My father bought a project, in a faraway place, around the bay in Maryland. I was three years old. It looked like we were moving out of the big city to a little community where I knew no one. One cold day, I packed my toys and some clothes, disgruntled that I had to move. My life caved. I was moving away from my best friend. I saw little importance of being stuck on a cliff and all the rules that implied.
Unaware of the significance of growing up in a little place called “Round Bay”, my father took on the challenge of remodeling a turn-of-the century covered dance floor on Eagles Nest Point. Sitting on a cliff, overlooking the water, our weekends became filled with hammers and saws. Mom, I remember, wasn’t very happy living on the old wooden floor, so she would cover it with rugs. It wasn’t much to look at, as I recall; just a roof and a floor but my father was planning to turn it into our home.
It took many months to rebuild that old pavilion. The story goes that in the summer, rich people would come to dance the night away overlooking the Severn.
Eventually… trying to make my mother happy, which was never easy, my father, then bought and constructed a house next door. Bless his soul! Most knew it as the “Smith’s”, but it was the “Bick’s” home first.
I guess I was five, when I was the only one to survive going over the cliff, on my tricycle. That was enough for mom! Things were sketchy and not long afterwards, mom and dad split up. My dad left and we moved to our third home on Waters Road in Round Bay. It was perfect because in the interim, my buddy and his family, moved from Randallstown to just down the road.
My good memories are plentiful. On the 4th of July, fire engines would parade through the neighborhood; in December, folks would gather to canvas the community singing Christmas carols; and then there was Yardley’s annual telephone book – which we now wish we’d held on to!
I watched as Round Bay blossomed after 1953. The swimming meets and festivities at Main beach; and boats turning from wood to fiberglass. Just a brief funny memory…. some years later, after mom remarried, My stepfather, Skip and I went to the Eastern Shore. He had a 12 foot row boat built for me for $125.00. Made of spruce, it sank every season until it swelled.
About 7 years old, we moved away from Waters Road. This time, my dad bought a house for mom, my brother and I, on Riggs Avenue in Olde Severna Park. He paid $12,500 in cash. Moving from Sunset Knoll, in Pasadena, we headed back to Severna Park.
Thanksgiving 1958, mom remarried. It was my stepfather, Skip’s birthday. I guess they chose that date so he wouldn’t forget. Confusing times back then… my dad disappeared; I didn’t know why.
Somewhere around 1960, we moved back to Round Bay onto Laurel Rd, right above “dead man’s curve”. My little brother was born in 1962. I was at Bea and Larry Cranes house – great friends of my parents. I’ll never forget when Mrs. Crane came running outside. I was on my bike, and she was yelling, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy! And it’s on my birthday!”. The stupid things you remember…
The Cranes and my stepfather’s family, the Carr’s, played a large part in St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church. Ironically, there silently stood in the vestibule, my dad’s name engraved on the golden shovel.
My dad passed away in ’65 – a terrible loss to any child. Now I commemorate his life. A man with such vision who played an intricate part in the community. Very few know that. Someday, I hope to retrieve the golden shovel. It no longer stands in the entrance of the original church.
Skip, my stepfather, was a great man; one I could say that his reputation preceded him. He started out in real estate in 1958, moving into a little red house up on the hill, behind Dawson’s store. Skip started working for Tommy and Cliff at the age of 14. He helped support his mother after his father passed away. Born in a house on the B&A, outside of Berrywood, there remains a statue to his legacy.
In 1971 or ’72, mom and Skip bought their final home at the water’s edge by the pier. He thought he was getting ripped off, paying that much money for a house. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. What an investment!
Proudly, I’ve spent a large part of my life as a little piece of Severna Park. I graduated from Severna Park High School in 1969 and was raised in a wonderful environment. This is an honor to share my true story with you, my friends and family…..This little piece of history is dedicated to the things that will never change, my memories.