1973 The Designated Batter

January 14

Jack watches the Super Bowl from his home at 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. The Colts had a rough year and were not in the playoffs but nearby Washington DC is represented. The Redskins are NFC champions but lose the Super Bowl to the Miami Dolphins. Miami takes the championship and finishes undefeated on the season. The first and only team to ever do so.

Joe (GI) Kavanagh and cousin Manuel Crew. New Year’s Eve 1972.

January 15

All American offensive maneuvers in Vietnam are suspended by President Nixon indicating that progress is being made in the peace talks.

January 22

Jack and most of Baltimore are a little sad today. He sits in his small corner office reading the paper and  learns that Johnny Unitas has been traded to the San Diego Chargers for future considerations. Unitas’ career is winding down and the end seems near at hand after last season. This closes a door on a part of the Baltimore Colts history. Jack will miss Johnny U who was a great passer and a great leader on the field but most of all, Jack would say he was a winner. Unitas knew how to win. Jack folds the paper up and walks out into the Shop. They have some but not a lot of work to start the year and all of Jack’s crew of eight are busily working on jobs.

Joseph Kavanagh Co. promotional coffee cup. 1970s.

January 27

All American involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam ends. The country rejoices and now waits for the last of its soldiers to come home.

February 6

A mix of flat bars and angles are rolled for Lambert Fabricators today. Bill Schmidt, Jerry Purnell and Eddie Buckingham work on this job. Templates are cut to the desired radius,  then the flat bars are rolled in the R-3 while the angles are rolled in the R-5. The Roundos are working out very well for Jack. They are used nearly every day at the Shop. The rolling and bending work has grown nearly as fast as the brewery and distillery work has diminished. The alcohol industry in the Baltimore area is waning as more companies cut back operations, move west or go out of business. Fortunately, word has spread in the metals industry of the Kavanagh’s capabilities for bending and rolling.

The Shop’s job book entry. Lambert Fabricators job. February 6, 1973.

March 14

The Shop completes an order for the J.C. Pardo Company. Pardo makes equipment for the food service industry and nearly all of their work is in stainless steel. This job has some 1” Pipes that are bent in the Pines Bender by Eddie Buckingham and some flat bars rolled in the R-5 by Jerry Purnell and a young helper named Forest Glenn.

The Shop’s job book entry. J. C. Pardo job. March 14, 1973.

March 18

On a chilly Sunday evening, Jack and Betty are seated in the living room with their sons Jack Jr. and Joe sprawled across the floor preparing to watch MASH, a new comedy that takes place during the Korean War. Before it starts Jack speaks to his boys.

“So this year, the American League has changed the rules. The pitcher doesn’t have to bat, right? That’s the idea of this Designated Hitter?” Jack prods his sons.

Little Jack answers immediately. “Yeah, Dad. Another hitter will take his at-bats. The pitcher can focus on being a pitcher. It makes sense to me.”

Jack rolls his eyes. “Not to me. He’s still a ballplayer isn’t he?”

“But Dad, won’t it be more fun to see a real hitter up there than an automatic out? They might hit a home run or something.” Joe chimes in looking from his brother to his father.

Jack leans forward as the end credits run for the New Dick Van Dyke Show. “It doesn’t make it more fun. It’s just easier on the pitchers. This seems crazy to me. Your grandfather would hate it. I can tell you that. Part of their job is to be a player. They field don’t they? Shouldn’t they bat?”

Betty hushes Jack and the boys as “Suicide is Painless,” the theme to MASH begins playing and Jack Jr. lowers his reply. “It’s one batter, Dad. Most bottom of the lineup innings are scoreless with the pitcher in the middle of it. It should liven up the game.”

“The game don’t need livening up.” Jack’s head spins to his left as Betty shushes them again then continues in a softer tone. “Pitchers are ball players. Part of the job is hitting.”

“Nobody comes to see Jim Palmer hit, Dad.” Joe speaks up and is silenced by a look from his mother.

“Will you three be quiet? I thought we were watching this. Of course the TV is on so everybody has to talk.” She shakes her head at the three of them. “Oh my. Patience is a virtue.” The room falls very silent but for the opening quips of Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John MacEntyre.

Quickly and quietly and only in the direction of his sons Jack whispers, “Babe Ruth was a pitcher. They came to see him hit.”

1973 Baltimore Orioles Yearbook.
Jack Jr., Joe(GI) and Betty Kavanagh. Mid 1970s.

April 6

Jack, Betty, JoAnn, Ann, Jack and Joe are sitting in the first row on the third base side of Memorial Stadium. It’s opening day in Baltimore and the season starts off with a bang. Brooks hits two home runs and Don Baylor goes four for four and the Birds crush the Milwaukee Brewers 10-0 on a chilly Friday afternoon. Baylor misses hitting for the cycle by a single. He finishes the day with two doubles, a triple and a hone run. Dave McNally is masterful allowing only three hits and Terry Crowley is the Orioles’ first Designated Hitter and contributes two hits of his own. All in all, Jack is very happy he snuck out of the Shop a little early today.

Baltimore Orioles Outfielder Don Baylor. 1973 Baltimore Orioles Yearbook.
Ann, Jack & Joe Lakewood Ave yard
Ann, Jack Jr. and Joe(GI) Kavanagh. Early 1970s. Backyard of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue facing Jefferson Street.

April 18

A set of 1” O.D. tubes are bent for Products Support Inc. PSI makes a variety of machines and they require a tight tolerance on most of their work. Jack rolls these himself with Bill Schimdt on the R-3. The customer furnishes a drawing and a wood layout is made from it by Jack then the tubes are rolled to a 17 7/8” Rad. The fixture is marked with Products Supports’ Part Number and saved for future orders.

The Shop’s job book entry. Products Support, Inc. job. April 18, 1973.

May 14

National Wire Products has ordered a group of pipes to be bent. This job is recurring and the Shop seems to get an order for these pipes three or four times a year. It’s a good job and with the development part completed, it’s just a matter of duplicating what they did before. The pipes are bent in the Pines Bender and a few different fellows get time on it.

The Shop’s job book entry. National Wire Products job. May 14, 1973.

May 17

Senate hearings on the Watergate investigation begin to be televised. Jack works through the day so he doesn’t get much chance to watch but he does follow closely. This scandal seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Jack can’t help but wonder how far up it will go. Will it lead to the White House?

Joe(GI) Kavanagh celebrating his 8th birhtday at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. Golden Ring Mall. June 1973.

June 11

The summer has been hot and busy to start and the crew are working Saturdays. Today two 6” Extra Heavy Pipes (Sch. 80) are finished. The pipes were filled and rolled and finally are melted out today for sizing. Jack would love to be able to bend these larger pipes without filling them but even the R-5 can not roll them down fast enough to avoid crushing the pipe. He loves both of these Roundo Rollers and he thinks to himself some day he may buy an even bigger version. For now, they will make do but the fill and rolling is tough to make money on. It’s necessary for the job sometimes but he would love to find ways to avoid it.

The Shop’s job book entry. Natkin & Company job. June 11, 1973.

June 14

It’s Flag Day across the Baltimore area and all of America. In Glen Burnie in Baltimore County, a young couple has more than the holiday to celebrate. Anthony and Linda Dalfonzo welcome their second child, a girl, to their family. They have a son, Paul and this new baby is named Kimberly Lynn. They live on Glenn Road in a small one story house and are very happy to bring this new member of the family home. The baby by coincidence is baptized by the same priest who christened Joe Kavanagh, and by more than coincidence, in a little over twenty years, she will become Joe’s wife.

Kim and Paul Dalfonzo. 1973.

July 4

The Kavanagh’s celebrate Independence Day on this Wednesday. They hold their traditional crab feast on the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson. The crabs along with steamed shrimp this year are consumed at the long dining room table around noon. The older girls spend the day with their friends in the neighborhood while Jack Jr. and Joe sit listening to the Orioles game on the radio. They each keep score as they listen with their father still at the table: the last Kavanagh left eating crabs. The Birds are down 5-0 to the Brewers in the bottom of the 6th inning. Designated Hitter Tommy Davis steps to the plate. So far he is 0 for 2 on the day.

“Boys! Boys! Change Davis from DH to DB in the score book. He’s a Designated Batter not Hitter. I can’t remember the last time he got a hit. He ain’t no Designated HITTER.” Jack teases his sons and breaks into loud laughter.

Chuck Thompson’s voice on the radio interrupts him. “Davis sends a frozen rope to right field for a single.” Both Little Jack and Joe grin widely as they write single in their score cards.

“All right. All right. I see you both. You think that’s funny huh? I’m glad he got a hit but it don’t make me wrong.” Jack’s grin matches the boys. “Probably a little too late for us today anyway.” Jack is wrong. The Orioles put up three runs this inning and seven more in the next two frames. They comeback big for a 10-7 win. Designated Batter indeed.

Baltimore Oriole Tommy Davis signed baseball.

July 19

The Shop is full of work in the buildup to their summer shut down. Jack has made it an annual tradition of having a weeklong vacation for the crew in early August. He keeps his customers aware of the impending break so the weeks before are usually busy ones. Today some custom fittings are made for Schaefer Brewery, a set of tubes are bent for Universal Metals and a 4” Pipe is rolled for the Chevron Asphalt company. The pipe is bent to 90 deg on a wide enough radius to allow asphalt to blow out at a high rate. These large sweep elbows as they are called are becoming part of the Shop’s regular work.

The Shop’s job book entry. Chevron Asphalt Co. job. July 19, 1973.

August 12

The Kavanagh’s spend a fun week at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. They fish, crab, swim and spend each night on the boardwalk visiting the arcades and playing games. A great week is had by all with the only disappointment being Joe’s. The latest James Bond movie is playing at the Surf and Sand theater and JoAnn, Ann and Jack go to see it. Betty deems Joe too young at eight years of age. To his chagrin, he isn’t allowed to go. Jack and Betty make a special trip to Bailey’s Drug Store to buy him several comics to salve the wound of being excluded. Joe loves his comic books. It does the trick but he never forgets that first time he was too little to go with his older siblings. Apart from that, the week flies by for everyone and before they know it, they are driving that slow long drive on Route 50 back to Baltimore.

Dad, JoAnn and Joe. Fishing in OC. 1973.
JoAnn, Jack Sr. and Joe Kavanagh. Fishing in Ocean City. 1973.
Crab Trap OC
Kavanagh Crab Trap. Ocean City. 1973.
JoAnn and Joe Fishing in OC. 1973
Joe and JoAnn Kavanagh. Fishing in Ocean City. 1973.
Jack Kavanagh Jr. Fishing in Ocean City. Early 1970s.

August 17

The crew have been toiling hard since their return from vacation. The work has piled up awaiting their return but it is always worth it for that week’s break in the summer heat. Two orders are completed for Leary Manufacturing. Both are sets of steel “C” Channels that are rolled in the R-5. Jack has had John Benser, his machinist, continue to make new tools for the angle rollers. Even different flat rollers can be used for a variety of setups. The more they have. The more they can do. That’s what Jack wants.

The Shop’s job book entry. Two Leary Manufacturing jobs. August 15 and 17, 1973.

September 7

Jack gets a call from Bill DeFazio at L & S Welding. The Shop is rolling two tubes for them and Mr. DeFazio is looking for an update. Jack tells him they can pick up today at 2 PM. DeFazio retorts they need them before lunch and Jack chuckles and says they should have ordered them a day earlier. Both laugh, Jack knows his customer and DeFazio is one who, if he seems to be pushing,  just needs to be pushed back. He respects it and they often kid each other in this way but they become good work friends. Jack is “work friends” with quite a few of his customers. His nature is one that makes people trust him and he them.

The Shop’s job book entry. L & S Welding job. September 7, 1973.

September 12

Jack is excited to be finishing a rush job today. The head of maintenance at Memorial Stadium has called and they needed a section of curved fence replaced as quickly as possible. Jack is happy for the work but the idea of doing some work for the Orioles and Colts is a thrill for him. He has the pipe rolled the minute it comes through the door and it is picked up in a few hours. After speaking to Jack, the maintenance chief realizes he’s a big Orioles fan and surprises Jack with a gift. A few days after the fence is repaired, he has the team sign a bullpen stool and sends it over to Jack. Lifelong Orioles fan that he is, Jack cannot believe this thing. Brooks, Palmer, Cuellar, McNally, Weaver and the rest of the players are all on there. Jack loves it and he can’t wait to take it home and show it to Betty and the kids.

Memorial Stadium bullpen stool signed by entire 1973 Baltimore Orioles team.

September 23

Jack spends a Sunday at Memorial Stadium watching the Colts open up their season against the New York Jets. It’s strange to see the Colts play without Johnny Unitas on the field. Unitas’ departure is indicative of the changes the Colts are going through. They lose today, 34-10 and will suffer though a long tough 4-10 season.

October 3

Jack’s crew are working busily on their usual mix of bent pipes, rolled steel and parts for the remaining brewery customers. They have cut out Saturday hours as the work is not at the summer level but it’s still quite good and steady. Today a cabinet company has ordered some rings from 3/4” O.D. steel tube. The customer is the JK Cabinet Company and the rings are knocked out very quickly. Jack observes his men as he passes from Shop to office and back. He knows he has a good group of workers and that can make all the difference. It did for his father. He remembers those fellows well though only Charlie Owens is left of that old coppersmith crew.

The Shop’s job book entry. J. K. Cabinet Company job. October 3, 1973.

October 10

Vice-President and former Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew resigns due to charge of tax evasion. He pleads no contest is fined and put on probation. Michigan Representative Gerald Ford will be nominated to take Agnew’s place as Vice President.

October 11

The Orioles face the Oakland A’s in the ALCS. The Kavanagh’s are at Memorial Stadium for games 1 and 2. They cheer and root as hard as they can then watch from home for the rest of the series. The games from Oakland begin at 3:30 pm Eastern Standard Time and the kids rush home to watch. Jack tries to do the same but invariably misses the first inning or two. He shoots from back door to living room at a much faster pace than usual,  plopping down in his chair his eyes taking in the game on the TV as if he was studying it to memorize the situation. For the first time, the Birds lose the American League Championship Series. Pitching wins the day in this series as both teams only manage fifteen runs in five games. In the final game, Oakland ace pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter shuts out the Orioles and they lose 3-0. So the Orioles are sent home packing and it’s an abrupt end to the year but it was a good one for baseball in Baltimore. Jack again tells the kids, the Birds did well and there is always next year.

1973 American League Chanmpionship Series Souvenir Program.

October 21

The Oakland A’s repeat as World Series Champions defeating the New York Met 4 games to 3. The A’s are the first team to win two championships in a row since the 1961-62 New York Yankees. This World Series is the first with all weekday games played at night. This made it easier to increase the coveted television audience. Jack tunes in each night and pulls for the A’s. Jack’s an American League guy and even though the A’s beat the Birds, he wants the AL to win it all. This is also the last World Series where each team produced their own souvenir programs. Henceforth, MLB will design and sell the programs to be used in both parks. They will have the same content inside and the same cover.

Baltimore Orioles 1973 Souvenir baseball.

November 17

Jack like most Americans is following the Watergate Investigation closely. In a nationwide televised press conference from Disney World in Florida, President Nixon declares his innocence boasting, “I am not a crook.”

November 24

It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the Kavanagh’s visit Aunt Anna at the Visitation Convent. Her name in the order is Sister Mary Agnes and she is Jack’s father’s sister. The family visits her throughout the year but always makes a point of it during the holidays. She teaches at the Visitation school and is a talented piano player like so many Kavanagh’s. She tells them about her students and asks about the kids and the Shop. It’s a pleasant visit as always and the family promises to see Aunt Anna again before Christmas.

Sr. Mary Agnes(Aunt Anna Kavanagh) with the Visiatation’s Mother Superior. Visitation Convent. Early 1970s.

November 28

An order for some steel rings for Codd Fabricators is completed today from angles and flat bars. Codd is one of their oldest customers; the Shop having done work for them since the early 1900s. Their building is on Aliceanna Street about five minutes from the Joseph Kavanagh Company. Pete Kolb runs the place and sends any material up to the Kavanagh’s so any work is labor only. Jack likes that as he never has to put money out for material but mostly he likes working for Codd because of Pete Kolb. He is another of Jack’s close “work friends” and the two companies work well together.  Codd seems to have at least one or two jobs for Jack every month, sometimes every week.

The Shop’s job book entry. Codd Fabricators job. Novembrer 28, 1973.

December 25

It’s Christmas Day at the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson. The family attended midnight Mass last night and had Christmas with Betty’s mother and her family the day before yesterday on Sunday. Today is spent enjoying family, food & opening presents. The kids begin playing with their toys immediately and the house is full of the revving of small motorcycle toys. Both Jack and Joe received the Evel Knievel action figure which comes with a motorcycle that when you can rev the engine it takes off across the floor. The boys are thrilled and the house at 447 N. Lakewood Avenue is full of sound and merriment throughout the day. Later as he does each year, Jack sits at the piano and plays. His children gather around and sing to celebrate the holiday and another good year. Betty sits quietly sipping tea on the couch observing the party around her. Betty would join in the songs occasionally but she preferred to watch and listen: to see the family that she and Jack have and to take in every bit of their shared love and happiness. For Jack’s part, he loves this part of the day. He loves the feel of the ivory keys on his hands and the sounds of his children’s voices. He’s content because the Shop continues to do well despite the decrease in brewery and distillery work and despite inflation which is hitting the US hard. The Shop is busy and that’s what matters. Jack is curious how things will shake out for Nixon. Gerald Ford has been confirmed as Vice-President but that is secondary to the concerns for Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate break-in and cover up. More accusations are being made nearly weekly and the targets of these accusations are getting closer and closer to the White House. Jack has never seen anything like this and he wonders where it will end. Nixon is a beleaguered president now with many in the press and many Americans believing he is involved. The question seems to be:  how involved?

Christmas tree on Lakewood Avenue. Mid 1970s.



Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. The Roe vs. Wade ruling on legalizing abortion is handed down.  George Steinbrenner buys the New York Yankees from CBS. Elvis Presley’s concert in Hawaii becomes the first worldwide broadcast of a musical show. The cellphone and Hip Hop music are invented.  The Sears Tower and the World Trade Center are both finished. FedEx opens for business. Skylab is launched. The DEA is founded. Secretariat wins the Triple Crown. Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes in tennis. The films “The Exorcist,” “The Sting,” “American Graffitti” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” are released. Neil Patrick Harris, Dave Chappele, Seth McFarland, David Blaine and Monica Seles are born. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Bruce Lee, Jim Croce and Bobby Darin die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

Kim Dalfonzo. 1974.

To read prior years, click on the Table of Contents link below:

Table of Contents

1972 The First Sculpture

January 5

The Shop starts the year with some jobs on hand including a tinned copper sheet ordered by the NASA Langley Research Center. Jack’s brother Ed cuts a piece of sheet and tins both sides. Jack doesn’t know what the application is but he finds it interesting to do something for NASA. The Shop also has a few other jobs set to come in this week and a new secretary. Helen Glodek takes over her sister’s job as Jack’s secretary. Helen has some experience in the clerical field but she must learn the Shop’s system of handling orders, billing and payroll. She also must learn Jack’s system: how he records quotes, active jobs and purchases. Jack is a patient boss and Helen is a quick study. The most important part of her job is taking messages and information from customers when Jack is in the Shop proper. Jack is in and out of the Shop many times throughout the day and he needs Helen to keep him in touch with his customers. Her sister Julie was someone Jack grew to rely on a great deal and the same will happen with Helen.

The Shop’s job book entry. NASA Langley Research Center job. January 5, 1972.

January 16

Jack tunes in to watch the Super Bowl. The Baltimore Colts were eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago when they were shut out by the Miami Dolphins 21-0. Jack was disappointed but it’s sports and he is still interested in who wins the championship. This year it is the Dallas Cowboys who beat the Dolphins 24-3.

Jack Jr. , Joe(GI) and Saddles. 5477 Bucknell Road. Handy & Mary Brandenburg’s house. 1972.

February 1

It’s a bitter cold day on Pratt and Central but the crew are accustomed to the chilly old Shop. The boys are working on parts for a boiler repair and a tinning job for Montebello Liquors. Montebello needs thirty-five feet of tinned copper tube along with several adapters and fittings. A torch has to be used for the tinning and that does warm it up a little. Since the tube is in stock and tinning is something they have done for years, the job is finished in a few hours.

The Shop’s job book entry. Montebello Liquors job. February 1, 1972.

March 15

A very tall young man stops into the Shop today to speak to Jack. His name is Stan Edmister and he is a sculptor. He’s been commissioned by the City to make a sculpture that doubles as a school playground. He needs some pipes rolled into circles and a few other pipe bends. Jack has never been involved in anything sculptural but he tells Mr. Edmister that if he can provide the details, the Shop can bend and roll whatever he needs. Jack thinks Stan is a bit of an oddball but he likes him from the start. Stan is respectful and he can weld so Jack gives him a price on the rolling of the pipes. Stan places the order which is mostly rings and 90 degree elbows;  there are several irregular curves,  but certainly within the Shop’s capabilities. This is the first of many sculptures the Joseph Kavanagh Company will help Stan Edmister with and soon the word will spread to other local artists.

Jack Kavanagh Sr. Corner office at 201 S. Central Avenue. Early 1970s

April 16

Jack is very excited this year for the Orioles’ Opening Day because it is on a Sunday. He doesn’t have to worry about leaving work or having his brother run things at the Shop.  He can get to the ballpark early and enjoy the whole day. He has nothing to worry about until he wakes up and sees the rain. The forecast is for off and on rain all day with the possibility of some heavy storms. Jack and Betty head out with the four youngest kids, JoAnn, Ann, Jack and Joe, to Thirty-Third Street to see the Birds face the New York Yankees. The Orioles lost a tough World Series last year but they were American League Champions. Jack is hoping for another good year,  but he grew concerned when Frank Robinson was traded away. Robinson was the Orioles leader in many ways but Jack is still confident. The Birds have such good pitching. Last year they had four starters who won twenty games. Baltimore welcomes its Birds back to town and the Orioles win this game 3-1. The rain comes and it’s a sloppy,  messy field for most of the contest. The game is called after seven innings as the rain is pouring down by that point. It’s a wet win but a win is a win. The family heads home to dry out at home on Lakewood Avenue.

Memorial Stadium. October 1970.

April 19

The Shop finishes a heat exchanger today for the Baltimore City Housing Authority.  For a few years, they have ordered exchangers to repair or replace. Mike Winchester is the fellow in charge of maintenance for the Housing Authority. The Shop has kept a good stock of copper tube for years due to their coppersmith work. Having the tube on hand, makes it much easier to knock these heaters out fast which the Housing Authority usually needs.  A down heat exchanger means someone is without heat or hot water and that makes these a rush. Jack must estimate the number of feet of copper to be used and try to maximize what he gets out of each length. He adds in the labor and bids the job. The order is usually placed within an hour by phone. The tubes are pulled from rack and cut into the lengths required. The old unit is cut apart and a new tube sheet is made to match the old one. The tube sheet is circular and will be cut from steel or brass plate. Spacer plates called baffles are made from brass and they must match the same hole pattern as the tube sheet. The holes are drilled and then the sheet is cleaned up. The tubes are annealed and bent to a few different diameters. One by one the tubes are slid into the baffle plates then the tube sheet. Sometimes it’s a snug fit but they must be tight in the end so snug is fine. Once all the tubes are inserted, they are expanded at the tube sheet to seal them as tightly as possible. They must be water tight. The next step is sanding the head smooth, deburring any tubes that need it and making gaskets from neoprene. The Shop keeps sheets of the neoprene on hand and they are cut out with snips. Finally, the date and job number are stamped on the side of the tube sheet for recording and documenting purposes. It’s not exactly old school coppersmith work but it’s good work and it involves copper. That’s something the Kavanagh’s know a lot about.

The Shop’s job book entry. Baltmore City Housing Authority job. April 19, 1972.

May 4

Jack sits in the small office at 201 S. Central Avenue going over some drawings for a smoke stack. The frame of the stack will be made from rolled angle rings and Jack is confident he’ll get the job. Three of his regular fabricator customers are bidding it and that’s a good sign it will make it to the Shop. The phone rings and Helen answers it. Jack glances over at her and she tells him it is a call from Marenka Stainless Steel Company. They are checking on the status of a job. Helen is working out well. She seems as skilled at the clerical part of her job as Julie was and she is reliable. She shows up every day and has adapted well to Jack’s system. Jack picks up the phone and lets Marenka know the job is being worked on today and will be ready for pick up first thing in the morning.

The Shop’s job book entry. Marenka Stainless Steel Co. job. May 4, 1972.

May 5

Little Joe is finishing first grade this spring at St. Elizabeth’s and on this day he receives his First Holy Communion. In the Catholic faith, when one is old enough to receive communion at Mass, it is a first step toward being an active member of the Church. Jack and Betty can hardly believe their ninth child is nearly seven. The years seem to go faster one after the other.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh’s First Grade Report card. June 1972.
Joseph Michael Kavanagh . In front of St. Elizabeth’s Convent. First Holy Communion. May 5, 1972.
Jack and Betty Kavanagh’s Wedding Picture. May 17, 1947.

May 21

Jack and Betty celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary today though the wedding day is actually May 17. So much has happened since young Jack, newly out of the Navy met recent Seton High School graduate Betty. They met at a Knights of Columbus dance and by all accounts, sparks were flying that night. Those sparks ignited a love that flourished on the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson. They have had nine children and many years of joy and happiness together. A folk mass is held at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church on Front Street. The Kavanagh’s are parishioners at St. Elizabeth’s but occasionally attend St. Vincent’s. Both Jack and Betty like the idea of visiting other churches and experiencing different way to celebrate Mass. They enjoy the folk mass at St. Vincent’s so they celebrate their wedding with song and thankfulness. Their children have promised not to throw them a party but of course, they do anyway. There must be a party in the kids’ eyes. A surprise party is planned at their daughter Mary’s house. She and her husband, Handy, purchased a home on Bucknell Road late last year. Mary invites her parents over under the guise of showing them the new house. Jack and Betty agree to visit a couple of hours after Mass but beforehand, Jack wants a nap. He is tired and could use a brief sleep. He walks the stairs to their bedroom and slams the door shut as he enters. He lays across the bed and is asleep in moments. Unfortunately, when he slammed the door shut, the latch turned and the door is locked. An hour later when Betty comes up to wake him, she turns the handle but can not open it. She shakes her head at her husband as he has somehow managed to lock himself in.

“Jack.” Betty wraps on the door firmly but lightly. “Jack? We have to leave. We are going to Mary’s. Remember?” She listens and clearly can hear the sound of snoring.

“Oh dear.” Betty taps a little harder. “Jack! Jack! You better wake up. We have to go.” She listens again and only hears more snoring. She thinks for a moment and her eyes narrow. “There isn’t a ballgame or something today is there?” There is no response and she is convinced now the sounds of sawing wood are definitely genuine and Jack’s.

“Jack! Wake up!” She raises her voice but without shouting and knocks on the door once again. After another quiet pause, Betty shakes her head and assumes Jack must really be tired. It’s best he rests and she’ll get a ride to Mary’s with daughter Nancy and her husband Jim.

A half hour later, she is walking through the door to 5477 Buckenll Road and is welcomed with a loud shout of “Surprise!” from family and friends. She must quickly explain to the blank faces of everyone that Jack is asleep. There’s no waking him up when he’s really asleep especially through a locked door. A few laughs are had then a wonderful party is held. There is food including a cake and many well wishes for Betty and her sleeping absent husband. Betty’s mother, Bernardine(called Nannie by her grandchildren) is there,  escorted by long time close family friend, Bill Hoffman. Bill is Betty’s son Joe’s godfather. Both of Betty’s brothers and their families are at the party as well including her oldest brother Buddy’s newly born grandson, the first of the next generation. Of course, Jack and Betty’s children are there and the Burke’s, Mike and Inez with their daughter Laura Ann. The Burkey’s live a few blocks from the Kavanagh’s and the families have known each other for some time. They are good friends and Mike Burke sometimes helps Jack with projects around the house. The party is fun albeit odd without one of the guests of honor but Betty has a great time. She heads home to find Jack finally awake reading the newspaper in his chair.

Jack hops out of his chair and steps over to kiss her on the cheek. “Where have you been Hon?”

Betty grins and hands him a piece of cake. “Happy Anniversary.”

Laura Anne Burkey, Mary Brandeburg, Betty Kavanagh, Mike Burkey(back to camera). Jack and Betty’s 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. 5477 Bucknell road. May 21, 1972.
Betty Kavanagh cutting cake at her 25th Wedding Anniverssary Party. May 21, 1972.
Shirley Crew, Bernardine(Nanny) Crew, Betty Ann Kavanagh and Kevin Crew. Jack & Betty’s 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. 5477 Bucknell Road. May 21, 1972.
Bill Hoffman, Buddy Crew holding his grandson, Barney Crew. Jack and Betty’s 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. 5477 Bucknell Road. May 21, 1972.

June 12

Jack stands in the front of the Shop staring out the open garage door. He’s going over his schedule in his mind. Jack learned from his father to always be thinking and planning. His thoughts are interrupted by the slam of the Pines Bender. A large set of tubes are being bent in the Pines today. It’s a job for National Wire Products. The order is for 289 pieces and is nearly finished. After each bend, the piece is removed and when the bending arm returns, it slams hard against the machine. Jack has given three fellows time on this one. He likes the idea of each man getting some practice on the machine. It’s good experience for them and it helps Jack know their skill set. This order will be completed today and National Wire has already promised another set next month.

The Shop’s job book entry. National Wire Products Corporation job. June 12, 1972.
Pines Bender Owners Manual.

June 22

Hurricane Agnes has moved inland and is pummeling the Mid-Atlantic with rain and high winds. The impact is felt along the East Coast but Maryland gets hit very hard. The constant rain causes widespread flooding and that includes the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson. As the storm intensifies, the sewer system is overloaded. As the young Kavanagh kids watch from their front window, the sewer plate in the middle of the intersection is suddenly tossed into the air along with some of the black top surrounding it. A geyser of water has exploded out from it and water is everywhere. Betty takes the children to the basement and she sees water pouring through small holes in the foundation. At odds with what to do, she gives each child a piece of gum to chew. After chewing, she instructs them to use the gum to plug up as many of the holes as possible. Strangely enough, it does slow the rate of the flooding but to little avail. It’s the same throughout Baltimore including the Shop where water rushes under the garage door and machines are raised and put on blocks to try to avoid water damage to them. It will be days and days of rain and flooding with a great deal of damage to the City and State. Agnes is one of the worst June hurricanes in history.

Joe(GI) and Jack Jr. Enchanted Forest. 1972.

July 10

It’s a busy Monday at the Shop with the crew spread over an order of rolled angles for Codd Fabricators, some replacement fittings for Schaefer Brewery and a small heat exchanger repair for the Housing Authority.  “Big Mike” Winchester called Jack and told him he had six leaky tubes in this unit and he needs a quick repair. This exchanger is for hot water and so even in the summer, it’s a rush. They drop off the unit and Jerry Purnell takes care of bending and replacing the six bad tubes. It’s been a good start to the summer so far and the crew are back to working half-days on Saturdays.

The Shop’s job book entry. Baltimore City Housing Authority job. July 10, 1972.

July 14

The Kavanagh boys, Jack Jr. and Joe have a long Friday of baseball. In the afternoon, their neighborhood team the Robin-Blair Sons beat the Pep boys in four on four wiffle ball and the night is spent at Memorial Stadium. The Kavanagh’s are attending a twi-night doubleheader with the Orioles hosting the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles are playing well but not at the level of last year. They are in a close race so far in second place behind the Detroit Tigers. Tonight, the second game isn’t finished until just after 11 pm but the family stays. It’s the summer so Betty is fine with them being out a little late on a Friday plus the Orioles are winning. They take game 1 by a score of 7-4 and shut out the Sox 3-0 in the nightcap. First baseman Boog Powell homers in the first game and a young infielder named Bobby Grich hits one out in the second. Joe, the youngest of the kids at 7, is sleepy as the car pulls into a parking spot on the Jefferson Street side of the house. He doesn’t mind. His Mom let him stay up, he had a night at the ballpark and the Birds took two.

John “Boog” Powel signed baseball.
Bob Grich signed baseball.

July 19

The crew of the Joseph Kavanagh Company are getting a little antsy. They are two weeks away from a week’s vacation and that is on all of their minds. They still hit the jobs hard and do their best. Jack expects nothing less and he usually gets it. He’s fair and reasonable to his men and they respect him. Markley’s Marina has ordered a boat rail for one of their customers. The railing is custom to the boat so they must send Jack the old rail and the Shop will match it. It’s a straightforward job and its difficulty depends entirely on the shape of the boat. This one is a fairly standard curve and it’s rolled in less than two hours.

The Shop’s job book entry. Markley Marina job. July 19, 1972.

August 5

The family makes its now annual visit to the quiet beach town of Ocean City on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It’s a small city and very sleepy for most of the year but when summer arrives and schools close for the break, Ocean City is where Baltimoreans and Marylanders go for their fun in the sun. The Kavanagh’s are no different and they look forward to it every year. Just like 1971, Jack gives his crew off a week with pay and it is much appreciated. Jack, Betty and the kids have a great week of sun, surf, crabbing, fishing and walking the boards. The boardwalk of O.C. is a wonderland of amusements, arcades, rides and sweet treats for the younger kids. It’s a wonderful week of fun for the family.

Jack Jr. and Joe Kavanagh. Ocean City. 1972.
Joe an Jack Jr. Early 1970s.


September 5

The Kavanagh’s and much of the world watch as the Summer Olympics are held in Munich, Germany. What is designed to be a peaceful tournament of sport for the world turns violent as terrorists attack and hold nine members of the Israeli team hostage demanding the release of prisoners. Two athletes who resisted were killed at the start. German authorities try to stop the terrorists but in the end, all the Israeli prisoners are murdered and all but three of the terrorists killed. The world is stunned and the Olympics will never be the same.

September 17

Jack and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bumpsy and Shirley Crew attend the Baltimore Colts home opener at Memorial Stadium. The Colts lose this game 10-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The team had a change in ownership in July. Robert Irsay, the owner of the LA Rams, has traded franchises with Carroll Rosenbloom and is now the owner of Baltimore’s team. The club and its fans suffer through a tough year. The players are aging and it shows. They finish with a 5-9 record and miss the playoffs.

Joe and Jack Jr. Ocean City, MD. Early 1970s

September 26

The work has slowed a little as winter approaches and Jack has cut out the Saturday hours. This happens nearly every year with the cold weather coming. Today a small pipe job is finished for J. E. Hurley Company. A piece of 4” Pipe is filled and rolled to make a short radius 90 degree elbow. This one has to be shipped to Hurley’s customer and Charlie Owens runs it over to the shipping company in the Shop’s truck.

The Shop’s job book entry. J.E. Hurley Co. job. September 26, 1972.

October 12

The Orioles fell short of the playoffs this year finishing second to the Detroit Tigers in the Eastern Division. It’s disappointing but the Birds have been in the World Series three years in a row and all good things come to an end. Jack still thinks it was a mistake trading Frank Robinson but even he is skeptical of Frank making the difference this year. The Tigers lose the ALCS today. They are defeated by the Oakland Athletics who will play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series.

Baltimore Orioles Souvenir Toy Bullpen Car. 1970s.

October 22

On this Sunday, Jack is watching game 7 of the World Series. It’s been a good match up so far with every game but one decided by a single run. Today’s game is no different and Oakland defeats the Reds 3-2 to take the championship. Jack enjoys the series despite the Orioles not being involved. It’s still baseball as he often says. He loves the game no matter who’s playing or where. When thinking of the Birds, he goes with the old axiom there’s always next year.

November 7

President Richard Nixon wins re-election defeating Democrat George McGovern in a landslide. In the build up to the election, the news is filled with stories of the Watergate break in. The Democratic National Committee was burglarized in the Watergate Hotel in DC and the word is out that one of the burglars was a member of the Committee to Re-Elect the President. Despite the accusations flying, Nixon wins easily over McGovern. The president has denied any knowledge of or involvement in the Watergate break in.

December 8

Jack rolls some angles in the R-5 for Major Mechanical Contractors. He enjoys the occasional respite of working in the Shop as opposed to his office work. This time it is simply to get the job done. With the holidays on their way, Jack doesn’t want any jobs hanging over past Christmas.

The Shop’s job book entry. Major Mechanical Contractors job. December 8, 1972.

December 25

Christmas arrives at 447 N. Lakewood Avenue with the usual mix of family, food and presents for the kids. The tree is lit in the front room and there is garland and bits of cut-up tree over the piano. This was Betty’s idea. She had Jack buy a second tree and he cut it up. Betty then hung branches where she could. The Kavanagh’s have had a busy holiday so far. They visited Betty’s mother, Bernardine last night then attended midnight Mass. Jack and Betty have started the tradition of spending the Sunday before Christmas with Nannie and the rest of Betty’s family. To the kids, it’s like having two Christmases and for a child, that’s a dream come true. After the chaos and revelry that is opening presents for such a big family, Jack plays holiday music and some of his favorites on the piano. His children are gathered around him singing. The family singing around the piano is just as it was for his father’s family and his grandfather’s. Jack catches Betty’s eye and they share a secret smile. They both know how far they have come and how blessed they are to have this family. Jack goes back to playing and takes a fleeting look at his boys next to him, Jack Jr. and Joe. He doesn’t want them to grow up too fast but in his heart of hearts, he can’t wait for them to come to the Shop. It will happen. That’s how it is with the Kavanagh’s. As he did, so shall they. The circle will complete again with father and sons working together.

“For Me and My Gal” Sheet music from Jack Kavanagh Sr.’s collection.



Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. Nixon visits China and the US begins selling grain to the Soviet Union. President Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT treaty to limit strategic nuclear arms. The last American ground troops leave Vietnam. Protests against the war in Vietnam reach crowds of 100,000. Digital watches are first sold. HBO broadcasts for the first time. Atari produces and sells the first Pong game. The films “Deliverance,” “The Godfather” and “Pink Flamingos” are released. Shaquille O’Neal, Dwayne Johnson, Eminem, Chipper Jones and Mia Hamm are born. Mahalia Jackson, Walter Winchell,  J. Edgar Hoover, Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

A stamp or label for a brewery or distillery vat. Painted green and attached to inside of the 201 S. Central Avenue. Located on front wall behind Pines Bender.

To read earlier years, click on the Table of Contents Link below:

Table of Contents


1971 The Robin-Blair Sons

January 4

Jack Kavanagh Sr. returns to the Shop on Central Avenue along with his crew. The New Year’s holiday lead to a long weekend but now it is back to business. Jack’s father, Eddie, passed away last year and he is more on his own than he has ever been. He was running the Shop for all intents and purposes for the last fifteen years but Eddie was always there to consult. Jack must use his judgment now and his alone on the running of the Joseph Kavanagh Company. Mary Donnelly, his cousin, does own 50% of the business. She inherited it from her father as Jack did from his. She receives money each month for rent of the building. Mary and Jack get along well but she has nothing to do with the day-to-day of the business. Jack’s older brother, Ed, works for him but does not own any stake in the Shop. He was never interested in owning. Jack does have a good secretary, Julie, who mans the phones when Jack is out of the office, does the books and manages payroll. He also has a fine crew of eight men who are a mix of skilled old school coppersmiths and younger metalsmishts and helpers. The year starts with a few holdover jobs from 1970 and a handful of orders on the books. Overall, not a bad bit of work to come back to after the holidays.

January 12

On this chilly Tuesday night, Jack and Betty are taking in a new television program called “All in the Family.” It stars Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton. It quickly becomes one of their favorites.

January 17

Americans tune in to watch Super Bowl #5. Jack and all of Baltimore are cheering on the Baltimore Colts who are facing the Dallas Cowboys. The Kavanagh’s and the rest of the City celebrate as the Colts win 16-13. Jack is exuberant and he leads the younger kids in cheers and a brief parade around the block banging pots, pans and anything they can find. Baltimore parties like the champions they are for both their baseball team and their football team have won it all.

Roundo Brochure of angle rollers. Early 1970s.

January 29

Jack’s crew finishes a set of custom stainless steel adapters for Schaefer Brewery. They are made from 3” Pipe and required several bronze fittings and house couplings be made by John Benser, the Shop’s machinist. Jack drives to Schaefer himself to take some measurements and get a better idea of what they need. Four trips back and forth to the brewery are needed before the adapters are completed. The brewery parts and repair work has dropped slowly over the last several years but it remains one of their regular sources of work. Because the R-5 machine is working out so well for him, Jack has ordered another Roundo roller, an R-3, from the Comeq Co. This one is not as large as the R-5 but it will help with small diameter rings.

The Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer Brewery job. January 29, 1971.

February 25

The R-5 is used today to curve some aluminum flat bars for Gar-Ron Plastics. The bars will be used in one of Gar-ron’s machines and it is another job that could not be done without the Roundo. Jack is waiting patiently to receive the new machine next month. He knows both these rollers will be money makers for the company.

The Shop’s job book entry. Gar-Ron Plastics job. February 15, 1971.

March 1

The Shop’s crew spend most of the morning unloading and setting the new Roundo R-3 up for operation. It’s placed closer to the front of the Shop about twenty-five feet from the R-5. The machines both need at least that much clearance to load twenty foot lengths of material. Most steel is sold in twenty or forty foot sections. The Shop on Central Avenue is not wide enough to accommodate forty foot pieces and generally work with twenty foot sections. Jack guides his fellows as they stand and prep the roller but mostly he stays silent watching them closely but with a thoughtful gleam in his eye of how best to use this machine now that he has it.

Note indicating purchase of Roundo R-3 from the Shop’s Repair Book. March 1, 1971.

March 29

Jack hangs up the phone in his small corner office. He called Warren Pardo of the J.C. Pardo & Sons Compnay to let him know a set of flat bars were ready for pick up. The bars were rolled in the R-5 by Mr. Wacker and a helper, Jerry Purnell. Jack’s been pleased with the year so far. They have stayed steady and both Roundo machines are being used on most days. These machines are much faster and easier to use than their old equipment. He continues to have Benser make tools whenever possible for both machines. Jack has something else on his mind today. With the winter over, Jack has to deal with his father’s house. After Eddie’s death, Jack and his brother Ed Jr. received the house and Jack has agreed to buy his brother’s half. Jack and Betty have discussed what to do about it, how to put it up for sale and if they know anyone who might be interested. They tabled the discussion until the spring and it’s here now so they must figure out what to do with the house at 434 N. Lakewood. Betty insists that before they do anything to sell it, it must be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom.

The Shop’s job book entry. J. C. Pardo job. March 29, 1971.

April 7

The Orioles Opening Day is on this Wednesday and the Kavanagh’s are there. Jack leaves work at lunch after a pick up by General Ship Repair. They needed an emergency set of tubes to fix a heat exchanger. The exchanger is on a ship that is only docked for three days. Jack had to get this job finished and the crew did not let him down. He leaves his brother in charge and he drives Betty and the youngest four of the kids to the game. The 1970 World Series Championship Banner is raised and the crowd is hyped up for another good year. The team is basically the same and there are great hopes for another World Series run. The Birds win today beating the Washington Senators 3-2. Pitcher Dave McNally throws a good one and he gets the complete game victory.

The Shop’s job book entry. General Ship Repair job. April 7, 1971.

May 29

With the school year ending, the Kavanagh girls spend a couple hours each day cleaning their grandfather’s old house. Daughter JoAnn recruits her friend Gina French to help out. The French’s live on the same block as Jack and Betty but at the other end. They are about ten doors from the Orleans street corner. The families have gotten to be friendly with the kids playing together. Tom and Angie French have six children, Joe, Gina, Tommy, Angie and Theresa who are twins and Ray. Ray is Joe Kavanagh’s age, just a month older, and they play together nearly every day.

Joe Kavanagh and Ray French. Patterson Park. 1971.

June 20

A baseball/wiffle ball team called the RobinBlairSons is formed by Jack Jr. and Joe Kavanagh and Tommy and Ray French. They take the name from three Orioles players. Frank Robinson who is Tommy’s favorite player, Paul Blair who is Jack Jr. and Ray’s favorite player and Brooks Robinson who is Joe’s favorite. They play wiffle ball in the backyard, in the street and on the Jefferson Street side of the Kavanagh’s house. When they head to Ellwood or Patterson Parks, they play baseball. The Robin-Blair Sons take on all opponents they can find. Sometimes they are pick up games and other times it’s games against groups of boys from different blocks such as the Pep Boys and the Stricker Stars. Often, the foursome of the French and Kavanagh brothers will grab another several boys to play a bigger team but usually, it’s just the four. Joe and Ray are only six but they love the game of baseball. Their older brothers, Jack and Tommy, look out for them and help school them in hitting and fielding. By the end of the summer, the Robin-Blair Sons have jelled into a fine squad. They spend endless hours playing together, enjoying baseball and breaking a few windows in the neighborhood.

Brooks Robinson. Photo taken from World Series Program. 1971.
Paul Blair. Photo from World Series Program. 1971.

June 28

The summer has been a good one so far and the crew are working half-days on Saturday. They appreciate the extra hours and Jack likes being busy. Jack has passed the word to his customers about the new machine and the new tools they have and he is getting more and more rolling and bending jobs. The brewery and distillery customers are still calling and the combination of old customers and new keeps the volume of work strong. Twenty fittings are tinned today for Seagrams. Tinning is old school coppersmithing if anything is. Copper must be coated in tin to avoid poisoning when used for food or drink. It’s lunch pail work for a coppersmith and they’ve been tinning at the Shop for a century.

The Shop’s job book entry. Seagrams Distirllery job. June 28, 1971.

July 4

Independence Day is a warm Sunday this year and the Kavanagh’s celebrate as they usually do. A bushel of Maryland blue crabs are purchased and steamed and served with a variety of sides including corn on the cob and Betty’s potato salad. The entire family is on hand in this corner rowhouse that was nicely crowded when the kids were all young. Now with four of the girls being adults and adding two son-in-laws, the house feels a little packed and even louder than before. It’s fine with Jack and Betty. They wouldn’t have it any other way. They talk and listen to an afternoon ballgame on the radio as they crack claws and pull open the shells to get to the meat inside. The Birds have started well and are in first place in their division. They are in Detroit today playing the Tigers and they win another close one 3-2. First baseman Boog Powell and catcher Elrod Hendricks homer to support starter Mike Cuellar who goes the distance for the win. Crabs and baseball on a 4th of July is very much a Kavanagh tradition. As afternoon turns to evening, they walk to Patterson Park and set down on a blanket to watch some fireworks. The park offers a good view of the exploding bright lights and many neighbors are scattered through the grass on blankets of their own.

Joe and Jack Kavanagh Jr. Backyard of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue looking south down the alley. Early 1970s.

July 8

Jack stands in the Shop with Jerry Purnell and another young worker, Bill Schmidt in the early afternoon. Purnell has been working for the Joseph Kavanagh Company for a couple of years and he’s learned a lot. Jack is giving him some training on the R-3, specifically how to roll angles. The Pittcon Company has ordered 7- 1 1/4” angles to be curved to an 8 ft. Dia. This size angle is too small for the R-5 and are a good test for the new machine. Jerry does very well and after the first three are rolled, Jack heads back into his office to call Pittcon and tell them the job will be ready tomorrow.

The Shop’s job book entry. Pittcon Wood Products, Inc. job. July 8, 1971.

July 24

Tommy and Angie French have talked to Jack and Betty about 434 N. Lakewood. The house is a little bigger than their home now and they would love to move to Eddie’s old house. The Kavanagh’s are happy it is going to someone they know and like. Arrangements are made as the last of the cleaning is finished and the French’s will move in next month. They will rent at first but with intent to buy when they can.

July 31

Jack gives his crew a full week of paid vacation. It’s something his father would have never agreed with but in Jack’s mind, this is the best way for him to get a vacation in his favorite place, Ocean City. The crew are all pleased to get a week off during the hottest month of the year. Jack and Betty pack the car and drive across the Bay Bridge and to OC. They arrive very early on Saturday morning and leave the following Sunday. It is a very fun week for the kids. It is full of fishing, crabbing, amusements, arcades and the beach. Jack and Betty love this town and they relish every moment there together and with the children. They begin to think they would love to find a way to buy a place of their own in Ocean City instead of renting every year. A place they can visit during the summer and a home for their retirement some day.

Jack, Joe and Jack Jr. Kavanagh. Fishing in Ocean City. Early 1970s.

August 9

After a nice vacation, its back to the corner of Pratt and Central for Jack and his crew. Jack, his brother and the rest of the boys catch up on what everyone did during the week off. Jack has already decided to make this a yearly tradition and he does it for himself but also for his men. He enjoys the break and the time with Betty and the kids. He knows it is the same for them. They want and deserve some time with their families.

Joe and Jack Jr. 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. Early 1970s.

August 12

The Shop’s phone has been ringing off the hook this week. Jack let his customers know they were going to be closed and now jobs that were needed last week are very hot this week including an order for some sprayer tubes for the Fountain Craft Company. Fountain Craft makes fountains for businesses, residences and public buildings. This sort of work is old fare for the Kavanagh’s who have been making parts and tubes for fountains for generations. The tubes are knocked out in five hours and will be picked up first thing in the morning.

The Shop’s job book entry. Fountain Craft Company job. August 12, 1971.

September 6

September is back to school time for Jack and Betty’s children. Jackie and JoAnn are still in Catholic High, Jackie a Senior and JoAnn a Freshman. The youngest three, Ann, Jack and Joe are at St. Elizabeth’s where their sisters and father attended. Ann is in sixth grade, Jack in the fourth while little Joe starts first grade.

Phote from St. E’s Jubilee Book. School yard. Jack Kavanagh Jr.s is in group of boys on left. He is crouched down. 1970.
Photo from St. E’s Jubilee Book. St. Elizabeth’s Folk Group including Mary Kavanagh Brandenburg. 1970.

September 17

Jack’s secretary Julie informs him that she must stop working at the end of the year. She has an older family member she needs to care for. Jack understands and wishes her the best. He relies on Julie when he is out in the Shop and particularly on those few occasions when he is not at work at all. She has a sister who she recommends and Jack is thrilled. He had no idea how he would replace Julie. Her sister, Helen Glodek will start in the new year. A relieved Jack walks into the Shop to check on a job for Koppers Fabricators, a small order of bent copper tubes.

The Shop’s job book entry. Koppers Fabricators job. September 17, 1971.

September 19

Jack attends the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Colts home opener along with his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bumpsey and Shirley Crew. It’s a raucous celebration to welcome the champs home and the crowd cheers to see another banner raised at Memorial Stadium. The Colts get a little revenge for their loss in the Super Bowl two years ago by beating the New York Jets 21-0. Baltimore fans are excited for another good year. With the Orioles having clinched their division and the Colts starting well, the City is in a sports-crazed frenzy. Expectations are high for both clubs.

1971 American League Championship Series Souvenir Program.

October 5

For a third year in a row, the Orioles sweep the American League Championship Series winning three in a row. This year they face the Oakland Athletics. Baltimore will be going on to face the NL champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Confidence is high in Baltimore as the Orioles are led by one of the best starting pitching staffs in baseball. They boast four 20 game winners, Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Pat Dobson. No pitching staff since the 1920 Chicago White Sox has had such a foursome.

Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson and Jim Palmer. Four 20 game winners. Photo taken from ALCS Program. 1971.

October 17

The Baltimore Orioles lose the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. It’s a very even series with the first six games won by the home team. The Birds lose game 7 in Baltimore and the Pirates are champs. The Kavanagh’s go to all four games at Memorial Stadium, the first two and the last two and it’s a bitter finale to watch for them. Jack assures his children that you win some, you lose some. He tells them we should still be proud of the team making it to the World Series for three years in a row. There’s always next year and he hopes they can get there again.

1971 World Series Souvenir Program.

October 22

A mix of brewery parts for National, several sets for angle rings and a large order of bent pipes for F. H. Klaunberg are the focus of the Shop’s crew today. The pipes for Klaunberg are bent in the Pines Bender while both Roundo machines are used on the angle jobs. Jack’s men work hard for him and he knows it. He’s fair and doesn’t ask anything of them he wouldn’t do himself. He’s a much easier man to work for than his father and at least the older workers know that themselves. Jack has put together a very strong and efficient crew.

Roundo R-3 Owner’s Manual. 1971.

November 27

It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the Kavanagh’s visit Aunt Anna, Sister Mary Agnes, at the Visitation Convent on Roland Park Avenue. Aunt Anna is Jack’s father’s sister and the family makes a point of seeing her once or twice every month and always close to the holidays. Betty purchases some small things for her. Toiletries and such but mostly they talk about the family, the kids, the Shop and how Aunt Anna’s teaching is going. She loves being an educator and works at the Visitation’s school. She’s the last Kavanagh of her generation now and the oldest Kavanagh.

Sr. Mary Agnes-Visitation July 1971
Sr. Mary Agnes(Aunt Anna Kavanagh) on the grounds of the Visitation Convent. 1971.

December 2

Jack is stunned to hear on the news that Frank Robinson has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He shakes his head at this one as Frank is the player who made the difference in taking the Birds to a higher level of play. He’s one of the best but Jack knows it’s baseball. Trades happen and you have to live with it. His boys, Jack and Joe, are disappointed and they discuss it with their friends, the French boys. They decide to keep the name, Robin-Blair Sons. They still have Brooks and Paul Blair plus they all decide to remain fans of Frank Robinson. He did so much for the team. They can’t stop rooting for him.

Frank Robinson. Photo taken from World Series. Program. 1971.

December 24

Jack creeps down the hall in the bright plastic red suit intent on granting his youngest son’s Christmas wish. He leans over Joe’s bed and the boy’s eyes flutter open. They recognize Santa and nearly bug out of his head and he sits bolt up.

“Santa!” Mr. Claus places a finger over Joe’s mouth and hushes him.

“Don’t wake anyone up. You have to be quiet.” Jack looks over at his older son Jack Jr. who is sawing wood pretty good in the bed closer to the window.

Joe whispers to Santa quickly. “I knew you would come see me. I told my Mom that most of all I wanted to see you tonight. The real Santa not just at a store.”

“Ho Ho Ho!” Jack chuckles softly. “Well, I wanted to say hi to you but now you have to go to sleep. I can’t leave anything if you are awake now. Can I?”

Joe smiles brightly up at Santa Claus.”Okay. I know you are busy. Thanks for coming to see me.”

“You’re welcome and merry Christmas, Joe.” Jack grins under the white beards and once he is sure Joe is back to sleep, he tiptoes back to his room. Moments later, he and Betty are carrying gifts down the stairs and assembling what will be the Kavanagh Christmas morning.

Santa Claus at 447 N. Lakewood Avneu. Late 1960s/early 1970s.

December 25

It’s Christmas Day at the Kavanagh’s house and there will be presents, food and family. Jack and Betty took the kids to midnight mass at St. Elizabeth’s last night. They like the idea of being home for the holiday and the late night mass is quite beautiful and very much in the Christmas tradition. Since they do not have to head to mass, Jack sits and watches a holiday film or two with the children while Betty stays busy cooking and fretting over the house. While watching “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” Jack’s mind is on the Colts who have made the playoffs and will face the Cleveland Browns tomorrow His hopes for a victory will be rewarded and the Colts will move on to the AFC Championship game in January. He looks about the room with Betty bustling about, kids setting the table and someone constantly going up and down the stairs. Jack thinks back to all the Christmases they have celebrated here. It’s been over twenty years since they moved to 447 N. Lakewood. His oldest girls are growing up. Betty Ann is in graduate school in DC, Nancy has graduated from college and moved to Denver, Colorado with her husband Jim, Mary is married to Handy and they have an apartment while they look for a house and Jane is working at C & P Telephone and she is looking for an apartment of her own. Jack can’t believe how they have grown. Nancy and Jim won’t be here today and it will be the first time one of the kids isn’t home for Christmas but Jack and Betty knew it would happen. The older girls are adults now and have lives of their own. Jack is content but he hopes the other five stay kids as long as they can. In the late morning, Betty Ann, Mary and Handy arrive and dinner is served at noon A turkey is roasted with all the trimmings, parsnips included and sauerkraut, a Baltimore tradition. The dining room table is made longer with a fold up table they keep in the basement and a card table at the end for the kids. The meal never goes fast enough for the youngest of the Kavanagh’s but when it is done, they retire to the front room with its piles of gifts, brightly lit tree and garland and holly. Jack and Betty love this time as the kids’ eyes widen with each open present. They seem to always get what they wanted the most and no one ever feels slighted somehow. With a family of nine children, you might think that would happen but not on the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson. The room is filled with torn and balled up wrapping paper soon and Betty calls for a mass clean up. The kids spread around the house taking a closer look at the goodies they have received. They will all gather again for supper and then around the piano for music. Christmas carols, Irish tunes and old classics are played by Jack while the rest of them sing along. Jack is at his happiest with his hands on the keys of a piano and his family about him. He can relax and enjoy it all. The house on Lakewood Avenue is filled with song and merriment just like the Kavanagh homes of old. Even as far back as Albemarle Street where they lived long ago.

St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Platinum Jubilee Book. 1970.



Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. The New York Times publishes the Pentagon Papers. Protests against the War in Vietnam continue to grow across the nation. A Harris Polls states that 60% of the country are against the War. A revolt breaks out at Attica Prison resulting in 42 deaths. The 26th Amendment goes into effect lowering the voting age to 18. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act is passed making certain federal holidays always occur on a Monday. The Libertarian Party is established. Email and the floppy disk are invented. Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Walt Disney World and the first Starbucks open. The films “Shaft,” “Dirty Harry,” and “the French Connection” are released. Tupac Shakir, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Lance Armstrong, Pete Sampras and Kristi Yamaguchi are born. Thomas Dewey, Igor Stravinsky, Louis Armstrong and Jim Morrison die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

The Kavanagh children. 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. Left to right. Back row: Jim O’Neill, Handy Brandenburg. 2nd row. Nancy, Betty Ann, Jane, Mary. Front row: Jackie, Joe, JoAnn, Jack, Ann. 1971.

To read prior years, click on the Table of Contents link below:

Table of Contents

1970 Two Weddings and a Funeral

January 4

The Shop’s start to the year is good with work on the books and more quoted. They are not busy but definitely steady. Jack Kavanagh Sr. splits time between his small corner office and the Shop proper. His secretary, Julie helps him a great deal handling the billing, payroll and taking messages for him through the day. Today, the old roller and the Leonard Air Bender are both used on a project for the Ken Hammond Co. Several tubes need to be bent and rolled but are fairly simple and despite using both machines, the job is finished in quick order. The rest of Jack’s crew are busy prepping for a repair at National Brewery. A copper line must be repaired and the workers are making some necessary fittings, couplings and three sections of copper sheet to be used as patches. The sheet is annealed and rolled so it can be soldered on site to stop any leaks they find. Jack has a crew of eight including his brother, Ed Jr., working for him and he also has a new machine on the way. It is in town but is on display at an industrial show at the Civic Center. The Shop purchased it from Comeq and part of the deal is to allow them to use it for promotion at the show. Jack agreed after Comequ offered to knock $400.00 off the price. It was well worth it to Jack and they will only have to pay a small shipping fee from the Civic Center to 201 S. Central Avenue. At his home, Jack and wife Betty are nearly as busy with nine kids, most in school and two of his daughters getting married this year.

The Shop’s job book entry. Ken Hammond Co. job. January 4, 1970.

January 12

Several men are working on a set of copper u-bends for Harvey Stambaugh & Sons and the rest are assisting in unloading and placing the R-5 Roundo Angle Rolling Machine. It’s green and very new in this old Shop on Central Avenue. Jack is excited. He is certain he can take on bigger rolling jobs and it will make rolling angles for flanges and stiffeners much easier. Jack makes plans to have John Benser make pipe and tube dies for this new machine. Jack orders some extra steel angles because they will need to practice. The machine comes with a supporting attachment called a guide roller. It is used to keep the angle’s leg straight while rolling and it is something they will have to figure out how to use.

List of Repairs of R-5 Round Rolling Machine from the Shop’s Repair Book. Denotes display of the machine at industrial show at Baltimore Civic Center before delivery. January 1970.

January 13

The crew of the Joseph Kavanagh Company are busy with a set of tubes for a Universal Machine job. It’s a set of thin wall 3 5/8” Dia. tubes that need to be filled and rolled. While the men work, the talk of the day is about the Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings for the championship of the NFL. Just like last year, the outcome is very much a surprise. The Vikings were expected to win easily. The discussion of current events and often sports does help the time pass and it’s common at the Shop. The men focus on the job but can still chat and go over the game. The tubes from Universal are filled with rosin in order to maintain the tube’s shape. During the bending process if a tube is thin it has a tendency to buckle or collapse, the rosin supports the tube from the inside and keeps it round. It’s a labor intensive process but it works. The only other solution is a heavier wall tube and most often weight constraints eliminate that possibility. It’s a long job but a welcome one in the winter with several days in a row of heat being thrown from torches in the cold old Shop.

The Shop’s job book entry. Universal Machine Co. job. January 13, 1970.

February 10

John Benser has been busy making rollers for the new Roundo machine. This rolling machine has a great deal of power and can bend things faster than their old one. The more tools they have, the more they can do in the R-5. Jack is already convinced this is a good investment.  Meanwhile Jack’s father has finally agreed to allow nurses into his home. He had a bout of flu and it was difficult getting him to the doctor. He will have a daily nurse check in and Betty will still cook for him and take care of his house; she is Eddie’s primary caregiver. He has emphysema and it seems to be getting worse.

Sketch of R-5 Round Rolling Machine from Owners Manua. 1970.

February 16

Jack reads the newspaper at his desk and sees that Don Shula has resigned as Head Coach of the Baltimore Colts. He takes a job coaching the Miami Dolphins. The Colts promote Offensive Back Field Coach Don McCafferty to Head Coach. The league has re-aligned as well and the Colts are now in the newly formed AFC East Division. Jack is hopeful they don’t miss Shula too much and the team can still compete.

Hand Brandenburg and Joe Kavanagh. Patterson Park. 1970.

February 22

It’s late on a Sunday evening and Jack has finished watching the news and heads up to bed. Betty is under the covers already but with a yellow pad on her lap. She’s going over the arrangements for Mary’s wedding and the plans to fly the family to Pittsburgh for Nancy’s wedding. Handy and Mary are getting married on August 1 and Jim and Nancy will be married on May 30. Presently, Betty is busy running her crowded household of nine kids and her husband,  but now she is also involved in planning a wedding and traveling to another. Handy Brandenburg has been staying with Jack and Betty in their basement. He doesn’t have the money for a place of his own yet and Mary’s parents were happy to have him stay with them. As long as things are on the up and up of course. Jack quickly changes his clothes and gets into bed with his wife.

“So, hon, we are flying to Pittsburgh for a wedding in May and having a wedding here with several hundred people in August. Is that the plan?” Jack inquires of his wife.

Betty removes her glasses for a moment, “Yes, dear. That’s the plan. I am sure it will all go smoothly.” She smiles and leans over to kiss his cheek.

“In this family? Smoothly? Who do you think you’re talking to?” Jack raises an eyebrow.

Betty chuckles softly. “Well, close to smoothly anyway. We have to buy these airline tickets and get rooms at the Hilton in Pittsburgh.” She sighs. “Now, Mary’s is a lot more planning. Handy’s family are coming into town at the end of July so we’ll have to make sure they have their hotel room. YOU have to decide what customers and Shop guys we are inviting, by the way.” She nudges Jack gently.

“I will. I will. It doesn’t have to be too many but I do want it to be a nice party. I’ll figure all that out and get you a list.” Jack pulls the covers up close to fight off the February chill. “I do have one question, Betty.”

She places the yellow pad on the nightstand along with her glasses. “Go ahead. What’s the question?”

“When these two girls are married. Is somebody gonna move out of this house?” Jack turns his eyes to her.

Betty laughs again. “Yes, Jack. I am sure they will move out.” She pauses. “Eventually.”

It’s Jack’s turn to chuckle a bit. “Okay. Fine. I believe you. I always believe you.”

“As you should.” Betty smiles over at him.

“Of course.” Jack’s eyes meet hers. “You’re my girl, Betty, and everybody knows it.”

Jack switches the light off and they get a night’s sleep before the start of a winter’s week.

March 11

Two 5” Pipes are rolled for Monumental Supply Company. Monumental sells pipe and other construction supplies and some customers need bent pipes. These two are rolled to 90 degrees on a 5 ft. Radius and are to be used as elbows on a blower pipe for a grain silo. Jack and his crew have bent a few of these large silo blow pipes over the last few years. Slowly but surely, the Kavanagh’s are getting a reputation for their bending capabilities.

The Shop’s job book entry. Monumental Supple job. March 11, 1970.

March 17

While Betty is doing some dishes at her father-in-law’s house, Eddie is in the backyard on a sunny warm spring Tuesday with his grandson Joe. Eddie puffs on his cigar while occasionally tossing a ball to Joe.

“My Dad sure works a lot. I think he likes it. He has fun at the Shop. I wish I could go to work with him.” Joe chases after the bouncing ball.

Eddie chuckles and takes a draw on his stogie. “Your father? Yes, maybe he does like it, but most people don’t have fun at work. I didn’t.” He pulls the cigar from his mouth and gazes up the alley toward Jefferson Street.

“But I will work with my Dad right?” Joe holds the ball in his hand and follows Eddie’s eyes to see what he is looking at.

“Of course. As he worked for me and I for my father and he his uncle before him. That’s how we do it.” He took another puff then blew it out. “Not for a while yet though, Joe, don’t worry.” He grinned a toothy smile for a flash of a moment.

Joe ponders his words for a second. “So you worked for your father gran- I mean Eddie?”

The old man’s eyes narrow for a second then he chooses to ignore the near grandpa slip. “Yes I did.”

“Did you have fun? Did you like it?” The young Joe asked.

Eddie pauses, cigar in hand. He sat still on the backyard steps and remained so for several moments until Joe thought he might have fallen asleep. “No, I didn’t have fun but I liked it.” Joe looks up at his grandfather who seems lost in some faraway thought or memory. Before Joe can reply, his mother calls him into the house. It’s time to head home across the street. Joe bids his grandfather goodbye and Eddie returns to thoughts of his father from many years ago.

April 10

It’s a beautiful Spring Friday and it’s opening day in Baltimore. Jack is sneaking out a little early from the Shop, leaving Ed in charge for a couple hours. He’s taking Betty, JoAnn, Ann and the boys to the game. The Birds have started hot, winning their first three on the road in Cleveland. Today they host the Detroit Tigers and keep winning. It takes a little longer but in the bottom of the tenth, Brooks Robinson singles home Frank Robinson to give the Orioles a 3-2 win. Spirits are high in the City and the fans are hoping for a good season and a chance at redemption after last year’s World Series loss.

Statue Collectivle of 1970 Baltimore Orioles Staring Lineup and Manager. Phot taken 2019.

April 14

The new R-5 machine is working out well for the Kavanagh’s. Jack and Mr. Wacker have spent as many hours as possible learning all they can. The Shop has received several orders for angle flanges to roll and each time they use it, Jack and his crew get a little better.

Roundo R-5. Purchased late 1969. Picture take November 2019.

April 22

Betty takes her youngest, Joe, to lunch today. She has her Uncle John pick them up in his cab and they drive to Light Street downtown. They are eating at the Playboy Club. Jack is a Key Card member and he and Betty go there occasionally for a nice dinner and to see a good singer or a comedian. They take the kids along once or twice too but Betty particularly enjoys lunching with Joe there. She’s taken him a few times and the bunnies love him. When they come in the door, a few of the girls come right over and say hi. They hug and hold the small boy and ask Betty how everyone is doing. It’s a swanky place at night but a little more low key during the day. It’s still fancy and proper attire is required. The food is good and Betty and her Joe have a nice lunch.

Jack Kavanagh’s Playboy Key Card. Late 1960s early 1970s.

May 23

On this Saturday afternoon, The Kavanagh’s are back at Memorial Stadium. Jack fills the car with a cooler and a basket of Betty’s fried chicken. They take the four youngest kids out to the Orioles game.  The Birds are playing the Boston Red Sox and win 3-0 behind the outstanding pitching of Jim Palmer. The Orioles are making an early run at the Pennant,  jumping into first place in the Eastern Division with a lead of over six games already.

Joe Kavanagh. Memorial Stadium. 1970.

May 30

Jack and Betty’s daughter Nancy’s wedding is in Pittsburgh. Jack and the family fly to Pennsylvania to celebrate with Nancy and Jim and the O’Neill’s. Jim comes from a large Irish family just like Nancy and the families get along well. Jim has four sisters and a brother. Betty was a little concerned they were getting married too fast but after meeting Jim’s family, Jack is convinced it’s a good thing and Betty’s worries are assuaged. The ceremony is held at the Chapel at Duquesne University where the couple are studying. Afterward, the reception is at the Hilton Hotel. JoAnn, Ann, Jack and Joe find a great deal of entertainment riding up and down the elevators through the day to the chagrin of staff. The party is fun and Jack and Betty are very proud to see Nancy marry Jim. He’s a good fellow and they like him. He’s welcomed into the Kavanagh clan with open arms.

Jim and Nancy 5_30_70 1
Nancy Kavanagh O”Neill and Jim O”Neill. Wedding Day. May 30, 1970.
Jim and Nancy 5_30_70 2
Jim O”Neill and Nancy Kavanagh O”Neil. Wedding day. May 30, 1970.

June 11

Jack loves this new Roundo roller and it does indeed keep the angles’ legs straight and very flat as well. Today it is used to roll 6- 3” X 3” X 3/8” thick steel angles into 4 ft. Dia. flanges for Codd Fabricators. Jack will try to spread the word about this new machine’s capabilities to as many of his customers as he can.

Page fro calculating the Section Modulus of Steal forms. Roundo R-5 Owners Manual. 1970.

July 20

The Shop’s crew labor through a hot summer day on the corner of Pratt and Central. Several custom bronze flanges are fabricated for Schaefer Brewery along with a fountain sprayer tube and a set of rings for Universal Machine. The front garage doors are open all day in search of any breeze that might come through. Breaks are taken at the door and lunch is eaten there. That elusive bit of wind can change the day in an instant. The old Shop can be stifling in the heat. It’s so closed in but a bit of air makes the difference.

August 1

Mary Kavanagh weds Handy Brandenburg at St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Church. The Brandenburg’s came into town several days earlier and everyone gets along well and they are all ready to celebrate this union of the two families. Mary’s sisters are bridesmaids while young Joe is the ring bearer. The reception is at the Overlea Hall on Belair Road. It’s a very nice party with several hundred guests including some Shop employees and some of their customers as well. Jack and Betty are so proud as they watch a second daughter marry this year. They like Handy and they are very pleased to have him join the family officially.

Handy and Mary Brandenburg. Wedding Day. August 1, 1970.
Handy and Mary Kavanagh Brandenburg. Wedding day. August 1, 1970.

August 6

The now annual vacation to Ocean City starts today. It will be a long four day weekend at the beach with fishing, crabbing and swimming. The nights will be spent at the penny arcades and eating Thrasher’s Fries and soft ice cream on the boardwalk. One day is spent at Jolly Roger’s Amusement Park. The Kavanagh’s and Betty’s family, the Crew’s squeeze a summer’s worth of fun into this brief trip.

Jack Kavanagh Sr. and sons, Jack Jr. and Joe. Fishing & Crabbing in Ocean City. 1970.

August 28

Eddie is in the hospital for a few days. His breathing is getting worse and he has been admitted to Bon Secours Hospital. His breathing is labored and he is feeling very weak. Jack takes his boys up to see Eddie at the hospital in the hopes of lifting his spirits. It works, but only for as long as they are present. The doctors have some bad news. Eddie is diagnosed with stomach cancer. It’s not terminal but combined with the emphysema, things will be tough for him. He returns home as soon as he gets some strength back but he is still very tired. Jack discusses his father with Betty. He is very worried as is she but there is not much that can be done at least until Eddie gets a little stronger.

Eddie Kavanagh and grandsons, Jack Jr. and Joe. Bon Secours Hospital. September 1970.

September 8

Jack drives JoAnn, Ann, Little Jack and Joe to school. The youngest Joe is to start in kindergarten at St. Elizabeth’s. He’s so small Jack thinks as he watches him walk toward school hand in hand with his sister Ann. JoAnn is in 8th grade and soon will join sister Jackie in Catholic High. Ann is in 5th grade and Jack Jr. is in second. Jack Sr. can’t believe his littlest is already here in school where all his older siblings have gone, where Jack himself attended forty years ago.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh. Patterson Park September 1970.

September 19

The Kavanagh’s attend a Saturday ballgame at Memorial Stadium. The Orioles have clinched the division title and are prepping for the playoffs. They lose tonight 4-2 to the Indians but the fans don’t care. Manager Weaver rested a few starters and everyone has their eye on the playoffs ahead. The team and its fans have been clamoring for a return to the World Series. That bad taste of last year’s loss still lingers. Baltimore wants redemption and so do the Birds.

Baltimore Orioles Souvenir Mug. 1970.

September 28

It’s the Colts home opener but Jack is not at the game. It’s being held on a Monday night this year as the NFL has reached a deal with ABC Television to present something called Monday Night Football. One game a week will be featured, played and broadcast live to the nation. ABC announcers chosen for these games are Keith Jackson, Don Meredith and Howard Cosell. The Colts host the Super Bowl champion Chiefs and get beat badly, 44-24.

Baltimore Colts souvenir cup. Early 1970s.

October 3

A busy October day is spent on some fittings for Carling’s Brewery, some parts for Seagrams Distillery, a set of angle flanges and on a sailboat mast. The Shop has always received walk-in jobs from individuals, not just companies. This is the case with the mast. A gentleman named D. J. Osias walks in the door and brings his aluminum mast in to Central Avenue. It was bent in a storm and he needs it straightened. Jack explains he can never get it perfectly straight but he can get close. The customer thinks that will be good enough and it is. The mast is straightened and Mr. Osias sails away after paying the bill.

The Shop’s job bok entry. D. J. Osias job. Repair to sail boat mast. Note: Cash job. October 3, 1970.

October 5

The 2nd American league Championship Series is a repeat of the first with the Orioles sweeping three games from the Minnesota Twins to win the Pennant. It is on to the Series where they will face the Cincinnati Reds, National League Champions.

1970 American League Championship Souvenir Program.

October 15

The Baltimore Orioles win the World Series defeating the Cincinnati Reds in five games and they are led by Brooks Robinson. Brooks bats a lofty .462 in the Series and makes great defensive play after defensive play. Brooks is a long time fan favorite in Baltimore. After this Series, he becomes Mr. Oriole. He has been with the franchise for 15 years. His level of play and his demeanor enamored fans to him long ago. Now he has etched his name in Baltimore baseball lore forever. Nearly every baseball loving youth of the 60s and 70s in Baltimore, makes Brooks their favorite player including young Joe Kavanagh. Jack watches the first two games with Eddie at 434 N. Lakewood. They have made a point of watching any Series games they can and these are both weekend games. They love watching together and going over the details of each play. Despite Eddie’s health concerns, they enjoy the father and son time. Jack takes Betty and the kids to the next three at home. Each day, he leaves his brother in charge of the Shop and heads home just after lunch to get to the ballpark. The last game is a 9-3 drubbing of the Reds. The fans are celebrating early and all the way up until the final out. Then Memorial Stadium turns to pandemonium as the Baltimore Orioles are World Series Champions again.

Framed print including complete scored card of 1970 World Series.
Brooks Robinson Plaque mentioning his numerous accomplisments.

October 19

Eddie Kavanagh Sr. falls in his home on Lakewood Avenue and breaks his hip. He is taken to Bon Secours Hospital and admitted. Jack is very worried for his father. He has been getting weaker and weaker and a broken hip is a bad thing for a senior citizen.

Eddie Kavanagh’s Knights of Columbus Sword. Photo taken in December, 2019.

October 26

Edward M. Kavanagh dies at Bon Secours Hospital. He had surgery yesterday to repair his hip and passed while in recovery. Jack is upset but knows his father lived a good long life passing at the age of seventy-six. He and Betty set to calling relatives and Eddie’s union and business friends. Eddie worked at the Shop for over 50 years, the longest tenure of any employee. He was also trained by Frank Kavanagh, the last man trained by the original Joseph M. Kavanagh. Eddie brought the Union into the Shop and shepherded them through the Depression and Prohibition. He was a tough man. A man who had trouble expressing his feelings. Those around him were held to a high standard much like he was held to by his father. He loved his family, his wife and his boys. Eddie was very lost after Annie died and became silent and withdrawn. He was proud of the Shop and the work of his family for generations and was a very skilled coppersmith. He is buried on Friday October 30 at New Cathedral Cemetery along with so many Kavanagh’s who have come before him. The funeral is held at his parish church, St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary. Family, friends, business associates and union brothers are on hand. Eddie was a long time member of the Knights of Columbus and there is a color guard representing them. Jack Jr. carries his Knights of Columbus sword up the aisle following Eddie’s coffin. A somber day but a memory of a long full life.

Eddie Kavanagh’s Knights of Columbus Sword. Photo taken in December 2019.

November 11

A stainless steel scraper is made at the Shop today for Schaefer Brewery. Ed Jr. does the work on this job. He hammers and shapes a sheet of stainless steel to match a provided sample. After the scraper is finished, Charlie Owens delivers it to the brewery but he forgets to get the delivery ticket signed. He has to return to Schaefer for that and this is noted on the time card. He takes a good bit of ribbing from the crew especially Ed. They don’t like any waste of hours bur Charlie is a veteran worker and it was a mistake. That won’t stop them from kidding him about it for the next month or so.

Theh Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer Brewery job. November 11, 1970.

December 18

Several stainless steel boxes are made for National Brewery by Jack’s crew. They are boxes used for catching residue and anything that might find its way into the beer. The boxes have mesh screens inside to facilitate this. The crew are a little distracted with the approaching holidays. It is typical for this time of year. The work gets done but thoughts are on family, presents, parties and time off.

The Shop’s job book entry. National Brewery job. December 18, 1970.

December 25

It is Christmas morning at 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. The kids parade down the steps not daring to look left into the front room where the tree and gifts are. Stockings are pulled down and emptied with excitement as the big day is finally here. After breakfast, the Kavanagh’s head out the back door, again not passing through the front room, and drive to St. Elizabeth’s. After Christmas Mass, they return for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Dinner is about noon and afterward the group heads into the front parlor with the tree and presents are distributed. It’s been a bittersweet year for the family, the Birds have won it all and the Colts have made the playoffs. They are AFC East champions and will face the Cincinnati Bengals tomorrow in the playoffs. The Colts will win this game 17-0 and advance to the AFC Championship game in January. Jack and Betty gained two son-in-laws this year but Jack lost his father. They were close in the sense that besides being father and son they worked together day in and day out for nearly thirty years. A son working for father then son working with father then son running business and father advising. Eddie could be a tough man with high expectations and he rarely hesitated to speak his mind but he loved his family. He loved his boys.  Eddie was a hard-working man who instilled that mentality in his sons. He was difficult as a person at times, resolute in his ideas and strong-willed. Still, he was a great leader and a skilled smith. Eddie was one of the best at distillery work and had a keen knowledge of the workings of these alcohol systems. He had experience with them obviously but he also had understanding and that made him very talented. He could work a torch and a hammer with the best of them. Eddie was responsible for the Shop going Union. He resigned and moved to Philadelphia to force his father Joe’s hand on this. Eddie was a very strong Union man who believed in the working man. He believed despite owning a business, he was still a working man, a tradesman even, and he felt a brotherhood with those workers. He was a devout Catholic and active in the Church. He was a 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus and always supportive of his parish. To the Kavanagh’s he was a son, a brother, a father and grandfather. He loved a good cigar, the sound of a piano, a ball game and the occasional glass of rye. Eddie was also the final connection to the original Joseph M. Kavanagh. He was in fact, the last Kavanagh to have known Old Uncle Joe.

Edward (Eddie) Martin Kavanagh. Circa 1920.



Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. The US invades Cambodia in an effort to end the War in Vietnam. Four students are killed and nine wounded at Kent State when Ohio National Guardsmen fire on demonstrators. The first Earth Day is held. Cigarette ads are banned on television. The first two American women become generals, Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth Hoisington. The voting age is lowered to eighteen. America’s Top Forty premiers on radio hosted by Casey Kasem. The comic strip, Doonesbury begins publication. OSHA becomes law. The EPA is founded. The Beatles break up. The films “MASH,” “Patton” and “Woodstock” are released.  Queen Latifah, Tina Fey, Andre Agassi, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Matt Damon are born. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Rube Goldberg die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

Eddie Kavanagh(Seated 3rd from the left) with fellow Sheet Metal Workers’ Union members. Eddie is holding his award for 50 years as a member of the Union. 1968.

To read prior years, click on the Table of Contents link below:

Table of Contents






1969 One Giant Leap

January 2

The Shop starts the year with some work on the books but not much of a backlog. Jack and his crew of eight men work on their usual mix of brewery and distillery parts and bent pipes and tubes to boilers and fabrications jobs. Jack is forty-four and he has been running the Joseph Kavanagh Company for a few years now after his father finally took a full retirement.

January 12

The Colts lose the Super Bowl to the upstart New York Jets. Jack and most of Baltimore are watching and they can’t believe it. The Colts were heavily favored even with star quarterback Johnny Unitas out for most of the year after a preseason injury. Back up Earl Morrall did a great job all year but can’t get much going offensively in the Super Bowl. At halftime, Coach Don Shula replaces Morrall with Unitas in hopes of jump starting the team. It doesn’t work and Baltimore loses to New York 16-7.

Baltimore Colts souvenir sticker. Late 1960s.

January 20

The Shop completes a set of steel tubes for the Maryland Cup Company. The tubes are thin wall and need to be annealed, filled and rolled to maintain their roundness. It’s lots of welcome torch work for a few cold days in January. After the tubes are annealed, rosin must be melted and poured into them and then they sit for a day. The rosin hardens and supports the tube’s shape. After bending, they are melted back out and it’s more fire being used on Central Avenue. The crew are working hard but today they love the heat.

The Shop’s job book entry. Maryland Cup Company job. January 20, 1969.

February 17

Jack is surprised when he reads in the Baltimore Sun that four hundred baseball players are boycotting Spring Training. They are demanding an increase of owners’ contribution to players’ pension funds.  That makes sense to Jack but he still can’t imagine having an issue when your job is playing baseball. He’d give almost anything for that. He quickly realized that he is looking at it from a romanticized view. These men still have families and children. They do have to retire eventually and having something to live on is only natural. He also realizes the owners are certainly making plenty of money. For a moment, he wonder what his father thinks. Eddie has always been a mad baseball fan but also a strong union/labor rights man. When he thinks of his father, he becomes distracted. Jack has been trying to convince Eddie to have a nurse stop in daily to help him and check his health. Eddie has the money to afford it but he thinks with Betty stopping over a couple of times a day, there is no need. She takes good care of him and she cleans and cooks his meals. Jack knows a nurse would be better as his father’s health is not great. He has emphysema but still smokes cigars. Also, Jack wants Betty to have a break. Even with most of the kids at school, her hands are full and three or four trips across the street only make it worse. Eddie will not relent and a nurse is a no go so far. Jack will keep trying to convince him. He looks back at the newspaper and his thoughts return to baseball. He skims the article again. No matter what happens, he hopes it doesn’t impact the season and happily it doesn’t. Nine days later, the changes and improvements are made to the players retirement fund and baseball will go on as usual.

February 19

Today some stainless steel tubes are bent for E. A. Kaestner Company. The crew have some trouble bending these and it takes more time than anticipated. Jack makes a note on the job record that he was busy on several other jobs and was unable to give enough supervision on this one. He was also on the phone a lot today as they have received some repair work for Schaefer Brewery and the details were being worked out. The tubes are finished and a rod needs to be machined by John Benser on one of the lathes in the second floor machine shop. They use this rod to plug drive the tubes and return them to the required shape. Afterward, the tubes are cleaned and they are finally picked up and out of the Shop.

The Shop’s job book entry. E.A. Kaestner Co. job. February 19, 1969.

March 3

Sirhan Sirhan admits to shooting and killing Bobby Kennedy in a Los Angeles, California courtroom.

March 10

James Earl Ray pleads guilty to murdering Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee. In the space of a week, the two men charged with the assassinations of last year admit to their involvement and guilt. There remain questions on both counts as to why and how they were able to do it. There will be no Warren Commission to sort out what happened in these two cases so those questions, concerns and theories linger on despite both assassins admitting their guilt.

March 19

Jack is home sick in bed for a day. He has the flu and takes a very rare day off. He calls the Shop and gives some instructions to Julie, his secretary. She passes them on to his brother Ed who gives the crew their assignments. Jack is always at the Shop so it’s a strange day in the place and stranger still for Jack. After dinner while he is still in bed, Mary and her boyfriend Handy Brandenburg knock on the bedroom door and want to talk to him. Handy informs Jack that he has asked Mary to marry him.

Jack pauses then looks from Handy to Mary. “What did she say?”

“I said yes.” his daughter answers.

“Well, let me explain the Kavanagh marriages to you.” Jack turns to Handy. “You need a new car, $5000 in the bank and a steady job.” The room goes silent and Handy’s mind goes to his old Chrysler which is a point in his favor because Jack is a Chrysler man He just graduated from Ohio State and does have a job but no money. Jack smiles to break the quiet. “Of course if you love each other you can forget those other things.” They laugh and cry and Jack and Betty will gain a son-in-law next year.

.March 28

Jack watches the evening news and hears that former President Eisenhower has died after a long illness. Jack and the family pray for Eisenhower and his family. Despite being a lifelong Democrat, Jack liked Ike. He was a great leader in World War 2 commanding all Allied Forces and in the White House he presided over a simpler time in America.

April 8

On this Tuesday, Jack takes his kids to Memorial Stadium for the Orioles Opening Day. It’s a different baseball season this year. Each league has been divided into two divisions. The Orioles are in the American League Eastern Division now along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians and Senators. The winners of each division will play each other in a League Championship Series at the end of the season. The champions from the American and National Leagues will then face off in the World Series. Today’s game is a twelve extra inning affair that doesn’t go the Birds’ way and they lose 5-4 to the Boston Red Sox. The Kavanagh’s are undaunted. Jack, his kids and most of Baltimore are expecting big things from their team this year. They had a rough start to last season but new manager Earl Weaver lit a fire under them and they finished strong. A full season under Weaver’s leadership should lead to success.

1969 Baltimore Orioles souvenir pennant.

April 30

The breweries are keeping 201 S. Central Avenue busy. They have had orders from Carling, Schaefer and now National Breweries. An aluminum dipstick is fabricated and engraved today. The dipstick is a measuring stick that must be engraved with gallon marks. The brewery furnishes dimensions for placement of each gallon mark and Charlie Owens and Benser do the job.

The Shop’s job book entry. National Brewery job. April 30, 1969.

May 9

Today is a special day in the Lakewood Avenue/Patterson Park neighborhood where the Kavanagh’s live. They attend St. Elizabeth’s Church and School at the corner of Lakewood and Baltimore with Patterson Park directly across from the Church. The annual May Procession to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary is held on this day. There is a parade from the church to the park and back. There is much singing and a crown of flowers is placed on the head of the statue of Mary. This year, first grader Jack Kavanagh is a page in the festivities. His parents are so proud. They were very excited when their daughter Betty Ann was chosen as May Queen several years ago and now are equally happy to see Jack Jr. chosen as a page. The pages escort the May Queen and hold her train during the procession. Little Jack looks so cute in his page outfit. Neighbors and parishioners line the street of the parade route. They join in the songs and snap pictures as the kids go by. Betty makes a point of taking some pictures herself this year. It’s a wonderful tradition in the parish and is a way of welcoming Spring.

Jack May Procession1 05-1969
Jack Kavanagh Jr. as a Page in the St. Elizabeth’s May Procession. May 9, 1969.
Jack May Procession3 05-1969
The May Queen and Jack Kavanagh Jr. as her page in the St. Elizabeth’s May Procession. The Church’s Rectory is in the background. May 9, 1969.

May 15

Several 1 1/2” Steel pipes are curved for Jensen Manufacturing Co. The Shop has received several orders from Jensen this year for bent pipes and tubes. Jensen fabricates machines of various types and the equipment occasionally requires some bent parts. In addition, a very large railing that covers several sections of a large garden are rolled from brass tubes and Ed Kavanagh and a helper have started some small repairs at Calvert Distillery.

The Shop’s job book entry. Jensen Manufacturing Co. job. May 15, 1969.

June 7

Jack and the family head to a ball game on this Saturday with the Orioles hosting the Seattle Pilots. The games is a romp as the Birds win 10-0 behind the stellar pitching of right-hander Jim Palmer who throws a complete game shut out. The offense is led by Brooks Robinson who manages three hits including a triple. The Orioles’ cause was aided by two errors by the Pilots. Baltimore puts up four runs in the second inning and never looks back winning easily. This is a fun Saturday night for the Kavanagh’s and the other 13,000 so odd fans in attendance. The Birds are off to a very hot start at 39 wins and only 15 losses. They have established themselves in first place in the AL East and are playing very well.

June 23

Jack has begun bringing the workers in for half-day Saturdays as the summer work has picked up. Some repairs at Majestic Distillery, a railing and a repair to a coil at Schaefer Brewery has the boys working hard on a sunny and breezy Monday. Both of the Kavanagh brothers work on the Schaefer job with Jack supervising the fabrication and Ed leading the installation.

The Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer Brewery job. June 23, 1969.

July 20

On this Sunday night, the Kavanagh’s television along with millions around the country are tuned to watch the first astronauts land on the moon. The night gets later and later but just before 11 pm, two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step out of the lunar module and take those first steps on the moon. The family watches in amazement and the kids are happy it’s the summer and they are allowed to stay up late and watch. The youngest two, Jack and Joe are in bed but Jack and Betty’s daughters sit with them and view this “Giant Leap for mankind.” Suddenly, the world seems both bigger and smaller at the same time. The world of man now includes visiting our one natural satellite and men walking on its surface. The scope of mankind’s knowledge and his reach grows so much but at the same time, the great expanse that is space shows us how very small this planet is.

August 7

Jack has closed the Shop and given the workers three days off and he and Betty head to Ocean City for a well-earned vacation with their kids. Bumpsy and Shirley, Betty’s brother and sister-in-law along with their young son, Manuel are there too. The family split a house near the inlet together and stay from Thursday until Monday. They fish, they crab, they enjoy sun and fun at the beach and on the boardwalk. Each night, they take a walk along the boards and visit the arcades playing pinball, skeeball and the claw machines. It’s a great break for Jack and a memorable vacation for all.

Joe & Manuel OC2 1969
Joe Kavanagh and cousin Manuel Crew. Ocean City. August 1969.
Joe, Manuel, Aunt Shirely OC 1969
Joe Kavanagh and Aunt Shirley and cousin Manuel Crew. Ocean City. August 1969.

August 15

A massive music festival is held in upstate New York called Woodstock. Many of the biggest stars of today’s music world are present including Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Creedence Clearwater Revival. It changes Rock and Roll.

August 21

A very humid Thursday is made hotter at the Joseph Kavanagh Company as torches must be used for most of the day. The Koppers Co., a local fabrication ship, has ordered some copper loops made from 1” Tube. The torches are used to anneal or soften the copper in order to make it malleable. It’s a very straightforward job but one you would prefer to do in February.

The Shop’s job book entry. Koppers Company job. August 21, 1969.

September 2

The Kavanagh children are heading back to school except for the youngest Joe and Jane. Jane graduated from Catholic High in the spring and has taken a job in the engineering department at C & P Telephone. The three oldest girls are in college, Jackie is in Catholic High and JoAnn, Ann and Little Jack are attending St. Elizabeth’s Elementary School. Betty still checks on her father-in-law Eddie several times a day taking along Joe. Eddie is still refusing to consider hiring any sort of nurse care so she brings him breakfast and lunch, does the cleaning and the laundry and anything else he needs. Even with caring for Eddie, she does find her home much quieter and more peaceful. She takes advantage of it by spending more time with her baby boy, Joe. He is her youngest and for the first time, there is no baby to share time with, it’s her and Joe.

Joe Lakewood Ave. May 1969
Joe(GI) Kavanagh. 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. May 1969.

September 11

A coil is repaired for A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Sunset Hills, Virginia. it’s a small coil but is very precise and must be held to a close tolerance. It is bent in the Leonard Bender while a set of steel bars for Codd Fabrication are rolled in the rolling machine. They will be used for stiffeners in a boiler. The machine can pull it but struggles a little and Jack takes note of this but they do get both orders finished without too much trouble.

September 14

The Kavanagh’s drive out to Thirty-Third Street to watch a ballgame. The Orioles are facing the Cleveland Indians on a Sunday afternoon. The Birds have already clinched the newly formed AL Eastern Division with two weeks to play. The fans are very excited as they know a return to the postseason is guaranteed. Today, the Orioles win 7-3 despite starting a decidedly “B” team. Neither Brooks nor Frank Robinson starts and outfielder Don Buford plays third. Manager Earl Weaver is giving his regulars some rest in anticipation of the playoffs. Left-hander Mike Cuellar throws a complete game and wins his twenty-second game of the year. Hopes are high in Baltimore for another World Series title.

1969 American League Championship Program.

September 21

Jack and Bumpsy and Shirley attend the first Baltimore Colts game of the season at Memorial Stadium. When the club lost the Super Bowl in January, it was very deflating. They had played so well all year and it was a shock when the Jets defeated them. Hopes are high again for another good season but it starts off on a sour note as the Colts lose to the LA Rams 27-20. The Colts will have another good season and win 8 games but finish behind these Rams and Baltimore does not make the playoffs.

October 6

The Orioles are going back to the World Series after sweeping the Minnesota Twins with three wins in a row in the very first American League Championship Series. The Birds win the first two at home with the Kavanagh’s in attendance. Game two is a nail biter but Baltimore prevails 1-0. When the series moves to Minneapolis for game three, the Orioles crush the Twins 11-2. Birds’ fans and certainly Jack and his family are very excited and confident they can take the World Series.

Scorecard from 1969 ALCS Program. October 1969.

October 15

The October Moratorium against the War in Vietnam is held as protests and demonstrations occur in cities across the nation. The largest is in Boston with more than 100,000 people attending. Despite Nixon’s plan to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese, many do not believe it or do not believe it will work. They march, rally and demand US troops be withdrawn from Southeast Asia immediately.

1969 November Moratorium2
November Moratorium. Washington D.C. 1969.

October 16

The Orioles are considered a shoo in to win the World Series Championship this year as they face the New York Mets. The Birds are everyone’s pick to win but as happened in the Super Bowl this year, Baltimore loses to New York. The Mets win four out of five and take the series. It’s a shocking disappointing few days. If the Colts were expected to win in football, the Orioles were expected to cruise to baseball’s championship. It doesn’t happen that way because you have to play the games on the field. 1969 becomes a painful sports memory for Baltimore fans. Jack, Betty and five of their children attend games 1 and 2. They alternate which of the kids go so everyone gets a chance to see at least one game. The Birds win the first then lose four in a row. Jack is at work for the deciding game 5 but his son, Joe, fills in for him and sits with Eddie and watches from 434 N. Lakewood Avenue. Eddie feeds Joe sticks of Doublemint gum while he smokes a cigar. Eddie is mostly silent but he does give a few small pointers to his grandson about the game. It’s a tough series and it seems like nothing goes the Orioles way and perhaps it was fated to be as it was with the Jets and the Colts. There is no championship in Baltimore this year.

1969 World Series Program.
New York Mets’ Ron Swoboda signed baseball.

November 3

In response to the October Moratorium on the war, President Nixon speaks on national television appealing to the “Silent Majority” to support his plan in Vietnam. He believes if we can continue to fight, the US can find a way to get out of the war and also preserve South Vietnam. Before 1969, 34,000 Americans had died in Vietnam and another 10,000 since the implementation of the Nixon plan.

November 5

The jobs keep coming in and Jack’s crew are still working six days and that’s unusual for this late in the year. The crew are split between work for Seagrams Distillery and National Brewery. Ed Kavanagh is working on something on his own, a copper candy pan. It’s for the Southern Candy Company and reminds both he and his brother of the old days at the Shop. For years, generations really, their coppersmith work included confectionery kettles and cooking equipment. As far back as the original Joseph M. Kavanagh, the Kavanagh’s have worked for candy and ice cream companies. This is a small pan that needs to be shaped, brazed and tinned. It’s nothing fancy but it’s almost nostalgic for the Kavanagh brothers.

The Shop’s job book entry. Southern Candy Company job. November 5, 1969.

November 10

A few years ago, Jack wanted the Shop to buy its first metal rolling machine and it has more than paid for itself. He decides to buy a new machine, an angle roller. This machine can roll angle iron as well as bars, pipes and tubes depending on what tools you have. Curving angles into circles has always been a challenge with the old roller specifically keeping the angle straight or flat. This new machine has an attachment that serves the purpose of supporting the leg of the angle and keeping it as close as possible to 90 degrees. It’s a very new style of machine and is very new to the US. The machine is a Roundo from Sweden and Jack purchases it from the Continental Machinery and Equipment Co. or Comeq for short. Comeq is Roundo’s American distributor and the company is run by a gentleman named Irv Lazinsky. Jack and he are contemporaries and they hit it off from the start. The machine is called an R-5 as it is is able to roll angle up to 5” x 5” and it will be delivered in two months.

Continental Machincery & Equipment Co. label on owner’s manual for R-5. Purchased late 1969.
Roundo R-5. Picture taken November 2019.

November 15

500,000 protesters march on Washington DC against the War in Vietnam in what is called the November Moratorium. This is the culmination of last month’s nationwide protests. Betty Ann Kavanagh and many of her friends from Catholic University take part along with people from a variety of walks of life. They assemble and demonstrate in the nation’s capital demanding an end to the war and the peaceful return of American soldiers.

Betty 1969 November Moratorium
Betty Ann Kavanagh. Novemver Moratorium Washington D.C. 1969.

November 27

It is Thanksgiving on the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson and the house is full. The older girls are home from college and Eddie is there as well as Handy, Mary’s fiance. Handy seems to fit in well with the Kavanagh’s and Mary with his family. She flew to Columbus, Ohio and met them earlier in the year. Both families are happy for the couple and plans are being made for their wedding. Little Joe who is Mary’s godson will be ring bearer. He and Mary have a special bond and his involvement is important to Mary. Betty is excited to be planning a wedding but today is Thanksgiving which means her usual thirty pound turkey with all the trimmings including parsnips. There is ample food for everyone even a surprise guest. Betty and Jack’s second daughter met a young man from Pittsburgh at college. Jim O’Neill is his name and after hitching a ride with a friend, he shows up unannounced at 447 N. Lakewood.  He comes from a large family as well so the cacophony that is the Kavanagh household doesn’t faze him one bit. The first of the clan he encounters is Joe who is playing with some of his cars. Joe or GI as his older brother calls him looks up at this tall man as Nancy introduces him.

Joe’s eyes rise to meet the man who seems like a giant to him. Joe thinks he might hit his head on the ceiling. “Do you play cars?” The four year old boy asks.

Nancy grins and Mr. O’Neill says, “Yes, I do.”

“Will you play with me?” Joe’s brow furrows.

“Yes, I will.” He says and immediately sits down to play with the littlest Kavanagh on the floor in the front room. Joe is thrilled. His brother is playing a game with their sisters and he is too young for it. To play cars alone is fine but to have someone to share the excitement is much better.

After a round of Matchbox cars with Joe, Nancy introduces her beau to her parents. Jack and Betty are surprised he would come all the way to Baltimore to see Nancy for Thanksgiving but he is a polite young man and they take a liking to him. He has a good sense of humor and enjoys Betty’s turkey feast as does Mary’s young man, Handy. This further endears both of them with Jack and Betty. Not to mention, they are both Irish Catholics which helps. One or two more at the table never mattered to Betty. She had to make an outrageous amount of food anyway. A couple more hungry folks was of no concern to her. She had a way of making this holiday look easy even when feeding twenty or more people.

December 18

The busy year at the Joseph Kavanagh Company is ending on a strong note. A set of fountain sprayer tubes, a copper liner for a boiler and six copper pressure heads are finished today. The pressure heads are standard parts they make for Bethlehem Steel. The Shop has received a few different orders from the mill but these heads are recurring. The Kavanagh’s make these two or three times a year. A set of 4” Pipes are rolled for Codd Fabricators as well. Codd is one of their oldest customers. They are located about five minutes away on Aliceanna Street.

The Shop’s job book entry. Bethlehem Steel job. December 18, 1969.

December 25

It’s Christmas Day and the Kavanagh’s are celebrating in full force. The front room is filled with a tree and many mounds of gifts for all the children. The kids open their stockings then eat a quick breakfast. A few moments later, they are all off to St. Elizabeth’s Church for mass. When they return home, the waiting game begins for the kiddos. The family must all assemble including Jack’s father, Eddie, then they will all eat a leisurely dinner around noon. When it’s done, the group heads into the front room and presents are distributed. It’s what the young ones have waited for all day. It’s a wonderful holiday for the family and they sing carols to add to the celebration. At the end of the day, when the kids are all asleep, Jack and Betty hold each other close and think they made it through another holiday and it was great. They have nine kids to share the love that has grown between them. They can hardly believe that four of their girls are in college already and growing up. What they don’t realize is that by this time next year not one but two of those daughters will be married. Their family and their lives seem destined to continually get bigger and bigger. They love each other on this Christmas night as they did that first time they saw each other over twenty years ago. The couple have so much happiness which has grown from the love that started as a young girl meeting this fresh-out-of-the-Navy fellow. Jack and Betty can hardly believe it some days. Things are going well for the Kavanagh family and the Shop too. Jack’s foray into rolling and bending has been successful and the business is busy and doing well. The only regret for this year was the failure of both local teams to win a championship despite being the odds on favorites to do so. It has been a very good year overall but a rueful one for sports but there’s always next year.



Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. Protests grow against the War in Vietnam. Nixon’s plan called Vietnamization gradually begins transferring American troops back to the US and replacing them with South Vietnamese. By the end of the year, the US is in secret peace negotiations with North Vietnam. The Chicago Eight trial begins. Meetings are held between the US and the Soviet Union to work on the SALT treaty to limit strategic nuclear arms. The Stonewall Riots in NY occur and are the first modern protests in support of gay rights. The Manson Family commits seven murders over two days in California. The first Gap and the first Wendy’s open. The films “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “True Grit,” and “Easy Rider” are released. The first Trans Am is sold. The Brady Bunch, H.R. Pufnstuf and Sesame Street premier on television. Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jennifer Aniston, Peter Dinklage and Ken Griffey Jr. are born. Magic Sam, Jack Kerouac, Judy Garland, Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rocky Marciano die.


There are 50 states in the Union.

American Flag on the Moon
Moon Landing. July 1969. Ploto courtesy of NASA.

To read past years, click on the Table of Contents link below:

Table of Contents







1968 Grief and Rage

January 2

A new year begins at the Joseph Kavanagh Company with the Shop fairly busy. Jack and his crew of eight men bend and roll metal and make replacement parts and do repairs for breweries and distilleries in Maryland and the surrounding area. Jack lives with his wife Betty on Lakewood Avenue with their nine children. Two are home from college for the holidays, Betty Ann who is studying in DC at Catholic University and Nancy who is attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The other five girls are in school, Mary and Jane at Catholic High and Jackie, JoAnn and Ann at St. Elizabeth’s Elementary School. Their mother Betty is at home with the two youngest, sons Jack Jr. and Joe and she also takes care of her father-in-law Eddie who lives across the street. Eddie is 74 years old and has emphysema and needs a lot of help. Betty cleans and cooks for him and one of the girls spends a couple of hours with him every night keeping him company. It’s a busy life and a busy house at the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson.

Joe Jack Ocean city
Joe (GI) and Jack Jr. Kavanagh. Ocean City. 1968.

February 24

The Shop’s crew are spread over three jobs on this chilly winter day. A set of steel tubes are being curved into rings, some boiler parts are made and an order is completed for Bethlehem Steel. The steel mill needed eight copper pressure heads which were made from copper sheet that was purchased from the Brass & Copper Company, one of the Kavanagh’s primary vendors. The pressure heads are similar to those used on distilling equipment and are parts the Kavanagh’s have been making for years. Bethlehem will use the heads to control water tank pressure at the mill.

The Shop’s job book entry. Bethlehem Steel job. February 24, 1968.

February 27

Tonight on the evening news, Walter Cronkite delivers a report on the war in Vietnam and his personal assessment of it. He believes it is a stalemate. Jack Kavanagh is watching at home and is beginning to agree. He is a veteran and a patriotic man. He has watched the news and supported the Vietnam War effort led by President Johnson. There has been much talk of the war going well and body count numbers favoring the US 10 or 12-1 but there seems to be no real progress and no end in sight. When respected newsman Cronkite infers this conflict may be unwinnable, he persuades a few people who are weary of the war and its ongoing casualties. Jack has had discussions with his older daughters whose friends are being drafted about the validity and necessity of this war and their arguments are sound.  Jack sees less and less reason to continue this fight and loss of life.

March 16

Bobby Kennedy enters the Democratic Presidential Race. Kennedy is a strong advocate for civil rights and wishes to continue the legacy of his brother John F. Kennedy. Jack and his family are supporters. He respects Kennedy and hopes he can secure the nomination as the incumbent Johnson may be tough to beat.

March 29

The work has slowed a little as Spring has arrived. This happens sometimes. A busier winter can lead to a quieter spring. Jack has the men working on some stock parts. He has John Benser, his machinist, making a few steel flanges. They use these as sealing headers for a variety of tanks for distilling, brewing and boilers. Jack isn’t worried about the work. It will pick up certainly. This is the time to take advantage of the chance to make stock parts and clean and organize the Shop.

The Shop’s job book entry. Stock steel flanges. March 29, 1968.

March 31

President Johnson announces on national television that he will not seek re-election. Jack hopes this bodes well for Bobby Kennedy’s campaign. He sees the protests and believes this country needs a way to come together and heal. Getting out of the war in Southeast Asia would be a good start and Kennedy plans to do that.

April 4

Dr. Martin Luther King is in Memphis, Tennessee on this Thursday in support of striking black sanitation workers. In the evening, he is standing on a second floor balcony at the Lorraine Motel where he is staying and a rifle shot rings out. Dr. King is struck in the face and goes down. The bullet breaks his cheek and turns down, severing the jugular vein. The renowned clergyman and civil rights leader is rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis where he dies an hour later. A known criminal and white supremacist James Earl Ray is spotted at the scene and his fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. A nationwide search for Ray begins. The news of Dr. King’s assassination quickly spreads over radio and television. Another young leader shot down in the prime of his life. Another young man who brought hope to so many,  and that hope is silenced in a flash. Shock gives way to grief then anger and soon rage.

April 5

Riots break out in major cities including Baltimore and DC. The collective rage and frustration in urban communities erupts in violence. Jack listens to the radio at the Shop and begins to worry about his crew getting home safely. He closes the place for the day in the late morning and sends his men on their way. It’s a Friday anyway and the end of the week. He drives away from the Shop very aware of the rioting and looting going on in parts of the City and he keeps the radio on during the short ride to Lakewood Avenue. In DC, the city is burning as the rioting spreads. Betty Ann Kavanagh shares an off campus apartment with several other students from Catholic University. She tries to no avail to make a phone call to her parents to tell them she is okay. There is only one telephone for all the students and she can not get a long distance line. She has a friend who is a student in the seminary, Handy Brandenburg, call Jack and Betty to assure them she is fine. Betty Ann’s parents do not know Handy Brandenburg but daughters Mary and Jane met him at a St. Patrick’s Day party thrown by their older sister. Mary particularly remembers Handy fondly and Jack and Betty do appreciate him calling them. Betty and her fellow students’ apartment is close enough to see the fires burning. A fraternity is sent to the apartment building to guard the predominantly female student residents.  DC is in chaos with the looting, fires and destruction only getting worse. A molotov cocktail is thrown against their building but it causes no damage. It is a night of not-sleeping and coffee drinking for Betty and her friends.

April 6

As the unrest continues at colleges and in cities across the nation, campuses cancel classes. They will close a few days early for the scheduled Spring break. Nancy and Betty Ann must both come home. Nancy is flying home from Duquesne and Jack is picking up Betty Ann at Catholic University. Betty has a few friends who can’t get home including her roommate Michaeleen O’Neill. The airport is closed and they are more or less stranded. Mom says bring them with you. So Jack in the Plymouth station wagon drives Betty Ann and seven friends from DC to Baltimore. A very large amount of spaghetti is made and Betty gives thought to the sleeping arrangements.  Jack Jr. and Joe will sleep on the first floor with the college boys and all the girls will be upstairs spread over two bedrooms. The bathroom will be complicated but no more than any family party. Jack has thought for sometime he should put in a basement bathroom. He thinks that again.

April 7

When the sun begins to sneak through the blinds of the windows on the Jefferson Street side of the Kavanagh house, Jack Jr. and Joe begin to wake. Betty is up already seeming to have not slept at all,  but that was often the case. She is filling bowls with Cheerios and passing them out to Little Jack, Joe and the young college men. They each get their cereal and milk while Joe prefers his cereal dry and has a cup of orange juice. Joe is allowed to eat and drink sitting on the floor which he normally cannot do. The girls begin working their way down as the television is turned on and Joe puts the channel on Bugs Bunny, one of his personal favorites. The room quickly fills with people, yawning, stretching, eating cereal or toast and watching cartoons. The not quite three year old Joe thinks these grown-ups are all right. They like Cheerios and cartoons just like he does. Later in the morning, one of the young men, Bill Cox, picks up Nancy at the airport and Jack and Betty are relieved. All their kids are home safe and sound along with these few guests. There are eighteen people living at 447 N. Lakewood Avenue now. To get a brief respite from the crowd, Jack walks with his boys, Jack Jr. and Joe to Ellwood Park to show them the National Guard camp. The boys marvel at the soldiers and the tanks looking at it from a boy’s view. It was real life army men camped so close to home,  the seriousness of what was happening escaping the youths. The City is under Marshall Law with a curfew. The Kavanagh’s and their seven guests must stay indoors in the evenings. Much of the night is spent watching cities aflame across the US on TV. After days of protests, riots and violence, there are many calls for peace and calm. The fires begin to die down and the reality has set in for the nation.

Joe OC beach 1968
Joe (GI) Kavanagh. Oceant City. 1968.

April 8

Jack re-opens the Shop at Pratt and Central and they get back to work but not quite work as usual. On Lakewood Avenue, Betty needs to get all these young people out of the house so she takes them onto the sidewalk and teaches them Hopscotch. She has a mob of college kids and her daughters all along the Jefferson Street side of their house flipping heels and playing along. They jump rope out there as well after a disastrous attempt at it inside which prompted Betty to think the floor was going to fall in. It was as if the house needed a break. The place was always full with nine kids but with extended stay guests it is packed. In the evenings between watching the news, they play board games and jacks with the younger kids. The second dining room table and the card/kids table is placed next to the dining room table for each meal. These are reserved for holidays though when all nine kids are home, they do use the kids table. With Eddie eating with them, it is nineteen for dinner and the largest ham that Betty could find barely feeds them all. Eddie is more than dubious of these college kids his son and daughter-in-law have taken in but as he was silent and somber most of the time, it had little noticeable effect on his demeanor. Betty, a mother of nine, knows a lot about stretching a dollar and food but this group is testing her skills. She goes through bags of potatoes every other day and is stocking up green beans frantically. Two boxes of Cheerios and Frosted Flakes are consumed each day along with two gallons of milk. Betty and several of the older daughters make daily trips to the market and emergency trips across the street to Coby’s corner store are common.

April 10

It’s Opening Day for the Orioles on this Wednesday. Baltimore is still reeling from the rioting and chaos of the last few days and baseball seems less important. Still the start of the baseball season brings a small sense of normalcy to the city and the country. Jack takes his girls, Mary, Jane Jackie, JoAnn and Ann to the ballgame. Betty and the boys stay home this year with Betty’s friends who are finally making plans to return to their homes now that the airport is open. Jack and his daughters see a close game. The Birds prevail 3-1 and the crowd loves it. Winning the home opener is always special for fans.  For at least one day, you are in first pace. Baltimore’s favorite player Brooks Robinson hits one out and the lone Oakland run is also scored on a homer. This one is hit by a young outfielder named Reggie Jackson.

Baltimore Orioles souvenir glass. Late 1960s.

April 11

The last of Betty’s friends catch their planes and head to their homes. Things suddenly go back to normal at Lakewood Avenue or some semblance of normal. The house seems strangely empty with just the Kavanagh family of eleven living there. Betty Ann’s friend Handy visits Lakewood Avenue a few times over the rest of the year as he and Betty Ann’s younger sister Mary begin dating.

Mary Kavanagh. Lakewood Avenue. Mid 1960s.

May 17

A group of Roman Catholic protesters who will eventually be called the Catonsville Nine,  enter the Catonsville MD Selective Service office and steal draft cards to protest the Vietnam War. One clerk is restrained while 378 draft cards are removed. They are burned in the parking lot using home made napalm. The Nine recite the Lord’s Prayer while the cards burn and they are arrested immediately when police arrive. Both local and national news cover the story extensively and it is the talk of Maryland. The group included several former and current clergy members and their actions inspire other similar protests across the nation.

June 5

Bobby Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel after winning the California Primary. He is shot three times, twice in the back and once in the head. Several others are wounded as well and a Jordanian national named Serhan Serhan is arrested on site. Kennedy is rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital and as the news spreads, the country prays for him and that certainly includes the Kavanagh’s.

June 6

Bobby Kennedy dies from his wounds and America is filled with grief again as another leader is struck down. After Dr. King’s death and now Kennedy’s, the nation begins to wonder where will it all end. The Kavanagh family is stunned as they were fast becoming strong supporters of Kennedy. Jack had been a great admirer of his older brother and Bobby was looked on in a similar light. Once again, the Kavanagh’s and most Americans gather around their television and watch as they mourn. Two murders of prominent young men who advocated for civil rights and for peace shock this country and a mix of deep sadness, anger and fear spread across the US. The days that follow bring doubt and uncertainty about the country’s future to Americans from coast to coast. As happened several months ago and in 1963, America buries a young leader and prays this never happens again and that the country can come together and heal.

Bobby Kennedy. Phot courtesy of Getty Images.

June 8

James Earl Ray is arrested in London at Heathrow Airport. He will be returned to the US to stand trial.

June 24

The summer has been busy at the Shop and they are working six days a week including half-days on Saturday. Jack’s crew has a mix of tubes to bend and a few repairs and parts to make for Schaefer Brewery. Today a custom brass bracket is made for a syrup line on the kettle floor of the brewery. This is only one part in a mix of items they have been contracted to make over the next two months for Schaefer. The brewers are good customers and Jack makes sure to keep ahead of the repairs they need and keep them happy.

The Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer Brewery job. June 24, 1968.

July 11

The Orioles have decided to make a change at manager. With the team scuffling a bit and hovering around a .500 record, Hank Bauer is fired and replaced by his first base coach, Earl Weaver. Weaver is a career minor league ballplayer but has had some success as a manager in the farm system. He wins his first game as Orioles manager. 2-0. Dave McNally pitches a complete game shutout and makes it easy for Weaver who with this victory begins an extended period of success as leader of the Baltimore Orioles.

Earl Weaver 1968
Manager Earl Weaver. 1968.

July 23

A long job is finished today for the Jewett Corporation. They need some thin wall 2 1/4” dia. Aluminum Tubes bent to 90 degrees on a 36” Rad. They also require some short couplings for these tubes. Jewett furnishes all the material so it is a labor only job. The tubes must be annealed then filled with rosin before rolling. Afterward, they must be hung up with chains and the rosin is slowly melted out with torches.  It’s a long dirty job and a hot one especially in July but they make money on it and it’s the sort of tube bending work they specialize in.

The Shop’s job book entry. Jewett Corporation job. July 23, 1968.

July 26

The Shop completes a coil for Allied Chemical Co. Allied produces industrial chemicals but some distilling is required. The coil is made from 1 1/2” Schedule 10 Stainless Steel Pipes. As far as pipe sizes go, Schedule 40 is standard and lower schedules are thinner so extra care must be taken when bending it. The pipes don’t require filling but still must be rolled very slowly to maintain the roundness. Jack makes a layout for the coil for the crew to match. The coil is of the serpentine variety with several 180 degree bends in each piece. The pipes are bent on the Pines Bender and they turn out great. Joe Flaxcomb does the bending and they fit perfectly on Jack’s layout.

The Shop’s job book entry. Allied Chemical Corporation job. July 26, 1968.

August 5

Jack has decided to close for two days and give the crew off with pay for a summer vacation. His father thinks it is crazy but Jack reminds him that Eddie himself was the first one to take a paid vacation at the Shop. Jack wants the same for himself and can’t close the Shop and leave his men hanging. He would rather pay them and let them have a long summer weekend. Jack and Betty have made plans to spend these days at the beach in Ocean City. The decision to close even for a few days makes Jack and his workers very busy before this break. Today two coils are finished for Tower Mechanical company. Jack does the bulk of the work on this one. He is doing all he can to get as much finished as possible so he doesn’t worry too much while he’s at the beach.

The Shop’sjob book entry. The Shop’s job book entry. August 5, 1968.
Dad Jack Ocean City July 1968
Jack Kavanagh Sr. in Ocean City. 1968.

August 8

On this Thursday, Jack and Betty pack the station wagon with luggage, coolers, food and the youngest seven of their nine kids;  daughters Betty Ann and Nancy are preparing to return to college. They leave at 5 AM and head East driving across the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A couple of hours later they are unpacking and moving in to the Beachcomber. It’s a small house they have rented with two floors, a kitchen and bath. It’s very basic but perfect for the Kavanagh’s and the kids love it. They are close to the beach and spend part of each day in the sand and water. There will be fishing and crabbing and the boardwalk with amusements and arcades to visit. They will stay for four days and it is the longest vacation they have ever had. Jack has visited OC since he was a boy and his love of the town has spread to his wife and now his children. They leave Monday morning and Jack will stop at the Shop when they get to Baltimore. The crew will be back at work after a long weekend and Jack will check over what’s going on before taking his wife and kids home. The family has so much fun that he and Betty decide to do this every year. They will find a way to do it. The sounds of the surf, the smell of the sea and the feel of sand becomes a major part of what summer is all about to the family.

Kav, Joe & Mom 1968 OC
Joe (GI) Kavanagh and his mother Betty. Ocean City. 1968.

August 22

The Democratic National Convention is held in Chicago and it becomes a mess quickly. Anti-War demonstrators protest outside and clash with police. Mayhem breaks out with arrests and injuries. Jack is a Democrat and is keenly interested in the choice they make but is also shocked at the events  going on outside the convention. The party nominates Hubert Humphrey as their presidential candidate.

September 15

Jack and his in-laws Bumpsy and Shirley Crew attend the Baltimore Colts opening game. The Colts face the San Francisco 49ers and win 27-10. It’s a great start to what will be another great season for the club though they will have to do it without star quarterback Johnny Unitas who was injured in preseason. Backup quarterback Earl Morrall will lead the team to an amazing 13-1 record for the regular season.

September 16

A perforated copper basket is made by Jack today at the Shop on Central Avenue. He handles this job himself as the rest of the crew are busy with more brewery parts for Schaefer and a large railing is being fabricated from brass tube. This basket is definitely old school coppersmith work. It reminds Jack of his days of working for his father when the vast bulk of their work was items like this made from copper. Usually they were for the many distilleries they had as customers in those days. They still do that work but some of the customers are out of business or have moved west. They still have Majestic, Calvert, Bowman and a couple other distilleries as customers. On this job, the Charles T. King Company is making a few structural repairs to Calvert’s building and they need this basket to finish the project.

The Shop’s job book entry. Charles T. King Co. job. September 16, 1968.

September 24

Jack and Betty watch a new magazine type news program on Sunday night. It’s called 60 Minutes and is aired on CBS. A group of stories of contemporary relevant events are presented along with interviews with the associated persons. They enjoy the show and become regular viewers as do much of America.

October 1

Majestic Distillery has an order at 201 S. Central for two stainless steel filters. The filters are cut from 3” Dia. Tube and fabricated for the bottling house at the distillery. They are cut nine inches long and mesh sheet and bar is welded inside to complete the filters. The Shop still has work but the cool weather has brought a down tick in the volume so Jack has returned them to a five day schedule.

The Shop’s job book entry. Majestic Distillery job. October 1, 1968.

October 9

The Catonsville Nine are convicted of destroying government property. The trial is in Baltimore and there are large crowds protesting outside the courthouse on Calvert Street. It is a big story on the local news and the judge and prosecutor do their best to focus on the specific charges and avoid the underlying position of protesting the Vietnam War. They are sentenced to a combined total of about 18 years in prison.

October 10

The Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games to win the World Series. The Tigers are runaway winners in the American League though the Orioles did play better under Manager Weaver, the Birds were a distant second. The Tigers are led by ace pitcher Denny McLain who wins 31 games becoming the first man to eclipse 30 victories in a season since 1934. He will also be the last to do so. The Cardinals’ top player is also a pitcher, Bob Gibson who sets a modern E. R. A. record of 1.12 this season. Both of these hurlers will go on to win both the MVP and the Cy Young Award for their respective leagues. St. Louis stakes themselves to a 3-1 lead in the series but Detroit storms back and wins the next three to secure the championship. Jack and his father Eddie watch games 3 and 4 together on Saturday and Sunday. It has always been their tradition to watch a couple of World Series games at Eddie’s house. They enjoy this match up and it’s an exciting one from start to finish. While they are watching the games, Jack brings up the decision of Major League Baseball to split each league into divisions starting next year.

“Pop? What do you think about the leagues splitting into two divisions next year. There will be a round of playoff before the Series from now on.” Jack inquires of his father.

“I don’t like it, Jack. It waters down the season to me. They play 162 games now. That should be more than enough to decide who’s best.” Eddie answers as his gaze remains fixed on the television.

Jack nods his head. “I can see that but with the leagues expanding again and getting bigger, it gets tougher and tougher to get that top spot. There will be twelve teams in each league next year. I’m not sure this playoff thing is a good idea but it will add more baseball to be watched.”

Eddie sits back and puffs on his cigar. “True. That will be fun to watch but what if the fourth or fifth best team wins one division and then the Word Series. You want a team that bad to win the championship? It seems a little crazy to me.”

“Yeah, but that probably won’t happen too often. We’ve seen years where due to injuries and even bad luck the best teams don’t make it to the Series. I bet most years it will be the best that make it to the playoffs. They still have to win their division.”

Eddie shrugs and flicks his ash into the ashtray on the table next to him. “You might be right. I still think it’s a bad idea but it will add more games to watch.” He looks over at his son. “We’ll have to watch some of these playoff games on TV each year.”

“We will, Pop. For sure. It’ll be fun.” He smiles briefly then adds, “I wish you would stop smoking Pop. It’s not good for you and it only makes it tougher for you to breathe.”

“It’s a cigar. It’s way better than a cigarette. I’ll be alright besides I enjoy a cigar still, Jack. I can’t help what I like.” Eddie answers, his attention back on the game.

“Okay okay.” Jack answers quietly. “Think about cutting down anyway. It’s what the doctor wants.”

“I know. I know.” Eddie points his stogie at Jack as he speaks. “I’ll try.” The room goes silent and they return to watching the television,  hanging on every pitch and hit.

November 5

Republican and former Vice-President Richard Nixon defeats Democrat Hubert Humphrey and Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace to win the presidency. The Kavanagh’s voted for Humphrey because they were life long Democrats and Jack is still an active member of the party. He served in the House of Delegates in the 50s and was supported and aided by his party. Still, he hopes that President Nixon can find a way to unite the country.

December 16

Another order is completed for Schaefer Brewery today as a dozen bronze sleeves are made for them. Much of this job is done by John Benser. He takes some smooth cuts on the lathe and converts the 2” bearing bronze into the sleeves they need. The bronze must be machined precisely to ensure a very tight sealing fit for these pieces. The rest of the crew are focused on a large fountain sprayer tube. The copper tube is annealed and rolled into a circle. This time the customer will drill the holes so it is merely a rolling job but still precision is important and maintaining the roundness of the tube is also critical.

The Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer Brewery job. December 16, 1968.

December 22

The Colts host the Western Conference Championship game at Memorial Stadium. They play against the Minnesota Vikings and win 24-14. The crowd and Baltimore in general is mad crazy for the team. Even led by back up Earl Morrall, they continue to win and will take the NFL Championship next Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, routing them 34-0. The Baltimore Colts will represent the NFL in the Super Bowl in January when they face the New York Jets, champions of the AFL who are led by a young quarterback named Joe Namath.

Dad Jack Xmas 447 N Lakewood
Santa Claus(Jack Kavanagh Sr.) in the front room of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. Late 1960s.

December 25

The kids wake bright and early on Christmas Day at Lakewood Avenue. Wiping sleep from their eyes, they head down the stairs and are not allowed to look to the left over the banister and into the front room. That is where the Christmas Tree is and the gifts are. They sneak a quick peak then look right and see stockings are stuffed and there are eleven spread over and down the staircase. He made it. Santa Claus came. The kids are allowed to pull their stockings down and quickly examine the contents. There are small toys, super balls and candy. It’s a small teaser of the presents to come but a very exciting time for the little ones. Once everyone is dressed and ready, the family heads out the back door and Jack drives them all to St. Elizabeth’s Church for Christmas mass. The Church is always decorated for the holiday with several large trees and wreaths and garland adorning the walls. After the service, they return home and eat a quick breakfast then the three youngest, Ann, Jack and Joe sit with their father and watch “The March of the Wooden Soldiers,” a holiday classic starring Laurel and Hardy. Once the last of the guests arrive, Betty’s Aunt Elsie and Uncle Frank and Eddie of course, the dinner is served. A thirty pound turkey is made and eaten along with gravy, potatoes, stuffing and vegetables including the Kavanagh staple, parsnips. Finally, the kids are on the verge of bursting and all head into the front room and it is time for presents. The room is dominated by a large Christmas Tree but it is surrounded by piles and mounds of wrapped presents of every size and shape. There are gifts everywhere. Under the tree, behind the tree and on every flat surface available including much of the floor. As they are handed out, wrappers are torn and shredded, ribbons are tossed about and the mad glee of a child’s Christmas fills the room. It is a chaos of a much different variety than the chaos that has hit Baltimore and the country this year. It’s a joyful elation not the anger and frustration fueled chaos that dominated 1968. Two great men have been murdered, two young men in whom many had placed their faith and hope for the future. Their ideas were of peace and justice. Their deaths represented the end of those ideas to many. Americans grieved and cried then screamed and fought, desperate to find some justice for them and for their ideas. The nation is torn in pieces with the job of bringing it all together falling to the new president. It is a tall order. For this day though, Jack and Betty watch their kids celebrate the holiday and watch their eyes widen when they find some treasure they wanted. From their two college girls all the way down to little Joe, each child has a good Christmas. They seem to get exactly what they wanted even if that’s not exactly what happened. Jack and Betty sit together and watch for a few minutes taking it all in. Then, Betty hops up. She has another turkey in the oven. A smaller one that they use for turkey sandwiches. Everyone needs leftovers during the holidays but there are so many Kavanagh’s, they need to make extra food or there will be no leftovers. For the Kavanagh’s and America, a tough year ends next week and a new one will begin full of concern for the nation and uncertainty.


Lyndon Johnson is the President of the United Sates but will gave way to Richard Nixon who wins the General Election. The Vietnam Way gets worse and worse with more and more protests against it and no end in sight. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 is passed. 911 service begins. Madison Square Garden opens. The Intel Corporation is founded. Hair premiers on Broadway. The films “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Planet of the Apes” and “Oliver!” are released and singer Marvin Gaye’s “Heard it through the Grape Vine” becomes a smash hit. Will Smith, Tony Hawk, Gary Coleman, Ricki Lake and Mary Lou Retton are born. Helen Keller, Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

Martin Luther King
Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King. Photo courtesy of Gettty Images.

To read previous posts, click on the Table of Contents link below:

Table of Contents


1967 The Last Christmas Party

January 3

Jack Kavanagh is driving home from work and going over his day in his mind. The Shop is busy to start the year which isn’t always the case. The winter is often a slow time for a metalsmith shop. Jack runs the Joseph Kavanagh Company; he’s the fourth generation to work there. He is married to Betty and they have nine children, ranging from eighteen years to eighteen months. Jack has a crew of eight men including his brother Ed Jr. who works for him. Ed has no ownership stake. The business never interested him and he had trouble getting along with his father Eddie Sr. Jack and Ed’s father lives across the street from both on Lakewood Avenue, the house they both grew up in. The two brothers each have houses on the corners of the 400 block of Lakewood, Jack at Lakewood and Jefferson and Ed at Lakewood and Orleans St. Eddie is retired and his wife has passed almost seven years ago. His health is not good. He suffers with emphysema but manages well enough. Betty takes care of him, making several trips across the street every day and Eddie has dinner with her, Jack and the children every night. As Jack turns onto Baltimore Street and drives along the edge of Patterson Park, he hears the news on the radio that Jack Ruby has died. Ruby had been diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago and his prognosis was not good. He passed away at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, the same hospital where both President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald died. Jack shakes his head as he listens. He has this gnawing feeling that we may never know exactly what happened on that November Day. The Warren Commission’s conclusion that both Oswald and Ruby acted alone never really held water for Jack. He had doubts like a great many Americans. Jack admired Kennedy and felt this connection to him. What a sad tragic death his was and to never know the truth is an injustice. Jack parks on the Jefferson Street side of his home and climbs the marble steps into the house. He’ll talk to Betty about it after the kids are asleep.

January 9

Along with a mix of brewery fittings being made today, a job for Bethlehem Steel is completed at the Shop. The mill needs four copper funnels to be fabricated. These will be used in a smaller facility of Beth Steel’s on Key Highway. Making copper funnels is standard stuff for the Kavanagh’s. Jack is very happy with the start to this year. Everyone is being kept busy and they have jobs and money coming in regularly.

The Shop’s job book entry. Bethlehem Steel job. January 9, 1967.

January 15

Super Bowl One is played between the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers and the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs with the Packers winning easily 35-10. Jack watches and roots for the Packers. Before Baltimore had a team and the Colts joined the NFL, Jack was always a Packers fan. This game isn’t close and Green Bay takes Super Bowl I easily.

February 10

An emergency rush job is brought to the Joseph Kavanagh Company by E. J. Codd Fabricators & Boiler Works. A municipal building has a bad boiler and it must be fixed ASAP. Codd is located close to Pratt & Central, on Aliceanna Street. They deliver some steel bars and angles to be used as stiffeners for the tank. In addition, a copper liner is needed for the boiler and that will be made from thin sheet. Jack gets the crew on this right away. Several boys are led by his brother Ed in annealing and curving the sheet. Jack takes the rest of the fellows and gets to cutting the steel and rolling the stiffeners. It’s two days worth of work and they get it finished in six hours. The heat of the torches warms up 201 S. Central and the hard work and heightened pace doesn’t hurt either. Codd is a good customer who the Shop has worked with for decades. They are good pay and great to deal with and Jack always does his best to get their work done as quickly and accurately as possible. He wants them coming back anytime they need something.

As Codd’s truck pulls away, Jack and Ed stand at the garage door and lower it. “That was a son of a gun to finish in less than a day.” Jack says to his brother.

“Yeah it was. Hard to believe we got that one out of here the same day it came in. It was a good day to have a torch in hand.” Ed chuckles and Jack grins back at him, “but getting those sheets right for the liner that quick was a toughie. We needed Old Uncle Joe on this one.” Both have heard tales told by their father since they were boys of the skills of the original Joseph Michael Kavanagh.

Jack’s smile broadens, “Oh yeah, he probably could have had it done in FOUR hours.” Jack laughs, “According to Eddie anyway.”

Ed nods, “Yeah Pop always said Uncle Joe was the best. They all learned from him but no one, including Eddie,” Ed winks at his brother, “was nearly as good as him.”

“That’s what we were told.” Jack replies shaking his head. “But Pop was good for sure. I guess our old uncle was just about the best.” Ed listens and nods in agreement. “Well, put those leftover pieces of sheet back on the rack Ed, before we get out of here today. It’s almost time but we might as well clean up the mess of this job.”

“You got it Jack. Me and Wortman will put them back up.” Ed answers and finds his helper to get back to work.

March 20

Spring is nearly here and the Kavanagh’s and crew are looking forward to the baseball season. The Orioles are the defending World Series Champions and everyone can’t wait to see that banner raised at Memorial Stadium. The work has stayed strong and in addition to a railing and some distillery parts being made today, a set of stainless steel flat bars are rolled for E. A. Kaestner on Orleans Street. Kaestner makes sanitary equipment for the food service industry. The bars need to be rolled to a 72” Radius the Hardway. The Hardway refers to which surface of the bars you are rolling across. If it’s the bigger face of the bar, that is the Hardway. Rolling across the smaller face of the bar is the Easyway. After Charlie Owens makes a template, Jack and a helper curve these bars right up.

The Shop’s job book entry. E. A. Kaestner Co. job. March 20, 1967.

April 10

Jack is having a very busy day on the corner of Pratt and Central. A fountain and more distillery work dominates the Shop but they also have a small tinning job for Bossalina Machine Co. Jack is mostly busy today because he is leaving early tomorrow to attend opening day with his girls. Anytime Jack has to be out of the Shop for an extended period of time, a great deal of planning and preparation goes into it. His secretary Julie is very helpful and will handle any phone calls and take messages. The Shop is trickier as they do not have a foreman. Jack is essentially the foreman and boss combined. His brother, Ed is there but he’s never been one to like telling people what to do or being in charge. He’s a topnotch coppersmith and prefers to focus on that. Jack will have to plan out the few hours he will be gone tomorrow. He’ll prepare several extra job cards in case the crew gets more finished than anticipated. It’s a frantic day for Jack but he is determined to get to that game tomorrow.

The Shop’s job book entry. Bossalina Machine Co. job. April 10, 1967.

April 11

Orioles Opening Day is on a Tuesday and the Kavanagh’s are there. Jack leaves work early and picks up the girls and they head to Memorial Stadium. The pennant from last year’s World Series championship is raised before nearly 40,000 strong. The Birds start off hot In the bottom of the first. They score four runs before the first out. Curt Blefary is hit by a pitch. He’s doubled home by Luis Aparicio who is singled in by Frank Robinson. Brooks caps it off by knocking one out and the Orioles are up 4-0. They win 6-3 and it’s a great way to celebrate last year’s success and start off this one well.

Joe (GI) Kavanagh. April 1967.

May 4

Last year, the Joseph Kavanagh Company saw a significant uptick in their brewery work and it has continued thus far. A steady stream of fittings, couplings and other parts have been made this year for National, Gunther’s and Schaefer Breweries. It’s Carling Brewing’s turn today. They have ordered several bronze elbows all with associated fittings to go along with them. Brass work is something the Kavanagh’s have done for many years. Even Old Uncle Joe did brass work despite copper being his focus and primary product. This job is finished and the parts are delivered to Carling as quickly as possible.

The Shop’s job book entry. Carling Brewing Co. May 4, 1967.

May 26

Jack and Betty are proud parents of the graduate, Nancy Kavanagh who finishes her years at Catholic High. She plans to go to college and decides to attend Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. This is tough for her Mom and Dad for her to not only move onto campus but to another state but they trust her and she has worked hard to get this opportunity. In August, she will head to Duquesne.

Nancy TCHS grad 1967 BettyAnn, Dad
Nancy Kavanagh’s graduation from Catholic High. Pictured with her father, Jack and her sister, Betty. May 1967.

May 29

An emergency repair at Schaefer Brewery is handled today by  Jack’s crew. A line is leaking and they need this fixed immediately. A call is made to Jack and he quickly gets together a plan of what needs to be done and sends off Charlie Owens and his helper, Wortman to solder the holes closed and fix the leak. Charlie is their most reliable employee and a skilled coppersmith. Jack trusts him a great deal and he occasionally helps around Jack’s house besides working for him at the Shop.

The Shop’s job book entry. F & M Schaefer Brewing Co. job. May 29, 1967.

June 19

The Kavanagh’s spend a Monday evening at Memorial Stadium watching a doubleheader between the Orioles and the Minnesota Twins. Jack takes his youngest five girls to this one leaving his young boys home as it’s two games and may go late. The two older girls, Betty Ann and Nancy are still fans but both are college girls now and have other things they are interested in besides baseball. The Twins win the first game, 4-0, and the Birds take the second winning 9-5. The Orioles stake themselves to a 6-0 lead by the fourth inning and never look back. Jack and his daughters have a great night cheering on those Birds but he decides to leave in the eighth inning. Ann is still only six and he wants to get her home plus he has work tomorrow so it’s best to sneak out a little early. The Orioles have struggled a little this season after their fabulous championship year of 1966. They are still just under a .500 record due to injuries and some bad playing. Jack hopes they can pick it up the rest of the way.

Ticket Stub for Doubleheader at Memorial Stadium. Twins vs. Orioles. June 19, 1967.
Joe 1967 yard
Joe (GI) Kavanagh. Backyard of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. June 1967.

June 30

The summer has brought an increase in work and that’s enough to get Jack to bring the boys in on Saturdays for a half-day. The crew welcomes it because it means a little more money each week. Today, another rush repair is needed at Schaefer Brewery. This time several holes need to be cut in a wall to allow the brewery to move a beer line. This is not something the Shop would normally tackle but they have been working at Schaefer’s a lot over the last month or so and when the request is made, Jack takes the job. He has Charlie Owens and a helper ride over there and cut two holes in the cellar of the brewery. Jack knows if you keep doing work fast for a customer and you are willing to try to fix any problems they have, they will grow to rely on you and count on you. This is always a good thing in business.

Jack Jr. and Joe (GI) Kavanagh in backyard of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. June 1967.
Jack Jr. and Joe (GI) Kavanagh. Backyard of 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. June 1967.

July 7

Several serpentine coils are bent today for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. They are made from 1 1/4” Copper tubes. The tubes are annealed and bent to 180 degrees. There are several bends in each piece and they turn back and forth to create the coil that is needed. These are for heating the BG&E building so in July, no rush is necessary. These are a standard maintenance item that the gas company wants dealt with before the cold comes back in a few months.

The Shop’s job book entry. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. July 7, 1967.

July 11

The Shop at 201 S. Central is a hot and busy place on this Tuesday. A set of pipes is rolled for  for J. E. Hurley and several 3/4” Pipes are bent for Western Electric. The pipe and tube bending work does seem to keep augmenting their traditional coppersmith jobs. Jack knew all along that there were many applications for bending but even he is surprised with some of the calls they get. Hurley has been a customer for a few years but Western Electric is a new one. They are a big company and Jack is particularly happy to do some work for them. It might be a one time thing but you never know. They might turn into a regular customer with returning work throughout the year.

The Shop’s job book entry. Western Electric Co. job. July 11, 1967.

August 4

A hot summer day is a busy one for the Kavanagh’s and crew. Jack and his brother are working on a set of copper spray tubes for a fountain while the rest of the crew bend some rings for the Slaysman Company and make some bronze fittings again for Schaefer Brewery. Heat is thrown around to anneal the copper sprayer tubes and that just adds to the discomfort of an August day on Central Avenue. They are accustomed to it but it is still hot no matter how used to it you are.

The Shop’s job book entry. Schaefer’s Brewing Co. job. August 4, 1967.

September 11

It’s a warm autumn Monday and after a hard day’s work, Jack sits in his chair watching TV with the kids and Betty. They watch “the Andy Griffith Show” then “Family Affair” from 9-10. Jack is a big Andy Griffith fan while the girls especially the younger three, Jackie, JoAnn and Ann are fans of “Family Affair.” They love Buffy’s doll Mrs. Beasley. When Betty gets the girls to sleep, she and Jack decide to watch a new program at 10 pm. “The Carol Burnett Show” is a comedy/variety program and this is its premier episode. Jim Nabors is the guest for this week and there are show tunes sung and a few comical skits. Jack laughs throughout loving Burnett and Harvey Korman’s humor on display. Both he and Betty love the music too and this show becomes one of their favorites very quickly.

Jack & Betty dressed up Lakewood Ave
Jack and Betty Kavanagh. Dressed up for a rare night out. Mid 1960s.

September 17

The first Colts game of the season is played today at Memorial Stadium and Jack and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bumpsy and Shirley Crew are there. The crowd is wild and loud as they always are. They see a close one but Baltimore pulls it out, beating the Atlanta Falcons 38-31. Later in the evening, the Kavanagh’s are watching the Ed Sullivan Show and a new rock and roll band called the Doors are performing. Jack pays little attention to it but his teenage daughters are watching the band. The lead singer named Jim Morrison says the word “higher” in their song, “Light My Fire”, and the show’s producers had explicitly asked him  to change that word. He said he would but live he sings it out loud and proud. The Doors are banned from appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show henceforth.

Jack Jr. with Aunt Shirley Crew behind and his mother Betty Kavanagh behind on far right. Bucknell Road. 1967.

October 12

The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series in seven games. Red Sox outfielder, Carl Yaztrzemski is Boston’s top player after winning the Triple Crown. Just as Frank Robinson did last year, Yaz led the American League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. Orlando Cepeda who will win the National League MVP is the leader of the Cardinals this year. Jack watches games three and four with his father at 434 N. Lakewood Avenue as they have for years. Jack takes advantage of the weekend World Series games to watch with Eddie. It’s a back and forth series but St. Louis prevails after very strong pitching from Bob Gibson who wins the MVP of the Series. It was a tough year for the Orioles who dropped deep into the standings after winning only 76 games. They had some injuries, no doubt, but mostly they took a step down and did not play very well. Jack was disappointed but after winning it all last year, he can’t complain. There’s always next year.

Joe (GI) Kavanagh. Bumpsy and Shirley Crew’s backyard on Bucknell Road. October 1967.

November 15

The Shop’s work has slacked off a bit and they are back to just five days a week. It’s traditional to do more Saturday work in the summer when the jobs are more plentiful. On this     Wednesday, the crew are busy with a railing, some copper U-bends for Harvey A. Stambaugh & Sons and a set of 3/4” steel pipe coils for Stieff Silverware Company. Jack and three others handle the Stieff job with Jack doing the rolling and the bending of some sharp bends on the end of each coil. The bends at the end will be for the inlet and the outlet of each coil.

The Shop’s job book entry. Stieff Silverware Co. November 15, 1967.

November 29

Robert McNamara resigns as LBJ’s Secretary of Defense. He had recommended freezing troop levels in Vietnam but was rebuffed by President Johnson.

December 1

A job for Culp Welding is completed today. It’s a set of 30” Dia. Rings made from Aluminum Pipes. Aluminum is unpredictable and it can be a challenge to get each ring to match but Jack rolls these himself and he knows they will be fine. He has the most experience on the rolling machine and Jack’s tolerance is always tighter than the customer needs. The rings turn out well. They are crated and delivered to Culp.

The Shop’s job book entry. Culp Welding Company job. December 1, 1967.

December 14

Jack and most of Baltimore are watching the Colts take on the Los Angeles Rams on the road in the final game of the season. Baltimore leads the division and are undefeated with 11 wins and two ties. They are one victory up on the Rams and if LA is victorious today, they slip into a tie with the Colts. The Rams have the tie breaker and they do win 34-10. Despite tying for the lead in the standings, Baltimore’s football team does not make the postseason. Jack can’t believe it. They don’t make the playoffs and only lost one game but it was the most important game of the season.

December 23

The Shop’s Christmas Party is held on a Saturday the day before Christmas Eve. The crew will have a long weekend having both Monday and Tuesday off. Jack will close the Shop Tuesday to give everyone an extra day of holiday. The workers are thrilled and appreciative. His men do like and respect Jack. He’s fair and treats his employees well. For the last several years, Charlie Owens or Mr. Chollie as the girls called him takes up a collection from the crew and brings a few dollars to Betty to purchase a Christmas present for Jack. He is always surprised and thanks them. It is given to him during the party but he would prefer if they spent their money on their families. Jack belongs to the Sheet Metal Workers Union. When he was in the House of Delegates, he was a strong supporter of the working man and his management style is similar. He believes in his crew and treats them as well as he can. The party is brief but festive and as the boys leave with bonuses and turkeys in tow, everyone is wished “Merry Christmas.” Jack drives a couple of his employees home. Both have had a little too much beer or rye whiskey but they are not downright sloshed. He drops the first off downtown where his sister lives and the other is driven to a bus stop. He lives over near Wilkens Avenue and this saves him one bus ride on his route home. Jack waves goodbye as the fellow sits on the bench with his arm wrapped around the turkey. Jack finally can drive home and spend the evening with his kids and he’ll still have all day Christmas Eve with them too.

December 24

At 8 am the phone rings on Lakewood Avenue and Jack answers it. It’s a call from an employee’s wife asking about the Christmas turkey. This is the employee who was dropped off at the bus stop last night. Her husband didn’t bring it home with him and his wife is frantic for a turkey on Christmas Eve. Jack is befuddled. He had it on the bus stop. She says he never brought a turkey in the house. She checked the freezer, the fridge and all over the house. It’s not there. Jack assures her the Shop did not cut out turkeys this year and her husband got one. Jack can’t help that it didn’t make it home. She isn’t exactly satisfied but she wishes him a merry Christmas and hangs up. Jack shakes his head and he decides then and there to cease these Christmas parties. The men probably want to be with their families anyway. Jack certainly does. He can’t get the thought of this out of his mind and keeps visualizing a bus pulling up to a stop with a turkey sitting on a bench in the middle of the night. He can’t help but wonder. Did the bus stop?



Lyndon Johnson is the President of the United States. American troops in Vietnam rise to nearly 500,000 and protests against the War spread from one college campus to another then to major cities in the US. The 25th Amendment is ratified. The Six-Day War is fought in the Middle East. Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is formed. Jimi Hendrix’s album, “Are You Experienced?” is released. The Big Mac is invented. The movie “Jungle Book” is released in theaters. The Outsiders and the first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine are published. Elvis gets married. Curt Kobain, Julia Roberts, Toni Braxton, Michael Johnson and Harry Connick Jr. are born. Robert Oppenheimer, John Coltrane, Carl Sandberg, Woody Guthrie and Otis Redding die.


There are 50 states in the Union.

Santa AKA Jack Kavanagh Sr. visits 447 N. Lakewood Avenue. Late 1960s.\

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