“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life,” John Lennon

“Oh yes its ladies night and the feeling’s right oh yes its ladies night. Oh what a night! ”

M&T stadium was bathed in purple, as ladies gathered from throughout Maryland for an up- close and personal encounter at the Baltimore Ravens’ home. Brenda Sykes, Tanika Sykes, Kendra Sykes and I joined 5,000 women dressed in The Color Purple for a Purple Evening.

“Purple rain, I only wanted to see you bathing in the purple rain” Prince

We were dazzling in purple as we toured behind the scene areas like the Raven’s locker room and lounge decked- out in our Raven gear. It was an evening of pampering as women received purple manicures, face painting and posed for pictures with current and former Raven players, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Quadry Ismail, Doss Tandron, Art Jones, Kelechi Osemele, Tyrod Taylor and Jameel McClain.

We ran obstacle courses, threw footballs from the fifty-yard line, posed at the yellow goal post, took pictures with mascots Poe, Rise and Conquer and hung out on the club level for autographs.

What a thrill when we left the locker rooms walking the steps the players take on “any given Sunday” onto the field to the roar of the crowd. Oops, I must be dreaming there was no roar, but we did walk the steps where a plaque is dedicated to the players from the men and women who built the stadium.
We met Captain Dee- Fense, a retired military officer and a humble man who delights in visiting schools and doing speaking engagements

I was impressed when he quoted Oprah when explaining how he became Captain Dee-Fense. He said; first, you find something you enjoy doing, and then you find someone who is willing to help you do what you do. Contact Captain D at www.CaptainDefense.com or captaindefense@comcast.net  

Radiant parents, Albert and Myra Queen joined friends, Gloria Owens-Gross, Arnold and Dorethea Allen, Dr. Dermell Brunson, Joe Hendricks, Dannette Bland, Carolyn Clopton, Francena Bean-Waters, Napoleon and Brenda Sykes, Lauretta Warfield, Michael and Kim Briscoe, Cynthia Jackson, Sandra Meekins, Sherry Jackson, Michelle Carter, Tracey Days, Kelcey Oliver and Cari Carter at Pennsylvania Avenue’s Jubilee Arts in the Marcus Harris Center. Their daughter Stacey Queen hosted an exhibition of her paintings and photographs from her recent study tour throughout Italy. The event included a gallery talk from the artist and music by harpist Liz Ellis.

“Give me a pig foot and a bottle of beer.” The two sides of business executive Marty Glaze are so diverse that when he announces he is the guest chef at local restaurants we flock there to taste the exquisite cuisine he enjoys preparing. Our last soiree with Marty was with Red Parrot’s chef Wendy Cheng. The menu featured several east/west combinations including catfish, egg rolls, oysters, Chilean sea bass and lamb chops. Check out the Red Parrott and other eateries in McHenry Row.

“Where care shall be quiet, and love shall run riot, and I shall find wealth in my friends; then truce to the story, of riches and glory; there’s the place where the rainbow ends.” Paul Laurence Dunbar

Sending huge get- well wishes and thinking of you to Marguerite Peterson, Betty Chase, Lynn Brown, Lousonia Jefferson, Judge Jacque Leeds and Gerald Smith.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” Clay Bedford

Proud grandparents Elvard and Rita Cooper told us grandson Kenneth Cooper is excited about the renovations taking place at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy’s new location in Federal Hill. When Kenneth was asked how he felt about the rendition of the school’s new science lab the sixth-grader stated, “I was quite upbeat and ecstatic about learning in an environment like this.”

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” Jean Shinoda Bolen

Congratulations to Ed Parker and members of Christ United Methodist Church at Chase and Washington in celebrating 200 Years as a Body of Believers.

Happy birthday Dean Evans, Barbara “Chillie” Washington, Leah Goldsborough Hasty, Sheilah Davenport, Michael Polston, Michele Polston-Rigby, Napoleon Sykes, Ralph Wright Sr., Willard Wright, Myra Queen, Mildred Harper, Beryl Johnson, Russell Jolivet, my son Keith Lee and happy belated to James Dickey Harris.

Congratulations to educator Carolyn Cole on her retirement after forty years in the school system and to author Saundra “Sunshine” Fowlks on her retirement.
Carroll County educator Patricia Tyler- Levroney received the Freedom Fund Award from the Carroll County chapter of the NAACP for her work with diversity and multicultural work in the Carroll County school system.

Tickets are still available for the Kappa Silhouettes “Rising Star” brunch, Nov. 17; the contact is Freddie Vaughn. Frank Coakley has tickets for The Church of St Mary the Virgin’s jazz brunch November 24 call 410-363-2633.

“Life becomes livable only to the extent that death is treated as a friend, never as an enemy.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Take me to the King” Sending prayers and condolences to DeVera Redmond and family on the death of Douglas Redmond, her father; to the family of Rena Atkins and to Karl Hunt on the death of his wife Stephanie Dunn-Hunt.

Remember, “When peace like a river attendeth my soul It is well.” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch