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Gathering the Masculine Threads
Mapping Out the Concluding Stages of a Working Man’s Biography

A few months ago, when I decided to record Big Ron’s story, I was working under the assumption that he would be returning to work full time after a certain medical procedure and that I had a limited window for interviews. As it turns out, Ron is still dragging one fairly dead leg and has some physical therapy hurdles before he gets back on the ladders and scaffolds and stilts of his trade.

The focus of Big Ron’s Baltimore has expanded beyond the narrow combative aspects of his life and their immediate context into an attempt to tell the story of Baltimore from a working class perspective. Previously, long any series of interviews of subjects extended over years and eventually revealed a rounded, if lumpy, life. The interviewer is attempting to help a person recall, a person who has shoved a lot down inside and who does not remember chronologically or categorically, but according to various cues and will tend to ramble across time and subject, for the very reason Robert E. Howard gave for his logic of beginning Conan’s saga near the end of his life, that adventure prone men do not catalogue their life according to a science but recall it at random according to whim.

Ron and I finally zeroed in on the remainder of his narrative last week, with the following outlines remaining. Also, last night, I took about 3,000 words of narrative scraps stirred up from the previous process, as we spoke only about that which whim dictated.

What follows, less the eight or nine tales told last night, shall round out Big Ron’s Baltimore. This is the outline I will reference for the rest of the interviews along with about ten quotes scribbled by hand.

The Scrap Book Cougar


Wing Blocking Pitbulls

The Steel Saw [Terry and Tim, Drunk ex-cops]

The Super

Dan’s Dad [police/court corruption]

The New Tone

Crooks I’ve Known






A Duffle Bag of Cash [IRA]

The Pizza Man

-Taking it to the Door [working in food delivery in Northeast Baltimore]

-White Boy Change Hustle

-The Vacant Call

-Dindu Pussy

-‘17 Cents Out Yo Ass’

-Hoodrat Snatch from the Heart of Africa

-Johnny Walker Blue

-The Change Cup

-‘Money Moves the World’

-The Hot Red Head

-The Tatted Up Bar Maid

-I Met Her at the Shamrock

-Mother and Daughter

-The Stool Fight at Mom’s House

-The Legless Man

-Montebello Hipsters

-Crack Head Delivery

-The Mayan Calendar Guy

-Sol and Tadpole

When Your Job Sucks

Add Comment
Ruben ChandlerJune 22, 2017 1:31 AM UTC

grabbed when your job sucks and six others today. check your amazon.......luv peace and chikin grease
BobJune 4, 2017 1:43 AM UTC

I've really enjoyed the Big Ron stories. Short, like the best of Hemingway, but more honest. Needs a loving proof-reader, though.