“Nobody on Earth is a star … I can admire human beings who are great talents in every field, but I think there are some other words that we can use – genius or super talented … stupendous or above average. Why do you want to call people ‘star’? That’s Hollywood and that drives everybody nuts.”
Jimmy Heath

It has been 20 years since my visit to Martha’s Vineyard and what better reason to go then to support Baltimore promoter John Lee at the 1st Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival sponsored by executive producer John Lee, associate producer Stephen Anglin and John’s mother, event coordinator Brenda Lee.

“And you don’t know how glad I am” that I went.

Baltimoreans were there for the weeklong event featuring musical giant Jimmy Heath, Nnenna Freelon, Élan Trotman, Antonio Hart, Warren Wolf Quartet and other groups performing at various venues had Oak Bluff alive with the “sound of music.”

“Any education is important … and jazz is no different.”
Jimmy Heath

We talked with Jimmy Heath at the signing of his book, “I Walked With Giants” in Vineyard Haven. Once he realized we were from Baltimore he regaled us with stories of his days here at the legendary Sphinx Club, friends Mike & Ruth Binsky, Biddy Wood and the Famous Ballroom jazz shows.

It was great seeing my long time friend Baltimorean Frances Finney entertaining more than thirty friends and neighbors at a barbeque at her summer home in Oak Bluff.

The Inkwell is still the place to sunbathe, read, meet new friends or connect with friends vacationing on the vineyards. Every day we were at the beach enjoying the cool waters and warm breeze until “ebb tide.”

After the beach, it was time for dinner and jazz. Lola’s located on Beach Road was the hottest spot on the island; offering a different musical venue nightly; jazz, R&B group The Review or a deejay. The Island Club on Circuit Avenue is an ideal spot to sit on “The Porch” meeting and greeting people strolling along the main drag. The long line at the Back Door bakery was unbelievable as people waited for freshly made donuts until midnight.

“Just friends” partying on the Vineyard were Marsha Jews, Ernestine Scroggins, Fred & LaVonne Grant, Dr. Jackie & Ike Williams, Karen Brice, Attorney Paul & Laverne Gardner, Rod Womack, Jay & Wanda Johnson, George Ray, Queen & Walt Carr, Jay Baker, Mel Rutledge, Scott & Valerie Phillips, Gail Smith, Herb Ford from New York, 106 & Park’s A.J, Michael Settles and James Webster. We also hung out with the off-duty secret service members.

At Coop de Ville, the menu listed dishes with old bay; naturally, I asked Petey the owner, the connection with Maryland, he grew up in Monkton. You know it’s a cool place when you see chef Scottie Blue, drinking Amstel before noon. Always remember it 5 o’clock somewhere.

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.”
Mahatma Gandhi

A new tradition that baffles the villagers of Menemsha, a quaint fishing village miles from the crowds in Oak Bluff and Edgartown is the hundreds of people who descend upon Menemsha on Thursday evenings to watch the sunset. Cars parked more than two miles to witness this phenomenon.

“I hate to see the evening sun go down.”
William C. Handy

To say it is breathtaking is an understatement, the sun appears to drop into the ocean, casting a brilliant red glow in the sky outlining and illuminating the clouds giving the appearance of red Christmas lights trimming the edges. The sunset received a standing ovation as people applauded and the yachts and car horns made a reverberating sound.

“One lesson you better learn if you want to be in politics is that you never go out on a golf course and beat the President.”
Lyndon B Johnson

We went to Farm Neck Golf Course to play nine holes. While at the driving range, a tall gentleman arrived and proceeded to hit the balls. I casually glanced and continued hitting the balls. Walking to my cart I noticed two carts had parked near me, one on each side. I approached and noticed the white cord in their ear. I’m thinking who needs security on the golf course, the president is not on the vineyard this week. I glanced at the driving range and it hit me. That was United States Attorney General Eric Holder hitting the balls next to us.

“I am made as hell and not going to take this anymore.”
Howard Beale from Network

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you the continued disrespect of President Barak Obama has me mad as hell as we continue to lose respect for the highest elected office. Why are we not upset at the name-callings? I know “sticks and stones may break our bones but names…” But when you call the president a tar baby, that’s throwing stones, reeking of days of Uncle Remus.

Contact Rep. Cummings, Sen. Mikulski & Sen. Cardin and demand they sanction members of Congress who disrespects the presidential office.

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