imageCarling Brewing Company in Halethorpe, Md.  (Baltimore Sun file photo, 1961)

We asked folks who grew up in Baltimore, baby boomers mostly, this question: When you were driving back from a trip to the ocean, how did you know you were almost home?

We weren’t sure people would know what we were getting at, but it turned out they knew exactly what we were asking — that feeling that the long, long car ride was finally almost over. 

Of course it depended on where around the Beltway people lived, and it also depended on how individual people measured time. For some people, they didn’t experience the almost-home feeling until they reached their own personal exit on the Beltway. 

But one Beltway landmark came up more than any other — the old Carling Brewing Co. in Halethorpe. 

Built in 1960, the brewery operated until about 1998, under a succession of owners that plastered a succession of bold logos on its prominent facade.

But the Carling sign is the best-remembered. 

So we ask you, Retro Baltimore readers, when did you feel that “almost-home” feeling?

And we also wonder about driving the other way. When you were traveling to Ocean City, how did you know you were finally, just-about, pretty-much there?  

Was it the Route 90 bridge over the Assawoman Bay, or did you have to turn onto Coastal Highway to get that yes-finally-we’re-nearly-there feeling?

imageThe Route 90 bridge crossing over the Assawoman Bay in Ocean City.  (Carl D. Harris, Baltimore Sun file photo, 1977)