“If someone had told me that one day I would be standing in the White House and an African-American president would be presenting me the Medal of Freedom I would say, are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? It’s just an impossible dream.”- Rep. John Lewis

In honor of Black History month, we salute the Rev. Pauline Wilkins, the first woman director of the Morgan Christian Center and retired united Methodist pastor. “That’s My Mama!” This dynamic woman of God epitomizes the spirit of dignity and humility. Her peaceful and charismatic approach has deemed her worthy of praise from her parishioners and students. Proverbs 31:28-29: “Her children arise and call her blessed; many women do noble things, but you surpass them”

“Baby it’s cold outside.” On a cold Saturday night we were “putting on the Ritz” at The Mansion on Eutaw Place, the home of Sarah Holley and George Wallace. “The way you look tonight.” Guests arrived elegantly dressed in tuxedos, gowns and evening attires.

We were “doin what comes natur’lly,” dancing the night away. It was a perfect merge of strangers and friends mingling in the majestic stairwell, the foyer or leaning “over the banister” dancing and chatting. Among the guests “partying with a purpose” were professor Larry Gibson, Pat Roselle, Michele Burroughs, Sheila Turner, Rene Alexander, Gaines Lansey, Victor Holliday, Claudia McKee, Howard and Samirah Holley, Fariba and Nasser Khonsari, Audrey Quarles, Sen. Catherine Pugh, Comptroller Joan Pratt, Pat Tunstall, John Wesley, Faenita Dilworth, Brenda Baker, Jackie Robinson, Bill Brown, Leroy Jackson, and Jesse Murphy. Susan Parker graciously thanked the guests for their generous donation to Sophie’s Voice Foundation, founded by Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

The older I get the more I embrace the spontaneity of a new day, so imagine my excitement at The Peppermill on York Road when I stopped for a supposedly brief lunch on Valentine’s Day. This restaurant and lounge could be the backdrop for Cheers, where everyone knows your name. “Happy people,” most of them retirees, were enjoying their lunch and a cocktail or two. The Peppermill serves great oyster stew, crab cakes and old-fashioned comfort foods.

“We are each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.” – Luciano de Crescenzo?

While engaging in conversation we noticed four gentlemen entering the lounge area in tuxedos. After questioning by the regulars and me ( by now, I’m with “the in-crowd”), we learned that John Myers, Bud Laumann, Tim Long and Cliff Meekins were members of the Dundalk Avenue Barbershop Quartet. Since 8 a.m., they had been serenading at private homes and parties. With a little coaxing, they sang several songs, which brought tears to our eyes. Go to www.dundalkavenue.org for information.

“You are my friend.” After leaving The Peppermill, on to Keswick Multi-care Center to spend the rest of the afternoon with two perennial lovebirds, Mildred and Dickie Harris. When I arrived at Keswick, the Valentine’s party sponsored by the staff, complete with appetizers and spirits, was in full swing with Dickie in the midst. “I get lifted.” I saw several residents at Keswick that I had known for quite some time and was able to share the love with them. What a lively afternoon with Dickie, Mildred and their nephew Bobby Blount, we laughed when the staff joined in the merriment. Send cards to James “Dickie” Harris, don’t wait too long. Dickie said he’s walking out of there in two weeks. Hallelujah!

“You say there’s a lesson that you want to teach. Well here I am baby, practice what you preach.”

Not too late to check out Janora Winkler’s hit gospel comedy play “Practice What You Preach.” The play is performed at 510 Harwood Ave. With characters like Bubba, Thelma Lou, Deacons Frye and Perry Ellis, Brother Huckle Buck, Sister Maybelle, Sister Anita Banker and Reverend R. Kelly, I laughed so long my eyelids hurt. The club scene with Libby and the Tequila Sunset dancers made you holla. The stellar performance by Richard Mallory as Jesus left us “spellbound.” The cast members are local pastors and musicians. If you love to laugh and feel the spirit, don’t miss it.

“Baby I’m back.” McCabe’s a quaint restaurant in Hampden on Falls Road has reopened with the same warm inviting atmosphere. Bernice Bradford Lewis and I went to McCabe’s for their world-renowned crab cakes. The looks on our face when our server Brittany, appeared with this jumbo crab cake perched high on a hot buttered bun leaving little room for the hot potato chips and coleslaw was priceless.

“Every child begins the world again.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Lullaby of Birdland” Larry and Diana Gibson have put down the law books and started singing lullabies to new grandson Gavin Larry Gibson.

“Live as you would have wished to live when you are dying” – Christian Furchtegott Gellert

Condolences to Larry Poncho Brown on the death of his father, famed artist Larry O’Neill Brown. Mourners received a print of remembrance by the late artist at his memorial services. Prayers to Donnice Brown and family on the death of her mom Peggy Brown.

“I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Happy Birthday Gwen Pinder, Wanda Muir Oliver, Cori Ramos, Bosede Olaogun, Edna Smith, Sam Redd, Lydia McCargo- Redd, Kim Mason and Mickey Shields and happy 21st Paris Johnson.

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