“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”  Khalil Gibran

 “…It’s got the best food. It’s got the best music. It’s got the best people. It’s got the most fun stuff to do.” Harry Connick, Jr.

The GEMS sparkled at their 35th Labor Day dance at Glen Burnie’s La Fountaine Bleu ballroom. Dorothy George and Helena Hicks to reciprocate their many social invitations founded the GEMS and in 1978 invited their friends to attend an invitational only breakfast dance. Today members Brenda Baker, Regina Bernard, Jacqueline Brown, Wendy Dukes, Anne Emery, Michele Emery, Audrey Freeman, Alisa Henderson, Juanita Morton, LaVerne Naesea, Sharon Pinder, Shirley Swafford, Deborah Taylor and Mildred Taylor continue the tradition. 

“You got me going in circles round and round I go. What a week starting with ” The Star Spangled Celebration , MWCEA conference in Ocean City, my birthday celebration at Colin’s Seafood and Grill, a night on the waterfront  at Living Classroom’s Maritime Magic  festivity with “Rubber Band” man Bootsy Collins  performing and culminating with a  spectacular wedding on the Hudson River had me in a whirlwind of high- end excitement.

“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth, there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” Ivan Panin 

The wedding of Debbie Allen and Arthur Allen’s daughter Shana to Richard Maccone at Maritime Parc in Jersey City, N.J. had the glamour of the bygone Hollywood era of Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Dorothy Dandridge, Gene Tierney and Joan Crawford. The bride was so elegant walking down the rose petals strewn aisle as the officiate, Rev.Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, proclaimed the bride was drop-dead gorgeous.

It was “some enchanted evening” as the Vintage String Quartet provided the music during the wedding and cocktail reception. The rooftop cocktail reception offered guests a spectacular view of the New York and New Jersey skyline including the new Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty as guests munched on steak, ribs, salmon, rock fish, assorted butler-passed hors d’ oeuvres while sipping champagne and cocktails before going downstairs to the second level for a dinner of filet mignon and salmon with wine selections to complement the dinner.

Sounds of Sinatra, Johnny Hartman, Bobby Short, Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughn greeted the guests as they entered the ballroom festooned in all white with statuesque table arrangements of huge white feathers, crystal teardrop chandeliers and grand white floral arrangements situated throughout the ballroom.   The couple’s first dance to the Flamingo’s “I only have eyes for you” set a romantic mood for the guests who were in awe witnessing one of the most beautiful weddings ever. 

“Dancing dancing dancing I’m a dance machine” Michael Jackson

Dr. Joey Fernandez who sang “One hand, One heart” during the ceremony not only sing but also danced as he “set it off” with Alicia Jackson on the dance floor as the DJ played the hottest sounds. Sparkles lit up the sky as guests saluted the newlyweds at the end of the night. “Oh what a night”!

Sunday morning the bride’s parents hosted a brunch at the Hyatt on the Hudson, the host hotel for the wedding guests who stayed overnight before bidding everyone safe travels. Among the 200 guests in attendance were Karriem and Tecoya Farrakhan, Steve and Wanda Shannon, Georgia and John Lembesis, Danielle Maccone ,Dr. Joey Fernandez, Marc Boles , Alicia Jackson, Marion and Lynne Porter, Andrew and Kimberly Marter, Enoch and Joyce Ragin, Pless and Kenya Jones, Stanford and Darnell Peaker, Odyssey and Myra Gray, Ron Harris, William and Judy Tonkins, Thomas and Gertrude Reed, Don and Patricia Leveroney, William and Sheila Conway, Susan, Megan and Seth Dorris, Kristy Myers, Sherrie and Casey Pridgen, Kelly Ziad, Marsha Tonkins, Paulette Jackson, Desiree Paton, Deloris Williams, James and Norma Ford,  Jay Minchilli and Chris Favorito. 

Happy Birthday Karen Chase, Frank Coakley, Dr. Charles Griffin,  Russell  Johnson, my  grandson Damien Lee; Happy  21st Birthday grandson Gregory Packer Jr. and Happy 90th Birthday to political confidante to state, federal and local statesman my friend and my mentor Herb Brown.

“You know if you belong” Odell’s “let’s get it on “reunion is Oct 11 at the 5th Regiment Armory honoring Paradox’s DJ Wayne Davis.  Contact Garland Perkins at 410.493.4502 for tickets. 

Starr Presents an exclusive Linen & Lace Party, Sept. 27 at The Grand Clubhouse in Owings Mills with music by DJ DRE and Mike Crosby. Contact DRE at 443-756-9478 or Carlton Brown at 443-392-5358 

Ed Towles: Black Enterprise and Art exhibit opens Oct. 16 at theJames E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan University.Ed Towles was the founding art director of Black Enterprise magazine, founded in 1970 by philanthropist Earl Graves. You can contribute to the success of the exhibit by making a donation to www.Kickstarter.com or call exhibit coordinatorJoseph Ford 443-885-3020.

“Inseparable, that’s how we’ll always be Inseparable…Condolences to Rosalind Anthony on the death of her mother Gloria Farley who died a week after her husband Edwin Farley.

“There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to save a sin-sick soul” Mahalia Jackson Prayers to the Ammons family on the death of Dr. Robert Ammons, to William Tonkins on the death of his mother Ruth Tonkins and to Barbara and James Carter on the death of their daughter Angela Johnson.