“Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? You are more lovely and more moderate: Harsh winds disturb the delicate buds of May, and summer doesn’t last long enough. Sometimes the sun is too hot, and its golden face is often dimmed by clouds. All beautiful things eventually become less beautiful, either by the experiences of life or by the passing of time. But your eternal beauty won’t fade, nor lose any of its quality. And you will never die, as you will live on in my enduring poetry. As long as there are people still alive to read poems this sonnet will live, and you will live in it.” Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (English version)

The Valley Mansion in Cockeysville Maryland was transformed into an intimate chapel adorned with enormous bouquets of stunning white flowers and calla lilies, creating a breathtaking atmosphere for the fairytale wedding of Barrington Branch and Nichelle Smith on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

“We are family” The “high noon” ceremony filled our eyes with tears as family and friends witnessed this union joining two families together. The groom’s parents Ann and Barrington Branch and the bride’s parents Janice and Conrad Smith stood with their children as Pastor Nevor Mitchner united them in holy matrimony.

Barrington’s strong family bond was evident when he chose his dad, Barrington Branch, granddad Norman Branch and Uncle Michael Bryant of Leawood, Kansas as his best men. Other members of the wedding party were Nykidra Robinson, Alexis, Brooke and MacKenzie Alexander, Jaden Johns, Courtney Smith, Conrad Smith Jr. and Katrina Johns.

“Isn’t she lovely” The exquisite bride’s entrance was jubilantly announced by the bell-ringer merrily chanting, “the bride is coming.”

Guests attending were Gloria Bryant, Deloris Gray, Bernice Branch, Derek and  Kim Alexander, Kip and  Deborah Branch, Paula and  Pete France, Steven and  O’Lillian Johns, William and  Dr. Francine Hayes, Mildred and   William Harper, Marsha and  Charles Owens, Ronnie and  Francine Diggs, David Couser, Stephen Trye, Lorenzo Robinson, Sherry Robinson, Calvin Dotson, Victor Green, Michael and  Anita Graham, Rayner Parker, Diana Owens, AD Bell, Gloria and  Rod Armstrong, Eric and  Sophia King, Eric and  Shemia Brown and Dudley Stevenson; with guests travelling from  Virginia, New Jersey, California and Kansas to share in the joyful occasion.

During the reception, the couple showed a video highlighting their journey and travels during their courtship.

“And she reaches out and takes my hand and squeezes it and says, how you feelin’ hon
and I look across at smilin’ lips that warm my heart and see my mornin’ sun, and if that’s not lovin’ me
then all I’ve got to say God didn’t make little green apples…”

It’s your anniversary Novella and Kevin Carter, James and Jo Lewis, Ann and Barrington Branch, and Rita and Elvard Cooper; here’s to you.

“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind”

“Somewhere beyond the sea” 25 of us journeyed to Cambridge for our yearly outing to savor the sweet crabs out of the waters of the Eastern Shore. “Sitting in the park” along the Choptank River  we enjoyed the cool breeze that drifted off the water’s edge on a balmy Wednesday afternoon as we ate jumbo crabs, hot dogs, chicken and more. Our host Cambridge’s “native son” Tyrone Seymour impresses us with his hometown as we tour Maces Lane High School, the Elks Home and  Cambridge landmarks before we head back across the Bay Bridge.

“A room full of great sportsmen is so much better than a room full of actors.” Clive Owen

The Sportsmen’s League delighted over 100 guests with a smorgasbord of ribs, crab soup, homemade potato salad, greens, spaghetti, fried chicken, burgers and hot dogs at their 46th award ceremony at Middle Branch Marina. The Sportsmen’s League consists of people who attended Douglass and Dunbar high schools during the time of segregation. Their love of basketball and childhood memories created lasting friendships. The group presented the Hezekiah Braxton Award and $2500 in memory of member Hezekiah “Hezy” Braxton to the Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association to support the school’s athletic program.

 “I’m so proud of you” Valerie and Myron Bundy are thrilled over the accomplishments of Preze Watson Jr., graduating magnum cum laude from Stevenson University. Preze is among the Who’s Who of colleges and universities.

Happy happy birthday baby”to Lorenzo “Renny” Robinson, Glenwood Oats Sr., Jackie Robinson Brown, Laverne Naesea, Patricia Tunstall, William “Bill” Massey, Nathaniel “Buzzy” Thomas, Warrior Lawyer J. Wyndal Gordon, Wanda Watts, Loretta Mitchell and Michael Phelps.

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”  Cicero

Our condolences to Beta Dotson and Carolyn Wainwright on the death of your husband and brother Carlton “Yummy” Dotson; to the brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity on the death of Richard Speaks; to Elbie and Yoma Howard on the death of their grandson Chi Alyn Mitchell; to Gloria and James Bogan on the death of their niece Freddie Mae Bullock and to Wendle Billips on the death of his mom Rose Brown.

 “‘Cause we’re a winner and everybody knows it too… we’ll just keep on pushin’

Congratulations to the winners of the June 24 primary and to those who ran for office and didn’t win you’re still a winner you’ve got to “keep on pushing.”

Looking for a way to express what you feel contact Tanya Dennis at 410-655-1114 or BlingTeesbyT@aol.com for a wearable Bling Tee specially designed for you.

Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch Luta Continua (the struggle continues)