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May 24, 2008

Beheading at the Garden Lounge

Mutts blogger John Woestendiek brought me this true tale about a ghastly beheading at the Garden Lounge in the days of yore ...

Days of yore = 1962, before owner Judy Melton and her husband took over.

According to Melton, a fire truck was barreling south down Light Street and tried to turn left onto Fort Avenue.

The truck swung wide and ran into the Garden Lounge, busting through the front of the building. That wasn't too bad.

But then a second truck slammed into the first one, pushing it farther into the store.

One of the former owners, Rose, was standing at the cash register when all this happened, and the truck beheaded her.

I rummaged through Sun archives yesterday looking for any clips about the tragedy. And though I'm assuming we wrote about it, I couldn't find any to confirm Melton's story.

But Melton has a picture of the firetruck stuck in the building, which she showed to Woestendiek a couple days ago.

What a crazy story. 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:28 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Guess those were the days before two-way radios.

The Garden has closed. There are hand printed signs in the window reading "Buy Buy" and "We'll be back soon" I talked to some of the men who were gathered out front and apparently the owner moved to either North or South Carolina (they began to fiercly debate it) and "a Korean man who owns 1 or 2 laundromats" will be re-opening it.
I found it amusing that even though its been closed most- if not all- of this week, there were still 8-10 people standing outside it, and a number of people came up and tried the door in the 5 minutes I was outside.

I remember the accident but I did not think it was called the Garden Restaurant or Lounge when the accident happened. There was a front page story in the Sun at the time.
Tell your dad I said hello.

Surely the Sun has some skilled archivist on staff that can dig that article up in no time!

Hi Tim!!!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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