We know that Philadelphia is known as The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as well as a City of Neighborhoods. No matter where we grew up in Philly, there are enduring friendships that flourished through generations. We should also be known as the city of neighborhood reunions and close bonds.
That’s why friends who grew up in West Philadelphia as neighbors and classmates traveled long distances to enjoy good times at The 5th Annual Just Friends Reunion. The picnic, held in Carroll Park at 59th and Thompson streets on Saturday Aug. 4, was originally organized by Gerri B. Martin and Herb “Bubbles” Rogers. The “dream team” who organized the 2012 picnic were: picnic chair, Gerri B. Martin with the assistance of Margie Ragan and Roslyn Sample.
The picnic was a celebration of a cluster of friends, “the folks who grew up in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s and attended George Brooks, Hanna, Barry, Shoemaker, Savre, Sulzberger, Holmes, Overbrook, West Philadelphia, Bartram, in West Philadelphia. Dobbins, The Bok School and Northeast High School attended by Don Hackney were also represented. Fanni “Wookie” Moran, a fellow Girls’ High girl, grew up in the neighborhood and has come to share the love and friendship of the picnic throughout the years.
Carole Robinson shared that she grew up on 57th Street where Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry’s father also lived.
Everyone came back to the well-maintained park, which is central to the vicinity of these neighborhood friends. They were seriously prepared with lawn chairs and coolers with an abundance of absolutely delicious home cooked food and much to catch up on.
Cecila Berry Artis was there with her husband, Perry Artis from Teaneck, N.J., and sister Joan Burney Liggeons.
Helena Burney Richardson, whom I’ve known for many years, was relaxed and having a wonderful day with her lovely sisters Edna Burney Washington from Atlanta, Ga. and DeAnna Burney Clendenon.
Rosemarie Jenkins Murray, a beautiful mother, grandmother and great grandmother is a retiree of the Federal Reserve Bank. She reflected upon her warm memories as a child at Brooks Elementary School and asked me if I had ever heard of the Roundtable. I was fascinated by her sharing that she was a hostess at the Philadelphia establishment where many famous celebrities and notables mixed and mingled. Ms. Jenkins told me that she was trained by another hostess, the late Florez Sledge, mother of members of the internationally famous Philadelphia singing group “Sister Sledge.” Others “Out and About,” enjoying the good times included: Rosemarie Jenkins Murray, Richard and Elizabeth Womack from Indiana, Connie Richie from Virginia, Vicki Montague from Delaware, Yvonne King from Lancaster, Pa., Charles “Chappie” Trulear, Pat Mauney, Carole Harper, Teddy Young, Marilyn Clyburn, Bill Blount, Bob Powell, Frank McLeod, Ralph Hunter, Franklin Harwell, Coy and Claire Barbara Butler, St. Hewlett, Patricia Wallace Russell, Shirley Ferron, Donald and Vern Ukkerd, Joan Coley, Debbie Coley, Rosalie Johnson, Edna Burgin, Leroy Highsmith, Fetteroff Colen, Ronald Colen, Lemuel Coleman, Lawrence Ravenell, Frank Chamberlain, William “Horse” Bryant, Aaron Waller and Dr. Santes Ruffin.
The unpredictable tropical-like storms of the day did not stop the 5th Annual Friendship Reunion from creating memories of another incredible year of friendship and fellowship!
Have a fantastic week “Out & About” everyone!