I chatted with local author Peachy Dixon about her life and her new book
Talk about your uncle, Mimi DiPietro
He was our councilman for a very long time. He was FABULOUS. He used to be in his office everyday of the week. It was a great privilege to work for his constituents. At one point, Senator Bonvegna wanted to retire and they wanted Mimi to replace him. When he found out he had to drive to Annapolis everyday, he declined. “I want to stay right herewith my people!”
I remember once he received complaints about trucks driving down Lombard Street in Highlandtown. The trucks were so loud and big, they were rattling and shaking the foundation of the houses. There could’ve been damage done if Uncle Mimi didn’t step in. He stood at Lombard and Conkling and stopped trucks from coming down. When Mayor Schaefer heard about this, he came down and joined him. To this day, those trucks aren’t allowed to use that route.
I remember the City proposed putting a waste site at Highland and Monument years ago. Neighbors called his office and were distraught. They thought it would destroy the neighborhood with the odor of trash.
Talk about your new book “The Baltimore Bookies”
I finished it before lockdown. My editor said to release it now. “Do you want it just sitting on your shelf?” I sell it personally and reluctantly put it on Amazon. They give you peanuts.
The book starts off in Baltimore. Neighborhoods all across the city are featured. The book is about Little Italy and Highlandtown bookies who are in competition with each other for customers. Highlandtown is the scene of the first attack. A victim is found behind the school #237. My editor told me not to kill anyone because there are too many murders as it is here.
In a shout out to our local media. Ron Matz, Richard Scher, Dave Collins, and Jamie Costello come down to investigate.
In the book, i incorporated peoples names who are or have been near and dear to my heart. I’ve incorporated strategic points around Baltimore as well. The third victim is even found in Fort McHenry.
What was it like being around all those Colts players when you worked at Johnny U’s?
Oh they were all so nice. They were all gentleman. They drank but they didn’t act like assholes. There was one player that called me Big Red. He would always ask me out and I would get so embarrassed. My mom and dad would kill me if i went out with him.
What was it like starting your own business at a time when the business world was still dominated by men?
It all started when i would stands at fairs and festivals. I got my meats from Esskay, Italian ingredients from DiPasquale’s and bread from H&S Bakery. I did it for three years and saved all of my money
My shop was on Belair Road and I was there for ten years. EVERYTHING was homemade. After a while, we even started doing delivery service. That helped a great deal. After a while being open until 3am took a toll on me. I got sick and my daughters would have to work for me. My daughter Anna then got a job at Wendy’s and eventually worked her way up to manager. She told my other daughter to come join her. After they left, I was open for two more years. I said to myself “Goof, they’re not coming back, why are you still here?”
What is it like living in your childhood home?
While i was still at the sub shop, my brother asked if I wanted to buy our childhood home in Highlandtown. I didnt have much disposable income. He had a plan. They sold this house for forty thousand dollars. So at the signing, my cut of ten thousand went directly in to the house. I’ve had so many local people help fix this house up. Your father, Paulie the plumber..I’m pretty sure Paulie is everyone’s plumber here in Highlandtown.
What is it like being Josh Charles’ favorite waitress?
He’s SO nice. He would come in when his father comes in. They would come in with Jim Palmer a lot. In one of my books, I feature them.
Oh! One memorable story of meeting a celebrity at Sabatinos was when Debbie Reynolds came in. I waited on guys who were in her show, when she came to the Mechanic Theater. I asked them to bring her in before the show left and they did! I loved her and she was so nice. Radiant.
Shaq came in and ordered THREE dinners! My boss couldn’t believe it.
Will Smith dined with us and all of the girls working were in love. He smiled ear to ear the entire time he was there.
Once we got a table of about fifteen kids really late at night. Me and another waitress combined tables and started taking orders. I got to the last person and saw those eyes…it was Johnny Depp! I was like “ Oh my God!”
“The Baltimore Bookies: A Story of Greed and Misconception” is available now!
To order your copy, email PeachyDixon1@gmail.com