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                 Raised in Baltimore Town
 
 (My memories of a Baltimore that has all but disappeared.)

   I’ve lived in Baltimore all my life. I don’t know if I should be proud of that or hide that fact. Maybe because, when I was young, I thought of Baltimore as a less “sophisticated” city but a lot friendlier city than New York or Los Angeles.
   Maybe because I was an “in myself” person, I don’t always remember the details of the physical environment as far as names of places, etc. –but the many of the subjective experiences I had in Baltimore Town are very prominent in my memory.
  I spent my childhood on the 3200 block Piedmont Avenue in NW Baltimore, just south of Hanlon Park, west of what is now Mondawmin. I lived in my grandmother’s row house with my parents and my brother.   I still remember life in that row house.

    My grandmother lived on the top floor. We had long steps down to the street and a nice porch to sit out on and play on. It was great for a kid in that neighborhood since I always had lots of friends and I would play a lot in the back alley. Also, there was a woods in back of the house, and in those good-old-days, a child could play in the woods without fear. Yes, we did actually leave the doors unlocked often.
  I can’t remember the name of the store, but I loved to go to a corner drugstore within walking distance and buy comic books. For recreation, we also used to go to Hanlon Park and I still remember a very very high (It seemed to me at the time) sliding board that used to really scare me. Also, I really liked flying kites in the park.
   I also liked going to Druid Hill park and walk around Druid Lake.
   Another enjoyment was going to Walbrook to see a movie.  
   Later, my family moved out to Baltimore County in Villa Nova off of Liberty Road. I went to then Milford Mill High School. I dated someone who lived on Rogers Avenue in Pimlico. The big night out might involve driving up and down Pimlico Road showing off the “hot cars” while listening to the Big Booper on radio, going to a drive-in eating place, going bowling or going to a drive in movie.  
   My friend and I used to walk down to Liberty Road to a Soda Fountainat then
Crest Pharmacy and listen to the jukebox. That was a big deal then.
  I had gone then to Gwynn Oak Park for a special day out and also I remember really liking Carlin’s Ice Skating Rink.
    A major shopping trip was going downtown to Howard and Lexington to  Hutzlers, Stewarts, Hoschild Kohn, The May Company, etc. All the big stores were there and the sidewalks would crowded. When the lights, changed, everyone walked in all different directions. There were no malls then. Lexington Market wasn’t too far away to go to for great for fresh meat and produce.
   It is sad to remember those better times in Baltimore and I think the main deterioration since then is from the increase in crime. I used to walk everywhere then. I wouldn’t do that anymore.  In so many ways, those were “the good ole days” Still, one tends to forget that there were a lot of negative factors then and a lot of prejudices that people just accepted and took for granted. I am very glad that people are more enlightened these days.   -CK