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Along the Avenue

St. Charles Avenue magazine and New Orleans Bride’s own Morgan Packard couldn’t have been more surprised when long-time beau Mike Griffith served up a rare, antique lavender sapphire in an Art Deco setting as dessert on her birthday. The avowed Newcomb alumna and her Tulane tech guru haven’t set a date yet, but the plans call for a New Orleans wedding and reception, while another party for our gal’s childhood pals from Texas will take place in Dallas.

The British are coming – or have come and gone with plans to return! Minnie Churchill, once married and always dear to the late Winston (grandson of the Winston Churchill), lunched with relatives, including banker Charles Labouisse, at SYC. Minnie’s great-grandmother was the Baroness Slidell d’Erlanger … yes, Slidell, as in the Northshore town named for another of Mrs. Churchill’s relatives, John Slidell of the famed “Trent Affair” of 1861.

Minnie brought along Sir Winston Churchill’s Life Through his Paintings, a book she co-authored and inscribed. It now has a proud place in the Labouisse family library.

Capt. Edward Olver LG of Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry was entertained over drinks and a buffet hosted by Anglophiles Prescott and Sarah Dunbar at their Garden District home. Captain Olver is the nephew of part-time New Orleanian Anne Holmes-Drewry. The dashing captain hosted dinner at HM’s Officer’s Mess and arranged for a private tour of the Life Guards’ stables and tack rooms for the Dunbars, Walker Ronaldson and Courtney Anne Sarpy on a recent trip to London.

Soon the annual English Speaking Union will host a hats-and-gloves-requested birthday party for Her Majesty on her “official” (as opposed to her “real”) birthday. ESU president Dr. Quinn Peeper will lead the toasts, then follow HM’s tradition by celebrating his “official” birthday over the 4th of July in London with a dinner the Oxford-Cambridge Club, which precedes the ESU’s summer stately homes tour in Great Britain. His real birthday is June 1.

“Art in Bloom” has been one of New Orleans Museum of Art’s most beautiful and popular parties for 22 years. This year the theme was “Green,” as in eco-friendly, and the scene included tableaux strong and sturdy, light and ethereal and just plain delightful. This collision of talent – art, food, flowers, garden clubs and everything from Ikebana to Ippolita jewels from Saks Fifth Avenue – always brings out the first and prettiest of ladies in spring dresses, including Paige Rabalais, home in New Orleans to pursue an MBA at Tulane after a stint in Boston at Putnam; Sarah Pailet, NOMA mover and shaker; Diane Walmsley; Roz Weinstein; Dana Hansel; and Carolyn Fitzpatrick.

Dr. Vic Babin went solo to the annual Ducks Unlimited major sponsor dinner at Galatoire’s while long-time girlfriend, Bee Fitzpatrick of Orient Express, was in Asia looking for and creating new products for the popular Magazine Street store. At the Opera Ball, looking for the world like Daisy Buchanan, Merrill Lynch’s newly-single Dianne Atkinson hosted a table of St. Charles Avenue types. Single and serene, Gladys Coiron Maginnis reigned as the queen of the 2010 Poydras Home Carnival Ball. This took place in February, of course, but the information somehow got buried under a pile – a huge pile – of invitations to the many benefits that have happened over the past months. Still, she’s far too lovely and beloved not to mention.

It is the merry month of May; enjoy it and all of the other good things from Jazz Fest to Memorial Day!

Heard something interesting for “Along the Avenue?”

If so, please send it to:

St. Charles Avenue

110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123 Metairie, La. 70005
Attn: Diane Sustendal

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