There was so much going on in the month of December that we've got to take a step back for the moment and review a few of the amazing/glittering/newsworthy happenings.
First up, Kara and Ray Childress and 60 friends, yes 60, flew to New York earlier in the month for his induction in the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame at a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria where Tom Brokaw and Harry Smith were emcees and headliner entertainment was Bill Cosby. But the real star for the Houstonians attending was Childress's coach at A&M R.C. Slocum. You might recall that Childress was a two-time All-American defensive lineman at A&M and played 11 seasons with the Houston Oilers.
The festivities actually began earlier in Houston when Lisa and Michael Holthouse held a Hall of Fame launch party at their Memorial swankienda.
Once the scores of Houstonians were in Manhattan, seven couples — Terri and John Havens, Amy and Peter Shaper, Kim and Chuck Watson, Janis and Andy Priest, Marci and Steve Alvis, Susan and Mike Plank and Melissa and Doug Schnitzer — hosted a blowout dinner for the Lone Star contingent at Spice Market in the Meatpacking District.
Rounding out the party group were Annie Amante, Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi, Mary Tere and Ricardo Perusquia, Cherie and Jim Flores, Diana and Todd Brock and the four Childress children — Wells (defensive lineman at A&M), Sloan, Ford (quarterback at Kinkaid) and Knox.
New Year's Day annual
Texas Southern University dean of communications James Ward hosted more than 150 movers and shakers at his southwest Houston home for his annual Day After New Year's fete, where guests chewed over politics and dined from a bountiful buffet.
Notables in the crush included Houston Area Urban League CEO Judson Robinson, State Rep. Garnet Coleman, City Controller Ron Green, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Defender publisher Sonny Messiah Jiles and financial whiz Jodie Jiles, TSU president John Rudley and wife Docia, gallery owner Lloyd Gite and marketing/PR expert Cindy Clifford.
It seems the political and business forces were hard at play throughout Christmas week including those attending a party hosted by Cindy Clifford and David Bray along with Jason Fuller. The trio welcomed an impressive crowd to the Clifford/Bray bungalow for their annual Jingle Bells & Cocktails After Christmas party.
Among the 125 guests were City Councilman Oliver Pennington and wife Beverly, attorney Robert Miller, City Councilwoman Sue Lovell and partner Angela Blanchard, Arthur Schechter, Port Commissioner Jimmy Burke, Judge Zinetta Burney, Argentina James, Miya Shay and investment guru Lee Lahourcade and wife Virginia.
Trés tony dinner
Oh to have been on Joyce and Arthur Schechter's guest list for the swell dinner soirée they hosted in their posh high-rise abode last week. Some two dozen individuals of import settled in for the Mexican buffet amid show-stopping (we are told) decor and table settings.
Tops on the guest list were Mayor Annise Parker and partner Kathy Hubbard with an intriguing mix that included developer Ed Wulfe and wife Lorraine; businessman Marty McVey; Houston Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen and wife Kathryn Kase, senior attorney with the Texas Defender Service; Greenberg Traurig shareholder Roland Garcia and wife Karen; photographer David Bray and marketing whiz Cindy Clifford; and former State Rep. Sue Schechter.
In the national news
Houstonians have made a few ripples in the national social press recently with the most recent splash in Sunday's New York Times Style section. Two debs from Houston, who took their bows at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria, won coveted photos on Bill Cunningham's Evening Hours page. Deb Olivia Flores was pictured with her parents Cherie and Jim Flores and deb Meredith Mosbacher was photographed with her mother Catherine Clark Mosbacher.
The January issue of Town & Country saluted Houston social leaders with a two-page spread on Houston Ballet's Dancing With the Houston Stars, photographs by Fulton Davenport. Hosts John and Becca Cason Thrash share the photo slots with Lynn Wyatt, Diane Lokey Farb, Monsour Taghdisi and more.
Midway through the book, writer William Norwich, a recent transplant from the society columns of Vogue, includes Wyatt in his 101 People You Must Meet in 2011 article. She's the sole Houstonian to make the list, unless you include Lauren Bush, who actually calls New York home and has for a number of years.
The only other Texan to be included is Cindy Rachofsky of Dallas, recognized as one of several Dallas area art patrons committing to bequeath their art collections to the Dallas Museum of Art.
Texans Pro Bowler Andre Johnson and fellow wide receiver Jacoby Jones celebrating the end of the season over lunch at Grotto 610.