Shelby About Town
Cleopatra and Joanne King Herring are just two of the strong women rockin' thesocial scene
Not since the premiere of Charlie Wilson's War in 2007 has political protagonist/philanthropist, and now author, Joanne King Herring been in such a state of glorious apprehension. Hachette Book Group is in the final editing stages of Herring's biography, Diplomacy and Diamonds.
"That's their title not mine," she says, just beginning to reveal her trepidation about putting her life story in the hands of New York City editors. Back to that in a moment because talk of the book is not really why Joanne called on Monday morning. She was elated with the news that River Oaks Country Club chef Charles Carroll had just returned from his adventure cooking for the troops in Afghanistan. His accompanying entertainment for the military included a video that featured thank-you's from U.S. presidents past and present and a special message from Joanne.
"I wanted them to know that this is what we are doing to bring them home," she said referring to her Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, the building of infrastructure in Afghan villages that can then prosper and therefore escape the influence of terrorist organizations. In the video, she talked about the successful luncheon she organized in April that raised funds for the project. The sooner that the Aghan people can stand on their own, the sooner U.S. troops can return home knowing that their sacrifices were not in vain, she says.
"I fell on my face 100 times and all the falling on my face is in the book . . . Every experience in life is a tool, even the bad ones."
"We've planted the soybeans," she enthused on Monday indicating that her program to create a model village is underway. She was equally pleased by the return video that Chef Charles brought back in which the several thousand troops attending the special dinner offered up a rousing "We love you!" She wants supporters of the luncheon, including chairwoman Connie Cooke, and supporters of her fundraising efforts to know that they are appreciated by the men and women serving in Afghanistan.
No time to dally too much on this elation as Hachette has been working Joanne overtime. Only a few weeks ago, editors decided that they wanted a photo montage to accompany each chapter of the book that will be released in October. That meant many late nights culling over scrap books.
Joanne says that Diplomacy and Diamonds is a biography "with a twist."
In the process of breaking many old school barriers to females in the '70s and '80s, Joanne says "I fell on my face 100 times and all the falling on my face is in the book . . . Every experience in life is a tool, even the bad ones." She hopes that the message readers take away from the book is that barriers an be overcome if you put your mind to it.
She has a date on CNN the morning of June 29 to discuss the book.
Cleopatras in the house
How lucky could Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2011 gala chairs Michelle and Frank Hevrdejs get? Little more than two weeks before the launch of "Tutankhamen: The Golden King and the Great Pharoahs," the couple is chairing the Oct. 1 MFAH Grand Gala Ball. And with that imminent opening, selecting a theme for their gala was a slam dunk.
The Hevrdjes have themed their black-tie fete "An Egyptian Fantasy" and they are having way too much fun as they put the details together. While Michelle nixed Frank's idea of muscle-bound pharaoh-esque attendants, she did give in to a phalanx of glamazon "Cleopatras" serving as party guides.
Consider the 3,000-year-old necklace that will be offered. MFAH curator Frances Marzio secured the prize piece from an antiques dealer in Cairo and it is expected to fetch a handsome sum.
The Hevrdejs' aim is to jazz up the evening with the lively theme and with the Sensation Dance Band from LA. If that doesn't ring your black-tie chimes, surely the auction items will. Consider the 3,000-year-old necklace that will be offered. MFAH curator Frances Marzio secured the prize piece from an antiques dealer in Cairo and it is expected to fetch a handsome sum.
Sneak peaks at the jewels to be auctioned, including this necklace, will happen in September when Wayne Smith opens his boutique in Uptown Park for a special viewing party.
They've already lassoed a bundle of big-table buyers, so the couple is encouraging those who expect primo seating to make their reservations now by contacting the MFAH's Ashley Sneed at 713-639-7523.
Have lens will travel
Popular party circuit photographer Fulton Davenport, very much an art photographer as well, is set to hit the road momentarily, cameras in tow, with his stunning wife Reece. They're off to St. Bart's for the beginning of a shooting tour for the second in his series of EROS themed photographs.
Reece is, as Fulton says, "my model, my muse and my love. And we are at our best when we are pursuing our passions. She knows that when I am shooting our EROS art, I am at my best."
For the EROS I collection, the couple shot in Barcelona, London Prague, Santa Barbara, New York, Berlin and St. Bart's, where this year's photographic odyssey begins and ends.
For children's sake
Just a few years ago, Judy McGee, Sydney Faust and Scott Basinger put their heads together to create a special fundraiser benefiting Texas Children's Cancer Center. They came up with the Celebration of Champions luncheon that salutes not only doctors and caregivers but also patients and community leaders.
The trio got a head start on this fall's luncheon when supporters gathered at Highland Tower for a salute to the community champions who will be recognized at the Hilton-Americas Houston event on Sept. 28.
The community champions are Bob and Janice McNair, Rudy Avelar, YvonneCormier, Claire Cormier Thielke, Rose Cullen, Kathy Cullen McCord, Jennifer McCord, Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, Jan Duncan, Nidhika Mehta and Melissa and Michael Mithoff.
Also recognized at the kick-off were youngsters Braeden Lilly and Jolie Garcia, both of whom have successfully battled cancer.
Porter Hedges partner David Peden and his bride Tish celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary at Tony's where they were joined by Nancy and Dr. Kent Stobaugh . . .
On that same night, Joan and Stanford Alexander celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary with friends at Tony's, not far from the center-of-the-room table where Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel hosted Ann and Karl Stern among others.