Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick | WYPR

Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick

Wendell Patrick

The premise of Out of the Blocks is pretty simple:  producers Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick show up on a city block, and they make it their mission to meet and interview everyone there.  It's documentary leap of faith based in a belief that everybody's got a story worth sharing.  Mainly, though, it's just a great excuse to talk to strangers.

Aaron & Wendel recently spent some time on the 3600 block of Falls Road in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood, where one of the longest-standing businesses is the Burgee-Henss-Seitz Funeral Home.  It’s been there for 5 generations, more than a century, and the funeral director there now is a fellow named Mike Carpenter.  Mr. Carpenter ended up in the family business after he married a gal named Tracy Burgee, who happened to be the great-great-granddaughter of the funeral home’s founder.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

A boom in new, young residents is great for business, unless you’re the neighborhood funeral home.  In this episode, a funeral director looks toward an uncertain future, a yarn shop becomes a handicraft social hub, a family of Mennonites arrives to start a Christian school, and a record store owner ponders his decision to become… a record store owner.

In this Out of the Blocks excerpt, we feature Nilajah Brown of Flourish Boutique on the 2400 block of St Paul Street in Baltimore.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

It’s hard to write a 'spoiler-free' description of this episode because these stories from 1100 Ward Street take so many surprise twists.  Let's just say we meet a man who almost got to play with The Orioles, a guy who ended up becoming friends with a woman who stabbed him, a woman who survived a house fire, a man who got the closest thing he ever had to a father figure when he was behind bars, and a repo man who struggles to make his own car payments.