“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia

“You are my dream come true.” No, I didn’t faint when I met President Obama at Prince George’s Community College when he shook my hand and said, “Hello, how are you doing? Good to see you!” I was with my host Senator Cardin, Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, PG County Executive Rushern Baker, Jerome Stephens and Anthony Jones. The anticipation started rising and seeping from the inner recesses of my body when I realized that my seat was directly in front of the stage and the only thing separating the president and me was the Secret Service. I watched his every move, listened to his every word without anyone obstructing my view.

“The first time ever I saw your face” Senator Gladden took a busload to PG Community College to see, then-Senator Obama who was seeking the presidential nomination. From that moment, I became enthralled with the magnitude of this historical moment and the “magic in the air.” I saw him again at the whistle stop. I was standing on the Edgewood station platform with my son Michael and Marsha Jews in the freezing cold, oblivious to the weather waiting for the train to “come around the mountain.” My face was flashed across the nation on CNN with the broadest smile, frozen in place with tears streaming from my glistening eyes. When the train passed, I couldn’t contain myself, knowing that in a few days I would be in DC witnessing the historical inauguration.

I’ve come full circle in “this magic moment” but for the life of me, I cannot remember what the president said. It was something about energy. He finished talking, stepped off the stage, and headed toward the VIP section. I frantically starting snapping pictures praying that my phone would capture the pictures of him shaking the elected officials hands and then it happened, he was in front of me, magically I managed to extend my hand, he shook my hand and spoke to me like he knew me. It was then I realized “dreams do come true.”

“Hallelujah, hallelujah we’re going to see the King!” There was standing room only to meet King Peggy the King of Otuam, at the book signing hosted by Harbor City Links and Iota Lambda Sorority. Her incredible story of how an American secretary became king of an African village kept us “spellbound”. Long live the King!

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

“Here comes the Judge” Laughter was heard throughout Tark’s Restaurant in Green Spring Station when we gathered for dinner to celebrate Judge Yvonne Holt Stone’s birthday. Dining with Yvonne, were Pamela Holt, Betty Williams, Lydia McCargo-Redd, Eileen Carpenter, Carmen Holmes, Mary Welcome and Yvonne Robinson. Eyes became “misty” when Yvonne talked about the importance of celebrating with friends.

It’s your birthday! Dr. Everett Garnett, Margaret Lee, Debbie Allen, Maggie Wiggins, my mommy, Rev. Pauline Wilkins, my daddy Benjamin Scott Johnson, Ora Washington and happy 50th Tim Johnson, Julia Hines, Donel Warfield of The Place and Pat Roselle,

Save the date for the appearance of Susan Taylor, former editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine June 1, at The Engineers Club. Contact Karen Miller at karen@karenmillerconsulting.com

“We are family I got all my sisters with me,” Join “Just Cousins” at their 20th Scholarship Fund Raiser, Mardi Gras Style April 28. Contact “Just Cousins” Selena Foster Redd at 410-276-5954 for tickets.

“Dinner at eight” Chef Wesley Vaughn former chef at Ruth’s Chris’ has opened The Corner & Bistro Wine-bar at 213 Penn Street in Ridgeley’s Delight. The boutique wine bar has a select menu featuring lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch. Call Chefs Wesley, Frederick Peterson Jr. or Derrick Vaughn for at 410-727-1155 for reservations.

“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you, too” Shrii Shrii Anandamurt

People came from up and down the east coast to be a part of Arch Social Club’s 100th anniversary celebration. “Come Sunday” they stood in the aisles at Fulton Baptist Church, the men of Arch Social worshipped with family and friends. After the service, they marched to the club and opened the doors to hundreds of well-wishers dancing and partying as Phil Butts and the Sunshine band played/ later member Judson Hughes kept the party going as the deejay in residence. The Monday Club of Wilmington Delaware, Ed Smith, Leroy Randall, L. Burks, Vince Robinson, Bernard Smith, Phil Wilson, James Bratton, Bernard Jenkins, Emmett & Sharon Poon and Marion & Mary Wright were in Baltimore to celebrate the Arch Social Club. The Monday Club (men only) was founded in 1876. Special thanks to star-maid Cathy Murray on an outstanding job as server and greeter.

“And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.” Malcolm X

Burl Ives said “let no man write my epitaph” We cannot let Trayvon’s epitaph be written in Sanford Florida. All I could do was cry” when I heard the 911 tape and a child crying “help me.” Our prayers to the family of Trayvon Martin and the Trayvon Martins we don’t hear about.

Aleuta Continua (the struggle continues) Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch