“As I began to love myself, I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But, as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.” Charlie Chaplin

“Living for the weekend” Friday, over 3,000 people gathered on the Frederick Douglass/Isaac Myers Maritime Park’s promenade for Living Classroom’s Maritime Magic night. Guests sampled food and libation from participating bars and restaurants while strolling along the water’s edge enjoying the musical sounds of MarchFourth Marching Band, All Mighty Senators Jazz Ensemble and the Craig Alston Syndicate. Many people enjoyed the silent auction as they bid on donated items that included vacation packets and sports memorabilia. The silent auction had friends amicably bidding competitively with each other on special items.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. Charlie Chaplin

On Sunday the gorgeous weather and the “Canadian sunset” offered the perfect occasion for Baltimore jazz musicians Dr. John Lampkins, Tamm E Hunt, Sandi Mallory, Joe Cooper, David Baker, Rick Johnson, Lamont Davidson, Dennis Fisher, Larry Willis, Rhonda Robertson and John Coltrane’s cousin, saxophonist Carl Grubbs, to “welcome home” Baltimore legend Gary Bartz. Bartz performed at the Frederick Douglass/Isaac Myers Maritime Park’s jazz on the waterfront for the Associated Black Charities fundraiser. Featured musical groups included John Milton Wesley, the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, The Curtis Brothers and jazz violinist Chelsey Green and the Green Project. Perfect ingredients for a magical weekend.

Spotted in the audience were jazz aficionadas Ruth and Mike Binsky, Kathleen Matthews, Joyce and Ben Holmes, jazz promoter Gladys Inman, Bilal Ali, Claudia McKee, Diane and Frank Hocker, Fred and Lavonne Grant, Auvea Fortune, Gaylord, Pauline Taylor, Reggie Thomas, Angela Wade, Sandi Manns, Sara Smalley, Jerome and Paula Stephens and Rosemary Atkinson. People enjoyed food prepared by Phaze 10’s executive chef Shannon and other food vendors. Orchids to Marsha Jews and the staff at Frederick Douglas/Isaac Myers museum on a job well- done in maintaining an alluring atmosphere during the weekend events.

“…Put on the dancing shoes tonight, slip on the dress…All eyes on us ‘cause we are the life of the party babe” Charlie Wilson

“Everyone get up” It was hard to stay in our seat at Gents on the Move’s fall cabaret at the Ivy Center when the hottest dance band, Signature Live, performed. The group includes four lead female singers and a male singing everything from the Chantels, Chuck Brown and Heavy D to Robin Thicke’s latest hit, Blurred Lines. When the male singer sang Heavy D’s “overweight lover” he reminded me of Heavy D busting all the moves. This group is so hot it was hard to believe Robin Thicke wasn’t performing. Signature Live hails from the DMV area and will soon be appearing at Identity Lounge. Special shout-out to Gents Scotty, Jerry, Wink, Billy and my host A.J. Miles and his wife Carole.

It was standing room only at John Woods’ homecoming party for Morgan’s class of ‘57 and guests held at Club 347 on Calvert Street. The guests were jubilant as they sauntered in after the game with a Morgan victory to celebrate.

George Ray and Nicole Nicholson’s party at the Havana Club to celebrate Morgan’s homecoming victory later that night had guests lining up on Water Street so they could dance the night away. “’Round midnight” this Coppinite headed home after celebrating with my Morgan friends “Forever Morgan.”

Cherish each hour of this day for it can never return. Og Mandino
Happy birthday Angela Matthews, Berice Bogan, Jonathan Greene, Tobi Pulley, Rosemary Atkinson, Frank Coakley, Myra James, Gloria Cole Bryant, Natalie Frazier, Jean Powell and my grandson Gregory Packer.

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” William Butler Yeats

“…Friends how many of us have them? Friends ones we can depend on…” Whodini Sending bushels of “love and happiness” to Dr. Marie Washington, The Queen Dorothy Williams, Beulah and Jimmy Brown of Randallstown and Marc Craig as you get stronger “day by day.”

“When we are born we die, our end is but the pendant of our beginning.” Manlius

Sending our prayers and condolences to Vickie Woods and Robert Woods on the death of your husband and father Fred Woods, to the family of Eddie Buckson, to Adam, Frank and Timothy Hocker on the death of your mom, Barbara Hocker and to Dee-Dee Thornton and family on the death of your mother Dorothy Thornton Hayes, mother of twelve children and countless grand and great grandchildren.

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.” Og Mandino

I’m sending a truckload of love and a bundle of patience to my coworkers and the hundreds of thousands of government employees and their families as we continue to endure the federal government shutdown.

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” Og Mandino

Many of us continue to work daily during these uncertain times without pay providing quality service to the public. Thanks for your commitment in spite of your own circumstances. We are blessed and we know who is in control. A luta continua (the struggle continues)

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