Stanley Newsome, 70, owned E. Baltimore deli, barber shop

November 07, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

One of the worst-kept secrets of Stanley Newsome's carryout deli was his "special," supposedly offered to a select few regulars of the East Baltimore business.

The deal included a fat sandwich -- or "sammy" to those who frequented the Nu Deli -- a cream or grape soda and a haircut. All for $3.

Mr. Newsome, 70, who died Sunday of undetermined causes while living at a friend's home in Atlantic City, N.J., made the sandwiches with generous portions of meat, mayonnaise and seasoning.

And in a storeroom behind the Collington Square business, he'd administer much of the barber work. Tossing in a haircut with a roast beef sammy was more than a bargain to him.

Few in the neighborhood were unaware of his "special."

"When you considered all of the meat Bull [Mr. Newsome] put between them slices of bread, you'd be lucky to find a sandwich for that little," said Phyllis Brockington, a friend and former customer.

"Sometimes people said, 'Forget the haircut,' and just got that fat sandwich and a soda."

Mr. Newsome, who lived in the Middle East community in East Baltimore, operated the business from the mid-1960s until 1992 and spent most of his waking hours there. The store, an unpretentious-looking business that often appeared closed, consisted of two converted rowhouses on Ensor Street and had a worn, blue awning.

Nu Deli was a favorite hangout for area residents, some of whom even bought a sammy on occasion.

"Bull had the kind of personality that people liked being around. He wasn't funny on purpose, but he said funny things. He knew how to handle people in a playful way," said Carroll Greene, a friend and former employee.

In addition to his subtle humor, he was a jokester who liked to talk, earning him the nickname Bull when he was a young man.

"He always had something to say, some joke to pull on someone," Mr. Greene said. "You can see why we called him Bull."

Born in New York, Mr. Newsome moved to Baltimore as a child and graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the 1950s. He served in the Army in the early 1950s during the Korean War. In the early 1960s, he worked in retail and was a substitute teacher in city schools.

While in college, Mr. Newsome ran long-distance events for the track team and continued running upon graduation. A slender, angular man, he was a regular runner at Druid Hill Park or on city streets.

Mr. Newsome was also a jazz lover who played the drums and saxophone with several bands as a young man. Relatives and friends said his basement was filled with jazz albums and a complicated sound system.

He never went to barber school but learned while a student at UMES.

"Bull could cut hair as well as he could slice a ham sandwich," Ms. Brockington said. "He was a man of many talents."

Services are scheduled for tomorrow in Atlantic City.

Mr. Newsome, who was divorced, is survived by three sons, James Newsome of Baltimore, Randolph Newsome of Orlando, Fla., and Chick Newsome of Richmond, Va.; a sister, Janet Barbour of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

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