Savannah Morning News
Written By: Bunny Ware
October 12, 2014
Read original article here.
The city of Savannah and Parker’s presented Picnic in the Park in Forsyth Park on Oct. 5.
Imagine close to 20,000 music lovers with four-legged friends, baskets of scrumptious food and outrageous booth displays decorating the 30-acre park on a Sunday with perfect weather!
Lining Drayton Street are the ”decked in green Mint Julip Queens.”
“We are Savannah ladies flouncing life, tiaras and all things female,” shares spokeslady Erica Scales, who I must say is looking resplendent in “buckets and buckets and yards and yards of pale green chiffon.”
She, along with world traveler Sylvia Severence, Kim Brown, Janet Oliver and “possible former Miss Connecticut” Meredith Gray are celebrating their “inner princess” for the first time here at the park with a full dinner setting for 30.
With wagons, coolers and tents filling up the park, I see more decorations with this year’s “Fly Me to the Moon” theme. One booth that represents a unusual variation of this theme is the quirky “Country Cousins.”
Complete with overalls, straw hats and fake teeth, the Fly Me to the “Moon Shine” gang poses for a pic and I somehow manage to back up and trip over Karsten Summerall. The 6-foot, 3-inch Savannah Arts Academy student is used to my clumsiness and I pester him into posing for me with his friends Rhonda and Jean Arntsen.
Next I quiz Savannah Summer Theatre Institute and former neighbor Warren Heilman on his relationship status — yes he is single, his kids are great — thank you very much, and he is looking like a silver fox with all that shiny hair.
Warren is posing with Catie, Susan and Johnny Ganas when the always enthusiastic Scott Cohen approaches with a photo request of him with his tiny Yorkie, Gucci, and uber-attractive Roger Good. I focus, click and scurry out of Terri Dressels’ way.
Whoa, stop. I backtrack and grab the petite redhead for a hug and pepper her with quick questions. Who are you with? Are you still catering with Ms. Ullman? Single? How are your kids? Her answers, “My kids and grandkids are fantastic. I still cater with Ms. Ullman and you better not put that I am single in the paper!”
With no more time to chat, I weave my way over to Savannah-Chatham police Cpl. Don Bryant for his usual smile and hug, commend Michael Gaster for his sound expertise in today’s music set up and manage to get the elusive Jason Nielubowicz over for a perfect picture.
There are thousands and thousands of people here and the liveliest group I meet are friends of Puerto Rican beauty Winette Torres, a medical billing professional with Georgia Emergency Association. A few dozen of her family and friends are snacking on a catered feast and playing a Puerto Rican version of dominos.
I’m confused after she explains that there are two teams with two players because I can’t remember if I ever played dominos at all! While she elaborates I see Memorial Health’s Maggie Gill and gorgeous brunette Phoenicia Miracle chatting with fashionista and culinary queen Susan Mason and Fran Kaminsky.
Fran is classy. It’s that simple. I adore her style, her quiet presence and most of all her hair — it’s simple, classy and stylish! While I pose the ladies with Noah, Hunter and Jay Goldstein, Bailey Gill pops up in the pic and I snap a bright, perfect pic before heading over to the most elaborately catered tent of the day.
Cordasco and Associates have a 20-by-20 tent filled with stations of food, good looking people like Tiffani and James Rahal and a dude with wicked “happy hair”, Brian Fogarty. Before I can get the full details of his windblown look, I hear a sweet Alabama accent uttering scandalous words and head over to find Bruce Beaird.
A fresh coat of crazy is a pretty good description of Bruce, Brandon Branch, Jesse Valentine, his mom Kat, freshly married Christie “Wallace” Bergen and the most attractive Realtor in the South, Austin Hill. Mad that I am going to miss the Austin and the Savannah Philharmonic “An Evening at Moon River” fundraiser at Johnny Mercer’s home next weekend, I implore Austin to open up the house again for another full moon on Moon River event.
Wishing I could stay and snack on a few more blueberry and goat cheese crostinis, I reluctantly leave the booth and walk into a hug from my good friend Kaisa White and her “I can’t believe she is 14 years old” daughter Phoenix West!
Kaisa knows picture protocol and gets it right the first time before Savannah Chamber’s Susan Smith pulls me over for a pic of her sons David and Gabe with wives Rachel and Janel and tiny Mary Jane Worthington.
By now I have missed the Windsor Forest Drumline and Johnson High School Chorus but I catch a tune from the Savannah Arts Academy Orchestra before Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson take the stage. And what a glorious reception for the reigning jazz ensemble.
This is a perfect intro for the Savannah Philharmonic. With the sun setting, tummies full, wine glasses filled and more people here that in my entire Jefferson County — Jazz greats Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson hit the stage — these guys are a toast to the class act that follows.
Glasses up to the City of Savannah, Parker’s and our local musical talent for giving us yet another reason to love living in the greatest city in the South!