1998 Fatherhood

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. 1998.

January 8

Another year has begun at the Joseph Kavanagh Company. Kavanagh’s and crew return to Central Avenue and get back to our duties. I enjoyed my first holiday with my son but all good things must come to an end. We had jobs on the books for our return and more have come in this week. Year 133 starts with work for a couple of our regulars, Anchor Fence and Stambaugh & Sons and several other local fabrication shops.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. January 7, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Amereihn Company job. January 8, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Amereihn Company job. January 8, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stambaugh and Sons job. January 8, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. G.L. Dunn job. January 8, 1998.

January 20

It’s a cold Tuesday on the corner of Pratt and Central. The crew are busy working on a mix of small jobs including orders for A.J. Sackett and J.C. Pardo. I have finally adjusted to the absence of sleep that comes with having a baby. Some days I know I am awake but in my heart, I’m napping.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. A.J. Sackett job. January 20, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. January 20, 1998.

January 25

The Denver Broncos defeat the defending champion Green Bay Packers 31-24 to win the Super Bowl. I watch the game with my son in my arms and explain the superiority of baseball to football to my Joe. I  tell him that we have an NFL team now in the Ravens, so our interest has increased. Joe smiles up at me quietly but I don’t think he’s really listening.

Joe Kavanagh Jr. Ocean City, MD. Summer 1998.

February 4

It’s Hump Day at the Shop and a cold one to boot. I’m fortunate to be sitting at my desk in the office where there is some heat. I step outside and I’m in the cold zone like Mr. Freeze from Batman. I quickly put some delivery tickets on the clipboard in the Shop before heading back to my desk. The tickets are for jobs completed for Atlas Machine, Whiting Metals and a partial order for Tinker Machining.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Atlas Machine job. February 2, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. February 3, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Tinker Machining job. February 3, 1998.

February 7

The Winter Olympics begin in Nagano, Japan tonight. Kim and I are very excited. My wife has become a hockey fan and she handles the overdose of baseball that is being married to me,  but the Olympics is something she genuinely enjoys. We begin a tradition of watching lots and lots of Olympic events every time the games are held.

February 24

I am standing outside the front door of the Shop watching the snow. A thin layer has already covered the sidewalk but the good news is it won’t amount to much more than that. Snow is always a concern because it can affect everyone’s commute as well as customer pickups. Fortunately, it’s no real issue today. The crew are less distracted by the snow than I am and jobs are handled like any other day including some set pieces for Center Stage. We do a job or two for them every year. Just like the movie and TV stuff, it’s more interesting than most of our jobs and something fun to mention to folks.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Center Stage job. February 23, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. February 24, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fabricators job. February 24, 1998.

March 6

It’s the end of another week at the Shop and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my boy. I love every second with him and I think I smile more than I ever have before. The crew complete orders for R & R Fab and Belsinger Sign then start another for Metropolitan Steel. I’m sure they are anxious to get home too but the day drags a bit for all of us.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. R and R Fabricators job. March 6, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belsinger Sign job. March 6, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Metropolitan Steel job. March 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Metropolitan Steel job. March 9, 1998.

March 26

Baseball season is almost upon us and I cannot wait. Opening Day is next week and after such a good year in 1997, I’m hoping for more of the same. One big change for the Orioles is a new manager. Davey Johnson resigned after last season. Rumors of some falling out between him and ownership abound but I don’t really know. The Birds promoted Pitching Coach Ray Miller to skipper and I think he’ll do well. We knock out a few jobs this week for our usual local fab shops and one for a long distance customer, Machine Shop of Murfreesboro in NC. We also finish some work for the John Gutierrez Studio. John is a sculptor primarily but also a true metalsmith. He’s the sort of fellow I liked as soon as I met him. One day he walked into my office in an army jacket to discuss a job all the while eating Goetze’s caramels from Ann’s candy jar. Yes, you could say I liked him from the start.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Machine Shop of Murfreesboro job. March 26, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Zuckerman and Sons job. March 26, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Denol Precision job. February 24, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Contracting job. March 25, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fabricators job. March 26, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fabricators job. March 26, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. John Gutierrez Studio job. March 25, 1998.

March 31

It’s the Orioles’ Opening Day and like every year, Baltimore is excited. Hope springs eternal for fans and players alike. The game was postponed yesterday due to rain but it’s “Play ball” today. I rush home from work to watch with my boy. Unfortunately, the Birds lose to the Kansas City Royals 4-1. It’s disappointing but in baseball, there is always tomorrow and they will win big tomorrow 10-1.

1998 Baltimore Orioles Team Photo.

April 8

Spring has sprung but it’s still chilly on Central Avenue. This morning’s coffee break is devoted to baseball talk. The Birds have won six in a row and they seem to be on a roll. It’s early but it’s a fine start. After the boys have had their coffee and the chat is done, it’s back to work for all of us. The crew are finishing a sign job for Gable Signs and Graphics today along with a few other small jobs.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Gable Signs job. April 6, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. K and K Design job. April 6, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fabricators job. April 7, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Maxatrax Systems April 8, 1998.

April 22

The Shop has stayed steady if not busy through the cold months to start the year and today we do some work for Material Handling Systems, Belfort Instruments and a sign job for Belsinger Sign. Besides the enthusiasm for the beginning of the baseball season, we are also amped about the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Washington Capitals take on the Boston Bruins in the first round and win Game 1 by a final of 3-1.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. MHS, Inc. job. April 21, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belfort Instruments job. April 21, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belfort Instruments job. April 22, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belsinger Sign job. April 22, 1998.

May 3

It’s a sunny May Sunday and a good day for local sports. The Birds shut out the Minnesota Twins 2-0 and Caps win Game 6 in overtime to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Caps have been bounced from the playoffs so often in the first round, it’s a thrill to see them move on. We have been waiting for a long deep run through the playoffs for a long time especially my brother Jack.

Joe Kavanagh Sr. and Jr. February 1998.

May 7

Washington’s opponent in the second round is the Ottawa Senators and tonight the Caps start things off right by winning 4-2.

May 11

A dreary drizzly Monday welcomes us back from the weekend. Jobs for Industrial Fabricators, Baltimore Marine Industries, Atlantic Welders and DOVCO are rolled then picked up. The rain deflates everyone’s mood a bit except for Jack who is excited for tonight’s hockey game. The Caps are up two games to none and he hopes for a short victorious series.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Industrial Fabricators job. May 11, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Industrial Fabricators job. May 11, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Baltimore Marine Industries job. May 11, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Atlantic Welders job. May 11, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Dovco job. May 11, 1998.

May 15

It’s a sports-filled Friday night for me. Holding my Joe, I flip all night between the Birds and the Caps. The Orioles lose to the Rays but more importantly, the Capitals advance to the Eastern Conference Finals by beating the Senators 3-0. They take the series in 5 games and it’s not very close with Washington outscoring Ottawa 18-7 overall.

Joe Kavanagh Jr. Charlesmont Road. Christmas 1998.

May 23

I’m enjoying another night of sports. This being a Saturday night and the Eastern Conference Finals begin with the Caps taking on the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo takes Game 1 in a shutout 2-0. I’m also watching the Orioles who snap a nine game losing streak by beating the Oakland A’s 9-1. The long string of losses is a hit to the Birds season and they drop back into the pack.

May 27

With the weather warming, the volume of work increases. It’s usually like this. Spring, summer and fall are our busiest times. The workers bend some pieces for a sculpture for Hess Industries and assorted jobs for our local contractors, welders, etc. It’s a busy week but everyone is looking forward to a day off on Monday to commemorate Memorial Day.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Hess Industries job. May 26, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. May 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Contracting job. May 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. May 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Fabricating and Welding job. May 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. AS and L Contracting job. May 27, 1998.

June 4

I’m watching the Caps take on the Buffalo Sabres in game 6 with my boy in my lap. Tomorrow is Friday so my mind is also on work. I have to make some tickets first thing for Pangborn Corporation, J. C. Pardo and R & S Machine Company. The R & S job is actually for Northrop Grumman. Even I know they are a pretty big outfit. I focus on the game and I am not disappointed. We win in overtime and the Washington Capitals are advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history. I am thrilled and I can not wait to see my brother tomorrow. Jack is the ultimate Caps fan and he must be on the moon.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Pangborn Corporation job. June 4, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. June 4, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. R and S Machine job. June 4, 1998.

June 9

Jack, Ann and I spend a large part of today talking about the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals for the Caps. It’s been a long time coming. The team will face the Detroit Red Wings who are favored but we are very excited. Jack can barely contain himself. In the Shop, we roll some square tubes for Metal Fabricators that are for a Pottery Barn. This is one of the rare occasions when we know where the finished product goes.

1998 Stanley Cup Finals. Detroit Red Wings vs. Washington Capitals.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Metal Fabrications job. June 12, 1998.

June 12

It’s a warm but rainy Friday at Central Avenue. Kavanagh’s and crew are looking forward to the weekend. It’s been a busy summer so far and today we finish some more work for John at Gutierrez Studios and a few other regulars. So far, the Caps lost both games in Detroit but we are hopeful for better results when the series heads to DC.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. John Gutierrez Studio job. June 16, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. June 12, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Fabritek job. June 12, 1998.

June 17

I turn 33 and it’s my first birthday as a Dad. I wake up with a smile on my face despite what happened last night. The Washington Capitals were swept out of the Stanley Cup Finals by the Detroit Red Wings. It’s a rueful night for the team and its fans. It’s tough to lose but to be swept hurts even more. It would have been nice to win one game at least but that’s not how it went. Jack is a little sullen but he’s pleased with the team’s performance this year and is already looking forward to next. They only have one more step to go and that is to win it all. The day is a busy one with quite a few jobs ready for pick up and one to ship, a set of pipes for the Whiting Metals Company. We do these several times a year. I’m looking forward to spending my birthday watching the Birds take on the Yankees. The Orioles have seriously dropped off the pace and need to gain some ground. We won the first two games of this match up in New York. Winning tonight would help but sadly, we lose and stay mired in fourth place now. I think to myself, the Birds need to get hot and stay hot.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Metropolitan Steel job. June 17, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Pressure Tech job. June 17, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. June 17, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Antenna Research job. June 17, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. GSM Industries job. June 17, 1998.

June 23

It’s a hot summer day made hotter by annealing some copper tubes to be bent for Stambaugh and Sons. The crew are also rolling other items including some parts for eagle cages for a fellow named Mike McGrady. These are to protect, tag and observe the eagles. It’s another of those odd jobs we do which makes our work a little more interesting.  The Birds lose to the Mets tonight; unbeknownst to me, it starts another lengthy losing streak. This one will be eight games.

Invoice. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Mike McGrady job. June 23, 1998.
Eagle cages sketch.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stambaugh and Sons job. June 22, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. June 22, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. June 22, 1998.

July 2

Independence Day is on a Saturday this year so we take the Friday off to observe the holiday. We wrap things up as early as possible at the Shop. We are able to leave at 2 PM and head home for our long weekend. The Orioles finally break their losing streak by beating the Marlins 5-3. Palmeiro homers and Eric Davis singles and scores a run. He starts a streak of his own. 

July 4

Independence Day is celebrated at Woodall Street. Joe is the star of the show as my in-laws and assorted other cousins of Kim’s stop by. There is the usual barbecue fare and other food to enjoy. Anthony and Linda’s yard is a great place to watch the Inner Harbor fireworks and visitors sometimes stop in just to see the large display the City puts on every year. For Joe’s part, he seems to enjoy the bright lights and colors but the booms not so much.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. 1998.

July 8

Today is a bit brutal at the Joseph Kavanagh Company. We have a set of 4” Square tubes we rolled for Sigma Industries. They needed to be filled before rolling and now they need to be melted out. Two snapper torches are lit and waved repeatedly along the tube to melt the hardened rosin inside. Once it starts to melt, it begins sliding out in black chunks. It’s the sort of thing that heats up the entire Shop. The men working on it are sweltering but everybody pays the price especially in July. A few other jobs are attended to including one of the recurring orders for Turnbull Enterprises. After work I watch the Birds beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2. They start yet another streak.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Sigma Industries job. July 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Contracting job. July 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Contracting job. July 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Blair Welding job. July 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Turnbull Enterprises job. July 8, 1998.

July 18

Today is a Saturday and I have made it a habit to let Kim sleep in as late as she wants on these days. I wake up with Joe and give him some breakfast. He and I spend the morning watching cartoons and playing on the floor. He’s not quite one year old so he often watches me play with the blocks and cars but does smile and seem to enjoy it. He doesn’t seem as interested in picking the toys up to play with but that’s okay. We have fun and he is still just a babe. In the evening, I watch the Orioles lose to the Angels 8-3. This ends a nine game winning streaks. This season has been one of many ups and downs and both winning and losing streaks. Despite their last hot streak, the club is still four games under .500 and mired in fourth place. I remain hopeful but we need to keep streaking in the win column and eliminate those runs of losses. 

Joe Kavanagh Sr. and Jr. Charlesmont Road. 1998.

July 24

With August approaching, the Shop and all its employees are looking forward to our annual summer vacation. As is always the case, we have a lot of work to get out of our building before we can take our break. Among the variety of jobs we are working on is one for the television show “Homicide.” We’ve bent a few items for the show and I always get a kick out of this sort of thing. This time it’s a set of aluminum pipes for a railing on set. Nothing fancy but it’s cool to be involved in these productions.

Invoice. Joseph Kavanagh Company. HOMICIDE job. July 24, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Baltimore Steel Erectors job. July 22, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. R and R Fabrication job. July 23, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. July 23, 1998.

August 7

Vacation begins at the end of the day and everyone is guilty of a little clock watching. We ship a set of tubes to Ross Industries via UPS then the crew wait patiently for U.S. Gypsum and Blair Welding to pick up. Once those trucks are gone, so are we.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ross Industries job. August 7, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. U.S. Gypsum job. August 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Blair Welding job. August 6, 1998.

August 16

Kim, Joe and I spend a quiet Sunday together before I must return to work tomorrow. I watch the Birds beat the Indians and another streak ends. This time it’s a personal one. Eric Davis goes 0 for 3 after hitting safely in 30 games in a row. It’s a new Orioles record if you ignore the old NL Orioles who had Wee Willie Keeler who hit in 45 straight. Davis batted .400 during the streak and the team is finally a few games over .500. They have moved up to third place but are way behind the Yanks who are running away with the division. We sit seven games back of the Red Sox for the Wild Card. We have time to catch up but not a lot.

Joe Kavanagh Jr. Charlesmont Road. Christmas 1998.

August 17

We are back to work after a much-needed vacation. We start new jobs for A.J. Sackett, Anchor Fence and U.S. Gypsum. No one is enthused to be back but the grumbling is kept to a minimum. That includes me.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. A.J. Sackett job. August 18, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. A.J. Sackett job. August 18. 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. August 18. 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. U.S. Gypsum job. August 18. 1998.

August 27

The Shop has received a job for Playworld Systems. They are a large company that specializes in playground equipment. When they contacted me, we had a long discussion of our capabilities. This is our first order from them and I am hopeful this may lead to regular consistent work. I learned from my father never put too much faith in a job until you’ve got it but I can’t help but hope this leads to regular orders. In addition to Playworld Systems, we make some sculptural pieces for Sam Holmes Studio, a sample pipe for Whiting-Turner and a set of copper u-bends for Stambaugh and Sons. After work, I watch the Birds lose to Cleveland 4-1 and that’s four more losses in a row.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Playworld Systems job. August 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Sam Holmes Studio job. August 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting-Turner job. August 27, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stambaugh and Sons job. August 27, 1998.

September 6

Things are not going well for the Orioles. We snapped a ten game losing streak two days ago but we are running out of games. Our playoff chances do not look good. On the flips side, the Ravens begin their season in the newly opened M & T Bank Stadium. Unlike Orioles Park where we rolled tons, we don’t get a great deal of work out of this one. I did find out after the fact some of our sign work earlier ended up at M & T but I have no idea who rolled the steel. It was probably some one from out of MD. That’s okay. You can’t win them all and the Ravens prove that by losing to the Steelers 20- 13. The team will go 6- 10 this year which isn’t great but it’s an improvement over last season.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. 1998.

September 9

Summer is essentially over and it was a busy one. The Shop still has plenty of work but the volume slows a bit. It’s a seasonal thing. During the morning coffee break, the discussion is primarily about Cardinals First Baseman Mark McGwire. He hit his 62nd home run last night thus breaking Roger Maris’ single season record. That record has stood for my entire life and it’s impressive. I have seen him play when he was in the American League with the A’s. He’s the kind of hitter if he walks twice and hits a solo home run, you feel like you got him.

Mark McGwire breaks the single season home run record. The Baltimore Sun. September 8, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Turnbull Enterprises job. September 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Kelco job. September 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. September 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. September 9, 1998.

September 15

We’ve received another order for Playworld Systems and it is completed today. This one is a much bigger quantity and I’m happy to see it. I’m hoping they become regular with recurring parts to make. Those are good customers to have and they help keep the flow of work moving. Between loading Playworld’s truck and a common carrier shipment for Riggins Company to Hampton, VA, this is very much a truck day.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Playworld Systems job. September 15, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Riggins Company job. September 14, 1998.

September 20

It’s a Sunday night and the Orioles are hosting the Yankees and the game is telecast nationally on ESPN. The Birds’ season is basically over. The last ten game losing streak put a nail in their coffin. What makes this game significant is, Cal Ripken has requested to be out of the lineup. He’s not playing in tonight’s game. Ryan Minor starts at third base and famously asks manager Ray Miller, “does Cal know?” Fans in Baltimore and all over baseball are stunned. Cal made no sign of taking a day off until he decided today. He’s saluted on the field by fans, teammates and opponents. They lose to the Yanks 5-4. The Streak ends.

Cal Ripken Jr. Ends the Streak. The Baltimore Sun. September 27, 1998.
Cal Ripken Jr. Ends the Streak. Baseball Weekly. September 1998.

September 21

The talk of the Shop is Cal ending the Streak. No one saw it coming and the whole thing is rehashed over and over. How it started, the near miss injuries including a broken nose while taking the All-Star team photo, Cal’s career and most of all, how he ended it. He always carried himself with dignity, respect and humility to the game. Fancy words but as someone who loves this game, Cal epitomized these things. Besides talking baseball, jobs are completed for Anchor Fence and Lenderking Metal Products.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. September 21, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Lenderking Metal Products job. September 22, 1998.

October 3

It’s a Saturday and though Joe’s first birthday was yesterday, the party is today. Both sides of our family are there and Joe is the star. He seems much more interested in the wrapping paper than some of his new toys but he certainly enjoys the cake. I can’t believe it’s been a year. He’s growing every day but no signs of walking yet. It’s early for that anyway. Meanwhile, the Orioles’ season is done. They finish 35 games back of the Yankees in the East and 13 games back of Boston for the Wild Card. The Yanks finish with a staggering 114 wins on the year. It was a disappointing finish but that’s baseball. There’s always next year.

Jack Kavanagh Sr. and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Kim Kavanagh. Joe’s First Birthday Party. October 3, 1998.
Jack Kavanagh Sr. and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Joe’s First Birthday Party. October 3, 1998.
Betty Kavanagh and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Also pictured Ed Kavanagh, Nancy O”Neill and Betty Kavanagh(younger). Joe’s First Birthday Party. October 3, 1998.
Betty and Joe Kavanagh Jr. also pictured, Ed Kavanagh, Handy Brandenburg, Nancy O”Neill, Betty Kavanagh(younger), Jim O”Neill. Joe’s First Birthday Party, October 3, 1998.
Betty Kavanagh, Ed Kavanagh and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Joe’s First Birthday Party. October 3, 1998.
Lisa Bosse and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Tim Heaps. Joe’s First Birthday Party. October 3, 1998.

October 5

We’re back to work on a chilly Monday and we finish another big order for Playworld Systems. I have a good feeling about this new customer. They have definitely helped keep us rolling this year. A few other jobs are knocked out as well. Work does help fight off the chill and make the day go faster.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Playworld Systems job. October 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Diversified Machining job. October 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Industrial Fabricators job. October 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. October 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Thrifty Iron Works job. October 5, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. October 5, 1998.

October 10

The Washington Capitals season starts and they host the Anaheim Mighty Ducks winning 1-0. Ann, Jack and I are very optimistic about the team. We made it all the way to the finals last year and we hope to return.

October 20

The Shop has a job to finish for a movie called “Runaway Bride.” They called a couple days ago and, of course, it’s a rush. It is being filmed in Berlin, MD and stars Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. They need some polished brass tube rolled for part of the set. There is a scene in a fancy store and they want shiny brass for it. They pick up and pay. I make a point of telling my parents about it. They live so close to Berlin. I’m sure they will be interested. Besides this pick up, Dave Hess comes by for some sculptural pieces along with a couple of our other regulars.

Order for “Runaway Bride” job. October 11, 1998.
Invoice. Joseph Kavanagh Company. “Runaway Bride” job. October 20, 1998.
Sketch for “Runaway Bride” job.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Hess Industries job. October 19, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. October 20, 1998.

October 21

The Yankees sweep the San Diego Padres in the World Series. New York was a juggernaut this year. They rolled through the American League East then the playoffs and finally to the championship. I might not like it but the Yanks were incredible this year.

Joe Kavanagh Jr. Charlesmont Road. Christmas 1998.

November 12

I sit at my desk in the office at Central Avenue. I’m writing up a bunch of delivery tickets but my mind is on Thanksgiving. It’s two weeks from today and it’s my favorite holiday. I love turkey and this year I’ll be watching parades with my son. He’s one year old, but I still think he’ll enjoy the balloons and such. I finish the tickets and take them out to the Shop then return to my desk and my turkey thoughts.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. November 12, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Baltimore Steel Erectors job. November 12, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. U.S. Aluminate Company job. November 12, 1998.

November 26

It is Thanksgiving and we celebrate on Woodall Street, my in-laws home. Their house is across the street from one of my customers, Stambaugh so I was familiar with the neighborhood when Kim and I started dating. I sit with my Joe and we watch floats, giant balloons and marching bands go by. Joe is sort of non-plussed about it but I enjoy it. The food is abundant and delicious. Anthony and Linda lay out a great spread. There is turkey with all the trimmings including parsnips for me. I make a point to tell them some day, Joe will probably be in on the parsnips too. He’s a Kavanagh.

Joe Kavanagh Jr. Woodall Street. 1998.

November 27

Kim, Joe and I are visiting my parents in Ocean City. We left this morning after the holiday with the DalFonzo’s and now we are with my folks. Mom and Dad are happy to see us and Mom quickly scoops Joe from Kim’s arms. Mom always loves to hold the baby whoever the baby may be. She’s sitting in her chair and Dad is stationed on the piano bench leaning over, tickling and smiling at the baby. We are chatting about Joe, the Shop and baseball when the subject of “Runaway Bride” comes up. My parents did, in fact, go to Berlin during the filming but they couldn’t get very close to the set. They had lunch and watched from a distance.

“They had the streets all blocked off. It was kind of a pain but it was good for Berlin. I guess.” says my father. “We did get lunch anyway.”

“We did and we could see the cameras and other equipment set up outside but they wouldn’t let you get too close.” Mom adds as she grins down at Joe in her arms.

“It’s too bad you couldn’t get any closer but it’s probably rules they have, Mom.” Kim replies. “It’s still  must have been fun to be able to see some of it.”

Mom perks up. “Oh, we did see Richard Gere walk by. He is very handsome.” She beams at Kim and me.

Suddenly Dad straightens up and blurts out. “He had great hair. Didn’t he, Betty?” I wink and nod at Kim and she puts her head down to hide some soft chuckles.

“Ooooh he did indeed.” Mom shakes her head and the corners of her mouth curl up and she too suppresses a laugh. There’s a certain amusing random quality that my father’s comments sometimes have. The room grows quiet but for the baby’s coos and laughs.

Dad reaches over to Joe and pinches his cheek. “Boozie gitzie.” He has said this to every Kavanagh baby and none of us know quite what it means. Kim and I grin at each other and I shake my head. That’s my Dad for you. We have a great weekend. Mom and Dad love the time with Joe and we drive home on Sunday.

“Runaway Bride” Film Poster.
Betty Kavanagh and Joe Kavanagh Jr. Ocean City, MD. Summer 1998.

November 30

The Kavanagh’s and our workers return to the corner of Central and Pratt from Thanksgiving. We are all ready for the last rush to the end of the year. Another job for John at Gutierrez is rolled and one for Wamo Welding.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. John Gutierrez Studio job. November 30, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Wamo Welding job. November 30, 1998.

December 9

We have about two weeks left in the year to work and the Shop is full of things to do. Today several orders are picked up and more started. I’m a little distracted. First thing in the morning I looked at the calendar and realize yesterday was my work anniversary. The date I started at the Shop is December 8, 1979. Next year will be twenty years for me. It’s hard to believe.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. December 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. December 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Washington Stair job. December 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. The Constellation Foundation job. December 9, 1998.

December 23

It’s our final day of work before we escape for the year. Everyone is in a festive mood and looking forward to the holiday. Wilton Corporation, ABC Welding, Dundalk Ornamental Iron Works and Canam Steel pick up and we are done.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Wilton Corporation job. December 21, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. ABC Welding job. December 21, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Dundalk Ornamental Iron job. December 9, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Dundalk Ornamental Iron Works job. December 22, 1998.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Canam Steel job. December 22, 1998.

December 25

It’s Christmas on Woodall Street for us and I couldn’t be happier. Joe is again the star of the day. Presents galore and family making over him all day. Kim’s grandmother and her brother join us and Linda and Anthony. There is lots of food, Christmas music and movies to be watched. Joe seems to have a good time but he’s not talking yet. It’s still early for that and everyone tells us the first child is the slowest to talk and walk. It’s normal. I look forward to a week off. A break from work is needed but we did have a good year. It was aided by the Playworld work. I hope they become another customer we can rely on for regular orders. We’ll see. I will enjoy my week’s respite with Kim and Joe. We’ll have some great family time. I love my Saturdays with Joe and this will be like a full week of that. I’m really starting to like this fatherhood thing. I’m a rookie but I’m learning fast and I think I’m pretty good at it. That being said I have an unfair advantage. I learned from the best.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Christmas 1998.
Joe Kavanagh Jr. and Santa Claus. Christmas 1998.
Joe Kavanagh Sr. and Jr. 7859 Charlesmont Road. Christmas 1998.
Joe Kavanagh Sr. and “Frosty.” Charlesmont Road. Christmas 1998.
Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Woodall Street. Christmas 1998.

Bill Clinton is the President of the United States. A tryst with intern Monica Lewinsky leads to Clinton being impeached but found innocent. Viagra is approved by the FDA to treat ED. The Teletubbies premiers in the US. Google is founded. Microsoft becomes the largest company in the world. The US Tobacco Master Settlement is reached between the US and the tobacco industry. Frank Sinatra, Flip Wilson, Ester Rolle, Jack Lord and Harry Caray die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

To read prior posts, click on the link below.

Table of Contents

1997 My Joe

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. December 1997.

January 2

Another year has begun for the old Shop at the corner of Pratt and Central. Kavanagh’s and crew return from their holiday vacation. It’s a quiet group that gets back to work at the Joseph Kavanagh Company. Time off between Christmas and New Year’s is a great thing but it doesn’t ease the pain of another year of labor beginning. We have a few things on the books to start 1997 including jobs for Kelco and Anchor Fence, two of our most reliable local customers.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Kelco job. January 3, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Contracting Job. January 7, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. L and S Welding job. January 7, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. January 7, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Covington Machine job. January 7, 1997.

January 26

The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35-21 in the Super Bowl. I watch the game but with only a modicum of interest. My mind is on work tomorrow and the jobs we have lined up to start the week. We have an interesting job for a company called Runabout. We are bending parts for some restored motorized scooters. It’s always something different at the Shop. In addition, there’s another sculptural order and some angles to roll for Warren-Ehret.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Warren-Ehret job. January 29, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Sharon Witting job. January 29, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Runabout, Inc. job. January 29, 1997.

February 4

We have completed a very large order for Codd Fabricators which includes rolled angles, flat bars and well over 100 round rods. It’s made for a good start to the year and when we are busy, it doesn’t seem quite as cold on that old corner in Baltimore.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. February 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. February 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. February 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. February 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. February 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. February 4, 1997.

February 20

Today we have more steel rods to finish for Codd Fabricators and several nice orders for rolled galvanized channels for Anchor Fence. Both are customers and Codd has almost single-handedly made this winter a busy one.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. February 20, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. February 20, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. February 20, 1997.

March 11

It’s a rainy chilly day and the crew are busy doing some work for Fred’s Welding, G-S Company, Fabritek and a heater for Egan Boiler. We also finish a recurring job for Turnbull Enterprises. These are 1” stainless steel pipes we bend in the Pines Bender and they are used for chairs for Navy helicopters. It’s cold for March but we know Spring is on the way and along with it to my delight, baseball.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Fabritek job. March 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Turnbull Enterprises job. March 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. G-S Company job. March 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Egan Boiler job. March 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Fred’s Welding job. March 11, 1997.

March 21

We finish some parts for a set for Center Stage, a few small pipes for sculptor Stan Edmister and angles for Structural Steel Fab., Kelco and Dundalk Ornamental Iron. I have received some extremely important news of a very personal nature. Kim is pregnant. I can’t believe how happy and terrified I am at the same time. It’s the most exhilarating experience of my life. It’s the most on-the-fence thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m happy and excited but afraid and worried. I want to call my parents and Kim’s parents and tell everyone I know but I also want to keep it a secret that only Kim and I know. She’s happy and seems to grasp it better than I do. I try not to over think it and sort it out all at once as is my nature. I decide to just focus on one thing. I’m going to be a father.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stan Edmister job. March 20, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Center Stage job. March 20, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Kelco job. March 21, 1997.

April 2

It’s Opening Day in Baltimore and the Birds beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2. Expectations are high as the Orioles made it to the American League Championship Series last year. We can only hope we make it a bit further and it’s always good to start the season with a win. At the Shop, we work on jobs for Ackerman & Baynes, Whiting Metals, Codd, Winkler’s Inc. and Anchor Fence. The crew also make a sample piece for JAG Industries. After they review it, we may get a larger order. That’s how it goes with samples or even worse the dreaded “prototype.” These are jobs you can’t get too excited about. A potential large order after a small sample is still a gamble. It’s best to not do the first one too cheap. Sometimes it’s the only one.

ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. April 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Winkler’s Inc. job. April 2, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. JAG Industries job. April 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. April 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. April 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. April 2, 1997.

April 13

I am watching the Washington Capitals final game of the year. They beat the Buffalo Sabres 8-3 but it’s bittersweet because the team will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1982. It’s a strange feeling. Hockey is a sport where after a long season, there is essentially a tournament for Lord Stanley’s Cup. As a fan, you grow accustomed to at least making the first round of that tournament.

Joe Kavanagh Sr. and Jr. 7859 Charlesmont Road. November 1997.

April 23

Spring and baseball have both arrived along with warmer weather so by our luck, we have some annealing and filling to do. This heats up the place and we are thankful it’s not July. The tubes to be annealed and filled are for Bechdon Corporation. The boys also finish jobs for Wilton Corporation, a recurring order for EDCO and the production run for JAG Industries. Obviously, the sample was accepted.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Bechdon job. April 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Wilton Corp. job. April 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. EDCO job. April 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. JAG Industries job. April 23, 1997.

May 6

It is finally hitting me that Kim and I will have a baby in the Fall. It’s an overwhelming thought. Kim seems to be a lot calmer than I am. That being said, I can’t help but be happy. Scared yes but mostly happy. I worry about her and I think that’s natural. Work is a reliable distraction. At the Shop, we are working on another recurring job. This one is for Belfort Instruments. The order consists of square aluminum tubes that must be annealed and bent in the Pines Bender. Each has two bends and must fit easily into a checking fixture which they provide along with the tubes. It’s a tricky job and there is always a good bit of tweaking at the end to get them to fit. We’ve done them before so it’s challenging but not overly so. In addition, some other items are rolled for some of our regulars and one for Stan Edmister. Stan is, to my knowledge, the first sculptor we had as a customer. We made parts for his playground sculptures in the past but this one is just a couple of pipes. The sculpture work is always interesting and it’s good to see Stan. Stan is a tall man, well over six foot and seeing him reminds me of the times I would see him and my Dad, who was more diminutive like me, discussing a job. Stan towering over my Dad but listening intently to everything he said. Stan was always very respectful of my father and they certainly liked each other.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Isolater job. May 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belfort Instruments job. April 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. NSI job. May 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Amereihn Company job. May 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stan Edmister job. May 6, 1997.

May 17

Today is a Saturday and we celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50th Anniversary at Kensington Parkway with all the Kavanagh’s and assorted families. Jack and Betty Kavanagh met at a Knights of Columbus Dance in the Spring of 1946. By all accounts, sparks were flying that night. A year later on May 17, 1947, they wed and began an incredible life together. They proceeded to have nine children and find a way to have each and every one feel special. No one felt left out. Honestly, you didn’t have that much time alone to feel left out but I jest. Our house at the corner of Lakewood and Jefferson was the house where all the kids congregated. As if having nine of their own wasn’t enough, my Mom and Dad welcomed our friends and treated them like they were their own. It was a special way to grow up but now, Jack and Betty Kavanagh are grandparents eleven times over with one on the way. It’s a great party and us kids, we marvel to see Mom and Dad together. Such a love. They still hold hands and flirt. They cherish their time together but want to see the children and talk to us any chance they can. The most astonishing thing to me is whenever all of us or even most of us can get together, it quickly feels like Lakewood Avenue all over again.

Jack and Betty Kavanagh at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. 6 Kensington Parkway. May 17, 1997.
Jack and Betty Kavanagh at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. 6 Kensington Parkway. May 17, 1997.
Jack and Betty Kavanagh at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. 6 Kensington Parkway. May 17, 1997.
Betty Kavanagh at her 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. 6 Kensington Parkway. May 17, 1997.
Jack and Betty Kavanagh’s 50th Wedding Anniversary Cake.

May 23

It’s a beautiful Friday in Baltimore and I am looking forward to the weekend. Kim and I are going to spend Saturday at my in-laws to discuss and plan all things baby. As the hours tick away, I spend most of the day on the phone, making calculations for quotes, writing up jobs, then handing them out to the crew. Mostly today’s focus is angles being rolled for Miscellaneous Metals, Warren-Ehret and Yoder Steel.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. April 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Warren-Ehret job. May 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Yoder Steel job. May 23, 1997.

June 4

The Birds have been playing well and remain in first place. They are the talk of the town and also Central Avenue. During coffee breaks and lunch, last night’s game is discussed. This is how it is when your team is good and the excitement is infectious to fans. You can’t talk about it enough. When not talking baseball, a few of our local fab shops and welders pick up their orders through the day. Trucks for ABB Power and Combustion, R and R Fabrication and Codd Fabricators are loaded and sent on their way. It’s what we call a “truck” day. You get what you can get done but mostly it’s backing trucks in and chaining things up. The good part is it gives the crew more room on the floor and you go on to the next job.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. ABB Power Generation job. June 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. June 3, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. R and R Fabrication job. June 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Amereihn Company job. June 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ray Machine job. June 4, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Raloid Corporation job. June 4, 1997.

June 17

Today is my birthday and I turn 32. We are still a few months away from zero hour when our baby will be born but the excitement is building. I feel I am as anxious, worried, nervous and excited as I could possibly be. Each day it gets more intense but I tell myself that’s normal. The Shop is working on some rails for Hezekiah’s Welding which will go to the new Washington Redskins Stadium. Hezekiah is an old customer and it looks like we’ll be bending these pipes a few times over the coming months.

Joseph Kavanagh Company Invoice. Hezekah’s Welding job. June 19, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Metropolitan Steel job. June 17, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Industrial Contracting job. June 17, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. June 17, 1997.

July 1

Belsinger Sign Works picks up some square tubes rolled for the sign at the Harbor Inn hotel at Pier 5. Most of the time, we don’t know where our pieces might end up. Occasionally, a customer will mention it or more often it’s indicated on the drawing. It’s nice to know, if nothing more than to be able to say, we did this for that building, stadium, hotel. Whatever. The boys also complete a big order for Chesapeake Rigging and some pipes for Anderson Contracting.

Joseph Kavanagh Company Invoice. Belsinger Sign job. July 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anderson Industrial Contracting job. July 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Chesapeake Rigging job. July 1, 1997.

July 3

Tomorrow is Independence Day and that means a barbecue at my in-laws on Woodall Street and watching the Inner Harbor fireworks from their backyard. It’s actually a pretty good view. I’m not much for fireworks but this year I think of watching them with my child. I feel the same about baseball, movies, cartoons and the Sun and the Moon. I look forward to introducing our child to all these things. We make a short day of it at the Shop. When trucks are loaded for Hezekiah’s Welding, Dan’s Welding and A.J. Sackett, we’re done and out before 2 p.m.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. A. J. Sackett job. July 3, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Dan’s Welding job. July 3, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Hezekiah’s Welding job. July 3, 1997.

July 8

I am relaxing at home watching the All-Star game. The Orioles are again well represented with Alomar, Anderson and Ripken starting and two pitchers on the AL squad, Mike Mussina and Randy Myers. It’s a good game and the American League wins 3-1. I enjoy the distraction from work but it’s still on my mind. We will have four busy weeks before our vacation in August. Meanwhile, we are getting closer to the baby’s arrival and Kim is handling it so well. She’s amazing and I am sure she will be a great mom.

ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALDS Souvenir Program Orioles vs. Mariners. 1997.

July 22

We’ve got a couple more weeks before our break and it has been busy. Today is a mixed bag of work including a heat exchanger for Baltimore Gas and Electric, some more pipes for our sculptor friend Stan Edmister and more rails for Hezekiah’s Welding.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Baltimore Gas and Electric job. July 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Superior Iron Works job. July 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Superior Iron Works job. July 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Turnbull Enterprises job. July 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Stan Edmister job. July 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Hezekiah’s Welding job. July 23, 1997.

August 8

We are waiting patiently on this Friday for quite a few trucks to come for their orders. We deliver an order to C.R. Daniels. They can be hauled in a car. Trucks for Anchor Fence, Wilton, L and S Welding and Design and Production show up and then we are on vacation.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. C. R. Daniels job. August 6, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. August 6, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Wilton Corporation job. August 6, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. August 6, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. L and S Welding job. August 6, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Design and Production job. August 7, 1997.

August 22

There is the usual bit of grumbling and a staggering start to get back to work. That’s just from me. Not the workers. Nonetheless our vacation is over and our first week back is always a busy one. All those who called last week must be dealt with and the jobs already on the books must be knocked out as quickly as possible. Today we ship out more tubes for C.R. Daniels and jobs for Miscellaneous, Stambaugh and D-S Pipe are picked up.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. C. R. Daniels job. August 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. August 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Harvey A. Stambaugh and Sons job. August 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. D-S Pipe job. August 22, 1997.

August 28

I’m at my desk and taking a quick look at the sports section of the Baltimore Sun. The Birds are still in first place and have been since Opening Day. It’s been a great run so far and we’re heading toward the end of the season. My hopes and expectations are high for the club. Of course, my expectations and hopes are more focused on Kim and our son. In my mind, I keep hearing the Who song “Mrs. Walker” from Quadrophenia. “It’s a boy, Mrs. Walker. It’s a boy. A son! A son! A son!” He’s a boy. We know that now. I can barely contain myself when I think of introducing my boy to baseball, the Orioles, music, guitar. All those things I love. I am sure I’d be equally excited about a girl. I have seen the “Daddy’s Little Girl” perspective close up. My father has seven girls and he has a special relationship with them all. Another of the many things I admire about the man but there’s something about fathers and sons. I suppose it seems a little easier for me to pass on my most ridiculous dreams to a boy. I really have trouble putting my finger on it but I think of my father and my mother, I think of Kim and I and I am equal parts amazed, humbled and excited with a small amount of fear. Mostly my fear is washed away by Kim. She seems to have an understanding of it more than I. It’s been a tough pregnancy so far. She’s handled it with absolute grace apart for a penchant for late night Taco Bell, tomatoes and coffee ice cream. She’s incredible but I do worry about her. Suffice to say my attention at work is suffering a bit but I do the best I can. It’s the job and I am very used to it. Today a nice order for Center Stage is picked up and a job for Dundalk Ornamental Iron. The beat goes on.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Center Stage job. August 28, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Center Stage job. August 28, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Dundalk Ornamental Iron job. August 28, 1997.

August 31

The Baltimore Ravens open their second season at Memorial Stadium. The team has been welcomed to town with open arms. This Sunday afternoon, they face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars and lose but it’s a close one. 28-27. The Ravens were 4-12 in their inaugural season and fans are not expecting a great year but hopefully a better one.

Baltimore Ravens Helmet 1996. Courtesy Getty Images.

September 5

The Shop has stayed busy most of this year. There is no doubt it is an uptick from last. Sometimes it’s because of one big job but sometimes, you are just happy and don’t question a good year. I am still very distracted at my desk as we are about a month away from D Day/my son’s birth. My brother, sister and our crew help keep me focused on the job and we crank out work for Anchor Fence, Triangle Sign and JRC Construction.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. September 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Triangle Sign job. September 5, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. JRC Construction job. September 5, 1997.

September 25

We are very close to the baby’s arrival. I haven’t slept the last few days much at all as I am on alert to head to the hospital or Taco Bell at the drop of a hat. Nonetheless, my job goes on and we finish one order for R & R Fabrication and two for Ackerman and Baynes at the Shop. Kavanagh’s and crew are all spending part of the day talking about the Birds. Last night, the Orioles clinched the American League East title for the first time since 1983 when we won it all. The team managed to stay on top of the division from day one of the season to the end. A most impressive feat only accomplished by five other teams in baseball history.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. R and R Fabrication job. September 25, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. September 25, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. September 25, 1997.

October 1

The Washington Capitals begin their season with a victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto 4-1. Last year, the Caps missed the playoffs and we are hopeful for a bounce back year. Jack became a fan when the team was created in 1974 and bit by bit, first Ann then I, became loyal fans. The Capitals will win their first four games in a row and it’s taken as a sign of good things to come. I’m not watching the Caps though; Kim and I are at St. Joseph’s Hospital having a baby. We have been here for hours as Kim’s labor begins then abates then begins again. Kim is a trouper and I have no idea how she does it. I try to help all I can but my assistance is limited to distributing ice chips. We have the television on in the birthing room and it’s tuned to Fox so she can watch Beverly Hills 90210. Meanwhile, the Orioles are in Seattle facing the Mariners in Game 1 of the Divisional Playoffs so I’m flipping during the commercials. After all, it is a big game. When 90210 is finished, Kim rolls her eyes and tells me to go ahead and change the channel. As Kim practices her breathing and hopes for progress, the nurse and I keep an eye on the game. The Orioles have taken a lead and we are discussing it enthusiastically. The nurse is much more interested in the game than Kim is. It’s a battle of aces as Mike Mussina takes on Randy Johnson. The Birds have beaten Randy Johnson three times this year and I’m hoping they can do it one more time. We have been in this birthing suite for hours and they have finally agreed to give Kim an epidural. She tried and tried but the baby doesn’t want to come out so a Caesarean delivery is in order. The epidural is coming and my wife is trying to be patient but she’s in a lot of pain. As she catches her breath, the nurse and I are discussing the ball game. The Birds have opened up a 9-1 lead and it looks like we’re going to take Game 1.

“It’s crazy how we are the one team that can hit Randy Johnson.” I say, glancing from the game to the nurse. “We beat him three times in the regular season.”

She nods her head emphatically. “He’s one of the best but we can beat him. That’s our Orioles.”

“So far so good and Mussina has been outstanding. He’s doing a great job—” I’m suddenly interrupted by an irate Kim.

“Hey! I’m the one having a baby here. You know.” Kim glares at the nurse and me as she speaks through gritted teeth. “Can you pay attention to the pregnant person in the room?!”

I quickly answer but rather nervously. “Yes, yes. I know. We know. I’m sorry babe. The anesthesiologist should be here anytime. Do you want some ice chips?”

“To Hell with them ice chips. I need drugs. Tell them I need the epidural.” Kim fires back then turns her gaze to the nurse. “Well?”

“I’m sure. He’s on the way, Mrs. Kavanagh.” She re-assures Kim who seems skeptical.

Just then the door swings open and a doctor appears. “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Kavanagh. I’m your anesthesiologist.”

I breathe a sigh of relief and Kim immediately asks a bit suspiciously, “Are you going to give me an epidural?”

“Yes, Ma’am. I am.” He smiles down at her after giving me a sympathetic look.

Kim seems triumphant. “Yes! Yes! Finally. I need it and I love you.” She was speaking to the doctor not me but I take no offense.

Once the epidural takes effect, it’s delivery time and I get dressed in scrubs, gloves and mask.

ALDS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Mariners. 1997.
ALDS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Mariners. 1997.
ALDS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Mariners. 1997.
ALDS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Mariners. 1997.
Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Birth Announcement. October 1997.
Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Born October 2, 1997. St. Joseph’s Hospital.

October 2

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Junior is born at 12:28 a.m. after the Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners. Mussina out duels Johnson and I’m a Dad. Birthing isn’t something I’d want to see every day but after a few disturbing moments, the doctor hands me our baby boy. Kim and I weep though Kim is a bit out of it. I am not and I do speak to Joe. “Welcome to planet Earth. We will be your hosts.” Soon mom and son are being taken to recovery and I walk down the hall and give the good news to my in-laws. Linda and Anthony are thrilled but look at me quizzically then point to the pants of my scrubs. They have dropped to my ankles and are draped around my feet and I was none the wiser. For some reason, I feel compelled to walk behind a screen to pull them up despite having jeans on underneath. I’m in a strange but very pleasant haze. My in-laws laugh loudly and so do I. I’m out of it but so happy. Soon I am on the phone making a couple late night calls to spread the word. My brother and sisters pass it along to my parents in Ocean City. Around 2 a.m., Kim, Joe and I are in a room resting, smiling and crying. Mom and Dad are both hungry so I decide to venture out to find us something to eat and drink. I scour the hospital but must leave the neo-natal wing to find a vending machine. I get us Three Musketeers and Pepsi but the door has auto-locked behind me so I now must search for a way back in. As I cross the grounds, I look up at the moon. The enormity of it all seems to hit me and I shout, “I have a son!” I look over and see a guard at one of the doors watching me. I approach and he opens the door. Speaking quickly, I explain how my night has gone and he accepts my excuse. I am allowed entrance and he smiles at me knowingly. Perhaps he’s a dad or I am not the only one to have done such a thing. I return to Kim’s room and we eat candy and drink soda before getting some sleep. We’re parents now. We’re a family now. Another Joe Kavanagh is born. My Joe is born. Let the pigeons loose.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. October 1997.
Kim and Joseph Kavanagh Jr. and Linda Dalfonzo. Christening. St. Vincent De Paul Church. December 14, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. October 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. L and S Welding job. October 1, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. October 2, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Anchor Fence job. October 2, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. ABC Welding job. October 2, 1997.

October 18

After several weeks recovering at my in-laws, my family is home. We’ve had a whirlwind few days with family and friends coming to meet Joe. We had many visitors at the hospital including my Mom and Dad who were so very happy to see my little guy. I was thrilled to hug my Mom and have her hold my baby. We hope things calm down a bit now that most folks have met the young man-of-the-hour. We are naive. Meanwhile, the Orioles were eliminated from the playoffs. We did beat Seattle in the Division Series but lose the American League Championship Series to the Cleveland Indians in six games. That’s baseball.

ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.
ALCS Souvenir Program. Orioles vs. Indians. 1997.

October 22

Today we finish a job for a film titled “Enemy of the State.” The movie which stars Gene Hackman and Will Smith is filmed locally and they need some pipes bent. I love doing movie work. We’ve done more than a few especially the John Waters and Barry Levinson films. These jobs break up the usual tedious work and suddenly, you are doing something interesting. We also ship two orders for Whiting Metals and some small rolled beams are picked up by Seaford Steel.

Joseph Kavanagh Company job card. Enemy of the State job. October 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Seaford Steel job. October 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. October 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Whiting Metals job. October 22, 1997.

October 26

Ravens fans’ are particularly interested in today’s match up. Baltimore visits the Washington Redskins in a battle of local clubs. They play in the newly opened Fedex Field, the same stadium we bent some railings for earlier this year. The Ravens win 20-17 and if it’s one thing Baltimoreans like, it’s getting the best of DC at anything. In the evening, the Florida Marlins defeat the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series. The end of the baseball season is almost a relief though it pains me to think such a thing. The Birds went wire to wire in first place all year then started the playoffs so strong. But I’m tired and it’s been an exhausting but exhilarating couple of weeks. I am walking about with Joe in my arms. I’m trying to get him to sleep and silently tell myself, “A World Series this year would have been even less sleep. Next year.” I resume pacing and patting my boy’s back until he slips dreamily into a snooze and I follow. When I place him in his bed I sing a few bars of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to him. You can never start too soon with baseball. I dream of throwing him a ball and taking him to games. Through my life, I honestly haven’t known many Joe’s. I’ve been Joe, Uncle Joe and obviously, Joe Kavanagh at the Shop. Now, I have my Joe.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. December 1997.
Kim Kavanagh and Joe Kavanagh Jr. October 1997.
Joseph Kavanagh Jr. calling Granny. October 1997.

October 27

There is a mini stock market crash around the world and there are concerns about its impact on the economy. The Dow drops 554 points but the next day 337 are gained back. The country seems to have dodged a bullet or maybe simply delayed its arrival.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Halloween 1997.
Anthony Dalfonzo and Joseph Kavanagh Jr. Woodall Street. Halloween 1997.

November 11

It’s not winter yet but you can’t tell it by Central Avenue. It’s a cold cold day in the old building but the crew soldier on. There are pickups for Tri-Fab of PA, Structural Steel, Power and Combustion and Thrifty Iron Works today. The year continues strong and I have no reason to believe we won’t finish up the same way.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Tri-Fab of PA job. November 10, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Power and Combustion job. November 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Structural Steel Fab. job. November 11, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Thrifty Iron Works job. November 11, 1997.

November 26

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving which is easily my favorite holiday. I love turkey but we do have a few things to finish up before the feast. Structural orders for DOVCO, Osprey Structural and Codd Fabricators are finished. After the last truck pulls out the back door onto Eden Street, we are ready to go and ready to eat.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. DOVCO Industrial Fabricators job. November 26, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Osprey Structural job. November 26, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. November 26, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. November 26, 1997.

November 27

Thanksgiving is spent on Woodall Street and everyone is hovering around the new baby. Joe Jr. is a very popular young man and is passed around all day. I also focus on eating turkey as that is the whole purpose of the holiday. It’s always a big spread and plenty to eat at Linda and Anthony’s. They include parsnips for me though no one else eats them. I assure them soon enough Little Joe will be having them as well. Our little guy adds a lot to the holiday. I may have even snuck him some turkey skin. I can’t quite remember.

Jack and Betty Kavanagh with Joe Jr. Ocean City, MD. November 1997.
Betty Kavanagh and Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Ocean City. November 1997.
Jack Kavanagh Sr. and Joe Kavanagh Jr. napping. Ocean City, MD. November 1997.
Joseph Michael Kavanagh Sr. and Jr. Sleeping in Ocean City. November 1997.

December 9

The month of December is usually a wild one at 201 S. Central Avenue. We take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off each year so the weeks prior are fairly intense. We find a way to get at least four weeks worth of work done in three so we can enjoy that extra break. Today several angles are rolled for Lenderking, some 4” Pipes for D-S Pipe and tubes for another sign for Belsinger Sign Works.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Lenderking Metalworks job. December 8, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. D-S Pipe job. December 8, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Belsinger Sign job. December 9, 1997.

December 21

The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Ravens 16-14 to finish out the 1997 season. Our football team finishes with a 6-9-1 record. It’s not particularly good but it is an improvement over last year. Fans are undaunted and the Ravens are becoming very popular in the City. Construction has begun on a new fancy football stadium near Camden Yards and I wait by the phone hoping to get some work from it. The Shop received a tremendous amount of work when Oriole Park was built but we shall see as far as this new one goes.

Joseph Kavanagh Sr. & Jr. Woodall Street. December 14, 1997.
Fr. Dick Lawrence, Paul Dalfonzo, Mary Brandenburg, Joe and Kim Kavanagh with Joe Jr. Christening. St. Vincent De Paul Church. Baltimore. December 14, 1997.
Rose Kavanagh O’Neill, Mary Brandenburg, Joe Kavanagh Sr. holding Joe Jr. Christening. December 14, 1997.

December 23

Again, the Kavanagh’s and crew wait patiently for the final pickups of the year. Bechdon and Huber Welding arrive in the morning while we try to finish three items for Codd Fabricators. Codd’s jobs are finished last as they are only five minutes away. We know they’ll get their truck up here in time. Once Codd is loaded, we head off to celebrate the Yule and we will return in the New Year. I’ll stop by once next week to get the mail and make sure the building is still there but otherwise, we’re done.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Winter Ball 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Bechdon Company job. December 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Huber Welding job. December 22, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. December 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. December 23, 1997.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Codd Fab. job. December 23, 1997.

December 25

Christmas is upon us and it couldn’t be much sweeter. There’s a baby and that means toys, toys and more toys. My Joe is too little to quite grasp the importance of the day but he enjoys tearing wrapping paper from packages regardless of the gift. Kim and I are parents and the shock has begun to wear off. We are happy with “baby makes three.” Happier than I ever thought I could be. I have my girl and now I got my boy. Life makes a lot more sense now. It seems simpler. Keep them happy and I know I will be happy. I do dream of Joe working at the Shop some day alongside my brother’s sons. Perhaps, I’ll even have another boy to keep the Kavanagh two son tradition alive. My boys working with Jack’s boys would be such poetic justice and so in line with the Kavanagh way. We shall see and this is all assuming Joe doesn’t make it as a switch-hitting power-hitting third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. It is always good to have a back up plan.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Christmas 1997.
Paul Kavanagh(in background), Patrick Kavanagh holding Joe Jr. and Mary Brandenburg. December 1997.
Handy Brandenburg holding Joe Jr. December 1997.

Bill Clinton is the President of the United States. Madeline Albright becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of State. Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in Paris. A computer, Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess. The Lion King premiers on Broadway. The films “Titanic,” “Men in Black” and “As Good As It Gets” are released. The NASA Pathfinder successfully lands on Mars. The last Woolworth’s store closes. OJ Simpson is found liable in a civil suit filed by the families of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Curt Flood, Allen Ginsberg, Jimmy Stewart, Michael Hedges and James Michener die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

Joseph Michael Kavanagh Jr. Photo of photo taken from Joseph Michael Kavanagh Sr.’s desk. October 2022.

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

Table of Contents

1996 The Baltimore Ravens

January 2

The Joseph Kavanagh Company begins another year in an inauspicious way with its typical mix of fabrication and ornamental metal work. A small job for Coat of Armor Welding is finished on day one then orders for Belfort Instruments, Pardo, Warren-Ehret, R & R Fabrication and William Tarant & Sons are prepped and begun. January is a cold start to the year at the Shop. It’s the dreary start to the dreariest part of the year.

January 8

The Shop is closed for a couple of days after a blizzard rolls through Baltimore. Locally, most areas received at least fifteen inches of the stuff with some spots as much as twenty-two inches. It’s the usual pain of shoveling and then trying to get to work so we can shovel there. The City comes to a halt as the white stuff is everywhere. There are piles and piles of it all over town and streets that don’t get plowed are impassable for a week. I find out that my new wife Kim loves snow. It looks so pretty to her but for me, I think of the shoveling, the driving and the general mess of it all. That being said, she’s right. It is very pretty out.

January 26

It’s been a steady if not busy start to the year. The crew on the corner of Pratt and Central labor on, bending metal through the day as they have for many years. Today some cupro-nickel u bends are bent for RPC. They will be used in a heat exchanger and these jobs are often welcomed at the Shop. Copper means annealing which means torch work and in January that’s a good thing. These are copper and nickel combined. Ninety percent pre-annealed copper and ten percent nickel means they are malleable and no heat is necessary. It’s easier but the heat of a torch is missed in the winter. In addition to these tubes some big angles are rolled for Structural Steel in our largest machine the R-6-S.     

January 28

The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-11 in the Super Bowl. I watch from my home on Charlesmont Road. Kim and I have settled into a very happy life together. I’m working at the Shop and she works at Specworks, an advertising specialty company. They do a lot of promotional work for local charities. They are located five minutes from the Shop and that is very convenient. We drive to and from work together and you couldn’t find two happier newlyweds. On a Sunday, I enjoy watching the big game but mostly I enjoy being with my girl.

February 6

The cold winter continues in the old Shop. The Kavanagh’s and crew have grown accustomed to it. The building was constructed in 1910 and not made to fight off the elements like modern facilities. Jobs for Structural Steel, Miscellaneous Metals, Anderson, Ackerman and Baynes, A.K. Metal are banged out today.

February 29

It’s leap day and the enthusiasm of an extra work day in the year is lost on everyone. The boys work on some pipes for Chesapeake Rigging, R & R Fabrication, Miscellaneous Metals and Warren-Ehret. The good news is we also have a heat exchanger to make for USF & G and some U-Bends to make for Stambaugh. The annealing of the tubes for USF & G and Stambaugh heat up the place. The snapper torches blast propane and every worker or owner takes any opportunity to walk close by. You have to get some warmth wherever you can.

March 8

Today is Friday and the crew on Central Avenue can not wait until the end of the day. Friday is just about every workers favorite day of the week. The day drags by, of course, as the Shop completes orders for Whiting Metals, Pangborn, Stambaugh & Sons and more work for R & R Fabrication. R & R has been a customer for about ten years. The place is run by two brothers Jimmy and Randy Williams. They are two good fellows to deal with and a company that regularly helps to keep us rolling.

March 22

Much of the day at the old Shop is spent finishing a big Anchor Fence job and then loading the truck. Orders for Codd Fabrication and Miscellaneous Metals are picked up as well. Spring and its warmer weather have arrived and that makes work a lot more comfortable for all of us.

March 29

After another long week at the Shop, I’m home on a Friday night watching a Capitals hockey game and the news hits that the new NFL team in Baltimore will be called the Ravens. It’s a tip of the cap to Edgar Allan Poe and quickly the name catches on and though I wasn’t expecting Ravens, I like it too. The Capitals beat the Ottawa Senators 5-0 so it’s a great game to watch. Lots of goals on our side and none for theirs. I know my brother Jack, the ultimate Washington Caps fan, is enjoying this one at home.

April 2

Today is the Orioles’ Opening Day at Camden Yards. All morning we talk about the game anxiously. Hope springs eternal in baseball and for me, this year is particularly hopeful. The Orioles have signed Roberto Alomar and B.J. Surhoff to bolster the roster. Surhoff is a pure baseball player who can play multiple positions. He’s an old school player and he can hit. Alomar is one of the premier second baseman of this era. Teaming him with Ripken at short seem like almost a dream team of double play combinations. Ann, Jack and I watch the first inning from the television in the office then everyone races home to watch the rest. The Birds beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2. The enthusiasm is that much stronger when the season starts with a win.

April 10

The Birds’ hot start has continued and they win six of their first seven games. This only amps up the excitement for the season and it’s the talk of the Shop. The games are dissected during lunch and coffee breaks. As a rabid Oriole fan, I am happy and feeling confident about this club. Despite the baseball distraction, we do manage to do some work knocking out jobs for Pardo, Durrett Sheppard, Warren-Ehret and the G-S Company.

April 17

The Washington Capitals start their opening round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a big road win 6-4. Jack is very excited and he seems hopeful this year may be the chance to beat the rival Pens and move forward toward the Stanley Cup Finals.

April 28

Once again, the Caps are eliminated from the playoffs by the Penguins. Pittsburgh wins game six in DC 3-2 and takes the series. Jack is disappointed but more irked by the fact it’s the same Pittsburgh team that the Caps just can’t seem to get past. I couldn’t agree more.

April 30

I stand in the open front garage door staring at Central Avenue. I watch traffic move along then pause as the light changes from green to red. Pratt and Central is a busy intersection especially during the work week. The crew have returned to work after their morning coffee break and some general chit chat. The Orioles and the pleasant weather dominating the talk. It’s a breezy comfortable day and the boys are rolling some steel for a rail for G-S Company, some big bars for Price Brothers and a sign for the State Highway Administration. The last one is an oddball to me. I don’t remember doing any work directly for the State Highway Admin before but we’ll bend for anybody.

May 16

It’s been one of those days where everything goes wrong. Murphy’s Law as my father liked to say. Problems with our hoist and the R-3-S Angle Roller complicate the day and I am anxious for its end as I write out delivery tickets for Fabricating and Welding, Codd and a few others. At least some jobs were finished. Mechanical breakdowns are part of life in an industrial business but they always seem to come at the most inconvenient time. I pick Kim up from her job at SpecWorks and we drive home to Dundalk.

May 30

The Shop’s crew and the Kavanagh’s are preparing for a long Memorial Day weekend. A well-earned but brief respite from the day to day. It’s another Friday and despite the clock ticking slowly, the crew finish a big structural steel order for Miscellaneous Metals as well as rolled pipe for Warren-Ehret, Whiting Metals and AS & L Industries.

June 6

The hot humid day is interrupted by a quick thunderstorm in the afternoon. The humidity breaks as the deluge of water covers the Shop and the sidewalk. Anything that cools the place off is a good thing. As the storm rages the crew finish jobs for three of our regular local customers, Winkler’s Inc., Stambaugh & Sons and Codd Fab.

June 16

It’s Father’s Day and after a couple of hours at my in-laws to celebrate with my father-in-law, I call my Dad from home and speak to him as well.  Just after hanging up, the phone rings and it’s my friend and band mate Tim Heaps. Tim tells me his father has died. The family went out for a very nice Father’s Day dinner and had a great visit. Upon returning home, Barry suffered a heart attack and he passed very quickly. It’s a shock. Barry and Madge Heaps were the band parents for Lethal Injection. For years, I saw more of them than my own parents who lived on the Eastern Shore. They put up with a lot of noise and nonsense while we practiced and played in their basement. Mr. Barry would ask about work and Miss Madge would remind me when I needed a haircut. They said and did those things my parents couldn’t because of distance. Barry and Madge also hosted our backyard concerts. The Heaps seem to relish the idea of holding these shows. There was always plenty of food and drink for guests and lots of fun for all. My friends came to call Mr. Barry the Bill Graham of Rosedale. The man loved to throw a party. He was funny and irreverent but a fine man and his loss hurts particularly because it came so fast and was so unexpected.

June 17

It’s my birthday and a Monday but I’m not even thinking about it. I tell Ann, Jack and the crew about Tim’s father. My sister and brother certainly knew Mr. Barry but most of the crew know Tim. Tim worked at the Shop part-time for a few years. I promise to pass along the details of the arrangements as soon as I hear them. I focus on the jobs laid out before me. The Shop’s work is steady and strong. Summer is usually our busiest time. Today we finish some items for F & M Machine, Miscellaneous Metals & Codd. I pick Kim up from work and when I’m home, my wife makes me cupcakes for my birthday. She really has a way about her.

June 25

I’m rushing all day from office to Shop and back. That’s a good sign but makes for a hectic day. I hand out jobs to the boys and then call customers to arrange some pick ups. By the end of the day, I feel like I walked a mile. I pick up Kim at Specworks and we head home. I’m looking forward to a night cooling off in the air conditioning.

July 9

It’s a hot Tuesday in Baltimore and certainly inside the old Shop. The crew are focused on work for quite a few of our regulars, Turnbull Enterprises, D-S Pipe, Industrial Refrigeration and a few others. I pass out jobs and write tickets but my mind is on tonight’s All-Star game. It will be played in Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium and three Orioles will start. The double play combination of Ripken and Alomar were both voted starters while Brady Anderson will replace injured Ken Griffey Jr. During pre-game team photos, Cal Ripken is inadvertently knocked down and breaks his nose. Not to worry, Cal is ready by game time and if All-Star games counted in consecutive game strings, his remains in tact. The National League blanks the American League 6-0 but I enjoy the game. Seeing two Orioles manning the infield is a thrill for me.

July 22

Oriole fever gets that much hotter. The Orioles make a trade to bolster their lineup and bring back a former Bird from better days. Eddie Murray returns to Baltimore and is welcomed with open arms. I am beyond excited. Eddie was one of my childhood heroes. He even threw me a ball once during warmups. We were in our seats on the third base line near the tarp and lots of kids would be calling to players and asking for a ball or autograph and such. I never did. I would just call out a greeting or “have a good game” or something. One night just before heading to the dugout, Eddie looked right at me and said “Hey kid.” I looked and he threw me the ball. I caught it and was stunned. Before I could shout my thank you, Eddie was trotting into the dugout. A night and a game I will never forget. It was my Mean Joe Greene in the Coke commercial moment. To see Eddie back in the Orange and Black? That was going to be great. Eddie did not disappoint. He homered late in the game to win it and received a curtain call just like the old days. Sometimes you can go home.

July 25

In a couple of weeks, we will have our summer vacation and that adds to everyone’s motivation to get things done. The workers crank out orders for L & S Welding, Lenderking Metal Products and several others but most of my day is spent on a large angle and beam rolling quote for Miscellaneous Metals. 

August 3

The long wait for Baltimore NFL fans comes to an end on this Saturday. The Baltimore Ravens host the Philadelphia Eagles at Memorial Stadium. It’s the Ravens first preseason game and though it’s meaningless, Baltimore fans are very excited and the Ravens win 17-9.

August 7

It’s a busy and anxious Wednesday at the Joseph Kavanagh Company. Busy because we have a few jobs to finish and anxious because next week we are closed and no one wants that affected. Jobs for Turnbull, Codd and more are completed and now we are sure, everything that needs to be done will be done.

August 30

I am looking at the Orioles schedule as I sit at my desk. The Birds have some ground to make up but I  know we don’t have to win the division this year. A wild card has been added to each league which basically means the best second place team in any division will qualify for the playoffs. I’m excited because this finally could be our year. I grab a stack of job cards and head out to the Shop. We finish work for a big group of our regulars including Codd, Kelco,  Antenna Research and Ackerman & Baynes.

September 6

I’m relaxing at home on a Friday night watching the Orioles take on the Tigers at Camden Yards. The Birds are very much in the thick of it for a playoff spot. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Eddie Murray knocks one out of the park. Fans have been anticipating Eddie’s next homer for weeks. This one is number 500 and Murray becomes only the third player ever with 500 home runs and 3000 hits. He joins two of the greatest of all-time, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays in this exclusive club. I cheer and celebrate as all Orioles fans do when the balls leaves the yard. It’s not lost on anyone that this is one year to the day from Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Gehrig’s record. This game goes into extra innings and unfortunately, the Orioles lose in the 12th.

September 11

Today I’m busy on Central Avenue as the phone keeps ringing. Most days we get a steady stream of calls but occasionally it seems if I hang up the phone, it rings right back at me. Today is such a day with customers calling to check on the status of their orders. I’m able to inform Wilton, Codd, Yoder and Anderson their jobs are completed and ready for pick up. When I hang up the phone for the last time just before 4, I quickly turn on the answering machine. We are ready to close up, lock up and get out of there.

September 25

The MLB playoffs are approaching and the race is tightening up with just a few games to play. Baseball talk fills the hours of the day at the Shop. The Kavanagh’s have been Orioles fans for 100 years, In fact, the first confirmed Baltimore Orioles game attended by my family was August 1, 1896. My great-grandfather and his brothers celebrated his birthday at the ballpark. It’s one thing to be a fan but when the team is heading toward the postseason, it gets very exciting. Between talks of hits, runs and box scores, the crew completes work for Easton Steel, Interstate Steel, Anchor Fence and the George Eckart Company.

October 6

The Washington Capitals begin their 23rd season losing to the Chicago Blackhawks at home 5-2. Even with a loss, Jack and the rest of us are happy to see another hockey season begin. A new start means another chance to finally win that Stanley Cup that has somehow managed to avoid the team’s grasp. Jack started the Kavanagh hockey fandom over twenty years ago. Now, we are solid Caps fans though none of us are on Jack’s level of devotion.

October 10

It’s a tough day at the Shop and in Baltimore. The events of Game 1 of the ALCS are gone over in great detail. The already infamous catch/interference by a young fan, Jeffrey Maier, is discussed over and over. Everyone comes to the conclusion it would have been caught by Tony Tarasco. The defeat is a bitter one but that is baseball. Things happen and you either win or you lose. I get back to work and write up a couple of jobs. I hope we can bounce back and still take the series.

October 14

It’s a somber Monday in Baltimore as the Orioles were eliminated from the ALCS by the Yankees last night. Jack, Ann and I talk it over and it’s disappointing but that’s life. While eating my lunch, the phone on my desk rings and I answer with the standard, “Joseph Kavanagh Company.”

“Hey Joe, how’s it going?” I recognize my father’s voice immediately.

“I’m alright, Dad. How’s things down the Ocean?” I reply as I glance over to Ann who looks up from the ledger she is writing in when she hears me say Dad.

“It’s okay but it’s getting cold. I hate this damn cold weather.” He pauses a moment then quickly asks, “So what happened with the Birds?”

I sigh then speak. “They just couldn’t get it done. They lost that first game with that screwy catch. The kid reached out.”

“Oh that was crazy. It was clearly fan interference.” my father quickly interrupts me but I’m not bothered because he’s my Dad and he also agrees with me.

I grin over at Ann who smiles back, both of us knowing how Dad is. “Yep. It was very clear but they weren’t ever changing that play. Not gonna happen. Not in New York.”

“Oh Hell no. They would string up the umpire right on the field.” He chuckles briefly. “I guess it just happens sometimes. You know how it goes. Weird things happen but it’s baseball.”

I sit back a bit in my chair. “Yeah, that’s how it goes and we could have just played better. It was only one game. It may have changed the momentum and all that but we got beat.”

“Remember what Earl Weaver said about momentum in baseball. It all depends on your next pitcher.” Dad recalls one of Earl’s viewpoints on the game.

“I know. I know. We got beat plain and simple but at least we made it to the Championship Series.” I take a sip of water. “So I know you didn’t just call to talk baseball. You must have had some excuse.” I smile again and this time I hear my Dad’s laughter in the receiver.

“Well Mom needs to talk to Ann about some paperwork stuff. I just wanted to catch you first and talk about the playoffs. There’s always next year, kid. The team is going in the right direction.” He finishes with a decidedly hopeful tone in his voice.

I mouth the words “Mom wants to talk to you” to Ann then turn my attention back to my father. “Yes, there’s always next year. Let’s hope we can go a little further. That would be nice.”

“It sure would. Alright Joe, your Mom wants to talk to Ann. I gotta hand the phone to her.”

“Okay, Dad. I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Hey Darlin’.” I smile when I hear my Mom’s voice. She often calls us kids, darlin’.

I nod again to Ann and she prepares to grab the phone. “I’m okay, Mom. Busy but doing okay.”

“How’s that lovely wife of yours?” She asks.

“Kim’s great. She keeps me on the straight and narrow.” My smile broadens.

Mom answers right back. “Of course. That’s what she’s supposed to do.”

I laugh. “Well, she’s very good at it. I know you need to talk to Ann so I’ll send you over. You take care of you and Dad, okay?”

“Always. I always do and I love you and that sweet girl of yours. Give her a hug and a kiss for me then send me over to Ann.” I can almost picture Mom’s sweet smile when I hear her voice.

“You got it, Mom. I love you too.” I transfer the call to Ann who grabs the receiver and talks to Mom.

I sit for a moment in silence then I grab a stack of delivery tickets and begin filling them out. Yeah, there’s always next year.

October 31

It’s Halloween, and Kim has our house decorated to the nines. She loves the holiday and it’s an adjustment for me but a pleasant one. We never celebrated it much as kids, and as an adult, I kept my porch light out and was rarely home. It’s a new experience for me but I enjoy handing out candy especially to the little ones. Baseball season is over as the Yankees went on after defeating the Birds and took four of six from the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. It was a rueful ending for the Orioles but I still think it was a good season. I never like seeing the Yanks win it all but it hadn’t happened since 1978 so I suppose they were due. Jobs for Whiting Metals, Structural Steel and many of our regulars are worked on in the Shop. The crew are busy and they should be this time of year. We generally need to stay pretty busy from May to October. The other months are often disrupted by weather and there are the holidays. Relying on these times is a standard practice for most businesses and certainly for the Joseph Kavanagh Company.

November 5

It is election day with Democrat and incumbent Bill Clinton defeating Republican Senator Bob Dole and Independent Ross Perot, a distant third. Perot was included in the debates in 1992 but not this year after receiving far less media attention. I, of course, vote for myself and do all I can to get my wife to do the same. Only she really knows. I have been voting for myself since 1988. I have little hope of ever attaining the Executive Office but a man can dream. The other option is for either party to nominate someone I want to vote into office. Another dream.

November 8

The arrival of November always puts me in a turkey mood. My wife believes I’m much like the Darren McGavin character in the movie “A Christmas Story.” I may not be as fanatical as he is but I am close. We’re still steady at the Shop and I’m hoping it stays that way until the end of the year. Today we finish work for our usual mix of assorted welders and fabricators and one job for Center Stage.

November 24

Jack and I attend a Ravens Game at Memorial Stadium and unfortunately, we lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-25 in overtime. Jack brings his sons, Paul and Patrick along as well. I haven’t been to an NFL game in over fifteen years. I went to several preseason Colts’ games when I was a kid. My Dad and Jack went to just about every game but Dad would make a point of taking me once each year. My brother is and always was a bigger football fan than I am. I’m a baseball guy. Still, I look forward to this game and it’s a good one. It’s a nice way to spend the day with my brother and his boys.

November 28

Thanksgiving has arrived and it’s my favorite holiday. No shopping or endless decorating but good food, football and family. On the drive over to Woodall Street, I go over in my head yesterday’s work schedule. Everything that needed to be handled was finished including work for Structural Steel, Anchor Fence, Miscellaneous Metal and several of our other regulars. Nothing was left hanging over the long weekend and that’s always a good thing. We have a wonderful holiday feast including a delicious turkey and I do all I can to steal some skin before it’s served. All the trimmings are there including parsnips. My mother-in-law makes a point of having them for me though no one else eats them. Before and after the food, my father-in-law and I sit and watch football. Watching football with Anthony becomes a yearly tradition. With the arrival of the Ravens, it’s that much more fun to view some NFL matchups. We have a good time no matter what game is on, though watching the Lions lose on Thanksgiving becomes a recurring theme.

December 11

It’s a cold day at the Shop and it seems winter arrived early. There is some annealing to do for a heat exchanger for East Coast Welding and that helps. Besides the heater, the workers finish stuff for Greencastle Metals, Kelco, Anchor Fence and others.

December 20

The holiday rush is on across the country and that includes 201 S. Central Avenue. Like every year, we take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off so the end of the December is always a hurried affair. I check the schedule and the calendar. We wait on trucks to pick up jobs for Mercy Hospital, Metropolitan Steel and four others before we can escape.

December 25

Christmas is here and we spend the day with Kim’s parents and her grandmother. The usual holiday trappings are in order. Lots of gifts, lots of fun and family time. It’s the end of the year and I always tend to get reflective. Kim and I are happy. The Shop is staying busy enough not to have to worry much. I see my friends often as they come by the house. I miss the band but I still have in my head, some day Tim and Ray and I will play together again. I don’t think it will be long but right now Kim and I are newlyweds and we love every minute of our time together. As my father said of my mother, she’s my girl and I want everybody to know it. So it is with Kim. I look forward to another good year at  the Joseph Kavanagh Company, a second year of Ravens’ football and another good season for the Orioles. This year took us back to the playoffs and I’m confident next year will be better. A World Series would make for a thrilling Summer and Fall. I will have that thrill next year but not necessarily because of baseball.

Bill Clinton is the President of the United States. President Clinton signs the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty at the United Nations. Nintendo releases Nintendo 64 in the US. NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor. A nail bomb explodes in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. George Burns,  Ella Fitzgerald, Tiny Tim, Howard Rollings and Carl Sagan die.

There are 50 states in the Union.

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

Table of Contents

1995 Joe and Kim

The Kavanagh’s Joe and Kim Kavanagh’s Wedding. October 28, 1995. Photo courtesy of Nancy Kavanagh O”Neill Photography.

January 3

A new year starts for the Joseph Kavanagh Company on the corner of Pratt and Central. It will be an exciting year; in October, I am getting married. I learn quickly there is much work in preparing for a wedding and a great need for a large pile of yellow pads. Design & Production calls me and they have a big job for us. It’s a large order for parts for displays for the soon-to-be-built Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I’m excited as I love music and the thought of a lot of work coming in is always good.  We have a nice bit of work to start with jobs for DCA Food, Turnbull, C.R. Daniels and a few of our fabricator customers.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. DCA Food Industries job. January 3, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Turnbull Enterprises job. January 3, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 3, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. Januray 4, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. C.R. Daniels job. January 6, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Ackerman and Baynes job. January 6, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. January 6, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. J.C. Pardo job. January 6, 1995.

January 11

It has been a rough time for sports. Baseball is still on strike and the NHL locked its players out in the Fall in hopes of forcing a deal between owners and players. Finally, today the Lockout is over and a shortened season is planned. Soon enough  there will be games to watch. I’m still waiting on baseball to resolve their work stoppage. The crew are busy in the cold Shop bending some elbows for C.R. Daniels, rolling some pipes for Miscellaneous Metals and a few other small orders.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. C.R. Daniels job. January 11, 1995.
C.R. Daniels’ aluminum tube elbows on Leonhard Air Bender.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 11, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 11, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 11, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 11, 1995.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 12, 1995.

January 17

The Shop stays fairly busy for January with some regular work for fabricators like Marelco and Miscellaneous Metals. We also have a small job for Center Stage. I love doing things for movies and plays. It makes my job more interesting and Center Stage has something for us once or twice a year.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Center Stage job. January 9, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Marelco job. January 19, 1995
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Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 19, 1995.
Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Miscellaneous Metals job. January 19, 1995.

January 21

The first Capitals game is a tie against the Hartford Whalers. It doesn’t  matter as fans are thrilled to have games being played. Jack got his favorite sport back. Now let’s see what happens with baseball.

Paul and Patrick Kavanagh. Christmas 1994.

January 27

Skip Lepp from Design and Production comes to the Shop today and we meet face to face. He brings several orders with him and so begin months of work all for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The scope of the job grows through the year. I knew we would have at least ten or fifteen displays to make parts for but as the year passes, the orders keep rolling in. Skip and I have hit it off well already on the phone,  but in person we match even more so. He’s a baseball fan though a dreaded Yankee fan. Still, we get on well,  making this long job and future ones move smoothly.

Delivery Ticket. Joseph Kavanagh Company. Design and Production job. January 27, 1995.
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