Friday, Jul 01, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Tropical fun at high tide

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It was a real zoo at the 14th annual Zoo-To-Do 2001.

Another sell-out crowd brimmed over with 1800 guests that came in spite of the storms Friday evening. A tidal wave of guests tripped through the rain to be there when the doors opened, others who came fashionably late strolled in as the skies cleared. Either way, they were ready to party while the real animals slept.

And party they did at the "Tropical Twist'' themed evening in celebration of the Zoo's Aquarium that was built in 1937 as part of the Works Project Administration. The rain, similar to the monsoons in the tropics, added to the Caribbean theme. No one seemed to mind.


BEARABLE: Chairwoman Cathy Trimble and her husband, Mark, were among the guests who mixed comfort and elegance at the 14th annual Zoo-To-Do 2001 held Friday evening on the grounds of the Toledo Zoo. The polar bears behind them wore of course their best fur despite the warm -- and rainy -- evening.


Guests breezed in dressed in funky formal wear - black tie and tennies and other comfortable shoes. Popular for men were tuxedo shirts, cummerbunds, and bow ties in tropical colors and animal prints that were combined with shorts and tennis shoes.

Ladies wore everything from long glittery gowns to short numbers in tropical, floral, and animal prints. Confident ladies wore tennis shoes and flats, while some hoofed it in spiked heels.

Jan Skunda and Chuck Krueger did it again by wearing creative killer whale visors and fish prints and trim - wild costumes to match the wild theme. But the ensemble everyone talked about was Bill Dyas, with his wife Darla. Bill wore tropical hand-painted tails by artist Michael Jasinski.

Sharklike appetites were whetted with waves of palate pleasers from a boat-load of area restaurants, caterers, and other food services, donating 800 servings each of tantalizing tidbits. There was every|thing from foods to match the theme, such as shark, dolphin, shrimp, and crab, to chicken and beef dishes, ethnic edibles, and exotic desserts.

Meanwhile, the Libido conga trio added to the atmosphere in the Carnivore Cafe as Ramona Collins and Line One - with special guest Leon Cook - heated up the Jazz Cafe aka the Lodge.

The Paradise Island band from Columbus kept the guests twisting till after midnight. But the last to leave were the staff and volunteers. They stayed until 3 a.m. to be ready for business as usual at opening time. Cathy Trimble was chairwoman of the Tropical Twist.

Riding the waves of fun were Denise and Terry Benton, Mike and Shelly Crossley, Jim and Judy Price, Ruthie and Floyd Wetmer, Mike and Kim Kastner, Laurie and Jeff Jaffe, Bob and Mary Arquette, Steve Cotner and his wife Deb, Amy Berling, Chuck and Jen Swisher, Steve and Betty Zeidner, Phil and Debbie Schmidt, George and Debbie Carruth, Pat and Debbie Farver, Jim and LuAnn Tafelski, and Ken Lay and his clan who all wore leis - except his daughter and son-in-law, Laurie and Tim Gladieux, who joked there weren't any glads available.


ON KEY: Jazz pianist Mark Kieswetter of the Scott Potter quartet had all the right notes at the festival-eve party.


Smoldering hot jazz could raise one's temperatures or cool it down on a sizzling day.

The second annual Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival Saturday had it all. The lazy afternoon was filled with nonstop performances that melted into the evening with a headline performance by Mark Murphy. But the fun began festival-eve, at a sponsor's preparty Friday at Navy Bistro. Scott Potter's quartet played as guests chatted and relaxed over food and drink. Festival chairmen Larry Meyer, Gina Thompson, and Emmanuel Key were assisted by volunteers, including jazz lady Ramona Collins, Jeff Jaffe, and Toledo Jazz Society board president Rob Cintron. Executive director Joy Jex relaxed after all that jazz and a late night Saturday.

A Wine Extravaganza to benefit the Harbor Foundation was Thursday at Olander Park's Nederhouser Community Hall. Guests sipped wine and dined as they cruised the silent auction, then chatted on the deck overlooking the pond. Honorary chairwoman: Sandy Isenberg.

Robert Thompson has it all -including the secret to longevity. The former Holland resident, who now resides in West Park Place, recently celebrated his 95th birthday with family and friends.

The big bash was given by his daughters Mary Lou Leonard, Donna Whitner, and Normajean Rerucha at Mrs. Rerucha's Hidden Harbour home in Holland.

Mr. Thompson, the son of former State Sen. George Thompson, graduated from University of Toledo, is a retired Navel Reserve Lieutenant Commander, was employed by Metropolitan Life for 39 years, and was married to the former Elsie Claggett of Maumee.

So what keeps him going? Who knows? But he is still on two bowling leagues and spends time with his 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Family members wrote personal letters to Mr. Thompson that were put in a memories book with special event and family photos.

Special guests were privy to the "In Another Garden'' garden tour presented Saturday by Friends of Toledo Day Nursery to benefit the Toledo Day Nursery.

A sneak preview was last Thursday night at Paula and Bill Fall's Hamlet home, with trolley service to the gardens on tour. Guests sipped and supped under a tent set amid beautiful gardens.

Fifty years ago June 15 Franz Berlacher graduated from University of Chicago Medical School. Dr. Berlacher, a Central Catholic High School alumnus, is in practice with son Paul Berlacher. The senior Dr. Berlacher was surprised with a party on his anniversary.

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

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