Bachelors and Belles
As he has before, William Howard Thompson, father of a debutante of last year, stepped forward as master of ceremonies at the 76th annual presentation of the Bachelors’ Club of New Orleans. It was held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, commencing with a cocktail party in the Waterbury Ballroom. There, The New Orleans Banjos + 2 played, taste treats ranging from garden vegetables to mini muffalettas, and club President Cooper Johnston’s toast to the presentees and their parents filled the bill. As a momento, the debutantes received India Stewart-designed pins with the crest of the Bachelors’ Club.
Then, it was on to the Grand Ballroom, where Paul Norman of Thibodaux Flowers provided the staging. At the entrance of the ballroom, the club’s crest was displayed. The presentation stage had red and gold (the club’s colors) draperies with American and City of New Orleans flags. Steve Baker of Ambrose Garden Florists was credited with flowers and decorations, including the debutantes’ nosegays of red roses and the table décor of gilded branches in iridescent containers.
For the lovely processing, the debs and their escorts circled the floor, where President Johnston awaited to assist them in a curtsy to their mothers and the audience. When the entire lovely lot was assembled on stage, the officers bowed to them; the debs then responded with a group curtsy. The first dance, “The Way You Look Tonight,” was reserved for the debs and their escorts, while the second was a father-daughter dance to “My Girl.”
The first debutante to appear was Miss Claire Alexandra Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Pankey Adams III, and escorted by Mr. Trevor William Thompson. Then came Misses Sedley Hayward Clark, stepdaughter and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bradley Oxford and daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Christopher Clark, and escorted by Mr. Joseph Ryan Acomb; Ara Alexandra Ellison, daughter of Mr. William C. Ellison and Dr. Felicia A. Rabito, and escorted by Mr. Jake Joseph Weinstock; Corinne Adele Guillot, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jacques Louis Guillot, and escorted by Mr. Michael Oliver Provosty Jr., her uncle; Aimee Druilhet Lapeyre, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Henri Lapeyre III, and escorted by Mr. William Brennan Davis; Sarah Ehret Martin, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Joseph Martin III, and escorted by Mr. Martin IV, her brother; and Leslie Anne Richmond McConnell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Blake Barnhill McConnell (Dr. Susan Leslie Favrot McLellan), and escorted by Mr. Wayne George Zeringue III.
And, Misses Alison Marie Mikes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Joseph Mikes, and escorted by Mr. Kenneth James Taylor; Ashley Elizabeth Pou, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Paul Pou, and escorted by Mr. Conor Thomas Lutkewitte; Adley Claire Schmid, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Woolf Schmid, and escorted by Mr. Patrick James Kiernan; Isabelle LaPlace Shall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David LaPlace Shall, and escorted by Mr. Patrick Lighfoot Caliva; Torre Aitken Sossaman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Patrick Sossaman, and escorted by Mr. Michael Robert Carson Riess Jr.; Meredith Anita Tufton, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Michael Tufton, and escorted by Dr. Michael Hughes Tufton, her brother; and Grace Foley Williamson, daughter of Mr. Stephen Lyan Williamson and Ms. Lynn Marie Luker, and escorted by Mr. Christopher Marak Riess.
In addition to the above emcee Howard Thompson, several past Bachelors’ Club presidents were in attendance: Paul Dufour, Clay Bland, Will Alpaugh, Harlan Schwartz and Jean Paul Lagarde, whose bachelor days are numbered. When Jean Paul was president, he met Tricia Alexander, who was presented. Now they have a June wedding date planned. She joined him at the most recent event as his fiancée.
Revving up the revelry was the band, Az-Izz, which was a big hit with at least two generations at the presentation. Scores hit the dance floor to show their Az-Izz appreciation.
Formed in 1964, the Bienville Club was named for the founder of New Orleans, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville. On a fairly recent evening, the 49th club president, Mr. James C. Wilbert, welcomed all members and guests to the annual President’s Ball. He and ball Chairman Benjamin W. Janke were accompanied by their respective wives, Kathleen and Elizabeth.
Making their formal bows at the New Orleans Country Club were 17 sub-debs, starting with Miss Claire Elizabeth Bermudez, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Adam Bermudez. Then came Misses Katherine Michelle Bickham, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Andrew Bickham; Margot Louise Childs, daughter of Mr. Scott Childs and Mrs. Suzanne Burns Childs, and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ogden Collins Sr., and escorted by Mr. Collins; and Emma Marks Conroy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kenneth Conroy.
And, Miss Juby Adair de la Houssaye, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Michael de la Houssaye; Shea Hodges Duckworth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Shea Duckworth; Emily Elizabeth Frischhertz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin James Frischhertz; Isabel Catherine Gibson, daughter of Mr. Charles Michael Gibson and Ms. Nicole A. Chauppette; and Madeleine DeHaven Landry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Scott Landry.
Also, Misses Lauren Lee Paysse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rene Sylvain Paysse Jr.; Chloe Margaret Pelitere, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ludovic Pelitere; Paris Kelly Reso, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick K. Reso, and granddaughter of Mr. Jerome John Reso Jr., her escort; Amanda Elizabeth Reso, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Reso, and granddaughter of the above Mr. Jerome John Reso, her escort; and Jessica Carter Schaumburg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Holden Schaumburg.
The final threesome were Misses Elizabeth Colon Toso, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Joseph Toso III; Katherine Elizabeth Verlander, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Gordon Verlander; and Sarah Grace Young, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Leslie Young. With the exception of Misses Childs, Paris Reso and Amanda Reso, the young ladies were escorted by their fathers. Warm applause capped the presentation.
Thibodeaux’s Flowers provided the small red rose bouquets for the presentees, while escorts, Bienville Club board members, past presidents and committeemen wore red boutonnieres. White hydrangeas, green spider mums, and seeded eucalyptus decorated the individual tables.
Before the presentation, the sub-debs, their escorts, and their families mingled at a reception given by the above Bienville Club President James Wilbert in the Founder’s Room of the country club. At that time, the president and the Presentation Committee ceremoniously gave scrolls and gifts – sterling silver engraved Bienville Club pendants – to the 17 young ladies.
Music, as always played a delightful role in the evening’s joyful gallivanting. Setting the pace was the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.
Around and About
Several days after her curtsy at the Bachelors’ Club, Leslie McConnell was honored at a three-generational luncheon in the Founder’s Room of the New Orleans Country Club. It was given by Elsebeth Fenner, Martha Flanders, Winx McCarthy, Ann Mentz, Helene Rufty, Carroll Soper and Norris Williams.
A beautiful day, with views overlooking the club’s ancient oak tree, complemented the luncheon’s levity.
Two recent weddings, among many, drew best of wishes. The Very Rev. Dr. Jean McCurdy Meade, who has just retired as the rector of Mount Olivet Episcopal Church, exchanged vows with Frederick “Rick” Llewelyn Thomson III of San Antonio, Jean’s hometown. “We have been friends forever,” said the bride. They will enjoy living in her New Orleans apartment and his homes in San Antonio and Santa Fe.
Holy Name of Jesus Church was the site for the morning nuptials of Miss Irma Rocio Valdiviezo Sosa and Mr. Hector Rodrigo Pineda Pastor. Their respective parents are Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Alberto Valdiviezo and Mr. and Mrs. Hector Gerardo Pineda. The Rev. David Dufour officiated and Cynthia Carolina Michel and Carlos Alberto Joya served, in turn, as matron of honor and best man.