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Looking for Another Life
Memories of Nero the Pict Just Out of High School

North Carolina

I’d say I was eighteen. Pretty much, right after high school I was in that weird limbo period, my best friend, his mom was from North Carolina and his favorite Uncle lived down there. Uncle CJ was great. He had a house on the side of a hill and was a total outdoorsman, four-wheelers, guns, been in the military, mild mannered, worked at a paper mill, could fix anything, was into history, an all around solid, really nice dude. He let us live in the basement for a month when we tried to find work and get the lay of the land. That was an exercise in futility because they weren’t going to hire anybody with a Yankee accent when there weren’t enough jobs to go around to begin with. There wasn’t any fucking work to be found in western North Carolina in the late 90s. We moved back up to Baltimore with our tails between our legs.

Baltimore & Stricker

I got back up to Baltimore, living with an ex-girlfriend [Sansha] at Stricker and Baltimore Street in West Baltimore. It was loud, there were two huge drug corners at the spot where Baltimore Street turns into a three-way where Frederick Road splits off. It was so loud, if you had a car, dudes would be half way in your car, saying, “Yo, Man, I got da good shit.”

It was good preparation for the Third World, actually. It was worse than the Third World. I was always between the cops and the unlicensed criminals. Later, when I had my own place, I got robbed by two assholes with a gun, and not long after had to uniformed assholes with guns kick in my front door looking for some dude who hadn’t lived there for a decade.

There were two kind of punk rock houses where people lived in right there and two show venues right around there. We were on a third floor. There was a shop front on the bottom and two or three apartments above. I was fucking around one day and popped the fire escape down and climbed down and did some stuff. I went about my business. The next day I came back to pull that fire escape ladder down and it was gone, someone had stolen it for scrap.

[There is scrap due east from this point in Southwest Baltimore by the railroad tracks. See Let the World Fend for Itself.]

Let the World Fend for Itself

Big Ron's Baltimore: A Working Man's View of Urban Blight

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