Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Harm City
‘Pops and I’
Big Wigs and Knuckleheads on Construction Sites in Big Ron’s Baltimore

Lynn asked the author to inquire with Big Ron if he had any experience working under powerful real estate developers like Donald Trump, and whether or not any of these types—like Trump did—made their son’s work on the site to learn some of the basic elements of the trade.

A company called Chilmar, at White and Belair. The old guy I worked for was tough as nails, a good guy. His son worked there and he worked that boy like a grunt to learn the business. He worked that fucker like a dog, didn’t cut him no slack. He is a plumbing foreman now, working for his father. He didn’t give him nothing. The boy worked for it. His father had a lot of money, hung out with Bob Erlik [Governor] hell of a good guy, but he wasn’t going to give his son no silver spoon in his mouth.

Another company I worked for, Wayne, was another Republican involved with local politicians. His son was a painter, worked for his company and he didn’t give him nothing. He said, “When he realizes the value of what he is doing I’ll will bring him along.” The boy’s name is Chris. A black guy—a real cool old guy—told him to get a paint brush, and said, “They talk about how stupid niggers are, but your father owns the company and you’re running and getting me a paint brush.”

Another job I worked on with these guys we had an old black man named Pops, a laborer, I kind of took under my wing. We had a hard job to do and we had two young black guys there and I said, “Pops, I got something easy for you to do and the young black guys are saying, “Why do he get the easy work?”

I said to Pops, is that alright with you?” and he said, “Yeah, let the young niggers do that hard shit."

So they got real mad, because, at the end of the day, they had to catch the light rail downtown and pick up their day labor check on the train and here I was driving Pops to get his check and taking him home and they got really pissed at that.

So Pops and I go to the liquor store after work and I said, “Pops, you look like you could need a drink” and I say “Get us a beer” and I give him some money and he comes out with two forty ounces and I say, “Pops, we’re gonna go to jail drinking out of these forty ounces.”

So he goes to a trash can and gets two McDonald’s cups and dumps them out and says, “Yeah, we’ll be good drinking out of these,” and I said, “Yeah, I can’t let it get around the job site that Pops scared me off,” so I drank out of the trash can cups.

After that, he was there for the rest of the job, we’d go to the liquor store and I’d drop him off every day. He was old, so I didn’t work him hard. But he did whatever I told him and what more can you ask of a man?

You get people doing all kinds of stupid stuff on construction sites. That is a big part of being a foreman, to keep these guys in line. I’ve had a lot of guys tell me flat out that the only thing standing between them and prison was this job. I asked one guy, “Where the fuck you been,” and he said, “I picked a hooker up on Conkling Street and moved in with her for a week, went on a cocaine bender for a week.”

I talked to the owner for him and they let him stay. Which was a good thing, because when he was broke the hooker kicked him out.

Thriving in Bad Places Kindle Edition

Add Comment
BobJuly 29, 2017 9:00 PM UTC

If Hollywood wasn't such a cesspool of P.C. where blacks are cartoonish saints and whites, demons, these little vignettes could be dramatized on the big screen (think Robert Altman, "Short Cuts"). Great stuff.