On Tuesday, 9/28/2010, well known Baltimore, Maryland writer Rafael Alvarez and I were walking up Mulberry Street, towards Park Avenue, in Baltimore, heading towards the location where Sherman's Book Store used to be - at the corner of Park and Mulberry. That morning, we had just met for the first time. We each had our own memories of the well known book store and its owner - infamously brusk Abe Sherman - and had each written about Abe and the store. Amongst other writing, Rafael wrote Abe's obituary for the Baltimore Sun Newspaper. I wrote a little story about my times as a teenage customer of Abe's - during the 1960s. Old Abe sold the first Rock and Roll band posters in Baltimore, and I bought a poster of the Rolling Stones from Abe - my first of many posters.
As Rafael and I walked up Mulberry, we stopped to take photos of and talk about the building where Martick's famous bar/eatery once operated. I never was in the place, being too young to go in when it was a bar, and not into spending time in the area when it was a French Restaurant. It is known as an old Beatnik joint to me, and that to Rafael too, but he had had the pleasure of eating many great meals there - when it was a Restaurant Francais.
We walked on up the half-a-block to the corner of Mulberry St. and Park Ave, where we took some photos of each other in front of the former Sherman's Book Store. As we walked on down Park Ave., low and behold here comes the owner of the now closed Matrick's, Morris Martick, strolling up the sidewalk towards us. 88-year-old Morris had been born in the building Matrick's had been in, and he has lived there most of his life. I had never seen the man before, but Rafael knew him well. So we stopped and spoke with him a bit. And I took some good photographs of Morris and Rafael, plus a damned great little video of them conversing.
Below is the building where Martick's was, and Morris Martick was born, has lived for most of his 88 years on This Good Earth, and he still owns the place.
Here are still photographs that I took of Rafael and Morris, with Rafael on the left and Morris on the right:
And here is a video of some of the conversation between Rafael and Morris:
Photography by David Robert Crews
After Rafael and I parted company with Morris, Raf said that the conversation, photos and video are "gold". I believe they are gold to anyone who has any personal connection to Martick's, or anyone who is into really cool Baltimore history. Do a web search for "Morris Martick" and links to tons of really cool reading about Morris will be there for you to pursue and enjoy.
Here is an article in the magazine Urbanite where Morris speaks about his life: http://www.urbanitebaltimore.com/baltimore/speak-easy/Content?oid=1244887
Here is a Facebook page for former employees of Matrick's:
Make sure you check out the discussion board on the Facebook pages. It's quite humorous.