- On Air Program Guide
- A Blue View
- Brain Talk
- Cellar Notes
- Choral Arts Classics
- The Environment in Focus
- Gil Sandler’s Baltimore Stories
- Humanities Connection
- Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast
- Midday with Dan Rodricks
- The Morning Economic Report
- Radio Kitchen
- The Signal
- Take Five
- Your Maryland
- Public Commentary
- War of 1812 Stories
A Barber and A Friend to the late Art Modell
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.
September 27, 2012
The Baltimore Ravens have had two home towns, the city they’re named for and Westminster, their training camp home until recently. You get that second hometown feel at 13 East Main Street in Westminster. Fraser Smith reports.
The eight–foot tall door is wide open at Cal Bloom’s Barber Shop on east Main. Striped barber poll markings run down either side of the entrance. And right there, painted on the threshold, is the fierce Ravens’ profile in purple, gold and white.
David Modell, the late team owner’s son, thinks of the shop as Westminster’s epicenter – and Ravens central. He says Cal’s place is perfect: 9 bucks for 9 minutes and 20 minutes to chat. He’s been a customer for more than a decade.
One day, at Cal’s request, Modell showed up with the 2000 Super Bowl trophy in a gym bag.
Cal remembers the buzz.
“Oddly enough, I don’t know how people found out, but people found out that the trophy was here and would come in and have their picture taken with the trophy. That was a really exciting time.”
For Cal, hefting the trophy was an almost-religious experience.
"It’s all hollow inside. But it was unique to be able to hold it."
When his father fell ill and began having trouble getting around, David asked Cal if he’d drive to his Art Modell’s home near Oregon Ridge. For three or four years, Cal was on the road to the Modells’ once a month or so.
Westminster native John Willis, the former Maryland secretary of state and one of Cal’s customers, finds something classically American in the Cal Bloom-Modell story.
"That was something I’ll always remember, is being able to find out about the football team through the barbershop and what was going to happen, what the moves were, and the initiatives.”
Cal came to think of himself over the years as a defender of Modell’s honor. He had not done to Cleveland what the old Baltimore Colt’s owner, Bob Irsay, did to Baltimore – abscond with the trophies not to speak of the city’s heart.
"Irsay took the team, he took the name, he took our world championship stuff and everything. He took everything with him where Art left everything behind."
And started over again in Baltimore.
Debby Jenkins, a waitress at the Tea Cup Bar Café a few doors east, says Art Modell seemed like a kind and generous man – just what the Baltimore region needed after Irsay.
"We got blessed with the Ravens and Ray Lewis. I really like Ray Lewis."
She’s all-in with the team.
"And I do have a purple car. You see that purple, that’s my purple Ravens car right over there? It’s purple and I got it all Raven-ed out on my birthday. They got me tags and everything.”
Cal says no one, not even Debby Jenkins, loved the linebacker Ray Lewis more than Art Modell did.
"Ray was like an adopted son. Matter of fact he was like a father figure to most of the guys that played for him.”
And, yes, he says, gathering himself, Modell was a good tipper.
"The money was good to have but…excuse me, and about the best tip I can say is that I was a good friend of his and that I was able to do a good service for him."
In honor of his friend, he’ll be wearing his Raven-ed up purple smock every day now .
I’m Fraser Smith reporting from Westminster for 88-1 WYPR.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 6:35am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun talk about the Baltimore City...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...