“You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.” Joe DiMaggio

Opening day generates an overwhelming excitement in me; I feel like a child waiting for Christmas. “I couldn’t sleep at all last night I was tossing and turning” in anticipation of spending Orioles opening day with my mother a die-hard Oriole fan. I was amazed that mommy knew the names of the players and their playing ability.  

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” Henry Van Dyke

“Spring will be a little late this year.” The rain that was predicted for opening day arrived “round midnight” but by game time, it was “a bright sunshiny day”

We arrived early at Camden Yards to watch the “pomp and circumstances” of opening day. It was a pleasure talking with Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who was enjoying his first opening day in Baltimore mingling with the fans. I invited him to meet my mother. The smile on her face when he told her that I didn’t tell him she was the prettiest woman in the ballpark.

The fans cheered as the Orioles, including the 10th man, 7 year-old Brianna Wells, representing the fans, walked the orange carpet.

 “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”  Khalil Gibra

There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, as 50,000 fans stood silently during the memorial tribute for Earl Weaver and the unveiling of his number 4 on the field.  “The boys are back in town.” It’s the bottom of the eighth, bases loaded and Chris Davis hits a grand slam. “You rock my world.” The stadium rocked as fans erupted into mass pandemonium. “Go to war Miss Agnes.” “It’s a lovely day.”.

It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.”  Henry Ward Beecher

“That golden time of the day.” Overlooking Falls Road in the Bare Hills community is Earth Wood & Fire, a restaurant serving coal-fired pizzas, wings, burgers, salads and specialty pies. We ordered the Lorenzo salad with arugula, Belgian endive, blue cheese, grapes, macadamia nuts with lemon vinaigrette and wings. The bar area is an ideal spot to eat and look out over Falls Road. They offer an assortment of craft beers including a chocolate and peanut butter port beer.

The owners Mark and John are great and ready to assist. On our next visit, we ordered the asparagus with crabmeat, burgers and a pizza. Leave room for Gifford’s vanilla or blueberry ice cream. When I was young my daddy would take me to Gifford’s in Silver Spring for ice cream shaped like Christmas trees, turkeys etc.

Do you remember High’s hand dipped ice cream? Imagine my surprise when I saw a High’s on Liberty Road, I made a U-turn as memories of my childhood filtered back. They had just opened that morning I ordered a dip of cherry-vanilla and butter pecan ice cream. When they didn’t have a container for the ice-cream, the look on my face said it all. The next thing I knew he was scooping it with a spoon and putting the ice cream in a coffee cup. Wait, it gets better. They didn’t know the price, so I gladly gave a couple of dollars to taste the best ice cream.

Unfortunately, I pass there on the way home so I’m not going to say how many times I stopped that first week. Let’s just say when I walk in they greet me and head straight to the ice cream. The staff is marvellous and a fine example of our youth.

“Special occasion. Like when you dress up in your tie and tails. Yeah, yeah, special occasion.” Smoky Robinson

Wow! So many birthdays to celebrate, let’s make some noise. It’s your birthday Shirley Henson, Gloria “Tuttie” Bogan, Donel Warfield, Vonda Lewis, Mildred Harris, Edie Green, Audrey Freeman, Tony Hawkins, DJ Tanz, St. Louis, Barbara Bentley, Tanya Dennis, Goldie Wood, Aldonna Wylie, Michele Emery and my mother, retired United Methodist Pastor Pauline Wilkins.

You don’t need a special occasion for friends to gather at Station North Art Café Gallery to celebrate owners Downtown Kevin Brown and Bill Maughlin’s 22-year relationship and Kevin’s birthday. Whenever you step into this art gallery and eatery, you never know who will drop by to make the party happen. The food is excellent and the atmosphere eclectic. It was great seeing Guy Bosworth, Beverly Burke, Mary Holter, Lawrence Bell, Marsha Jews, Marshall Bell and Wanda Watts among the people celebrating.

Macedonia Baptist Church’s Women Day Committee is hosting “Think Pink” a breast cancer awareness luncheon on April 20 catered by Agape House.  Contact committee chairs Darlene Davis, Terrie Clark and Dollie Owens at 410-669-5776.

“A man’s life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors.” Chinua Achebe

“Two thumbs-up” to Chinua Achebe, Roger Ebert, Mouseketeer Annette Funicello and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on their deaths “Thank for the memories.” Our condolences to Rosa Pryor-Trusty on the death of her brother William Pryor.

Forty-five years gone, but not forgotten “I’d like someone to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others.” Dr Martin Luther King April 3 1968

Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch