Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns
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Friday, December 1, 2006

Growing up Dundalk

Robinwood Rd. Dundalk, MD

As stated this will be the writing of a book If you follow along from day to day you will experience it as written. You will read it with bad punctuation, spelling and all it's other wart's and then you will see it as it is edited. You will see what I keep and what I throw away. You will be able to see it through to completion and then buy it from a print on demand publisher online. I expect this writing to take at least a year and maybe two. Know this! I am not a teacher and not only that I have almost no education. This would not be the way to write a book by almost anyone's standards. However it is my way so take my methods for what they're worth or don't take them at all. I would like to propose a toast to all of us and our completion of a book about Dundalk and it's folks. To "Dundalk and it's folks", it's success or failure.
These first posts will lay some groundwork by way of identifying some people, places and times and then we will begin the telling of a story. I have no idea what we will write but from experience I have every confidence it will all come together. Certainly not without numerous hitches.
The above picture is of The Pollard home place. My parents, Fred and Ruby, had four children Charlie, Dot, Madge, and Dougie (that's me). Charlie and I both had a lot of friends and the girls were beautiful so there was never a shortage of young men hanging around with rapidly beating hearts.
I'm only slightly kidding when I say I remember everything. I remember most everything. I was born on Robinwood Rd. in Dundalk Farms in 1934. My family had moved to Baltimore from Georgia in the 1920's so we weren't native Marylanders. I think they held Baltimore and it's people a little in awe. My father and older brother built our house as did most of the neighbors at the time. The neighboring fields were farmland grown over with broom straw. There were houses speckled here and there along gravel roads. Most houses were built on one acre lots of land with only a few having bought two acres.
At age two, I remember my diapers hanging on a makeshift clothesline which stretched from our pot bellied stove which supplied our heat to the chimney that was at the end of the four room house. I had asthma so I spent a fair amount of time lying on the wicker sofa where I could see everyone. I would catch a cold and do my death defying act of continuing to breath. I lay there a great deal of the time from December through March when I would perk up and make up for lost time.
Our house was under construction as were most of the homes on our road. We had sheet rock up on the interior walls with asphalt shingles on the outside the first winter. We walked on sub-floors covered with second hand carpets. A sudden gust of March wind would sometimes raise the carpets off the floor in some places. Sounds kind of hard nowadays but the world was slowly recovering from the depression and my father worked two days a week at a good job. We were better off than many.
Most of our neighbors built the same way my parents did. They would not borrow a nickle to build. They were all too well aware of what would happen if the depression got bad again. Any of them could be made to shudder by the mere mention of the word mortgage. Otts McClelland next door was a railroad fireman. He fired a steam Locomotive at Sparrows Point all night and worked on his house all day. Otto Walter, from across the street, was a tool and die maker at Glen L. Martin co., where they built airplanes. My father, Fred Pollard, was a machinist at Western Electric co., on Broning Highway. In those times a highly skilled tradesman who worked for a good company could afford to live in a neighborhood and rub elbows with Steel mill management and other executives.

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