Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns
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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Goin' over Dundalk

We in Dundalk Farms weren't quite "Dundalkers", at least in our own minds anyway. We all talked about walking over Dundalk and that's what we did and that's where you did things. You shopped, went to the movies, went to Church, and caught the Red Rocket (otherwise known as the #26 street car) to Baltimore. Boy! There could be a whole book written about riding the Red Rocket.
We became "Dundalkers" when we started to school. We went to Dundalk Elementary school and we could walk there. If you lived more than a mile away you had to ride a bus unless you got thrown off, which boys were prone to do.
I remember one troublesome boy having to walk from very near Old North Point road. That had to be four miles. He was a hardheaded Dutchman. The Teacher Mrs. Merritt offered him a ride home because he had a blister as big as a quarter on his heel. He replied, "The Principal said walk." The boy stood up and said, "If you'll give me one of them Band-aids ma'am I'll walk. I ain't lettin' no school off that easy." Those who rode a bus could not claim to be from Dundalk. They were from Holabird or some other nearby town or area and most were proud of it too. There was a fair amount of rivalry among the different communities. Most of it came from baseball, there being a ball park in every little town. Sandlot ball was a big deal in those days. Dundalk had several beautiful red clay tennis courts but only girls played. We boys thought it was a sissy game. For boys the big thing was shooting marbles. Now shooting “hootles” always led to fighting so we all got pretty good at that as well.
St Helena and Dundalk were called (a little tongue in cheek) twin cities. There was a restaurant on Dundalk avenue named the Twin Cities Restaurant. People hung out there from both sides of the street and with local rivalries being what they are there was often a doggone good fist fight to be had there. Pain and suffering being not among my favorite interests I always endeavored to be a nonparticipant. Stand aside always begets pain. So standing still makes a fellow a target and a non-moving one at that and there you go right in the middle of it. Good old Baltimore you'd get arrested for spitting on the sidewalk but you could fight up and down the streets and alleys all you wanted as long as you didn't spit or cuss. Local people didn't curse anyway—they cussed.

I'll do one more post describing Dundalk back in those days and then we will write a book.
By-the-way anybody know the fellow in the picture? It was taken at the old Logan air field there, where Logan village is now. My father took the picture in the late 1930's. I've had it all my life, don't know who it is but can't bring myself to toss it. Doug

1 comment:

ursusdave said...

Hello there from downtown Dundalk. I live on Liberty Parkway now, but I grew up on Dunmanway a half block up the street from 'The Old Snake Hole'-Dundalk Bathing Beach-Merritt Beach-Merritt Point Park, But we didn't move there till 1955 so it was Dundalk Bathing Beach when we got there but The Old Snake Hole to my Sparrows Point raised parents. This is gonna be a good set of blogs, I enjoy them a lot. That's good stuff about the berries and nut trees on Kimmels Mt., never heard that part before. You may want to hold off and publish it all on your own, but you have enough stuff already for one article in the Dundalk Eagle as a Turning Back The Clock entry, they're online now, think about it. A lot of people all round the country get the Eagle in the mail and read it on the Internet. You may want to let them know what you're up to by having a piece in the Eagle, never know who may contact you and share their memories which can refresh some of yours. One thing I do is to write stuff out first using a word program, they have spell check and grammer check but the grammer check part can get too picky for story writing, then you copy it and paste it over to your blog; that will save you some time on all the rewrites you know you'll be doing and it looks better to readers. I have a blog about today's Dundalk, I tell people to web/blog search for "Blue Skies Over Dundalk Maryland" instead of offering a link cause I don't follow unsolicited links myself. You can see some great photos of Dundalk on it. Speaking of photos, don't ever throw any away like that one of the guy by a plane you say you just keep keeping for the heck of it, give them to the Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society. You may have some photos they'd love to have copies of. If you come around Dundalk drop in on them at the old Dundalk Library. I'll be following your blog till the book is done. Good stuff you got here on this blog, a real look at Dundalk coming out of the Great Depression.