Neither wind, nor rain, nor Hurricane Gustav can stop the course of true love.
The elegant Trinity Church ceremony and Orleans Club reception of E.Lee Jahncke and Jason Mead morphed into a barefoot-on-the-beach event. The pair exchanged vows in Grayton Beach, Fla., surrounded by family and a few evacuees who happened to be in the area on September 6. The sun set for the ceremony and a
crescent moon hung over the impromptu reception. As for the rest, Tommy Jahncke’s e-mail stated “Formal stuff in N.O. to be rescheduled after hurricane season.”

Emily Hicks and fiancé Stephen Maggart are planning their wedding – but avoiding hurricane season and hurricane country. The duo lit up the sendoff of Vanderbilt “Commodores” in New Orleans. We can’t say, “Took the spotlight” because when Darryl and Louellen Berger, Darryl Jr. and wife Corinne throw open their doors there’s no taking center stage from this family. “The Darryls” were all smiles receiving congratulations on the acquisition of the Royal Orleans Hotel. So good to have it back in the hands of locals.

Speaking of locals, more than a few have booked flights for New York City on January 15 for “Jazzing in January,” a sort of “NYC loves New Orleans and the Preservation Resource Center” event. It will take place in the Hearst Tower where the fashionable folks from Town & Country, Oprah, Harper’s Bazaar, Veranda and House Beautiful will take escalators amid glass brick waterfalls and the dazzling effects of architect Norman Foster’s crenelated glass structure. Emeril Lagasse will be dishing it up with New York’s Daniel Boulud; Cafe Adelaide sets up its Swizzle Stick bar; Allan Toussaint and Ingrid Lucia are among the entertainers. The event at which the PRC honors Cathie Black, Hearst Magazines President, is timed to bring New Orleanians to NYC to party, hit the Winter Antiques Show, the opera and get a little use of their furs and cashmeres (not to mention Christmas gift jewelry). PRC honcho Patty Gay says, “Party shoes are in order!”

Closer to home, the PRC and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles Magazine hosted the Inaugural Renaissance Awards & Heritage Club Luncheon at the Audubon Tea room where Joseph P. Riley Jr., Mayor of Charleston, who knows a thing or two about revitalizing a city post-hurricane (having helped to rebuild Charleston) helped give us hope through his speech.

Hope was the name of the eighth annual Hope Gala benefiting cancer initiatives that wrapped up at the Shops at Canal Place just before we headed out of town at the request of Mayor Ray Nagin and Gustav. Some of the city’s top doctors, survivors and sustainers were on-hand to receive applause for the cause and enjoy the multi-restaurant, multi-bar, multi-auction format. Must have been things like those New Orleans Rum drinks and Luke’s mustard greens that kept the folks so busy Roop Raj had to work hard to garner the live auction attention. As always, this TV pro pulled things off.

Everywhere I looked during evacuation there were present and former New Orleanians: At Neiman-Marcus, Gay LeBreton ran into Barry and Maxine Fox’s daughter stranded trying to get into New Orleans from London. Judy Oudt and Janet Tallerine introduced me to “A Bientot” owned by Texas trendies including Betty Newton – an old pal from our fashion heydays in New York and Paris! No wonderful this shop feels like those boutiques on Rue St. Suplice. James Farwell dined with Colleen and John Kotts at Café Annie; Prieur Leary dug into Mexican fare at Loma Linda while Mathilde squeezed in an art class from Mario Villa, who flew to Miami and back in record time.

Errol Laborde’s stay at home duty wasn’t in defiance. He turned his home into a publishing bunker, getting the final pages of our Saints’ program to the printer with the help of Staci Woodward, Jenny Dascenzo and Sarah Ravits (from Florida!). Can’t have a game without a program!

Up at Madewood Plantation, Millie Ball and Keith Marshall flung open the doors of the historic bed and breakfast, allowing pals, puppies and the just plain panicked to hunker down (at no charge). Luckily, guests were smart enough to bring extra pillows, wine and whatever food they could forage from their fridges back home – nothing like living through a hurricane with a baby grand piano in a very grand old home.

Now it’s October … the art scene is pumping and we’re putting memories of hurricanes behind us. Bravo!
Along the Avenue
John and mother Betty Gordan in Houston.
Along the Avenue
Annie Flettrich at the 8th Annual Hope Gala