It was a heady contingent that schmoozed around the vast swimming pool at the chateau-style home of Alice and Keith Mosing on Sunday as key off-the-court players in the River Oaks International gathered not only to launch the popular tennis tournament at River Oaks Country Club but also to salute the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.
Tournament chair David Modesett and wife Diane mingled through the crowd that spread from the interiors of the Mosing's River Oaks home to the broad terrace where the country club catering team proved that it can match the best of them when it comes to sophisticated party fare.
The Mosings' home is literally a tennis ball-throw from center court where the tournament action began on Monday. Many of the tournament sponsors, which include the Mosings, were in the mix, such as Bobbie and John Nau, Downey Bridgewater, Marcy Taub Wessel and Tom Wessel, Shana and Andrew Linbeck, Terri and John Havens, Steve Brice and John Eads. Two of the players joined the party — Ryan Sweeting and Ryan Harrigan.
In 2008 the River Oaks International merged with the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships to become the River Oaks U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. And with or without this imprimatur, the tournament is the singular most important week of seeing and being seen inside the Loop.
Joining the party landscape were Laurie and Reed Morian, Adrian and Rex Ross, Judge Mike McSpadden with Jane Johnstone, Laurie and Brett Sanders,Kelli and Eddy Blanton and Steve and Joella Mach, who chairs the tennis tournament luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday.
More smokin' guns
Last week it was the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston clay shoot. This week, we focus on the ninth annual Break for 8 – HoustonPBS Sporting Clay Challenge held at the Greater Houston Gun Club. Chairs George Ball of Sanders, Morris, Harris and Butch Mach of Mach Industrial led the day to winning proceeds of $131,000.
The day-long event included sub-guage, shooting clays and flurry competitions with 92 shooters, including one female, participating. Taking high overall honors was Mach Industrial Group while ATP Oil & Gas/Russell Reynolds won the sub-gauge competition, West Side Lexus the sporting clays and Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors won the team flurry.
Among the individual shooters earning top rankings were Allen Brown, Lucian Bukowski, Hector Hernandez and the two chairs, Ball and Mach.
Live from La Griglia
Tilman Fertitta's bid to buy outstanding stock in McCormick & Schmick's attracted national attention that put the restaurant mogul in the spotlight Tuesday on CNBC's Power Lunch. The interview was broadcast live from La Griglia, part of the Landry's family, where more than a few local notables were power lunching themselves.
John Beeson, Ali Ebrahimi and Neil Strauss held a corner table while Jack Rains and Kristi Schiller held court at another. Arthur Seeligson did business at a corner table, Jason Fuller and Cindy Clifford held forth at another as did Steve Trauber and Bill Wright at various tables.
Before Fertitta sat down for his CNBC interview, yet another camera crew on the opposite side of the restaurant interviewed him for the local NBC affiliate.
In an aside, freelance sound mixer Tony Rowland, owner of ABR Sound here, who handled audio for the CNBC interview, has been tapped by NBC national to be part of the team that is in London for the much-ballyhooed April 29 royal wedding.
That would be best buddies Cindy Clifford, marketing and PR specialist, and Jason Fuller, regional director for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who are just back from attending the Country Music Awards festivities in Las Vegas. Talk about having friends in the right places. This duo was invited out by a pal at the swank Bellagio who had tickets for them to the awards ceremonies at the MGM Grand. What he failed to mention was that the tickets were on the 12th row.
"The show lasted three hours," Cindy e-mailed. "And we both said it was as if we had packed three weeks of the rodeo into those three hours, with way, way better seats!"
Aside from close-up view of Keith Urban, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood, Cindy reports that "One of the most interesting parts was watching the ushers move seat fillers in and out of the seats when the guests up front left for a minute! It was constant shuffling and fun to watch!"
Basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman lunching at Del Frisco's on Monday where comedian Dennis Miller also found a quiet table . . .
NFL Rookie of Year Ndamukong Suh, top-ranked golfer Lee Westwood and former Houston Oiler quarterback Warren Moon dining at different tables in Del Frisco's on Friday . . .
Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb (formerly with the Philadelphia Eagles) dining at Sullivan's Ringside where VCU head coach Shaka Smart was recovering after the team's close loss to Butler . . .
Sad Kentucky fans also drowning their sorrows at Armando's on Sunday night with Houston hosts Dr. Frances Jones and Florence Rutherford . . .
Mark A. Emmert, president of the NCAA, hosting a small group dinner in the wine room at Prego.