SOON, newcomers to the Washington-Baltimore Consolidated...

Salmagundi

April 14, 1993

SOON, newcomers to the Washington-Baltimore Consolidated Statistical Area will no longer comprehend the term Baltimore & Ohio; it will have to be explained to them that, years ago, a mighty railroad had its headquarters here. Things get lost, in time's onrush; another being the mention, in newspaper obituaries, of who so-and-so's parents were.

Today the formula allows space to descendants only, and readers go away ignorant, for instance, as to whether a defunct's career was on his or her own mettle, or came about from having been the boss's child or in-law.

In the case of Ernest V. Baugh Jr., this mattered.

At the start of this waning century, Baltimore's port received, for distribution to myriad farmers, immense cargoes of South American bird droppings.

Fine old families (Brewster, Levering, Ober) thus amassed fine old fortunes. Perhaps the largest of these pre-chemical enterprises was Baugh & Sons ("The Old Stand By," "Peruvian Guanos" and also "Animal Bone Fertilizers").

Was Ernie from this or some other set of Baughs? People would have given a hard time to someone whose background was in soil enrichment, when he set out as Ernie did to be a newspaper editorial writer.

Last week, it was Ernie's turn to appear in the obituary column, at age 93. The account left out the job classification of his father, Ernest V. Baugh Sr., which was "superintendent, dining car department, B. & O. R.R."

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