Juleps in June

“There’s a lot of nourishment in an acre of corn,” honoring William Faulkner’s love of good whiskey, underscores the annual Juleps in June event sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. The 2016 bash, which was accompanied by a strong pluvial component, took place at the newly renovated home on Jackson Avenue of Andrea and David Bland, the honorary chaircouple.

Joining the Blands for the event were their architect Sarah Stehli Howell; architect and engineer Ivan Mandich — for a Bland restoration project on Josephine Street now occupied by Gavin and Suzann Rhodes-Harrison from Capetown, South Africa — with wife Dr. Miljana; and house guests Simone and Jim Mets from Princeton, New Jersey.

Literary guests of honor included Carrie and John Gregory Brown, author of “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere”; Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville, “The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition,” and husband Bill DeVille; novelist George Bishop; and Moira Crone, fiction writer, and Rodger Kamenetz, non-fiction writer and poet. Much of their chatter concerned renovations.

Lawyer and bibliophile Joe DeSalvo and designer and author Rosemary James, co-founders of The Faulkner Society, recently completed a “re-renovation” of Faulkner House, their landmark residence on Pirate’s Alley, where Faulkner wrote his first novel.

Still others with recent renovations were Dr. E. Quinn Peeper and Michael Harold, Gregory Morey and Scott James, Pamela Georges, and Anne Pincus, who accompanied society co-founder Kenneth Holditch. Making rounds, too, were Michael Wilkinson, George Mae Jeansonne and Richard, sisters Allie Reese and Tara Loftis (representing mom Karon Reese), and Jimmy and Vicki Lee, who purchased the FS painting done by Grayce DeNoia Bochak. New New Orleanian Jay Sones was joined by Shannon Sharpe, Rivers Spencer, and Guy Feltenstein. All rubbed designer-clad shoulders with Rheba Schlesinger and daughter Susan Rigney, Catherine Whitney, Betsie Gambel and friend Laurel Valentino, Jack Pruitt and Rene Leaumont, spouses Raul Fonte and Helen Flammer, Karen and Ollie Edmunds, and Hayley Lynch with Nick Roquant.

Mastheaders included party Chairman Garner Robinson (unable to attend), whose guests were Alexandra and Sasha Banker and Andy and Brianna Nuffer, and party Co-Chairwoman Angela Bowlin with Martin Robinson. Also, Dr. Megan Holt, Ian Blanchard, Elizabeth Hyman, Jennie Merrill, Diane Chaine, Stacey Balkun, David Baker, Olivia Simkins, John Berner, Alex Johnson, and Judge Joy Lobrano. The One Book, One New Orleans project was a major point of conversation.

Glenn Vatshell, owner and chef of Palate New Orleans, catered with a focus on estival fare. As for drinks, the noted one was the mint julep.

This Must Be ‘Magic’

Felicity Redevelopment Inc.’s Magic in Melpomenia XI is the organization’s annual fundraiser to support the revitalization of the lower St. Charles corridor. A really good party, as well, that combines a significant venue, fine food, an exciting live art auction, and camaraderie. Chairing the most recent ado, which unfolded in the St. John the Baptist Rectory Courtyard on Oretha Castle Hayley Boulevard, were the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Norwood Thompson Jr.

Christel Kelley and Colleen Lusignan provided flowers and greenery from their gardens; Cordell Chambliss & the Jazz Ensemble played; 11 eateries and drinkeries purveyed; and Ruthie Winston was the auctioneer for 21 lots.

Enjoying the al fresco ambiance — and, for many, a visit inside the restored church led by the Rev. Stanley Klores — were FR executive director Elizabeth Burger; Ferdie and Ouida Laudumiey and her siblings, Teddy Martin and Alice Allen (with Nate) – their mom, Louise Martin, is the FR president; FR co-founder Jeanette Bell; and board Treasurer Christel Kelley with Keene. Also, Bonnie Boyd, Steve Clayton, Bill Borah and Sandra Stokes, Vicki and Jimmy Lee, Camille Strachan and children Savannah and Eric, Linda K. Stubbs, Grover and Bitsie Mouton, Theoclecia Bourgeois, Charmaine Baker-Fox, Sonny and Laura Shields, Sally and Bill Reeves, new grandparents Mary Len and Lou Costa, Weezie de la Vergne, Katherine and Tony Gelderman, and MIM XI patron Lyn Tomlinson.

n Fit to Be Bow-Tied

The late Chet Pouciau was always impeccably dressed and most often sporting a bow tie. To remember him and celebrate his life, NO/AIDS Task Force put on “Bow Tie Bash,” a CrescentCare Event, at Il Mercato. Food for Friends, a Task Force program, was the beneficiary.

John J. Sullivan, Chet’s partner, and Chriss Knight, who was joined by husband Lon Nichols (one of the 19 host committee members), starred as honorary co-chairmen. Joel’s Catering fed the flock; DJ Ruth, Jay-Ray & Gee, Robin Barnes & Her Jazz Band, and Reby Rae entertained; and a chair designed by Chet, and “won” by John Schaff, was auctioned.

Present as Pourciau pals were Task Force CEO Noel Twilbeck and Glen Kahrman, Dr. Mit Seiler and Marshall Lee, Ed Marshall, Judge Tiffany Chase, Eddie Bonin and Rene Fransen, Lee Adler, Billy Henry and Kevin Gibson, Rodney Thoulion and RJ Buras, Kim Boyle, Larkin Page, Keith Kimble, Dr. Troy Scroggins, Tim Fields, and Richard Abda.

n Advocacy Friends

All eyes were turned to renowned actress Carol Sutton. So often seen locally on stage, she was cast in another format to deliver a true-life story of a mother of a son with a disability, who became empowered. The “Powerless No More” essay was written by Linda Kocher, a volunteer with the Advocacy Center that serves people with disabilities and senior citizens, and the host organization for the seventh annual Friendraising Luncheon at the Audubon Tea Room. A grilled chicken salad and mini desserts sated the collective appetite of the 175 attendees.

Patricia DeMichele, another volunteer, opened the program and introduced the theme: “Empowerment.” Further program principals were Sutton; AC executive director Lois Simpson, accompanied by Martin; Irene Morrison, AJ Booth, and McKenzie Wells, who participated in a video showing how they benefited from AC’s help; and Rachel Wulff, who asked the moved and supportive assembly for financial assistance.

Other notables were AC board President Reagan Toledano, Dale and Barb Higgins, Joan and Luke Guillory, Dr. Cathy Lazarus, Pamela Fisher of AC with husband Ryan, Rachal Chance, Linda and Robert Kocher, Joey Walker, Anita Gray, Stephanie Campo, Joel Mendler, Susan Gibbens, James Thompson, and Carole Neff.