I Grew Up in Baltimore in the 50's 60's and 70's

How I Remember Baltimore - author unknown

You always got the best steamed crabs from Gordon's on Orleans Street in the heart of Baltimore; stopped at roadside Root Beer stands to get a frosty mug of root beer on the way down to the shore house (Middle River), where they had roadside stands to pick up freshly picked corn. Snowballs were sold in the basement of a neighbor's home. Neighbors looked out for each other's children and scolded them when they were doing wrong. The Farmers' Markets on Pulaski Highway and Ritchie Highway where we got the best BBQ chicken and your family dog .

You could only buy a Volvo from Michaelson Motors on Reisterstown Rd.; the best place to become a Chevrolet owner was at York and Bellona; Johnny's on Harford Rd. was the Walking Man's Friend; Granny Packer was on Blair Road; and "Hey, Hey, Fox Chevrolet" was just as annoying then as the car ads these days.

You rode on streetcars and buses operated by BTC (Baltimore Transit Company) and you remember when their color schemes went from yellow to green to blue. How about the old #26 Red Rockets, which were double cars that ran to Dundalk, Sparrows Point and also Bay Shore Park. We had three roller coasters in town years ago: Carlin's Park, Gwynn Oak Park, and Bay Shore Park. Did you get to ride on any or all of them? Or take a 'high-seas' cruise to Tolchester or Betterton?

You can sing the phone number for Hampden Moving and Storage. You remember Royal Parker yelling at kids jumping on furniture that was not covered in plastic... "what're ya trying to ruin it?" You think being called 'Hon' by waitresses, cashiers, bank tellers, and complete strangers is perfectly normal. You found yourself cheering for the guys who added 'Hon' to the Welcome to Baltimore sign on the BW Parkway, especially after the Mayor got irked and staked out the sign to catch them.

You watched local TV shows: Duckpins for Dollars, The Collegians, Pinbusters, Buddy Deane Show, Romper Room, and Hutzler's Theatre. You also saw Stu Kerr star as Bozo the Clown and Professor Cool for the kids, then host Dialing for Dollars for the stay-at-home moms, and later fill-in as the weather man (complete with cloud and sun magnets) on the 6 o'clock news. We had milk home-delivered by Green Spring, Sealtest, and Cloverland....but somehow Cloverland was the only one that claimed to be 'the dairy with cows.' Oh yeah, you can probably sing their jingle, "If you don't own a cow call Cloverland now; It's (North 9-2222)". Also Wilton Farm Dairy in West Baltimore. Don't forget to shake the bottle to mix the cream (which was always on top) in with the milk -- or pour it off carefully to lighten your coffee or tea.

Going for a Sunday drive to get ice cream at Knox's, Murray's, Sanders (The Dam Place), or at Cloverland Farms on Dulaney Valley Rd. If you didn't have a car, there was always a walk to Arundel or High's. Or you could just stay home and wait for the bells of the Good Humor Man--------- wait a minute! How about the The Thunderbird on Eastern Avenue. Great hamburgers and shakes plus a great hang-out to show off your father's car. Bunny's on Pulaski Highway was home of The Thing -- if you ate it all you got it free. When somebody gave their phone number as MUlberry- 6 or ATwater-4 or TUxedo-9, you knew right where they were from.

You've been on Sunday drives through 'Droodle Park' and watched the submarine races at Loch Raven or Lake Montebello. Also enjoyed the flowers and sites at Sherwood Gardens in the Springtime.

We had a functioning light rail system. The city and adjoining counties were linked by streetcars which plied the tracks for 104 years before the buses ultimately won on November 3, 1963. Car drivers, bike riders, and pedestrians had to avoid streetcar tracks long after the streetcars were out of business. It took years to dig up the tracks, though some are still evident on paved-over cobblestone streets. Now we are spending a gazillion dollars trying to re-create the original version of light rail.

You can remember what the harbor looked like before it was THE Inner Harbor. If you ever had oysters at Conneley's you would not forget it. They got them fresh every day when they were in season. You remember when there was home delivery of the Morning Sun, The Evening Sun, The Sunday Sun, The News-Post, and The Sunday American. The last two were later the News-American. And all long before the City Paper made its debut.

You looked forward to Earl Weaver antics over a bad call...... Okay, over any call.

You remember: laughing at bawdy jokes and political comments scrawled in white shoe polish on the front window of Turkey Joe's Bar in Fells Point; eating at Pollack Johnnie's, Lexington Market, Attman's, Bel-Loc Diner, Cimino's, Little Tavern (buy'em by the bag), White Castle, the G & A, AJ's Dog House, Horn & Horn, Oriole Cafeteria, Bickford's,White Coffee Pot, Hot Shoppes, Ameche's, Gino's, Read's, Hooper's, and Silber's Bakery. You've seen the governor and other dignitaries standing in line, in the rain, outside of Haussner's, because they never took reservations.

You remember Friendship Airport (later BWI) and Harbor Field (now Dundalk Marine Terminal). You remember Mister Ray's Hair Weave commercials. How about Harley's late-night radio shows with his theme song "Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay".

You remember driving over the old Kent Narrows Drawbridge that snarled weekend traffic coming home from the Ocean. You remember 17-mile traffic backups coming back from Ocean City on holiday weekends.

You had plenty of friends who worked at Sparrows Point, and each had an ugly old 'point car' to drive to work. Everybody else (it seemed) worked for GM on Broening Hwy., Western Electric, or National Brewery.

You know B&O is not body odor.

You remember going to see the fabulous Fire Department Christmas Train Gardens. Fire House 28 on Guilford Ave. had a very big display. You remember when Fort Holabird was alive and thriving. You love to see the Domino Sugar sign reflecting across the harbor. You remember when Social Security moved out of the Candler Building to their new complex in Woodlawn. You remember seeing the Four Seasons perform at Painters Mill or at ClubVenus. You saw the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, and Peter, Paul & Mary at the Civic Center. You saw Emerson, Lake, and Palmer at the Lyric. You saw Otis Reading, the FourTops, and the Temptations at Calvert Hall. You didn't save a single program! More Park's sausages Mom, please!

You remember the rotating restaurant on top of the Holiday Inn on Light Street. You've had the monster Powerhouse burger at one of four Ameche's Drive-ins, long before there was a McDonald's in sight. You could "Meet'cha at Ameche's" at Loch Raven and Taylor, 5800 Reisterstown Rd., 7700 Wise Av., or Ritchie Hwy. at 5th in Glen Burnie. All gone! A few years later you could also have a 15-cent burger at Gino Marchetti's or drive through the Circle for a Cheesy-Q. They're gone too!

You remember when the Baltimore Civic Center was home to the Baltimore Bullets, the Blast, the Clippers, as well as rock concerts, car shows, horse shows, civil-service exams, circuses, ice shows, and graduations.

Every kitchen had a can of Old Bay and every Frigidaire a case of Natty Boh. You remember when Baltimore rated a Playboy Club, and no, it wasn't on The Block.

You and your Mom shopped at Braeger-Gutman's, Hutzler's, Stewart's, Hochschild Kohn, Robert Hall, The May Company, Hecht's, Peck & Peck, Hamburger's, Epstein's, Woolworth's, S.S. Kresge, McCrory's, Ben Franklin, Dack's 5 &10, E.J. Korvettes, Two Guys, Cook's, Caldor, Hechinger's, and of course... Shockett's on Broadway or Eastern Avenue. Shopping on The Avenue meant Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown, unless of course you were from the other side of town. Then it was 36th St. Shopping on The Boulevard meant Washington Boulevard in Pigtown.

You've cruised Ameche's, the Circle, Champ's, and Topps parking lots on a week-end evening to see the muscle cars. You know that an Arabber is a guy who sells fruit and vegetables from a horse drawn cart.

You remember when the city po-leece cars went from black and white, to blue and white, then to all white with red and blue stripes. You know live crabs are at their very meanest right before steaming, and that if one gets you, he WILL NOT let go! You always knew where to find Blaze Starr.

You know where 'Downey Ocean' is, and remember where the Irish House was, plus the Beach Club and Jackson's Casino at 9th Street and the Boardwalk. The Blue Dalia was there a few years later on the south side of the intersection.

You remember a very green if not genetically Irish Hyman Pressman marching in the St. Patrick's Day parades, and Louis L. Goldstein with his immortal "God bless you all real good" wishes. You remember special deli shopping trips to Stone's Bakery, Jack's Corned Beef, Weiss Deli, and Attman's Deli on Lombard St., right in the heart of the high rise projects. (This was called Jew Town and the sandwiches were tremendous.)

You remember the Gwynn Oak, Carlin's, and Bay Shore amusement parks. You know where to park for the Preakness. You don't think that Assawoman Bay is a strange name.

You are an expert crab picker who always volunteers to teach visitors the only (and best) way to pick a steamed crab. Of course everyone else around you will interrupt the lesson to show your new student their best way, and confusion will reign. This will never change!

You had to be ready to yell out your order at Captain Harvey's or risk jeers from all the longshoremen in line. You had to pull out the BS sign when Robert Irsay declared that he had to move (steal) the Colts from Baltimore because (he claimed) the city would not support a team. We didn't get to be the world's largest outdoor insane asylum for nothing. The names of Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Bill Pellington, Art Donovan,Tom Matte, Alan Ameche, Gino Marchetti, Jim Mutscheler, Lenny Moore, John Mackey, Big Daddy, Jimmy Orr, Bert Jones, Andy Nelson, Billy Pricer, Lydell Mitchell, John Dutton, Mike Barnes, Joe Ehrman, Fred Cook, and many others are held in reverence to this day! Won't support a team ...... hmmm!

Everybody knows what the 'zink' and 'payment' are, and just how important it is to 'warsh them marble stoops.' You yell out "O" during the Star Spangled Banner. And no matter where you are, you laugh when you see signs saying Maryland Crab Cakes!

You say 'Blare Road' for Bel Air Road. There was Kirby Scott, Johnny Dark, Jack Edwards on WCAO, Jay Grason and Galen Fromm on WBAL, Lee Case on WCBM, Mike March, Johnny Walker, and the Flying Dutchman on WFBR, and JoeBuccheri on a variety of Classic Rock stations... to name but a few.

You were confused for a few years after they swapped one-way directions on Lombard and Pratt Streets. How about laughing to the Johnny Walker morning show on WFBR, and his risqué shows at the Barge?

You miss the RCA dog.

You know the question is not about your college years when someone asks, "Where did you go to school?" You know which bridge they're talking about when someone says, "The bridge traffic is backed up."

You actually admire someone named 'Boog.'

You understand most of these, and pass them along to other Balti-morons to enjoy.

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