The Debutante Club
Miss Charlotte Lane Langenstein, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Langenstein III, surveyed the room of radiant debutantes in the Founder’s Room of the New Orleans Country Club prior to addressing them in her role as the club’s president. She called for a champagne toast to the bevy of beauties before they were officially presented. Called Laney, she was among those presented last year, following in the Debutante Club footsteps of her mother and maternal grandmother. Months later, on Feb. 15, she reigned as queen of Carnival.
With the exception of Laney, who donned a plum-colored Monique Lhuillier gown, the new coterie wore lovely white dresses, accessorized by long white kid gloves. They held beribboned bouquets of pink posies.
The first of the 17 debutantes to appear — 19 are new members, but two were abroad and unable to be present — was Miss Hailey Simmons Becker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Francis Becker Jr. Following her were 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; Sophie Monrose Curtis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thach Curtis Jr.; Alexandra Bedsole Demmas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Bartlett Demmas; Elizabeth Brooks Ellinghausen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Ellinghausen III; Sara Layne Gambel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Joseph Gambel; Gladys Grace Gille and Lucile Rose Gille, twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Jennings Gille; Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Waterhouse Goodyear IV; and Corinne Adele Guillot, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Jacques Louis Guillot.
And, Misses Isabella Slatten Healy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hyde Dunbar Healy; Katherine Elise Johnsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rolf Christian Johnsen; Sarah Marie Favrot McLellan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Richmond McLellan; Shelby Heath Sharp Meckstrioth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Alan Meckstroth; Emily Louise Eble Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert James Nelson IV; Lily Reiss Saer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hayes Saer; and Rosemary Conrad Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John McDuffie Turner Jr.
Each young lady was presented by her father, with the exception of Miss Clark, who was presented by her stepfather, Mr. Oxford.
Led by Miss Langenstein who stood in front of them facing the audience, the stage-assembled debutantes, curtsied in unison at the presentation’s conclusion. Rollicking music then followed.
Unable to participate, but included as new Debutante Club members, were Misses Ruth Marie Nairne Landry and Elizabeth Hayne Rudolf, whose respective parents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael Dodt Landry and Mr. and Mrs. William Bailey Rudolf.
A two-tiered black stage with a royal blue backdrop centered by the club’s crest (repeated on the invitations and napkins) and planters flicked with tiny white lights and holding colorful flowers embellished the country club’s ballroom. Audience chairs were quickly removed after the presentation for general milling and later dancing.
In capacious rooms flanking the ballroom, families and close friends of the debutantes sat for the pleasures of a buffet breakfast. The tables were decorated with round ivy topiaries bedecked with gold ribbons and small gold balls.
Then it was time to dance. The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra beckoned and everyone had a blast. “The music was just great,” said Corinne “Coco” Guillot the the following day. “We were all dancing.”
Long white gowns were donned the following evening by the eight sub-debs presented at the ball of the Society of the Founders of the City of New Orleans. The Metairie Country Club, in all of its seasonal finery, was the site. Just before they caught the figurative spotlight, the presentees were toasted by society President Ms. Joyce Delery. They were then represented by Miss Caroline Margaret Lebeuf, who thanked the organization and offered a toast.
In the ballroom, Presentation Ball Chairwoman Marie Soniat McKay, who was in attendance with husband Judge James F. McKay III, introduced the above president. As mistress of ceremonies, Mrs. McKay welcomed the guests in both French and English and then, as each young lady processed, read a historical excerpt about the ancestor and that person’s contributions to the city in its early years.
The demoiselles, their parents, family representatives in the society, and their ancestors were Misses Megan Elizabeth Campbell — Mr. Michael Raymond Campbell and Ms. Sheri Sausse, uncle Mr. Jacques Doak Walker, and ancestor Don Martin Antonio Felix Navarro; Emily Marie Gonzales — Mr. and Mrs. John Malcolm Gonzales II, grandfather Mr. John Malcolm Gonzales, and ancestor Pierre Durocher; Margaret Keenan Larmann — Mr. and Mrs. Kevin O’Haire Larmann, grandfather Mr. Laurence Emig Larmann, and ancestor Marie Madeline Rouge Burat Negrier.
Also, the above Miss Lebeuf — Mr. and Mrs. Paul Nelvil Lebeuf, aunt Miss Marie Adele “Mimi” Lebeuf, and ancestor Michel Fortier I; and Misses Eva Marie Prados — Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Edward Prados, grandfather Mr. Wilfred Olivier Prados Jr., and ancestor Pierre Francois Marie Olivier de Vezin; and Hannah Jardine Robichaux — Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Joseph Robichaux III (the latter is her stepmother) and Mrs. Carol Ann Jardine Robichaux, grandmother Mrs. Marjorie Meryl Hardy DeBoisblanc, and ancestor Pierre Hardy DeBoisblanc.
The final duo were Misses Madelynn Adrianne Robichaux — Col. Peter C. Robichaux, USAF, Retired, and Mrs. Susan Robichaux, grandmother the above Mrs. Deboisblanc, and ancestor the above Mr. DeBoisblanc; and Amanda Renee Simon Rouquette – Mr. Henry Philip Rouquette Jr. and Ms. Alanna Renee Kern, and ancestor Pierre Antoine Bienvenu.
The presentees, who carried nosegays of yellow roses and wore a medallion with the crest of the society, enjoyed the first dance with their escorts. Moments later, the floor was opened for general dancing. Bouquets of seasonal colors by Meade Wenzel decorated the ballroom.
Enjoying all aspects of the delightful fall evening were immediate past President John Tarlton Olivier and spouse Terry, genealogist Angelle Baudier, Barry and Teri Delery, Donna and Bryan Reuter, Amie and Richard Seba, the Jacques Walkers, Mrs. Wilfred Prados Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Wilfred O. Prados III, the Paul Wattignys and others, who relished the late-night breakfast and the exciting sounds of Jimmy Maxwell.
Around and About
Wedding bells rang for engineers Tricia Middleton and John Draminski, who met at Virginia Tech and exchanged vows at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church. Home for the couple is San Diego.
Prior to their nuptials, many friends entertained for them. Thanks aplenty went to Naomi Mann, Mara Coiron, Melinda de la Vergne, Cindy Woessner, Lois Comeaix, and Jackie Cawthon; Elizabeth and David Woolverton, Libby and Mark Adams, Nancy and Bros Adams, Marilyn and David Aiken, and Elizabeth and John Ryan; spouses Dee Dee Zink and Robert Becnel; and, for the bridesmaids’ luncheon, hostess Susan McIntyre. The send-off brunch was at the home of Lisa Sinders with hosts Jennifer and Tanker St. Paul, Julie Philippart and Paula and Gregg Isenmann; and Kay McArdle and Ann Y. Swayze prepared the welcome kits. Beaming all the while was the bride’s proud mother, Ann Middleton.
Anticipating Noël, the John D. Becker family rounded up their nearest and dearest (and then some) to their Jaywood Farm II in Picayune, Mississippi, for an Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree Cutting Party. Lunch, hayrides and guided horseback rides for the children were extra treats.
Further holiday hobnobbing was “Gathering of Friends” given by Pat Denechaud and Regan Forrester for their gal pals at the Orleans Club.
And “Happy Birthday” was sung with glee after a host of tributes at Lambeth House’s 12th floor event room for Dr. Dabney Minor Ewin, a new nonagenarian, a preventive medicine physician and hypnotherapist, and author. Titled “Life’s a Cakewalk!”, the party was hosted by his children and their spouses: Ann and Dabney Ewin, Kelly Ann and Chris Ewin, Connie and Peter Commette and Leila and Ken Conner.