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Daphne's Society Column

By Daphne Dumas

Foxworth Easter Gala

Dollanganger Spoilers

I never realized how busy my spring was before now. I have been "trotting the globe" attending one event after the other trying to bring you all the news from around the country and world. Despite all of my travels, I am pleased to tell you that once again the Foxworths' have outdone themselves with their Spring Gala. As some of you already know, the Foxworths hold an Easter Egg Hunt and Charity Ball every year. This year's event supported not only the National Organization of Women, NOW, but also the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Guests were greeted by valets under a canopy of silk and damask, which gave a hint at the color scheme that would be used throughout the grounds and inside the home. The rich colors of royal purple and grass green were complimented by their equally elegant pastel counterparts. Young ladies were awarded straw baskets decorated with ribbons of lime, lemon yellow, and lavender; and young men were given shiny metal pails in colors of royal purple, grass green, and true blue.

Even the theme in color seemed to revolve around traditional Easter egg colors. Girls and boys were dressed smartly in linen outfits of various Easter colors: some in white, many in lime, lemon yellow, lavender, sky blue. The women, as well as myself, dressed for the Egg Hunt in either summer dresses or sailor outfits. The men, apparently in a conspiratorial collaboration, decided to sport a Gene Kelly look of high-waisted trousers and short-sleeved shirts.

The Egg Hunt was held in the lush English garden in the rear of the house and was clearly roped off for the children to know exactly where the eggs might be. The adults were treated to a light lunch of finger sandwiches, a variety of fruit salads and creamy sorbets and lemonade and iced tea underneath a giant milky white tent. I, myself, had the pleasure of being seated at the same table as the host family. If I were not married happily to my darling Pierre, I would no doubt have been won over by the dazzling charms of Bart Foxworth, the sole heir to the Foxworth fortune and the reason that Foxworth Hall was rebuilt after a devastating fire. As the day wore on, everyone was invited to participate in lawn games such as horseshoes, sack races for the children, shuffleboard, and croquet. No child was left out, no child left the festivities without a prize of some kind.

Later, the same evening, the adults were treated to a more elegant setting, although the color of dress did not seem to change. Women showed up in ball gowns of varying pastel colors and the men were dressed smartly in tuxedos. I had never seen so many famous people in one room. Many of the locals were in attendance, including family friends of mine, Eloise and Barrett Campden, Morgan Livingston-Ethan, daughter of my later friend, Penelope Livingston, and many others. I met and talked with the President of NOW, Ms. Kim Gandy, a perfectly delightful woman although a little pushy in moments. I also had a lengthy conversation about a new art school in New Orleans with Louis Wellington Cabot. Mr. Cabot assured me that "a few locations in Metairie and New Orleans proper were being considered for a school." I know a few of my friends are going to be very interested in hearing that.

Also in attendance was the President of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Patricia Meyer Spacks. Unfortunately, I was not able to talk with her.

Sparkling champagnes of pink and gold flowed easily from bottles. A dinner was served early in the evening where once again I was invited to sit at the family's table along with the guest of honor. Delicious casseroles and dishes of summer vegetables surrounded platters of roast, chicken, and lamb. Fruit salads and more sorbet were served for dessert.

Throughout the evening we were treated to different displays of the arts: a violin recital, a monologue about the empowerment of women, a scene from Swan Lake, a gallery of paintings of sculptures, and reading from a local author's latest book. Although the evening was a glorious and gay event and went off without a hitch, despite some supposed black sheep attendees (we won't mention a certain daughter named Cynthia), one could not help but notice the sorrowed look on Jory Marquet's face when the ballet recital took place.

His high-backed wheelchair was a reminder to many of his tragic accident years ago that ended a growing and wonderful career in the dance. It was clear that his wife Ms. Antonia Winters Marquet was doing her best to keep his thoughts happy and focused on other things. In fact, the dancers were students of the ballet school that was once run by the late Mrs. Catherine Leigh Sheffield, mother of the host. I am happy to say that as a child I had the opportunity to watch Mrs. Sheffield on stage when she went by the name of Catherine Dahl.

Kudos to the Foxworths for not only throwing a Gala to rival all others but for raising millions of dollars for both foundations in honor.

Eternally Andrews, Copyright 1999-2002
Shay Bader-Wallace