It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair… Charles Dickens

March was a whirlwind of activities. I felt like I was “gone with the wind” keeping up with the flurry of invites that I love receiving.

John Lee of Zenith Hospitality hosted an industry mixer in Fells Point at Kali’s Court to introduce new and familiar faces of Caesar’s Horseshoe Casino.  Guests had the opportunity to mingle and network with Benjamin Pitts, Caesar’s senior recruiter; Alex Dixon, Caesar’s assistant general manager and Robert Booker, Caesar’s head security chief as they encouraged people to join their team.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.Confucius

Caesar’s has a myriad of job opportunities for 1700 positions at the new casino. If you are interested, send your interest to Benjamin Pitts at  Ola! There is a need for multilingual personnel so brush up on your high school Spanish.

People enjoying the snowy Tuesday night sipping wine and munching  authentic Greek dishes were Marsha Jews, Robert Jones, Julelah Fuller, Dera Fuller, George Hutcheson, Jack Tomalis, Harold Hayley, Marcy Crump, Ceretha Spencer, George and Junetta Barnes, Kenneth Hall and Charles Dozier.

Every veteran is a hero.Joe Walsh

On a crisp Saturday morning, veterans and members of the community gathered on Winters Lane in Catonsville for an informative meet and greet with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. The event hosted by Jackson and Johnson Memorial Post #263, The Retired Enlisted Association represented by Michael Gales, Carlos Hutchins and Dr. Rob Gregory. Individuals had the opportunity to talk with the Lt. Governor individually before the meet and greet.  “Soldier boy” When I walked into the standing room only crowd it took  a minute to realize that the young handsome soldier dressed in military attire with “stars and stripes” and representing his post affiliation was Anthony Brown, a veteran of the United States Military. “We are one” He greeted the veterans as one of them, a soldier who had served his country honorably with distinction and could relate to the importance of veterans affairs.

Each city should have its own type of restaurant.” Marcus Samuelsson

Nancy’s SNAC on W. North Ave in the arts district is the ideal destination spot for dining with the artsy crowd at MICA. Kevin Brown and Bill Maughlin are the perfect hosts for a wonderful fun evening. The Friday Night Bunch has dined there on several occasions. Kevin enjoys polishing the crystal glasses for your BYOB libation. The menu consists of four main menu items and varies daily. Say hi to my longtime friend Mary Holter, Kevin and Bill’s right hand. The décor creates a warm ambiance as you dine, as the outside world wave as they pass by, just wave back.

Friends are hosting a Sunday afternoon jazz brunch for Antonio Hayes this Sunday at Phaze 10 on Howard St. Call Megan at 410- 547-8884 for details.

“How do I say goodbye to what we had? The good times that made us laugh outweigh the bad.

I thought we’d get to see forever but forever’s gone away. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday…” BoyZ to Men

Like Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Season”, I love the four seasons, each season unique in its own beauty. When I think of spring, I think of Oriole’s opening day and the opening day phone call from my daddy.

“Spring will be a little late this year a little late arriving, in my lonely world over here” Ella Fitzgerald

“Valerie this is your daddy what time you going to the ballgame? Orioles look pretty good this year they got a chance.” But, they still can’t beat the Nationals and we would lovingly banter back and forth. During the game, I would call after each good play or run scored, bragging about the Orioles. If the inning went badly he would call me. The love of a daughter and her daddy bonding over baseball is priceless. It started when we were having dinner at the Hot Shoppe on New York Avenue and DC’s former team the Senators were dining next to us. My daddy knew all the players; imagine his excitement when the Nationals arrived. As I grew older, I would take my children to opening day at Memorial Stadium when school closed early for opening day. “Those were the days.”

Monday I will experience “sweet bitter love” knowing I won’t receive that phone call or go to the Nationals’ game with him or call him on April 1st to wish him a happy birthday.

Condolences to Dr. Donald and Joanne Parker on the death of her mother Ruth Savage; to the family of Calvin “Play” Spellman on his death, to Betty Handy-Oliver on the death of her daughter Lauren Handy, and to Pamela “Ms. Maybelle” on the death of her mother Vivian Thornton

“Lord, this bitter earth, yes, can be so cold. Today you’re young too soon, you’re old” Dinah Washington

But, not the following people who are celebrating their birthday: Catalina Byrd, Michelle Emery, Dr. Everett Garnett, Donnie Green, Margaret Lee, 49er Angela Gibson, Rita Horsley-Johnson, Goldie Wood, Dr. June James, Betina Fletcher, Gloria “Tuttie” Bogan, Anthony Hawkins, Diane Hocker and  Dan Henson.

Sending warm get-well wishes to Glenn Middleton.

Go Orioles! Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch