“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” – Carter G. Woodson

“Those that don’t got it can’t show it. Those that got it can’t hide it.” – Zora Neale Hurston

In honor of Black History month, we salute retired educator Beatrice Payne. At 103 years of age, she is the epitome of style and grace. Ms. Payne has tirelessly dedicated her life to service for the community, her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, and the city of Baltimore.

“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” – August Wilson

For several years, I rode past the corner of Highland and Gough Street wanting to stop at a place called the Laughing Pint. I was intrigued by the name of this neighborhood establishment. “I heard it through the grapevine.” Laughing Pint was voted No. 1 out of 50 as the best establishment in Baltimore. “Another Saturday night” I decided to visit the Laughing Pint. “Baby can I change my mind?” When you open the door you are inside the bar; for a moment I was transfixed on the faces, when in unison the people at the bar said come on in; and that’s when the laughter started.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” This was not your ordinary neighborhood tavern, with a tavern menu. The owner who is a vegan has an extensive vegetarian menu including burgers and grilled wings. Soon bartenders Sandy and John had me laughing and sampling beers from the extensive list of imports and draft beers. The history of the original stag bar with the trough was revealing. The original bar is still in place including the trough. The laughter that resonated, when I asked “laughing boy” if the trough was still in use was priceless.

“I see the party lights.” When Dante Daniels and Ian Tyrell saw the cars parked outside for blocks and the crowd inside Maceo’s on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon, they had no clue that more than 300 people circulating throughout Maceo’s had gathered there to honor and celebrate their 4th year as proprietors of Maceo’s Restaurant & Lounge. Dante didn’t see my car so he asked me where I parked, I said Walbrook Junction; there literally was no place to park.

The committee, Shirley Belton, Carlos Hutchins, Mildred Battle, and Lucille McCoy did an outstanding job in surprising Dante and Ian.

Dante and Ian were speechless as we read the greetings received from Gov. O’Malley, Congressman Cummings, Sen. McFadden, Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young and Comptroller Joan Pratt. “The way you do the things you do” Delegate Melvin Stukes personally delivered his congratulatory proclamation to the delight of the crowd.

“Memories of the way we were.” Guests reminisced about the original Maceo’s and lauded praises on the businessmen for preserving the memory and legacy of Maceo Paysour. The laughter when I reminded Dante and Candes about the first time we met; requesting they fix the bathrooms and keep the Amstel cold.

The party’s jumping” to the music of Nevitta and Ron Pender, as guests Juanita Rollins, Geraldine Thompson, Leona Holley, Stan Johnson, George White, Perry Thornton, Sandy Aldridge, Sophie Scott, Jai Matthews, Carolyn Wainwright, Ann Rollins, Barbara Brunson, Andrea “Perk” Street, and Carol and AJ Miles enjoyed the tributes.

“Ain’t nothing but a party, ya’ll.” Dotsy Street, Marie Roane, Singing Lenny and Candes Daniels celebrated their birthdays “grooving on a Sunday afternoon”

“Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season. One word and one word only: Superbowl.” -Bill Peterson

The Haysberts certainly know how to celebrate Reggie Haysbert’s 63rd birthday party and the Super Bowl at the family owned Forum Caterers. More than 90 invited guests enjoyed the game while feasting on fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, chili, and freshly baked cookies; all ingredients for a great party. Guests cheering the football game and “partying like rock stars” were Angie DeVeaux, Kevin Tompkins, Evelyn Haysbert, Nikita Haysbert, Brian Haysbert, Frank & Marcia Coakley, Dan and Delle Henson, Binx Watts, Jackie Robinson, Bill Brown, Gregory Williams, Dee Wright, Everene Johnson Turner Carole Hilton, Dwight and Barbara Pettit, Bronzy, Denise and Carl MacDonald, Warren Jennifer, Eunice Jennifer and Roland Robinson. The tribute Mary so eloquently bestowed on her husband Reggie as she quoted author John Burroughs captured the essence of Reggie; husband, father, son, brother and friend.

“I am not going to die; I’m going home like a shooting star.”- Sojourner Truth

Prayers and condolences to Charles “Chizel It” Harris and family on the death of his mom Bea Harris. Lingering “precious memories” of Bea’s melodious voice drift through Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church.

Rosemont neighborhood advocate Mary Rosemond is travelling the “highway to heaven.” She leaves a legacy of her successful fight against the highway to nowhere project which would have disrupted her community.

“But, what of black women? I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.” – W. E. B. Du Bois

“I’m sending you a valentine”

Keep these vivacious women of the community in your “heart and soul” as they recuperate. First lady Bertha Sutton of Maryland Church of God, at Kernan Hospital; former Senator Eleanor Louise Gee Murphy, longtime communicant at St James Episcopal Church at Keswick Multi Care and Louise Jackson at Future Care.

“I’ll be seeing you” Sunday at Carlos Hutchins’ Valentine Day event; call 410-340-2002 for tickets.

Happy Valentine Day
-Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch