Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories | WYPR

Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories

Friday 7:46 am and 9:38 am

Gilbert Sandler is one of Baltimore's most-read and well-known local historians. For more than thirty years, through his articles in the Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Jewish Times, National Public Radio and his books and lectures, he has shown Baltimoreans, through anecdote and memory, who they are, where they have been and, perhaps, where they are going. He was educated in Baltimore's public schools and graduated from Baltimore City College; in World War II, he served in the United States Navy as a ship-board navigator in the Pacific. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has a master's from Johns Hopkins.

Archive prior to December 2014.

PhotoAtelier/flickr

At precisely five minutes to 5:00 on December 31, 1959 at Walters’ Public Bath House No. 2 at 900 Washington Boulevard, a man was taking the very last shower in the very last public bath house in Baltimore. It was 5:00 exactly when he shut down his shower he shut down, too, the era of public baths in Baltimore.

msa.maryland.gov

Ethel Ennis,  the Baltimore vocalist with the buttery-soft voice, was born in Baltimore but enjoyed international renown performing in London and Paris and cities around the world—and received many tempting invites to live in any one of them. Yet she chose to come home to live and work in Baltimore. She explained, “You don’t have to move up by moving on. You can bloom where you were planted.” And so she did.

"Strawberry Time"

Feb 17, 2017
Ewan Traveler/flickr

Gil tells us about a time before WWII when strawberries were grown and picked by Baltimoreans.

Mechanic Life and Death

Feb 10, 2017
Anomalous_A/flickr

On the night of January 16, 1967, the sidewalk under the marquee of the Mechanic Theatre at Charles and Baltimore streets was the scene of bright lights and cameras flashing and celebrities working the crowd. The occasion was the Grand Opening of the Mechanic—which would close after three years, stay dark for two years and reopen nine years later in n 1976. It closed for the last time in 2004—after 37 years, As they say in show biz, not a bad run.

On the evening of August 10, 1908, Baltimore entrepreneur and socialite Isaac Emerson was having dinner in the then very fashionable Belvedere Hotel. It was a very hot and humid night and so Mr. Emerson felt inclined to take off his coat. Whereupon the maitre de rushed to his table and admonished him on the impropriety of taking off one’s coat in the Belvedere dining room. Emerson got furious, and walked out, murmuring that he would build his own hotel. And he did.

Melissa Clark/flickr

Gil tells us about Louie Goldstein, who spent more than a decade advocating for his beloved Calvert County to be the home of a third Bay Bridge span.

marylandtransitadministration.blogspot.com

On today's Baltimore Stories, Gil tells us about a transportation option that allowed riders to take in the "charms of Charm City" from a high perch.

bour3/flickr

Gil brings us the story of Sidney Friedman and his 1930s advertising campaign for The Chesapeake that dared Baltimoreans to "cut your steak with a fork or tear it up and walk out."

Dyer's Deceit

Jan 6, 2017
broadcastpioneers.com

Gil on the (Minor League) Orioles' play-by-play announcer Bill Dyer and his so-called "lucky chair."

New Years Eve, 1938

Dec 30, 2016
Luis Deliz/flickr

Gil tells us about the last voyage of the Howard W. Jackson ferry boat.

"The Littlest Angel"

Dec 23, 2016
www.thedepartmentstoremuseum.org

Gil tells of the 1953 "street theater behind glass" in the window of the Hochschild, Kohn department store in downtown Baltimore.

Robert Bejil

December 6, 1943--The audience at The Hippodrome waited to see the Benny Goodman band with drummer Gene Krupa take the stage. But it wasn't Krupa behind the kit. Gil tells us how a Baltimore boy stood in for the famous drummer, without anyone knowing. 

Mike Mozart/flickr

Gil tells us how the seasoning staple began. 

Number, Please

Dec 2, 2016
Kibbe Museum/flickr

Gil recalls a time in Baltimore before 10 digit phone numbers, when "Idlewild" and "Tuxedo" helped the telephone operator find who you were looking for.

Tulkoff

Nov 25, 2016


Miller Bros Lottery

Nov 18, 2016


"Brinksmanship"

Nov 11, 2016


General Devereaux

Nov 4, 2016


Spelling Bee

Oct 28, 2016

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Phillip Goodman

Oct 21, 2016

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Marconi's

Oct 14, 2016


Pumpkin Papers

Oct 7, 2016


Dorothy Lamour

Sep 30, 2016

  

Parkway and Poetry

Sep 16, 2016


Tommy's Wedding Day

Sep 9, 2016

Henry Barnes

Sep 2, 2016

Eddie Rosenfeld

Aug 26, 2016

On an afternoon in 1946, a small crowd of spectators were gathered in front of a broken down, boarded up row house on tiny Tyson street, between Park and Read. Looking up they saw a strange sight: several men working on scaffolding set against the exterior wall of a house were panting the front exterior wall yellow...  The owner of the house was Eddie Rosenfeld, whom people called crazy to rehab the house and then to pint it yellow—on the street of broken- down houses. Time would show that in Baltimore, when you speak of people making lifestyle choices, you need to be careful who you call crazy. 

Nobska

Aug 19, 2016

The Inner Harbor along the Light Street quay on the soft spring evening of April 12, 1976, was alive with crowds and music. More than 500 of Baltimore’s beautiful people were milling about, shaking hands, congratulating one another.  The center of the festivities was the Grand Opening aboard the three-decker excursion steamer “Nobska,” majestic in white, sparkling in the late afternoon sun. It was presented as  Baltimore’s first floating—appropriately glamrous--restaurant. But the Nobska could not open because it was closed. Here’s the story.

About 8:45 on a Tuesday morning in the late 1950s, half a dozen mothers and some fathers with their four and five year olds in hand are milling about the lobby of WBAL-TV. These mothers and fathers and children were  going to be on TeeVee , on Miss Nancy’s "Romper Room! " where each child hoped to gain stardom to the tuned in world of “Do-Bees.” The  show was  a huge success in many cities— due in large measure to one little toddler  from Baltimore telling Miss Nancy  that he had to “go” and was in fact,  “going” while on camera!

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