Friday, May 28, 2010

9th Street Hangout - O.C., MD

So the car radio reports that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic is backed-up today. This is normal for the start of the Memorial Holiday weekend. After all, our families in the greater Baltimore area have been going there for almost one-hundred years. I imagine this scene of 9th Street at the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD taking place around 1964. We were coming of age and it was our first summer to act cool playing the pinball machines. The Beach Club had its live “jam sessions” every weekend afternoon and that was the only time that summer when we did not hear “House of the Rising Sun” drifting into the salty air from the jukebox. Hess Apparel was on the corner though we were not yet appreciative of their tasteful fashions. However we did love the Alaska stand with its milk shakes and hot dogs for lunch when we were allowed that special treat. The big old George Washington Hotel was always a welcome sight because it marked our 9th Street hang-out at least for a few more summers.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Our relationship with the Charles Chips man began one day when he spontaneously pulled into our drive-way in his cheerful yellow truck and offered our family some samples of his wares. Who could resist those large yellow tins with the potato chips and pretzels painted on the labels? And these snacks were so exotic as to have been made in Pennsylvania! So we paid the deposit on the tins and about every two weeks our Charles Chip man kept us well stocked in chips and pretzels. We would trade him the old tin back for a new one with fresh chips and pretzels. What a tasty way to recycle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saying Good-bye to Vince

Our biggest contributor to this modest blog is no longer behind his keyboard. We lost Baltimore native Vince Spence, 61, in early May. He was a very generous and thoughtful man. And if you have read his posts you know he was naturally funny. A friend recently referred to him as a spark plug and I agree. I am going to miss him and his entertaining posts very much. Many knew Vince as the One-Eyed Golfer from his blog which he maintained with great professionalism and attention to detail. Not being a golfer myself I knew Vince as a Baltimorean with whom I shared memories of our bygone city. He loved to reminisce from a slightly quirky angle. He could usually add a "bad boy" observation to most of the roadside paintings presented. Beyond everything, the man knew how to use his precious gift for bringing comedy into peoples' lives. He usually made me laugh into my computer screen with his clever posts and e mails. The previous entry here about the Hilton Dairy Cottage was in direct response to a request from Vince. I hope he was able to read it. I know he remains with all of us in spirit. My sincere condolences to his loving family for whom he cared very, very deeply. Rest in Peace, dear man. You did it right.