Distaff delights came twofold when the Orleans Club held its closing reception, titling it “Daisies and Daiquiris,” and the English-Speaking Union, New Orleans Branch, played host to the Queen’s Brunch at the New Orleans Country Club with “My Fair Lady and Ascot” as the theme. Black and white were the suggested colors, reminiscent of the stunning scene in “My Fair Lady” at the Ascot Racecourse. Hats and gloves were asked, as well, of the ladies, who easily obliged.
Daisies and Daiquiris
Orleans Club president and reception chairwoman, Roxie St. Martin and Linda Tufton, who were joined by husbands Dr. Edward and Dr. Peter, welcomed club members and their guests — each member could invite one guest — to the partying in the impressive clubrooms of the St. Charles Avenue mansion and the adjoining building. As individuals arrived, they received a musical greeting from the Joe Simon Trio located on the front porch.
In keeping with the theme, Sherry McFadden, Sara Wallace, Beth Cook and Bunny Smith arranged the flowers. “Daisy,” historically from “day’s eye,” was nonetheless a nocturnal nicety. Small garden baskets filled with yellow and white daisies graced individual tables around the club. Some baskets were made of twigs, while others were topiary totes: little moss-covered baskets shaped like purses. In the foyer and on the buffet tables were large vintage wicker baskets containing English arrangements of yellow and white daisies, sunflowers, lilies and Louisiana irises for floral cheerfulness.
Noted, too, as club mastheaders were first and second Vice Presidents Cynthia Bassich and Susan Kartzke, respective chairwomen of Programs and Summer Programs; Treasurer Diana Earhart; a secretary threesome in Margaret Kessels (financial), Marilyn Aiken (recording) with Dr. David, and Ann Middleton (corresponding); and President-elect Betty Davidson with Tom. Board members included Kathy Determan, Kay McArdle and Ann Swayze, Donna Flower with niece Lilla Wright, Brenda Moffitt with Michael, Elizabeth Wagner with Emile, and Kathy Youngberg with Philip.
As did the “D & D” dozens, they relished the menu. Waiters passed delectable treats, such as crab and shrimp in phyllo cups, fried oysters, lamb lollipops, and fried artichokes with goat cheese. Cold and hot displays beckoned to the buffet, while a brace of stations, one for beef tenderloin and another for desserts (bananas Foster and mini cupcakes), added more pleasurable enticements.
Socializing occurred around the premises, including outside on the front porch or behind on the pocket verandah. Conversation and tasty libations, especially the signature Orleans Club peach daiquiris, added to the pleasant scene.
Noted, too, as committee principals were Ann Colfry, reception vice chairwoman with Dr. Al, Libby Adams with Mark, Jane Davis with Dr. William, Marli Davis and Elise Orr, Cindy Ellington with Stan, Diana Jones with Dr. Bob, the above Sherry McFadden with Hunter, and Louise Schaefer with Gary. They, in turn, mingled with Brenda Bethea with Dr. Mo, Helene Tebo and Lynn McClave, Edna Colton (making rounds in deb circles as a great-grandmother) and, with Harry, Clare Stahel, the incoming president of Amici. It’s the support group for the National Council Auditions, Gulf Coast Region, of the Metropolitan Opera.
One of the Orleans Club’s ongoing features is the informative series of talks by notables within the community. In the summer, the programs begin at 11 a.m. with many members staying for lunch. Most often the guest speaker joins the club’s dignitaries at the main table in the dining room.
A manifestation of music opened Summer Programs with the appearance of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Woodwind Trio consisting of Jane Gabka, Heather Yarmil and Michael Matushek. Then came Tulane School of Architecture geographer and author (“Bourbon Street: A History”) Richard Campanella, landscape architect Tom Wolfe, and The Advocate cartoonist Walt Handelsman. Up now are Mark Romig, CEO of New Orleans Marketing Corp., and Kim Priez, vice president of tourism, New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who will be followed by Richard Sexton, photographer and author of “Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere.” As an exhibit, and running through Dec. 7, “Creole World” is on display at The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art. Closing out Summer Programs will be assistant U.S. attorney Matthew Coman and, the appropriately surnamed licensed horticulturist and florist, Marguerite Charbonnet Green.
Happy Birthday, Your Majesty
On June 14, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 88th birthday at the Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London. The natal day (which, in truth, occurs on April 21) enjoyed more festive facets that were further enjoyed by Her Majesty’s husband, Prince Philip, and their family.
In the Crescent City, the ESU Queen’s Brunch called attention to her recent celebrations and to the connections between Great Britain and the Unites States. Anthems were sung, toasts were made (with Bonnie Boyd, joined by John, delivering the one to the president of the United States), and attendance was increased by ESU individuals from away, who assisted, along with New Orleans branch representatives, at the recent Region VII annual meeting, which unfolded in the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel. Among them were out-of-towners Christopher “Chris” Broadwell, ESU United States executive director (and hailing from New York), along with Edward Mohylowski, Charles A. Jackson, Judge James “Jim” Kerr, Ruth Mader, William and Minnie Caruth, Wayne and Ellanor Maddox, Frances Conkling, and Beth Roberts.
James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr. OBE, honorary consul general of the United Kingdom in Louisiana, was not able to attend, but sent a letter wishing success for the regional meeting along with his acknowledgements. Closer to home, as well, were ESU New Orleans Branch President F. David Grissett and spouse Shauna, the luncheon chairwoman; immediate past President Dr. E. Quinn Peeper, who is now the National ESU president, with Michael Harold — after the brunch, they traveled to the United Kingdom to see sites and chums; and first branch President Walker Ronaldson. Also, branch Treasurer Beth Goddard, who succeeds Keene Kelley, the recipient of thanks galore; and Hat Contest winner of 2013, Elaine Grundmeyer, who was joined by husband Douglas and their daughter and son-in-law Damien and Sarah Abrusley. Elaine helped judge this year’s contest, which had Nancy Claypool beaming as the winner and Julie Jardine as Best Ensemble.
To embellish the “Ascot” ado, which featured the musical jauntiness of The Last Straws, there were potted palms, trellises with bougainvillea, and centerpieces of black lace and white ribbon bows, feathers, white hydrangeas, and “closed” peonies that one guest described as looking like little puffy white clouds. In sartorial compliance, many of the men wore white linen suits.
Brunch fare, finished with bread pudding, and hearty conversation were to the fore. So were recollections of recent ESU talks, such as “Up Close and Personal with a Member of Parliament” by Nicholas Bennett JP at Ralph’s on the Park. Together with the Royal Oak Foundation, the New Orleans ESU branch limelighted Anne de Courcy during an illustrated lecture and book-signing at Longue Vue House & Gardens. All smiled at her book’s title: “The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj.”
Around and About
Auseklis Ozols and Rolland Golden (with Stella) were among the featured artists who attended the opening reception for “Drawn: Exploring the Line” at the Garden District Gallery. Also sighted among the 11 whose work was on display were Mamie Gasperecz with son Jackson, Courtney-Anne Sarpy chatting with Marcelle Saussy, Bob and Sharon Weilbaecher, Al Gooch and Karen Reily, Joe Tucker, Mary Reidy, Carroll Gelderman (whose granddaughter, Carol, was queen of Carnival on March 4), and (a solo) Bob Carr, who, with Jan, just took an extensive cruise.
“Cheers and Tears” bannered the invitation extended by Jerry and Francine Siegel (she’s the actress/educator) for an open-house farewell to their home of many years. They are moving to chic condo digs. For their goodbye partying, the Siegels served Dat Dogs, champagne and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Sentiment, too.
Another farewell fete (coupled with sentiment) was to Consul General of France Jean-Claude Brunet and spouse Muriel, who, as a diplomat family, will be moving on to another post in Munich with their three children. The “au revoir” ado (no doubt, the first of several) was spearheaded by Council of French Societies Secretary Cecile Andry and unfolded at David Villarrubia’s Degas House. (David was just noted Thursday night at New Orleans Magazine’s Hobnobber event at The Hotel Modern at Lee Circle.) “Bon voyage” to the Brunets was a constant refrain.