Back in the 1960’s, “juke joints” were major hang outs for black performers. Chuck Berry made a song about these enclaves, where beer and chicken pies can be consumed “til” 6 am.

There is an up and coming town, “down the road a piece”, from Washington DC, it is called Columbia, Maryland.

There are no “juke joints” here. Restaurants, hotels, and a residential lifestyle that is the envy of many. In among those architectural admirations, is a barn; residents call it, THE OTHER BARN. Last Sunday the first floor was turned into a juke joint. No pot pies, no chicken, but light refreshments, cake  and pale wines.

Ever heard of KRISTINE KEY ? Her looks are deceiving, her voice, up the road apiece.


Arch Social Club of Baltimore Md. receiving Md. Heritage Award for 2019

The subject of traditions  came up for discussion, as it often does every summer. In Maryland we talk of music, beaches, laughter, stirred in the mix of charm and frivolity.

We, like the rest of America are a people of compromise, and as such, food and culture define our influences. The Maryland Arts Council is in its 13th year of paying tribute to the sustaining power of our traditions; and this year the spotlight beams on the ARCH SOCIAL CLUB, (African American); JAY ARMSWORTH (Blue Grass); and BOMBA & PLENA (Puerto Rican).ARCH SOCIAL CLUB, has been around since 1905, starting out on Arch street, before moving to Pennsylvania Avenue, in Baltimore:

JAY ARMSWORTHY, is the personification of all things Southern, especially Blue Grass Music.  His town in St. Mary’s County is called California, full of sunshine, southern style.

Group: Bomba and Plena

BOMBA and PLENA, hide out in Howard County, dotting themselves with music and dance, combining the influence of Cameroon slaves upon the Spanish and native Indian communities.

Chad Buterbaugh, the Maryland Director of Traditional Arts, carried the heavy load:

See you next year!

HOW BETTY (not Crocker) Saved A City Named SHAKESVILLE

CAITLIN WEAVER (Deputy mayor Shakesville City)

No one thought it will ever happen. It has happened in many cities all over the world, where political infighting between politicians, create a distaste, and an economic downturn for the residents.

This unbelievability became a reality in the city of SHAKESVILLE, where its biggest crop was not corn or soybeans, but music. It became apparent, that someone from afar was needed to revive the city, like the Japanese did at Nissan Motors, in recruiting a European from Renault Motors. (Carlos Ghosn).

A group of residents took it upon themselves to find the missing talent to save their world. They found a woman, and her name was BETTY, who possessed a voice that would make SHAKESVILLE rebound, as Isaac Hayes did for Memphis. (Memphis  Sound, Stax Records).

Puppets in glory for Betty’s arrival.

This all comes together in a show written and choreographed by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. A two and a half hour splash, with original songs, enhanced with puppetry, and creative costumes, that extracted continues applauses from the patrons.

Many of the songs have motivational significance, e.g. “Every seed you sow, it starts to grow into a rainbow,… don’t you know, you can change the world”.

In the finale, patrons are invited to the stage to join in a dance of rejoicing with residents of SHAKESVILLE. The city goes away for good June 16,2019.


Joyce J. Scott

She is sitting in a wheelchair, giving off a vibrancy of confidence not often exhibited by artists, who tend to hide modestly behind their works of art.

This image is owned by The Baltimore Museum of Art. Title: PLANTATION, by jOYCE SCOTT and her mother ELIZABETH T. SCOTT

She wants to be humble, but her confidence betrays that wish. This woman who lived with a mother (ELIZABETH TALFORD SCOTT, born in 1916) is now a celebrated artist.

It is unbelievable that she lives in Sandtown, Baltimore, Md., the turbulent inner city where the subculture thrives.Her mother did quilting and needlework. She taught Joyce, who was encouraged to earn academic credits for her expertise to the point of earning her Masters Degree in Fine Arts. What a transcendence, considering her parents did not surpass sixth grade.


When one looks at her mother’s quilt, PLANTATION, one is left to ask, why is this not promoted during black history month as a scarf, turban, jacket or leggings? Any of those results I would be moved to use the over used cliché, AWSOME!!

JOYCE J SCOTT, and her mother ELIZABETH, is being honored by the BMA (Baltimore Museum of Art), with their works on display through December, 2019.

I now share with you some awesome moments I had with Miss J.

The Windmills of Your Mind

THE HEALING FLAME COLLECTIVE: Maurice Carroll (Keyboard, producer); Billie Cox (Singing Bowls); Janice Buerkli (Group Leader); Jenel Guy (Vocals); Mosno Al Moseeki (Percussion, producer)

“Like a circle in a spiral, Like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning. Like a clock whose hands are sweeping, past the minutes of its face. the world is like an apple, whirling silently in space, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind” (words from the hit song by Noel Harrison, 1969).

ARE YOU THERE YET ? Most of us are, and here’s why. We are not getting enough exercise, enough sleep, the stress virus has found a home.

The MAYO clinic, has produced a study on healthy aging in America; and in it are identifiers of stress on the body: headache, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, stomach upset, sleep problems.

The clinic has documented the changes in our behavior: over or under eating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol misuse, social withdrawal. Here are the telltale signs: shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, sweating, dizziness, nausea.

Many of us have been diagnosed with the big ones, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or diabetes.

Research continues to emphasize, the unmistakable ingredient to happiness  as being RELAXATION.

Come with me, as I witnessed the HEALING COLLECTIVE  at work in Baltimore, Md. The group is led by JANICE BUERKLI, a relaxation specialist, who practices relaxation using the science of REIKI, a Japanese way of “peaceful relaxation”.

Don’t reach for the pill, the exercise pad is far more rewarding, and much more relaxing with a partner.