ENDURING IMAGES OF SOME OF OUR MOST FASCINATING SUBJECTS

Words by Max Weiss

More than anything else, our goal here at Baltimore is to tell human stories, to introduce you to the many intriguing, talented, and, yes, eccentric people who make this town soar. We do this, of course, through close observation, in-depth interviews, and artful descriptions—we use our words, basically—but we also do it through photography. As writers, we’re inspired by (and maybe even a little jealous of) how much can be communicated through a picture, how much personality and humanity can jump off a page. We’re proud of the wonderful roster of photographers we use here, and we wanted to show off some of their best work. On the following pages, you’ll see vibrant, vital, evocative photos of some of our favorite subjects of the 21st century, from the late Ethel Ennis to R&B star Mario (yes, he’s from Baltimore). In some cases, our subject is seen close-up, so that their face alone seems to tell the story. In other cases, we put the subject in their own environment, because so much can be learned when people surround themselves with their favorite stuff. In all instances, the cliché proves true: A picture really can speak a thousand words.




ETHEL ENNIS: JAZZ MUSICIAN



“PURE ETHEL” BY JOHN LEWIS / MARCH 2011

Photography By Dean Alexander

We interviewed the grande dame of Baltimore jazz, who died last February, at her Mondawmin home with her beloved husband, the writer Earl Arnett, at her side. She regaled us with stories of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, explained why she didn’t get stage fright (“I don’t get nervous because I’m not ambitious.”), and shared how her musical spirit was inspired by her grandmother: “She wanted me to sing things that would uplift the spirit and not dwell in sorrow.”

PAT MORAN: Casting Director



“SEEING RED” BY JOHN LEWIS / AUGUST 2013

Photography By Mike Morgan

The word “iconic” gets thrown around a lot, but it certainly applies to Pat Moran. With her signature shock of orange hair and oversized glasses, the multiple Emmy-award-winning casting director is instantly recognizable, and she’s been a fixture in Baltimore, moving from the underground scene to the height of mainstream success, for decades. “My whole career has been one big accident,” Moran told us, modestly. “I’m just lucky to have gotten out of Catonsville.”

MARIO: R&B MUSICIAN



“MARIO SINGS THE BLUES” BY GREGORY KANE / JANUARY 2011

Photography By Daniel Bedell

We spoke to the actor and R&B heartthrob during a particularly dark time in his life. His mother, who struggled with addiction, had accused him of assault (she later recanted and the charges were dropped), and he was still reeling from the negative publicity. Music, he explained, had been a way to escape his troubled home life. And though his relationship with his mother was strained, he vowed to be there for her: “This is my mother, and this will always be my mother,” he told us.

LEFTY KREH: FLY FISHERMAN



“BIG FISH” BY LYDIA WOOLEVER / MAY 2016

Photography By Mike Morgan

Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, a serious amateur fisherman himself, equated meeting his friend Lefty Kreh to “a Little League shortstop meeting Cal Ripken for the first time.” We got a fly fishing lesson from the legendary sportsman and writer, who died at 93 in March 2018, and captured his innate good nature (“I just like people; and if you like people, they like you.”); his concerns about the state of the Bay (“In my opinion, there shouldn’t be any commercial fishing in the Chesapeake Bay anymore.”); and his philosophy of fishing——and life (“Even if you don’t catch anything, you had fun playing the game.”).

BRYAN VOLTAGGIO: CHEF, RESTAURATEUR



"LIFE OF BRYAN" BY JANE MARION / NOVEMBER 2014

Photography By Mike Morgan

“I’ve always looked to Baltimore as a city I grew up in, even though I’ve never lived here,” said Frederick’s Bryan Voltaggio, who appeared on season six of Top Chef in 2009 and its spinoff, Top Chef Masters, in 2013. “We frequented it so much on weekends——I felt like it was part of my childhood and my life. . . . I love Baltimore.” We talked with the chef right as he opened the (since closed) Aggio in Power Plant Live! His Volt and Family Meal restaurants remain dining institutions in Frederick.

LOIS LEDNUM: WATERWOMEN



"WATERWOMEN" BY LYDIA WOOLEVER / JULY 2016

Photography By Justin Tsucalas

When people talk about a face earning every crevice and line, they might as well be talking about the sun-browned face of 75-year-old Lois Lednum, one of our “heroines of the Chesapeake Bay” profiled by Lydia Woolever in 2016. This is the face of a woman who has gone out crabbing and oystering with her husband, Dickie, on the eponymous Lois Ann boat since her youngest child turned 12, a woman who could bag bait and drop trotlines in her sleep. “I like to stay busy,” she explained matter-of-factly. “I can’t stand being cooped up inside.”

JOHN BARTH: WRITER



“ON WITH THE STORY” BY JOHN LEWIS / NOVEMBER 2008

Photography By David Colwell

From his hometown of Chestertown, the then-78-year-old writer reflected on his career and legacy. “It’s very pleasant,” he said of his ongoing reputation as a master of postmodernism. “If you’re a novelist, you hope that your stuff stays in print and that someone still remembers you.” As for why he hadn’t been beset by the kind of melancholy that sometimes afflicted his aging peers? “[It’s] largely because my personal and domestic life has been a real source of bliss, support, and satisfaction,” he said.

JABARI LYLES: LGBTQ LIASON



“FACES OF PRIDE” EDITED BY LYDIA WOOLEVER / JUNE 2019

Photography By Sean Scheidt

So much personality, joy, and optimism is expressed in this photo of Jabari Lyles, one of 18 LGBTQ activists and artists we interviewed for our June 2019 issue, who reflected on the meaning of Pride. “. . . The word that comes to mind is resistance,” Lyles said. “But more than that, it’s fight. Pride is a fight to exist, to be who you are, to be seen. In Baltimore, we’re always fighting, but in our community, it’s all exacerbated by our gender and who we love.”

RODNEY HENRY: PIE SHOP OWNER



“LET’S GET PIE STYLE” BY SUZANNE LOUDERMILK / JANUARY 2014

Photography By Christopher Myers

With his trademark fedora, rock ‘n’ roll-ready tattoos, and evident pride in pie, this picture says everything you need to know about musician and baker Rodney Henry of Dangerously Delicious Pies, described by a friend as a “charmer” who's “larger than life.” In this 2014 feature, Henry talked about life on the road as a musician, franchising his pie shop, coming this close to winning Food Network Star, and the Zen of “pie style”: “I’m spreading the word of pies,” he told us.

JOYCE J. SCOTT: ARTIST



"TOWERING FIGURE" BY GABRIELLA SOUZA / FEBRUARY 2018

Photography By Mike Morgan

It seems somehow fitting that local art legend Joyce J. Scott looks like some sort of magical keeper of all the world’s wisdom and whimsy in this glorious and powerful portrait. The MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient discussed her life and work, in particular her new piece celebrating Harriet Tubman. “When we talk about resiliency, self-sufficiency, Black pride, Black Lives Matter, Black girls matter, we’re talking about her,” she told us. The same, of course, could be said of Scott.

JOHN PENTE: LITTLE ITALY RESIDENT



“CENTURY PARADISO” BY JESSICA LESHNOFF / JULY 2010

Photography By David Colwell

We photographed the late John Pente, then 100 years old, from his favorite perch: A plastic chair next to a bench outside his home on S. High Street, with his beloved dog Gina (named after Gina Lollobrigida) at his feet. “I love to stay out there and talk to people,” Mr. John said. “I stay out there in the nighttime and the weekend. We have people from all over the world come down here to eat. I like to talk to them. And if the bench is broke, I’ll fix it so they can sit down.”




ALEX SMITH

"Hunger Games" BY JANE MARION/ March 2019

Photography By Justin Tsucalas

JUSTIN TUCKER

"Renaissance Raven" BY MIKE UNGER/ September 2014

Photography By Mike Morgan

CINDY WOLF

"Steel Magnolia" BY JANE MARION/ March 2015

Photography By Mike Morgan

RAY LEWIS

"Purple Heart" BY MIKE UNGER/ September 2009

Photography By David Colwell

DRU HILL

"The Kings of Dru Hill" BY MICHAEL A. GONZALEZ/ May 2010

Photography By Daniel Bedell

MARY BETH MARSDEN

"Mission to Marsden" BY JANE MARION/ April 2012

Photography By Christopher Myers

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