Are you familiar with Jeff Foxworthy’s whole “redneck” shtick? My friends and I do something similar, reminiscing about our lives growing up in the privileged shtetl that is (or was) Pikesville.

If you can relate to any of this, well, then I’m sorry for you.

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if you loitered at Greenspring Shopping Center (no silly, not Greenspring Station!) every Friday and Saturday night, waiting for – um – well, just waiting.

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if you recall celebrating a friend’s transition to Jewish adulthood over a tasty shrimp cocktail at (fill in the blank) country club.

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if your marquee endurance event for the year was the “Walk for Israel.”

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if you remember the “Eggal.” Best sandwich ever.

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if You were employed for a stretch by Beth Tfiloh Day Camp (yes, that’s me in the photo).

beth-tfiloh-camp

 

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if You recall a time when Quarry Lake was actually a quarry, with like rocks and stuff.

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if You purchased your records (then your tapes and your CDs) at Record Theatre on Liberty Road. Biggest music store I had ever seen in my life!

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if your kitchen had three sets of dishes: milchig, fleishig, and treif (which included a set of crab mallets and plastic knives, only to be used on the back porch)!

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if in hindsight, life was like “The Truman Show.” I honestly can’t recall going further southwest than Security Boulevard, or further northeast than York Road. Canton? Remington? Halethorpe? Did those places really exist back then?

You might be a product of 1980s Pikesville if you remember any of the following: Puffins, Video Files, Manny’s Place, 5-Star, Luskin’s, Bluefeld’s, the Bagel Shop, Howard Luggage, Field’s, Gourmet.

 

So why the trip down memory lane? For starters it’s a great way to have a laugh and it tells you a thing or two about where I come from.* While I’m happy to say that my sphere of experience has expanded well beyond the greater Pikesville area, I do embrace the empirically-unique charms and peculiarities that comprise our dot on the map. This is where I grew up, so therefore it’s a part of me.

Studies show that when families actively articulate and share their stories, they experience a stronger sense of generational continuity. My bi-weekly blog will explore the many ways we can uncover and celebrate our family stories.

What questions should we be asking our elders and ourselves? How can we celebrate our own unique narrative?

Whether you grew up in Pikesville or moved here later in life, we are defined in part by where we come from. So let’s celebrate our dynamic pasts and use our stories to enrich the wonderfully diverse tapestry that is our Baltimore community.

Rich Polt helps families celebrate, preserve, and share their legacies. After a 25-year public relations career, Rich launched Acknowledge Media (http://www.acknowledgemedia.com), which produces documentary-style life story films, built upon recorded conversations with loved ones.

 

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