Farewell to Deacon Ray Standford Miller
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 10/25/2012, 1:38 p.m.
We celebrated the life of Deacon Ray Standford Miller this past week. I believe there was even a tear in the eyes of the Rev. Calvin O. Butts, along with everyone else, as Miller was loved by many.
Born in Harlem Hospital to Roscoe and Beatrice Miller on April 12, 1961, Ray was a true New Yorker. He walked the walk, talked the talk and sang with all of his heart and soul. He literally knew how to put his body into it as he swung and swayed with every beat. Miller leaves behind his loving wife, Denise, and their daughter, Mariah Jeanne; his three sons, Sgt. 1st Class Ray Garnett, Sgt. Quincy Miller and Christian King; his daughter, Shanay McCoy; grandchildren Tierra Garnett, Jaiden Miller and Elijah McCoy; a devoted mother-in-law, Jean DeWees; two sisters-in-law, Nina and Christina; brother-in-law Donald Childs Jr. and his wife Jewell. Gone but never forgotten.
While I don't consider myself to be particularly wise about politics, especially regarding international affairs, I did read a recent article relating how the Syrian insurrection is inching its way into the city of Damascus. Well known for their love of nightlife, Damascenes are fearful that war will reach the heart of the city any day now. As one resident put it, there used to be a time when all the people of Syria were one, regardless of their religious beliefs. Now, no one knows who to speak to; no one can be trusted; people want to kill. Scary.
During a recent encounter with some Harlem newcomers, the couple asked us, "Is it safe to live around here?"
We chuckled when we heard this and replied, "Well, where are you from?"
"Damascus," they said. Damascus! And you're asking us if it's safe here? Harlem is a piece of cake, considering where you are coming from.
So interesting. As the air is full of fall and Halloween is beckoning, it's always so much fun to get into the spirit of things. This is especially so when the store windows are designed with ghostly, ghastly things. One store on Amsterdam Avenue, between 72nd and 73rd streets, has just such a display. Prominent in the window are several full-headed masks of different personalities. Among those are President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, next to which was the scariest mask of the devil--all fiery red--that I had ever seen. Yikes! Is somebody trying to say something?
On Saturday, Oct. 27, NYC Parks will celebrate the fall harvest season as they host the annual Pumpkin Fest in Central Park. Featured will be a ghoulishly scary haunted house, the popular pumpkin patch and free pumpkins with pumpkin decorating courtesy of Syfy. There will be loads of fun for everyone. Meet at the Central Park Bandshell by entering the park at 72nd Street, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., come rain or shine.
Over 700 people gathered under the twinkling lights of the Waldorf Astoria's Grand Ballroom to celebrate the 134th fundraising gala for the United Hospital Fund. Distinguished guests included Dr. Edgar and Harriette Mandeville, Roger Fergurson Jr., Louis Fair Jr. and Blenda Wilson.