The Boo Boo’s
To try and do justice to the Boo Boo’s in words is almost impossible, it’s sort of like, you had to be there to appreciate it. But in any case, for those who grew up during that time in that Southwest Baltimore neighborhood, you knew the Boo Boo’s. The family lived up next to Dan’s Sub Shop on Millington Avenue, and consisted of Oggie(Albert), Betty, Ed and Nick, who didn’t live with the rest. To say that they were unique, is to understate it I believe, but looking back on it years later, they were just some of the many unique characters that I remember from that time.
Oggie was probably the most well known of all the Boo Boo’s with his Fidel Castro like army green fatigues and the ubiquitous stub of a cigar sticking out of his mouth, he was sort of a caricature of himself. Oggie caught a lot of grief from the kids in the neighborhood, myself included, and the saving grace when Oggie chased you was that he always carried about 100 pounds of tools in his pockets which slowed him down from being able to catch you. Later on, when I got a little older, I was actually able to talk to Oggie a bit, and while he was always on his guard, with his eyes constantly shifting back and forth, I felt a lot of sympathy for Oggie, and he didn’t seem to hold any grudge, if he even remembered that I was part of the crew that would tease him.
Nick was the brother of Oggie and while they sort of looked like they could have been twins, I don’t think they were. Nick lived down on McHenry Street near Bay Island Seafood and managed to keep a house up although later on, the back yard caught on fire, as he had a ton of junk collected and stored in the back yard. I remember Nick being a very soft spoken person, as he wandered about he would usually come up to the neighborhood a time or two. I recall how he would walk real slow, always looking down, and turning around about every ten steps on so. He would always throw in a comment a few times before departing about his brother Oggie saying, “he’s crazy, that Albert, he’s really crazy”. Funny but Oggie would say the same about Nick, I remember Oggie saying, “that Nick he’s a nut”, as he put his index finger up to his head with that familiar twirling sign. The brothers definitely didn’t care too much for each other.
Betty was the mother of both, and from what I remember her saying to me and others, she also had two daughters that were apparently quite sane, and neither ever showed themselves around the others. What I remember about Betty was that she had those thick Coke bottle glasses that were worn back then, and always wore lipstick. But the thing I remember most about her was that she always had her legs wrapped with several layers of bandages, even during the hot Summer months. They made her legs look huge, as she no doubt suffered from some malady where she needed to keep her legs wrapped up. She was also very soft spoken from what I can recall.
Ed was the husband of Betty and the step-father of the brothers. Ed was a guy who could very quickly become loud and dramatic in describing something. He walked around out front with his cane, and when telling his stories, I can still see him laughing and guffawing when telling some story, and could also become agitated going from 0-60 very quickly. Ed used to like to have his speakers pointed out the bedroom windows as he layed up in bed and played his country music for the benefit of the rest of the neighborhood.
These are some of the things I remember about the Boo Boo’s, but as I mentioned, you really had to know them, to appreciate them. There are many more stories relating to the Boo Boo’s that I’ll try to slip in from time to time, as my memory allows.
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