“Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.” Og Mandino

Summer 2011 has come and gone like an arrow sent, never to return. Now it’s time to enjoy the glorious colors of autumn and indoor dining. If you’re looking for a happy hour in Baltimore County, check out Padonia Station Monday through Friday for great $5 menu items. On Wednesday, $2.50 steak dinner with all the trimmings; but wait the big challenge is the Artie Donovan burger, a triple-decker 38 ounce angus burger with provolone cheese on toast with lettuce, tomato and onions for $18.99, on Sundays it’s half price. If you beat the challenge, your picture will go on the wall of fame with Artie’s picture. It sounds delicious; I’ll order it on a Sunday for half price. Friday they have a complimentary buffet and live music. Everyday drink specials include $1.98 Natty Boh and $5 Orange Crush. Kat and Evelyn are there to serve you daily.

The Big Easy in Randallstown is becoming the hot spot on Wednesday nights with Binx Watts and Rita Matthews hosting live jazz for the 30 and over crowd. Wednesday they spotlighted Wendell Shepherd and the Sky High Band and the joint was jumping as they played old jazz standards like “Watermelon Man” and “My Funny Valentine.” Weekday happy hour features Long Island pitchers, domestic beer and wings. Check out their website www.bigeasylounge.webs.com or call owner Danny at 443-834-6238.

“First, have a definite, clear practical idea; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” Aristotle

Sisters Network, Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter, is hosting Pink Gala II on Oct. 22, featuring jazz saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. and Frank McComb. Call Survivor Marlene King at 410-409-8970 for information. Survivor Dawn Fitzpatrick is president of the local chapter. Sisters Network is a National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization.

“Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist. It is the trust that they will not last forever, that hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. It is faith that is a source of strength and renewal that lies within to lead us through the dark into the sunshine.” Elizabeth Chase

Prayers to Ann Davis on the death of her daughter Melanie, to Delores Johnson on the death of her son Edwin and to Anita Hunter on the death of her mom, retired educator Louise Turks at 100 years old.

“Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty, they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.” Martin Buxbaum

Roses to three vibrant women: Joy Carter, Leah Hasty and Peggy Washington on their 80th birthdays and to Dr. Ruth Pratt and civil right activists Dr. Joseph Lowery on their 90th birthdays: “to God be the Glory.”

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

Friends like Lavallette Campher, Linnie Brown, Dr. Sam and Lucretia Billips, Thomasina Bowie, Jean Powell, Tim Wilson, Carolyn Wainwright and the Rev. and Mrs. Alvin Hathaway were among the 100 guests at Millbrook Park celebrating Peggy’s birthday. “What a joy divine” Peggy’s grandson flew in from Hawaii to surprise her.

The Friday Night Bunch surprised Frank “The Executive” Coakley by remembering his birthday and throwing a party in his honor at Breezy’s on East Federal Street. When Frank arrived, his Iota fraternity brothers and numerous friends and colleagues greeted him. Our poet laureate Lonnie Spruill read a poem he had written especially for the occasion. Every year we forget Frank’s birthday and unlike most of us, he doesn’t say anything until the end of the month. He will wait until we have a drink and say, “you know you forgot my birthday.” We surprised him this year.

More birthday wishes to James “Dickie” Harris, Karenthia Barber, Jean Powell, Libby Massey, Dean Evans, Susan Smallwood and 2-year-old Colin Daniels. A special grandmotherly happy 18th birthday to my grandson Gregory Warren Packer, Fairfax Station, Va.; he‘s still glowing after his hole-in-one this summer at Laurel Hill golf course.

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama

Congratulations to Rotunda Jenkins’ dad Bishop Isaac Jenkins, Sr. of New Macedonia Baptist Church in Pocomoke City, Md. on 51 years of preaching the word.

Sending bunches of violets, sunshine and love to Lousonia Jefferson as she recuperates.

The Visual Arts Program and artist Larry Poncho Brown is hosting a meet & greet for renowned artist Charly Palmer at Morgan State University in the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, October 19, 2011 at 6 PM.

“Those of us who have been privileged to receive education, skills, and experiences and even power must be role models for the next generation of leadership.” Wangari Maathai’s (Rest in Peace)

A group of community-minded friends called Gamma Delta Iota celebrated their 54th homecoming reunion by hosting twenty students from the KIPP Academy at Morgan’s homecoming. The students attended the parade, toured the campus and enjoyed an old fashion tailgate party sponsored by members of GDI Inc. Kudos to organizers Willard Wright, Ralph Wright and Cordell Boone.

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