Tales from the Sweetheart Gang

If you want to know why Plooney called some people “yick minded,” or you want to know the power of “Blessed Assurance;” If you want to now what raising 9 children looks like or the key to southern hospitality, you must read “Tales from the Sweetheart Gang.”

It really is pure fun. It’s the result of women with sometimes questionable relationships with their mothers suddenly hearing their mother’s voice and words spewing from their own mouths, toward their own daughters. Mothers and daughters.

These authors have each written a chapter to remember the love and genuine affection their mothers had for them and the wonderful, quirky, sometimes downright strange ways the proclamation of that love came forth. Some basking in that love takes place. Some sudden realization of a love that neither looked nor felt as expected.

Tiffany Christina, the youngest author, celebrates while her mother is still with her, and yet her realization is the same; she is her mother. Another original Mini Me to Theresa Ginyard.

All of these authors are my friends and have been for some time. We went to high school together. Or we played in the neighborhood together. Bettie Crest Durant and I lived just a few houses apart on Barclay Street. Brenda Alford came from further east than I just to meet up at Booker T. Washington Junior High School and continue to Eastern High, where we added Barbara Green Hope to our terrific trio. Brenda and I sang together with the Gospel Harmonizers at the first Baltimore City Fair. Barbara and I played together in Eastern’s orchestra.

Rev. Doris Gaskins and I met a million years ago as we began our mutual journeys as urban pastors. We prayed, studied and prepared sermons in the hopes of spreading much of the same love we’d received from the Lord.

Talibah Chikwendu hired me as an entry level reporter at the AFRO American Newspaper more than 20 years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. 

Dorothy Rowley is another AFRO alum who, like myself, has recreated herself during her semi retirement. She loves all things lively and spreads her joy and faith wherever she goes.

Rev. Bertha Borum is my newest friend and we came together as a result of mutual parishioners telling us how identical our personalities, our temperament and our love for the Lord seemed to them. It was all true and we pastored together for eight years after our initial encounter.

Our hope is that these stories will inspire our readers to recollect their own stories and share them with the young’uns who may not have stories of their own. They’re great ice breakers for gatherings and bread starters for telling new stories. Read. Enjoy. Share. Retell. Have a celebration for the “Tales of the Sweetheart Gang.”

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