Geppi's Entertainment Museum was packed with guests of all ages at the VIP Cool Kids Campaign party. In fact, "cool" was also a good word to describe the evening in general.
First, there had been that cool ice skating show at the 1st Mariner Arena, "Kimmie's Angels On Ice," put together by Maryland's own Olympic skater, Kimmie Meissner, to benefit the organization that helps children with cancer and their families.
"This was the first skate show my daughter has ever been to, and she loved it," said guest Lyn Boone.
Then, there were all those cool exhibits to look at in the museum, and mounds of cookies, cakes and other sweet desserts to dig into.
But, as far as most guests were concerned, the coolest thing of all was the one-on-one time that guests got with the evening's stars themselves. Guests clustered around the skating champions, getting autographs and photos, and often coming away with a little more.
"It's a fabulous night. It means a lot to my daughter. She has leukemia ... she skated, so [meeting Meissner] was really inspirational to her," said Lisa Glenn.
Meanwhile, Meissner was overwhelmed with her many young fans. But, she had a smile - along with an autograph and photo - for every single one of them.
"It was great tonight," she said. "The crowd was awesome. So it was a good day."
A Drink With Larry Willis
Larry Willis, 64, has traveled the world the past 47 years as a jazz pianist. In addition to performing with his own trio or quintet, Willis has played with many jazz greats, including Jackie McLean, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Herb Alpert and Dizzy Gillespie. Single, his home is in downtown Baltimore. When he's there. Describe your life these days.
Hectic, but enjoyable. I just signed an extension on my record contract. I just got back from France last week, after being in Ecuador and Israel. I went to Russia the end of last year, and to Italy.
When you are at home, how do you spend your time?
I'm a big sports fan. And a frustrated former athlete. I particularly like to go to Camden Yards because I enjoy Boog [Powell's] barbecue.
What do you like best about your lifestyle?
Playing. ... Music is my oxygen. It's why I live. ... I like traveling the least.
Since you are an accomplished flier, give us some pointers.
Get to the airport in plenty of time. Pack as lightly as you can. And try to stay away from airline food.
Are there words you live by?
There is a friend's that sticks with me. It's on his tombstone. "Life is not worth living unless it impacts on the lives of others." - Jackie Robinson. He's one of my boyhood heroes. [Note: The actual inscription is, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."]