Dead Deer Gets Tagged with Graffiti on Baltimore Highway


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Westminster, MD “NO ILLEAGLES” graffiti makes Anderson Cooper’s “Ridiculist”


Bad spelling or a shout-out to an Eagles cover band: you decide. (Photo by Christian Alexandersen from the Carroll County Times and Baltimore Sun Media Group)

July 17, 2014 – Misspelled graffiti on a a former Army Reserve Center building proposed as housing for immigrant children in Westminster, Md., made national news last night when Anderson Cooper featured the story in his “Ridiculist” segment. The spray-painted graffiti – “NO ILLEAGLES HERE NO UNDOCUMENTED DEMOCRATS” – is being investigated as a hate crime (a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine) by Maryland State Police. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initially considered using the center for children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, but have now dropped the idea.

Eagles cover band "The Ill-Eagles."

Eagles cover band “The Ill-Eagles.”

The host of Anderson Cooper 360 facetiously suggested that the graffiti could be a reference to a real Eagles tribute band called The Ill-Eagles. Like most of his “Ridiculist” segments, Cooper’s attempt at humor fell flatter than Kansas.

Anderson Cooper's "Ridiculist"

Anderson Cooper’s “Ridiculist”

The segment did, however, bring attention to two unfortunate realities: 1) some people in Westminster are prejudiced illiterates, and 2) there is an Eagles cover band (isn’t one Eagles group bad enough?)

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Eddie Munster Visits Essex, Maryland

It was a hot August day when Butch Patrick, better known as Eddie Munster, traveled from his home in Florida to help celebrate Chuck’s Comics 25th anniversary in Essex, Maryland.




Camera phones were a-flashing as Patrick hawked his 8×10 glossies, which he would sign for an additional $10 as well as pose for a photo.


Krudz bass player Tim Finnerty (right) poses for a fan photo with his son and Eddie Munster.


As Eddie Munster, Patrick tried to increase his street cred by parading his flowing beard in the hipster haven of Hampden.

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Frederick’s Joe Bussard is the King of 78s

Dust-and-Grooves-Book-CoverOn Record Store Day, April 19, 2014, Eilon Paz released “Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting,” a 416-page coffee table book profiling over 130 vinyl record collectors and their record collections. One of the collectors profiled was Frederick, MD native Joe Bussard, the 76-year-old founder of Fonotone Records and the undisputed “King of 78s.” Besides owning the most complete and noteworthy collection of country, ragtime, blues and jazz 78s in the world, Bussard was also the first man to ever record John Fahey. Following is Mark Minkser’s interview with the Bussard, taken from the book, in which The King reveals his love of  blues, bluegrass, and long-lost jazz (“Jazz music ended in 1923,” according to Bussard, “with the last recordings of of worth being Clarence Williams in 1932.”) and his aversion to rock ‘n’ roll (“Worse thing that happened to music”) and mp3s (“I can’t stand to listen”).- Tom Warner (Baltimore Or Less)

The King of 78s – Joe Bussard

Text by Mark Minsker & Eilon Paxz, Photos by Eilon Paz


Joe Bussard with some of his 15,000 78 rpm records.

Few people have devoted as much of their life to records as Joe Bussard has. 
Born in 1936 in Frederick, Maryland, he started playing records on his parents’ phonograph and by the end of World War II, he had the collecting bug. During the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, he led thousands of record expeditions through the mid-Atlantic region and the South, looking for 78s of jazz, blues, ethnic and down-home/bluegrass music. These expeditions went well beyond the typical digger routes of mining thrift stores or finding out-of-the way record stores. For Joe, record collecting has always meant driving into the backwoods, parking your car, and walking door-to-door asking the locals if they had any records in the house and, if so, would they be willing to sell them. It is not an exaggeration to say that over 50,000 records have passed through Joe’s hands or circulated through his collection. 
 In addition to his status as a collector, Joe is single-handedly responsible for the creation and operation of Fonotone Records, an independent record label responsible for documenting and preserving bluegrass, folk and blues music of the 1950s,1960s and 1970s (including the first recordings of guitarist John Fahey). A musician himself, Joe performed on guitar, banjo and vocals with his group Jolly Joe and His Jug Band, as well as performing and recording with many others. He has also been hosting radio programs since 1956, when he set up his own pirate radio station out of his home.Desperate Man Blues

Joe Bussard is the subject of the excellent documentary film by Edward Gillian, “Desperate Man Blues” (2003).

Q: Your Full name, age, where you live?
A: Joseph Bussard, 76. Frederick, MD.

Q: What was your first album? How did you get it? At what age? Can you describe that feeling? Do you still have it?
A: The first 78 that I went out and found was….God, you’re going back 50 years or so! That’s almost impossible to remember. I know that I found Gene Autrey records early on but it would probably be Jimmie Rodgers. When I heard him, that about did it. I was hooked.

Q: What prompted you to start collecting? What age did you start?
A: I had a phonograph at my house (still have it) and was playing records when I was six years old. Neighbors would bring records by the house that I grew up in, on Fairview Avenue in Frederick.

Q: Is there a music genre that you avoid?
A: Rock-n- roll. Period. Any of it. Hate it. Worse thing that happened to music. Hurt all types of music. They took blues and ruined it. It’s the cancer of music….ate into everything. Killed Country music, that’s for sure.

Q: A lot of people would claim the complete opposite. that Rock-n-Roll re invented and recharged music. What is it about rock-n-roll that annoys you so much?
A: Don’t like. Just my personal taste. Don’t like the sound of it, the meaning of it…doesn’t promote anything beautiful or meaningful. Idiotic noise, in my opinion.

Q: So artist like Miles Davis, John Coltrane don’t deserve your time?
A: Oh my god, you gotta be kidding me. None of that music moves me.

Q: Do you know what’s an MP3? Do you know that people can share songs today over the internet, download music for free, listen to it from their phones. what do you think of that?
A: A computer isn’t? I don’t have anything like that. Most of the music they’re getting for free ain’t worth a penny anyhow.

Q: A lot of young people are going back to vinyl records these days. they give up on digital music format and go back to this old beloved medium. what do you think is the reason to that?
A: It’s all about tone…It has a mild tone and is much more mellow than this new digital music, which I can’t stand to listen.

Continue reading “King of the 78s – “Joe Bussard” at

Related Links:

Watch trailer for the Joe Bussard documentary Desperate Man Blues (YouTube)

Joe Bussard videos on YouTube

Dust & Grooves – Vinyl Music Culture (

Listen to Joe Bussard: An Oral History of Fonotone Records (Wire)

Ad Hoc visits Fonotone Records

Interview: John Fahey on Joe Bussard and Fonotone Records (

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Stop Lies, Defamation, Ignorance, and Racism

Read and Learn!

by Tom Warner (Baltimore Or Less)

It started with anonymous notes posted throughout the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Central Library on 400 Cathedral Street. The notes – spotted on bookshelves and, in at least one case, left atop a men’s bathroom urinal – decried the use of derogatory words like “vagabond” to describe “victims of exploitation and oppression,” as shown below:

Learn, "Ignorauts"! Mystery Vagrant Anti-Defamation Spokesperson's library note.

Learn, “Ignorauts”! Mystery Vagrant Anti-Defamation Spokesperson’s library note.

And now the notes have left the building and taken their message to the streets of Mount Vernon,  where they are typically taped to the front of newspaper press boxes. One wonders, are they addressed to the publishers of Press Box and the Baltimore Sun’s b the paper and City Paper, or is it a Town Crier’s appeal all citizens of The City That Reads?

Or, could it be  a budding street installation challenge to the Toynbee Idea Tiles increasingly seen throughout the crosswalks of Mount Vernon – or the Styrofoam Sermon on the Mount proselytizer?

Just today, I saw two fresh postings in front of the Central Library, as depicted below.

Stop Lies

“In other words eliminate the Causasian Race.” On Press Box, 400 Cathedral Street.

Stop Lies 2

Spotted on City Paper box, 400 Cathedral Street.

And Baltimore Sun food critic Richard Gorelick recently spotted a variation of this text on two newspaper boxes on Calvert Street. These missives add a plea to stop “corruption,” (always a hard-sell in this town).


“Stop” signs spotted on Calvert Street.


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4th of July Weekend, Ocean City, 1975

Irene Schultz, of Bowie, lolled on the surf on a rubber raft at Ocean City.  Photo via

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Dundalk Florist 4th of July Parade Float, 1940


Via The Dundalk Eagle

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Baltimore Fireworks ad, 1936


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Great Baltimore Firecracker Accidents of 1936

“Innocent Bystanders” Tell Of Firecracker Accidents

Woman Who Usually Stays In House On Fourth Goes Out And Gets Injured — Tin Can And Bottle “Bombs” Cause Casualties

 (The Baltimore Sun, 6/6/1936)

Injuries from firecrackers were suffered by persons who were not handling the explosives as well as by July Fourth celebrants who were lighting them.

Of seven of the victims who were picked at random yesterday to describe how they were hurt, three were “innocent bystanders.”

Mrs. Annie Dubiel 40, of 2044 Eastern Avenue, is always so frightened by firecrackers that she hardly ever leaves her home on July Fourth. But on Saturday afternoon she wished to get some cake for dinner and determined to risk a trip to the corner store in order to obtain it. On the way a small boy threw a ‘cracker across the street at her. It exploded in front of her, lacerating her knee.

Cut By Piece of Tin

Charles Myer, 11, was standing on the pavement on the corner near his home, which is at 1634 North Bradford Street, when a boy put a firecracker under a tin can in the middle of the street intersection. Charles related:

“I was standing about twenty-five feet away, and when it went off, the can flew into pieces and a piece of tin flew up and hit me on the arm. ‘I’m hit,’ I said, and I went in to my mother, and she took me to Johns Hopkins Hospital and the doctor put three stitches in my arm.”

Mrs. Helen Hopkins, of 928 North Ensor Street, was holding her 4-year-old slaughter Regina by the hand, walking in the rear of their cottage at (?)iddle’s Shore, near Dundalk, on Saturday, when the child was severely cut in an explosion. Boys were lighting two-inch salutes in glass jars. Mrs. Hopkins said she saw none of the jars nearby, but suddenly there was an explosion and Regina screamed and lifted up her leg. There was a long gash on it, made by a piece of shattered glass.

Wound Stitched

She took the child to City Hospitals, where the wound was stitched after the girl had lost considerable blood. Mrs. Hopkins remarked, “I don’t buy the things because I am afraid of them, and yet this happens to Regina anyway.”

George Miller, Jr., 13, was cut in the chest by a “pineapple bomb,” which flew up from the pavement and struck him when another boy had lighted it. George, who lives at 132 West Clement Street, said, “He didn’t throw it; it just suddenly flew up and came at me like a bullet. I looked down and saw my chest was bloody. It made me sick, and I fainted. They took me to South Baltimore General Hospital.”

Walter Popko, 11, of 4911 Eastern Avenue, was trying to fire a salute the fuse of which would not light, “I opened up one end of it, lighted a match and put it in, and silver fire shot out,” he recalled. “This silver powder caked all over my fingers and thumb. I went to City Hospitals, and they fixed it. But my fingers are all blistered and sore.”

Burned On Hand

William Brecht, 10, of 509 Quail street, was shooting off firecrackers in a field near his home when one of the devices failed to explode after he lighted it. He picked it up, blew on it, and it went off in his hand. He was treated at City Hospitals for a burn on the palm of his hand, and for a slight eye injury.

Bernard Anshel, 16, was nursing a burned hand yesterday and firing no ‘crackers. He threw away all he had, he said, after a 3-inch one went off in his hand. The report was ringing in his ears late yesterday, he said, at his home, 139 North Patterson Park Avenue.

“This one didn’t go off,” he declared, “so I waited about five minutes, and then I picked it up to make a sizzler out of it. I bent it to get the powder out of it, and then it went off and burned my hand bad.” He was treated at Sinai Hospital.

James Davis was fined $5 and costs by Magistrate J. Frank Fox, in the Southwestern Police Court yesterday on a charge of tossing a firecracker at William Trumpler, of the 2800 block West Mulberry Street, while the two were in a building in the 2800 block Edmondson Avenue Saturday night. Davis, who lives in the 5300 block Bellivisto Avenue, was arrested by Patrolman Samuel Goodman.

Firecracker Lighters Get Blown Into Court

Because he lit a firecracker in a tavern in the 4000 block of Eastern avenue, thereby startling the customers, Charles Morton, 34, of Essex, yesterday was fined $6.45 by Magistrate John A. Janetzke, Jr., in Eastern Police Court.

Sergt. Charles Schamberg said he was attracted by the explosion Saturday, investigated and discovered Morton and the customers watching the smoldering remains of the firecracker en the tavern floor. Oram Krout, 28, of the 3800 block Bank Street, was burned on the legs. He received treatment at the City Hospitals. The charge was “unlawfully firing fireworks within the city limits.”

This One Dismissed

Another who ran afoul of the sporadically enforced fireworks law, but who was dismissed by Magistrate Janetzke, was Anthony Krol, 18, of the 500 block Smith Madeira Street. He was arrested when he fired a firecracker near his home.

Two small boys who allegedly threw firecrackers (lighted) at passing automobiles were held for Juvenile Court by the same magistrate.

Amos Newman, 36, who keeps a store in the 2400 block East Lafayette Avenue, won a dismissal in Northeastern Police Court on a charge of unlawful sale of fireworks. The magistrate was Hugh H. Jones, Jr.

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Baltimore’s George Washington monument has ‘creepy eyes’

What’s up with George Washington’s creepy eyes?

By Kevin Litten (Baltimore Business Journal, 7/2/2014)


Photo — Kevin Litten

After getting an up-close look at George Washington’s face Monday at the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, I kept coming back to the same question.

What’s up with those creepy eyes?

The founding father’s wide, googly-eyed stare was not what I expected. It certainly wasn’t the gentle gaze depicted in the Gilbert Stuart portraits we’ve come to know.

In fact, as I searched for images of people known for, ahem, unusually-oriented eyes, I realized Baltimore’s version of George Washington looks a lot more like the late actor Jack Elam than the father of our country. Elam was known both for his frequent depiction of evil characters in western films, and for having what the New York Times called a “leer, bulging eye” that “conveyed villainy as surely as [Jimmy] Durante’s nose suggested humor.”

Continue reading at Baltimore Business Journal

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