Past, Park, Poet!

Fiesta Formality

Miss Catherine Marie Zimmermann’s majestic moment arrived when The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association crowned her during the annual A Night in Old New Orleans. The daughter of Mrs. Paul M. Zimmermann, Louise, and the late Mr. Zimmermann, the 2023 queen follows in the regal footsteps of her sister, Cecelia F. Zimmermann, who reigned in 2022 and was a debutante of the 2022-2023 season. Another royal name was that of the 2023 king, Casmier Joseph Blanda, C.J. Mr. Joseph S. DiFatta was the captain.

Members of the court and their parents were flag bearer Bennett Clarence Childress, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Penn Childress; promenade girls Elizabeth Abigail Childress, Mr. and Mrs. Childress, and Charlotte Grace Lawlor, Mr. and Mrs. Joshua T. Lawlor; royal guard William John Séjour Borne Curran, Drs. William Curran and Tracy Borne Curran; gallants Gatlin William Anthony Klein, Mr. David Paul Klein and Ms. Edna DeLucca Klein, and Joseph Warren Zimmermann, Mrs. Zimmermann and the late Mr. Zimmermann; and jewel bearers James Beauregard Kessler, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey D. Kessler, and Johan Alexander Larsson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Martin Larsson, of Palm Coast, Florida.

Also, demoiselles Camille Rosalie Evangeline Borne Curran and Sophia Maria Lawlor, the Currans and the Lawlors; and maids of honor Cécile Rose Valentine Borne Curran, Audrey Adele Victoria Klein and Monet Elizabeth Menard, the Currans, the Kleins and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louis Menard Jr.

Mastheading the SFA executive board are co-presidents Mrs. David Jorgensen and Mr. Jerry W. Stowe; past president Cheryl Lynn Kirby; parliamentarian C.J. Blanda; and vice presidents Alice S. Reese, Morris Kahn, Mrs. David L. Jorgensen, Mr. Blake A. Aucoin, and Mr. DiFatta. Additional executive board names are Donna Boswell, Mrs. Raleigh L. Ohlmeyer Jr., Mrs. Frank Milanese, Mr. David Jorgensen, Mrs. Mark E. Curtis, and Dr. Tracy Curran. Twenty committee members helped to make the 87th Spring Fiesta event a success, as did master of ceremonies Dr. W. Kenneth Mann Jr. and many volunteers.

Initial activity for the organization started in the Vieux Carré with the Spring Fiesta headquarters and Jackson Square as the celebrated sites. Then came the parade, which ended at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel and the Armstrong Grand Ballroom, where their majesties, queen Catherine and king C.J. were honored. Highlights included the Grand Promenade, the court dance, and dinner and general dancing.

In addition to her immediate family (mother, sister and brother), the queen’s nearest and dearest included grandparents Cecelia (a former SF president) and Joseph W. Browning; Dr. Naomi Mann with emcee Kenneth and their daughter Caroline-Kerstine Ellen Mann, “Kara,” the 2010 monarch; queen Stephanie Elaine Rehkopf of 2019; Dr. Jamie M. Manders; Dr. James M. Riopelle; George “Jack” and Mara CoironIlaine Hartman and Sondra Panicucci. The Eric Zimmermann and the Richard Pouey families were among the family groups represented. All paid special homage to the 2023 royalty during a “Night” that they will cherish for days to come.

Greece is the Word

On a recent Sunday, Metairie Bank presented Jefferson Beautification Inc.’s Parkway Promenade XXXI at Chateau Golf and Country Club under the marquee “An Evening in Ancient Greece.” Kay Andresson and JBI CEO Joy Shane chaired the decorations committee, which embellished the venue with large and small floral centerpieces; a palette of gold, white and blue; a backdrop of the Santorini skyline; Greek flags on the raffle tables and ivy-draped columns on the tables that held prizes, Mediterranean food and beverages; thematic balloon garlands; and a life-size mythological god as a ballroom prop. An eye-catcher!

Special features abounded, thanks to the deity costumes, casino games chaired by Dinah Brosset, a photo booth, the specialty “Demeter’s Drink,” the Get Back Band, and silent and live auctions with Henry and Pat Shane as guest auctioneers. In the live one, Michelle LeBlanc and event chairman Arita Bohannan placed the top bids, respectively, for a giclée by honorary event chairman James Michalopoulos and a JBI-commissioned eternity memorial bench to be erected in Lafreniere Park.

Relishing the Hellenic happening were Metairie Bank CEO John LeBlanc and president Mike Gennaro, Brad Bohannan and NOLA Lawyers-Bohannan & Rogers Law Firm for the patron party, Debbie Settoon, Theresa Crosby, Nancy Murphy, Debbie Mahi, JBI president Arleeta Terrell, Sue Stein, Jean Shiber, Valerie Cicero, Melinda Bourgeois, Nora Vaden Holmes, Carrel Epling, Pat Starnes, Sharon Hannahan, Debbie Mora, Monica Dupeire, Brenda Poulin and Sandy Stubbs. Answering to important titles were George Branigan, Robert Billiot, Ricky Templet, Deano Bonano with Jacqueline, Joe Stagni with Denise, Tom Wilmott with Kristi McKinney, and Ronnie Scharwath with Linda. Unable to attend, but making their “Ancient” presence felt were Homer, Odysseus, Helen of Troy, Agamemnon and Socrates.

Where there’s a Word, there’s a Way

In honor of Robert Burns, 1759-1796, Scottish poet, bard and patron extraordinaire, the Caledonian Society of New Orleans held its 49th annual Burns Supper. Gathered at the Southern Yacht Club, which was enhanced thematically by the society banner, a portrait of Burns, and Lance von Uhde III-created centerpieces of red roses with pink and purple accent flowers, were mistress of ceremonies Laurie McConnell and Richard B. “Rick,” piper Robert Grubb and Wendy, and Doug and Beverly Hall for the programs. Robert Grubb, Shannon Sumrall, David Grissett, Rick McConnell and James Mungall (with Sara) were tapped for the Presentation of the Haggis. Thomas Mungall (with Catherine) offered the grace. Virginia, Dowager Urquhart of Urquhart, received special thanks.

Gathered for the Burns bonhomie were Ramona and Russell Bond, Derek and Myra Ewart, Jane and Leonard Caruso, Judi and Neville Dauterive, Joe and Ann Campbell, Deborah and Jack Harris, Jeanie Mestier, Shauna Grissett with David, Lisa Gourgues and Randy Richardson, and Janice and Alan Irving.

After a dinner of salmon or pork, seasonal vegetables, Haggis and shortbread, spouses William Renaudin and Amy Sandridge offered toasts to the lassies and ladies, while William Alber and Jeffrey Foster, in turn, rendered “Flowers of the Forest” and “The Immortal Memory.” Most fittingly, and with special sentimentality, “Auld Lang Syne” closed the program.