“Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In his downward course, he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.” Frederick Douglass 

“Out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
Alice Shelton, Bea Ashford, Bev Brown, Ethel Cuffie Cooper, Lorna Brice, Laura Knight, Lorraine Brown and I travelled by car service to the nation’s capital to visit the monument of Dr. Martin Luther King, the African American Civil War museum and Ben’s Chili Bowl to celebrate Leah Goldsborough Hasty’s 80th birthday.

“I have a dream… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls” Martin Luther King

The magnificence of the monument as we approached, caused tears to seep silently beneath my eyelids as the enormity of the moment enveloped me, creating goose bumps. All God’s children stood together touching and posing for pictures at the base of the stature in wonder at the majestic figure standing between two mountains overlooking Jefferson Memorial.

We went to the African American Civil War museum in search of Leah’s grandfather’s name listed among the thousands of soldiers that fought. Leah’s face filled with joy when she spotted Frederick Goldsboro’s name.

“And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity,” Bruce Catton

“Nightmare on Boston Street” Is there a signal to let you know how long a train will take to cross an intersection before you reach the track. After leaving Bay Café, I decided to take Boston Street to 95S. I saw the train and thought, ‘no problem I see the caboose.’ I sat there patiently listening to jazz and thinking the freight train would end and then it happened the train stopped moving forward and started backing up. “But I was cool” as the train backed back until I couldn’t see the caboose. Now I see the caboose again the train is moving; then, the train just stopped. After waiting fifteen minutes, I started searching for an alternative route to bypass the train. After getting lost, and finding my way back on Boston Street I finally drove through the city.

There were no cars behind me; everyone must know the train’s schedule. The movie “My cousin Vinny” explained the train schedule best. The train woke Vinny every morning at 5 a.m. so he asks the hotel clerk whether or not the train comes through every morning at 5’oclock; the clerk responds. “no sir.” After being awakened again by the 5 o’clock train Vinny said to the clerk, I thought you said the train doesn’t come through at five, the clerk said it doesn’t, it’s supposed to come through at 4 a.m.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek proverb

Friends joined Salima Siler Marriott and Lisa Rawlings at Darker than Blue Café for a Cultural Salon in support of the ASA Restoration Projection. The project established by Anthony Browder is dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Asa Hilliard, to fund the excavation, restoration and conservation of the 25th Dynasty tomb of Kushite priest Karakhamun. www.asarestorationproject.com.

Tselios & Paulina owners of the newest hotspot in Fells Point, the Inn at the Black Olive, hosted a customer appreciation night. Guests gathered on the rooftop amid a fantastic view of Baltimore. The Black Olive serves organic Greek food and drinks including organic beer. I was hesitant to drink a healthy beer but after a couple of glasses, I enjoyed either the taste or the view of the city skylines.

“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I doubled over with laughter when I walked into the Black Olive and my brother- in- law Kim Chase was playing congas with the Tom Reyes Trio. For years, Kim has invited me to hear him play at different venues, so imagine my surprise when I realized he wasn’t a DJ. People enjoying the evening were Ernie & Betty Hines, Salima Siler Marriott, Norris Ramsey, Dr. Miles & Wanda Harrison, Joe Cooper, Myra Blanchard, Wanda Watts, Millie Hall, Patricia Hall, Karen Chase and WEAA radio personalities Beverly Burke and Sandi Mallory. Among the passed hors d’œuvre was the lamb and pork being grilled on the deck during the reception. November 3rd jazz vocalist Julie Hall will be at the Black Olive.

“Life is like an onion, you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” Carl Sandburg

Condolences to the family of radio personality Diamond Jim Sears many of you remember Diamond from his radio days at WEBB. A jovial friend full of old-school wisdom and humor and his trademark “have mercy.”

Prayers to the family of Alice Tucker former owner of Randallstown’s Hideaway on her death 21 days short of 100 years old.

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