Living for the Weekend


“Music is the hardest kind of art. It doesn't hang up on a wall and wait to be stared at and enjoyed by passersby. It's communication. It’s hours and hours put into a work of art that may only last, in reality, for a few moments…but if done well and truly appreciated, it lasts in our hearts forever. That's art; speaking with your heart to the hearts of others.” Dan Romano

After fifty plus years of friendship, my BFF (best friend forever) former Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch continues to bring me joy and laughter. Paula is recuperating after undergoing successful knee surgery performed by our friend Dr. Jimmy Wood. A couple of hours after her surgery, I visited Paula in her hospital room. A room with a breathtaking view overlooking the harbor. I was looking dreamingly at the ships passing by, when the nurse gave Paula an injection for pain. Suddenly Paula, in her high-pitched voice, said “OOOWEE”! Immediately the scene from “when Harry met Sally” came to mind when Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal were in the diner and, well, you know the scene, and an elderly woman said to the server,“I’ll have what she’s having.” Paula, her nieces, Snooky, Karen and I were in hysterics laughing at the effect on Paula who’s limit is half a glass of wine. Give Paula an OOOWEEE at 410-296-1990 as she recuperates at a rehabilitation facility.

Sending bushels of love to Zenna Williams with prayers of comfort as you continue on the road to recovery.

"My music is the spiritual expression of what I am—-my faith, my knowledge, my being……..when you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups….I want to speak to their souls." John Coltrane

Congratulations to Rambling Rose on another successful Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund Awards Banquet.

“It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” J.S. Bach

The young talented 2013 scholarship recipients were Katrina Baldwin, Angel Baldwin, Sydney Boyd, female percussionist Sydney Young and Christopher Robinson, who also received a scholarship in memory of saxophonist Mickey Fields, donated by Eleanor Janey. The students played piano, violin, drums and saxophone.

"I've outdone anyone you can name — Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500” James Brown

Great seeing musicians, Bobby Ward, Ethel Ennis, Andy Ennis, Dr. John Lampkin, Eartha Lampkin, Lenny Miles, Nevitta, Ron Pender, James Taylor, Phil Townes, Albert Townes and others showing their support. Enjoying the talented musicians were William Trusty, Carlos Hutchins, Darlene Douglass, Everett and Stella Fullwood, Dee Brown, Milt Dugger and Florence Maultsby. 

“As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY. ” Charlie Chaplin

“…Someday My Prince Will Come…” Snow White

Cinderella had her Prince Charming; we had Sir Johnny O, the self-appointed Knight and Prince of AM radio. We would listen to the smooth baritone voice of Sir Johnny O, as he played jazz and R&B after hours on WWIN radio. His voice and signature message to the girls made him the envy of the teenage boys and the dream idol of the teenage girls who believed in fairytales. I met Johnny O in the 60’s when Larry Dean hired me for my first job taking dedications at WWIN radio. Johnny told Larry my on-air name should be Miss Val and that’s the start of our lifelong friendship. Imagine a teenager being called Miss. Sir Johnny O made sure that I was backstage for all the shows at the Civic center or at the radio station when stars stopped by the station.

“…Good night. Your prince just kissed you…” Sir Johnny O

Johnny was a committed and dedicated friend to radio personalities, singers and musicians. I fondly remember his friendship and loyalty to Larry Dean Faulkner who hired him and his devotion to Larry’s wife Greer when Larry died. Johnny arranged my first soiree into fine dining when he arranged for himself, Larry and Rockin Robin to celebrate my birthday at Danny’s on Charles Street. “I remember it well” the lobster tail, drawn butter and the tummy ache.

“Thanks for the ride, Prince Charming.” Sarah Jessica Parker

“Prince Charming” your subjects await you. All the kisses you bestowed through the airwaves will greet you as you are “knocking on heaven’s door. ” RIP Sir Johnny O

“…I just called to say…” Dr. Jimmy and Robin Wood were overjoyed when daughter Vashti Jamaica called to inform them that she and James Bryant were wed at Chicago’s City hall Oct.18 where they currently reside. Wishing love and happiness to this power couple!

Yellow roses to Mary Black, the assistant to orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Wood on her retirement from Medstar Harbor Hospital after a memorable career. Mary always greeted clients with a beautiful smile and a willingness to assist patients in scheduling appointments or completing forms.

Osborne and Veronica Dixon are jubilant over the birth of their grandson Ryan Benjamin Joseph Croxton to parents Brandon and Carol Croxton. Ryan entered the world weighing almost 9 pounds.

Its celebration time on your birthday Eugene Smalley, Damien Pulley, Myra Queen, Albert Queen, John Wood, Sandy Matthews, Beryl Johnson, Ralph Wright, my son Keith Lee, Gwen “Dee” Wright and a happy 75th to Willard Wright.

Condolences to Linda and Ken “Stromie” James and family on the death of Marc Craig.

“I’ll be seeing you” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch

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Living for the Weekend

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