“The Lord says, forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do.  It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land” Isaiah 43:18-19.

Many people make resolutions for the New Year and, within a matter of days, most resolutions become a fleeting thought, a forgotten memory filed away until the next year.  Isaiah 43: 18-19 reminds us to forget what happened before and look at all things as new. Instead of making a resolution or promise to ourselves that will disappoint us when we don’t fulfill it, let’s just take it “one day at a time” and by evening, if we didn’t accomplish what we set out to do, we’ll start anew with the dawning of the new day. I just wonder how many victories we will achieve.

I welcome challenging experiences, so when I realized I had left the address at home for the 60th birthday party for Walter “Butch” Felton at the Abingdon Fire Company’s firehouse in Harford County, I wasn’t concerned. After all, I was born in Harford County, I still have relatives in Aberdeen and Havre de Grace, and for years knew where Abingdon Road was—and remember, I have GPS. So I took I-95 north headed to Abingdon Road, and I put the location in the GPS. I thought it would give me the firehouse, but no such luck. I stopped at the Royal Farm store in Joppa for directions, and fortunately a customer sitting in his truck said, “I don’t know, but let me Google it.” Now why didn’t I think of that?

It’s a good thing the party was at the firehouse. “It’s getting hot in here” cause “the roof, the roof, the roof was on fire.” It was “Saturday Night Fever”—a disco fever.  The party people were dressed in the style of the ‘60s and ‘70s with bell bottom pants, bush wigs, afro sheen, peace medallions, bush combs and “The MACK Daddy” look. Walter and his wife Jayne were dressed in matching outfits, sitting in authentic high-back wicker chairs. The Habit Band, with Calvin Porter on guitar, vocalist Angela Adams and other band members, kept us dancing old-school moves including the “Soul Train” line.

“We’re having a party”` Sarah and George’s annual black tie winter party at their palatial Eutaw Street mansion took on a new twist when guests were asked to celebrate Victor Holliday’s retirement. Guests arrived with gifts and bottles of champagne to toast this quintessential gentleman.

“It’s your birthday make some noise” James “Big Lou” Lewis, Jo Lewis, The Place owner, Ann Winder, Dr. Charles Towns, David Holliday, Commissioner Wendell “Pete” France, Dr. Vallen Emery, Ryan McNeil and my sister Cheryl Johnson.

“I was born in a city they called it the windy city because of the hawk the almighty hawk”

“Baby it’s cold outside” The polar vortex had folks digging deep in their closet to pull out fur coats they had stopped wearing because, as some would say, “it’s just not cold enough”. Looking to update or buy a new fur coat? Contact Carol at Hanna and Demetrious Furs, or Beverly Glover at Emage Furs to shield you from the almighty hawk.

“…and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”… Isaiah 61:3

The New Year ushered in a season of promises for some and created a book of memories for the families who bid farewell to their loved ones. Our prayers and condolences to Aldonna Wylie and Brandon on the death of her mother and his grandmother; to the family of Julia Stovall; to Robilynn Heath on the death of her soul mate Anthony Butler; and to Glennard and Councilwoman Sharon Middleton on the death of Glen’s brother Larry Middleton, former boxing champ.

The death of former WWIN radio icon Al Jefferson closed the chapter of my early years as a teenager taking dedications for Al’s morning radio show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I still remember the lineup: Larry Dean from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by Al and then Hot Rod. In those days, these radio guys were accessible to anyone interested in broadcasting, and they created memories and a lasting friendship for me. For years, Al commuted from D.C. to bring us the latest tunes of the day with his smooth, reserved style. The day Al arrived in heaven at the age of 93, Ms. Kitty Broady asked St. Peter if she could do the morning roll call, as she had gotten word that the last member of the original WWIN radio family was arriving “round midnight,” and she wanted to make sure he would be greeted the only way the hottest radio station of the ‘60s could do it. She called Larry Dean, Champ Hagans, Sir Johnny O, Maurice “Hot Rod” Hulbert, Dell Edwards and Kelson “Chop Chop” Fisher. She then called a few other friends, including Frederick “Rockin Robin” Robinson, James “Diamond Jim” Sears, Paul “Fat Daddy” Johnson and Everett Dudley, all representing the glory days of radio. “Great Googamooga” Al, fasten your seat belt, Commander Hot Rod sent his rocket ship for your flight. Your road was long, your journey hard, but “get ready” to “have a happy landing,” you have reached your final destination.

“Remember one day at a time”!

“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places”. Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch.