Fetes for Fall

A Titanic Tout

Thirty-two years ago in May, a group of 16 men, including Kendall Bossier, Lucien Gauff and the late Blaise Duhe and Kenneth Leary Sr., all had one thing in mind, The Titans. It was formed for fraternizing and goodwill, thanks to a charter filled and recorded in the secretary of state’s office in July of 1985, and, in October of that year, corporate existence began and the group officially became “The Titans of Greater New Orleans, Inc.” Eighteen members are now on the roster.

Their name recalls the deities in Greek mythology, who preceded the Olympians (Zeus and company). Area Titans members affix certain mythological names to theirs at their celebrations. At the most recent one, the 30th annual Titans dance at the Jefferson Orleans South, master of ceremonies Norman Robinson presented the history of the Titans, as well as the roll call or Call Out of the members.

Officers include President Walter J. Robinson Sr., who was accompanied by wife Brenda; Vice President Anthony Wayne Richard, who was solo — his wife, Margaret, (along with others) was not able to join him because of a change of date; business manager and ball Chairman Leodis “Beau” Brown with Valencia Tanner; financial Secretary Kim T. DeLarge Sr. with Bettye; Treasurer Wayne M. DeLarge with Marie; recording Secretary Gregory B. McKnight with Penny; and chaplain/co-founder Kendall Bossier with Carolyn. Absent were parliamentarian James Moore and spouse Shaundra.

The Call Out roster continued with Wayne P. Baudy Sr. with Lorraine, Raymond C. Brown with Deyonko, Willard Dumas Jr. with Karen, Lucien Gauff Jr. with Pat Wallace, Wilmer Jacobs with Pat, toastmaster Judge Kern Reese (Dottie was not able to attend), and Joseph Relf Jr. with Jaune Thomas. In absentia were members Walter Glapion and Paul C. Mitchell Jr., whose wives are Kathy and Donna.

The last one called out by emcee Robinson was the president, Walter J. Robinson Sr. Afterward, the members danced to their theme song, “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Among the evening’s features were the pretty floral centerpieces; the food prepared by the venue, such as crab canapes, fried fish, shrimp and chicken, and crab and corn soup; and the musical entertainment by the 4 x 4 Band. That’s Clark Knighten and headliners Rachell Cook and Big Frank and Little Frank. Titans and guests flocked to take turns on the dance floor to “At Last,” “Misty,” “Baby I Love You,” “Mr. Magic” and the always popular “Proud Mary” that gets everybody revved up.

Types of dancing were line (“Electric Slide”), swing out and “boogies down.” One of the bash’s many highlights was the Titans’ second line. True jubilation ensued as they lined up for it, asking their guests to join the fun. But then, that’s what friends are for.

Fete du Jardin

The Pitot House on Bayou St. John’s Moss Street was the site for a Sunday soiree, thanks to the Louisiana Landmarks Society and its Fete du Jardin at The Pitot House. The “Jazz in the Garden” feature of the al fresco fun celebrated the 100TH anniversary of “the First Jazz Recording,” which was titled “Livery Stable Blues.” Music for the socializing was by the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, just back from a European tour.

Patrons were Baptist Community Ministries Foundation and Friend of Louisiana Landmarks Society in the top donor category, Premier Etage; Friends of Louisiana Landmarks Society in the second, Gallery; and, in Loggia, the third one, Abry Brothers Inc., Dorian Bennett, William E. “Bill” Borah (who, during the ceremony, was recognized in memoriam for his contribution and his dedication to preservation and his achievements therein), Friend of LLS, Gulf Coast Bank, Landis Construction Co., LLC, Elizabeth and James Landis, Louise and Ted Martin, Ann M. Masson, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Sandy Rosenthal, Frederick Starr, and Trapolin Peer Architects.

Mastheaders included LLS President Sandra L. Stokes, LLS executive director Carol Gniady and house coordinator Amanda Duhon. Society officers include Michael Duplantier, James R. Logan IV, Louis McFaul, R. Stephen Chauvin, Nathan Lott and Hillary Somerville Irvin. Most all attended, as did those from the trustee ranks of Chuck Berg, Mamie Gasperecz, Amanda McFillen, T. Gordon McLeod, Howard W. Mielke, Tommy Milliner, Jerry Pepper, Sally Reeves, Mary Price Robinson, Robin Ruiz and Drew Stewart.

Two top names to know were Alice Allen and Kelley Gill, Fete co-chairwomen, who were roundly supported by such family members as Lynne and Ward A. Howard. Praise targeted the chairing duo for their work and organization.

Food stations allowed for casual meandering and conversation. When guests gathered at tables, they noticed the centerpieces of crystal vases filled with rolled-up music scores (again celebrating the first jazz recording’s 100th anniversary), daisies and touches of blue. A tent housed the formalities that commenced at 5:40. At that time, Sandra Stokes moved forward to recognize the event’s honoree, Patricia H. Gay, who is called Patty and was joined by artist/musician George Schmidt. Patty, was honored “for her Lifetime Contribution to Historic Preservation” and, as said by Stokes, “changed the approach to preservation.” (For decades, the honoree was the executive director of the Preservation Resource Center.) Smiling as she accepted her award, Gay then looked at the admiring crowd and remarked, “There is still a lot more to do.”

A Good Sport

“A Faith in the Future. A Belief in Action.” Underscored the recent luncheon of the National Council of Jewish Women Greater New Orleans Section that took place at the New Orleans Marriott with 220 attendees and honored Kim Sport as the Hannah G. Solomon Award recipient. Joining her were husband Mike, and as kin and kith, Toni and Freddie Cosey, Rene and Gary Alonzo, Jo Schernbeck, Marni DeMelo, Jenna Willard, and, all Fausts, Gwen and Donny, Hunter, Sport, Dylan and Delaney. And, Valerie Willard, Dr. Frank and Janet DellaCroce, Charmaine and Rod Caccioppi, Tim Madden, Dr. Eliana Soto, Kathy Johnson, PK Scheerle, Madeleine Landrieu, Madalyn Schenk, Leon Cannizzaro with daughter Laura Rodrigue, Carol Wise, Barbara Turner Windhorst, Davey Foto, Helena Moreno, Mary Claire Landry, Joy Lobrano, and Buck Landry.

A retired lawyer, who is now known for her work with "breastoration," education, children’s rights and legislative change in domestic violence issues, Kim was visibly moved when she stepped forward to receive her tribute. (Annie LaRock gave her a Kleenex.) She thanked the NCJW, which she described as “powerful and respected,” and finished with “Today, I feel exactly as Hannah G. Solomon must have felt — honored to be a part of the NCJW family and surrounded by ... loved ones.”

Barbara Kaplinsky (with Mark) NCJW GNOS president, opened the formalities with words of welcome; Rabbi Deborah Silver of Shir Chadash gave the hamotzi, the blessing; lunch was served; four presenters, Windhorst, Madden, Dellacroce, Caccioppi, spoke on behalf of Sport; and award selection committee Chairwoman Mimi Schlesinger (with Claude) presented the Solomon Award. More top names were luncheon committee Chairwoman Sue Singer, NCJW Vice President Sarah Covert, and the committee of Barbara Bresler, Vivian Cahn, Millie Davis Kohn, Joyce Pulitzer, Loel Weil Samuel, Dana Shepherd, Kathy Shepard, Ann Thompson and Liz Yager. Noted, too, was Ana Gershanik, the Solomon co-honoree with husband Juan in 2016.