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 expanse of open space at Loudon Park. I grew to enjoy my trips out there, the quiet and solitude, and was my favorite place to jog. Usually I went out there by myself, but sometimes one of my brothers or friend would go with me. I remember Bob Mathers and I went out there one Fall day with a transistor radio and a bottle of wine, sat up against a tombstone and listened to a doubleheader of the Baltimore Orioles.

While most of my times out at the park(oops cemetery) were uneventful, there were a couple of times where things went from peaceful to super stressful very quickly. One day I was walking on a road not far from the high speed railroad tracks when I heard some kids yelling, “mister, mister, help”. Not thinking they were talking to me as I didn’t consider myself a mister at seventeen, I didn’t pay much attention at first, but as they continued to yell, I realized they were calling to me. I ran over to the tracks to see what the problem was, and they told me that one of the boys had been climbing on top of the train, and had reached up and hit the electric wire and couldn’t move. Fortunately, he must have hit it with the back of his hand, because if he had grabbed on to it, it would have electrocuted him. Anyway, it’s one of those things where you don’t really think, you just react and I climbed up on top of the train, put my arm around the boy’s waist and carried him down as I told one of the boys to run up and tell the engineer that a boy was hurt, and they needed help.

Again, not really thinking, after putting the boy down on the side of the tracks, I took off and sprinted over to Saint Agnes Hospital and going into the Emergency Room tried to tell them what had happened, and that they needed to send an ambulance over there. Looking back, it didn’t make a lot of sense to run over there as the train engineer had radios and could call in the emergency a lot faster than I could get over to the hospital. By the time I ran back over to the tracks, the ambulance was there, and I just wandered off. I’ve often wondered if the boy ever recovered the use of his legs, hopefully it was just a temporary shock, and he recovered.

Another time I was walking through the cemetery down by the stream that runs through it, when a boy who had climbed down in the culvert where water flows out from another spot was standing on the edge and afraid to go into the water, and asked for help. I don’t believe he was really in danger other than getting wet, but he was obviously scared, and I helped pull him up with the assistance of the other two boys.

Other than those two unusual events, I have enjoyed the surroundings of the cemetery for many years. My brother and I still take walks out there from time to time, and since I have several members of my family buried there including my mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I consider that my family owns a ever so small slice of real estate at one of my favorite retreats.

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