By Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO

“Back when I was a child before life removed all the innocence, my father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me. And then spin me around ‘til I fell asleep. Then up the stairs he would carry me, and I knew for sure I was loved. If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him I’d play a song that would never ever end. How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again.” Luther Vandross

If it wasn’t for Hallmark, many people would miss certain holidays like Grandparent’s day, Children’s day, Galantine’s Day and even Father’s Day. It’s almost as if Father’s Day is an afterthought. For those of us whose father is no longer living, we remember and celebrate Father’s Day. We miss the conversations we shared about sports, politics, cars, finances and restaurants. The phone calls just to say hello or the call for no reason except to hear their voice when you felt blue. The drive across the beltway for no special reason except you just wanted a hug or an unexpected dinner reservation. Like Luther what I wouldn’t do to dance with my Father again. If you are fortunate to have your dad with you this Father’s Day take the opportunity to “dance with your father.”

“He married my mother and he took us in and now we belong to the man with that big wide grin. Think I’ll color this man father. I think I’ll color him love. Said I’m gonna color him father I think I’ll color the man love…” The Winstons

Fathers like mothers come in all colors; they aren’t always our birth parent, but someone that has been placed in our lives through marriage, adoption, a neighbor, relative, your best friend’s father, a teacher or a fraternity. If you have been fortunate to have someone in your life, then “color him Father.”

The sociable Sheriff John Anderson was elated at the crowd that showed up at Melba’s on a Sunday afternoon to honor him. Our longtime Sheriff held court as one by one people stopped to greet him and thank him for a job well done. John Anderson is one of the few people that I will drive that far to spend a Sunday afternoon; but that’s what you do for forty plus years of friendship.

“Stay away from people whose eyes don’t light up when you enter the room” Andre DeShields 2019 Tony Winner

All eyes lit up the weekend Dell Henson celebrated her birthday. Until last week Dell Henson was a woman you couldn’t surprise, but her husband Danny, with the help of daughter Dana and son Darren coordinated a 75th birthday weekend full of surprises. On Saturday they hosted an old school surprise party at the Imperial Garden Condominium’s impressive clubroom. Surprised, Dell thought this was it.

“The best is yet to come” Frank Sinatra

“Come Sunday” Danny had reservations at her favorite restaurant Tio Pepe for dinner. What she didn’t know was that 35 family members and close friends were dining with her. The look on her face was priceless! Guests ordered their choice of appetizers and entrees from the extensive menu. I selected the succulent suckling pig and of course the sangria flowed freely. Dessert was the delicious strawberry cake from Patisserie Poupon.

“For your precious love means more to me than any love could ever be… wider deeper than any sea.” Jerry Butler

Sending “love and happiness” to Myra and Albert Queen, Donald and Mariana Thoms, Dan and Dell Henson and Dana and Kevin “Mpeckable” Peck as they celebrate their wedding anniversaries.

“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” Khalil Gibran

Singing happy birthday to Deborah Drumgole, Rev. Lucy Brady, Jackie Brock, Jacqueline Davis-Belt, Laura Morris Knight, Gladys Bragg, Denise Dobson MacDonald, Joseph Hillery, Dr. A Lois Delaine, Mamie Murray, Ralph Magwood, Pastor Harrison Johnson, twins Andrea Vaughn Givens, Andre Vaughn and Gloria Pack.

Congratulations to Baltimore’s Sandi Mallory on her retirement from the air waves after 40 years bringing us news, music and entertainment.

“The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him.” Elizabeth Ann Seton

What an honor when Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and her husband Marion dined at the table with my sisters Cheryl Johnson, Karen Johnson Chase and me during the family memorial dinner at the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference at the Marriott Waterfront. My mother, the late Retired United Methodist Pastor Pauline Ridgley Wilkins was among the clergy who had died since the 2017-2018 conference. Each family was invited to attend the dinner and the beautiful memorial service. Other local clergy remembered were Pastors Mary Conway, Lloyd Marcus and Maurice Moore. The memorial service also honors, Bishops, spouses of clergy and lay members.

Memorial service for Robert “Jake” Jacobs Friday June 28, at Morgan State University Murphy Fine Arts Center. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Robert G Jacobs Scholarship

What’s happening!

Join the United Methodist Church Western Pennsylvania Conference Campership Bike a thon ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC on Sept 30-October 4 for over a 300 mile bike ride. Visit for more information.

Herald of Hope Theater presents Fire in my eyes by Percy Thomas on June 22. For tickets visit or Alice Thomas at

Ruth’s Chris in Pikesville summer music series on Thursday and Friday evenings has started featuring a special happy hour menu on the patio.

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Billy Graham

Happy Father’s Day!