University of Baltimore MFA student Hilary Sigismondi remembers her childhood in Baltimore City as a series of sweet treats and staggering surprises. With her entry, we’re pleased to welcome back Baltimore Fishbowl’s “My Real Life Modern Family” column series, which features creative nonfiction from local writers.
I grew up in Loch Raven Village, a neighborhood right off the number No. 3 bus line, about a mile north of Baltimore City. I caught this bus with my widowed grandmother to go shopping at the Hutzler’s department store downtown. We sat side by side in blue plastic seats and looked out the window to watch familiar landmarks flash past: the A&P grocery store where I shopped on Saturday mornings with my dad; Ken’s Big Boy restaurant where my best friend Tina and I devoured 99-cent ice cream sundaes in mini paper cups filled to the brim with hot fudge; and the #11 fire station, located directly across the street from the entranceway to the long, winding road that led to the Kiwanis Swim Club where I spent practically every summer day. I loved hanging out at the pool. It was one of the rare things our family did together and, best of all, my parents seemed to love each other there.