Ooh a little respect. Adieu to the Queen of Soul. There she reigns with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson; Hot Buttered Soul, Isaac Hayes; My Darling I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Baby, Barry White; and Let’s Go Crazy, Prince. Although I have my current faves, there has yet to be anyone to take the place of these musical geniuses who have passed on. I always thought that they would last forever, and they will, just not on this physical plane.

As summer 2018 slowly sails away, try to catch a summer sunset, dine al fresco or sit back in a comfy chair outdoors somewhere. Breathe in the last bit of summer fragrance, sip on the last bit of a summer libation, gather with friends and kiss sweet summer goodbye.

Congratulations to the Hon. Cheryl Chambers and James Seymore, whose daughter and son-in-law Carole and Shameeke Taylor are expecting a baby this fall. Now that summer is over, there’s something to look forward to. Also proud grandparents to be for the second time are Debbie and Mel Jackson, whose daughter Cari is due to deliver any day now. This baby will be their second little girl. Let’s not forget the Hon. O. Peter Sherwood and wife Ruby. They, too, are expectant grandparents for the second time around. With so many new babies on the way, they will have to form their own little social group.

Martha’s Vineyard has been popping with everyone giving cocktail parties, a middle school white madness party, a high school party, art shows and book signings. Ay, dios mio! LaShondra Katrice Barnett was on the island and people are still talking about “Jam on the Vine.” She is anxious to get started on her next book of which I will keep you posted. Also on the island is Wendy Van Amson, head of the Independent School Diversity Network, informally known as ISDN. You might want to check out the ISDN website because they have a variety of programs geared toward STEM development of children in grades five to eight, as well as Mommy and Me workshops. The workshops are specifically designed to quell your fears as you navigate the school system and help children find their voice. They are highly recommended.

A number of conferences have been held on Martha’s Vineyard this year, and people have poured in from everywhere. One such conference was the Black Archives Conference. In attendance was Kara Tucina Olidge, Ph.D., executive director of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, La. In her illustrious librarian, curator career, she worked for a time at the Schomburg Center, at 135th Street and Lenox Avenue. Although she loved the experience, the commute from New Jersey where she stayed was too much. We all know about the adversity of traveling across the George Washington Bridge during rush hour. Olide stated that the Amistad Research Center is always interested in learning about and collecting memorabilia that depicts the 400-year African-American journey in the United States. Yes, 2019 will mark 400 years since the first ships arrived from Africa. It was said that those aboard the first ships to arrive in the Americas were not indentured servants or brought here to be slaves. What happened? Should anyone possess any materials that tell the story, or a piece of it, Olidge would be interested in hearing from you (Kolidge@tulane.edu).

Teresa Clarke, CEO and president of Africa.com gave a very interesting presentation at the workshop hosted by Corethia Oats at the Oak Bluffs Public Library. An unassuming, approachable woman, Clarke holds a wealth of information regarding entrepreneurship. Her main advice is to plan, plan, plan for every scenario, stay fluid and be able to “pivot,” with the times, and don’t be afraid to, “get the monkey off your back,” meaning, delegate.

The Harlem Fine Arts Exhibition put on a wonderful display at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. Among the works were those by Harlemite Keith Brown. Who knew he had such talent? Sharing the space with him was the I AM-Dolls collection by designer Cassandra Harrison out of Atlanta, Ga. Each doll, beautifully crafted and unique in her character, is faceless and has one earring. The idea is to let the owners add their own personalities to those of the dolls, making the little creatures come to life. Check out the website. You will see what I mean.

Arriving on the island is Regina Darby, Esq., who is hosting a chili and bid whist party. Leaving the island are Brenda and Bill Covette, who covered every nook and cranny of the social scene. Expected yet to come are Lisa Hayes, Valerie Dargan and perhaps Edith Matthews, who will dedicate a bench to the late Jude, who died late last year, way too early.

Did you know, not only is big brother watching, but also he is tapping into your biometrics? Perhaps cyber security’s biggest secret, new technology permits a user’s typing speed, key note pressure and a variety of other variables to be transmitted through your computer as you type and search away as a means of detecting whether it is really you. Currently employed by some large name retail establishments and financial institutions, statistics are revealing that only one out of every 100 cardholders are actually legitimate. What this means is the other 99 people are fraudulently trying to use your information to make unauthorized purchases or inquiries. The technology is so new, there are very few regulations as to the extent your biometrics can be used, somewhat like a bitcoin. Oh mercy, mercy me, things sure ain’t like they use to be. Oh, just a little respect.

Until next week … kisses.