In 1942, my family moved from Concord, N.C., to Fairfield Homes in South Baltimore. It was a housing project built during World War II for workers in the shipyards.
The first person I met when I hopped out of the car was Ralph Updike. He was five, and I was four. Ralph lived on one side of us, and Donnie Siple, also four, lived on the other side. The three of us became best friends.
And believe it or not, all three of us went on to graduate from medical school and become doctors. Just three kids from the 'hood.
Fast forward to May 1 of this year, the date of my 50th University of Maryland School of Medicine Class Reunion. But several days earlier our reunion had been canceled, along with 13 other class reunions, because of violent protests in the in Baltimore.
I was disappointed not to get to see some of my former classmates. After all, we're not getting any younger.
But my biggest disappointment was not getting to visit the city where I grew up, the city I love and still call home.