Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories | WYPR

Gil Sandler's Baltimore Stories

Ethel Ennis

Sep 18, 2015

This is Ethel Ennis, Baltimore born and nternational renowned singer with the buttery soft voice, on opening night of Ethel's place, her cabaret-supper club across the street from the Meyerhoff. It is February 18,1985. This is the same Ethel Ennis who, born on Calhoun street in West Baltimore in 1938, was, by the time she was only seven playing a mean piano; by fifteen, she had cultivated her famous intimate style and was singing with blues and jazz artists: first in Baltimore, then throughout the country; then, London.

Bickford's

Sep 11, 2015

As a place to it it was strictly a second class cafeteria. But Bickford's on the east side of Calvert street between Baltimore and Fayette was called nothing less than "No. 10 Downing Street" - because  it was thought to be the center of Baltimore's political power, as No. 10 Downing Street was of Great Britain's. Here the politicians would crown kings and give them the power to remove the beaten. When the building was torn down in 1972 they who had decided who should be king and who should be removed were themselves removed.

Rice's Bakery

Sep 8, 2015

Up into the 1970's the driver of a Rice's Bakery truck would come to your door with a tray full to overflowing with sinfully delicious baked goods - Vienna bread, Parker house rolls, cherry pie - and Louisiana Ring cakes. Louisiana Ring cake was a house specialty whose recipe, owner Emory Rice said, remained secret, known only in these years to Rice's alone. The Rice's door-to-door delivery trucks are gone - and the legend is that nobody these days has the recipe for Louisiana Ring cake, and this is the story of that legend.


Ben Hur

Sep 8, 2015

In the early 1900's Baltimorean Francis X. Bushman was a down and out actor, who, to make ends meet, hired himself out as a model to artists and sculptors. In that hand to mouth existence, he became the model for the statue of Cecil Calvert, which stands in front of the Baltimore courthouse on St Paul Street today. Years later when he was rich and famous he had occasion to visit Baltimore-but he did not ask to see the stature of Cecil Calvert for which he had been the model. His explanation surprises...


Mary Avara

Aug 24, 2015

In June of 1981, in a small room high up in the office building located at One South Calvert Street, history was being made. The Maryland Board of Censors, which censored all the movies shown in the local movie houses, was holding its last session. Its long time Chair of the Board was the formidable and ultra-conservative Mary Avara: her remarks on the end of the board's power mark the end of an era.


Hula Hoops

Aug 14, 2015

 In the late summer of 1962, Baltimoreans of all ages could be seen on street corners and playgrounds, on country club lawns and back alleys, gyrating in a studied effort to keep a plastic hoop twirling about one's body while keeping it clinging. The plastic hoop was called a hula hoop, and among the celebrity hula hoopers was City Comptroller Hyman Pressman - and this is the story of how he bravely entered the City's hula hoop contest and sadly lost!


A yellow school bus moves along Dulaney Valley Road, through the lush green country side of the Loch Raven Reservoir area. At Dance Mill Road--where Peerce's Plantation restaurant used to be--the bus turns left into a narrow, unpaved country road. In minutes, the bus comes to a full stop in a parking lot and the students alight. They have come this fine spring morning in 1955 to visit the Cloverland Farms milking barn, to see--believe it or not--cows being milked.

Lizette Woodworth Reese

Jul 30, 2015

Ms. Reese was regarded by many critics (among them H. L. Mencken) as the foremost woman poet of the country and one of the nation's greatest lyricists. She was born and raised and worked in Baltimore all her life, and she particularly liked Baltimore in spring.

Famous Blue Bottle

Jul 24, 2015

In 1936, Baltimoreans walking about downtown knew something was missing. A mysterious vacuum was making itself felt. What was wrong was that the Baltimore sky line had changed - the giant bottle of Bromo Seltzer atop the Bromo Seltzer tower at 308 W. Lombard Street was suddenly missing from their view.

When Senator Mikulski heard, on the evening of Wednesday August 28, 1991, she was in her apartment on North Charles street - she dropped everything and ordered her limo downtown to a restaurant called Connelly's. The Senator had gotten the word that the old Baltimore restaurant was closing.

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