Along the Avenue

Spring went out with a bang, a whistle, applause and tears.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra closed its regular season with a bang. Well, not literally but when you perform both Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and 9 in one performance at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, it’s pretty spectacular. Adding to the performance were the many and varied voices of the New Orleans Symphony Chorus. The “Ode to Joy” rang out, as did the ovations for all. Maestro Prieto dedicated the performance to Dean Miller, principal flutist, who after several decades with the LPO, retired after the performance. Bravo, Dean!

The music at Holt and Gordon Kolb Jr.’s home comes from two tiny sopranos; the twin girls they welcomed in late May.

Sally Singer and Cary Alden headed to New York City to cheer on Calvin Borel at the Belmont Stakes, the “Mine That Bird” jockey they hoped would make a Triple Crown sweep. The gals donned white jockey caps adored with a fleur-de-lis with purple green and gold ribbons, atop of which sat sliver horses. Folks including Bird’s owners Chip Woolley, Mark Allen and Leonard Blach, who opted for cowboy hats, admired the hats. Post post time, the gals took their winnings and headed to Broadway to see Blithe Spirit and God of Carnage. Ms. Alden may be well-known for her work in public relations for Windsor Court, Rib Room and Crowne Astor, but she’s an actress at heart.

It is also good to see the doors of the grand and glittering New Orleans’ Opera Guild home in the Garden District reopen again after being shuttered since Hurricane Katrina. The guild recently had its first annual meeting there in four years and the old place has been restored and updated to the grandeur of its yesterdays and 21st century necessities. On hand for the event, were opera devotees Yvonne Coe, Betty Davidson, Linda Tufton and Mary de la Barre.

The Orleans Club closed its regular season with a Moonlight and Magnolias reception where the talk was of vacation plans and summer fun. Enjoying the Orleans Club’s hospitality were John and Vicki Hebert, Clegg and Isabel Strong, former president Carli and Frank Tessier, Lisa and Ross Dozier, Ross and Lynn McClave and Al and Betty Bienvenu, among others.

Shortly after the Orleans Club party, Ann and Bob Anderson changed out of their urban chic clothes and headed to their Abba Orchids in Poplarville where blueberries galore awaited. With their usual enthusiasm, they opened their gates to kith and kin and friends who drove up for the day to go berry pickin’, hay ridin’ and enjoy one massive picnic. Ellis and Tatine Frater, Mary Lou and Louis Costa, Nell and Robert Young and others too fun to count were seen carrying buckets of berries they had picked themselves through the fields.

The Preservation Resource Center keeps partying for preservation! The latest was the ninth annual “Ladies in Red” soiree, which places historic markers on the homes of well-known jazz musicians. Held at Generations Hall where Philip Manuel and James Rivers rocked the house, the event honored Lionel Batiste, Banu Gibson, Edward Kidd Jordan and Wanda Rouzan. Henry and Karen Coaxum were honorary co-chairs. Alma Slatten, Muffin and Luis Balart and the Edgar Chases mixed and mingled.

There are pipers, trumpets and flyovers for some. But as friends and family gathered to bid “adieu” to Richmond Eustis, it was a single flambeaux that stood sentinel outside of Trinity Church. Richie was a member of a small group of gentlemen who tend, care, condition and restore the historic flambeaux, which have lit the way for the floats of old-line Carnival krewes for over 100 years. It was a first and fitting farewell. Later that day, many of the same group gathered in the same church for Gordon Saussy’s funeral; where John Parker’s lone guitar played touchingly.

On happier notes, there’s a lot of buzz about white dresses. Debutante parties are underway. The first cotillion, Le Debut, takes place August 1, where white dresses, white linen suits, and “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” will play. The unison curtsey will take place and the season will be underway. But for now, it’s July. Enjoy some lemonade, the fireworks over the river, and wave the red, white and blue.

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