Gil Sandler

Host, Baltimore Stories

Gil Sandler was born and raised in Baltimore -- a circumstance he considers fortunate and one he does not want you to forget. He attended public school (P.S. #59, Garrison Junior High, Baltimore City College, Class of 1941) and then served in the United States Navy.
Returning, he completed his college education at the University of Pennsylvania (Class of 1949). In 1967 he earned his Master's Degree in Liberal Arts from the Johns Hopkins University. He began to write features for the Sunday Sun and a weekly column ("Baltimore Glimpses") for The Evening Sun. "Baltimore Glimpses" would continue for 31 years. He is the author of six books (Johns Hopkins University Press): The Neighborhood, Baltimore Glimpses Revisited, Jewish Baltimore, Small Town Baltimore, Wartime Baltimore, Glimpses of Jewish Baltimore.
He has received numerous awards for his writing and lecturing, including the Emmert Award for Feature Writing for The Sunday Sun and election to Hall of Fame of his alma mater, Baltimore City College.
Asked how long he thinks, he can continue telling “Baltimore Stories,” he replies, "I'm just getting started." Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories is made possible in part by

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Gil Sandler's Baltimore Story
12:50 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Time The Colts Memorabilia Came Home

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 12:45 pm

After that dark, snowy unforgettable night when the Mayflower trucks hauled away the Colts and the franchise and all that the team possessed, a furious Mayor Schaefer threatened to sue the demon Colt owner Irsay. To avoid the delay and embarrassment of a court case,  Irsay agreed to have his own lawyer and the Colts representative, Ted Venetoulis, settle the matters privately. At the end of the affair they did--the Colts got back their memorabilia and Irsay got a penalty-- slapped on by Venetoulis for "unsportsmanlike like conduct."

Baltimore Stories
12:08 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Ice Hockey Too Rough For Baltimore Boys

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 11:55 am

Ice Hockey

In the early 1940s, in what was known then as the Sports Center Ice Rink at North and Calvert streets, it was the all-girls’  Spitfires against the all-girls Glamor girls—in no-holds, rough and tumble ice hockey. The girls ice hockey teams never got to play against any of the boys’ ice hockey teams. The boys, many observers felt, were lucky.

Baltimore Stories
5:48 am
Fri December 26, 2014

The Time Mayor Howard Jackson Shut Down The Ferry Howard Jackson

At exactly 5pm on New Year's Eve, 1938, Captain Leon Joyce took the ferry Howard Jackson across the harbor to the foot of Haubert Street in Locust Point for the very last time in the service's 114 years of existence. The service was costing the city $25,000 a year and Mayor Jackson had resolved to shut it down. And he did - which was probably the first of his New Year's resolutions that year that he kept.

Baltimore Stories
5:58 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Gil's Gifts For Christmas 2014

Gil recalls three gifts from Baltimore Christmases past, and concludes that if he had to choose one gift of the three to send to listeners, it would be of the Christmas window gardens of the downtown department stores so beloved by Baltimoreans into the 1950s. There was one window garden in particular that offered to all who saw it the gift of joy.

Baltimore Stories
5:19 am
Fri December 12, 2014

The Time Baltimore's Mighty Boys Lost At Jump Rope

The Great Baltimore World Series of Jump Rope, 1960 edition, was going to be different. In that year's contest, the boys were invited to compete along with the girls. The girls protested - they said it wasn't fair, what with the boys reputed to be stronger. But when the contest ended, there was a big surprise. Not a single boy finished in the running.

Baltimore Stories
5:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

The Time The BSO Said Farewell To The Lyric

The May 27, 1982 performance of the Baltimore Symphony was the Symphony's last show at the Lyric. The orchestra said goodbye to the venue one musician at a time: in the middle of Haydn's Symphony 45 in F Sharp Minor, each musician left the stage individually. The first violinist remained to finish the piece. When the piece concluded, the first violinist walked off the stage, leaving Maestro Commissiona alone. With no musicians left to lead, Commissiona walked stage left and flicked the light switch to "off." The auditorium went dark. It was a poignant goodbye to the Lyric after 66 years.

Baltimore Stories
5:49 am
Fri November 28, 2014

The Time Dorothy Lamour Got The Last Laugh On Baltimore

Famed movie star Dorothy Lamour married no less than a descendant of John Eager Howard and took her place among the city's elite in 1944. Baltimore high society may have laughed, but it was she who had the last laugh: she was perhaps the only former elevator operator ever to make the pages of the Baltimore Society's famed "Blue Book."

Baltimore Stories
5:01 am
Fri November 21, 2014

The Time Vacuum Cleaners Saved Baltimore's Thanksgiving Day Parade

On the afternoon of November 22, 1936, Hochschild Kohn Department Store was feverish with preparations for the next day's Toytown Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was learned that the Mickey Mouse balloons were on a truck, frozen in, in upstate New York. They would arrive very late in the morning - too late to be inflated with the commercial balloon pumps. But the parade went on, because the Mickey Mouse balloons did get inflated - in a very surprising way.

Baltimore Stories
5:48 am
Fri November 14, 2014

The Time Ellis Larkins Outperformed Rachmaninoff

On December 12, 1935, the great Sergei Rachmaninoff gave a performance at the Lyric. That same night, a young African American pianist named Ellis Lane Larkins gave his own show across town at Douglass High School. The next morning, The Baltimore Sun's music critic wrote that Rachmaninoff was not at his best. He should have been at Douglass High: no less than Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt was  there to hear Larkins.

Baltimore Stories
5:51 am
Fri November 7, 2014

The Time Romance Beat The Great Flu

The great flu that struck Baltimore was so deadly, contagious and debilitating that it pretty much shut down the city--schools, movies, department stories, even hospitals. But life went on for two determined and inventive young lovers who, each down with the flu and confined to their beds blocks apart, found a way to keep up their romance.

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