Good state-mates all, we greet you! Eighty-five is nearly nixed. (Get in your tax-deductibles, before they're '86d.) Another year has spun the heavens, Scorpio to Libra; Navy's goat beat Army's mule; Potomac lost its zebra. This is the calm between the storms: no Santa Claus confusion, The mistletoe still hangs and it's too soon for resolution. Let's wassail up for near and dear, and nog a couple more For those we may not know but who have entertained us more. (Some caveats: Don't drink and drive, and don't eat holly berries; They're poisonous, like poinsettias, and eke Jerus'lem cherries. Don't overdose on chocolates; and read this with a grain Of salt -- like Winnie Pooh, we are a bearer of little brain.) Here's a toast to Charlie Gilchrist! Long may he healthy live! And to his final Christmas as MoCo executive! Though who knows? he may find next Christmas passes far more merry; There's peace, and only silent skulls, in the seminary. Of all elected personnel, voted out or kept, No one in the region is more graciously yclept Than Esq. Parris Glendening, executive, P.G., Poli sci professor (U-Md.) and Ph.D. Let's raise a double toast to I-270, whose traffic, Exacerbated by construction crews, wreaks extra havoc. And here's to P.G. General, may they not have to wait Too very long for their financial seams to be set straight. Consider all those S&Ls and their insider loans, And lift an extra glass for all those state savings and moans. (Chase and Citicorp closed ranks and won the General's brevet; But 100,000 customers must still love it or Levitt.) Despite the chilly campaign trail in these early times, There's plenty Marylanders out in search of warmer climbs. Nine months before the primaries, and pols are in full heat, With Steny Hoyer near alone in keeping to his seat. Mikulski and Mike Barnes both want the chair that was Big Mac's; Don Schaefer's betting Baltimore will outplay Steven Sachs. (They're both hoping to move into the mansion that's the guv's, When Harry Hughes moves onward and . . . . And speaking of white gloves, Maurer's match with Idamae can guarantee this much: The '87 state Senate will enjoy the woman's touch. (The touch that Jerry Connell felt was IRS-directed; They said a few more tax returns could likely be expected From his lawyering. They said, in fact -- those fellows are no slackers -- Than Connell had misplaced about $69,000 smackers.) Kick up those Christmas stockings, and let us all reflect On what occurred the past 12 months (and what we might expect). While David Scull was cleaning up the law in his Jacuzzi, He nearly ruled each hot tub has to hire a lifeguard. Scuzzi! The Montgomery County Council cried, "We're on a gender bender!" After MoCo Human Rights ruled "Ladies Night" a sex offender. But attempts to set aside such rules made rights lawyers indignant: " 'Social' discrimination is like being a little pregnant!" Ocean City's fortunes waxed and waned just like the tide: After 15 years in office, Mayor Harry Kelley died; But despite the direst warnings ("A little dab'll do ya") The hurricane spared the boardwalk, so, Gloria, Hallelujah! Hail, Charles G. Driesell! Although his winnings list is hefty, He wanted more respect, and so he righted that old "Lefty." At year's end, there was mixed rejoicing on the subway line For locals firmly wedded to the 100-mile design. For while the Red Line ridership exceeded expectations, Congressional tax overbiters threatened Green Line stations. In this unsettled fiscal atmosphere, it can be said That the Red Line's firmly in the green; the Green Line's in the red. Anyone can run for mayor, but it took a Rockville novice, Van Grack, to prove that you can run the pike right into office. The Progress Club took off its poker face and cut its losses By promising to ante up for charitable causes. Instead, it was the MoCo cops who wound up making book When indictment-less, the chief could say, "I am not a Crooke!" At College Park, it goes to show, the students will succumb To alcoholic blandishments when proffered by "King Tom." But Tom's ascension in P.G. evens up the royal tally, Offsetting the deposing of old Kingmaker O'Malley. At Jesse Jackson's hands the drugs in high school took a beating; He treated Montgomery Village to a hot revival meeting. He urged deglamorizing drugs, and blamed the "media blitz," Though by far the biggest retinue of cameramen was his. Still, raise a water glass to Jesse, he's some fiery talker; And drink a stiffer toast to "private eye, spy" John A. Walker, Who, before exposed to FBI by estranged wife and daughter Did his part in camera to muddy Poolesville's water by leaving Navy secrets for a Soviet Embassy mole in the poison ivy by a rural telephone pole. (Which brings to mind the Beltsville staff who, by AT&T Discarded, have to look to other corps for jobs and fee. It goes to show that even decades with the company Cannot prevent a family split if Ma Bell tolls for thee.) "Woodsman, spare that high school!" But the budget axes fall On Northwood, and on Woodward, and the sad alumni all. Montgomery ordered cable, but all it got was haze, So they'll try to pull the plug: "Long time no see, nobody pays." Though promising state-of-the-art, Tribune came a bowser, And now they hear their master's voice; they're bowing, "Yowser, Hauser." Looking even farther, NASA gave its money's worth, Reaching out to fix a satellite, and never leaving Earth. Politicos from all around joined Blair Lee's "in memoriam," Big builders had a shock when MoCo threatened moratorium. Johns Hopkins wants to pluralize its "Johns," but there's no doubt There's one John most drivers hereabouts could do without -- Cabin John. The honkers and the swervers never learn It's jammed up tight all day, all night, the Bridge of No Return. Reluctant money men in P.G. had no suave retort When the sheriff's office totted up the sins of no support. Meanwhile, even mini-Bols in P.G. did a fade Right off the high school hardwood if they couldn't make the grade. The O's still hold the franchise on the region's baseball fever, And Washington's still dreaming of a Senator Tom Seaver. Antiques from old Annapolis have been auctioned off at Christie's, So Naval bigwigs made a hash of plans to feed enlistees At McDonald's. Historic sense (not dollars) won the day When the burghers of the city kicked their buns across the bay. Meanwhile, it's reassuring that Dick Striner's still debating Developers for Silver Spring's historic Deco-rating. The Shepherd's Table feeds a need that's deeper than the derma. Some things never change -- P.G.'s Konterra's still infirma. Finally, a personal "Cheers!" to all you Marylan'ers From this transplanted Southerner still learning Northern manners: Good memories of '85, may '86 be grand And may we all be safe and hale in Ho, Ho Merry Land.