The Fillies, led by President Elect Suzann Thompson, are already making plans for the 2013 Derby Ball.
Founded in 1959 by Frances Askew Davis (Mrs. William Golden Davis) and 17 other ladies, “The Fillies Club” was formed to help the Derby Festival produce a gala Derby Ball, during which there would be the coronation of a Derby Queen and the establishment of her Derby Court.
Churchill Downs and the community got behind the idea and pushed for a state-wide event. Churchill Downs sponsored the queen’s float in the Derby parade for years. The president of the Fillies, the queen and her court were guests at a luncheon given by the president of the Downs.
The ladies were each given a beautiful silver pin with the silhouette of Churchill Downs etched on it. (I still wear mine on Derby Day. No, I was not a princess but a president!). And of course the queen and her court had their own clubhouse box.
The first balls were held at the Armory, now Louisville Gardens. The president would entertain the Derby Festival Board, their spouses, the governor and spouse and any visiting celebrities at the Pendennis Club for dinner.
Afterward everyone would walk down to the Armory for the ball. There was always a big-name band and exotic, interesting or silly decorations. After much dancing and revelry, the court was presented and the wheel was spun. And where it stopped, that princess became the Derby Queen.
One year it had a two-page spread in the old LIFE magazine!
The ball has changed a bit over the years. Now it is held in the grand ballroom of the Galt House. Cocktails and dinner are served. The current queen is presented and the wheel of fame is spun, and “Voila” we have a new queen and court.
The current president is Becky Fangman, the president elect of the Fillies Board is Suzann Thompson and her vice president is Lorena Peter. Barbara Hood is chair of the Derby Ball.
A Summer Celebration was held at Whitehall House & Gardens last weekend in honor of the Owsley Brown Frazier Family Foundation. Laura Frazier and her family and Kat Frazier Joy and her family were there.
Julie Beam and Cindy Carcione were the co-chairs. Their committee consisted of Claire Alagia, Lori Andriot, Angela Arnett, Caroline Borgman, Barbara Baker Brown, Janet Conti, Mary Michael Corbet, J. P. Davis, Margaret Dry, Janet Falk, Cathy Flowers, Penny Gold, Paula Grisanti, Rosemary Hocker, Michael Judd, Libby Parkinson, Douglas Riddle, Ben Small, Mary Stone, Lindy Street, Rebecca Tafel, Laura Weir and Ron Wolz.
Barbara Baker Brown is the Regent of Whitehall.
It was hot. What else can I say? The food was hot and so were the drinks! The men were told to take off their jackets and ties. I’m positive some of the ladies took clothes off too!
Corbett’s fixed dinner. “Airline chicken” was the entrée. You can imagine the jokes that went around the table about that!
Along with the committee members Linda and Jim Jackson, Annette and Michael Kemper, the Mayor, Rosemary and Charlie Middleton, Carol and Charlie Hebel, Ed Schadt, Vickie Yates Brown, Jay and Maureen McGowan, Sara and Jim Haynes, Jan West and Jon Goldberg all had a grand time celebrating nice people in a wonderful setting.
A new fine dining restaurant has come to the Brownsboro Road/Watterson Expressway area. Named for Henry Watterson, it is called Henry’s Place and it occupies the building that was formerly a butcher shop/deli in the Brownsboro Center. All vestiges of the building’s former existence have given way to a sophisticated elegance thanks to owner/partners Pat McGinnis and Chef Charles Reed. After several visits I would say the place is off to a really great and popular start. Last week the dining and bar areas were very busy.
The menu has a lot of imagination and the prices are reasonable, with entrée selections ranging from $15 to $30. Popular starters are the beef carpaccio and shrimp cream soup. Risotto with langoustines, oyster lemon stew presented in a copper pan, and a 45-day dry-aged rib-eye steak, are just a few of the items that are hard to choose between.
Then there are desserts that are hard to beat. Cookies, wonderful cookies of varying types, that you can order by the half-dozen. Or try the caramel ice cream that comes in an old fashioned martini glass with a raspberry jam cookie underneath, a spectacular scoop of “sin.”
Ellen Timmons is famous for her fabulous over-the-top floral arrangements. She is also famous among her friends for her dinner parties. She is a wonderful cook, has weird and interesting friends, and a house full of the most interesting art and “stuff” from her world travels.
Last week she treated Kathy Hensley, Phillip Koenig, Barbara Partlow, Ben Small, Michael Judd, Brenda Light, Corky Sachs and Jack Roby to a wonderful dinner. Her handsome, charming son John was there too. Jack contributed a fabulous chocolate ice cream for dessert.
There is only one Ellen and she is an interesting, fun creature filled with a zest for life.
About the Author (Author Profile)
A fixture in Louisville society, Carla Sue Broecker has been writing her weekly column for more than two decades.