There have been some awful big real estate deals made on one phone call," Harry W. Rodgers III observed in his testimony. "The man who makes that one phone call is the guy who gets the commissions."

Rodgers' attempt to explain why Marvin Mandel was given an estimated $45,000 interest in Eastern Shore land as a fee for helping to find it was in a lecturing tone befitting a successful businessman.

In the past 20 years, Rodgers has risen from a minor insurance salesman to a millionaire many times over with interst on a majir insurance agency, consulting ebgineeriinterest on a major insurance agency, consulting engineeri ng and real estate.

The 50-year-old Rodgers' rise in the business world has paralleled his activity in Maryland politics, especially as an adviser and major fund-raiser for his close friend, Mandel.

The Tidewater Insurance Associates, Inc. he helped form in the late 1950s along with then-Gov. J. Millard Tawes' son and his chief adviser fattened on state work under the Tawes and Mandel administrations.

Rodgers met Mandel during the 1966 gubernatorial campaign. They soon learned that they shared a common interest in fishing and hunting and they began to indulge their hobby together.