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“And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”

And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.”-Kahlil Gibran 

Carla Thomas’  “Gee Whiz” it’s Christmas should be renamed “Gee Whiz” where’s summer? Am I the only one who thinks summer is the shortest of the “Four Seasons”? Just when we get used to the dog days of August, poof! “Just like Magic” it’s over and we are tasting “The Last of the Summer Wines.” So enjoy the “Days of Wine and Roses.”

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake was on the move in Philadelphia from banging the gavel to start the Democratic National Convention, recording the delegates votes at the roll call of the states and being seated on stage during the DNC, our Mayor was visible and looking every bit presidential 2024.

The excitement generated during the convention was tremendous. The people were inside and outside the Wells Fargo Center witnessing a day in history when the first African-American president of the United States endorses the first woman nominee of a major partyfor President of the United States. I had goose bumps as I realized the enormity of what was taking place in the City of Brotherly Love.

Our first stop was the Maryland Delegation luncheon at the historic Wanamaker Building with more than 1,400 Marylanders in attendance. Always great seeing our favorite politician Kweisi Mfume at his tenth Democratic Party convention (clearly he started as a teenager), Karenthia Barber, Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones, Glen Middleton, Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, Delegate Cheryl Glenn, Joyce Smith, Delegate Antonio Hayes, Delegate Ben and Teresa Brooks, Senator Barbara Mikulski, State Senator Cathy Pugh, Yolanda Winkler, Black Girls Vote and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who hosted a wonderful after party.

Later that evening we attended the DNC where President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address to the overflow crowd mesmerized by these amazing leaders of our country. Special shout out to Terrell Boston, Delegate Antonio Hayes and Anthony Jones for navigating our activities in Philadelphia and the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center. Terrell showed us how to use the ride hailing app Uber for the first time, which was the only mode of travel to the Wells Fargo Center other than the hotel shuttle buses.

Friends of Distinction members, Vivian Braxton, Nancy Brister, Pete France, Shawn Braxton and me will host a book signing at Colin’s Seafood and Grill Restaurant for former Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm’s book “Hamm Rules” and Hattie Fields’ book “Taco” on August 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..  Be prepared to enjoy a delightful evening as “Taco” meets “Hamm’s Rules.”

What happens in Vegas… Congratulations to Omega Psi Phi Pi Omega Chapter, recipients of the International Large Chapter award in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Dwight Taylor celebrating 50 years as an Omega man in Las Vegas.

“It’s So Hard to Say Good-bye to Yesterday.” Friends are gathering to say good-bye to former states attorney Patricia Jessamy and her husband Howard, as they transplant their deep roots in Baltimore and head south.

“I bless the day I found you, I want to stay around you and so I beg you, let it be me”-Jerry Butler

 “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away.” It’s hard to believe that my awesome daughter, Lisa Lee, has been married to my amazing son-in-law Gregory for twenty-four years. Wishing a happy anniversary to Ret. Lt. Colonel & Mrs Packer. I thank God daily because “You Bring Me Joy.”

“She Must Be a Special Lady.” Kudos to Kelly Carter on making a difference in the Randallstown community. Kelly chaired President Obama’s Cancer Moonshot Summit initiative spearheaded by VP Joe Biden at the March Tribute Center. Guests in attendance were Delegate Ben Brooks,  Councilman Julian Jones,  Delegate Adrienne Jones, Cecil Fox Tony Randall, George Williams, Erich March, and Teresa Brooks. Jeri Lacks Whye, niece of the immortal Henrietta Lacks and Don Graves, Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Counselor to VP Biden, were among the 100 plus people in attendance. Colin’s Restaurant catered the Summit. Kelly, a mover and shaker in Baltimore County, also spearheads the Friday evening summer jazz sessions at Kings Park Square.

“No complaints and no regrets, I still believe in chasing dreams and placing bets for I have learned that all you give is all you get so give it all you’ve got. I had my share, I drank my fill and even though I’m satisfied, I’m hungry still. To see what’s down another road beyond the hill and do it all again. So, here’s to life, and all the joy it brings. Yes, here’s to life, dreamers, and their dreams.”-Shirley Horne

Happy birthday to my nephew Kevin Johnson, Frank Hocker, Janet Johnson, Carole Miles, Stephanie Farmer, Gary Brooks, Dell Perry, Rita Cooper, Debbie Alexis Parker, Tanya Pajardo, twins Robin and Russell Neverdon, Louise Green, Faith Thomas, Janice Fox Carney, Helen McDonald, happy 1st birthday Randolph “RJ” Gardner Jr. and to the “Dance Machine” twins, Doris Mooney and Vivian Kee celebrating their 92nd birthday.

The National Urban League was a success under the leadership and vision of J. Howard Henderson. Baltimore transformed into a Lady of Beauty displaying her jewels as she welcomed more than 10,000 guests to visit all of Baltimore from Harbor East to Sandtown and the inner Harbor for the National Urban League Convention. The opening reception at the Frederick Douglass/Isaacs Myers museum featuring Baltimore’s Dru Hill, the delicious crab cakes prepared by Jimmy Britton of Class Act and the honoring of Raymond V. Haysbert were the perfect ingredients for a splendid night. The July breeze drifting off the water helped to create “Some Enchanted Evening”.

“I’ll be seeing you.”

-Valerie and The Friday Night Bunch