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Along the Avenue

The social calendar heated up in late spring as if all the world needed to do one last dance before Memorial Day Weekend. There were graduations, reunions, pre-debutantes and birthday parties to squeeze in before travel. One could say the heat of summer doesn’t keep St. Charles Avenue types from partying, playing and philanthropic efforts.
At various private clubs, where pretty pastel silks and white linen suits are dress code, whole filet plus shrimp and grits are the menu of the moment. It certainly seemed that way at the Orleans Club, which along with the above fare served up birthday cake to celebrate its 85th. President Cindy Ellington greeted members at the club with husband Stan in tow. Libby Adams enlisted husband Mark in decorating tables with bowers of white hydrangea; it seems Mark has an astonishing green thumb. (He grows pink lemons, too.) Pretty Janice Douglas cut the rug to the music of Johnny Parker’s combo with husband August (aka Doug) because these two never miss the chance to dance. Realtor Eleanor Farnsworth told of plans to Paris in her then-near future while Roma Gibson prepared to celebrate a 90-something birthday at the Maple Street Café a few days later.

Memorial Hall at the Civil War Museum was the setting for cocktails and discussion of flags in need of restoration by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Preservationist Patti Gay on the arm of her George Schmidt, Kirby and Susie Newburger, Dabney and Ann Ewin, J.B. Vella and others listened to James Carriere and Glenn Cangelosi on the subject while Charles D. Drieux hosted. Max and Margaret Maxwell threw open their doors for the Aztec Club of 1847, also known as the Military Society of the Mexican War. John Beaumont did the honors as president of the Huguenot Society of Louisiana. Gary and Elizabeth Eckman’s home on Baronne Street was the setting for “Magic in Melpomenia V” where Christel Kelley served as chairwoman with folks Katherine Gelderman, Bill and Sally Reeves, Matilda Stream and Ben and Donna Rosen, all supporting efforts to revitalize the Felicity Street historic neighborhood.

The Arts Council of New Orleans held a back-to-back celebration of some of the city’s bright, and often not big, lights with a patron party at the Windsor Court one evening, followed by luncheon and awards at the Audubon Tea Room the next. Tom Reese, the group’s chairman, was to do the honors but was called out of town. Interterm President Mary Len Costa stepped in as she has on so many occasions. Pamela Reynolds Ryan, Bill Hines, Tommy Westervelt, Dorothy Clyne, Irvin Mayfield, Linda and Richard Friedman, Mario Villa, Lin Emery and a host of others were all out in support of supporting art and talent.

The wine flowed … and how! There was Veuve Clicquot at the opening of the new Rooftop Bar of The Roosevelt New Orleans. Over at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, perhaps the world’s first wine-tasting musical enjoyed a limited run, kick-starting the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and including a June 11 performance benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Held in “Muriel’s Cabaret” there were song, dance, six glasses of wine and a lot of camaraderie. Give our long-lived little theatre a big show of applause for its innovative efforts from showcasing wine and song to bringing in hot guitars and fiery flamenco.

It is July and it’s hot, so wave a flag and get ready to handicap the soon-to-be announced debutante list; Le Debut de Jeune Filles takes place the end of July. Want to get the inside scoop? Eavesdrop on a certain luncheon that happens annually where Aline Walshe and Billy Treadway are usually present. Where? I know but I’m not telling.


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