Memories, music and a meal for Morris

From the Morris Martick slideshow, at the Charles Theatre memorial. Photo by: Jennifer Bishop, of Katie Brennan’s original shot in slideshow.

“Oh, Mon Dieu! Those mouse turds, too!”

by Fern Shen and Mark Reutter (Baltimore Brew, Jan. 16, 2012)

The people Morris Martick screamed at, cooked with, cooked for, fired, rehired, insulted and nurtured – in other words, the people who really knew and loved him – gathered yesterday at the Charles Theatre to remember the one-of-a-kind restaurateur, who died last month.

For a couple of tender, ribald hours, this crowd of nearly 300 people brought Morris, and the bohemian boom times of Baltimore in the 50s, 60s and 70s that he personified, back to life.

Some of the speakers, like his brother Alex Martick, did it largely by virtue of shared DNA.

“If Morris were alive today, Morris wouldn’t be here,” the 83-year-old baby of the family said to the assembled memorial crowd. “He’d be at my house, eating good healthy sandwiches and watching the goddamn football game!”

Wearing a knitted hat like his brother, Alex Martick delivered the remark (tweaking the organizers for scheduling the memorial at the same time as the Ravens’ AFC divisional playoff game) very much as his brother would have done it.


Morris Martick Memorial Slideshow

But the Sunday gathering largely belonged to the former employees of Martick’s Restaurant Francais, who came from as far away as California and Texas to participate in the service for “the boss,” who died of lung cancer on December 15 at 88.

The house was asked: how many here worked for Morris? Half the room raised their hands.

Marveling at the turnout – how many people would travel across the country to pay tribute to their employer? – Alex Martick put it to the audience: “What was it about Martick’s personality” that inspired “this kind of feeling?”

It was hard to explain all that affection to those who didn’t know Morris, because, as the youngest Martick sibling put it, the man could be so gruff and irascible: “When he got nervous and tense – I don’t have to tell the people here – it was out of sight.”

Continue reading “Memories, music and a meal for Morris” at Baltimore Brew.

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See also Baltimore Brew’s tribute to MM in his own words mostly:
Part 1. “If it wasn’t for my bad attitude, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Part 2. What was the best dish at his restaurant? “Confusion.”

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