Beau Monde Press

Belliveau Blog


Author Jeannette Belliveau:

Belliveau Blog Presentations Contact
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Her books:

An Amateur's Guide to the Planet

Romance on the Road
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Belliveau's discount travel links
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Now reading:
Ace of Spades Ace of Spades
by David Matthews
Harrowing but compelling look at growing up mixed race in Baltimore.
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Now watching:
The Office: Season 3The Office - Season Three
Subtle brilliance from the leads and the minor characters -- Angela, Phyllis, Kevin, Oscar, Toby and Ryan -- only increase the hilarity exponentially. .........................
Now listening to:
Complete Studio Recordings Complete Studio Recordings
Led Zeppelin
Incredibly, Zep now have an entire station to themselves (Channel 59) at XM Radio.

May 11, 2012

My latest green project: "The Butt Stops Here"

ButtStops3.jpgA can, spray paint and the paint markers.

Noticing some of the younger neighbors leaving cigarette butts strewn on the sidewalk -- and giant floating matts of the non-biodegradeable butts along the Canton waterfront -- I decided it was better to light a candle (or cigarette cherry ...) than curse the darkness.

I asked Lillian Crawley of Lombard Hardware for some cans to make butt holders with. She came up with the first three. I said I didn't want to pay more than $1 for each but she kindly donated them. Her husband Kenny, who used to letter signs, used paint markers to letter a few and came up with the fetching arrow on top of "The Butt Stops Here." See Kenny's prototype below and to the right.

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Lillian suggested filling them with sand and drilling drainage holes in them. And so I did. I found "free" sand from the collapsed bricks and mortar from my neighbor's house demo project.

As part of being green and salvaging materials, I used some red spray paint I had lying around and brushed some surplus grey paint with a brush freehand-style to make the lettering. This looks just awful -- there's a line between homespun and ugly, and it was crossed. I tried to photograph them for before & after photos but I guess I didn't do something right w/ my new camera. That may be for the best!

So I went to Utrecht Art Supplies and got a pretty light yellow, pro quality spray paint, and some paint markers of my own, since I'm terrible at freehand lettering with a brush. So that was around $20 for supplies but necessary I feel.

I Googled a bit to learn how to make stencils. I printed out a paper with Stencil font of what I needed for the cans and found scrap Mylar and plastic around the house -- I'm trying to salvage everything for the project. Tried to use a soldering iron with a fine tip but that just rounded the edges. So I ended up using an X-acto knife that I had received as part of a tool set belonging to my late brother-in-law. He had neatly taped extra blades to the knife, so I put a fresh blade in and tightened the knurled metal collar.

The resulting stencil isn't perfect but it's better than my freehand efforts!

Today I found around six cans in recycling bins so I can make a few more of these. Win-win-win-win-win -- salvaging items, keeping them out of a landfill, learning how to stencil, keeping our sidewalks cleaner and helping the environment. Oh and meeting nice neighbors outside who smoke and who REALLY are happy to get one of these cans!

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A can to the right of the steps at Ann's Grocery. I asked the leader of our local street gang to ask folks to use it, and she readily assented.


February 16, 2012

Tiny new chameleon found in Madagascart

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A small islet called Nosy Hara off northwest Madagascar -- near Nosy Be and Nosy Komba from what I can tell -- has yielded a new discovery of a tiny chameleon, photo at right. News of the mini-meleon can be seen here in the Daily Mail and here in Digital Journal.

We saw a giant chameleon at the other end of the size spectrum -- call a Parson's chameleon -- during the visit to Madagascar's Andasibe Perinet park recounted in An Amateur's Guide to the Planet. Rather than being as tiny as a fingernail, the Parson's is bigger than a hand. Photo from the trip at left.

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November 21, 2011

Greatest travel books rated by greatest travel writers

Nice article in the Guardian here entitled My favourite travel book, by the greatest travel writers. Fully concur with the mention of Dervla Murphy's "Full Tilt." You can see some of my recommended greatest travel books here.



May 22, 2011

The life and times of Pierre Belliveau

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Typical pose in my office.

pierre copy.JPGJuly 5, 1995-May 21, 2011


Also known as: Mr. Devotion Boy, Pondicherry, Petey-arey, Big Red, Reddy Freddy, Padary, Alessandro del Piero, Petey, Pwer-boy, Mr. Pete, Mr. Pierre Boy, Mr. Flaps, Fabio


Pierre came into our lives in 1999 via Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, outside of Frederick, Maryland. The photo at right was with his online description for potential adopters. He had a dossier from his foster family that would rival that of a human adoption placement agency in terms of thoroughness. Unlike confident, center-of-his-own-universe Beau, Pierre was something of a trouble child who needed help.


"He's got baggage," said Laura Lane-Unsworth, his foster caregiver over the phone, before we even met Pierre. Sheltie Rescue was looking for someone experienced with dogs to handle this fellow, turned in with the name Petey. He was a bit overweight at 66 lbs. in rescue (we got him under 50 lbs. for the rest of his life.) "He has a talent for finding food," she said, and had stolen pizza and a bagel. He was low man on the total pole in his foster house of three dogs and two cats, a pattern he would repeat with us.


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First photo of Pierre at meeting in Frederick. Lamont commented on his glow-in-the-dark teeth.


He was turned in because he bit a child in his previous home in Baltimore County, where the family had bought him at a pet store. "He was a wreck around kids," she said. "He couldn't handle the noise level." His owner considered euthanizing him but finally tracked down sheltie rescue. She called to see how he was doing every week until she heard he'd been placed.


While overall a friendly and affectionate dog, he failed at a walk-in exhibit of rescue dogs in Frederick. He reacted badly to a man there, growling and lowering himself. 



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A visit to Twinbrook to meet my parents. My mom commented on his evident devotion to me from the start.


3---PierreTwinbrook.jpgPierre meets Matt and Skipper, right.

"He needs molding and work on obedience," she said. "He could be a wonderful dog. He's not a push-button dog like a golden retriever. He's not a biter that can't be trusted. He's a joy in the household now."


Laura said she would keep him if she had more time to work with him.  "And one more thing -- he's gorgeous. He has a white stripe and he's a sweetheart." He was a very feeling dog who played a bit too roughly, but corrections squelched him. A balance needed to be found where he could be confident and well-behaved. He was very smart and sensitive, exuberant, vigilant and protective and most of all needed to be "molded." "He's like a big puppy, taking everything in," she said. 


Could he handle the pit bulls in the neighborhood I wondered, as Beau had been victim of an attack. "He's strong," Laura said. "He wouldn't cower."


We arranged to meet Pierre outside Frederick at a house full of fostered shelties. He was a giant among a fish-school swarm of average-sized and tinier dogs. I took him out back to see if he would get along with Beau and climb an agility seesaw. All went well and we signed the adoption papers, paid our $100 and bought him home on July 3, 1999.


He was a good-looking as advertised, a honey sable verging into a reddish color, such that Big Red became one of his nicknames. He clambered happily into Lamont's Saturn, completely willing to try a new life. We went to a McDonald's in Frederick and he and Beau happily competed for fries.



OnDuvet.jpgSneaking onto a duvet.


Petey seemed an absurd name for this very beautiful dog who looked nothing like the "Little Rascals" Staffordshire terrier. He needed a new name for a new life, and Pierre became it; close to his old name but more elegant. Whenever he behaved like a Petey though -- anxious or a big goof -- we trotted out his original moniker.


Perhaps due to all the changes and stresses in his life, Pierre developed an ear infection. He was strong and bit me when I tried to put medicine in his ears. I was concerned that he was too much to handle and called Sheltie Rescue back. I realized he was closed to being euthanized before arriving at sheltie rescue and it really was the Last Chance Saloon for him.  I just dominated him and made it clear he had to behave and not bite as I put in the medicine. The second time, I had Lamont hold Pierre while I put the medicine in, and things went much better.


An interesting thing happened the third time I put in the medicine. His ears were better, and Pierre was a trusting angel who lay still and well-behaved. He turned out to be a reasonable dog with adults, who behaved unless he was in pain, but never could relax around children. His groomer found him reasonable and intelligent, and if she proceeded with him gently he behaved even as arthritis got him more and more in his senior years.

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Pierre still comfortable and glossy coated a month ago.


His most prominent nickname over time became Mr. Devotion Boy. He didn't live the adventurous life Beau did, going to Montreal and Yellowstone, being bitten by a pit bull, but he was steady and quite devoted to the members of his household, as shown in the photos below.


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Pierre and housemate Megi, above and below, had a love fest, as her family had shelties as well.


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Edited to add: He did have one small adventure, on a walk on the old piers near Bo Brooks soon after I got him. He disappeared completely and didn't respond to my calls. I looked in all directions and under the piers -- no luck. I ran around to near the Getaway Sailing School and sure enough, his pretty red head was bobbing in the water as he swum around the point of land. I called him to the boat dock, and a construction worker helped me haul him out of the water, as he hadn't lost his excess weight yet. I was struck by how relieved I was to see him and how bonded we were already, and bought the worker a couple of six packs of beer in thanks.


Pierre's main friends after myself and Lamont were housemates Micheleen, Mark (a jogging buddy), Catharine, Megi, Katie, Joanne and Laura, and outside the house he loved Lillian Crowley of Lombard Hardware, Janet Cook and Dr. Jane Hungate. In his last week, we made a little trip up to the hardware store and he was relaxed and happy with Lillian's familiar demeanor even though he was mostly blind and a little disoriented.


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Dressed up for the Ravens, in his  favorite place -- Lombard Hardware, and outside the store below.

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Oh no! They are closed for a holiday! Who will give us treats?


He had problems with a pancreatis attack in July 2009 but was otherwise quite healthy until he began to suffer from Cushing's disease. This led to a lack of muscle tone in his hind legs and he had increasing difficulty walking in his last month, but could be lured along with a peanut-flavored dog biscuit from the Baltimore Dog Bakery.



Pierre pawned by one of the cats from coming in the hallway.


I sensed that he didn't have much time in his last week, as he sometimes collapsed after a step or two on his walks, so he got a shinbone from Whole Foods to chew and the special dog biscuits. As much as I could, I rubbed to top of his white-blazed head and the sides of his face and stroked his back the way he liked. He panted in what seemed to be discomfort but the petting soothed him, and I thought as long as he was soothable I would delay setting a euthanasia date.


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Tummy rubs needed to be accompanied by the rhetorical question, "Is it tummy rub time Pierre boy?


On Thursday, I took him to his vet, who gave me painkillers, antibiotics and arthritis medicine to see if he might rally over the weekend. I was prepared if necessary to euthanize him, but the vet recommended a different course.


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Running at Betty Hyatt Park, soon after we bought him home.


On Saturday, a beautiful day for the running of the Preakness here, I wanted to go see the visiting Nationals at the Orioles' Camden Yards, but a friend I invited couldn't make it. So I was home as Pierre took a turn for the worse in the afternoon, and he died as I held him as I tried to move him to a more comfortable position in our back alley, where he rested in the shade. He was gone at 5:50 p.m. He managed to escape euthanasia on three occasions and is our only pet to have died at home.


We took his body to Pet ER in Towson for ultimate cremation, and the staff thoughtfully set up his comforter-wrapped body in an exam room for a little version of a private wake. We stroked his still-pretty fur -- he looked like he was sleeping -- and said our goodbyes. We'll get an urn with his ashes, a pawprint and a lock of fur in a few days.


Thank you to those who saw the good in Pierre: Carol Guth and Laura of Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue; his original owner who surrendered him; Dr. Pam Nesbitt of Essex Middle River Veterinary Center; Lillian, Micheleen, Megi, Dr. Hungate and Mark and others of the Friends of Pierre club.



beauperemums2-copy.jpgHanging out back with the chrysanthemums.

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During a blizzard.
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Dressed up I think for the Women's World Cup.
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2010 picture.
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One of the most revealing pictures of Pierre, locked on my expression during a walk in Gwynns Falls.

PierreDeck1.jpgOn the deck, photos above and below. He smashed a hole in the railing so he could go eat compost.
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With Beau on right at Betty Hyatt Park.


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Betty Hyatt Park in autumn.
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Chillin' with "The Pack," including Casey, Olivia and Beau.



November 6, 2010

Amusing looks at the peculiarities of Demand Media Studios

My Summer at the Content Farm looks at editing for DMS, the parent organization of eHow, Livestrong, Garden Guides, Golflink, Tyra and other online content providers, and the Columbia Journalism Review looks at the writing side in In Demand. Writing and editing articles based on real Google searches versus news is quite a head-spinner for all former journalists.

Another look from Adweek: Content Farms: Angels or Devils?


November 3, 2010

Excellent look at how to create strong passwords

If you want a good look at how to create stronger passwords, take a look here, at How to Come Up with a Super Strong Password. It talks about how to create a password you can remember but no person or machine can easily crack. This has become more important as email accounts get hacked by password-guessing bots.

October 16, 2010

An appreciation of my top travel books list

Thanks to Pat Hartman of "The Blog of Kevin Dolgin" for this shoutout, Picking a Literary Travel Destination. The blog references my list of recommended travel books, Belliveau's top literary travel books, and describes me as "one of those exceeding literate outdoorsy folk, like Paul Theroux and a surprising number of other adventurers.

August 13, 2010

The problem with 'Eat Pray Love'

Just a quick note to observe that the Rotten Tomatoes slams of "Eat Pray Love" starring Julia Roberts are in line with my criticism of the book on Amazon.com, which has in the past four years been rated as helpful by 244 of 295 people.

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January 3, 2010

Baby Boy's 21 years in the 'hood

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The corner where Baby Boy met his end, the morning after.

“Pop-pop.” Pause. “Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.”

Without saying a word to each other, Lamont and I began moving. I heard him pick up the phone and report to 911, “There’s been a shooting at the corner of Pratt and Durham streets.”

I climbed cautiously to the roof deck to peer out on the corner, which was strangely empty. No pedestrians, and few parked cars, given that many Hopkins students were gone for the holidays. I looked over neighbors’ roofs to see if anyone was fleeing yet another police raid at 1811 E. Pratt. Nothing.

No sign of smoke or glitter that it could be fireworks, either. Lamont was right: The sound was louder, sharper, more human directed.

We walked together downstairs, out the front door and rounded the corner onto Pratt. Already an ambulance and numerous police cars were on the scene, and officers were beginning to tape off the crime scene.

A prone figure lay utterly still in front of Pratt Street Liquors, on the drug hot spot we’d been complaining about for years.

“It’s Baby Boy,” said Robert, a neighbor. Without thinking, I began walking toward the figure. A police officer ushered me back and began unrolling tape. Dozens of neighbors gathered on both sides of the scene.

Medics hovered over the victim. He didn’t waggle a foot or a hand, like NFL players do to signal they are OK after a bad hit. Deputy Major Bill Davis of Southeastern District came over. He confirmed it was Baby Boy. “Pretty bad,” he replied when I asked how he was doing.

“I’ve known him since he was a little boy,” I said in shock, still hoping it wasn’t him. The victim was loaded into a gurney, his face largely obscured by an oxygen mask. That smooth forehead topped by bristly black porcupine hair. My stomach lurched. It was Baby Boy, unless there somehow was another similar-looking 21-year-old Lumbee Indian kid running the streets.

Lamont stood near the ambulance, his brow knitted in concern. I walked toward him, saying to Robert as I passed him, “I loved Baby Boy.” The words just came out. Robert shrugged. “We watched him grow up. That’s why we called him Baby Boy.”

Kinlaw Craig Jones was declared dead on arrival at Johns Hopkins Hospital, around 12:30 a.m., Dec. 27, 2009.


***

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James Jones, left, and Kinlaw Craig Jones, right, enjoy an ice cream on Ann Street. My 1998 photo shows Craig's open expression and crinkly-eyed grin.

Baby Boy and his brother, James, lived with their grandfather, who was said to pass the time “huffing” (sniffing) glue, at 109 S. Ann St., one block up. I asked Baby Boy his real name one day, and learned that his family called him Craig, his middle name, not Kinlaw. I called him Craig thenceforth, to keep the street a little bit at bay. His father and mother also lived in the neighborhood but did not raise him or James under their roof.

They were among 10,000 Lumbee Indians, originally from the Carolinas, who now live in East Baltimore. Kinlaw is a common Lumbee surname, along with Locklear and Jones.

Craig had gotten lead poisoning as a child, and as a result was short in stature, but still strong and clever. That combination caught my eye. I thought this kid might be able to help solve a problem.

I asked Craig the father for permission to hire Craig the son to run a new circuit to my refrigerator. The rehabbers of my house had left the fridge on the overall kitchen circuit, and it blew constantly. I couldn’t myself crawl under the heating ducts the 60 feet or so back to the crawlspace area under the far end of the kitchen. Craig looked like he was small enough to squeeze past the ducts, brave enough to essentially tunnel in dirt dating from the 1840s, smart enough to follow my instructions.

The father gave his permission. I put an old T-shirt over Craig’s clothes, sent him along with a flashlight, a trowel for digging and the end of a length of 12-gauge wire, and he delivered the wire to an area underneath the fridge, where we figured out a way to haul it through the drywall. He backed his way out and stood in the basement by the crawlspace opening with reddish Maryland clay dust in his raven hair, on his face and the T shirt.

“Stand right there,” I said, and got a broom to brush him off. He took some cash in payment and nodded when I said to ask his mother if he could keep it, having said very little, and headed off.

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The house where Craig grew up, 109 S. Ann St.

After that, Craig and his sidekick, Michael Cuffey—“Fat Mike,” tackled many more house rehab projects during summer vacations. We called Fat Mike “Big Mike” to his face to spare his feelings. He was a much taller and heavier Lumbee kid, like Craig with a mother battling addiction problems, and raised by his grandmother, Miss Linda, up on the 1900 block of Pratt Street.

They tore the plaster off the central stairway and wielded a Sawzall like a light saber, wearing their dust masks. That their edumacation hadn’t made great strides was on display when asked to do anything involving reading, writing and arithmetic.

“Here’s the wood vices,” I said to Craig. “Put them away downstairs in the drawer labeled ‘vices.’” He tried his best, but couldn’t spell well enough to figure out where to put them, and came back upstairs to ask for my guidance.

“You worked six hours at $5 an hour. What do I owe you?” Neither could say.

They excelled however at a few things, including buying rap and eating. Big Mike loved DMX’s rap album “Ruff Ryders, Ryde or Die Vol. 1” and carried it over every day in an ever more tattered CD cover to play while they worked. I tried to play them some more Old School music, while they waited stoicly for DMX to reappear on the boom box. Lamont was appalled when after unrelenting exposure I broke down and bought DMX myself, with his gangsta lyrics. We changed the main line of one of the worst offending songs to “I love my shelties and but where’s my corgis?” from the original lyric involving lovely "n" and "b" words.

Craig, Mike and I went for lunch most days that summer of 1999 (gauged by the release of “Ruff Ryders”) at the McDonald’s at Highland Avenue and Pulaski Highway in Highlandtown. “Give me some fries n-----,” Craig ordered Big Mike one day. The word made me wince. They listened respectfully but as if dealing with a senile old fogey to my explanation of why the “n” word was pretty bad. It just wasn’t bad to them, the music they loved swam in the word. They humored me enough to not use it in my earshot.

Big Mike was sloppy at the work, while Craig was methodical and determined. When we finished the stairs, I gave Craig other work whenever he came by. He did a flawless job cleaning the kitchen floor. I peaked at him once as he worked, and he was focused and meticulous. Often he asked, “Miss Jeannette, will you hold my money for me?” I put it in an envelope. This is how you bank in the city, when you are small and the kids on the bus might rob you.

It was obvious that Craig, then about 11 years old, would make an excellent drug salesman, being streetwise as he was, as well as under 18 and thus not eligible for adult sentencing. “Craig, you are smart and strong, and the drug sellers will want to have you sell for them,” I said one day at the Highlandtown McDonalds. “They are using you, you will be at risk and they will get away with making money off you. If you ever need money, come to me, I’ll give you some work.”

He listened and nodded.

By this time, he was less solemn and often quite jolly as we worked together. We drove off to get supplies for another project, and got in the drivethrough at the North Avenue Taco Bell. I made up a Ruff Ryders-type rap about what we were going to order at Taco Bell, and how it would compare to McDonald’s, and Craig giggled happily and just said, “More!” He was always laconic, and sometimes unintentionally adult. “Ain’t that a mother,” he said once to my complaint about something.

Lamont took him to soccer on two occasions, and we both noted he was far more willing than the true bad-to-the-bone street kids to try new experiences.

Craig and James showed up one snowy evening to borrow our snow shovel and make money shoveling. They returned happy with a fair showing of earnings, but soaked to their knees. We gave them some of Lamont’s much too big clothes and belts to hold up his pants. While their clothes tumbled in the drier, we made them hot chocolate and hung out in the dining room. The brothers were like stray cats, they had found us and picked us, and for that night at least, they were with two adults that got along well and didn’t “use” and spoke kindly to them. After a similar visit, Craig asked to lie down for a while. After a few hours, I tried to shake him awake. Something about life exhausted him that night, and he wouldn’t wake. After a while, I just threw a blanket over him and let him stay. Somewhere in the back of my mind was whether he needed to be formally fostered, but he had a mother and father of his own, right in the neighborhood.

Craig’s grandfather, known as Mr. Bob or "Pop Pop," moved out of the neighborhood, over to Erdman Avenue. I still saw Craig in and out of the neighborhood. Granddad, a solemn, high-cheekboned, quiet and very Indian-looking man, came down with throat cancer. I delivered Craig to him one day, in a grim public housing project. He couldn’t talk. He did gesture for me to look at the baby pictures of Craig and James, framed on a shelf, with their black eyes and bristly hair looking like papooses in a tintype from an early American settlement.

Somewhere around 1999, Craig’s grandfather died, and Craig lost his tether of stability. In August 2004, he committed an armed robbery. We didn’t see him for a while while he was put away. He returned a summer or two later, much more muscled and ripped and tattoo’d. Was that Craig sitting on the parking lot barricade beside the Ann Convenience Store? I walked by with the dogs. He put his head under his T shirt, hiding from me. “Craig is that you?” No response. “Craig, I know that’s you.” He stayed under the shirt.

He was on the bookstore corner a few days later with a giant thug pal of his. “Hi Craig.” This time he kept his head unhidden. “You know what you’re like?” He looked off into space, humoring me. “A salmon, you know what that is?” Shake of the head, no. “It’s a fish that comes home to the place it was born, year after year.” He looked a bit amused.

He built his rap sheet. August 2006: drug charges. June 2007: Implicated in the notorious killing of a U.S. Marine home on leave a few blocks north of here, on the border of the Washington Hill and Butchers Hill neighborhoods.

He was out again, racking up drug charges in November 2007, July 2008 and August 2008.

The prosecutors who work with us in East Baltimore wanted a community impact statement for Baby Boy at a sentencing hearing held Oct. 21, 2009. They made a plea for input at our community association meeting in September, if memory serves, noting that they had caught him with a driving violation and gotten him back in jail on a relatively small charge. And they wanted to put him away for longer. No one ever wrote a statement for them, and I’m sure the prosecutors were very disappointed. Craig’s drug trading was far more discrete and less blatant than that of other dealers. He walked quietly in the shadows of the trees on Ann Street, to and from his deals. We wanted the more blatant, cheesy dealers put away first. In retrospect, we probably should have suggested that Butcher’s Hill take the lead on keeping him in jail; he dealt drugs in our area, and probably was our worst homegrown criminal, but he got tangled up with serious violence only off his home territory.

If he had been kept in jail, he’d likely still be alive, and have a chance at redemption.

I saw him alive the last time this past summer, as I rounded the corner of Ann and walked with Pierre up Pratt. He was on the corner of Pratt and Durham, the south side, steps away from the north side, where he would be executed later. He stood with some of the other hoodies, them sullen and vacant as ever in my presence, Craig alert and aware but relaxed. I was happy as always to see him, because of our history before his grandfather died. We exchanged smiles and a soul shake. “How you doin’,” he said, his voice and accent now thoroughly street, like his one-time muse DMX.

He was on his road to his ultimate fate. Yet it was still a horror to see his poor still body, to watch him depart with strangers in an ambulance, to read later in the paper he had been shot in the head and shot repeatedly as he lay fallen.

The Baltimore Sun reported in City surpasses '08 homicide total:

The man, identified as Kinlaw Jones, was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Agent Donny Moses said. Jones had a long criminal record, according to electronic court records. He was convicted of drug distribution in December 2008 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, with nine years, seven months and 21 days of that sentence suspended.
In June 2008, he was acquitted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, pleading guilty to assault and possessing a deadly weapon with intent to injure. For that conviction, he received five years in prison, with four years and about four months suspended. He was charged with violating his probation in October 2009, receiving a two-year suspended sentence.

Homicide put several of its aces on the case, including Detectives McGraff and Joseph C. Landsman, the model for Jay Landsman on "The Wire," whose findings are reported in the Baltimore Sun's Cockeysville man arrested in deadly Pratt Street shooting:

According to charging documents, witnesses identified Antonio Edwards, 26, of the 6000 block of Clovercrest Way in Cockeysville as the man who shot Kinlaw Jones in the 1800 block of E. Pratt St. Witnesses said the men were arguing when Edwards pulled out a gun and shot Jones several times, then stood over him and continued to fire, Detective Joseph C. Landsman wrote in charging documents.

So that is our story from our version of “The Corner,” where many who visit my deck -- fellow publishers, carpenters, others -- look down on Pratt and Durham and see the predictable way the trading down there is going to turn out for everyone. Even the police were appalled that he died at 21, the 235th fatality of 2009. Officer Zayas, who covers our local beat, had recently warned Baby Boy of a drug turf battle on Pratt Street and to stay a few blocks away for a while.

I agree with what Lamont wrote on my Facebook page:

“I used to take him to play soccer when he was really tiny, I mean really tiny. He was a good kid. Its disgusting to see him like that. The people who led him down that road should take a look at themselves and be ashamed, though I know they won’t.”

Kinlaw Craig Jones, Oct. 27, 1988-Dec. 27, 2009

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December 10, 2009

Coach Wes and the Hampstead Hamsters

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Lamont "Wes" Harvey poses with the Hampstead Hill Academy soccer team, from left: Anthony, Kameron, Zoe, Eric, Christopher and Brooke.

Had fun shooting Lamont coaching one of the local charter schools in Baltimore, Hampstead Hill Academy. The kids wanted to call their team the Hornets, but I nicknamed them the Hamsters for the heck of it. The most charming part of the dynamic, which wasn't really clear until I got home and looked at my photos, was his dealing with a young player with a lot of heart named Anthony, a third-grader who claimed he was a year older to get a chance to play.

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Anthony, at right, tries to dribble against opponent Kevin in red pinney, playing for Patterson Park Charter School, while teammate Alex lunges forward.

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Kevin readies one of many shots.

KevinWeb.jpg Kevin's got plenty of confidence to provide his view of a play counter to the coach's. "Kevin's complaints and comments were remarkably sophisticated," Lamont says. "Most were to the point and had just the right amount of justification, while being only slightly weighted towards Patterson so as to appear neutral. The picture of Kevin is an incident where he was clearly fouled, but I explained that I allowed it to play on because he still had possession and it resulted in a shot on goal. Blowing the whistle would have rewarded Hampstead by stopping the play."

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One of my favorite photos ever, as Anthony (right) yowls over a Hampstead missed shot, and Alex (blue socks) and Kameron (white socks) slump dramatically. "Alex had a break away, and hit the post, just barely missing a chance to tie the game," Lamont says.

Players2Web.jpg Alex challenges Kevin.

RaceWeb.jpg

My favorite action shot, with six players trying to get in on the action.

Wes&CameronWeb.jpg

Lamont coaches as Kameron readies a throw-in.

WesCoaches2Web.jpg

Lamont makes a point, lit by a lowering autumn afternoon sun.

PlayersWeb.jpg

Anthony and Alex try to hold back a rival player.

WesCoachesWeb.jpg

Anthony rubs his eyes in embarrassment as Wes makes an emphatic point, while Alex looks on.

ZoeshootsWeb.jpg Zoe tries a shot. "Hampstead's success often depended upon the willingness of the boys to use Zoe up front," Lamont says. "Though Alex and Kameron were the driving force of the 4th-5th grade team, when they included Zoe in the attack we were able to beat Wolfe and Patterson. "Anthony and Christopher were pretty fearless in their challenges. It took a bit of work to get Brooke to challenge the boys. My solution was to have Brooke take our goal kicks, this kept her involved."

After all the drama between the coach and the youngest player, remember the top photo to see Anthony's ready smile as he poses with his coach. Here it is again:

HampsteadTeamWeb.jpg



Jeannette Belliveau

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