Out of the 'wickedness' and into the kitchen

"Harry was excelling like no other in our class," says Vince Williams. "But he was derailed by ... a small, frivolous thing."

He didn't get to finish the Moveable Feast class, and he lost valuable time in the night courses he was taking at Sojourner-Douglass College.

Vince Williams, among others, worried about Calloway becoming discouraged and slipping back into the wickedness.

While the threat of that for a time seemed acute - Calloway fell off the radar screen for a couple of months - it didn't happen.

"He came back," Williams says. "Harry said, 'I started something, and I'm going to finish it.'"

Calloway took his September arrest in stride, as a mere delay in plans.

"No more excuses," he declared when we regained contact in late October. "My plan is to be a better man and to help others. It's time for all of us to stand the hell up and be men. That's how the drug dealing stops. That's how the killing stops. That's how we get our community back."

Harry Calloway got out of jail and got some help. He found transitional housing through People Encouraging People Inc., and now resides at Earl's Place on East Lombard Street. He returned to class at Sojourner-Douglass in November. He went back to Moveable Feast and took the cooking course all over again, from scratch.

Friday, he served seafood Creole over rice.

He shared valedictory honors with Horace Burnette.

"I came from a lifestyle that has nothing to do with anything I'm doing now," Calloway told the graduation gathering. "Ex-offenders and addicts can change their lives and go on - that's what I thank this program for."

Congratulations, Harry. Good luck, brother, and keep in touch. Don't let us down. More important, as Mr. Chip, from Goodwill of the Chesapeake, says: "Don't let yourself down."

Next up
The culinary training program at Moveable Feast resumes next month. Students receive a $50 weekly stipend for perfect attendance. They must be at least 18 years old and have the support of a caseworker, friend, family member or sponsor, someone who will make sure they get to class and stick with the program. For more information, call Vince Williams at 410-327-3420.

Charles, located
Charles, the homeless man who turned up on railroad tracks in Harford County after the Feb. 12 snowstorm, has been located. I spoke to him by telephone the other day. He's in a warm, dry place, being evaluated and treated in an area hospital. I'll have more on this in a future column. For now, Charles says he's OK.

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