New Year’s traditions abound. Champagne corks, midnight countdowns, raucous revelry as the old year fades from light and quiet resolutions for the new. My own is more Robert Burns — auld acquaintance and a scrapbook of yellowed newspaper clippings cut out long ago by those before me. So, for the sake of auld lang syne:

There’s one of my father in a basketball jersey, No. 42, “an eagle-eyed guard,” the sportswriter wrote. I'd never have known were it not for newspapers, or that, when even younger, he was on the Whittier School championship baseball team. There’s a photograph of the youngsters, long past yellow and orange with age but still clear. He’s in the bottom right corner. There’s no app for that.

On the back of the clipping is an advertisement for permanent waves at $1.95. “All the curls you could want,” it said. Another clipping is of my grandmother, recently elected as president of the Eighth Street Methodist Church Aid & Mission Society, “Despite the duties attendant upon a housewife and the mother of several little children, Mrs. O.J. Gausman has issued an invitation to meet with her to form plans for Christmas charity work.” Old-fashioned society writing at its best. Beside it, another of her father, the Rev. Christian Moeller, an aged pastor scheduled to speak in German at the age of 90 bearing the hand-written notation, “year of 1921.”

And my mother’s engagement announcement. “Mrs. Zelma McCray of Sayre announces the engagement and approaching marriage of her daughter, Miss Kathleen McCray, to Capt. Willis F. Gausman.” My other grandmother, Zelma, was the antithesis of the one above — silent movie star beautiful, a genuine flapper, she was one of the first women to smoke, a habit she continued religiously during her 96 years until the nursing home refused to allow it. She promptly died.

Happy New Year.


Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.

Symphony Women’s League

Now, here was a holiday party. Laura Myers hosted the Symphony Women’s League at her Settlement home for an elegant cocktail buffet. The outdoors was lit and lovely, while inside, long-stemmed red roses and evergreens adorned the dining room table avec les fromages the hostess prepared herself, and chef Dennis Thibodeaux was ready on the line with bananas Foster alfresco. The well-traveled Thibodeaux has been executive chef in Palm Beach, Florida, and the orange juice for his dish was hand-squeezed from Myers’ own trees. “I’ve gained 25 pounds since he’s been here,” she said. Also taking in some delicious calories: mother-daughter duo Monique Kolder and Bessie Larre, jeweler Dianna Rae and an always-gorgeous Mary Ann Mirian. By the way, the only thing better than the bananas Foster was Thibodeaux’s stand-up.

Edwards Party

Chip and Jennifer Jackson attended Gov. John Bel Edwards and Donna Edwards' annual Christmas party at the mansion. Guests were asked to bring gift cards to help foster care families, and both the governor and first lady posed for photos. Also in attendance were former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and husband Raymond.

Veillon-Thibodeaux Wedding

Following an outdoor wedding at the home of Bill and Tressie Ham, Kim Veillon and Marty Thibodeaux celebrated with an elegant Petroleum Club reception. Both Santa Claus and Cajun musicians welcomed guests curbside, while inside was classic, with a guestbook accompanied by family mementos, a vintage wedding veil and bejeweled Christmas trees. Sinatra singer Spencer Racca and Patsy Bienvenu entertained as well-wishers enjoyed an elaborate wedding cake and turtle soup. Veillon is the owner of It’s a Wrap Flowers by Kim Veillon and Thibodeaux is director of sales for Party Central. The couple will reside in Lafayette.

City Club Social

The place was rockin' when Fête came knockin'. Moss Motors celebrated the season with a Grill Bar cocktail party, complete with dancing, DJ and door prizes for days, including a 1952 Mercedes steering wheel clock for Sharon Moss. A good time was had by all, including Chad Trotti, Mitch Stover, the lovely Sarah Moss, lady in red Cynthia Allen and Jordan Bruno, who was literally the cat’s pajamas, courtesy of Walmart in Broussard. As for Dr. Curtis Roy, like they say, “Never cry over spilt wine.”

Faith House Follies

Purple was a mighty popular color at An Evening of Hope, the Faith House fundraiser and tribute to Prince. Held at the UL Student Union Ballroom, the entertainment featured 10 lip sync teams competing for charity. “They’re doing a whole performance, dancing and lip syncing,” said Faith House director Billi Lacombe. Ticketed guests could also take chances on the Paul’s Champagne Raffle and a 14K gold and topaz pendant, and turning out for the cause were pretty Jessica McGehee, Al and Lisa Lilley, Marcus and Brianna Smith and Jamie Angelle, who synced "When Doves Cry."