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Local journalist Ron Cassie of Baltimore Magazine is a noted transplant whom extols the many virtues – and vices – of the Charm City for Nestor as they discuss their mutual love of the Land of Pleasant Living on the Maryland Crab Cake Tour at State Fare in Catonsville.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

baltimore, people, brooks robinson, brooks, trailblazer, world, johnny, angelo, marty, jim palmer, years, cfg, shock, music, life, ravens, night, john, ron, buy

SPEAKERS

Ron Cassie, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

Looking back at W and S t tests Baltimore and Baltimore positive were positively out in Catonsville today. Doing the Maryland crabcake tour I would show it to you but I hate it. It’s all brought to you by window nation or friends 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free 0% financing. I screwed up Ron Cassie, I am I got my my windows back in August so I used it to buy to get to now it’s I didn’t get 0% financing for 60 months. It’s still on take advantage of it. 866 90 nation and our friends at the marijuana we got great families, they got people in ravens gear, they’re gonna get Maryland lottery scratch offs. I have a few ravens scratch offs, and several holiday cast drops. And they’re about to do their 50th anniversary drop of the old wishbone scratch offs, and I told Roz I need those and those gold ones and all the fun stuff. Crab cake tour is coming to drug city. On March 3, it is going to be an unbelievably special occasion. For me, I’m celebrating my father’s 100 and fourth birthday with a man celebrating his 82nd Birthday who was my middle school music teacher and I’ve loved music my whole life. My grandfather played the bugle out at the racetrack and it was in bands and stuff. So I’ve always loved music. Everybody that knows me knows this. But he he was our choral director for my fair lady at hollyburn Junior High in 1981. And we’re bringing in the drug City and we’re going to tell his life story Calvin state and the state of singers, legend somebody you would want to write about Ron Cassie? Ron. Cassie is here for Baltimore magazine. We’ve talked about the give me the name of it again. The Trailblazer trailblazers, I want to get that right like Portland. Like Bill walked with a beard, right? The law was a trailblazer. He was a trailblazer. Absolutely. at Baltimore magazine. Usually Donald’s a magazine upset subscribe, I would say that in an effort to be fair. I was far too nice. To Max in the first segment I need to I need to crush Max a little bit. I’m drinking royal farms coffee out of my mug not that I’m Justin talker. So offseason for him I’m still working. Max has a thing about Western frosh doesn’t like Western fries. And I Is that an out of town thing? Do you like Western fries? So you anti Western fry? Rondo. I

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Ron Cassie  02:17

love I love Western fries. I don’t eat them that much. You know, because you know it’s something you I think when you’re younger southern bike, I love them and I will have them. Yeah. Now I like Western fries. Yeah,

Nestor Aparicio  02:28

I know you’ve told this story before. But I’m gonna ask you again. You come down here from Jersey you’ve been writing for years and years and years. Honestly, nobody talked to you. And they just read your work. If they didn’t know you and they read your journalism. You really would think you’re a Baltimore person. Right? Like, you probably know more about Baltimore than you do your own homeland.

Ron Cassie  02:48

That’s absolutely true at this point. Okay. Okay. Did

Nestor Aparicio  02:50

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I hit that? Right? Good. Yeah.

Ron Cassie  02:54

Yeah, I mean, I was born in North Jersey and and then a SAR, like going to high school, middle school High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and came down here early in my early 20s. So I’ve been here more than 35 years, but it’s also nice that people from Baltimore will point out that I’m not from here, even though I’m like approaching 40 years of living here.

Nestor Aparicio  03:13

Marty’s basses across the street at Bill’s music as another great place that did really right by Gina shock. Last time I was here she was my other bucket list or by the way, John Waters and Gina shock and she was shocked now like, we’re friends like yeah, we tax them. We’re cool. Yes. Dundalk. I mean, she’s done dog is done, dog. It’s done dog. Have you ever done anything on her?

Ron Cassie  03:33

I met Gina shocks parents, I went to do a little story. I can’t remember what the occasion was. It was a Hollywood Walk of Fame. But the Go Go’s gap and I went over to interview her parents. And her and her mother was struggling with some with I think they got a new computer. And she was struggling a little bit to get everything set up. And I helped their parents set up the computer they’d gotten the most you made

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Nestor Aparicio  03:58

the shocks Electric is what you’re saying? Wow. Yeah, that’s just

Ron Cassie  04:01

like became digital shock. It’s just how things are like Baldwin, you’re like she

Nestor Aparicio  04:04

was here. Now. She’d laugh about that

Ron Cassie  04:08

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natural thing in the world, like, like, oh, I can maybe help you with this and, and her parents are great. Her mom was great. And they’re just really generous and down to earth. And so like just the most natural like, kind of just going over to visit divorce.

Nestor Aparicio  04:20

Cool. This is like yeah, this is what makes Baltimore Awesome. Yeah, it really does. Yeah. And that’s why I need to hang with John Waters like you do one time, my life and then it’s over then I can it’s like when the Rangers won the cup, you can die in peace. The Eagles fan said that now look at them. Now they gotta win another one. But so you come to Baltimore. And you stay. Did you love it? Like, I often think to myself, if I settled in San Antonio, yeah, the rest of my life. I’d say, you know, I didn’t like it. The first time I was there rained, it wasn’t. You know what I mean? Like, I have no anywhere else to say that.

Ron Cassie  04:56

Yeah, when I was, you know, my very early 20s You know? 21 Are 22 The first time I came and I I really did love Baltimore right away Allentown has a lot of similarities with their call tomorrow the fact Yeah, exactly. So we had Bethlem steel is next door

Nestor Aparicio  05:09

and Bethlehem they’re killing

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Ron Cassie  05:14

Mack Trucks was leaving to go to South Carolina and so the row houses, some of the blue collar kind of culture was fair, but there was so much more happening.

Nestor Aparicio  05:23

And I’m sorry, yeah, I’m just picturing Allentown and night. That was

Ron Cassie  05:27

like a year graduate high school. Yeah. 81 or 82. And excellent.

Nestor Aparicio  05:32

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Current baby.

Ron Cassie  05:34

All right, go ahead. So yeah, so some of that felt really familiar the rowhouses everything kind of blue collar culture, but you had the city paper here. Yeah. W HFS. It was obviously you know, Allentown, Allentown now is like, half people of color, like half Latino, but like, then it was like almost all white like when I got growing up. So you have this really diverse city in Baltimore, you have these great neighborhoods, you have the waterfront, and, you know, eventually over time, right, like where I live in Upper Fells Point, and Frederick Douglass of their Billie Holiday, Barbara Mikulski, Nancy Pelosi, and these are like, this is the culture that people who grew up around and it’s still at the intersection of so much in America,

Nestor Aparicio  06:17

we realize how cool it is, right? Like when people fly in, forget the warts and the bad parts. I’m just talking about you come here and you don’t get mugged and you don’t get shot. You just come here for an experience. Whether that is Bruce Springsteen for CFG Bank Arena, the Eagles annex nine I’m gonna give you I know you wrote a story on that we’re going to talk some music and stuff, but But it’s about trying to bring it back to life. Like even just me talking about Mr. Stadium and taking him down to the Hippodrome two weeks ago, to see my fair lady. It was just magical experience. I felt like my parents were alive again, Bobby you with the shocks, right? Like anything you can do when you get to be our at our point in life where my back’s still good enough to help them out a little bit, that Baltimore helps each other. You I mean, you said that about Barbara Mikulski and and everybody at your Trailblazer party.

Ron Cassie  07:11

Yeah, you know, Baltimore’s a place I think, if you if you want to contribute, like, you know, somebody will give you a way to contribute, you know what I mean? Like, they’ll hand you a shovel, and they’ll give you a Jannati bow, right? They’ll give you a volunteer everything in the nonprofit, the Lafayette job and you know, it’s a place where people are close to one inclusive want to bring people together. Want to do things you never wanted to leave. I mean, I lived in DC for a while, which was, which was, you know,

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Nestor Aparicio  07:39

too far from the Orioles? Probably for you,

Ron Cassie  07:41

right? It was? Yeah, but DC had a lot of free things you could do, right? The Smithsonian all these planes are free and there’s so much free stuff out there. About seven or eight years more than temporary Oh yeah, I was a bike messenger in DC. I had a bike messenger business in like the late 90s, early 2000s. Before I became a full time journalist, I didn’t actually become a full time journalist was like 40 years old.

Nestor Aparicio  08:07

So I became one of 15 There you go. They threw me out of 50 for the NFL at least and ravens? Yeah.

Ron Cassie  08:13

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So I mean, it’s something that a lot of that kind of I think informs my work in my experience is I didn’t go right from college into this like I did a lot of like, kind of like real world things and I don’t take he’s more fun. Why don’t you write well, he has because you get to do you know you got to go over to hang out with Barbra calls. John water. Yeah, did get this you mentioned Jim Palmer earlier like I did get the spin on Tim Palmer throughout the first pitch on on his 50th anniversary the oils. I spent the entire day with Jim Palmer like he spent plenty of time with him Palmer him and and I had

Nestor Aparicio  08:49

no idea I don’t even even want to it. Like my love of Jim Palmer, my respective Jim Palmer. Maybe you don’t know this? I mean, I don’t I haven’t. I didn’t know you back in this era. But in 2009, eight or nine, when Brian Billick bought part of the company, we moved to wn St. dotnet. We did a Trailblazers thing. We did a thing called King of Baltimore sports. And this was dreamed up by Drew and we pitted in March Madness format. Wes Unseld and you know, Carrie Williams and like all of that, like and Baltimore it was a Baltimore thing, Michael foul, you know, whatever, right? For me, for me, Jim Palmer. No offense to Brooks no offense, the Cal Ripken no offense to Johnny, you. Look up Jim Palmer’s accomplishments on the hill. Look at what he did and what no one else has ever done. And no offense to Brooks no offense to cow and maybe Michael Phelps would have a beef I guess if you’re like their fur if you You want to enter that, but team sports. Give me Palmer Palmer was the greatest Oriole ever. I’ll just say that.

Ron Cassie  10:08

I agree with you that he’s the greatest baseball player on the field for the Royals ever and he was on the field for all three World Series. And his broadcasting career distinguishes him his tenure would

Nestor Aparicio  10:18

appreciate him as much as we should, because he’s been in our living room for the last 50 years.

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Ron Cassie  10:25

1966 he’s 19 years old beating Sandy Koufax and the world theories.

Nestor Aparicio  10:30

I love Palmer you know, but but Palmer is Team Angelo’s. Right. So that’s one of the things is Angelo’s thing did to me and oh six, it makes it and the Angelo’s brothers are doing that now. Right? Like, who What team are you on? You? Oh, my team are their team. And Jim’s on their team, not my team. So therefore Jim has never I think Jim came over here. He’d say hello, but he would never sit down and do radio with me.

Ron Cassie  10:52

Well, I will say this. Brooks Robinson in the in I think in both Baltimoreans hearts and in baseball lores Mr. Oreo? He’s Mr. world I think he’s a Joe DiMaggio type Lou Gehrig type figure. Brooks Robinson Norman Rockwell paint his portrait,

Nestor Aparicio  11:11

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and I was there to get it that day. It’s hard. I’m Cheryl. Thanks broke stay. My dad was pissed because the culture playing the Patriots. You can look it up. Yeah. But the Colts were playing up to England. My dad had the little radio with the little white thing than the one. Yeah, you know what I’m saying? I mean, there’s Yeah.

Ron Cassie  11:25

People still name their daughters and sons after Brooks Robinson and their grandkids and they’re their pets. I mean, he’s, he’s, you know, the thing about I’ll just go back to Trailblazers thing for him at that Brooks. One reason why I you know, I consider him a trailblazer. He has this kind of radical civility, this southern graciousness, he can’t know authentic, right. But he also has this fire in his belly. He’s a competitor, obviously, because first didn’t against Don Drysdale. 1966 World Series, he takes Drysdale who was incredible ly tough on right hand hitters, takes him deep and knows he’s getting chin music, right. And 1971 is the MVP against the Big Red Machine. So you can go on YouTube and watch all those clips. So he has this tremendous competitive fire. And I think people credited Frank Robinson was bringing that to the world. But Brooks Robinson had it and they were co leaders and the combination is really interesting with Brooks.

Nestor Aparicio  12:24

I know more about baseball than I probably know about anything in the whole world

Ron Cassie  12:27

Brooks after meeting all these people know I love baseball who everybody is like they know each other but Brooks even among these other people up on a bit of a pedestal because you know he’s he was an icon probably before everybody else a little bit Baltimore, and the heights.

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Nestor Aparicio  12:43

You might say he was Baltimore’s first icon along with Johnny you. They were the first icons. I remember when I was a boy because you didn’t grow up here. So I’ll tell you this. I’ll give you a little history. Maybe you love this Hugo source this 1969 Let me now hold on, you’re gonna source this. We would take the 22 boss at a highland town free plug for Gene a Coney Island hot dog, which is where I had my last crabcake with Andy GNA and Whitemarsh now, so we’re in Highland town, take the bus. The bus would go past a Catholic High passed away coffee pot Jr. Over the hill down Blair Edison right. And then you would go up across Bellaire row where where herring run is right. And before you would make the left end of the park to go to the golf course. Right. There were fire hydrants when I was a boy, one was Johnny you. And one was Brooks Robinson. Somebody will remember that from that neighborhood. Maybe Keith Melky, or maybe Eddie Lauer will remember that because that he grew up around the corner from there by LaFontaine, blue, and LaFontaine Roush, which were the French part of Bellaire Edison and the neighborhood over there by little flower is a little flower city of French over there. But that’s how Baltimore there was Johnny you. Yeah, and there was Brooks now we’ve had other heroes, right? I mean, Ray Lewis says a statue, right? Like Cal Ripken, obviously is Cal Ripken. We have statues for Earl Weaver and Frank and all those people, but Brooks in shots and

Ron Cassie  14:17

one thing we know that’s different is they spent their entire lives here. They weren’t from here, like Maisie

Nestor Aparicio  14:24

Robinson wasn’t either these were idolize Robinson

Ron Cassie  14:27

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Johnny nice also lived there hit their off seasons here. And I didn’t know Johnny and I didn’t get to know already Donovan. And already diamond would ask as many questions of you as as you were asking about what he wanted from and I’ve talked to people who worked for Johnny Unitas like at his restaurant and said just raved about him as a man as an employer as a boss like in a way that only somebody who’s working for somebody else.

Nestor Aparicio  14:54

You work with his hands Johnny you did right

Ron Cassie  14:56

yeah dad and and the players the way they taught me the Down to Earth, down to earth guy I think you know, that’s really remarkable. And I’ll say one of the things about Brooks Robinson, he’s from Little Rock, Arkansas. You know, his brother was friends with Jerry Jones. And people were asking Brooks Robinson, well, you know, you got to come and play with like black fellas up there, you know, how are you going to handle that? And Brooks is, you know, like, Listen, I’ve got my own things to worry about when I’m playing ball. I’m not concerned myself, right. They’re not some problem. And I think that that, in 1966, when Frank Robinson comes here, his family, he and his family can’t find a home to buy. And that’s how segregated so Baltimore is. And so Brooks, welcome into the fold with open arms, put his arms around me come down to the Brooks as Robinson brothers, I think really set a tremendous example for Baltimore for the country, as well in the mid 60s, which is kind of remarkable. So as long as I mean, worries, we’ve considered Brooks Robinson, a trailblazer. It’s not just that he was the greatest, you know, the human vacuum cleaner, third base, it’s great human, great, human,

Nestor Aparicio  16:00

great, human, great human. That’s great. You know, no one would ever dispute that his 80 plus years on our rock assays here, but Baltimore magazine, I would hold the cards up in the magazine up trailblazers, also read about CFG banquet, so I’m going full circle here with you, Ron, because we’re talking baseball, Brooks Robinson, I had a cousin on that team too, you know, so all my cousin wanted to do is bring his family here. Here I am. John Angelo’s. All these years later, I was thrown out. People say to me now, as a journalist, in your reels and Ravenstone throw you out something must be wrong with you. And I’m thinking to myself, yeah, I asked questions. You know what I mean? Like, that’s all I’ve ever done is ask questions. I thought that John Angelo’s tirade with Dan Connolly was the perfect indicative example for all of my career for anyone that would say to me, why can’t you get along with these people? This, this is who they are. This is what they embody. This is the spirit of Steve Ashati. Now at this point, who goes running off to the breakers and picks and chooses which media members or media members and who gets thrown out after 30 years, this is this is different than Brooks’s in my neighborhood and we and they get off season jobs and they’re a part of the community. I sat here and bled my heart. 9192 9394 95 trying to get a football team state, we have to invest in this. We have to give taxpayer money. We have to build a stadium. We’ll get contracts, we’ll get Super Bowls. We’ll get Final Four, we’ll get it. We’ll get to the CFG bank and that investment. But the Angelo’s thing that John Angelo’s thing to me, is just unbelievable. Like it hiding behind Martin Luther King, deflecting, being abrasive, being arrogant, being dismissive, talking down to debt, all of that happened in a four minute piece to say, Oh, now I get why Nestor was thrown out. No, say that now. Now I understand what anyone would be up against trying to get truth out of these people, trying to get accountability out of these people trying to just get them to speak directly and clearly about strategy truth, even to the point where in that four minutes, he was the big lie Donald Trump the big lie and all that the big lie, he’s gonna invite you in me down to see his books, right? Like he’s now on tape saying that like, and it’s not going to matter. It’s not going to matter to anybody. But it was nobody cares anymore about the Euros. I’ve learned that I’ve written Peter principles. I’m going to rerelease that no one cares. But it’s just such a shame. It’s just such a shame. That’s all. I mean, for me at this age, I don’t pine away about my reporters pass or being at the games or having hotdogs, Luke goes down or whatever. It’s just a shame that it can’t be better. I just wish it could be better than this.

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Ron Cassie  19:06

Yeah, I think most people base life on baseball fans like myself, you don’t want to think about the ownership and the business side of it. Really, you want to just go and have the experience. Enjoy the team and Baltimore over the years has had, you know, wonderful players that we love to watch these guys off the field.

Nestor Aparicio  19:22

Want to believe they’re trying to win and they know how to win you want to feel and some level of competence right to give you confidence. Right.

Ron Cassie  19:30

Right. About the press conference. I mean, Dan Connolly, first of all, the reporter was asking just basic questions, civil professional. His patience and poise in that situation is remarkable. You know, I’m a professional John Angelo’s came across as I think smug, disingenuous hiding behind you know, the son of a billionaire right hiding behind Martin Luther King High by air, and let’s, let’s face it, like the Orioles and Camden Yards get tremendous public tax dollars. I mean, the Camden Yards and a whole m&t Bank are getting a whole new bond issued two or $300 million, you know reinvested of public taxpayer money. 600 million. combined. Right, I think m&t, right. And, and not to answer a basic question from a journalist who in a sense, is, is representing the citizens of not just Baltimore, in this case of Maryland, right? That’s, that’s the journalist is our go between to these people, right? We want them to ask these questions, John,

Nestor Aparicio  20:34

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this treat us they’re mistreating you want.

Ron Cassie  20:38

And especially with a professional and Dan Collins, a great sports journalist. And, you know, I think John Adams has made himself publicly available to the media like twice in four years prior to this. And to just shut everything down. And yes, as a baseball fan to like, we have we have this great young talent now assembled coming up. We want to know, you know, the world is going to invest in in some and some veteran players. I’m not,

Nestor Aparicio  21:08

okay, I don’t, I don’t know your finances, your situation where you are, whatever. But it feels to me like in the offseason, they’d sort of given up on that. They sort of given up on a reason to buy in that even a guy like you that might if the price were right, and the Benny’s were right, and I had $5 beers on Tuesday nights, and I could, you know, plan, yeah, plan to make it something that I would say I’m going April 18, to see the White Sox. I missed that. And I don’t live two blocks away. You might live two blocks away for 20 years, right? Yeah. So like, I had it available. Anytime somebody had extra tickets, they might offer them to me, or whatever. I rarely went I rarely go. Now it is really, now I’m out on the farm. Now I’m like, gotta get in the car, go down, Park, do all of that. It’s so poorly run from that side of the business side of how they do their marketing. And look, the Ravens have their own issues with empty seats and trying to resell me my PSLs that I gave him back a couple of years ago. But the baseball conundrum to me is doesn’t feel like they try hard. You don’t I mean, it doesn’t fit. I feels like I’m out working them. And it shouldn’t be that way. They’re getting a lot of money. You know what I mean? Literally,

Ron Cassie  22:23

it you know, it can feel that way. And, you know, last year was such a surprise, and you see people returning to the ballpark. You’re I think fans were hoping there’d be some type of investment in that right and the community. The value of the franchises have gone up, you know, exponentially since John, since Peter Angeles bought the course. And we would like to know that the money is being invested. I still am walking distance bike ride distance to the ballpark and like you sometimes just spring though, when somebody calls you. Sometimes it’s like soccer Jersey giveaway.

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Nestor Aparicio  22:56

It’s back to me where it was when I was a kid, and this is God’s honest truth. If there’s a pitcher I want to see if there’s a player I want to see, the only time I have circled the calendar last two years has been Otani and I haven’t made it yet. I had I had you know whether this was 100 degrees. I almost went with who’s the guy who ran for governor that I didn’t vote for Obama’s guy. i That’s how unimpressed I was with him. I don’t remember his name. We did not go he’s a baseball fan of Hispanic descent. Tom Perez, Tom Perez. Thank you. We were gonna go it was 100 degrees that night. Yeah. And the Oreos were 50 and 94. At the time were you know, it was it was bad. It was you know, it was pre played too. Right. So I would just say this. For me. Getting to a game was pitching matchup for some people it’s giveaway right? For some people it’s $5 ticket for some people it’s oh it’s girls night it’s boys night it’s safety night It’s pride night it’s Yeah b c night it’s whatever it’s Hawaiian summer night, it’s Christmas in July it’s Star Wars May the fourth

Ron Cassie  24:09

do it necessary to be we’ll just say competitive right like competitive for a wildcard spot. Right That changes things if you’re a sportsman then you want to read the box score every every every morning or every night right then you find the games on TV and you’re going when there’s a good match. I

Nestor Aparicio  24:23

got people back into the soap opera last year they really did. That’s why and then the soap opera ended. And then the off season began and the Ravens by their own forget soap opera right. And we’re two weeks out on spring training and I don’t I want to feel them a little bit more. I want to feel Gunnar Henderson I want to feel Adley rutschman That’s all don’t you?

Ron Cassie  24:44

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Yeah, I mean, I think the caravan is coming up soon that they do before they go to sprint. Yeah, so maybe that’ll generate some sound like

Nestor Aparicio  24:51

the bookmobile for the Caribbean. Row. Cassius your bundle magazine. I have not talked to you about the arena. Can we get back into that? Because Marty bass He’s here and I want to give him a hug. He’s got his Alabama mug. He’s been working. I’m not going to make Marty work on this. No, no, no he’s over bills music as holding up big Ed’s fans everywhere. Why don’t they call it catch him back out as Marty that often I am this year we are wn St. We’re doing the Maryland crab cake tours all brought to you by our friends. And when donation 8669 donation, you buy two you get two free 0% financing for five years. But you gotta get on that right now. And our friends at the Maryland lottery I’m gonna give Marty a holiday cash drop a ticket for him. And I’m gonna give her on a raven scratch off. We’re gonna be doing the Maryland crab cake tour on the third of March at drugs city in Dundalk. We’re also yes, they have a crab cake and it’s delicious. And they have the fountain down there. And Marty has been there. I know. They made a big deal. They said yeah, you’re coming and Frank Marty’s coming in next week. And I’m like, and then but Marty don’t feel bad. They’re like but really the big ones when Mike Rose here. So you know, we all we all have levels of our of our you know, of our of our gratitude and fun that we have here. And we’re also going to be on the eighth of fatally. So, Nate, Ron’s gonna stay with us. And for both of you, I’m just gonna leave the segment. I’ve been collecting Pacific belt buckles. Do you know about these? Have I shown you these before? No. So I’m gonna stand up here is one of the new little tricks on the show. This is my belt buckle today. I wore this for you run today because I knew you’d be going to see the Eagles and Hotel California. So I have my Eagles belt buckle today. My Pacific belt buckle I’m gonna give Marty a hug. I’m going to read caffeinate Ron Cassie, we’re gonna come back. My dude. Chet Brandis is going to be here talking about athletes and the athlete mindset and coaching and get a try to toughen me up a little bit. For Super Bowl week. All right, it’s good. I am Nestor. We are WNS da and 5070. Towson Baltimore, where it’s State Fair in Catonsville life is great and the 2122 eights there with us on wn st.

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