Rambling Rose : Forum Caterers Celebrates 41 Years This Week

Hello everyone, How are you? I see some of you are tip-toeing out a little more into the public bars and clubs, the places where I feel are my second homes, but if I were you, I wouldn’t be so hasty about doing that. I am just saying, I truly believe it is just not safe yet. Any closed-in building that you have to remove your mask to eat and drink and you can sit or stand at a social distance, you will not see me or my “Boo-Boo.” No honey not yet! It is just not enough to jeopardize my health or life. Those of you who are dipping your toes into the hot water by hanging out at in the nightclubs, please be careful, there is no vaccine for this COVID yet. Stay healthy. Just my opinion!!

I want to say “Congratulations” to the Haysbert family for running a successful business for 41 years. They are the owners of the Forum Caterers located 4210 Primrose Avenue. Forty-one years ago it was the brainchild of three remarkable Black entrepreneurs; B. Tyrous “Terry” Addison who most believed was born to be an entrepreneur. Business was always his first love. In 1983, he joined Raymond Haysbert Sr., who at the time was president of Parks Sausage Company and radio station owner Dorothy Brunson to buy The Forum Caterers Inc. in Northwest Baltimore. He sold his interest in 1990. Dorothy E. Brunson was the first African American woman to own a radio station in Baltimore, Maryland and one of the first in the nation. She started out working as an executive with Inner City Broadcasting Corporation between 1973 and 1979. She owned radio station WEBB 1360 AM in Baltimore, Maryland purchased from entertainer James Brown in 1979. She later purchased radio stations in Atlanta and Wilmington, North Carolina. She joined Haysbert Sr. and “Terry” Addison in the purchase of the Forum Caterers. Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., the leader of this trio was a prominent African- American business executive and civil rights leader during the second half of the 20th century in Baltimore, Maryland. Haysbert joined Baltimore-based Parks Sausage Company in 1952, becoming CEO as it grew into one of the largest Black-owned U.S. businesses. Also in that year he was recruited by Henry G. Parks Jr., founder of the sausage company there bearing his name, to serve as accountant and office manager, later promoted to general manager, then executive vice president, before being named president and CEO of Parks Sausage Company. In September 1979 Haysbert brought the Forum Caterers while still being involved with his buddy, Henry Parks at Parks Sausage Company.

Before the passing of Raymond V. Haysbert in 2010 the business was passed on to his three children; sons, Brian and Reginald and daughter Nikita Haysbert who has continue the legacy of their father being a full service on and off premise catering company that has served many happy customers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area.

Ladies and gentlemen I can this with personal experience, because they served my organization Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, Inc. Black & Gold Ball for over 20 years and my guests loved every moment. Thanks my friends and congratulations guys, you are the best of the best!

I spoke to my buddy, Peggy Raley, vice preident and artistic director of True Blue Jazz, Inc. She told me that they are forging ahead this year because everyone needs the healing power of music— yes Lord! I agree! They will have virtual festivals and live venues in downtown Rehoboth Beach. She said they will still have a handful of COVID- compliant venues in downtown Rehoboth during their festival dates, October 15-18, 2020.

There will be 15 shows in four venues. Also this year they are offering two nights of great streaming live jazz featuring regional, national and international artists that be can be enjoyed from anywhere in the world, absolutely free. She understands that even though their businesses down at the beach would love to see visitors, many people just don’t want to leave home yet and that’s why they are streaming. The Boardwalk Plaza is hosting a watch party on both nights so that folks who do come to town can watch the live-stream on big screens. For more information, call 302-448-1766 or go to info@truebluejazz.org. Tell her Rambling Rose told you.

Well, my dear friends, enjoy, be safe, stay healthy, wear your mask and remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at rosapryor@aol.com. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Dorothy E. Brunson, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

Dorothy E. Brunson, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

B. Tyrous “Terry”Addison, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

B. Tyrous “Terry”Addison, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Reginald Haysbert (Brother of Nikita and Brian Haysbert), Owner of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Courtesy Photo

Reginald Haysbert (Brother of Nikita and Brian Haysbert), Owner of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Nikia and Brian Haysberts (brother and sister),  current owners  of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Courtesy Photo

Nikia and Brian Haysberts (brother and sister), current owners of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

STAR celebrates 30 years of addressing health disparities in Baltimore

Sisters Together And Reaching, Inc. (STAR), a faith-based, nonprofit community organization that provides spiritual support, direct services, and prevention education to HIV/AIDS infected, and affected African-American women and men, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. And many who have worked with the organization like Randi Woods, say the celebration wouldn’t be possible without STAR’s founder, the Rev. Debra Hickman.

Rev. Debra Hickman, founder and CEO of STAR

Aisha Butler/Jazzy Studios

Rev. Debra Hickman, founder and CEO of STAR

“She has employed 300 people over 30 years, and she’s created space for nurses, doctors, and public health students to gain real life experience,” said Woods, a registered nurse who serves as the nonprofit’s senior director of community care coordination. Woods added that Hickman, affectionately known as “Rev. Debbie,” has formed relationships within the community and large health systems.

STAR counts as a community faith- based nonprofit that Hickman founded in 1991 to serve the Greater Baltimore HIV/AIDS community.

Since its inception, STAR has been a premiere advocate addressing health disparities among African American men, women, and their families living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases in Baltimore City.

Located in the heart of Charm City, STAR has been a service provider of comprehensive care coordination and support services to thousands of individuals and families – creating healthy generational behaviors withstanding time.

Woods noted that STAR services include, but aren’t limited to, preventative testing, health promotion prevention education, patient advocacy, and comprehensive, holistic care management.

“Through time, STAR has developed multiple collaborative partnerships with traditional and non-traditional partners to continue working effectively with high-risk communities addressing traditional and non-traditional aspects of living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases,” Woods stated. “Along with our partners, our future legacy of community engagement, prevention education, and community impact will serve as a pillar for every person serviced through our programs.”

Born and raised in Baltimore, Hickman’s parents migrated from the South searching for work and more opportunities for their children.

As the oldest of two children, Hickman learned early how to handle business affairs as her parents had limited education.

“When Rev. Debbie started STAR, she was working a full-time job and was leading a very small team of women volunteers from churches around the city,” Woods said. “Since that time, she has remained committed to advocating for justice in healthcare for the men and women of Baltimore City.”

Hickman has served on the Mayors HIV Commission and is a two-time appointee by the White House Secretary of Health to serve on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Heath Resources Service Administration Advisory Council (CHAC).

She also has worked as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 1999, Hickman was selected to be among the first 40 CDC Leadership Scholars. Under the leadership of former Mayor Martin O’Malley and past City Council President Sheila Dixon, Hickman was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Baltimore City HIV Commission and recently appointed by the White House Secretary of Health and Human Service Office to the Centers for Disease Control/Health Resource Services Administration Advisory Board.

“Rev. Hickman’s favorite scripture is Psalm 34, and she attempts to carry this scripture out through a life that truly blesses the Lord by following his commands and sharing His love wherever she goes,” Woods said. “Rev. Hickman is known as a visionary and her motto is, ‘Be Forward Focused and Not Past Possessed.’”

To learn more about STAR, visit www.sisterstogetherandreaching.org.

The New Normal: Black Quarterbacks Matter

I am an 86-year-old author and retired educator. This does not necessarily make me an expert on football. However, my grandson, Austin Fendley, a recent graduate from the University of Texas and an avid football fan, knows as much about the subject as many coaches and sports commentators. Also, he and I are “two peas in a pod” about racism. We have watched with interest as more and more Blacks have been named starting quarterbacks on the national football scene. Capitalizing on our strengths, we decided to co-author this article.

Since the earliest days of professional and college football, the number of Black play- ers has increased exponentially. However, the ratio of Black players and Black quarter- backs remains disproportional with 67 percent Black players and 17 percent Black quarterbacks. The Canadian Football League was more open to welcoming Black play- ers than the leagues in America were. As an example, Warren Moon was not selected in America until he had won five Grey Cup championships in Canada. Moon became the first Black Houston Oilers’ quarterback in 1984, and his success shattered the stereotype that Blacks could not succeed as a quarterback. He ushered more successful black quar- terbacks into the National Football League (NFL) in the 1980s. When Moon first be- came the Oilers’ quarterback, I remember hearing people say he was not smart enough to function as an NFL-caliber quarterback. I happily watched him prove them wrong.

The number of Black quarterbacks in the American professional leagues has grown, and Michael Vick was drafted in 2001, as the first Black to be taken with the first over- all pick in the NFL draft.

In 2017, longtime quarterback, Eli Manning, was benched and was replaced with Geno Smith who was Black. Since the inception of the game, two Black quarterbacks and one multiracial led their teams to a Super Bowl victory: Doug Williams in 1988; Russell Wilson in 2014; and Patrick Mahomes in 2020.

America has, in fact, made progress in naming Black quarterbacks on the professional fields. Still, many of them have experienced racial issues. For example, Deshaun Wat- son, the Houston Texans’ quarterback stated that he did not want to be called a dual- threat quarterback because the term is traditionally used to stereotype Black quarterbacks. In 2018, racial remarks were made about him after he made a bad deci- sion during a game. A superintendent of a school district outside Houston remarked, “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a Black quarterback.” Fortunately, that superintendent came under fire and he later resigned.

After reading a story about Deshaun’s upbringing, we were reminded that he gives credit to his mother who was a single parent of four children and living in the proj- ects. His mother held down a fulltime job and after she got off work, she would spend the next few hours volunteering at a homeless shelter. That made her eligible to be the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home. In 2011, when Deshaun was in high school, his mother was diagnosed with stage-five tongue cancer forcing him to function as a high school quarterback and as a caretaker raising two of his siblings. Given the history of Deshaun and his mother, and the hardships the family faced, the challenges of being a Black quarterback did not seem to be an insurmountable task.

A proven truism over the last two seasons is that we are clearly in the age of Black quarterbacks. The remarkable advancement of blacks to master the game’s most impor- tant position proves those who thought they lacked the leadership skills and intelli- gence are wrong. Clear evidence with 10 Black quarterbacks starting the first week of the 2020 NFL season reiterates that the new normal— Black Quarterbacks Matter.

For 61 years, Dr. Bertie Simmons, Ed.D., author of Whispers of Hope: The Story of My Life, was a dedicated educator in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Simmons came out of retirement to serve as principal of Furr High School in 1999. During her more than 17 year tenure, she was instrumental in revitalizing the school and creating transformational opportunities for some of Houston’s most disadvantaged students.

Annapolis March underscores importance of showing up at polls, correction of racial injustices

Although the coronavirus has often brought the issue of isolation to the forefront because of need to social distance and quarantine, there have also been remarkable moments when the power of unity has proved to be unstoppable.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 marked one of those unprecedented times in Annapolis’s rich history, when over a 1,000 men, women, children, community leaders and elected officials participated in a peaceful 1,000 Men March. A sea of masked faces began to fill the streets from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to Annapolis City Dock. Participants commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Million Man March held in the District of Columbia on October 16, 1995, while highlighting issues ranging from ending police brutality to the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election on November 3, 2020.

The event drew a crowd of diverse ages, including young children. Over 1,000 people reportedly attended the event.

Joyce Images

The event drew a crowd of diverse ages, including young children. Over 1,000 people reportedly attended the event.

Randy Curtis, 33, a resident of Severn played a major role in organizing the largest event of this kind in Annapolis. His father, Bishop Antonio Palmer of the Kingdom Celebration Center and the United Black Clergy along with Carl Snowden, longtime civil rights activist and convener of the Caucus of African American Leaders, were also instrumental in organizing the event.

Curtis says he has worked with conscious leaders in other locations and wanted to do something for his home city of Annapolis. Holding police and citizens who are engaging in detrimental activities accountable, cleaning up the community, improving housing and addressing educational issues are among his noted concerns. He further said that related policies and procedures need to be changed; and he feels that officials such as Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman are approachable officials who also want to see positive change occur in the Black community. “My idea is to go to them (Buckley and Pittman) with strategic changes for policies and procedures, and fight all the way through, until we see change in the books,” said Curtis while mentioning his follow up plan. “And, I’ve learned enough to be humble to my elders. I’m actually having a meeting with all of the leadership that we have in the Black community and saying ‘let’s agree on three things that we want to see change in the immediate future and tackle those three issues up front.’”

Curtis led the charge to bring individuals and leaders together but he says he wants a collective voice to be heard. He added that he believes that participation by the younger generation in the event helped to dismantle the belief that the older and younger generation don’t see eye-to-eye on issues. The older generation was able to show by example how to come together for the sake of freedom, justice and equality for Blacks in America, including in Anne Arundel County.

Carl Snowden also pointed out that he believes that Curtis senses the need for more overall civic engagement and participation from African American males. “The major goal (of the march) was to demonstrate the need for people of color— in particular— to participate in another march that is going to take place. And that march is going to take place on November 3, when we march to the ballot box, hopefully in unprecedented numbers, to use our vote to become our voice. And so there is going to be a concerted effort by all of the organizations that were involved to energize, organize and mobilize African American voters to go to the polls in great numbers,” Snowden said. “As you know, African American men vote in less numbers than African American women. An idea here is to get African American men to follow the leadership of women who have used the vote very strategically to bring about our change. And so we hope to emulate our black women in terms of going to the polls in the numbers proportionate to our goal.”

Darius A. Stanton— founder of the Annapolis Arts, Sports and Leadership Academy— added that day’s mood sent a message of unity to over 10 statewide politicians. Voter registration was underway from the top of the March route all the way to the City Dock.

“I think the 1,000 Man March built a unified force to push the changes needed in our own communities to seek mental health, bring our family units together, to ensure we build our own economic base, make the needed reform and investments in education and the justice system, by voting and holding elected officials accountable,” said Stanton. “We are much stronger coming out of the march!

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education

Narconon reminds families that abuse of heroin and opioid drugs has become a national health crisis. Learn to recognize the signs of heroin abuse and get your loved ones help if they are at risk. Visit www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/naloxone‐ availability.html to learn about the overdose reversing drug known as naloxone and find out its availability in your state. Narconon can help you take steps to overcome addiction in your family. Call 1- 800-431-1754 today for free screenings or referrals.

Genetics, Diagnosis, Treatment: NIH Takes on Sickle Cell Disease Globally

Washington, D.C.— Each year, some 150,000 children in Nigeria are born with sickle cell disease, the most common— and often life-threatening— inherited blood disorder in the world. “I was not happy when I read that Nigeria will have the highest contribution to the global burden of sickle cell disease by 2050—if we continue at the present birth rate and the level of inactivity in newborn screening,” said hematologist Obiageli Nnodu, M.D., the lead researcher in Nigeria for the Sickle Pan African Research Consortium (SPARCo), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. “As a country, we can do better than that. After all, this is a disease where children die undiagnosed, and largely from preventable causes such as bacterial infections.”

Sickle cell disease affects 20 million people worldwide, including at least 100,000 in the United States, mainly African Americans, but Hispanics and Asian Americans, too. To help address the problem on a global scale, the NHLBI has been supporting programs in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 75 percent of the sickle cell disease births worldwide occur. SPARCo, with a hub in Tanzania, and additional sites in Nigeria and Ghana, works to develop an infrastructure for sickle cell disease research, health care, education, and training to take place in Africa.

“We are showing that with effective partnerships, significant advances in health and biomedical science can be achieved,” said Tanzania-based Julie Makani, M.D., Ph.D., who leads the SPARCo consortium.

SPARCo, in collaboration with the Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center, led by Ambroise Wonkam, M.D., in South Africa created Sickle In Africa, which has a growing electronic registry of more than 10,000 individuals with sickle cell disease.

“The genetic diversity of Africa’s population allows scientific research that will increase our understanding of how a disease caused by a single gene can manifest in such different ways, ” explained Makani.

Newborn screening, as Nnodu noted, is the first step to reduce mortality and suffering for these children, and for that, they need good tests readily available at the point of care. That’s why NHLBI supports research towards development of diagnostics, such as a new rapid result test that is relatively inexpensive, accurate, and can provide a timely diagnosis of sickle cell disease. The test does not require sophisticated laboratory equipment, electricity, refrigeration, or highly trained personnel— a critical advantage for countries with few resources.

On the treatment front, a large multinational NHLBI-funded clinical trial found that a daily hydroxyurea pill was safe and effective for young children living with sickle cell disease in sub-Saharan Africa. The NHLBI also has its sights on developing genetic therapies for the disease, as part of a newly announced NIH collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the partnership, which also addresses HIV, is to advance possible gene-based cures to clinical trials in the United States and relevant countries in sub-Saharan Africa within the next seven to 10 years.

“A person’s health should not be limited by their geographic location, whether it’s in rural America or sub- Saharan Africa,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the NHLBI. “Harnessing the power of science is needed to transcend borders if we want to improve health for all.”

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Since its founding 75 years ago, NNPA has consistently been the voice of the black community and an incubator for news that makes history and impacts their country. For more information, visit: nnpa.org

84-Year-Old Body Builder, Beyonce’ Video Star Endorses ‘A Better You’

Ernestine Shepherd is a world champion bodybuilder. Before one could dismiss that with a “so what?” note, the Baltimore resident is 84.

The now legendary “6-pack granny” recently appeared in a video for Beyoncé’s “Black is King” album. The grandmother and retired school secretary proudly stands as a Guinness World Record holder for the world’s oldest female competitive bodybuilder.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, Shepherd will join UnitedHealthCare to host “A Better You,” a health and wellness event aimed at helping African Americans approaching retirement and other Medicare beneficiaries learn more about Medicare and their health coverage options.

The online event promises to provide safe access to seniors’ resources and information to make informed health care coverage decisions before the annual Medicare Enrollment Period, which begins Oct. 15.

Virtual attendees will hear from Yohnnie Shambourger, former Mr. Universe and Shepherd’s trainer, who will share nutrition tips and walk through a series of exercises.

UnitedHealthcare’s Rita Tolbert plans to guide participants through a Medicare discussion, including eligibility requirements and enrollment windows.

“I always say and truly believe that age is nothing but a number. I won my first bodybuilding competition at the age of 71, after having lived a sedentary life,” Shepherd told the Baltimore Times.

“I feel better now in my 80’s than I did in my 40’s. Exercise and wellness are important to improve our quality of life at any age. People must listen to their bodies and do what works for them – going for a walk, doing some stretches from your seat, and even dancing while you cook. It’s about making movement part of your lifestyle.”

Shepherd said she began her fitness journey as a school secretary in 2007 when she participated in her first bodybuilding contest and won first place honors.

Three years later, Guinness formally presented her the title of World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder. She called working with Beyoncé an incredible experience.”She recruited me to appear in the music video for the song ‘Power,’ which celebrates the beauty and power of Blackness. When I arrived on-set, she approached me and gave me a big hug,” Shepherd recalled. “She was truly wonderful, and the interaction highlighted that anything is possible, regardless of your age.”

Because staying fit and creating healthy habits are essential, Shepherd has maintained a daily routine. “Typically, I start my day at 4 a.m. and go for a 10-mile run/walk, followed by strength training around 7:30 a.m. I then lead exercise classes at the local gym until 11:30 a.m. and return home for lunch,” she said.

“I have five to six meals a day, which often includes oatmeal, baked white potatoes, chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and tuna. I also supplement my protein intake with 8-ounce glasses of liquid egg whites throughout the day.”

Shepherd and UnitedHealthCare suggest that now more than ever, African Americans approaching retirement need the information to make informed coverage decisions, which is the goal of “A Better You!”

“The last thing you want to do is worry about your coverage options once you need medical attention. Just like forming healthy lifestyle habits, ensuring that your health care coverage options meet your needs is an important way to take care of yourself,” Shepherd stated.

“If Medicare coverage has never crossed your mind, the best thing you can do right now is to learn about it. Understand your needs, learn the terminology, coverage options, and enrollment dates so that once you’re ready to make a decision, you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

“It’s also important to understand health care if you have parents or loved ones approaching the age of eligibility or needing assistance with their coverage. Learn about the Medicare program so you can help them choose the right plan when the time comes. “

The event is free and open to the public, for more information or to register, visit http://ABetteryou.info/.

Morgan State University designated as new historic site

Baltimore— The American Physical Society (APS) has designated Morgan State University and the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota as Historic Sites. Each site will receive a plaque acknowledging its exemplary contributions to physics.

“As an institution rooted in the marvels of discovery and enlightenment, Morgan State University has long served as a haven for the nation’s Black scientific community—as well as a top producer of African-American graduates with degrees in STEM,” said David K.Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “We are truly honored to be designated an Historic Site by the American Physical Society. This notable distinction not only acknowledges Morgan’s early contributions to modern physics, but also our unrelenting commitment as an R2 classified doctoral research institution to cultivating tomorrow’s STEM leaders.”

The APS citation reads: “On April 28, 1977, Morgan State University became the birthplace of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Its founders sought to promote the professional well being of African American physicists within society at large and within the international scientific community. They have successfully mentored young Black students to increase their representation in physics and technology. Their persistent professional devotion to inclusion has produced the largest national organization that actively supports African American physicists.”

In 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation today named Morgan State University a National Treasure, the only such honor for a college or university campus in the United States.

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Fix Our Medical Insurance Dilemma

Give all Americans the option to buy into Medicare. I’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare my entire life. I’m still paying to be on plan B and supplemental coverage. I also pay for prescription insurance. I often feel like a coffee coupon from McDonald’s would pay for about as much medicine as my prescription card pays.

I no longer pay over $1600 a month in medical insurance but I still pay about $450 a month even with Medicare. Nothing is free.

Americans should have the option to buy into Medicare especially if medical insurance will not cover them and they can’t afford the sky rocketing premiums. It’s also time to get rid of medical supplements and prescription cards. Make Medicare a single payer of the doctor’s visits, prescription costs and all the above.

The government has more power to control the cost of big pharmacies and hospital costs. Most medical providers have “one price” but then the “price” they will accept from Medicare. Under President Trump Hospitals will have to display their secret negotiated rates to patients starting in January 2021. This gives you the option to shop around.

I’m all for having medical insurance available. Make it available from state to state. Make it easy for Americans to buy from pharmacies in Canada. Let senior Americans at age 55 buy 20-year term medical insurance plans if they would prefer to do so. Some Americans have no idea how desperate other Americans are when it comes to medical treatment.

Why make it so hard for Americans who do not have access to healthcare? Let them buy into Medicare. If they are unemployed or disabled then give them the Medicaid option. However, this is just more bureaucracy. This system needs to become one.

It’s also time to make 60 the age that retired Americans go on Medicare. In your late fifties and early sixties Americans have to start going to the doctor more. A friend of mine is waiting until she turns 65 and has Medicare so she can have a badly needed surgery. She needs it now. If she could buy into Medicare she could go ahead and move forward with her needed surgery.

We also need to turn the age back to 65 for collecting full Social Security benefits. American men die by the time they are 76.1 years old. Many die much younger. This is very little time to enjoy retirement. Sadly, many Americans aren’t having much of a retirement in their golden years. Many are working longer and spending less time doing what they had hoped to do.

The government wastes our Social Security contributions. They’ve spent trillions on foreign wars. They now tell us Social Security has been reduced by 25% in a few years. Rich political leaders want to push the age until 70 for you to collect your Social Security. This is not working for the American people. We are working longer with the prospects of collecting less. On top of this, older Americans are having to pay more of their dwindling retirement dollars for medical bills.

Bringing our troops home and spending less money in Iraq, Afghanistan and on rebuilding foreign nations is a start. We can and we must fix our medical insurance dilemma.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and syndicated columnist. To contact him, email: GMollette@aol.com or visit: www.glennmollette.com.

High-end clothing store becomes go-to spot for PPE during the pandemic

When Dominick Davis and Steven White united to start the high-end clothing store “Different Regard” in 2011, their vision was to provide domestic and international manufacturing with various products for consumers, corporations, and governments. They accomplished that and quickly became the go-to shop for the perfect tuxedo, stylish dresses, and fashionable accessories.

The testimonials posted on the company’s website, along with a myriad of photos, show much love for Different Regard.

Different Regard Models.


Different Regard Models.

“Best experience I have had with getting a custom suit made,” wrote Stephen T.

Meagan L., another satisfied customer, wrote: “My husband’s wedding tux made by Different Regard was absolutely flawless.” And this from Victor B.: “Steven and Dominick are forces of sartorial nature. Their customer service is without parallel in the Baltimore men’s fine clothing market. These two young men have brought a certain stylistic panache to Baltimore that was previously sorely missing.” Then the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Like most businesses, Different Regard wasn’t prepared for COVID-19, which among many other things, pivoted the shop’s fashion brand.

“Our sales decreased by 90 percent, and we had to creatively meet and figure out who was going to be available to work during the pandemic,” Davis recalled. “We had to consider the safety of our team, and we took some time to do research and some development.”

Davis and White hit the ground running. They began to manufacture Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and obtained private and government contracts for the life-saving gear. They donated more than 20,000 facemasks to hospitals in Baltimore and locations around the country.

Different Regard also began selling stylish facemasks to the public, including the popular deep red, red sand, and smoke pleated masks.

“We were able to hire seven additional employees, and we increased our manufacturing and equipment by over 60 percent,” Davis noted.

The overall aim of Different Regard remains the same: to provide affordable luxury clothing for everyone.

According to Davis, the business’s clients are men, women, kids, and nongender who prefer a classic style with a modern edge.

The Baltimore-based clothing brand continues to design luxurious well- tailored garments that are created in-house “for those who have an uncompromising vision of style and quality,” he stated.

“We design for the professional, personal, and social lifestyle. We believe your clothing helps to promote your lifestyle growth. We create not just fashion-forward clothing, but a lifestyle and attitude.”

With the pandemic still raging, Davis said there remains a need to manufacture personal protection equipment while creating job growth, strengthening the community and families.

“Our company was not prepared for COVID-19 to come and pivot our fashion brand,” Davis said.“The pandemic had us shift our business from how we normally would operate and create another operation overnight. Our whole system and process had to be rebuilt. However, our company is honored to help during our global crisis.