Stanley Brockington took pride in the clothes he wore and the clothes he made at his Northwest Baltimore tailor shop, especially because he had few to wear as a child growing up.
He also enjoyed cooking and serving big meals with a variety of foods -- he and his brother and sisters had scant meals growing up poor in rural Virginia.
But Mr. Brockington, 61, who died of heart failure Friday at home in South Baltimore, may have been best known for his love of fishing -- and the wonderful fishing tales he told.
"Whenever there was time and he wasn't working or at home, he was fishing," said Rodney Moore, a neighbor and longtime friend. "That was his main thing. Fishing. Whenever he had a spare waking moment, he'd grab his gear and go fishing or crabbing."
Although Mr. Brockington enjoyed fishing on the Chesapeake Bay or at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, he more often cast his line off the Hanover Street Bridge or waded waist-deep into the Patapsco River at Harbor Hospital Center in South Baltimore. He'd often go to the bridge before dawn and fish for a couple of hours before work. His weekends usually were spent standing in the Patapsco.
"He'd say he caught more than he had evidence for," Mr. Moore said. "But occasionally he'd bring home a bunch of fish. Good ones, too. He'd fry them up, and we'd have a good time. I knew that if he caught some, he could make them taste good."
A native of Lynchburg, Va., Mr. Brockington moved to Baltimore in 1961 after serving in the Army for two years. He briefly attended Morgan State College and then, as a self-taught tailor, worked for an East Baltimore clothier before he opened the New Age dry cleaning and tailoring shop on Park Heights Avenue in 1963.
Mr. Brockington was always dapper at work -- neatly creased pants breaking gently on his shoes, shirts starched and pressed.
"He believed in being a walking advertisement for the tailoring business," Mr. Moore said.
Mr. Brockington also combined business with pleasure. If he had good morning fishing or crabbing, he would offer customers a special -- a fish or crabs with the price of their dry-cleaning or tailoring work.
"Something like get a suit cleaned and a couple of crabs for a buck," said Vincent Harding, a former employee. "He'd make a sign and put it in the window. I don't know if it brought any more people in. It's just that sometimes he didn't know what to do with what he caught."
Mr. Brockington's talent in the kitchen led to a catering business that he operated from his home during the 1970s.
"He probably stopped so he could have more time standing in the water and fishing," Mr. Moore said.
Services are scheduled Thursday in Lynchburg.
In 1964, he married Linda Cade of Baltimore, who died in 1974.
He is survived by two sons, Edward Brockington of Lynchburg and Charley Brockington of Rocky Mount, N.C.; a daughter, Carole Tunsley of Baltimore; a brother, William Brockington of Lynchburg; two sisters, Naomi Stevens of Lynchburg and Sylvia Brockington of Richmond, Va.; and a grandchild.
Pub Date: 6/10/97