“See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night. A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind. See the paper layin’ in the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door. So I walked on up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind. Sweet days of summer, the jasmines in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune.”Seals and Croft

Summer 2016 has come and gone and just like Joe Turner the train has left the station; but what a wonderful summer it was for members of the Wednesday Philosophy Faction, Boaters, Golfers & Friends. Starting with the first Wednesday in June in Cambridge, Md. and hosted by member Tyrone Seymour, at our kickoff event we ate Maryland steamed crabs from the Eastern Shore until the upcoming closing event on September 28, hosted by me. Summer 2016 has been awesome.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

Special thanks to Willard Wright, boat Captain Gerald Brown,Dr. Charlene Cooper- Boston, Mildred and Dickey Harris, Eunice Jenifer- Robinson, Cordell and Deleanor Boone, Alaina Allen, Rhoda Fassett, Brenda Sykes and Ralph and Brenda Wright. These members opened their hearts and homes each Wednesday to twenty or more people for BBQ , fried fish and an array of exquisite dishes for an enjoyable evening. Some of them hosted us on more than one Wednesday. A huge bushel of crabs and a case of beer to Ralph Wright for coordinating the weekly schedule ensuring that Wednesdays flowed. The success of these outings was possible due to the group efforts and the guys who made sure the ice was plentiful and the set up and cleanup was completed. We “never could have made it” without you.

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.”-Helen Hunt Jackson

The GEMS annual Labor Day breakfast at Lafontaine Bleu was once again an “affair to remember” set in an elegantly decorated ball room. Guests sipped Bloody Mary Cocktails, mimosas and champagne as they enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast and music provided by the XPD Band. GEM members are Dr. Anne Emery, Brenda Baker, Pat Tunstall, Jackie Brown, Michele Emery, LaVerne Naesea, Wendy Dukes, Juanita Morton, Mildred Taylor, Sharon Pinder, Regina Bernard, Shirley Swafford , Alisa Swafford, Joyce Jackson and our wonderful host, Debbie Taylor.

“Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.”-Ava DuVernay

It was standing room only at the book signing for Leonard Hamm’s book “Hamm’s Rule and Hattie Fields’ Taco” at Colin’s Restaurant in Randallstown hosted by “Friends of Distinction” members Vivian Braxton, Shawn Braxton, Nancy and Cleve Brister and me. The lively crowd stood in line to purchase the books and participated in an informative discussion led by the authors. Special thanks to Colin’s for the complimentary dinner of smothered pork chops, crab dip and more for guests in attendance. Guests included retired commissioner Pete and Paula France, Mildred and Billy Harper, Everene Johnson, Clayton Tucker, JoAnn Jolivet, Dee Wright, Lavonne Grant, Carole Hilton, Victor Green, Freddie Vaughn, Adolph and Helen McDonald, Rob and Gladys Rice, Blanche Templeton, Anita Hunter, Ann Branch, Gwen and Nat Trader and Sheila Whitaker.

“I definitely think some of my older female peer groups are deeply beautiful women. They have this thing that radiates from them.”-Julia Roberts 

“Isn’t she lovely” was the unanimous opinion of the guests in attendance at Mildred Battle’s 80th party. The birthday girl entered the beautifully decorated room dressed in a white and black floor length gown, dancing to the sounds of jazz musician Marshall Booze and his band. The guests in attendance were Eunice Jenifer- Robinson,  Juanita Rollins, Fred and Emile Wilson, Marcia Flournoy, Stephanie Yates, Sheila Ford, Tom Saunders, Rosalind Anthony, Jeanette Bynum, Harry Johnson, Sandi & Jai Matthews, Stan White, Helen Hughes, Arnos West, Andrew Johnson, Tiger Lil, Adrienne Davis, Eleanor Janey, Arthur Hoffman, AJ and Carole Miles, Bill Massey, Marian Johnson, Juanita and Grafton Brown, Carlton and Darlene Douglass, Rosa and William “Shorty” Trusty and Dotsy Street. After dinner, guests danced to the sounds of DJ Mike and the latest line dances including the old standard “The Madison”.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

Happy birthday Freddie Vaughn, Rotunda Jenkins, Vera Newton, Nelson Taylor, Gwen Trader, Wil Giles, Susan Parker, Valerie Phillips, Marshall Bell, Sharon Richmond, Auvea Fortune, Walter Carr, Beth Watson, Juanita Brown, Herb Brown, Bobby Booker, Claudia McKee, Lafayette Carr, David Couser, Barrington Branch, Miguel Stokes, Billie Garner-Brown, Margaret Johnson, Dr. Raymond Bowen, the AFRO’s Robert Blount, Liston George and Zoey Washington-Sheff.

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” Maya Angelou

Wishing a happy anniversary to Bernard and Julianne Chambers on their 25th anniversary and happy anniversary to Vhonda and James Lewis, Sandi and Jai Matthews, Rorye and Dominic Jordan, Leroy and Maxine Dyett and to Teddy and Mattie Holman.

“My music is jazz.” -Yusef Lateef

Join John Lamkins and his jazz group who will be performing in Washington D.C.  at Blues Alley  on Sept. 28 featuring vocalist Ertha Lamkins. For tickets contact bluesalley.com. 

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin” Mother Teresa

“I’ll be seeing you.”

Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch