Tribute to Aaron A. Baerby Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Posted on 2014-01-16
CARDIN. Mr. President, today I wish to offer my best
wishes to a dear friend, the Honorable Aaron A. Baer, who will
celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday, January 25. Judge Baer, known
to his family as the ``centennial cowboy,'' was born in Baltimore on
January 25,1914, on High Street in what is now Little Italy. His father
came to the United States from Russia, landing in Baltimore's Fell's
Point in approximately 1890. His father became a tailor and worked in a
factory making clothing. Judge Baer graduated from Forrest Park High
School in 1933. He attended the University of Baltimore Law School and
graduated in 1937. He supported himself and paid for law school by
repairing and replacing tar roofs.
Judge Baer passed the bar in 1937 and practiced real estate law for several years. He then became an assistant Baltimore City solicitor, an assistant attorney general, and a State senator for the 5th District in 1959. He was appointed to the Municipal Court of Baltimore City in 1961 by then-Governor J. Millard Tawes. In 1971 he was appointed to the newly created District Court of Maryland by then-Governor Marvin Mandel. He retired as a district court judge in 1981.
Judge Baer married Judy Weinberg in 1941 and has two children. His first child is Susan Reichmister, who is married to Dr. Jerome Reichmister. They happen to be neighbors as well as friends. They have two children: Beth, who is married to Bart Casper, and Jodi, who is married to Craig Kessler. Judge Baer has four great-grandchildren: Nicole, Sloane, Mitchell, and Blair. His second child is the Honorable Barbara Baer Waxman, who is administrative judge of the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. She is married to Dr. Carl. Waxman. No list of family members would be complete without mentioning Judge Baer's ``grand-dog,'' Shayna Waxman. Judge Baer and his beloved wife Judy were married for 66 years before she passed away shortly after their 66th wedding anniversary in 2007.
My father Meyer, whose parents were also Russian immigrants, also served on the bench. He and Judge Baer were close friends, which is how I came to know Judge Baer. It has been a great privilege to know Judge Baer, to receive his counsel, and to count him not just as a close friend of my father's but as my close friend too, and not just Judge Baer but the rest of his wonderful family, whom I have just mentioned.
Judge Baer has lived an exemplary life devoted to public service, the community, and to his family. Judge Baer lives independently and spends each winter in Florida. He was an avid horseback rider for over 60 years--hence, the cowboy nickname--and only stopped riding this past July.
It is an understatement to say that Judge Baer has lived an extraordinary life. He grew up without an indoor bathroom or electric lights. He drove one of the first cars and owned one of the first motorcycles, the venerable Indian Scout. Now, he uses a computer and a cell phone. I am sure all of my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in congratulating Judge Baer on his 100th birthday and sending along our best wishes as he begins his second century.