Born in Baltimore, Abby Sherman (1898-1987), the morning newsstand owner, was as calm and pensive as an owl, squeezing a whole lemon into a glass of hot water. He’s carefully stirred this citrus blend as he sits on a mushroom spot overlooking Park Ave. Near the library door. A lifelong newsagent began selling newspapers at a young age in 1906.
The newsstand first opened in 1919, at the base of the Baltimore Battle Memorial in Calvert and Fayette Stas. Some critics did not like how the drivers were circling their cars when Sherman handed the newspapers. Politicians, lawyers, and celebrities alike, such as H.L. Mencken and F. eventually received him, the city of Baltimore asked him to move.
I saw an early ad for the news seller showing traces of history, and it read: “Sherman Brothers. I am pleased to leave you the news every evening. It is the only newspaper in Baltimore with the Associated Press. One cent copy.”
Before a normal day began, Sherman would deliver the earthly consul to his staff while sipping his drink. “If you do this every day, you will live forever. Now throw that pile of papers away.”
During the early 1980s, he was a major. I worked at Sherman’s in the summer. Other colleagues who have worked there include Tom Chalkley and Bonnell Bonnell. When I get to know Sherman, I discover a cute old school character who can be a bit grumpy at times. In the early 1970s, the vibrant downtown retail market took a hit. Changes from redlining and blockbusting have devastated Baltimore. Antiques, arts and jewelry establishments can still be found along the Howard Street corridor. For Nehru shirts, bell bottoms, and assorted accessories I’ve shopped on Red Street at The Bead Experience, Middle Earth, The Clothes Horse, and Omar’s Tent Factory.
The diverse Cathedral Quarter/Chinatown had offices and shops as well. It was the New Era Library, Music Liberated and Body Furniture, along with the White Rice Inn on Park Ave. Old-fashioned Maison Marconi restaurant serves Pauline oysters in a three-story townhouse where waiters were tuxedos at 106 W. Saratoga St. Block at 114 W. Saratoga St. It is the shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori; The liturgy is still said there in Latin. These sites act as an invisible southern ocean.
towards the north end on Mulberry Street next to Brass Towne Antiques; A red Chop Suey sign, neon, hung above the entrance hall that announced “one flight of stairs up” Mee Jun Low. Remember the cheap high school history eggroll by waitress Irene, you might have got it here.
In the early 1900s, the former jazz hall that later became the Martik Tyson Street Tavern was located across the street at 214 Mulberry Street. This site is a bookmark – a consistent, counter-cultural enclave that has led to the development of Baltimore’s Bohemian identity. Maelcum Soul (1940-1968), a plunging princess and inspiring John Waters, worked at this title. After 1970, it became known as Martick’s Francais Restaurant. The legendary Maurice Martick (1923-2011) was born in this building, and owned and operated a unique eclectic restaurant until 2008. Almost every employee that Maurice employed in this snakeskin-walled establishment had some sort of connection to the art world. It’s amazing how an entire neighborhood can go through a set of classic, unisex, bohemian movies.
In the middle of it all, Abe Sherman opened a new bookstore in 1970 on the southwest corner of Park Ave. and Mulberry St. Near the tomb of Edgar Allan Poe in Paca and Fayette Sts. The building’s windows are plastered with large black and white posters showing: the iconic, bombshell Rachel Welch in a fur-hidden bikini. million years BCHumphrey Bogart nursing a shot and WC fields holding a deck of cards.
The Sherman Book Store is where Tom Divinity bought his first copy of Arthur Rimbaud’s poems. The pulp wonder had “a lot of interesting stuff” with obscure music, movies, and art magazines. stacked from floor to ceiling; Newspapers from all over the world. Adult addresses are normally kept behind the cash register. His friendly son, Philip Sherman, a Baltimore attorney, would check in regularly to see how things were going. With all the black light up stickers, incense, and love buttons, it’s hard to believe the store was owned by former World War II Army veterans.
If you ever cross paths with a Sherman, you’ve had the honor of being reprimanded by someone who fought with the 175th Regiment in Maryland on the beaches of Normandy, and you deserved to win. With the fervor and fervor of movie soldier Samuel Fuller, he barked battle orders, “Come on, you bastards, let’s go!” The attack on the Germans earned him a Silver Star.
Sherman was a charming sage, endowed with intelligence and wisdom. He had a reputation for angering more than a few customers. I got a real kick every time I kicked someone out of the store, and that was a lot. The place was small and cramped with two small lanes. It was easy for him to hover behind you. Like clockwork, I’d hear the classic single-line coarse phrase: “There’s no reading here, the library is up the street,” referring to the branch of Enoch Pratt’s Central Library, a neighborhood east of St.
Baltimore is a city full of quirky characters. Just based on the numbers, there will always be some degree of connection. When Baltimore-loving crowds lined the city streets, politician Hyman A. Pressman, once wrote a poem for Abe Sherman when the city of Baltimore asked to move to another corner:
That’s really beautiful, Dad,
Treat her tenderly, like a babe.
Protect it from all passing trucks.
It cost eleven thousand dollars.
In November 1964, Gunther Brewery helped the new Sherman booth open in its original location. The first newspaper sold was purchased by then-mayor Theodore R. McKelden with a dollar borrowed from a spectator. As things change, let’s hope that future Baltimore government decisions don’t end up in a quagmire. This wouldn’t satisfy Abby Sherman; Patriot, soldier and philosopher.