“God’s signs are not always the ones we look for. We learn in tragedy that his purposes are not always our own. Yet the prayers of private suffering, whether in our homes or in this great cathedral, are known and heard, and understood.” George W. Bush September 2001

“God willing and the Creek don’t rise” Benjamin Hawkins As a child I wondered what it meant when folks would say, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise” in response to “see you later.” After Irene, “I found the answer”

“What’s going on?” The folks turning over in their graves must have created the earthquake and hurricane. I imagine the conversation at “midnight in the garden of good and evil” going like this; they got an African-American President in the White House and a Black King on the mall….

“Good night Irene good night!” If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, add a shot of tequila and enjoy. After anxiously watching the weather all night, realizing our flight to Cancun was cancelled; I unpacked my bags and went to Sadie Smalley’s birthday party at Forest Park Golf Club. I hadn’t missed Sadie’s Day in years so when Sara saw me she said, “I beat Irene this is where you were supposed to be.”

“The party’s jumping” good music and delicious food catered by Errol Taylor featuring pasta and carving stations, salmon and more. The highlight was the monogrammed martini glass ice sculptor loaded with cracked crab claws and shrimp. Among the 130 guests dancing the night away with Sadie and Eugene were Shirley and Solomon Henson, Dr. Walter and Andrea Amprey, Tyrone Qualls, Dr. Charlene Cooper Boston, Napoleon and Brenda Sykes, Goldie and Judson Wood, Gladys and Rob Rice, Madison and Toni Lyles, Edna Smith, Beverly Boston, Jean Powell, Peggy Washington, Shontel & Darren Douglass and Tobi and Damien Pulley. The tributes by Sadie’s nephews Joseph and James was a testament to Sadie.

Congratulations to Merle Stanley and the Douglass Ducks class of February and June 1961 celebrating their 50th class reunion Sept. 24 at the Forum. For tickets call Joyce Pettaway 410-298-5634 or Ronald Bailey 410-448-1093.

“Nothing gives you an adrenaline rush like racing a car.Nigel Mansell

The “king of the road” is Will Power, winner of Baltimore’s grand prix race Labor Day weekend. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard ‘Jack” Young and the citizens of Baltimore are glowing in the aftermath of a successful event. The weather, the energized crowds and the festivities had my adrenaline racing the moment I arrived. My racing buddies Myra Queen and Janet Johnson laughed when police officer John B. saw me watching the cars “zoom” pass. He said “Why you looking so in awe, that’s how you drive.” I laughed and said,”Yeah but I need to perfect my turn.”

Until you see a race at 180 mph, you have no idea the thrill as they zoom pass making those hairpin turns.

“Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands and then just eat one of those pieces.” Judith Voisk

The staff at Pratt Street Alehouse deserves a standing ovation for their outstanding efforts in handling the crowds and flow of people passing through. The exceptional service on Friday prompted us to go back on Sunday; we had a good view so we never made it to our seats for the main race. Special thanks to managers, Donald Kelly and Quinn. The food was great and the beer was cold.

“Here we go again” Celebration time “Put on your red dress” it’s time to celebrate my birthday and all Virgos at Maceo’s Sept. 16. Get there early and stay late for plenty of food, dancing and live music. I know you heard Mel Waiters sing “the smaller the club the bigger the party dance floor, you can hardly move.” He must go to Maceo’s.

Happy Birthday to my Virgo friends, Frances Tilghman, Beta Dotson, Carlos Hutchins, Delores Chambers, Carol Hilton, Judge Jacque Leeds, Gerald Smith, Dr. Ray Bowen, Aunt Sis Johnson, Dr James Wood, Herb Brown, Rick Larry, Barrington Branch, Brenda Wright, Yvonne Frye, Rotunda Jenkins, Dante Daniels and special Virgo Thelma Evans.

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” Kahlil Gibran

Condolences to the families of Dr. Julius Taylor, Roselyn Hammond, Nancy Wylie and Rosalyn Ausby.

“There are prayers that help us last through the day, or endure the night. There are prayers of friends and strangers that give us strength for the journey. And there are prayers that yield our will to a will greater than our own.” George W. Bush September 11. 2001

November 22, 1963, April 4, 1968, July 20 1969, and September 11, 2001 until the end of time we will remember where we were. Ten years ago, our confidence was shaken and the world forever changed. I cried all night for the lives lost that fateful day and the reality that life would never be the same.

“God’s trying to tell you something” The next morning with eyes swollen shut from tears and amid fresh tears, I saw a sign at the Key Bank on Liberty Road that had appeared overnight, that read “GOD Bless America” I knew then “it is well.”

“God Bless America” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch