What is Baltimore Stoops?

A friend of mine has said that Baltimore is a ‘tired old town’ and in many ways it is. However, it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when there were plenty of jobs, places to eat, things to do. In fact, my neighborhood was sort of a self contained unit as there wasn’t a need to travel outside of your little neighborhood to enjoy life. You had most of what you needed right there. While it may be hard to conceive of, at one time we had a new car dealership…O’Donnell Pontiac it was, at the corner of Brunswick St. and Frederick Avenue. We also had employers like Westinghouse on Wilkens Avenue. Kirmo Laundry was a large business and also employed many people in the neighborhood. We had numerous ‘corner’ grocery stores, and a bar on practically every corner. There were also many places to eat.

I have decided to write about my experiences of growing up in Baltimore back in the 50’s and 60’s although I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about the 50’s as I was born in 1953 and the most that I can recall about that time is going to Kindergarden class which would have been in 1958. I’ve often said that the little Southwest Baltimore neighborhood that I grew up had more ‘characters’ in that little area than any other neighborhood but perhaps all the neighborhoods back then could say the same. It was no doubt the times that contributed to that reality. I will try to do justice to some of those characters in this running recollection of my memories and hope to bring some pleasant reflections and humor to others who were lucky enough to grow up during that time.