“Everyone at some point will suffer a loss, the loss of loved ones, good health or a job. It’s your desert experience; a time of feeling barren of options, even hope. The important thing is not to allow yourself to be stranded in the desert.” Patrick Del Zoppo

“The Queen is the only person who can put on a tiara with one hand, while walking down stairs.” Princess Margaret

“If you hear any noise, it ain’t the boys, its ladies night” It was ladies only celebrating Myra Queen’s 62nd birthday and retirement from the IRS at her stylish Windsor Hills home. We sipped champagne and enjoyed mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres elegantly displayed on exquisite crystal as her childhood friends, Delevena Brown, Barbara Henderson, Carolyn Clopton, Beverly Dotson, Regina Pollitt and Pam Bethea regaled us with stories of their youth growing up in Cherry Hill.

Other guests enjoying the camaraderie were former Mayor Sheila Dixon, Barbara Corbin, Vicky Thomas, Lisa Montague, Vivian Armstrong, Mary Keller, Claudia McKee, Brenda Sykes, Dora Harris, Sandra Meekins, Cynthia Jackson, Wanda Watts, Sheila Hatcher, Lottie Benyard and Francena Bean-Waters. 

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Oprah Winfrey

“Get on the bus Gus” The Baltimore Fun group chartered a bus to Pittsburgh during the Ravens- Steelers game to tailgate with Jim Taylor, owner of JT’s Rib Shack and Pittsburgh Steeler fans.

“Pull up to the bumper baby” The bus pulled up to JT’s amid a sea of black and yellow waiting to greet 42 Raven fans from Baltimore. Like “beans and cornbread” we meshed, Ravens and Steelers fans laughing, dancing and waving to the honking cars rallying in fellowship. The purple, yellow and black became a kaleidoscope of fans having fun. Then it happened, kick off time.

“It’s getting hot in here” Ravens up we cheered, Pittsburgh up they cheered, “all night long” until the two minute warning. A Pittsburgh paper sports writer sat quietly with us throughout the game, then magically produced a 2010 championship pennant. However, we kept the faith.

“The rest of the story” Eight seconds left, Ravens scored a touchdown, mass pandemonium, and “oh how we danced” the Ray Lewis. I “Ray Lewised” over to a desolate Chucky who earlier had touted us with his yellow towel and said, “that’s nothing but a crying towel so give it up” and that’s how he got purple beads and we got a coveted yellow towel. We presented Pittsburgh’s fans with a citation from City Council President Bernard Young and a plaque in honor of our first Steelers & Ravens Tailgate Party. JT gave us a framed painting by his nephew with the same inscription, now that’s karma.

“Monday morning quarterback” Monday morning Jim (JT) and the Mayor of Monroeville dropped by to wish us a safe trip home.

What fun we had planning the trip with Ralph and Brenda Wright, Cordell Boone, Gerald Brown, Debbie Allen, Mickey Shields, Napoleon Sykes, Lee Stokes, Willard Wright and Jim Taylor including the tailgate party before we “hit the road Jack” to Pittsburgh.

“I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” Heavy D (RIP)

Congratulations to our friend, University of Maryland law professor, Larry Gibson, on an outstanding job organizing the historic celebration documenting Morgan students who sparked the Civil Rights Movement in 1960. The Honorable Walter Dean, one of four students arrested during the sit-ins at the segregated Hecht Company was honored at the ceremony.

Yes, that was Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake with several celebrity crepe makers participating in the grand opening of Sofi’s Crepes in Belvedere Square; other crepe makers were Councilman Bill Henry, former Mayor Sheila Dixon, Living Classrooms’ James Piper Bond and Bill Struever.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

This Thanksgiving, we give thanks to the memories of friends we’ve lost and prayers to comfort the families whose loved ones are resting “in the arms of angels.” Prayers to Michael Cryor on the death of his mother Ozell Delores Cryor, to Ellen Howard on the death of Eddie Watson, to the family of Inez Chappell and to Michael and Marilyn Davis on the death of his mom Cynthia Davis.

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” John Barrymore

Happy birthday to my son Keith Lee, John Wood, Rorye Jordan, Ernestine Scroggins, Russell Jolivet, Napoleon Sykes , Stephanie Kinder, Dr. Reginald Avery, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Rambling Rose (Rosa Pryor).

“So tell me I may always dance the Anniversary Waltz with you”

Congratulations to Reggie and Kathryn Harris on 50 years of wedded bliss and happy anniversary to the Honorable Kurt and Dr. Patricia Schmoke.

“I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn’t realize they thought” Andy Rooney (RIP)

Imagine my annoyance when a waitress served me a warm beer. I looked at my dining companion and made a statement that sums up my outlook about my life. “I have no expectations except for my beer to be cold.” And that friends, is what makes my life “easy like Sunday morning.”

Happy Thanksgiving! Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch