Holiday Festivities at Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar on Sunday, December 3

— Just in time for the holidays, the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar will host a Holiday Art Expo as the final “First Sunday” event of the season on Sunday, December 3, 2017 from 7 a.m. to noon.

During the Holiday Art Expo, marketgoers of all ages can join “Art With a Heart” to create their very own snowman ornament. The market will be offering complimentary gift wrapping at the “That’s a Wrap” holiday gift wrapping station.

For the remainder of the season— December 3, 10 and 17, shoppers can browse for gifts from more than 40 bazaar vendors featuring original artwork, hand-bound journals, ornaments, jewelry, skin and hair care items, greeting cards, clothing and much more. In addition to unique gifts, the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar

offers seasonal ingredients for holiday cooking and an abundance of greenery, wreaths and Christmas Trees for decorating. The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and located

on Saratoga Street between Holliday and Gay streets, underneath the Jones Falls Expressway (JFX).

The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar closes for the 2017 season at noon on December 17, 2017.

Applications are currently being accepted for 2018 for farmers, food and beverage concessionaires and bazaar vendors until December 31, 2017. Applications for 2018 and further information about the Market & Bazaar can be found on

Lady boxer proud to represent Baltimore

Even though she admittedly grew up in what she describes as one of Baltimore’s roughest parts of town, Destiny Day-Owens remains committed to overcome her early obstacles to become one of America’s premiere women boxers. Meanwhile, she proudly represents her city each time she enters the ring.

At age 22, the former student at the legendary Frederick Douglass High School has overcome a series of setbacks as a youngster and is now ready and prepared to join the nation’s elite pugilists, specifically from her Golden Gloves prize rankings to a become a notable professional fighter.

L-R Twelve-time World Champion Tori Nelson, Mack Allison III,  owner of the Time 2 Grind gym, and up and coming lady boxer Destiny Day-Owens.

Courtesy Photo

L-R Twelve-time World Champion Tori Nelson, Mack Allison III, owner of the Time 2 Grind gym, and up and coming lady boxer Destiny Day-Owens.

Currently, she trains with renowned boxing coach Mack Allison III, owner of the Time 2 Grind gym in Northeast Baltimore. For Day-Owens, she always figured the fight game was in her blood. Having grown up on what she describes as the “rough side” of West Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood, Day-Owens describes herself as a tough girl, who has always managed to find herself in arguments and fights.

“Really, I had anger issues!” she admits.

With the help of her now deceased father William “Mr. Bill” Owens, Day-Owens eventually found herself, and realized she was born to fight.

“My father was very patient with me. They (her parents) said they named me because they realized I would have a destiny to achieve. While her mother, Doris Day, is about 20 years her father’s junior, Day-Owens says she is the youngest of her parents’ children, and now reflects her father’s patience and old-school spirit.

“He was 50 when I was born,” she said. Mr. Owens died three years ago, in his 70s.

These days, in addition to consistent training at Time 2 Grind gym, Day-Owens takes pride in raising her two daughters, Unique, 6 and Destiny II, 4. The youngest girl is following in her mom’s footsteps, with a similar love for the fight game.

According to coach Allison, Day-Owens is a natural-born boxer.

“I’d say her dedication to the game, is what makes her stand out,” said Allison whom Day-Owens now considers her surrogate father.

“He pushes me to be my best, and at times he reminds me of my father,’ she said. “He treats us all like family.”

So, what you may ask would spur a young mother into becoming a boxer?

“It’s in my DNA. The fight game found me when I was just six or seven. I can recall placing a mattress up against the wall and acting like I had a heavy bag. Later, it became natural to me when I would fight my brothers like one of the boys. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my father helped instill the passion in me.”

Day-Owens has already won three Golden Gloves trophies, in just her third year of amateur boxing. She has also won the acclaimed Baltimore 2017 Mayor’s Cup and Queen of the Ring. Now, she is primed to turn it up the notch, and hit the professional ranks.

“I’ve been through a lot, and have made a lot of bad choices coming up, but one day I realized I had one opportunity and one life to do this. After getting my mind right, I realized it was time to start grinding and never look back. The feeling of having them raise your hand and call your name as they put the strap around you and your opponent is a real morale booster. I can’t wait to become professional,” Day-Owens said.

Coach Allison predicts his prized pupil should become pro within the next two years and he is very optimistic she will shine brightly in the professional ranks.

“She’s almost ready,” he said.

Meanwhile, Day-Owens is a proud student of the fight game, and calls Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier two of her favorites. She is also a fan-favorite of fellow Marylander, Sugar Ray Leonard, of Palmer Park, Maryland. On the female end she gives props to Layla Ali for helping to pave the way for lady fighters to earn a respectable prizefight purse.

“Now I’m on a mission to be the best female boxer of all time, and [to] show the young children all over the world that you can truly accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Everyone’s path is different, so follow yours,” she said. “I will never stop grinding until I achieve my goals.”

The Lion King’s Gerald Ramsey: Performer Received the Ultimate ‘Meal Ticket’

For Gerald Ramsey, the offer of a free meal to audition for Disney’s “The Lion King” was an offer he could not refuse. “I figured I would sing, and get my free lunch,” said Ramsey, who is a native of the island of Aunu’u in American Samoa, and was also raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa” in The Lion King, which runs through Dec. 10, 2017 at the Hippodrome.

Photo by Ursula V. Battle

Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa” in The Lion King, which runs through Dec. 10, 2017 at the Hippodrome.

Ramsey had received the ultimate ‘Meal Ticket.”

Nine months after his audition in Honolulu, Ramsey was offered the role of “Mufasa” in the production. The free meal had now become his ticket to fame. In its 20th year, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. The production is now playing at the Hippodrome Theater, and runs through December 10, 2017.

“At the time of my audition, I was doing luau dancing and other jobs to help ends meet,” he recalled. “After the audition, I thought I would just continue on with my life. I was shocked that I had landed the role. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have any professional acting or singing experience.”

He added, “But I was very familiar with stories being passed down through both dance and song, which helped a lot.”

Ramsey is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

“After landing the role, I doubted myself,” said Ramsey. “I was working with so many experienced people all around me in this production. However, I realized that my job is to take the opportunity that God has given me, and to go out and do my very best. I thank God for such a wonderful opportunity. It has been great.”

Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 24 global productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 90 million people. The Hippodrome run has been drawing sell-out after sell-out audiences since it opened there on Nov. 16, 2017.

The talented performer admits he was not familiar with the Broadway and touring success of the show, but was familiar with Disney’s animated film version. The animated version follows the adventures of the young lion “Simba”, his father, “Mufasa”, who is King of the Pride Lands, and Simba’s wicked uncle, “Scar” who plots to kill Mufasa.

After the death of Mufasa, Simba is led to believe by Scar that it was his fault, and he flees the kingdom in shame. Simba returns as an adult to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends. The theatrical version tells the story though dance, song, costumes, and a breathtaking set that draws standing ovations.

“I really like the story of The Lion King, because many people believe a king should walk around and let everybody know he is the king,” said Ramsey. “Sometimes that makes a king very prideful. You shouldn’t look down on anybody even though you are king. But Mufasa was very humble.”

He added, “You can learn so much from Mufasa. I am proud to be playing the role of this character, and representing the island of Aunu’u. The story reminds me of the Samoan village chiefs who serve their people as opposed to ruling over them. I am happy to be a part of The Lion King production, and want to continue to make the people of Aunu’u proud.”

To see Gerald Ramsey in The Lion King, call 866-870-2717 or visit or; Tickets for the show are also available at the Hippodrome Box Office (corner of Eutaw St and Baltimore St) and Ticketmaster outlets.

Made In Baltimore Holiday Store featuring all locally-made products opens

— Made in Baltimore is hosting a Holiday Store featuring products from Baltimore based businesses for the third year in a row.

The store opens Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 1 until December 24 at 1901 N. Charles Street, the historic bank at the corner of Charles and North Avenue at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store wii be open every day the week before Christmas.

Made in Baltimore was founded with the intention of supporting local entrepreneurs and advocating for reinvesting resources back into the Baltimore community. The Holiday Store will ensure this spirit of community carries into Holiday spending and gift giving.

Anyone adding the Made in Baltimore Holiday Store to their shopping plans will find: products from over 60 local businesses; limited edition ‘Made In Baltimore’ tote bags made by a new sewing training program hosted by Made in Baltimore in partnership with Open Works and SewLab USA. All proceeds will be reinvested back into the sewing training program.

The vendors were curated to give shoppers a vast array of options to cover their holiday gift giving needs. We welcome shoppers to join us for the grand opening event on Friday December 1st from 6:00pm-8:00pm to not only get some holiday shopping finished, but also to support our local economy in the process. Made in Baltimore program

director, Andy Cook noted, “Our hope is that with each year, we raise more and more awareness about these incredible businesses, and of course put more dollars in the pockets of these hard-working creative entrepreneurs. We also hope to encourage Baltimoreans to think before they buy their holiday gifts: ‘Could I get this product from a local company, instead of just buying it on Amazon?’”

The Made In Baltimore Campaign is an effort to increase awareness and local market share for businesses producing a physical products in the City of Baltimore. The primary goal is to support the creation of living-wage jobs in Baltimore’s goods-producing industries and to drive consumer re-investment in our city. We believe in the grassroots power of ‘buying local’ to provide economic opportunity in Baltimore’s most dis-invested communities.

This year’s Holiday Store is made possible by the generous support of Central Baltimore Partnership, Johns Hopkins University, PNC Bank, Abell Foundation, Station North Arts & Entertainment District, and the Charles North Community Association. To learn more about the Made In Baltimore program, visit the website:

Make a Lasting, Positive Impact This Holiday Season: Give Family and Friends Gifts from the Arbor Day Foundation

Celebrate this year’s holiday season with friends and loved ones while supporting conservation and tree planting with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation.

• Returning for the eighth season in a row, Give-A-Tree cards from the Arbor Day Foundation offer a unique holiday giving opportunity with conservation benefits that will endure for generations. And again this year, Give-A-Tree cards can be purchased individually and with customized text. Cards can be purchased for $5.95.

• Purchasing the Arbor Day Foundation’s coffee helps preserve rain forests in Central and South America. The Foundation’s coffee, a part of the Rain Forest Rescue program, is shade-grown under the canopy of Latin American rain forests. Unlike sun-grown coffee plantations, this traditional shade-grown method gives the coffee a rich and delicious flavor. Each bag helps preserve 2 feet of rain forest. Cost per bag is $13.49, including shipping.

• The Foundation’s Trees in Celebration program allows the giver to honor loved ones while supporting crucial conservation efforts. For each dollar donated, one tree is planted in a high-need forest, and recipients are given a certificate showing them where the trees were planted.

• Give the gift of membership with the Arbor Day Foundation and recipients will be sent 10 free trees, which will be shipped at the right time of year for planting. Membership levels vary and begin with a $10 contribution.

“The holidays are a time for thinking about others, and as you do, take a moment to think about what you can do to protect the beauty and splendor of the earth,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We encourage everyone to give gifts that will have a lasting impact for generations to come.”

To purchase holiday gifts that give back to the planet, visit:

Marylanders purchasing individual health plans on Maryland Health Connection urged to get advice to maximize cost-savings

— Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is advising Maryland consumers to shop around this year and not just allow their plans to auto-renew, and to seek expert advice or assistance in making their decisions about health insurance. Enrollment for individual health plan coverage for calendar year 2018 is currently open, and the deadline to sign up for 2018 coverage is December 15.

“Rising costs and the Trump administration’s decision to stop making cost-sharing reduction payments have significantly changed health plan pricing in Maryland,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Consumers, particularly those who receive little or no financial assistance, are strongly encouraged to seek individualized advice from a navigator or broker to find the best plan at the best price.”

Because of complicated pricing changes arising out of the Trump administration’s failure to continue making cost-sharing reduction payments, it is possible that some consumers may find that buying a Gold or Bronze plan, or purchasing a plan directly from CareFirst or Kaiser Permanente, the two carriers selling in the individual market in 2018, will meet their health insurance needs this year at lower cost.

Below are examples of how this year’s pricing of Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans, as well as those offered directly by the carriers, may result in different costs for the consumer than in prior years.

•A family of four making $53,000 annually may find a CareFirst Silver plan sold on Maryland Health Connection with a premium (after subsidies) of $13.85 a month. A Gold plan would cost $11.40 a month (after subsidies). This family could find that the best deal would be a more generous Gold plan, with lower premiums and a lower deductible than the Silver plan (Silver Plan deductible: $3,000 individual/$6,000 family – Gold Plan deductible: $1,000 individual/$2,000 family).

•A 21-year old individual making $25,000 annually may find a CareFirst Silver plan sold on Maryland Health Connection with a premium (after subsidies) of $2.01 a month. A Gold plan would cost $1.66 a month (after subsidies).

•A 30-year old individual making $44,500 annually may find a CareFirst Bronze plan sold on Maryland Health Connection with a $1.82 monthly premium (after subsidies) and a $6,550 deductible.

•If a family of four making $120,000 and thus ineligible for tax credits lives in an area where Kaiser Permanente offers coverage, Kaiser silver plans offered on and off Maryland Health Connection might vary in cost by hundreds of dollars per month.

The bottom line for consumers is that plan shopping this year is more complicated and consumers should get personal advice from a navigator or a broker to get the best coverage at the best cost for their needs. Consumers should not go it alone.

Consumers are further cautioned to make sure, by consulting with a navigator, broker, or representative of CareFirst or Kaiser that any plan they buy outside of complies with the coverage and consumer protection requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Consumers can find information on brokers and navigators who offer in-person assistance by going to the Maryland Health Connection’s website:

Consumers can contact the Health Education Advocacy Unit (HEAU) of the Office of Attorney General for more information. The HEAU helps consumers who have been denied enrollment in a Qualified Health Plan or denied Advanced Premium Tax Credits or Cost-Sharing Reductions by Maryland Health Connection. The HEAU also offers mediation services to consumers who have a billing, or other business-related dispute with their healthcare provider or a coverage dispute with their health benefit plan.

Pets for Patriots program helping veterans and service members, gives animals a home

— Jasmine, Katie, Merlin, Minnie and Comanche— once homeless shelter pets, they are now sources of unconditional love and friendship to local servicemen and their families. A special program at Baltimore Humane Society (BHS) called Pets for Patriots is how they found each other. The program is dedicated to serving two often overlooked populations needing support when establishing new lives— our country’s loyal service men and women and last-chance shelter pets. Pet adoption is free for the military adopter and the pet receives discounted veterinary care for life.

Pets for Patriots’ mission is to ease the stress of military transitions following deployment return, active to inactive duty, and retirement by the adoption of adult or special needs shelter pets and large dogs. Working with PFP, Baltimore Humane Society provides the most overlooked homeless dogs and cats a second chance at a happy life while giving local veterans, active duty military, and their families the gift of unconditional friendship and love. The end goal— transform and enrich the lives of our service men and women while at the same time helping save at-risk shelter pets and end animal homelessness in the U.S.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of Pets for Patriots. Our service members deserve all the support we can give them. Matching them up with homeless pets who also need support and love makes this a wonderfully positive program for all involved,” said Wendy Goldband, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Baltimore Humane Society.

Pets for Patriots and Baltimore Humane Society have also partnered with area vets like Perry Hall Animal Hospital, Paradise Animal Hospital, Jarrettsville Veterinary Center, Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, and Essex Middle River Veterinary Hospital.

Together they are determined to make the joys of pet ownership achievable and affordable by offering:

•Free pet adoptions at Baltimore

Humane Society to all military (once approved by Pets for Patriots)

•Ten percent discount at the Baltimore Humane Society low cost Spay, Neuter, and Vaccine Clinic

•Veterinary discounts from 10 to 20 percent for the life of the adopted pet to help service members afford their pets’ medical care

•$150 gift card upon proof of eligible adoption with Pets for Patriots to help with food and other essentials

•Free membership to Pets for Patriots for all service members. Individuals are welcome to take advantage of the Pets for Patriots program from all United States armed forces and at any stage of their careers.

Individuals must first apply through Pets for Patriots website:, and provide proof of their military service or honorable discharge. Approval typically takes one to two business days, after which they can visit Baltimore Humane Society for assistance in choosing their new best friend.

Powerful stage play production ‘Serenity House’ looks at opioid epidemic

— Unified Voices (UV) of Johns Hopkins will present the highly anticipated stage play, Ursula V. Battle’s “Serenity House” December 15, 16 and 17, 2017 in Johns Hopkins’ Turner Auditorium located at 720 Rutland Avenue in Baltimore.

The stage play takes a riveting and thought-provoking look at the opioid epidemic. The production will feature National Recording Artist Randy Roberts and internationally renowned gospel female trio “Serenity.”

Roberts portrays “James Franklin” in the production, and will perform Watch Me Work from his hit CD This Is My Story This is My Song featuring “Kingdom.” Serenity will perform several gospel favorites throughout the production.

Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch is the Stage Director, while Howard “Buddy” Lakins, Jr. is the Musical Director for the powerful production, which will also include original music composed by Peabody Conservatory student Allen Branch.

“We are excited to present Ursula V. Battle’s Serenity House,” said Dr. Branch, who serves as Executive Director of UV. “Serenity House supports UV’s mission which is to spread hope, health, and healing through harmony. It debuts just in time for the holidays and is a must-see. People can expect to laugh, cry, and most of all, be uplifted.”

In addition to Serenity and Roberts, the dynamic cast also includes leading actors/actresses Tanya Brown-Iyesi (Sharon Brown), Charisse Caldwell Bowen (Sister Jackson), Brandi Dyer (Miracle Smith), Davalas Henry (Dancer Hawkins), Regina Gail Malloy (Claire C. Voyant), Rahman Murray (Hank Riley), and Leonard Stepney, Jr. (Willie Jones, Jr.). The play also features Liam Lindsay, who is legally blind. Lindsay will portray Pastor Right Just, Jr.

The production’s storyline centers around the journey six men and women – who are three months in recovery, take after arriving at the imaginary United in Victory Tabernacle on the Hill Freewill Catholic Baptist and Episcopal Church of God in Christ’s newly opened “Serenity House.” Through ministry, music, an unforgettable story and dance, the production takes a heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming look at the devastating impact that addiction has on society— particularly on families that in some cases, spans generations. The production also highlights the supernatural power of God to help us overcome, and the transformative power of forgiveness.

During its run, there will be post-show panel discussions regarding the work featuring behavioral health experts, the performers, directors and writer.

Battle and Branch’s previous productions include Ursula V. Battle’s My Big Phat Ghetto FABULE$$ Wedding, DisChord in The Choir, and The Teachers’ Lounge. Battle is a journalist and writes for The Baltimore Times, while Dr. Branch serves as the Director of Health and Human Services for Baltimore County and is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Unified Voices (UV) of Johns Hopkins.

Ursula V. Battle’s “Serenity House” is rated PG-13 due to some strong content and profanity. Show times are as follows: Friday, December 15, 2017 (7 p.m.), Saturday, December 16, 2017 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and Sunday, December 17, 2017 (5 p.m.). Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Seating is General, with doors opening 30 minutes before the performance.

For group rates, more information or to purchase tickets, call: 410-955-8888 or 443-531-4787 or visit: or

Rambling Rose: Remembering Baltimore Popular Group

Hello everyone, hoping that your Thanksgiving was all you wished it to be. I know some of us, including me, was a little sad remembering the lost of family members and friends who would have been joining you around that Thanksgiving table is no longer with us. But we continue to bless the ones who are still with us. The holidays are always very hard, but life goes on.

Do you remember a popular group from Baltimore, called Pockets? I do! They were formed in 1975 with about nine or 10 members. My goodness this was a HOT group! The group members were Albert McKinney on keyboards and vocals; Charles Williams on trumpet vocals and percussion; Gary Grainger on bass and vocals; Glenn Grainger on trumpet; George Gray on drums, vocals and percussion; Irvin Madison on sax, vocals and percussion; Jacob Sheffer on guitar and percussion; Kevin Barnes on trombone, vocals and percussion; and Larry Jacobs on vocals and percussion. They were scheduled to perform at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts this week to celebrate their 40th year, but the show was postponed until next year. I will keep you informed.

Born on Thanksgiving Day November 26, 1917, Margo Purdy celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, November 26, 2017 at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. May God continue to bless you! Happy Birthday Mrs. Purdy.

Courtesy Photo

Born on Thanksgiving Day November 26, 1917, Margo Purdy celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, November 26, 2017 at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. May God continue to bless you! Happy Birthday Mrs. Purdy.

Mrs. W. Margo Purdy born on November 26, 1917 will celebrate her 100th birthday on Sunday, November 26, 2017. She joined Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, located 2812 Reisterstown Road in Baltimore on Easter Sunday, 1989 under the leadership of Senior Pastor, the late Olin P. Moyd, Ph.D. Currently Mrs. Purdy is a member of the church Missionary Ministry. She has also served on choirs, with the ushers and kitchen committee.

“I’ve slowed down a little bit,” Purdy said. “I have two favorite scriptures: Psalm 23, (The Lord is my Shepherd) and Psalm 121 (I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help……”). “I attribute my longevity to the Lord’s will. I was sickly as a child, but the Lord has been good to me and he brought me through.” Happy Birthday Ms. Purdy and May God continue to bless you.

Renowned organist and vocalist Greg Hatza and popular drummer and Radio Personality Robert Shahid will celebrate their birthdays at Caton Castle by calling it a Sagittarius Birthday Bash on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For ticket information, call 443-413-3523.

Courtesy Photo

Renowned organist and vocalist Greg Hatza and popular drummer and Radio Personality Robert Shahid will celebrate their birthdays at Caton Castle by calling it a Sagittarius Birthday Bash on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For ticket information, call 443-413-3523.

I want to say a very “Happy Birthday” to all of you who are celebrating another year older including myself; To my friends, Dr. Elaine Simon; Ethel Ennis; Big Jim; my twins-Kelvin Sr. and Karen Atkinson; Greg Hatza; Robert Shahid; Milton Dugger; my sister Linda Pryor; and Tony Bunn just to name the few I remember.

Continue to celebrate the holidays with “Motown & More” when it returns to Westminster, Maryland with a full evening of holiday cheer, gift shopping, holiday snacks, annual wreath display and auction, and classic Motown tunes, on stage live in a brand new show. Check it out on Friday, December 1, 7 p.m. at Carroll Arts Center, 91 West Main Street, Westminster, Maryland. Go to for more information.

Well my dear friends, it is about that time, I am out of space. But remember, if you need me, call me at 410-89339474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Remembering R.B. Jones: Longtime “Realside” columnist passes away at age 65

This writer can remember receiving a phone call approximately 15 years ago from columnist, teacher, poet and playwright Ronald Berry Jones, who was known as ‘R.B.’ Jones. “Ursula, I would like to add your name to a group of people running for public office,” Jones said.

A bit surprised at what Jones was telling me, I responded. “Me, run for public office? Why do you think I should run for public office?” Jones then responded, “I believe you would win based on your last name—Battle and I believe you would battle for the people.”

While I didn’t take him up on his offer to run for public office, I never forgot that phone call or the conversation that followed, so it was with great sadness that I learned of his passing on Sunday, November 26, 2017, after a lengthy illness. According to a family member, Jones was 65.

Jones was the author of the “Realside” column in The Baltimore Times. He also worked for The Baltimore AFRO-American Newspaper, and The Baltimore Press.

“When R.B. was here, people picked up the paper every week,” said Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble. “Readers couldn’t wait to read his column. R.B. was fearless with his views, wrote what he felt, and stood for what he thought was right. People really respected him, and he had a big following. R.B. worked for us for 15 years, and was a tremendous asset to the Baltimore Times.”

She added, “He was the former Editor and a columnist and really helped us to grow the paper. R.B. was also funny, intelligent, and could write on a dime. He will really be missed.”

Former Baltimore City Councilman Lawrence Bell reflected on the life of his longtime friend.

“I first met R.B. when I first ran for public office in 1987,” said Bell. “I was 25-years-old at the time. He was working at the AFRO, and he really supported and encouraged me. He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to history, particularly Black History and politics. He was deep and he was intelligent. He was also fearless and uncompromising.

“I talked to him about a week and a half or so before he passed away. We could talk for hours about politics, and our love for the black community. He had no fear whatsoever, and that’s the way he wrote. We agreed on so many things. He also had a great sense of humor. I had so much respect for him. He was like a big brother to me.”

Bell said he hired Jones when he became President of the Baltimore City Council.

“He was my community liaison and did a lot of writing for me,” Bell recalled. “He was a phenomenal writer, and was also very bright and quick-witted. R.B. Jones was always concerned about the black community and was always willing to stand up for what he thought was right. He is going to really be missed.”

Former Baltimore AFRO-American Newspaper Copy Editor and Baltimore News American Columnist Dr. E. Lee Lassiter also shared fond memories of Jones.

“R.B. Jones and I had lunch together once, and I really enjoyed it,” said Dr. Lassiter. “He was serious about his journalism and very clear about his perspective, whether you agreed with his position or not. I respected him a lot for that.”

He added, “R.B. was very opinionated, but I was very impressed with the seriousness at which he arrived at his viewpoints and how well he could document what he was talking about. He was no fly by night.”

David Brown is the host the talk show “Real Questions,” which airs on Morgan State University’s WEAA 88.9 FM.

“R.B. Jones was one of the most prolific men I’ve had the opportunity to rub minds with over the years,” said Brown. “Not only was he a reporter, playwright, historian, scholar and friend, he was a modern day theologian. He studied systematic theology at Princeton University. Long before Google and other search

engines were developed, we had R. B. Jones. He was a combination of both W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. I feel very fortunate to have shared his intellect.”

Brown reflected on Jones’ theatrical talents and the messages he conveyed through them.

“I was the youth pastor at the church I was attending at the time,” said Brown, who was also performing in God’s Trombones at The Arena Player with Jones. “I asked R.B. to write a skit to be performed at the church. He wrote the skit, and was standing out in front of the church looking like a homeless person. Once [the] service began, he came inside. He was taken down front and people moved away from him.”

“Brown added, “Later in the service, I introduced him, and ran down his list of credentials, which included attending Princeton University. It was a harsh reality of what was, and made people examine themselves. People were more concerned about looking good than looking out for their fellow man. He was just being himself, and was being judged without people really knowing him. It made people wake up. That was R.B. Jones!”

Funeral Arrangements for R.B. Jones will be shared when that information becomes available.