Things You May Not Know About Me Or Care To
In no particular order:
My roots are in Canton and Highlandtown!
The first part of my life, my parents owned a bar and restaurant in Canton. Yep, in my early years I grew up in a bar! Actually it wasn't a bad place to grow up in. The regular patrons always treated me great. The bar was open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. That's a lot of hours! Being open that early in the morining it would get very crowed, as the shift workers from Standard Oil were getting off work early and filled up the place. My father was a part owner in 2 other bars in the Canton and the Highlandtown area. I learned to count on the Juke Box!
As I got older, I would carry groceries home for patrons of grocery stores in the area. Yep, I was self-employed and an entrepreneur at a very early age. This was always something I did on a Saturday to earn extra spending money beyond my allowance. The tips added up fast! You always needed a new water pistol to keep up with the water pistol fights in the hood!
We had a summer home on the water that was in my family since about 1920. My great grandfather had a large truck farm and raised horses there back then. I lived there every summer and was fishing and crabbing every day. On weekends family and friends would come down the shore (as we would call it) and have fresh caught crabs. We kept them in large live boxes and dipped them out as we needed them. Of course, you had to catch them first to put them in there. That was one of my favorite jobs! We always had fresh soft shell crabs. We kept peelers (hard crab turning into soft crab) in small boxes in the water and when they got soft, we got them out and in the fridge before they got hard again. I still love fishing and crabbing and being on the water!
I have one of the original bedroom sets that I use to sleep in when I was a kid at the shore. It is a matching ornate Victorian Walnut 3 piece set with marble tops and a high back bed. It predates the shore as it was bought during the 1870's and descended through the family.
I worked for a major oil company in downtown Baltimore. I would take a bus to work and home everyday. It was easy to do as they did run on time. I was in their accounts payable office, then moved up to an office where we closed the books every month. At the end of the month I worked a lot of overtime.
I had a couple of cousins that lived on O'Donnell St. between Linwood Ave and Curley St. At the same location as where one of the upscale bars is now located. It is in the 2900 block on the north side even numbers. It had a storefront but, no store and rented to my cousins as a house. They would tell me about the Ghost or Ghosts that were in that place. They would hear them walking around and opening and closing doors. There were stairs leading up to the second story from the back yard on the outside. Many a time they would hear the footsteps of a Ghost coming up those steps and there would be nobody there. Even when it snowed and heard the footsteps coming up, there were no prints. They just lived with it, as it didn't do anyone any harm.
I became a Fire Fighter for the Baltimore City Fire Dept. I loved the Fire Dept. While there I would have side jobs painting houses and sometimes doing lawns. I didn't like doing the lawns, maybe that is why I have someone do my lawn today! Being in the Fire Dept. you had lots of free time to work a second job or go fishing and crabbing. Which I did! While in the Dept. I started a Furniture restoration and paint stripping business. I worked for the Fire Dept. and my furniture restoration business for about 4 years at the same time, putting in 80 + hours some weeks. I left the Fire Dept. and continue to this day, doing furniture refinishing and paint removal.
I like doing research! I have researched my family genealogy and still enjoy doing it.
I have been a collector of antique and collectible glass for over 30 years. I have some of my glass on loan in some of the major glass museums on display. I at one time would give talks on glass to the different glass clubs in the mid Atlantic States. I don't anymore! I do research on glass and have a very large library of glass books. I have written articles on glass and was an advisor for other glass books.
I like E Bay and have been buying and selling since the mid 90's not just glass but, lots of other things.
As a young teen, a bunch of us boys would go skinny dipping in a fresh water pond located in the middle of the train yards in Canton near S. Clinton St. It was located where the Harbor Tunnel is now.
Patterson Park was our best play ground. We played softball, hardball, curbball, stickball and basketball there after school during the summer and winter. Swimming in the summer and on occasion tennis. We skate boarded (home made) down the hills near the Pagoda and sledding during the winter. My mothers cousin was the supervisor of Patterson Park and lived in that neat old house that now houses the "Friends Of Patterson Park" Off Patterson Park Ave. and Lombard St.
During the hot swelter summer nights people would bring blankets and pillows to sleep in the park to escape the heat. Me and my brother included!
I am a supporter of the "Friends Of Patterson Park" and they are certainly doing a great job of creating enjoyment for the people who use the park.
At age 14 I worked part time after school in a store called "The Candy Kitchen" The owners were our neighbors and friends of the family. I made 60 cents an hour and all of the food and chocolate I wanted to eat. My job was to melt large hunks of milk chocolate in a large copper bowl. The chocolate was then poured into molds of various shapes like the Easter Bunny, Chickens and any thing Easter. They had hundreds of those molds. The store was always packed with people during the season to buy these homemade milk chocolate bunnies etc. I never got my fill of chocolate and still eat it today. I love chocolate!
I had the privilege of shaking the hands of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson! They landed in a helicopter in Patterson Park in 1959. They got into a motorcade at the corner of Linwood Ave and Eastern Ave. Sitting in an open convertible I got the chance to approach them while the Secret Service was keeping a bigger crowd at bay. You know, the second mouse gets the cheese! They both shook my hand as the crowd surrounded the car. They couldn't move being surrounded and that gave me the chance to shake their hands.
I was at the very first Baltimore Orioles game at Memorial Stadium. It was in 1954 and I was in the right center field bleachers. Clint Courtney, our catcher won the game with a home run hit into the right center field bleachers. The ball tipped my hands as I reached up to catch it. Somebody that was in back of me has a real treasure!
Well, that's enough for now, try not to be too bored.