Gobbling Up The Sweet Life

ON THE HOME FRONT POSTMARK: TURKEY POINT

July 26, 1992|By RAFAEL ALVAREZ

All roads in Turkey Point end at the water.

"If you're a lawbreaker and you get caught down here, there's no way out," says Pete Wert, who has passed more than half of his 75 years by the shores of Middle River where it flows past the end of Turkey Point Road.

"But if you're looking for a place to get away from the hassle," puts in L. E. "Jimmy" Ogle, "this is it."

"But you've got more hassle than you did 10 years ago," cautions Mr. Wert.

"It's a forgotten little part of Baltimore County," says Mr. Ogle, who has been a Turkey Point resident for 41 of his 60 years.

"Not so forgotten anymore," says Mr. Wert.

Turkey Point is blessed with the sweet life -- strong breezes, fresh air, quiet days and peaceful nights. Mr. Wert and Mr. Ogle spoke of the little community with reverence while hanging out with their good buddies at the Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire Company at the end of Turkey Point Road.

"When I moved here in the early '50s it was rural," says Mr. Wert of the winding roads lined with thick, magnificent trees. "It was so rural I could drive down Back River Neck Road blindfolded. But since then a lot of people have been coming down here for cheap land."

For a while now, doctors and lawyers and other professionals -- people just a bit different from the men who hang out at the firehouse or the locals who put plaster statues of the Virgin Mary in their front yards -- have been buying property in Turkey Point.

And not too very long ago a development of town houses went up near Chesapeake High, the neighborhood school.

"I think Turkey Point is probably still a well-kept secret; you can pick up properties down there from the low $100,000s to as high as a half a million," says Debi Meushaw, a Realtor whose name appears on for-sale signs in the neighborhood.

Ms. Meushaw also talked about a piece of Turkey Point real estate known as Glorie's Restaurant. "[It] is a wonderful place; they have the best oysters I've ever had. It's a little home-cooking kind of place that brings a lot of people to the area."

"This place has been here, I guess, for way over 50 years. We've had it for going on 14 years now," Glorie Justice says while piling up plates of spaghetti and meatballs for a $3.50 lunch special. "It goes way back."

Mrs. Justice, 58, was born in Essex, and her husband, Charles, 57, grew up in Highlandtown.

"We just love it here. The people here are so friendly and nice," she says. "It's a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. Everybody is very congenial. They help each other if the need arises. Years ago it used to be all shore homes -- small, little shore houses -- but the children and the grandchildren of the old ones who passed away have put up nicer, bigger homes."

Those nicer, bigger homes share the community of Turkey Point with the Baltimore Yacht Club; a shady lawn for picnickers, the corrals of local equestrians at Turkey Point Park, and a dinner theater called Merrick's.

They are all on the roads that end at the water. But there is no public access to the water.

For that you have to go about three miles away to Rockaway Beach.

And you might have to go farther to find anyone who remembers when wild turkeys roamed the woods.

"Wasn't no wild turkeys here when I come," says Mr. Wert. "Except for bootleggers over on Sue Island."

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