To my son Tommy,
I try my best to follow the goings-on of the city and surrounding areas. I consider it my civic duty. Most of the time I am disturbed by the reports, especially some of the crime, but once in awhile a crime report captures my imagination.
Recently in Baltimore County, someone made off with over two thousand cases of Hennessy. That is a half million dollars worth of booze. Why would two thousand cases of Hennessy be in one truck? I don't know. How did they pull it off? No clue. What are they going to do with it? This is where my imagination ran wild.
I pictured a modern day Baltimore version of Robin Hood. In my mind, he is completely cliché for our city, perhaps resembling Mr. Boh himself. The crime reporters suggested this would have had to been a professional heist. I however thought of our Baltimore Boh Hood, half in the bag already, stumbling across a liquor truck with the keys in it and thinking "why not?". To dispose of the booze, he drove it a couple blocks, maybe to Hampden or Fells Point or another big drinking area, and then put up a home made sign, using a marker colored Orioles orange, saying free booze. Word of mouth spreads and in minutes a block party breaks out. I imagined walking down the street and seeing just about everyone with that warm buzzed glow about them, brown bagging the good stuff. Or perhaps they somehow smuggle this booze into the stadium and have the most raucous opening day ever.
I know the actual crime was probably much more nefarious, with less humor in the account, and driven purely by profit. Most of the crime in Baltimore is. In fact most of the crime in Baltimore makes you question why we live in this city. However, somewhere in the recesses of my mind lives this romantic picture of my city that crimes like this would happen for more altruistic purposes. Perhaps that Baltimore never really existed, or is long gone in the days of yore. Perhaps the legends and stories, like the days where you could see a city of lanterns upon the bay, from the rowboats meeting the rum runners and bootleggers, as a defiant Baltimore thumbed its nose at Prohibition, were more myth than fact. But that is the city I would like to live in again.
Sincerely with love from your dad,