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Lobster hand

Lobster hand is a rare congenital deformity of the hand where the middle digit is missing, and the hand is cleft where the metacarpal of the finger should be. This split gives the hands the appearance of lobster claws. more...



Other names

  • Lobster claw hand
  • Lobster hand
  • Split hand deformity
  • Cleft hand
  • Ectrodactilia of the hand
  • Karsch-Neugebauer syndrome


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Sheila Johnson's Fabulous wedding: savvy businesswoman also triumphs in love
From Ebony, 12/1/05 by Lynn Norment

SHEILA Johnson has always dreamed big and done things in a big way--but with grace, class and style. Her recent wedding was no different. When she appeared in the doorway of the equestrian arena that had been turned into a beautiful wedding chapel, and on the arm of her handsome 16-year-old son Brett, the guests gasped. The bride was outfitted in a gorgeous antique-white Bob Mackie gown, and she was glowing.

It was a wedding befitting royalty, and just perfect for Johnson and her groom, Arlington County Circuit Court Chief Judge William T. Newman. The entrepreneur who has been called the nation's first African-American woman billionaire first met Judge Newman more than 30 years ago when they performed together in a play in Washington, D.C. At the time, she was married to Robert Johnson, and the two went on to found Black Entertainment Television. The marriage ended in 2002. Ironically, it was Judge Newman who presided over the final hearing for her divorce when the regular judge could not make it. Their paths had not crossed in the interim years.

During an eight-hour wedding celebration on her Salamander Farm in The Plains, Va., outside D.C., the couple treated 700 guests to a once-in-a-lifetime treat. The festivities began with a pre-wedding reception on the grounds and in the ultra-modern horse stable on the 200-acre estate. Then the guests, who included Virginia governor Mark R. Warner and other state, D.C. and local political figures, as well as media and entertainment honchos, were ushered into the chapel that was outfitted with two dozen hand-made trees, each adorned with 1,500 autumn leaves, orchids and crystals.

The maid of honor was daughter Paige, a prize-winning equestrian who is training for world class competitions. When the time came, the groom gave his bride a multiple salute, to the delight of the crowd, which applauded as the smiling newlyweds triumphantly glided down the aisle arm-in-arm.

While the guests were still awed by the pre-reception and ceremony, jaws dropped again when they entered the tented palace for the wedding dinner. The interior of the huge tent was draped in lavish orange, gold and brown fabrics that continued the autumn theme. And floral arrangements were everywhere. In fact, refrigerated trucks had brought in 60,000 flowers in all; 30,000 of them were roses, along with thousands of orchids, hydrangea, hypericum berries, hanging amaranthus and mums. Lush floral arrangements adorned tables, walls, the ceiling--everything.

Preston Bailey, the much-in-demand, world-renowned wedding designer, said he simply helped Johnson carry out her dream concept. "This is all Sheila Johnson" he said. "I simply helped her realize her dreamy

Again--Johnson has always dreamed big. The gutsy, determined businesswoman is building the luxury Salamander Inn & Spa on a 350-acre tract she purchased on the outskirts of quaint little Middleburg, Va., located in the midst of old-money horse country. She broke ground in 2002, but was soon immersed in a struggle with a handful of locals who obviously didn't like the idea of a Black woman bringing world-class modern concepts to the town. Johnson persisted. The 120-suite resort (originally there were to be 58 suites) will open in spring 2008. "We are finally in motion," the bride said after returning from a "fantastic" honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. "There will be a spa and there will be culinary classes. We will also have an equestrian center there."

In addition to the resort and Salamander Farm, Johnson owns six other buildings in Middleburg, including one that houses Market Salamander. Years ago she talked her good friend, renowned chef Todd Gray ("He's been up for the James Beard Award five times"), into joining her team to oversee the resort's restaurants and the Market, where customers can purchase delicacies, sit down or take out lunch or dinner. Market Salamander, which also caters and has been featured in fine-dining publications, prepared the sumptuous wedding dinner (chilled Maine lobster salad, roasted tournedos of dry-aged angus beef, foie gras sauce). Next Spring, a second Market Salamander will open in Palm Beach, Fla., where Johnson has another farm.

She tells how not long ago a limousine pulled up to Market Salamander, and out poured "all these beautifully dressed Black women who had come to shop." After getting a call at home from the Market, she quickly made the 10-minute drive to visit with the group that had come in from North and South Carolina.

Down the block from the Market is another Johnson shop that showcases the fine Italian linens she personally designed and which will coddle guests at the resort. Also featured at this shop is Johnson's Mistral line of luxury skin-care products.

These projects obviously were not enough to keep Johnson busy. Earlier this year she became an owner of the Washington Mystics, Wizards and Capitals sports teams. Fans say that second to a Mystics victory is an opportunity to see Sheila Johnson dance. The crowd erupts into applause when the camera focuses on the owner's box and catches Johnson in action. "She a good dancer," one fan says.

Despite her many enterprises, Johnson always has time (and money) to give back to the community. She's in her fourth year as president of the Washington International Horse Show (which was in the red until she stepped in), and she has given millions to charity, including UNCE the Martin Luther King Memorial in D.C. ($1 million), Parsons School of Design, where she is a board member ($7 million), and the State University of New York ($1 million).

Johnson also finds time for love, happiness and family. She and Judge Newman will commute between Salamander Farm and a new home in Arlington, Va. "He's the best," she says of her husband. "He's a sweetheart." She goes on to tell how her new hubby was the first African-American elected to the Arlington County Board since Reconstruction (1987), and that he resigned to accept an appointment to the bench. "He's truly the warmest and most wonderful man in the world," she says. "He's got a good moral compass."

And he has a great woman by his side, one with class, style and much love.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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