonara

Maybe all Italian food qualifies as comfort food -- the good stuff that warms the spirit as it nourishes the body -- so you'll probably think I'm as nutty as pinoli to stand up and declare Spaghetti alla Carbonara the ultimate Italian comfort food.

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