A Baltimore Viewpoint From New Jersey

By Margaret Senn Schwartz

     I enjoyed looking at the memories from the Baltimore Memory section. I've moved from MD and lived all over the world with my family but some of the best memories were stories my Mother and grandmother would tell us and our time in Baltimore Md.

     The old Baltimore Harbor, prohibition and "bootlegging beer," and the "flu."

     My grandma had 2 siblings that died of the flu epidemic. My grandfather was a tugboat captain on Fells Point, and taught my father how to "go crabbing" (unheard of in NJ).

     My grandma and mother made great "crab soup" and would have the soup ready waiting for "the bushel" to come back from a Saturday crabbing trip. Dad knew they had to buy crabs... if they didn't get enough.

     But back then it was a easier to catch enough for a backyard crab "feast." I remember grandmas row house with the marble front steps on Washington Blvd. and the back alley where the carriages and the "out-houses" used to be kept.

     We would also hear the "arrabbers" I recently learned the term..... selling "Strawberries......." and fresh peaches. My sister and I would beg my grandma to get some......but we didn't have to. Who would forget those big, juicey, "peaches," and tomatoes.

     Grandma used to make fried tomatoes.... not green ones, and put sugar and salt on them while they were cooking. She liked fried tomatoe sandwiches.

     I also remember roller skating to the corner store to get Chocolate "snow balls" with marshmallow and vanilla ice cream op top(can't get those up here either).

     Grandma was nearly blind, but would never miss the "Orios" baseball game announced on the radio on Saturday night I think.

     My Dad a native New Yorker came to love Baltimore as his home town after living around the world, and even drank "National Bohemian" beer (is that the name)? When we were younger we were all a "little" embarrassed by her "Baltimorese" and lack of education, but she was a "survivor" of the depression and we now remember her, a true Baltimorean.

     I'm sure some things have changed but not the great people. I'm proud of my Baltimore heritage in the land of "pleasant living."

Margaret Senn Schwartz
Union, New Jersey

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