“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”- spiritual leader Peace Pilgrim

It was standing room only as family and friends eulogized Edna Scroggins Wright, our friend and mother of Willard and Ralph Wright.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Many of you remember Ms. Edna, always smiling and laughing, a joy to be around. I enjoyed her sense of humor and her love for me and the other friends of her children and grandchildren who adored her.

“Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Travelling with her sons or using the transit system, she never let the fact that she was a double amputee, limit or interrupt her activities. Whether it was at the art gallery, museum or jazz show she would be there with that bright engaging smile and warm hug. Ms. Edna never missed a party, a cookout, family gathering or ushering in her wheelchair on Sunday mornings.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, I adored this woman for her strength, determination and character. She was truly our inspiration. If there were a picture or role model of a woman of courage, humor and substance she would be the picture.

“But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Angels take flight and deliver this godly woman of beauty and substance, so she can “walk around heaven all day” spreading her love peace and joy.

“I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W. C. Fields

One hundred and fifty Gourmet Men of Distinction participated in the 19th annual Men Who Cook sponsored by the Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter National Coalition of 100 Black Women. The crowd entered Martin’s West to the aromas of spicy shrimp, jambalaya, stuffed eagle Kiev, bread pudding, bang bang shrimp, orange creamcicle martinis, and a variety of wing dishes. The innovative chefs stood proudly, anxious to offer their masterpieces to the hungry masses.

“It is not just about paying back it is also about paying forward. Paying forward ensures the future – a better tomorrow.” General William “Kip” Ward?

“It‘s a family affair.” Several chefs’ sons are now participating and continuing the tradition. Among the chefs displaying their culinary skills were father and son teams, Darren & Daniel Douglass, Dr. Vallen Emery & Ryan, and Chefs Dr. Travis Emery, Danard Smith, Karl Knight, Otis Rolley, Paul Beckham, Adrian Harpool, Dr. Guy Alexander, Gary Brooks, Jean Claude Bonneau and Reginald Pinder.

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”- Judy Garland

The golden wedding anniversary celebration for Antoinette & Madison Lyles at the Columbus Gardens was “an affair to remember” Longtime friends travelled from New Orleans, California and New York, representing different stages of Toni and Madison’s life before settling in Baltimore. The couple’s son Bruce escorted his mom while daughter, recording artist Angie Lyles saluted them in song. With umbrellas twirling, beads twisting, Omega men, Madison and Adolph led us in the second line dance to culminate the joyous celebration.

Among the guests enjoying the festivities and witnessing the renewal of their vows officiated by Monsignor Edward Miller, were Sarah & Eugene Smalley, Brenda & Napoleon Sykes, William & Mattie Mumby, Darren & Shontel Douglass, Dottie Marshall, Laura Knight, Helen & Adolph McDonald, Sabrina & Russell Bush and Rosemary Atkinson.

Happy anniversary to Benjamin & Jean Johnson of Washington DC celebrating 51 years.

It’s your birthday make some noise! Deidre Wynn, June Brown, Willa Bland, Vivian Armstrong, Bernice Bradford Lewis and special friend Frank Tate.

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.”- Ronald Reagan

“I’ll drink to that” So many familiar faces at Maryland Unified Licensees Beverage Association (MULBA) annual expo, honoring 25 people that made a difference in the community. Honorees included Club Climax owner, Anne Butler, Arnos West, Dr. Louise Johnson, Kendrick Tilghman, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Steppers and Richard Street, Temptations’ former singer; Sportsman Lounge’s owner Robert Haynes and Senator John Jeffries were honored posthumously. 1,500 attended this event featuring beverage distributors, exhibits, music and food. Call 410-925-4056 for information on MULBA’s event hosting the mayoral candidates.

“Oh Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.” General George Patton

Fifty-two organizations participated in the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors Breakfast hosted by Wayne Frazier President of MWMCA and his wife Pat. The military themed breakfast featured the United States Armed Forces’ Color Guards representing each military branch. “I cried a tear” when Wayne’s son Chief Battalion Medical Officer Lt. Tim Frazier and fellow marines in the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed in Helmond Province, Afghanistan lead the assembled guests in the Pledge of Allegiance streamed live. American pride was evident as tears flowed from the audience when Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful” played following the video.

Guests in attendance included Senator Ben Cardin, Iraq war veteran Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, BG&E president Kenneth DeFontes, David Cordish, Senator Joan Conway, Kevin Johnson, Marty Glaze and Luwanda Jenkins.

“Its summertime” so “I’ll be seeing you.”

Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch