Land of the Hons


Baltimore's Celebration of Working-Class Glamour

My family emigrated to Ohio in 1968. By the end of 1969, we had moved here to Baltimore and this is the town I grew up.

I ended up with a foster grandmother, who I called MomPat, who embodied the Baltimore Hon to whom the women in this article pay homage. She had the deep, Baltimore accent, said "Hon" all the time, wore colorful polyester pant suits and was always extremely loving to this young kid whose ancestry came from a region of the planet our nation was waging war in. Her husband, who I called JohnHon, had fought in World War II and worked in a paint factory where he had lost some of the digits on one of his hands. They were South Baltimore, working class people. And I loved them very much.

So for me, it's interesting and curious to be in a neighborhood where so much of this Hon culture is celebrated. To be sure, The Hon is part of all Baltimore, but in Hampden, it's especially treasured.

Sadly, much of that generation has passed. But you'll still see a few of the original women about, every now and then. It's a deep part of Baltimore's culture - and if you happen to be free the weekend of June 13th, come down to Hampden to see what HonFest is all about.

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