Four for Fun

Fine festive friends were announced in script on the Tim Trapolin-designed invitation that depicted fine feathered “friends,” in the form of several types of birds against a bosky background that was punctuated with Chinese lanterns. And with this avian nod, the party at the New Orleans Country Club that honored debutantes Scott, Ellie, Maddy and Lane, all former schoolmates, took “flight.”

Scripted on the invitation were the formal names of the debs: Patricia McCarthy Beron, who answers to Scout; Ellen Durel George, Ellie; Madeleine Moret Livaudais, Maddy (and the first cousin of Ellie); and Lane Claire Porter, Lane. They are the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edouard Beron, Wendy and Thomas; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Nicholas George, Julie and Ted; Mr. and Mrs. Marc Moret Livaudais, Kay and Marc; and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darden Porter, Claire and Chip.

Joining the related Livaudais-George families were the brother of Julie (nee Livaudais) George and Marc Livaudais, Durel Livaudais, along with his wife, Laura, and their daughters, Margaret and Grace. They traveled in from away, as did some of the subsequent guests.

Noted, too, were Ellie’s brother, Will George, along with Chipley and Drew Booth, Anne and Paul Gillin, Nancy and Stephen Hales, Cynthia and Tad Jones, Alston Kerr, Bonnie McCullar with son Connor, Anne and Edmund Redd, Karen Shachat with daughter Sarah and son Andrew, Suzie and Lee Terrell, the above Tim Trapolin, and with their daughters, Amy and Chuck Lapeyre with Becca, Shannon and Eric Holtzman with Carolyn, and Suzanne and Michael Brown with Margaret.

Brothers Robert and Charlie Livaudais joined deb sister Maddy, as did grandmother Bobby Breaux, Kathleen and Terry White, Katie and Shaun Rafferty, Ann and Kevin Rafferty, Helen and Brooks Gibert, Christa and Chris Montgomery, Christina Sours, Maddy Livingston, Parker LeCorgne, Christoffer Friend, Rick Cohen, and Phyllis Cohen.

At 7 p.m., a reception launched the levity, along with waiters holding trays with glasses of Champagne. Immediately the collective eye beheld decorations of Chinese lanterns, repeating those drawn on the invitation. Further decorative touches were the different floral designs for each room. Particularly creative were the floral “ice cream sundaes” in the ice cream parlor-dessert room and the “wisteria trees” in the main dining room. Above the reception room’s mantelpiece were stunning apricot roses with similar-color amaryllis.

Greens, citrus and gourds embellished the food tables, linens of different colors appeared in each room, and party-favor koozies matched the Chinese lanterns. Reaping thanks for organization and décor were Leslie Campbell (Baton Rouge), Steve Baker of Ambrose Garden, Patti Constantin, Jim Perrier, and Sally Suthon of Marketability. Artist Alex Harvie created an oil painting of the party in progress – garnering lots of attention – and agreed to repeat three more in his studio, one for each honoree.

Adding sartorial “decoration” were the four moms and their daughters. Wendy and Scout were outfitted in dresses by Carmen Marc Valvo and Parker; Julie and Ellie, in designs by Armani and Alice and Olivia; Kay and Maddy, in Yoana Baraschi and Sachin and Babi; and Claire and Lane, in Catherine Deare and Theia.

Among the many admiring them were part of the Beron brigade, which included deb grandparents Winx and Jim McCarthy and Elise Beron, along with Patti McCarthy, Shaun and Paige McCarthy, Megan and Bill Nelson with Callie, Moira and Frank Taylor, Mason and Kristi McCarthy with Emma, Larry Beron and Pat Kurzweg, and Robbie and Katherine Saer with Matthew, Hayes and Lily. And, Noel and Maria Johnson, Debbie Aschaffenburg, Bert and Meme Wilson with Caroline and Mariann, Katie and Howell Crosby with Tac, Tippins (Gandy) and Billy, and, likewise, Kitty and Hookie Jackson with their threesome: Isabel, Caffery and Richmond.

They made rounds, along with countless others, to the food stations where boiled shrimp, crabmeat ravigote, fried oysters, carved tenderloin, salad, and desserts pleased the palate.

Heading in the same directions were the Porter pack, consisting of deb sister Whit Porter, deb grandparents Gayle and Victor Mavar, Victor Mavar Jr., Geoffrey Mavar, Liz and Art Spratlin, Connor Fagan and Kirsten Ford, Word and Bill Backstrom, Mary Ann VanMeter and Earl Frishman, Virginia Boulet and Alvin Albe, Richie and Gabby Gray, Debbie and Eric Skrmetta, Patricia and Mark Fullmer, Carolyn Chandler, and Debbie and Skip Holman.

For hours, the several-generational bonhomie abounded. After the “older” attendees departed, the deb set continued the revels, fueled by sliders, small grilled-cheese sandwiches, and fries.

So nourished, they rollicked on the dance floor to The Atlanta Showstoppers, who played nonstop for three hours, filling the floor. “Shake It Off,” a hit by Taylor Swift, lured the honored quartet to the stage for spirited singing and dancing. Within the crowd, all hailed Scout, Ellie, Maddy and Lane.

A ‘Boot’ of a Time

“Boot Scootin’ Brunch” bannered the party at the Orleans Club earlier that Saturday honoring debutante Marylynn Beatrice Smitherman, who, along with her parents and brother, hails from Fort Worth (and is now a student at LSU). Hence the Texas theme with the flag of the Lone Star State flying over the clubhouse.

The thematic brunch was given by her mom and dad, Lois and John Smitherman, grandparents Marylin and Buddy Watkins, and her recently deceased aunt, Lynn Watkins, Lois’s identical twin sister. A lover of family, parties and Carnival, Lynn delighted in being a part of her niece’s “big day” and welcomed a host of friends. Ill for quite a while, she died six days later.

The décor was planned as “rustic Western” and created by Meade Wenzel with wild flowers, cowboy-print burlap, suede barbed wire and jute on the tables, and red bandanas. Boots and jeans were the encouraged attire – cowboy hats, too – and the hosting family turned out in style. Deb mom Lois’s hand-painted, suede fringe shawl and Marylynn’s studded fringe skirt were by Patricia Wolf of Smithville, Texas; John wore a silver bolo tie and buckle by Navajo artist Danny Romero; Lynn sported a Scully suede jacket (as did Marylynn); and grandmother Marylin Watkins turned out in a suede ensemble by Char of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The chow was a special treat with, as some of the passed items, sugared pecan bacon, which had folks coming back for more. And more. Mini corn dogs, guacamole, Tex-Mex migas, beer-braised short ribs, fresh fruit, and thematic cookies filled the plates. Passed churros produced another set of eager eaters.

Then there was the music. On the front porch, and later in the main parlor, Julio and Cesar entertained mariachi-style, while a Texas swing band from Dallas, “Shoot Low Sheriff” invited dancing. Guests were thrilled that they could still have conversations near the not-too-loud band.

Having a “Boot” of a time (and in many cases so shod) were deb brother Eben Smitherman, Tommy Westervelt, Texans Lora and Abby Jones, George Brower, Lindsey and Brad Beard, a Brennan threesome in Leslie and Richard and Sara, Susie and Oliver Delery, Patrice and Bret Clesi, Renee and Will Hodges with Katherine, Sally and George Irvine with Isabel, Kitty Jackson and Isabel, Eddie and Beth Dienes, Lydia and Blair Scanlon, Reid Bergin, and dozens more, who made Texas their tout.