ABOVE PHOTO: Lynda Brown Bagley, far right, takes a photo with members of Alpha Kappa Theta Sorority and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. (Photo by Robert Mendelsohn)
By Patricia Gilliam Clifford
Nearly three-hundred family members and friends came out for the 2017 Annual “Back in the Day Picnic.” (BITDP) The picnic was held on an especially beautiful day in Blue Bell, Fairmount Park on July 15. Kudos to the BITDP committee for the planning and work that they did throughout the year. It resulted in bringing people together to celebrate life and friendship in a very special way. Committee members Lynda Brown Bagley, Malcolm McGraw, Michele Lewis-Bell Roberts, “Bobby” Robert W. Williams III, Barry Crawford, Harold “Rusty Frye, Donald Johnson, Norris Roundtree and Keith Crawford are a terrific team.
Tents were pitched, coolers unloaded, and grills were fired up in the morning. There were hugs, laughter and joy in seeing friends who traveled from as far as California for the occasion. The BITDP was inspired by the loss of a dear friend, Lynda Brown Bagley said, “The consensus was to gather friends together in a fun- filled family day that also acknowledged those gone but not forgotten,” she said. That is why friends form a circle of remembrance at the end of the day. The Rev. Antonio “Tony” Webster led all in prayer, and the names of beloved friends were spoken.
The fun included dancing the bop, cha-cha, and other line dances to great music played by DJ’s Harold “Rusty” Frye and Randy Kirkland. Everyone sang Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” to Barry Crawford, who danced under the sun with his lovely wife Jackie. The Crawfords were joined by many family members, including children and grandchildren.
Some of those enjoying the day included: Helen and Ali Salahuddin, Iris Chew, Paulette Copeland Bolton, Helen and Gus E. Lacy, Linda Simkins, Lynn Jones, Michael Dutton, Michelle Chew, Janet Hunter Sampson, Donna Johnson, Ronnie Crawford, Jackie Johnson, Billy Johnson, Michael Johnson Jr, Calvin Johnson, Michelle Burton, Bill Tyler, Angela Brown Johnson, Rodney Spears, Carol Chaoui, Christina Lawrence, Debbie Lewis, Diane Baker Freeman, Charles “Butch” Minnis, Robert “Bobby” Whitehead, Lee Gaskins, Anthony “Beano” Jenkins, Ruth M. Baronda, Beverly Richards, Miriam Lawson, Stephanie Daniel and Cindy Williams.
Others having a great time were: Dr. Isiah “Ike” Abney and his wife Ruth Garcia, Karol Robinson Bolton and Daren Bolton, Karen Ragland, Leroy Howell, Page Bowser, Camille James Robinson, Bill Baug, Denise Walker Meyers, Debbie Stephens, Olivia Stoner, Akida Neely, Kelch Carter, Patricia Garett, Mark Chandler, Jerome Paige, James Paige, Brenda Byng, Michelle Thompson, Barbara Blount Armstrong, Cheryl and Rick Harper, Sandra Webster, Rhonda Yancy, Earl Harvey, Jajuan Falana and Ester Perkins, and Billy “Shoes” Johnson who traveled from California. Kittura Dior took amazing pictures of an amazing day as she does every year.
It was another great day “All Around Philly.”