Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Swinging into the weekend

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The nearly 100 folks listening to the Hep Cat Revival band at the Toledo Museum of Art were so into its jump-blues-jazz-swing music that lead singer Greg Tye noted, “Got the mummies rocking on that one.”

The museum's two mummies were in storage during last week's It's Friday program, but the very youngest visitors were front and center in the Peristyle lobby.

William Cooper Jr., 18 months, danced in his pajamas and tennis shoes at 9 o'clock - way past his bedtime - and claimed kisses from Audrey Miller, 3, who wore a leopard-print jumper.

“Bad part is, he dances like me - not very good,” said his proud father, William Cooper, there with his wife, Janette. Audrey was with her parents, Adrienne and Michael Miller.

Most of the crowd sat on folding chairs at knee high tables covered with white cloths around the museum's cast bronze Dancers with Gazelles. A few however, danced just beyond the doors, on the Peristyle's dim balcony.

“I don't know how people can just sit and listen to this,” said Jim Pope, who danced with Bonnie Robinson much of the evening. By the final set, they were joined on the floor by Carol Greenberg and Carlos Carvalho and Sandy Spearman and Pete Laughlin.

Al and Barb Baumgartner, first-timers at It's Friday, were guests of their son-in-law's parents, Marty and Jenny Weislak. The couples' children, Chris and Cheryl Weislak, were there, too.


Hep Cat Revival Band members, from left, Greg Tye, Vernon Neeley, and Chet Chwalik, have toes tapping.


The crowd that nodded and clapped to Hep Cat was larger than usual for this Club Friday, which each week draws from 50 to 125 people for a variety of bands, said It's Friday director Judy Weinberg.

Elsewhere in the museum, where admission is free, 500 to 600 usually attend the evening open house, now in its eighth year. It's a place where suits and ties and jeans and hiking boots appear equally acceptable and people of all ages attend.

In the Little Theatre, about 45 people heard museum archivist Julie McMaster's slide lecture on the history of Libbey Glass. The caf served luscious desserts as well as full meals.

In the Collector's Corner gallery, Jesse Squire picked out a ceramic Godzilla night light with a Christmas gift certificate from his parents.

Seven-month-old Jacob Friess noticed a similar Robot Head flashing light, from his spot close to his mother, Coriander Friess, who carried him in a shawl tied around her.

Earlier he had watched the Csipke Ensemble, a Hungarian dance troupe, in the Great Gallery. “If it would have been a picture book, he would have been just as excited,” said his mother. But she was very pleased to spend an evening out of the house, wandering among the museum's treasures.


Change of watch ceremonies starred on Saturday night. River View Yacht Club's "Ride the Waves" Commodores Ball at the Toledo Hilton honored new Commodore Mike Beckham and his Lady Debra.

Ladies looked great in formal gowns of chiffon and crepe that gave a show of styles; men were debonair in starched uniforms and tuxes. Some 270 guests mingled over cocktails, applauded new officers, then dined at tables centered with silver and gold dolphins. The Mid-Life Crisis band played for dancing 'til midnight.

On board were Leon "Mitch" Mitchell and wife, Sandy -- new ladies auxiliary president, and Vice Commodore Al Morris and wife, Sally. Seen was Paul Hancock, who recently argued the presidential election before Florida and U.S. Supreme Courts, with his wife, Sandra Coleman. Present from Mr. Beckham's were Karen and Bryan Davis, Kelly Beckham, and Matt Beckham, plus friends Joe and Leslie D'Arcangelo and Roger and Georgia Blank.

Perrsyburg Boat Club migrated inland for its evening at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club in honor of Commodore Dennis Whitmire and Lady Sue. Special awards went to Bob Frankowiak and Kurt Grosskopf. Dinner was served at linen-covered tables centered with glass bowls of shells and candles. Later, Night Moves lured guests to sail the dance floor.

Seen were John and Marilyn Bureau, Bob and Mary Turain, Don and Barbara Durkin, Bob and Barbara Coon, Lois and Walt Churchill, and Ted and Suzi Hahn.

The Toledo Power Squadron gathered at Toledo Yacht Club to honor new commander Al Hess and his wife, Gloria. Dinner followed the ceremony. The real party will be at the Commander's Ball May 5 at Navy Bistro.


Co-chairs Jean Smith, left, and Sharon Lynch at the Garden Club Forum benefit preview.


Beauty queens, Muddy the Mud Hen, diamonds and Sweet Gum trees are aspects of the upcoming "Scintila 2001," a benefit musical fashion review presented annually by the Garden Club Forum. This year's version, "My Kind of Town," is scheduled for March 15 at the Stranahan Theatre.

Scintilla co-chairs Jean Smith and Sharon Lynch and Garden Forum officials announced plans for the show at a kick-off Friday at the Toledo Club.

"This show will be sophisticated fun," Ms. Smith promised some 30 members and guests as Ann Maria Wasserman played piano. The theme will honor the city and surrounding communities. Models will be leaders from many sectors, including Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick, who will walk the catwalk with her dog.

Members enjoyed a peek at fashions from the Sophia Lustig Shop, Roth Furs, Sterling Diamonds, and a hat by Louise Green. Former Miss Ohios and Muddy the Mud Hen will be guests at the vent.

Some proceeds will help the city plant Sweet Gum trees on the Anthony Wayne Trail.

Seen were Caroline Carpenter, Forum president; Jan Comer, Rose Malloy, Charlene Snyder, and Darlene Carpenter.



Guest of honor Penny Marks, second from left, at her retirement party with, left, husband Emil, and hosts Diane and Don Breese at Inverness Club.


"I was awestruck ... I couldn't believe I got a job there," says Penny Marks, just-retired manager of Stranahan Theatre and Great Hall, recalling her first day there 30 years ago.

The redheaded Mrs. Marks was honored with a party Wednesday at Inverness Club.

The modest, youthful lady attributed the theater's success to the employees, proprietors, patrons, and board members.

Mrs. Marks also thanked her husband, Emil, for his help. "He loved me, supported me, encouraged me, and loved by paycheck," she said with a smile.

After speeches and mementoes, Fran Anderson presented Mrs. Marks with a gift of crystal and the crowd of 200 rose for an enthusiastic ovation. Pianist Jim Grotton played "Pennies from Heaven" in tribute.

Mrs. Marks will continue at the Stranahan as a member of the board and the League.

Chairman of the board, Don Breese, and his wife, Diane, were hosts of the affair.

Also present were Stranahan board members Dick Anderson, John Boggs, Don Kincade, Jan Skunda, Olivia Sumons, and Claude Young, plus Tim Gladieux.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner will be the honored roastee at the Press Club of Toledo Ribs 'N' Roast Feb. 1 at Gladieux Meadows. A year's worth of newsmakers and shakers will be reviewed in a tasteful, funny program. For reservations, call Debbie Whipple at 381-2100.

Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor. E-mail her at

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