Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Emory Grove Hotel Nov. 2007

This is a photo of the hotel at Emory Grove Md. I caught the maple tree with about half of the leaves. To bad I didn't get it sooner.

Emory Grove is where my cottage is located. I want to show some of the before and after photos of the work we have been doing on the cottage these last couple of years.

I wanted to practice uploading photos and the hotel is the first one I have done. I am sorry I didn't get this tree with all of the leaves still on it. The photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.

The hotel was built in 1887 and was one of three on the grounds. It is the only one left standing. Emory Grove is in Glyndon Md. and was a Methodist summer camp and retreat. People would come to the grove for worship services and to get away from the Baltimore hot summers. Emory Grove dates back to 1868 and predates Glyndon by a few years.

People would come by street car, carriage and trains. In the early years they had very large tents on wooden platforms. They would have furniture and other amentities in those tents. They would bring their servants and nurses and stay the summer months of July and August. The summer cottages were built starting about the mid teens. There are 47 cottages on the grounds and haven't changed much since they were built.

I will try and get some more photos up soon. I just need to practice the best way to do this.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

If You Have Been Wondering About My Cottage, Now You will Know!

Through the last couple of years I have been posting about A Cottage my wife, sister in law, brother in law, and I have been restoring. It is a summer only Cottage and we use it from April Through November. It can be used during the winter, only there won't be any water to use as it gets turned off in Nov. We bleed the pipes, so no toilet to use. Yet it is nice to be there anytime.

It is like going back in time when there. Yes I do have a television there to watch the sports etc. Our Cottage is a shotgun type. It is all on one floor and as the name indicates, shotgun, meaning could fire a shotgun in the front doors and it will exit the rear door and not hit anything else. Hence the name shotgun.

This area goes back to the year 1868 when it was first formed as a Methodist camp. Tents were use then. There are 47 cottages and they were built after 1900, most around 1920. No insulation just the outside walls. Yes they do have some kind of heat, electricity and water.

They are nestled in among the tall Oak and Maple trees that date back a long time ago. Peace and tranquillity is the norm. It is only about a 20 minute drive from where I live in Timonium. When the 4 of us bought the place a little over 2 years ago we gutted it and have been improving it ever since. It is very livable!

The place is Emory Grove, which is located off of Butler Rd. in Glyndon Md. Emory Grove pre dates Glyndon by a few years. On the property it still has the great Victorian Hotel built about 1887. Though the many rooms cannot be used to rent, as was in the past, the very large main room is still used and can be rented for special occasions.

Being in the Grove as we call it, is like living back in the 1930's and 40's. You have this feeling when visiting and just about everyone feels it. You get this peaceful feeling of belonging when you enter the gates.

Us Grover's are very patriotic. We celebrate the 4th of July by decorating our cottages and having a parade. After the parade we go to the outdoor Tabernacle where we sing Patriotic songs. It is almost hokey, but you won't see much more patriotism in one place as you do at the Grove.

Style Magazine

has a nice article about the Grove and some photos. My cottage is very much like the photos in the article.

Emory Grove has a great history and can be Googled to see other articles about it. If you were wondering where my cottage was located, now you know. It wasn't any big secret, but a great place to getaway.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Ole Patterson Park

I have been a Friends Of Patterson Park for a number of years. This morning I received a newsletter from them showing that the City Paper have voted them the "Best Park"

I can't you tell how good this made me feel. Since I grew up a block from the park, it became a second home to me and my family and friends. During those years we had the good fortune to play just about any kind of ball you can think of. This includes curb ball, stick ball, softball, baseball, kill the man with the ball, you get the idea. You mention it, we did it. I had the pleasure to swim in the old swimming lake before in was filled in and a new cement pool was built. The old swimming lake was located where the Ice Rink is now.

The boat lake was used for fishing or just sailing model boats. At one time The Boat Lake actually had boats you could rent! The many hills in the park was used for sledding in the winter and skating in the summer. I remember when they were putting up the Pulaski Monument that is still located near Linwood Ave and Eastern Ave. At that time we didn't know who General Pulaski was! Check him out here:

At one time Patterson Park was used as a Civil War Camp and a Civil War Hospital, this was back in the 1860's. I have an original letter written by a soldier stationed there telling about how it was at the camp and Baltimore. He was from New York State.

Patterson Park has a great history. Life around it even now, has benefited living near by or visiting the many functions that goes on during the year.

There is plenty of Patterson Park history on the net if you are interested. I am glad to see that the personnel of the Friends Of Patterson Park who have worked so hard to bring this park back to life get the kudos from the City Paper. They sure worked hard in bringing the park back to life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For Awhile I wasn't A Double Dogged

My Double Dogged name was taken from our 2 West Highland Terriers. This past June, we had to put down our beloved Tory. She was a Westie Rescue dog that had special needs when we rescued her. Tory became the companion of our other Westie, Katie, and for 7 years there was lots of love to give and receive.

Tory was the love of my life even is she couldn't hear, and couldn't go up and down the steps anymore. She was getting blind and we would practically have to carry her in and out of the house when she had to go and do her business. Tory, was the most lovable dog and the best friend our Katie ever had.

It was a hard decision no matter how much she was suffering. She just was not our old Tory! I miss her and I always will. You just don't forget someone that was a part of your family.

Katie is just about 16 years old and now we will be facing another hard decision soon. Though not in pain she is failing every week.

After Tory left us, my wife and I, or at least I didn't want to get another dog. I just felt I needed some more time before I could make the decision to bring another dog into my life.

My wife didn't have the same feeling about getting another dog. She wanted to get another rescued Westie. She was surfing the internet for a few weeks on all of the rescue sites. I knew this and we talked about another Westie and it didn't matter if it was a male or female. We wanted a Westie puppy and finding one to rescue was difficult to say the least. It had to be a rescue!

She came upon a site from a woman that was finding homes for dogs especially terriers. She bred Scotties and showed them. She had a network of other like minded breeders that rescued dogs through out the US and helped them find proper homes.

She contacted my wife and gave her the name of a breeder in Virginia that had a male Westie puppy for rescue. That was on a Friday. We got pictures of the puppy on their rescue site and the phone number of the people with the Westie. I called the number and made an appointment to see and get the puppy on Sunday. That was a good time for them. They lived in Virginia right on the North Carolina border and was at least a 6 hour drive.

We drove the 6 hours and my wife was on pins and needles the whole time thinking that they would let the Pup go to someone else. I told her that they wouldn't do that to us and that we would get the Pup.

We called them as we were nearing their place to let them know that we would be there soon. When we arrived the wife, led us into their place and met the husband and this tiny white Westie puppy. The puppy came right up to us and greeted us with kisses and was not shy at all.

Just a point of information about rescuing any kind of dogs. Most rescue dog lovers and or breeders will not just hand over any dog to just anybody. Having being active with Westie Rescue for the last 7 years or so, we had good credentials and was screened big time before you will get a dog from them.

This puppy was one of four that this breeder rescued and was the last one to be had. They were Scottie breeders and showed their dogs all of the world. Yet they would rescue just about any dog that was in trouble. They found out that a female Westie was bred with a male Westie. When the female was ready to have the pups she would have to have it cesarian and the original owner didn't want to have that expense for one reason or another, and was going to put the pregnant female down. The nice Scottie people found out about that, and offered them money for the dog and got it. They paid for the birth and the care of the four puppies and put them up for adoption through the rescue network. We got the last one! That 6 hour drive down and another 6 hours back was a very happy drive.

That was back in July and now we have a 5 month old male Westie puppy by the name of Murphy. I am so glad we got this little puppy! It is the love of our life and lifted our spirits having another dog to love. I can't imagine missing out on the joy of having our Murphy even if I was not quite ready for another dog. I am so glad I relented and that wasn't hard to do.

So now I have a Double Dogged home again.

You Know How It Is When This Happens!!!

It has been 6 months since I have posted on my blog. All I can say is that I got burned out on my computer and I am just getting back on. I didn't stop everything, but I sure did slow down. I did check my E Mail and dropped in to check out the blogs here.

I belong to several fishing boards and I hardly have been on them. Sheeeeesh!! No selling on E Bay, just buying a few things and that is about it. It must be the weather! When it was warm I would sit on my screened in porch and read. Books, newspapers kept me occupied, and I just didn't feel like being on this ole computer.

Now that the mornings are cooler, I just feel better being back in the house and on line again. Sorry about not being around and posting as much, but I hope to post more in the future. I missed Ya!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Steppin' Out to the Tropics -Benefit for victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

This will be my third year attending one of the best bargains for food and drinks while helping Turnaround with their fund raiser. This year my wife Sherry is the Co-Chair along with our friend Rosina for this great event. It will be held this Thursday at M & T Stadium and there is no dress code, so you can come as you are from work or home. I will be dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and will have a Lei around my neck. With all of the food people setting up you can't eat everything they serve, well, maybe at least try to. The food and drinks flow all night long.

The 17 piece band called the Mood Swings were there last year and was requested by so many people they are going to be back on Thursday. If you can't get into the mood when they are playing, you are just not hearing them! They have 2 kinds of auctions, 1 silent and one live. I have seen some wonderful things go cheap in the past. This year we have a great boat in the auction donated by Offshore Performance in Grasonville Md on the Eastern Shore (click link to see it) it is a 18' Monterey 180 FS Sport Boat. I stopped in their showroom in Grasonville to see it. Nice boat, retails for over $23,000. This along with great vacations being donated, art work, autographed sport items, soooo many things to be had come and see for yourselves.

Tickets are $75 and you can deduct $40 of it for tax purposes. Lots of single people with be there! This event is something I look forward to every year! I get to sit and talk to Art Donovan and his wife Dotty. They will be having their vacation home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico available for a two week stay in the live auction, always a popular item.

Grey Goose Vodka will be there serving drinks at their tables. Last year it was Martini's! I don't know what kind of drinks this year, I know you will find me close by. Admission includes all foods from about 40 restaurants, with beer and wine included. Tio Pepe will be serving their famous pine nut deserts, just try and walk away from that!

It will be held at the North Club Level at M&T and parking is just $5 in Lot B. Entrance to the event is through gate A off Hamburg Street.

I hope to see some of my blogging friends there, look for me!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ha! I Laugh At This Weather!

Here in Maryland, one of the greatest pleasures is catching The Maryland Blue Crab. What is even better is eating them! Saying that, yesterday I attended the annual Tidal Fish Crab Forum's Snoodfest. It is a bunch of crabbers who get together this time of the year to eat, drink, and be merry, and of course talk about the upcoming crabbing season here in Maryland. Everyone brings a dish, dessert or appetizer to share. BYOB for what ever you want to drink, beer, soda, or wine etc. One of the most enjoyable things at the fest is eating Oysters and Clams on the half shell. Steamed or Raw they are good. The weather was predicted to be miserable and it was somewhat. It was to be snow changing to sleet, changing to frozen rain. It is the frozen rain that is nasty. The Snoodfest was held at a community center on the water just outside of Baltimore City. My church cancelled services on that weather prediction and was justified in doing so. Our services are 5 p.m. every Sunday. That prediction didn't keep me from going to the Snoodfest! I know many members were coming from out of town and a long way, They made the right choice not to come.It started snowing about 10a.m. and was covering cars, grass and driveways. I picked up my friend Mike on the way at about 12 noon and the snow was coming down hard. No problem getting to the center where it was being held. The forecast changed a little and the freezing rain was expected till later in the evening. As the weather being what it was, we still had a good turn out, about 50 men, women and some children. The snow was coming down hard and was about 2 to 3 inches at this point. We put our food on tables along with all of the other food being brought in. The Oysters and Clams were outside under a tent on tables set up for shucking and eating. A large grill was under the tent with us and gave off plenty of heat if needed. Oysters and Clams were being steamed in a pot set up on a propane burner. Soon hot dogs, hamburgers along with oysters and clams were on top of the grill cooking in their own juices. The raw oysters were outstanding in their taste, salty fresh and cold. I shucked and ate quite a few of the bivalves after putting on a little of the hot sauce, and slurped them down. Who cared about the snow, this was fun! The snow was still coming down hard and accumulating more and more!Filling up on Oysters, I went back inside to see what else was put on the tables. There was homemade Italian sausages, pasta, smoked salmon, shrimp bisque, soups, cold cuts, and cheeses just to name a few things. It was a plethora of food. Wonderful desserts and appetizers abound. Some one was in the kitchen frying up clam fritters. Outstanding! I only drank one beer since it was snowing so hard. I didn't want to drive home being impaired in any way. Getting a chance to meet other people and putting a face with the forum names was a pleasure. We talked boats, crabbing, equipment and where the good spots were in the summer. Some use trot lines, some collapsible traps, and even hand lining to catch crabs. There were displays on what to use for crabbing and also how some of the crabbers steam them . Quite of few of the crabbers using a trot line would use a snood tied onto their trot line. The snood was and extra piece of line that dropped about 6 inches and the crabs eating the bait from one of the snoods would hold on to the bait much longer as the line was being brought up to dip them. I got to see first hand how to tie them on and how they were used. Very informative! Members Polecat and RJ gave us an education! Sitting around and talking shop the snow kept coming down and sometimes it sleeted. It was about 5 o'clock when Mike and I decided to leave. Brushing the snow from the car (about 5 or 6 inches) we headed for home. We got much more snow then was predicted and was glad it was snow and not the freezing rain. Dropping off my friend Mike, I made it home before the snow stopped and the freezing rain began. Some of the roads were slippery and you just had to slow down and take your time, which I did! Being out with a bunch of like minded friends even with the snow coming down made for a good afternoon. I am glad I went! Ha! What's a little snow when you can have this kind of fun!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Being In The Baltimore City Fire Department And The 1968 Riots

Back in April 1968 when the Riots hit Baltimore City, I was in the midst of it all. It is something I will never forget! I spent most of 4 nights and 4 days fighting fires. I was located on Caroline and Gough Sts. which housed Engine Co. #34 and Hose Co. # 5. I was in Hose Co. #5 which had 3 monitor pipes mounted on the engine and carried hose up to 3" in diameter. The 3" hose would put out much more water than the 2 1/2" hose carried on regular engine cos. when needed. The Hose Cos. came about after the great fire of Baltimore in 1904. The city installed an underground water system with a high pressure pumping station. All around the downtown area there are underground portable hydrant connections. The hose cos. carried portable hydrants which could be hooked up to these underground connections. You could connect up to 4 hoses to these portable hydrants and the high pressure pumping station would add the pressure and water. This added so much more water for any Engine Co. that needed it to fight any major fire. If you are downtown and look for what looks like an large iron sewer hole cover, and it has many tiny stars on it, that is where the underground hydrant connections are. They are still there!

Just after Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis Tennessee, The Fire Dept. was alerted that a riot would be going down, but did not know when. We fire fighters were on call at home and were to report back to work when word was sent down. This went on for some time and you just never knew when you would be called or you might be on duty when it happened.

I was working day work on a Saturday, and at the end of my shift went home. I was home less than an hour when I received the call to come back to work ASAP, the riots and fires have started. I remember driving back, and as I approached the inner city intersections, there were mobs of people on all corners. They were turning over cars and setting fire to them. I just never stopped and went through the intersections and kept going until I reached the Fire Station. I was lucky that I got through!

The station was empty as both 34 engine and 5 hose were out fighting the many fires that arose. The only people there were a couple of us firefighters and a Captain that made it back in.
A couple of hours went by and we could hear what was going on through the radio intercom on our watch desk. At this point not many other fireman were getting into the station house. The city was closed off and the mobs wouldn't let anybody get through.

Engine 34 made it back to the station to get more men, as the city was afire and needed all of the help they could get. We piled on the back and out the door we went. As we were responding to a fire, the mobs where throwing rocks at us. Back then the engines didn't have rock shields cages or separate sitting compartments as they do now.

Every piece of equipment in the city and I believe some county Cos. were in use. There were so many fires that there wasn't enough companies to fight the fires as a unit. A normal alarm of fire had 4 engines and 2 truck cos. and a chief. We were lucky just to have another company with us. As time went on most fires would only have an engine co. pumping water on it to keep the rest of the surrounding buildings from catching on fire and destroying.

The fire we arrived on was in a large building and the Truck Co. were throwing ladders up to the 2nd floor windows. You could see the smoke escaping from the building and hear the crackling of fire. I had a hose over my shoulder and I was wearing my air mask with a air tank on my back. The hose wasn't charged with water yet, and that made it easier to carry it up the ladder. Smoke was pouring out of the window and I could hear and see the fire inside across the large room. The Truck Co. men were on the roof cutting holes to relieve the pressure. I gave the sign to charge the hose with water and the Pump Operator slowly opened the valve to give us water. I had the nozzle and our other men were right behind me on the ladder controlling the hose. As the water was hitting the fire, the black smoke was turning white and into steam. This was good! We climbed into the window and hit the fire and was driving it back and not having it curling above and around us. AT this the worst thing that could happen to any Fire Fighter would be to lose your water. It was your lifeline! You could put it on spray, if you lost your air mask, and would have air to breath being behind the spray while keeping the fire off you.

As we drove the fire back and making good headway, the smoke was subsiding and the fire was finally out. It is amazing how much fire you can put out with an 2 1/2" hose and some good men behind you helping to control the hose. It is very hard to have a charged 2 1/2" hose at the nozzle and to be able to move with it without help.

This fire was controlled and put out with 1 engine co. and 1 truck co. We also had a Deputy Chief with us. It is amazing what you can do when you don't have all of the other engine or truck cos. with you. At the time Baltimore City had the number 1 Fire Dept. in the USA. The training and schooling was copied by most other Fire Depts. in the US. They came to Baltimore to see how we trained. Baltimore City still is one of the top Fire Depts. around.

Just a point of information, just about all of the fires were set on the businesses of the city. Houses next to a business would catch on fire because there were not enough apparatus at the fire to put it out. We would then try and put out the fire of the private houses and the business would just have to burn.

We were out all night fighting the fires and getting exhausted. We got back to station house to be relieved with what men made it in. A couple hours of rest and we were back out fighting fires. There were reports of snipers and gun shots firing at us, and rock and bottle throwing was common.

It was daylight and I was out with my own company Hose Co. #5 with various people from other shifts that made it in. We were fighting fires that would normally call for 2 or more alarms and all we could do most of the time was use our monitor pipes from outside and flood the building to keep it from spreading to houses or other buildings etc.

Owners of some of the businesses would come out and bring us food and tell us to take whatever we needed as they would be fire bombed soon. This was true! We were on West Baltimore St. and would see the fire bombing going on and the store owners knew that they were next. We got a call to tell us that the National Guard was set up in our quarters and to get back when we could.

The rock and bottle throwing stopped as the people realize we were there to save their houses. What a relief that was. It wouldn't be anything unusual to have mobs of hundreds of people around us watching us trying to put out the fires.

We finally managed to get back to our home station after being out all night and part of the morning. When we got back, there were cots set up in the upstairs rooms and the National Guard were waiting for us. With some relief from other Fire Fighters I got a chance to get some needed shut eye. As tired as I was, I couldn't seem to fall asleep right away. Later on getting up with some rest, my appetite was apparent. There was plenty of food brought in and what the merchants gave us before being Fire Bombed we ate pretty well.

# 5 Hose came back in so it was time to go out again. With the little bit of rest I got and a good meal in my belly out the door we went. This time the National Guard was riding in our hose bed with their rifles for our protection.

Headquarters sent us to Central Ave and Lombard St. which was close by. They told us that there were several buildings fully involved in fire which are located on Lombard St. the heart of the Jewish district. This area is just east of Little Italy and is the Corned beef Row of the City. One of my favorite places to eat!

When we arrived at the intersection, one of the Battalion Chiefs and other apparatus (Fire Engines and Fire Truck) were parked around the corner. Police were everywhere at that intersection. The places that were on fire were still burning and no Companies were in there fighting the fires. We soon found out why! Just to the Northwest of Lombard St. were the ghetto High Rises. It seems that some of the rioters were taking target practice at any Police or Fire Fighter that tried to come into the area to put out the fires. So the business just burned.

Frantic calls to headquarters by citizens to report that no one was trying to put out the fires caused headquarters to keep calling us to go in and put out the fires. The response back to headquarters was that snipers were firing on us. Not being on the seen, headquarters had no clue at the time what was going on.

All of us including the Police were behind walls or some kind of protection so we wouldn't be shot at. The Police were in contact with their headquarters and were told that their men were swarming the High Rises in search of the snipers. In the meantime our headquarters are still telling us to go to the fires and do what we could. Our Battalion Chief had just about enough of headquarters trying to put us in harms way. I will never forget what he said to headquarters.
"When I see the Police walking up that street and not hiding under the cars and not being shot at I will take our men in to fight the fires." This Battalion Chief later became Chief of the Fire Dept. ! He was a Fire Fighters Chief whom I knew well when he was a Capt. in my Battalion.

The Police did clear out the High Rises and we all got to go in and control the fires. Yes, there was some serious damage to a few of them, but no one was hurt or killed.

As time went on, we all were tired and weary! At this point It didn't matter where we were sent we just went into the building and put out the fires as best as we could. Looking back we Fire Fighters did a lot of good and save many places from burning down and saved many houses.

After 4 days and nights the word got out that the riots were being called off. I remember cars driving around with megaphones calling for an end. Eventually it did stop! The riots were planned and now it was over. Thank Goodness! We all were tired and weary and relieved to have it ended. Later on talking to people that lived in the different neighborhoods, they were hurt by the riots as much as anyone. Some of their houses were badly damaged, the stores where they shopped were burnt out, so it affected everyone in the city where it took place. In all of these year, the riots are one thing I will never forget!

Being home felt good, but I was seriously on edge and couldn't come down, my nerves were on edge. I grabbed my fishing gear and headed up to the Susquehanna River and by the end of the day I was finally relaxed.

Who said fishing wasn't good for you!!!!!

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