The year 2011 has been one of wonderful parties, fundraising and community events, weddings, showers, anniversaries and other milestones that I have had the pleasure of writing about. I thank all of you share my journal of life “Out & About” in Philadelphia. We share the joy and positivity of our heritage and the hope of a brighter future during troubled times.
The joy was apparent as The Circle-Lets, Inc. celebrated their annual end of the year holiday party with a Chinese New Year’s theme. The festive affair was held at the 7165 Lounge at Germantown and Mt. Airy avenues in Mt. Airy. Mercer Redcross has done a terrific job of making this a great event venue surrounded with beautiful art.
The women in this club are a circle of friends with the legacy of mothers and family members often the case. The Philadelphia Chapter was chartered in 1960. The Circle-Lets, Inc. is a national organization with sixteen chapters throughout the country. The late Eloise Allen, mother of Circle Mate Wesley “Wes” Allen and Vida Carson, mother of member Carol Carson, were co-founders of the Philadelphia chapter. Willadine Grinnage Bain, mother of Circle-Let Coralie Barkksdale, and Jean Webb Sewell, mother of Circle-Lets Nancy Sewell and Vivienne Sewell are the two surviving charter members of The Circle-Lets Inc., in the Philadelphia Chapter.
Wilhelmina Jackson is the club president; other officers and members are Maxine Coker, Coralie Barksdale, Candyce Wilson, Renee Kyle Allen, Jo Ann Bradley, Leslie Tanner Moore, Leslie A. Cousins, Dr. Wilfreda Gourdine Baugh, Sharon Parks, Deborah Chew James, Mary Yergan Hughes, Dr. Linda Nunes, Gloria Pressly Williams, Nancy Jean Sewell, Henri Moore, Natalie Bain, Joylette Hylick, Mary “Bunny” Hughes, Regina Meachman-Devero, Valerie Robinson and yours truly, Muriel Patricia Gilliam Clifford. Yes that’s my entire name. Ask me why so many refer to me as Pat. It’s a Chinese puzzle!
Circlet-Lets, husbands and significant others, known as Circle Mates, family and friends enjoyed an incredible blend of music from rhythm and blues classics, jazz and more by “Hey Mr. DJ,” Julius H. Brown. The dance floor was alive with line dances, cha-cha, bopping and dancing cheek to cheek. There was a delicious buffet with a variety of Chinese favorites, an abundance of fortune cookies, favors with gold coins for good luck and libations to toast long lasting friendships.
Among those “Out & About” having a great time were Charles “Chuck” Mitchell from New York, Sheryl Glanton, Marjorie Chew, Dr. Albert Gaskins (one of Philadelphia’s most prominent physicians and my favorite pediatrician) and his lovely wife Judith, Lewis Moore and his wife Judy Heggestad, Wallace Bullock from New York, Iris Chew, Robert “Bobby” Williams III and Susan Gilmore, Dr. Ramsey Chew and Kristine Bowks, Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson, Chad and Loren Hamilton, Brenda and Jack Wesley Hamilton, Monique Braxton and Dr. Reginald Royster, Richard and Maureen Sewell from Princeton, N.J., Marie and Eugene Golson, Fatimah Ali of WURD Radio, Reginald Johnson, Gus Lacy, Percinia Johnson, Gerri and Clarence Wood, Page and Diane Bowser, Dr. Gregory and Toni Carson from N.J., and Michele Chew, Clarence and Jackie Faulcon, William Cousins, former City of Philadelphia Fire Commissioner and his wife, Ann.
“Circle Mates” joining in the celebration included Dr. Gregory Barksdale, Jerome Culmer, Anthony “Tony” Moore, Dr. Donald Parks, Jarrett Jackson, Wes Allen, Jerome Mond, Paul Coker, Dr. Frederick Nunes and Melvin Wilson.