“Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh so mellow. Try to remember the kind of September when grass was green and grain so yellow. Try to remember the kind of September when you were a young and a callow fellow. Try to remember and if you remember then follow–follow, oh-oh.” Tom Jones

“At last, my love has come along my lonely days are over, and life is like a song. At last, the skies above are blue. My heart was wrapped in clover ever since the night I looked at you.” Etta James

The Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Harbor East, was the perfect backdrop for the fashionable wedding of Jasmine Hampton, daughter of the Honorable Sheila Dixon and Thomas Hampton to Adrian Brooks, son of Adrienne Brooks of New York. The Marriott ballroom transformed into a bejeweled wonderland with hundreds of white flowers, crystals and candles adorning the runway as the bride escorted by her dad entered the ballroom to “At Last” played by a string quartet, who serenaded the guests throughout the evening.

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” Franz Schubert

During the wedding ceremony, the lovely couple recited their personal vows to each other that brought laughter from the audience as they each promised to support each other’s sports team. The wedding guests enjoyed a cocktail reception before dinner, sipping on specialty cocktail drinks customized for the bride and groom, as well as drinks from a premium bar.

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

We entered the magnificent ballroom decorated in black and gold, with black sequined tablecloths, gold chairs, gold beaded charger plates and formal table settings. There were white floral arrangements accenting the tables and flowing throughout the room reminiscent of the splendor of “The Great Gatsby” parties. Guests joined the new Mr.& Mrs. Brooks to a delicious full course dinner of braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, seared crab and shrimp cakes with sweet potato puree and corn succotash with wine to complement the entrees. It was fun watching the guests sampling each other’s entrée. I had the short ribs and can I just say: succulent.

Among the 200 plus guests enjoying the beautiful evening, many travelling from Alaska, Florida, South Carolina and New York were De’Lettia and Tony Shumate, Tom and Francis Koch, Edward Anthony III, Marianne Wagner, Sedale Brooks, Virginia Robyn Bryant, Robert and Laura Mone, Doha Qatar, Justin and Josalyn Bourne, Jerome and Gloria Fisher, Audrey and Mark Washington, Pless Jones, Jimmy Britton, Senator Elect Antonio Hayes, Janice Dixon, Juan and Robyn Dixon, Valerie and Pierre Stewart, David Scott, Juan Christian, Cynthia Jackson Salima and Charles Gibbs, Eric Eason,Carla and Jake Chambers and Lashell Little.

“Some enchanted evening” as guests sent the newlyweds off in sparkling fashion against the beautiful Baltimore skyline with sparkles lighting the night.

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” Winston Churchill

Wishing a Happy 50th anniversary to James and Pat Waddy, City Councilwoman Sharon and Glen Middleton and a happy 25th anniversary to Ms. Sarah Hayes’ baby boy William “Billy” and Dr. Francine Hayes.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

The James Baldwin Literary Society celebrated its 31st anniversary when the group hosted James Baldwin’s 94th birthday party at Kevin Brown’s Nancy by SNAC on North Ave. More than 40 people enjoyed the festivities as members of the Society shared Baldwin stories and quotes from many of Baldwin’s books. Guests enjoying the festivities and dancing by DJ Jack were: Steve Cavasell, Wanda Watts, Anton Sawyer, John Wesley, Lance Luca, Caprice Garrett-Jackson, Denise McNeil, Fred Cager, Jannette Edmonds, Mylo Celsy, Tamm E Hunt, Lisa Lewenz and Marsha Reeves-Jews.

Our friend, Grammy nominated recording artist Maysa Leak, celebrated her birthday in concert at the Gordon Center surrounded by family and friends. Among the guests enjoying Maysa’s concert after dining at Colin’s Restaurant were former Baltimore City Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch, Debbie Royster, Patricia Barrett, Christine Miles, Kijana Johnson and Grace Saunders.

“I love September, especially when we’re in it.” Willie Stargell

Happy birthday to Dante Daniels, Auvea Fortune, Eleanor Janey, Patricia Newsome, Everlon Moulton, Jamila Lisha, Frances Tilghman, Margaret Johnson, Gary Williams, Marie Geddie, Maria Broom, Eric Stewart, Miss Shirley Ball, Dr. James Wood, Freddie Vaughn, Phyllis Baptist Ramsey, Delores Chambers, Jackie Richardson, Commander Phil Strambler, Stephanie Johnson Pettaway and Mildred Battle, Billie Garner Brown, Carlos Hutchins, Darrin Henson, Freddie Vaughn, Yvonne Frye and Brenda Wright.

Ain’t it good news!

Sending bouquets of flowers to Brandon Wylie on the opening of Fleurs d’Ave Flower on the Avenue, 1200 W. North Ave., in West Baltimore.

Grandparents Marilyn and Harry McDonald are elated that twin grandsons Matthew and Timothy McDonald are college bound this year. Matthew is attending Fairmont State University on a football scholarship and Timothy is attending Howard University on an engineering scholarship. Proud parents Deneen and Mark McDonald are contemplating how to adjust as empty nesters.

We know our friend Charlie Chisholm is dancing in heaven after hearing the good news that his daughter, University of Delaware senior, Briyana Chisholm has been accepted to the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, in Hempstead, New York. She will specialize in pediatric hematology/oncology. Before starting medical school, Briyana has accepted a Fulbright scholarship in Galicia, Spain, teaching English to the Spanish-speaking students.

Congratulations to our friend, and former AFRO Editor, the Rev. Dorothy Boulware she’s done it again; this noted author has published a new book, Have you heard of the Holy Ghost? available on Amazon.

What’s happening!

September 9 2018 Cigars and Guitars Charity Polo Match www.eventbrite. com/e/cigars-and-guitars-charity-polo-match-2nd

September 17, celebrate my birthday with all Virgos at Colin’s Restaurant 3653 Offutt Rd 3 p.m.

September 20, 100 Women for Boyd hosted by Nancy Grasmick, Amsale Geletu and Monica Boyd, RSVP [email protected]

I’ll be seeing you! Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch

“Those whose lives were lost on September 11 will remain in our thoughts and prayers forever.”  Vito Fossella