Monday, Jun 18, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel


A Dandy Derby Day

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    Adia Conlifee, of West Toledo, attended the Circle 2445's annual Kentucky Derby party at the Toledo Museum of Art.

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    Allan and Susan Block at the 140th Run for the Roses.

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    Sister Ann Carmen Barone, right, chats with guest speaker Helen Benziger, the great-granddaughter of Molly Brown, who was an advocate for women and children’s rights.

Happy Mother's Day, mom! I can't really say that anymore since my mom died last July, so please, if your mom is still alive, call her or give her a hug, and spend some time with her today. I still smile over the fond memories, including when we shopped at Jacobson's for clothes for me to wear to the Kentucky Derby. I still have the giant black straw hat with cabbage flowers I wore on Derby Day. So as I celebrated this year's 140th Running of the Roses, I smiled and remembered.

Derby day May 3 at Churchill Downs in Kentucky was a big to-do for the two-minute race. Fancy hats, mint juleps — those bourbon snow cones with a sprig of mint on top — Derby Pie, and more, are all part of the fun.

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Several Toledo area folks were at the derby including Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., and his wife, Susan; Dr. Tom Sydlowski and wife Sandi, and Joe and Angala Miller, who attend every year and bring a baker's dozen or so of guests to enjoy the fun.

But one didn't have to be there to enjoy it.

SYLVANIA Country Club celebrated with its annual Derby Day Golf Tournament. That was followed by the derby party and dinner from a southern-style grazing buffet that included crab cakes, shrimp and grits, Kentucky hot brown sandwiches, and pecan pie. Velvet Jones played for dancing.

THE TOLEDO Museum of Art's Circle 2445 annual Kentucky Derby party was May 3 in the Peristyle. Plenty of fun was packed in a short time frame: live screening of the race, a southern-style menu, bourbon tasting, a bocce game in the Welles Sculpture Garden, a hat contest, and live music by Kentucky Chrome and Andrew Ellis. Circle 2445 is the younger generation of art enthusiasts, ranging in age from 24 to 45, which is the museum's address, 2445 Monroe St.

DERBY Days 2014/ 20 North Gallery Reunion at Manhattan's included mint juleps from the recipe given to Peggy Grant by Samuel Riddle, owner of the legendary racehorse Man o' War. Attendees signed a poster from the 10th annual exhibit for Mrs. Grant, the former gallery's art director emerita, and exhibition founder, who was unable to attend this year.

Hors d' oeuvres were served by staff who modeled vintage hats from Adams Street Antiques & Art and a few hats were purchased right off the heads of the waitresses to be worn by party patrons.

Speaking of hats, Diane King wore a rosie pink straw hat with a spray of hot pink striped ostrich feathers; Lynn Brand wore a collapsible, accordion-pleated hat made of red cardstock; and Stas Krukowski of joenstas' gallery wore a vintage brown-checked suit and matching fedora from his gallery.

Among the revelers were Eric Hillenbrand (former gallery owner), Marty Lahey (Manhattan's owner), Ann and Alan Goodridge, Sharon Frankel, and new Tile Club member Doug Adams Arman, there to support fellow-Tilers Larry Golba and Scott Heacock, whose works were among the eight artists' works on display.

IMAGINATION Station's "A Women's Tea" was May 1 at the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club to instill young girls' interest in science, engineering, and problem-solving. Ladies and girls nibbled on tea sandwiches, scones, and petite cookies and tarts as they sipped tea provided by Clara J's Tea Room.

Guest speaker Helen Benziger, the great-granddaughter of "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown, whose real name was Margaret Tobin Brown, spoke about teas and etiquette. High tea is in the early evening and served at dinner tables, while low tea is in the afternoon and usually served at low coffee tables. Some of her pointers: Never pick up a napkin if dropped on the floor; lay it in the chair when leaving the table. Milk, then sugar, are added to tea, and stirred gently with no sound so as not to disturb conversation.

Then she talked about her great-grandmother, who was an advocate for the rights of women, children, workers, and others. She started the first soup kitchen in the country and ran for Senate before women could vote, among her vast list of accomplishments. Everyone received a complimentary Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth biography, thanks to the LaValley Foundation and Comfort Line. There were several other sponsors including presenting sponsor, Owens Corning.

Event chairman Cindy Taylor was assisted by Meg Adams, Carol Anderson, Fran Anderson, Pat Appold, Susan Burwell, Mary Caprella, Karen George, Margo Hertzfeld, Elaine Lewandowski, Monica Nitschke, Patrice Spitzer, Eileen Sullivan, and Molly Thompson. About $8,000 was raised.

FOLLOW the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter Tea Party April 26 in downtown Waterville included "Eat Me" treats and "Drink Me" beverages for the "unbirthday" celebration. Clayful Arts, Mettler Studios, Per Diem Nurse Staffing, and the Silver Lining Gallery all brewed up activities including tea cup painting. Also fun was the scavenger hunt for Alice in Wonderland characters. All that fun and they reaped $200 to boot, for the Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio.

CELEBRATING the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day as a national holiday was the "Tea at Stranleigh: Saluting Mothers" in the historic Manor House at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. The first of the teas for the season, like all others, was $10 per person. Tea is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. by Manor House volunteers who organize, prepare, and serve. Call 419-407-9844 for dates and reservations.

A HOEDOWN was the theme for the Mercy St. Anne Medical Staff 12th annual dinner gala April 26 at Hilton Garden Inn, Perrysburg. Folks came in 10-gallon hats, boots, jeans, and fancy period dresses for some do-se-do steps on the dance floor to the tunes of Rumplestiltskin. Old West-style grub, Texas Hold 'Em, and mechanical bull rides entertained guests all night long.

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