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This holiday season and beyond will be a good time to be in Suffolk

If anybody had told me a few years ago that one day I would be able to attend concerts at a cultural arts center featuring famous people, dancing in a classy location at a jazz club in downtown Suffolk and eating at fancy restaurants, I would have told them that they were hallucinating or dreaming. But now, by the effort of some dedicated folks with big dreams, those dreams have become a reality.

Last Friday, the night of the Percy Sledge’s concert, I had planned to attend the Thanksgiving dinner at the YMCA for members and their families. But when two good friends, Thomasine and Isaac Baker called me Thursday to tell me that they wanted to give me two tickets to the event, including one for a friend to go with me, I jumped at the chance to take them off their hands. They said that they had to attend another family engagement that they just couldn’t miss. The next best thing that they told me when I asked how much the tickets were was that they were on the house, and that they just didn’t want to waste them.

At the concert, Sledge’s band and two female background singers gave a 45-minute performance before the main attraction. One of the saxophonists was the lead singer and sang oldies but goodies by James Brown, Gladys Knight, the late Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and others. Some of them included “In The Midnight Hour,” Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” “Show Me A Man Who’s Got A Good Woman,” and more. He even included a few of James Brown’s fancy steps when he was singing his songs.

The main attraction finally came to the stage, and his recorded songs brought back memories of some of my past romances. They included “Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Take Time To Know Her,” and my favorite even today, “When A Man Loves A Woman.”

The surprise of the night is that I was introduced to the executive director of the Center, Michael Bollinger by, another friend, Kay Boone, who is the administrative assistant at the center. Before the show began, Bollinger gave a schedule of famous family movies that would be showing on a big screen at the center in the near future, and after the parade on Saturday, Dec. 2. That means that Suffolkians don’t have to travel out of town to enjoy quality family movies.

Thanks to some of our fancy restaurants, you can eat Thanksgiving dinner and leave the dishes to them. I am going to take one up on their offer.

With the addition of all these in our fair city, this holiday season and beyond will truly be a “Good time to be in Suffolk” and something to always be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving.

The rich still desire to get richer

The big talk on TV shows during the past week was about the wedding of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. After the event was over, NBC’s Today Show anchormen joked about the fact that pictures showed that even though Cruise is a few inches shorter than his wife, they showed they were the same height. One anchorman said that she was told Katie bent her knees a little to look this way.

I then thought about one friend of mine, who is shorter than I am. Recently, as I was walking out of a grocery store, he met me at the door and he and I were the same height. We joked about it a little and he showed me the shoes he was wearing that had a higher heel. I say that to reveal this; if this friend can afford shoes with higher heels, so can Cruise. If this is true, why did Katie have to stoop to his level instead of him rising up to hers?

Oh yes, did you know that the richest talk show host on TV, Oprah Winfrey, didn’t get an invitation to the wedding and Winfrey’s couch was the first one that he stepped on to announce his involvement with Katie?

Winfrey said that she was still going to give them books for a wedding gift.

It was also reported in the news that their kiss announcing them man and wife was so long that guests had to tell them to stop. It actually was told that it lasted three minutes. What if they knew this and thought, “If we are going to be kissing like this, who will have time to read books?”

If Winfrey’s intention was to give a car or money, she may have been the first one to get an invitation.

After all, the rich still desire to get even richer.

Wall is a former News-Herald reporter and regular contributor to the Town Square Page.