Street Car Rides In Locust Point

    I was born in 1933 and until I got my driver license I rode the street cars.

     I was raised in Locust Point and attended Catholic school there. In the winter we had snowball fights with the 'publics' who attended Francis Scott Key school # 76. The battleground was Latrobe Park.

     My dad always had a car but the rest of the family used the street cars. This includes the time I complained of a belly ache and my mother took me 'up the hill' to the doctor's office in a street car. When I was diagnosed as having appendicitis, she took me in a cab to South Baltimore General Hospital on Light Street.

     The grade school I attended 'down the Point' had an annual picnic day in the spring. I remember a line of old wooden, boxy street cars that would line up on Fort Avenue and take all of the students and families to Gwynn Oak Park, way out in N,W. Baltimore.

     Street cars was a super dependable way to travel. I especially remember going to high school everyday and never being late because of the schedules. (The student fare was a nickel). In fact, if I or any other student was late for school because of the transit company, we were required by the school to write a letter to the company as a means of covering our excuse.

     Every morning we would wait for a conductor named JOE. He was the best street car driver in the world because he put up with a bunch of teenagers like we were. Besides, the car he drove was a big, yellow, metal flat nosed trolley that was heated in the cold weather.

     Being the first ones on the trolley(the Fort McHenry loop was isolated and there were no stops between Ft; McHenry and Towson St.) we also got to spread out to any seat we wanted. The method to this madness was as we traveled up Fort Avenue we would stop and pick up the girl students going to Southern High, Seton High, Catholic High and points uptown. This was the #2 line.

     When we got to South Charles St.and Fort Avenue, we turned north. and continued uptown through a market area that was full of live chickens along with the odor that filled the neighborhood. Most of the students were about to debark the trolley at Baltimore and Charles St. { The numerical center of town.}

     With that, some of us walked up to Fayette Street where we caught the #8 car.( I was once told that the #8 route was the longest trolley line in the western hemisphere. It went from Towson all the way to Catonsville) Our trip to school was only to Irvington(however even though we were able to catch either the Irvington car(which had a turnaround loop directly across the street from my high school) or the Catonsville car which went a lot farther, most of us preferred the Catonsville car because you guessed it Catonsville High was CO-ED and the girls going to Catonsville would only be on that car

     The way the #2 line was labeled confused me at first. It used to read "CAREY ST." It always passed by Carey St., and always went to the BIG car barn at Druid Hill Park. Carey St. was never near that area.

     I took many trips on the #2 line from one end (almost) to the other. When we got to Druid Hill Park we would walk through it to the Zoo. I remember the Hippo/Elephant house. but I never saw the Hippo because he was always under water walking around in a circle. Kids have no patience to wait for him to come up for air.

     The trolley also took us to the other side of Druid Hill Park. We would get off in front of Carlin's Amusement Park to go to their roller rink and at other times go to a bike rental place on the edge of the park and rent a bike for 50 cents an hour. (The pants clip was extra.)

     Many a time I also rode the trolley to the stadium on 33rd St. to watch some exciting high school football games.

     Riding the 'street cars' was a part of the way of life in those days. And because of the way we lived then, it was fast and dependable. I have also found that in most of Europe it is the major way to travel.. Fast and dependable.

     N Golebiewski <pidgeon@bellsouth.net>

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