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Happy Birthday: When Thank You Is Not Enough by Harold Bell

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MC and longtime friend Maggie Linton share a laugh with Lucille Hester during Community Service presentation to Hattie and Harold.  Photo credit:  Gary A. Johnson

There are two words in the English language that are easy to say and repeat and they are “THANK YOU!”

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to those who helped me and my wife Hattie T celebrate the year 2018 starting with my 80th Birthday on Saturday. My birthday is actually Monday May 21st. Saturday’s celebration included our 50th Wedding Anniversary on November 30th and the 50th anniversary of our first ever Christmas toy party for needy elementary school children in the DMV.

April 4th also marked a 50th year anniversary I would rather forget, the assassination of our Prince of Peace, the Rev. Martin Luther King. The riots that followed set us back several decades with no recovery in sight.

The first thank you goes out to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On the day of our celebration it had rained in Washington, DC for a record 15 straight days, but God smiled down on us on the 16th day and said “Let there be sunshine.” Under the threat of rain dozens of family and friends traveled to the SE White House for our Celebration of Milestones and Life’s ups and downs. All the glory goes to God.

The second thank you goes out to the SE White House and its Director Ernest Clover (host), staff member Tammy and volunteer Yvonne. Thank you to the Master of Ceremonies, Maggie Linton and Gary Johnson, the D.C. Music Ambassador, Royal Height, video tech Cecil Gentry, Bruce and Byron of Bruce Brown Film Makers. They all orchestrated the celebration. Not bad for a brother whose Brown Middle School Principal predicted he would not live to get out of high school.

Hattie and I would like to thank our friend and sister Lucille Hester (the first woman to be named President of the Pigskin Club) for making special presentations of an autographed football from the inductees of the 2017 Pro Football of Fame in Canton, Ohio and an autographed helmet from The Black College Football of Fame. The presentations brought back memories that in 1988 Doug Williams became the first black QB to start and win a Super Bowl game and be named the MVP. The 2017 Super Bowl the NFL finally recognized that they had 28 NFL Hall of Fame players who played at black colleges. I am still trying to figure out why two former Redskins have been denied entry into the NFL Hall of Fame, RB Larry Brown and QB Doug Williams? In 2019, two schools from the Historical Black Colleges and Universities will be added to the weekend festivities to play against each other in Canton.

The celebration of life included the great food and drink provided by, Joan (jambalaya), Walter (jerk-chicken) Ms. Mac (chicken-salad), Mary-Ann (sandwich tray), Frank Smith (chicken), Gloria (blue berry & peach cobbler), Clara (lemon pound cake), Gloria/Robert (macaroni & cheese), Lucy (chicken salad), Bro Lawrence (devil eggs, casserole), Gil (pizza), Youngum (pizza), Mary (potato salad), Charles (water), Q Ball (water) and Hattie T (Chili).

Thanks to all the friends and Family who were in the house on Saturday. And thanks for the cards and gifts. Thanks to our friend June Bug for closing out the celebration with his great vocal rendition of “Happy Birthday.” He brought
the house down.

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Dr. Denise Wright, Linda and Rich Jones, and Donnie Shaw share birthday moment with H Bell.

I would also like to remember, “The Brothers who are no longer here,” Roland Taylor, Gary Mays, Levi Coates, Wilbur Filmore, Frank Hart, Clint Hall, Cecil Fryer and one special sister, Darlene Roberts. We are given little or no credit while we live and no credit when we die—RIP.

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