By Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-7  

On a hot balmy day [on the] sixth of july, 1995 Charles Paul and Kathy Truxon Fitzgerald were married. [During that] afternoon more than 175 guests witnessed Paul and Kathy as they renewed their marriage vows and recommitment to each other in a beautiful garden ceremony at their spacious Overlea home. The bride’s sister Bishop Dr. Josephine Truxon-Ridgley officiated the spirit-filled occasion. 

“It’s a family affair” Sly and the Family Stone.

Sly and the Family Stone

The wedding party included the couple’s daughters, bridesmaids Cherise Finch and Keisha Smith, flower girl, granddaughter Amelia Finch, grandson Kamron Fitzgerald was their ring-bearer, and son Charles Fitzgerald was his dad’s best man. The bride escorted by her son Christon Fitzgerald walked towards her husband singing Gladys Knight’s, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Guests traveled from California, Pennsylvania and throughout Maryland to witness the couple pledge their continued love to each other as they recited their personal vows.

The menu included baked salmon, swedish meatballs, catfish, fried chicken, Potato salad, string beans, turkey salad, salmon salad and assorted hors d’oeuvres. Dee-Jay Mike Jones has guests celebrating into the “wee small hours in the morning”

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 

Wishing “love and happiness” to Robert and Gladys Rice on their 57th anniversary, to Bishop John and Cecelia Williams Bryant on their 50th anniversary and to Professor Larry and Diana Gibson celebrating 46 years of marriage and Bishop Ronald and Elder Candance Willis.

Two of my favorite lines in “Cat on the Hot Tin Roof” was Elizabeth Taylor “Maggie the Cat is alive” and Burl Ives as Big Daddy saying, “Let no man write my epitaph”. These memorable lines came to me when I thought about the revival of jazz on the avenue and in Baltimore. Jazz like Maggie the cat is alive in Baltimore and its epitaph has not been written. 

“Jazz stands for freedom. It’s supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don’t be a perfectionist – leave that to the classical musicians.” Dave Brubeck

Caton Castle has continued to keep jazz alive in southwest Baltimore and James Hamlin at the Avenue Bakery has transformed the courtyard at the bakery into a jazz arena the first Saturday of each month during the summer.

“All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city’s monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea.”  Nathan Reese Maher

Friends of Arch Social Club under the guidance of Sozufe (Van) put the spotlight on Pennsylvania Avenue with live Straight-Ahead Jazz featuring the Michael Thomas Quintet. The club was beautifully decorated into a supper club with table clothes, covered chairs and floral centerpieces. The club listened to the patrons and provided complimentary valet parking for the guests. Jazz supporters in attendance were AJ and Carol Miles, Peter Brooks, Salima and Charles Gibbs, Josephine and Thomas Ridgley, Eunice Jenifer Robinson, Rosemary “Duchess” Atkinson, Sarah Smalley, Ronald Bailey, Judson Hughes, Annie Hall, Dr. Nancy Connor and Mr. Washington.

Congratulations to Baltimore’s Janora “Lady J” Winkler who took a busload of supporters when she opened for the legendary Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and The Intruders at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh North Carolina.

 Keystone Korner International Jazz founder Todd Barkan is excited about the response his club and restaurant is receiving with the live jazz he is showcasing six days a week in Harbor East. We recently heard Baltimore Collective Jazz a group of different jazz talents like Todd Marcus, Blake Meister, Mark Meadows and others with a young lady tap dancing with the band. Check out the website or contact [email protected]. Baltimore great Gary Bartz is scheduled to appear this month.

The fourth Thursday of the month Coppin State University has live jazz in the courtyard in front of the library bring your chair for a front row seat of jazz under the stars. 

Sagamore Pendry new general manager Juan Webster is making a difference in the two weeks since he started. The pool side bar is an oasis in the heart of Baltimore. Monday is Moet Monday, Taco Tuesday and Wine on Wednesday are just a few special events during the summer hours.

Happy birthday Marco Merrick, William Shorty Trusty, Betty Green, Takiea Hinton, Gregory Williams, Everene Johnson-Turner, Alaina Allen, Ari Hill and a happy 60th birthday to Robin Riley.

“Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind, they took the time and prayed for me. Oh Yes they did, I’m so glad…” Dorothy Norwoood

In celebration of her birthday Dr. Marion Davis-Foster invited her friends to join her for 6:00 am prayer service at New Shiloh Baptist Church. Rosemary Atkinson joined Marian and gave her birthday wishes from Sarah Smalley, Tobi Pulley and me. 

Continue to keep the family of Dr. Charles Towns in your prayers as they mourn his death, the family of Johnson Davis as they mourn his death, Judy Neal as she mourns the death of her husband Howard Neal and to Nita Clopton on the death of her husband Linwood Clopton.

What’s Happening!

“Laissez le bon temps rouler”

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated 25,000 strong convene in the “Big Easy” New Orleans for the National Convention this week.