The final destination for Labor Day activities typically takes place in Sag Harbor. The weekend begins with chilling out Friday and your last chance to run to the beach. Me, I ran to the mall to catch any back-to-school special I could. It was a mommy day, having it all to myself, and while I didn’t particularly find anything special besides sneakers for gym, at least I didn’t spend a lot of money, and that’s always nice. Saturday mornings are particularly lazy and hazy, as I can’t remember what we did other than shake sand out of everything that had accumulated over the summer. Then it was off to the races.
As we don’t stay in Sag Harbor, it’s a nice ride over hill and dale to where beaming parents, family and friends gather to watch their children run in a race according to their age group. Apparently, we were a little too lazy, because by the time we arrived, the races were over. Gee, they actually started on time this year—shucks!
No worries, as Julia already has a couple of make-believe medals—every kid gets one. While Julia is a lot of things, a runner she’s not, so we didn’t mind missing the thrill of it all. Still gathering, mixing and mingling just the same were Daryl and Carmen Gay with son Spencer, former New York Knicks star Allen Houston with his entire brood in tow—and it’s a big one, including 8-year-old Rowan, so cute with a smile revealing braces and those long legs. (Yes, she is a runner.) In the past, it had been so funny to see Rowan take off at the announcer’s sound of “go” while we’re yelling Julia, “Go ahead, start running!” Needless to say, Rowan leaves everyone in the dust, but it’s all in good fun.
Also seen was Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cooke, who is reminding everyone to come out and support the First ProVoice/ProVoz Awards Monday, Sept. 22. It will be an evening of celebration honoring Central Harlem’s “wise, winning women warriors, the wives of Harlem’s legendary ‘Gang of Four.’” This includes Joyce Dinkins, wife of the first African-American mayor of New York City, David Dinkins; Alma Rangel, wife of Rep. Charles Rangel; Leatrice Sutton, wife of prominent politician, lawyer and business leader Percy Sutton; and Portia Paterson, wife of labor lawyer and the first Black New York secretary of state, Basil Paterson.
The Community Service award will be presented to Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens, Maria Luna and New York NAACP President Hazel Dukes. Co-Mistresses of Ceremony for the evening are Cook and Cheryl Wills of NY1. The host committee members are Debra Fraser Howze, Mercedes Nesfield, Eleanor Kennedy, Michele Rodney, Elinor Tatum and Pamela Palanque North. Partners and honorary committee members include the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, R.P. Lewis and Associates and Alpine Creative Group. Advisors are Dr. Elizabeth Pios, Dr. Carliss McGhee and Dr. Thelma Day. The event will be held at Gran Piatto D’Oro, 1429 Fourth Ave. at 117th Street, from 6 to 9 p.m.
The West 118th Street Block Association gave such a dynamite health fair this year that I have to continue to acknowledge just a few more of the many who support this endeavor, which helped to make it happen. They are—drum roll please—Dickens, who contributed to the back-to-school supply for the kids; Harlem’s Original Fish and Chips; Mr. Abe, owner of Patisserie des Ambassades, 119th Street and Eighth Avenue; and Lee Lee’s Baked Goods.
Happy birthday to Mary Moultrie, Deloris Coombs, Michael Dutton, Wilamenia Billy Holliday-Hayes and Julia Angelee Mitchell, who turns 9 years old. Happy belated birthday to Elizabeth Fulcher, who always celebrates with all of her friends in mind. This year after cocktails, they all went to see “Get on Up,” the new biopic about the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown. Oh, Elizabeth, you always think of such fun things to do.
Condolences are extended to Juli and Sockie Ross, whose mother and mother-in-law, respectively, Shirley Harriet Mitchell-Mills, passed away Aug. 26. Mitchell-Mills was the sister of Arthur Mitchell, founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem. “Shirley Harriet,” as she was affectionately known, was born to the late Arthur Sr. and Willie Mae Hearns Mitchell Oct. 6, 1940, in Harlem, N.Y. From this union, six children were born, Shirley being the youngest. She received her formal education in the New York City public school system. She attended and graduated from nursing school, but her natural talent was interior decorating. She pursued this dream and later went on to become a licensed interior decorator. Mitchell-Mills worked for Dance Theatre of Harlem first, as the school’s administrator and then as the school’s boutique coordinator, a position from which she retired.
June 17, 1953, she joined Louis C. Mills Sr. in holy matrimony. After briefly living in Florida, Mitchell-Mills returned to New York to raise her children, Louis Jr., Indra (Debbie), Linda, Juli, Brenda, Lisa and Jaynette. While living in Beacon, N.Y., Mitchell-Mills was a member of Beulah Baptist Church, where she was a member of the choir. She is preceded in death by her husband; two sisters, Frances and Laura Mae Mitchell; and two brothers, Herbert and Charles Mitchell. She leaves to cherish her memory her older brother Arthur Mitchell Jr.; two sisters-in-law Marceline and Naoko (Susie) Mitchell; children Louis (PeeWee) Mills Jr., Indra (Debbie) Hough, Linda Mills, Juli Mills-Ross, Brenda Mills-Hinds, Lisa Lynch and Jaynette Mills-Simmons; two daughters-in-law, Joyce Mills and Rita Mills; five sons-in-law, Isaiah Hough, Stanley (Sockie) Ross, Ronald Hinds, Leroy Lynch Jr. and Tyrone Simmons; grandchildren Jamal, Suimani, Dana, George, Leah, Leroy, Joel, Raimi, Anthony, Ronae, Jaimi, Brandon and Tye; 14 great-grandchildren; one niece and one nephew, Sandra and Charles Mitchell Jr.; a cousin, Ella (Goodie) Wright; and a host of family from Philadelphia.
Also a part of Mitchell-Mills’ life were her lifelong childhood friends Charles and Joan Earley, John and Sylvia Henegan, Clarence Jones, Helen DeShields, Leona Williams, Annetta Darke, Elaine Robinson, Lorenzo James and a host of other family, extended family and friends. The family would also like to acknowledge and extend a heartfelt “thank you” to her Beacon, N.Y., “family,” David Henry, Renee Smythe, Janiece Laurino, Ms. Elda and the Harper Family. Rest in peace.
Until next week … kisses.