Thames Street by Davis W. Morton

THAMES STREET / 2004 / oil on canvas / 26" x 19"... Read a painting comment below...

      Instead of saying "Tames Street," the way the British would have said it, the people in Baltimore pronounced the "h" in Thames to show their disrespect. Just down this street, "The Horse You Came In On" has been a tavern since Maryland was a colony. In 1775 there must have been some drunken arguments between the Patriots and the Loyalists. Years later, the regulars would have clearly heard the British bombing Fort McHenry. Then in 1865, I'm sure someone must have said, "I'm glad they killed the bum."
      In a bar across the street, a man named Fons puts out a bowl of candy for the ghost upstairs. When the candy's gone, the wrappers are still twisted at both ends. Other buildings on this street have their own stories and cold back rooms where employees refuse to go. Like them, I've also felt the presence of a person I can't see, and more than once I've watched an untouched glass slide across a shelf and hit the floor.
     Many streets have signs that tell us about their history. But on Thames Street it often seems like history never left.