On June 30, over 100 people in my village came together for my 60th birthday. The party was outstanding. People came from Jersey, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix, the Bay area, and all parts of Southern California to participate in our family celebration. People sent greetings from Africa, England, and the Netherlands. I am still humbled, grateful, and overwhelmed by the occasion.
I feel like so many people have given so much to me, and this event was no exception. My brothers Wayne, Baron, and Ira joined together to provide the necessary support (food, entertainment, etc.) to help make the day truly special for me and my parents. I can never say enough about their love and support. They are my brothers, my angels. I can count on them for anything and know they will always be there for me. I also thank the Calloway family for providing the venue for the wonderful afternoon celebration. I’ve been in Los Angeles since 1981. I’ve been going to the Regency West in Leimert Park for various events and occasions. It was the perfect place to bring my villagers together.
We also celebrated my mom and dad’s 60 year anniversary that day. We have flourished, accomplished much together, and supported one another all these years. I was happy to see everyone congratulate my main supporters. My oldest nephew Tommy celebrated his 21st birthday the prior Saturday. He and his brother Jordan spoke nicely about me and what I mean to them. Others spoke far too generously about my contributions to their lives. I was truly touched! My professor, Harry Edwards, my brother Wynton Marsalis, and my lady love Sade sent special messages for the occasion. My brother Bernard sent a wonderful greeting from Ghana, Africa, and my sister Marianne sent a touching sentiment from the Netherlands. And my home instruction teacher Ted Krulakowski sent a stellar address from Long Branch, NJ. Those messages, among others, can be found on my website (djriley.net), and pictures from my celebration can be found on my Facebook page (DonaldRileyJr). Please check those sites out, even if you weren’t able to attend the party. My brothers Wayne, Jeffrey, and Mitch did their best to capture the essence of what was truly a glorious day!
I had the blessing of meeting up later with some out of town guests at the Sheraton in Culver City, where I expressed my appreciation and gratitude for their coming to L.A. and supporting me and my family. I want to give recognition and thanks to God for bringing all my people together and getting them home safely.
Finally, I want to mention two current events. The first is the miracle that just took place in Thailand. Getting those 13 boys and their coach out of that cave was a true blessing! I thank God for bringing all those people from different continents and cultures together to make that happen. I also have to comment on the new Supreme Court nominee. The President and the Republicans want to weight the court towards conservative policy. I can only hope and pray for divine intervention and that the court will continue to support moderate and more liberal established decisions of the past and not dismantle equal rights and other gains that have been fought for, which represent the true essence of what America is supposed to stand for and what we should all be about.
I love you!