Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning’s hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die. 

–Mary Elizabeth Frye

“Gone too soon” Have you ever met someone whose presence make you feel that all’s right with the world; that was Christina, a stunning beauty with a smile and personality that overflowed. 


Over thirty years ago a four year-old girl knocked on my door and said “welcome to the neighborhood, do you have any children” that’s when I met Christina Coles. Christina lived two blocks away and was the official welcome committee. My children were much older than Christina was, but she would visit me daily and became an integral part of our family often joining us for dinner. When I met Christina’s mom, Johnetta she said, “I know why Christina likes it here she has a crush on your sons and calls them her big brothers”.


One day she came over and announced that she couldn’t eat dinner today, because she was on a diet. I contained the laughter that was rallying in the pit of my stomach, and said me, too and we ate carrots. At four Christina was preparing herself for her life’s struggle.  


The knot that formed in my stomach when I heard Christina had died is diminishing but the love in my heart for the little girl that welcomed me to the neighborhood will remain. It stormed the day they eulogized Christina, the power went out and we were “slipping into darkness” I will remember it not as a storm but the day Christina left the neighborhood and turned out the lights.


Frank and Johnetta, Christina is in her heavenly home where she can “walk around heaven all-day” welcoming people to the neighborhood.


“Heat, ma’am! It was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.” Sydney Smith


“Only the strong survive” It was so hot at Committee X71’s annual picnic at the home of Colonel Walter & Jeanette Hairston that I picked the same crab twice. I know it’s supposed to be “hot time in the summertime” but the “heat wave” is making this a “long hot summer.”  The guests alternated between the coolness inside the magnificent home, the shade under the tree or taking a dip in the swimming pool.


“Summertime and the living is easy…” The temperature didn’t stop guests Howard & Pat Jessamy, Dr. Anne Emery, Dr. Val & Michele Emery, Reva & Lewie Lewis, Tyrone Qualls, Helena Hairston, Leonard & Mary Ellen Smackum, Dr. Charlene Cooper-Boston, Cleve & Nancy Brister, John & Louise Green or Erica Jessamy-Dorsey, from enjoying steamed crabs, hot dogs, pit beef, turkey and  Committee X71 members’ fine hospitality. 


“Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry the one you can’t live without.”  James C. Dobson
Wedding bells rang July 3 for Elexis Bond and Delray Wylie as elated parents Barbara Bond, Evelyn Wylie and Purcell & Michele Wylie joined guests’ downtown at the 1840’s Ballroom. The unique wedding invitation was an airline ticket inviting guests to reserve their seat. The reception catered by Class Act with DJ Tanz providing the music that kept us on the dance floor “all night long.” Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority serenaded the bride while Kappa Alpha Psi brothers saluted the groom.  

“All the dreams you show up in are not your own..” —Gil Scott-Heron Baltimorean Marquis Clanton son of Carolyn Broidy was impressive at the fashion show he produced that a few Parisians in the audience flew him to Paris to produce a fashion show.

When I heard Tom Joyner talking about Mother’s Restaurant in New Orleans, he said “you know the food is good when those other folks are waiting in line.”  If you want a seat in G&M’s Restaurant on Hammonds Ferry Road, get there early. We got there Monday afternoon before the rush. Is it the crab-cakes, or ice-cold beer that has people waiting in the sweltering heat? By 5 o’clock the bar, dining rooms and the parking lot overflowed with people waiting.


“Celebrate” your birthday Sharon Pinder, Everene Johnson, Gregory Williams, William “Shorty” Trusty, Wanda Watts and happy 65th birthday AFRO Photographer Anderson Ward.

There’s a boat dat’s leavin soon for New York” Join Mattie Holman and friends Aug. 18 as they head to New York for the Broadway play “Porgy and Bess”, starring Audra MacDonald, the actress Aretha wants to play her. Call 410-655-9830.

 “There’s a sweet sweet spirit in this place and I know that it’s the spirit of the Lord. There are sweet expressions on each face and I know they feel the presence of the Lord. Sweet holy spirit sweet heavenly dove stay right here with us filling us with your love” –Conway Twitty

Sending prayers to Anita Sherrod on the death of her father Edward Jones, Pam Robinson on the death of her sister Angela Copeland, Dr. Monica McKinney-Lupton on the death of her father retired U.S. Marshal  George McKinney, Frances Pennington on the death of her husband Dr. Vernon Pennington and to Maxine Mitchner and family on the death of her husband Lloyd Mitchner.

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

 CQ   The court officer is spelled with ONE l, not two.