“Because I’m happy … clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy … clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Because I’m happy … clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Because I’m happy … clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do” Pharrell Williams

“If you give a good thing to the world, then over time your karma will be good, and you’ll receive good.” Russell Simmons

The Havana Club was filled to capacity as people gathered to welcome the creator of DEF Comedy Jam, the Rush card, Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons for the launching of his newest book Success through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple. To say I was impressed with this modest, humble man is an understatement. He does not fit the stereotype associated with hip-hop music. A vegan since 1998 Russell Simmons is a renaissance man, in tune with his inner body, soul, and spirit.

The reception hosted by William “Billy” Murphy, Hassan Murphy, Zach McDaniels, Marty Glaze, John Lee, and David Couser gave guests Lamont Ellis, Lana Rae, Nykidra Robinson, Dr. Charlene Cooper- Boston, Konan, Anika Middleton, Allen Burrus, Ron Thomas, Trena Taylor Brown, Eric Bryant, Freddie Vaughn, Yvonne Williams, Wanda Watts, Carolyn Blakeney, Marsha Jews, and Sheila Dixon an opportunity to mingle with Russell Simmons.

Family member Gregory Simmons beamed with pride as his cousin Russell Simmons greeted family during dinner at the Four Seasons before arriving at the Havana Club. Contact Everyone’s Place to purchase your copy of the book.

I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “ain’t that the truth.” Quincy Jones

Nationally known comedian Larry Lancaster is hosting Monday night comedy at Identity Lounge, with Julie King. Be prepared to laugh until you cry as Larry showcases comedians from D.C. and New Jersey like Zack Johnson, Tai Reynolds, Kellz Barksdale, and others representing the East and West Coast.

“Spring is here, there’s no mistaking robins building nests from coast to coast; my heart tries to sing so they won’t hear it breaking, spring can really hang you up the most!” Ella Fitzgerald

The first warm Saturday of spring, we went to Roots Lounge for a day of soul food and old school partying to celebrate Veronica “Ronnie” Jackson’s 37th anniversary as the owner of Roots Lounge. Folks took off their coats and forgot any dietary restrictions as they dined on pig feet, chitterlings (chitlins), fried fish, fried chicken wings, beef and rice, salmon and crab cakes and more. “Give me a pig foot and a bottle of beer” was my order with a side of homemade potato salad and greens.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, let’s party!” Robin Williams

The response on Facebook about Roots was overwhelming; people who’ve never been to Roots or hadn’t been there in years responded with “hey I want to get together at Roots. Join us June 7 on Baltimore County Day in Baltimore City as we come back to our roots at Roots Lounge at Smallwood and Vine. Be prepared to enjoy great food, great company and the music of John Shaft as he takes you “back down memory lane” with his old school repertoire and new school sounds.

“We do not remember days; we remember moments”. Cesare Pavese

Friends forever, forever friends is the motto Douglass High School’s Class of “54” committed to 50 years ago and renewed at their 60th class reunion. Classmates, family and friends gathered to celebrate and re-commit their love for their alma mater at Granny’s in Owings Mills. Committee members Alice Banner, Bernice Bradshaw, Mary Buster, Dorothy Clark, Hoarsell Colbert, Raymond Kelly, Ellaweise Minser organized a program which included an emotional candlelight tribute honoring their deceased classmates. Classmate Howard Wright sang a musical selection. Classmates Mary Buster and Bernice Bradshaw donated keepsakes to commemorate this special occasion.

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” St. Luke 23:43.

Condolences to Ken Taylor and Percival Financial Partners on the death of Machiel “Tiger” McKinnon; prayers to Debbie Parker on the death of your husband Claude Parker and to Joseph Hillery on the death of your wife Carol Hillery.

“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.” Vincent Van Gogh

Welcome to the world baby Calvin E. Johnson III, your mommy and daddy Calvin Jr. and Patricia are thrilled the Johnson name will continue. How excited to be named after your granddaddy Calvin Sr. and spoiled by Grandma Susan Johnson.

“True happiness that stands the taste of time comes by recognizing and appreciating what we do possess.” Ogwo David Emenike

Good News! Congratulations to Colin’s Seafood and Grill on your recognition by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot for establishing jobs and economic development in Baltimore County.

Happy 60th birthday Ronald Smith, Dr. Walter Thomas Jr., Elvard Cooper, Debbie Allen, Carol Rose, Vhonda Williams-Lewis, Brenda Sykes, Betty Wright, Shirley Belton, Shelonda Stokes and my mother, the Rev. Pauline Wilkins.

I’m sending a bushel of get-well wishes to Dr. Walter Amprey, to aid his recovery after successful surgery.

Congratulations to DJ Jesse Moody on your retirement from Johns Hopkins Hospital after 33 years of service.

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