Month: June 2019

Gwynn Oak Park

Growing up, we were so poor that as the saying goes, “we couldn’t pay attention”. My parents never owned a house or a car, so the idea of a vacation was out of the question. However, there were a couple of times that we were able to hitch a ride with some neighbors out to Gwynn Oak Park, an amusement park outside of Baltimore. For this Southwest Baltimore youth, it was quite a thrill! Gwynn..

Westside Skateboarding

Skateboarding is big business today. You have skateboard parks, skateboarding stars getting big endorsements, and I believe there’s even skateboarding Olympics. Back in the day we had a different version of skateboarding. We would take a 2×4 and a pair of old metal skates, take the skates apart and put one end of the skate on the front of the board, and the back end of the skate on the back of the board, you..

Old Man Grill

Three doors down from our house on Dulany Street lived a man that we called ‘Old Man Grill’. Now I don’t know if his name was actually Grill but that’s what everyone called him and he was in fact pretty old, probably in his seventies at the time. He lived in an old wooden shingled house that was probably built long before the row houses on the street were built, as it, and the house..

Low Tech Exercise Equipment

Back before the advent of the fitness craze and the marketing of the numerous exercise equipment like StairClimber, StairStepper, StairMaster, StepWalker, SlowWalker and other such sophisticated exercise gadgets, pickings were pretty slim on the playgrounds of our Baltimore neighborhood. Up at 68 schoolyard, we had a Jungle Jim, Monkey Bars and a Sliding Board. The ‘Jungle Jim’ consisted of a bunch of metal pipes constructed into square shapes that looked as if they could have..

Wooing the Ladies

There comes a time when guys start noticing the girls and back in the late sixties there were many beauties in Soutwest Baltimore. Looking back, it seemed that there were three main strategies that the guys used to get the attention of the fairer sex. Some would do it with toughness, as there were quite a few guys that had reputations for being good with their fists. Others would use beautiful muscle cars and other..

Escape from the City

Most wouldn’t think that a place of bones and stones would be a likely place of refuge for a boy of seventeen, but that’s what Loudon Park Cemetery was for me. As I got into my teenage years, I found the need to escape from the concrete jungle of Baltimore and not having transportation and the ability to get out to the outlying parks in Baltimore County, I settled for trips out to the large..

Soap Gets In Your Eyes

This happened outside of our house on Dulany Street over 50 years ago and I can still remember it almost as clearly as when it happened. After describing the event, it should become clear as to why that is. Let me describe the people involved; on one side of us lived the Nida’s, most will remember Ronny and Donny and Danny, but may not know much about Chester the father. Chester or Chug as his..

Little Man

There was a guy that would show up now and again in Southwest Baltimore, and was known by the name ‘Little Man’. Although you never knew when he would arrive in town, he always wound up down in the woods on Wilkens Avenue near the railroad tracks. When the kids on top of the hill would spot him, they would start shrieking, “it’s Little Man, it’s Little Man”. Some would then start to toss rocks..

Streaking

A couple of friends that I am well acquainted with would probably be quite embarrassed to have their name associated with the ‘Streaking’ fad back in the 70’s, but sure enough, I know both of them and one was mortified to have a woman who lived on Wilkens Avenue who just happened to be the mother of a girl he knew open the front door as he ran by with nothing on but what God..

Open Door Policy

There are many things that have changed over the years and one of them that sticks out and seems rather crazy when looking at today’s world is the fact that most of the folks back then never locked their doors during the daylight hours, and this is Baltimore City we are talking about.. I remember being out for hours and coming home and walking right into the house as the door was hardly ever locked..