The Y in Central Maryland Blog

Y Story: From Towson to Arnold – Always with the Y

The Y in Arnold member, Jeanne Tuerk, remembers growing up in the early 1960s walking through her childhood neighborhood west of Charles Street to the Y in Towson. Loyola High School and the Mission Helpers Convent were practically in her backyard.  The center in Towson was only about a mile to the east, but in her young mind it might as well have been as far away as New York City.

Walking to the Y for birthday parties, art classes and other activities, Jeanne avoided the predictable and direct route via Allegheny Avenue. The alternate, and far more adventurous, path through the woods meant a fun diversion to the Loizeaux’s fairy tale-like A frame house, with the trampoline in the living room. A trampoline in the living room. Or a boring walk on Allegheny Avenue. That was a no-brainer. The Loizeaux family owned a demolition business, Controlled Demolition, and eventually became world famous for their mastery of imploding large buildings to a fraction of their original size on tightly packed urban street corners.

Jeanne reflected on her time at the Y in Towson as a friendly, safe and welcoming “in between” place. At the Y in Towson, she would meet other adults and kids from her neighborhood and from surrounding neighborhoods. The Y in Towson was like a rest stop between the familiarity of home and the big complicated world beyond. She could take small steps toward the big world when she was ready.

The Y in Towson in Jeanne’s story was a place of safety and fun between youth and adulthood. How can we possibly measure the importance of those safe “in between” places as we grow up?  Today the Y’s Give Every Child a Chance Campaign endeavors to instill courage in all children by giving them access to a safe, friendly and fun “in between.”

Thank you Jeanne for sharing your Y story!


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