On a balmy afternoon, Pitot House, the colonial-era house on Bayou St. John, opened its doors for its first benefit since Hurricane Katrina. Gentle breezes and Dixieland jazz blew across the bayou. The combo beckoned patrons, preservationists,
pre-booked party goers and curious tourists to join in the fun.

Some spread blankets on the lawn while others were seated at VIP tables topped with jelly jars filled with sweet peas. Peter Menge’s Savvy Gourmet created picnic boxes with sandwiches, vegetarian and chicken salad, plus sweets and treats. Jon Smith’s Cork and Bottle provided wine and specially shipped for the occasion Swanson Vineyards’ Rose.

Topsy Chapman’s sultry voice set the tone. Then everyone settled in to listen to Tom Sanction read from his memoir Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White with Ben Jaffe and the Preservation Hall’s “Hot Four” played softly in the background.

Then the musicians let it rip. Co-Chairs Pamela Pipes, Thea Pagel and Claire Layrisson passed out second-line hankies so folks like Matilda Stream, Alexa Pulitzer, Winn Venable, Moe Herman, Sandra Kreinik, artists Tony Green and Mario Villa, Dr. Sid Bhansali, the Keene Kellys and toddlers galore could take to the lawn for dancing at the twilight … the time the French call crépuscule. 

Crépuscule Celebration
Mario Villa, Christa Montgomery, Dr. Sid Bhansali and Emily Puckett
Crépuscule Celebration
Susan McClamroch, Bitsie Mouton and Matilda Stream
Crépuscule Celebration
Bev Church, Morris Herman and Judy Oudt
Crépuscule Celebration
Tony Green, Margaret de Raczynski and Neal Kaye
Crépuscule Celebration
Alexa Pulitzer, Ben Jaffe and Sue Strachan