Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Willow Manor: This Just In!


I just bumped into Miss Piggy in the powder room, and she told me that she had secretly arranged a dance with a long lost flame of hers......a man from Russia she said....and she swooned on the chaise lounge dreamily.......I asked her if that was the same man who had been wandering around alone asking for her earlier...and she flew out of that room and disappeared into the the ballroom faster than I can order bacon & eggs!
What's all this fuss.?....Could it be........Nureyev.......DANCING here at the Manor???
(Click on this post title to see one of the highlights of Willow's Ball!)
Derrick .......your date is absolutely stunning in Swine Lake!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Light Fantastic



I rolled into Maycomb this evening just in time to catch the spirit of Gregory Peck hovering around the old Monroe County Court House. The American Film Institute has recently voted his portrayal of Atticus Finch as the number one hero of 20th century films.
No wonder he is so fond of this guy!

Not surprisingly, he was reading over To Kill a Mockingbird and remembering his dear friend. He had been expecting me he said. He pointed me down the street just a few blocks from the court house to the front porch where I would find Atticus in his rocking chair. As I walked away, I heard him say softly, "Make sure he has a wonderful time, and give your hostess my best regards!"


The court house is actually a museum...a perfect haunt for the ghostly likes of Mr. Peck.

"Good evening m'am. May I help you find someone?"

"A ball....at Willow Manor? I had a strange dream about that....Gregory Peck said I should get out of Maycomb for just once......branch out......live a little.......have a ball. Hmmm?
Well, let me see if my tux still fits."

I showed him my dress...just to prove I was not too over the top...just a little understated elegance....a little jewelry, my favorite garnet with gold earrings and and matching delicate bangle!
Suede dancing slippers. Hair pulled back in a French braid. Just the faintest hint of Shalimar...

I do love my slippers!

" A little Peck on the cheek for taking me to the ball, and then I'll change"


"Will this do? Not bad for a little ol' lawyer from Alabama?"
"Perfect, just perfect, Atticus!"
And we are off, tripping the light fantastic on the road to Willow's!
We'll be arriving any moment!

On our way to the ball!

Many thanks to the Colonel and fellow car guys for polishing up my 1930 Phantom Rolls-Royce and priming the engine for the grand tour to collect my escort from the small Alabama town where he is quietly living despite his great fame. Yes, after having channeled the spirit of his dear friend and alter ego, the most distinguished Gregory Peck, I have successfully coaxed Mr. Atticus Finch from the town of Maycomb to join me at this year's Willow Manor Ball. Miss Harper Lee has graciously agreed to watch over the children, Jem & Scout, with the help of Boo Radley, who loves the little tykes as we learned from the poignant ending of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. You may recall, that Atticus, a widower, devoted all of is time to practicing law, to justice, and to his children. I just decided it is high time that this man had a night out! The Mocking bird is on the wing, and we are on the road!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Looking for that certain dress...

Up early for a dash to New York City and the dress salon at Lord & Taylor. I explained to the sales lady that I was looking for a dress for a very special ball....that I loved the English country house look....
She brought out this one of a kind....now I like old fashioned things.....but this was a little too far back in the Way Back Machine ----even for me! Lady Macbeth I am not. Let's try something a little more up to date.

Now this was certainly ball worthy, but way too modern for me,
and looks more like a wedding gown. Next....

This one was almost as lovely as the model, but certainly not for right me.

Then, of all people at Tavern on the Green (I had to break for lunch) there was Charlotte Moss.... well I could not very well ask for her dress.....but I would love to know how to find her designer.....she has some gorgeous taffeta evening skirts I have seen in some magazines paired with very femine white blouses.

Then I passed a shop specializing in vintage clothes.....and I was getting closer ....this 1930's beauty was so elegant...so Katharine Hepburn......but the color was all wrong for me.



Naturally I wanted to check out jewelry at Tiffany's...surely I could find just the dress to crown with the tiara and matching diamond necklace and earrings!


Then I remembered a dress I had seen in one of Sargent's paintings....a Mrs. Chapman I believe......not time to copy it .....but wait........it reminds of something I had seen in England once upon a time......so across the Pond!

Once in London, I make my way north to the walled city of York. To my great joy and and surprise, I find my dear old friends still in business (I call this Willow Magic)... and there in the window...dresses, dresses, and dresses galore in the style I love.....and yes there is velvet! I am just a velvet kind of girl! I did spend more time than the 15 minutes I had spent there the first time I visited. Once inside, I meet owner and designer Angela Holmes sent by the angels to rescue the total lack of imagination and romance in current fashions. She walks to a collection of velvets...and the rest-- as they say--is history. At last, I have the perfect gown for the ball!

Once back home....I must make plans to call on a very famous and much admired Southern gentleman. Though he has been honored and celebrated, he has never made the Most Eligible Bachelor's List, or has even been on a date as far as I know. I am determined that he will be my escort...I think he may be sort of shy. I will ask a close friend of his...and get a few tips.

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat